Editor’s observe: This story was initially printed in March 2021.
Within the early 1800s, Abigail Hatch ran The Hatch Home with a velvet fist, insisting on good home and desk manners always. Each meal served on the in style Bangor inn, restaurant and boarding residence was served on her best dishes and in her finest crystal introduced residence by her husband, a ship’s captain.
When the Struggle of 1812 arrived on Bangor’s doorstep, although, Hatch and her inn discovered themselves smack in the midst of the motion.
Following the defeat of the Jap Militia within the Battle of Hampden on Sept. 3, 1814, British forces occupied Bangor. The British troops had arrived on three naval ships that had sailed up the Penobscot River. British Capt. Robert Barrie demanded the folks of Bangor open up their houses to offer free housing for his males.
Refuse and he’d order his males to burn the city to the bottom.
He additionally ordered his males to not devour any alcohol whereas occupying Bangor however that was largely ignored. British troops discovered barrels of rum as they went from home to accommodate and enterprise to enterprise breaking in to loot, plunder or destroy no matter captured their fancy.
Then they arrived at Hatch Home.
Bursting in, the troops headed straight to the eating and tavern space. Then, drawing their swords, they swept each plate, bowl, mug, glass and vase on each desk sending all of it crashing to the bottom in shards of porcelain and crystal.
Hatch’s porcelain and crystal.
With the place in shambles, Hatch was furious. It was unhealthy sufficient that she was going to be pressured to accommodate and feed these invaders, however now she confronted an enormous cleanup and lack of some very treasured and beneficial possessions.
That evening Hatch and her household might see the flames of the 14 American ships throughout the river being burned by the British. The following morning, with ships nonetheless burning throughout the river in Brewer, Bangor’s leaders have been prepared to barter with the British. Barre agreed to satisfy and listen to them out.
Hoping to spare their metropolis, its leaders supplied a money bond and ships. 4 ships have been being constructed and outfitted already in Bangor, they usually promised to ship them to Castine for British navy use.
Barre agreed — and in addition helped himself to 5 different vessels tied up in Bangor.
The 191 Bangor residents who’d been taken hostage have been positioned on parole, so long as they agreed to by no means take up arms towards the British throne once more.
However that wasn’t sufficient for Hatch.
By the third day of the occupation, the British have been on the brink of transfer again down river and destroy what was left of Hampden. Hatch, nonetheless, wasn’t letting Barre get away with out compensation.
She marched into the house occupied by Barre and slapped down a bit of paper with the whole accounts and worth of each merchandise in her residence his troops had destroyed.
Barre was a profitable navy captain with many sea and land victories underneath his belt. He had confronted down enemies at sea across the Atlantic and by no means flinched. However wanting on the formidable girl throughout the eating room desk he was utilizing as a desk, he knew he’d met his match.
With barely a phrase to Hatch, he scribbled some notes on a bit of paper, signed his title to it and handed it off to a junior officer standing close by.
The junior officer took one have a look at the observe and ran from the constructing, returning half-hour later with the Navel Quartermaster. The Quartermaster reached right into a pouch secured to his belt and handed over the precise amount of cash demanded in compensation to the captain who then handed it to Hatch.
Hatch noticed no want to supply thanks or any acknowledgment. She was merely getting what was rightfully hers. And it was made sweeter when the junior officer grumbled it was coming instantly from the troopers’ pay.
Sources: Matthew Bishop, curator and operations supervisor on the Bangor Historic Society; The net Maine Reminiscence Community; The Bangor Every day Information; “The Battle of Hampden and its Aftermath,” Robert Fraser, Maine Historical past Vol. 43, No. 1.