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A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON. 

{Frontispiece, ) 



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A GODCHILD 

9 

OF WASHINGTON 



A Picture of the Past 



By 
KATHARINE SCHUYLER BAXTER 



Profusely Ulustr ated. 



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Ptfblished by Subscriptioa 



F. TENNYSON NEELY, Publisher 

96 Queen Street 114 Fifth Avenue 

London ' ^j ' ' New York 



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Copyright, 1897, 

BY 

KATHARINE SCHUYLER BAXTER, 



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TO THE 

DESCENDANTS OF THOSE PATRIOTS 

WHO FORMED 

THIRTEEN SCATTERED AND DEPENDENT COLONIES 

INTO A POWERFUL AND BENEFICENT STATE, 

THIS VOLUME IS 

LOYALLY DEDICATED 



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A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

On the parish register of the Reformed Dutch Church in Albany, N. Y., may 
be seen the following record of baptism on March 4th, 1781, by the Reverend 
Eilardus Westerlo : 

OuDERS (Parents). Kinderen (Children). Getuigen (Witnesses). 

Philip Schuyler, Catharine Van Rensselaer. Geo. Washington, 

Catharine Van Rensselaer. James Van Rensselaer, 

Mrs. Washington, 
Margarita Schuyler. 



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LIST OF ILLUSTEATIONS 



PAGB 

Catharine V. R. Schuyler— A Godchild 

of Washington . . . Frontispiece, 
Pieter Schuyler, ist Mayor of Albany . 15 

The Flatts 17 

Van Slichtenhorst Arms , . .18 
Ten Eyck Schuyler Mansion . . .22 
Indian Medal ..... 24 

Indian Medal 24 

The Dutch Church . . . -25 

Schuyler Arms 27 

Bradstreet Arms 34 

Philip Schuyler 37 

Birthplace of Philip Schuyler . . 39 

The Crailo 41 

Lord Howe ...••. 46 
Volckert Peter Douw . . • • 52 

Wolven Hoeck 56 

Douw Arms . . , . , .61 

George Clinton 66 

Mrs. Clinton 69 

De Lancey Mansion • . . .76 

Book Plate 77 

Cadwallader Golden • • • . 80 

Golden Arms 82 

John Jay 86 

Mrs. John Jay 89 

Bedford . . • • • 93 

The Jay Seal 94 

James Duane 96 

Mrs. James Duane . . . .99 

View of " Old Hand Organ " . . 103 

Duane Arms 107 

Robert R. Livingston .... 109 
Mrs. Robert R. Livingston. — Mother of 
Chancellor Livingston . . .113 









PAGE 


Clermont 119 


Livingston Arms . 






120 


Gouverneur Morris 






122 


Washington's Headquarters . 






129 


Morris Arms 






130 


Francis Lightfoot Lee . 






132 


Stratford Hall.— (Birthplace 


ofth 


eLee 




Family) .... 






134 


Lee Arms .... 






137 


Colonial Money . 






138 


Colonial Money . 






139 


Richard Montgomery . 






H5 


Major-General Henry Knox 






151 


Benjamin Franklin 






>57 


Birthplace of B. Franklin 






. 160 


Mrs. Franklin 






. 161 


Samuel Chase 






. 165 


Charles Carroll . 






. 169 


Carroll Manor House . 






. 171 


David Rittenhouse 






• 175 


Schuyler's Country Residenc 


e 




. 191 


Saratoga Monument . 






. 195 


Schuyler Mansion 






. acx> 


Tomahawk Mark 






. 201 


Gen, Burgoyne . 






. 205 


Gen. Reidesel 






. 206 


Richard Varick . 






.. 209 


Alexander Hamilton . 






. 214 


Mrs. Hamilton . • 






. 217 


Hamilton Arms . 






. 222' 


Hamilton " Grange " . 






. 228 


Hamilton Trees . 






. 230 


Gen. Washington 






. 232 


Mrs. Washington 






. 235 


Mount Vernon 






. 237 



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10 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Washing* ^n's Headquarters, Newburgh, 

N. Y 

George Washington's Book Plate . 

La Fayette 

La Fayette Medals 

Kosciuszko. — From a sketch made by 

himself 

Baron Steuben .... 
Baron Steuben's Residence. — " The 

Palace of logs." 
Philip Van Cortlandt . 
Van Cortlandt Arms 
Gertruyd Van Cortlandt.— 1688- 1 777 
The Beekman House, Rhinebeck, N. Y 
Van Cortlandt Manor House 
Van Cortlandt Silver 
Van Cortlandt Mansion 
Philipse Manor House, Yonkers, N. Y, 
Philip Ver Planck 
The Ver Planck House.— " Mount Gu 

lian." 

Ver Planck Arms .... 

Rufus King 

Residence of Rufus King, Jamaica, L. I 

Morgan Lewis .... 

" Staatsburgh." .... 

Timothy Pickering 

Mrs. Pickering .... 

The Pickering House . 

A Batteau . . . 

King Hendrick .... 

Fort Johnson .... 

Fort Plain Blockhouse . 

Old Stone Church 

Barry St. Leger .... 

Thayendanega .... 

Gen. Herkimer.-" I will face the enemy 

Gen. Peter Gansevoort . 

A Souvenir of St. Leger's Retreat. Au 

gust 22d, 1777 .... 
Flag of Second New York Regiment 

War of the Revolution 
Brigadier-General Marinus Willett 
Battle Island .... 

Forts erected by Gen. Shirley. — 1755 

James Kent 

Brockholst Livingston . 
Catharine Van Rensselaer . 
•'Omnibus Effulgio." Van Rensselaer 

Arms 

Jeremias Van Rensselaer. Married Maria 

Van Cortlandt, 1662 . 
Stephen Van Rensselaer HL (Patroon 

of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck.) 
Margarita Schuyler. (Wife of Stephen 

Van Rensselaer HL) 



254 

255 
258 
266 

270 

274 

277 
281 
2S4 
286 
288 
293 
295 
297 
299 

303 

308 
309 
315 
317 
321 
326 
328 
33' 
339 
340 
341 

346 
347 
350 
353 
358 
364 

371 

372 
375 
379 
381 
383 
393 
397 

401 

405 

411 

415 



(White 



Van Rensselaer Manor House 

Hall of Van Rensselaer Manor House 

Diagram of Centuries . 

Old Schuyler Silver, 1650. (Snuffers' 

Stand.) . 
William Malcolm 
Washington's Headquarters. 

Plains. N. Y.) . 
Malcolm Arms 
John, Cochran 
The Cochran House 
Cochran Arms 

Catharine V. R.Schuyler.— 1806 
Lake Ontario . . , 
Catharine Ten Broeck 
George W. P. Custis 
G. W. P. Custis Arms 
Arlington House . 
William Heathcote de Lancey 
De Lancey Arms . 
Hamilton Fish 
The Birthplace of Hamilton 

21 Stuyvesant Street 
Book Plate . 
Washington Irving 
Sunnyside . 
Benson John Lossing . 
Residence of B. J. Lossing. 

Ridge." . 
William Henry Seward 
Seward Arms 
Horatio Seymour 
The Deerfield Farm 
Gerrit Smith 
Residence of Gerrit Smith, 

N. Y. 



Fish. No. 



William Leete Stone . 

The Stone House 

Stone Arms 

Reuben Hyde Walworth 

The Walworth Residence, 

N. Y. 
Walworth Arms . 
Erie Canal Medal 
Erie Canal Medal 
De Witt Clinton . 
Joseph Addison . 
Sir Richard Steele 
Edmund Burke . 
George III. 
Hugh Blair 
Alexander Pope . 
Battle of Erie 
Voltaire 
The Medicine Chest 



"The 



" Glen Davie 

Peterboro, 



Saratoga, 



PAGE 

417 
418 

430 

433 
441 

444 
446 

450 
468 
469 
471 
473 
476 

489 
49a 
494 
496 

499 
501 

504 
507 
509 

5'3 
516 

520 

523 
535 
537 
541 
550 

553 

560 
560 
562 

564 
570 

571 
571 

580 
594 
598 
603 
618 
623 
631 
637 
650 



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COITENTS 



CHAPTER I. 
The Dutch Family of Schuyler. Period 1650-1733 13 

CHAPTER II. 
Philip Schuyler. Period 1733-1768 36 

CHAPTER III. 
Period 1768-1774 62 

CHAPTER IV. 
Period 1774-1775 83 

CHAPTER V. 
Period 1775-1776 140 

CHAPTER VI. 
Distinguished Guests 155 

CHAPTER VII. 
Period 1776-1777 182 

CHAPTER VIII. 
The Schuyler Mansion at Albany 200 

CHAPTER IX. 
Alexander Hamilton . . 215 

CHAPTER X. 
George Washington 233 

CHAPTER XI. 
Distinguished Foreigners 256 

CHAPTER XII. 
Philip van Cortlandt of Van Cortlandt Manor 280 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Period 1777-1790 , 312 

CHAPTER XIV. 
A Batteau Voyage in 1796 340 

CHAPTER XV. 
Illustrious Jurists 382 

11 



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12 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XVI. 
Catharine Van Rensselaer. Mrs. Phiup Schuyler 395 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Period 1790-1804 425 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
Catharine V. R. Schuyler. Her Marruges 438 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Catharine V. R. Schuyler. Her Home at Oswego 470 

CHAPTER XX. 
Distinguished Friends \ 488 

CHAPTER XXL 
The Erie Canal 571 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Extracts from the Shelves of Old Books 581 

Catharine V. R. Schuyler.— Her Interests in Life and Closing Days .... 650 



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A GODCHILD OP WASHINGTON 



CHAPTER I 

the dutch family of schuyler 

Period i 650-1 733 

A GRAND wave of patriotism has swept over the country in the past two dec- 
ades, and Societies have been formed to honor those whose sacrifices of life and 
fortune laid the foundation of its prosperity and greatness. There are a few old 
landmarks left of the Colonial period, when nations and communities were as 
distant from each other as they were at the beginning of the Christian Era. 
Within the broad territory of New York State are memorable spots rich in his- 
toric interest. 

Chancellor Kent in his biographical sketch of his close personal friend, Major- 
General Philip Schuyler, writes : ** The Dutch family of Schuyler stands con- 
spicuous in our colonial annals. Colonel Peter Schuyler was mayor of Albany 
and commander of the Northern militia in 1690. He was distinguished for his 
probity and activity in all the various duties of civic and military life. No man 
understood better the relation of the Colony with the Five Nations of Indians, 
or had more decided influence with the confederacy. He had frequently chas- 
tised the Canadian French for their destructive incursions upon the frontier set- 
tlements ; his zeal and energy were rewarded by a seat in the Provincial Council ; 
and the House of Assembly gave their testimony to the British Court of his faith- 
ful services and good reputation. It was this same vigilant officer who gave in- 
telligence to the inhabitants of Deerfield, on the Connecticut river, of the de- 
signs of the French and Indians upon them, not long before the destruction of 
that village in 1704. In 1720, as President of the Council, he became acting 
Governor of the Colony for a short time previous to the accession of Governor 
Burnet. In 1743, his son, Colonel Philip Schuyler, was an active and efficient 
member of Assembly for the city and county of Albany." (Continued in chap- 
ters 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13, and 17.) 

That exceedingly agreeable book "The American Lady" by Mrs. Grant* of 

>" Mrs. Grant was the daughter of Duncan McVickar, and was born in 1755. Her father 
came to this country in 1757, as an officer in the fifty-first regiment of the British army. In 
the following year, 1758, Mrs. McVickar and her daughter also arrived in New York; and 

13 



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14 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON. 

Laggan, Scotland, is in truth the bestskp^ch thus far written descriptive of the 
society of New York state, and its local history for the stirring period between 
the French and Indian and the Revolutionary Wars. 



"THE FLATTS" 

27ie /Residence of " The American Lady^* 

("Aunt Schuyler") 

" On the banks of the Hudson river, between the cities of Albany and Troy, 
which are now almost united into one, stands an old house, still doing duty as a 
substantial and pretty farm villa, yet which has passed through much history. 
It is the ancient country seat of the Schuylers of Albany. In 1650, after the 
rougher work of founding Rensselaer wyck, as Albany was called, under Dutch 
rule, had been performed by the earlier colonists, there came out to the place a 
young man of Amsterdam, educated, arms-bearing, noble by birth, in the con- 
tinental sense, and a friend of Van Rensselaer the Patron Lord of the seignory. 
In 1672, he purchased the land which, with some additions from the Indians and 
others, made up the estate, called 'The Flatts,' a possession having about two 
miles front on the river, and upon which he shortly built this country house. 
Following the original j^ace policy of Arent Van Corlear, it was the friendly 
and far-seeing policy of this man, Philip Pietersen Van Schuyler, commandant 
of the militia of Albany and Schenectady (under the Dutch he had been 
magistrate) which laid the foundation of the influence of the British over the 
Iroquois, which was later to play so momentous a part for the colonies against 
France, and, in fact, perhaps decided the 'event. In his time the house was 

speedily after removed to Claverack, opposite Albany, where she resided while Mr. McVickar 
was absent on military service with his regiment. After which his family were first trans- 
ferred to Albany, thence subsequently were stationed at Oswego. 

«* The description of that romantic journey, as given in the American Lady, from Schenectady 
to Oswego, in flat-bottomed boats, is one of Mrs. Grant's most pleasing efforts ; and excited 
great attention when the volume was first published in London, in 1808. Those youthful re- 
membrances rendered her extensively known in this country, and were additionally interesting 
to Americans, because at that period it was the only work which delineated a faithful picture 
of the manners of the early settlers in the Province of New York. Indeed, without that nar- 
rative, there would be a complete chasm in our social history of the times anterior to the 
Revolution. Her anecdotes of the Cuylers, Schuylers, Van Rensselaers, and other dis- 
tinguished Dutch families of Albany, and its vicinity, gave universal satisfaction. 

«« In 1810, Mrs. Grant removed from London to Edinburgh, where, during thirty years, her 
house was the resort of the best society of Scotland. American citizens always considered 
themselves obliged to pay their respects to her ; and it was a privilege to have an interview 
with that lady, for she always received them with manifest attention and regard. Calm and 
resigned, she ceased to live in 1838, being then eighty -five years of age." 

A new edition of this valuable work has recently been published by D. Appleton & Co., 
New York. 



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PIETER SCHUYLER, ist MAYOR OF ALBANY. 



{Pag, IS) 



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THE DUTCH FAMILY OF SCHUYLER 



17 



considered, doubtless, a large and elegant one. To-day its proportions are com- 
paratively modest, especially since the reduction of one story. 

"Schuyler married, soon after his arrival, Margarita Van Schlichtenhorst, 
the daughter of the Director of the Colon ie, a man of ancient family, whose 
daughter inherited, and passed down to her descendants, a prompt spirit of 
courage. In 1690, when the usurping Governor Leisler sent his son-in-law. 
Captain Milbourne, to take over the fort at Albany, in the absence of her son, 
who was its commander, she drove the Captain out of the fort and kept control 
herself till the return of the colonel. Their sons and daughters, who were 




THE FI.ATTS. 

numerous, intermarried with the chief families of Dutch seignors, such as the 
Van Cortlandts, Livingstons, Van Rensselaers, and others, the possessors of im- 
mense manors, established by the policy of the crown, on the English system, 
for, as Parkman remarks. New York was 'aristocratic in both form and spirit.* 
It was a mild and inoppressive regime, however. There was little that was 
harmful about its feudality. 

" The house next descended to Pieter, Philip's eldest son, following a custom 
of primogeniture, other property being apportioned to the rest. In 1688, 
Pieter, at the age of thirty-two, obtained a royal charter for Albany, and was 



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18 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



appointed its first mayor, an office equivalent to governor, being a crown ap- 
pointment and having military and administrative powers over a large district, 
in fact equivalent to the lieutenant-governorship of the upper end of the prov- 
ince. He was also Indian Commissioner like his father. The Iroquois then 
formed a powerful confederacy, stretched throughout the northern region of 
New York, and were in nearly constant war with the French. In the winter of 
1689, the latter attacked the English colonies by three expeditions sent without 
warning, and at midnight committed the massacre and sack of Schenectady, a 
small freeholder's village, near Albany. It was then the house of the Schuylers 
began its great public history. The mayor gathered volunteers and pursued the 




VAN SCLICHTENHORST ARMS. 

Prench, but it was too late. At the suggestion of the Schuylers, expressed 
through an embassy to Boston, consisting of the brother-in-law and the nephew 
of Mayor Pieter, the British colonies combined for an invasion of Canada the 
following summer, — by sea, under Phipps, and by land, by way of Albany and 
Lake Champlain, under General Winthrop, of Massachusetts. The Schuylers, 
looked to as the natural leaders of the people, actively arranged the local de- 
tails. Difficulties proved too great, and the expedition fell through. Abraham, 
one of the brothers, had, however, in the spring penetrated, with eight Iroquois, 
into the Canadian settlements. Another brother, Captain John, then aged 
twenty-two years, grandfather of the General, volunteered to Winthrop to lead 
a band and strike at least some blow against the enemy. With twenty-nine 
whites, and one hundred and twenty Iroquois he penetrated to Laprairie, oppo- 



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THE DUTCH FAMILY OF SCHUYLER 19 

site Montreal, burned the crops, took prisoners, and only did not attack the fort 
because his Indians refused to fight in the open. This daring raid was the ear- 
liest land invasion of New France. The house was fortified so that its palisades 
could garrison one hundred men, and became more than ever a place of Indian 
councils. Next year (1691) the warlike mayor started with a small but better 
expedition of two hundred and sixty-six men, determined to strike a blow. 
This was particularly necessary, inasmuch as the Iroquois had of late years 
come to despise the British for their inactivity against the French, and had 
grown tired of defending alone the common frontier. The story of Pieter's 
gallant attack on Fort Laprairie in this expedition, and of his second battle in 
the woods when he told his men to ' fight for their King and the honor of the 
Protestant Religion ' is told in Parkman's * Frontenac and Canada under Louis 
XIV.' It was, said Frontenac himself, *the strongest and most vigorous do- 
ing which has taken place since the establishment of the colony.' John. Nel- 
son, an English gentleman, who had been taken prisoner, with three ships of 
his, by the French on the coast of Maine, arrived at Quebec about the time the 
news was received there. In his memorial to the English Government on the 
state of the colonies, he says : * In an action performed by one Skyler, of 
Albanie, whilst I arrived at Quebec, in the year 1621, when he made one of the 
most vigorous and glorious attempts that had been made in those parts, with 
great slaughter on the enemy's part and loss on his own, in which, if he had 
not been discovered by accident, it is very probable he would have become mas- 
ter of Montreal. I have heard the thing so much reported in his honor by the 
French that, had the like been done by any other nation, he could never have 
missed of an acknowledgment and reward from the court.' This Nelson him- 
self, by the by, though a prisoner, was lodged and entertained by Frontenac in 
his own house, 'because,' says the Baron La Hontan, in his letters, * he was 
a very gallant man.' 

** From that time forward no man's influence could weigh with the Iroquois 
against that of Pieter Schuyler. At times they would refuse to proceed with 
their councils till the governor had sent for his, and long after his death they 
regretfully recalled 'our brother Quidor (Pieter) — who always told the truth 
and never spoke without thinking.' Throughout the long period of his life he 
never ceased to plan an act for the protection of the whole of the colonies 
against the French. The French historian, Garneau, on this account calls him 
* the bloodthirsty enemy of the French-Canadians. * Such a term, however, is un- 
just to a sincere and humane man. He did only his duty as an officer and active 
statesman, and no such accusation was leveled at him at the time. Indeed he did 
his best to arrange with the French governors for an agreement to cease the use of 
Indian auxiliaries in their wars, on account of the horrors and cruelties incident 
to the custom. His proposal was refused, and the wars continued under their 
traditional conditions. In 1710, he found the Iroquois so disheartened and so 
nearly on the verge of making a treaty of alliance with the French, — who told 
them their own king was a great monarch, but that the English were a nation of 



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20 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

shopkeepers, governed by a woman — that he urged the colonies to send a depu- 
tation of the chiefs to England. Five went across accompanied by himself 
(they insisted that their * brother Quidor ' should go also) and the tribes were 
charmed beyond expectation with their report. The chiefs themselves created 
a great sensation in London. They were styled ' Indian Kings/ and refer- 
ences to them are found in the Spectator, 

** Schuyler became while there a favorite with Queen Anne. She urgently 
desired to knight him, and presented him with his portrait (life-size), and with 
plate and diamonds for his wife, which remain among his descendants. Handed 
down by primogeniture the portrait still exists upon the estate, and forms one of 
the heirlooms of the family. His reasons for refusing knighthood were quaint. 
At first he said he had brothers not so well off as himself who might feel 
humbled ; afterward, he added that he feared it might make some of his ladies 
vain. In 171 1, he organized another invasion of Canada with Captain Vetch, 
Governor of Annapolis, an able officer, who had married his niece, * a Living- 
ston of the Manor ; ' and with General Nicholson, who had been Governor of 
the Province, and also was Vetch's uncle. They were to cooperate by land 
from Albany with the fleet of Sir Hovenden Walker which proceeded up the 
gulf, against Quebec. As the fleet was destroyed by storm, the army disbanded. 
It is generally overlooked that Vetch's ideas, and the entire invasion, — came 
from the Schuylers. Pieter was twice Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. 
He died in 1724. Kingsford, the Canadian historian says of him and his 
brother John that 'except the Schuylers, and perhaps Vetch,' the British col- 
onies produced no statesmen above mediocrity. Pieter and John were in fact, 
the two greatest and broadest-minded men of the colonial period. 

** For the same reasons Bancroft styles Pieter *the Washington of his times.' 

*' Colonel John, the General's grandfather, has been eclipsed by his brother. 
He was equally brave and his gallantry in the first land invasion of Canada, 
stands well beside Pieter's. He, too, was Mayor of Albany. In 1697, he was 
an envoy to Count Frontenac, with the clergyman Dellius. The letter they bore 
from Earl Bellomont, the Governor of New York, stated that as a mark of special 
esteem to the Count he sent these two, who were ' men of consideration and 
merit.' He devoted his life to the service of the colonies, warning New Eng- 
land of attacks like that upon Deerfield, and making journeys to Canada to 
rescue captives. The pathetic story of his attempts to recover the child of 
Eunice Williams from the Canadian Indians sheds great credit on his kindness 
of heart. 

'* Still another brother, Colonel Arent, distinguished himself as an officer on the 
frontier. He then retired to an estate obtained by him near Newark, New Jersey, 
where he became very rich through a copper mine discovered upon his property by 
a negro slave, and founded the New Jersey Schuylers or Schuylers of Newark. 
His sons and grandsons were noted as citizens or officers. His granddaughter 
married an Earl of Cassilis. 

** To return to Albany, the next generation saw the manor house in the pos- 



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THE DUTCH FAMILY OF SCHUYLER 21 

session of Colonel Philip, Jr., the Honorable Pieter*s eldest son. He continued 
the influence over the Indians and, as his tombstone has it, ' was a Gentleman 
improved in several public employments,' but ill health made him cease these 
and suggest to the Government the appointment of a friend and connection of 
the family, the afterward celebrated Sir William Johnson, as Superintendent of 
Indian aflairs. The Colonel's wife, who was also a Schuyler, being a daughter 
of John, continued their reputation for extraordinary energy. She is well- 
known in colonial history by the cognomen of ' The American Lady.* 
Under her regime the house became yet more the centre of military movements 
against Canada. There she constantly entertained the army officers, and in- 
formed them on the condition of the country and the necessities of forest war- 
fare, how to treat the Indian allies, fight and march successfully in the woods, 
and deal with difficulties of transportation in the wild regions of the north. 
The unfortunate Lord Howe • the earlier Wolfe ' became in particular her 
favorite pupil, and introduced her reforms of dress, equipment and tactics into 
the army, in place of the ridiculous costumes and unsuitable movements which 
had brought such disaster on the army of the headstrong Braddock. It was to 
this house that poor Howe was brought back dead from Abercrombie's attack 
on Ticonderoga, which would have resulted very differently had he lived. Be- 
side Howe, says Mrs. Grant (the Scottish authoress, whose father Captain 
McVickar, about this period occupied a farm on the estate) Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 
Lord Loudoun, General Bradstreet, Sir Thomas Gage, and every officer of dis- 
tinction throughout North America, were intimate at the house, and no impor- 
tant public measure was taken without the governors of the province consulting 
the Schuylers. 

*' Among ' The American Lady's ' favorite nephews were two who afterward 
became generals — one, Philip Schuyler, on the * patriot ' side of the Revolution, 
the other Brigadier-General Cuyler, on the Loyalists side. The latter was, in 
later times. Governor of Cape Breton. A niece. Miss Stephenson, married 
General Gabriel Christie, one of the heroes of Quebec, and Commander-in- 
Chief of Canada. 

'* The front portion of the house was burned in 1763. When the time came 
to restore it. General Bradstreet sent a force of men to assist the work, saying * he 
considered that his men were on the King's service in rebuilding Mrs. Schuyler's 
house.' The present front seems to be a story lower than the old one, which 
was described as having two stories and an attic, beside a * sunk story ' or base- 
ment. The whole is of brick and hip-roofed in the Dutch manner. The 
front door is divided laterally into two halves, in place of vertically as with Eng- 
lish doors. Before the fire, the building appears to have been somewhat more 
ornamented, but doubtless in her later years she cared little for looks. 

"The American Lady remained during the Revolution a stanch Loyalist. A 
piece out of one of the front window shutters is still an evidence of the malice of 
a ' patriot ' soldier on this account. At the fall of Montreal two of the family. 
Colonels of their regiment, were * in at the death.' Another had fallen fighting 



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22 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



the French before St. Johns, Newfoundland. Another still, a son of John, 
died defending, single-handed, his fortified house at Saratoga against the force 
of Marin in 1748, refusing all quarter, and is styled in the French account * a 
brave man, who, if he had twenty more like himself, would not have been seriously 
incommoded.' He well kept the family motto * Semper Fidelis.' 

"The house also frequently saw General Philip Schuyler, whose strategy, 
culminating in the battle of Saratoga, decided the war of the Revolution. The 
miserable intrigue of Gates which deprived him of command at the moment of 
fruition has not succeeded in detracting from his glory, and Daniel Webster 
deliberately adjudicates him the place next to Washington. A man of wealth 




TEN EYCK SCHUYLER MANSION. 

and honor, and a Major in the British army, he became a * patriot' from con- 
viction, threw everything into the scale and drew with him the families of Van 
Rensselaer, Van Cortlandt and Livingston, who, possessed, with his own, the 
preponderating influence in the Province ; thus contributing the vitally neces- 
sary adhesion of New York to the cause. His manor house of Saratoga, to- 
gether with his mills and other property, were uselessly burned by order of 
General Burgoyne in his advance from the north, an ill deed which he returned 
by kindly hospitality to the British general when a prisoner. 

** The claim of the Schuylers in history is a large one. No family did more 
for the making of America. None were so imperial in their views and plans. 



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THE DUTCH FAMILY OF SCHUYLER 23 

To have been such a factor in breaking, first the power of France and then the 
power of Britain on this continent is a record not easily matched and there is 
none therefore which can successfully dispute with them the right to be called 
' the greatest family of the New World.' 

"So much for the old house itself and the scenes connected with it. For 
two centuries and a quarter ' The Flatts ' have been handed down from father 
to son. Within a few miles around it are scattered What may be styled its own 
descendants. Upon the estate in rear are the larger mansions of the eldest 
lines. At the other end of Albany is the grand old house of General Philip 
Schuyler. Its broad halls are fitting repository of the memorable scenes of 
Burgoyne's and Riedesel's stay, of Alexander Hamilton's wedding, which took 
place there to a daughter of the General, and of many other historical tradi- 
tions. It appears as sound to-day as when first erected. Not so far away stood 
until recently the beautiful manor house of the Van Rensselaers, the Patroons 
of Albany, built in 1765, a gem of Renaissance architecture. 

'* Another * child ' of the house is the Ten Eyck Schuyler mansion, (sometimes 
called the * Old Hoyle House,' or ' Lighthall House ') which stands out prom- 
inent across the river. The building is in a dismantled state ; the trees and 
gardens are gone ; and the whole spot is now used as a railroad shunting ground. 
The wing behind was occupied by the slaves. It, though not so old, is the 
chief historic relic of the city of Troy. 

''Such is the history of an ancient house and a brave line. The old 
problems are solved, the old passions have long since found peace, the old 
swords are rust ; but such records do us no harm, but only good, to remember, 
— for is it not the silent homily of every honorable deed and life to fellow-men : 
Be thou, too, honorable." 

By W. D. SCHUYLER-LlGHTHALL, 

(A direct descendant of Philip Pieterson Van Schuyler.) 

THE GANIATARECHO SILVER MEDAL AND CHAIN 

"The Indians of New York state are divided into two families; the Algon- 
quins, who resided on the east and west banks of the Hudson river, south of 
Albany, and the Iroquois, occupying the country north, east and west of Albany. 
The Iroquois confederation consisted of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, 
Cayugas, and Senecas, the most powerful of the five tribes. In 17 14-15 the 
confederacy received an accession of numbers and strength by the addition of 
the Tuscaroras, a kindred tribe of North Carolina, who had been badly treated 
by the Colonists, and emigrated to New York. Thenceforth the allies were 
known as the Six Nations. For aid rendered to the British Government in its 
wars with the French in Canada, five handsome medals and heavy chains were 
presented to prominent chiefs of the confederacy by King George the Second, 
through Lieutenant-Governor James de Lancey. One of these now lying before 
the writer, was given to Ganiatarecho, a war chief of the Mohawks. It is ob- 



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A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 




INDIAN MEDAL. 

Robert Weir's painting of the Seneca 
chief, who was celebrated in verse by 
Fitz-Greene Halleck." 

General James Grant Wilson. 

(The Schuyler family Had exercised 
great influence over the Indian tribes 
of New York state for more than a 
hundred years ; General Schuyler had 
been in command of the Northern 
Department and was well-known and 
beloved by the Red men, and particu- 
larly by the Mohawks. After the death 
of the last chief of this tribe, who died 
without heirs, the medal was presented 
to the General as a token of their 
esteem, and has remained in the posses- 
sion of the family to the present day.) 

the dutch church 
"The Dutch church, to which refer- 
ence has been made, stood at the junc- 



long, and about twice the size of a silver 
dollar, with a heavy chain attached to 
it nearly three feet in length. The 
obverse of the medal bears a representa- 
tion of the King and Queen of Great 
Britain, and a crown surrounded by the 
legend, * George and Caroline, K. and 
Q. of England.' On the reverse is 
seen the names of the five chiefs, 
Ganiatarecho being second on the list, 
and the date, 1750. This interesting 
relic was recently found among the 
effects of General Schuyler, by his de- 
scendant, the late John Schuyler, for 
many years Secretary of the New York 
Society of the Cincinnati. General 
Ely S. Parker, who died August 31st, 
1895, grandson of Red Jacket, usually 
described as the last of the Senecas, 
possessed a similar silver medal, pre- 
sented to the great orator by General 
Washington. It is represented in 




INDIAN MEDAL. 



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THE DUTCH FAMILY OF SCHUYLER 



25 



tion of State street and Broadway, commanding both thoroughfares as a security 
against Indians. The windows were high from the ground, as it was too far 
from Fort Orange to be protected by its guns, and hence must guard against 
sudden atack. The men carried their arms to service, and sat in the gallery, in 
order to be able to fire from the windows. The more venerable were seated on 
a raised platform against the walls, and the women sat out of danger's way in 
the centre. The church was replaced by a new one in 1715, and tradition says 
the new church was built around the old ; and while the former was building, 
service was held in the latter and interrupted for only two Sabbaths. The new 
edifice was the exact counterpart of the old, except in size, and its being of 




THE DUTCH CHURCH. 

stone. There was the same arrangement and separation of the sexes. But now 
the congregation was a wealthier one, and several of the windows bore family 
arms in colored glass. There were the Schuyler, Douw, Van Rensselaer, and 
others. Each window had a heavy wooden shutter, fastened with a latch, and 
was never opened except on Sunday. The roof was very steep, and surmounted by a 
belfry and weathercock.*' DominieWesterlo was the beloved preacher. He arrived 
in this country from Holland in the latter part of the year 1760, and entered 
upon the pastoral charge. He became one of the most eminent ministers of the 
Dutch Church in America, and died in 1790, at the early age of fifty- three 
years, in the thirty-first of his ministry, greatly beloved and lamented by his 



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26 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

people. The church was demolished in 1806, but the old pulpit still remains 
in existence, and is a very interesting relic. It was sent over from Holland in 
1656, and was continued in service of the church for one hundred and fifty 
years. It is constructed of oak, octagonal in form, about four feet high and 
three feet in diameter. * 'Although in a dismounted state, and rather off at the 
hinges, it is otherwise in a very good state! of preservation." The Dominie used 
the bracket on the front of this for his hour-glass. 

THE SCHUYLER ** ARMS " * 

"The coat-of-arms on the old church window (1656) is unquestionably cor- 
rect. What was done about the window was this : The gentry of Albany were 
appealed to by the people as their traditional leaders, to build a church ; and 
were asked to have their * arms ' put on the windows as ornaments, the windows 
being donated by each family. Then, orders and information where the proper 
arms qould be learned, were sent to a proper glass firm in Holland, accustomed 
to the work and having a good draughtsman and heraldist employed. He was 
referred to relatives also for information. He asked for a copy of some old 
window or other authentic representation of the arms in Holland. This he de- 
signed properly, using his heraldic experience to keep it correct. I saw part of 
one of the arms myself, thus drawn on the glass of the old Albany church, and 
am certain some course was that followed, as the customs of old French Canada 
with which I am familiar, throw light on the manners of those days. Philip 
Pietersen Schuyler's uncle by marriage, the historian Van Schlichtenhorst possibly 
assisted in the matter. The bearing of coat armor in Holland proved at that 
time that the family were descended of a gentle stock, or as the continental na- 
tions termed it were noble, of ancient landed and presumably of chivalrous line- 
age. The antique and mediaeval character of their falcon emblem confirms this 
beyond a doubt. Heraldry existed to show exactly that class of facts. One 
writer would take the poetry out of them and make Philip Pietersen Van Schuy- 
ler a mere trader. Trading, however, had nothing to do with rank in Holland 
— and even in England at that time. In France they then pretended to draw 
such a distinction and it later crept into England, but Holland retained its com- 
mon sense, and its ancient families traded to their heart's content, turning back 
to fighting whenever desired. The manor of 'The Flatts' preserves to this 

> The arms of the Schuyler family are : Escutcheon argent, a falcon sable, hooded gules, 
beaked and membered or, perched up>on the sinister hand of the falconer, issued from the dex- 
ter side of the shield. The arm clothed azure, surmounted by a helmet of steel, standing in 
proBle, open-faced, three bars or, lined gules, bordered, flowered and studded or, orna- 
mented with its lambrequins argent lined sable. Crest — out of a wreath, argent and sable, a 
falcon of the shield. 

The noble lineage and opulence of the family, previous to the appearance in America of the 
first Colonist, is attested by ancient pieces of silver plate engraved with the family arms and 
date, still in the possession of the descendants of Philip Pietersen Van Schuyler. 



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THE DUTCH FAMILY OF SCHUYLER 



27 



day the traditions not alone of two centuries and more of New World antiquity 
but of immemorial chivalry as well as an unbroken line. As I have been 
brought up among the descendants of the French-Canadian seigneurs, I can in- 
terpret the Dutch Patroon feeling and institutions and notice where the average 
American fails to grasp the inner meaning or feeling of them. The Schuylers 
were a family of seigneurs, not of ordinary traders ; they had in modest fash- 
ion the feelings of the English squirearchy and the French nobles; their leader- 
ship in affairs of state and war was faken as a matter of course by their neigh- 
bors ; fighting and chivalry were bred in them, and came out in their conduct 
all through the French wars ; during the Revolution these things were for the 
first time questioned by the miserable element among the New Englanders, which 
showed its head in the intrigue of Gates. In the meantime the old Dutch chiv- 
alry had been somewhat modified in New York into a branch of the squirearchy 
of Great Britain, and that remained still fairly strong until say about 1840, 
speaking roughly; feudal tenures being abolished about 1847. All the rubbish 
written about the Albany men being all traders pure and simple, is ignorance. 
As might be expected, the New York squirearchy had a fine military record. 
Its earlier feats were those to be expected of chivalry transplanted to the New 
World, such as the splendid raids of the Schuylers into New France toward the 
end of the 17th century. ' I told them,' says Pieter's journal (at the opening 
of the first battle) 'they must fight for their King and the honor of the Prot- 
estant Religion.' What could be more worthy of Froissart's days ! " 

W. D. S-L. 




SCHUYLER ARMS. 



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28 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



JOHN BRADSTREET 

AN ENGLISH GENERAL 

** The Struggle between the French and English for supremacy on the Ameri- 
can continent, carried on with success fof a century and a half culminated in a 
conflict that for dramatic qualities excelled even the more momentous strife that 
was soon to follow. A vast primeval forest, intersected by rivers and interspersed 
with lakes, formed the gigantic theatre. Scions of the French and English no- 
bility, the regular troops in their resplendent uniform, the provincials in sombre 
and motley garb, and the Indians resplendent in feathers and war paint, consti- 
tuted the dramatis i>ersonse. 

*' A picturesque figure who played an important r61e in this conflict was John 
Bradstreet. His earliest ancestor of whom there is any record was the Reverend 
Simon Bradstreet of Horbling, Lincolnshire, at one time minister of a colony of 
non-conformists in Holland. Dying in 1680, the latter left three sons, one of 
whom, Samuel, was a graduate of Cambridge, and another, Simon, became the 
celebrated Governor of Massachusetts and the husband of the early American 
poetess, Anne Bradstreet. The third son, John, took part in the English Revo- 
lution, serving in Cromweirs army; and, receiving a grant of lands in County 
Kilkenny, Ireland, settled there. His grandson, the subject of this memoir, was 
born in 1711. Horbling, Lincolnshire, is usually given as the place of his birth. 
In 1735, he was commissioned ensign and sent by the British war office to Amer- 
ica to join the regiment of Colonel Phillips. The first engagement of importance 
in which he took part was the siege and capture of Louisburg in 1745. That he 
had in the interval shown himself worthy of military trust is indicated by the 
fact that at this important siege he was given command of Pepperell's provin- 
cial regiment, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, ' and contributed largely 
to the success of that expedition by his zeal, activity, and judgment, and his 
particular knowledge of the place.' In the autumn of the same year he was 
made captain in the regular British army, and in the following year he became 
Lieutenant Governor of St. Johns, Newfoundland, a sinecure which he retained 
till the close of his life. 

" As the final struggle with the French drew near, his military instincts seem 
to be again in evidence. In 1755, he served on the staff" of General Braddock 
and subsequently was Adjutant General and Commissary of the provincial forces 
under General Abercrombie.. It was not until 1756, however, that he was 
afforded another opportunity of displaying the spirit and address in military 
affairs for which he remains distinguished. In that year he undertook and car- 
ried to a successful issue a daring exploit against the Indians. An English gar- 
rison had been maintained at Oswego on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. 
For the purpose of keeping open future communication with it and of carrying 



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JOHN BRADSTBEET 29 

stores thither, Bradstreet, in command of two hundred provincial troops and 
about forty companies of boatmen, made his way to Oswego, suffering many 
hardships on the journey, and placed in the fort provisions and stores sufficient 
for tive thousand men for six months. On their return march, Bradstreet and 
only seven of his men had reached a small island in the Oswego river when he 
was attacked by a party of thirty French and Indians. The latter were repulsed, 
only to renew the attack on being reinforced. Again the enemy were compelled 
to flee. More of Bradstreet's men having in the meantime joined him, the 
French and Indians, now numbering about seventy, made a third onset, but 
after a warm contest, were again driven from the island. Even then Bradstreet's 
men were not allowed to proceed unmolested, for on quitting the island he found 
himself confronted by about four hundred of the enemy. At the head of two 
hundred and fifty troops he marched boldly forward to meet them, drove the 
enemy from their skulking places with considerable loss on their side, and then 
proceeded to Albany. 

'* In the following year Bradstreet seems to have been actively engaged by his 
duties as Deputy Quartermaster General at Albany, but the year 1758 was marked 
by much military activity on his part. He took part in the formidable but disastrous 
expedition against Ticonderoga under Abercrombie. Through his energetic prep- 
arations, the bateaux for carrying the troops over Lake George were ready by 
the time the necessary stores arrived from England. In the majestic journey 
down the Lake on July 5th, he was in the same boat with Lord Howe, and he 
accompanied the popular young nobleman when the latter, at the dawn of the 
6th, pushed forward to the attack in which he received the fatal bullet. When, 
after ineffectual sorties on the two following days, Abercrombie ordered a retreat 
on July 9th, the troops fled back to the landing place on Lake George and 
would have rushed pellmell into the boats but for Bradstreet's alertness and 
courage. At a council of war held the next day, burning with indignation at 
the thought of the defeat, he urged the execution of his long-cherished scheme 
of capturing Fort Frontenac, an important French post at the eastern end of 
Lake Ontario. This plan he had proposed during the preceding March and 
had been warmly supp6rted by Howe. Now he renewed his appeals, offering to 
conduct the expedition himself, and finally wrung from the council a reluctant 
consent. Commissioned by Abercrombie to lead three thousand men against 
Frontenac, he marched rapidly to Albany and thence up the Mohawk river to 
the Oneida carrying place, where two thousand, seven hundred troops and forty 
Indian warriors were added to his command. By way of Wood creek, Oneida 
lake and the Oswego river, he pushed forward to Lake Ontario. There his 
army embarked in open boats and creeping along the southern and eastern 
shores landed within a mile of the fort. This rapidity of movement took the 
garrison entirely by surprise. Aid from Montreal was sent for, but did not 
arrive in time. Bradstreet's batteries opened at so short a range that almost 
every shot took effect. The Indian allies of the French fled in dismay and on 
the evening of the second day of the attack, the fort and all its dependencies 



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30 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

were surrounded. One hundred prisoners and nine armed vessels were taken, 
and a large quantity of cannon, mortars, stores and merchandise. Loading his 
boats with these spoils, Bradstreet returned with his whole army to Albany and 
thence to Lake George. 

" The capture of Fort Frontenac was one of the most important events of the 
war. The practical value of it lay in the fact that the stores taken there had 
been intended for the supply of Fort Duquesne, and thus the fall of the latter 
garrison, which followed in the autumn, was greatly facilitated. This victory 
also secured to the English the dominion of Lake Ontario and paved the way 
for the possession of Niagara and the country beyond. Moreover the moral 
effect of this first distinct success for the English arms was considerable, for it 
inspired the army with confidence in a dark hour and carried corresponding dis- 
couragement to the French. 

*'The victorious movement thus inaugurated was continued the next year by 
General Amherst's successful expedition against Ticonderoga and Crown Point, 
in which also Bradstreet took part * as full Quartermaster General, to which 
position he had been appointed during the preceding year.' 

'' In 1760, Amherst and his army set out on his successful expedition against 
Montreal by way of Oswego, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence river. 
Bradstreet, still holding the office of Quartermaster General, followed his com- 
mander as far as Oswego, but being overcome by the return of an illness that 
had smitten the camp during the previous year, he remained there in the exer- 
cise of his official duties and at the end of the campaign returned to Albany. 
By that time, the inter-colonial war had ceased and the dominion of all the 
French possessions in North America was surrendered to the English. But a 
few embers of the conflagration still lived, and, fanned by the sagacity and zeal 
of Pontiac, the treacherous chief of the Ottawas, broke out again in a blaze of 
Indian ferocity. Detroit, one of only three of the frontier posts that did not 
fall into the hands of the merciless foe, was besieged for fifteen months. In the 
summer of 1764, an army under the command of General Bradstreet was sent to 
its relief. Embarking at Oswego, this expedition proceeded over Lake Ontario 
and the Niagara river and coasted along the south shore of Lake Erie. Near 
Presque Isle, Bradstreet was approached by some chiefs of the Delawares and 
Shawanoes. With them he entered into a preliminary treaty of peace, which 
was to be consummated later at Sandusky. The army then proceeded to De- 
troit, where they were received with tumultuous joy by the beleaguered garrison. 
Here a council with the Indians was held, which resulted in their peaceful sub- 
mission to the English. Detachments were also sent forward to the desolated 
posts of Michillimackinac, Green Bay and Sault St. Marie, and over these 
floated once more the red cross of St. George. On the return journey, Colonel 
Bradstreet and his army stopped at Sandusky in the expectation of receiving the 
prisoners that the Delawares and Shawanoes had promised to surrender there 
and of concluding a definitive treaty of peace. In this, however, he was disap- 
pointed. After waiting in vain for the Indians to keep their engagement and 



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JOHN BBAD8TBEET 31 

deeming the season too far advanced to enforce the fulfillment of their pledges, 
he once more embarked on Lake Erie and so returned to Oswego, where the 
army disbanded. 

*'Bradstreet had been commissioned lieutenant colonel by Brevet in 1757 
and in the following year colonel (in America only), but in 1762, he became 
full colonel in the British army and ten years later was promoted to the rank of 
major-general. 

'< One of the closest personal ties that Bradstreet formed during his career was 
his friendship for General Philip Schuyler, in spite of the difference of twenty- 
two years between their ages. When the latter was still a young man, he found 
employment under Bradstreet in the commissary department. Besides acting as 
deputy commissary, Schuyler twice went to England as Bradstreet's agent: — the 
first time before he was twenty- two years old, to negotiate some business with the 
Board of Trade, and again in 1761 to settle Bradstreet's accounts as commissary 
with the British Government. On the latter occasion General Schuyler, by 
power of attorney, constituted his * good friend, Colonel John Bradstreet,* his 
agent for the management and disposition of his property during his absence or 
in the event of his death. 

"These two friends were also companions in arms. Early in the history of 
their friendship, Schuyler accompanied Bradstreet on his expedition to Oswego 
in 1756, and the bravery and singular magnanimity that the former displayed 
toward a wounded enemy on that occasion may well be supposed to have 
cemented the attachment between them. Two years later Bradstreet was again 
assisted by Schuyler in the fateful exploit against Ticonderoga. The following 
letters written at the opening of the campaign of 1760, and relating to his 
private and public affairs respectively, indicate Bradstreet's confidence in his 
young friend : 

" * Albany, July 6th, 1760. 
" « Dear Sir : 

" « As all my private affairs are in my leather portmanteau trunk, I hereby commit it to your 
eare and protection, to the end that it may be delivered safe to my wife and children, now at 
Boston, in case of my decease this campaign, and by your own hand, in which you will ever 
oblige your faithful friend, John Bradstreet.* 

" * Your zeal, punctuality and strict honesty in His Majesty's service, under my direction, for 
several years past, are sufficient proofs that I can't leave my public accounts and papers in a 
more faithful hand than yours to be settled, should any accident happen to me in this cam- 
paign ; wherefore, that I may provide against it, and that a faithful account may be rendered to 
the public of all the public money that I have received since the war, I now deliver to you all 
my public accounts and vouchers, and do hereby empower you to settle with whomsoever may 
be appointed for that purpose, either in America or in England. And for your care and trouble 
therein, as well as for your faithful and useful services to the public, I am persuaded, on your 
producing this paper, you will be properly rewarded, if settled in America, by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, if in England, by the administration. The accounts are clear, and vouchers 
clear and distinct and complete up to this time, except trifles. 

" ' I am, sir, your faithful, humble servant, 

«* * ToHN Bradstreet.* 



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32 A GODCHILD OF WASHING2VN 

"Bradstreet and Schuyler were also jointly interested, together with Rutger 
Bleeker and General John Morin Scott, in the purchase of a tract of twenty-two 
thousand acres in the Mohawk Valley. It was known as Crosby's Manor, hav- 
ing been granted by royal patent to William Crosby, Governor of the Province 
of New York. In 1772, default having been made in the payment of arrears of 
quit rent, the tract was sold by the Sheriff to General Schuyler, who took title 
in his own name, and on behalf of the other three purchasers as well as of him- 
self. Subsequently the title was confirmed by conveyance from the Crosby's 
heirs. The site, of the present city of Utica is included within the bounds of 
this tract. General Bradstreet, however, did not live to enjoy the fruits of this 
purchase. Another tract of land in which General Bradstreet was interested 
(the benefit of which also he failed to enjoy and which became a bone of con- 
tention between his heirs and other claimants) was a vast territory measuring 
between one hundred and fifty thousand and two hundred acres, near the head- 
waters of the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers, conveyed to him by the 
Indians in 1768. 

** Bradstreet's family life was not without an unfortunate and unexplained 
cloud. His wife's maiden name was Mary Aldridge, and at the time of their 
marriage she was the widow of his cousin. Sir Simon Bradstreet, Bart., of Kil- 
mainham, Ireland, and sister of Christopher Aldridge, who was lieutenant in a 
company of the 40th Rifles, British Army, and who subsequently (in 1742) be- 
came captain, and in 1760 a major. Her father, whose name was also Chris- 
topher Aldridge, was captain of the same company, in which John Bradstreet 
was appointed ensign in 1735. It is interesting to note that the latter married the 
sister of his superior lieutenant and the daughter of his captain. Two daughters 
were born of this marriage, — Agatha, who became the wife of one Butlar, and 
in 1776, of Charles Evans (who for a time bore the name of Du Bellamy) ; and 
Martha, who never married. For several years toward the close of his life, 
Bradstreet was alienated from his family. During this period his friendship for 
General and Mrs. Schuyler proved particularly valuable. Their spacious and 
hospitable mansion at Albany was thrown open to him and he became a member 
of their household. General Schuyler frequently endeavored to effect a recon- 
ciliation between Bradstreet and his wife and not entirely without success, for in 
September, 1774, having been summoned to the bedside cf his dying friend in 
New York, he obtained Bradstreet's consent to destroy a will in which no pro- 
vision for his family had been made, and to execute another by the terms of 
which his entire estate was divided between his two daughters. The later will 
was drawn by William Smith, the historian, who was by it appointed one of the 
executors, while General Schuyler was named as the other. The latter's daugh- 
ter, Margarita, who afterward married Stephen Van Rensselaer, the patroon, had 
accompanied her father to New York at the special request of General Brad- 
street, taking with her a faithful colored servant, in order to nurse her aged 
friend during his last illness ; and it was in her arms that he died on September 
25» 1774. 



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JOHN BBADSTREET 33 

*' The following letter written by General Schuyler to Mrs. Bradstreet, imme- 
diately after her husband's death, throws an interesting light on the character 
of the writer as well as on the family relations of his deceased friend : 

•• ♦ Dear Madam : 

" « Such arc the vicissitudes of human life, that a misfortune seldom occurs but what it is 
accompanied by some comfort. Such are the reflections which arise on the death of General 
Bradstreet, for whilst I mourn the departed friend, I rejoice the returned husband and parent. 
No characters. Madam, are free from blemish. The greatest and almost the only one in his 
was an unbecoming resentment against his family, for supposed faults of which I have often 
told him I feared he was too much the occasion. This, however, ought to be forever 
eradicated from your memory, as he died in perfect peace with all. Having set his heart at 
ease on this point, he seemed more cheerful than he had been for a long time before, and met 
his fate with all the fortitude becoming his character as a soldier, and with all the resignation 
inspired by a consciousness that the Supreme Being disposes all for the best' 

" Escorted by civil and military officers and the 47th Regiment, the remains 
of General Bradstreet were buried in Trinity churchyard. 

** It is a matter of regret that this spirited officer died thus at the outbreak of 
the Revolution, and that his services in the cause of the mother country against 
the ferocious enemies of her offspring could not have availed in the latter con- 
flict against the tyrannical parent herself. He seems not to have been deficient 
in the first requisite of the soldier — bravery, but more than that, he possessed 
many of the qualities that go to make a successful officer. His sagacity and 
foresight were illustrated by his recognition of the importance to the English of 
the capture of Fort Frontenac. The conception of the plan was as admirable as 
its execution was spirited. To his activity and splendid enterprise was due the 
success of the expedition. The exploit on the Oswego river serves to show his 
perseverance against successive obstacles. His spirit was of the kind that rises 
in proportion to adverse odds. 

** Bradstreet possessed the force of personal influence. After the defeat of 
Ticonderoga in 1758, it was his alertness and self-possession that allayed the 
panic among the terror-stricken soldiers and prevented a precipitate flight in the 
boats. A small incident that occurred after the fall of Frontenac indicated a 
noble trait of character. When the fort was being stripped of all its contents by 
the conquerors, Bradstreet allowed the Romish chaplain of the garrison to carry 
away with him the sacred vessels of the chapel. This fact, in connection with 
his releasing on parole one hundred prisoners then taken, furnishes evidence at 
least of magnanimity toward a fallen foe. 

'* That portion of Bradstreet's career that reflects least credit upon him was 
the expedition to relieve Detroit. He was severely censured by the commander- 
in-chief, General Gates, for his undue confidence in the slippery promises of the 
Delawares and Shawanoes. Certain it is that his judgment was inferior to his 
activity. To a man deficient in this essential quality of a commander, and at 
the same time impetuous and self-confident to the point of ignoring the counsel 
of his associates, this mistake was but natural. He was also censured for what 



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34 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

was considered unnecessarily harsh treatment of his men. How much of the 
bluffness of manner and temper he displayed on this expedition might be ex- 
plained by physical ailments, is entirely a matter of conjecture ; but it is note- 
worthy that in his exploits that preceded his illness of 1 760, before mentioned, 
his detractors fail to find the same grounds for criticism. 

"It is possible that the failing powers of his latter years also furnished the 
clue to the resentment toward his family, mentioned by General Schuyler. 
Whatever the true explanation, we have the testimony of the friend that knew 
him best to the effect that this hard feeling was * almost the only ' blemish on 
his character. Even if this was not proof against the softening reflection of 
separation from his family forever, and resentment at last gave place to ' perfect 
peace with all.' In the light of this assurance, it is not too much to hope that 
posterity will show the same indulgence that General Schuyler urged upon the 
widow of his deceased friend, and that Bradstreet's failings will be forgotten in 
grateful remembrance of the substantial gains that resulted from his gallant 
services." 

By his great-great-grandson, Sidney Richmond Taber. 




BRADSTREET ARMS. 



(The two following letters have never before appeared in print.) 

^' By Orders of his Excellency, General Amherst. 

" Whereas his Majesty's Service in Generall and the Safety of this Province in particular 
depends much Upon the Army being in a Situation at all times to oppose the enemy, It be- 
comes Necessary that you Receive and keep your proportion of the Working Oxen belonging 
to the Crow this Winter in perfect Heart and Good working order for which you will be paid 
fifty shillings York Currency pr. head and accordingly you will have herewith sent you 
one Ox. 

" And you are to take Notice that it is Excepted By his Excellency General Amherst that you 
are Puntial in keeping the said Oxen fitt for constant service that no Dispointmcnt to the 
King's Service may happen for so sure you will Answer for it in a Severe manner. 
" Given under my hand and Seal Jno. Bradstrebt. 

at Albany, 4, Decem., 1759. D. Q. M. G. 

** To Mr. Jacobus Peeke," 



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JOHN BBAD8TREET 35 

" Albany, i6th, Feb., 1769. 
" My Lord : 

" Although I have not the honor to be personally known to your Lordship, I nevertheless 
flatter myself my long services as an officer will induce your Lordship to pardon the liberty I 
take of enclosing a Deed of gift from the Indians^ to me for some Lands on the Frontier of 
this Province. In the late war the Indians were frequently employed under my command 
against His Majesty's Enemies; in consequence of which they thought proper, at the late 
Congress, at Fort Stanwix, to confer on me this mark of their esteem and approbation of my 
conduct toward them. As I was not at Fort Stanwix, I thought it necessary to take the first 
opportunity to see them and make a return agreable to their custom ; I therefore lately accom- 
panied the Governor of the Province to Sir William Johnson's (who meets them there on busi- 
ness) for this purpose and gave them to the full as much as if purchased in the usual manner. 

" Your Lordship will be pleased to observe, the Indians by this Deed made a particular 
reserve of their Lands for me before their signing the late Treaty, and do pray His Majesty 
would be graciously pleased to ratify and confirm to me in the same manner as may be of little 
expense from a desire to make this mark of their Friendship of some value to me ; and permit 
me to mention to your Lordship, that from its distance, its being a Frontier and the little pros- 
pect of its being properly settled for some years to come it would be of little value if attended 
with the usual expense of Fees of this Province and Quit-rent ; I therefore pray your Lordship 
to honor me with your countenance and to represent this affair to His Majesty agreable to the 
wishes expressed by the Indians in the Deed. 

" I have not seen the Lands, my Lord, nor do I know the quantity, but by the description 
the Indians give it may be from one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand acres ; but it 
appears they are bad judges, particularly not long since in two Tracts they disposed of that 
did not turn out on measurement more than half the quantity expected. 
** I have the honor to be with great respect, 

" Your Lordship's most obedient and most humble servant, 

«* Jn. Bradstreet. 
" The Right Hon. Earl of Hillsborough, Etc., Etc." 



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CHAPTER II 

PHILIP SCHUYLER 
PERIOD 1 733-1 768 

"Among the patriots of the American Revolution," continues Kent, '*who 
asserted the rights of their country in council and equally vindicated its cause 
in the field, the name of Philip Schuyler stands preeminent. In acuteness of 
intellect, profound thought, indefatigable activity, exhaustless energy, pure 
patriotism, and persevering and intrepid public efforts, he had no superior ; and 
it is to be regretted that the limits assigned to each portion of biography in the 
present work, will permit only a rapid sketch of his distinguished services. 

"General Schuyler was born at Albany the 2 2d of November, 1733. His 
paternal grandfather, Peter Schuyler, was mayor of that city, and commander 
of the northern militia in 1690. He was also agent of Indian affairs and pre- 
siding member of the Provincial Council. John Schuyler, his father, left five 
children, and though as heir at law, his son Philip was entitled to the real estate, 
he generously shared the inheritance with his brothers and sisters. The Sara- 
toga estate of which the British army, 1777, made such sad havoc, he inherited 
from his father's brother, Philip. Being deprived of his father while young, he 
was indebted to his mother, Cornelia Van Cortlandt, of Cortlandt Manor, a 
lady of strong and cultivated mind, for his early education, and for those habits 
of business and that unshaken probity which never forsook him. At the age of 
sixteen, he was martyr to an hereditary gout, which confined him while at school 
at New Rochelle to his room for nearly a year. But he was still able to prose- 
cute his studies, and to acquire in that period the use of the French language. 
His learning was of a solid and practical character. His favorite studies were 
mathematics, and the other exact sciences, and he was enabled in after life to 
display unusual skill in finance, and as a civil and military engineer, and in all 
the leading topics of political economy. 

'* He entered the army when the French war broke out in 1755, ^°^ ^^^' 
manded a company of New York levies, which attended Sir William Johnson to 
Fort Edward and Lake George. He was employed that year in rendering Fort 
Edward a safe spot of military stores. In 1758, his talents and activity attracted 
the attention of Lord Viscount Howe, who commanded at Albany the first divis- 
ion of the British army of four thousand men, then preparing for an expedition 
to Canada. Being in great difficulty in respect to supplies and to means of 
transportation, Lord Howe had the discernment to select and employ young 
Schuyler in the commissariat department. When it was suggested to him that 
he was confiding in too young a man for so important a service, he declared that 
he relied on the practical knowledge and activity of Schuyler, and was con- 

36 



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PHILIP SCHUYLER 



39 



vinced that he would be enabled to surmount all obstacles. The event justified 
the choice. The duty was discharged with that sound judgment and calculat- 
ing precision, that were so often and signally displayed in his subsequent career. 
The army under the command of General Abercrombie arrived at the north end 
of Lake George, early in July, and when Lord Howe fell in conflict with the 
French advanced guard, Schuyler was directed to cause the body of that lamented 
young nobleman to be conveyed to Albany and buried there with appropriate 
honors. He continued afterward during the war to be employed in the com- 
missary department. 

"After the peace of 1763, Colonel Schuyler (for by that title he was then 
known), was called into the service of the Colony, in various civil employments. 
He was one of the commissioners appointed by the General Assembly in 1764, 
to manage the controversy on the 
part of New York, respecting the 
partition line between that colony 
and Massachusetts Bay ; and he 
was actively engaged in that dis- 
cussion in 1767, with associates 
and opponents of the first rank 
and character." 

BIRTHPLACE OF PHILIP SCHUYLER 

It is less than a decade since this 
quaint old dwelling, here repre- 
sented, which stood on the corner 
of State and South Pearl streets, 
was torn down in the inexorable 
march of improvement. A glance 
at the steep roof, with its gable 
end on Pearl street, and at the 
general architectural features, at 
once makes the beholder aware 
that it had outlived many gener- 
ations. The antiquarian could 
make from its unwritten records a 
volume of rare charms; but he 
would have a tiresome search 
through musty documents. It was erected in 1667, but many years ago the 
figures in wrought iron were removed from the bricks. When Albany was in its 
infancy and the streets were little more than alleys, the principal thoroughfare, 
Pearl street, was but half its present width. John Schuyler (grandson of the 
Hollander), lived in this house for many years and his son Philip grew to man- 
hood in it ; the latter resided in it after his marriage, and several of his children 
were born there. 




BIRTHPLACE OF PHILIP SCHUYLER. 



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40 A QODOHILD OF WASHINGTON 

HIS MARRIAGE^ 

Philip Schuyler and Catharine Van Rensselaer were married September 17th, 
1755- 'The ceremony was performed by Dominie Theodorus Frielinghuysen, of 
the Dutch Reformed Church, Albany. She was the only daughter of Colonel 
John Van Rensselaer of the Claverack, or Lower Manor, at Greenbush. Her 
paternal grandfather was Hendrick, grandson of the first Patroon of Rens- 
selaer wyck. 

"THE CRAILO" 
The Van Rensselaer Manor House at Greenbush 

*' It is now an established fact that Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, the first Patroon, 
never saw the vast domain that he possessed. His son, Jeremias, had married 
Maria Van Cortlandt, and their son Kiliaen, was the First Lord of the Manor of 
Rensselaerwyck, or the third Patroon. He was a sharp, shrewd, far-seeing, busi- 
ness man, and quickly took the lead in the affairs of the family, as well as in 
those of the colony. 

** Hendrick Van Rensselaer, the second son of Jeremias, according to the 
record in the ancient Bible, in the handwriting of his brother, Kiliaen, was 
born in Rensselaerwyck, on the 23d of October, 1667, O. S. 

"He was known and reported to be of an amiable disposition, easygoing 
and yielding, and I think it has been surmised that on this account he did not 
fare as well as he should have done in the disposition of his father's estate. 
Fennimore Cooper used to say he was firmly convinced that Hendrick's branch 
was the elder ; but says the record ' June ist, 1704, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer con- 
veyed to his younger brother Hendrick, the Claverack or Lower Manor, to- 
gether with one thousand acres from the Upper Manor, including Greenbush, from 
Mr. Douw's ' (Jonas Douw*s), ' called Jansen's path running back one mile, to- 
gether with an island in the Hudson's river.* 

** Hendrick, like his brother, was employed in public affairs and held several 
responsible positions. In 1705, he was a member of the tenth assembly which 
met at Fort Anne. 

" He was one of the petitioners to rebuild the old Dutch church, and in 
1698, is spoken of as carrying round the Koek Sackie, or collection bag. 

» Eight children of this marriage reached maturity : 
Angelica, born July 20th, 1756, m. John Barker Church. 
Elizabeth, bom August 9th, 1757, m. Alexander Hamilton. 
Margarita, born Sept. 19th, 1758, m. Stephen Van Rensselaer. (Patroon.) 
John B., born July 12th, 1763, m. Elizabeth Van Rensselaer, (daughter of Patroon.) 
Philip J., bom Oct. 15th, 1768, m. 1st, Sarah Rutsen, m. 2d, Mary Anne Sawyer. 
Rensselaer, bom Jan. 25th, 1773, m. Elizabeth Ten Broeck. 
Cornelia, bom Dec. 22d, 1776, m. Washington Morton. 

Catharine Van Rensselaer, born Feb. 20th, 178 1, m. 1st, Samuel Bayard MalcoLa, (son of 
Gen. M.), m. 2d, James Cochran, (son of Sur-Gen. C.) 



