Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Patriot and the Pine Tree Robber: Captain Huddy and Colonel Tye, 1775-1782

The Patriot and the Pine Tree Robber: Captain Huddy and Colonel Tye, 1775-1782
Written by Robert A. Mayers

Chapter 10 from Revolutionary New Jersey: Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution by Robert A. Mayers


Curiously, two incredible heroes of the American Revolution in New Jersey remain obscure in the history of their home state. Colonel Tye, a feared and respected guerrilla leader, was a slave who escaped and fought for the British. He became one of the most successful and dreaded Loyalist commanders of the Revolution. His adversary, Captain Joshua Huddy, was a devoted Patriot who led raids against the Loyalists and captured and executed their leaders. Both were known for their swashbuckling exploits in what was, in reality, a civil war in the shore area of the state. Tye grew up in bondage. Huddy was from a family of prosperous landowners. Tye was black. Huddy was white. Their paths were destined to cross, and on a fateful day in September 1780 one fatally shot the other.

Captain Joshua Huddy
Joshua Huddy was born November 8, 1735 to a wealthy Quaker family in Salem County. As a young adult he was often in trouble. He was tried and convicted several times for assault and theft and was frequently in debt. He was expelled for “dissolute behavior” from the Society of Friends in 1757 when he was in his early twenties.  His unruly behavior continued into adulthood when he was forced to sell his 300-acre farm to pay his debts, and later served time in debtor’s prison. Huddy proved that he was physically tough at an early age. It is said that he survived a boating accident in Delaware Bay by swimming for three hours.

In 1764, he married Mary Borden and the couple eventually had two daughters, Martha and Elizabeth. After Mary died in the 1770s, Huddy moved to Colts Neck in Monmouth County, where on October 27, 1778, he married his second wife, Catherine Applegate Hart, a widowed owner of a tavern she had inherited from her first husband. Huddy and Catherine soon became estranged. He was then accused by the Monmouth County sheriff of trying to commit fraud by acquiring the tavern, forcing his wife and her children out onto the street, and selling their possessions.1

Court records show that during these years Huddy was in civil and criminal court many times as both a plaintiff and a defendant. He was arrested for assault in 1778.2 He was again accused of livestock theft in 1781.3

When the Revolutionary War broke out Huddy volunteered to become captain of a privateering ship. The mission of the Black Snake was to prey on British merchant ships cruising along the New Jersey coast. By his commission, the Continental Congress authorized Huddy to “set forth in a warlike manner” against the British in “the Armed boat called Black Snake.” The tiny vessel only weighed ten tons, far below the average size for an American privateering ship. It had a single swivel gun and a 14-man crew. The success of the armed boat, the Black Snake, is unknown, but Huddy’s courage in confronting the world’s greatest naval power with a single swivel gun attests to his patriotism—or perhaps to his impulsive nature.

Captain Huddy led from prison to be hanged. From: Our Greater Country; Being a Standard History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent to the Present Time by Henry Davenport Northrop. Published 1901.
A month later, in September 1777, Huddy chose shore duty and was soon appointed as a captain of artillery in the New Jersey Militia. He fought at the Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania later that year and went on to lead a group of mounted militiamen at the Battle of Monmouth in the summer of 1778 under David Forman, Brigadier General of the New Jersey Militia. In the aftermath of that decisive battle, Huddy and his men busied themselves harassing the British rear after they left Freehold and made their way to Sandy Hook for an evacuation to New York City.

After the British Army withdrew from the Monmouth County area, which then encompassed Ocean County, it became a no-man’s land. This shore area was terrorized by the bands of Loyalist partisans who murdered Patriots and plundered and destroyed their homes. These Tory marauders were known as “refugees,” “cowboys” or “pine tree robbers.” After the raids these pillagers could easily evade capture by disappearing into the nearby swamps and forests or by retreating to the protection of the British stronghold on Sandy Hook.

Captain Huddy conducted retaliatory attacks against these outlaws, and any other Monmouth County citizens who remained loyal to Great Britain. In 1780 he joined the Retaliators, a vigilante group that terrorized Loyalists and suspected Loyalists. He soon became revered by the Patriot community, which recognized him as their greatest protector during that troubled time. Huddy’s assaults on the Tories were marked by barbarity and revenge executions, so he was intensely loathed by his Loyalist enemies. He was responsible for hanging Stephen Edwards, the first Loyalist to die in the county, and fourteen other Tories.  His fierce opposition against British sympathizers was to continue even after the war officially ended.

