Kellow, Ken. "American War of Independence at Sea", entry for "The American Privateers - Chevalier de La Luzerne", (www.awiatsea.com, posted - September 21, 2014.)
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina during the American Revolution, (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1999.)
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983.)
Segelquist, Dennis. "Men of New York on Navy Ships, New York Pension Rolls", (boards.rootsweb.com, posted - April 8, 2007.)
Slane, Melvin. "Hunt Brothers Abijah, James, David and Josiah of Sussex County, NJ", (board.ancestry.com, posted - October 2, 2002; edited - April 20, 2004.)
Slane, Melvin. "Hunt - L Archives", entry for "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents??", (rootsweb.ancestry.com, release date - March 15, 2005.)
Slane, Melvin. "Find a Grave Memorial", entry for "Abijah Hunt (1762-1852)", (www.findagrave.com, record added - September 16, 2009.)
Pension Application - "Pension Application of Abijah Hunt S23271"
(Note: The writer of this blog has recently realized that he wrote a significant amount of material concerning Abijah Hunt in a much earlier post entitled "'Abijah Hunt, Midshipman on board the Frigate South Carolina for Her Final Cruise' - Additional Information Collected" and dated "12/03/2015". This earlier post contains quite a bit of information regarding the military experience of Abijah Hunt during the American Revolution prior to his signing on board the frigate South Carolina that was, according to the pension application of Abijah Hunt, "...on or about the first of July 1782...". In an effort to avoid redundancy and make this blog a little more approachable to its readership, the writer of this blog has decided to not repeat information already committed to this overall blog (something about reinventing the wheel). The only information the writer of this blog will include in this current post is that which will hopefully add to the picture we have of Abijah Hunt after the passage of over two hundred years of American history.)
Abijah Hunt is unique in several different ways from the rest of the crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina. First, in as far as the writer of this blog knows, Abijah Hunt is the sole representative of the colony of New Jersey who served on board the patriot frigate. Also, Abijah Hunt had been a sailor before his service on board the frigate South Carolina, having served on board the Chevalier de La Luzerne, a Pennsylvania privateer sloop-of-war sailing out of Philadelphia, PA. But, on board the Chevalier de La Luzerne, Abijah Hunt had been an enlisted seaman, whereas on board the frigate South Carolina, he was a midshipman. Thus, he experienced the maritime struggle of the colonies for independence both from the perspective of an enlisted man as well as an officer. But, even more interesting, Abijah Hunt spent a considerable amount of time in British prisons, both in England and in British-occupied New York City. The trials, tribulations, and conditions of both sojourns in British prisons were markedly different from one another. But, to add to the story, he also spent time in the land forces of the patriots and served at the "...most famous encampment in the history of the world..." - Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778 - even though his name does not appear on the roster of troops at Valley Forge. This is due to the fact that he was serving as a substitute for a sick brother, Josiah Hunt, who was ultimately credited with serving at this encampment, even though Josiah never was actually there. Finally, he would apply for a pension while he lived in Cayuga County, NY at the age of seventy years old. He would continue to reside in this county until later in his life when he and his family would return to New Jersey where Abijah Hunt would die and be buried at the age just over ninety years.
According to his pension application, "Pension Application of Abijah Hunt S23271", Abijah Hunt "...was born in the town Newton, County of Sussex & State of New Jersey on the 17th of March 1762...". There are at least two more sources, both articles composed by Melvin Slane - "Hunt Brothers..." and "Find a Grave Memorial..." - that use this identical date and thus would appear to confirm this as the date of birth of Abijah Hunt. Since the later of these two sources draws his date of birth from his tombstone located in Belvidere Cemetery in Belvidere, NJ, this would appear to be solid confirmation that this is indeed his date of birth. The obituary of Abijah Hunt, printed in a Belvidere, NJ, newspaper in 1852, does not mention the names of his mother and father so, that this information remains uncertain. But, according to the Slane article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?", page 1, it states that "...his father was dead by the time of the Revolutionary War, that his mother was a widow...". Further on in this same source, page 1, there appears a statement according to which "...one theory is that his parents were Davis and Margrita Fulliner Hunt, but we really have nothing to support that...". This is quite literally all that we know of the parentage of Abijah Hunt other than that the family was supposedly living in Morristown, NJ at the time of Abijah Hunt's enlistment in the militia when he was very young.
