Colonel Nathaniel Scudder

Colonel Nathaniel Scudder[1, 2, 3]

Male 1733 - 1781  (48 years)

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  • Name Nathaniel Scudder 
    Prefix Colonel 
    Born 10 May 1733  Huntington, Suffolk, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Christened 17 Jun 1733  Huntington, Suffolk, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    AFN M79K-3W 
    Cemetery Old Tennent Churchyard Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reference Number 64 
    _UID 2686688E3C09D511A5C1205002C100006648 
    Died 15 Oct 1781  Shrewsbury, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Buried Tennent, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I84  Scudder
    Last Modified 15 Aug 2016 

    Father Jacob Scudder,   b. 29 Nov 1707, Huntington, Suffolk, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1772, Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Mother Abiah Roe,   b. 23 May 1708, Huntington, Suffolk, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 May 1791, Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 5 Aug 1731  Huntington, Suffolk, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    _UID 0F86688E3C09D511A5C1205002C100004FD8 
    Family ID F72  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Isabella Anderson,   b. 6 Jul 1737, Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Dec 1782, Tennent, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Married 23 Mar 1757 
    _UID D185688E3C09D511A5C1205002C1000010E9 
    Children 
     1. Dr. John Anderson Scudder,   b. 22 Mar 1759, Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Nov 1836, Washington, Davies, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     2. Joseph Scudder,   b. 12 Feb 1762, Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1843, New York, New York, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     3. Hannah Scudder,   b. 16 Aug 1763, Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Dec 1834  (Age 71 years)
     4. Kenneth Anderson Scudder,   b. 21 Aug 1765, Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Oct 1843, Homer, Cortland, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     5. Lydia Scudder,   b. 27 Oct 1767, Monmouth county, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Mar 1800, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 32 years)
     6. Scudder,   b. 13 Jul 1770, Monmouth county, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jul 1770, Monmouth county, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 7 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F41  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Tennent Church
    Tennent Church
    Isabella Anderson.jpg
    Isabella Anderson
    Monmouth Courthouse
    Monmouth Courthouse
    Monmouth Courthouse
    Monmouth Courthouse
    Nassau Hall
    Nassau Hall
    Nassau Hall
    Nassau Hall

  • Notes 
    • They came together in the old churchyard cemetery. Grieving family, neighbors, friends, and companions gathered near the final resting place of their friend, father, and husband to honor a valiant man. A college classmate, Benjamin Prime, delivered an elegy that included these lines: "In medicine skillful, and in warfare brave, in council steady, uncorrupt, and wise. It was thy happy lot, the means to have, To no small rank in each of these to rise." This was a fitting description for the life of a great patriot, Nathaniel Scudder.

      Nathaniel was the eldest child of a prosperous New England family. He was born on Long Island in New York to one of the first families to settle there. His early childhood was probably spent among a multitude of cousins

      His father, Jacob, had sold all his property on Long Island and moved his family to the Hunterdon area of New Jersey in 1749, when Nathaniel was about 16 years old. Jacob purchased 100 acres of land along with some grist mills in Princeton, and settled into the community.

      By the time Nathaniel was ready to move from home schooling to a college, New Jersey was ready to provide for his education. Colonial colleges were founded more to provide a source of educated religious ministers than to provide a basic liberal arts education. This is evidenced by the following statement given by the founders of the College of New Jersey:

      "Tho' our great Intention was to erect a Seminary for educating Ministers of the Gospel, that we might have a sufficient Number of Pious and well qualified men to supply the demands of our Churches, & propagate the kingdom of the Redeemer among those who have hitherto lived in darkness and ignorance, yet we hope it will be a means of training up men that will be useful in the other professions - ornaments of the state as well as the church…"

      Students attending college were the product of private tutoring. They were admitted after a lengthy oral examination. The requirements for admission were knowledge of Latin and Greek and evidence of good character. Two degrees were issued, bachelors with four years of study with few electives, and masters with three years of study with no course or residency requirements. The basis of this system was that education was for gentlemen.

      College attracted only a few students. The education was costly and the curriculum was centered on the classics. It was only until the 1750's that more interest was given to the natural sciences. Usually, studies focused on ancient languages, ancient history, theology, and mathematics.

      The four originators of the College of New Jersey were members of the moderate wing of the New Sides. Three of them were graduates of Yale: Jonathan Dickinson, pastor at Elizabethtown; Aaron Burr, pastor at Newark; John Pierson, pastor at Woodbridge. The fourth, Ebenezer Pemberton, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in New York, was a graduate of Harvard.

