Harriet Prudence Hall

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Harriet Prudence Hall (Patterson)

Birthplace: Wales, United Kingdom
Death: Died in York, South Carolina, USA
Immediate Family:

Wife of John Hall and Robert Harris
Mother of Jennet Hall; William Henry Hall; Margaret Hetley; Alexander Brown Hall; Josiah Hall and 4 others

Managed by: Daniel Robert May
Last Updated:

About Harriet Prudence Hall

Prudence married John Hall in 1763 in Charleston, SC and quickly had her first child named Margaret. Prudence went on to have 9 children in all. While raising 9 children, husband John entered into the Revolutionary War and fought for South Carolina. It is here where Prudence became a heroine of her day.

Sometime prior to the Revolution they left Charleston and moved to upper South Carolina and settled in York Dist. near Rock Hill. Here they bought land on Little Allison Creed and built their home among a large grove of fine old trees and a big spring. It is at this very place that was destined to play an important part in the history of the American Revolution. Here a brick store was erected which became the trading post for salt.

While riding one day Prudence was tending to her milk cows, she heard a noise of moaning and groaning of someone in great distress. She quickly rode until she found a man lying in the water after the indians had scalped him and left him for dead. Prudence nursed him back to life and he lived to a ripe old age.

Prudence and three other women rode horseback to Charleston during the Revolution, when the British besieged Charleston under the guise of purchasing medicine. They were held up by the British as spies, but their protest that their mission was to purchase medicine, they were allowed to pass the British ranks. They got their medicine and returned. Not before Prudence had delivered an important message to the American Army, which she carried hidden in her petticoat. She had outwitted them all!

from: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nwa/prudence.html Prudence Patterson was born in 1743 (either in Wales or in County Antrim, Ireland) and emigrated to America with her parents. In 1763, she married another immigrant, John Hall, in York, South Carolina. They had eight or nine children. Their children's names were James, John, Prudence, Jennet, Margaret, William Henry, Alexander Brown, Josiah, and Major Temple.

John Hall appears on the U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls as a private in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment. He died in 1784. Prudence appears as the head of family in York in the 1790 Federal Census, residing there with her children and a slave.

Crossing a Picket Line

Carol Berkin, a historian at Baruch College, mentions Prudence Patterson in her 2005 book, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence:

"Far to the south, as the British besieged the South Carolina capital of Charleston in early 1776, Harriet Prudence Patterson Hall and three of her friends made their way past enemy soldiers surrounding the city. When the sentries topped them, Hall explained that they were on their way to purchase medicine from a Charleston apothecary. What the redcoats saw gave them little reason to be suspicious: standing before them were four well-dressed matrons, on an errand that took them into the city. The British soldiers stepped aside, giving the women permission to pass. With that, Harriet Hall walked into Charleston, an important message for the American commander safely hidden inside her petticoat."

For this information, Berkin' cites the Year Book, 2003-2004, of the Harriet Prudence Patterson Hall Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of North Little Rock, Arkansas. You might contact the Prudence Hall Chapter through their website and ask them about the source of their information. According to their website, Harriet Hetley West, a descendant of Prudence and John Hall, emigrated to Arkansas in the 1850s, and it was through her and her descendants that the North Little Rock Chapter of the DAR was formed in 1963.

Another source for more information would be the Southern Revolutionary War Institute, at the McCelvey Center in York, South Carolina, at the Museum of York County. A description on their website of their holdings of family histories related to York County, says they have a copy of The Hall Family, by Claudia Hall O'Driscoll, which may never have been published, since it doesn't show up in online library catalogs. I would guess that your ancestor appears in it, perhaps with some documentation.

A Family Letter

It is from this book, presumably, that O'Driscoll family researchers have copied a letter from Prudence Hall's descendant Annie Farris Lumpkin to Daisy West Watkins, dated April 23, 1933, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and posted it on the Ancestry.com website:

Our notable ancestress, Harried [sic] Prudence Patterson, born in the year 1743, was of Welsh and English descent. On the maternal side she was Welsh, on the paternal, English. The Patterson family emigrated to America when Prudence was a child. The family first settled in Maryland, and later moved to Pennsylvania. She was 15 years of age when the family moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania. She rode horseback all the way and drove the cows behind the covered wagons. Later they moved to South Carolina and settled near Charles Town where she grew to young womanhood and met and married John Hall, also of an English family. John Hall was six years his wife's senior, having been born in 1737. Patterson was 20 years of age and John Hall 26 when their marriage took place in 1763.

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Harriet Prudence Hall's Timeline

Wales, United Kingdom
Age 14
Delaware, USA
Age 20
South Carolina, USA
June 17, 1764
Age 21
South Carolina, USA
Age 21
York, South Carolina, USA
Age 28
Rocky Creek, Jackson, Florida, USA
May 9, 1776
Age 33
York, South Carolina, USA
September 21, 1781
Age 38
York, South Carolina, USA
Age 43
August 15, 1839
Age 96
York, South Carolina, USA