Hannah Blair Grave

A Patriot Protector


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Coordinates: 35.9325, -79.9814.

Type: Stop
Tour: Guilford Battle
County: Guilford

Access LogoDifficult

Park in the north lot of Springfield Meeting House (to the right when facing the building). The northeast corner of the cemetery is at the back of the lot. Look diagonally into the graveyard. You will see a large group of mature trees and bushes at the rear of the first open section. Walk to the large, upright, rectangular marker in the middle.

Photo of the cemetery with an access road on the right and trees behind
Walk toward the group of trees in the center (AmRevNC photograph)


Button for audio tourPennsylvania native Hannah Milliken Blair helped the Patriot cause as much as she could while respecting her pacifist Quaker faith. Frequently Patriot militia (part-time soldiers) and supporters would take to the woods in this region to hide when word came of Loyalist (“Tory”) raids. Stories accepted as true by the United States government after the war say Blair kept them supplied with food, clothing, and medicine, and ferried messages.

Photo of a large tombstone on the right, with a bush growing from the grave and a tree trunk on the left
(AmRevNC photograph)

She apparently saved the lives of men she was hiding twice. One pair supposedly sought help at her home in this vicinity while being chased. She put them in her corn crib and blithely continued shucking ears as the Tories failed to find them. Another time, the infamous Loyalist leader Col. David Fanning arrived in search of a visiting Patriot. She ripped open her feather mattress, shoved the visitor inside, sat down, and began mending the tear. When Fanning entered and demanded to look around, she said, “Thee may search as thee pleases.”[1] 

On one of her mercy missions, she was captured by Tories. She claimed she was only helping a sick neighbor and refused to give the Patriots up. For her efforts, the Blair home and all their belongings were put to the torch.

After the war the United States government recognized her service by giving her a veteran’s pension. She lived to age 95.

What to See

Hannah and her husband, Enos, are buried at the marker. Little is known about Enos. He is believed to have served in the Patriot militia.[2]

Red tee shirt saying "Do Whig Out!" on a parchment scroll

[1] Jordan, Paula, ‘Blair, Hannah Millikan’, NCpedia, 1979 <https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/blair-hannah-millikan> [accessed 24 April 2020].

[2] In addition to the other footnoted source, “Stop” information comes from one of two guidebooks; the online essay for the relevant North Carolina Highway Marker; and related Sight pages (see “About Sources“).

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