      Disappointed by Yale and Harvard's opposition to the Great Awakening and not satisfied with the limited course of instruction given at the Log College, they devised a plan for the establishment of a new college. The four ministers persuaded three leading lay Presbyterians in New York to join them. These three, also graduates of Yale were: William Smith, lawyer; Peter Van Brugh Livingston, merchant; and William Peartree Smith, a young man of independent means who was a generous supporter of the church and ``an ardent patriot.'' Since there was at that time no college in existence between New Haven in Connecticut and Williamsburg in Virginia -- a long distance to cover by horseback or stagecoach -- the need for an institution of higher education in the Middle Colonies, they felt, was urgent.

      Late in 1745 or early in 1746 these seven men applied for a charter to Governor Lewis Morris, an Anglican, who refused their petition because, he said, his instructions inhibited him from granting such a charter to a group of dissenters. Following Morris's death, they applied anew to Acting Governor John Hamilton. Although also an Anglican, Hamilton was more liberal in his views than Morris and with the consent of his Council, on which there were a number of friends of the proposed College, he granted a charter on October 22, 1746. The Anglican clergy later complained that it was done ``so suddenly and privately'' that they ``had no opportunity to enter a caveat against it.''

      Jonathan Belcher was governor of the Province of New Jersey from 1747 until 1757, and granted the institution its second charter. Educated at Harvard (Class of 1699), Belcher served as Governor of both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, before running afoul with political enemies in 1741, which led to his dismissal. After living in England for several years, he was able to convince the English court that he had been maligned, and was subsequently appointed governor of New Jersey.

      Finding the legality of the College's original charter under attack-- it had been granted by Acting Governor John Hamilton whose authority was questioned-- Belcher granted a second one on September 14, 1748. Eight weeks later, at the first commencement, the trustees conferred on Belcher Princeton's first honorary degree.

      Five months or more after they obtained the charter, the seven original trustees chose for the remaining places they were empowered to fill five ardent New Siders: Samuel Blair, Samuel Finley, Gilbert Tennent, William Tennent, Jr., and Richard Treat, all graduates of the Log College except Treat, who was one of its close adherents. On April 27, 1747, the trustees announced the election of Jonathan Dickinson as president, and the College opened in his Elizabethtown parsonage during the last week of May. On President Dickinson's death the following October, the College moved to the Newark parsonage of Aaron Burr, who was elected the second president. Belcher encouraged the trustees to raise funds for a college building and a house for the president. In a dispute over the eventual location of the college, Belcher favored Princeton, "as near the center of the Province as any and a fine situation." Just before the College moved from Newark to Princeton, Belcher donated his library of 474 volumes, his full-length portrait, his carved and gilded coat-of-arms, a pair of terrestrial globes, and ten framed portraits of the queens and kings of England.

      It was proposed that to honor Governor Belcher, who staunchly befriended the College in many ways: ``Let BELCHER HALL proclaim your beneficent acts . . . to the latest ages,'' they wrote the governor, but, ``with a rare modesty,'' the governor declined the honor, and at his suggestion the building was named Nassau Hall in memory of ``the Glorious King William the Third who was a Branch of the Illustrious House of Nassau.'' Nathaniel Fitz Randolph gave the land on which Nassau Hall was built. In 1755, the Trustees declared Governor Belcher as the College's "founder, patron, and benefactor."

      Nassau Hall was, at the time of its completion in 1756, the largest stone building in the colonies. It had three stories and a basement. It was about 176 feet long and 54 feet wide at the ends, with a central element projecting about four feet in front and about twelve feet in back. Over the center of the hip roof was a modest cupola. There were three entrances at the front of the building and two at the back.

      On each of the three floors, a central corridor ran the whole length of the building east to west and all the rooms opened on these corridors. There was a two-story prayer hall, 32 by 40 feet, at the rear of the central projection, and a library on the second floor above the main entrance hall. On the three main floors were 42 chambers, some used for classes and for tutors, most of them for student lodging. The basement housed the kitchen, dining room, steward's quarters, and after 1762, additional rooms for students. This is where Nathaniel gained his higher education.

      Possibly with Nathaniel at the College, or later with one of his sons, was one of his family's slaves, named Peter Scudder. Peter remained at the College and became one of the servants waiting upon the college students. He was commonly called "Peter Polite." He was a boot-black in college, and sold apples and ice cream to the students of the college and seminary. He accumulated some property and owned and kept an ice cream shop and confectionery in Nassau Street in Princeton. He was considered a faithful, honest, obliging man, and most distinguished for his genuine politeness and civility. He died at a good old age in or about the year 1848.