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PHILIP SCHUYLER 



41 



"He was alderman of the city, as well as commissioner of Indian affairs. 
He did not suffer his official duties to interfere with his personal inter- 
ests. He attended to his business affairs with assiduity and success. If he saw 
an opportunity for a safe speculation he did not let it pass unimproved. The 
Shaghticoke Indians had a larger tract of land than they required, and, being 
shiftless and poor, they offered a portion of it for sale. The city of Albany 
agreed to purchase a few hundred acres, but was not prepared to consummate 
the bargain. Hendrick Van Rensselaer saw his opportunity, and bought a 
tract, six miles square, lying on the Hoosac river, for which he procured a 
patent from the governor. The city saw its mistake, but sought to remedy it by 




THE CRAILO. 

the purchase of Van Rensselaer's interest and generously offered him what it 
cost him. The offer was declined with thanks, but he would sell for two hun- 
dred pounds. The city fathers were indignant and appealed to the governor. 
The controversy became a state affair, for Lord Bellamont reported it to his 
government for instructions; but before his letter was dispatched the matter was 
settled. Subsequently it was the cause of another flurry in the common council. 
'* Hendrick Van Rensselaer and Robert Livingston, of the manor, at one 
time waged a bitter war of words, and suits, as to the division line between their 
properties, but it was at length arranged to the satisfaction of both parties. 
After the grant from his brother, Hendrick built the Van Rensselaer mansion at 
Greenbush, and called the estate the Crailo, after the Van Rensselaer family seat 



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42 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

in the fatherland. ' The brick of which the house is built were manufactured 
in Holland and brought over as ballast. They bear the date 1630, but it is un- 
known at what time the building was completed. It still stands one of the old- 
est buildings in the state.' During the Albany bicentennial the readers of the 
Argus were given a picture and a sketch of the house as it now is, so I cannot 
do better than give the words of the writer then used. 

"Viewed from the outside, this old house presents a study for the curious. 
Its style of architecture is not so very remarkable, though undoubtedly ancient. 
The main or oldest part is twenty by sixty feet, to this has been added a wing, 
erected in 1740, making of the whole a large building. It is three stories high, 
with a half story garret surmounting the whole. The windows of the ground 
floor are still very old, though not the original ones, which were probably 
diamond shaped. The windows opening from the topmost story are dormer 
windows, small and antique. The roof is pyramidal in shape with the apex cut 
off. Over the windows are cornices of brick, in the arch and keystone form. 
The old front door is interesting, the old door jambs and posts still remaining. 
The north door is of the old-fashioned double style. That is, it is divided into 
halves laterally. On this door are the original hinges and knocker of brass, 
handmade and of most peculiar shape. The brick of the house are worthy of 
mention. They vary in shape and are of extreme hardness. The color is a 
bright terra cotta. 

"The old port holes are of great interest. These were made of a block of 
sandstone about a foot square each way. In one side was dug out a conical 
shaped hole extending nearly through the centre, then from the other side was 
pierced a hole about the shape of a modern keyhole. The whole thing was 
then set into the wall of the building, the keyhole shaped aperture on the out- 
side. There are yet two of them seen in the front wall of the house. There 
were nine all told, beside one recently found in the cellar wall. The one seen 
shows the marks plainly, of the glancing bullets fired against it. This is said to 
be the only house in the United States that still retains these port holes. 

"Within the house, the plan is peculiar and interesting. Entering the main 
hall, one mounts at once up a broad flight of the easiest stairs, part way to the 
next floor, where there is a small landing. From this one continues up six steps 
to the second floor. Another flight goes up to the top floor; above this again 
is the garret. The walls are panelled and wainscoted in the old English style 
and with considerable elegance. The rooms on the first floor, as indeed over 
the entire house, are large and spacious. In the cellar are found many interest- 
ing features, chief among which are the inscriptions on two stones in the founda- 
tion walls which read : 



K. V. R. 1642. 
Anno Domini. 



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PHILIP SCHUYLER 43 



D. G. Megapalensis. 



" It has/' says tradition, " sustained several Indian sieges before the Revolution. 
The walls are of unusual thickness, heavy and well built. The cellar extends 
under the entire house. The timbers under the first floor are of massive size, 
nearly twenty inches square. The one under the fireplace in the large room 
(now occupied as the parlor) is still larger. The stone and brick come up in an 
arched form and extend over on this timber, making the fireplace rest securely. 
The cellar contains several recesses and alcoves, making it seem that at one 
time it had been occupied to live in. Over the cellar windows, iron gratings 
are found; these are of ornamental twisted irons. In the floor of the main hall 
there is a trapdoor, which opened downward into the cellar. Tradition says 
that this was used to entrap unfriendly Indians. They were lured into the 
house, and when they stepped on this trap down they went to the cellar where 
the men awaited them. There is one port hole opening from the cellar. This 
was but recently discovered. 

" There is nothing special about any of the rooms to be seen now, they hav- 
ing all been modernized. The linen room is interesting from the fact con- 
nected with it. The aristocracy of the old manor were so dependent upon the 
mother country that they even had to have their linen washed there. For that 
purpose, once a year, it was all sent over and laundried. In the meantime the 
soiled linen was kept stored in this linen room. In the * tile room ' were 
formerly above fifty scenes from Scripture, in old Dutch tiles, on one of the 
walls. These have now all disappeared. These tiles, as were also the brick 
and timbers from which the house was built, were all brought from Holland. 
There have never been many relics found in or about the old house. One — and 
the only interesting one — is a weapon, evidently intended as an instrument of 
war. This is about five feet long, an inch wide at the handle and running out 
to a sharp point, of wrought iron. It was probably used in the same manner as 
swords are used now. There are many legends connected with the old mansion. 
One only will suffice : A Gertrude Van Twiller and her brother Walter were 
visiting the manor one time. At evening the young girl went down to the river 
bank and sat down. She was approached from behind by Indians and sud- 
denly seized. She gave a scream, but was forcibly borne away, and never 
heard from again. This scream is said to have been heard for years about the 
halls of the house. 

"It was in the rear of this mansion that ' Yankee Doodle' was composed. 
While Abercrombie's army was encamped there by the old sweep well at the 
rear of the house, waiting for reinforcements, the country people came straggling 
in, in all manner of costumes and dress. Their ludicrous appearance so ex- 
cited the humor of a British surgeon that he, while sitting by the bed (now to 



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44 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

be seen) composed the original version of * Yankee Doodle/ words and music 
both. Altogether the house is one of the most interesting and best preserved of 
the remaining relics of our colonial aristocracy. This house is now in the hands 
of a stranger, and the vast estate is almost entirely owned by those who neither 
bear the Van Rensselaer name, nor are of the lineage. 

*' When twenty-two years of age, young Hendrick Van Rensselaer married in 
the old Dutch church, in the fort in Nieuw Amsterdam, Catrina Van Brugh, and 
in the old records we find it thus : 

" • Den 8 March, 1689. 
" * Hendrick Rensselaer, j. m. van Rensselaerwyjck en Catrina Van Brugh, j. d. van N. York. 
" * Beyjde wonende alhier. Getrouwt den 19 Mart.' 

" She was the daughter of Johannes Peterse Van Brugh and Catrina Roden- 
burg. Mrs. Van Brugh was the widow Rodenburg when Van Brugh married 
her, and was a daughter of the celebrated Anneke Jans. A recent genealogist 
tells us that Annetje Webber (Anneke Jans, as we know her) was born in 
Holland in the year 1605, and was the granddaughter of William, Prince of 
Orange. She married Roeloff Jansen in Holland, and came to this country in 
1636. 

"Mrs. Van Rensselaer died in the old mansion, December 6th, 1730, and 
her husband followed her just ten yeai-s later, July 2d, 1740, and together they 
are buried near their home. 

" Mrs. Van Rensselaer was a wonderfully beautiful woman. The Sill family 
now have her portrait. 

"Mary Lanman Douw Ferris.*' 



A Centennial Tablet was placed on the building in 1886. It reads as follows : 
" Supposed to be the oldest building in the United States and to have been 
erected in the year 1642, as a Manor House and Place of Defence known as 
Fort Crailo Gen'l Abercrombie's Headquarters while marching to attack 
Ticonderoga in 1 758 where it is said that at the cantonment East of this house 
near the old well the army surgeon R. Shuckburg composed the popular song of 
'Yankee Doodle.' " 

Famous men have been guests within the walls of the Crailo ; and many im- 
portant conferences have been held there. Washington and his generals were 
visitors in the old manor house during the Revolutionary War. 



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LORD HOWE. 



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LORD HOWE 47 

LORD HOWE 

A BRITISH GENERAL 

George Augustus, Lord Howe, was born in Ireland in 1724. He ^diS sent to 
America in 1757 in command of five thousand British troops which landed at 
Halifax. In 1758 he accompanied General Abercrombie to Ticonderoga. The 
same year, while Lord Howe was encamped at Albany, he endeavored to pro- 
vision his army and to provide boats and oars to transport it to the headwaters 
of the Hudson. As he could find no one who would undertake to furnish them, 
young Schuyler (then but twenty-two years of age) agreed to supply them at a 
stated time. " What Phil," said Lord Howe, (they were intimate friends) *' can 
you carry out such a contract ? *' " If I did not think I could," he replied, *' I 
would not propose it." The latter kept his engagement, and realized a hand- 
some profit from the transaction. 

Mrs. Grant, in *' The American Lady," writes : " Many of the officers were 
quartered in the fort and town ; but Lord Howe always lay in his tent, with the 
regiment which he commanded ; and which he modelled in such a manner, that 
they were ever after considered as an example to the whole American army, who 
glorified in adopting all those rigid, yet salutory regulations to which the young 
hero readily submitted, to enforce his commands by his example. 

** Above the pedantry of holding up standards of military rules where it is im- 
possible to practice them, and the narrow spirit of preferring the modes of his 
own country, to those proved by experience to suit that in which he was to act, 
Lord Howe laid aside all pride and prejudice and gratefully accepted counsel 
from those whom he knew to be best qualified to direct him. Madame Schuyler 
was delighted with the calm steadiness with which he carried through the 
austere rules which he found it necessary to lay down. In the first place he for- 
bade all displays of gold and scarlet, in the rugged march they were about to 
undertake, and to set the example by wearing himself an ammunition coat, that 
is to say, one of the surplus soldier's coats cut short. This was a necessary pre- 
caution ; because in the woods the hostile Indians, who started from behind 
the trees, usually caught at the long and heavy skirts then worn by the soldiers ; 
and for the same reason he ordered the muskets to be shortened, that they might 
not, as on former occasions, be snatched from behind by these agile foes. To 
prevent the march of his regiment from being descried at a distance by the 
glittering of their arms, the barrels of their guns were all blackened ; and to 
save them from the tearing of bushes, the stings of insects, etc., he set them the 
example of wearing leggins, a kind of buskin made of strong woollen cloth, 
formerly described as part of the Indian dress. The greatest privation to the 
young and vain yet remained. Hair well dressed and in great quantity, was then 
considered as the greatest possible ornament, which those who had it took the 



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48 A QODCBILD OF WASHINGTON 

greatest possible care to display to advantage, and to wear in a bag or queue, 
whichever they fancied. Lord Howe's was fine; and very abundant; he, how- 
ever, cropped it, and ordered every one to do the same. Every morning he rose 
very early, and, after giving his orders, rode out to the Flatts, (Madame Schuy- 
ler's) breakfasted, and spent some time in conversation with his friends there; 
and when in Albany received all manner of useful information from the worthy 
magistrate, Cornelius Cuyler. Another point which this young Lycurgus of the 
camp wished to establish, was that of not carrying anything that was not abso- 
lutely necessary. An apparatus of tables, chairs, and such other luggage, he 
thought highly absurd, where people had to force their way with unspeakable 
difficulty, to encounter an enemy free from all such encumbrances. The French 
had long learned how little convenience could be studied on such occasions as 
the present. 

** When his lordship got matters arranged to his satisfaction, he invited his 
officers to dine with him in his tent. They gladly assembled at the appointed 
hour, but were surprised to see no chairs or tables ; there were, however, bear 
skins spread like a carpet. His lordship welcomed them and sat down on a 
small log of wood ; they followed his example ; and presently the servants set 
down a large dish of pork and peas. His lordship, taking a sheath from his 
pocket, out of which he produced a knife and fork, began to cut and divide the 
meat. They sat in a kind of awkward suspense, which he interrupted by asking 
if it were possible that soldiers like them, who had been so long destined for 
such service, should not be provided with portable implements of this kind; and 
finally, relieved them from their embarrassment by distributing to each a case 
the same as his own, which he had provided for that purpose. The austere 
regulations and constant self-denial which he imposed upon the troops he com- 
manded, were patiently borne, because he was not only gentle in his manners, 
but generous and humane in a very high degree, and exceedingly attentive to the 
health and real necessities of the soldiery. Among many instances of this, a 
quantity of powdered ginger was given to every man ; and the sergeants were 
ordered to see, that when, in the course of marching, the soldiers arrived hot 
and tired at the banks of any stream, they should not be permitted to stoop to 
drink, as they generally inclined to do, but be obliged to dip water in their can- 
teens and mix ginger with it. This became afterward a general practice ; and 
in those aguish swamps, through which the soldiers were forced to march, was 
the means of saving many lives. Aunt Schuyler, as this amiable young officer 
familiarly styled his maternal friend, had the utmost esteem for him ; and the 
greatest hope that he would at some future period redress all those evils that had 
formerly impeded the service ; and perhaps plant the British standard on the 
walls of Quebec. But this honor another young hero was destined to achieve; 
whose virtues were to be illustrated by the splendor of victory, the only light by 
which the multitude can see the merits of a soldier. 

"The Schuylers regarded this expedition with a mixture of doubt and dis- 
may, knowing too well, from the sad retrospect of former failures, how little 



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LORD HOWE 49 

valor and discipline availed where regular troops had to encounter with unseen 
foes, and with difficulties arising from the nature of the ground, for which mili- 
tary science afforded no remedy. Of General Abercrombie's worth and valor 
they had the highest opinion ; but they were doubtful of attacking an enemy so 
subtle and experienced on their own ground, in intrenchments, and this they 
feared he would have the temerity to attempt. In the meantime preparations 
were making for the assault. The troops were marching in detachments past 
the '* Flatts," and each detachment quartered for a single night on the common 
or in the offices. One of the .first of these was commanded by Lee, of frantic 
celebrity, who afterward in the American war, joined the opponents of the 
government, and was then a captain in the British service. Captain Lee had 
neglected to bring the customary warrants for impressing horses and oxen, and 
procuring a supply of various necessaries, to be paid for by the agents of the 
government on showing the usual documents ; he, however, seized everything 
he wanted where he could most readily find it, as if he were in a conquered 
country ; and not content with this violence poured forth a volley of execrations 
on those who presumed to question his right of appropriating for his troops 
everything that could be serviceable to them ; even Madame, accustomed to 
universal respect, and to be considered as the friend and benefactress of the 
army, was not spared ; and the aids which she never failed to bestow on those 
whom she saw about to expose their lives for the general defence, were rudely 
demanded or violently seized. Never did the genuine Christianity of this 
exalted character shine more brightly than in this exigency ; her countenance 
never altered, and she used every argument to restrain the rage of her domestics, 
and the clamor of her neighbors, who were treated in the same manner. Lee 
marched on after having done all the mischief in his power, and was on the 
next day succeeded by Lord Howe, who was indignant upon hearing what had 
happened, and astonished at the calmness with which Madame bore the treat- 
ment she had received. She soothed him by telling him that she knew too well 
the value of protection from a danger so imminent, to grow captious with her de- 
liverers on account of a single instance of irregularity, and only regretted that 
they should have deprived her of her wonted pleasure in freely bestowing what- 
ever could advance the service or refresh the exhausted troops. They had a long 
and very serious conversation that night. In the morning his lordship proposed 
setting out very early ; but when he arose he was astonished to find Madame 
waiting, and breakfast ready ; he smiled and said he would not disappoint her, 
as it was hard to say when he might again breakfast with a lady. Impressed 
with an unaccountable degree of concern about the fate of the enterprise in 
which he was embarked, she again repeated her counsels and her cautions; and 
when he was about to depart, embraced him with the affection of a mother, and 
shed many tears, a weakness she did not often give way to. 

" Meantime, the best prepared and disciplined body of forces that had ever 
been assembled in America, were proceeding on an enterprise that, to the expe- 
rience and sagacity of the Schuylers, appeared a hopeless, or at least, a very 



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50 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

desperate one. A general gloom overspread the family ; this, at all times large, 
was now augmented by several relations both of the Colonel and Madame, who 
had visited them at that time to be nearer the scene of action, and to get the 
readiest and most authentic intelligence ; for the apprehended consequence of a 
defeat was the pouring in of the French troops into the interior of the province; 
in which case Albany might be abandoned to the enraged savages attending the 
French army. A few days after Lord Howe's departure, in the afternoon, a 
man was seen coming on horseback from the north, galloping violently without 
his hat. Pedrom, as he was familiarly called, the Colonel's only surviving 
brother, was with her, and ran instantly to inquire, well knowing he rode 
express. The man galloped on, crying out that Lord Howe was killed. The 
mind of our good aunt had been so engrossed by her anxiety and fears for the 
event impending, and so impressed by the merit and magnanimity of her 
favorite hero, that her wonted firmness sunk under this stroke, and she broke 
out into bitter lamentations. This had such an effect on her friends and domes- 
tics, that shrieks and sobs of anguish echoed through every part of the house. 
Even those who were too old or too young to enter into the public calamity, 
were affected by the violent grief of aunt, who, in general had too much self- 
command to let others witness her sorrows. Lord Howe was shot from behind 
a tree, probably by some Indians ; and the whole army were inconsolable for 
the loss they too well knew to be irreparable. This stroke, however, they soon 
found to be ' potent and pain, a menace and a blow* ; but this dark prospect 
was cheered for a moment by a deceitful gleam of hope, which only added to 
the bitterness of disappointment." 

Lossing in his ** Life and Times of Schuyler," says '* The scheme of the cam- 
paign of 1758 was extensive. Shirley's plan of 1756 was revived, and its 
general outlines were adopted. Three points of assault — Louisburg, Ticon- 
deroga, and Fort Duquesne — were designated, and ample preparations were 
made for the powerful operations against them. Upon Louisburg the first blow 
was to be struck, and General Jeffrey Amherst, a man of good judgment and 
discretion, was appointed to the command of a land force of more than twelve 
thousand men, destined for that enterprise. These were to be borne by the 
fleet of Admiral Boscowen. Abercrombie, assisted by Lord Howe, whom Pitt 
had chosen as ' the soul of the enterprise,* was to lead an army by the way of 
Albany to attack the French on Lake Champlain, while General Joseph Forbes 
was commissioned to lead another army over the Alleghany mountains to 
capture Fort Duquesne," 



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£^^;Z;;y^i^^(^Jb^nAM) 



iPage 52) 



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VOLCKERT PETER DOUW 63 



VOLCKERT PETER DOUW 

MAYOR OF ALBANY 1761-1770 

" Fifty years ago there stood on the east bank of the Hudson river, just be- 
low Albany, an ancient Bouwerie, known as Wolven Hoeck. Only a winding 
road edged by immense elms and sycamore trees, their ancient history written 
on their trunks, separated it from the river whose name is so historically inter- 
woven with the Dutch settlement of New York. 

*' Here lived Volckert Peter Douw, the lifelong friend and staunch upholder 
of General Schuyler, and of whom it was said : * A true patriot, in civil and 
domestic relations, he was considered a pattern, and no man in Albany died 
more regretted.' 

** The eldest son of Captain Petrus Douw, he was born at Albany, N. Y., 
March 23d, 1720. His great-grandfather, Volckert Janszen Douw, was a cap- 
tain in the Dutch army, who was driven from his home at Leeu warden, in the 
Province of Friesland, by the persecutions waged against the Mennonites, and 
with the members of his family fled to Friedrichstadt, Denmark, where religious 
liberty was accorded to all. Later on, when the same feeling against the Men- 
nonites began to prevail at Friedrichstadt, Volckert Janszen, as he was known, 
set sail for America, even then the home of liberty, and joined the Colony at 
Rensselaerwyck, becoming a large landholder and one of the prominent men of 
the Province. 

*' Gorham A. Worth says in his 'Recollections' : *The Douws are men- 
tioned as among the earliest settlers of Albany, and of an active and business- 
like character.' 

" Captain Petrus Douw was the only surviving son of Jonas Douw, and a 
member of the * 27th Council and General Assembly of the Province of New 
York, begun and holden at the house of Jacob Dyckman in the Out Ward of 
the City of New York.' 

"In 1724, he built at Douw's Point, Wolven Hoeck, so-called from the packs 
of wolves that, in 171 7, frequented the place. Peter Douw's wife was a daugh- 
ter of Major Hendrick Van Rensselaer, and was born at Fort Crailo, the old 
Van Rensselaer mansion at Greenbush, and the birthplace of Yankee Doodle. 
Anna Van Rensselaer Pouw was a woman of culture for those days, and she 
early trained her son Volckert in the branches of learning with which she was 
conversant. There was no familiarity in the early days between parent and 
child, it was then reverence and obey to the letter. The home education was 
supplemented by the meagre instruction furnished by the schoolmaster of the 
day. 

" In 1748, we find Volckert P. Douw made 'a freeman and citizen of the 



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54 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

City of Albany/ and the next year he was Alderman in the First Ward. His 
public promotion was rapid and rather unusual, even for a man of such sterling 
ability. He was elected Recorder in 1750; Associate Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas in 1757, and two years later he was member of Assembly, hold- 
ing the ofl&ce seven years. The year 1 761 saw him Mayor of Albany and a 
Deacon of the Dutch Church, which latter office he filled with as much earnest- 
ness as he did the former. The records of his mayorality give one or two items 
of interest ; for instance, he certifies * Ye nine negro men and women have 
been imported into ye county of Albany from New England, and according to 
an act of ye Governor; ye Council and the Generall Assembly, William Day has 
paid ye Duty for said negro men and women.* 

"In 1764, ' Volckert P. Douw is allowed j£^ los 4d, being expenses for a 
suit of cloaths allowed Ihe whipper as per agreement.' We find him paying 
Benjamin Ashley, of ' Casselton on the Delaware,' ;;^ 100 for a negro woman 
named Phebe and her three children. 

" Mr. Douw was mayor of the city in trying times, but proved himself equal 
to the occasion. Though so busily engaged in official life he conducted a large 
mercantile business, and was a most Influential petitioner with the Lord Com- 
missioners for Trade in the matter of needed reforms. He owned a large road 
house seven miles from Albany on the stage route to Niagara, known as Douw's 
Inn, and his glass factory at Douwsborough was said to manufacture glass supe- 
rior to the English. 

** By royal appointment he was Presiding Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas; but, regardless of personal consideration, he took a decided stand in 
the cause of the Colonies in opposition to royalty. ' He served with ability and 
learning * down to May, 1775, when moved by his patriotic spirit, he declined 
to hold his office under the British Government General of New York and 
resigned. 

" Owing to the unsettled state of the country, few courts were held under the 
Constitution of the State until after the close of the war; but in 1778 he was 
appointed first Judge of Albany by the Provincial Convention. * Most of the 
men of mind and property in Albany were fully alive to the situation during the 
Revolution. Volckert P. Douw was full of the spirit of patriotism, ready for any 
sacrifice for the rights of the people, believing that he who maintains his coun- 
try's laws alone is great.' He was always on the side of wise counsel, and 
when the hour of action came, he was prepared. In his opposition to the Stamp 
Act, he was closely affiliated with Jeremiah Van Rensselaer and Philip Schuy- 
ler, and their tactful speech did much to turn the tide of feeling on this subject 
in Albany. 

*' In 1774, he was appointed Indian commissioner, and a new bond of sym- 
pathy drew him to Philip Schuyler. For to the wisdom of Schuyler and his 
ancestors, more than to any others, do we owe the amicable settlements of dif- 
ferences during the entire colonial period that would have otherwise ended in 
blood and carnage. 



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VOLCKEBT PETER DOUW 66 

"On May 5th, 1775, I^ouw was chosen a delegate to meet in General Con- 
gress in New York on the 22d of the month. On Tuesday, the 23d, about 
seventy of the eighty-one delegates elected, assembled at the Exchange in New 
York and organized a Provincial Congress by choosing Peter Van Brugh, Presi- 
dent ; Volckert P. Douw, Vice President, and John McKesson and Robert Ben- 
son, Secretaries. Douw was appointed one of the Committee of Safety, in 
1775- O" July i3» i775» ^^^ was appointed one of the Board of Commission- 
ers for Indian Affairs in the Northern Department, his associates being General 
Schuyler, Major Joseph Hawley, Turbot Francis and Oliver Wolcott. A month 
later he and Turbot Francis were the Commissioners sent to confer with the 
Sachems and Warriors of the Six Nations at German Flatts. On September ist, 
the Commissioners in their reply to little Abraham's speech acceded to the 
principal requests of the Indians, and informed them that General Schuyler and 
Mr. Douw had been appointed to keep the council fires burning, and to guard 
the tree of peace at Albany. Schuyler gave orders not to molest the Canadians 
or Indians, which orders were violated with serious consequences. On Schuy- 
ler's arrival in Albany, in the latter part of December of the same year, he 
found sixty of the Six Nations of Indians waiting for him. Mr. Douw was the 
only other Commissioner present, yet as the exigencies of the case demanded 
action, Schuyler and Douw opened business with them. 

"In the spring of 1776, Mr. Douw writes General Schuyler: 'Mr. Dean 
came down from Onondaga with the deputies from the seven tribes in Canada 
who have been to attend the meeting of the Six Nations at their council house 
at Onondaga. They told me that their clothes were worn out on their long 
journey on Public Business. I told them that I was much convinced of it, 
and have given them each i pr. shoes, i pr. buckles and a hat. I told them I 
would write to General Schuyler to provide them with some clothes as it would 
be troublesome to carry them from here to Canada. They were much pleased 
with it.' 

"At the Council held at Johnstown in March, 1778, to secure the neutrality, 
if not the cooperation of all the Six Nations, Mr. Douw represented Congress. 
In 1779 ^^ W21S appointed Commissary. He was nominated for Senator in 1785, 
and filled the office until 1793. 

"Mr. Douw married, the 20th of May, 1742, Anna de Peyster, daughter of 
Captain de Peyster, at one time Mayor of Albany, and a granddaughter of 
Colonel Myndert Schuyler, who had also occupied the mayor's chair. Six 
children, of the nine born to them, lived to be the parents of families promi- 
nent in the State. Anna married Dirck Ten Broeck ; Rachel married Colonel 
Henry Van Rensselaer of Revolutionary fame ; Magdalena married John Steph- 
enson, and they were the grandparents of the late Colonel Pierre Van Cortlandt, 
of Van Cortlandt Manor ; Catrienna married Harmanus Hoffman ; John de 
Peyster who married first, a daughter of Mayor Beekman, second, a daughter of 
Peter R. Livingston, and third, a daughter of Judge Leonard Gansevoort; 
Maria married John de Peyster Ten Eyck. 



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56 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



'* Mr. Douw had a house in Albany where he spent a month or so in the winter, 
but he was always happiest at his own fireside at Wolven Hoeck. Just a hundred 
years ago, Judge Gansevoort wrote : 

" * The Wolvenhoeck, as named of old, 
Quite famous was, as I am told, 
For passing through a Douw Descent, 
Who always were on duty bent. 
They did their neighbors always good. 
As honest persons ever should.* 

**The house was a story and a half high, and well spread out on the ground. 
It was built of wood and bricks, brought from Holland as ballast, and shingled 




WOLVEN HOECK. 

with white fir shingles. The top of the gable wall was notched into corbel 
steps, and the black fore bricks of the kiln were laid, alternating with yellow 
ones, to make checks on the gable fronts. The roof sloped from the ridge pole, 
and dormer windows broke its uniformity. The heavy, wooden, outside shut- 
ters swung upon massive hinges, with a cresent cut near the top to admit the 
early light, and they were held back by an iron somewhat like an S inserted in 
the wall. Over the front door was a free-stone slab with the initials 

P. D. A. V. R. 

cut in it, and the front wall was pierced for muskets in case of a sudden 
emergency. 



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VOLCKEBT PETER DOUW 67 

** The front door was divided into two half doors. The upper half, which 
usually swung wide open in summer, had two bull's eyes of glass to light the 
hall, and was graced with a heavy brass knocker, brought from Leeuwarden. 
The lower half had a heavy latch. The composure and coolness of the large 
hall was a delightful welcome. In the centre was the * hoist door,' through 
which wheat was hoisted up by a crane, and stored in the loft. Every house of 
pretension had its cock-loft in the steep roof, where the house slaves slept, and 
where there was ample room for storage. A little to one side was a staircase, 
massive for those days. Over the front door was a shelf with steps leading up 
to it, where was placed the tobacco box, always well filled, and from which 
guest or master could help himself. The rooms were all wainscoted to a height 
of about three feet, except the dining-room which had a chair board, running 
about the same height from the floor. The windows were of small diamond- 
shaped panes of glass set in leaden frames. East India chintz calico formed the 
curtains, which were put up without cornices. The only carpet was in the par- 
lor and was a Turkey carpet. The chairs were straight and high-backed, and 
covered with haircloth, as was the claw-footed sofa, ornamented with double 
and triple rows of brass nails. All the furniture was of San Domingo mahogany, 
rich in color and delicately marked. There was a mahogany stand with a top 
which turned, and a small table with claw feet, holding each a ball, on which 
rested the old Dutch Bible. On the whitewashed walls were a few dim portraits 
of relatives in the Fatherland, with an occasional gem done by Frans Hals or 
Gerhard Douw. One picture was noticeable ; it represented an old man making 
his will just prior to his death. It was painted on glass and burned in ; an art 
now unknown. The family had lost everything by a terrible freshet about 1660, 
which inundated Papsknea island, their first home in the new settlement, a mile 
below Albany, and this was one of the few things not swept away. The tiles in 
the chimney jamb were laid in cement made from powdered clam shells ; each 
showing a scriptural scene, and brought from Leeuwarden, Holland. The fire- 
place was large enough to stand in, and its hickory backlog was eight feet long ; 
the shovel and tongs, keeping guard over the brass fire-dogs and fender, came 
from Haarlem. Over the mantel was a long glass, separated in three divisions 
by strips of narrow moulding, and a little to one side hung the bellows. On 
each side of the chimney was a sort of alcove with benches near the windows. 
The wainscoting, the paneling about the deep wooden seats, and the mantel were 
all carved. The alcoves and woodwork were painted a bluish-grey color. Be- 
tween the front windows was a sconce, or oblong mirror, of grotesque shape, 
divided by a gilt moulding about a foot and a half from the top, and with 
branches for candles. 

*'The round Dutch tea table, supported on three claw-footed legs, stood a 
little to one side, invitingly laid for tea. The linen cloth in the centre once be- 
longed to Anneka Jans, Mrs. Duow's great -grandmother, and in the linen was 
woven the illustrations of the parable of the loaves and fishes. The china was 
of most delicate texture, and was brought over by Captain Stewart Dean on the 



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68 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

rieturn from the first trip made to China by an Albany sloop. As it was made 
to order, it had initials interwoven on it. The glass was all cut, and of simple 
design. There was the massive tankard with the Schuyler arms graven on it, 
the shell-shaped sugar bowl arranged for * bite and stir,* and the ooma, or sifter 
for cinnamon and sugar, the slender-handled teaspoons, and the shell-handled 
knives. The napkins were all spun at home. 

*'Then came the living-room with its corner fireplace. This was where the 
family gathered, and here, when the duties of the short winter day were over. 
Judge Douw smoked his Holland pipe, and his good wife, by the aid of the 
glowing fire and the tallow dip, spun her linen. 

**A large, square, mahogany table stood in the centre of the room, its leaves 
letting down for the day. In one corner was the old Dutch clock, telling the 
year, month, day, hour, minute and second, the rising and setting of the moon, 
and when each hour struck, sending forth in silvery tones some antique air. In 
still another corner was the Holland cupboard, set in the wall, with the glass 
doors displaying tlie exquisite old china, especially that of the favorite Lowe- 
stofTe and Chinese makes, and the fine cut goblets, with stems adorned with spi- 
ral threads of opaque glass. 

'* Pewter plates, platters, dishes and mugs, highly burnished, were in daily 
use, and were much valued. The old carved sideboard held the family silver, 
beakers, tankards, candlesticks and mugs. And it also had the inlaid mahogany 
boxes which contained the knives, forks and spoons. A cellaret of mahogany, 
bound in brass, and lined with metal, held the wine bottles. At one side was a 
huge decanter, always filled with the best of Jamaica, or Santa Cruz rum, and 
beside it a piece of cow's horn, smoothed on each end, hollow, and tipped with 
silver, with initials cut in the side. This was always used to take the morning 
' horn/ and it was followed by a pinch of salt as an appetizer. 

"In another corner stood the oaken, iron-bound chest, brimful of fine 
linen, all spun at home. Just above it hung a pipe case, with the drawer under- 
neath for tobacco. 

" Back of the living-room was * the meister's bedroom.' The principal piece 
of furniture was the enormous bedstead, the high posts of which were hand- 
somely carved, and supported a canopy, or tester, hung with dimity, or fringed 
chintz curtains and a fringed valence to match. A sacking bottom was pierced 
at intervals with large holes worked with coarse linen thread in buttonhole 
stitch. Through these openings a stout rope was inserted and drawn around 
the corresponding pegs in the bedstead, and, on this foundation, great feather 
beds of live geese feathers were placed. The sheets were of heavy homespun 
linen, the hemming being done with fine linen thread which defied the ravages 
of time. The white quilt was a work of art, so beautifully was it quilted, and 
so well were roses and tulips shown on its surface. The patch quilt, folded at 
the bottom of the bed, was a most marvelous affair. There was a trundle bed, 
only about a foot from the ground, which was rolled out from under the large 
bed at night, and in which the youngest children had always slept. When all 



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VOLCKEHT PETER DOUW 59 

the children were at home the pallet on the floor, the * Kerims bed ' was an oc- 
casional resort. The general bed -sacks and pillows were filled sometimes with 
fibrous mistletoe, the down of the cat-tail flag, or pigeon feathers. Cotton from 
the milk weed, then called silk grass, was also used for pillows and cushions. 

*' The small washstand was three-cornered, and the ware on it was dark blue 
and white. There was a bountiful supply of homespun towels. A large barrel 
chair, covered with dimity, stood by the window, and a bright brass warming- 
pan hung on the wall, to warm the sheets on a cold winter's night. The large, 
heavy mahogany cradle, with a roof extending over the head to shield the child's 
eyes from the lights, stood in the corner, its last occupant now a grey-headed 
man. 

** Just back of the master's room was a small library, or office, where was ar- 
ranged on shelves the library, a good one for those days, when books were rarely 
seen in ordinary households. A large mahogany desk full of pigeonholes and 
secret drawers, and filled to overflowing with valuable papers, together with a 
wooden armchair, constituted the furnishing. There was a small room off" the 
library with two narrow windows and a stone floor. This was the dood kamer 
— dead chamber — where the dead were placed until the time of the funeral. 

**Back of the living-room was the pantry, and the kitchen and the slaves' 
quarters were in the rear. There were one or two half bedrooms upstairs. 

** The house was surrounded by a circular stockade, twelve feet high, of white 
oak posts pointed and bolted to a transverse timber, having a gate pointed on 
the upper and lower sides and raised in a gallows frame by weights. 

*' The family burying ground was to the north of the house ; the slaves' to the 
south. 

** Many Indian treaties were executed inside the stockade ; the Indian chiefs 
and their squaws sleeping on their buffalo robes inside, while their followers 
slept and cooked on the bank under the old trees. 

** Until recently there could be seen some holes in the ground under the old 
elms on the bank of the river opposite to the old house. Lord Howe's regiment, 
the Ffty-sixth, encamped on the spot in 1758 on its way to the disastrous battle 
at Ticonderoga, just before which. Lord Howe was killed in a skirmish. At 
that time there was space enough between the road and the river to accommo- 
date the whole regiment, and these holes marked the places where the soldiers 
boiled their camp kettles. 

" Judge Douw was a tall, dignified man, six feet two inches in height, straight 
as an arrow, and very handsome, with a clean-shaven face, a firm mouth, and a 
piercing eye. He wore his hair in a queue, the front hair brushed straight back 
and powdered. His usual dress was a long-waisted coat with skirts reaching 
nearly to the ankles, adorned with large silver buttons made of Spanish coins, 
knee breeches, silk stockings, and shoes with silver buckles set with Rhine 
stones. A large cocked hat completed the attire. He always carried a silver- 
headed cane. He wore a turnip-shaped silver watch with a heavy seal, and in 
his pocket was his tobacco box of embossed silver, on which was engraved his 



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60 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

coat-of-arms, surrounded by a scroll, and on the reverse was a representation of 
'Susannah and the Elders in the Garden.' He also carried a tongue scraper, 
tooth, ear and nail pick, all shutting within a guard or handle. 

** He was a famous horseman, even in his old age, and there was no horse so 
vicious that he was unable to subdue him. Munsell speaks of him as ' one of 
the most ancient and respectable merchant princes of the day.' 

'* He owned a large number of slaves who were devoted to him, and his 
family ; remaining in his employ even when slavery was abolished in New York 
state. Judge Douw's slave Dinah was one of the girls who set fire to the barn 
of Leonard Gansevoort, starting the conflagration of 1793 in Albany, and was 
executed on Pinkster Hill ; Bet, a slave of Philip S. Van Rensselaer being the 
other one implicated. 

"Judge Douw was at one time captured by the British, and was confined as a 
prisoner of war in Quebec, where he acquired the French language, and ever 
after kept a body servant ; three dying in his service. In his capacity as Com- 
missary, he once set out to join the army at Saratoga, followed by his servant, 
'King Charles,' on horseback. Suddenly Charles appeared at the stockade 
loudly calling for admittance, saying that his master had been captured, and he, 
after hard fighting, had appeared to tell the tale of woe. Before the family had 
recovered from the shock the master himself came thundering up to demand 
the cause of Charles' flight. It seems that the old negro saw some distance 
back of his master the sumac, or Indian salt, waving in the wind, and suppos- 
ing it to be the red feather of the enemy, he fled in dismay and had told the 
tale of capture to clear himself from cowardice. 

** As Mayor of Albany, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Member of 
Assembly, Senator, and Vice President of the First Provincial Congress, his 
circle of friends was large, and all the most prominent men of the day were 
visitors at the Hoeck. 

" Well known for his successful negotiations with the Six Nations and other 
Indian tribes, he was an intimate friend of all the Indian chiefs, and perhaps 
knew Red Jacket as well as did any white man. The Six Nations, on the 
death of a favorite daughter, sent him a belt of condolence to show their 
sympathy. 

** As Commissioner of Indian Aflairs, he was brought into intimate relations 
with the various tribes, and the most friendly intercourse existed between them. 
The various chiefs and their retainers made two visits each year to the Hoeck to 
have a talk with ' the Heer and his friends and smoke the pipe of peace.' At 
one of these meetings, at a convivial supper, General Schuyler, who was 
present, offered to bet a large sum that the horse he rode in coming to the feast 
could outrun a famous horse named Sturgeon, belonging to Volckert P. Douw, 
which, in his day, had won many a purse for his master. It was in midwinter, 
but the ice was very slushy, owing to heavy rains. However, the Indians and 
negroes soon cleared a place on the ice, and stretched themselves, with lanterns, 
all across and down the centre of the river, and the race was run, old Sturgeon 



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VOLCKERT PETER DOUW 



61 



coming out ahead amid the yells and shouts of white men, Indians and negroes, 
* King Charles * of Pinkster fame being his rider. 

"Mrs. Douw died June 14th, 1794, and the list of persons invited to her 
funeral shows all the prominent names of the day. 

"Judge Douw died March 20th, 1801, and was laid by his wife's side at 
Wolven Hoeck. A keg of wine was spiced and prepared during his life and 
under his own direction, for this event, on the occasion of which the guests 
imbibed so freely that they had to be carried home on ox sleds. 

" * An upright man, and a true patriot has this day gone to his rest, and his 
son has inherited all his father's virtues,' wrote an old resident of Albany, and 
it may be added that his life illustrated his belief that * Our country's welfare is 
our first concern, and who proves that best proves his duty.' " 

By his great-granddaughter, Mary Lanman Douw Ferris. 




DOUW ARMS. 



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CHAPTER III 

Period i 768-1 774 

" We next find hinj,'* continues Kent, *' under the title of Colonel Schuyler in 
company with his compatriot, George Clinton, in the year 1768 on the floor of 
the House of Assembly, taking an active share in all their vehement discussions. 
He was elected a member for the city and county of Albany and he continued 
a member until the colonial legislature in April, 1775, terminated its existence 
forever. A seat in the Assembly at that day, was very important, and an evi- 
dence of character as well as influence, inasmuch as the members were few, and 
chosen exclusively by freeholders, and held their seats for seven years. The 
services which Colonel Schuyler rendered in that station and the talents, zeal, 
and intrepidity which he displayed in asserting the constitutional rights of the 
Colonies, and in resisting the claims of the British Parliament, and of the 
colonial governor and council, may be considered as having laid the solid 
foundation for those marks of distinguished honor and confidence which his 
countrymen were afterward so prompt to bestow. The majority of the Assembly 
were favorable to the interest of the crown, and they continually checked the 
bold measures of the whigs in their determined opposition to the claims of the 
parent power. A very difficult, arduous, and responsible duty was imposed upon 
Colonel Schuyler and his leading associates, which were in the minority. It 
vas in the closing scenes of that body, in the winter and spring of 1775, amid 
the expiring struggles of that ministerial party to uphold the tottering fabric of 
the British colonial administration, that the zeal, talents and firmness of the 
minority shone with the brightest lustre. None of them were tobe overawed or 
seduced from a bold and determined defence of the constitutional rights of the 
Colonies, and of an adherence to the letter and spirit of the councils of the union. 
The struggle in the House of the Assembly between the Ministerial and the 
Whig parties, was brought to a crisis in the months of February and March, and 
in that memorable contest Philip Schuyler and George Clinton, together with 
Nathaniel Woodhull of Long Island, and Colonel Philip Livingston, gained 
strength by defeat, and arose with increasing vigor suitable to the difficulties 
and solemnities of the crisis. 

*' On the 3d, of March, Colonel Schuyler moved declaratory resolutions that 
the act 4, George III., imposing duties for raising a revenue in America, and 
for ending the jurisdiction of the admiralty courts, and for depriving his maj- 
esty's subjects in America of trial by jury, and for holding up an injurious dis- 
crimination between the subjects of Great Britain and those of the Colonies, 
were great grievances. The government party seem to have fled the question, 
and to have left in the House only the scanty number of nine members, and the 

62 



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PERIOD 1768-1774 63 

resolutions were carried by a vote of seven to two ; but their opponents im- 
mediately rallied, and eleven distinct divisions, on different motions were after- 
ward taken in the course of that day, and entered on the journal, and they re- 
lated to all the momentous points then in controversy between Great Britain and 
the United States. It was a sharp and hard-fought contest for fundamental 
principles ; and a more solemn and eventful never happened on the floor of a 
deliberate assembly. The House consisted on that day of twenty-four members, 
and the ministerial majority exactly in the ratio of two to one. The resistance 
of the House was fairly broken down, and essentially controlled by the efforts 
of the minority and the energy of public opinion. 

** These were the last proceedings of the General Assembly of the Colony of 
New York, which now closed its existence forever. More perilous scenes, and 
new and brighter paths of glory, were opening upon the vision of those illustri- 
ous patriots.*' 

UNPUBLISHED LETTER. 

" Albany, March 7th, 1768. 
«• Dear Sir : 

" I thank you for your very friendly letter of the 22d, ult, and your kind offices. 
" You do not tell me whether you intend to be in the House or send another for the Manor. 
I have a particular reason to wish the former. It will not be hard to guess when I tell you 
that Mr. Ten Eyck and myself have been unanimously elected. I could wish to borrow part 
of that knowledge in public affairs, which, in the course of many years' experience joined to a 
luxuriant genius you have acquired ; in following such a guide I should be in no danger of 
losing myself in the political labyrinth. Mr. Jacobus Myndertse comes for Schenectady, Mr. 
Abram Ten Broeck for the Manor of Rensselaer, and Robert R. Livingston for Dutchess 
County. Should I not have the pleasure of seeing you at the Sessions, I shall do myself the 
pleasure to call on you at my return. The whole of this family join me in regards to you and 
yours. Col. Bradstreet begs his ; he wishes with me to have the pleasure of your company 
the ensuing spring or summer. 

" I am, Dear Sir, very affectionately, 
" Your kinsman and obedient servant, 
" Ph. Schuyler. 
" Philip Ver Planck, Esq., 

" .4t his seat in the Manor of Cortlandt'^ 



Colonel Schuyler's position in the Assembly during the closing years of the 
colonial period was a delicate one in respect to the representatives of the 
Crown. He was closely allied by blood with the rich and powerful family of 
De Lancey, and an intimate personal friend of both Governor Moore and 
Lieutenant-Governor Colden. B. J. Lossing writes in his life of Schuyler : 
** Yet in this as in all similar contingencies of his public life, Schuyler did not 
allow friendships to interfere with his duty to his country. At the beginning of 
the session of 1769, a long memorial from merchants, traders, and others con- 
cerned in or affected by the Indian trade addressed to Jacob Ten Eyck and 



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64 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Philip Schuyler, representatives for the city and county of Albany, Jacobus 
Myndert, representative of the township of Schenectady, and Abraham Ten 
Broeck and Robert Livingston, representatives respectfully of the Manors of 
Rensselaer and Livingston, was presented, in which the memorialists after 
expressing their satisfaction because the governor had recommended the passage 
of an act for regulating the Indian trade, set forth their views, based upon 
stated facts and conclusions. This memorial was referred to a committee of the 
Assembly, of which Colonel Schuyler was chairman, and on the loth of May he 
presented a report on the subject, carefully drawn by his own hand. That 
report from its completeness and valuable suggestions, excited a great deal of 
attention, and Colonel Schuyler and Mr. De Lancey were instructed to prepare 
and bring in a bill for the regulation of the Indian trade. That bill soon 
became a law, and the regulations adopted under it were in operation until the 
commencement of the Revolution, and the change in the relative position of all 
parties concerned was effected by the war." 



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GEORGE CLINTON. 



(Page 66i 



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GEORGE CLINTON 67 

GEORGE CLINTON 

First Governor of Ntw York State 

** George Clinton, Governor of New York and Vice President of the United 
States, was named after the Colonial governor, a friend of his father. He was 
the youngest son of Colonel Charles Clinton, and was born in Ulster County, 
now Orange, July 26, 1739. ^^^ ^^s education his father was assisted by Daniel 
Thain, a minister from Scotland. In early life he evinced the enterprise which 
distinguished him afterward. He once left his father's house and sailed in a 
privateer. On his return he accompanied as a lieutenant, his brother James, in 
the expedition against Fort Frontenac, now Kingston. He afterward studied 
law under William Smith, and rose to some distinction in his native country. 
As a member of the Colonial Assembly in- 1775, and afterward as a member of 
Congress, he was a zealous whig. He voted for the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, July 4th, 1776 ; but, being called away by his appointment as brigadier- 
general before the instrument was ready for the signature of the members, his 
name was not attached to it. March 25th, 1777, he was appointed brigadier- 
general of the United States. At the first election under the Constitution of 
New York, he was chosen, April 21st, 1777, both governor and lieutenant- 
governor. Accepting the former office, the latter was filled by Mr. Van Cort- 
landt. He was thus elected chief magistrate six successive periods, or for eight- 
een years, till 1795, when he was succeeded by Mr. Jay. Being at the head of 
a powerful State, and in the command of the militia, his patriotic services were 
of the highest importance to his country. On the advance of the enemy up the 
Hudson in October, 1777, he prorogued the Assembly and proceeded to take 
command of Fort Montgomery, where he and his brother James made a most 
gallant defence October 6th. He escaped under cover of the night. The next 
day Forts Independence and Constitution were evacuated. He presided in the 
convention at Poughkeepsie, June 17, 1778, for deliberating on the federal con- 
stitution, which he deemed not sufficiently guarded in favor of the sovereignty 
of each state. After being ^st years in private life, he was elected to the leg- 
islature. Again in 1801 was he chosen governor ; but in 1804 was succeeded 
by Mr. Lewis. In that year he was elevated to the vice presidency of the 
United States, in which station he continued till his death. It was by his cast- 
ing vote, that the bill for renewing the bank charter was negatived. He died at 
Washington, April 20th, 181 2, aged seventy-two. In private life he was frank, 
amiable, and warm in friendship. By his wife Cornelia Tappan, of Kingston, 
he had one son and five daughters, of whom but one daughter (1838) is still 
living. His daughter, Maria, wife of Dr. S. D. Beekman, died in April, 1829 ; 
his second daughter, Cornelia, wife of E. C. Genet, died March, 18 10, aged 
thirty-five; his third daughter, Elizabeth, widow of Matthias Talmadge, died 



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68 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

April, 1825, aged forty-five. Another daughter married Colonel Van Cortlandt 
and died in 181 1. An oration on his death was delivered by Governor Morris. 
Of his energy and decision the following are instances. At conclusion of the 
war, when a British officer was placed on a cart in the city of New York, to be 
tarred and feathered, he rushed in among the mob and rescued the sufferer. 
During the raging of what was called the Doctor's mob, when in consequence of 
the disinterment of some bodies for dissection, the houses of the physicians were 
in danger of being pulled down, he called out the militia and quelled the turbu- 
lence. The following is an instance of the skill, with which he diverted atten- 
tion from his growing infirmities. On a visit to Pittsfield, as he was rising from 
the table in his old age, he fell, but was caught by a lady sitting next to him. 
* Thus,' said he, * should I ever wish to fall into the hands of the ladies.' For 
many years he suffered much by the rheumatism." 

By A. F. Allen. 

General Pierre Van Cortlandt, born August 29th, 1762, married Catharine 
Clinton, the eldest daughter of George Clinton. The two portraits in crayons, 
here reproduced, of Governor Clinton and his wife, by St. Menon Valdevieux, 
are now hanging on the walls of the old Van Cortlandt manor house. 

The two following letters have never before appeared in print. 

<« New Windsor, March 5tb, 1781. 
" Madam 

" Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Hamilton, Mrs. Cochran, & your humble servant will do ourselves 
the Pleasure of dining with you to Day. The uncertainty of our seting out, with the Diffi- 
culty of crossing the River prevented an earlier notification. It is probable we shall not be 
able to reach Poughkeepsie before four o'clock & propose taking up our Quarters there for the 
Night. 

** I am Madam Your most obed' 

" & very humble sernt 

"John Cochran. 
" Mrs. Clinton." 

(John Cochran was at the time, Surgeon-General of the Army, and in 1760, had married 
the only sister of General Schuyler.) 

«* PoKEEPSiE, Janry, 20, 1782. 
" Reverend Sir 

" I have been duly favored with your letter of the 3d instant and return you my warmest 
thanks for the Communication as the Intelligence it contains will help to unravel a Scene of 
Iniquity in the perfect Knowledge of which the Safety of the State is materially concerned. I 
shall be under the Necessity of making public use of the contents of it but will be particularly 
careful to conceal such Parts of it and use it in such a Manner as not to discover the Channel 
thro- which the Intelligence is derived. I have the honor to be 

" with the most perfect Respect & 

•* Esteem your most obt ser< 

" Geo. Clinton. 
" Rev. Drick, Romevne." 



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MRS. CLINTON. 



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THE HUQUENOT FAMILY OF DB LANCEY 71 



THE HUGUENOT FAMILY OF de LANCEY 

*'The name of this ancient family, anciently spelled ' Lanci/ and later 
' Lancy/ in France, was anglicized by Etienne de Lancy on being denizenized 
a British subject in 1686, after which time he always wrote his name Stephen 
de Lancey — thus inserting an * e ' in the final syllable. The * de * is the 
ordinary French prefix, denoting nobility. 

"The Seigneur Jacques (James) de Lancey, above named, second son of 
Charles de Lancey, fifth Vicomte de Laval et de Nouvion, was the ancestor of 
the Huguenot branch, the only existing one of this family. His son, the 
Seigneur Jacques de Lancy of Caen, married Marguerite Bertrand, daughter of 
Pierre Bertrand of Caen, by his first wife, the Demoiselle Firel, and had two 
children, a son Etienne (or Stephen) de Lancey, born at Caen, October 24th, 
1663, and a daughter, the wife of John Barbarie. On the Revocation of the 
edic of Nantes, Stephen de Lancey was one of these who, stripped of his 
estates, fled from persecution — leaving his aged mother, then a widow, in con- 
cealment at Caen, he escaped to Holland, where, remaining a short time, he pro- 
ceeded to England, and taking out letters of denization as an English subject at 
London, on the 20th of March, 1686, he sailed for New York, where he ar- 
rived on the 7th of June following. Here with three hundred pounds sterling, 
the proceeds of the sale of some family jewels, the parting gift of his mother, he 
embarked in mercantile pursuits. By industry and strict application to business, 
he became a successful merchant and amassed a large fortune. He was a highly 
esteemed and influential man, and held, through all his life, honorable appoint- 
ments in the councils of the city, as well as in the Representative Assembly of 
the Province. He was elected alderman of the west ward of the city, five years 
after his arrival, in 1691. He was representative from the city and county of 
New York in the Provincial Assembly, from 1702 to 17 15, with the exception of 
1709; and in 1725, on the decease of Mr. Provoost, he was elected again to 
that body. The following year he was reelected, and continued in office until 
1737; a service of twenty-six years in all. In 1716, being a vestryman of 
Trinity Church, he contributed fifty pounds, the amount of his salary as Rep- 
resentative to the General Assembly, to buy a city clock for that church, the first 
ever erected in New York. To him and Mr. John Moore, his partner, the city 
is also indebted for the introduction of fire engines, in 1731. He was one of the 
principal benefactors of the French Church, Du St. Esprit, established in New 
York by the refugees who fled upon the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and 
a warm friend of the French Huguenots at New Rochelle. The following letter 
addressed by him, 1691, to his friend Alexander Allaire, is still preserved among 
the public records at New Rochelle. 



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72 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

"« NiEU York, le 27 Juliet, 1691. 
" « MoNs. Allaire : 

. " * Monsieur Notre Amy Mons. Bonheiler, avant de partir me donnera ordre qu'en cas 
quil vinsse k mourir il soit fair donnation de ses terres t sa filleule votre Bile, Sy vous pouvez 
faire quelque Benefice des dits terres. Soit k Couper des arbres ou a faire des foins sur les 
prairies vous le pouves a I'exclusion de qui quese soit, Je suis. 

" « Mons. votre trd humble serviteur, 
•« « Etienne de Lancey. 
" * Ceu est la v^retable coppie de Toriginal.' 

" He was a vestryman of Trinity Church, New York at the time of his death, 
in 1 741. He married January 23d, 1700, Anne Van Cortlandt (whose mother 
was a Schuyler, and whose family was then one of the most opulent and exten- 
sive in the Province). Stephen de Lancey at his death in 1741, left issue sur- 
viving, James, Peter, Stephen, John, Oliver, Susan and Anne. Of these sons 
Stephen and John died bachelors. Susan married Admiral Sir Peter Warren, and 
Anne the Honorable John Watts of New York. The eldest son, James de Lan- 
cey, a man of great talent, was born in the City of New York, 27th of November, 
1703, and received his education at the University of Cambridge, England. 
He was a fellow-commoner of Corpus Christi College (where he was styled the 
'handsome American') and studied law in the temple. In 1725, he returned 
to New York, and on the decease of John Barbarie, his uncle by marriage, was 
appointed by George IL to succeed him in the Provincial Council. He took his 
seat at the board, January 29, 1729, and held it to April 9, 1733, when he was 
appointed Chief Justice of New York, and continued so the remainder of his 
life. If 1753, on the accession of Sir Danvers Osborne as Governor, in the 
place of George Clinton, he received the commission of lieutenant-governor, 
which had been conferred upon him in 1747 by George IL and had been kept 
back by Clinton until this time. The oath of office was administered October 
iOi 1753' '^^^^ tragical death of Sir Danvers Osborne by suicide two days after- 
ward, occasioned the elevation of Mr. de Lancey to the gubernatorial chair, 
which he occupied till the 2d of September, 1755, when the new governor, 
Admiral Sir Charles Hardy arrived, who administered the government till the 
2d of July, 1757. Preferring a naval command Hardy resigned, and sailed in 
the expedition to Louisburgh, and Mr. de Lancey again took the reins of govern- 
ment. 

"The ministry of England wished to keep the command of New York in the 
hands of Mr. de Lancey, but it was then, as it is to this day, a rule of the Eng- 
lish Government never to appoint a native colonist to the supreme command 
over his own colony. To effect their object in this case without violating their 
rule, they decided not to appoint any new governor as long as Mr. de Lancey 
lived ; he therefore remained the Governor of New York under his commission 
of lieutenant-governor until his death, some three years afterward, on the 30th 
of July, 1760. 

*' On the 19th of June, 1754, Governor de Lancey convened and presided over 
the celebrated Congress of Albany, the first Congress ever held in America, over 



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THE HUGUENOT FAMILY OF DE LANCEY 73 

which he presided. This was a Congress of delegates from all the Colonies, 
which the home government directed the Governor of New York to hold, for the 
purpose of conciliating the Indian nations who were invited to attend it; of re- 
newing the covenant chain and attaching them more closely to the British in- 
terest, and comprising all the provinces in one general treaty to be made with 
them in the King's name, and for no other purpose. Speeches and presents 
were made to the Indians who promised to do all that was asked of them, but 
no formal treaty whatever was concluded. The Congress voted instead, that 
the delegation from each colony except New York, should appoint one of their 
number, who together should be a committee to digest a plan for a general union 
of all the Colonies. 

"The choice of the I^ew York committeeman was left to Governor de Lan- 
cey, who, acting most impartially, appointed his political opponent, William 
Smith, Esq., the elder. This movement, which was not within the objects of 
the Congress as defined in the letter of the Board of Trade above mentioned, re- 
suited in the adopting of a plan of union to be made by an act of Parliament, 
which, after the provisions were resolved on, was put into form by Benjamin 
Franklin, who was a delegate from Pennsylvania, and which was not decided 
upon, but merely sent to the different provinces for consideration. 

** Before the motion for the appointment of this committee was made. Gover- 
nor de Lancey, being in favor of the Colonies uniting for their own defence, 
proposed the building and maintaining, at the joint expense of the Colonies, of 
a chain of forts covering their whole exposed frontier, and some in the Indian 
country itself. But this plan, like the other, was without effect upon the Con- 
gress; for, as he tells us himself, * they seemed so fully persuaded of the back- 
wardness of the several assemblies to come into joint and vigorous measures that 
they were unwilling to enter uj)on the consideration of the matters.' His idea 
seems to have been for a practical union of the Colonies for their defence to be 
made by themselves ; whilst that of the committees, who despaired of a voluntary 
union, was for a consolidation of the Colonies to be enforced by an act of Par- 
liament. Neither plan, however, met with favor in any quarter, and the Con- 
gress effected little but the conciliation of the Indians. 

*' In the autumn of 1754, the governor suggested to the assembly the system 
of settling lands in townships instead of patents, a measure which, being passed 
by them, rapidly increased the population, and prosperity of the colony. 

** On the 31st of October, 1754, Governor de Lancey signed and passed the 
charter of King's (now Columbia) college, in spite of the long and bitter oppo- 
sition of the Presbyterians, led by Mr. William Livingston. So decided were 
they against the Episcopalians at this time, and so determined were the efforts 
of Mr. Livingston to break down the college, that, though signed and sealed, 
the charter was not delivered in consequence of the clamor, till May 7th, 1755, 
when, after an address. Governor de Lancey presented it to the trustees in form. 

** No American had greater influence in the colonies than James de Lancey. 
Circumstances, it is true, aided in raising him to this elevation — such as educa- 



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74 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

tion, connections, wealth, and his high conservative principles; but he owed as 
much to personal qualities, perhaps, as to all other causes united. Gay, witty, easy 
of access, and frank, he was, pfersonally, the most popular ruler the Province ever 
possessed, even when drawing tightest the reins of government. 

** The death of Governor James de Lancey, which took place on the 30th of 
July, 1760, was an event which had a great influence in the affairs of the 
Province. He was found expiring upon that morning, seated in his chair in his 
library, too late for medical aid. His funeral took place on the evening of the 
31st of July, 1760. The body was deposited in his family vault, in the middle 
aisle of Trinity Church, the funeral service being performed by the Rev. Mr. 
Barclay, in great magnificence ; the building was splendidly illuminated. The 
accounts of the funeral and the procession from his house in the Bowery to the 
church, filled columns of the papers of the day. 



" James de Lancey married as above stated, Anne, eldest daughter and 
coheiress of the Honorable Caleb Heathcote, Lord of the Manor of Scarsdale. By 
her, he had four sons; first, James; second, Stephen; third, Heathcote; fourth, 
John Peter ; and four daughters; first, Mary, wife of William Walton, who died in 
1767 ; second, Susannah, born i8th of November, 1737, died a spinster in 1815 ; 
third, Anne, born in 1746, and died in 18 17, who married Thomas Jones, 
Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, author of the History of New York 
during the Revolutionary War ; and Martha, who died a spinster, aged nine- 
teen, in 1769. 

" James de Lancey, the eldest son of the Lieutenant-Governor, born in 
1732, was the head of the political party, called by his name, from his father's 
death to the Revolution and its leader in the Assembly of the Province. He 
married August 17th, 1771, Margaret Allen, of Philadelphia, daughter of 
William Allen, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, whose sister was the wife of Gov- 
ernor John Penn of that province. The late Mrs. Harry Walter Livingston 
(born Mary Allen) who died in 1855, was a niece of these two sisters. James 
de Lancey had two sons, Charles, in early life a British naval officer, and James, 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the First Dragoon Guards ; both died bachelors, the for- 
mer May 6th, 1840, and the latter May 26th, 1857; and three daughters, 
Margaret, married July 17th, 1794, Sir Jukes Granville Clifton Jukes, Bart., and 
died June nth, 1804, without leaving children; Anna and Susan, who both 
died spinsters, the first, August loth, 185 1, and the last April 7th, 1866. 

** Stephen, the second son of Lieutenant-Governor de Lancey, was the pro- 
prietor of what is now the town of North Salem, in this county (Westchester) 
which came to his father as part of his share in the Manor of Cortlandt, which 
town Stephen de lancey settled. He built a large double dwelling, which he 
subsequently gave to the town for an academy, which is still in existence. He 
married Hannah Sackett, of Crom Pond, and died without issue May 6th, 



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THE HUGUENOT FAMILY OF DB LANCET 76 

1795. Heathcote, the third son of the Lieutenant-Governor, died young, before 
his father. 

** John Peter de Lancey, the fourth son of Lieutenant-Governor de Lancey, 
was born in the city of New York, July isth, 1753, ^"^ ^^^^ ^it Mamaroneck, 
January 30th, 1828. He was educated in Harrow School in England, and at the 
military school at Greenwich. In 1771 he entered the regular army as ensign, 
and served up to the rank of captain in the i8th, or Royal Irish Regiment of 
Foot. He was, also, for a time by special permission, major of the Pennsylvania 
Loyalists, commanded by Colonel William Allen. 

•** He received the Heathcote estates of his mother, in the Manor of Scars- 
dale; and having retired from a military life, in i789returned to America and re- 
sided at Mamaroneck. He built a new house, still standing on Heathcote Hill, 
the site of grandfather Heathcote's great brick manor house, which was ac- 
cidentally burned several years prior to the Revolution. He married 28th of Sep- 
tember, 1785, Elizabeth Floyd, daughter of Colonel Richard Floyd, of Mastic, 
Suffolk County, the head of that old Long Island family, and had three sons and 
five daughters. 

'* The third son of this marriage was William Heathcote, born 8th of October, 
1797, at Mamaroneck, and died at Geneva, New York, April 5th, 1865, the 
late Bishop of Western New York." 

Edward Floyd de Lancey. 



THE DE LANCEY MANSION 

Washington' s Quarters ^ November ^ ^7^3^ <^nd the House in Which 
He Took Leave of His Officers 

*' In the oldest portion of the city of New York, at the southeast corner of 
Pearl and Broad streets, stands a stately old building, around which cluster 
many interesting liistorical and social memories. It was built at the beginning 
of the last century, by Stephen de Lanci, or de Lancey, the ancestor of that 
family in America. He was an active Huguenot, of noble blood, and when the 
tolerating Edict of Nantes was revoked by Louis XIV., in 1685, he fled from 
his home in Normandy, with no other fortune than his mother's blessing and 
some family jewels, which she quilted into his doublet. He was then twenty- 
three years of age, well educated, and full of energy and hope. He went to 
Rotterdam, in Holland, and thence to London, where he became a naturalized 
citizen of England; and, in the summer of 1686, he came to New York, where 
he was admitted a freeman under the seal of the city. With the capital of 
education, integrity, and the proceeds of the sale of his jewels, he entered into 
mercantile business, and very soon became a wealthy man, and highly esteemed 
citizen. In 1690 he was a member of the Court of Admiralty, and from 1691 
to 1694 he was an alderman of the city. 

" Mr. de Lancey married Anne, daughter of Stephanus Van Cortlandt ; and, 



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76 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



on land conveyed to him by his father-in-law, he built the mansion above de- 
lineated, in the year 1700, when he was thirty-eight years of age. There he 
lived in sumptuous style as compared with his more modest and frugal Dutch 
neighbors, until his death, in 1741. 

