Sarah Hancock Sinnickson

1748 – ????

I was from a Patriot family, whose father died in a British massacre.

I was born in 1748 into an influential family in Salem County. Our house was near Hancock’s Bridge over Alloways Creek. Both my grandfather and father served in the colonial legislature and politics. On July 4, 1769, I married Thomas Sinnickson, who was also active in politics. When the Revolution broke out, Thomas became an active Patriot and served in the new government and in the militia, and later was elected to serve as Customs House officer, and Naval Officer for the western district.

In March 1778, a British force from their army in Philadelphia invaded our county looking for forage. They attacked houses in our settlement on March 21 just before daybreak. They had learned that militiamen were staying in my father’s large house, and they broke in and killed everyone with bayonets; four of the men massacred were non-combatant Quakers, including my father.

I learned of the violence from British soldiers staying in my own home, and I reproached them with such violence that they threatened to hang me. My hopes later rose when I learned that my father was still alive, although suffering from ten bayonet wounds. And then my hopes were dashed when he died several days later.

Today, my father’s home, Hancock House, is a museum and there are markers nearby commemorating the terrible massacre.


Learn More
Image Sarah Hancock Sinnickson

Related Sites