      Nathaniel graduated from the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University, in 1751 and received his Master's Degree from there in 1759. After fitting himself for the practice of medicine, he settled first at Manalapan and afterwards at Freehold, in Monmouth County, New Jersey. He established a successful medical practice in Freehold and other parts of Monmouth County. In 1760 he inoculated many of the students in Nassau Hall at Princeton. He was one of the founders of the state Medical Society in 1766, and was also elected a Trustee of Princeton, in which position he served 1778-1781. He was also an elder in the church of the celebrated William Tennent, the Old Tennent Church located a few miles from Freehold.

      Before there were medical schools in America, apprentices trained with doctors. They learned how to make medicines, were able to read the doctor's medical books, and watched the doctor as he worked. When their apprenticeship was over they could just claim that they were doctors.

      By 1721, doctors began to work differently. Hospitals were built, medical societies were founded, and colleges began to teach medicine about the body. Doctors had an understanding of human anatomy, common illnesses, had sets of medical tools, and had drugs at their disposal for the treatment of illnesses.

      Diseases such as smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, influenza, rickets, and fevers caused many deaths in children and adults. Wells for drinking water were often contaminated by nearby privies and unpenned animals, causing many illnesses.

      Ancient Greeks believed that good health depended on a balance of the body's fluids, called humors. Early doctors believed that removing some of a patient's blood or other fluids would help cure the illness. They used a small knife called a lancet to bleed the patients. Doctors had to use raw materials to make medicines, such as plants, herbs, roots, tree bark, and some animal parts. To make their herbal remedies they used a mortar and pestle. Sometimes the sick would be put in a really hot or an icy-cold bath.

      Medical treatment was expensive and individuals frequently diagnosed their own problems and compounded medications guided by tradition, folklore, or domestic medical books. Headaches were often treated by vinegar of roses, a home remedy made of rose petals steeped in vinegar and applied topically. Home remedies for a variety of symptoms included ingredients such as snail water, opium, herbs, honey, wine, vipers, licorice, flowers, and berries. The alignment of the stars was believed to affect the healing properties of medicine.

      By the time of the Revolution only a small percentage of doctors had attended a medical school; most were either trained by another physician or self-trained. Thomas Henderson was born in Freehold in 1743. He graduated Princeton College in 1761. He then entered the office of Dr. Nathaniel Scudder where he studied medicine and was admitted to the practice.

      Physicians usually limited their treatments to rich patients who were chronically ill. Lack of knowledge of causes and cures of most diseases, effective medicines and pain-killers, and instruments such as the thermometer and stethoscope handicapped colonial doctors in their practice of medicine.

      A colonial doctor's principal role was to provide comfort and support, set broken bones, and prescribe occasional herbal remedies. Opiates were used to alleviate pain, and quinine was known to be an effective treatment for malaria. But each group of drugs tended to be overused.

      Nathaniel's early medical years were passed in the quiet pursuit of his profession, but he came into mature life in the exciting times that preceded the Revolution. He married the daughter of a well-known and prosperous family. Isabella's grandfather, John Anderson, had been the royal governor of New Jersey for a short while prior to his death in 1736.

      Their granddaughter, Maria Scudder, wrote this account of the romance between Nathaniel and Isabella Anderson. "The beautiful heiress rode to church on horseback. Young Dr. Scudder had his eye out. She alighted from her horse, fastened him to a tree by a staple that had been driven there, and then walked up and into church. Then was Dr. Scudder's time to work. He approached her horse, disarranged the equipments and entangled the bridle. After the closing of church, Isabella walked down to the place where her horse stood. Young Scudder, of fine appearance, dignified and graceful, being on the alert, sprang to her assistance, adjusted matters all well, then assisted the damsel to mount, and directly ascended his own steed. As they had to travel the same road, which was nearly four miles, I think he was too gallant to let her go alone, but rode by her side for protection home. Their houses were not far distant. Thus began the courtship which terminated in marriage."

      Nathaniel was a delegate to the first Provincial Congress, held in New Brunswick, New Jersey, 21 July 1774. A few months later on December 10th, he was appointed a member of the "Committee of Observation and Inspection." He was Speaker of the Assembly held at Burlington in 1776, and was elected 20 November 1777, to replace John Witherspoon as a delegate from New Jersey to the Second Continental Congress.