Huddy’s personal life was equally turbulent. In September 1780 an attempt was made by some refugees to capture him at his home in Colts Neck. His large saltbox-style house was used as a post for a detachment of American militia. It stood across the road from the Colts Neck Inn, the tavern his wife had inherited. The inn opened in 1717 and a flourishing restaurant/hotel operates near the site today.

An Attempt to Capture Huddy
In September 1780 a refugee party of seventy-two men led by the intrepid Colonel Tye surrounded Huddy’s house in an attempt to capture him. He was at home with a twenty-year-old woman named Lucretia Emmons, who was reported to be his mistress. Huddy fired at the raiders while Lucretia loaded several muskets left behind by the militia. He moved from window to window, firing at the attackers and creating the impression that a large number of defenders were in the house. Using this tactic, the pair managed to repel the enemy for two hours.

Huddy was able to wound several of the “refugees.” Colonel Tye was shot through the wrist. After their assault failed, Tye tried setting fire to the house, and Huddy and Lucretia became trapped as the fire spread. They offered to surrender if Tye’s men would agree to help extinguish the fire and allow Lucretia to escape. The attackers were enraged when they discovered only two people had held them off, so after plundering the house they allowed it to burn to the ground. The wounded Tye and his band of Tories then took Huddy prisoner and retreated to the Shrewsbury River to make their escape to New York.

The gunfire at Huddy’s house alerted a nearby force of militia who pursued Tye’s raiders as they fled with their prized captive. They headed for Black Point, a peninsula between the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers in Rumson. As they launched boats which they had hidden nearby they were soon overtaken by the militia. As the militia opened fire, the boat carrying Huddy capsized in the fracas, but he was able to escape and swim toward shore. But as he neared the riverbank, he was shot in the thigh by friendly fire. After he raised his hand and shouted, “I am Huddy! I am Huddy!”  his compatriots brought him safely to the beach.4

Colonel Tye’s wound from Huddy’s musket ball seemed to be a minor one at first, but the injury soon turned into a tetanus infection. A few days later it proved to be fatal. Tye’s valiant reputation lived on among his comrades, as well as with the Americans. The Patriots admitted that much of the bitter fighting among neighbors in Monmouth County would have been unnecessary if Tye had been enlisted on their side. After his death, Colonel Stephen Blucke of the Black Pioneers (an all-black unit) replaced him as the leader of his raiders, and attacks on the Patriots continued well after the final decisive British defeat at Yorktown in late 1781.

For the next two years Huddy continued to harass the Loyalists of Monmouth County. In February 1782 the forty-seven-year-old captain was given command of the blockhouse at the village of Toms River in present day Ocean County. This small fort, manned by twenty-five men, was built to protect the local saltworks that were essential to cure meat for Washington’s Continental Army. Toms River also served as an important base for American ships. Its inlet provided a deep anchorage for Patriot privateers who captured British merchant vessels sailing along the coast to supply the British forces in New York.5

The Loss of the Blockhouse at Toms River
In March, a force of between 100 and 200 Loyalists and refugees were organized under the direction of Governor William Franklin to attack the blockhouse. William was the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin and served as governor of New Jersey from 1763 until 1776. The Tory newspaper, Rivington’s Royal Gazette, published in New York City, wrote the following account on March 20, 1782:
Lieutenant Blanchard, of the armed whale boats, and about eighty men belonging to them, with Captain Thomas and Lieutenant Roberts, both of the late Bucks County Volunteers, and between thirty and forty other Refugee loyalists, the whole under the command of Lieutenant Blanchard, proceeded to Sandy Hook under the convoy of Captain Stewart Ross, in the armed brig Arrogant, where they were detained by unfavorable winds until the 23d.”  About midnight of the 23rd this party landed near the mouth of Toms River (probably near present-day Ortley Beach). Garret Irons, who was on patrol, ran seven miles to the blockhouse to alert the 25 or 26 defenders. By daylight of the 24th, the Loyalist force reached the blockhouse. Lieutenant Blanchard demanded the surrender of the blockhouse and those inside, which was refused.
As the Loyalist force assaulted the blockhouse, Huddy and his small band gallantly defended the position until their ammunition ran out. The defenders, outnumbered five to one, continued their resistance using long spears called pikes. In the fierce hand-to-hand fighting that followed the Patriots lost nine men killed while twelve who were taken prisoner. The attackers ordered Huddy to surrender, but his reply was, “Come and take us!” Eventually Huddy and his men were overwhelmed, and some of the survivors were viciously bayoneted afterward. The Tories then burned the blockhouse and the dozen houses in the village. At Toms River they also destroyed the tavern, the blacksmith shop, the salt warehouses, a sawmill and a gristmill.6

