Joseph Hardy. Older brother of Ann Hardy Reid of Charleston, SC, Joseph Hardy was the son of “William Hardy of New York.” One genealogical source suggests the Hardy daughter was born in 1767 in Ireland while others indicate New York. It is suspected that the Eliza Hardy buried in plot D-3 of St. Michael’s Church Cemetery near Ann Hardy Reid at Charleston was the widow of William Hardy and mother of Joseph Hardy. It is probable that Joseph Hardy initially resided in Newtown, NY; now known as Elmhurst in the Borough of Queens. This is inferred by the marriage of Ann Hardy to George Reid on 11 October 1789 in Newtown by the Rev. Joshua Bloomer as reported in the Charleston Observer and the rejected pension application of Ann Hardy Reid for her husband’s service during the American Revolution. Former merchant and officer in provincial service, Joshua Bloomer was rector of St. James Episcopal Church of Newtown at the corner of 51st Street and Broadway, then known as Hellgate Ferry Road. During the time between 1769 and his death in 1790, Rev. Bloomer also served the Episcopalian congregations at Flushing and Jamaica. Perhaps Joseph Hardy fled Newtown with many of the other patriot parishioners of Bloomer’s church at the advent of the Revolution. Reverend Joshua Bloomer continued to conduct Anglican services at the church during the war, swearing allegiance to the king and ministering to local Tories and British officers stationed in Queens until after the close of hostilities when his political allegiance shifted to the new United States.
Joseph Hardy is rated as Midshipman on the Continental Navy sloop Providence under the command of Captain John Hazard in a list of the officers of the Continental Navy dated 18 February 1776. His name appears again on a 10 May 1776 muster roll of the same vessel then under the command of John Paul Jones. Lieutenant John Paul Jones had been temporarily transferred from the Alfred and placed in command of the Providence beginning in May 1776. That roll indicates Hardy entered on the 12-gun Providence on 22 January 1776 and was assigned to man the prize ship Favourite on 8 September 1776, two days after the brig and crew of nine bound from Antigua to Liverpool with her cargo of sugar was taken. Midshipman Hardy was named Mate under prize-master Joseph Vessey, former acting Sailing Master of the Providence. The Providence previously departed Philadelphia on 21 August 1776 for a forty-eight day cruise during which the enterprising Jones would take sixteen prizes, including the Favourite, while eluding capture by British warships on two occasions before returning to Newport Harbor on 8 October 1776. Despite having left the ship on 8 September, Hardy is included in the “List of Officers Seamen & Marines belonging to the Providence Sloop of War who are entitled to Shares in the Ship Alexander, Captur’d Sep’r 20th 1776.” In March 1777, he is also named as agent for prize monies due to seaman Laurence Doyle of the ship Alfred for the capture of the ship Mellish and brig Active about the same time as the Alexander. Within weeks of Providence’s return to Newport, Joseph Hardy entered service on the frigate Columbus in October 1776.
Although Hardy was earlier recommended as Captain of Marines by the Marine Committee of the Continental Congress on 25 June 1776, the following sources indicate he did not serve in that capacity until sometime later. Joseph Hardy was initially attached to the Columbus in the capacity of Captain’s Clerk as noted in two letters written by Commodore Esek Hopkins dated 28 December 1776. A letter to John Bradford reads, “I have applyed to Capt’n Whipple in Respect to Sending you a List of the Men Concern’d, but as the greatest part of the Officers and Men are now on duty onboard the Several Vessels in this Harbour the General Interest of the Country will not permit their applying in Person to the several Agents for their Money- So that if it can’t be distributed to them onboard they must go without it- to Remedy which Capt’n Whipple, his Officers and People have Sent Mr. Hardy Clerk of the Columbus to bring the Money onboard which I hope will be agreeable- You first taking out your Commissions & the Money you advanc’d my Son- and Mr. Hardys Receipt will be your discharge.” Another letter from Hopkins