Hannah Millikan Blair – Revolutionary War Patriot

Hannah Millikan Blair (1756-1852) was a member of Springfield Friends Meeting. She was born in Pennsylvania and moved to the Deep River area when she was a baby.

She was married to Enos Blair, and they had a new baby every year all through the American Revolution. In spite of all her responsibilities, she managed to help Patriot soldiers in ways which were in keeping with her Quaker religious beliefs. She carried food and medicines regularly to Patriots hiding in the woods from Tory raiders; she mended their clothes, carried messages for them, and occasionally hid them in the house when Colonel David Fanning and his raiders appeared.

Hanna Millikan Blair is credited with saving the lives of two men when she hid them in a corn crib and continued shucking corn while the Tories searched.

On another occasion she ripped the corner of a feather bed tick and pushed a visiting Patriot inside with the feathers. She threw the covers back so Fanning could see clearly under the bed, sat down, and began mending the torn ticking, saying “Thee may search as thee pleases.”

After a skirmish at Dixon’s Mill in 1779 she learned that several soldiers were hiding in the countryside and took provisions to them. As she was returning, she was taken by Tories who demanded to know where the men were hiding. Insisting that she had only taken food to a sick neighbor ten or so miles away, she was released without revealing the hiding place. Tories, however, eventually burned the Blairs’ house and barn and the family was forced to watch as all their possessions were consumed in the flames.

After the war she was given certificates of appreciation and a small government pension for her service

This entry was posted in Springfield History. Bookmark the permalink.