Hannah Caldwell (Ogden) (1737 - 1780)

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Birthplace: Newark, Essex, New Jersey, USA
Death: Died in Coun Farms, , , New Jersey, USA
Managed by: Jason Peter Herbert
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Immediate Family

About Hannah Caldwell (Ogden)

Few occurrences in the history of ancient or modern warfare have so strongly influenced the public feeling - have excited so universal a sentiment of horror, or such deep resentment towards the authors of the crime - as the deliberate and barbarous murder of Mrs. Caldwell. It was perpetrated not only as an act of vengeance upon an individual, but with the design of striking terror into the country, and compelling the inhabitants to submission. So far, however, from producing this effect, it but roused the indignation of the whole community, filling all with one spirit - one desire to avenge the deed, and drive the invaders from their soil. It animated the brave with new energy, inspired the timid to feats of heroism, and determined the irresolute to throng to the standard of liberty. One of the journals of the day says: "The Caldwell tragedy has raised the resolution of the country to the highest pitch. They are ready almost to swear everlasting enmity to the name of a Briton." Hannah was the daughter of John Ogden of Newark. Her mother was Miss Sayre, a descendant of the Pilgrims. Her brothers were all staunch whigs, with the exception of Jonathan, who subsequently held the offices of Surgeon General in the British army, and judge of Newfoundland. Their march into the interior was marked by cruelty and devastation. Several houses were fired, and the inhabitants left destitute of provisions or shelter. When informed of the enemy's approach, Mr. Caldwell put his elder children into a baggage wagon in his possession as commissary, and sent them to some of his friends for protection. Three of the younger ones - Josiah Flint, Elias Boudinot, and Maria, an infant about eight months old, remained with their mother in the house. Mr. Caldwell had no fears for the safety of his wife and young family; for he believed it impossible that resentment could be extended to a mother watching over her little ones. He had that morning taken an early breakfast, intending to join the force collecting to oppose the enemy. Having in vain endeavored to persuade his wife to go with him, he returned to make a last effort to induce her to change her determination; but she remained firm. She handed him a cup of coffee, which he drank as he sat on horseback. Seeing the gleam of British arms at a distance, he put spurs to his horse, and in a few moments was out of sight. The nurse also remained, and a little girl named Abigail Lennington, a soldier's daughter, whom Mr. Caldwell had taken into his family. She is still living at Elizabethtown. Immediately after the tragedy she, with the nurse, gave deposition as to the facts before a magistrate. Their march into the interior was marked by cruelty and devastation. Several houses were fired, and the inhabitants left destitute of provisions or shelter. When informed of the enemy's approach, Mr. Caldwell put his elder children into a baggage wagon in his possession as commissary, and sent them to some of his friends for protection. Three of the younger ones - Josiah Flint, Elias Boudinot, and Maria, an infant about eight months old, remained with their mother in the house. Mr. Caldwell had no fears for the safety of his wife and young family; for he believed it impossible that resentment could be extended to a mother watching over her little ones. He had that morning taken an early breakfast, intending to join the force collecting to oppose the enemy. Having in vain endeavored to persuade his wife to go with him, he returned to make a last effort to induce her to change her determination; but she remained firm. She handed him a cup of coffee, which he drank as he sat on horseback. Seeing the gleam of British arms at a distance, he put spurs to his horse, and in a few moments was out of sight. The nurse also remained, and a little girl named Abigail Lennington, a soldier's daughter, whom Mr. Caldwell had taken into his family. She is still living at Elizabethtown. Immediately after the tragedy she, with the nurse, gave deposition as to the facts before a magistrate. Mrs. Caldwell herself felt no alarm. She had hid several articles of value in a bucket and let it down into the well; and had filled her pockets with silver and jewelry. She saw that the house was put in order, and then dressed herself with care, that should the enemy enter her dwelling, she might, to use her own expression, "receive them as a lady." She then took the infant in her arms, retired to her chamber, the window of which commanded a view of the road, towards which the end of the house stood, and seated herself upon the bed. The alarm was given that the soldiers were at hand. But she felt confidence that no one could have the heart to do injury to the helpless inmates of her house. Again and again she said "They will respect a mother." She had just nursed the infant and given it to the nurse, who was in the room. The girl, Abigail, was standing by the window. A soldier left the road, and crossing a space of ground diagonally to reach the house, came to the window of the room, put his gun close to it, and fired. Two balls entered the breast of Mrs. Caldwell; she fell back on the bed, and in a moment expired. He wore a red coat, and is generally supposed to have been a British soldier. Some have attributed the act to a refugee. The little girl received in her face some of the glass when the two balls entered, both of which took such deadly effect.

After the murder, Mrs. Caldwell's dress was cut open, and her pockets were rifled by the soldiers. Her remains were conveyed to a house on the other side of the road; the dwelling was then fired and reduced to ashes with all the furniture. The ruthless soldiers went on in their work of destruction, pillaging and setting fire to the houses, piling beds and clothing in the street and destroying them, till the village was laid waste.

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Hannah was killed by British gunfire during the Revolutionary War under disputed circumstances during the Battle of Connecticut Farms in what is now Union Township, an act which Union County immortalizes on their county seal to this day.[1] His wife had been at home with their baby and a 3 year old toddler. As the British moved into Connecticut Farms, Hannah Caldwell was shot through a window or wall as she sat with her children on a bed.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Caldwell_%28clergyman%29

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Hannah Caldwell's Timeline

1737
1737
Newark, Essex, New Jersey, USA
1763
March 14, 1763
Age 26
of, Morris Plains, Morris, New Jersey, USA
1764
January 23, 1764
Age 27
Newark, Essex, NJ
1780
June 7, 1780
Age 43
Coun Farms, , , New Jersey, USA
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