to Continental agent John Langdon at Portsmouth dated the same day reveals the prize money sought by Hardy was associated with the Royal Exchange. “Sir, Capt’n Whipple, late of the Columbus, his Officers and Men understand you have Sold and Collected the Money for the Prize Ship Royal Exchange- and as the Service of the Country will not admit the Officers and People to go to the different States to Collect their Prize Money they have sent Mr. Joseph Hardy the Clerk of the Columbus to bring it onboard to be distributed- I think it will be for the General Good that you pay him the Captors’ part first deducting your Commissions- and his Receipt will be your discharge for said part.” Langdon’s response to Commodore Hopkins is dated at Portsmouth a week later on 6 January 1777. “Your favor P Mr Hardy Iv’e Recd agreable to which and the Order from Capt Whipple and the Officers of the Columbus, Iv’e paid into Mr Hardy’s hands two thousand Seven hundred and thirty pounds in full for one Third part of the Nt Proceeds of the Prize ship Royal Exchange,’which is to be Proportioned, by your order, Agreable to the Resolves of the Honbl Congress among the Officers and Men belongg to the Columbus who took Sd Ship, one twentieth part of Sd Sum of Course is your property, and no Doubt will be Deducted before Distribution made to the Officers and Seamen of Sd Ship Columbus- I have given Mr Hardy Copy of all the Accts as they Stand Settled.” With a compliment of 220 men, Abraham Whipple and the Columbus cruised off New England during the late Summer of 1776, taking five prizes. The 10 October edition of the New England Chronicle of Boston reported the Sunday 29 September 1776 arrival of the Columbus at Portsmouth “from a successful cruize” resulting in four prizes making port including: a brig from St. Croix to Scotland with a cargo of Rum, a ship from St. Christopher’s to London, the 150-ton ship Royal Exchange from Grenada to London with a cargo of sugar and the 120-ton brig Lord Lifford bound from Montserrat to Cork with 218 hogshead of rum in her hold. Although not with Whipple and the Columbus on her cruise and capture of the Royal Exchange, Hardy was tasked with returning to the ship with the overdue prize money owed her crew. Former 1st Lieutenant of the Columbus and prize-master of the Royal Exchange, Joseph Olney was promoted to command the vessel at Newport on 26 October 1776 after Captain Abraham Whipple’s departure. Olney was in command of the frigate at the writing of Hopkin’s letter and continued until 5 January 1777 when he was relieved by Hoysted Hacker and appointed captain of the brig Cabot at Boston. During this time when Hardy served the Columbus as Captain’s Clerk, Lieutenant of Marines Matthew Parke was named by Whipple to temporarily succeed Joseph Shoemaker as acting Captain of Marines.
According to the “Shipping Articles for the Continental Navy Ship Columbus” dated 15 March 1777, Joseph Hardy is recorded as entering aboard the Continental Navy ship Columbus at Providence on 24 January 1777 in the capacity of Captain of Marines, nineteen days after Joseph Olney was relieved of command and replaced by Captain Hoysted Hacker. Included in the ship’s list of men are Hardy’s subordinate Marine officers 1st Lieutenant Edward Burke and 2nd Lieutenant Isaac Olney. It is deduced that Joseph Hardy shed the mantel of Captain’s Clerk and accepted his commission as Captain of Marines on entering the vessel in January 1777, leaving the post of Captains Clark vacant as recorded in the “Shipping Articles.” Hardy is next recorded as a member of the court-martial of 3rd Lieutenant Richard Marvin of the Continental Navy ship Warren, held aboard the sloop Providence anchored off Fields Point in the Providence River on 3 April 1777. The Court consisted of Captains Abraham Whipple, John B. Hopkins, Hoysted Hacker, Jonathan Pitcher, Silas Devoll and Joseph Hardy along with Lieutenants William Grinnell, Robert Adamson, William Barron, Philip Brown, Adam W. Thaxter, Seth Chapin and Hardy’s subordinate Edward Burke. Hardy’s activities in the year between April 1777 and October 1778 are not documented to date, however it is assumed that he continued in the post of Captain of Marines until the ship was chased onshore and burned at Port Judith on 28 March 1778.