Numerous other sources, his pension application included, mention the various siblings of Abijah Hunt. According to Slane's article, "Find a Grave Memorial", page 1, "...Abijah was one of the youngest of 7 brothers, all of whom served during the Revolutionary War...". According to the "Pension Application of Abijah Hunt S23271", Abijah Hunt served at Valley Forge for a sick brother by the name of Josiah Hunt. According to Slane's article, "Hunt Brothers Abijah, James, David and Josiah of Sussex County, NJ", page 1, the above four mentioned men are referred to as the "Hunt brothers" and are all believed to be living in Morristown, NJ at the time of their enlistment in the patriot forces. According to the Slane article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?", page 1, two of the remaining brothers were supposed to be named Robert and Davis. None of the sources available to the writer of this blog make mention of any female siblings of Abijah Hunt.
Even though it is not referred to at all in his pension application, which he filed on January 23, 1833 while he was residing in Sterling, NY in the County of Cayuga, Abijah Hunt did marry and raise a family. Several other sources directly state that he did indeed marry and make reference to a possibly large family being raised of which he was the patriarch. Slane's article, "Hunt Brothers Abijah, James, David and Josiah of Sussex County, NJ", page 1, refers to Abijah Hunt as "...marrying Mary Ann Dunn and having 7 children, including sons Joseph and Andrew and daughters Sally and Ann Eliza.". There does seem to be some disputed as to when Abijah Hunt married Mary Ann Dunn and exactly where the marriage took place. Slane also wrote in his article "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?", page 1, that:
"...after the War, Abijah Hunt married Mary Ann Dunn, probably in the vicinity of New York City, or possibly in Albany - he was at the time engaged in maritime commerce up & down the Atlantic coast based in NYC. Soon thereafter they moved to Albany, NY where we believe most of the children were born, including my ancestor Joseph Clark Hunt, two brothers Andrew Mortimer Hunt and Alexander Hamilton Hunt, sisters Ann Eliza Hunt and Sally Hunt and possibly as many as six other children.".
According to Slane's article, "Find a Grave Memorial, entry for Abijah Hunt (1762-1852)", page 1, some slightly different information is provided. The text here states that:
"...he married Mary Ann Dunn about 1782, probably in Albany, New York and they had at least eleven children. He lived at several locations in New York State - first in New York City immediately after the War, then in Albany, later in Sterling, Cayuga County...".
These two sources dispute exactly when Abijah Hunt married Mary Ann Dunn, either "after the War..." or "...about 1782...". The date of 1782 would be before the end of the war which contradicts the former statement of "...after the War...". This two dates, taken together, would seem to indicate that Abijah Hunt married Mary Ann Dunn at some point very near the end of the American Revolution or immediately after the cessation of hostilities.
As far as the number of children that Abijah Hunt and Mary Ann Dunn Hunt raised, there seems to be a consensus that it was at least seven and possibly eleven or more. According to Slane's article, "Hunt Brothers Abijah, James, David and Josiah of Sussex County, NJ", page 1, the text claims that Abijah and Mary Ann had seven children and names four of them, "...sons Joseph and Andrew and daughters Sally and Ann Eliza...". According to Slane's article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?", page 1, "...thereafter they [Abijah and Mary Ann] moved to Albany, NY where we believe most of the children were born, including my ancestor Joseph Clark Hunt, two brothers Andrew Mortimer Hunt and Alexander Hamilton Hunt, sisters Ann Eliza Hunt and Sally Hunt and as many as six other children...". According to Slane's article, "Find a Grave Memorial, entry for Abijah Hunt (1762-1852)", page 1, it states that Abijah and Mary Ann "...had at least 11 children...". Their family may have contained any number of children but, names are only provided for the five children - three boys and two girls - named above in Slane's article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?".
After the conclusion of the American Revolution, Abijah Hunt possibly held various different civilian occupations during his long lifetime. According to Slane's article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers -Parents?", page 1-2, states that:
"...during his time there [in Albany, NY], Abijah worked at various jobs from a law clerk to a dry goods storekeeper. Somewhere in the 1820-1830 time frame the family moved to Fair Haven, Cayuga County, NY where he operated a hotel/tavern.".