" Soon after his death, the de Lanceys seem to have left this residence, and it 
was occupied for a while by Colonel Joseph Robinson, who appears to have been 
a business partner with the elder de Lancey. In 1757 it ceased to be exclusively 
a dwelling, the lower part being then occupied, for the first time, by the mer- 
cantile firm of * de Lancey, Robinson & Company.' Four years later the de 
Lanceys sold the property to Samuel Fraunces, a noted innkeeper — the Niblo 
or Delmonico of the last century — who, *at the sign of the Mason's Arms,' had 
sold ' portable soup, catsup, bottled gooseberries, pickled walnuts, pickled or 
fried oysters, fit to go to the West Indies, pickled mushrooms, currant jelly, 
marmalade,' etc. In 1761 he opened the de Lancey House as a house of enier- 




DE LANCEY MANSION. 

tainment, with the name of the * Queen's Head Tavern,' his sign being the 
effigy of Charlotte, the young queen of George III. He conducted business 
there for about four years, when he rented the house to John Jones, and opened 
'Vauxhall Gardens,' in Greenwich street. Jones remained at the 'Queen's 
Head ' only about a year, when the following advertisement appeared in a New 
York newspaper, under the date of January i6th, 1767 : 

" * Bolton and Sigell Take this Method to acquaint the publick that they propose to open, on 
Monday next, a Tavern and Coflfee House at the House of Samuel Fraunces, near the Ex- 
change, lately kept by Mr. John Jones, and known by the name of the " Queen's Head Tavern," 
where Gentlemen may depend upon receiving the best Usage. As Strangers, they are sensible 



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THE HUGUENOT FAMILY OF DE LANCEY 



rt 



they can have no Pretension to the Favor of the Public but what results from their readiness 
upon all occasions to oblige. Dinners and Public Entertainments provided at the shortest no- 
tice. Breakfast in readiness from 9 to 1 1 o'clock. Jellies in great perfection ; also Rich and 
Plain Cakes sold by the weight.* 

*' The firm was dissolved in February, 1770, and Bolton carried on the business 
until May of the same year, when Fraunces again appeared there as proprietor 
of the tavern. The good cookery and excellent wines at the ' Queen's Head ' 
made it a favorite meeting place of the clubs in those days. Among the most 
noted of these were * The Moot ' and the * Social Club.* 



** Originally it was two stories and a high attic with a hipped roof with balus- 
trades at the eaves, and remained so till late in this century (i8th) when the 
roof was taken off and two brick stories put in its place. From Sam Fraunces* 
day (who was a mulatto) till now it has always been used as a hotel. The north- 
east corner of Broad and Pearl streets was given to Mr. Samuel Bayard who 
married the eldest daughter of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, three months after Mr. 
and Mrs. de Lancey*s wedding, and Mr. B. built a house on it, which has long 
since disappeared.** ' 




Q fthcltmer/ Temple ~^ — 



BOOK PLATE. 

> " New York, April ist, 1896. 
" My dear Mrs. Baxter : 

' " I send enclosed a steel plate engraving of my Father, which is a good likeness. As to 
James de Lancey, the Chief Justice and Governor, there is now no portrait. His portrait was 
burned with other family pictures in November, 1777, when General Oliver de Lancey 's house 
at Bloomingdale (his brother's) now 86lh-87th streets and North River was robbed, burned 



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78 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

and the ladies of hb family driven out in their night clothes into the woods of his estate (now 
the city's West side from middle of Central Park to the North River) by a detachment of the 
American Water-Guard from Tarrytown, by order of Governor George Clinton, of New York. 
Jones' * History of New York during the Revolutionary War,* and other works have a foil ac- 
count of the atfair. 

" My father's mother, Mrs. John P. de Lancey, then Miss Elizabeth Floyd, was visiting the 
General's daughter Charlotte, afterward Lady Dundas of Beechwood, at the time, and was one 
of the ladies who had to spend the night after, running around in the woods ; a not agreeable 
thing in the month of November. Lady Dundas lived till 1840, and told my father and my- 
self all about it. 

" General de Lancey was at the time on Long Island. 

" I am, very truly yours, 

" Edward F. de Lancey." 



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CAD WALL ADEH COLDEN 81 



CADWALLADER COLDEN 

Lieutenant- Governor of the Province of New York 

** Cadwallader Golden, known in the scientific and literary world as a physi- 
cian, botanist, astronomer and historian, was born on the 17th of February, 1688, 
(N. S.J in Ireland where his mother happened to be temporarily on a visit. His 
father was the Rev. Alexander Golden, minister of Dunsie in Scotland. He 
graduated at the University of Edinburgh in 1705, but being disinclined to the 
Ghurch for which he was intended, he proceeded to London where he embraced 
the profession of medicine. He emigrated to Philadelphia in 1710, ' a mere 
scholar and stranger in the world.' He returned, however, to London in 1715, 
where he formed an acquaintance with some of the most distinguished literary 
characters of the day, and in the course of the following year married Alice 
Ghristie, daughter of a clergyman of Kelso, Scotland. The troubles prevailing 
at this time could not but indispose him to remain in his native land, and he 
came back to Philadelphia in which city he practiced his profession for some 
time. In 1718, he visited New York, where he made the acquaintance of Gov- 
ernor Hunter, who was so favorably impressed by his conversation and solid ac- 
quirements that he became his patron, and invited him to settle in his govern- 
ment, and appointed him Surveyor-General of the Golony. In 1720, he pro- 
cured a grant of two thousand acres of land, in what is now the town of Mont- 
gomery, Orange county, to which was added shortly after, another one thou- 
sand acres. He was called by his Majesty's Provincial Gouncil in 1732, by 
Governor Burnet, and in this position aided most efficiently in securing the In- 
dian trade to New York. At this period the trade with the distant Indians was 
carried on through Canada which obtained its supplies from Great Britain 
through certain merchants at Albany. To exclude the French from this trade 
was a prominent part of Governor Burnet's policy, and with that view he ob- 
tained a law from the legislature prohibiting the circuitous trade under the 
severest penalties. Through the influence of London merchants and the in- 
trigues of other interested parties this act was repealed in England. Consider- 
able and prolonged discussion was the consequence ; Dr. Golden took a promi- 
nent part in the controversy which, however, is interesting at this late day only 
from the fact that to it we owe the well-known History of the Five Nations 
' which was published in 1727, on occasion of a dispute between the govern- 
ment of New York and some merchants.' After Mr. Burnet's administration, 
Mr. Golden removed to his country seat now known by the name of Goldenham, 
and there devoted all the leisure he could command from his official duties to 
his favorite studies, and in learned correspondence with the philosophers of the 
day, both in Europe and America. It was in the course of this correspondence 
that he first suggested the plan of the American Philosophical Society which was 
established at Philadelphia on account of the central and convenient situation of 
that city. Yet thus early he excited much jealousy among his contemporaries. 



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82 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



and we find him embroiled with the other members of the Council during 
Cosby's, Clarke's and some succeeding administrations. On the death of 
Lieutenant-Governor de Lancey in 1760, Mr. Colden being the senior member 
of the Council, was called to administer the government, and in August, 1761, 
was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, which office he filled until 
November, 1765, with the exception of about fifteen months that General 
Monckton was at the head of affairs. The government again devolved on him 
in 1769, but he was superseded the following year by Lord Dunmore. He was 
called for the fourth and last time, in 1774, to the executive chair which he 
occupied until the 25th of June, 1775, but at this period his rule was not much 
more than nominal. One of his closing duties was to announce that * Congress 
appointed George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the American Army.* 
He now retired to his country house at Spring-hill, near Flushing, L. L, after 
encountering with the greatest firmness all the odium attendant on the mad 
efforts of the British Ministry to tax through the Stamp and Tea acts, the people of 
the Colonies without their consent, and died on the 21st of September, 1 776, in the 
88th year of his age, having survived his wife, fourteen years. Like all men in 
high station his administration has been rigidly canvassed by his contemporaries. 
The bitterness of the political strifes of these days having now passed away, 
posterity will not fail to accord justice to the character and memory of a man 
to whom this country is most deeply indebted for much of its science and for 
very many of its most important institutions, and of whom the State of New 
York may well be proud. ' For the great variety and extent of his learning, his 
unwearied research, his talents, and the public sphere which he filled, Cadwallader 
Colden may be justly placed in a high rank among the distinguished men of his 
time,' and when it is considered how large a portion of his life was spent in the 
labors or the routine of public office, and that however great might have been his 
original stock of learning, he had in this country no reading public to excite 
him by their applauses, and few literary friends to assist or to stimulate his en- 
quiries, his zeal and success in his scien- 
tific pursuits will appear (remarks Mr. 
Verplanck) deserving of the highest ad- 
miration. A mind thus powerful and 
active, concluded the same elegant 
writer, could not have failed to produce 
great effect on the character of that society 
in which he moved; and we doubtless 
now enjoy many beneficial, although re- 
mote, effects of his labors without being 
able to trace them to their true source." 
Doc. Hist, of New York. 




COLDEN ARMS. 



(The list of Dr. Colden's Works and 
MSS., is a long, and important one.) 



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CHAPTER IV 
PERIOD 1 774-1775 

'* The delegates from the Colony of New York/' continues Chanceiior 
Kent, " to the Continental Congress in 1774, were not chosen by the General 
Assembly, but by the suffrages of the people, manifested in some sufficiently 
authentic shape in the several counties. 

*'The delegates to the second constitutional Congress, which met in May, 

1775, were chosen by a provincial congress, which the people of the colony had 
already created, and which was held in this city (Albany)in April of that year, 
and had virtually assumed the powers of government. The names of the dele- 
gates from this Colony in this second Congress, were John Jay, John Alsop, 
James Duane, Philip Schuyler, George Clinton, Lewis Morris and Robert R. 
Livingston ; and the weight of their talents and character may be inferred from 
the fact, that Mr. Jay, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Duane, and Mr. Schuyler were 
early placed upon committees charged with the most arduous and responsible 
duties. We find Washington and Schuyler associated together in the committee 
appointed on the 14th of June, 1775, to prepare rules and regulations for the 
government of the army. This association of these two great men commenced 
at such a critical moment, was the beginning of a mutual confidence, respect 
and admiration, which continued with uninterrupted and unabated vividness 
during the remainder of their lives. An allusion is made to this friendship in 
the memoir of a former president of the New York Historical Society and the 
allusion is remarkable for its strength and pathos. After mentioning General 
Schuyler, he adds, * I have placed thee, my friend, by the side of him who 
knew thee ; thy intelligence to discern ; thy zeal to promote thy country's good ; 
and, knowing thee, prized thee. Let this be thy eulogy. I add, and with 
truth peculiarly thine — content it should be mine to have expressed it.' 

"The Congress of this Colony during the years 1775 ^"^ i776> had to meet 
difficulties and dangers almost sufficient to subdue the firmest resolution. The 
population of the Colony was short 200,000 souls. It had a vast body of dis- 
affected inhabitants within its own bosom. It had numerous tribes of hostile 
savages on its frontier. The bonds of society seemed to have been 
broken up, and society itself resolved into its primitive elements. It had no 
civil government but such as had been introduced by the provincial congress 
and county committees as temporary expedients. It had an enemy's province in 
the rear, strengthened by large and well-appointed forces. It had an open and 
exposed seaport without any adequate means to defend it. In the summer of 

1776, the state was actually invaded, not only upon our Canadian, but upon our 

83 



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84 A GODCHILD OF WASHIN07VN 

Atlantic frontier, by a formidable fleet and army, calculated by the power that 
sent them to be sufficient to annihilate at once all our infant republics. 

** In the midst of this appalling storm, the virtue of our people animated by a 
host of intrepid patriots, the mention of whose names is enough to kindle en- 
thusiasm in the breast of the present generation (1830), remained glowing, un- 
moved, and invincible. It would be difficult to find any other j)eople who have 
been put to a severer test, o/, en trial, g&\t higher proofs of courage and 
capacity " 



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JOHN JAY. 



(JhgeSd) 



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JOHN JAY 87 



JOHN JAY 
Statesman and First Chief Justice of the United States 

John Jay, the subject of the following memoir, left behind him an unfinished 
history of his ancestors, written in the latter part of his life. Three extracts 
from it : 

** When and where we were born, and who were our progenitors, are ques- 
tions to which certain philosophers ascribe too little importance. 

** Our family is of Poitou, in France, and the branch of it to which we be- 
long removed from thence to Rochelle. Of our ancestors anterior to Pierre Jay, 
who left France on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, I know nothing that 
is certain. 

**As soon as Mr. Jay's departure was known, his estate in France was seized ; 
and no part of it afterward came to the use of either himself or his children." 

MEMOIR 

*' Peter Jay (the grandson of Pierre) had ten children ; John was his eighth 
child, and was born in the city of New York the 12th of December, 1 745. When 
eight years old he was sent to a grammar school kept by the Rev. Mr. Stoope, 
pastor of the French Church at New Rochelle. King's (now Columbia) col- 
lege was then in its infancy, and had but few students. The number of them 
has never been large, but there are few colleges in our country which have pro- 
duced more good scholars in proportion to the number than this. To this col- 
lege Mr. Jay was sent in 1760, being a little more than fourteen years old. The 
excellent Dr. Samuel Johnson was then President. On the 15th of May, 1764, be 
received his degree of Bachelor of Arts, and spoke the Latin Salutatory, which 
was then as at present, regarded as the highest collegiate honor. Two weeks 
after he had taken his degree, Mr. Jay entered the office of Benjamin Kissam, 
Esq., in the city of New York, as a student at law. On commencing practice, 
he entered into partnership with his relative, Robert R. Livingston, Esq., after- 
ward Chancellor of the State of New York. In 1774, Mr. Jay was married to 
Sarah, the youngest daughter of William Livingston, Esq., afterward for many 
years Governor of New Jersey, and a zealous and distinguished patriot of the 
Revolution. Mr. Jay took his seat in Congress at Philadelphia, on the 5th of 
September, 1774, being the first day of its session. He was in the twenty-ninth 
year of his age, and it is believed the youngest member of the House. On the 
15th of June, Washington was chosen Commander-in-Chief, and a few days 
after, the subordinate generals were appointed. On the 6th of July, 1776, Con- 
gress published a very able declaration * setting forth the causes and necessity 
of their taking arms ; ' Mr. Jay was a member of the committee by whom this 



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88 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

declaration was prepared, but it is not now known from whose pen it proceeded. 
In the month of April, 1777, Mr. Jay, while attending in Congress, was elected 
a representative from the city and county of New York, to the convention or 
Congress of the Colony. This convention assembled on the 14th of May. On 
the 29th of June, Lord Howe and his army arrived off the harbor of New York, 
and the convention, apprehending an attack upon the city, ordered all the 
leaden window sashes, which were then common in Dutch houses, to be taken 
out for the use of the troops; an order that strikingly shows how ill the Colony 
was prepared for the arduous conflict that ensued. The next day the convention 
adjourned to White Plains, about twenty-seven miles from the city. On the ist 
of August, 1776, a committee was appointed to prepare and report a constitu- 
tion. Of this committee he was chairman, and its duty appears to have been 
assigned to him. In 1777, Mr. Jay was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court ; and member of the Council of Safety. On the ist of August, Congress 
recalled General Schuyler from the command of the Northern army, and soon 
after appointed General Gates in his room. By this measure, the suspicions 
that had attached to Schuyler were apparently countenanced by Congress ; and 
he had moreover the mortification of seeing the laurels which had been reared 
by his care and labors, plucked by another. Congress, however, had themselves, 
no doubt of General Schuyler's patriotism and ability. The true but secret rea- 
son of his recall was stated at the time by a letter from James Duane, then in 
Congress, to Mr. Jay. * General Schuyler to humor the Eastern people, who 
declare that their militia will not fight under his command is recalled.* On the 
9th of September, 1777, the first term of the Supreme Court of the State of New 
York was held at Kingston, and the chief justice delivered the charge to the 
grand jury. In the autumn of this year, while at Fishkill, Mr. Jay received a 
visit from General Washington, whose headquarters were at the time in the ad- 
joining county of Westchester. The object of this visit was a confidential con- 
versation on a plan then ^before Congress, for the invasion of Canada the ensu- 
ing campaign, by the combined forces of the United States and of France. On 
the 7th of December Mr. Jay returned to Congress after an absence of more 
than two years. The state of public affairs allowed Congress no recess ; and 
Mr. Jay probably thinking his prolonged residence at Philadelphia inconsistent 
with his duties as Chief Justice, sent his resignation of that office to the gov- 
ernor of New York. 

**By a secret article annexed to the treaty between France and the United 
States, a right was reserved to Spain of acceding to the treaty, and participating 
in its stipulations whenever she might think proper. Congress, being desirous 
of strengthening their foreign alliances, deemed it advisable to invite his Cath- 
olic Majesty to avail himself of the provisions of this article; and for this pur- 
pose resolved to send a minister plenipotentiary to Spain. On the 27th of Sep- 
tember, Mr. Jay was selected by Congress for this important mission. Congress 
having ordered their own frigate, the Confederacy, to carry Mr. Gerard the 
French minister home, it was agreed that Mr. Jay should proceed on his mission 



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MRS. JOHN JAY. 



{Pa^reSg) 



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JOHN JAY 91 

on the same vessel. He received his instructions on the i6th of October, and 
four days after he left the country, to advocate her cause in Europe ; nor did he 
again land on her shores till he had placed his signature to a treaty, securing to 
her the blessings of peace and independence. Mr. Jay returned to New York 
on the 24th of July, 1784. When we recollect the objects that called him 
abroad, the various and trying scenes through which he. had passed, and the cir- 
cumstances under which he now returned to his country, we can readily sympa- 
thize in the warmth with which he announced his arrival in a letter to a friend : 
'At length, my good friend, I am arrived at the land of my nativity ; and I 
bless God that it is also the land of light, liberty and plenty. My emotions 
cannot be described.' The feelings with which he was greeted by his fellow- 
citizens may be inferred from an address presented to him by the corporation of 
the city of New York, accompanied by the freedom of the city in a gold box. 
The same year he was made Secretary of Foreign Affairs. This office had been 
established in 1781, and was unquestionably the most responsible and important 
civil office under the confederation. Early in 1 785 , a society was founded in 
New York under the name of * The Society for promoting the Manumission of 
Slaves, and protecting such of them as have been or may be liberated.' Of this 
society Mr. Jay was elected president, and notwithstanding the pressure of his 
public business he accepted the office, and actively discharged its duties. In 
1787, Mr. Jay united with Mr. Madison and Colonel Hamilton in an attempt to 
enlighten and direct the public opinion, by a series of newspaper essays under 
the title of the Federalist. These papers were not only circulated throughout 
the Union by means of the periodical press, but were collected and published in 
two volumes, and have since passed through many editions; have been trans- 
lated into French, and still form a valuable and standard commentary on the 
constitution of the United States. The Legislature of New York in 1788, called 
a convention to decide on adopting or rejecting the Constitution ; Mr. Jay was 
almost unanimously elected to represent the city, and had for his colleagues the 
Chancellor of the State, the Chief Justice, and another judge of the Supreme 
Court, the Mayor of the City, and Alexander Hamilton. The time of the con- 
vention was occupied for more than three weeks in discussing the Constitution, 
and the final question on its ratification was taken on the 26th of July ; the 
State of New York became a member of the new confederation by a majority 
of three votes. In September, 1789, Mr. Jay was appointed Chief Justice of 
the Supreme Court of the United States ; and the first circuit court was held in 
April, 1790. In 1794, Mr. Jay was appointed Envoy to Great Britain. The 
critical situation of the country urged his speedy departure, and on the 12th of 
May he embarked at New York. During his absence he was elected Governor 
of the State in 1796; and in 1798 reelected by a large and greatly increased 
majority. In January, 1797, the Legislature again assembled and a bill was 
brought into the Senate for the gradual abolition of slavery, and became a law. 
In 1800 he was appointed by the President and Senate, Chief Justice of the 
United States ; but his determination to retire from public life had been formed 



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92 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

with too much deliberation and sincerity, to be shaken by the honor now ten- 
dered to him, and the appointment was promptly and unequivocally declined. 
The Governor removed from Albany to his estate at Bedford, six weeks before 
the expiration of his term of office. 

**Few statesmen had less reason to be disgusted with public life, or ever 
quitted it with more real satisfaction. For twenty-seven years he had been un- 
remittingly engaged in the service of his country, and had filled many of her 
important offices with general approbation. Mr. Jay continued for many years 
actively engaged in the improvements of his farm. He died on May 17th, 1829, 
in the eighty-fourth year of his age." 

Extract from the ** Life and Writings of John Jay *' by his son William Jay. 

«*\Vest Point, October 7th, 1779. 
** Dear Sir : 

" Among the number of your friends, permit me also to congratulate you, on your late 
honourable and important appomtment. Be assured sir, that my pleasure on this occasion, 
though it may be equalled, cannot be exceeded by that of any other. 

" I do most sincerely wish you a pleasant and agreeable passage, the most perfect and hon- 
ourable accomplishment of your ministry, and a safe return to the bosom of a grateful country. 
" With the greatest regard, and sincerest personal attachment, 

" I have the honor to be. Your most obedient, 

" Affectionate humble servant, 
" George Washington. 
" To John Jay. 

«* Bedford, 25th, July, 1804. 
»• Mv dear Sir : 

"The friendship and attachment which I have so long and so uniformly experi- 
enced from you, will not permit me to delay expressing how deeply and sincerely I participate 
with you in the afflicting event which the pubhc are now lamenting, and which you have so 
many domestic and particular reasons to bewail. 

" The philosophic topics of conversation are familiar to you, and we all know from experi- 
ence how little relief is to be derived from them. May the Author and only Giver of consola- 
tion be and remain with you. 

" With great esteem and affectionate regard, 
** I am, my dear sir, 

"Your obliged and obedient servant, 
" John Jay. 
" To General Schuyler, on the death of General Hamilton. 

" Monti CELLO, Nov. loth, 1824. 
" My dear Sir ; 

" As soon as I found myself once more on the happy shore of America, one of my 
first inquiries was after you, and the means to get to my old friend. The pleasure to see your 
son was great indeed ; but I regretted the distance, engagements, and duties which obliged me 
to postpone the high gratification to meet you after so long an absence. Since that time, I 
have been paying visits and receiving welcomes, where every sort of enjoyments and sights 
exceeding my own sanguine expectations, have mingled with the feelings of a lively and pro- 
found gratitude. 



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JOHN JAY 



93 



*• From you, my dear sir, and in the name of Congress, I was last honoured with a benevo- 
lent farewell. Now, I am going to Washington City, the constitutional forms having changed, 
to await the arrival of the members of the Houses, and be introduced to each of them, with 
my thanks for their kind invitation to this our American land. 

"Your letter reached me on my way through a part of the States; I wish I could myself 
bear the answer, or tell you when I can anticipate a visit to you ; but waiting longer would not 
enable me to know it, at least, for some time. I therefore beg you to receive the grateful re- 
spects of my son, and the expression of most affectionate sentiments from your old Revolution- 
ary companion and constant friend, 

" Lafayette. 

"To John Jay." 




BEDFORD. 

THE RESIDENCE OF THE HONORABLE JOHN JAY AT BEDFORD, N. Y. 

** The estate of the Jay family is situated in the County of Westchester, near 
the post road leading to Rye, at no great distance from the river. Here the 
Honorable John Jay spent the latter part of his life. The building, a handsome 
structure of wood, presenting a lofty portico on the north, is delightfully seated 
on rising ground, backed with luxuriant woods. The south front commands a 
beautiful lawn, and charming views of the Sound and Long Island. Some 
highly interesting family portraits adorn the walls of the hall and dining-room : 
Honorable John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States, and Governor of 
the state of New York. Head by Stuart, figure by Trumbull. The Honorable 
John Jay sat to Colonel Trumbull (his secretary) for this picture, whilst resident 
ambassador at the court of St. James, London. The artist subsequently pre- 
sented it to Mr. Jay. Augustus Jay, who emigrated to this country in 1686, a 
copy from the original, by Waldo ; Anna Maria Bayard, wife of Augustus Jay, 
by Waldo ; Peter Augustus Jay, as a boy, artist unknown ; an old painting upon 



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94 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

oak panel, supposed to represent Catharine, wife of the Honorable Stephen Van 
Cortlandt, of Cortlandt, of South Holland. This lady appears habited in a 
plain black dress, wearing a high neck ruffle and in her right hand holds a 
clasped book. In one corner of the picture is inscribed * aetat. 64, 1630.' 

** Among other family relics we noticed the gold snufF box presented by the 
corporation of New York, with the freedom of the city, to his Excellency John 
Jay, on the 4th of October, 1 784. Also a French Bible, containing the follow- 
ing memoranda. August Jay est n6 a la Rochelle dans le Royaume de France 
le ^f Mrs, 1665. Laus Deo. N. York, July ye loth, 1733, ^^^^ ^^ly at four 
o'clock in ye morning dyed Eva van Cortlandt, was buried ye next day 12 en 
ye voute at Mr. Stuyvesant's about six and seven o'clock.'* 




THE JAY SEAL. 



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JAMES DUANE. 



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JAMES DUANE 97 



JAMES DUANE 

An American Statesman 

" James Duane, was the son of Anthony Duane, an officer in the British Navy 
who came on his ship to this country, 1698, under the command of Captain, 
afterward Admiral Danners. Anthony Duane's portrait shows him at forty to 
have been a handsome man, with the brilliant blue eyes of his Irish ancestors. 
While stationed in New York, the officers partook of the gaieties the place had 
to offer, and the young officer, then in his nineteenth year, lost his heart to a 
young Dutch maiden. Eve Benson, whose father, Dirck Benson, was among the 
prominent merchants of that day. At the expiration of his three years' cruise, 
Anthony Duane returned to Ireland, and resigning from the Navy, bade farewell 
to his native place. Conn, County Galway and returned to New York, where he 
established himself, 1703, as a cloth merchant. He married a few years later. 
He had two sons, Anthony and Richard, who both entered the British Navy 
and died at Kingston, Jamaica, of yellow fever, Richard the 14th of March, 1740, 
and both unmarried. A very lovely protrait of Eve Benson Duane with her 
little son Anthony leaning against her knee, is in the possession of the family. 
On the 2d of March, 1730, Anthony Duane married his second wife, Althea 
Keteltas, daughter of Abraham Keteltas and his wife Anneke Coerten. Althea 
Keteltas was the sister of the celebrated clergyman and member of the Conti- 
nental Congress, Rev. Abraham Keteltas and great-granddaughter of Rev. 
Evert Pieterse Keteltas * consoler of the sick, and schoolmaster,' who assisted so 
materially at the settlements of the South River (Delaware) in 1650-1656. She 
was thirty-four years of age when she married Anthony Duane, and lived but 
five years. Their children were: Abraham, born 2d of March, 1731, died in 
infancy; Abraham, II., born loth of March, 1732, died unmarried on board 
his ship at Jamaica, 1767; James, born 6th of February, 1733; John, born 
17th of June, 1734, died an ensign in Colonel Abercrombie*s Regiment, from 
exposure on the return from the defence of the Fort at Oswego, unmarried, aged 
twenty-one years; Cornelius, born 2d of March, 1735, who died in New York 
City during the Revolution, he having been permitted to remain and guard the 
property of his family. His letters during the occupation of New York, give a 
most interesting glimpse of the trials of a citizen, in a town under the control 
of an enemy, who despised the sentiments of their foes, and placed complete 
confidence in their own powers to force events. In May, 1741, Anthony Duane 
purchased land near Schenectady, six thousand acres in the present township of 
Duanesburgh. This — for his descendants — most unfortunate purchase induced 
his son James, to add more and more land to it, until he became the owner of 
all the town, except that part embraced in Brassie's patent, exchanging — after 
the Revolution — many pieces of valuable New York City property for this 



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98 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

scheme. James Duane brought over a great number of Scotch, Irish and Ger- 
man families, provided them with land and implements, built houses for them, 
and gave them all the privileges possible. The mass of letters from these ten- 
ants all show the same spirit, and it must have been a most trying, as well as 
dispiriting venture to a man of James Duane's temperament, energetic, sparing 
no pains to attain what he thought right and his duty, and generous to a fault. 
All the letters are written to induce the owner of the land to forego every right. 
The most polite and abject letters, when favors and improvements were desired, 
and rough and insolent replies to any request to fulfill their obligations. I have 
often thought that the publications of these letters and their replies would some- 
what damp the ardor of our extreme Radicals. It is a great pity that this superb 
and lovely country, with its rich fields and rolling mountains should be so little 
known to those in search of the picturesque. 

*• Anthony Duane was a most earnest Churchman. His contributions toward 
tlie expenses of Trinity Church were among the most liberal on their records. 
He was vestryman of Trinity Church from 1732 to 1747. 

** His third wife was Grietje Riker, widow of Thomas Linch, by whom he 
had no children. 

** Anthony Duane left a very large property on his death, 1747 ; among other 
pieces of land the present site of Gramercy Park, New York. In a letter of 
James Duane to his wife, after the Revolution, he alludes to this farm and the 
beautiful grounds with the fish pond and fountains. The house having been 
occupied by British officers during the War the letter says * you will find the 
cellars in most excellent condition and the wine bins in good repair, the house 
has suffered but little.* James Duane was but eleven years of age when his 
father died and Robert Livingston, the third Lord of the Manor, having been 
appointed by his father and grandfather executor and guardian, the young James 
was taken to Livingston Manor to reside. His elder brothers entering the Navy 
and his youngest daughter went to live with their stepmother. 

"This accounts for the great intimacy between the Livingstons and James 
Duane which was further cemented by the marriage of James Duane to Maria 
Livingston, the eldest daughter of his guardian, on October 21st, 1759. 
There are but few of Maria Livingston's letters extant ; they are written in a 
careful hand, state but few facts, but much affection and solicitude for her hus- 
band absent at the Congress in Philadelphia. The young couple occupied a 
house in New York City below Wall street and spent their summers at Duanes- 
burgh or at the Manor, keeping the house at Gramercy Park for an occasional 
change of air. 

** Their eldest daughter Maria was born November, 1761. She was afterward 
the wife of General William North, the aid of General Steuben. Letters from 
her teacher in New York show that no pains were spared on her education, 
toilet or deportment, and the many references to * the fair and charming Polly,' 
* my best respects and compliments to Miss Polly if you are writing,' as post- 
scripts in many of the letters to her father from the officers and statesmen of the 



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MRS. JAMES DUANB. 



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JAMES DUANE 101 

day, show the young lady to have profited by the efforts of her anxious 
governess. 

"James Duane and Maria Livingston had ten children, five girls and five 
boys. Of the boys, only James Chatham Duane grew to manhood and married. 
Of the daughters besides * Miss Polly,' Adelia married Alfred Pell and became 
the mother of Robert Livingstone Pell, James Duane Pell, John Augusts Pell, 
George Washington Pell, and Robert Montgomery Pell. Catharine died unmar- 
ried, at her sister's, Mrs. Pell's. Sarah Duane, whose beautiful miniature is in 
the possession of James Duane Featherstonehaugh of Duanesburgh, was a most 
exquisite young creature with delicate, regular features, clear brown eyes and 
dark hair fastened in the shape of a liberty cap — which hideous fashion does not 
at all destroy the wonderful charm of her earnest face. For her, General Wash • 
ington had one of his best portraits painted by Sharpless — the animation of the 
eyes and smile about the mouth seeming to express the kind thought at the 
gratification of the young girl. This portrait hangs in the old house at Duanes- 
burgh, now in the possession of her son James Duane Featherstonehaugh. 

** Among the letters in the possession of the family are many from James 
Duane, while at Philadelphia, full of anxiety for the wife left behind in New 
York, and then a long letter from Robert Livingston to his son-in-law setting 
forth the advantages of having * Polly ' (Mrs. Duane) and the children remain 
with him at the manor during the dark and troublesome times. Other letters 
from the same, expressing his satisfaction at having secured two of the children 
at the manor, Polly and the other children to follow * as soon as they have 
recovered of the smallpox.* 

** Between Robert Livingston and his former ward, the closest friendship 
seems to have existed and, in the twelve volumes of family letters their corre- 
spondence shows that every anxiety and interest was instantly shared. There are 
many letters also from the brothers of Mary. Peter Van Br ugh Livingston 
always in trouble, always expecting to economize and live within his means, 
dreading the plans of his excellent father to make a country gentleman of him, 
always hoping his * dear brother James ' would find some means of clearing up 
his difficulties. A great many letters from the two young brothers at Cam- 
bridge, England, full of descriptions of their life and doings, urging their 'dear 
brother * to see if their father could not increase their allowance. In one letter 
Walter writes * my allowance of ;^4oo is impossible, for I live at the rate of 
;^6oo per annum and should have at least ;^8oo for my cousins, the Philip 
Livingston's have that allowance — tho* forsooth they spend ;;^i,2oo.* Robert 
* Cambridge ' Livingston writes bright amusing accounts ; in many of them is 
written * I beg of you keep this from sister Polly.' It may surprise the present 
generation to know that these great-grandfathers of ours spoke in theh* letters of 
their father Robert Livingston, constantly as ' N. P.' * noter pater,* 'the 
honored governor,' ' our esteemed pater,' no wonder they begged so earnestly 
for ' brother James ' to keep these letters from the eyes of sister Polly, who had 
since their mother's death taken that place with the younger children. James 



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102 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON. 

Duane's own brothers write also with many troubles to tell, and descriptions of 
their life in Jamaica or England. One letter from Captain Abraham Duane in 
London gives a curious idea of the * wire-pulling influence to be obtained ' they 
called it, needed for a commission and a ship, in the Navy of 1764. James 
Duane studied law in the office of the celebrated James Alexander. He was 
appointed Clerk of the Court of Chancery on the 20th of April, 1762. In 1767 
to act as King's Attorney during the absence of William Kempe, the Attorney- 
General, in England. Boundary Commissioner in 1768 and 1784. The most 
important work for New York state being the settlement of the Connecticut 
claims and the long controversary between New York and New Hampshire in 
regard to the Vermont lands. James Duane was appointed by New York to 
defend the rights of New York from the aggressions of New Hampshire. 

** Of James Duane as a patriot, the letters of his contemporaries show suffi- 
cient proof and the actions of New York state on his return from the Continen- 
tal Congress show that the old proverb * a prophet save in his own country * was 
false in his case. James Duane was a member of the committee of One Hundred. 

** He was sent as first Delegate to the Continental Congress, 1774. A letter to 
his wife describes the state of the roads and the country and the departure from 
the city with the enthusiastic crowds, cheers and farewell speeches. In a history 
of New York, recently written, the bitter speech of Adams is repeated, with no 
attempt at proving or disproving the assertion that James Duane was as we 
should now say * sitting on the fence.' After a very careful examination of 
many volumes of his letters to his most confidential friends and family — I have 
come to the conclusion that the attack of Adams was merely personal spite, for 
the opinion of men like Washington, Jay, Schuyler, Greene, Hamilton and 
Morris should outweigh this one assertion. The letters of his wife deprecating 
his absence are answered by ' in times like these a man must serve his country 
either in the council or in the field." 

" He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1784. Ap- 
pointed State Senator 1782 in the place of Sir James Jay and reelected until 
1785, when other duties rendered this impossible. On his return to New York 
the people by a unanimous vote appointed James Duane first Mayor of the City 
of New York and a charming letter of congratulation from General Washington 
on the appointment is amongst his papers in the possession of his great-grand- 
daughter Mrs. John Bleecker Miller. In 1789 General Washington created the 
First District Court of the United States and appointed James Duane first Dis- 
trict Judge of the Court. Hamilton gives an interesting account of this appoint- 
ment, great influence having been brought for Lewis Morris and , but 

the president declaring his intention that he knew a better choice than either of 
these and then asking Hamilton to request of James Duane acceptance of the 
same. That this was quite unexpected by James Duane, a long letter to * dear 
Polly ' testifies describing the scene and what had been told him by Hamilton 
and craving her forgiveness for having decided on so important a matter with- 
out at first consulting her wishes by saying that he had only six hours to decide 



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JAMES DUANE 



103 



and that he felt sure that so flattering a message from the President demanded 
compliance. 

'* James Duane was vestryman of Trinity Church from 1772 to 1777, and 
warden of Trinity Church from 1784 to 1794. 

'* He built a pretty little church at Duanesburgh, which he well endowed and 
gave a glebe farm for the use of the clergyman. The vestry of 1 rinity Church 
in New York presented the church at Duanesburgh with two large, heavy silver 
chalices and plates for the communion table as a testimony of James Duane's 
devotion to his duties as warden and vestryman. The church celebrated its 
centennial August, 1894, when the descendants presented the church with a 
font, ewer and bracket and the people of Duanesburgh gave a beautiful bronze 
bell to hang in the tower. James Duane and his wife and several of his children 
are buried in the vault under the church and handsome mural tablets commem- 




VIEW OF "OLD HAND ORGAN.* 

orate their names on the walls. The old square family pew still exists with its 
crimson damask curtains and the pulpit a real * three decker * with crimson 
cushions and place for the clerk, the reader and the preacher one above the 
other. 

** In 1794, James Duane*s failing health obliged him to give up his judgeship 
and a very beautiful letter from General Washington testifies to the faithfulness 
of the fulfilment of his duties. He went to his new house at Duanesburgh, but 
before it was in order it was completely destroyed by fire. He then went to live 



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104 A QODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

in Schenectady with his only son James Chatham Duane who had married 6th 
of December, 1792, Marianne Bowers, daughter of Henry Bowers, of New York 
city. Here he died very suddenly on the ist of February, 1797. His wife 
survived him until 1821, dying at Hyde Park, the residence of her daughter, 
Mrs. Alfred Pell/' 

By his great -great-granddaughter, Maria Duane Bleecker Miller-Cox. 

THE DUANE HOUSES 

•* The house on Gramercy Park was pulled down before photography was in- 
vented, and the one James Duane lived in at Duanesburgh, N. Y., was burned 
down and no sketch left. I can send you a photograph of the house James 
Duane built for his daughter Catharine, who lived there many years, and the 
picture shows where the portrait of General Washington hangs, and some of the 
old furniture from the old house; especially an old hand organ, beautifully in- 
laid, which plays all the old airs fashionable in my great-grandmother's day. To 
this old organ have danced four generations. I will try and send you Sallie 
Duane's picture and the Duane coat-of-arms. The latter is copied from an old 
seal — in the possession of my brother John Bleecker Miller — belonging to 
Anthony Duane, the father of James Duane." 

The following letter has never appeared in print. 

" Saratoga, December i6th, 1779. 
** Dear Sir : 

" When on my journey from Philadelphia I came to the Manor, the sliding was already 
heavy, the mild weather threatened it with instant destruction, and my cattle were so weak 
and fatigued that I dared not venture a visit. When I arrived at Congress, I proposed for the 
sense of the House whether we should give War to the Indians or not, and on what terms the 
committee, who had been appointed on a letter of mine on that subject were ordered to report^ 
which was done, and I inclose copies of the resolutions as agreed to by the house. An addi- 
tional one was moved « That the Indians should be required to cede part of their Country for 
the benefit and behoof of the United States in general to be disposed of by Congress.* This 
produced an animated debate but was after some management rejected ; happily for us not a 
member of the House in favor of the resolution recollected, or seemed to recollect, the Act 
passed, by our Legislature in those last sessions for making a similar demand in favor of the 
State. I verily believed had it occurred that the resolution would have been carried, and we 
should at least have had much trouble in a future day. The motions however are not 
given up, for before I left Congress I saw a motion in Mr. Sherman's hand which he intended 
to introduce, purporting * That all lands heretofore grantable by the King of Great Britain 
whilst sovereign of this Country, in whatever State they might lay, and of Grants that had 
not already been made, should be considered as the property of the United States and grant- 
able by Congress.* He insisted strenuously on the equity of the measure, as did the gentle- 
man from Maryland and some others, the interest of whose constituents lay, or appeared to lay 
the other way ; but they added that * if New York, and such other States, whose western 
bounds were indefinite or were pretended to extend to the southward would be contented with 
a reasonable W^estern extent, it would afford satisfaction, prevent disturbances, and complete the 



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JAMES DUANE 105 

Union.* I answered that out of mere curiosity I would wish to know their idea of a reason- 
able western extent, as they might widely differ from oihers. 1 was then carried to the map, 
and Mr. Sherman explained himself by drawing a line from the North-West corner of Penn- 
sylvania which is Lake Erie as laid down on the map, through the Straight which leads to 
Lake Ontario, and through that lake and down the St. Lawrence to the 45th degree of lati- 
tude for the bounds of New York. In that quarter, Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia, 
he proposed to bound by the Alleghany Mountains, or at furthest by the Ohio to where it 
enters the Mississippi and by that river below the junction ; and he proposed that all the terri- 
tory beyond the bounds mentioned and within the United States should become the joint prop- 
erty of the United States, and to be at the disposal of Congress. The gentlemen from North 
Carolina, I found had already requested instructions from their Constituents on the subject. 
Permit me to entreat your attention to this matter against the meeting of the Legislature, when 
I hope for the pleasure of seeing you ; and when I shall strive to convince you that it would be 
impolitic and injurious to the State in the present conjunction to insist on a session of territory 
to the Indians. 

" This disarrangement of our Finances, and the ill-policied system under which the Civil de- 
partment of the Army is conducted, are a fruitful source of distress. I have ventured to hand 
over the outline of a plan to remedy the evils occasioned by the depreciating state of our Cur- 
rency. If it meets with your approbation I shall judge it feasible. New arrangements are to 
take place in the Civil Departments. I was much pressed to take the direction of one or both, 
and from the attention which was paid me I have every reason to believe they would have 
restored me to my rank in the Army if I had acceded to their proposals ; but as the Civil offi- 
ces are deemed lucrative, I declined accepting. I hope you will judge that I decided with 
propriety. Some gentlemen have proposed the office of the Secretary of War as the objection 
I had against the other did not hold now ; I desired time for consideration and have concluded 
to adopt it, if offered and restored to my rank in the army. After what I have experienced in 
public life, you will be surprised at this determination — but the considerations which induced 
me I trust you will approve of. I defer giving them until I have the pleasure of a tite-d-tite 
with you. 

" Your Bed, your Bottle, and your Pipe, you know where to find when you arrive at Albany ; 
but these are no considerations with you, who increase your happiness by making your friends 
sc, when you favor them with your company. 

•* Intreat Mrs. Duane, your family, and all where you are, to accept my best wishes. 

" I am dear Sir, 

" with every friendly and affectionate 
•• sentiment. Yours etc., etc., 
" Ph. Schuyler. 

« Hon. James Duane. Esq. 



" New York, 7th February, 1784. 
«* Gentlemen : 

" It is my duty to inform you that the Honorable Council of Appointment have been pleased 
to confer upon me the Mayorality of this City — an honor which I hold the more estimable as it 
has on my part been unsolicited. I am no stranger to your earnest wishes and friendly In- 
terposition on this occasion ; and I beg you to believe that this Mark of your confidence and 
Esteem hath impressed me with sentiments of Gratitude which can never be effaced. 

♦* It has I believe been usual with my Predecessors to give a Public Entertainment on the In- 
vestiture of the Mayorality ; But when I reflect on the Want and distress which are so prev- 
alent at this severe Season I flatter myself that my declining it will be Justified by your Ap- 
probation. Rather permit me Gentlemen to entreat you to take the trouble of distributing for 



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106 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

me twenty guineas towards the Relief of my suffering Fellow-citizens in your respective 
Wards. My liberality on so laudable an occasion is limited by the Shock which has depleted 
my private Fortune in the progress of the War, but I beg you to be assured that my utmost ef- 
forts to promote the Prosperity of my Native City and the Happiness of its Worthy In- 
habitants will be prosecuted with unremitted zeal. 

" I have the Honor to be — Worthy Gentlemen 
" with the utmost Regard, 

" Your most obliged & 

" most obedient servant 
" Jas. Duane. 
" To the 

** Worthy Aldermen and Common Council 
" of the City of New York." 



AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER. 

«* New York, 30th September, 1789. 
" You may remember, my dearest Polly, that I could not see you set sail on account of the 
common council which was then assembling. I had hardly taken my seat at the board when I 
received a message that Col. Hamilton wished to speak with me. He asked me to walk into 
a private room, and then to my great surprise informed me that he was sent by the President 
of the United States to know whether I would accept the office of District Judge. I told him 
as I never had solicited, expected, or even wished for any office from the President, knowing 
that he was hard pressed by numberless applicants who stood more in need than myself, I 
could not on a sudden give him an answfcr. He told me that it was not necessary, and that I 
might take that day to consider of it. On enquiring from him I found these were the circum- 
stances attending the affair: very great interest had been made for the Chief Justice Morris, for 
Judge Yates and Mr. Harrison. When the point was to be decided Col. Hamilton and Mr. 
Jay were present. The President observed that he conceived a more respectable appointment 
than either of the Gentlemen recommended could be made, and named me. Mr. Hamilton 
and Mr. Jay declared that they were of the same sentiments : On which the President replied 
that he was pleased to find that his opinion was confirmed by theirs, and Col. Hamilton was 
requested to deliver the above message to me. After the common Council adjourned, I found 
I was to decide on a question of great moment which greatly concerned my family without an 
opportunity of consulting with you or any of the children. I communicated it to the Baron 
(Steuben) alone, who was very earnest that I should accept it. Both offices I consider as 
highly honorable. They are equally profitable. The Judge's place is held under the com- 
mission of the President of the United States during good behavior : the Mayor's annually re- 
newed at the whim of a council of appointment. The Judge's office permits him to reside in 
any part of the State, and affords a sufficient portion of leisure for his private affairs, and recre- 
ation and study. The Mayor's demands the most slavish confinement and a waste of time on 
insignificant matters, as well as care and assiduity on those which are important. In short 
if he is upright, and, as he ought to be easy of access, he cannot call an hour of his time his 
own. These are the chief considerations, which with the honorable manner the office was con- 
ferred on me induced me to return an answer in the evening that I accepted it. As soon as it 
was known that the Senate approved of my nomination, I sent a resignation of the Mayoralty 
to the Govemour. The Council of appointment met the day after and appointed Col. Varick, 
who relinquished the place of Slates Attorney, as my successor. The 14th inst. he will be 
qualified, and I clear of it. Till then I mtts/ administer it. While I am writing this letter, I 
receive an invitation to dine with the President to-morrow. I presume I shall then receive my 



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JAMES DUANE 



107 



commission, which I owe solely to his regard for and good opinion of me. If I am not flattered, 
my promotion gives satisfaction. At the same time the citizens express their applause of my 
conduct as their chief Magistrate. My district court will be opened on the first Tuesday in 
November, and held every three months. Besides which I am associated with the Judges of 
the Supreme Court in the circuit of this State, to be held the beginning of April and October 
yearly at New York and Albany alternately. 



** For Mrs. Duane." 



' Your affectionate and faithful husband, 



*< James Duanf. 




DUANE ARMS. 



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108 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON 

Minister to France 1801-1804 



This portrait of Robert R. Livingston, first Chancellor of the State of New 
York, was the work of John Vanderlyn, the noted painter, and was presented to 
the New York Historical Society by Mrs. Thompson Livingston. It represents 
that distinguished gentleman in the court dress worn by him as Minister 
Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Court of France, during the Con- 
sulate of the First Napoleon. 

** The common ancestor of the Livingstons in this country was John Living- 
ston, a direct descendant from the first Earl of Culloden (1329 to 1390), and an 
energetic preacher of the Reformed Church in Scotland, who was banished from 
that country in 1663, for non -conformity with prelatical rule. He fled for 
refuge to Holland, that glorious land where civil liberty and the rights of con- 
science are universally enjoyed, respected, and maintained, and settled in Rot- 
terdam, in which city he died in 1672. 

** Of the seven children Of the worthy clergyman, one, a son named Robert, 
who was born in Roxburgshire, in Scotland, in 1654, emigrated from Holland 
to New York about 1675. In 1686 he secured, by purchase from the Indians, 
a large tract of land for which he subsequently received a grant from Governor 
Dongan of the Province of New York, by which the same was made the Manor 
and Lordship of Livingston, with the privilege to its owner of holding a Court- 
leet and a Court-baron, and with the right of advowson to all the churches within 
its boundaries. 

** By a Royal Charter issued by George I., in 1715, this grant was confirmed, 
and the additional privileges of selecting a representative to the General 
Assembly of the Colony, and two constables, were conferred upon the tenants 
of the manor. The original manor covered an area computed at from one hun- 
dred and twenty thousand to one hundred and fifty thousand acres, and in- 
cluded very nearly the whole of the present counties of Dutchess and Columbia 
in this state. Of this vast estate much has passed out of the possession of the 
family by sale and otherwise, but a large portion still retains the name of, and is 
comprised in the Manor of Livingston, as originally created. 

** The wife of this Robert Livingston was of the Schuyler family, another 
prominent race in this state, many of whom have also been greatly distinguished 
in history. There were three sons from this union — Philip, Gilbert, and 
Robert — who became the heads of different branches of this celebrated family. 

** The eldest of these three sons, Philip, the second proprietor of the manor 
and Lordship of Livingston, had a son who bore his name, and who inherited 
the spirit of his great-grandfather, the reverend gentleman who fled to Holland 
rather than violate principle. This Philip was born in Albany in 1716, and 



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ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON 111 

died in York, Pennsylvania, in 1778. Although a merchant by profession, and 
one of the most distinguished of his time, he was a man of liberal education, 
having been graduated at Yale College in 1737, and held many offices of honor 
and trust in his native colony. He represented the city of New York in the 
Colonial House of Assembly in 1758, and continued a member of that body 
until 1769. He was the speaker during his latter term of office ; was a member 
of the first and second Continental Congresses, and while acting in this represent- 
ative capacity, affixed his signature to the Declaration of Independence, an act 
which secured immortality to his name and memory. 

** William Livingston, brother of the Philip whose life has just been briefly 
sketched, also deserves a passing notice for his great distinction at the bar, for 
his services as a Representative in Congress from New Jersey, and as Governor 
of the state of New Jersey ; this latter position he held till the close of his active 
public life. 

'*His name and fame survived in his son, Brockholst Livingston, born in 
the city of New York, November 25th, 1757. This gentleman took an active 
and important part in the War for Independence, shared in the capture of 
Biirgoyne, and was promoted to the rank of colonel. He held many important 
public positions, and in 1806 was raised to the bench of the Supreme Court of 
the United States. His death took place on the i8th of March, 1823. Follow- 
ing this assemblage of distinguished men, many others of this celebrated family 
of Livingston attained distinction at the bar and in the various walks of civil 
life; but of these time will not allow even brief mention. 

** Robert Livingston, first Lord and Patentee of the Manor of Livingston, gave 
to his youngest son Robert thirteen thousand acres of land, the same being the 
town of Clermont. This grant was in reward for discovering and frustrating a 
plot formed among the Indians to massacre the white population of the province. 
His only son and child, Robert R. Livingston, became at his father's death the 
owner of this large estate, and a person of much distinction in the state, receiv- 
ing the appointment of judge from the English Crown. He was chosen a dele- 
gate to the Colonial Congress, which met in New York, October 7th, 1765, * to 
consider the means of a general and united, dutiful, loyal and humble represen- 
tation of their condition to his Majesty, George III., and the English Parlia- 
ment, and to implore relief from the recent enactments of that body, levying 
duties and taxes on the Colonies. This body is known in history as the Stamp 
Act Congress. Robert R. Livingston married Miss Margaret Beekman, only 
daughter and child, then living, of Colonel Henry Beekman, of Rhinebeck. 
They had a numerous family of children, of whom the eldest was Robert R. 
Livingston, of Clermont, whose portrait is before you. He was born in the city 
of New York on the 27th of November, 1746, and at the age of eighteen was 
graduated from King's, now Columbia College, then under the presidency 
of Myles Cooper. He next studied law under William Smith, the historian, 
and later in the office of his kinsman. Governor William Livingston, of New 
Jersey. 



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112 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

** In 1773, he was admitted to the bar, and for a short time was a business 
partner of John Jay. He met with great success in the practice of law, and was 
appointed Recorder of the city of New York, under the Crown, in 1773; this 
office he retained but two years, losing it through his attachment to liberty and 
his active sympathy with the revolutionary spirit of his countrymen, which took 
form in deeds in 1775. 

*' He was sent a delegate from New York to the Congress of 1776, and had 
the honor of being chosen one of a committee of five to draft the Declaration of 
Indejiendence ; which, owing to absence, he was prevented from signing, being 
called away to New York to attend the Provincial Congress, of which he was a 
member. 

** On the 8th of July, 1776, he took his seat in the Provincial Convention — 
which on the same day changed the title of the Province to that of the State of 
New York — and was appointed on the committee to draw up a state constitution. 

"During the Revolution he signalized himself by his zeal and efficiency in 
the cause of independence, and he ranks with the most illustrious characters of 
that notable period. 

** He was the first Chancellor of the State of New York, and held that high 
position from 1777 until February, 1801. In this official capacity he had the 
honor to administer the oath of office to Washington, on his inauguration as 
first President of the United States. The ceremony took place at the City Hall, 
then fronting on Wall street, in New York city, which had been specially fitted 
up for the reception of Congress. On this memorable occasion, Chancellor 
Livingston, after having administered the oath, exclaimed in deep and impres- 
sive tones, * Long live George Washington, President of the United States.* 

**From August, 1781, to August, 1783, he ably filled the important office of 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the United States. In 1788, he was made 
Chairman of the New York Convention to consider the United States Constitu- 
tion, and was principally instrumental in procuring its adoption. 

*' Chancellor Livingston was tendered the post of Minister to France by Presi- 
dent Washington, but saw fit to decline its acceptance ; at a later period, how- 
ever, after refusing a position as Secretary of the Navy, in the cabinet of Presi- 
dent Jefferson, he was prevailed upon to undertake the mission to France, and 
was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to that government in 1801, resigning 
the Chancellorship of New York, to accept the post abroad. Upon his arrival 
in France, he was received by Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul, with 
marked respect and cordiality ; and enjoyed the warm friendship of that re- 
markable personage, during a residence of several years in the French capital, 
where, as is stated in an encyclopedia of the day, * he appeared to be the favor- 
ite foreign envoy.* His ministry was signalized by the cession of Louisiana to 
the United States, which through his negotiations took place in 1803. Although, 
Mr. Monroe was also a member of the commission appointed to arrange this 
matter with the French government, he did not arrive in Paris until Mr. Liv- 
ingston had nearly perfected and definitely settled the terms of the cession. 



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MRS. ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.~(Mother of Chancellor Livingston.) 

(^Page 113^ 



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ROBERT R, LIVINGSTON 115 

The share of Monroe, in the transaction, was principally, in affixing his signa- 
ture as one of the commission to the contract between the two governments. 
Minister Livingston was also successful in procuring a settlement for the numer- 
ous spoliations by the French on our commerce ; but the Congress of the United 
States, to this day, has failed to distribute to its rightful owners, the money re- 
ceived under that settlement. Having resigned his position at the French Capi- 
tal, he traveled extensively in Europe. After his return to Paris, in 1804, on 
his journey homeward, he took leave of Napoleon, then Emperor, who, in 
token of his friendship and esteem, presented Livingston with a splendid snuff 
box, containing a miniature likeness of himself, painted by the celebrated Isabey. 

** While in Paris he made the acquaintance of Fulton and a warm friendship 
grew up between them, and together they successfully developed a plan of steam 
navigation, the particulars of which invention, though generally known, I shall 
briefly recount. Toward the close of the last century, Mr. Livingston became 
deeply impressed with the great advantages which must occur to commerce from 
the application of steam to navigation. He obtained from the Legislature of the 
State of New York, the exclusive right to navigate its waters by steam power for 
a period of twenty years, and then constructed a boat of thirty tons* burden, 
with which he succeeded in making three miles an hour. The concession from 
lie Legislature was made on condition of attaining a speed of four miles, and 
this, Livingston might have accomplished, had his public duties permitted him 
the time to devote to further experiments. When at a later day, as has been 
mentioned, he made the acquaintance of Fulton — who, though young, was pos- 
sessed of great practical as well as theoretical ability — he acquainted him with 
what had been done in America, and advised him earnestly to turn his attention 
to the subject. Together they made numerous experiments, and finally launched 
a boat on the Seine, which, however, did not fully realize their expectations. 

** Upon the return of Livingston and Fulton to America, their experiments 
were continued, and in 1807, the ** Clermont" was built and launched upon 
the Hudson river, where it accomplished five miles an hour. This success 
clearly demonstrated the feasibility of the propulsion of vessels by the aid of 
steam, and effected a complete revolution in the art of navigation. 

** Mr. Livingston, it will be seen, was both an originator and inventor before 
his meeting with Fulton ; and though Fulton is considered the actual inventor 
of the successful steamboat, it must be acknowledged that he was greatly in- 
debted to Livingston, not merely for material aid and encouragement, but like- 
wise for much practical and valuable suggestion and assistance. 

'* An enumeration of the public services of this eminent citizen would scarcely 
be complete without a reference to the prominent part taken by him in establish- 
ing the great system of inland navigation by canals, which has made New York 
the chief commercial state of the Union. 

"Another important service rendered by Livingston was in determining and 
adjusting the eastern boundary line of New York state. In company with sev- 
eral other distinguished citizens, he served on the commission appointed for this 



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116 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

purpose between New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and which may 
be said to have given the slate of Vermont to the Union. 

** The retirement of Mr. Livingston from public service was but the begin- 
ning of a new era of usefulness in his memorable career. During the remainder 
of his life he devoted much time and attention to the subject of agriculture, and 
was actively engaged in introducing a number of valuable improvements in that 
art into the state of New York. Through his endeavors the use of gypsum 
for fertilizing purposes became quite general, and he was the first to introduce 
the celebrated breed of merino sheep to the farming community west of the 
Hudson river. 

"While a resident of Paris, which then, as now, was a great art centre, 
and the resort of the refined and intelligent from all parts of the civilized 
world, Mr. Livingston found time, aside from his official duties, to cultivate 
those tastes which afterward he sought to encourage among his countrymen 
at home. 

** He was the principal founder of the American Academy of fine arts, estab- 
lished in New York in 1801, and upon his return to America became its Presi- 
dent, continued for many years its chief officer, and through life was devoted to 
its interests. He added a fine collection of busts and statuary to that institution, 
many of which now grace the National Academy of Design in this city, and are 
included among its most precious treasures. 

** Through the liberality of Napoleon, who was a warm friend and supporter 
of the arts and sciences, Mr. Livingston was enabled to increase the possessioi^s 
of the American Academy, by the addition of many valuable paintings and rare 
prints. Mr. Livingston did not, however, restrict his attention to the fine arts. 
Having truly at heart the best interests of his countrymen, he, like Washington, 
took a deep interest in all that pertained to their welfare, but in an especial man- 
ner in agriculture. He contributed largely to the literature of the day on this 
subject, and among his published works are an * Essay on Agriculture * and an 
* Essay on Sheep.' His last work, written a few days previous to his death, was 
devoted to agriculture, and was published in Brewster's Encyclopedia. 

"Among the men of our common country, who by their deeds and fame have 
added to the national glory and to the substantial welfare of the land, a pre- 
eminently conspicuous place will ever be assigned to Robert R. Livingston. 
Eminent in the profession of the law, he occupied several of the highest posi- 
tions in the State and nation, in which positions his legal talents were of great 
benefit to his fellow-citizens, and met with the universal acknowledgment they 
so richly deserved. 

"As an orator he possessed a marked degree of persuasive eloquence, which 
was frequently successful in overcoming the most deeply rooted prejudices. His 
well-known patriotism and acknowledged integrity of character lent an almost 
irresistible force to his utterances, and enabled him to rivet the attention of his 
auditors. So distinguished a person as Franklin termed him the Cicero of 
America. As an author his works show an intimate acquaintance with the sub- 



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ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON 117 

jects of which they treat, and give evidence of careful preparation and sound 
judgment. 

" In his career as diplomatist, he evinced a masterly ability and a keen insight 
of character, which rendered every negotiation upon which he entered in that 
capacity a brilliant as well as honest success for his country ; and he not only 
won the appreciation of his countrymen, but also the esteem of the foreign offi- 
cials with whom he was thrown in contact. As an earnest worker in science, to 
whose inventive genius the world is in part indebted for the early and successful 
solution of the problem of steam navigation, he takes rank among the benefac- 
tors of mankind. 

**A lover of the beautiful, he was among the earliest and most liberal patrons 
of art in America, and by his influence, benefactions, and labors, aided greatly 
in the development of a pure taste among his countrymen. His mental activity 
was of the most remarkable nature, leading him to find sufficient relaxation in 
change of employment, where others demand amusements and pleasure. He 
found agreeable employment in the study of science, history, and the classics, 
and up to the last days of his active and useful life, gave evidence of the pos- 
session of undiminished mental energy and unclouded intellect. 

** Possessed of a recognized integrity of character, amiable disposition, and 
refined tastes, coupled with a broad culture, which he was assiduous in develop- 
ing, he won hosts of admirers, and in his circle of friends counted many of the 
most learned and distinguished men, both at home and abroad. With an un- 
bounded love for his country, his wealth as well as his talents were ever em- 
ployed in serving her best interests. 

'* Connected with the Protestant Episcopal Church from an enlightened pref- 
erence for its doctrines, he continued through life a devoted member of it. 
Wholly destitute of hostile feeling toward those who entertained other and op- 
posing religious views, he furnishes a notable example of the freedom from 
prejudice on these subjects which is a characteristic of the purely enlightened 
man. 

** Under the provisions of an Act of Congress, each State was entitled to 
place the statues of two of its most prominent citizens in the Capitol at Wash- 
ington. The state of New York having made but one selection, that of George 
Clinton, whose name was suggested by Governor Hoffman — at that time the in- 
cumbent of the gubernatorial office — and this nomination having received the 
approval of the Legislature, it devolved upon his successor in office, Governor 
Dix, to make the second nomination. With discriminating judgment, this cul- 
tured gentleman selected Chancellor Livingston for this high honor. The nomi- 
nation receiving the approval of the legislative body, Mr. E. D. Palmer, a 
sculptor of note residing at Albany, was selected to execute the statue, which, 
upon being finished, was placed in the old Representatives' Hall in the Capitol 
at Washington, where it now stands in company with those of Hamilton, Clin- 
ton, Jefferson, Trumbull, and other of the most celebrated men of the nation. 
This statue, which has been pronounced by competent judges one of the finest 



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118 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

in the collection, is in bronze, and of colossal size. The Chancellor is repre- 
sented standing erect, his form mantled by his robe of office, which falls in 
graceful folds from his broad shoulders. The right hand bears a scroll inscribed 
' Louisiana,' suggestive of his great diplomatic achievement, which secured for 
the United States the immense area of territory now comprised within the 
boundaries of the six states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, 
and Kansas. 

" Few men have enjoyed in so large a degree the confidence of their country- 
men, and fewer still have been more actively engaged in events of greater im- 
portance to the world at large. His well-poised judgment furnished him an un- 
erring guide in both public and private affairs, lifting him above the ordinary 
weaknesses of the multitude, and he was alike distinguished for his probity and 
his wisdom. 

"After a most useful, active and patriotic career, he passed from this life on 
the 26th of February, 18 13, at his seat at Clermont, in the sixty-sixth year of 
his age. The memory of such a life is in itself a priceless legacy. 

** Frederick de Peyster, LL. D." 



AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER. 

"Paris, 15* Brumaire, loth, Nob. r. 
" Sir : 

" The enclosed letter was committed to my care by Mr. Pichon. I am mortified that your 
absence prevents my having the honor to deliver it into your hands personally. But as it may 
possibly contain somethmg interesting cither to yourself or Mr. Pichon, I do not think I should 
be justifiable in destroying it till your arrival. 

" I have the honor to be Sir 

" With the highest respect 

" Your most ob. & hum. Serv.t. 
" Robert R. Livingston. 
" Citizen 

"Joseph Bonaparte 

" Counsellor of State, 



AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER. 

" U. S. Frigate Chesapeake. 
" Boston, Apriil 23d, 181 3. 
" Dear Brother : 

" We arrived in Boston on the 9th. I beg you will forgive me my not writing to you Be- 
fore. I have written to Mother & got an Answer. I have only to state that I am well. I 
hope these few lines will find you well and your family. I think Capt. Evans will take the 
Constitution ; if he does I will try to come home. The Chesapeake will be ready for sea in 
40 days. The Constitution wont be ready for sea this Three Months. We have had a cruise 



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ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON 



119 



of 115 days, . We have taken five prizes in All, which will amount to four hundred thousand 
dollars — for my Part I shall have 500 dollars. You must write to me as soon as Possibly you 
can. I want to hear from you All — ■— 

" I remain your affectionate 

"brother 
«* Livingston. 
" To Mr. James Livingston 
" Bath 
«« County of Rensselaer. 
" New York. 
Philip Cortlandt Livingston born Nov. 17th, 1790, a midshipman U. S. Navy 
was killed on the Chesapeake in the action with the Shannon, June ist, 181 3. 
He was the son of Lieutenant Gilbert James Livingston and Susannah Lewis. 




CLERMONT. 



CLERMONT 



The Livingston Manor House 

Clermont, the manor house of the Livingston family stands upon a plateau of 
very fertile land on the bank of the Hudson river, high above the great stream. 
*' Historic events consecrate it in the heart of the American patriot, for here the 
feet of marauding British soldiers trampled down the late autumn flowers, and 
their hands applied the torch that laid the old manor house in ashes, in October, 
1777, because the Livingston family were prominent and earnest advocates of 
the independence of the United States. 