In the postscript of a letter from the Marine Committee of the Continental Congress to the Commissioners of the Navy Board of the Eastern Department dated 27 October 1778, we read of Captain of Marines Joseph Hardy’s next assignment; “We have determined that Captain Joseph Hardy shall command the Marines on board the New frigate Confederacy you will please to order him accordingly.” As the vessel was approaching completion and final preparation for for sea, Joseph Hardy was lodging with other Confederacy officers Gurdon Bill, Timothy Vaughan, Stephen Gregory, Nathan Dorsey, John Gardiner, Phineas Hyde and Captain Harding at Samuel Belding’s lodging house in New London. Although Lieutenant of Marines Gurdon Bill wrote on 22 February 1779 that he was “ready to go onboard the ship,” a request for settling their account at Belding’s is not dated until 26 April 1779. For reasons unknown, Hardy along with ship’s Surgeon Nathan Dorsey and a number of others known to have sailed with the frigate on her maiden cruise out of New London on Saturday 1 May 1779, are omitted from the list of officers and men of the Confederacy which includes Marine Lieutenants Gurdon Bill and Samuel Holt published in the “Record of Service of Connecticut Men, Part I, Naval Record of Connecticut, 1775-1783″ edited by Henry P. Johnston (1889). Her shakedown cruise to Philadelphia completed, by the end of May Confederacy was operating in concert with Continental ships Deane and Boston in the Delaware Bay. On 3 August 1779 Captains Joseph Hardy and Robert Mullin of the frigate Delaware along with Lieutenant Samuel Holt- all attached to the 7th Marines- participated in the Court-Martial of John Emmes, pilot of the ship Champion under the command of James Irish, held near Billingsport in the Delaware River. Captain of Marines Joseph Hardy sailed from the Delaware Capes with the frigate Confederacy under the command of Seth Harding on 26 October 1779 with passengers John Jay and his wife bound for France. Shortly after departure, the ship was dismasted and after extensive repairs at sea was brought into Martinique in the West Indies on 18 December 1779. The Confederacy sailed from Martinique on 13 March 1780, arriving home at Philadelphia on 27 April 1780.
Captain Hardy kept a private journal on board the vessel between Monday 20 December 1779 while at St. Pierre and Monday 12 February 1780, published as an appendix to the biography “Seth Harding, Mariner” by James L. Howard (1930). Several entries that follow offer a taste of his observations. The 12 January 1780 entry reads, “Several of the Seamen having Liberty to go ashore in the afternoon returned on board much intoxicated with Liquor and in consequence of it like all Sailors began to grumble at their wage and insisted on being sent to St. Lucee to be exchanged these were joined by several who was taken out of English Privateers and in a few minutes the whole Ship appeared in a flame of Mutiny. The Ringleaders were immediately confined in Irons hands and feet and some of the most obstropolous were Gagged, which soon cooled them down. However they were kept in confinement all Night.” At the “careenage” off the French naval base at Fort Royal Hardy writes, “Tuesday 25th January, Heavy Rains with smart Squalls of Wind. Employed four French Carpenters at work on the lower Yards.- procured a spar this afternoon to Splice the Foremast. The Barge returned in the Evening from St. Pierr’s with two large Spars, having left our Purser there, very Sick with a fever. We are informed a Philadelphia Brig arrived at St. P. yesterday in distress, having met with severe Weather on the Coast of America from where she was drove off and lost her Topmasts she was last from Calais.- two of our People taken with severe fitts this Evening the fifer tumbled over Board and had near been Drowned A Man tumbled into the Mainhold without receiving much injury, and one of the Centrys tumbled off the Gangway in upon the Deck. I believe the D____l got aboard to Night the whole Ship seemed to be in a Tumult all the Evening.” On 27 February 1780, the captain records “at Meridian the Man who last Night attempted to runaway and being the Ringleader of this Scheme was publickly Whiped at the Gangway by order of the Capt. This first regular Punishment that has been inflicted on any this Ships Crew for this common crime which will have a good effect provided there is a continuance of it.” A typical log entry at sea, like that taken less than one week before making home port on Thursday 20 April 1780 reads, “Lattitude by Observation at Meridian 36 38” N.- Longt. 72 22” W.- Cape Hatteras S. 69 15” W. distance 206 Miles. Cape Henlopen N. 40 58 Wt. Distance 175 Miles.”