The men of the town were either killed or captured, and over a hundred women and children were left without food or shelter. Huddy managed to escape but was captured with two of his soldiers while hiding in a nearby mill later that day. He was taken prisoner aboard the Arrogant and brought to New York with twelve other Americans captured at Tom’s River. They were all imprisoned there in the notorious Sugar House.

During the British occupation of New York (1776-1783) the Rhinelander Sugar House was turned into a notorious prison. This was a brick warehouse into which American prisoners of war and private citizens were thrown when suspected of assisting the Patriots. Sanitary conditions were primitive, and starvation was a constant threat, all of which resulted in an unbelievably high death rate. After the war, it still stood in a slum area near today’s southwest corner of Rose and Duane Streets. For well over a century the deserted warehouse was considered to be haunted. The Sugar House was finally demolished in 1892, but a barred window of the original building and some of the old bricks were set into the wall of the modern building that replaced it along with a descriptive plaque which can be seen to this day. A section of the old Sugar House wall and a barred window also were transported to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

Today in downtown Toms River there is a replica blockhouse standing in the small waterfront Huddy Park. In 1782, the surrounding areas had a number of saltworks, all of which were very important to American troops because they were used to preserve meat rations. The British knew that interrupting the flow of salt would be a critical blow to the local Patriot effort. The original blockhouse, larger than the replica found in the park today, was built nearby on the hill of current day Robbins Street.

Most Toms River residents aren’t aware that a battle took place in their town. The action was significant because it made more colonists vilify the Loyalists and gave the French more incentive to help the Patriots. Huddy’s dedication to his cause and the bravery he displayed during his last hours transformed him into a martyr and local legend, motivating more people to stand up and fight. Reenactments of the battle are sometimes performed in the park during the late spring or early summer.

Huddy’s Tragic End
The captive Huddy was soon abducted from the British prison by a group of New Jersey Loyalists headed by Captain Richard Lippincott. They claimed he would be used for a prisoner exchange, but their real purpose was to execute him in revenge for the death of Phillip White, one of their leaders. White was a Tory from Shrewsbury who was captured and killed while trying to escape from the American militia, and because Lippincott was White’s brother-in-law he wanted vengeance. In addition to this, he also had a personal grudge against Huddy, who was once his neighbor. Governor William Franklin approved the execution of Huddy to retaliate for the killing of White. Huddy, with irons on his hands and feet, was taken by Lippincott in the hold of the sloop Britannia to Sandy Hook and then rowed over to Highlands.

At Gravelly Point in Highlands in the morning of 12 April 1782 a gallows was erected and a barrel was placed under it. Resigned to his fate, Huddy made out his will, then stepped up on the barrel. A label was attached to Captain Huddy’s  breast, that read: “We, the refugees, having long held with grief the cruel murders of our brethren, and finding nothing but such measures daily carrying into execution; we therefore determine not to suffer without taking vengeance for the numerous cruelties, and thus begin, having made use of Captain Huddy as the first object to present to your view, and determine to hang man for man while there is a refugee existing. Up Goes Huddy for Phillip White.”