*' These soldiers were a part of an expedition sent up the Hudson river by 



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120 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



Sir Henry Clinton, after he had captured Forts Clinton and Montgomery, in the 
Highlands, under the command of General Vaughan, to make a diversion in 
favor of Burgoyne, who was then closely and fatally pressed by the American 
army at Saratoga. The troops, more than three thousand in number, had been 
conveyed up the river in a flying squadron of light frigates, under Sir James 
Wallace, and Vaughan had been instructed to scatter desolation in his path. 
He had fired a round shot through tlie house of Philip Livingston (one of the 
•signers of the Declaration of Independence), near Poughkeepsie, where the ball 
and the hole it made may still be seen ; and small parties landing from the ves- 
sels, scourged whole neighborhoods with fire and sword. The village of Kingston 
was laid in ashes, and a party crossed the river, burned several houses in the 
hamlet of Rhinebeck Flats, and, pushing on northward to Clermont, destroyed 
the manor house and that of Robert R. Livingston (one of a committee ap- 
pointed to draft the Declaration of Independence), near by. 

**The manor house at Clermont was immediately rebuilt by the widowed 
mother of Robert R. Livingston, who had lately been made the first Chancellor 
of the state of New York, then lately organized. The old stone walls which 
stood firmly after the fire, were used in the rebuilding, and the house delineated 
in the engraving is the one then construed upon the ruins. It is the youngest 
of the manor houses on the Hudson." 




LIVINGSTON ARMS. 



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GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 



(Page J22) 



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THE MORRIS FAMILY 123 



THE MORRIS FAMILY 

**The Morrises are of Welsh origin, they owned and bore their *ap* for 
generations. The first one can really grasp, without the study only members of 
the family and historians would understand, was Mory's ap Morgan, an offshoot 
of whose stock, about the middle of the fifteenth century, settled in Monmouth- 
shire, and acquired large estates at Tintern, Denham and Ponterry. Here the 
three-brother story, which is true history, formed an imix)rtant factor in all that 
was to follow in succeeding generations. These possessions were represented in 
1635 by Lewis, William and Richard Morris. Lewis, the eldest son, was a man 
of power and great organization. Inheriting the estate at Tintern, he threw 
himself heart and soul into all matters of public interest. With him there were 
no halfway measures. At all hazards he must follow the direction of his own 
mind, let the results be adverse or no. One of his acts, which for a while at 
least put him out of active connection with events, was to raise and head a 
troop of horse in support of Parliament, for which act Charles I. confiscated his 
estates. 

" His leisure for thinking over his affairs was curtailed by the execution of 
Charles, and subsequent power of Oliver Cromwell, who in return for his losses 
indemnified him, and in 1654, he was sent by Cromwell to the Spanish West 
Indies, with orders to make himself masters of the seas. The mantle of Drake 
and Hawkins was wanted for his shoulders. Much of opportunity was his. He 
had the aid of his nephew. Captain John Morris, who had long been settled in 
the Barbados, and Richard, his youngest brother, held a captain's commission 
in his regiment. 

*' On the restoration Richard Morris retired to the Barbados, where his inter- 
ests were largely increased by his marriage with a wealthy lady by the name of 
Pole. In 1670, in pursuance of his peripatetic instincts, he transferred himself 
to New York, purchased a large estate in Westchester county, beautifully situ- 
ated on the Harlem river. Soon after, with the natural grasp of what was his 
due, he obtained a grant of Governor Fletcher, which made his domain of more 
than three thousand acres into a manor, under the name of Morrisania, devot- 
ing himself with the instinct which seems to follow all military men, whether 
their service is by sea or land, when their time of leisure comes, to farming. 

"The results are often disastrous, but no experience or precedent will warn 
them from the experiment. Sad to relate, his years of this anticipated pleasure 
were very short, for he died in 1673, leaving an only son, the young Lewis, 
born in 1672, to inherit his vast possessions, and he naturally hoped his tastes. 

'* The Governor appointed him a guardian, but the loving father, with a re- 
gard for his orphan son, who was early bereft of his mother, had made a compact 
with his brother Lewis, still living in Barbados, to come to New York and set- 
tle on part of the manor, assuming the care of his young son. He arrived soon 



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124 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

after Richard's death, settled in Morrisania, according to agreement, and even- 
tually made Lewis his heir. 

** Lewis Morris entered early into political life, an impulse he had no power 
of resisting had Jie so willed it, but it was the * very breath of his nostrils,* and 
he passed on by this same impelling force to being a member of the Council of 
New Jersey, Judge of the Superior Court and Ciiief Justice of New York. 

*' When New Jersey was made a separate province he was naturally appointed 
Governor, and giving the best of himself to the office, he held it until his death, 
in 1746. 

** Man of letters he was, and grave of mind. How could it be otherwise to 
a man who never knew a mother, and grew up, although surrounded by every 
creature comfort, without the knowledge of those personal endearments found 
on a mother's knee, those sympathies childhood claims of a mother's heart? 
His ' whimsical disposition,' too, may have been for the same cause, but the 
world knew him to be great. His penetrating, incisive mind, and wonderful 
legal knowledge, traits accorded him by his peers, rendered him a ' bright and 
shining light ' through all his span of life. 

" He had many places for a local habitation (the name was his), for as well 
as his inherited patrimony, he had acquired large estates in Monmouth, New 
Jersey, named Tintern, after his ancestral halls in Monmouthshire. 

" His marriage license in the Surrogate's office of the city of New York 
shows that on November 3, 1 691, he married Isabella Graham, daughter of 
James Graham, Attorney-General of the Province of New York, by whom he 
had four sons and eight daughters. 

" His eldest son, Colonel Lewis Morris, was Judge of Admiralty, and his 
Bible, in the possession of his great-grandson, Mr. Robert Rutherford, of New 
York (1876), which is a ' Dutch folio, bound in embossed pigskin and brass 
clasps and corner pieces,' tells us in the Colonel's own handwriting : 

'* ' I was born at Trinton in New Jersie in the year 1698 the 23d of Septem- 
ber,' and not to neglect his wife, her birth record follows his : 

n t ^y Wife was born at New York the 4th of April in the year 1697.' 

** In natural sequence comes the marriage : 

*' *I was married by William Vesey the 17th day of March 1723 to Mrs. 
Trintie Staats daughter of Dr. Samuel Staats.' 

" To this father and mother, surrounded by everything prosperity and affec- 
tion could give them, there came a blessing when 

** * My son Lewis was born the 8th day of April 1726 at half an hour after ten 
o'clock at night was christened by Robert Jenny, Mr. Coeymans and Captain 
Vincent Pearse godfathers, Sister Governeur godmother.' 

SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION 

"This Lewis Morris, the signer, was born in Morrisania, in his paternal man- 
sion, the welcome first son, who by right of primogeniture, inherited the mano- 



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THE MORRIS FAMILY 125 

rial estate. No horoscope had foretold his future, and given his young parents 
a knowledge of what awaited them. The mother, content in her enjoyment of 
her son. as he grew in beauty day by day, left this boy to the care of others, 
and this same Bible adds to its records : * My Wife departed this life the 
Eleventh Day of March 1731 aged 36 years after a violent illness for nine 
Days.' 

** Having completed his preparatory studies, Lewis Morris entered Yale Col- 
lege and graduated there with honors when only twenty years of age. Popular, 
educated, with a strong love of home and agricultural pursuits, surrounded by 
friends who loved and appreciated him, he looked out on the vista of circum- 
stances and saw the * clouds no bigger than a man's hand ' converging from all 
sides toward the bursting centre, when love of country should rise paramount, 
to all personal considerations and evoke that final step, the * Declaration of In- 
dependence,* which could only rest when freedom and a Republican govern- 
ment was secured, 

** Strong in his convictions, deliberate in action, his mind satisfied, his hand 
put to the plow, his was not the spirit to turn back. Every circumstance of his 
life, his daily birthright of ease and luxury, his student habits, all were against 
his espousing the cause of freedom actively. There was everything to give up. 
To be sure, much to hope for in the spirit with which he translated duty and 
honor, but his heart had turned to his ' elegant mansion, fine estate and valuable 
time,* as only a lover of nature and nature's God can appreciate. 

*' Generations of regard had made all of this infinitely dear to him, and yet 
with unwavering purpose, and the knowledge of the devastation following an 
army's march, he never quailed, but pressed on to the acquirement of a history 
personal to himself, which to-day places those of his descent in a position noth- 
ing can deprive them of, and which no money can purchase for other aspirants. 
His mind was at rest, the first self-communing finished story and placed the end 
on record, when he bade the voice of interest be still. 

** Onward he went, counting life of no value if his country needed Jiim, 
though his home was wrecked, his family in exile. He died in 1798, in the 
seventy-second year of his age, and was buried at Morrisania with military hon- 
ors, as befitted a hero. 

" Colonel I^wis Morris, Judge of the Admiralty, records his second marriage 
in his family Bible: 'The 3d Day of Novbr. 1746 I was Married To Mrs. 
Sarah Gouverneur by Thomas Standard, Minister of the parish of Westchester.' 
Why both of his wives' names are written with the prefix Mrs., I cannot under- 
stand from comparison with other family records; neither of them was a widow. 
The second wife was a daughter of Isaac Gouverneur, a merchant of New York, 
and his wife, Sara Staats (daughter of Samuel), so granddaughter of Nicolas 
Gouverneur, who was son of Abraham Gouverneur and Maria Milborne, widow 
of Jacob Milborne, and daughter of Jacob Leisler. 



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128 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



GOUVERNEUR MORRIS 



** Of this marriage came Gouverneur Morris, a man celebrated in all respects. 
Minister to France at the time of the French Revolution, a person who at home 
and abroad won the esteem of contemporaries and successors, his birth in the 
family Bible tells his early history. 

** 'The 30th of January about half an hour after one of the Clock in the 
morning in the year 1754, according to the alteration of the stile by act of Par- 
liament my wife was delivered of a son. He was christened the 4th of May, 
1752 and named Gouverneur, after my wife's father. Nicholas Gouverneur and 
my son Staats were his godfathers, and my sister Antil his godmother. Parson 
Auchmuty christened him.' Parson Auchmuty was then the pastor of Trinity 
Church. 

"Gouverneur Morris stands out in history as one of the headlights of the 
period. A brilliant patriot of the constitutional times, from whose pen the final 
draft of the Constitution is said to have come; an intimate friend of Washing- 
ton's, a business partner of Robert Morris, the financier, also the signer and the 
great bulwark of the Colonies when the new world was darkest America indeed, 
still, nurtured as he was in the lap of luxury, he did his duty in the spirit of his 
trust to the end with the simplicity of his great nature. 

'* Gouverneur Morris, wealthy, handsome, a hero and a statesman, took the 
enjoyments of life as they came to him as a result of his life's record. He had 
it all, and yet the great thing wanting to the Morris mind in their love of home 
only came to him when, at fifty-eight years of age, he married Annie Carey, 
daughter of Thomas Randolph, of Virginia, a descendant of Pocahontas, and 
left one son, also Gouverneur. 

JUDGE OF THE ADMIRALTY 

*' Colonel Lewis Morris, Judge of the Admiralty, gave and received honor 
through his three sons, Lewis, Richard and Gouverneur, but his peculiar will in 
regard to two of them shows the bigotry and one-sidedness of the epoch. 

** Lewis, whether through the influence of his mother or no, history does not 
confide to us, was educated at Yale, but in the father's will, for some cause un- 
known, after expressly stating that Gouverneur, the Benjamin of his flock, 
should have the best education to be had in England or America, continues, 
* but my express will and directions are that he be never sent for that purpose to 
the colony of Connecticut, lest he should imbibe in his youth that low craft and 
cunning so incident to the people of that country, which is so interwoven in 
their constitutions that all their art cannot disguise it from the world, tho' many 
of them under the sanctified Garb of Religion have endeavored to Impose them- 
selves on the World for honest men.' 

** To have one son, a signer, Richard, who was born * isth day of August, 
1730,' Chief Justice of New York, the one who administered the second inaugu- 
ration oath to Washington, and Gouverneur, Minister to France, was glory 



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THE MORRIS FAMILY 127 

enough for one parent, and the world will forgive him for any peculiar views, 
without his asking. Lewis Morris, the signer, married Mary, daughter of Jacob 
Walton, and Maria, daughter of William Beekman, Mayor of New Amsterdam, 
and of this marriage came the well-known General Jacob Morris, of Otsego 
county, who at the breaking out of the Revolution was only nineteen years of age. 

ONE OF " THE SIGNERS* " SONS 

** That General Jacob Morris should fight his country's battles, goes without 
saying. He came of what well might be called a loyal and patriotic stock, as 
his father, with all of his six sons, were in service during the war for independ- 
ence. As I find history, I can only place Hopkins and McCook names by the 
side of this record. Think of it, ye descendants of the sturdy home guard ! 
General Jacob Morris served through the war, favorably mentioned by General 
Charles Lee and other commanders ; was at the battle of Monmouth, N. J., on 
General Lee's staff, whose devoted friend he was, and distinguished himself at 
Fort Moultrie in 1776. General Jacob Morris was married during the 
Revolution to Mary Cox, and had twelve children by the marriage, most of 
whom lived to advanced age. 

'* One of his daughters married Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State under Gen- 
eral Grant, a woman gracious of heart and manner, who never demanded for her 
position more than she bestowed as a private citizen. She was endeared to 
every one during her life in Washington, and with that rare courtesy which fol- 
lows the good breeding of generations she always returned the first call made 
upon her in person, claiming herself exempt from a continuance by reason of the 
pressure of social duties she was always surrounded by. Considering the in- 
finite variety of people she came in contact with, it is a wonderful record to 
give, * that she left Washington without having made an enemy.' 

** Another daughter married a brother of Fen i more Cooper, and branches of 
this family have spread out through all sections of the state. 

" General Jacob Morris married a second time, when he was over seventy, 
and had one son by this marriage, Mr. A. P. Morris. Mrs. Sidney Webster, a 
daughter of Hamilton Fish, has two beautiful miniatures of General Jacob Morris 
and his wife, taken when they were young." 

LETTERS PATENT 

**The state of New York, by letters patent, granted to Lewis Morris and 
Richard, his brother, the tract of land known as the Morris Patent, consisting 
of three thousand acres in Montgomery county, to indemnify them for their 
loss and damage sustained through the occupation of their property in Morrisania 
by the British. 

** General Jacob Morris was the pioneer of the Morris Patent, which is situ- 
ated in the Valley of the Butternuts, establishing his home on the one thousand 
acres which was apportioned in the trust to his father. Here he took Mary 



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128 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Cox to share with him in all the self-denial and hardships attending breaking 
ground for a home in the unknown land of this new acquisition of the Morrises. 

** She bore her trial bravely, forming a little ' Lend a Hand ' society of her 
own, where no one interfered with this willingness to be and to do. 

*' Her mother-in-law, Mary Walton Morris, must have appreciated her en- 
deavors and the contrasts of her life, for though perhaps as was the custom of 
the day, she indulged very little in correspondence, she summoned up her 
courage and indited an epistle to her son Jacob, telling him : ' I am glad 
Polly is learning how to spin, and that she is taking an interest in the chickens.' 

** It seems a very modern connection with events to know that within the past 
few years * several Indian tumuli have been accidentally opened in the vicinity 
of Gouverneur Morris's residence, and found to contain skeletons of the abo- 
rigines under whom the first grantee was Jonas Bronk in 1639, whence came the 
river named Bronx, and the ancient appellation of Bronk's Land.* 

** History locates the descendants in the vicinity of Coxsackie, Greene county. 
The records of longevity are left us, but the Manor of Morrisania in 1791 was 
annexed by special statute to the ancient borough town of the county name, and 
in 1846 lost its identity to the 'new people,' as it was added to the township 
which now perpetuates the name. 

MORRIS PATENT 

" In the old Morris Manor House, at Morris, Otsego county, there is in pos- 
session of the great-great-granddaughter of Lewis Morris, the signer, a fine old 
mahogany table with claw feet, quaint drawers and brass trimmings, which be- 
longed to him. 

** What tales these drawers could tell us of the secrets they have been the re- 
pository of, letters of hope, letters of sorrow and trial, as it was handed from 
one to another. But there is another table owned by Louis Morris Machado, 
which has a story one likes to relate, and the public to hear, as it recalls mem- 
ories of the loved and departed, men of high estate. Think of a card table 
owned by Lewis Morris who holds the patent of nobility which belongs to a 
signer, on which played Washington and himself, and when they were willing 
to enlarge their borders, they called in for spirits like unto themselves, John Jay 
and Alexander Hamilton. 

'* Royalty never receives a regret for an invitation sent. These were the royal 
four. Men whose lives are spoken with the respect they won by lives recorded 
in the history of the world. 

GENERAL MORRIS'S DEATH 

** General Jacob Morris died in 1844, at the age of eighty-eight. He is 
buried in the cemetery attached to * Morris Memorial Chapel of All Saints,' 
which was erected in 1866 by contributions from the various members of the 
Morris family. 



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** So Jacob Morris, with all his experience and honor, has corae to his own. 
New Jersey has not lost her Morrises, though many have wandered from her 
fold, but they bear other names, and under that of Rutherford, they go on their 
way rejoicing, glad of their own birthright to position equally happy, that their 
descendants can shine with greater lustre from the name into which they have 
merged their own. Other states, too, could they honor them have done so. 







WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS. 

The De Peysters, the Newbolds, the Edgars, Van Cortland ts, Van Rensselaers, 
and hosts of others, given the opportunity, have eagerly availed of it, and trans- 
planted to their hearts and home, scions of the Morris family from whichever 
branch they came. Annie A. Haxtun.'* 

A HISTORIC BATTLE 

The battle of Harlem Heights, was one of the most important during the 
Revolutionary War. 

** Washington had fallen back to New York, after the battle of Long Island, 
executing on August 30, 1776, the movement that has been recorded as one of 
the most brilliant in military history. He attempted to restore order and confi- 
dence in New York by a reorganization, but he found disaffection everywhere, 
and despair taking the place of hope. He quickly decided to evacuate. 

** On Sunday morning, September 15, the command was given for the patriot 
troops to march to the upper part of Manhattan Island. The commander-in- 



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130 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



chief remained at the Apthorp mansion until the troops appeared. Then he 
galloped to the Morris house on Harlem Heights and made it his headquarters. 

'*At sunrise on Monday morning, September 1 6, the first battle of Harlem 
Heights was fought. It occupied but a few minutes, and was disastrous to the 
British. The second engagement began September i6, between ten and eleven 
o'clock in the morning, and continued for four hours. No fortifications had 
been erected at that time. Preparations had been made near the mansion, and 
there were three small redoubts down at what is now 145th street. The British 
started to drive the Americans from Manhattan Island before they could have 
time to construct defenses. With that wonderful prescience which distinguished 
'him throughout the war. General Washington divined their purpose and made 
preparations to defeat it. In this he was aided by a fatal blunder on the part 
of the enemy. They began the battle too soon and in the wrong place, and were 
easily repulsed and driven off. This inspired a spirit of self-confidence in the 
Americans which materially assisted them to final victory. They realized then 
that the British had been making a false show of strength and of confidence, and 
that it required simply a bold and aggressive movement to turn the tide. 

" Washington's army on Harlem Heights numbered scarcely 8,000 men on 
the 1 6th, and of this number only 4,900 were actually engaged. The British 
had a far superior force, not less than 6,000 of their best drilled troops and 
seven field pieces. Behind them was an army of nearly 10,000 men sustaining 
their rear and ready to push on at the word of command. The battle, from the 
character of the ground, was irregular. The wooded heights, with their rough 
and rocky sides, were almost inaccessible. 

** The English soldiery were compelled 
to break their solid fronts and dash in 
wherever there appeared to be an open- 
ing. Both sides fought single-handed, in 
squads, and regiments and battalions. 
The battle raged from 155th street to 
Manhattanville, and was fought behind 
trees, houses and rocks. On the evening 
of the 1 6th, the armies occupied the 
same relative position as. before they met, 
the pickets being almost within speaking 
distance. Washington occupied the Mor- 
ris house as his headquarters until the 
latter part of October, 1776. 

'*The troops engaged on the side of 
the patriots were from the North and 
South. Colonel Knowlton of the Con- 
necticut Rangers, and Major Leitcb, of 
the Virginia Riflemen, were both killed in 
the action." MORRIS ARMS. 




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FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE 133 

FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE 
A Si^ftfr of the Declaration of Independence 

Among the many eminent representatives from the other Colonies that Gen- 
eral Schuyler came into contact with during this session of Congress was one for 
whom he ever after had a sincere attachment. This gentleman was Francis 
Lightfoot Lee, a member of the distinguished Lee family of Virginia. 

** Francis Lightfoot Lee was born at Stratford -on -Potomac, in the county of 
Westmoreland, Virginia, on the fourteenth day of October, 1734. He was of 
distinguished lineage. His paternal ancestors had been noted in the old country 
and celebrated in the new. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had 
held positions of trust and influence in the Colony of Virginia for nearly one 
hundred and fifty years. Nor were his maternal ancestors — the Corbins, Harri- 
sons, and Ludwells — less distinguished. He and his five brothers were worthy 
sons of such sires. Of them, Mr. Campbell, the historian of Virginia, has 
written : ' As Westmoreland, their native county, is distinguished above all 
others in Virginia, as the birthplace of genius, so perhaps no other Virginian 
could boast of so many distinguished sons as President Lee.' Thomas Lee had 
acquired the title of * president ' from the fact that he had been president of the 
Colonial Council and practically Governor of the Colony at his death. 

** In May, 1722, Thomas Lee was married to Hannah Ludwell, a grand- 
daughter of Philip Ludwell, governor of the Carolinas ; from this union six 
sons and one daughter were born. These sons are worthy of brief mention. 
Philip Ludwell, the eldest, a member of the Colonial Council, died in 1775, ^^^ 
early to take part in the Revolutionary struggle. Tliomas Ludwell, the second 
son, died in 1778, having been a member of the house of Burgesses, of the 
Virginia conventions of 1775-76; of the committee of safety, and one of the 
five judges of the general court. John Adams has recorded in his diary that 
Thomas Ludwell Lee was * the most popular man in Virginia, and the delight 
of the eyes of every Virginian.' The third son was the distinguished orator 
and patriot, Richard Henry, too well known to need further mention. Francis 
Lightfoot, the subject of this sketch, was the fourth son. William the fifth, was 
an alderman and sheriff of London, and later commercial agent for Congress in 
Europe, and also their representative at Berlin, Vienna, and The Hague. The 
youngest was Dr. Arthur, a graduate of Edinburgh University, who ' as a scholar, 
writer, philosopher, politician, and diplomatist, was surpassed by none and 
equaled by few of his contemporaries.' 

** These brothers were all ardent patriots ; so favorably known as such, that 
John Adams in after life paid them this glowing tribute; *That band of broth- 
ers, intrepid and unchangeable, who, like the Greeks at Thermopylae, stood in 
the gap in the defence of their country, from the first glimmering of the Revolu- 
tion in the horizon through all its rising light to its perfect day.* 



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134 



A GODCHILD OF WA8HING2VN 



'* Although it was the common custom for the well-to-do planters to send 
their sons home to the old country for collegiate and professional training, 
Francis Lightfoot Lee had not this privilege. His father died when he was only 
sixteen, which probably accounts for this neglect. His education was acquired 
entirely in Virginia, and chiefly by a tutor at home. This tutor was the Rev. 
Mr. Craig, a Scotch clergyman, who not only made him a good scholar, but 
imbued him with a genuine love for the classics and for literature in general. 
Throughout life, Mr. Lee was a student, and no place had for him the fascina- 
tion of a well stocked library. The return of his brothers from study and 
travel in the old country probably stirred within him a desire to acquire fully the 
education and polish of Europeans. In this he was eminently successful, for it 
is recorded that his manners were easy, graceful and agreeable ; his wit and 
humor most entertaining ; his disposition was kind, gentle and affectionate; his 
voice was sweet and well modulated ; his knowledge, select, varied, and his 
taste refined. His society was eagerly sought by both sexes, and highly prized 
by all. To this gentle country gentleman, the farm and the social circle ever 
possessed greater charms than public life and the political arena. Only the call 
of stern duty ever forced him to engage in public life. 




STRATFORD HALL.— (Birthplace of the Lee Family.) 

**0n arriving at manhood, Mr. I^e settled in Loudoun county, the lands 
left to him by his father being chiefly in that county. He and his brother, 
Philip Ludwell, are mentioned among the founders of the town of Leesburg in 
that county. As early as 1765, he appeared in the house of Burgesses as a rep- 



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FRANCIS LIOHTFOOT LEE 135 

resentative from Loudoun. A few years later on his marriage, he located in 
Richmond county, and built a home, which he named * Menokin ' from the 
neighboring Indian town, Manakin. Being chosen a burgess from Richmond 
county, he was acting in that position when the first rumblings of the coming 
storm were heard in the political sky, and seems to have promptly taken his stand 
beside his brothers as an earnest patriot. 

** When in August, 17,75, Colonel Bland resigned his position as a representa- 
tive from Virginia in the Continental Congress, George Mason himself refusing 
an election, recommended Mr. Lee for the office and he was chosen. It is not 
recorded that he held any position as a speaker ; his usefulness, therefore, lay 
in less ostentatious forms of public service. It may be safely assumed that he 
was a useful member of Congress for he was successively reelected in 1776-77-78 ; 
in 1779, he retired from Congress, hoping to live henceforth a quiet country life. 
But not so : he was soon called again to the front, this time to serve in the sen- 
ate chamber of the Virginia Assembly. 

" Mr. Lee's chief public services, while in Congress, were to assist in framing 
the articles of the old confederation, and later in vigorously demanding that no 
treaty of peace should be made with Great Britain, which did not guarantee to 
Americans the freedom of the northern fisheries, and the free navigation of the 
Mississippi river. Subsequent events have amply proven the wisdom of his fore- 
sight in making this demand. Mr. Lee was also a signer of the Declaration of 
Independence. 

" Mr. Lee was an ardent supporter of Washington, as well as a personal friend. 
An anecdote is told, which illustrates his admiration for Washington. Being 
one day at the county courthouse, just after the new federal constitution had 
been adopted at Philadelphia, and was, of course, the subject of general interest, 
some one asked his opinion of it. He replied that he did not pretend to be a 
good judge of such important affairs, but that one circumstance satisfied him in 
its favor. This was ' that General Washington was in favor of it, and John 
Warden was against it.* Warden was a Scotch lawyer of the county, who had 
been speaking against a ratification of the new Constitution. Washington, too, 
seems to have entertained the kindliest feelings for Mr. Lee, and to have thought 
highly of his sound judgment. In a letter to James Madison he says the family 
placed * much reliance upon the judgment of Francis L. Lee.* 

** Mr. Lee's sentiments on the war are well set forth in a letter to a relative in 
Virginia. He writes from Philadelphia, the 19th of March, 1776. <* * * 
Our late King and his Parliament having declared us Rebels and Enemies, con- 
fiscated our property, as far as they are likely to lay hands on it, — have effectu- 
ally decided the question for us whether or now we sh'd be independent. All 
we now have to do is to endeavor to reconcile ourselves to the state it has pleased 
Providence to put us into ; and indeed upon taking a near and full look at the 
thing, it does not frighten so much, as when viewed at a distance. I can't think 
we shall be injured by having free trade to all the world, instead of its being 
confined to one place, whose riches might always be used to our ruin ; nor does 



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136 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

it appear to me that we shall suffer any disadvantage by having our Legislature 
uncontrolled by a power so far removed from us that our circumstances can't be 
known ; whose interests are often directly contrary to ours, and over which we 
have no manner of control. Indeed great part of that power being at present 
lodged in the hands of a most gracious prince, whose tender mercies we have 
often experienced, it must wring the hearts of all good men to part; but I sup- 
pose we shall have Christian fortitude enough to bear with patience and even 
cheerfulness the decrees of a really most gracious king ! The danger of anarchy 
and confusion, I think altogether chimerical ; the good behavior of the Ameri- 
cans with no government at all, proves them very capable of good government. 
But my dear colonel, I am so fond of peace that I wish to see an end of these 
distractions upon any terms that will secure America from future outrages. 

** A biographical writer on * The signers of the Declaration of Independence,' 
says of Mr. Lee : *In the spring of 1779, M^* ^^ retired from Congress and 
returned to the home to which both his temper and inclination led him, with de- 
light. He was not, however, long permitted to enjoy the satisfaction it con- 
ferred ; for the internal affairs of his native state were in a situation of so much 
agitation and perplexity that his fellow-citizens insisted on his representing them 
in the Senate of Virginia. He carried into that body all the integrity, sound 
judgment and love of country for which he had ever been conspicuous, and his 
labors were alike honorable to himself and useful to his state. He did not long 
remain in this situation. His love of ease, and fondness for domestic occupa- 
tions now gained the entire ascendency over him, and he retired from public 
life with the firm determination of never again engaging in its busy and weari- 
some scenes ; and to this determination he strictly adhered. In his retirement, 
his character was most conspicuous. He always possessed more of the gay, 
good humor and pleasing wit of Atticus, than the sternness of Cato, or the 
eloquence of Cicero. To the young, the old, the grave, the gay, he was alike 
a pleasing and interesting companion. None approached him with diffidence ; 
no one left him but with regret. To the poor around him, he was a counsellor, 
physician and friend ; to others, his conversation was at once agreeable and 
instructive, and his life a fine example for imitation. Like the great founder of 
our republic, Washington, he was much attached to agriculture, and retained 
from his estate a small farm for experiment and amusement. 

" • Having no children, Mr. Lee lived an easy, quiet life. Reading, farming 
and the company of his friends and relatives, filled up the remaining portion of 
his days. A pleurisy, caught in one of the coldest winters ever felt in Virginia, 
terminated the existence of both his wife and himself within a few days of each 
other, April, 1797. His last moments were those of a Christian, a good, honest, 
and virtuous man ; and those who witnessed the scene were all ready to exclaim : 
*• Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his." 

'* * In conclusion, it may be said that Francis LightfootLee was not a brilliant 
man ; was not one to dazzle by his genius or to fire enthusiasm by his eloquence. 
He was simply a cultivated Christian gentleman of sound judgment and disin- 



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FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE 



137 



terested patriotism. A noble character whose personality was a potent force. 
He was honored and respected by his associates ; was admired and loved by his 
friends. He was, in short, a typical gentleman of his day and generation. 
One of the grand patriots of the Revolution.' " 
By his great-greal-nephew, Edmund J. Lee, M. D. 




LEE ARMS. 



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(being* equal to One Quarter of a I 
Spanifh Milled Dollar) or the Value I 
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CongrePs of i^ew-York. on the 
Day of MarcK, 17 if ^ '^ 

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COLONIAL MONEY. 



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COLONIAL MONEY. 



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CHAPTER V 
Period i 775-1 776 

*'0n the nineteenth of June, 1775/* continues Chancellor Kent, "Philip 
Schuyler was appointed by Congress the third major-general in the armies of the 
United Colonies ; and such was his singular promptitude, that, in eleven days 
from his appointment, we find him in actual service, corresponding with Con- 
gress from a distance on business that required and received immediate atten- 
tion. He was charged by General Washington with the command of the army 
in the province of New York, and in his first general orders announcing the 
command, he at once enjoined order, discipline, neatness, economy, exactness, 
sobriety, obedience ; and that the troops must show to the world that * in con- 
tending for liberty, they abhor licentiousness — that in resisting the misrule of . 
tyrants, they will support government honestly administered.* He directed his 
attention specially to the northern frontiers, and called upon the commanding 
officer there for exact information and specific details, on every subject con- 
nected with his command. In July, 1775, ^^ was placed at the head of a Board 
of Commissioners for the Northern Department, and empowered to employ all 
the troops in that department at his discretion, subject to the future orders of 
the commander-in-chief. 

** He was directed by Congress, as early as the ist of July, to repair to the 
fort of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and make preparations to secure the com- 
mand of the lake, and, ' if practicable and expedient to take possession of St. 
Johns, Montreal, and Quebec, and to pursue any other measure in Canada, 
having a tendency in his judgment, to promote the peace and security of the 
United States.' He at once communicated vigor and rapid motion to every 
part of his command ; but the difficulties in an expedition to Canada without 
the materials, the equipments, and the habits of war, were clearly perceived by 
him, and strongly felt, and he surmounted them with a rapidity and success that 
no other individual could at that period have performed. Before the end of 
August four regiments moved down the lake from Ticonderoga, under the com- 
mand of Brigadier-General Montgomery. To add to his other distresses. 
General Schuyler at this crisis was taken down with sickness and confined in 
bed with a fever. He nevertheless followed his friend Montgomery, and was 
carried in a batteau to the Isle aux Noix, where he established his headquarters 
on the 8th of September. He was there reduced to a skeleton by a complica- 
tion of disorders, and was obliged in ten days to return and leave Montgomery, 
much to the regret of the latter, to command the Canadian expedition. * All 
my ambition,* said that excellent man, and chivalric hero, * is to do my duty in 

140 



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PERIOD 1775-1776 141 

a subordinate capacity, without the least ungenerous intention of lessening the 
merits so justly your due.' Greneral Schuyler's services were not lost on his re- 
turn to Ticonderoga. They were invaluable on the all-important subject of 
supplies. General Montgomery declared in his letters of the 6th and 9th of 
October, that Schuyler's foresight and diligence after his return, had saved the 
expedition, so wisely and promptly did he exert his feeble health, but vigorous 
mind, to restore order and accelerate supplies of food and clothing to the army, 
then estimated at three thousand five hundred men, and occupied before St. 
Johns. 

'* His very impaired health rendered General Schuyler's situation oppressive. 
He was charged with the duty of supplying the Canadian army with recruits, 
provisions, clothing, arms and money, and to do it adequately was beyond his 
power. He was obliged to apply to Congress for leave to retire. But his ap- 
plication was ngt listened to, and on the 30th of November, Congress resolved 
that his conduct, attention and perseverance, merited the thanks of the United 
Colonie§. They expressed, through President Hancock, their * greatest concern 
and sympathy for his loss of health, and requested that he would not insist on a 
measure which would deprive America of his zeal and abilities, and rob him of 
the honor of completing the glorious work which he had so happily and success- 
fully begun.* General Washington, who always maintained a close and con- 
stant correspondence with Schuyler, expressed the same regret and desire, and 
in his letters of the 5th and 24th of December, conjured both him and Mont- 
gomery to lay aside all such thoughts of retirement, 'alike injurious to them- 
selves and excessively so to the country. They had not a difficulty to contend 
with, that he had not in an eminent degree experienced.' Who can withhold 
his unqualified admiration of the man, who gave such advice at such a crisis. 
To his incomparable fortitude and inflexible firmness America owes her national 
existence. 

"General Schuyler determined to continue in the service, and especially, as 
he said, after the fall of his * amiable friend Montgomery, who had given him 
so many proofs of the goodness of his heart, and who, as he greatly fell in his 
country's cause, was more to be envied than lamented.' The distressed condi- 
tion of the northern army in the winter and spring of 1776, was quite un- 
paralleled in the history of the revolution. General Schuyler was roused to the 
utmost limit of exertion in his endeavors to relieve it, by collecting and dis- 
patching men, provisions and arms, and military and naval equipments to the 
northern posts, and to the army. His attention was directed to every quarter, 
exacting vigilance, order, economy and prompt attention in all the complicated 
concerns of the department. His duty was more than arduous and difficult ; it 
was inexpressibly vexatious ; and could not be sternly and effectually performed 
without collusions, provoking jealous and angry feelings, and requiring large 
sacrifices of transient popularity. With his exhausted and debilitated frame of 
body, every person who saw him, concluded that he must soon sink under the 
pressure of his duties. His incessant correspondence with Congress was full of 



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142 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

the best practical advice. At that crisis Congress multiplied his concerns to an 
overwhelming degree. On the 8th of January, he was required to cause the 
river St. Lawrence, above and below Quebec, to be well explored. He was to 
fill up blank commissions for the Canada regiments at his discretion. He was 
to establish an accountability for the waste to public supplies. He was to put 
Ticonderoga in a defensible position. But the army in Canada engrossed his 
attention. After the death of Montgomery, the command devolved on 
Brigadier-General Wooster. The most alarming and next to the want of provi- 
sions, the most distressing deficiency in the northern army was in muskets, am- 
munition and cannon. The call was loud also and incessant for specie, and 
General Schuyler went so far, as to raise on his own personal security, two thou- 
sand, one hundred pounds York currency, in gold and silver for that service. 
Nothing shows more strikingly the want of arms than the fact that even General 
Washington in his camp at Cambridge, applied to Schuyler for assistance in that 
particular. 'Your letters and mine,' said the former, 'seem echoes of each 
other, enumerating our mutual difficulties.' 

"His activity, skill, and zeal shone conspicuously throughout that arduous 
campaign ; and his unremitting correspondence received the most prompt and 
marked consideration. 

"Great apprehension was entertained at this eventful moment, for the dis- 
affected inhabitants in the Mohawk country under the influence of Sir John 
Johnson, and Congress directed General Schuyler to cause the Tories in that 
quarter to be disarmed, and their leaders secured. He accordingly marched 
into that country in the month of January, and executed the service with such 
zeal, despatch, and discretion, as to receive the special approbation of Con- 
gress. 

"On the 17th of February, Major General Lee was appointed to the com- 
mand of the northern army, and Schuyler was to take his place at New York. 
This alteration was made, as the president of Congress assured him, from the 
conviction that his infirm state of health was not equal to a winter's campaign 
in the severe climate of Canada. But the wants of the northern army, with 
the supply of which Schuyler was still charged, were so varied and urgent, that 
he was obliged to confine his headquarters to Albany ; and they were again 
established there by a resolution of Congress of the 6th of March, and that 
resolution continued in force until May, 1777. The arduous business of supply- 
ing an army with food, clothing, and military equipments, though less captivat- 
ing in its results, is often much more conducive to the safety and success of a 
campaign, than prowess in the field. General Schuyler, by his thorough busi- 
ness habits, his exactness in detail, his keen foresight, his calculating skill, and 
his fiery vehemence in action, was admirably fitted for either branch of military 
service ; and no person who has studied these campaigns thoroughly, can fail to 
be convinced, that his versatile talents were fitted equally for investigation and 
action. 

*' General Lee being sent to the south. Major General Thomas was on the 



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PERIOD 1775-1776 143 

6th of March, appointed to the command of the army in Canada, but with a 
reliance, as Congress declared, on the efforts of General Schuyler * for perfecting 
the work so conspicuously begun, and so well directed under his orders, the last 
campaign/ Congress, throughout the winter and spring of 1776, continued to 
consider the possession of Canada and the command of the lake as objects of 
the first necessity. 

** On the death of General Thomas, on the 2d of June, Brigadier-General 
Sullivan succeeded to the command, and the distress and disorganization of the 
army had then arrived at its utmost height. All hopes of retaining Canada 
were gone, and no alternative was left but to make the safest and most expedi- 
tious retreat. Regiments were reduced to skeletons. The soldiers became 
desperate, and deserted. 'Upwards of forty officers,' said Sullivan, 'begged 
leave to resign on the most frivolous pretenses.' General Schuyler gave direc- 
tions, on the 20th of June, to abandon Canada, and return up the lake. This 
was accordingly done. General Sullivan left the Sorel with only two thousand 
five hundred and thirty-three men, and on the ist of July, he reached Crown 
Point with the remains of the army, broken down by sickness, disorder, and 
discord. The retreat, says Schuyler, was conducted with prudence and discern- 
ment, and reflected honor upon that commander. At Crown Point, Sullivan 
met General Gates, who, though a junior officer, was appointed to that com- 
mand, and Sullivan retired from the department in disgust. 

"The expedition to Canada having been miserably terminated, the next 
great object of Schuyler's attention, was to secure the forts on the lake, and to 
command its waters, as well as to attend to other pressing objects in his widely 
extended department. On the 14th of June, he had been required by Congress 
to hold a treaty with the Six Nations of Indians — to fortify Fort Stanwix — to 
open a military road from Fort Edward — to clear Wood Creek — to establish a 
canal lock at Skeensborough — to equip a flotilla on Lake Champlain, and to 
fortify Crown Point or Mount Independence at his discretion. Though he was 
again visited with the return of the fever of the last season, which served to 
annoy and dishearten him, his exertions continued unremitted. Crown Point 
was abandoned by the unanimous advice of a council of his general officers as 
not tenable with their present force and means. The act was at first inconsider- 
ately c»ensured, but his clear and skillful reasons for the measure, satisfied the 
mind of Washington. A flotilla of sixteen vessels was created and equipped 
for service on the lake by the latter end of August, after infinite embarrassments, 
and he assigned the command of it to General Arnold, who was active and 
intrepid. That officer was met, on the i6th of October, by a much superior 
and better manned squadron, and after brave and unavailing resistance, his 
little fleet was defeated and totally destroyed. This put an end to the northern 
campaign, for the garrison at Ticonderoga and its dependencies consisting of 
nine thousand men, was left by General Schuyler under the subordinate com- 
mand of Gates, and they were not disturbed." 



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144 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



MAJOR-GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY 

** One summer evening, when a primeval forest covered almost the entire sur- 
face of the now glorious Union, a young British officer, in rich uniform, stood 
on the shore of Lake Champlain, and looked off on that beautiful sheet of 
water. He was only twenty-two years of age, and but for his manly, almost 
perfect form, he would have seemed even younger. His skin was fair, and his 
countenance beautiful as a Grecian warrior's. As he stood and gazed on the 
forest-girdled lake, studded with islands, his dark eye kindled with the poetry 
of the scene, and he little thought of the destiny before him. In the full 
strength and pride of ripened manhood, he was yet to lead over those very 
waters a band of freemen against the country under whose banner he now 
fought, and fall foremost in freedom's battle. That handsome young officer was 
Richard Montgomery, a lieutenant in the British army. A native of Ireland, 
he was born in 1736, on his father's estate near the town of Raphoe. Educated 
as became the son of a gentleman, he, at the age of eighteen, received a com- 
mission in the English army. Joined to the British expedition sent against 
Louisburg, he, in the attack and capture of that place, showed such heroism, 
and performed such good service, that he was promoted to a lieutenancy. In 
the meantime Abercrombie having met with a severe repulse before Ticonderoga, 
Amherst was sent to his relief. Among the officers in the corps was young 
Montgomery, who thus became acquainted with all the localities of Lake 
Champlain. After the reduction of Montreal and Quebec, he accompanied the 
expedition against the French and Spanish West Indies, where he conducted 
himself so gallantly that he obtained the command of a company. The treaty 
of Versailles, 1763, closed the war, and he returned to England on a visit, 
where he remained nine years. It is a matter of conjecture what finally induced 
him to sell his commission in the English army and emigrate to this country. 
He arrived in 1772, and purchased a farm near New York. Soon after, he 
married the eldest daughter of Robert Livingston, then one of the judges of the 
Superior Court of the Province. From New York he removed to Rhinebeck, 
in Dutchess county, where he devoted his whole time to agriculture. In the 
meanwhile the controversy grew warmer between the parent country and her 
colonies. Taciturn, and little inclined to public life, young Montgomery 
evidently did not at first take a deep interest in the struggle. His feelings, 
however, and his judgment were both on the side of his adopted country, and 
in 1775, he was elected member of the first provincial convention of New York, 
from Dutchess county. He took no very active part in the convention, still his 
views were so well known respecting the controversy between the two countries, 
that, at the appointment of commander-in-chief of the American armies, and 
the creation of officers by Congress, he was made one of the eight brigadier- 
generals. His views of the contest may be gathered from the letter he wrote to 



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MAJOB-QENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY 147 

a friend after receiving his appointment. Said he : * The Congress having 
done me the honor of electing me brigadier-general in their service, in an event 
which must put an end for awhile, perhaps forever, to the quiet scheme of life 
I had prescribed for myself; for though entirely unexpected and undesired by 
me, the will of an oppressed people, compelled to choose between liberty and 
slavery, must be obeyed.' Although after the battle of Bunker Hill, the war 
began to assume regularity and plan, still the public feeling was unsettled, and 
no one had formed any idea of the probable issue of the contest. Neither the 
nation nor congress was as yet prepared for a declaration of independence. It 
was resistance to oppression, a struggle for rights which had been invaded, with- 
out anticipating the result of an entire separation from the parent country. 
While the national feeling was in this state. Congress had the design of invading 
Canada, then in a feeble state of defence. The measure promised brilliant 
success, but the propriety of assuming the offensive was questioned by many. 
It was not a war of aggression on which they had entered, but strictly one of 
self-defence, and it might injure their cause, not only in England, but at home, 
to carry the sword into a peaceful province. On the other hand it was asserted 
that this distinction between offensive and defensive operations was ridiculous — 
that we were in open hostility, and it became us to use all the means we possessed 
to strengthen our cause and weaken that of the enemy — that if Canada was left 
alone, it would soon be the channel through which troops would be poured 
through the interior of the Colonies — that in a short time we would be forced 
to turn our attention that way, and the sooner it was done the better. Beside, 
the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point had opened the country to our 
troops, and it needed a succession of such brilliant achievements to keep alive 
the courage of the people. Congress at length voted in favor of the expedition, 
and immediately adopted measures for carrying it through. The army of in- 
vasion was to be composed of three thousand troops from New England and 
New York, the whole to be placed under the command of General Schuyler, 
aided by Brigadier-Generals Wooster and Montgomery. Here commences the 
military career of the latter in the service of the States. Having joined the 
army at Albany, he was soon transferred to Crown Point. Learning at the 
latter place, that Carleton, Governor of Canada, was collecting several armed 
ships to be stationed at the outlet of the lake into the Sorel, in order to com- 
mand the passage into Canada, he immediately, without consulting General 
Schuyler pushed on with a thousand men, and took post at Isle aux Noix near 
the river. In the meantime he wrote to General Schuyler informing him of 
what he had done, expressing his regret that he was compelled to move without 
orders, but excusing himself on the ground, that if the enemy should get his 
vessels into the lakes it would be over with the expedition for that summer. 
The letter is couched in the respectful language of a subordinate to a superior 
officer, but at the same time it would not be inappropriate from a commander-in- 
chief. General Schuyler having arrived the same night that Montgomery 
reached Isle aux Noix, it was resolved to push nearer Fort St. John. The 



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148 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON- 

former being soon after prostrated by severe illness, he returned to Ticonderoga 
and Albany, and Montgomery took entire control of the expedition. He laid 
siege to St. John's ; and sent a detachment against Fort Chambly situated a little 
lower down the river, and feebly garrisoned. It was taken without resistance; 
and St John's after a siege of six weeks fell into the hands of Montgomery. 
The capture of Montreal followed. When the news of his brilliant success 
reached Congress, he was promoted to the rank of major-general. His next 
step was to form a junction with Arnold, who, having crossed the untrodden 
wilds of Maine, was now with his small, half-clothed, and badly supplied army, 
closely investing Quebec. Exposed to biting cold, it was impossible to keep 
any troops long in the field ; and to add to the horrors of the position, smallpox 
broke out in camp. Accordingly, a council of war was called, and the assault 
proposed. Large banks of snow filled up the path ; they stumbled upon huge 
masses of ice thrown up by the river, and the men seemed to hesitate, when 
Montgomery shouted forth — * Men of New York, you will not fear to follow 
where your General leads — forward ! * The guns, charged with grapeshot, 
opened in their very faces ; and when the smoke lifted, there lay the lifeless 
form of Montgomery. He was but thirty-nine years of age when he fell on this 
disastrous field. Many have blamed him for hazarding an attack on Quebec 
with so small a force, but what else could he have done. To have abandoned 
the project after all the expense and labor it had cost, without an effort, would 
have subjected him to still severer condemnation. Both his reputation and the 
honor of the country forbade this. It failed. Had it been successful, it would 
have been regarded as a most brilliant exploit, not only in its execution, but in 
its conception. His bright and promising career suddenly closed in darkness, 
and freedom mourned another of her champions fallen." 

J. T. Headly. 



" Camp before St. Johns, Oct. 20, 1775. 
" Dear General : 

" I have the pleasure to acquaint you with the surrender of Chambly to Major Brown and 
Major Livingston, which last headed about three hundred Canadians. We had not above fifty 
of our troops. Indeed it was the plan of the Canadians, who carried down the artillery past 
the Fort of St. John's in bateaux. I send you the colors of the Seventh regiment and a list of 
stores taken. Major Brown assures me we have gotten six tons of powder, which, with the 
blessing of God, will finish our business here. Major Brown offered his service on this occa- 
sion. Upon this and all other occasions I have found him active and intelligent. 

«« The enemy's schooner is sunk. They have not been very anxious to save her, else they 
might easily have protracted her fate. I must now think, unless some unlucky accident befall 
us, we shall accomplish our business here, as I shall set to work in earnest on this side of the 
water. The troops are in high spirits. Colonel Warner has had a little brush with a party 
from Montreal. The enemy retired with the loss of five prisoners and some killed. Some of 
the prisoners (Canadians) are dangerous enemies, and must be taken care of — La Mouche, 
one of them. The Caughnawagas have desired one hundred men from us. I have complied 
with their request, and am glad to find they put so much confidence in us, and are not afraid of 



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MAJOR'OENEBAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY 149 

Mr. Carleton ; not that I think they had anything to apprehend ; he has too much business on 
his hands already to wish to make more enemies. 

'* I shall endeavor, by means of the Chambly garrison, to obtain better treatment for Allen 
and the other prisoners, as well Canadians as our own troops. 

*' I am much chagrined at your relapse ; that you may speedily recover your health is the 
ardent wish of your sincere and affectionate humble servant, 

«« Richard Montgomery. 
«« To General Schuyler." 



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150 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY KNOX 

** Few men contributed so largely to the success of our revolutionary struggle 
as the subject of this notice. As the projector, author, and first commander of 
the artillery connected with the Continental army, and holding the first post of 
command of that portion of our army during the whole war ; having as he had, 
the entire confidence and esteem of Washington, and fighting by his side, his 
opportunities were equal to his desire, and his success tantamount to his genius 
and bravery. 

"General Henry Knox was born in Boston, July 25th, 1750. He early 
married the daughter of a staunch loyalist, and was already an officer in the 
British army in Boston when the struggle of the Revolution commenced. His 
whole soul was fired in the cause of freedom, and he contrived to escape from 
Boston, and, presenting himself at the camp of Washington, ofi*ered his services 
to his country. His wife, who, notwithstanding her tory origin, fully sympa- 
thized with the patriots, accompanied him in his flight, secreting her husband's 
sword in the folds of her petticoat. This noble woman adhered to his fortunes 
through eight years of peril and anxiety, deprivation and labor, and had the holy 
satisfaction of sharing her husband's joy in the established independence of 
their native land. 

*' When young Knox presented himself at Washington's headquarters, our 
army was totally destitute of cannon, without which he felt it was impossible to 
cope with the British forces. There was no way of obtaining this needed sup- 
ply^ but from transporting it from the dilapidated forts on the Canadian frontier. 
This dangerous and almost herculean task was triumphantly performed (1775) 
by the gallant young officer (who received every assistance from General 
Schuyler) ; and an artillery department of respectable force was thus added to 
our army the command of which was bestowed upon Knox, with a brigadier- 
general's commission. These guns were planted on Dorchester heights, and the 
British army speedily compelled to evacuate Boston. 

** General Knox, at the head of the artillery, was in constant service during 
the entire contest which succeeded, and generally under the immediate eye of 
Washington, between whom and himself a strong affection existed, which lasted 
until the death of his distinguished and beloved commander. In the retreat 
from White Plains, in the battles of Trenton and Princeton, as well as those of 
Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth, as also the siege of Yorktown, Knox 
and his artillery rendered most valuable aid, and contributed largely toward the 
expulsion of the enemy from our southern shores. When Cornwallis delivered 
up Yorktown, General Knox was one of the commissioners to negotiate the 
terms of capitulation. 



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MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY KNOX 163 

** In 1785, under the old regime, General Knox was Secretary of War, until 
the new organization, when Washington immediately reappointed him to the 
same office, which he continued to hold until 1794, when Washington, having 
repeatedly refused to do so, reluctantly consented to accept his resignation, and 
he retired to his farm, in Thomaston, Maine, where he lived in dignified and 
hospitable retirement until the 25th of October, 1806, when he died suddenly 
in the fifty-seventh year of his age. 

" How singular, that the brave warrior should tread so many fields of blood 
and carnage, and see hundreds falling on all sides, should escape so many thou- 
sand deaths, to come at last to his death by the most insignificant means. The 
death of this good man and patriot and brave soldier, was occasioned by swal- 
lowing the bone of a chicken at his dinner. 

'« We cannot forbear relating a singular incident in the life of this brave man. 
When on his northern expedition, he fell in with Major Andr6, and traveled in 
his company. The result of this accidental meeting was a mutual attachment, 
which grew into a strong friendship, so speedily to be concluded by the sangui- 
nary and ignominious termination of the life of one, while the other was a 
member of the court martial which so reluctantly condemned the accomplished 
young Briton to the scaffold. General Knox used to say that this was the hard- 
est duty he ever performed. We can well conceive it to have been so." 

By A. D. Jones. 

(** To General Knox is conceded the honor of suggesting that noble organiza- 
tion the Society of the Cincinnati." See Mount Gulian, Chapter XII.) 



AN UNPUBUSHED LETTER. 

" West Point, 15th February, 1783. 
" Dear Sir : 

** In the proportions of pay mentioned in yesterday's orders, the Serjeants of artillery are 
rated at the same as a serjeant of infantry, whereas a serjeant of artillery's monthly pay is ten 
dollars. The same with respect to the Serjeant's of sappers and miners. 

" There is no mention of any proportion to the artillery artificers. Some of the most meri- 
torious men in the Service, enlisted for the war and unpaid as much as any other part of the 
army. Although their pay is twelve dollars per month for the privates and twenty-five for the 
Serjeants, yet probably they might be contented with the same proportions at present as the 
artillery. 
" I pray you to mention the<»e matters to his Excellency and let me know the result. 

"I am 

«<dear sir 

"Your humble Sert 

" H. Knox. 
M Walkbr." 



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154 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER. 

'*Camp at Fredericksburg, 

" November, lo, 1778. 
" Dear Sir : 

" You may remember we purchased a number of tickets together in the Congress Lottery. 
One of which drew 500 Dollars the same that Mrs. Greene directed to draw the highest prize. 
It is now time to begin to think of receiving the money or laying out the prize money in 
tickets again, the latter of which will be most agreeable to me. Should be glad to see you at 
my quarters upon the subject to-day or to-morrow. 

" I am with sincere regard your most 
«< To " Obedient Humble Servant, 

" Colonel Walter Stewart. « N. Greens. 

*< General Waynes 

" Brigade." 



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CHAPTER VI 

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS 

"Early in April, 1776, Schuyler had the pleasure of entertaining distin- 
guished guests, in the persons of three Commissioners with their attendants, 
whom Congress, at Schuyler's suggestion as we have seen, had appointed to 
repair to Canada, clothed with the full powers of the body that sent them. The 
Commissioners were Dr. Benjamin Franklin, of Pennsylvania, and Samuel 
Chase and Charles Carroll of Maryland. They were invested by Congress with 
extraordinary powers. They were authorized to receive Canada into the union 
of colonies, and to organize a republican government there. They were em- 
powered to suspend military officers, issue military commissions, act as umpires 
in disputes between the civil and military authorities, vote at councils of war, 
raise additional troops, and draw upon Congress for one hundred thousand 
dollars.** 

The Commissioners left Philadelphia late in March ; at New York they were 
entertained by Lord Sterling, who furnished them with a sloop to transport 
them to Albany^ where they arrived on the morning of the fourth day after set- 
ting sail. They '* spent the night on board, and after breakfast stepped on shore, 
where they were met by General Schuyler and invited to dine with him.*' 
Charles Carroll wrote in his journal that ** He behaved to us with great civility ; 
lives in pretty style ; has two daughters (Betsy and Peggy), lively, agreeable, 
black-eyed gals.*' The first, Elizabeth, married four years later Alexander 
Hamilton; the other Margarita, became in 1783 the wife of her cousin the 
Patroon, Stephen Van Rensselaer. 

Lossing writes that the year previous " Dr. Franklin, who had been touched 
by Schuyler*s appeals to the Continental Congress in the letters he had opened, 
wrote to him, as president of the Philadelphia Committee of Safety, saying : 

** ' I did myself the honor of writing to you by the return of your express on 
the 8th instant. Immediately after dispatching him, it occurred to me to en- 
deavor the obtaining from our Committee of Safety a permission to send you 
what powder remained in our hands, which, though it was scarcely thought safe 
for ourselves to part with it, they, upon my application, and representing the 
importance of the service you are engaged in, and the necessity you are under 
for that article, cheerfully agreed to. Accordingly, I this day dispatch a wagon 
with twenty-four hundred pounds weight, which actually empties our magazine. 
I wish it safe to your hands, and to yourself every kind of prosperity."* 

Autograph letter, August 10, 1775. 

155 



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156 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 
Philosopher and Statesman 

** Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, January 7th, 1706. He was the 
youngest of seventeen children, and was intended for his father's business, which 
was that of a soap-boiler and tallow-chandler, but being disgusted with this em- 
ployment, he was apprenticed to his brother who was a printer. This occupation 
was more congenial to his tastes, and he used to devote his nights to the perusal 
of such books as his scanty means enabled him to buy. By restricting himself 
to a vegetable diet, he obtained more money for intellectual purposes, and at 
sixteen had read Locke on the Understanding, Xenophon's Memorabilia, and the 
Port Royal Logic, in addition to many other works. Having incurred the dis- 
pleasure of his father and brother, he ran away, sailed in a sloop to New York, 
walked thence to Philadelphia, and entered that city with a dollar in his pocket, 
and a loaf of bread under his arm. Here he obtained employment as a printer, 
and Sir William Keith, the governor, observing his diligence, persuaded him to 
go to England to purchase materials for a press, on his own account, promising 
him letters of introduction and credit. This was in 1725. He found he was 
the bearer of no letters relating to himself, and he was accordingly obliged to 
work at his trade in London. He returned to Philadelphia, where, in a short 
time, he entered into business with one Meredith, and about 1728 began a news- 
paper, in which he inserted many of his moral essays. He published * Poor 
Richard's Almanac ' for a quarter century and more. It is well known for its 
pithy sayings : ' Drive thy business, let not that drive thee ; * * God gives all 
things to industry ; then plow deep while sluggards sleep, and you will have com 
to sell and keep ; ' ' Three removes are as bad as a fire ; ' ' Keep thy shop, and 
thy shop will keep thee ; * * If you would have your business done, go ; if not, 
send ; ' as poor Richard says. The frugal maxims of poor Dick, Franklin him- 
self strictly observed, and he grew tp prosperity and good repute in his adopted 
city. At the age of twenty-seven he began the study of the modern and clas- 
sical languages. He founded the University of Pennsylvania and the American 
Philosophical Society, and invented the Franklin stove, which still holds its 
pjace, even among the variety of modem inventions of a similar kind. In 1746, 
he made his experiments on electricity and applied his discoveries to the inven- 
tion of the lightning rod. 

"In 1751, he was appointed deputy-postmaster-general for the Colonies. 
After the defeat of Braddock, a bill for organizing a provincial militia having 
passed the assembly, Franklin was chosen its commander. In 1757, he was 
sent to England with a petition to the king and council against the proprietaries, 
who refused to bear their share in the public expenses. While thus employed he 
published several works, which gained him a high reputation, and the agency of 
Massachusetts, Maryland and Georgia. In 1762, Franklin was chosen fellow of 



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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 169 

the royal society, and made doctor of laws at Oxford, and the same year re- 
turned to America. 

'* In 1764, he was again deputed to England as agent of his province, and in 
1766 was examined before the House of Commons on the subject of the Stamp 
Act. His answers were clear and decisive. His conduct in England was worthy 
of his previous character. Finding him warmly attached to the Colonies, in- 
vective and coarse satire were leveled against him, but his integrity and match- 
less wit formed an invulnerable defence. He was next offered * any reward, 
unlimited recompense, honors and recompense beyond his expectations,' if he 
would forsake his country, but he stood firm as a rock. 

" He returned to America in 1775, and was immediately chosen a member of 
Congress, and performed the most arduous duties in the service of his country. 
He was sent as Commissioner to France in 1776, and concluded a treaty, Feb- 
ruary 6th, 1778, in which year he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the 
Court of Versailles, and one of the commissioners for negotiating peace with 
Great Britain. Although he solicited leave, he was not permitted to return till 
1785. He was made President of Pennsylvania, and as a delegate to the Con- 
vention of 1787, approved the Federal Constitution. He died April 17, 1790. 

•• How generally he was beloved, both at home and abroad, the various 
honors which he received, show. Incorruptible, talented, and virtuous, he 
merited the eulogium of Lord Chatham, who characterized him * as one whom 
all Europe held in high estimation for his knowledge and wisdom ; who was an 
honor, not to the English nation only, but to human nature.' His wit and 
humor rendered his society acceptable to every class. On one occasion, he was 
dining with the English ambassador and a French functionary at Paris. The 
former rose and gave the following sentiment : * England ! the bright sun 
whose rays illuminate the world ! * The French gentleman, struggling between 
patriotism and politeness, proposed, ' France ! the moon whose mild beams dis- 
pel the shades of night.* Dr. Franklin, rising in turn, said, * General George 
Washington ! the Joshua who commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and 
they obeyed him ! ' Franklin's wit and humor are happily displayed in an 
epitaph which he once wrote. 

" The body 

of 

Benjamin Franklin, 

Printer 

(like the cover of an old book, 

its contents torn out, 

and stripped of its lettering and gilding), 

lies here, food for worms ; 

yet the work itself shall not be lost, 

for it will (as he believed) appear once more 

in a new 

and more beautiful edition, 

corrected and amended 

by 

the Author." 



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160 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



(The following hints are from his ** Advice to a Young Tradesman," written 
in 1748) : 

** Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings per day by 
his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle on half of that day, though he spends but 
sixpence during this diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon fhaf the only six- 
pence ; he has really spent, or thrown away, five shillings besides. 

" Remember that credit is money. If a man lets money lie in my hands after 
it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that 
time. This amounts to a considerable sum when a man has a good and large 
credit, and makes good use of it. 

** Remember that money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, 
and so on. Five shillings turned is six ; turned again, it is seven and three- 
pence ; and so on, until it becomes a hundred pounds. 

** The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The 
sound of your hammer at five in the morning or nine at night, heard by creditor, 
makes him easy six months longer ; but if he sees you at a billiard table, or 
hears your voice at the tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his 
money the next day. 

**In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to 
market. It depends chiefly on two words — industry and frugality; that is, 
waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both." 

" Honneur du nouvean monde et de Thumanite, 
Ce Sage aimable et vrai les guide et les ^claire ; 
Comme un autre Mentor, il cache k Tceil vulgaire, 
Sous les traits d'un mortel, une divinity." 





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SAMUEL CHASE 163 

SAMUEL CHASE 

A Signer of the Declaration of Independence 

*' Samuel Chase, a judge of the supreme court of the United States, died June 
19th, 181 1, aged seventy. He was the son of Samuel Chase, an Episcopal min- 
ister, who came from England, and was born in Somerset county, Maryland. 
Under his father, who removed to Baltimore in 1743, he received his early edu- 
cation. He studied law at Annapolis and there settled in the practice, and * his 
talents, industry, intrepidity, imposing stature, sonorous voice, fluent and ener- 
getic elocution raised him to distinction/ In the Colonial legislature he ve- 
hemently resisted the Stamp Act. He was a delegate to the general Congress, at 
Philadelphia in September, 1774, and served in that body several years. It was 
he who denounced Mr. Zubly, the delegate from Georgia, as a traitor, and com- 
pelled him to flee. By the Congress he was early in 1776 sent with Franklin and 
Carroll on a mission to Canada, with the design of conciliating the goodwill of 
the inhabitants. When the proposition for independence was before Congress, 
as he had been prohibited from voting for it by the convention of Maryland, he 
immediately traversed the province and summoned county meetings, which 
should address the convention. In this way that body was induced to vote for 
independence; and with authority, Mr. Chase returned again to Congress, in 
season, to vote for the declaration. In 1783, being invited, at Baltimore, to 
attend a debating club of young men, the indication of talents by William 
Pinckney, then clerk to an apothecary, induced him to patronize the young 
man, who afterward rose to great eminence. In the same year he went to Eng- 
land, as the agent of the State of Maryland, to reclaim a large amount of prop- 
erty, which had been intrusted to the bank of England. At a subsequent 
period, the state recovered six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. In England 
he became acquainted with Pitt, Fox, and Burke. In 1 786, he removed to Bal- 
timore, at the request of Colonel Howard, who presented him with a square of 
ten acres of land, on which he built a house. In Annapolis he had been the 
recorder of the city, and performed his duties highly, to the acceptance of his 
fellow-citizens. In 1 788, he was appointed the presiding judge of a court for 
the county of Baltimore. In 1790, he was a member of the convention in 
Maryland, for considering the constitution of the United States, which he did 
not deem sufficiently democratical. In 1791, he was appointed chief-justice of 
the general court of Maryland. His characteristic firmness was manifested in 
1 794, when, on occasion of a riot and the tarring and feathering of some ob- 
noxious persons, he caused two popular men to be arrested as ringleaders. Re- 
fusing to give bail, he directed the sheriff to take them to prison ; but the sheriff 
was apprehensive of resistance. * Call out the posse comitatus, then,' ex- 
claimed the judge. ' Sir,' said the sheriff, ' no one will serve.' * Summon me. 