Between the frigate Confederacy’s return to Philadelphia in late April 1780 and her sailing again on 5 December 1780, Captain of Marines Joseph Hardy was involved in recruiting activities. Pages 6 and 6a of the “Ledger of the Continental Ship Confederacy, June 1780 to March 1781” in Navy Department File 629 of the National Archives details Hardy’s account between 15 March 1779 and 20 March 1781 including cash expenditures associated with manning his Marine detachment. Payments included “goal” and “turnkey” fees, workhouse expenses and third parties such as Justice Fleeson and Col. Nicola, commander of the Invalid Corps. The Confederacy sailed from Philadelphia late in 1780 and while returning from Cape Francois in the West Indies with a military cargo on 14 April 1781, the frigate was surrendered without a fight off the Delaware Capes to two British warships, 44-gun Roebuck and 32-gun Orpheus. Towed triumphantly into New York harbor, the Confederacy eventually entered service in the Royal Navy as HBMS Confederate. Shortly after the loss of the Confederacy, Captain of Marines and prisoner Joseph Hardy petitioned the Continental Congress on 22 June 1781 praying “That his amounts of pay etc. may be liquidated, and the ballance due him paid into the hands of his father Mr Wm Hardy.” His request was referred to the Treasury Office where apparently it was determined, “the balance of his account of pay, as stated at the pay-office, to the 3d of August, the sum of three hundred and thirty-seven dollars and sixty-eight ninetieths of a dollar:”
Details concerning Joseph Hardy’s fate after capture are revealed by two sources, a letter in the Benjamin Franklin Papers collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania dated 19 August 1782 at Nantes in France and another to the Treasury Office of the Continental Congress through Secretary Charles Thomson dated 13 September 1785. After the loss of the Confederacy, Captain Hardy was “sent a prisoner from New York for England but by accident happened to put into Ireland” where he escaped and made his way to France in early 1782. At Nantes, Hardy was reunited with Confederacy shipmate Lieutenant Stephen Gregory who accepted command of the ship Alexander owned by Paris arms merchant Beaumarchais. Gregory’s vessel was engaged by a British cruiser in October 1782 and heavily damaged, whereupon he was placed in command of another vessel. Sailing in company with two other armed French ships, Stephen Gregory was again taken by the enemy and sent to England, albeit not before attempting to overtake his captor on the passage. As for himself, Joseph Hardy made arrangements to return home from Nantes in August 1782 but apparently was prevented from sailing and at the same time, relieved of some important personal property. As a result Hardy petitioned Benjamin Franklin for a loan of forty guineas to be directed to the mercantile firm of Watson & Cassoul in Nantes so that he could obtain passage to Philadelphia. Business partners Elkanah Watson of Plymouth, MA and Monsieur Cassoul of Nantes acted as confidential agents for the Continental Congress and as a conduit for dispatches to Franklin. Interestingly, earlier that same year, the two had commissioned French nuns to fabricate a custom masonic apron displaying the flags of both nations as a presentation gift for the Commander-in-Chief “to pay some mark of respect to our beloved Washington.” Captain of Marines Joseph Hardy is reported to be returned to duty on 28 April 1783 and the following month served on the Court-Martial of Samuel Cooper, Purser of the frigate Alliance, held 15 May 1783 “on Board the Continental Ship General Washington in the Harbor of Philadelphia.”
The Daily Advertiser of New York dated 3 December 1787 reports that the Board of Treasury appointed Joseph Hardy, Esq to be Accountant of the Treasury. Clearly Hardy had been working as an accounting clerk for the fledgling national government at the Register’s Office since at least 11 July 1785 when he authorized a “General Account of Foreign Receipts and Expenditures” including millions of florins in Dutch loans borrowed in 1784. Three months later on 13 September 1785 Hardy wrote the afore-mentioned letter on behalf of fellow officer on the Confederacy Stephen Gregory from the Treasury Office to Secretary of the Continental Congress Charles Thomson. It can be theorized that Hardy’s public employment came to be because longtime Register for the Treasury Joseph Nourse was brother to another frigate Confederacy shipmate, Midshipman William Nourse. George Washington’s letterbook of the period includes six correspondences between Hardy and the Treasury Board and Post-Master General Ebenezer Hazard between 6 March 1788 and 21 July 1789. About that time it appears Hardy resided at 66 Cherry Street in New York City.