According to local tradition the hanging actually took place from a tree that stood within a few hundred feet of the Waterwitch Railroad Station in the Borough of Highlands. The site is now on the corner of Waterwitch Avenue and Shore Drive. The tree was still standing in 1867.  Huddy left all his possessions to his daughters from his first marriage. His will is now preserved in the collection of the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark:7
In the name of God, Amen,  I, Joshua Huddy of Middletown in the County of Monmouth of sound mind and memory, but expecting shortly to depart this life, do declare this last will and testament. First I commend my soul into the hands of almighty God, hoping he may receive it in mercy and next I commend my body to the earth. I do appoint my trusty friend Samuel Forman to be my Lawful executor and after all my just debts are paid desire that he do divide the rest of my substance, whether by book debt, bonds or notes or whatever effects belonging to me equally between my children Elizabeth and Martha Huddy In witness thereof Zi have unto signed my name this Twelfth day of April in the year of our Lord, One thousand and seven hundred and eighty two. Joshua Huddy
It was reported that Huddy died calmly and bravely, declaring that he would “die innocent and in a good cause.” His body was left hanging until afternoon and then was taken to Freehold, where Huddy was buried in an unmarked grave in the Old Tennent Church churchyard with full military honors on April 15, 1782. More than 400 people gathered to protest his execution and a petition was sent to General George Washington demanding retribution by surrendering Lippincott or another British officer of similar rank for hanging.

Retaliation
Patriotic sentiment ran high following the death of Huddy. In an effort to avert reprisals by the New Jersey Militia, General Washington agreed to select a British prisoner of war for retaliatory execution. Straws were drawn and a hapless young British officer, Captain Charles Asgill, drew the short straw. He would be executed if Lippincott was not turned over to the Patriots.
The situation was complicated.  Asgill and all other captive British officers were actually protected under the peace terms that were then being negotiated, so if he hung it would be a clear violation of the agreement. The British managed to delay Asgill’s retaliatory execution by holding their own court martial of Lippincott for abducting Huddy.  It came as no surprise when Captain Lippincott was found not guilty on the grounds that he was just following orders. It would later be learned that the man Joshua Huddy was accused of murdering, Loyalist raider Phillip White, was likely killed after Huddy had been captured.  The accusation was likely fabricated so that the British had justification for the execution.

This delay allowed time for Asgill’s mother to appeal for the intercession of the American’s French allies. The matter was referred to the highest level, all the way to King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette. In addition, Catherine Hart, Huddy’s spurned widow, also stated Asgill’s life should  be spared since he was an innocent victim. The matter was turned over to the Continental Congress, which agreed to free Asgill. In return, the commander of British forces in New York, General Sir Henry Clinton, condemned the hanging of Huddy and prohibited the Loyalists from seizing other Patriot prisoners.

In 1836, Huddy’s surviving daughter, Martha Piatt, wrote to Congress that the nation had never expressed its gratitude to Huddy’s family. She demanded money and land, but the bill was never acted upon. Huddy was largely forgotten until the Bicentennial Celebration in the 1970s, which renewed interest in Monmouth County’s fascinating history during the Revolutionary War.

There are few tributes to the memory of this brash hero in Monmouth County. A monument bearing a plaque to Captain Joshua Huddy now stands in the small park that bears his name at the foot of Water Witch Avenue in Highlands, near the spot where he was hanged: “Here, Captain Joshua Huddy of the Monmouth County Artillery, A prisoner of war, Captured March 4, 1782, while defending the Blockhouse at Toms River, was hung by Tories without warrant April 12, 1782. The British repudiated, but did not atone for that crime. The Sons of the American Revolution in New Jersey have set up this stone to the memory of the patriotic victim.”

In 1950 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) erected and dedicated a bronze plaque to Captain Joshua Huddy that is embedded in a large natural rock on the approximate site of the blockhouse at Toms River. The US Army Department placed a marker in the Old Tennent Cemetery in 1962 with Captain Joshua Huddy’s name on it. However, he does not lie at that exact spot, since he was buried elsewhere in the cemetery in an unmarked grave and the location has been lost to time.

Captain Joshua Huddy’s story is a reminder that the Revolutionary War in Monmouth County, New Jersey was really a civil war. Patriots and Loyalists continued to attack each other for the entire eight years of the war, and even after the main armies had stopped fighting and peace had been officially declared. This violence was often initiated to retaliate for previous events, of which Huddy’s death was one of the last that occurred before the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. His sacrifice was a tragic example of a regrettable and continuing pattern that divided the people of the new nation and caused Loyalist land and property to be confiscated. Those loyal to the English mother country were driven out of the country, and they settled in Canada, Nova Scotia and the Bahamas.

