Henry West Worthington
1753 – Present
Saddler Apprentice to his Father (1764-1769)
Businessman, “Worthington’s Riders Saddling Company” - 1769 – Present
Pennsylvanian Common Council – 1773 – 1777
Private, Continental Army – 1777-1777
Sergeant, Continental Army – 1779-1782
Pennsylvania State Assembly – 1784-1788
Business Owner, “Worthington’s Riders Saddling Company” - 1785-Present (inherited business upon the death of his father)
United States House of Representatives – 1789-Present
Significant Battles during the American Revolution that involved Henry W. West
Battle of Brandywine (Sept. 11, 1777)
Battle of the Clouds (Sept 16, 1777)
Battle of Paoli (Paoli Massacre, Sept 20, 1777) – Injured*
Battle of Barren Hill (May 20, 1778)
Battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778)
Battle of Rhode Island (August 9, 1778)
Battle of Stony Point (July 16, 1779)
**Promoted to Sergeant by General Wayne for his accolades in the battle
Battle of Connecticut Farms (June 7, 1780)
Battle of Bull’s Ferry (June 20-21, 1780)
Battle of Haw River (February 24, 1781)
***Promoted to Captain
Siege of Fort Motte (May 8-12, 1781)
Siege of Ninety-Six (May 22-June 19, 1781)
Henry West Worthington was born on March 4, 1753 to Abraham Worthington (b. 1710) & Eliza Worthington (b. 1727). He was the only child the couple would have. In 1714, Henry’s grandfather William founded “Worthington’s Riders Saddle Company”, providing saddles to some of the wealthiest riders in the country, and later earning a contract with the British Crown to provide saddles to the British military. Abraham later joined his father in the business, and now that Abraham has passed (d. Dec. 18, 1785) Henry has inherited the business as well. He has worked making saddles for his father and grandfather since he was a small boy, and was officially made an apprentice at the age of 16. He was later brought in as part owner of the business prior to his father’s death as well. During the American Revolution, the Worthington’s refusal to honor their contracts with the British and to exclusively provide saddles to the American army was seen as an important strategic advantage for the Americans. “Worthington’s Riders Saddling Company” have provided saddles to some of the most well-known colonial figures, such as John Larkin, Benjamin Franklin, “Mad Anthony” Wayne, and Bernardhus Van Leer, among others.
Henry joined the military in 1777. He had wanted to join at the outbreak of the war, but his father had been quite ill and he was forced to delay his military career to provide for his parents and his wife and young children all at the same time. Once Abraham recovered enough to return to saddlemaking, Henry then joined up.
West’s military career started as any other, unremarkably. It was at the Battle of Paoli though that misfortune opened an important door for Henry. In the massacre, he was stabbed in the buttocks with a bayonet, but was left unharmed beyond that. While the injury was obviously quite painful, it was not life threatening, and the army itself found a good laugh from the incident. The good fortune came in that it allotted a visit from the Commander “Mad Anthony” Wayne to check on his recovery and to hear the gory details of the incident, and the commander was quite amused. He requested a saddle from the “Skewered saddle making soldier” as he called him, and the two struck up a strong friendship when Worthington agreed to make Wayne a saddle, for only the cost of never allowing that nickname to catch on in the camp. While recovering from the injury, Worthington was brought to several high profile engagements around Pennsylvania by Wayne, and others in the army as well, gaining acquaintances of great importance throughout the colony of Pennsylvania and the American army.
It was through this initial friendship, that Wayne took Worthington under his guidance and began training him in military tactics. Wayne also introduced Worthington to Lafayette, and Lee as well, man that Worthington would go to battle for in their levies in the coming years. It was through these relationships, and a burgeoning reputation as an excellent soldier and tactician, that when it came time to form a special unit for the attack on Stony Point, Worthington was selected to join the skirmish. Worthington performed quite well in the American victory, and was promoted immediately to Sergeant following Stony Point. He would then make Captain a little more than a year later.
It was around the time of Worthington being made Captain however that his desire to remain in the military waned. Worthington longed for home life, having left his wife Claire (b. 1758, m. 1775), and two young children (Eliza b.1775 & Andrew b. 1777) at home to join the war, and with another child on the way in the coming summer.
Following the loss of the Siege of Ninety-Six in June of 1781, West requested and was granted a leave from the army to return home to Pennsylvania for the birth of his son Paul. The leave was initially for 6 weeks, but was extended when West injured himself while in the stables on his property, falling from a loft when the floor caved in. He broke his leg in the fall and was forced to bed to recover. During his recovery, he requested and was granted his release from the military, he was honorably discharged with honors on Christmas eve of 1781. He has walked with a limp since the fall and is forced to use a cane.
Since leaving the military, Henry ran for and won a seat on the Pennsylvania State Assembly. While a member of the Assembly, he has remained a strong proponent for a strong federal government, but has not gone as far as his mentor, and long time friend Wayne. While Worthington and Wayne have remained close for many years now, there does seem to be a divide however, as Worthington is not comfortable with Wayne’s opinions on the practice of slavery, and his depth of love for the aristocracy. Worthington has joined congress in the hopes of helping the young country find a balance of power among the haves and the have nots in the nation, and he is hopeful that the abysmal practice of slavery will soon be outlawed.
Henry & Claire have 7 living children currently (3 daughters and 4 sons) and have experienced the loss of two children at birth.
Henry (b. 1753, m. 1775)
Claire (wife) (b. 1758, m. 1775)
Eliza (daughter) (b. 1775)
Andrew (son) (b. 1777)
Paul (son) (b. 1781)
Jameson (son) (b. 1782)
Cadence (daughter) (b. 1784)
Pender (son) (b. 1784, d. 1784)
Abraham (son) (b. 1786, d. 1786)
Morris (son) (b. 1788)
Abigail (daughter) (b. 1788)
Abraham (father) (b. 1710, m.1750, d. 1785)
Eliza (mother) (b. 1727, m. 1750, presently living)
William (grandfather) (b. 1691, m. unknown, d. 1772)
(still deciding on an avatar)
- Assets linking to this character: Worthington Manor & Stables