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164 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

then/ cried the judge; *I will be the posse comitatus, and I will take them 
to jail.' This occurred on Saturday. He demanded assistance from the gov- 
ernor and council. On Monday, the security was given ; but on that day the 
grand jury, instead of finding a bill against the offender, presented the judge 
himself for holding what they deemed two incompatible offices, those of judge 
in the criminal and general courts. But the judge calmly informed them that 
they touched upon topics beyond their province. In 1796, he was appointed 
an associated judge of the United States, in which station he continued for fif- 
teen years. Yet in 1804, at the instigation of John Randolph, he was im- 
peached by the house of representatives, accused of various misdemeanors in 
some political trials, as of Fries, Callender, etc. His trial before the Senate 
ended in his acquittal, March 5th, 1805. On five of the eight charges a ma- 
jority acquitted him ; on the others a majority was against him, but not the re- 
quired number of two-thirds. His health failed in 181 1, and he clearly saw 
that he was approaching the grave. A short time before his death he partook 
of the sacrament, and declared himself to be in peace with all mankind. In 
his will he prohibited any mourning dress on his account, and requested a plain 
inscription on his tomb of only his name, and the date of his birth and death. 
His widow, Hannah Kitty, died in Baltimore in 1848, aged ninety-three. 
Judge Chase was a man of eminent talents, and of great courage and firmness. 
But 'Unhappily, he was irascible and vehement. More of humility and more of 
mildness would have preserved him from much trouble. Yet was he a zealous 
patriot and a sincere and affectionate friend, and notwithstanding some of the 
imperfections of man, his name deserves to be held in honor. A report of his 
trial was published.*' 

A. J. Allen. 



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CHARLES CABBOLL 167 

CHARLES CARROLL 

A Signer of the Declaration of Independence 

**0( the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Car- 
roll of CarroUton, is noted as having been the wealthiest man, the only Catholic, 
and the last survivor of the immortal band of patriots who pledged their lives, 
their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the support of the American cause. 

'* Charles Carroll's grandfather and namesake, the first of the name in 
America, came to Maryland from Ireland in 1688, after the dethronement of 
James II., of England, destroyed the hopes of the Catholic party in Great 
Britain. Three years after his arrival, Mr. Carroll was appointed Lord Balti- 
more's chief agent in the colony, and received from the lord proprietor of 
Maryland grants of land, amounting to sixty thousand acres. A considerable 
part of this domain has descended from father to son, through six generations, 
to the present time. In 1702, he purchased a large tract on both sides of Jones' 
Falls, which is now in the heart of Baltimore, east of Calvert street, and south 
of Madison Street. He died in 1720, leaving two sons. Charles, the elder 
brother, inherited most of the family estate, according to the law of primogeni- 
ture then prevailing in the colony of Maryland. 

"In 1729, the Maryland Assembly passed an act for the formation of a town 
on the north bank of the Patapsco river, in Baltimore county, and sixty acres 
of land were bought from Charles Carroll as the nucleus of the future metropolis 
of the South. The price paid was forty shillings per acre ; the same land is 
now probably worth four hundred thousand dollars an acre. In the following 
year, the commissioners commenced laying off the town ; but its growth was 
slow, and at the end of a quarter of a century the place contained only twenty- 
five houses, with a population of two hundred souls. 

"Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the third and most illustrious of his name, 
and perhaps the most distinguished man that Maryland has ever produced, was 
born at Annapolis in 1737. At the age of eight he was sent to Europe to be 
educated. He passed twelve years in France — six at the college of the English 
Jesuits at St. Omer, one with the French Jesuits at Rheims, two at the college 
of Louis le Grand in Paris, a year at Bourges, to study the civil law, and two 
more at the college of Louis le Grand. During these twelve studious years, he 
became a perfect master of the French language, of French history, and of 
French literature. In 1757, he went to London, and became a student of the 
Inner Temple. The next seven years were devoted chiefly to study, legal and 
literary ; but study did not engross his entire time, for we find him mingling in 
the fashionable life at Tunbridge Wells, and occasionally running over to Paris, 
and enjoying the gay world. The young man was liberally supplied with 
money, and his high social position at home opened to him the best society 
abroad. 



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168 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

** After an absence of nineteen years, Charles Carroll returned to Maryland 
in 1764, and found the Colonies in a condition of growing discontent under the 
exactions of the home government. In the following year the embers of polit- 
ical disquietude were fanned into flame by the passage of the Stamp Act. His 
long absence abroad had not lessened Mr. Carroll's love for his native land, and 
he threw himself heart and soul into the arena, to fight for American rights. 
The spirit that animated him is evidenced by his letters, written soon after his 
return home, to a friend in London. In one of these he says : 'Nothing can 
overcome the aversion of the people to the Stamp Act, and their love of liberty, 
but an armed force, and that, too, not a contemptible one. To judge from the 
spirit the Colonies have already shown, and which, I hope to God will never fail 
them on the day of trial, twenty thousand men would find it difficult to enforce 
the law; or, more properly speaking, to ram it down our throats.' 

** The repeal of the Stamp Act gave a temporary lull to the political excite- 
ment, but it was soon rekindled. In the war of pamphlets that preceded the 
Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll took a leading part, and was rec- 
ognized as one of the ablest writers on the patriot side. Although he had more 
at stake than any other man in Maryland, or perhaps in the whole country, he 
advocated the boldest measures. It was he who advised the burning of the 
Peggy Stewart, in broad daylight, in Annapolis harbor, when that vessel arrived 
there with a cargo of the obnoxious tea. It was owing to his indefatigable ex- 
ertions that the Maryland delegates in Congress were instructed to vote for in- 
dependence. From the commencement of the controversary — as he wrote to 
his correspondent, Mr. Graves, a member of the British Parliament — he looked 
* to the bayonet as the solution of the difficulties between the mother country 
and her colonies, confident that, though the British troops might march from 
one end of the country to the other, they would, nevertheless, be masters only 
of the spot on which they encamped ! ' 

*' Soon after his return to America, his father gave him Carrollton Manor, in 
Anne Arundel county ; and from that time he was known as Charles Carroll 
of Carrollton. The story that he first used the addition to his signature when 
he signed the Declaration of Independence, is a fiction. 

*' Charles Carroll was married in 1768, to Mary Darnall, daughter of Henry 
Darnall, the surveyor-general of the Colony. The groom wore * a silk lined 
wedding suit,' made in London. The marriage was followed by splendid fes- 
tivities at Annapolis, and at Doughoregan Manor, in Howard county. The 
bride was described in the chronicles of the time as * an agreeable young lady, 
and endowed with every accomplishment necessary to render the connubial state 
happy.' And they were happy, although she was not her husband's first flame. 
He had loved a Miss Cooke, who died two years before. 

'* Charles Carroll was among the first to sign the famous document which 
John Quincy Adams described as ' unparalleled in the annals of mankind.' 
John Hancock, in conversation with the Maryland delegate, asked him if he was 
prepared to put his name to the bold declaration. < Most willingly,' was the 



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CHARLES CARROLL 



171 



reply, and Mr. Carroll took up the pen and signed it there and then. * There 
go a fev^r millions/ said a bystander, and all who were present agreed that in 
point of fortune, none had more to risk. 

"For twenty-five years after signing the Declaration of Independence, the 
life of Charles Carroll was one of entire devotion to his state and country. His 
public career may be thus summed up : member of the first committee of obser- 
vation, twice in the convention of Maryland, twice a delegate to Congress, once 
chosen United States Senator, and four times a State Senator. 

** Doughoregan Manor, his favorite county seat and ancestral home, was built 
in 17 17. Workmen were brought over from England for this purpose, and re- 
turned after the house was completed. It is a typical southern colonial mansion, 
only two stories in height, but three hundred feet long. The wide hall, mag- 




CARROLL MANOR HOUSE. 

nificently paneled, is embellished with English hunting scenes and other pic- 
tures. On the right of the hall are the library and morning room. In the for- 
mer, the venerable statesman passed most of his time, reading, writing, and 
thinking. He was a fine classical scholar, his favorite work being Cicero's ' De 
Senectute.' He also read the old English authors, Addison, Swift, Pope, John- 
son, and Shakespeare. For the light literature of the day he did not care, his 
taste having been formed by study of the English classics, which Charles Lamb 
loved and praised. 

"On the walls of the library hang the portraits of five generations of Car- 
rolls. The furniture is solid and substantial rather than showy. Across the hall 
is the dining-room, around whose hospitable board Mr. Carroll loved to gather 
the heroes and patriots of the Revolution — Washington, La Fayette, John Eager 



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172 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Howard, and other famous men. Hospitality at the manor was profuse, gener- 
ous, almost prodigal, but the master of the house lived in patriarchal simplicity. 

'*His eldest daughter, Polly, married Richard Caton, an Englishman who 
came to this country soon after Great Britain acknowledged the independence 
of the United States, and settled in Baltimore. When he fell in love with Miss 
Carroll, and proposed for her hand, her father objected to the young man's lack 
of fortune. He reasoned with his daughter upon the imprudence of such a 
marriage, but found that his arguments had no effect. ' If he gets in jail,' urged 
Mr. Carroll, * who will take him out ? ' His daughter raised her beautiful 
hands, and exclaimed, 'These hands will take him out.' Seeing her so deter- 
mined, her father made no further opposition, and gave his daughter a princely 
dowry. 

** Mrs. Caton was one of the most elegant women of the day. Her charming 
manners and amiable disposition won all hearts. George Washington was among 
those who admired her many graceful accomplishments, and she was a great fav- 
orite at the first President's republican court. She had four daughters, all of 
whom married foreigners, three of them becoming members of the English 
peerage. 

''The story of the Caton girls is full of interest, and not a little romantic. 
The eldest, Mary, who was the most beautiful of the sisters, took for her first 
husband Robert Patterson, the brother of the Elizabeth Patterson who married 
Napoleon's brother Jerome. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson sailed for England a few 
weeks after their marriage, accompanied by the bride's two sisters. Their let- 
ters of introduction from the British minister at Washington opened to them the 
best society of England, and the remarkable beauty of the three sisters won 
them the title of ' the American Graces.' Among their English acquaintances 
was the Duke of Wellington, and it was he who presented them at the court of 
the prince regent. At sight of the fair Americans, the ' first gentleman of 
Europe ' is said to have complimented them with, ' Is it possible that the world 
can produce such beautiful women ? ' 

" Louisa Caton, the youngest of the * American Graces,' was the first to marry 
abroad. In 1817, she became the wife of Colonel Sir Felton Bathurst Hervey, 
who was the Duke of Wellington's aide-de-camp at Waterloo. After their mar- 
riage, the Iron Duke entertained the young couple for several weeks at Walmer 
Castle, while dinners and balls were given in their honor by the leading mem- 
bers of the aristocracy of England. Mrs. Patterson returned to America soon 
after her sister's marriage, but Elizabeth Caton remained in England with Lady 
Hervey. 

" Sir Felton Hervey died in 18 19, after which the two sisters made an exten- 
sive tour of the continent. Three years later Robert Patterson died, and the 
next year his widow joined her sisters in England. Soon after her arrival, the 
Duke of Wellington invited the three sisters to his country seat. During their 
stay there, the Marquis of Wellesley visited Xhe castle, and was captivated by 
the beauty and grace of Mrs. Patterson. He was at the time lord lieutenant of 



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CHARLES CARROLL 173 

Ireland. Although past three-score, he retained much of the fine figure of his 
early manhood. He had been distinguished as an orator, statesman, and soldier, 
when his younger brother, the future hero of Assaye, Vittoria, and Waterloo, 
was only a young and not specially promising soldier. Mrs. Patterson was mar- 
ried to the marquis in October, 1825, and thus it happened that an American 
became the sovereign lady of Ireland. 

'* While the Marchioness of Wellesley was presiding over Dublin Castle, the 
attention of the whole American people was directed to her venerable grand- 
father, who by the death of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, on the 4th of 
July, 1826, was left the last survivor of the signers of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. Upon the next anniversary of the day, a dinner was given at Charles- 
ton, at which Bishop England proposed as a toast : * Charles Carroll of Carroll- 
ton — ^in the land from which his grandfather fled in terror, his granddaughter 
now reigns a queen ! ' 

'*In 1828, Lady Hervey married the Marquis of Carmarthen, eldest son of 
the sixth Duke of Leeds. Ten years later he succeeded to his father's title, and 
Louisa Caton reached the highest rank in the British peerage. He died in 1859, 
but the duchess survived him fifteen years, passing away at St. Leonard's-on-Sea 
in her eighty-third year. 

"Elizabeth, the third Miss Caton, married Baron Stafford in 1836, and died 
in 1852. None of the ' American Graces ' had children. 

" His second daughter, Catharine, in 1802, married Robert Goodloe Harper. 

*' Charles Carroll, Jr., his only son, died in 1825, eight years before his father. 
He took no part in public affairs, but was a conspicuous figure in the social life 
of his time. His wife survived him for more than a quarter of a. century, and 
with Mrs. Alexander Hamilton and Mrs. William Bradford of Pennsylvania, 
was among the last survivors of President Washington's ' republican court.' 

''Charles Carroll of CarroUton died on the loth of November, 1832, in the 
ninety-sixth year of his age, at the city residence of the family, which stood 
at the corner of Lombard and Front streets, Baltimore." — Carroll Records. 



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174 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

DAVID RITTENHOUSE 
An American Mathematician 

An occasional guest of Schuyler's at the Albany mansion, was his esteemed 
friend and correspondent, the eminent Dr. Rittenhouse. 

"This distinguished philosopher was born in the village of Germantown, near 
this city, on the 8th day of April, in the year 1732. His ancestors migrated 
from Holland about the beginning of the present century (i8th). They were 
distinguished, together with his parents, for probity, industry, and simple man- 
ners. It is from sources thus pure and retired, that those talents and virtues 
have been chiefly derived, which have in all ages enlightened the world. 

"The early part of the life of Mr. Rittenhouse was spent in agricultural em- 
ployments, under the eye of his father, in the county of Montgomery, twenty 
miles from Philadelphia, to which place he removed during the childhood of his 
son. It was at this place his peculiar genius first discovered itself. His plough, 
the fences, and even the stones of the field where he worked, were frequently 
marked with figures which denoted a talent for mathematical studies. Upon 
finding that the native delicacy of his constitution unfitted him for the labors of 
husbandry, his parents consented to his learning the trade of a clock and a math- 
ematical instrument maker. In acquiring the knowledge of these useful arts, he 
was his own instructor. They afforded him great delight, inasmuch as they fav- 
ored his disposition to inquire into the principles of natural philosophy. 

** It was during the residence of our ingenious philosopher with his father in 
the country, that he made himself master of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia, which 
he read in the English translation of Mr. Mott. It was here likewise he became 
acquainted with the science of fluxions, of which sublime invention he believed 
himself for awhile to be the author, nor did he know for some years afterward, 
that a contest had been carried on between Sir Isaac Newton and Leibnitz, for 
the honor of that great and useful discovery. What a mind was here ! — With- 
out literary friends or society, and with but two or three books, he became, be- 
fore he had reached his four and twentieth year, the rival of the two greatest 
mathematicians in Europe ! 

"It was in this retired situation, and while employed in working at his trade, 
that he planned and executed an orrery, in which he represented the revolutions 
of the heavenly bodies in a manner more extensive and complete than had been 
done by any former astronomers. A correct description of the orrery, drawn 
up by Dr. Smith, was published in the first volume of the Philosophical 
Transactions. This masterpiece of mechanism was purchased by the college of 
New Jersey. A second was made by him, after the same model, for the use of 
the college of Philadelphia. It now forms a part of the philosophical apparatus 
of the University of Pennsylvania, where it has for many years commanded the 
admiration of the ingenius and the learned, from every part of the world. 



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DAVJD RITTENHOUSE 177 

•' The reputation he derived from the construction of this orrery, as well as 
his general character for mathematical knowledge, attracted the notice of his 
fellow-citizens in Pennsylvania, and in several of the neighboring states ; but 
the discovery of his merit belonged chiefly to his brother-in-law, the Rev. Mr. 
Barton, Dr. Smith, and the late Mr. John Lukens, an ingenious mathemati- 
cian of this city. These gentlemen appreciated his talents, and united in urging 
him to remove to Philadelphia, in order to enlarge his opportunities of improve- 
ment and usefulness. He yielded with reluctance to their advice, and exchanged 
his beloved retirement in the country for this city, in the year 1770. Here he 
continued for several years, to follow his occupation of a clock and mathematical 
instrument maker. He excelled in both branches of that business. His math- 
ematical instruments have been esteemed by good judges to be superior in accu- 
racy and workmanship to any of the same kind that have been imported from 
Europe. 

* 'About the same time he settled in Philadelphia he became a member of the 
Philosophical Society. His first communication to the Society was a calculation 
of the transit of Venus as it was to happen on the 3d of June, 1769, in forty de- 
grees north latitude, and five hours west longitude from Greenwich. He was one 
of a committee appointed by the Society to observe, in the township of Norriton, 
this rare occurrence in the revolution of that planet, and bore an active part in 
the preparations which were made for that purpose. Of this Dr. Smith, who 
was likewise of the committee, has left an honorable record in the history of 
that event, which is published in the first volume of the transactions. *As Mr. 
Rittenhouse's dwelling (says the doctor) is about twenty miles northwest from 
Philadelphia, our engagements did not permit Mr. Lukens or myself to pay 
much attention to the necessary preparations ; but we knew that we had entrusted 
them to a gentleman on the spot (meaning Mr. Rittenhouse) who had, joined to 
a complete skill in mechanics, so extensive an astronomical and mathematical 
knowledge, that the use, management, and even construction of the apparatus, 
were perfectly familiar to him. The laudable pains he had taken in these ma- 
terial articles, will best appear from the work itself, which he hath committed 
into my hands, with a modest introduction, giving me a liberty with them, which 
his own accuracy, taste and abilities leave no room to exercise.' 

** We are naturally led here to take a view of our philosopher with his asso- 
ciates, in their preparation to observe a phenomenon which had never been seen 
but twice before by any inhabitant of our earth, which would never be seen 
again by any person then living, and on which depended very important astro- 
nomical consequences. The night before the long expected day, was probably 
passed in a degree of solicitude which precluded sleep. How great must have 
been their joy when they beheld the morning sun, *and the whole horizon with- 
out a cloud ; ' for such is the description of the day given by Mr. Rittenhouse, 
in the report referred to by Dr. Smith. In pensive silence, and trembling anxiety, 
they waited for the predicted moment of observation ; it came, and brought with 
it all that had been wished for and expected by those who saw it. In our phi- 



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178 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON. 

losopher, it excited in the instant of one of the contacts of the planet with the 
sun, an emotion of delight so exquisite and powerful, as to induce fainting. This 
will readily be believed by those who have known the extent of that pleasure 
which attends the discovery, or first perception of truth. Soon after this event, 
we find him acting as one of the committee appointed to observe the transit of 
Mercury on the 9th of November, in the same year. This was likewise done at 
Norriton. An account of it was drawn up, and published at the request of the 
committee by Dr. Smith. A minute history of the whole of these events, in 
which Mr. Rittenhouse continued to act a distinguished part, is given in the philo- 
sophical transactions. It was received with great satisfaction by the astronomers 
of Europe, and contributed much to raise the character of our then infant country 
for astronomical knowledge. 

"In the year i77S» he was appointed to compose and deliver the annual ora- 
tion before the Philosophical Society. The subject of it was the history of 
astronomy. The language of this oration is simple, but the sentiments con- 
tained in it are ingenious, original, and in some instances sublime. 

** Talents so splendid, and knowledge so practical in mathematics, are like 
mines of precious metals. They become public property by public consent. 
The State of Pennsylvania was not insensible of the wealth she possessed in the 
mind of Mr. Rittenhouse. She claimed him as her own, and employed him in 
business of the most important nature. 

**In the year 1779 he was appointed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, one 
of the commissioners for adjusting a territorial dispute between Pennsylvania and 
Virginia, and to his great talents, moderation and firmness, were ascribed, in a 
great degree, the satisfactory termination of that once alarming controversy, in 
the year 1785. 

*'In the year 1784 he assisted in determining the length of five degrees of 
longitude from a point on the river Delaware, in order to fix the western limits 
of Pennsylvania. 

** In 1786 he was employed in fixing the northern line, which divides Penn- 
sylvania from New York. 

''But the application of his talents and knowledge to the settlement of terri- 
torial disputes, was not confined to his native state. In the year 1769, he was 
employed in settling the limits between New Jersey and New York, and in 1787 
he was called upon to assist in fixing the boundary line between the States of 
Massachusetts and New York. This last business, which was executed with his 
usual precision and integrity, was his farewell peace oflfering to the union and 
happiness of his country. 

" In his excursions through the wilderness, he carried with him his habits of 
inquiry and observation. Nothing in our mountains, soils, rivers and springs, 
escaped his notice. It is to be lamented that his private letters, and the mem- 
ories of his friends, are the only records of what he collected upon these occa- 
sions. 

" In 1 791 he was chosen successor to Dr. Franklin in the chair of the Philo- 



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DAVID BITTENHOUSE 179 

SQpbical Society. In this elevated station^ the highest that philosophy can con- 
fer in our country, his conduct was marked by its usual line of propriety and 
dignity. Never did the artificial pomp of station command half the respect, 
which followed his unassuming manners in the discharge of the public duties of 
his office. His attachment to the interest of the society was evinced soon after 
he accepted of the president's chair, by a donation of three hundred pounds. 

*' But his talents and knowledge were not limited to mathematical and material 
subjects ; his mind was a repository of the knowledge of all ages and countries. 
He had early and deeply studied most of the different systems of theology. He 
was well acquainted with practical metaphysics. In reading travels he took 
great delight. From them he drew a large fund of his knowledge of the natural 
history of the globe. He possessed talents for music and poetry, but the more 
serious and necessary pursuits of his life prevented his devoting much time to 
the cultivation of them. He read the English poets with great pleasure. The 
muse of Thompson charmed him most. He admired his elegant combination 
of philosophy and poetry. However opposed these studies may appear, they 
alike derive their perfection from extensive and accurate observations of the 
works of nature. He was intimately acquainted with the French, German and 
Dutch languages, the two former of which he acquired without the assistance of 
a master. They served the valuable purpose of conveying to him the discoveries 
of foreign nations, and thereby enabled him to prosecute his studies with more 
advantage, in his native language. 

*' In speaking of Mr. Rittenhouse, it has been common to lament his want of 
what is called a liberal education. — Were education what it should be, in our 
public seminaries, this would have been a misfortune, but conducted as it is at 
present, agreeably to the systems adopted in Europe in the fifteenth century, I 
am disposed to believe that his extensive knowledge and splendid character, are 
to be ascribed chiefly to his having escaped the pernicious influence of monkish 
learning upon his mind in early life. Had the usual forms of a public education 
in the United States been imposed upon him ; instead of revolving through life 
in a planetary orbit, he would probably have consumed the force of his genius 
by fluttering around the blaze of an evening taper. Rittenhouse the philoso- 
pher, and one of the luminaries of the eighteenth century, might have spent his 
hours of study in composing syllogisms, or in measuring the feet of Greek and 
Latin poetry. 

'* It will be honorable to the citizens of the United States, to add, that they 
were not insensible to the merit of our philosopher. Inventions and improve- 
ments in every art and science, were frequently submitted to his examination, 
and were afterward patronized by the public, according as they were approved 
by him. Wherever he went, he met with public respect and private attentions. 
But his reputation was not confined to his native country. His name was known 
and admired in every region of the earth, where science and genius are culti- 
vated and respected. 

'* In the more limited circles of private life, Mr. Rittenhouse commanded 



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180 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

esteem and affection. As a neighbor he was kind and charitable. His sym. 
pathy extended in a certain degree to distress of every kind, but it was excited 
with the most force, and the kindest effects, to the weakness, pain, and poverty 
of old age. — As a friend he was sincere, ardent, and disinterested. As a com- 
panion, he instructed on all subjects. 

'« His family constituted his chief society, and the most intimate circle of his 
friends. When the declining state of his health rendered the solitude of his 
study less agreeable than in former years, he passed whole evenings in reading 
or conversing with his wife and daughters. Happy family ! so much and so 
long blessed with such a head ! and happier still, to have possessed dispositions 
and knowledge to discern and love his exalted character, and to enjoy his in- 
structing conversation ! 

"The house, and manner of living of our president, exhibited the taste of a 
philosopher, the simplicity of a republican, and the temper of a Christian. He 
was independent, and contented with an estate, small in the estimation of ambi- 
tion and avarice, but amply suited to all his wants and desires. He held the 
office of Treasurer of Pennsylvania, by an annual and unanimous vote of the 
Legislature, between the years 1777 and 1789. During this period, he declined 
purchasing the smallest portion of the public debt of the state, thereby manifest- 
ing a delicacy of integrity, which is known and felt only by pure and elevated 
minds. 

'* In the year 1792, he was persuaded to accept of the office of Director of the 
Mint of the United States. His want of health obliged him to resign it in 
1795. Here his conduct was likewise above suspicion, for I have been informed 
by his colleague in office, that in several instances, he paid for work done at the 
mint out of his salary, where he thought the charges for it would be deemed 
extravagant by the United States. 

" His economy extended to a wise and profitable use of his time. No man 
ever found him unemployed. As an apology for detaining a friend for a few 
minutes, while he arranged some papers he had been examining, he said, * that 
he once thought health the greatest blessing in the world, but that he now 
thought there was one thing of much greater value, and that was time.' 

**The countenance of Mr. Rittenhouse, was too remarkable to be unnoticed 
upon this occasion. It displayed such a mixture of contemplation, benignity, 
and innocence, that it was easy to distinguish his person in the largest company, 
by a previous knowledge of his character. His manners were civil, and engag- 
ing to such a degree, that he. seldom passed an hour, even in a public house, in 
traveling through our country, without being followed by the good wishes of all 
who attended upon him. There was no affectation of singularity, in anything 
he said or did. Even his handwriting, in which this weakness so frequently dis- 
covers itself, was simple and intelligible at first sight, to all who saw it. 

" Here I expected to have finished the detail of his virtues, but in the neigh- 
borhood of that galaxy created by their connected lustre, I behold a virtue of 
inestimable value, twinkling, like a rare and solitary star. It was his superla- 



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DAVID BITTENHOUSE 181 

tive modesty. This heaven-born virtue was so conspicuous in every part of his 
conduct, that he appeared not so much to conceal, as to be ignorant of his 
superiority as a philosopher and a man, over the greatest part of his fellow- 
creatures. 

'* We proceed now to the closing scenes of his life. 

**His constitution was naturally feeble, but it was rendered still more so, by 
sedentary labor, and midnight studies. He was afflicted for many years with a 
weak breast, which, upon unusual exertions of body or mind, or sudden changes 
in the weather, became the seat of a painful and harassing disorder. This consti- 
tutional infirmity was not without its uses. It contributed much to the perfec- 
tion of his virtue, by producing habitual patience and resignation to the will of 
heaven, and a constant eye to the hour of his dissolution. It was a window 
through which he often looked with pleasure toward a place of existence, where 
from the increase and perfection of his intuitive faculties, he would probably ac- 
quire more knowledge in an hour, than he had acquired in his whole life, by the 
slow operations of reason ; and wher/e, from the greater magnitude and extent 
of the objects of his contemplation, his native globe would appear like his 
cradle, and all the events of time, like the amusements of his infant years. 

**On the 26th of June, of the present year, the long expected messenger of 
death disclosed his commission. In his last illness, which was acute and short, 
he retained the usual patience and benevolence of his temper. Upon being told 
that some of his friends had called at his door to inquire how he was, he asked 
why they were not invited into his chamber to see him, * Because (said his 
wife) you are too weak to speak to them.' * Yes (said he) that is true, but I 
could still have squeezed their hands.' Thus with a heart overflowing with love 
to his family, friends, country, and to the whole world, he peacefully resigned 
his spirit into the hands of his God. 

** It has been the fashion of late years, to say of persons who had been dis- 
tinguished in life, when they left the world in a state of indifference to every- 
thing, and believing, and hoping in nothing, that they died like philosophers. 
Very different was the latter end of our excellent philosopher. He died like a 
Christian, interested in the welfare of all around him — believing in the resurrec- 
tion, and the life to come, and hoping for happiness f?om every attribute of the 
Deity. 

** Agreeably to his request, his body was interred in his observatory near his 
-dwelling house, in the presence of a numerous concourse of his fellow^citizens. 
It was natural for him in the near prospect of appearing in the presence of his 
Maker, to feel an attachment for that spot in which he had cultivated a knowl- 
edge of his perfections, and held communion with him through the medium of 
his works. Hereafter it shall become one of the objects of curiosity in our city. 
Thither shall the philosophers of future ages resort to do homage to his tomb, and 
children yet unborn, shall point to the dome which covers it, and exultingly say, 
-'there lies our Rittenhouse.' " 

From ** The American Universal Magazine," February 20th, 1797. 



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CHAPTER VII 
Period i 776-1 777 

'*In August, 1776," continues Chancellor Kent, ''General Schuyler held a 
treaty on the Upper Mohawk, with the Six Nations. The negotiation was of the 
utmost importance, and that service was of the greatest value. But the presence 
and maintenance of one thousand eight hundred savages during a protracted and 
difficult negotiation was excessively vexatious. The hostile Indians were in- 
duced to promise neutrality, and Congress afterward gave their explicit appro- 
bation to the transaction. 

' * There can be no doubt that the orders to construct a lock upon the creek at 
Skeensborough (now Whitehall), and to take the level of the waters falling into 
the Hudson at Fort Edward and into Wood creek, were all founded upon his 
previous suggestions ; and they afford demonstrative proof of the views enter- 
tained by him, at that early day, of the practicability and importance of canal 
navigation. Captain Graydon, early in the summer of 1776, visited General 
Schuyler at his headquarters on Lake George ; and he speaks of him in the very 
interesting memoirs of his life, as a gentleman thoroughly devoted to business, 
and being at the same time, a man of polished and courteous manners. 

"In the midst of such conflicting services, he had excited much popular 
jealousy and ill will, arising from the energy of his character and the dignity of 
his deportment. He was likewise disgusted at what he deemed injustice, in the 
irregularity of appointing other and junior officers in separate and independent 
commands within what was considered to be his military district. He accord- 
ingly, in October, 1776, tendered once more to Congress the resignation of his 
commission ; but when Congress came to investigate his services, they found 
them, says the historian of Washington, far to exceed in value any estimate 
which had been made of them. They declared that they could not dispense 
with his services, during the then situation of affairs ; and they directed the 
President of Congress to request him to continue in his command, and they de- 
clared their high sense of his services, and their unabated confidence in his 
attachment to the cause. He then resumed his duties with his wonted zeal and 
energy and made every manly effort consistent with his station and character, to 
cultivate unity of views and harmony in his department, and to show a kind and 
generous spirit to all his subordinate officers, and particularly General Gates, 
who did not meet him with like magnanimity. Gates had been even rebuked by 
the Commissioners from Congress, who visited Canada in the spring of 1776, 
for his suspicions and unkind feelings toward General Schuyler. Charles 
Carroll of Carrollton (nomen venerabile) in his letter to Gates of the 14th of 

182 



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PERIOD llie-mi 183 

June, * begged that his suspicions might not prejudice him against Schuyler, for 
he was confident he was an active and deserving officer.' Samuel Chase, an- 
other Commissioner, in his letter of the same date, recommended to General 
Gates, to place *the most unreserved and unlimited confidence in General 
Schuyler. Be assured sir, of his integrity, diligence, abilities, and address.' 

" During the past year General Schuyler had extended his views forward to 
the future, and had repeatedly recommended to Congress, and particularly in 
his letters of the 29th of August, and i6th of October, to make large prepara- 
tions on land and water, to meet the exigencies of the next northern campaign. 
On the nth of November, and 2d of December, he had submitted to Congress 
a plan of operations for the ensuing year, both at the north and on the Hudson, 
and pointed out what was requisite in troops, provisions, and artillery, ammu- 
nition, fortifications and naval force. He informed General Washington on the 
30th of January, 1777, that the ensuing campaign would require at Ticonderoga, 
ten thousand men, besides two thousand men more, for the several points of 
communication, and for Fort Schuyler on the Mohawk. His orders to every 
branch of his department, and his advice to Congress, to General Washington, 
to the authorities of the New England States, and in his own state, were com- 
prehensive, provident, wise, skillful^ patriotic, and almost incessant. He did 
all that the efforts of any one individual could do for the public service, until the 
2oth of March, when he went to Philadelphia and found himself superseded in 
effect by General Gates, in his northern command. The orders he had given 
for the security of Ticonderoga, and the letters he had written to that effect 
prior to that event, would fill a volume. 

"He took his seat in Congress as a delegate from New York, and at his re- 
quest, a committee of inquiry was instituted to examine into his military con- 
duct. The satisfaction afforded was prompt and complete, and by the resolution 
of Congress of the 2 2d of May, he was directed to resume the command of the 
northern department of New York, consisting of Albany, Ticonderoga, Fort 
Schuyler, and their dependencies. During the interval of two months that he 
was in Philadelphia, he was bestowing on the public interests, his usual vigilance. 
Being the second Major-General of the United States (General Lee only being 
his superior) he was in active command on the Delaware, directing fortifications, 
and accelerating troops and provisions to the Commander-in-Chief. He also 
contributed most essentially while in Congress to reorganize the commissary de- 
partment. 

**A governor and Legislature were chosen in the summer of 1777, and in 
that trying season there was not a county in this state, as it then existed, which 
escaped a visit from the arms of the enemy. To add to the embarrassment of 
our Councils in the extremity of their distress, the inhabitants of the northeast 
part of the state (now Vermont), which had been represented in the convention, 
and just then ingrafted into the Constitution, under the names of the counties 
of Cumberland and Gloucester, renewed their allegiance and set up for an 
independent state. On the 13th of June in that year they were knocking at the 



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184 A GODCHILD OF WASHINOTON 

door of Congress for a recognition of their independence and an admission to the 
Union. 

^* But the storm that was gathering on the frontiers of his native state, soon 
engrossed all the attention of General Schuyler, and he went into the command 
with an ardor and vigor that can scarcely be conceived. He arrived in Albany 
on the 3d of June, where he met General Gates. The latter, offended with 
Congress for not allowing him to remain Commander-in-Chief at the north, and 
unwilling at any rate to serve under Schuyler, who offered him the command of 
Ticonderoga, he, at his own request, had leave to withdraw from the depart- 
ment. Nothing, literally nothing, he (Schuyler) observed had been done dur- 
ing his absence, to improve the means of defence on the frontiers. Nothing had 
been done to supply Ticonderoga with provisions. But General Schuyler was for- 
tunately in this season in good health, a blessing which he had not enjoyed in two 
years. He now displayed his activity, fervor and energy in a brilliant manner. 
General St. Clair was placed by him in the command of Ticonderoga, and specially 
directed to fortify Mount Independence. He informed Congress, on the 14th 
of June, that considering the extensiveness of the works at Ticonderoga, the 
smallness of the garrison was alarming, and incompetent to maintain it, and that 
he found the department in the greatest confusion. Application was made to 
the eastern states to hasten on the remainder of their troops, and he informed 
them that the garrison at Ticonderoga did not then exceed two thousand two 
hundred men, sick included. On the loth of June, General Washington was 
apprised by him of the fact that he had no troops to oppose Sir John Johnson 
on the Mohawk. He visited Ticonderoga and Mount Independence on the 20th, 
and found them not in a good state of defence, and very deficient in troops and 
provisions ; but it was resolved at a council of officers called by him, that they 
be defended as long as possible. General Schuyler then hastened back to the 
Hudson, the more effectually to provide for the garrison, reinforcements of pro- 
visions and men, and nothing conducive to that great object was omitted. He 
solicited reinforcements of every kind with intense anxiety. On the 28th of 
June, he communicated by expresses to General Washington, to the Governor 
of Connecticut, to the President of Massachusetts, to the Committee of Berk- 
shire, and to the Committee of Safety of New York, his apprehensions for the 
safety of the garrison of Ticonderoga, and the inadequacy of the means of de- 
fence. On the 28th and 30th of June (for dates now become important) he en- 
couraged St. Clair that he should move up with Continental troops and militia, 
as soon as he could possibly set them in motion, and * he hoped to have the 
pleasure of seeing him in possession of that post.' So again on the 5th of July, 
he assured him that troops from Peekskill and the militia were in motion and 
^he hoped to see him in a day or two.' On the 7th he informed General 
Washington by letter, that he was up as far as Saratoga, with about seven hun- 
dred Continental troops and fourteen hundred militia. 

*'The memorable campaign of 1777 was opened by an expedition of the 
enemy from New York to Danbury in Connecticut, and the destruction of large 



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PERIOD 1776-1777 186 

quantities of provisions and military means collected and deposited in that 
town. In the northern quarter General Burgoyne advanced through the lakes, 
with a well appointed army of ten thousand men ; and for a time he dissipated 
all opposition, and swept away every obstacle before him. General Schuyler 
was then in the utmost distress for provisions, and he then and there (on the 
upper Hudson) met the news that General St. Clair had abandoned Ticonder- 
oga and Mount Independence on the 6th, with the loss of all his military 
equipments. 

** These posts were evacuated upon the advice of a council of officers, 
founded on the extreme weakness of the garrison, the extensiveness of the 
works, and an insufficiency of provisions. But General Schuyler had given no 
order for the evacuation. It was done without his advice, direction or knowl- 
edge. It was as much a matter of surprise to him as to the country. He ex- 
pected to have been able in a few days to join St. Clair with a very considerable 
body of troops, and he observed most truly in a letter on the 14th of July, to 
Chief Justice Jay ' That if Ticonderoga was not sufficiently fortified and sup- 
plied with provisions, it was not his fault ; if there was a want of men he was 
not to blame.' 

" The last scene of General Schuyler's military life was full of action befit- 
ting the occasion, and worthy of his character. Every quarter of his depart- 
ment was replete with difficulty and danger. The frontier of the Mohawk was 
menaced by an army of one thousand, six hundred regulars, tories and Indians, 
under Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger, and he cheered and encouraged Brigadier- 
General Herkimer to rouse the militia, and act with alacrity in defence of that 
frontier. He addressed the civil and military authorities in every direction, 
with manly firmness and the most forcible exhortation to assist him with men, 
arms, and provisions. * Every militia man,' he says, ' ought to turn out without 
delay, in a crisis the most alarming since the contest began.' He directed that 
the inhabitants retire from before the enemy, and that every article be brought 
off or destroyed, that was calculated to assist them — that the roads, causeways 
and Wood creek be rendered impassable. He issued a proclamation to encour- 
age the country, and counteract that of Burgoyne. He assured General Wash- 
ington, on the 1 2th of July, that he should retard the enemy's advance by all 
possible means. ' If my countrymen will support me by vigor and dexterity and 
do not meanly despond, we shall be able to prevent the enemy from penetrating 
much further into the country.' 

" St. Clair had- not above three thousand, five hundred men when he evacu- 
ated Ticonderoga, and he joined Schuyler with only one thousand, five hundred, 
as the militia, almost to a man, had deserted him, and gone home. Nixon and 
Glover's brigades had been ordered by General Washington from Peekskill, to 
reinforce Schuyler, and when the former brigade arrived on the 14th of July, it 
amounted to only five hundred and seventy-five men, so that General Schuyler's 
whole strength did not then exceed four thousand, five hundred men, including 
regulars and militia ; and they were without shelter, or artillery, and sick- 



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186 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

ness, distress and desertion prevailed. The enemy whose triumphal progress he 
had to check amounted to upwards of six thousand regular troops, with the best 
equipments in arms and artillery. Fort George was abandoned on the 14th of 
July, for it was utterly indefensible, being only part of an unfinished bastion 
holding one hundred and fifty men. On the 24th of July, Schuyler retired with 
his army to More's creek, four miles below Fort Edward, as the latter was only a 
heap of ruins and always commanded by the neighboring hills. The enemy kept 
pressing upon his advanced posts, but in the midst of unparalleled difficulties, his 
retreat was slow and safe, and every inch of ground disputed. The distress of 
the army in want of artillery, and every other military and comfortable equip- 
ment, was aggravated by despondency and sickness, and the restlessness and 
insubordination of the militia. They could not be detained. Almost all the 
eastern militia had left the army. By the advice of a Council of general 
officers, Schuyler was obliged to let one-half of the militia go home under a 
promise of the residue to continue for three weeks. Though the subject of 
popular calumny, he did not in the least despond or shrink from his duty. * 1 
shall go on,' he writes to General Washington, ' in doing my duty, and in en- 
deavors to deserve your esteem.' He renewed his call on the eastern states for 
assistance, and told his friend. Governor Trumbull of Connecticut, (whom he 
always mentioned with the highest esteem and between whom a mutual confi- 
dence and attachment had invariably subsisted) that ' if the eastern militia did 
not turn out with spirit, and behave better, we should be ruined.' The greatest 
reliance was placed on the efforts of his own immediate countrymen, and his 
most pathetic and eloquent appeals were made to the Council of Safety of the 
State of New York, for succor to enable him to meet the enemy in the field. 
By the beginning of August he was preparing to act on the offensive, and by 
his orders of the 30th of July and the 13th of August, General Lincoln was di- 
rected to move with a body of troops under General Stark and Colonel Warner, 
who had orders to join him ; and if he should have force enough, to fall on the 
enemy in that quarter. As Burgoyne advanced down the Hudson, there was 
constant skirmishing at the advanced posts, and General Schuyler retreated 
slowly, and in good order down to Saratoga, and then to and below Stillwater, 
and in every instance by the unanimous advice of his officers. 

'* During this eventful period, the western branch of Schuyler's military dis- 
trict was in the utmost consternation and peril. The army under St. Leger had 
besieged Fort Schuyler, and General Herkimer, with eight hundred of the fron- 
tier militia, marching to the relief of the fortress, was attacked by a detachment 
of the enemy, under Sir*John Johnson, and defeated at Oriskany, on the 6th 
of August. On the i6th. General Schuyler despatched Arnold with three regi- 
ments, amounting in the whole only to five hundred and fifty men, to take charge 
of the military operations oa the Mohawk. 

** Congress by their resolution of the 17th of July, 1777, approved all the 
acts of General Schuyler in reference to the army at Ticonderoga; but the 
evacuation of that fortress excited great discontent in the United States and 



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PERIOD 1776-1777 187 

General Schuyler did not escape his share of the popular clamor, and he was 
made a victim to appease it. It was deemed expedient to recall the general 
officers in the northern army, and, in the month of August, he was superseded 
in the command of that department by the arrival of General Gates. The 
laurels which he was in preparation to win by his judicious and distinguished 
efforts, and which he would very shortly have attained, were by that removal 
intercepted from his brow. General Schuyler felt acutely the discredit of being 
recalled in the most critical and interesting period of the campaign of 1777, 
and when the labor and activity of making preparation to repair the disaster of 
it had been expended by him ; and when an opportunity was opening as he ob- 
served, for that resistance and retaliation which might bring glory upon our 
arms. * 1 am sensible,' said that great and injured man, in his letter to Con- 
gress, ' of the indignity of being ordered from the command of the army, at 
the time when an engagement must soon take place,' and when, we may add, 
he had already commenced operations, and laid the foundation of future and 
glorious triumphs. Though he was directed by the order of Congress of the ist 
of August, to repair to headquarters, he was afterward allowed by the resolu- 
tion of Congress 'to attend to his private affairs as they had greatly suffered by 
the barbarous ravages of the British Army ' until the committee of enquiry were 
ready to act. This preeminent, patriotic statesman and soldier rising above all 
mean resentments, continued his correspondence with Congress, and afforded his 
valuable counsel. He even rendered to them his gratuitous services as a private 
gentleman, in anyway in which he could be useful. As president of the board 
of commissioners for Indian affairs, he gave specific advice respecting the con- 
duct of the Six Nations, and he recommended preparations to carry the war into 
their territories; and his counsel eventually terminated in the expedition under 
General Sullivan, in 1779. 

*' He was present at the capture of Burgoyne,. but without any personal com- 
mand, and the urbanity of his manners and the chivalric magnanimity of his 
character, smarting as he was under the severity and extent of his pecuniary 
losses, was attested by General Burgoyne himself in his speech in 1778, in the 
British House of Commons. He there declared, that by his orders, *a very 
good dwelling house, exceeding large storehouses, great sawmills, and other out- 
buildings, to the value altogether perhaps of ten thousand pounds (1150,000 
now) belonging to General Schuyler at Saratoga, were destroyed by fire a few 
days before the surrender.' He said, further, that one of the first persons he 
saw after the Convention was signed, was General Schuyler, and when express- 
ing to him his regret at the event which had happened to his property. General 
Schuyler desired him *to think no more of it, and that the occasion justified it 
according to the rules and principles of war.' 'He did more,' said Burgoyne, 
' he sent an aide-de-camp to conduct me to Albany, in order as he expressed it, 
to procure better quarters than a stranger might be able to find. That gentle- 
man conducted me to a very elegant house, and, to my great surprise presented me 
to Mrs. Schuyler and her family. In that house I remained during my whole stay 



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188 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

in Albany, with a table with more than twenty covers for me and my friends, 
and every other possible demonstration of hospitality.' I have several times had 
the same relation from General Schuyler himself; and he said that he remained 
behind at Saratoga under the pretext of taking care of the remains of his prop- 
erty, but in reality to avoid giving fresh occasion for calumny and jealousies, by 
appearing in person with Burgoyne at his own house. 

'* It was not until the autumn of 1778, that the conduct of General Schuyler 
in the campaign of 1777, was submitted to the investigation of a court martial, 
after long and painful delays, in which his eastern enemies both in and out of 
Congress, had full opportunity to search for testimony against him. He was 
tried and acquitted ' with the highest honor ' of every charge preferred against 
him, notwithstanding Congress had eight months previously, appointed ' two 
counsellors, learned in the law, to assist and cooperate with the Judge Advocate 
in conducting the trial.' The sentence was of course confirmed by Congress, 
and though it was the desire of his friends, and particularly of General Washing- 
ton, who, in January, 1779, stated to him that * it was very much his desire that 
he should resume the command of the northern department,' he had too much 
self-respect and pride of character to be shaken in his purpose. After repeated 
applications, Congress in April, 1779, accepted his resignation, and Schuyler 
finally withdrew from the army and devoted the remainder of his life to the 
service of his country in its political counsels." 

Washington Irving in his Life of Washington says, " If error be attributed 
to the evacuation of Ticonderoga, no portion of it was committed by General 
Schuyler. But his removal, though unjust and severe, as respected himself, was 
rendered expedient, according to Chief Justice Marshall, as a sacrifice to the 
prejudices of New England. 

'* We have already noticed," he adds, ** the prejudice and ill will of the New 
England people, which had harassed Schuyler throughout the campaign and 
nearly driven hfm from the service. His enemies now stigmatized him as the 
cause of the late reverses. 

'« Washington, to whom Schuyler's heart had been laid open throughout all 
its trials, and who knew its rectitude, received the letter and documents with 
indignation and disgust, and sent copies of them to the General. * From these,' 
said he, * you will readily discover the diabolical and insidious arts and 
schemes carrying on by the Tories and friends of government to raise distrust, 
dissensions and divisions among us. Having the utmost confidence in your in- 
tegrity, and the most incontestable proof of your great attachment to our com- 
mon country and its interest, I could not but look upon the charge against you 
with an eye of disbelief and sentiments of detestation and abhorrence ; nor 
should I have troubled you with the matter, had I not been informed that copies 
were sent to different committees, and to Governor Trumbull, which I conceived 
would' get abroad, and that you, should you find I had been furnished with 
them, would consider my suppressing them as an evidence of my belief, or at 
best of my doubt of the charges.' 



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PERIOD 1776-1777 18^ 

" * But it is now/ writes he in reply to Washington, ' a duty which 1 owe my- 
self and my country, to detect the scoundrels, and the only means of doing this 
is by requesting that an immediate inquiry be made into the matter ; when I 
trust it will appear that it was more a scheme calculated to ruin me, than to dis- 
unite and create jealousies in the friends of America. Your Excellency will^ 
therefore, please to order a Court of Inquiry the soonest possible.* 

'* We need only add," continues Irving, *' that the Berkshire Committees, 
which in a time of agitation and alarm, had hastily given countenance to these 
imputations, investigated them deliberately in their cooler moments, and 
acknowledged, in a letter to Washington, that they were satisfied their suspicions 
respecting General Schuyler were wholly groundless. ' We sincerely hope,* 
added they, ' his name may be handed down, with immortal honor, to the 
latest posterity as one of the great pillars of the American cause.' " 

Daniel Webster writes : ** I was brought up with New England prejudices 
against him, but I consider him as second only to Washington in the services he 
rendered to the country in the war of the revolution. His zeal and devotion to 
the cause under difficulties which would have paralyzed the efforts of most men, 
and his fortitude and courage when assailed by malicious attacks upon his public 
and private character, everyone of which was proved to be false, have impressed 
me with a strong desire to express publicly my sense of his great qualities." 

The following letters have never before appeared in print. 

" Saratoga, Nov. i8th, 1774. 
" Sir : 

" Please to bring for me from New York five dozen Mill saw-files and 2 barr'ls nails, 2 barrels 
2od niils, and 2 barrels lod nails. I would have you buy them from Henry "White, Esq., if he 
has them, and also the bill of parcels that I may settle it with him, or whomever you may pur- 
chase them of. 

" Please to ask Philip Livingston, Esq., for the Bell he was so good as to promise for the 
Saratoga church. 

" I wish you a good passage and am Sir 

" your most Obe*t Servant 
"To "Ph. Schuyler 

" Capt. Ph. Van Rensselaer." 

"Albany, March 15th, 1778. 
" Dear Sir : 

" I inclose you a letter for Congress under flying seal. If you approve of what I have 
written you will please to seal and forward it by bearer ; if not I entreat you to make such 
amendments and additions as you may think proper and send it back by the Express. 

" I really believe that the Enemy will Instigate the Indians in every quarter to attack our 
frontiers and altho' we cannot be certain that they will succeed, I think Measures ought to be 
taken to provide for the safety of the Country. Perhaps an Expedition to Niagara may be a 
task that we are inadequate too, but if it could be carried into Execution the Indians would 
give us little trouble — Allho' I am fully determined not to remain in the Army, I will never- 
theless most willingly give all the assistance in my power to procure whatever may be neces- 
sary for an Enterprise against Niagara if Congress should resolve upon it, or any other Service 



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190 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

I can do my G>untry as a private Gentleman, without fee or any other reward than the satis- 
faction I shall receive from serving my Country. I reflect with pleasure that I am largely My 
Dear Sir in your debt for a variety of friendly offices, I wish to be still more so, for I believe I 
am incapable of discharging them by Ingratitude or forgetting the Obligations. I entreat 
you, therefore, if you can with propriety, to write a line to Congress and to some of your 
friends. Members thereof, and to present with the feelings of a friend the distress of my Situa- 
tion and to summon them to a Speedy determination in regard to me. I have received a very 
obliging letter from Gen'l. Parsons since my return from Johnstown. He expresses great 
anxiety for the Safety of the river. Laments the Fortifications are so Inadequate to the 
defense, and intreats my aid in directions for building Gun Boats. You may be assured he 
shall have it and I hope they will be begun to be built in the course of this week. 

** I hope you had the happiness to find Mrs. Duane and all the Family well. My best 
wishes attend them. 

« I am Dear Sir 

" Affectionately & Sincerely 

** Your most obedient Humble servant 

« Ph. Schuyler. 
** Hon. James Duane, Esq." 



** Saratoga, December 19th, 1778. 
" My Dear Sir : 

«« Accept the Warmest acknowledgements of a grateful heart for the great Instance you have 
given me of your friendship and attention. Without your intervention I should probably have 
experienced many more anxious days in addition to those I have endured before the determi- 
nation of Congress had taken place. Much as I have suffered from the Intemperate Preju- 
dices of my countrymen, my affection for my country remains unimpaired and I shall never 
neglect an opportunity of Serving her, but it must be in a private Station. I have suffered so 
much in public life that prudence forbids that I should risk myself any longer in that tempestu- 
ous Ocean where I have experienced such dreadful Storms. I therefore by this conveyance 
send my resignation to Congress and think that when you consider how little your friend has 
to expect of indulgence from the public, that you will not be opposed to my request of leave to 
retire. You ought not, if I had no other reason but the one I have assigned to Congress — In- 
deed I am twenty thousand pounds in Specie worse than when the war began, but if that 
should in your opinion be an Insufficient motive for my resigning, pray remember that I have 
frequently written to Congress that I would quit the Army as soon as the tryal had taken 
place, and you would not, I am confident have me expose myself to the Imputation of having 
written what I did not mean. Perhaps I may be able to Serve this State more Effectually in 
my retirement than in public life. General Washington has opened a Confidential Corre- 
spondence with me which has for its object the Security of the frontiers of the States in Gen- 
eral ; ours will consequently be secured if his Intentions are carried into Execution. 

" From something which Gen. Washington has communicated to me, I believe there will 
be no Expedition in Canada in the course of the Winter, but if Congress intends to do any- 
thing in that way next Spring, no time ought to be lost in preparations ; for so much is to be 
done, that with great exertion it will be difficult to get everything in readiness. But if it 
should be thought Impracticable to penetrate into Canada, another important object might 
claim the attention of Congress — I mean — the Reduction of Niagara. You, who are so well 
acquainted with the country, know of how very great importance transport would be to us, 
and I think if speedy preparations are made to support and convey an army of Seven or Eight 
thousand men that fortress would be ours in the month of July ; half that number of troops 
will be wanted barely to secure the frontiers of this State and Pennsylvania. The expense 



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PERIOD me-im 



191 



therefore, ought not to deter us from the attempt. I flatter myself I can be of some Service 
by my advice, and if Congress should enter into such a measure you may give the Strongest 
Assurances that I will most readily afford it. Permit me again to repeat that if they resolve 
on such an Expedition that no time is to be lost in commencing the preparations. Mrs. 
Schuyler joins me in best wishes. Adieu My Dear Sir, I am with perfect Esteem and 
Friendship, 

«* Your most Obedt, & Humble Servant 

«' Ph. Schuyler. 
" To Hon. James Duane, Esq." 



SCHUYLER'S COUNTRY RESIDENCE 

Burned in ly/y by order of General Burgoyne 

This country residence of General Schuyler at Schuylerville remains the 
same as when occupied by the family after the war. It stands almost on the site 




SCHUYLER'S COUNTRY RESIDENCE. 

of the former mansion where Burgoyne gave a champagne dinner to his friends 
during his retreat, and which shortly after his soldiers set on fire by his orders. 
It was here that the armies forded Fish creek in all their crossings and re-cross- 
ings of that stream. The estate is now owned by Colonel George Strover ; a 
number of relics of the battle are preserved there, and shown with great courtesy 
to visitors. 

To quote from "The American Lady," "The Colonel, (afterward General 
Schuyler) as he was then called, had built a house near Albany, in the English 
taste, comparatively magnificent, where his family resided, and where he carried 



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192 A QODCUILD OF WASHINGTON 

on the business of his department. Thirty miles or more above Albany, in the 
direction of the Flats, and near the far-famed Saratoga, which was to be the 
scene of his future triumph, he had another establishment. It was here that 
the colonel's political and economical genius had full scope. He had always 
the command of a great number of those workmen who were employed in 
public buildings, etc. They were always in constant pay ; it being necessary 
to engage them in that manner ; and were, from the change of seasons, the 
shutting of the ice, and other circumstances, months unemployed. All these 
seasons, when public business was interrupted, the workmen were occupied in 
constructing squares of buildings in the nature of barracks, for the purpose of 
lodging artisans and laborers of all kinds. Having previously obtained a large 
tract of very fertile lands from the crown, on which he built a spacious and 
convenient house, he constructed those barracks at a distance, not only as a 
nursery for the arts which he meant to encourage, but as the materials of a 
future colony, which he meant to plant out around him. He had there a num- 
ber of negroes well acquainted with felling trees and managing of sawmills ; of 
which he erected several. And while these were employed in carrying on a 
very advantageous trade of deals and lumber, which were floated down on rafts 
to New York, they were at the same time clearing the ground for the colony the 
colonel was preparing to establish. 

"This new settlement was an asylum for everyone who wanted bread and a 
home. From the variety of employments regularly distributed, every artisan 
and every laborer found here lodging and occupation ; some hundreds of people, 
indeed, were employed at once. Those who were in winter engaged at the saw- 
mills, were in summer equally busied at a large and productive fishery. The 
artisans got lodging and firing for two or three years, at first, besides being 
well paid for everything they did. Flax was raised and dressed, and finely spun 
and made into linen there; and as artisans were very scarce in the country, 
every one sent linen to weave, flax to dress, etc., to the colonel's colony. He 
paid them liberally; and having always abundance of money in his hands, 
could afford to be the .loser at first, to be amply repaid in the end. It is incon- 
ceivable what dexterity, address, and deep policy were exhibited in the manage- 
ment of this new settlement ; the growth of which was rapid beyond belief. 
Every mechanic ended in being a farmer, that is, a profitable tenant to the 
owner of the soil; and new recruits of artisans, from the north of Ireland, 
chiefly, supplied their place, nourished with the golden dews which this sagacious 
projector could so easily command. The rapid increase and advantageous re- 
sult of this establishment were astonishing. 'Tis impossible for my imperfect 
recollection to do justice to the capacity displayed in these regulations. But I 
have thus endeavored to trace to its original source that wealth and power 
which became, afterward, the means of supporting an aggression so formi- 
dable." 

An unpublished letter of General Schuyler to his eldest son, John Bradstreet 
Schuyler, in regard to the transfer of his Saratoga country seat to the latter. 



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PERIOD 1776-1777 193 

" Saratoga, December 3d, 1787. 
** My dear Child : 

" I resign to your care, and for your sole emolument a place on which I have for a long 
series of years bestowed much care and attention, and I confess I should part from it with 
many a severe pang did I not resign it to my child. 

**l feel none now because of that paternal consideration. It is natural, however, for a 
parent to be solicitous for the weal of a child who is now to be guided by, and in a great 
measure to rely on his own judgment and prudence. 

«« Happiness ought to be the aim and end of the exertions of every rational creature, and 
spiritual happiness should take the lead, in fact temporal happiness without the former, does not 
really exist except in name. The first can only be obtained by an improvement of those 
faculties of the mind which the beneficent author of Creation has made all men susceptible 
of, by a conscious discharge of those sacred duties enjoined on us by God, or those whom He 
has authorized to promulgate His Holy Will. Let the rule of your conduct then be the pre- 
cept contained in Holy Writ (to which 1 hope and intreat you will have frequent recourse). 
If you do, virtue, honor, good faith, and a punctual discharge of the social duties will be the 
certain result, and an internal satisfaction that no temporal calamities can ever deprive you of. 

« Be indulgent my child to your inferiors, affable and courteous to your equals, respectful, 
not cringing to your superiors, whether they are so by superior mental abilities or those neces- 
sary distinctions which society has established. 

" With regard to your temporal concerns it is indispensably necessary that you should af- 
ford them a close and continued attention. . That you should not commit that to others which 
you can execute yourself. That you should not refer the necessary business of the hour or the 
day to the next. Delays are not only dangerous, they are fatal. Do not consider anything too 
insignificant to preserve ; if you do so the habit will steal on you, and you will consider many 
things of little importance and the account will close against you. Whereas a proper economy 
will not only make you easy but enable you to bestow benefits on objects who may want your 
assistance — and of them you will Bnd not a few. Example is infinitely more lasting than 
precept, let therefore your servants never discover a disposition to negligence or waste; 
if they do, they will surely follow you in it, and your affairs will not slide but Gallop into 
Ruin. 

«* In every community there are wretches who watch the dispositions of young men, 
especially when they come to the possession of property, some of these may hang about you ; 
they will flatter, they will cringe, and they will Cajole you until they have acquired your con- 
fidence, and then they will ruin you. Beware of these, they are the curse of society, and 
have brought many, alas ! too many to destruction. 

" Be specially careful that you do not put yourself under such obligations to any man as that 
he may deem himself intitled to request you to become his security for money. You are Good- 
natured and Generous, keep a Watch upon yourself, and do not ruin yourself and your family 
for another. 

« Directly on my return to Albany I shall make you out a Deed of Gift for all the Blacks 
belonging to the farm except Jacob, Peter, Cuff, & Belt, and for the Stock and Cattle, Horses, 
&c., &c., with a very few exceptions. For all the farming utensils, household furniture, 
&c., &c. 

" The crops of the last year I must of necessity appropriate to the discharge of Debts, and 
they must be brought down in Winter, except what may be necessary for the subsistence of 
your family and to satisfy those whom you may have occasion to employ. This I shall here- 
after Detail. 

" The Logs now in the Creek will be saved at our Joint expense and you shall have half 
the boards which I hope will neat you something of Value. We will consult on the best and 
cheapest terms to have this done. 



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194 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

** i regret very much that it is not in my power to give you some money. I shall leave you 
some debts to Collect which you may appropriate to your own use. 

" Altho* for reasons which prudence dictates I shall now not give you a deed for any part of 
my estate, yet you ought to know, what of this farm I intend for you, and which 1 shall im- 
mediately make you by Will ; it is all on the South Side of the Fishkill and as far down as 
Col. Van Vechtens, and as far West as to Inclose Marshall's & Colvert*s farms. 

" Besides a just proportion of all my other Estates, but all the tenants now residing on the 
farm either on the South or North side of the Creek are to pay their rents to me and Preserve 
the right of settling people on the west side of the road and to the north of the Little Creek 
which runs by Kiliaen Winne's, the blacksmith. For altho' you will have the occupancy of 
all the rest of the farm on both sides of the Creek, yet that on the north side of the Creek I 
intend for one of your Brothers. 

" Should you die before me, which I most sincerely pray may not happen, your children if 
God blesses you with any will have this farm and such share of my other Estates as I intend for 
you ; and should you die before me and without children your wife who is also my child will 
be provided for by me. In short it is my intention to leave you without any excuse if you fail 
in proper exertions to improve the property intrusted to you ; and it is with that view that I so 
fully detail my intentions, and Give you this written testimony of them, and that no un- 
worthy conduct may induce me to change my intentions is my hope and my anxious wish, and 
I have the pleasure to assure you that I believe when once the heat of youth is a little abated, 
I shall enjoy the satisfaction of seeing you what I most ardently wish you to be a Good man 
and an honor to your family. 

" 1 must however not omit to inform you that the Income of all my estate except what you and 
Your Brothers and Sisters may actually occupy at my decease will be enjoyed by your dear 
Mama ; she merits this attention in a most eminent degree, and I shall even give her a power to 
change my Disposition of that part of my estate the income of which she will enjoy, should un- 
happily the conduct of my Children be such as to render it necessary ; but I trust they are and 
will be so deeply impressed with a Sense of the infinite obligations they are under to her as 
not to give her a moment's uneasiness. 

*' I must once more recommend to you as a matter of indispensable importance to Love, to 
honor, and faithfully and without guile to serve that Eternal, incomprehensible, beneficent, and 
Gracious Being by whose will you exist, and so ensure happiness in this life and in that to 
come. And now my dear Child, I commit you and my Daughter and all your concerns to his 
Gracious and Good Guidance ; and Sincerely intreat Him to enable you to be a comfort to 
your parents and a protector to your Brothers and Sisters ; an honor to your family, and a good 
citizen. Accept of my Blessing and be assured that I am your affectionate father. 

" Ph. Schuyler. 

" To John B. Schuyler, Esq." 

(John Bradstreet Schuyler married in 1787, Elizabeth Van Rensselaer, 
daughter of the second Stephen Van Rensselaer, the Patroon, and Catherine 
Livingston, daughter of Philip Livingston, signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence.) 



THE SARATOGA MONUMENT 

Half a mile distant from the old mansion — on the opposite side of the Hud- 
son — a massive shaft towers above the surrender ground. It was erected by the 
Saratoga Monument Association to commemorate the victory. On October 1 7th, 



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SARATOGA MONUMENT. 