      At a joint meeting of the legislative council and general assembly of New Jersey, held at Princeton on 20 November 1777, five delegates were elected to represent New Jersey in the general Congress of the United States. The ballots being taken, the honorable John Witherspoon, Abraham Clark, Jonathan Elmer, Elias Bondinot, and Nathaniel Scudder were elected.

      The resolution stated: "Resolved, therefore, That the said John Witherspoon, Abraham Clark, Jonathan Elmer, Nathaniel Scudder, and Elias Bondinot, or any one or more of them, be empowered to represent and vote in behalf of this state, in the general Congress of the United States of North America, until the first day of December, which will be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, unless a new appointment shall sooner take place. It is, nevertheless, expected, that three of the said delegates do constantly attend Congress, unless prevented by sickness or other accident."

      Nathaniel took his seat in the Continental Congress 9 February 1778, and served through 1779. However, by October 1779, he felt himself so strapped by the expense of attending Congress that he declared another year there would ruin him and declined renomination.

      During Nathaniel's time in Philadelphia, he took an active part in the labors and responsibilities of legislation. Conducting and financing the war, establishing a foreign policy and finding allies to the cause were paramount considerations to his colleagues. He served on the Committee of Congress on the Mustering Department. With all his responsibilities, Nathaniel conducted a lively correspondence. For example, there is a letter from Nathaniel Scudder to Henry Laurens on March 6, 1780. In the letter, Nathaniel Scudder discusses personal matters and expresses concern over the safety of Henry Laurens's voyage to Europe. Nathaniel Scudder also mentions the possibility of Henry Laurens procuring a place for Nathaniel Scudder's son, Joseph, in Europe, sends many regards from Nathaniel Scudder's family, and also mentions briefly the state of the new country's affairs.

      While in Congress, Nathaniel and the other members developed the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union as the first governing document of the United States of America. This was a difficult task. The colonists were reluctant to establish another powerful national government. Jealously guarding their new independence, the Continental Congress created a loosely structured legislature of one house that protected the liberty of the individual states at the expense of the nation. The Articles combined the colonies into a loose confederation.

      The government created by the Articles of Confederation differed greatly from the one that was later created by the Constitution. Congress, for example, under the articles, was responsible for carrying out the duties of the legislative and the executive branches. In addition, the articles did not establish a judicial branch. The Articles of Confederation were, by and large, a failure. The main cause of this was that though Congress could make decisions, it had not the power to enforce them. While calling on Congress to regulate military and monetary affairs, for example, the Articles provided no mechanism to ensure states complied with requests for troops or revenue.

      Perhaps the most important power that Congress was denied was the power of taxation. Congress could only request money from the states. Understandably, the states did not generally comply with the requests in full, leaving the government chronically short of funds. The military, for instance, was always underpaid. At a time when the nation's borders were still vulnerable, the consequences of this, it was worried, could be disastrous. Some generals threatened to turn the military against the government if sufficient funds could not be raised. While this scheme brought little progress, it made people acutely aware of the failings of their political system. The second Continental Congress adopted the Articles on 15 November 1777, after 16 months of debate.

      The process of ratification of the Articles dragged on for three years, stalled by an interstate quarrel over claims to uncolonized land in the west. On 13 July 1778, Nathaniel wrote to John Hart, speaker of the New Jersey legislature, making a powerful appeal to confer upon the delegates in congress the authority to sign the articles of confederation. This letter, published in "New Jersey Revolutionary Correspondence," stamps him at once as a strong writer and clear thinker, and a whole-hearted patriot. Ratification was completed on 1 March 1781.

      The delay in signing was due to the omission of the articles to make any provision for dividing the western lands among all the states, and the last three states only signed at last in the full confidence that those states whose nominal boundaries extended indefinitely west would resign their pretensions to the lands which were conquered by the common exertions of all the states. New Jersey interposed the further and more farsighted objection that the articles were defective in not giving the general government the control of commerce.

      Although ultimately supplanted by the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation provided stability during the Revolution. Most importantly, the experience of drafting and living under this initial document provided valuable lessons in self-governance and somewhat tempered fears about a powerful central government.

      While serving as a member of the Continental Congress, Nathaniel was also serving in the New Jersey militia. On 5 August 1775, the Provincial Congress of New Jersey adopted "the plan for further regulating the Militia, etc," that called for the formation of about 26 militia regiments. A regiment at full strength was usually 10 companies of 60 to 80 men; battalion was often interchanged with regiment. The units were to be apportioned among the counties with Monmouth having three regiments.

