A recent donation to the Livingston Library brought to the surface the incredible story of Lt. Col. James Huston.
Born into the tumultuous political environment of Ireland in the early 19th century, the future Mason James Huston took an early interest in military science. Though he was at first a loyal follower of the Great Liberator Daniel O’Connell, Huston’s found a more radical home in the Young Ireland Movements. His background in military tactics marked him early on for leadership.
The English soon discovered Huston’s involvement in fighting for Irish Independence. In 1848, the English Government claimed to have received information regarding Huston drilling large numbers of men to fight the English. It was this allegation that decided Huston’s fate. A bounty of 500 pounds was set on Huston’s head, with a hanging to look forward to if caught.
Huston fled to Scotland, sailed to France, and finally settled in New York City taking a position as a clerk. He joined Manahatta Lodge No. 498, becoming a Master Mason in April of 1861. That same month Fort Sumter was fired upon, beginning this country’s Civil War. Huston went to the front as Captain of Company E. in the Second Regiment N.Y.S.M. It was said he was incapable of fear!
Thank you to the Kubishen Family for this wonderful gift.
Written by Morgan Aronson.