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PERIOD 1776-1777 197 

1877, the one-hundredth anniversary of the surrender, the corner stone of this 
splendid monument was laid with imposing ceremonies. It is of rock-faced 
granite, one hundred and fifty-four feet in height, forty feet square at the base, 
an obelisk in form, of Gothic construction, and the summit is accessible through 
the interior. In the base there is a room fourteen feet square ; a bronze stair- 
way leads to a second and third floor and thence to the top, where there are 
windows on each side, commanding for miles a view of the country and the 
Hudson. Over the entrances, gables rise to a height of forty-two feet, and 
at each corner of the monument, at a height of about twenty feet has been 
placed a granite eagle with half-folded wings, measuring nearly seven feet across 
the back. At the second floor there is a niche on each of the four sides. In the 
niches, on three sides are bronze statues of General Philip Schuyler, General 
Daniel Morgan, and General Horatio Gates. The statues of Gates and 
Schuyler are equestrian ; that of Morgan represents him as being attired in gar- 
ments of buckskin, backwoods pattern, sitting on a chest and holding a gun 
near the muzzle, with the stock resting on the ground. The fourth niche with 
the name " Arnold " underneath, is unoccupied. 

The two prominent speakers on the occasion of the dedication were the Hon- 
orable Horatio Seymour, and the Honorable George William Curtis. In his 
able address Mr. Seymour said : *' When we read the story of the event which 
we now celebrate — whether it is told by friend or foe, there is one figure which 
rises above all others, upon whose conduct we love to dwell. There is one who 
won a triumph that never grows dim. One who gave an example of patient 
patriotism, unsurpassed in the pages of history. One who did not, even under 
cutting wrongs and cruel suspicions, wear an air of martyrdom, but with cheer- 
ful alacrity served where he should have commanded. 

** It was a glorious spirit of chivalrous courtesy with which Schuyler met and 
ministered to those who had not only been his enemies in arms, but who had in- 
flicted upon him unusual injuries, unwarranted by the laws of war. But there 
was something more grand in his service to his country, than even this honor, 
which he did to the American cause by his bearing upon this occasion. The 
spirit of sectional prejudice which the British cabinet relied upon, to prevent 
cordial cooperation among the Colonies, had been exhibited against him in a 
way most galling to a pure patriot and a brave soldier. But, filled with devo- 
tion to his country's cause, he uttered no murmur of complaint ; nor did he for 
a moment cease in his efforts to gain its liberties. This grand rebuke to selfish 
intriguers and to honest prejudices did much to discomfort the one and teach 
the other the injustice of their suspicions and the unworthiness of sectional prej- 
udices. The strength of this rebuke sometimes irritates writers who cannot 
rise above local prejudices ; and they try to lessen the public sense of his virtue 
by reviving the attack, proved to be unjust upon investigation, and which, by 
the verdict of men, honored by their country, were proved to be unfounded. 
The judgment of George Washington of the patriots who surrounded him, with 
regard to men of their own day, and aff*airs with which they were familiar, can- 



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198 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

not be shaken by those who seek to revive exploded scandals and unfounded sus- 
picions. The character of General Schuyler grows brighter in public regard. 
The injustice done him by his removal from command, at a time when his zeal 
and ability had placed victory almost within his reach, is not perhaps to be re- 
gretted. We could not well lose from our history his example of patriotism and 
of personal honor and chivalry. We could not spare the proof which his case 
furnishes, that virtue triumphs in the end. We would not change, if we could, 
the history of his trials. For we feel that in the end they gave lustre to his 
character, and we are forced to say of General Schuyler, that while he had been 
greatly wronged, he had never been injured." 

Mr. Curtis in his eloquent address said : '* So soon was the splendid promise 
of Ticonderoga darkened. The high and haughty tone was changed. * I yet 
do not despond,' wrote Burgoyne on the 30th of August, and he had not heard 
of St. Leger's fate. But he had reason to fear. The glad light of Bennington 
and Oriskany had pierced the gloom that weighed upon the country. It was 
everywhere jubilant and everywhere rising. The savages deserted the British 
camp. The harvest was gathered, and while New England and New York had 
fallen fatally upon the flanks of Burgoyne, Washington sent Virginia to join 
New York and New England, in his front, detaching from his own army, Mor- 
gan and his men, the most famous rifle corps of the Revolution. But while the 
prospect brightened. General Schuyler, by order of Congress, was superseded 
by General Gates. Schuyler, a most sagacious and diligent officer whom Wash- 
ington wholly trusted, was removed for the alleged want of his most obvious 
quality, the faculty of comprehensive organization. But the New England 
militia disliked him; and even Samuel Adams was impatient of him; but 
Samuel Adams was impatient of Washington. Public irritation with the situa- 
tion, and jealous intrigue in camp and in Congress, procured Schuyler's removal. 
He was wounded to the heart, but his patriotism did not waver. He remained 
in camp, to be of what service he could, and he entreated Congress to order a 
speedy and searching inquiry into his conduct. It was at last made, and left 
him absolutely unstained. He was unanimously acquitted with the highest 
honor, and Congress approved the verdict. General Schuyler did not again 
enter upon active military service, but he and Rufus King were the first senators 
that New York sent to the Senate of the United States. Time has restored his 
fame, and the history of this state records no more patriotic name among her 
illustrious sons than that of Philip Schuyler.' 

"The surrender of Burgoyne marked the turning point of the Revolution. 
All the defeats, indeed, all the struggles, the battles, the sacrifices, the sufl"er- 
ings, at all times and in every colony, were indispensable to the great result. 
Concord, Lexington, Bunker Hill, Moultrie, Long Island, Trenton, Oriskany, 
Bennington, the Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, Monmouth, Camden, 
Cowpen, Guilford, Eutaw Springs, Yorktown, — what American does not kindle 
as he calls the battle roll of the Revolution ! — whether victories or defeats, all 
are essential lights and shades in the immortal picture. But, as gratefully ac- 



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PERIOD nie-im 199 

knowledging the service of all the patriots, we yet call Washington, father, so 
mindful of the value of every event, we may agree that the defeat of Burgoyne 
determined the American Independence. Thenceforth it was but a question of 
time. The great doubt was solved. Out of a rural militia an army could be 
trained to cope at every point successfully, with the most experienced and dis- 
ciplined troops in the world. In the first bitter moment of defeat, Burgoyne 
generously wrote to a military friend ' a better armed, a better bodied, a more 
alert or better prepared army, in all essential points of military institution, I am 
afraid, is not to be found on our side of the question.' The campaign in New 
York also, where the loyalists were strongest, had shown, what was afterward 
constantly proved, that the British crown, despite the horrors of Cherry Valley 
and Wyoming, could not count upon general or effective aid from the Tories nor 
from the Indians. At last it was plain that if Britain would conquer, she must 
overrun and crush the continent, and that was impossible. The shrewdest men 
in England and in Europe saw it. Lord North himself, King George's chief 
minister, owned it, and grieved in his blind old age that he had not followed his 
conviction. Edmund Burke would have made peace on any terms. Charles 
Fox exclaimed that the ministers knew as little how to make peace as war. The 
Duke of Richmond urged the impossibility of conquest, and the historian Gib- 
bon, who in Parliament had voted throughout the war as Dr. Johnson would 
have done, agreed that America was lost. The King of France ordered Frank- 
lin to be told that he should support the cause of the United States. In April, 
he sent a fleet to America, and from that time to the end of the war, the French 
and the Americans battled together on sea and land, until on this very day, the 
17th of October, 1781, four years after the disaster of Burgoyne, Cornwallis, 
on the plains of Yorktown, proposed a surrender to the combined armies of 
France and of the United States. The terms were settled upon our part jointly 
by an American and a French officer, while Washington and Lafayette stood 
side by side as the British laid down their arms. It was the surrender of Bur- 
goyne that determined the French alliance, and the French alliance secured the 
final triumph ! " 



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CHAPTER VIII 

THE SCHUYLER MANSION AT. ALBANY 

A Relic of Colonial Days 

The Schuyler mansion still standing at the head of Schuyler street in the 
lower part of the city of Albany is one of the most prominent of the old landmarks. 
It was built by Mrs. Schuyler while her husband was in Europe in 1 761-2; 
from whence many articles for the furnishing were sent. It was their town 
residence. The building stands on a high eminence, and in its early days was 




SCHUYLER MANSION. 

beautified by a wide stretch of lawn sloping toward the river. It was then 
quite outside the city limits, but to-day the streets of the capital have en- 
croached on all sides to within a short distance of the house, and the grading 
has necessitated the building of a high wall of masonry along the front 
boundary. In this wall is a door opening upon a long flight of steps, bordered 

200 



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THE SCHUYLER MANSION AT ALBANY 



201 



by shrubs as old as the mansion itself. The house is constructed entirely of 
brick, two stories high, with gabled roof and dormer windows, is yellow painted 
and shows a remarkable state of preservation. The entrance is made through 
an octagonal vestibule, which, with its four large windows, resembles closely 
the pilot house of a steamboat, only that it is very much larger. Massive doors 
with heavy lock and chain open into the main hall, which is as long as an 
ordinary city house of to-day. It is lighted by two high windows, one on each 
side of the vestibule. Opening into the hall, on either hand, are the spacious 
parlors with their wooden cornices, high mantlepieces and wide, deep fire- 
places. The wainscot around each room is nearly five feet high, and the win- 
dows reach almost from the floor to the ceiling. They are set deep into the 
wall, and are just high enough from the floor to make comfortable seats in the 
recess, and with the old-fashioned heavy damask drapery in place would make 
delightful retreats for a quiet chat. Strong wooden blinds with the old-time 




TOMAHAWK MARK. 

cross-bar of iron protect each window on the inside. The rooms have no con- 
nection with eacli other except through the halls, and the wide doors all have 
enormous brass locks with giant keys. In the rear of this hall is an arched 
doorway, with a background of glass, much resembling that of a church win- 
dow, opening into a smaller hall leading to the sitting and dining-rooms and to 
the servants* quarters. In this passage way is the broad winding staircase with 
its hand-carved and scarred railing, made famous in history by the tomahawk 
of an Indian. The mark to-day is plainly noticeable, being about three inches 
long and an inch in depth. It is on the outer edge of the baluster, where it 
curves at the very foot of the stairs toward the rear of the building, showing 
that the tomahawk must have been thrown from that direction at the flying girl 
who had already gained the first landing. I have before me the oft-told story 
of more than a hundred years ago, in the handwriting of Catherine Van 



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'^2 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Rensselaer Schuyler, the godchild of Washington, and the infant rescued by 
her intrepid sister. **It is well known that in the year 1781, the British en- 
deavored to possess themselves of several leading characters in the State of New 
Vork by decoying them into ambush, or by capturing them by violence. A 
party of Tories, Canadians, and Indians, had for eight or ten days been secreted 
in the low pines and shrub oaks that grew on the outskirts of the city. Obscure 
intimations of danger to be apprehended from some unknown quarter had been 
received by my father, furnished undoubtedly by persons in the Tory interest, 
but personally attached to himself. It was the evening of the 7th of August. 
The General and the family were seated in the front hall, with the doors wide 
open on account of the extreme heat, when a servant entered to say that a man 
wished to speak with the master at the back gate. So unusual a request aroused 
my father's suspicions at once. The doors were quickly fastened ; the family 
fled to an upper room, and a pistol was fired from an attic window to arouse 
the city. No sooner had the assailants burst open the doors than my mother 
discovered that I, her infant child was not with them. Frantic with terror, she 
would have started at once to the rescue, had not my father detained her, for 
the child in the excitement of the moment had been left in the nursery on the 
ground floor, then occupied by the invaders. My sister Margarita (afterward 
wife of the Patroon) insisted upon going in her place. She hurried down two 
flights of stairs, snatched me from the cradle, narrowly escaping the flying 
tomahawk thrown at her, which grazed her dress within two inches of the in- 
fant's head, and imbedded itself in the baluster. Upon reaching the upper 
hall by a private way, she met Walter Meyer who had come up the great stair- 
way, and mistaking her for a servant exclaimed, ' Wench, where is your mas- 
ter ? ' * Gone to alarm the town,* was the quick reply. Meyer hastened to the 
dining-room and quickly collected his men, who were engaged in bagging the 
plate and other valuables, and from which he had in vain urged them to pursue 
the object of their bold enterprise. At this moment the General threw open 
the door and cried out in a loud voice, ' Come on, my brave fellows ! Surround 
the damn'd rascals ! ' — although well aware that the townsmen had not yet ar- 
rived upon the scene. It had its effect. The party made a precipitate retreat, 
carrying with them to Canada the three men who were to mount guard, and a 
large quantity of booty. Owing to the excessive heat the servants had dispersed, 
and the men who composed the night watch were refreshing themselves in the 
grounds, so far distant that they could neither see nor hear what was passing in 
the mansion. The guard which had been on duty the previous night were still 
in bed, from which they were summoned to repel the invaders, without having 
time to dress themselves. Their firearms for convenience, always stood in a 
rear hall near the main part of the building ; but my eldest sister, Mrs. Church 
(who had recently arrived from Boston) fearing an accident to her little son, 
had unfortunately caused them to be removed without informing the guard. 
However, the brave men had stoutly defended the rear entrance by random blows 
in the dark. As quickly as a light was procured, they extinguished it and thus 



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THE SCHUYLER MANSION AT ALBANY 203 

gave their master time to secure the front doors. The names of the men were 
John Tubbs, John Ward, and Nanse Corlies. They were at length overpowered 
and carried off to Canada ; and when exchanged my father gave them each a 
farm in Saratoga county." 

("A word might here be said of * the three Margarets' — Margaret Van 
Sclichtenhorst Schuyler who drove Leisler's troops and his son-in-law Captain 
Milborne out of the Fort at Albany of which her son Colonel Pieter S. was the 
commandant, the latter being absent at the time, (1690). The second prom- 
inent Margaret was ' The American Lady,' a statesman in petticoats. The third 
was that daughter of General Philip Schuyler, who saved the child from Tory 
Indians in the Albany mansion at the risk of being tomahawked." W. D. S-L.) 

The upper hall of the mansion is the same size as the lower one, and the 
rooms bear resemblance to those on the first floor. From the windows a mag- 
nificent view may be had of the Hudson with its background of hills, while di- 
rectly beneath lies the city. Standing here amid such historic surroundings, a 
strange panorama of Colonial events seems to rise before one. Grim forts, on 
either hand, protect the quaint Dutch town from invasion. The narrow streets 
are filled with English officers and men, together with the sturdy provincials. 
Abercrombie and young Lord Howe are leading an army of seven thousand 
regulars and nine thousand provincials against Montcalm and his treacherous 
Indian allies in the North ; while the young Virginian, Colonel Washington, is 
laying the foundation of his career, under Braddock in the South. Later comes 
the struggle for independence. The streets of the city are again filled with 
soldiery ; Albany has become a rendezvous for the force pressing forward to 
stem the tide of northern invasion. Finally Burgoyne's guns are silenced at 
Saratoga, and he and his officers are on their way to the old town as prisoners 
of war. When Burgoyne on the eve of the battle of Saratoga, proudly boasted 
that he would eat his Christmas dinner in Albany, he so far relied on the aid of 
General Clinton, who was slowly but surely creeping up the Hudson with a 
strong force, that he intended that the dinner should be one of rejoicing, and 
that they should partake of it as conquerors, with the American forces under 
Gates broken and defeated. He little thought, however, that the fortunes of 
war would find his army surrendered ; Clinton hastily retreating down the 
river ; and himself eating his dinner in Albany some weeks before Christmas, 
not as a conqueror, but as a prisoner and as a guest at the table of General 
Schuyler. 

The attic shows the age of the place perhaps more than any other portion 
of the building. The heavy beams which support the roof and cross the ceil- 
ing in different directions — all hewn, rough and uneven — are held in place by 
strong wooden pins. The boards and timbers are worm-eaten and black with 
time. On one side of the garret are two rooms, with whitewashed walls, 
once partitioned off for the use of the house slaves for sleeping quarters, though 
a more ghostly place than the old attic with its dormer windows and queer 



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204 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

nooks and crannies, would be hard to imagine. In the cellar are several small 
windows set deep into the walls like the portholes of a ship; but the accumula- 
tions of ages have in a great measure spoiled their usefulness. Both without 
and within they are protected by iron bars, embedded in the masonry and 
covered deep with rust. The place is so full of dark corners and passages that 
a person might easily lose his way there without a guide. In the centre of the 
cellar is a curious closet, large enough for three men to stand upright in. The 
sides and back are of brick, as is also the arched roof; the heavy wooden door 
has an enormous lock and key, the lock being made from a single block of wood 
fastened to the inside of the door, and it apparently works as well to-day as 
when first constructed. There is a tradition of an underground passage to the 
river, and that a stairway had descended to it from the floor of this mysterious 
space, but the closet was so filled with rubbish that this supposition could not 
be verified. 

"One of the great attractions of the house,** says Proctor, *' was a splendid 
and well-selected library. When, in 1784 and 1785, Colonel Aaron Burr was a 
member of the Legislature at Albany, he was generously tendered the use of this 
library by General Schuyler. Here Burr spent much of his time ; here he pre- 
pared many of those legislative and other documents, so replete with elegance 
of expression and profundity of reasoning. In those days the Aceldama of pol- 
itics had not aroused that bitter enmity between him and a member of Schuy- 
ler's family — Hamilton — which culminated in the bloody tragedy on the heights 
of VVeehawken." 

The grounds were laid out in all the elaborate art of French landscape garden- 
' ing, with here and there parterres, nicely lawned. Many of the old ornamental 
and fruit trees are still standing. 

One lovely autumn day just before Burgoyne left Albany, he was strolling in 
these grounds along the river bank with Margarita Schuyler, who was then but 
seventeen years of age. During their conversation he asked her what he should 
send her from England. She — being very shy — did not answer, but kept her 
eyes fixed on the ground. Among the presents that he sent to the family from 
the "other side" was a pair of diamond shoe buckles for Margaret. One of 
these is in the author's possession. 

Other guests from the vanquished army were General Reidesel, his wife and 
children, and Lady Harriet Ackland. General, the Baron Reidesel, commanded 
that miscellaneous body of men called Hessians ; mercenary troops furnished by 
small German provinces to assist the British in crushing her rebellious subjects. 
" George III. had first applied to the Empress of Russia, — Catherine II. — whom 
he was disposed to regard as a half barbarian sovereign of a barbarous nation, 
for the loan of her soldiers. Her ministers expected a ready compliance, for 
could not British gold purchase anything? Gibbon, the historian, wrote to a 
friend in October, 1775 : ' When the Russians arrive, will you go and see their 
camp? We have great hopes of getting a body of these barbarians; the minis- 
ters daily and hourly expect to hear that the business is concluded ; the worst 



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THE SCHUYLER MANSION AT ALBANY 205 

of it is the Baltic will soon be frozen up, and it must be late next year before 
they can get to America.' But Catherine sent a flat refusal to enter into such 
nefarious business, half barbarian as the British king thought her to be. The 
king was compelled to pocket his wrath, which he did with dignity and com- 
posure after the first ebullition of feeling, and turning to the needy German 
princes — the rulers of people out of whom had come his own dynasty — he was 
rewarded with success." They ** were his hired fighting machines, hired con- 
trary to the solemn protest and earnest negative pleadings of the best friends of 
England in its national Legislature.'' "About seventeen thousand German 
troops, most of them well-disciplined, were hired. Their masters were to re- 




GEN. BURGOYNE. 

ceive for each soldier a bounty of ^32.50, beside an annual subsidy, the whole 
amounting to a large sum." The name of Hessian (from Hesse-Cassel, and 
Hesse Darmstadt) was given to them all ; and, because they were mercenaries (men 
only fighting for pay) they were particularly detested by the Americans. '* All 
Europe cried, * Shame ! ' and Frederick the Great of Prussia took every occasion 
to express his contempt for the scandalous man traffic." The Baroness Reidesel, 
who, with her children and nurses, accompanied Burgoyne's army, had endured 
terrible hardships, as well as great anxiety for her husband's safety, writes in her 
journal : "After the surrender, my husband sent a message to me to come to him 
with my children. I seated myself once more in my dear caleche, and then rode 



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206 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



through the American camp. As I passed on I observed, and this was a great 
consolation to me, that no one eyed me with looks of resentment, but they all 
greeted us, and even showed compassion in their countenances at the sight of a 
woman with small children. I was, I confess, afraid to go over to the enemy, as 
it was quite a new situation to me. When I drew near the tents a handsome 
man approached and met me ; took my children from the caleche, and hugged 
and kissed them, which affected me almost to tears. * You tremble,' said he, ad- 
dressing himself to me; 'be not afraid.' *No,' I answered, * you seem so 
kind and tender to my children it inspires me with courage.' He now led me 
to the tent of General Gates, where I found Generals Burgoyne and Phillips who 
were on a friendly footing with the former. Burgoyne said to me, * Never 




GEN. REIDESEL. 

mind ; your sorrows have now an end ! ' I answered him that I should be as 
reprehensible to have any cares as he had none, and I was pleased to see him on 
such friendly footing with General Gates. The same gentleman who received 
me so kindly now came and said to me, * You will be very much embarrassed to 
dine with all these gentlemen ; come with your children to my tent, where I 
will prepare for you a frugal dinner, and give it with a free will.' I said, 'You 
are certainly a husband and a father, you have shown me so much kindness.' I 
now found that he was General Schuyler. He treated me with excellent smoked 
tongue, beefsteaks, potatoes, and good bread and butter ! Never could I wish 



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THE SCHUYLER MANSION AT ALBANY 207 

to eat a better dinner ; I was content ; I saw all around rae were so likewise ; 
and, what was better than all, my husband was out of danger. When we had 
dined h told me his residence was at Albany, and that General Burgoyne in- 
tended to honor him as his guest and invited myself and children to do likewise. 
I asked my husband how I should act ; he told me to accept the invitation. As 
it was two days* journey there, he advised me to go to a place which was about 
three hours* ride distant. Some days after this we arrived at Albany, where we 
so often wished ourselves ; but we did not enter it as we expected we should — 
victors ! We were received by the good General Schuyler's wife and daughters, 
not as enemies but as kind friends; and they treated us with the most marked 
attention and politeness, as they did General Burgoyne who had caused General 
Schuyler's beautifully furnished house to be burned. In fact, they behaved like 
persons of exalted minds, who determined to bury all recollections of their own 
injuries in the contemplation of our misfortunes.'' Not long after their arrival 
"one of Madame Reidesel's little girls, after frolicking about the spacious and 
well-furnished mansion, ran up to her mother, and with all the simplicity of 
youthful innocence inquired in German, • Mother, is this the palace father was to 
have when he came to America?' The blushing baroness speedily silenced her 
child. The teeming question which was asked in the presence of one of Gen- 
eral Schuyler's family by whom the German was understood, was well calculated 
to disconcert her." 

One of the children's nurses was greatly impressed by the Indians she had 
seen in such numbers in America. During their stay at the house, she moulded 
in beeswax two heads to represent a chief and a squaw; painted them a copper 
color, and presented them to a young daughter of the hostess. They were sewed 
on to rag bodies and dressed as dolls. They have descended to the author and 
are real curiosities. 

**It was Colonel Varick, one of General Schuyler's aides," says Proctor, 
"sent to announce the joyful intelligence that Burgoyne and his whole army had 
surrendered and were prisoners of war. Many citizens hastened to the mansion, 
and its walls soon shook with the glad huzzas of the patriots. Other dispatches 
followed in quick succession, and Albany was a scene of wild delight. The 
roar of cannon, peals of music, and the clang of bells, mingled with the shouts 
of victory, drove the Tories in consternation to their homes. 

"During the contest over the adoption of the American Constitution, in the 
memorable convention at Poughkeepsie in June, 1780, when the State of New 
York was on the point of repudiating that immortal instrument, the Schuyler 
mansion was the rallying place of the friends in Albany. Well might it be so, 
for in one of its apartments, Hamilton in 1778, drafted many of its financial 
sections. When, in the evening of July 29th, 1780, intelligence reached Albany 
that New York had ratified the Federal Constitution, the old mansion blazed out 
the joy of Schuyler in a brilliant illumination." 



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208 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

RICHARD VARICK 
Lieutenant' Colonel and Deputy Muster Master- General 

** Born on the 25th of March, 1753. ^*^^ ^^ ^^^ 3^^^ ^^ J"^y> i^3^- 

**At the time of his birth his parents were living at Hackensack, N. J. When 
the Revolution broke out, he, having been practicing his profession, the law, in 
New York City, joined the army in 1775, and was appointed a Captain in the 
I St New York Continental Infantry, under Colonel McDougall. 

**0n the loth of April, 1777, being at that time the Military Secretary of 
General Schuyler, Congress conferred upon him the position of Deputy Muster 
Master-General, and he was on duty organizing and keeping up the quotas as far 
as possible to their full standard, and preparing the requirements necessary to 
impede the advance of General John Burgoyne, who had already made such a 
formidable entrance to the state by way of Lake Champlain. He was present 
at his final total defeat and surrender at General Schuyler's headquarters at the 
confluence of the Fish-creek and the Hudson, near where the aqueduct of the 
Champlain canal now stands. In the following year the office he held having 
been abolished, he acted as Inspector-General at West Point on the staff of Gen- 
eral Arnold, until after the discovery of his meditated treason, when Washing- 
ton took him into his 'military family,* as Recording Secretary of his official 
and private correspondence, which position he held during the war. 

**The following letters from Washington to him, express His Excellency's 
sentiments in regard to his ability and method : 

«*« Rocky Hill, Oct 2d, 1783. 

" « Dear Sir : Enclosed are my private Letters for registering 

«« « As fast as they are entered return them to me by the weekly mail ; for we have occasion 
for frequent references — do the same thing with the Public Letters. 

** * As the letters which are handed to you now, contain sentiments upon undecided points, 
it is, more than ever, necessary that there should be the strictest guard over them, and the most 
perfect silence in respect to their contents. — Mr. Tayler's prudence will, I persuade myself, in- 
duce him to pay particular attention to both. 

" « I am Dr. Sir Yr. most obed. Servt. 

" « Go. Washington.' 



" * Mount Vernon, January 9th, 1784. 

" * Dear Sir — From the moment I left the City of New York until my arrival at this place, 
I have been so much occupied by a variety of concerns, that I could not find a moment's leisure 
to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the 4th and 7th ultimo. 

«* « The public and other Papers which were committed to your charge, and the Books in 
which they have been recorded under your inspection, having come safe to hand, I take this 
first opportunity of signifying my entire approbation of the manner in which you have executed 
the important duties of recording Secretary ; and the satisfaction I feel in having my papers 
so properly arranged, & so correctly recorded — and I beg you will accept my thanks for the 



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RICHARD VARICK 211 

care and attention which you have given to this business — I am fully convinced that neither 
the present age nor posterity will consider the time and labour which has been employed in 

accomplishing it, unprofitably spent 

" « I pray you will be persuaded that I shall take pleasure in asserting on every occasion the 
sense I entertain of the fidelity, skill and indefatigable industry manifested by you in the per- 
formance of your public duties, and of the sincere regard and esteem with which 

" * I am Dr Sir Yr most obed & afft Servt 

«* *Go. Washington.* 

"In the fall of 1780 he wrote General Schuyler that a Court of Inquiry was 
about to convene respecting his having been conversant with Arnold's plot to 
surrender West Point to the British, desiring him to attend, whereupon he sent 
the following letter to the Court, addressed to Colonel Van Schaick, its presiding 
officer : 

"'Saratoga, October 15th, 1780. 

" * Sir : Yesterday I received a letter from Colonel Varick, informing me that he had in- 
treated an Inquiry into his conduct and that it would probably soon take place, and requesting 
me to attend to give my testimony. As he has long resided with me, nothing but a very ill 
state of health prevents my attending. I consider it, however, a duty incumbent on me to 
inform you Sir, and thro, you, the Court, that in the year 1775, Richard Varick, Esq., was 
appointed a Captain in one of the New York Battallions ; that when the command of the 
Northern Department was conferred on me, I appointed him my Secretary; that he served in 
that office until the Autumn of 1776, when he was appointed Deputy Muster Master General 
and had the rank of lieutenant Colonel conferred on him, in which office he remained until 
the Muster Master Department was abolished. That I reflect with satisfaction upon the pro- 
priety of that Gentleman's conduct in every point of view; that I had such entire confidence 
in his attachment to the Glorious Cause we are engaged in, that I concealed nothing from him, 
and never once had reason to repent that I reposed so much trust in him ; that I am so far 
from believing him capable of betraying his Country, that even if testimony on oath was given 
agamst him, it would gain little credit with me, unless the persons giving it were of fair and 
unblemished characters. Upon the whole as I have always found him to be a man of strict 
Honor, probity & virtue, so I do still believe him to be, — I am Sir, Your most obedient Humble 
Servant, 

" * Ph. Schuyler. 

" « President of the Court for Enquiring into the Conduct of Lt. Colo. Varick.' 

** The Court unanimously reported their opinion 

** * That Lieutenant Colonel Varick's conduct, with respect to the base pecu- 
lations and treasonable practices of the late General Arnold, is not only unim- 
peachable, but we think him entitled through every part of his conduct to a 
degree of merit, that does him great honor as an officer and particularly, distin- 
guishes him as a sincere friend of his Country.' 

** Which was approved as follows : 

" * Hfjvd Quarters, Camp Totowa, 

"* Thursday November i6th, 1780. 
«« * The Commander in chief is pleased to accept and approve the following report of a Court 
of Enquiry, held at West Point, the 2n instant, to examine into the conduct of Lieutenant 



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212 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Colonel Varick, in his connection with the late Major General Arnold during his command at 
West Point and relative to his desertion to the Enemy. 

*« « Alexander Scammell, Adjutant General. 
" * Colonel Van Schaick, President ; Lieutenant Colonels Cobb and Dearborn, Major 
Reid and Captain Cox, Members.* 

"Arnold's letter, dated from the 'Vulture' acquits him of all knowledge of 
his intentions. 

" The following letter to him from General Schuyler has never been published, 
and shows the intimacy existing between them : 

" ' Saratoga, May 3d, 1778. 
"«Dr. Colonel: 

" * I thank you for your favor by Mr. Fonda & for the intelligence you have given me 

I had a hint some time ago, that Gates would take the command in the highlands as soon as 
all was prepared ; he has the luck of reaping harvests sown by others. 

« < I hope to be down on Wednesday. My Compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Van Rensselaer. 

Adieu 

" « I am sincerely Yours &c. &c. 

" « Ph. Schuyler. 
«* « Col. Varick.* 

" He accepted the office of Recorder of the City of New York in 1783, and 
in the next year was elected a member of the State Legislature when, with 
Samuel Jones, he was appointed to revise the Statutes of the State, issued in 
1789. He presided as Speaker of the Assembly in 1787 and 1788: Appointed 
Attorney-General in May, 1 789, and the following September elected Mayor of 
New York, which office he retained until Edward Livingston succeeded him in 
1801. He was President of the New York Society of the Cincinnati from 1806 
until his decease, which occurred at his residence in Jersey City, upon which 
occasion the Society issued a general order to attend the funeral from the Dutch 
Church, corner Cedar and Nassau streets, wearing the usual badge of mourning 
for thirty days, at the same time expressing the following sentiments : 

'"That his courtesy and kindness to members, his liberality to such of the 
deceased members as needed it, and his attachment to this Institution, can never 
be forgotten.' 

" He married Maria, daughter of Isaac Roosevelt, but died without issue sur- 
viving him. His name appears on the Half-Pay Roll." 

Extract from * * The Society of the Cincinnati, ' ' By John Schuyler, Secretary. 

This valuable work, handsomely illustrated, was printed by the New York 
Society of the Cincinnati for private distribution. 



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ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 



214 



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CHAPTER IX 

ALEXANDER HAMILTON 

An American Statesman 

** In the afternoon of a pleasant October day soon after the surrender of 
Burgoyne," writes L. B. Proctor, ** a young officer wearing the uniforna of a mem- 
ber of Washington's military family, accompanied by an orderly, left the ferry- 
boat which then landed at a point in the river a little north of the present Arch 
street. The young soldier and his orderly immediately mounted their horses 
and rode toward the Schuyler mansion. The appearance of an officer who so 
evidently held a rank that placed him near the Commander-in-Chief of the 
American Army, created much interest in the city. ' Who is he and what can 
be his mission in Albany ? ' were questions that went unanswered from many 
inquirers. There was in his bearing much that increased the interest his appear- 
ance created. It exhibited a natural, yet unassuming superiority ; his features, 
though not handsome, gave evidence of thought, intellectual strength and a de- 
termined mind ; a high, expansive forehead, a nose of the Grecian mould, a 
dark, bright eye, and the lines of a mouth expressing decision and courage com- 
pleted the contour of a face never to be forgotten. The elegant horse he rode 
seemed conscious that he bore the weight of no common rider, and his proud 
step 'was the curbed motion of a blooded charger.' The young soldier sat in 
the saddle with a grace and ease, showing that he was master of himself and his 
horse. His figure of the middling height, strongly framed and muscular, gave 
the appearance of strength and activity. We have been somewhat particular in 
our description of the young officer, for we have thus presented to the reader 
Alexander Hamilton. He soon arrived at the residence of General Schuyler. 
Dismounting and giving his horse in charge of the orderly, he handed his card to 
a servant who appeared at the door, and in a few moments was welcomed by the 
General himself, to a mansion destined ever after to be linked almost with his 
future destiny. His mission there was the most important duty of his military 
career. At that time additional troops were virtually essential to Washington, 
and they were only to be obtained from the northern army. While Washington 
was bearing defeat and fighting on with grim pertinacity, Gates in command of 
that army, had achieved one of the signal victories which had taken place 
among the dozen decisive battles of the world's history. The surrender of Bur- 
goyne had made Gates — to whom as little is due for the victory, as could as 
well be the case with the commanding officer — the idol of the north, and of 
New England especially. To offend Gates personally was a small matter, but to 

215 



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216 A QODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

offend the northern colonies, just then dissatisfied with Washington, would have 
been a very serious affair, but the latter was in pressing need of a part of the 
army under Gates. As his superior officer he had a right to command, and at 
the same time this was precisely what he wished to avoid. Hamilton was, 
therefore, elected to obtain the troops without using, excepting in the last resort, 
the imperative authority which he carried in his pocket. Washington at this 
time had suffered a series of defeats on the Delaware, near Fort Mifflin and at 
German town. Gates swelling with importance over the surrender of Burgoyne, 
believed himself the superior of Washington. He listened with complacency, 
if not with pride, to the counsel of the powerful Conway Cabal which proposed 
the removal of Washington and the elevation of Gates as Commander-in-Chief 
of the American Army. Hamilton's mission to Gates, under all these circum- 
stances, was indeed difficult and delicate. Under the direction of Washington, 
he visited Schuyler to obtain his advice and counsel in performing it. Their 
consultation was long, close and confidential — one of the many which had taken 
place in the mansion that had determined the policy of campaigns and the plan 
of battles. It was at this time that Hamilton first met Elizabeth Schuyler, who, 
next to Theodosia Burr, was one of the most beautiful and accomplished of 
American women. She was then in her twentieth year, had been carefully edu- 
cated, and had received an intellectual training which prepared her for the ex- 
alted station she was destined to occupy in her future life. As the daughter of 
one of the most wealthy and eminent men in the state, graceful and fascinating 
in her manner, beautiful in form and features, she had attracted many admirers, 
and her hand had been sought by suitors of rank, fortune and many rare per- 
sonal endowments. The impression she made on the mind of Hamilton at their 
first meeting was deep and sincere. That Elizabeth Schuyler should have 
greatly admired the young, gallant and gifted soldier is rendered certain by the 
results of the future. 

** Having obtained the advice of Schuyler, Hamilton made his way to the 
camp of Gates at Saratoga. With the most careful management — the manage- 
ment of an accomplished diplomatist — he succeeded in his mission, and Wash- 
ington was reinforced from the army of Gates. On his return, he again visited 
the Schuyler mansion — this time not to consult with the father, but to woo the 
daughter. In the following spring the acquaintance thus began ripened into an 
engagement; and on December 14th, 1780, the marriage of Alexander Hamil- 
ton with Elizabeth Schuyler was one of the important events in the memorable 
history of the old Schuyler mansion." 

Alexander Hamilton was born on the nth of January, 1757, in the Island of 
Nevis, West Indies. ** His father was James Hamilton, fourth son of Alexander 
Hamilton, of Grange and Kambus- Keith, one of the oldest of the cadet 
branches of the Scotch family of that name. His mother was a daughter of a 
French Huguenot named Faucette. The only surviving child of his parents, his 
abilities attracted the notice of Mr. Cruger and some generous friends, who sent 
him to this country to improve his education, and leaving the West Indies he 



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MRS. HAMILTON. 



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ALEXANDER HAMILTON 219 

landed in Boston in October, 1772, when he was fifteen years of age. He pro- 
ceeded to New York and soon entered a school at Elizabethtown, where he re- 
mained about a year, preparing himself for college, and in the winter of 1774 
entered Kings, now Columbia College. 

** Before he could complete his collegiate course the troubles preceding the 
Revolution began, and though only seventeen years of age, he took an active 
part on the side of the opposition to the Crown by pamphlets and speeches to 
prepare the Colonies for open and armed resistance. He began by study and 
drill to qualify himself as a soldier for the conflict, and on the ist of March, 
1776, he was appointed Captain of a New York Company of Provincial Artil- 
lery. In command of this company he took part in the battles of Long Island, 
White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, and the crossing of the Raritan, until March 
ist, 1777, when he accepted the position of Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de- 
camp on the staff of General Washington. He served in that capacity until 
the month of February, 1781, when he resigned the position. 

*' His connection with the Army of the Revolution was not closed however, 
as he retained his commission, and at the head of a regiment of light infantry, 
with his old friend Nicholas Fish as Major, carried at the point of the bayonet 
and in a few minutes, one of the British redoubts at Yorktown, on the 14th of 
October, 1781. 

*'The surrender of Cornwallis virtually ended the military struggle, and 
Colonel Hamilton, when all chance of further conflict was over, resigned his 
commission and commenced the practice of law. 

** His connection with the Army of the United States was not, however, at an 
end. In 1798, when the conduct of France drove the United States to the 
verge of hostility, both by sea and land, a large army was authorized, with 
Washington as General-in-Chief. As one of his conditions, Mr. Hamilton was 
appointed second in command as Inspector-General ; another of Washington's 
conditions being that he should not take command personally until the army 
was called into the field. Upon General Hamilton fell the main duty and labor 
of organizing this army, a duty which he performed with his usual zeal and in- 
telligence. Upon Washington's death, in 1799, General Hamilton succeeded 
to the chief command; but the difficulty with France being settled amicably, 
the army was soon after disbanded." 

His essays with those of Jay and Madison, published under the title of The 
Federalist, in support of the Constitution, contributed very essentially to make 
it popular ; and as a member of the New York Convention he sustained it with 
zeal and success. Mrs. Hamilton writing to a friend said, **My beloved hus- 
band wrote the outline of his papers in the Federalist on board of one of the 
North river sloops while on his way to Albany, a journey (or rather a voyage) 
which in those days usually occupied a week. Public business so filled up his 
time, that he was compelled to do much of his studying and writing while 
traveling." 

In 1789, he was called by Washington, to a seat in his cabinet as Secretary 



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220 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

of the Treasury ; the success of his funding and banking system, gained him 
the reputation of the greatest financier of the age. 

G. W. P. Custis recalls a reminiscence of Hamilton : "It was at the presi- 
dential mansion ; the ex-Secretary of the Treasury came into the room where 
several gentlemen of the president's family were sitting. Glancing his eye upon 
a small book that lay upon the table, he took it up and observes ; * Ah, this is 
the constitution. Now, mark my words. So long as we are a young and virtu- 
ous people, this instrument will bind us together in mutual welfare, and mutual 
happiness; but when we become old and corrupt, it will bind us no longer.' 

** The military nature and address of General Hamilton, occasioned the 
greatest envy and confusion to his political enemies, after parties were organized 
in the country. Hardly one of the men, who set upon Hamilton, to worry and 
destroy him, had ever borne arms. Neither Jefferson nor Madison had been in 
the physical conflict of the revolution, though they were both in the country 
throughout the war. Mr. Monroe had been in the army, but in a very minor 
and unimportant situation. Humiliated in an attempt to overthrow Hamilton, 
while the government was at Philadelphia, Monroe intimated that he would ac- 
cept a challenge from Hamilton to fight. Indeed the duel had been designed 
for fifteen years, as the method to get rid of Hamilton. 

** Mr. Burr was employed at the time I have mentioned, in conjunction with 
Monroe, to manage the preliminaries and bring Hamilton to bay, but for many 
years Hamilton rather conciliated Burr and out-manoeuvred him. At last, Ham- 
ilton felt that this mortified man intended to kill him. With what disgust and 
horror can we now contemplate the toleration of an institution like duelling, 
which carried off a mind like Hamilton's, at the demand of a shyster, whose 
public and social career were already finished. Burr, though not one of the 
fomenters of the American Revolution, had been one of its officers, and every 
opportunity which Hamilton improved Burr had possessed in an equal degree. 
He, like Hamilton, had been awhile on the staff of Washington ; he, like Ham- 
ilton, had the benefit of the society of the Schuyler family, in his early military 
days, but he made no honorable impression there. Burr, for no public services 
whatever, except as one of the earliest heroes of the Albany lobby, was sent to 
Philadelphia as United States Senator, and when Hamilton lost his political 
power, Mr. Burr reached the second station in the country. Yet, in the lapse 
of days, how insignificant appears the effigy of Burr beside this symmetrical, 
almost girlish engine of thought, intercourse and public science. 

** When Hamilton had been laid in the grave a third of a century, that con- 
spicuous Democrat, Thomas Benton, exclaimed upon the passing occasion of the 
death of Aaron Burr: *His phantom will not remain under the pen. At the 
appearance of that name the spirit of Hamilton starts up to rebuke the intrusion 
— to drive back the foul apparition to its gloomy abode, and to concentrate all 
generous feeling on itself. Hard was the fate of Hamilton, losing his life at the 
early age of forty-seven, after having accomplished gigantic works. He was the 
man most eminently and variously endowed of all the eminent men of his day. 



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ALEXANDER HAMILTON 221 

Hard his fate, when withdrawing from public life at the age of forty-four, he 
felt him^lf constrained to appeal to posterity for that justice which contempo- 
raries withheld from him ! * '* 

It was across the extensive grounds of his residence, **The Grange," on 
Harlem Heights, that the renowned owner walked to the river, which he crossed 
to fight his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. They met at Weehawken on the nth 
of July, 1804. Hamilton fired his pistol in the air. Burr took deliberate aim 
and gave his antagonist a mortal wound. In his last moments Hamilton said : 
** Duelling was always against my principles. I used every expedient to avoid 
the interview, but I have found for some time past that my life must be exposed 
to that man. I went to the field determined not to take his life." In the 
"zenith of his prime and unselfishness," he died the following day, aged forty- 
seven. As soon as the news of his death reached General Schuyler at Albany, 
he wrote the following unpublished letter to his daughter : 

«« Albany, Friday, July 13th, 1804. 
* My Dearly Beloved and Distressed Child : 

" The tempest of the Lord has beaten severely upon us, in the inexpressible calamity we 
have sustained ; yet both by precept and example, has the son of God inculcated resignation 
in the dispensation of the divine will. Let us then, humbly kiss the rod, and whilst we sadly 
lament the loss of one so dearly, so tenderly beloved, let us address the throne of grace to 
alleviate our affliction and pour the balm of comfort into our wounded souls. Let us always 
and under all occasions, remember that what the divine will ordains, flows from a source which 
cannot err ; and, although, we shortsighted mortals cannot investigate the causes which lead 
to the effects we experience, yet we may rest assured that they are for wise purposes. The 
Almighty has promised rewards to the virtuous; our dear departed friend was eminently so; 
and his spirit now enjoys the promised bliss whom you, and all ours I trust thro* the medi- 
ation of the blessed Redeemer, shall in God's good time meet him, never again to be separated. 

« When I shall learn that indulgent Heaven has calmed your pious mind, a degree of peace 
will be restored to mine, and accelerate my recovery, and enable me to discharge those tender 
duties, which your piety and unbounded affection for me, render you so highly entitled to. 
Embrace most tenderly all our dear grandchildren — and if I am not considered able of going 
to you as soon as I could wish, let me entreat you my beloved child, as soon as you conven- 
iently can, to come to me, accompanied by your children and your sisters. Adieu my beloved 
child ; may Heaven be graciously pleased, to soothe your affliction and afford you, and all of 
us every temporal felicity whilst in this life, and a happy immortallity hereafter. 
«* I am most tenderly and affectionately 

" the parent, who feels for a virtuous and beloved child, 

" Philip Schuyler. 

"To Mrs. Hamilton, New York." 

For fifty years after her terrible bereavement Mrs. Hamilton lived to mourn 
his loss, the last thirty of which were spent at Washington in the home of her 
only daughter, Mrs. Holley. After her death a large pocketbook was found upon 
her person ; it contained the last letter written by her husband to her on the 
morning of the fatal day. At the close of the year 1848, the celebrated his- 
torian, Benson J. Lossing, called upon Mrs. Hamilton. In his account of the inter- 



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222 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



view, he says : *' She was then in the ninety-second year of her age, and showing 
few symptoms in person or mind, of extreme longevity. The sunny cheerful- 
ness of her temper and quiet humor, which shed their blessed influences around 
her all through life, still made her deportment genial and attractive. Her 
memory, faithful to the myriad impressions of her long and eventful experience 
was ever ready with its various reminiscences to give a peculiar charm to her 
conversation on subjects of the buried past. She was the last living belle of the 




HAMILTON ARMS. 

Revolution, and possibly the last survivor of the notable women who gave a 
charm to the Republican Court at New York and Philadelphia during Washing- 
ton's administration. When I revealed to Mrs. Hamilton the object of my visit, 
her dark eyes gleamed with pleasurable emotion. She seated herself in an easy 
chair near me and we talked without ceasing upon the interesting theme until in- 
vited by her daughter to the tea table at eight o'clock ; where we were joined by 
a French lady, eight or ten years the junior of Madame Hamilton. * I have lately 
visited Judge Ford at Morristown,' I remarked. ' Jndge Ford, Judge Ford,' she 
repeated, musingly. * Oh, I remember now. He called upon me a few years ago 
and brought to my recollection many little events which occurred while I was at 
Morristown with my father and mother during the war and which I had forgot- 
ten. I remember him as a bright boy, much thought of by Mr. Hamilton, who 
was then Washington's secretary. He brought to mama and me from Mrs. 
Washington, an invitation to headquarters soon after our arrival at Morristown 
in 1780.' 'Had you ever seen Mrs. Washington before?' I enquired. 
'Never,' she said, 'never; ' she received us so kindly, kissing us both, for 



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ALEXANDER HAMILTON 223 

the general and papa were very warm friends. She was then nearly fifty years 
old, but was still handsome. She was quite short ; a plump little woman with 
dark brown eyes, her hair a little frosty, and very plainly dressed for such a 
grand lady as I considered her. She wore a plain, brown gown of homespun 
stuff, a large white neckerchief, a neat cap and her plain gold wedding ring which 
she had worn for more than twenty years. Her graces and cheerful manner de- 
lighted us. She was always my ideal of a true woman. Her thoughts were then 
much on the poor soldiers who had suffered during the dreadful winter, and she 
expressed her joy at the approach of a milder springtime.* ' Were you much at 
headquarters afterward ? * I enquired. * Only a short time the next winter and 
an occasional visit,' she replied. * We went to New Windsor after we were 
married, and there a few weeks afterward Mr. Hamilton left the general's 
military family. I made my home with my parents at Albany, while my hus- 
band remained in the army until after the surrender of Cornwallis. I visited 
Mrs. Washington at headquarters at Newburgh, on her invitation j in the summer 
of 1782, where I remember she had a beautiful flower garden planted and cul- 
tivated by her own hands. It was a lovely spot. The residence was an old 
stone house standing on a high bank of the river and overlooking a beautiful bay 
and the lofty highlands beyond. We were taken from Newburgh in a barge to the 
headquarters of the French army, a little beyond Peekskill, where we were 
cordially received by the Viscount de Noailles, a kinsman of Madame Lafayette, 
who was Mr. Hamilton's warm friend. We remained there several days and 
were witnesses of the excellent discipline of the French troops. There we saw 
the brave young Irish woman called ** Captain Molly," whom I had seen two or 
three times before. She seemed to be a sort of pet of the French.' * Who was 
Captain Molly, and for what was she famous ? ' I asked. * Why don't you re- 
member reading of her exploit at the battle of Monmouth ? She was the wife 
of a canoneer — a stout, red-haired, freckle-faced young Irish woman named 
Mary. While her husband was managing one of the field pieces in the action 
she constantly brought water from the spring near by. A shot from the British 
killed him at his post, and the officers in command having no one competent to 
take his place, ordered the piece to be withdrawn. Molly (as she was called) 
saw her husband fall as she came from the spring, and so heard the order. She 
dropped her bucket, seized the rammer, and vowed that she would fill the place 
of her husband and avenge his death. She performed the duty with great skill, 
and won the admiration of all who saw her. My husband told me that she was 
brought in by General Greene the next morning, her dress soiled with blood and 
dust, and presented to Washington as worthy of regard. The General admiring 
her courage, gave her the commission of a sergeant, and on his recommendation 
her name was placed on the list of half pay officers for life. She was living near 
Fort Montgomery in the Highlands at the time of our visit and came to the 
camp two or three times while we were there. She was dressed in a sergeant's 
coat and waistcoat over her petticoats, and a cocked hat. The story of her ex- 
ploit charmed the French officers and they made her many presents. She would 



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224 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

sometimes pass along the French lines when on parade and get her hat nearly 
filled with crowns. ' * You must have seen and become acquainted with very many 
of the most distinguished men and women in America, and also eminent for- 
eigners, while your husband was in Washington's cabinet/ I remarked. * Oh, 
yes,' she replied, * I had little of private life in those days. Mrs. Washington, 
who, like myself, had a passionate love of home and domestic life, often com- 
plained of the " waste of time " she was compelled to endure. ** They call me 
the first lady in the land, and I think I must be extremely happy," she would 
say almost bitterly at times, and add, '< They might more properly call me the 
chief state prisoner." As I was younger than she I mingled more in the 
gayeties of the day. I was fond of dancing and usually attended the public 
balls that were given. I was at the inauguration ball — the most brilliant of theoi 
all — which was given early in May at the assembly rooms on Broadway, above 
Wall street. It was attended by the President and Vice President, the cabinet 
officers, a majority of the members of the Congress, the French and Spanish 
Ministers, and military and civic officers, with their wives and daughters. Mrs. 
Washington had not yet arrived in New York from Mount Vernon, and did not 
until three weeks later. On that occasion every woman who attended the ball 
was presented with a fan prepared in Paris, with ivory frame, and when opened 
displayed a likeness of Washington in profile.' * Were you often at balls which 
Washington attended? ' I enquired. * Frequently.* * Did he usually dance on 
such occasions? ' * I never saw Washington dance,* she replied, * he would al- 
ways choose a partner and walk through the figures correctly, but he never 
danced. His favorite was the minuet, a slow, graceful dance, suited to his 
dignity and gravity, and now little known, I believe.' * Mrs. Washington's recep- 
tions were very brilliant, were they not? * I asked. * Brilliant so far as beauty, 
fashion, and social distinction,' she replied. * Otherwise they were very plain 
and entirely unostentatious.' ' Did you usually attend them? ' I asked. * Fre- 
quently ; I remember a very exciting scene in one of her earlier receptions. 
Ostrich plumes waving high over the head formed a part of the evening head- 
dress of a fashionable belle of that time. Miss McEvers, sister of Mrs. Edward 
Livingston, who was present, had plumes unusually high. The ceiling of the 
drawing-room of the President's house near Franklin Square, was rather low, 
and Miss McEvers' plumes were ignited by the flame of the chandelier. Major 
Jackson, Washington's aide-de-camp sprang to the rescue of the young lady, and 
extinguished the fire by smothering it with his hands.' ' You saw many dis- 
tinguished French people, refugees from the tempest of the Revolution in 
France, did you not?' * Very many. New York became much Frenchified in 
speech and manners. Mr. Hamilton spoke French fluently, and as we did not 
sympathize with the revolutionists who drove the exiles from their homes, he 
was a favorite with many of the cultivated ** emigres." Among them was 
Talleyrand, a strange creature, who stayed in America nearly two years. He 
was notoriously misshapen, lame in one foot, his manners far from elegant, the 
tone of his voice was disagreeable and in dress he was slovenly. Mr. Hamilton 



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ALEXANDER HAMILTON 226 

savtr much of him, and while he admired the shrewd diplomat for his great in- 
tellectual endowments, he detested his utter lack of principle. He had no con- 
science. In the summer of 1794, he spent several days with us at The Grange 
on Harlem Heights.' * Did you not entertain the young son of Lafayette and 
his tutor at The Grange a year or two later? * I enquired. * We did while they 
were waiting for Washington to retire from office. They came to this country 
when the marquis was in an Austrian prison and his wife and daughters gladly 
shared his fate ; their son, George Washington, was sent to the protection of 
Lafayette's beloved friend. The President and Mrs. Washington would gladly 
have received them into their family, but state policy forbade it at that critical 
time. The lad and his tutor passed a whole summer with us at The Grange. At 
length he and his tutor went to Philadelphia ; lived quietly at private lodgings, 
and when the retired President and his family left the seat of Government for 
Mount Vernon, the tutor and pupil accompanied them. When the young man 
and his father were in this country twenty odd years ago they very warmly 
greeted me, for the marquis loved Mr. Hamilton as a brother ; their love was 
mutual.'" 

Elizabeth Hamilton departed this life November 9th, 1854, aged ninety-seven. 
Her remains lie side by side with those of her husband in Trinity churchyard, 
New York. 

The following letters have never appeared in print. 

"Mount Vernon, August 21st, 1797. 
♦« Mv DEAR Sir : 

" Not for any intrinsic value the thing possesses, but as a token of my sincere regard and 
friendship for you, and as a remembrance of me, I pray you to accept a Wine Cooler for four 
bottles. It is one of four which I imported in the early part of my late administration of the 
Government, two only of which were ever used. I pray you to present my best wishes, in 
which Mrs. Washington joins me, to Mrs. Hamilton, and the family, and that you would be 
persuaded that with every sentiment of highest regard, I remain your 

»» Sincere friend, 
•* To ** and affectionate humble servant, 

" Col. a. Hamilton. " Geo. Washington. 

" New York." 

"Albany, Saturday, December 7th, 1799. 
" My dearly beloved Child : 

" Your letter to your Mama of the 28th ult., we received last evening on our return from 
Eastown, and that of Sunday last to me I had the pleasure to peruse this morning. 

" I have written to your sister Church and sent her Mr. Lewis's character of Charles Mount, 
which is a good one ; I have also advised her that it would be perfectly agreeable to your 
Mama and to me that you accompany her to Philadelphia. 

" I believe that your teacher of Geography is not mistaken, and that six months' study with 
your usual application will perfect you in it, and although every absence from you is painful to 
me, yet the consolation derived from the reflection that you are storing your mind with useful 
science will fully compensate me. 

" Your brother Hamilton has selected well for you. Mr. Addison's works tend to inculcate 
virtue in every shape, and I am persuaded that you will read him with attention, pleasure, and 
profit. 



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226 A QODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

•* Take every opportunity of conversing in French. Your sister Church and your nieces 
speak it well and I instruct you to use that language in all your intercourse with them, when 
persons are not present who do not understand it. 

" I dare say you are very attentive to all your relations, and that you frequently visit your 
sisters Hamilton and Morton — make our love to them. 

*• Enquire constantly about your nephews on Staten Island, write them and assure them of a 
visit from their Grandmama and me, — I hope next month. 

" Your Mama unites with me in love to you and all our dear children. 

" God bless you my amiable and beloved child, 

«« Yours, most affectionately, 
«* To «• Ph. Schuyler. 

" Miss Catharine V. R. Schuyler. 

««at John B. Church's, Esq. 
" Broadway, New York." 

«* Albany Tanuary, loth, 1800. 
" My dearly beloved Child: 

"Your very agreeable favor of the 1st inst, I had the pleasure to receive yesterday. Your 
Dear Mama unites with me in reciprocating the wishes of you and all our dear children for a 
continuance of health and every happiness that the divine being can disperse, and which he 
will bestow upon the virtuous. I wish we had been at New York. Mr. Morris's oration (on 
the death of Washington) would have afforded us pleasure, but the greatest would have been 
that of being with children so dear to us. 

" If the President (John Adams) does not nominate Gen. Hamilton to be Lieut.-General, it 
will evince a want of prudence and propriety, which may ultimately be injurious to him ; for 
I am persuaded that the vast majority of the American community expect that the appointment 
will be conferred on the General. I long to hear from him and also from Mr. Church ; but 
believe their not writing is to be imputed to an expectation that I should before this have been 
in New York, as in fact I should if there had been snow to convey us. 

"The many civilities which Mrs. Morris in more happy days conferred on me, entitles her 
to my sincere sympathy ; and it is a consolation to learn that she supports her disasters with so 
much fortitude, and that her daughter's conduct reflects so much credit on her. Your observa- 
tions, my dear child, on the behaviour of these persons, evinces the goodness of your heart, 
and the correctness of your judgment. To feel for the misfortunes of others with sensibility, 
although it creates a pain, it is a pain accompanied with the conscious pleasure, of a duty to 
humanity. 

" Yesterday, there was an Eligible procession in honor of the good deceased General 
(Washington). An oration was delivered by Mr. Bean, which, from as much as I could hear 
of it, did credit to the speaker. It will probably be published. 

" Although I apprehend that you do not pursue your studies as much as I would wish, yet I 
am most fully persuaded that the neglect is not to be imputed to you ; but that you are 
restrained by those necessary attentions to others which cannot in your situation be dispensed 
with, but even in these you acquire valuable benefits, from the conversation of your brothers 
and sisters, and perhaps from a few others. 

" Embrace all our dear children and grandchildren for us ; they all participate with you in 
our love and best wishes. 

" Adieu my honorable and beloved child, may indulgent Heaven pour its choicest blessings 
on you and all who are dear to us. 

" I am ever yours most 

" To " Affectionately, 

" Miss Catharine V. R. Schuyler. " Ph. Schuyler. 

"at John B. Church's, Esq. 
" Broadway, New York." 



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ALEXANDER HAMILTON ^^ 

" Albany, February 5th, i8co. 
<* Tomorrow, my dear Eliza, your father's sloop leaves this place for New York. I drop 
you a line to tell you that I am well and that to-day the hearing of the Le Gueu's cause began. 
I fear the prepossessions are strongly against us. But we must try to overcome them. At any 
rate we shall soon get to the end of our journey, and if I should lose my cause I must console 
myself with finding my friends — with the utmost eagerness will I fly to them. 

" Don't be alarmed that Kitty is sent for — your father is much better. I am persuaded in 
no manner of danger. But there is evident anxiety to have your sister Kitty with him. She 
is the pet, and a very pretty pet she is. 

" Adieu, my Eliza, 
" To " A. Hamilton. 

"Mrs. Hamilton, 
" New York." 
(The Le Gueu case was famous. Hamilton won it by his masterly eloquence.) 



" Albany, Oct. 20th, 1802. 

«* Wednesday. 
"My dearly beloved Child : 

" Yesterday we had the pleasure of receiving your Hamilton in good health and good 
spirits. He found your dear Mama and Sister perfectly well, and myself much better ; and 
afforded us the pleasing information that You, and all my dear Grandchildren were in good 
health. May Heaven continue this blessing. 

" I have put on board Capt. Bogert's sloop a box with about twenty bushels of good pota- 
toes for you, and have directed the Captain to send it to Mr. Church's. Your Mama has sent 
you some starch, which will be delivered to your Sister Cornelia. 

" * Your good Hamilton * has insisted that my Grandson, your nephew, should remain with 
your children for the winter, and says that in the spring he intends a new arrangement for all 
the children. 

" I believe the child is sufficiently provided with everything, &c. I hope by an affectionate 
attachment that he will evince his gratitude to your kind attention to him. 

" Your dear Mama and Catharine unite with me in love to you and your dear children. 

" Adieu my Dearly Beloved 

" I am ever most tenderly 

" & affectionately yours, &c. 
" To " Ph. Schuyler. 

" Mrs. Hamilton, 
" New York. 
" P. S. There is cheese on board for you which will be sent to Mr. Church's." 



"The Grange, Harlem Heights, Oct. 25th, 1814. 
"My dear Sister : 

" I am happy to be able to inform you in confidence, that I shall have a prospect soon ot 
seeing my dear husband's life in the press. The writer is very anxious to have domestic 
anecdotes ; indeed anything illustrative of his character. I know the pleasure that you will 
take in granting my request, and beg'you will on receiving this, make a memorandum of all 

your recollections of him 

" His appearance when first known — his manners — habits and peculiarities — instances of 
his benevolence — facts connected with his first appearance at the Bar — and most particularly, 
anecdotes even of the most trifling description — circumstances when he lef^ the army — also 



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228 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



when in the Legislature at Albany in 1786. Also incidents in 1782 while studying law at 
Albany — style of conversation — and indeed everything which will illustrate the elasticity of 
his mind, variety of his knowledge, playfulness of his wit, excellence of his heart, firmness, 
forbearance, virtues, &c. As the work is very nearly completed, it is Very much my wish to 
receive from you an answer to these inquiries as soon as you can prepare it ; and I beg that 




HAMILTON "GRANGE/* 

you will sit down day after day for a short time and endeavor to tax your memory. He has 
heard that your observation is very acute, and your recollections when exerted on a subject of 
such interest, very accurate and full. 

" May every blessing be yours is the prayer of your 

»* affectionate sister, 
<• To '♦ Elizabeth Hamilton. 

" Mrs. Cath. V. R. Malcolm, 
" Utica, N. Y." 
(Mrs. Hamilton visited her sister at Oswego in 1847. I have before me a worsted bag 
that she knitted and sent to my grandmother in 1848, accompanied by the following note.) 



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ALEXANDER HAMILTON 229 

«• New Brunswick, N. J. Oct. 3d, 1848. 
«« My beloved Sister : 

" Accept a little work that I finished since I have entered upon my ninety-second year. 
I hope that you and your dear ones are well. Remember me most affectionately to them all. 

«♦ Your loving Sister, 
" To •* Elizabeth Hamilton. 

«« Mrs. Catharine V. R. Cochran, 
" Oswego, N. Y." 

THE GRANGE 

The country seat of Alexander Hamilton, called *'The Grange," is a fine 
specimen of Colonial architecture. In the grounds which once extended to the 
Hudson river and were shaded by magnificent chestnuts, elms, and oaks, stand 
the thirteen trees planted by Hamilton in 1788 to symbolize the thirteen original 
colonies ; ten are tall and straight, the others are broken and bent at the top. 

When Hamilton removed to The Grange with his family it was nearly nine 
miles from the Battery ; he resided there until his death in 1804. On the east 
and west sides of the house are piazzas of uniform length with balusters above 
them. The entrances to the house, which occupy the other two sides north and 
south, are porches, probably twelve feet square, also surmounted with balusters; 
so that this square building, perhaps forty-five feet in length and breadth is bal- 
ustered all around at the top. 

Like many of the mansions constructed at the close of the eighteenth century, 
when French architecture and decoration set the fashion, this house is divided 
into octagonal rooms, which involves interesting and ingenious carpentry. En- 
tering at the south door one stands in a small vestibule, and directly before him 
is an arch, under which are set in angles two doors leading on the right to the 
dining-room, and on the left to the salon or drawing-room. Out of this rather 
short hall a nearer door to the right opens into Hamilton's library. Here the 
unfortunate statesman arranged his papers, and wrote letters the evening previous 
to the duel. On the other side of the vestibule, oddly concealed in the shell 
thereof, is the stairway which leads to the upper floors. In our times a feature 
is made of the stairs, but at that date it was fashionable to locate them out of 
sight. 

The drawing-room which extends across one-half of the building, is twenty- 
five feet in width, and its windows in early days commanded a fine view of the 
Hudson. The handsome carved mantle h^ been replaced by a plainer one, and 
the former adorns a down-town mansion. 

In the evening this room was the favorite gathering place of the family for 
reading, romping, or talking. "I distinctly remember,'' said James Hamilton 
in his recollections, " my father's gentle nature rendering his home a most joy- 
ous one to his children, and most attractive to his friends. He accompanied his 
daughter, Angelica, when she played and sang at the piano. His intercourse 



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230 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



with his children was always affectionate and confiding, which excited in them a 

corresponding confidence and devotion.** 

Passing into the dining-room, also octagonal, but with the ends shorter than 

the sides, one sees the methods by which the food was brought from the servants' 

quarters. At that period slavery existed to some extent on Manhattan Island 

and, although Hamilton did not own 
slaves, he purchased one for the purpose 
of emancipating him. His views of 
the slave question were defined, by his 
action, when at the request of the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette, who desired to become 
an honorary member, Hamilton went to 
the first meeting of the emancipation 
society in the City of New York. He 
came right to the point by saying : "In 
token of our sincerity, let every person 
here emancipate his slaves now." The 
consternation was great, and perceiving 
that his proposition met with general 
disapproval, Hamilton took up his hat 
and left the building. 

While the General and his family re- 
sided at The Grange, the lower rooms, 
especially the drawing and dining-rooms, 
were handsomely decorated with French 
mirrors. 

