William Hunter’s Journey


Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, William Hunter accompanied his father and family on Revolutionary War campaigns throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada. Captured at Fort Jean, Canada, William spent a year in a Prisoner of War camp in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His father returned to the British Army after a prisoner exchange in late 1778.


On a voyage back to Britain, French privateers captured William and his family and held them as prisoners in Le Havre, France. Upon a second exchange, William and his family sailed to Britain. William followed his father on recruiting missions throughout England and Scotland. After reaching working age, William became an apprentice in Walsall.


Seeking more freedoms, William emigrated to America. He first landed in Philadelphia where he lived for a year. Sensing opportunities on the western frontier, he moved to Washington, PA where he started the second newspaper west of the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania. His newspapers circulated through the small towns noted on this map.


Growth prospects appears much brighter in Kentucky and William moved to Washington, KY and then Frankfort, KY where he started newspapers. While in Kentucky, William built several businesses, served in the Legislatures and led the development of cultural institutions such as libraries, schools, and state government. Additionally, he served as a major in the militia and an officer in the fire department.


An ardent Andrew Jackson supporter, William came to Washington, DC with the incoming Jackson administration. He joined the Treasury Department as an auditor of the US Navy. Within the first few months, William uncovered significant fraud which established a solid reputation which kept him on the job until his death in 1854. He served seven presidents during his Federal service.