Thomas Hickling was a young American businessman who moved to Sao Miguel in 1769, after a falling out with his conservative father over the younger Hickling’s active support for the Revolution.
He married twice. First in 1764 in Boston, to Sara Green, of Boston – 2 children were born to this marriage. Thomas just was 19 years old.
1) Catarina, who married William Prescott in 1793, and was mother of the famous historian, William Hickling Prescott (see photo below).
2) Guilherme (William) who died in 1794
Hickling left America in October 1769 and never returned. His first wife never visited the Azores. She died in 1774.
In 1778 Thomas Hickling, then a widower, married Sara Falder. According to the article*, Sara Falder was from Philadelphia, and tradition has it that Sara was the daughter of a ship’s Captain. On a voyage to India, the Captain had on board the ship his daughter and his wife. The wife became ill and the mother and daughter were left in Ponta Delgada, and supposedly were to be picked up on the return voyage. The father and the ship were never heard from again and it was supposed that the ship had been lost at sea.
(*An article about Tomas Hickling, by Dr. Joao H. Anglin, a descendant. It is from “Insulana” which is an organ of the Instituto Cultural of Ponta Delaga. The names in this article were written in Portuguese)
The (US) Continental Congress had maintained contact with the Azores to coordinate the travel of US emissaries seeking to gain European support for the Revolution, and in 1777 Thomas Truxtun and the Continental Navy sloop Independence took three British “prizes” off the coast.
President George Washington appointed the first official U.S. Consul, John Street, in 1795, when Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State. After John Street was named Consul in Horta, Thomas Hickling was appointed Vice Consul in Ponta Delgada, also in 1795.
Of the marriage to Sara Falder, 16 children were born. Five of them died before their tenth birthday.
Maria Hickling, married John Anglin of Cork
Tomas Hickling (junior) died 10 Oct 1875. He was 93 years old and his father’s successor as American Vice Consul.
Sara Clarisse Hickling (twin of Isabel Flora) married William Shelton Burnett.
Isabel Flora Hickling (twin of Sara Clarisse) married William Ivens.
Ana Joaquina Hickling married John Anglin, widower of her sister, Maria Hickling.
Carlota Sofia Hickling married Jacinto Soares de Albergaria
Francisca Hickling, died less than 10 years old and was the twin of Maria Ana who married Dr. Joaquim Antonio de Paula Medeiros.
Harriet Federica Hickling married dr. John White Webster
Amelia Clementine Hickling married two times. 1) Hugo Chambers 2) Tomas Nyes of New Bedford.
Maria Ana Hickling married for the second time William Ivens, widower of her sister Isabel Flora
Guilherme Anglin Hickling married twice 1) unknown 2) Jessie Green of Scotland
Thomas Hickling (senior) died 31 Aug 1834. He was 91 years old. He was buried in the British Cemetery in Ponta Delgada. His son, Thomas, who was his successor was buried in same tomb. He died 10 Oct 1875. he was 94 years old. [SIC]
Sara Falder outlived her husband and she also is buried in the British Cemetery. She died 20 Oct 1872. She was 75 years old.
According to Insulana, a descendant of T. Hickling is Otmar U. Seeman, a lawyer in Winnipeg, Canada, and Antonio da Camara Melo Cabral, a resident in Ponta Delgada.
Hickling was an energetic entrepreneur and left mementos and stories that survive to this day. One is a rock with his name carved into it and the date “1770” that is situated near one of the bubbling volcanic pools in the city of Furnas.
He also left other tangible reminders: a summer palace he called “Yankee Hall” in Furnas which became the genesis of the now world-class formal gardens of the Terra Nostra Hotel and the first U.S. Consulate building in Ponta Delgada, which is now the Hotel Sao Pedro, a school for hoteliers.
His principal residence, in severe disrepair, can still be seen in the city of Livramento, a suburb of Ponta Delgada.