The Courageous Colonel Tye
Titus Cornelius, born circa 1753, was a slave in the town of Shrewsbury, one of four young men owned by Quaker John Corlis.  He escaped from bondage at age twenty-two and went on to achieve prominence during the American Revolutionary War while fighting as a Loyalist. He became one of the most effective guerrilla leaders opposing the American forces in New Jersey, admired by both sides for his leadership and fighting skills. He was one of many African-Americans who recognized that their only chance for freedom was to oppose independence and fight for the British cause. This successful combat leader and insurgent became known as Colonel Tye. He remains unknown to most people in the Garden State, including local residents of areas where his hostile activities had long-term consequences. Tye was an expert in supporting the uprising against the Patriot land owners, many of whom soon learned to fear and respect him. He was also generally acknowledged to be the most honorable and merciful of the insurgent leaders.

The British Army did not appoint anyone of African descent to a leadership position, so Tye was never officially a commissioned officer. The honorary title of colonel was bestowed on him by his ragtag band of followers as a sign of respect. As the commander of the elite Black Brigade, he led raids against the American rebels, seized supplies and assassinated many American leaders during the war. Tye’s intimate knowledge of the terrain in Monmouth County, as well as his tactical and leadership skills, were essential to his success.

New Jersey Quaker leaders began encouraging their members to end slavery as early as the 1760s. Corlis, Tye’s master, did not follow the recommended practice of educating his slaves and freeing them on their twenty-first birthday. Corlis had the reputation of being a cruel master and routinely whipped his slaves.  When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, he was one of the few remaining Quaker slaveholders in Monmouth County.

In November 1775, only seven months after start of the war, Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation offering freedom to all slaves and indentured servants who would leave their Patriot masters and join either the British Army or the Loyalist forces. This proclamation led almost 100,000 African-American slaves to escape and join the British side. Dunmore believed that encouraging slaves to defect would be a tremendous military advantage. Escaped slaves would not only swell the ranks of the Redcoat army; many had thorough knowledge of the local terrain and infrastructure which could provide indispensable military intelligence to the British.

The British had an even grander agenda for welcoming African-Americans into their armed forces. The American rebellion in New Jersey and elsewhere was supported and financed to a great extent by a plantation economy, one that would be paralyzed by the loss of slave labor. Destruction of this oppressive agricultural system could effectively end the war if states would be compelled to recall their militia forces from military service to maintain a hold over rebellious slaves.

Tye escaped from his brutal, hot-tempered master the day after Dunmore’s Proclamation was issued, and soon joined the flood of Monmouth County blacks who sought refuge with the British and became soldiers, sailors and workers. He memorized a map and fled down the coast to Norfolk, Virginia. He claimed to be a freed man, did odd jobs along the way and changed his name to Tye.  Corlis posted a reward for Titus’s capture and return, and this advertisement provides a rare glimpse of Tye’s appearance:
THREE POUNDS Reward
RUN away from the subscriber, living in Shrewsbury, in the county of Monmouth, New-Jersey, a NEGROE man, named TITUS, but may probably change his name; he is about 21 years of age, not very black, near 6 feet high; had on a grey homespun coat, brown breeches, blue and white stockings, and took with him a wallet, drawn up at one end with a string, in which was a quantity of clothes. Whoever takes up said Negroe, and secures him in any gaol, or brings him to me, shall be entitled to the above reward of Three Pounds proc. and all reasonable charges, paid by Nov. 8, 1775. JOHN CORLIS.
When Tye arrived in Virginia he enlisted in “Lord Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment” with 300 other escaped African American slaves, the first black regiment to serve the Crown during the American Revolution. This elite corps wore a uniform with sashes containing the inscription “Liberty to Slaves.” The unit was of tremendous propaganda value of the British and soon grew to be an effective fighting force of 800 men. This black regiment in British service was a symbol of hope for all enslaved African Americans who interpreted the War for Independence as a cause committed to maintaining slavery. Terrified Patriot military leaders regarded the all black regiment as a major threat and enraged slave owners denounced it as a “diabolical scheme.”

Tye and his comrades believed they were fighting not just for their own individual freedom, but for the freedom of enslaved blacks in North America. Being trained by the world’s best army to bear arms and kill their oppressors was a radical idea at the time.

