Henry Wilkee was a Hessian soldier who fought with General Burgoyne’s army during the Revolutionary War. Following Burgoyne’s surrender after the battle at Saratoga Henry was taken prisoner. Although there are conflicting reports of how Henry came to reside in Hatfield, the story of his life and family is surely typical of the thousands of Hessian soldiers who came to fight, who chose to remain and who, through several generations of their families, prospered in their new land.
An exhibition of historical artifacts was included in a celebration held in Hatfield in 1889 . Charles Wilkie , then a prosperous resident of Hatfield and the grandson of Henry, the Hessian soldier, donated several items to that exhibition. One of these items was the powder horn Henry was believed to have obtained and possibly used during his time as a soldier in Burgoyne’s army. This simple, utilitarian horn, along with several items from Henry’s household, resides today in the Hatfield Historical Museum.
To read Henry's story (and why there are two different spellings of his last name), click HERE.