At the time of Hamilton's death, and 
for many years afterward, his wife and 
children lived at this favorite country 
seat. Tenth avenue and i42d street. 

Within a few years the grounds have 
been divided into city lots, and the man- 
sion now adjoins St. Luke's Protestanl 
Episcopal Church, of which it is the 
rectory. 




^ AicjE-a^Atrflaii^iltDp, 



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CHAPTER X 

GEORGE WASHINGTON 

General Washington was on intimate terms with Schuyler. A warm personal 
friendship had existed between them long before the War of Independence had 
brought them together, and was continued uninterruptedly until the death of the 
former on December 14th, 1799. General and Mrs. Washington were frequently 
entertained in the Albany mansion, where a suite of rooms was reserved for their 
occupancy. Early in the year 1781, while General Washington was still en- 
camped with his troops near White Plains, he with Mrs. Washington visited 
Albany and officiated as sponsors at the baptism of the General's youngest 
child, Catharine Van Rensselaer. 

After the close of the war, on December 4th, 1783, General Washington took 
leave of his principal officers at Fraunce's Tavern (see chapter III.) which is still 
standing at the southeast corner of Pearl and Broad streets, New York. Entering 
the room where they were assembled he stood before them, and with a glass of 
wine in his hand said, ** With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave 
of you. I most ardently wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and 
happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable." Having drunk, 
he continued : "I cannot come to each of you to take my leave, but I shall be 
obliged to you if each will come and take me by the hand.*' General Knox 
who stood near him, grasped the hand of his late commander, and while tears 
filled the eyes of each, Washington kissed him; this act was repeated toward 
each of his officers. On December 23d, Washington resigned his commission 
as Commander-in-Chief of the Army to the Continental Congress at Annapolis. 
He reached Mount Vernon on the 24th, happy to be released from the cares of 
public life. 

The following description of his estate is taken from an old volume published 
in 1796: 

MOUNT VERNON 

** Mount Vernon, the celebrated seat of President Washington, is pleasantly 
situated on the Virginia bank of the Potomack, where it is nearly two miles wide, 
and is about two hundred and eighty miles from the sea, and one hundred and 
twenty-seven miles from Point Lookout, at the mouth of the river. It is nine 
miles below Alexandria, and four miles above the beautiful seat of the late 
Colonel Fairfax, called Bellevoir. The area of the mount is two hundred feet 
above the river, and, after furnishing a lawn of five acres in front, and about the 
same in rear of the buildings, falls off rather abruptly on those quarters. On 
the north end it subsides gradually into expensive pasture grounds ; while on the 
south it slopes more steeply and a shorter distance, and terminates with the 
coach house, stables, vineyard and nurseries. On either wing is a thick grove 

233 



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234 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGWN 

of flowering forest trees. Parallel with them, on the land side, are two spacious 
gardens, into which one is led by two serpentine gravel walks, planted with weep- 
ing willows and shady shrubs. The mansion house itself (though much embel- 
lished by, yet not perfectly to the chaste taste of the present possessor) appears 
venerable and convenient . . . The superb banqueting room has been finished 
since he returned from the army. A lovely portico, ninety-six feet in length, 
supported by eight pillars, has a pleasing effect when viewed from the water ; 
the whole assemblage of the greenhouse, schoolhouse, offices and servants* halls, 
when seen from the land side, bears a resemblance to a rural village, especially 
as the lands on that side are laid out somewhat in the form of English gardens 
in meadows and grass grounds, ornamented with little copses, circular clumps 
and single trees. A small park on the margin of the river, where the English 
fallow deer and the American wild deer are seen through the thickets, alternating 
with the vessels as they are sailing along, add a romantic and picturesque ap- 
pearance to the whole scenery. On the opposite side of the small creek to the 
northward, an extensive plain, exhibiting corn fields and cattle grazing, affords 
in summer a luxuriant landscape; while the blended verdure of woodlands and 
cultivated declivities, on the Maryland shore, variegates the prospect in a charm- 
ing manner. Such are the philosophic shades to which the late commander-in- 
chief of the American armies retired from the tumultuous scenes of the busy 
world, and which he has since left to dignify by his unequalled abilities, the 
most important office in the gift of his fellow-citizens.** 

The following unpublished letter to General Schuyler gives additional evidence 
of the simplicity of his tastes, the purity of his feelings, and the warmth of his 
affections : 

" Mount Vernon, 21st, Jan. 1784. 
" Dear Sir : 

♦* Your favor of the 20th of Dec, found me, as you conjectured, by that fireside from which 
I had been too long absent for my own convenience ; to which I returned with the greatest 
avidity, the moment my public avocations would permit ; and from which I hope never again 
to be withdrawn. 

*♦ While I am here, solacing myself in my retreat from the busy scenes of life, I am not only 
made extremely happy by the gratitude of my countrymen in general but particularly so by the 
repeated proofs of the kindness of those who have been intimately conversant with my public 
transactions. And I need scarcely add, that the favorable opinion of no one is more acceptable 
than that of yourself. 

*» In recollecting the vicissitudes of fortune wc have experienced, and the difficulties we have 
surmounted, I shall always call to mind the great assistance I have frequently received from 
you both in your public and private character. May the blessings of peace amply reward your 
exertions ; may you and your family (to whom the compliments of Mrs. Washington and my- 
self are affectionately presented) long continue to enjoy every species of happiness the world 
can afford. 

" With sentiments of sincere esteem, attachment and affection, I am Dear Sir, your most 
obedient, very humble servant, G. Washington. 

"To 

" Gen. Schuyler." 



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MRS. WASHINGTON. 



»3S 



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GEORGE WASHINGTON 



237 



After his inauguration in New York, April 6th, 1789, as President of the 
United States, he wrote to General Schuyler as follows : ** The good dispositions 
which seem at present to pervade every class of people, afford reason for your 
observation that the clouds which have so long darkened our political hemisphere 
are now dispersing, and that America will soon feel the effects of her natural ad- 
vantages. That invisible hand which has so often interposed to save our coun- 
try from impending destruction, seems in no instance to have been more re- 
markably exerted than in that of disposing the people of this extensive conti- 
nent to adopt, in a peaceful manner, the constitution which, if well adminis- 
tered, bids fair to make America a happy nation." 

Correspondence between them was frequent and informal. 




MOUNT VERNON. 

" Philadelphia, Dec. 4th, 1798. 
" My dear Sir : 

** I have been honored with your letter of the 20th ult., and congratulate you very sin- 
cerely on the favorable change you have lately experienced (as I have been informed) in your 
health. I wish it may be perfectly restored. 

" I persuade myself that it is unnecessary to add that if health and other circumstances had 
enabled you and Mi*s. Schuyler to have visited Mrs. Washington and myself at Mount Vernon, 
that it would have been considered as a most pleasing and flattering evidence of yoiyr regard ; 
and the more so as neither she nor I ever expected to be more than twenty five miles from that 
retreat during the remainder of our lives. 

" But, strange to relate, here I am, busied with scenes far removed and foreign from every- 
thing I had contemplated when I quilted the chair of Government. 

"Your grandson, Mr. Church, has all the exterior of a fine young man, and, from what I 



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238 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

have heard of his intellect and principles will do justice to and reward the precepts he has re- 
ceived from yourself, his parents, and uncle Hamilton. So far, then, as my attention to him 
will go, consistent with my other duties he may assuredly count upon. 

" I pray you to present me (and I am sure Mrs. Washington would unite in them if she were 
here) to Mrs. Schuyler in the most respectful terms ; and let me pray you to be assured of the 
sincere esteem, regard and wishes of the most affectionate kind, of, dear sir, 

" your most obedient and very humble servant, 

*• G. Washington. 

•♦To 

" Gen Schuyler." 

G. W. P. Custis (his grandson) writes : ** Washington never appeared in mili- 
tary costume, unless to receive his brethren of the Cincinnati ; or at reviews. He 
then wore the old opposition colors of England, and the regimental dress of the 
volunteer corps which he commanded prior to the Revolution. With the ex- 
ception of the brilliant epaulettes (a present from General Lafayette), and the 
diamond order of the Cincinnati, presented by the seamen of the French fleet, 
our allies in the War of Independence, the uniform of the commander-in-chief 
of the army and navy, was as plain as blue and buff could make it. The cocked 
hat, with the black ribbon cockade, was the only type of the heroic time which 
appended to the chief during his civil magistracy ; in all other respects, he 
seemed studiously to merge the military into the civil characteristics of his public 
life.'' 



THE CONWAY CABAL 

Mr. Fiske in his deeply interesting history of " The French Alliance and the 
Conway Cabal," writes: 

**But the most dangerous ground upon which Congress ventured during the 
whole course of the war was connected with the dark intrigues of those officers 
who wished to have Washington removed from the chief command that Gates 
might be put in his place. We have seen how successful Gates had been in sup- 
planting Schuyler* on the eve of victory. Without having been under fire or 

»"The intrigues which soon after (1776-7) disgraced the Northern army and imperiled the 
safety of the country had already begun to bear bitter fruit. Since the beginning of the war, 
Major-General Philip Schuyler had been in command of the Northern Department, with his 
headquarters at Albany, whence his ancestors had a century before hurled defiance at Fron- 
tenac. His family was one of the most distinguished in New York, and an inherited zeal for 
the public service thrilled in every drop of his blood. No more upright or disinterested man 
could be found in America, and for bravery and generosity he was like the paladin of some me- 
diceval romance." — J. F. 

directing any important operation. Gates had carried off the laurels of the North- 
ern campaign. From many persons, no doubt, he got credit for what had hap- 
pened before he joined the army, on the 19th of August. His appointment 
dated from the 2d, before either the victory of Stark or the discomfiture of St. 
Leger ; and it was easy for people to put dates together uncritically, and say that 



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QEORQE WASHINGTON 239 

before the 2(i of August Burgoyne had continued to advance into the country, 
and nothing could check him until after Gates had been appointed to the com- 
mand. The very air rang with the praises of Gates, and his weak head was not 
unnaturally turned with so much applause. In his dispatches announcing the 
surrender of Burgoyne, he not only forgot to mention the names of Arnold and 
Morgan, who had won for him the decisive victory, but he even seemed to forget 
that he was serving under a commander-in-chief, for he sent his dispatches 
directly to Congress, leaving Washington to learn of the event through hearsay. 
Thirteen days after the surrender, Washington wrote to Gates, congratulating 
him upon his success. * At the same time,' said the letter, * I cannot but regret 
that a matter of so much magnitude, and so interesting to our general operations, 
should have reached me by report only, or through the channels of letters not 
bearing that authenticity which the importance of it required, and which it would 
have received by a line over your signature stating the simple fact.' . But, worse 
than this. Gates kept his victorious army idle at Saratoga after the whole line of 
the Hudson was cleared of the enemy, and would not send reinforcements to 
Washington. Congress so far upheld him in this as to order that Washington 
should not detach more than twenty-five hundred men from the Northern army 
without consulting Gates and Governor Clinton. It was only with difficulty that 
Washington, by sending Colonel Hamilton with a special message, succeeded in 
getting back Morgan with his riflemen. When reinforcements finally did arrive, 
it was too late. Had they come more promptly, Howe would probably have 
been unable to take the forts on the Delaware, without control of which he could 
not have stayed in Philadelphia. But the blame for the loss of the forts was by 
many people thrown upon Washington, whose recent defeats at Brandywine and 
Germantown were now commonly contrasted with the victories at the north 
The moment seemed propitious for Gates to try his peculiar strategy once more, 
and displace Washington as he had already displaced Schuyler. Assistants were 
not wanting for this dirty work. Among the foreign adventurers then with the 
army was one Thomas Conway, an Irishman, who had been for a long time in 
the French service, and, coming over to America, had taken part in the Penn- 
sylvania campaign. Washington had opposed Conway's claim for undue pro- 
motion, and the latter at once threw himself with such energy into the faction 
then forming against the commander-in-chief that it soon came to be known as 
the * Conway Cabal.' The other principal members of the cabal were Thomas 
Mifflin, the quartermaster-general, and James Lovell, a delegate from Massa- 
chusetts, who had been Schuyler's bitterest enemy in Congress. It was at one 
time reported that Samuel Adams was in sympathy with the cabal, and the charge 
has been repeated by many historians, but it seems to have originated in a ma- 
licious story set on foot by some friends of John Hancock. At the beginning of 
the war, Hancock, whose overweening vanity often marred his usefulness, had 
hoped to be made commander-in-chief, and he never forgave Samuel Adams for 
preferring Washington for that position. In the autumn of 1777, Hancock 
resigned his position as president of Congress, and was succeeded by Henry 



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240 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Laurens, of South Carolina. On the day when Hancock took leave of Congress, 
a motion was made to present him with the thanks of that body in acknowledg- 
ment of his admirable discharge of his duty ; but the New England delegates, 
who had not been altogether satisfied with him, defeated the motion on general 
grounds, and established the principle that it was injudicious to pass compli- 
mentary votes in the case of any president. This action threw Hancock into a 
rage, which was chiefiy directed against Samuel Adams as the most prominent 
member of the delegation ; and after his return to Boston it soon became evi- 
dent that he had resolved to break with his old friend and patron. Artful 
stories, designed to injure Adams, were in many instances traced to persons who 
were in close relation with Hancock. After the fall of the cabal, no more deadly 
stab could be dealt to the reputation of any man than to insinuate that he had 
given it aid or sympathy ; and there is good ground for believing that such re- 
ports concerning Adams were industriously circulated by unscrupulous partisans 
of the angry Hancock. The story was revived at a later date by the friends of 
Hamilton, on the occasion of the schism between Hamilton and John Adams, 
but it has not been well sustained. The most plausible falsehoods, however, are 
those which are based upon misconstrued facts ; and it is certain that Samuel 
Adams had not only favored the appointment of Gates in the north, but he had 
sometimes spoken with impatience of the so-called Fabian policy of Washington. 
In this he was like many other ardent patriots whose military knowledge was far 
from commensurate with their zeal. His cousin, John Adams, was even more 
outspoken. He declared himself * sick of Fabian systems.' * My toast,' he said, 
* is a short and violent war; ' and he complained of the reverent affection which 
the people felt for Washington as an * idolatry ' dangerous to American liberty. 
It was by working upon such impatient moods as these, in which high-minded 
men like the Adamses sometimes indulged, that the unscrupulous cabal hoped to 
attain its ends. 

**The first fruits of the cabal in Congress were seen in the reorganization of 
the Board of War in November, 1777. Mifflin was chosen a member of the 
board, and Gates was made its president, with permission to serve in the field 
should occasion require it. Gates was thus, in a certain sense, placed over 
Washington's head ; and soon afterward Conway was made inspector-general 
of the army, with the rank of major-general. In view of Washington's well- 
known opinions, the appointments of Mifflin and Conway might be regarded as 
an open declaration of hostility on the part of Congress. Some weeks before, 
in regard to the rumors that Conway was to be promoted, Washington had 
written, * It will be impossible for me to be of any further service, if such in- 
superable difficulties are thrown in my way.' Such language might easily be 
understood as a conditional threat of resignation, and Conway's appointment 
was probably urged by the conspirators with the express intention of forcing 
Washington to resign. Should this affront prove ineffectual, they hoped, by 
dint of anonymous letters and foul innuendoes, to make the commander's place 
too hot for him. It was asserted that Washington's army had all through the 



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GEORGE WASHINGTON 241 

year outnumbered Howe's more than three to one. The distress of the soldiers 
was laid at his door ; the sole result, if not the sole object, of his many marches, 
according to James Lovell, was to wear out their shoes and stockings. An 
anonymous letter to Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia, dated from New 
York, where Congress was sitting, observed : * We have wisdom, virtue, and 
strength enough to save us, if they could be called into action. The Northern 
army has shown us what Americans are capable of doing with a general at their 
head. The spirit of the Southern army is in no way inferior to the spirit of the 
Northern. A Gates, a Lee,* or a Conway would in a few weeks render them an 



» "Although Major-General Charles Lee happened to have acquired an estate in Virginia, he had 
nothing in common with the illustrious family of Virginia Lees beyond the accidental identity 
of name. * * * There is nothing to show that he cared a rush for the Americans, or for 
the cause in which they were 6gbting, but he sought the opportunity of making a great name 
for himself. * * * He had hop>ed to be made Commander-in-Chief of the army, and had 
already begun to nourish (1775) a bitter grudge against Washington, by whom he regarded 
himself as supplanted. In the following year we shall see him endeavoring to thwart the 
plans of Washington at the most critical moment of the war, but for the present he showed no 
signs of insincerity, except perhaps in an undue readiness to parley with the British com- 
manders." — J. F. 



irresistible body of men. Some of the contents of this letter ought to be made 
public, in order to awaken, enlighten, and alarm our country.' Henry sent 
this letter to Washington, who instantly recognized the well-known hand- 
writing of Dr. Benjamin Rush. Another anonymous letter, sent to President 
Laurens, was still more emphatic : * It is a very great reproach to America to 
say there is only one general in it. The great success to the northward was 
owing to a change of commanders ; and the Southern army would have been 
alike successful if a similar change had taken place. The people of America 
have been guilty of idolatry by making a man their god, and the God of heaven 
and earth will convince them by woful experience that he is only a man ; for no 
good can be expected from our army until Baal and his worshippers are ban- 
ished from the camp.' This mischievous letter was addressed to Congress, but, 
instead of laying it before that body, the high-minded I^urens sent it directly 
to Washington. But the Commander-in-Chief was forewarned, and neither 
treacherous missives like these, nor the direct affronts of Congress, were allowed 
to disturb his equanimity. Just before leaving Saratoga, Gates received from 
Conway, a letter containing an allusion to Washington so terse and pointed 
as to be easily remembered and quoted, and Gates showed this letter to his 
young confidant and Aid-de-camp, Wilkinson. A few days afterward, when 
Wilkinson had reached York with the dispatches relating to Burgoyne's surren- 
der, he fell in with a member of Lord Stirling's staff, and under the genial stim- 
ulous of Monongahela whiskey repeated the malicious sentence. Thus it came 
to Stirling's ears, and he straightway communicated it to Washington by letter, 



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242 A GODCHILD OF WASHINQ2VN 

saying that he should always deem it his duty to expose such wicked duplicity. 
Thus armed, Washington simply sent to Conway the following brief note : 

"*SiR,— A letter which I received last night contained the following paragraph : " In a 
letter from General Conway to General Gates, he says, * Heaven has determined to save your 
country, or a weak General and bad counsellors would have ruined it.' I am, sir, your huiH- 
ble servant, George Washington." * 

** Conway knew not what sort of answer to make to this startling note. When 
Mifflin heard of it, he wrote at once to Gates, telling him that an extract from 
one of Conway's letters had fallen into Washington's hands, and advising him 
to take better care of his papers in future. All the plotters were seriously 
alarmed ; for their scheme was one which would not bear the light for a moment, 
and Washington's curt letter left them quite in the dark as to the extent of his 
knowledge. 'There is scarcely a man living,' protested Gatts, * who takes 
greater care of his papers than I do. I never fail to lock them up, and keep 
the key in my pocket.* One thing was clear: there must be no delay in ascer- 
taining how much Washington knew and where he got his knowledge. After 
four anxious days it occurred to Gates that it must have been Washington's aid- 
de-camp, Hamilton, who had stealthily gained access to his papers during his 
short visit to the Northern camp. Filled with this idea. Gates chuckled as he 
thought he saw a way of diverting attention from the subject matter of the letter 
to the mode in which Washington had got possession of their contents. He 
sat down and wrote to the Commander-in-Chief, saying he had learned that 
some of Conway's confidential letters to himself had come into his excellency's 
hands : such letters must have been copied by stealth, and he hoped his excellency 
would assist him in unearthing the wretch who prowled about and did such 
wicked things, for obviously it was unsafe to have such creatures in the camp; 
they might disclose precious secrets to the enemy. And so important did the 
matter seem that he sent a duplicate of the present letter to Congress, in order 
that every imaginable means might be adopted for detecting the culprit without 
a moment's delay. The purpose of this elaborate artifice was to create in Con- 
gress, which as yet knew nothing of the matter, an impression unfavorable to 
Washington, by making it appear that he encouraged his aids-de-camp in pry- 
ing into portfolios of other generals. For, thought Gates, it is as clear as day 
that Hamilton was the man ; nobody else could have done it. 

** But Gates' silly glee was short-lived. Washington discerned at a glance 
the treacherous purpose of the letter, and foiled it by the simple expedient of 
telling the plain truth. * Your letter,' he replied, ' came to my hand a few days 
ago, and, to my great surprise, informed me that a copy of it had been sent to 
Congress, for what reason I find myself unable to account ; but as some end was 
doubtless intended to be answered by it, I am laid under the disagreeable ne- 
cessity of returning my answer through the same channel, lest any member of 
that honorable body should harbor an unfavorable suspicion of my having prac- 
ticed some indirect means to come at the contents of the confidential letters be- 



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GEORGE WASHINGTON 243 

tween you and General Conway.* After this ominous prelude, Washington 
went oai to relate how Wilkinson had babbled over his cups, and a certain sen- 
tence from Conway's letters had thereupon been transmitted to him by Lord 
Stirling. He had communicated this discovery to Conway, to let that officer 
know that his intriguing disposition was observed and watched. He had mentioned 
it to no one else but Lafayette, for he thought it indiscreet to let scandals arise 
in the army, and thereby * afford a gleam of hope to the enemy.' He had not 
known that Conway was in correspondence with Gates, and had even supposed 
that Wilkinson's information was given with Gates' sanction, and with friendly 
interest to forearm him against a secret enemy. * But in this,' he disdainfully 
adds, * as in other matters of late, I have found myself mistaken.' 

** So the schemer had overreached himself. It was not Washington's aid-de- 
camp who had pried, but it was Gates' own aid who had blabbed. But for 
Gates' cowardly letter Washington would not even have suspected him ; and, to 
crown all, he had only himself to thank for rashly blazoning before Congress a 
matter so little to his credit, and which Washington, in his generous discretion, 
would forever have kept secret. Amid this discomfiture, however, a single ray 
of hope could be discerned. It appeared that Washington had known nothing 
beyond the one sentence which had come to him as quoted in conversation by 
Wilkinson. A downright falsehood might now clear up the whole affair,, and 
make Wilkinson the scapegoat for all the others. Gates accordingly wrote 
again to Washington, denying his intimacy with Conway, declaring that he had 
never received but a single letter from him, and solemnly protesting that this 
letter contained no such paragraph as that of which Washington had been in- 
formed. The information received through Wilkinson he denounced as a 
villainous slander. But these lies were too transparent to deceive anyone, for 
in his first letter Gates had implicitly admitted the existence of several letters be- 
tween himself and Conway, and his manifest perturbation of spirit had shown 
that these letters contained remarks that he would not for the world have had 
Washington see. A cold and contemptuous reply from Washington made all this 
clear, and put Gates in a very uncomfortable position, from which there was no 
retreat. When the matter came to the ears of Wilkinson, who had just been ap- 
pointed Secretary to the Board of War, and was on his way to Congress, his 
youthful blood boiled at once. He wrote bombastic letters to everybody, and 
challenged Gates to deadly combat. A meeting was arranged for sunrise, be- 
hind the Episcopal church at York, with pistols. At the appointed hour, when 
all had arrived on the ground, the old general requested, through his second, an 
interview with his young antagonist, walked up a back street with him, burst 
into tears, called him his dear boy, and denied that he had ever made any in- 
jurious remarks about him. Wilkinson's wrath was thus assuaged for a moment, 
only to blaze forth presently with fresh violence, when he made inquiries of 
Washington, and was allowed to read the very letter in which his general had 
slandered him. He instantly wrote to Congress, accusing Gates of treachery 
and falsehood, and resigned his position on the Board of War. 



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244 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

"These successive revelations strengthened Washington in proportion as they 
showed the malice and duplicity of his enemies. About this time a pamphlet 
was published in London, and republished in New York, containing letters which 
purported to Imve been written by Washington to members of his family, and 
to have been found in the possession of a mulatto servant taken prisoner at Fort 
Lee. The letters, if genuine, would have proved their author to be a traitor to 
the American cause; but they were so bunglingly concocted that everyone 
knew them to be a forgery, and their only effect was to strengthen Washington 
still more, while throwing further discredit upon the cabal, with which many 
persons were inclined to connect them. 

** The army and the people were now thoroughly incensed at the plotters, and 
the press began to ridicule them, while the reputation of Gates suffered greatly 
in Congress as the indications of his real character were brought to light. All 
that was needed to complete the discomfiture of the cabal was a military fiasco, 
and this was soon forthcoming. In order to detach Lafayette from Washington 
a winter expedition against Canada was devised by the Board of War. Lafay- 
ette, a mere boy, scarcely twenty years old, was invited to take the command, 
with Conway for his chief lieutenant. It was said that the French population 
of Canada would be sure to welcome the high-born Frenchman as their deliv- 
erer from the British yoke ; and it was further thought that the veteran Irish 
schemer might persuade his young commander to join the cabal, and bring to it 
such support as might be gained from the French alliance, then about to be 
completed. Congress was persuaded to authorize the expedition, and Washing- 
ton was not consulted in the matter. 

** But Lafayette knew his own mind better than was supposed. He would 
not accept the command until he had obtained Washington's consent, and then 
he made it an indispensable condition that Baron de Kalb, who outranked 
Conway, should accompany the expedition. These preliminaries having been 
arranged, the young general went to New York for his instructions. There he 
found Gates, surrounded by schemers and sycophants, seated at a very different 
kind of dinner from that to wliich Lafayette had lately been used at Valley 
Forge. Hilarious with wine, the company welcomed the new guest with accla- 
mations. He was duly fiattered and toasted, and a glorious campaign was pre- 
dicted. Gates assured him that on reaching Albany. he would find three thou- 
sand regulars ready to march, while powerful assistance was to be expected from 
the valiant Stark with his redoubtable Green Mountain Boys. The marquis 
listened with placid composure till his papers were brought him, and he felt it 
to be time to go. Then rising as if for a speech, while all eyes were turned 
upon him and breathless silence filled the room, he reminded the company that 
there was one toast which, in the generous excitement of the occasion, they had 
forgotten to drink, and he begged leave to propose the health of the commander-in- 
chief of the armies of the United States. The deep silence became deeper. 
None dared refuse the toast, * but some merely raised their glasses to their lips, 
while others cautiously put them down untouched.' With the politest of bows 



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QEOBGE WASHINGTON 245 

and a scarcely perceptible shrug of the shoulders, the new commander of the 
Northern army left the room, and mounted his horse to start for his head- 
quarters at Albany. 

" When he got there, he found neither troops, supplies, nor equipments in 
readiness. Of the army to which Burgoyne had surrendered, the militia had 
long since gone home, while most of the regulars had been withdrawn to Valley 
Forge or the highlands of the Hudson. Instead of the three thousand regulars 
which Gates had promised, barely one thousand two hundred could be found, 
and these were in no wise clothed or equipped for a winter march through the 
wilderness. Between carousing and backbiting, the new Board of War had no 
time left to attend to its duties. Not an inch of the country but was known to 
Schuyler, Lincoln, and Arnold, and they assured Lafayette that an invasion of 
Canada, under the circumstances, would be worthy of Don Quixote. In view 
of the French alliance, moreover, the conquest of Canada had even ceased to 
seem desirable to the Americans; for when peace should be concluded the 
French might insist upon retaining it, in compensation for their services. The 
men of New England greatly preferred Great Britain to France as a neighbor, 
and accordingly Stark, with his formidable Green Mountain Boys, felt no in- 
terest whatever in the enterprise, and not a dozen volunteers could be got to- 
gether for love or money. The fiasco was so complete, and the scheme so 
emphatically condemned by public opinion, that Congress awoke from its in- 
fatuation. Lafayette and De Kalb were glad to return to Valley Forge. Con- 
way, who stayed behind, became indignant with Congress over some fancied 
slight, and sent a conditional threat of resignation, which, to his unspeakable 
amazement, was accepted unconditionally. In vain he urged that he had not 
meant exactly what he said, having lost the nice use of English during his long 
stay in France. His entreaties and objurgations fell upon deaf ears. In Con- 
gress the day of the cabal was over. Mifflin and Gates were removed from the 
Board of War. The latter was sent to take charge of the forts on the Hudson, 
and cautioned against forgetting that he was to report to the comn>ander-in- 
chief. The cabal and its deeds having become a subject of common gossip, 
such friends as it had mustered now began stoutly to deny their connection with 
it. Conway himself was dangerously wounded a few months afterward in a 
duel with General Cadwallader, and, believing himself to be on his deathbed, 
he wrote a very humble letter to Washington, expressing his sincere grief for 
liaving ever done or said anything with intent to injure so great and good a man. 
His wound proved not to be mortal, but on his recovery, finding himself 
generally despised and shunned, he returned to France, and American history 
knew him no more. 

**Had Lord George Germaine been privy to the secrets of the Conway 
Cabal, his hope of wearing out the American cause would have been sensibly 
strengthened. There was really more danger in such intrigues than in an ex- 
hausted treasury, a half-starved army, and defeat on the field. The people felt 
it to be so, and the events of the winter left a stain upon the reputation of the 



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246 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Continental Congress from which it never fully recovered. Congress had al- 
ready lost the high personal consideration to which it was entitled at the outset. 
Such men as Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Jay, and Rutledge were 
now serving in other capacities. The legislatures of the several States afforded 
a more promising career for able men than the Continental Congress, which had 
neither courts nor magistrates, nor any recognized position of sovereignty. 
The meetings of Congress were often attended by no more than ten or twelve 
members. Curious symptoms were visible which seemed to show that the senti- 
ment of union between the States was weaker than it had been two years before. 
Instead of the phrase 'people of the United States,' one begins, in 1778, to 
hear of ' inhabitants of these Confederated States.' In the absence of any 
central sovereignty which could serve as the symbol of the union, it began to 
be feared that the new nation might after all be conquered through its lack of 
political cohesion. Such fears came to cloud the rejoicings over the victory of 
Saratoga, as, at the end of 1777, the Continental Congress began visibly to lose 
its place in public esteem, and sink, step by step, into the utter degradation and 
impotence which was to overwhelm it before another ten years should have ex- 
pired. 

** As the defeat of the Conway Cabal marked the beginning of the decline of 
Congress, it marked at the same time the rise of Washington to a higher place 
in the hearts of the people than he had ever held before. As the silly intrigues 
against him recoiled upon their authors, men began to realize that it was far 
more upon his consummate sagacity and unselfish patriotism than upon anything 
that Congress could do, that the country rested its hopes of success in the great 
enterprise which it had undertaken. As the nullity of Congress made it ever- 
more apparent that the country as a whole was without a government, Washing- 
ton stood forth more and more conspicuously as the living symbol of the union 
of the States. In him and his work were centred the common hopes and the 
common interests of all the American people. There was no need of clothing 
him with extraordinary powers. During the last years of the war he came, 
through sheer weight of personal character, to wield an influence like that which 
Perikles had wielded over the Athenians. He was all-powerful because he was 
* first in the hearts of his countrymen.' Few men, since history began, had 
ever occupied so lofty a position ; none ever made a more disinterested use of 
power. His arduous labors taught him to appreciate, better than anyone else, 
the weakness entailed upon the country by the want of a stable central govern- 
ment. But when the war was over, and the political problem came into the fore- 
ground, instead of using this knowledge to make himself personally indispen- 
sable to the country, he bent all the weight of his character and experience 
toward securing the adoption of such a federal constitution as should make any- 
thing like a dictatorship forever unnecessary and impossible." 

John Fiske. 



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QEOROE WASHINGTON 247 

THE CENTENARY OF OUR NATIONALITY. — APRIL 30th, 1889. 

Dr. Depew in his masterly oration delivered in front of the Subtrcasury 
building at New York, said : 

*' We celebrate to-day the Centenary of our Nationality. One hundred years 
ago the United States began their existence. The powers of government were 
assumed by the people of the republic, and they became the sole source of 
authority. The solemn ceremonial of the first inauguration, the reverend oath 
of Washington, the acclaim of the multitude greeting their President, marked 
the most unique event in modern times in the development of free institutions. 
The occasion was not an accident, but a result. It was the culmination of the 
working out of mighty forces through many centuries of the problem of self- 
government. It was not the triumph of a system, the application of a theory, 
or the reduction to practice of the abstractions of philosophy. The time, the 
country, the heredity, and environment of the people, the folly of its enemies, 
and the noble courage of its friends gave to liberty after ages of defeat, of trial, 
of experiment, of partial success, and of substantial gains, this immortal vic- 
tory. Henceforth it had a refuge and recruiting station. The oppressed found 
free homes in this favored land, and invisible armies marched from it by mail 
and telegraph, by speech and song, by precept and example, to regenerate the 
world. 

** Puritans in New England, Dutchmen in New York, Catholics in Maryland, 
Huguenots in South Carolina had felt the fires of persecution and were wedded 
to religious liberty. They had been purified in the furnace, and in high debate, 
and on bloody battlefields had learned to sacrifice all material interests and to 
peril their lives for human rights. The principles of constitutional government 
had been impressed upon them by hundreds of years of struggle, and for every 
principle they could point to the grave of an ancestor, whose death attested the 
ferocity of the fight and the value of the concession wrung from arbitrary power. 
They knew the limitations of authority, they could pledge their lives and for- 
tunes to resist encroachments upon their rights, but it required the lesson of 
Indian massacres, the invasion of the armies of France from Canada, the tyranny 
of the British crown, the seven years' war of the Revolution, and the five years 
of chaos of the confederation to evolve the idea, upon which rest the power and 
permanency of the republic, that liberty and union are one and inseparable. 

** More clearly than any statesman of the period, did Thomas Jefferson grasp 
and divine the possibilities of popular government. He caught and crystalized 
the spirit of free institutions. His philosophical mind was singularly free from 
the power of precedents or the claims of prejudice. He had an unquestioning 
and abiding faith in the people, which was accepted by but few of his com- 
patriots. Upon his famous axiom, of the equality of all men before the law, he 
constructed his system. It was the trip-hammer essential for the emergency to 
break the links binding the Colonies to imperial authority and to pulverize the 
privileges of caste. It inspired him to write the Declaration of Independence, 



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348 A QODCSILD OF WASHINGTON 

but it persuaded him to doubt the wisdom of the powers consecrated in the Con- 
stitution. In his passionate love of liberty, he became intensely jealous of 
authority. He destroyed the substance of royal prerogative, but never escaped 
from its shadow. But he would have the States as the guardians of popular 
rights and the barriers against centralization, and he saw in the growing power 
of the nation ever-increasing encroachments upon the rights of the people. 
Por the success of the pure democracy which must precede presidents and cabi- 
nets and congresses, it was perhaps providential that its apostle never believed 
a great people could grant and still retain, could give and at will reclaim, could 
delegate and yet firmly hold the authority which ultimately created the power 
of their republic and enlarged the scope of their own liberty. 

'*The Government of the Republic by a Congress of States, a Diplomatic 
Convention of the ambassadors of petty commonwealths, after seven years* trial, 
was falling asunder. Threatened with civil war among its members, insurrection 
and lawlessness rife within the States, foreign commerce ruined and internal 
trade paralyzed, its currency worthless, its merchants bankrupt, its farms mort- 
gaged, its markets closed, its labor unemployed, it was like a helpless wreck 
upon the ocean, tossed about by the tides and ready to be engulphed in the 
storm. Washington gave the warning and called for action. It was a voice 
accustomed to command, but now entreating. The response of the country was 
the Convention of 1787, at Philadelphia. The Declaration of Independence 
was but the vestibule of the temple which this illustrious assembly erected. With 
no successful precedents to guide, it auspiciously worked out the problem of 
constitutional government, and of imperial power and home rule, supplementing 
each other in promoting the grandeur of the nation, and promoting the liberty 
of the individual. 

" The Constitution, which was to be strengthened by the strain of a century, 
to be a mighty conqueror without a subject province, to triumphantly survive the 
greatest of civil wars without the confiscation of an estate or the execution of a 
political offender, to create and grant home rule and state sovereignty to twenty- 
nine additional commonwealths, and yet enlarge its scope and broaden its 
power and to make the name of an American citizen a title of honor throughout 
the world, came complete from this great Convention for adoption by the people. 
As Hancock rose from his seat in the old Congress, eleven years before, 
Pranklin saw emblazoned on the back of the President's chair the sun partly 
above the horizon, but it seemed setting in a blood-red sky. During the seven 
years of the confederation he had gathered no hope from the glittering emblem, 
but now as with clear vision he beheld fixed upon eternal foundations the en- 
during structure of constitutional liberty, pointing to the sign, he forgot his 
eighty-two years, and with the enthusiasm of youth electrified the Convention 
with the declaration : ' Now I know that it is the rising sun.' 

** The pride of the States and the ambition of their leaders, sectional jealousies, 
and the overwhelming distrust of centralized power were all arrayed against the 
adoption of the Constitution. 



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QEOBGE WASHINGTON ^9 

** Success was due to confidence in Washington and the genius of Alexander 
Hamilton. Jefferson was the inspiration of independence, but Hamilton was 
the incarnation of the Constitution. In no age nor country has there appeared 
a more precocious or amazing intelligence than Hamilton. At seventeen he 
annihilated the president of his college upon the question of the rights of the 
Colonies, in a series of anonymous articles which were credited to the ablest 
men in the country ; at forty-seven, when he died, his briefs had become the law 
of the land, and his fiscal system was, and after a hundred years remains, the 
rule and policy of our Government. He gave life to the corpse of national 
credit, and the strength for self-preservation and aggressive power to the Federal 
Union. Both as an expounder of the principles and an administrator of the 
affairs of Government he stands supreme and unrivalled in American history. 
His eloquence was so magnetic, his language so clear, and his reasoning so irre- 
sistible, that he swayed with equal ease popular assemblies, grave senates, and 
learned judges. He captured the people of the whole country for the Constitu- 
tion by his papers in the Federalist, and conquered the hostile majority in the 
New York Convention by the splendor of his oratory. 

** But the multitudes whom no argument could convince, who saw in the ex- 
ecutive power and centralized force of the Constitution, under another name, the 
dreaded usurpation of King and Ministry, were satisfied only with the assurance, 
* Washington will be President.' * Good,' cried John Lamb, the able leader of 
the Sons of Liberty, as he dropped his opposition ; * for to no other mortal would 
I trust authority so enormous.' 'Washington will be President,' was the battle 
cry of the Constitution. It quieted alarm and gave confidence to the timid and 
courage to the weak. The country responded with enthusiastic unanimity, but 
the Chief with the greatest reluctance, in the supreme moment of victory, 
when the world expected him to follow the precedents of the past, and perpet- 
uate the power a grateful country would willingly have left in his hands, he had 
resigned and retired to Mount Vernon to enjoy in private station his well-earned 
rest. The Convention created by his exertions to prevent, as he said, * the de- 
cline of our Federal dignity into insignificant and wretched fragments of em- 
pire,' had called him to preside over its deliberations. Its work made possible, 
the realization of his hope that * we might survive as an independent republic,' 
and again he sought the seclusion of his home. But, after the triumph of the 
war and the formation of the Constitution, came the third and final crisis — the 
initial movements of government which were to teach the infant State the stead- 
ier steps of empire. 

** He alone could stay assault and inspire confidence while the great and com- 
plicated machinery of organized government was put in order and set in motion. 
Doubt existed nowhere except in his modest and unambitious heart. * My 
movements to the chair of government,* he said, * will be accompanied by feel- 
ings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of execution. So 
unwilling am I, in the evening of life, nearly consumed in public cares, to quit 
a peaceful abode for an ocean of difficulties, without that competency of politi- 



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250 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

cal skill, abilities, and inclination, which are necessary to manage the helm.' 
His whole life had been spent in repeated sacrifices for his country's welfare, 
and he did not hesitate now, though there is an undertone of inexpressible sad- 
ness in this entry in his diary on the night of his departure: 'About ten o'clock 
I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity, and 
with a mind oppressed with more anxious sensations than I have words to ex- 
press, set out for New York with the best disposition to render service to my 
country in obedience to its call, but with less hope of answering its expecta- 
tions.' 

'* No conqueror was ever accorded such a triumph, no ruler ever received such 
a welcome. In this memorable march of six days to the Capital, it was the 
pride of States to accompany him with the masses of the people to their bord- 
ers, that the citizens of the next commonwealth might escort him through its 
territory. It was the glory of cities to receive him with every civic honor at 
their gates, and entertain him as the saviour of their liberties. He rode under 
triumphal arches from which children lowered laurel wreaths upon his brow. 
The roadways were strewn with flowers, and as they were crushed beneath his 
horse's hoofs their sweet incense wafted to heaven the ever-ascending prayers 
of his loving countrymen for his life and safety. The swelling anthem of grati- 
tude and reverence greeted and followed him along the country side and 
through the crowded streets : * Long live George Washington ! Long live the 
Father of his people ! ' 

** His entry into New York was worthy of the city and state. He was met 
by the chief officers of the retiring Government of the country, by the Governor 
of the commonwealth, and the whole population. This superb harbor was alive 
with fleets and flags, and the ships of other nations, with salutes from their guns 
and cheers of their crews, added to the joyous acclaim. But as the captains 
who had asked the privilege, bending proudly to their oars, rowed the Presi- 
dent's barge swiftly through these inspiring scenes, Washington's mind and 
heart were full of reminiscence and foreboding. 

** He had visited New York thirty-three years before, also in the month of 
April, in the full perfection of his early manhood, fresh from Braddock's bloody 
field, and wearing the only laurels of the battle, bearing the prophetic blessing 
of the venerable President Davies of Princeton College as * That heroic youth, 
Colonel Washington, whom I cannot but hope Providence has hitherto preserved 
in so signal a manner for some important service to the country.' It was a fair 
daughter of our state whose smiles allured him here, and whose coy confession 
that her heart was another's recorded his only failure and saddened his depar- 
ture. Twenty years passed, and he stood before the New York Congress, on 
this very spot, the unanimously chosen Commander-in-chief of the Continental 
Army, urging the people to more vigorous measures, and made painfully aware 
of the increased desperation of the struggle, from the aid to be given to the 
enemy by domestic sympathizers, when he knew that the same local military 
company which escorted him was to perform the like service for the British 



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GEORGE WASHINGTON 261 

Governor Tryon on his landing on the morrow. Returning for the defence of 
the city the next summer, he executed the retreat from Long Island, which 
secured from Frederick the Great the opinion that a great commander had 
appeared, and at Harlem Heights he won the first American victory of the 
Revolution, which gave that confidence to our raw recruits against the famous 
veterans of Europe which carried our army triumphantly through the war. Six 
years more of untold sufferings, of freezing and starving camps, of marches 
over the snow by barefooted soldiers to heroic attack and splendid victory, of 
despair with an unpaid army, and of hope from the generous assistance of 
France, and peace had come and independence triumphed. As the last soldier 
of the invading army embarks, Washington, at the head of the patriot host, 
enters the city, receives the welcome and gratitude of its people, and in the 
tavern which faces us across the way, in silence more eloquent than speech, and 
with tears which choke the words, he bids farewell forever to his companions in 
arms. Such were the crowding memories of the past suggested to Washington 
in 1789 by his approach to New York. But the future had none of the splendor 
of precedent and brilliance of promise which have since attended the inaugura- 
tion of our presidents. An untried scheme, adopted mainly because its admin- 
istration was to be confided to him, was to be put in practice. He knew that 
he was to be met at every step of constitutional progress by factions temporarily 
hushed into unanimity by the terrible force of the tidal wave which was bearing 
him to the president's seat, but fiercely hostile upon questions affecting every 
power of nationality and the existence of the Federal Government. 

" Washington was never dramatic, but on great occasions he not only rose to 
the full ideal of the event, he became himself the event. One hundred years 
ago to-day the precession of foreign ambassadors, of statesmen and generals, 
of civic societies and military companies, which escorted him, marched from 
Franklin Square to Pearl street, through Pearl to Broad, and up Broad to this 
spot, but the people saw only Washington. As he stood upon the steps of the 
old Government building here, the thought must have occurred to him that it 
was a cradle of liberty, and as such giving a bright omen for the future. In 
these halls in 1735, in the trial of John Zenger, had been established, for the 
first time in its history, the liberty of the press. Here the New York Assembly 
in 1 764, made the protest against the Stamp Act Congress, the first and the father 
of American Congresses, assembled and presented to the English Government 
that vigorous protest which caused the repeal of the act, and checked the first 
step toward the usurpation which lost the American Colonies to the British Em- 
pire. Within these walls the Congress of the Confederation had commissioned 
its ambassadors abroad, and in ineffectual efforts at government had created the 
necessity for the concentration of Federal authority, now to be consummated. 

** The first Congress of the United States gathered in this temple of liberty, 
greeted Washington, and accompanied him to the balcony. The famous visible 
about him were Chancellor Livingston, Vice President John Adams, Alexander 
Hamilton, Governor Clinton, Roger Sherman, Richard Henry Lee, General 



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252 A GODCHILD OF .WASHINGTON 

Knox, and Baron Steuben. But we believe that among the invisible host above 
him, at the supreme moment of the culmination in permanent triumph of the 
thousands of years of struggle for self-government were the spirits of the soldiers 
of the Revolution who had died that their countrymen might enjoy this blessed 
day, and with them were the barons of Runneymede and William the Silent, and 
Sydney and Russell, and Cromwell and Hampden, and the heroes and martyrs 
of liberty of every race and age. 

"As he came forward the multitude in the streets, in the windows, and on the 
roofs, sent up such a rapturous shout that Washington sat down overcome with 
emotion. He slowly rose and his tall and majestic form again appeared, the 
people deeply affected, in awed silence viewed the scene. The chancellor 
solemnly read to him the oath of office, and Washington, repeating, said : ' I 
do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the 
United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend 
the Constitution of the United States.' Then he reverently bent low and kissed 
the Bible, uttering with profound emotion, * So help me, God.' The chancellor 
waved his robes and shouted, * It is done; long live George Washington, Presi- 
dent of the United States ! ' * Long live George Washington, our first Presi- 
dent ! ' was the answering cheer of the people, and from the belfries rang the 
bells, and from forts and ships thundered the cannon, echoing and repeating the 
cry with responding acclaim all over the land, * Long live George Washington, 
President of the United States ! ' 

" The simple and imposing ceremony over, the inaugural read, the blessing 
of God prayerfully petitioned in old St. Paul's, the festivities passed, and Wash- 
ington stood alone. No one else could take the helm of state, and enthusiast 
and doubter alike trusted only him. The teachings and habits of the past had 
educated the people to faith in the independence of their States, and for the 
supreme authority of the new Government there stood against the precedent of a 
century and the passions of the hour little besides the arguments of Hamilton, 
Madison, and Jay in the Federalist, and the judgment of Washington. With 
the first attempt to exercise national power began the duel to the death between 
State sovereignty claiming the right to nullify Federal laws or secede from the 
Union, and the power of the republic to command the resources of the country, 
to enforce its authority, and to protect its life. It was the beginning of the sixty 
years' war for the Constitution of the nation. It seared consciences, degraded 
politics, destroyed parties, ruined statesmen, and retarded the advance and de- 
velopment of the country ; it sacrificed hundreds of thousands of precious lives, 
and squandered thousands of millions of money, it desolated the fairest portion 
of the land and carried mourning into every home north and south ; but it ended 
at Appomattox in the absolute triumph of the republic. 

'• Posterity owes to Washington's administration the policy and measures, the 
force and direction which made possible this glorious result. Upon the plan 
marked out by the Constitution, this great architect, with unfailing faith and 
unfaltering courage, builded the republic. He gave to the Government the 



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QEORQE WASHINGTON 263 

principles of action and sources of power which carried it successfully through 
the wars with Great Britain in 1812, and Mexico in 1848, which enabled Jack- 
son to defeat nullification and recruited and equipped millions of men for 
Lincoln, and justified and sustained his Proclamation of Emancipation. 

** No man ever stood for so much to his country and to mankind as George 
Washington. Hamilton, Jefferson, and Adams, Madison and Jay, each repre- 
sented some of the elements which formed the Union. But Washington em- 
bodied them all. They fell at times under popular disapproval, were burned in 
t^gy^ were stoned, but he with unerring judgment was always the leader of the 
people. Milton said of Cromwell, * that war made him great, peace greater.' 
The superiority of Washington's character and genius were more conspicuous in 
the formation of our Government and in putting it on indestructible foundations 
than in leading armies to victory and conquering the independence of his 
country. * The Union in any event,* is the central thought of his farewell ad- 
dress, and all the years of his grand life were devoted to its formation and 
preservation. 

'* Chatham, who, with Clive, conquered an empire in the east, died broken- 
hearted at the loss of the empire in the west by follies which even his power and 
eloquence could not prevent. Pitt saw the vast creations of his diplomacy 
shattered at Austerlitz, and fell murmuring : ' My country ! how I leave my 
country ! ' Napoleon caused a noble tribute to Washington to be read at the 
head of his armies, but unable to rise to Washington's greatness, witnessed the 
vast structure erected by conquest and cemented by blood, to minister to his own 
ambition and pride, crumble into fragments, and an exile and a prisoner he 
breathed his last babbling of battlefields and carnage. But Washington, with 
his finger upon his pulse, felt the presence of death, and, calmly reviewing the 
past and forecasting the future, answered to the summons of the grim messenger, 
' It is well,' and as his mighty soul ascended to God the land was deluged with 
tears and the world united in his eulogy. Blot out from the page of history the 
names of all the great actors of his time in the drama of nations and preserve the 
fame of Washington, and that country will be renowned." 

Chauncey Mitchell Depew. 



Washington's headquarters at newburgh 

The headquarters at Newburgh presents a great point of attraction to tourists 
on the Hudson during the summer season. It is a rather small, old-fashioned 
Dutch house, fronting the river, and now belongs to the State of New York, it 
having come into possession by foreclosure of a mortgage. It is in charge of the 
authorities at Newburgh, and has been thoroughly repaired, care having been 
taken to preserve the ancient form of every part that was renewed. It was 
dedicated to the public service with appropriate ceremonies, on the 4th of July, 
1850, when Major-General Winfield Scott, who was present, hoisted the Ameri- 



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254 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



can flag upon a lofty staff that had just been erected near. At the foot of that 
flagstaff, the last survivor of Washington's lifeguard is interred. 

The front door of this mansion opens into a large square room, which was 
used by Washington for his public audience, and as a dining-hall. It is remark- 
able for having seven doors, and only one window. In the December number 
of the '*New York Mirror,*' for 1834, is an interesting account of this old 
building, by Gulian C. Verplanck, Esq. He relates the following anecdote con- 




WASHINQTON'S HEADQUARTERS, Newburgh, N. Y. 

nected with this room, which he received from Colonel Nicholas Fish (father of 
the late Governor of the State of New York). 

**Just before Lafayette's death, himself and the American Minister, with 
several of his countrymen, were invited to dine at the house of the distinguished 
Frenchman, Marbois, who was the French Secretary of Legation here during the 
Revolution. At the supper hour the company were shown into a room which 
contrasted quite oddly with the Parisian elegance of the other apartments where 
they had spent the evening. A low, boarded, painted ceiling, with large beams, 
a single small, uncurtained window, with numerous small doors, as well as the 
general style of the whole, gave, at first, the idea of the kitchen, or largest room 
of a Dutch or Belgian farmhouse. On a rough table was a repast, just as little 
in keeping with the refined kitchens of Paris as the room was witli its archi- 
tecture. It consisted of a large dish of meat, uncouth -looking pastry, and wine 
in decanters and bottles, accompanied by glass and silver mugs, such as in- 
dicated other habits and tastes than those of modern Paris. * Do you know 



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GEORGE WASHINGWN 



255 



where we now are?' said the host to Lafayette and his companions. They 
paused for a few moments in surprise. They had seen something like this be- 
fore, but when and where ? ' Ah ! the seven doors and one window/ said 
Lafayette, * and the silver camp-goblets, such as the marshals of France used 
in my youth ! We are at Washington's headquarters on the Hudson, fifty 
years ago ! * " 




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CHAPTER XI 

DISTINGUISHED FOREIGNERS 

"In the autumn of 1782/* writes L. B. Proctor, "Washington while on a 
tour of military inspection, accompanied by Lafayette, Kosciuszko, Hamilton, 
Steuben, Generals Knox and Greene, visited Albany. They were received by 
the mayor, Abraham Ten Broeck, and the common council at the famous tavern 
of Hugh Dennitson, then standing on the northwest corner of Beaver and Green 
streets. Here Washington and his associates were tendered the freedom of the 
city with imposing ceremonies. In the evening they were entertained at the 
Schuyler mansion with an elegance and grace worthy of the occasion and the 
illustrious chieftains, by their gallant host and accomplished hostess. 

"The next year Washington again visited Albany ; this time accompanied 
only by his aides. He was again tendered the freedom of the city, at the Den- 
niston hotel, by the mayor, John Jacob Beekman. He spent the succeeding 
evening in consultation with General Schuyler, at his mansion house, where he 
spent the night." 



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THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE 259 



THE MARQUIS de LA FAYETTE 
A French Soldier and Statesman 

'*In the year 1730 there appeared in Paris a little volume entitled, 'Philo- 
sophic letters/ which proved to be one of the most influential books produced 
in modern times. 

**It was written by Voltaire, who was then thirty-six years of age, and con- 
tained the results of his observations upon the English nation, in which he had 
resided for two years. Paris was then as far from London, for all practicable 
purposes, as New York now is from Calcutta ; so that when Voltaire told his 
countrymen of the freedom that prevailed in Engliand, — of the tolerance given 
to religious sects, — of the honors paid to untitled merit, — of Newton, buried in 
Westminster Abbey with almost regal pomp, — of Addison, Secretary of State, 
and Swift, familiar with prime ministers, — and of the general liberty, happiness, 
and abundance of the kingdom, — France listened in wonder as to a new revela- 
tion. The work was, of course, immediately placed under the ban by the 
French government, and the author exiled, which only gave it increased cur- 
rency and deeper influence. 

'* This was the beginning of the movement which produced, at length, the 
French Revolution of 1787, and which will continue until France is blessed with 
a free and constitutional government. It began in the higher classes of the peo- 
ple, for at that day not more than one-third of the French could read at all ; 
and a much smaller fraction could read such a work as the 'Philosophic letters,' 
and the books which it called forth. Republicanism was fashionable in the 
drawing-rooms of Paris for many years before the mass of the people knew what 
the word meant. 

* 'Among the noblemen who were early smitten in the midst of a despotism 
with a love of liberty was the Marquis de La Fayette, born in 1757. Few fami- 
lies in Europe could boast a greater antiquity than his. A century before the 
discovery of America, we find the La Fayette spoken of as an ' ancient house ; ' 
and in every generation, at least, one member of the family had distinguished 
himself by his services to his king. This young man coming upon the stage of 
life when republican ideas were teeming in every cultivated mind, embraced them 
with all the ardor of youth and intelligence. At sixteen he refused a high post 
in the household of one of the princes of the blood, and accepted a commission 
in the army. At the age of seventeen he was married to the daughter of a duke, 
whose dowry added a considerable fortune to his own ample possessions. She 
was an exceedingly lovely woman, and tenderly attached to her husband, and he 
was as fond of her as such a boy could be. 

"The American Revolution broke out. In common with all the high-born 



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260 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

republicans of the time, his heart warmly espoused the cause of the revolted 
Colonies, and he immediately conceived the project of going to America and 
fighting under her banner. He was scarcely nineteen years of age when he 
sought a secret interview with Silas Deane, the American envoy, and offered his 
services to Congress. Mr. Deane, it appears, objected to his youth. 

*' ' When,' said he, ' I presented to the envoy ray boyish face, I spoke more 
of my ardor in the cause than of my experience ; but I dwelt much upon the 
effect my departure would excite in France, and he signed our mutual agreement.' 

'' His intention was concealed from his family and from all his friends except 
two or three confidants. While he was making preparations for his departure, 
most distressing and alarming news came from America, — the retreat from Long 
Island, the loss of New York, the battle of White Plains, and the retreat through 
New Jersey. The American forces, it was said, reduced to a disheartened band 
of three thousand militia, were pursued by a triumphant army of thirty-three 
thousand English and Hessians. The credit of the Colonies at Paris sunk to the 
lowest ebb, and some of the Americans themselves confessed to La Fayette that 
they were discouraged, and persuaded him to abandon his project. He said to 
Mr. Deane : ' Until now, sir, you have only seen my ardor in your cause, and 
that may not at present prove wholly useless. I shall purchase a ship to carry out 
your officers. We must feel confidence in the future; and it is especially in the 
hour of danger that I wish to share your fortune.' 

" He proceeded at once with all possible secrecy to raise the money and to 
purchase and arm a ship. While the ship was getting ready, in order the bet- 
ter to conceal his intention, he made a journey to England, which had previously 
been arranged by his family. He was presented to the British king, against 
whom he was going to fight ; he danced at the house of the minister who had 
the department of the Colonies ; he visited Lord Rawdon, afterward distinguished 
in the Revolutionary struggle ; he saw at the opera Sir Henry Clinton, whom he 
next saw on the battlefield of Monmouth ; and he breakfasted with Lord Shel- 
burne, a friend of the Colonies. 

" ' While I concealed my intentions,' he tells us, * I openly avowed my senti- 
ments. I often defended the Americans. I rejoiced at their success at Tren- 
ton ; and it was my spirit of opposition that obtained for me an invitation to 
breakfast with Lord Shelburne.' 

"On his return to France his project was discovered and his departure for- 
bidden by the king. He sailed, however, in May, 1777, cheered by his country- 
men, and secretly approved by the government itself. On arriving at Philadel- 
phia, he sent to Congress a remarkably brief epistle to the following effect : 

** 'After my sacrifices, I have the right to ask two favors : one is, to serve at 
my own expense ; the other, to begin to serve as a volunteer.' 

*' Congress immediately named him a major-general of the American army, and 
he at once reported himself to General Washington. His services at the Brandy- 
wine, where he was badly wounded ; in Virginia, where he held an important 
command ; at Monmouth, where he led the attack, — are sufficiently well known. 



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THE MARQUIS DB LA FAYETTE 261 

When he had been in America about fifteen months, the news came of the im- 
pending declaration of war between France and England. He then wrote to 
Congress that, so long as he had believed himself free, he had gladly fought un- 
der the American flag ; but that his own country being at war, he owed to it the 
homage of his services, and he desired their permission to return home. He 
hoped, however, to come back to America ; and assured them that, wherever he 
went, he should be a zealous friend of the United States. Congress gave him 
leave of absence, voted him a sword, and wrote a letter on his behalf to the 
King of France. ^ 

'• 'We recommend this noble young man,' said the letter of Congress, * to 
the favor of your Majesty, because we have seen him wise in counsel, brave in 
battle, and patient under the fatigues of war.' 

** He was received in France with great distinction, which he amusingly de- 
scribes : * When I went to court, which had hitherto only written for me orders 
for my arrest, I was presented to the ministers. I was interrogated, compli- 
mented, and exiled — to the hotel where my wife was residing. Some days after, 
I wrote to the king to acknowledge my fault. I received in reply a light repri- 
mand and the colonelcy of the Royal Dragoons. Consulted by all the minis- 
ters, and, what was much better, embraced by all the women, I had at Versailles 
the favor of the king, and celebrities at Paris.' 

" In the midst of his popularity he thought always of America, and often 
wished that the cost of the banquets bestowed upon him could be poured into 
the treasury of Congress. His favorite project at that time was the invasion of 
England, — Paul Jones to command the fleet and himself the army. When this 
scheme was given up he joined all his influence to that of Franklin to induce the 
French government to send to America a powerful fleet and a considerable army. 
When he had secured the promise of this valuable aid, he returned to America 
and served again in the armies of the young republic. 

"The success of the United States so confirmed him in his attachment to re- 
publican institutions, that he remained their devoted adherent and advocate as 
long as he lived. 

** * May this revolution,' said he once to Congress, 'serve as a lesson to op- 
pressors, and as an example to the oppressed.' 

"And in one of his letters from the United States occurs this sentence: ' I 
have always thought that a king was at least a useless being; viewed from this 
side of the ocean, a king cuts a poor figure indeed.* 

" By the time he had left America, at the close of the war, he had expended 
in the service of Congress seven hundred thousand francs, — a free gift to the 
cause of liberty. 

" One of the most pleasing circumstances of La Fayette's residence in Amer- 
ica was the affectionate friendship which existed between himself and General 
Washington. He looked up to Washington as to a father as well as a chief, and 
Washington regarded him with a tenderness truly paternal. La Fayette named 
his eldest son George Washington, and never omitted any opportunity to testify 



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262 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

his love and veneration for the illustrious American. Franklin, too, was much 
attached to the youthful enthusiast, and privately wrote to General Washington, 
asking him, for the sake of the young and anxious wife of the marquis, not to 
expose his life except in an important and decisive engagement. 

** In the diary of the celebrated William Wilberforce, who visited Paris soon 
after the peace, there is an interesting passage descriptive of La Fayette's de- 
meanor at the French court : * He seemed to be the representative of the de- 
mocracy in the very presence of the monarch, — the tribune intruding with his 
veto within the chan4)er of the patrician order.^ His own establishment was 
formed upon the English model, and, amidst the gayety and ease of Fountaine- 
bleau, he assumed an air of republican austerity. When the fine ladies of the 
court would attempt to drag him to the card table, he shrugged his shoulders 
with an air of affected contempt for the customs and amusements of the old 
regime. Meanwhile, the deference which this champion of the new state of 
things received, above all from the ladies of the court, intimated clearly the dis- 
turbance of the social atmosphere, and presaged the coming tempest/ From 
the close of the American war for independence, to the beginning of the French 
Revolution, a period of six years elapsed, during which France suffered much 
from the exhaustion of her resources in aiding the Americans. La Fayette lived 
at Paris, openly professing republicanism, which was then the surest passport to 
the favor both of the people and of the court. The Queen of France herself 
favored the republican party, though without understanding its objects or ten- 
dencies. La Fayette naturally became the organ and spokesman of those who 
desired a reform in the government. He recommended, even in the palace of 
the king, the restoration of civil rights to the Protestants ; the suppression of the 
heavy and odious tax upon salt ; the reform of the criminal courts ; and he de- 
nounced the waste of the public money upon princes and court favorites. 

"The Assembly of the Notables convened in 1787, to consider the state of 
the kingdom. La Fayette was its most conspicuous and trusted member, and it 
was he who demanded a convocation of the representatives of all the depart- 
ments of France, for the purpose of devising a permanent remedy for the evils 
under which the French were suffering. 

'* 'What, sir,' said one of the royal princes to La Fayette, *do you really 
demand the assembling of a General Congress of France ? ' 

** ' Yes, my lord,' replied La Fayette, ' and more than that.' 

** Despite the opposition of the court, this memorable Congress met at Paris, 
in 1789, and La Fayette represented in it the nobility of his province. It was 
he who presented the * Declaration of Rights,' drawn upon the model of those 
with which he had been familiar in America, and it was finally adopted. It 
was he, also, who made the Ministers of the Crown responsible for their acts, 
and for the consequences of their acts. 

**When this National Assembly was declared permanent, La Fayette was 
elected its Vice President, and it was in that character that, after the taking of 
the Bastile, he went to the scene, at the head of a deputation of sixty members, 



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THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE 263 

to congratulate the people upon their triumph. The next day, a city guard was 
organized to preserve the peace of Paris, and the question arose in the As- 
sembly who should command it. The president rose and pointed to the bust of 
La Fayette, presented by the State oP Virginia to the City of Paris. The 
hint was sufficient, and La Fayette was elected to the post by acclamation. He 
called his citizen soldiers by the name of the National Guard, and he distin- 
guished them by a tri-colored cockade, and all Paris immediately fluttered with 
tri -colored ribbons and badges. 

** 'This cockade,' said La Fayette, as he presented one to the National As- 
sembly, * will make the tour of the world.* 

** From the time of his acceptance of the command of the National Guard, 
the career of La Fayette changed its cjiaracter, and the change became more 
and more marked as the Revolution proceeded. Hitherto, he had been chiefly 
employed in rousing the sentiment of liberty in the minds of his countrymen ; 
but now that the flame threatened to become a dangerous conflagration, it de- 
volved upon him to stay its ravages. It was a task beyond human strength, but 
he most gallantly attempted it. On some occasions he rescued with his own 
hands the victims of the popular fury and arrested the cockaded assassins who 
would have destroyed them. But even his great popularity was ineflectual to 
prevent the massacre of innocent citizens, and more than once, overwhelmed 
with grief and disgust, he threatened to throw up the command. 