Just nine weeks after the wedding of his sister Ann on 11 October 1789 at Newtown, the marriage of Joseph Hardy, Esq. to Miss Mary Dean of Newark, NJ was announced in the 18 December 1789 edition of the New York Morning Post. An article in the Gazette of the US of the same date, reports Joseph Hardy as agent and attorney for his new brother-in-law Commissioner of South Carolina and Georgia George Reid regarding warrants for salaries owed by the US Department of Treasury. Scotch-born George Reid (1756-1810) had been a Lieutenant in the Pennsylvania Line who participated in the Battle of Germantown and was severely wounded in the leg by a musket ball at the Battle of Monmouth. Captured, Reid was carried to England and upon his return, appointed Assistant Paymaster for the Southern Army under John Pierce. After the war, Reid located in Charleston where he was Assistant Commissioner of Army Accounts until at least 1786. George Reid was a founding member of the Society of the Cincinnati in Charleston in 1787 and served as vestryman at St Michael’s Episcopal Church from 1798 through 1809. About two years after the weddings of Ann Hardy Reid and Joseph Hardy, Ann and George Reid named their firstborn child born at half past 11 o’clock in the morning in Charleston on Saturday 29 October 1791- Joseph- in honor of her older brother. The family Bible records that the infant was christened by Rev. Dr. Henry Purcell of St. Michael’s on 27 November 1791 but sadly died at half past 1 o’clock in the morning on Friday 21 September 1792 at the tender age of 10 months, 23 days.
On the nation’s birthday 4 July 1790, Captain Joseph Hardy was admitted as an original member of the New York State Society of the Cincinnati, which he served as Secretary from 1805 until 1810. Hardy continued to work for the federal government at least through 1792 when Newspaper accounts reveal Joseph Hardy was in Philadelphia acting as agent for William Duer in May of that year. Duer was first Assistant to Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Warrants for payments for Hardy’s salary and expenses for the Comptroller’s Office are recorded in November 1789 and June 1790. Warrants were also issued in August 1791 to “Joseph Hardy, late principal clerk in the Comptroller’s Office” for expenses incurred by himself and his family “in consequence of removing the seat of government from New York to Philadelphia.” An advertisement dated February 1794 indicates the residence on Wall Street near the Tontine Coffee-House formerly occupied by Joseph Hardy was then available to let. The Tontine predated the Stock Exchange as the center of trade and mercantile business in New York. Later that same year, a New York mercantile partnership with George Sutton was dissolved and Hardy is described as “late of the City of New York.” Two years later in 1796, when he was named in a Letter of Administration for his friend- mariner George Bright, Hardy was again in New York renting a residence at 99 Liberty Street from Thomas Randall.
Greenleaf’s New York Journal of Wednesday 1 February 1797 reports the death of Hardy’s wife on 14 January 1797, just after their sixth year wedding anniversary, “greatly lamented, Mrs. MARY HARDY, the amiable and much beloved consort of Mr. Joseph Hardy, merchant of this city, age 32 years. Few women more deservingly possessed the esteem of all who knew her.” Her death left Joseph Hardy in the care of their young son Joseph L.C. Hardy, less than three years old. Between 1799 and 1802, widower and single parent Joseph Hardy operated his mercantile interests successively from 7 Thames Street, Steven’s Wharf, 207 Front Street near Crane Wharf and 220 Front Street. Primarily Hardy was selling cotton and tobacco shipped from the South. It is strongly suspected his trading partner was brother-in-law George Reid who was marketing New York flour and rum from the wharves of Charleston. The 1800 will of William Bryant of Smithfield, VA names “Capt. Joseph Hardy of New York” as the source from which “money left me by my uncle William Bryant of Trenton” is to be drawn for distribution to his heirs. Bryant is possibly the seaman of the same name who served with Midshipman Hardy on the sloop Providence under John Paul Jones. Initially imprisoned, another sailor was taken from the hospital on 22 May 1776 and exchanged for Bryant who came on board the vessel two days later, serving until 9 October 1776 when he was transferred to the brig Hampden. The money which William Bryant refers to is almost certainly the L200 bequeathed to him in the will of Dr. William Bryant’s widow Mary proved on 26 November 1798. Joseph Hardy wrote an apparently unanswered letter to President-elect Thomas Jefferson on 28 February 1801, eleven days after the House of Representatives broke the tie electoral vote in his favor, seeking a political appointment in the new administration. The 22 September 1801 edition of the Commercial Advertiser of New York names Hardy, in addition to Elisha Boudinot and Alexander Hamilton, as trustee for sale of property belonging to Dr. William Pitt Smith of 79 Beekman Street. Hardy’s address is listed as 220 Front Street at the time. In 1804, Hardy is advertising the sale of New Orleans cotton from a 224 Front Street address. No doubt he was returning from a combination business trip and visit to his sister’s home when he is noted as returned from Charleston on the brig Venus as a passenger in a 30 April 1804 newspaper report. Perhaps it was during this trip Hardy arranged for the shipment of rice which he was selling out of 162 Greenwich Street the following year. In January 1806, Joseph Hardy placed an advertisement for a “young gentleman” who has resided in France for employment in his “counting-house.” Applicants were encouraged to apply at either the 162 Greenwich address or 260 Pearl Street.
