Hulda the Witch Finally Gets Tombstone in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

This is a pic of me and the new tombstone of Mother Hulda, a “witch” who died in 1777, during the Revolutionary War (when George Washington led the United States).

Hulda was a healer and herbalist who had emigrated from Bohemia (Eastern Europe). Misunderstood by the Dutch settlers, she lived alone in the woods outside the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York.

She knew when the townspeople were ill, and she would leave them healing herbs on their doorstep overnight. She also traded with the Native Americans in the area. But none of the Christian settlers would dare be seen with her in public.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, she tried to enlist in the Colonial Army to fight for her adopted country. But she was denied. So she resumed to leaving her healing herbs overnight on doorsteps.

Later, when Sleepy Hollow was left with only old men, women and children, she led a battalion to defend the town. It turned out that Hulda was a sharp shooter, and she killed many British soldiers.

Alas, she was eventually killed. The Colonial soldiers took her body to her hut in the woods, where they found her Bible, and several pieces of gold that she had willed to the town’s widows.

The settlers were grateful for her contributions to the town, but ambivalent about burying a so-called witch in their Christian graveyard. As a compromise, they buried her body at the edge of the graveyard, in an unmarked grave.

Last year, Hulda was finally given a headstone in a prominent place in the Old Dutch Church cemetery, and I was happy to pay my respects to her (proudly wearing my 100% that witch t-shirt!).

Mother Hulda’s tombstone reads:
Healer. Herbalist. Patriot.

I don’t have any moral to offer for this story, but I’m glad that she finally received the respect that she deserves.

Rest in Power, Mother Hulda ❤️

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