Wait Hotchkiss

Date of Birth

Nov. 18, 1733

Date of Death

Oct. 15, 1799

Letters Authored


Letters Received


Wait Hotchkiss was born 289 years ago.
223 years ago, Wait Hotchkiss passed away at the age of 65.


Wait Hotchkiss was a veteran of the French and Indian War. He served in Captain Benjamin Hull’s Regiment, Captain Hull’s Company for the relief of Fort William Henry and parts adjacent to the Fort in August 1857. (1, p.392) He also served under Captain Joel Clark. “In Captain Joel Clark’s company, Oliver Welton was sergeant, David Arnold, Wait Hotchkiss, Eliphalet Preston, James Scarett, Caleb Thompson, and Gideon Webb were “centinels.”(1, p. 396)

Wait Hotchkiss also assisted in the Revolutionary War. “In December, 1777, to provide for the families of the soldiers in the Continental Army, Captain Steven Mathews, Thomas Dutton…Wait Hotchkiss…were chosen.” (1, p. 442) Essentially, they were chosen to help clothe and feed the soldiers. In addition, Wait and Lydia Webster Hotchkiss’ son, Joel served in the Revolutionary War. (1, p. 461)

Other notations about Wait Hotchkiss:
“The first recorded case of inoculation for small pox in Waterbury was performed by Charles Upson in February, 1782–the patient being Ezra Mallory, who was taken care of for three weeks by Wait Hotchkiss. Almost simultaneously with this case, the town gave, during forty-eight days, permission to all males in the town over ten years of age, and to all persons living on the east and west Continental Road, “to take the infection of small pox by way of inoculation.” (1, p 455)

(1) The town and city of Waterbury, Connecticut : from the aboriginal period to the year eighteen hundred and ninety-five

Wait Hotchkiss is writing to inform his father-in-law, Thomas Webster, that Wait’s wife and Thomas’ daughter, Lydia Webster Hotchkiss is near death. The letter was written 1 April 1776, and Lydia died 12 April 1776. At the time of her death, the couple had five children under the age of sixteen: Joel, 15, Lydia, 13, Sarah, 11, and twins, Lucy and Abner, each 5. There is another letter in the collection written by Lydia Webster's brother, Jacob, in which he asks his father permission to get married. The letters are written in a strikingly similar style.

Wait Hotchkiss was born 18 November 1733 in Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut and died 15 October 1799 in Wolterton, Connecticut. He was married twice.

He married Lydia Webster 16 October 1753. They had five children: Joel Hotchkiss (b. 8 August 1760), Lydia Hotchkiss (b. 28 August 1762, d. 25 July 1835), Sarah (b. 26 March 1765), Lucy (b. 24 May 1771), and Abner (b. 24 May 1771).

After Lydia died, Wait married Deborah Alcott (b. 1742, d. 18 June 1831). They were married 10 October 1776. Wait and Deborah had two children: Luther Hotchkiss (b. 19 December 1778) and Isaac Hotchkiss (b. 16 October 1887).

Note: Wait’s second wife, Deborah Alcott was the sister of John Alcott (b. 1731) and John Alcott was the great grandfather of Louisa May Alcott; thus Deborah Alcott was the great grand aunt of Louisa May Alcott.

Wait Hotchkiss is enumerated in the 1790 Census living in Waterbury, Connecticut. The Census indicated the household included 2 males over 16, 3 males under 16, and 2 females.