      At the outbreak of the war, Nathaniel was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Monmouth Militia, and in November 1776, was made Colonel of the same regiment. The militia activity of New Jersey was a vital part of the war effort. The British captured Staten Island, Manhattan Island and Long Island in the summer of 1776. Thereafter, New Jersey became the target of foraging expeditions, raids and invasions. The militia would resist these enemy movements, in small to large groups. All the fresh food and animal fodder for the British had to be bought or taken locally, and it was the militia's job to stop both the "London trade" and the raids and pillaging.

      In addition, the militia had the duty of keeping the roads passable, guarding prisoners held for trial or transport, and guarding certain posts and positions such as the salt works along the coast. The militia also hunted down brigands, thieves, and robbers when a County Sheriff needed help. Also, the militia helped control the large Tory population still loyal to the crown, by helping to enforce the "treason acts."

      Monmouth County was raided frequently during the war because of its easy access to the sea. Loyalists or Tories were also common, much more so than in inland areas, influenced by the projected power of the British army. These Loyalist were under constant threat of arrest while in the state. They could be arrested for treason for any activity helping the British, and their lands confiscated. Loyalists who fled this threat and went to New York City were called Refugees. The Refugees were the bitter enemies of the Whig patriots, and each side fought a brutal civil war against the other. Raiding was done for a variety of military purposes, foraging, and out of hatred for the other side. To have prisoners to exchange, both sides tried to capture men from the enemy.

      During the early part of 1780, Nathaniel along with Major Elisha Walton and Justice of the Peace, John Anderson, formed the Monmouth County Retaliators to take action against disaffected citizens of the county.

      One of the strangest and most romantic stories provided by William S. Stryker is the tale of Joshua Huddy, formerly a petty criminal, Captain in the New Jersey Militia, and his near-capture by Loyalist raiders in September 1780, recounted in a letter, 11 September 1780, from Nathaniel Scudder to his son, Joseph. His son Joseph, the recipient of the letter, went on to become Monmouth's second County Clerk (1793-1807).

      The letter is as follows:

      "Dear Son,

      I this Moment received your Letter of Saturday, & am happy to find that the Southern Affair, 'tho' bad, is not so distressing as your last represented it.

      We have received the Box with it's Contents safe and sound, the Quality of the Articles pleases, but the Price, the Price!!!!!

      your Mama remains poorly, but is slowly recovering. She with the others of the Family send Love to you. Our Friends in the Neighbourhood are generally well, Mr. Wikoffs & Colo. Covenoven's particularly. Mrs. General Forman is not very well.

      On Sunday Night a Party of Refugees came as high as Colt's Neck and took off Capt. Huddy with the Loss of one of the Party killed there, & it is said Colo. Tye being wounded in the Wrist. their Design was to surprise our Guard at Colts Neck, or to come on and burn the Court House & Town of Freehold, where we were prepared to have given them a warm Reception.

      I hear this Day that a party of our Middle Town Militia waylaid the Enemy on their Retreat, and fired on them in their Boats with such Effect that a considerable Number at least 8 or nine were killed, and one of their Boats overset in which Capt. Huddy happened to be, by which Means he made his Escape, and swam on Shore, having however received a Ball from our People in his thigh. I have this only from Report, therefore cannot vouch for it.

      You will deliver the enclosed as soon as convenient.

      Remember me in a proper Manner to all Friends, and accept the Blessing of an indulgent & affectionate Father,

      Nath. Scudder"

      All that summer long, Loyalists had wreaked havoc throughout Monmouth County, burning barns, plundering homes, and kidnapping military officers, often under the leadership of a Colonel Tye, an escaped Monmouth slave whose courage and ability earned his enemies' grudging admiration.

      Colonel Tye, or Titus Cornelius, commanded the Black Brigade in support of the British during the Revolutionary War. The earliest documentation of Tye is his escape from slavery in Monmouth County. John Corlies, a Quaker of Shrewsbury, advertised in 1775 a reward of 3 pence for the return of a slave named Titus. This appeared to be contrary to the custom of slave owning Quakers in Shrewsbury being strongly encouraged to offer freedom to enslaved people as they turned twenty-one.