After the death of his brother-in-law Major George Reid on 6 April 1810 at the age of fifty-three, Joseph Hardy relocated from New York City to Charleston to live with his sister Ann and presumably his elderly mother. One wonders if the paintings of naval battles noted in Reid’s inventory of his home at 12 East Bay after his death depicted actions that Hardy participated in during the war. Joseph Hardy and his son, less than sixteen years old at the time, are recorded in the 1810 Census as residing in the 2nd Ward of New York City just prior to the move. The last record of Joseph Hardy in New York was his newspaper call to the Nation’s 4 July 1810 birthday celebration meeting as secretary of the Society of Cincinnati. We find him next on the Committee of Charity of the South Carolina Marine Society, a charitable organization George Reid had previously served as Treasurer, in February 1812 newspaper accounts. Revolutionary war veteran Joseph Hardy, who served as Midshipman, Prize-master’s Mate, Captain’s Clerk and Captain of Marines with the Continental Navy lived just long enough to see his beloved teenage son and namesake Joseph L.C. Hardy receive an appointment as Midshipman in the United States Navy on 18 June 1812. Midshipman Hardy would be wounded just two years later at the Battle of Fort McHenry on 13 September 1814 while serving with the Marine battery under Sailing Master Rodman’s command. In 1823, three years after being admitted to the Society of Cincinnati to succeed his father, Joseph L.C. Hardy was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of the U.S. Marine Corps during the administration of James Monroe. By February 1834, the junior Hardy was posted as 1st Lieutenant at the Marine Barracks in New York. Joseph L.C. Hardy was nominated for promotion to Captain of Marines, the same commission held by his father, by James Polk in 1847. The following year during the Mexican War, Captain of Marines Hardy served on the 74-gun ship Ohio during the Baja Evacuation. Hardy continued in the Marine Corps until his death on 26 November 1853 at New York City after forty years of service. The “Papers of Midshipman Joseph L. C. Hardy (1815-1823)” are to be found in the William Moultrie Reid Collection of the South Caroliniana Library at University of South Carolina.
Less than one year after the appointment of Hardy’s son as Midshipman, the Saturday 6 February 1813 edition of the City Gazette of Charleston reports the “Friends and Acquaintances of Captain JOSEPH HARDY, deceased, and of the late Major Geo. Reid, and particularly the Members of the State Society of Cincinnati, are invited to attend the funeral of Capt. Hardy, from the house of of Mrs. Reid, No.106, Tradd st. THIS MORNING at half past 8 o’clock.” Built in 1772, the three-story Georgian frame townhouse in which the funeral took place, now known as the Colonel John Stuart House after its original owner who was the King’s Commissioner for Indian Affairs in the South prior to his fleeing Charleston prior to the Revolution, still survives. After Hardy’s death, his sister continued to live in Charleston with her two surviving sons, George B. and William Moultrie and daughter Ann Powel Reid. The 1820 Census indicates another older female, presumably Joseph Hardy’s mother, in Mrs. Ann Reid’s household which also included seven slaves. After Ann’s death on 2 October 1836 at the age of sixty-nine, the 1840 Census records suggests the elderly woman presumed to be the Hardy matriarch then moved into the household of oldest son George B. Reid. Eliza Hardy’s gravestone notes the date of her death at the age of ninety-eight as 19 December 1842 and reads,
“The precious dust beneath that lies
Shall at the call of Jesus rise
To meet the bridegroom in the skies
That day we’ll meet again.”