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"Winfield Scott Hancock's twin brother" Topic


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Trajanus03 Sep 2021 6:09 a.m. PST

Some of you may know that Major Gen. Hancock had an identical twin brother – Hilary Baker Hancock.

Its well known that Winfield was named after General Winfield Scott but does anyone know who Hilary Baker was?

I'm assuming they were a notable person at the time. The Hancock's seemed have thing about names, as the twin's father was Benjamin Franklin Hancock!

I understand there was a famous Police Superintendent Hilary Baker, who had served in the Continental Army and was also Mayor of Philadelphia. He died in 1798 from Yellow Fever contracted while supervising his men during an outbreak in the City.

It seems he might well fit the bill but does any one know for sure?

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2021 4:55 p.m. PST

Hi

All I could find In Winfield Scott Hancock by David Jordan
was a vague mention of that it was strange to name One son after the Hero of Ludy lane and the other a prosaic name of Hilary. He was a lawyer in Minneapolis and a alcoholic.

Bill N03 Sep 2021 7:01 p.m. PST

The mayor Hilary Baker suggestion makes sense given that Hancock's family lived right outside of Philadelphia.

Trajanus04 Sep 2021 9:10 a.m. PST

I think Mayor Baker is a fairly safe bet (not that I have any money riding on it). Benjamin Franklin Hancock lived in and around Philadelphia all his life as far as I know, so I'm pretty sure he would have known about him.

As regarding Lundys Lane.

According to some reports BFH was in the Army at the time of the Battle, although he would have been a couple of months short of his 14th Birthday at the time! Of course stranger things happened in those days.

There again, I have also seen Hilary recorded as Winfield's twin sister!

He did have another younger brother, John, who served in the Civil War, becoming a Major (Brevet Lt Col) US Volunteers.

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