British officers soon began to recognize Tye’s potential as a leader, and he was promoted to captain. While the British Army did not officially commission black officers, it often bestowed titles out of respect. He had his first taste of combat near his original home in New Jersey at the Battle of Monmouth. Tye was involved in the thick of the fighting and is credited with capturing a Monmouth County Militia captain.

Conditions in Monmouth County provided a perfect storm for African-Americans to rebel and band together into armed groups. The Continental Army consistently failed to offer assistance to the local militia against Loyalist raiders. The proximity of the British stronghold on Sandy Hook offered support and a sanctuary for the refugees. Over a third of the residents remained loyal to the Crown and could be counted on for aid and encouragement.

Gaining freedom was not always the primary motivation for preying on the defenseless Patriot land owners. Revenge on former masters, plunder, and even bounty rewards from his Redcoat supporters were compelling inducements. The British Army was elated by this direct military intervention and often rewarded the partisans with a standard payment of five gold guineas, a large sum in those days and equivalent to $ 2,500 today.

Tye Terrorizes Monmouth County
Colonel Tye’s in-depth familiarity with the people, land, and waterways of Monmouth County, in combination with his bold leadership, made him a familiar and feared Loyalist guerrilla commander over the course of the next two years. His marauders, about 800 black and white fighters, targeted the most affluent Patriot land owners, often burning their homes and looting their property. Slaveholders were especially prized as targets, and after being immediately freed they often joined their liberators. If being captured during raids, militia officers or civilian leaders were frequently executed, and other captives were dispatched to the Sugar House Prison in New York City.

Tye employed Indian-style tactics while attacking and plundering Patriot homes. He struck by surprise and then quickly disappeared into nearby swamps or forests. A refugee village on Sandy Hook, close to the lighthouse, also provided a sanctuary for combatants and their families. Tye’s leadership instilled confidence in New Jersey’s African-Americans and many of them joined him, while others escaped and fled to the British-occupied territory of New York City. Some even formed their own guerrilla bands. For over two years Tye’s raiders kept the New Jersey shore in turmoil; he was feared more than any other Loyalist military leader, black or white.

In July 1779 Tye’s party launched a daring raid on his hometown of Shrewsbury. His force freed several slaves and carried away clothing, furniture, horses and cattle. By 1780 Tye, now recognized as a colonel, had become an important military force in destabilizing the entire Monmouth County region. During one week in June, he led two actions in the county. On June 9 Tye and his men murdered Joseph Murray, a man hated by the Loyalists for his summary execution of captured Tories under a local vigilante law. On June 12 Tye’s band launched a daring attack on the home of Barnes Smock. Tye captured the prominent militia leader along with twelve of his men and destroyed their cannon. This bold action struck fear into the hearts of local Patriots, and even greater numbers of African-Americans began fleeing to join their British protectors in New York.

During the severe winter of 1779, when Washington’s Continental Army froze and starved at Jockey Hollow, Tye and twenty-four of his men served as part of the Queen’s Rangers, a crack unit of special forces who protected New York City and conducted raids for food and fuel on Patriot farms throughout New Jersey.

By 1780 Colonel Tye and the refugees had created what in effect was a civil war along the New Jersey shore. Governor Livingston, New Jersey’s wartime governor, who curiously had tried to abolish slavery in the state, invoked martial law to stabilize the turmoil. This measure proved totally ineffective and an even greater number of blacks, encouraged by news of Tye’s feats, fled to British-held New York.

In a series of raids throughout the summer, Tye continued to debilitate and demoralize the Patriot forces. In a single day, he and his band captured eight militiamen (including the second in command), plundered their homes, and transported them to imprisonment in New York. He was able to do this virtually undetected and without suffering a single casualty.

In September 1780 Tye decided to pursue Captain Joshua Huddy, the scourge of Loyalists in the shore area, an adversary they had tried to kill or capture for years. As mentioned, the surprise attack on the Patriot leader’s home in Colt’s Neck led to Tye’s untimely death. Huddy and his friend Lucretia Emmons held off the attackers for two hours until the Loyalists flushed them out by setting the house afire. During the skirmish, Tye was shot in the wrist by Huddy. What was thought to be a minor wound turned fatal a few days later when Colonel Tye developed tetanus and gangrene as a result of the wound. This soon caused his death at age twenty-seven, three years before the end of the war. His burial place is unknown.

