This innkeeper's son grew up on Albany's southside, was listed as a private in an Albany militia company in 1767 and later served on the city night watch. In September 1774, he was one of the founding members of St. George's Masonic Lodge in Schenectady.
Benjamin Jr. helped out at the family establishment where he came into frequent contact with English speakers and began to identify with the royalist perspective on colonial life.
Although he contributed three shillings for the relief of Ticonderoga in May 1775, he would not follow his neighbors down the road to Revolution. About that time, he was appointed lieutenant of a new militia company but refused to serve. Losing his father as he was coming of age, Benjamin Jr. already had begun to express his feelings of opposition to the crusade for American liberties. His letters to prominent Tories were not appreciated! In January 1776, the twenty-seven-year-old was placed under house arrest. In June, he refused to sign the Association and subsequently was deported to Hartford, Connecticut. His inflamatory written rhetoric made his freedom in Albany impossible. Even the support of his uncle, revolutionary stalwart John Price, could no longer save him.
In November 1779, a New York newspaper announced that he had married Susannah Griswold at Hempstead Plains. In 1781, he was again denounced as a loyalist.
In 1784, he settled in Wolfville, Nova Scotia where he resumed Masonic activities.
During the 1790s, he sold his family's Albany real estate. We seek information on the rest of the story of Benjamin Hilton, Jr.
first posted: 7/5/03