Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy 245th Birthday, Jeremiah Hatch (1766-1850)!

Unita Welch's third-great-grandfather; Lorenzo Hill Hatch's grandfather

Jeremiah Hatch is our Revolutionary War vet pioneer!

plaque on Jeremiah's home in Nauvoo
Jeremiah had dark hair and eyes, and came from a line of Puritan New Englanders.  His soldier father died in the Revolutionary War: after participating in the Battle of Bunker’s Hill and in an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the citadel at Quebec, Nathaniel died of smallpox.  His widowed mother sent ten-year-old Jeremiah (middle child of seven) to be apprenticed to an unkindly miller.  Jeremiah suffered for five years there until one day the master sent him out with a sack of grain for the mill, and Jeremiah met a recruiting officer and ran away and joined the army. 

Teenage Jeremiah was too short to be a regular soldier (various records list heights of 4’9” up to 5’4”) when he enlisted in April 1781, and he served until the end of the Revolutionary War (in the third regiment Massachusetts line) as a fifer in the musicians’ corps.  One song he must have played frequently was “Yankee Doodle.”  A plaque was erected in Nauvoo to honor the only Illinois residence of a Revolutionary War veteran (although the house still standing may have really belonged to his son Josephus Hatch). 

After the war, Jeremiah was made captain in charge of the militia in Bristol, Vermont, and became a successful farmer on a 1200-acre farm and orchard in the New Haven River Valley.  He married Elizabeth and they were miraculously able to have children after thirteen stillbirths. His widowed mother lived with them for two years until her remarriage.

After converting to the gospel, despite their old age, the Hatches sold their farm and moved west with eight other convert families.  On their way to Nauvoo, they stopped in Kirtland and gained a testimony of temple work, and noted passing through the village of Chicago. In Nauvoo, they purchased a home on the corner of Ripley and Fulmer Street. Jeremiah petitioned for his pension to be forwarded with the following letter found in the National Archives files: “My son Hezekiah, upon whom I lean for comfort in old age, has removed to this place, Nauvoo, and I am moved by the Spirit of God and my love to be with the Saints to gather to this place.” His annual pension of about ninety dollars was transferred. 
Jeremiah Hatch's home in Nauvoo

Jeremiah was ordained an elder with the injunction to quit the use of tobacco and to keep the Word of Wisdom. He and Elizabeth were given patriarchal blessings by Hyrum Smith.  Challenges came for their family in Nauvoo.  Their son Hezekiah was murdered, and Jeremiah and Elizabeth took in his three youngest orphaned children and raised their grandchildren, including Lorenzo Hill Hatch. They mourned the losses in their family, as well as the problems caused by their son Jeremiah, who married Sidney Rigdon’s daughter and became an apostle in Rigdon’s apostate splinter church.  (He later died as a Union soldier in the Civil War.)

The Hatches received their endowments and were possibly sealed in the Nauvoo Temple on January 21, 1846.  Their son Josephus fought the mobs in the final battle in September.  They were forced out of Nauvoo, and since their horses were stolen, the Hatches walked to the river’s edge.  They experienced the miracle of the quail at Sugar Creek, Iowa, in 1846, and worked for two years on Brigham Young’s Iowa farmland.  Their wagon overturned in a thunderstorm, and the rigors of the Iowa trail contributed to Elizabeth’s death in Winter Quarters.  On the day before Elizabeth died, George Albert Smith sealed the couple together.  Jeremiah hoped to come to Utah, but died on the plains at the age of eighty-three.   

I would give him a trip here to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

1 comment:

  1. I'd give him a trip to Williamsburg or Mt. Vernon.