      Tye, a runaway slave, wielded an extraordinary knowledge of the Monmouth, New Jersey environs. He was twenty-one at the time of his escape from John Corlies who had declined to set him free. The escape occurred just weeks after Dunmore's Proclamation which declared, "all indentured Servants, Negroes, or others (appertaining to rebels,) free that are able and willing to bear Arms, they joining His Majesty's Troops as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing this Colony to a proper Sense of their Duty…."

      Tye, then a major, joined Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment and later the elite Black Brigade, associated with the guerilla unit, Queens Rangers. He was a dynamic leader, credited with numerous successful and daring attacks on rebels, taking prisoners and property. For example, he captured Captain Elisha Shepard at the Battle of Monmouth and he led fifty black soldiers and refugees in an attack on Shrewsbury.

      Soon Tye and his men set their sights on Captain Huddy, an especially appealing target because of his fearsome reputation for meting out bloody, extralegal "justice" to unfortunate Loyalists. In September 1780, Tye and over two dozen of his brigade attacked Huddy's house in Colt's Neck, New Jersey.

      An hour before dawn, raiders crept up to Huddy's home in Colts Neck and smashed a window, planning to get in and out as quickly as possible. But the noise of the breaking glass woke Huddy, who quickly devised an unusual plan of defense: with the assistance of his servant Lucretia Emmons, he loaded and fired muskets from multiple locations in the house, convincing the Loyalists that they were up against far more than a single foe. This tactic held off perhaps 70 raiders for several hours. Fed up with the fight, Tye had his men set fire to the house. Huddy agreed to surrender if the fires were put out. They closed the deal.

      Tye took Huddy prisoner, and intended to ship him out to the Loyalists in New York, who would presumably have either killed, or tortured and then killed, the dangerous Huddy. Patriots interrupted the plan, however, firing on the boat. It capsized. Taking advantage of the confusion, Huddy swam to shore. While doing so, he was wounded in the leg by one of his rescuers.

      Tye had been hit in the wrist with a musket ball during the raid on Huddy's house. It may have seemed like a relatively minor injury at the time, but tetanus and gangrene from the untreated wound shortly killed him. By coincidence, a little over a year later, Nathaniel was killed by another Loyalist raid, at the very same spot where Huddy made his escape.

      On Monday, 15 October 1781, a party of Refugees from Sandy Hook landed at Shrewsbury in Monmouth County. Under cover of the night, they marched undiscovered to Colt's Neck, about 15 miles from the place of their landing, and took six of the inhabitants from their houses. The alarm reached Monmouth County Courthouse between four and five o'clock in the morning of the 16th. Nathaniel was with a group of others at the courthouse when the word came that a party of the enemy was at Black Point and had taken some prisoners. A skirmish was taking place and the doctor announced to his family; "There is a battle expected at Long Branch. I will go down and bind up the wounds of the poor fellows." The small number of militia who were in the village of Freehold and its vicinity went immediately in pursuit, hoping to free their friends.

      They rode to Black Point, the place where the Refugees had landed, caught up with the raiding party, hotly attacked their rear and drove them aboard their boats. Nathaniel, while talking to General David Forman, was hit by a musket ball passing through his head. He died immediately, three days before Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown. His body was carefully and with ceremony carried to his home.

      Nathaniel was buried with the honors of war in the old graveyard at the Tennent church. He was the only member of the Continental Congress to die in battle during the Revolutionary War.

  • Sources 
    1. [S16] Genealogy of Descendants of Jacob Scudder T-2-3-7-Partial and Descendants of Peter Scudder T-2-3-11, Edwin Lefort Soper; comp., (Scudder Association Bulletin), Bulletin XXVIII, pp. 4-6, Dec 1976.

    2. [S286] Letters to Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789, Smith, Paul H., ed., (Washington: Library of Congress, 1981), vol. 8, pp. xx, 672.

    3. [S287] Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1961, Reynolds, Clifford P., comp., (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1961), p. 1576.

    4. [S13] History of the Old Tennent Church, Frank R. Symmes,, (Cranbury, NJ: George W. Burroughs, Printer, 2nd ed., 1904), p. 417.
      This lists Nathaniel's birthday as May 19th.

    5. [S14] Family Bible Record of Scudder and Wikoff Families, New Testament, (London: John Baskett, His Majesties Printer, 1715).
      This lists Nathaniel's birthdate as May 10th.

    6. [S15] Headstone Inscription for Nathaniel and Isabella Scudder.

    7. [S269] John Roe of Brookhaven, Long Island and Some of His Descendants, a Record of Six Generations, Clarence Almon Torrey, comp., (Boston: by the author, 1941), pp. 6-7.