Sarah Whitman Hooker Chapter

West Hartford, CT
Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution
Organized January 27, 1906

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Meetings are held on the 4th Friday of
September, October, November, December,
January, February, March, April, and May


SKETCH OF MRS. HOOKER'S LIFE

The name "Sarah Whitman Hooker" was given to the West Hartford Chapter in honor of the wife of Thomas Hart Hooker.

Mrs. Hooker, born in West Hartford, February 27, 1747, was the daughter of Deacon John and Abigail Pantry Whitman, and was a descendant of William Pantry, one of the founders of Hartford. She was a great-granddaughter of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, the first librarian of Harvard College.

At the age of twenty-two she married Thomas Hart Hooker of Farmington, who was fourth in direct line of descent from the Rev. Thomas Hooker, the first settled clergyman in Hartford, and a framer of the Connecticut Constitution, on which the Constitution of the United States was modeled.

Aroused by the Battle of Lexington, Thomas Hart Hooker was one of the first to enlist, and he joined the Revolutionary Army near Boston, where he served a few months, was taken sick, and died.

In the spring of 1773, Mr. Hooker had bought in West Hartford what has been long known as the "Mills Place", situated on the south side of the street at the top of the Elmwood Hill. It was here Mrs. Hooker lived during the first half o£ the Revolutionary Period and in this house she, assisted only by her faithful slave Bristol, guarded as prisoners of war, three officers of the British army, placed there by authority of' the General Assembly after the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen. This expedition was planned in Hartford and mainly by Hartford County men, and on its return brought to Hartford beside the commandant of the fort and forty-seven private soldiers of the British Army, another prisoner, Major Andrew Philip Skene, 6th Dragoons, who was captured at Skenesborough on Lake Champlain. His father, Major, or as he was called, Governor Philip Skene, was soon after sent from Philadelphia to Connecticut, by act of Congress, to be confined under parole under especial supervision of Governor Trumbull. He had been captured on his return from London, armed with a commission appointing him Governor of Ticonderoga, Crown Point and Montreal, with orders to raise a regiment of Canadians to join General Gage against the Americans. Joining his son at Hartford, they escaped to Middletown and when recaptured were both taken on July 26, 1775, to West Hartford to the "very commodious and pleasantly situated house" of Mrs. Hooker.

Major Christopher French, H.B.M. 22nd Regiment, sent by General Washington to Hartford in August of the same year was at one time quartered here.

These officers remained in the family of Mrs. Hooker somewhat less than a year, and when they were removed, as an expression of their appreciation of her kindness they presented her with a ring that is now in the possession of her descendants.

After remaining a widow three years Mrs. Hooker married Captain Seth Collins, and died January 5, 1837, at the advanced age of nearly ninety years.

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Last updated June 25, 2013