This is the only source that states that Abijah Hunt and his family moved to Fair Haven, NY. When he field his pension application, "Pension Application of Abijah Hunt S23271", Abijah Hunt claimed that he was residing in "...the town of Sterling in the County of Cayuga and the State of New York...". All of the other sources that address where Abijah and his family lived refer to Albany, NY followed by Sterling, NY. Only Slane's article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?", page 1, alludes to he and his family moving to Fair Haven, NY at some point between 1820 and 1830.
At some point towards the end of his life, Abijah Hunt felt the need to return home to New Jersey. None of the sources indicate his reason for wanting or needing to go back to home ground. He was born in Newton, NJ in Sussex County, NJ but, evidently decided to settle in Belvidere, NJ in Warren County, NJ. These two named counties are located in the northern part of the state of New Jersey and are adjacent to each other. The modern towns of Newton, NJ and Belvidere, NJ are located twenty-six miles apart by modern standards. Thus, Abijah Hunt chose to return to the same basic region of the state where he had been raised as a child. Morristown, NJ, where Abijah Hunt's family was living at the time of the American Revolution, was evidently not mentioned as a possibility for relocation from New York state. According to Slane's article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?", page 2, the move of the Hunt family back to New Jersey took place at some point around 1845. Slane's other article, "Hunt Brothers Abijah, James, David and Josiah of Sussex County, NJ", page 1, corroborates this same date for the move of Abijah Hunt back to his native New Jersey. Abijah Hunt, former midshipman on board the frigate South Carolina, would remain there in Belvidere, NJ for the rest of his life, dying on April 10, 1852 at the age of ninety years old. The Slane article, "Abijah Hunt, One of Seven Brothers - Parents?", page 2, states that the actual burial plot of Mary Ann Dunn Hunt is unknown but assumed to be "...probably somewhere in New York.". The other Slane article, "Find a Grave Memorial, entry for Abijah Hunt (1762-1852)", page 1, indicates that her burial site as well as death date are both unknown. In his pension application, Abijah Hunt makes no reference to his wife, Mary Ann Dunn Hunt, at all as to whether or not she was still living at the time he filed his pension application.
(Note: a brief statement towards the end of "Pension Application of Abijah Hunt S23271" states that "...veteran died March 4, 1852; there is no family data in the file other than the references to his father and brothers set forth in his declarations.". The only other source cited in this post that states his death date is the above referenced source for "Find a Grave Memorial, entry for Abijah Hunt (1762-1852)", page 2, and it clearly indicates that Abijah Hunt died on April 10, 1852. The discrepancy may seem slight to most observers but, would actually mean the difference between Abijah Hunt having reached his ninetieth year of life or having died just prior to reaching this estimable year, if he was indeed born on March 17, 1762 as he stated in his pension application.)
(Final Note: the "Pension Application of Abijah Hunt S23271" actually concludes with the following statement:
"Veteran was pensioned at the rate of $100.50 per annum commencing March 4, 1831, for service as a private for 3 months in the New Jersey militia and for 15 months as a Midshipman in the Navy.".
It is ironic to the writer of this blog that Abijah Hunt was pensioned for services based upon his having served through out the grueling winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge in place of a sick brother, Josiah Hunt, whose name appears on the roster of Washington's troops at Valley Forge because Abijah Hunt was a simple "substitute" instead of the actual enlisted soldier under Washington's command. He was credited with service of fifteen months "...as a Midshipman in the Navy..." which is a direct reference to his service on board the frigate South Carolina. Yet, as stated in his pension application, Abijah Hunt signed on board the frigate South Carolina at some point around July 1, 1782 and was credited for fifteen months service in this capacity as a midshipman. But, since the frigate South Carolina was captured on December 21, 1782, Abijah Hunt only actually served for six months with the balance of the fifteen month's time being a prisoner of the British on parole on Long Island. Nothing is mentioned in his pension application of his previous service in either the land forces of the patriot Cause or on board the Pennsylvania privateer sloop-of-war Chevalier de La Luzerne nor of his captivity for seventeen months as a result of the capture of this privateer ship-of-war on April 4, 1781 by the British privateer ship Enterprize. It is strange to the writer of this blog that for all his devotion and dedication to the Cause of his country - struggling to be born - Abijah Hunt would receive $100.50 per annum for the last twenty-one years of his life for nine months of actual service to his country, three months being in the militia and six months being on board the frigate South Carolina. Yet, he actually served almost through out the entire American Revolution, most of that time in the hands of his British captors.)