After his death, Colonel Stephen Blucke of the Black Pioneers replaced him as the leader of Monmouth County’s refugee force.8 Attacks on the patriot population diminished with the loss of the charismatic Tye, but still continued sporadically after the British defeat at Yorktown. Tye’s reputation lived on among his comrades, as well as among his enemies. Many Americans contended that the war at the New Jersey shore would have been won much sooner had Tye been enlisted on their side. Others observed that had he lived on for the rest of the war, it would have been a disaster for the Patriots of Monmouth County. Ironically, Tye and other African-American Loyalists fought against the Patriots not because of their loyalty to the Crown but for many of the same freedoms the Patriots had demanded from the King.


Endnotes
1. Van Brunt v. Huddy (1779), Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas, Monmouth County Archives.
2. State v. Huddy (1778), Monmouth County Court of Oyer and Terminer, Minutes.
3. Huddy vs. Longstreet, Writ of Replevin, November 6, 1780, Monmouth County Court.
4. Kobbé Gustav, The Jersey Coast and Pines. (Baltimore, Gateway Press, Inc., 1970,) 24.
5. A blockhouse is a small fort, one building, usually in an isolated position. The one Huddy was defending protected the village of Toms River and the salt works nearby. The construction of the blockhouse is described in A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. by Edwin Salter. (Bayonne, N.J., E. Gardner & Son, 1890) 205.  
6. The War at the Shore 2007: Commemorating the 225th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War in Ocean County 1776 – 1783. (pamphlet) Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, 2007.
7. Ryerson, Egerton, The Loyalist of American and their Times 1620-1816, Vol II.  (Toronto, William Briggs, 1880).
8. Kobbe, The Jersey Coast and Pines, 25. 


About the Book
Many of the critical events and dreadful realities of the intense warfare in New Jersey during the American Revolution have been forgotten, neglected, or lost to history. Sites in the Garden State where patriots fought and died remain unmarked, shrouded in mystery, clouded in mythology, or concealed by obscure accounts and dull statistics. Many places in the "Crossroads of  the Revolution" state have entirely disappeared, while others languish unnoticed or have been built over by town development and local highways. Many of the Garden State residents who commute every day over heavily trafficked streets are completely unaware of the fierce struggles that occurred along their route during America's most important war.

In Revolutionary New Jersey New Jersey-based author Robert Mayers has rediscovered and revived the history of previously forsaken locations by exploring them in person. He then enhances his observations from on-site visits with fresh research from original documents, often discovered in obscure British, Hessian, and French records. The reader is subsequently transported to the battlefields and encampments in three theaters of the conflict in New Jersey - "The War in the Countryside," "The War at the Shore," and "New Jersey Campgrounds" - by describing Revolutionary events which occurred in more than 100 present-day towns. This narrative escorts readers back in time to feel, see, and hear the action that occurred over 200 years ago in familiar settings

Those who read Bob Mayers' newest book will acquire a new respect for the Revolutionary War events that took place locally (and in some instances in their own backyards). It is through this awareness that local sites might be maintained, and the glorious memory of those individuals who fought for our freedom preserved for the future.


About the Author
Robert Mayers is a storyteller, in the best sense of the word, and a dedicated historian and genealogist. As the descendant of patriot soldier Corporal John Allison, the American Revolution is very personal to him. He is an active member of ten historical societies and is a frequent speaker and contributor to their publications. His service as a combat officer in both the Navy and the Marine Corps provides him with a deeper perspective of the many battles depicted in his work. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and served as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University. A resident of Somerset County, New Jersey, his previously published book, The War Man, (Westholme, 2009) is the biography of  Corporal John Allison, who fought all eight years of the Revolutionary War. Mayers’  also authored the Allison/Mayers Family History — The Portrait of an American Family,” covering 600 years of the family’s history. Mayers' work has been featured in History Channel Magazine, Garden State Legacy, and Comcast TV Programs. Visit his web site, www.revolutionarydetective.com. Purchase a copy of his latest book, Revolutionary New Jersey: Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution.


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