**0n that celebrated day when sixty thousand of the people of Paris poured 
in a tumultuous flood into the park of Versailles, and surrounded the palace of 
the king. La Fayette was compelled to join the throng, in order, if possible, to 
control its movements. He arrived in the evening, and spent the whole night 
in posting the National Guard about the palace, and taking measures to secure 
the safety of the royal family. At the dawn of day he threw himself upon 
the bed for a few minutes' repose. Suddenly the alarm was sounded. Some 
infuriated men had broken into the palace, killed two of the king's body guard, 
and rushed into the bedchamber of the queen, a minute or two after she 
had escaped from it. La Fayette ran to the scene, followed by some of the 
National Guard, and found all the royal family assembled in the king's cham- 
ber, trembling for their lives. Beneath the windows of the apartment was a 
roaring sea of upturned faces, scarcely kept back by a thin line of National 
Guards. La Fayette stepped out upon the balcony, and tried to address the 
crowd, but could not make himself heard. He then led out upon the balcony 
the beautiful queen, Marie Antoinette, and kissed her hand ; then seizing one 
of the body guard, embraced him, and placed his own cockade upon the sol- 
dier's hat. At once, the temper of the multitude was changed, and the cry 
burst forth : * Long live the General ! Long live the Queen ! Long live the 
Body Guards ! ' 

"It was immediately announced that the king would go with the people to 
Paris ; which had the effect of completely allaying their passions. During the 
long march of ten miles. La Fayette rode close to the door of the king's car- 



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tW4 A QODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

riage, and thus conducted him, in the midst of the tramping crowd, in safety 
to the Tuileries. When the royal family was once more secure within its walls, 
one of the ladies, the daughter of the late king, threw herself into the arms of 
La Fayette, exclaiming: 'General, y<iu have saved us.' From this moment 
dates the decline of La Fayette's popularity ; and his actions, moderate and 
wise, continually lessened it. He demanded, as a member of the National 
Assembly, that persons accused of treason should be fairly tried by a jury, and 
he exerted all his power, while giving a constitution to his country, to preserve 
the monarchy. 

'* To appease the suspicions of the people that the king meditated a flight from 
Paris, he declared that he would answer with his head for the king's remaining. 

**When, therefore, in June, 1791, the king and queen made their blundering 
attempt to escape, La Fayette was immediately suspected of having secretly aided 
it. Danton cried out at the Jacobin Club : * We must have the person of the 
king, or the head of the commanding general ! ' It was in vain that after the 
king's return, he ceased to pay him royal honors; nothing could remove the 
suspicions of the people. Indeed, he still openly advised the preservation of the 
monarchy, and, when a mob demanded the suppression of the royal power, and 
threatened violence to the National Guard, the general, after warning them to 
disperse, ordered the troops to fire, — an action which totally destroyed his pop- 
ularity and influence. Soon after, he resigned his commission and his seat in 
the Assembly, and withdrew to one of his country seats. He was not long al- 
lowed to remain in seclusion. The allied dynasties of Europe, justly alarmed 
at the course of events in Paris, threatened the new republic with war. La 
Fayette was appointed to command one of the three armies gathered to defend 
the frontiers. While he was disciplining his troops, and preparing to defend 
the country, he kept an anxious eye upon Paris, and saw with ever increasing 
alarm the prevalence of the savage element in politics. In 1792, he had 
the boldness to write a letter to the National Assembly, demanding the sup- 
pression of the clubs, and the restoration of the king to the place and power as- 
signed him by the Constitution. Learning soon after the new outrages put upon 
the king, he suddenly left his army and appeared at the bar of the Assembly, 
accompanied by a single Aide-de-camp; there he renewed his demands, amid 
the applause of the moderate members ; but a member of the opposite party 
adroitly asked : ' Is the enemy conquered ? Is the country delivered, since 
General La Fayette is in Paris? ' ' No,' replied he, ' the country is not deliv- 
ered ; the situation is unchanged ; and, nevertheless, the general of one of our 
armies is in Paris.' After a stormy debate, the Assembly declared that he had 
violated the Constitution in making himself the organ of the army legally in- 
capable of deliberating, and had rendered himself amenable to the minister of 
war for leaving his post without permission. Repulsed thus by the Assembly, 
coldly received at court, and rejected by the National Guard, he returned to his 
army despairing of the country. There he made one more attempt to save the 
king by inducing him to come to his camp and fight for his throne. This pro- 



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THE MAEQUIS DE LA FAYETTE 265 

ject being rejected, and the author of it denounced by Robespierre, his bust 
publicly burned in Paris, and the medal formerly voted him broken by the hand 
of the executioner, he deemed it necessary to seek an asylum in a neutral coun- 
try. Having provided for the safety of his army, he crossed the frontiers, in 
August, 1792, accompanied by twenty-one persons, all of whom on passing an 
Austrian post were taken prisoners, and La Fayette was thrown into a dungeon. 
His noble wife, who had been for fifteen months a prisoner in Paris, hastened, 
after her release, to share her husband's captivity. For five years, in spite of 
the remonstrances of England, America, and the friends of liberty everywhere. 
La Fayette remained a prisoner. To every demand for his liberation, the Aus- 
trian government replied, with its usual stupidity, that the liberty of La Fayette 
was incompatible with the safety of the governments of Europe. He owed his 
liberation at length, to General Bonaparte, and it required aii his great authority 
to procure it. When La Fayette was presented to Napoleon to thank him for 
his interference, the First Consul said to him : * I don't know what the devil 
you have done to the Austrians ; but it cost them a mighty struggle to let you 
go.' La Fayette voted publicly against making Napoleon consul for life, and 
against the establishment of the empire. Notwithstanding this, Napoleon and 
he remained very good friends. The Emperor said of him one day : * Every- 
body in France is corrected of his extreme ideas of liberty except one man, and 
that man is La Fayette. You see him now tranquil : very well ; if he had an 
opportunity to serve his chimeras, he would reappear upon the scene more ar- 
dent than ever.' Upon his return to France he was granted the pension belong- 
ing to the military rank he had held under the republic, and he recovered a 
competent estate from the property of his wife. Napoleon also gave a military 
commission to his son, George Washington, and when the Bourbons were re- 
stored. La Fayette received an indemnity, of four hundred and fifty thousand 
francs. Napoleon's remark proved correct. La Fayette, though he spent most 
of the evening of his life in directing the cultivation of his estates, was always 
present at every crisis in the affairs of France to plead the cause of consti- 
tutional liberty. He made a fine remark once in its defence, when taunted with 
the horrors of the French Revolution : ' The tyranny of 1793,' he said, * was 
no more a republic than the massacre of St. Bartholomew was a religion.' His 
visit to America, in 1824, is well remembered. He was the guest of the Nation, 
and Congress, in recompense of his expenditures during the Revolutionary war 
made him a grant of two hundred thousand dollars and an extensive tract of 
land. It was La Fayette who, in 1830, was chiefly instrumental in placing a 
constitutional monarch upon the throne of France. The last words he ever 
spoke in public were uttered in behalf of the French refugees who had fled from 
France for offences merely political : and the last words he ever wrote recom- 
mended the abolition of slavery. His son, George Washington, always the 
friend of liberty, like his father, died in 1849. Two grandsons of La Fayette 
are still living in France, both of whom have been in public life." 

By James Parton. 



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266 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 




LA FAYETTE MEDAL. 



*'In 1824 the marquis made his triumphal journey through the United States. 

A steamboat was taken off the line and placed at his disposition in New York, 

and he and his suite proceeded immediately up the Hudson, and paid General 

Lewis (Morgan) a visit at Staatsburgh. A collation was ready for them, and 

after remaining with us a few hours he returned 
to the steamboat, which was waiting at the gen- 
eral's private dock, and we were all invited to 
join his party and accompany him to Clermont. 
** When we arrived abreast of Rliinebeck 
landing, the steamboat was hailed by a rowboat. 
The captain stopped, and Colonel Henry Beek- 
man Livingston, who had been the colonel of 
one of La Fayette's regiments, was assisted up 
the side of the steamer. La Fayette received 
him as he put his foot on the deck ; the old men 
fell into each others arms, and there was not a 
dry eye in the crowd. 

** At Clermont a f^te to the tenantry, a ball 

and fireworks were in preparation to celebrate his arrival. A rainy afternoon 

interfered with the outdoor amusements, but the dance was a success. Before 

anyone was allowed to take the floor, the band played, and La Fayette gave his 

arm to Mrs. Montgomery (widow of General Richard). They opened the ball 

by walking twice around the room. The dancing then commenced. 
** The supper table was set under the orange 

trees in the greenhouse ; my seat was next to 

George Washington La Fayette. He was a 

grave, middle-aged man, and looked more like 

a German than a Frenchman. 

*' In the evening we were a little disturbed by 

a delegation from Hudson, requiring that La 

Fayette should be given up to them, as if he 

had become a State prisoner. They wanted 

their share of the guest of the nation. General 

Lewis, who was a member of the committee 

who had him under their protection, was steady 

in his refusal, and secured for the veteran a 

quiet sleep, which he greatly needed.** 




LA FAYETTE MEDAL. 



THE LA FAYETTE MEDAL 



When General La Fayette, by invitation of Congress, revisited the United 
Stales in 1824, bronze medals were struck off in his honor. One of them lies 
before me. On the obverse side is a bust of La Fayette surrounded by the words, 
** General La Fayette." The reverse side is encircled by a wreath of laurel, in 



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THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE 2G7 

the centre of which is the legend, **The defender of American and French 
liberty, 1 777-1824. Born in Chavaniac, the 6 September, 1757." 

The three following letters have never appeared in print. 



"MoRRiSTOWN, Jan. the 7th, 1780. 
" Dear Sir : 

«* I lake this opportunity of inquiring from you what are your present prospects of 
settling the unhappy and disgracing dispute which has taken place — having nothing to do here 
in the presence of Genl. St. Clair I should have liked to stay with you — whatever has been 
said by some on this occasion, I cannot yet believe that the soldiers of your line and particu- 
larly those of the light infantry have forgot their sentiments for one whom they must know to 
be their friend — however dissatisfied I may be with their present mode of conduct which 
makes me more unhappy than anything I have experienced, I shall therefore try to render 
them service if it comes within the reach of my power. 

" General Washington is expected here at every minute — What he must feel you will easily 
guess — I am sure he will be disposed to do anything that may prove serviceable to the 
soldiers — But they ought to be sensible of his disposition and therefore apply to him through 
your mediation. 

" With the most sincere affection, I am, 
" Yours 
" To " Lafayette. 

" Colonel Walter Stewart." 



«« New Windsor, January the 30th, 1781. 
" Dear Sir : 

"As I have promised to let you know the lime of my going '.o Rhode Island, I hasten to 
inform you that His Excellency and myself intend to set out in a few days for that place. 
The Pennsylvania business must be now pretty far advanced, and I fancy you'r staying with 
Genl. Waine and Col. Butler is not for the present necessary. I therefore advise you to come 
here as soon as possible, where we may make arrangements for our journey. 

" Adieu, 

'* Yours affectionately, 
" To Col. Walter Stewart," " Lafayette. 

" at Trenton. 

♦* Have General Waine and Colonel Butler any intention to go to Rhode Island this 
time ? Give them my best compliments, and to the other gentlemen if you are with them." 



«« Lagrange, Feby. 19th, 1826. 
" My dear Sir : 

" This letter will be delivered by Mr. Pascal, a young French gentleman who intends, 
with his mother, a very amiable lady, to settle themselves fn the U. S., probably in the State 
of New York, and in your part of the country. They live for each other and think, with 
much reason, that nowhere on this side of the Atlantic they could find so much liberty, quiet 
and happiness. Young Pascal goes first to make inquiries and fix upon a choice of purchase. I 
beg you to favor him with your kind advice and the benefit of your experience. Happy I am 
in the opportunity to remind you of the old friend of your Beloved parents, to present my re- 



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268 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

spects to Mrs. Church doubly dear to my most precious recollections and to your amiable 
daughters, whom a friendly image engraved in my heart has made me recogniie before they 
were named to me. Let me hear from you all. Remember me to my friends in your vicin- 
ity, and believe me forever, 

«* Your affectionate friend, 

" Lafayette. 
" Philip Church, Esq. 

" My son, and LeVallens beg to be remembered to you. I had the pleasure to see Mrs. 
Cruger and family before their departure as she will have informed you, and would be happy 
to hear you contemplated a family party on this side of the Atlantic." 



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KOSCIUSZKO. — From a sketch made by himself. 



270 



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THADDEU8 K0SC1U8ZK0 271 



THADDEUS KOSCIUSZKO 
A Polish Patriot 



** Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Polish patriot, born near Novogrudek, 
Lithuania, 12 February, 1746; died in Solothurn, Switzerland, October 15th, 
18 1 7. He was descended from a noble Lithuanian family, studied at the mili- 
tary academy in Warsaw, and, completing his education in France at the 
expense of the state, returned to Poland, entered the army and rose to the rank 
of captain. An unrequited passion for the daughter of the Marquis of Lithu- 
ania, induced him to leave Poland in 1775, and offer his assistance to the 
Americans in their war for independence. The number of foreign auxilliary 
officers had become numerous, and Washington had complained to Congress 
in October, 1776, that he was unable to employ many of them owing to their 
ignorance of English. Kosciuszko, however, arrived with letters of recommen- 
dation from Benjamin Franklin to Washington, who inquired what he could do. 
* I come to fight as a volunteer for American independence,* replied Kosciuszko. 
'What can you do?' asked Washington. * Try me,* was the reply. He re- 
ceived his commission as a colonel of engineers, October i8th, 1776, and 
repaired to his post with the troops under General Gates who described him as 
an ' able engineer ' and * one of the best and neatest draughtsmen that he ever 
saw,' and selected him for the northern service ordering him * after he had made 
himself thoroughly acquainted with the works, to point out where and in what 
manner the best improvements and additions could be made thereto.' Kosci- 
uszko, therefore, planned the encampment and post of Gates* army at Bemis 
Heights, near Saratoga, from which, after two well-fought actions, Burgoyne 
found it impossible to dislodge the Americans. Kosciuszko was subsequently 
the principal engineer in executing the works at West Point. He became one 
of Washington's adjutants and aided General Nathaniel Greene in the unsuc- 
cessful siege of ninety-six, receiving for his services the thanks of Congress, and 
the brevet of brigadier-general, October 13th, 1783. One of Washington's 
latest official acts was to intercede with Congress for the bestowal of these 
honors. He was also made a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. At the 
end of the war he returned to Poland where he lived several years in retirement. 
When the Polish army was reorganized in 1789, he was appointed a major- 
general and fought in defence of the constitution of May 3d, 1791, under 
Prince Poniatowski, against the Russians. He was in the battle of Zielence, 
June i8th, 1792, and in that of Dubienka, July 17th, 1792, where, with only 
four thousand men, he kept fifteen thousand Russians at bay for six hours, mak- 
ing his retreat without great loss. But the patriots were overwhelmed by num- 
bers, and when King Stanislas submitted to the second partition of Poland, 
Kosciuszko resigned his commission and retired to Leipsic, where he received 



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272 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

from the National Assembly the citizenship of France. He determined to make 
a second effort for Poland, and a rising of his countrymen was secretly planned. 
Kosciuszko was elected dictator and general-in-chief. On March 24, 1794, he 
suddenly appeared in Cracow, issued a manifesto against the Russians, and 
hastily collected a force of about five thousand peasants, armed mostly with 
scythes. At Raclawice he routed a Russian corps that was almost twice as 
strong, and returned in triumph to Cracow. He committed the conduct of 
government affairs to a national council that was organized by himself, and after 
receiving reinforcements moved forward in quest of the Russian army. The 
march was opposed by the King of Prussia at the head of forty thousand men, 
and Kosciuszko, whose force was only thirteen thousand, was defeated at Szcze- 
kociny, June 6, 1794. Unable to check the prevailing anarchy, Kosciuszko re- 
signed the dictatorship and retired with his army to Warsaw, and defended it 
against the Prussians and Russians, whom he compelled to raise the siege. Aus- 
tria now took part against him with one hundred and iBfty thousand men, and 
he was routed at Maciejowice, October 10, 1 794. Kosciuszko fell, covered with 
wounds. He was imprisoned at St. Petersburgh for two years, until the death 
of Catharine, when the Emperor Paul gave him his liberty, with many marks of 
esteem. The czar, in releasing him, offered him hisf sword, but Kosciuszko re- 
fused to accept it, saying * I have no need of a sword ; I have no country to 
defend.* Subsequently his countrymen in the French army of Italy presented 
him with the sword of John Sobieski. On crossing the Russian frontier he re- 
turned to the czar the patent of his pension and every testimonial of Russian 
favor, and passed the rest of his life in retirement. He visited the United 
States in 1797, where he was received with distinction and obtained from Con- 
gress a grant of land, in addition to the pension that he had received after the 
Revolutionary war. He then resided at Fountainbleau until 1814, engaged in 
agriculture. When Napoleon was about to invade Poland in i8o6, he wished 
to employ Kosciuszko, who, being under parole not to fight against Russia, re- 
fused to enlist, and the proclamation to the Poles, that appeared in the ' Moni- 
teur ' under his name in 1806, he declared to be a forgery. In 18 16 he removed 
to Solothurn, Switzerland, and in the following year sent a manumission to all serfs 
on his Polish estate. His death was caused by a fall from his horse over a prec- 
ipice. The Emperor Alexander had him interred beside Poniatowski and 
Sobieski in the cathedral of Cracow, near which city the people raised to his 
memory a mound one hundred and fifty feet high, the earth of which was 
brought from every great battlefield of Poland. From a fancied resemblance to 
this mound the loftiest mountain in Australia has received the name of 
Kosciuszko. 

*' A monument of white marble, designed by John H. B. Latrobe, and repre- 
sented in the illustration, was erected to his memory at West Point by the 
United States Military academy cadet corps of 1828, at a cost of ^5,000. 

By Gen. James Grant Wilson. 



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»74 



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BARON STEUBEN 275 



BARON STEUBEN 
A Prussian Soldier 

** Frederic William Augustus von Steuben, was born in the fortress of Magde- 
burg, November 15, 1730. His father stood high in the Prussian Army as an 
able and scientific officer, — poor in money, but rich in fame and children, 
having had ten. His biographer coolly remarks it was fortunate most of them 
died, as he had not the means to educate them. Fortunately for America, Fred- 
eric was destined to live, and was splendidly educated at the Jesuit College at 
Breslau, then frequented by Protestants as well as Roman Catholics. He was a 
fine mathematician and his whole education far superior to that usually received 
by the sons of poor noblemen, as besides his technical education he could read 
and write French and German fluently, thereby eclipsing the Great Frederic 
himself. 

" From his childhood Steuben saw nothing and heard of nothing but war and 
soldiers. At the age of fourteen he served as a volunteer under his father in the 
war of the Austrian Succession, and at seventeen he entered as cadet in the 
famous Infantry Regiment Tauenzien. When the Seven Years war broke out he 
served as lieutenant and often referred to the fact that he was at the battle of 
Rossbach, and helped make the Frenchmen run away. He was among the 
chosen number of talented young officers, whom Frederic personally instructed 
in the most difficult branches of military art and prepared for the most responsi- 
ble duties of staff officers, and he was made one of the quartermaster lieu- 
tenants. 

"Soon after the close of the Seven Years war, Steuben quitted the Emperor's 
service, for which many reasons are given — the famous parsimony of Frederic is 
prominently mentioned, as well as his manner of replying when complaints were 
made by even such men as Bliicher and York, * Let them go to the devil * — and 
some of them went ; but our baron was made Grand Marshal of the Court of 
Prince Henry of HohenzoUern, Hechengen, then a distinguished post, which he 
filled for ten years, and then entered the service of the Margrave of Baden, who 
in 1760 had him decorated with the Cross of the Order * de la Fidelity,' which 
was never a Prussian Order and consisted at the time of only thirty members. 
This Cross (sometimes erroneously called the Star) was always worn by the 
baron and by his request was buried with him. In 1777, Steuben arrived in 
Paris en route for England ; but it was New England he was destined to serve 
and not Old England. France was at that time resolved to give her rival a blow 
and had espoused the cause of the Americans. Various overtures were made to 
Steuben and after many plans he finally consented to sail for America and offer 
his services as volunteer to Congress. Franklin and Deane, the American Com- 
missioners, were then in Paris, and the idols of the French Court and salons; 



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276 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

but although anxious to secure the services of this great officer they could offer 
no terms, nor even his expenses across the Atlantic. To quiet the jealousy of 
the Americans at having foreigners placed in command over them, strategy was 
resorted to, and advantage was taken of their ignorance of foreign courts and 
titles. Our hero was introduced as having been lieutenant-general of the Great 
Frederic, instead of aide-de-camp only and lieutenant. Even Franklin con- 
founded this title with the one of general in the service of the Margrave of 
Baden, of which court probably not one member of Congress had ever heard. 
The ruse was perfectly successful — and soon after joining Washington as a vol- 
unteer at Valley Forge, Steuben was raised to the rank of inspector general, 
without opposition, and became, in spite of his ignorance of our language, his 
quick temper and strict discipline, a general favorite with the soldiers and offi- 
cers. He resorted to all manner of devices to lessen the hardships and strengthen 
their courage during the terrible winter at Valley Forge, 1777-8. It is to him 
we owe the origin of the term * Sans Culottes * which afterward became of such 
terrible meaning during the French Revolution. He invited the officers to dine 
with him, the stipulation being, no officer could come who had a whole pair of 
trousers to his name, and all were requested to bring their own provisions. Tough 
beefsteak and potatoes — with walnuts made up the bill of fare. 'Instead of 
wine,' writes Duponceaux, 'we had Salamanders; that is we filled our glasses 
with spirits of some kind, set it on fire and drank it flames and all. Never was 
there such a set of ragged and at the same time merry fellows. The baron always 
loved to speak of that dinner and his "Sans Culottes." * 

"Too much praise cannot be given to Steuben for his splendid drill of our 
army, and from the time of his appointment as inspector general began the long 
series of victories leading up to Yorktown and the final surrender of Cornwallis. 
A dark side of the picture comes before us in the long delay of Congress on fix- 
ing the amount of his payment ; and some members even refused that he had 
any claim for rank or distinction beyond that of an ordinary drill sergeant, a 
slander that Washington did his utmost to put down, and in 1780 he was allowed 
a pension for life of fifteen hundred dollars a year. Virginia, Pennsylvania, and 
New York made him grants of land. On his estate in Oneida county of sixteen 
thousand acres, reaching as far south as Oriskany creek, our baron spent the re- 
maining summers of his life, returning in winter to New York where he lived 
with Colonel Benjamin Walker. He was of too generous and even extravagant 
a nature to be ever anything but a poor man, and numberless deeds are recorded 
of his gifts to those poorer than himself, and especially to the poor soldiers of 
the Continental Army ; to these, his house and purse were always open, however 
little there might be contained in either. 

" Immediately after Yorktown he sold some of the silver furnishing of bis 
camp chest, brought from Europe, that he might give a feast. * I can stand it 
no longer. We are continually dining with these people and cannot even give 
them a bite of sausage meat in return. One grand dinner shall they have, if I 
eat forever after with a wooden spoon.' On the 4th of July, 1780, he gave a 



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BARON STEUBEN 



277 



feast to all his settlers and neighbors in Steuben ; and when he found a worthy 
soldier he gave him a lot of land, varying from forty to one hundred acres. 

*' He was a frequent guest at the Mappas and Vander Kemps in Trenton vil- 
lage, and like oft told tales have been to me the traditions of the great state and 
ceremony attending his visits; when such feasts were prepared by *Tante Michi,' 
the famous housekeeper and friend, that linger still in the memory of those who 
came next after these heroes. When it was time for the baron to return to his 
home on Steuben Hill, the whole household formed in line and escorted him to 




BARON STEUBEN'S RESIDENCE.— " The Palace of Logs." 

the edge of the forest, which at that time came almost down to the village. 
Chess was a favorite game with them all, and if the battle could not be ended, 
the board was left untouched until the next time. In the cultivated society of 
this little Dutch community in Trenton village, or Olden Barneveld as it was 
often called, he took much pleasure and we often imagined the old trees could 
tell of possible love affairs between the baron and some of the Mappas and Vander 
Kemps, and perhaps both ! He was an elegant horseman and rode all over his 
vast estate with all the pleasure of a fearless rider. 



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278 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

** Before me on the table as I write, rests a chess or backgammon board of 
rare beauty of design and workmanship, whose history carries us back to the 
time when Frederic the Great challenged the admiration of all Europe, and 
when Prussia was at the height of its military power and greatness. This chess 
board, which formed a part of the furnishings of the military chest our baron 
brought from Europe with him, is made in the usual oblong shape of rosewood, 
finely inlaid with white ivory and black horn squares for the chessmen, which 
were all finished at the end with a sharp prong made to fit into a hole in the 
centre of each square, to secure steadiness when playing on shipboard or on long 
carriage journeys. The inner part of the board, for backgammon, is finished 
with beautifully inlaid ' points,* and in the centre is a diamond-shaped figure 
with fac similes of the different faces of the dice. The cups are of white ivory 
and black horn, of very graceful shape and proportions. To such an able tac- 
titian and strategist as Von Steuben, we can well imagine the fascination the 
game of chess would have, and as he moved and arranged his pieces and formed 
his skillful combinations for attack or defence, the memory of past battlefields 
and visions of future conquests, may also have moved across the board and 
mingled with the moves of the chessmen. The king may have taken the sem- 
blance of George III. as represented by Lord Cornwallis, and our baron himself 
may have personified the valiant knight, who by his skillful moves aided so 
effectually in giving the final checkmate at Yorktown. Kings and queens, 
knights, bishops and pawns have moved with startling rapidity across the chess 
board of Europe during the hundred years that have elapsed since his death, 
while only twice has war broken out in America, the country of his adoption, 
where his bones rest in peace among us to this day, on the slope of Starrs Hill, 
(also named after a soldier of the Continental Army) in a beautiful grove, where 
the forest trees stand as a silent guard of honor, around his grave, which is now 
marked by an impressive monument. 

** It is to the baron we owe the plan of a National School, as now realized at 
West Point ; and he was one of the founders of the Order of the Cincinnati for 
which he wrote nearly all the first invitations. His decoration of the Cross * de 
la Fidelity' suggested its badge and insignia; he was the vice president of the 
New York State Society from 1785 to 1786, and its president from 1786 to 1790, 
when he resigned — having most fully exemplified its motto. 

" * Let us relinquish all to serve the Republic' 

'* He was a great favorite in the best New York society of that day and was 
an intimate and valued friend of such families as the Duers, Jays, Livingstons, 
Fishes, and Varicks, where he added much to all social gatherings by his wit 
and pleasantry and polished manners, while among the Germans he was held in 
the highest esteem and veneration. He was everywhere spoken of as simply the 
baron and everyone knew exactly who was meant. At his country house in 
Steuben in November, 1794, while preparing to return to New York for the 
winter, Steuben was seized with an attack of paralysis. His faithful friend. 



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BARON STEUBEN 279 

John W. Mulligan, was with him and also his body servant, William. A mes- 
senger was instantly sent to Mr. Mappa who was unfortunately away from home. 
The nearest physician was at Whitesboro, eighteen miles away and it was not 
until Thursday, the 27th of November that he reached his bedside, too late to 
render any aid. November 28th, the baron breathed his last. On the 30th he 
was laid to rest, followed to the grave by about thirty of his immediate neigh- 
bors and friends. A few handfuls of earth and the tears of a few sincere, 
manly friends, were the last tributes paid to the citizen soldier, who had con- 
tributed so much toward the achievement of American independence. 

** His aide. Colonel North, caused a mural tablet to be erected to his memory 
in the German Reformed Church in Nassau street. New York. When the Bap- 
tists afterward came in possession of the building, they courteously allowed it to 
be transferred to the new building in Forsyth street. The slab is of clouded 
bluish marble, of an obelisk form, the lower urn has upon it a representation of 
the Cross de la Fidelity. The inscription is by Colonel North, so beautiful it 
might well be inscribed on a granite monument over his grave." 

Blandina Dudley Miller. 

an unpublished letter 

" MoN Ami 

«• je consens d'ecrire au Gouverneur de jersey mais comme cette Excellence n'eu tend pas 
le francais, il fiiut que Vous ayez la Conte d'ecrire la lettre. Vous pouvez me I'envoyez pour 
Signes. 

<• Part6 cependent a notre bon ami Steward peut etre at-il quelque influence Sur ce bon gre 
de Haring. 

" Four Niel nous troverons bien Moyen de le chasser quand nous sommes une fois en pos- 
session. 
** je suis d* accord de toutes, les Reparations, que vous juges nessessaire. 
**Allez voir le frere de ce Haring Membre du Congres de cet Etat, on le dit honnete 
homme, peut etre peut-il Efectres quelque chose. 

«« Steuben. 
"To 
" Colonel Walker." 



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CHAPTER XII 

PHILIP VAN CORTLANDT 

Of Van Cortlandt Manor 

** He was the eldest son of Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt and his 
wife Johanna, daughter of Gilbert Livingston, and a great-grandson of Stephanus 
Van Cortlandt, who married Gertrude, the daughter of Philip Pieterse Van 
Schuyler. His grandfather, Philip Van Cortlandt, upon his decease, entailed 
the manor to his eldest male descendent ; but his eldest grandson, Philip, whose 
father sided with the crown, became a colonel in the British service, and so was 
unable to substantiate his claim after the war. 

" At the age of fifteen he was placed at the Coldenham Academy, under the 
care of Professor Adams, until at the completion of his studies, when he became 
proficient in the profession of a land surveyor. Governor Tryon commissioned • 
him major of Colonel Ver Planck's regiment, raised on the manor, before the 
Revolutionary war broke out. When it came he threw his commission in the 
fire, and, notwithstanding the earnest requests of his family relations, took issue 
with his father and espoused the cause of the opponents of the crown. Governor 
Tryon and his wife visited the manor house in hopes of persuading the family to 
remain loyal ; but finding it useless, left, when young Philip offered his services 
to and was recommended by the military committee, and on the i8th of June, 
1775, was commissioned by Congress, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fourth Battal- 
ion of the New York Continental Infantry, marching with it to Ticonderoga. 
Having procured a leave of absence, and meeting Washington at the house of 
his relative, James Van Cortlandt, in Westchester county, he appointed him at 
Kingsbridge on his staff. 

"General McDougall wrote to the military committee: 'As Lieutenant- 
Colonel Van Cortlandt is the oldest of that rank, I take it for granted, as he is a 
young gentleman of family and spirit, he will be appointed to the command of 
my old regiment.' 

" Washington now filled up a commission for him as colonel, dated the 30th 
of November, 1776, assigning him to the command of the Second New York 
Regiment, in place of Colonel Ritzema. He reached his new command at Tren- 
ton the morning after the battle, when it was ordered to Fishkill, where it as- 
sisted in the protection of the passes of the Hudson, until ordered to the relief 
of Fort Schuyler, up the Mohawk Valley. When St. Leger was defeated, it 
was ordered back, and joined General Poor's brigade, opposing the advance of 
Burgoyne in Saratoga, until his surrender, on the 17th of October, 1777, when 
it moved down the river to Kingston, which Sir Henry Clinton had burned, just 

280 



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PHILIP VAN COBTLANDT 283 

before his hasty retreat to New York, and joined Washington at White Marsh, 
going into winter quarters at Valley Forge. 

** At the request of Washington he remained in command of the post at Rad- 
ner*s meeting house, while his regiment, in pursuit of the British retreating 
from Philadelphia, was engaged without him in the action of Monmouth. He 
rejoined it at Poughkeepsie, and resumed the command during the winter in the 
cantonments on the Hudson at New Windsor. In the spring of the next year, 
1779, his regiment, consisting of six hundred men, was ordered to join General 
Sullivan at Fort Penn. Defeating the Indian chief Brant, in a skirmish on the 
way, he reached Wilkesbarre, marching thirty miles through the wilderness in 
thirty days, and took part in the defeat and total rout of Butler's Tories and 
Brant's Indians, laying their country waste all the way to Tioga. He then 
brought his regiment to Morristown, going into winter quarters there, and sitting 
on Arnold's court martial at Philadelphia in January. 

** In the spring of 1780, he brought his regiment again to the defence of the 
Hudson, with his camp at West Point, when he was selected to command one 
of the regiments of light infantry, of the two brigades under La Fayette contem- 
plated for a secret expedition, but which was temporarily abandoned. La Fayette 
then went to Virginia, joining General Greene in the southern campaign. 

** On the 2ist of October, 1780, Congress passed the act consolidating the 
regiments of the different states, and New York's quota was reduced to two, as 
follows: The first and third, under Colonel Van Schaick, the second, fourth, 
fifth and what was left of Colonel James Livingston's, and the New York por- 
tion of Colonel Spencer's (additional) regiment, under Colonel Van Cortlandt, 
taking effect by the general order of the ist of January, 1781. In the follow- 
ing fall he was ordered by Washington to proceed with his regiment as the rear 
guard of the army, on the way to Yorktown. There he joined La Fayette and 
Steuben, and during the siege commanded the New York brigade in the trenches 
until Cornwallis surrendered, when he took charge of the British prisoners in 
their march to Fredericksburgh, and finally went into winter quarters at 
Pompton, N. J. 

•* In the summer of 1782, his command encamped at Ver Planck's point, on 
the Hudson, near his home, and in the following winter went into huts at New 
Windsor. He was present there at the meeting called by the commander-in- 
chief, to consider the disaffection that had arisen among the troops. 

" Upon the disbandment of the army, he presented the colors of the Second 
New York Regiment, to Governor George Clinton, at Poughkeepsie, and re- 
tired to his home. 

'* In 1783, Congress gave him the rank of brigadier- general, for his services 
and gallant conduct, at the siege of Yorktown. He served as a member of the 
New York Assembly and State Senate for several sessions, and held his seat in 
Congress, from 1793 to 1809. 

** When I^ Fayette visited the United States, in 1824, he entertained and ac- 
companied him on his tour. 



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284 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



'* For many years he served as treasurer of the New York State Society of the 
Cincinnati. He died at his residence, in the eighty-second year of his age; 
and this great and distinguished veteran's remains now lie mouldering in the 
private burying-ground of the family, near the old manor house, overlooking 
the most picturesque and romantic portion of the Hudson.'* 

Extract from "The Society of the Cincinnati," by 

John Schuyler, Secretary. 

Manor of Cortlandt, loth day of April, 1748. 
**I do hereby Certify that I have agreed with Salomon Burtis for the farm 
where Rich** Roads did live on for him to enter upon & to keep for his lifetime 
at the Rate of four Pounds ten Shillings a yeare, payable in money or County 
Produce yearly. If he should Incline to Dispose of said farm then he must pay 
me, such a part of said Disposal as we can agree upon — Witness my hand 

'* Philip Cortlandt/' 




VAN CORTLANDT ARMS. 



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GERTRUYD VAN CORTLANDT.— 1688-1777. 



286 



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LEAVES FROM ACCOUNT BOOKS OF A COLONIAL DAME 287 



LEAVES FROM THE ACCOUNT BOOKS OF AN ORIGINAL 
COLONIAL DAME 

Aunt of General Schuyler 

** The magic influence of Colonial days asserts itself in this latter part of the 
nineteenth century, and we treasure as never before, the possessions, and the 
traditions of our ancestors. 

**We imagine them sitting in our old carved chairs, pouring their mulled 
wine from our tankards, and sipping their Bohea from our handleless teacups. 

'* How much more vividly are they pictured in our imaginations, when we 
find their written words in faded ink, on paper, yellow with age — some letter, 
or diary, that gives us an insight into their manner of life and way of thinking. 

"While searching through old papers, in the interest of a Colonial dame of 
to-day, we find the quaint old time record of one, who was born more than two 
centuries ago, and one, who, in her day, was a belle and a beauty. 

" When the Colonies were young, the Honorable Stephanus Van Cortlandt 
had seven sprightly daughters, who, with their brothers, made life bright in his 
home; all beautiful, sensible, and devoted to each other; all greatly admired, 
and in time, each married to men of high standing in the colony — men of social 
and political power, a power that many of their descendents wield to-day. 

** One of these seven damsels, Gertruyd by name, was a person of much de- 
cision of character. Although very young when her father died in 1700, she 
grew to be her mother's adviser and helper in the household, and business cares. 

** Her picture shows a fair face, and the costume of Queen Anne's time sets 
off her figure to great advantage. 

** During her youth. Lord Cornbury was Governor of the province, and my 
Lady Cornbury brought some old world customs to New York. She held a 
court in imitation of England, and introduced the fashion of forming her house- 
hold of ^oung ladies of good birth, as was done in great English households, 
and of employing them in sewing, embroidery, and other useful avocations. 

*' Gertruyd Van Cortlandt was one of these favored girls, and the memory 
and influence of the court etiquette remained always with her. Long after, 
when she was well on in years, she tried to teach her step-granddaughter the 
manners of Lady Cornbury, and the ladies of her court, to sit very upright on 
the edge of her chair, and to fold her hands before her as they used to do, but 
by that time a new era was dawning on New York, a governor's court was of 
the past, and it was a difficult matter to impress her teachings on this gay young 
Gertruyd. 

** In 1726, three years after her mother's death, she married Colonel Henry 
Beekman — the son of the Colonel Henry Beekman, who owned many thousand 
acres, in Ulster and Dutchess counties, about whom a story has been often told, 



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288 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



that during his lifetime, a boy asked a Dutch farmer in Ulster county, ' if there 
was land in the moon ? ' his answer was, ' Go ask Colonel Beekman, if there is, 
he surely has a patent for most of it.' The records of the Reformed Dutch 
Church in New York, chronicle the births of two children, a boy and a girl : 

" 'Gertruyd, born March 17th, 1728. 

" ' Henricus, born December 7th, 1729.* 

"Nowhere else is there any mention of them, so the little lives must have 
been very brief, and no other children ever came to gladden Gertruyd's life. 




THE BEEKMAN HOUSE, Rhinebeck, N. Y. 

" After her father's death, she lived with her mother, in their house, in Stone 
street. She seems as her mother advanced in years, to have been the real head 
of the household; — that it was a large one we know, for in 1703, 'Widow 
Cortlandt had nine slaves; five males, two females, and two children,' no one 
else in the city, except Colonel de Peyster, having so many. 

"Stone street was the first street paved in New York. The cobblestones 
were used, we read, 'as well for ornament as for use.' It had been Brouwer 
street until this event. The old accounts show that the Paver was regularly paid 
to keep the street in order, before the Van Cortlandt house. 

" What the house was like, we find in an old newspaper of December i6th, 
1 75 1, where appears this advertisement : 

" « To be Lett, a large Dwelling House with a Stable, Outhouse, Bolting House and Garden 
. lying in Stone Street. 

" * Enquire of Stephen Van Cortlandt.' 



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LEAVES FROM ACCOUNT BOOKS OF A COLONIAL DAME 289 

"Gertruyd found much to employ her time and her carefully written note- 
books, would be something for a Colonial dame of 1896, to be proud of, they 
were so neatly kept, and * mother Cortlandt's ' money, so wisely expended, she 
must have been a notable housekeeper ; she frequented the Vly Market ; she 
bought food and clothing for family and household, she attended to the pay- 
ment of the doctor's and the minister's accounts, cared for the slaves in sickness 
and in health, and saw that the supply of fuel was always undiminished. The 
lists of the articles she purchased are many and various, from ' a purrel neck- 
lace ' to a pound of nails. 

'* To show the difference in the prices now, and one hundred and seventy- 
eight years ago, we have gathered here and there, some items from her note- 
books, which covered a period of many years' duration. 



For one Kow & calf & for ye Ferrying over 

To Meat & Oysters 

" Strawberrys 

Butter 

" Paid to the Paver 

To I lb. Bohe tea . 

«* Water Millions & Cowcumbers 

" Fish, meat, bread, melasses, 

" 2 pictures 

" nails, & % lb. Bohe tea 

" 12 yd. Gresian Lining silk, & silk, corranths & raisins, bt at Blagg's in the 

Fly 

" Bran & schocolat 

To Kabadges 

Ye minister's money 

Pd. Appolonia for cleaning feathers 

To Cotton for Kandles 

" Duks & schocolat 

" Nails for ye fence in ye broadway 

" Minister & poor tax 

" A leather pr of Britches for ye negro 

To veal, bread & Greens 

To Negro's stockings 

To yi Doz. Evory handle knives & forks 

To quilting a petecoat 

To I cask of Butor 

" Cleaning the well 

To shock lat fish & cranberry s, greens & eggs 

To silk & Ferreton 

To cash to Folkert Herman's wife for ye whitening of Linnen .... 

Cash for one pr. of gloves . 

To ye widow Rutgers for milk 

Cash for a Schafindish 

To Elizabeth Marrot for sowing 

A haer brush ... 

A pair of brass hand Irons • . . 

To Chikins & pease . 

To The tallow Chandelaer 

" Robert Livingston for salt 

" A rope & a Bukket for ye house on ye broadway 

" Cash paid Sister Schuyler's ac. which she hath bought for ye family . . 

To one pr of Thongs & shovel with brass nobs 

Paid the Wascher woman 

To Jenny & Molley the sowing girls 



£ 


s. 


d. 


3 


2 






3 


6 




4 


4 




2 


6 




12 


6 




13 


1% 




4 


6 


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7 




4 








10 


9 




S 


6 




7 


6 




9 






3 






18 






I 


9 


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8 




16 


6 




4 


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7 


6 




4 
10 






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290 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



To Loaf Suggar 

** The Dr. for ye servants ••*.... 

To Sowing for ye slaves 

Quinces & long pepper 

Meat flower eggs & bread 

The Canoe 

Buckweit 

The Smith mending ye pomp 

Blue, starch 

Wool 

Lime & sand 

Making 2 bedds 

Dr Dennis for Thorn 

A shirt for Thorn 

Rum for the wotk people 

Melasses & Bier 

Wale bone 

Geeses 

Turkeys, & Cranberrys 

One Lock for ye gate 

Sheet Lead bt of Mr. Bayard 

1 day*s work to E Brevoort 

2 bush lime 

I White Washing Brush 

Market & Scrobbing brushes 

I Hatt mother presented to Dr. Cobus pd Cadweis 

To Wood & riding 

I qr of Bief 

Venson 

mending old Pewter 

I ox belly & 2 heads 

A woman for quilting for mother 

To Dying stockings 

Wood & Brooms 

Silk for 2 beds 

Ye miller 

Unloading the boat 

Mr Finch i Hatt & 2 Spactikles 

1 qr. motton 

3 Cedar Posts for ye Cellar door in Stone St 

To mending 2 doors in the brew house 

To mending the Citchin Floor 

To a bench along the big house, & for painting the same 

To a Mason ^% days for mending the Tile Roof of Tiles which were 

blown of, & plastering the inside of the house in Sundry places . . . 
To Silver, & by 2 chany dishes 



d. 



6 

2 

9 

lO 



s, 
6 

3 

I I 

2 
' II 

n 

: 2 
I 

I 

lO 
12 

6 
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2 

6 

3 

\\ 

5 
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2 

7 

2 

5 
17 
3 
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3 
8 
8 

lO 

2 
II 

2 

9 
5 
7 
4 



7 I 6 
4 1"^ 



6 
9 
1>i 



**The entries are much the same from month to month interspersed with 
* sundries at Markod,' written in the same unvarying even hand, and the spell- 
ing far above the average of that time, when Dutch and English were so oddly 
intermingled, and used so indiscriminately. We cannot help commending the 
regularity with which * ye minister's money * and ' ye poor tax ' were paid, and 
also we note how exceedingly fond of ' schocolat ' ' mother's family ' seem to 
have been. Appolonia and Claudy were called upon continually for such varied 
services, that we feel a pang of regret that there are no Claudys and Appolonias 
with such versatile talents to take places in our households of to-day. 

** Jenny and Molley * the sowing girls ' also found work in plenty for their 
willing hands in the Stone Street house, the ' scrobbing brushes,* brooms, lime. 



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PHILIP VAN CORTLANDT 



291 



and sandy found so often on the lists, show that it must have been a neat house, 
and we can well believe that many good Dutch dishes were warmed in the 
* Schafindish.' 

"Gertruyd seems to have been very conscientious in her dealings with her 
mother, every cent received, and expanded was recorded, and when in 1723, 
the dear mother who had been such a heroine in her day, went to her honored 
rest, (followed by nearly five hundred people, a very large number for that 
time,) she made a careful list of the funeral expenses, as follows : 



To Daniel Gautier for mother's coffin .... 
To The Dutch Choerch for ye grave & bell ringing . 

«* James Welsh for bel ringing , 

«* The french bell ringer 

" The Porters 

" Mr. Short for tending the Burial , 

" Mary Thomson for tending the burial , 

" Susanna Wells for glasses & spice 

Pd Claudy for making mourning 

To a mourning suit of crape & Tafety 

To do for sister Elizabeth , 

To silk & gloves , 

To I of silk 

To Karting of 3 B^s wyne 

To cash pd John Smith for Candles 

To Cash pd Waldron ye Baker on his acct . . . . , 



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''And lest it should be forgotten who had done honor to her mother by 
attending her funeral, she prepared a list headed, * Begraaf Lyst van moeder 
Geertruyd van Cortlandt over leide — Primo November anno 1723, and be- 
ginning it with her mother's descendants (who made a goodly procession by 
themselves) and the relatives and personal friends, there followed the names of 
every person who was present, numbering among them all the Clergy, the 
officers of the Fort, and those from the ships, all the physicians, lawyers and 
merchants of the day. We find even the names of all the Jews then in the city. 
After her mother's death she continued for several years to keep the family ac- 
counts, and after her marriage to Colonel Henry Beekman (whose first wife was 
Janet Livingston) she found another and a different sphere of usefulness. 

'• She was a mother to his only daughter, and we find him providing that she 
should receive at his death, 

" * From my mills at Rhinebeck yearly 2 bbls fine flower. 

«« * 3 barrels bread. 

" « 2 barrels Indian Com meel. 

" * 50 bushels Brand, & out of my orchard at Rhinebeck 10 Barrels of the best fruits, and 
have egsace to my Contry Seat there, and the use of things as she used to have, as when I was 
alive. 

" « The one half of the furniture of the house we live in here at York to be disposed of as she 
pleases after my death and during her life the aforesaid house we live in and furniture and 
stable there unto Belonging, and the Choise of 3 slaves, & £\QO pr annum, to be paid out of 
my Estate during her Life in Lieu of Dower, &c., &c.* 



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292 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

*' He also allowed her to dispose of her own estate and personal property • as 
she pleases.' 

** Mrs. Beekman left a paper with the following instructions in addition to 
her will : 

** • There must be mourning rings for my daughter-in-law, Mrs. Livingston and 
Each of her daughters Each one, for Mrs. Hawes one, for each of my executors 
one, for the Pall bearers Each one. 

** ' The ring on my finger must be for Elizabeth who now tends me, for Mr. 
and Mrs. Cockroft, Each one, for Coll. Stuyvesant one, for Each of my Daughter 
Livingston's Sons, Each one ; what I have given Mrs. Gage I desire it to be 
made in a piece of plate with my name on it. 

" 'Gertruydt Beekman.' 

" Mrs. Gage was the wife of General Gage and the mother of Viscount Gage, 
she was Mrs. Beekman's niece and God-daughter. Gertruyd Beekman lived to 
see her eighty-ninth birthday, and although childless, she had affectionate God- 
children (all remembered in her will). She was much beloved by the children 
and grandchildren of her brothers, to whom she left her large estate, (on part 
of which was situated Anthony's Nose Mountain) and many of their descend- 
ents still keep fresh the memory of * Aunt Beekman.' " 

By her great-great-great-niece, 

Catharine T. R. Mathews. 



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THE VAN COBTLANDT MANOR HOUSE 



293 




VAN CORTLANDT MANOR HOUSE. 

THE VAN CORTLANDT MANOR HOUSE 
Croton'On- Hudson 

" Near the mouth of the Croton river stands the Cortland t Manor House, late 
the residence of General Philip van Cortlandt, but now (1847) in possession of 
Colonel Pierre van Cortlandt, his nephew. This venerable mansion was built 
soon after the erection of the manor by Johannes van Cortlandt, oldest son of 
Stephanus van Cortlandt, first lord of the manor of Cortlandt. The basement 
story still retains the old embrasures for fire arms, and the steep flight of 
steps in front, powerfully reminds the visitor of those sanguinary times, when its 
noble owners never knew when they were secure from the inroads of the savages, 
but in proportion to the strength and security of their habitations. The front 
commands the most extensive and beautiful views of the Croton bay and Hudson 
river, with the additional interest of a lawn and neat garden, laid out at the foot 
of the building. It is sheltered on the north by a high hill covered with luxuri- 
ant forest trees. The approach to the house is by a road formed on the banks 
of the Croton river. 

** The entrance hall is adorned with several stags* heads, the only remains of 
that wild race which anciently spread from the Hudson to Connecticut. 

** The library contains a valuable collection of books, interesting autographs 
and old letters ; among the latter an original letter from General Washington, 
dated Mount Vernon, April 3d, 1797, to Mrs. Clinton, near which is the follow- 
ing, ' Mrs. Washington presents her compliments to Mrs. Clinton, and finding 
that Congress will, contrary to their usual practice on Saturdays, assemble to- 



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294 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

morrow, proposes to Mrs. Clinton to visit the Federal building, at six o'clock 
to-morrow afternoqn if it should be convenient to her. Friday afternoon.* 

"In the same apartment, is a fine bust of the Honorable Pierre van Cort- 
landt, from the original painting by Jarvis ; and a portrait of General Pierre 
van Cortlandt, executed in crayons, by Valdemut, 1797. Also the silver 
mounted pistols of the lieutenant-governor. 

" What a variety of illustrious visitors may fancy summon up and set down in 
this ancient mansion. At one time the illustrious Franklin, seated in the parlor, 
upon seeing General Pierre van Cortlandt, (then a boy,) walk in with a handful 
of prickly pears, requested a few of the pins as he was shortly going to France 
and would like to exhibit in that country pins of domestic manufacture. 

** At another time, we have the neighboring tenantry assembled on the lawn, 
while the eloquent Whitfield addresses them from the piazza. 

*' The year preceding the commencement of hostilities between the mother 
country and her Colonies, His Excellency, William Tryon, and suite, paid an 
unlooked for visit here, of which General Philip van Cortlandt thus speaks: * I 
remember Governor Tryon came in a vessel bringing his wife and a young lady, 
who was a daughter of the Honorable John Watts, a relation of my father, and 
Colonel Edmund Fanning, his friend and secretary ; and after remaining a 
night, he proposed a walk, and after proceeding to the highest point of land on 
the farm, being a height which affords a most delightful prospect, when the 
governor commenced with observing what great favors could be obtained if my 
father would relinquish his opposition to the views of the king and parliament 
of Great Britain, what grants of land could and would be the consequence, in 
addition to other favors of eminence, consequence, &c. My father then ob- 
served that he was chosen a representative by the unanimous approbation of a 
people who placed confidence in his integrity to use all his ability for their 
benefit and the good country as a true patriot, which line of conduct he was de- 
termined to pursue. The governor then turned to Colonel Fanning and said, 
" I find our business here' must terminate, for nothing can be effected in this 
place, so we will return ; " which they did by taking a short and hasty farewell, 
and embarked on board the sloop and returned to New York.' This was in the 
year 1774. 

** A long walk leads through the old garden or pleasaunce to the ancient ferry 
house. This building was occupied by a continental guard during the Revolu- 
tion, and occasionally favored with the presence of Washington and other dis- 
tinguished military officers. 

*' The following orders from the Baron de Kalb bear date, 

« « Camp near Croton Bridge, 19th July, 1778. 

«« * Colonel Malcolm's regiment is ordered to march at 2 o'clock to-morrow morning to the 

fort at West Point, on Hudson's River, with the regiment commanded by Lieut. Col. Parker, 

which is to join on the road near Croton Bridge. The commander of the two regiments (Col. 

Burr) will make all convenient dispatch, marching ten miles a day, as water and ground will 

admit. 

* ♦♦ The Baron de Kalr' 



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THE VAN COBTLANDT MANOR HOUSE 



295 



** A beautiful lane leads from the ferry house east to the Croton bridge. Be- 
low the bridge the river is seen expanding into a wide bay, ornamented with 
picturesque islands, points of land, and lofty banks, covered with clusters of 
rich foliage. On the evening of October the ist, 1609, Henry Hudson anchored 
the Half- Moon at the mouth of the Croton. 

" The Van Cortlandt cemetery is situated on the summit of a hill west of the 
mansion. To the west of the cemetery, at the entrance of the neck proper, 
stood the Indian castle or fort of Kitchawan, one of the most ancient fortresses 
south of the highlands. 

"There are numerous Revolutionary incidents connected with Croton or 
Teller's Point deserving of notice. It was off the western extremity that the 




VAN CORTLANDT SILVERWARE. 

17th Century. 

Tea Kettle. Sugar Sifter. Christening Bowl. 
Gold Pap Spoon. Stephanus Van Cortlandt's 
Watch. 

Vulture sloop of war came to anchor on the morning of the 21st of September, 
1780, having brought up Andr6 for the purpose of holding an interview with 
Arnold, &c. 

" Stephanus van Cortlandt, first lord of the Manor of Cortlandt, (area eighty - 
six thousand acres) was the son of the Honorable Oloff Stephenson van Cort- 
landt, immediately descended from one of the most noble families in Holland, 
their ancestors having emigrated thither, when deprived of the sovereignty of 
Courland — the ancient Duchy of Courland in Russia. 

" Courland in Russia (says Schiutzler,) formerly constituted a portion of Livo- 
nia, but was conquered by the Teutonic Knights in 1561. It subsequently be- 
came a fief of Poland. After the fall of that power it remained for a short time 
independent under its own Dukes, but in 1795 was united to Russia. 

"In the early part of the 17th century, we find the Dukes of Courland 
engaged in the military service of the United Netherlands. The ducal troops 
are said to have rendered great assistance in the reduction of the towns of Kar- 
verden and Minden. 



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296 A QODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

*' The Dukes of Courland appear to have been represented in 1610 by the 
Right Honorable Steven van Cortlandt, in South Holland, father of the above 
mentioned Oloff Stevenson van Cortlandt. 

** Like his illustrious ancestors, Oloff Stevenson van Cortlandt chose the mili- 
tary profession. As early as 1639, we find him attached to the military service 
of the Dutch West India Company. He subsequently emigrated to this country, 
and was soon after his arrival at New Amsterdam, advanced to the civil depart- 
ment as commissary of cargoes, at a salary of thirty guilders. 

**0f this individual, the historian of New Netherland remarks, * Oloff Steven- 
son, or Oloff Stevens van Cortlandt, as he subsequently signed his name, left the 
company's service in 1648. On becoming a freeman he embarked in trade, 
built a brewery in New Amsterdam, and became wealthy. He was Colonel of 
the Burghery, or City Train Bands, in 1649, "^ which year he was also ap- 
pointed one of the nine men. He was one of the signers to the remonstrance 
transmitted to Holland against the administration of Director Kieft, and the 
high-handed measures of Director Stuyvesant. In 1654 he was elected Schepen 
of the City of New Amsterdam, and in 1655 appointed Burgomeester, which office 
he filled almost uninterruptedly to the close of the Dutch government. His place 
of residence was in Brouwer-straat, now Stone street. He had the character of 
being a worthy citizen, and a man most liberal in his charities.* By his wife, 
Ann Loockermans, ' he had issue — seven children — Stephanus, who married 
Gertrude Schuyler ; Maria, who married Jeremias van Rensselaer, Catharine, 
who married first, John Derval, and secondly, Frederick Philips; Cornelia, who 
married Barent Schuyler ; Jacob, who married Eva Philips ; Sophia, who mar- 
ried Andrew Teller, and John, who died unmarried.** 

"Stephanus van Cortlandt died in the year 1700, leaving by his wife 
Gertrude Schuyler, eleven children, who intermarried with the DePeysters, 
DeLanceys, Beeckmans, Skinners, Bayards, Johnsons, Van Rensselaers, and 
Schuylers.** 

The beautiful old manor house — with its surrounding glens and woods 
now consisting of six hundred acres — is still owned and occupied by his 
descendants. 



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THE VAN CORTLANDT MANSION 



297 



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VAN CORTLANDT MANSION. 



THE VAN CORLTANDT MANSION 

** Cortlandt house, the ancient residence of the Van Cortlandt family, stands 
in the vale below, about one mile north from Kingsbridge, on the road leading 
to the village of Yonkers. 

" Jacobus van Cortlandt, the first of the name who enjoyed this estate (eight 
hundred and fifty acres) was the second son of the Right Honorable Oloff 
Stevensen van Cortlandt. Jacobus married Eva Philipse, daughter of the Hon- 
orable Frederick Philipse of the manor of Philipsburgh. Besides the Yonkers, 
Jacobus van Cortlandt was a landed proprietor of the town of Bedford, in this 
county. 

" Frederick van Cortlandt, only son of Jacobus, married Francis Jay, daugh- 
ter of the Huguenot, Augustus Jay, by his wife Anna Maria Bayard. 

"Upon the death of Frederick van Cortlandt, 12th February, 1749, the 
estate devolved by the will of Jacobus, Sr., to Jacobus van Cortlandt, Jr., eldest 
son and heir at law of Frederick. This individual, better known as Colonel 
James van Cortlandt, nobly used his influence (while residing here during the 
war) in ameliorating the condition of his suffering countrymen. It not un- 
frequently happened that a poor neighbor was robbed of everything he possessed ; 
upon application to Colonel van Cortlandt he would assume his red watch coat, 
and mounting his horse ride down to the city, to intercede in their behalf. 
He seldom applied in vain, such was the universal respect for his character. 

" The present mansion house, a large edifice of stone, was erected by Fred- 



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298 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

erick van Cortlandl, A. D. 1748 ; it forms a noble object when viewed from the 
lawn. The situation commands nearly the whole length of the vale of Yonkers ; 
stretching south, the view terminates only by the high hills of New York Island, 
and Heights of Fordham. The pleasure grounds in front, appear to have been 
laid out in the ancient Dutch style, with high artificial banks, adorned with rows 
of stately box, venerable for their height and antiquity ; while below are still 
visible the remains of old fish ponds and jets d*eau. Above the old-fashioned 
windows, grim visages in the shape of corbels seem to frown upon the beholder. 
We suppose them to be a kind of * genus loci.' 

** Two eagles surmount the posts of the old gateway facing the stables. These 
were part of the spoils taken from a Spanish privateer during the war; and pre- 
sented to Augustus van Cortlandt, by Rear Admiral Robert Digby of the British 
navy. To the east of the house, the Mosholu (Tippetts brook) pent up by the 
milldam, forms an extensive sheet of water, which is greatly enriched by the 
vicinity of green meadows, orchards and neighboring hills. South of the pond 
is situated the old mill. 

** During the early period of the Revolutionary war this house was garrisoned 
by a piquet guard of the Green Yagers, whose officers held their headquarters 
here. 

** His Excellency, General Washington, and aids, dined in one of the apart- 
ments on the memorable July of 1781, when the British piquets were driven 
within the lines upon New York Island. In another room the unfortunate Cap- 
tain Rowe expired in the arms of his bride elect. 

" To the north of the mansion is seen rising Vault Hill, so called from the 
family sepulchre, which is seated upon its summit. It was upon this hill that 
General Washington stationed his troops and lighted camp fires for the purpose 
of deceiving the enemy, whilst he secretly withdrew to join La Fayette before 
Yorktown in Virginia, A. D. 1781.'* 

In 1889 the property was purchased by the City of New York for a public 
park. 

'* Placed in the custody of the Colonial Dames of the State of New York by 
the Board of Park Commissioners, for a term of twenty-five years pursuant to an 
Act of the Legislature in 1896. 

" Opened as a public museum by the Society of Colonial Dames of the State 
of New York, on May 27th, 1897, the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of 
the landing of Governor Petrus Stuyvesant on the Island of Manhattan." 



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THE MANOR OF PHIUPSBURGH 



299 




PHILIPSE MANOR HOUSE, Yonkers, N. Y. 

THE MANOR OF PHILIPSBURGH 

The Philipse family — controllingly identified with Yonkers, N. Y., from 1672 
to the time of the Revolutionary war — sprang from a noble house of Bohemia. 

**The spelling of the name was F-e-1-y-p-s-e. The earlier generations, we 
are told, were Hussites, and their descendants continued firm in the faith. The 
famous Thirty Years* war, which broke out in 1618, and afterward involved the 
peace of all Western Europe, started in Bohemia. The Bohemians rose for 
liberty, and this introduced the conflict. The wildest persecutions followed. 
At least thirty thousand Bohemian families sought refuge in Saxony, Sweden, Po- 
land, Holland, etc. Bolton says the furthest known back ancestor of the Yonkers 
Philipse family was the widow of the Right Honorable Yiscount Philipse. She 
fled from Bohemia, taking with her her children, and whatever of her property 
she could carry, and settled in Friesland, somewhere between 1618 and 1626. 
Among her children was a son Frederick, who, after settling in Friesland, mar- 
ried Margaret Dacres, of England. 

** In the year 1658, Frederick Philipse, (having previously obtained the con- 
sent of the Stadtholder and States General,) emigrated from East Friesland to 
the New Netherlands, carrying with him money, plate and jewels. Upon his 
arrival in the city of New Amsterdam, (as New York was then called,) he pur- 
chased a large estate, and soon became one of its wealthiest merchants. On the 
9th of February, 1658, Governor Stuyvesant granted certain lots within the City 



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300 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

of New Amsterdam to Frederick Philipse, which were subsequently confirmed to 
him by the English governor, on the 12th of April, 1667.** 

In 1693, out of the favor he enjoyed with the English government, he re- 
ceived the grant of the great Manor of Philipsburgh. 

After the death of his first wife, Margaret Hardenbroek, he married, in 1692, 
Catharine, daughter of Oloff Stenvensen Van Cortlandt ; she was born October 
25th, 1652, and was the widow of Colonel John de Witt, or Jan der Vail. 

Frederick Philipse, the first lord of the Manor of Philipsburgh, died in 1702. 
He left his valuable property in New York City and New Jersey to his two 
daughters, Eva and Anna. *' His son Philip died before his father, leaving one 
child, a son, named Frederick. To this grandson (but two years old at his 
death) and to his own son Adolphus, he left the Philipsburgh Manor. The 
grandson became the second Lord Philipse. Before he came to his estate, in 
1 61 9, his uncle Adolphus, who never married, had died, and left him his share 
of the manor. So, upon his arrival at manhood, he became owner and lord of 
the entire Philipsburgh estate, and was, as stated, the second lord of the manor.** 

His eldest son, Colonel Frederick Philipse, was the third and last lord of the 
manor. 

Robert Bolton writing in 1847, says: "At a short distance above the 
village landing, facing the post road, is the old manor hall. The present front 
was erected cir. 1745, the rear at a much earlier period, which is reported to 
have been built soon after the Philipse family purchased here, A. D. 1682. 
Although the favorite residence at first, appears to have been Castle Philipse, in 
Sleepy Hollow. 

** The front of the manor hall presents quite a handsome elevation for a 
country residence of the olden time. It is built in the Dutch style, so fashion- 
able at that period ; its roof is surmounted by a heavy line of balustrade forming 
a terrace, that commands extensive views of the river. 

"The principal entrance is through the eastern porch, ornamented with 
light columns and corresponding pilasters. There are likewise two porches 
on the eastern front, looking upon the lawn. The interior is fitted up with 
wainscoted walls, ceilings highly ornamented in arabesque work, and carved 
marble mantels. The hall is capacious, and its wide staircase with antique bal- 
ustrades and banister, has a fine effect. The bedrooms are large panelled apart- 
ments with old-fashioned fireplaces faced in Dutch tile, representing thereon, 
Scripture stories with appropriate references. 

" In this mansion the lords of the manor on the great rent days, feasted their 
tenantry. Some idea may be formed of this establishment which maintained 
thirty white and twenty colored servants. 

" In 1779, the lands in this town together with the rest of the Manor of Phil- 
ipsburg, became by the attainder of Colonel Frederick Philipse (who fled to 
England) vested in the State of New York, after having been in the possession 
of the Philipse family nearly a century. In the year 1784, the state by com- 
mission parceled out these lands to various individuals. One of the principal 



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2ms: MANOR OF PHILIPSBURQH 301 

grantees was Gerard G. Beeckman, Esq., who purchased one thousand six hun- 
dred acres in the vicinity of Tarrytown, upon which is situated the old manor 
house. Mr. Beeckman married Cornelia van Cortlandt; thus after the for- 
feiture of the Philipses a portion of the manor again reverted to a connection of 
the ancient family ; Jacobus van Cortlandt, having married, 1691, Eva Philipse," 
daughter of the Honorable Frederick Philipse, first lord of the manor. 

An American gentleman who visited the grand old Cathedral at Chester, Eng- 
land, in 1869, relates: "The guide was showing us around, telling us about 
this thing and that in parrot-like speeches, when at last we reached a slab in the 
wall and he said : * Here lies buried the body of Frederick Philipse, who lived 
in America ; and when the American Revolution broke out he was ever loyal to 
his Majesty, to his country and to his government ; he owned a vast estate upon 
the Hudson ; there is now upon that estate a village called Yonkers, and the 
old manor house in which Frederick Philipse lived still stands in Yonkers, and 
is regarded as an architectural curiosity, because one of the oldest buildings in 
the United States. Now, Frederick Philipse, by reason of his virtues, was 
ordered to be buried here.' " (May, 1785.) 

Through the efforts of the Yonkers' Historical and Library Association the 
ancient manor hall and grounds surrounding it are to be preserved intact as 
a representative of the feudal system that was established in America. 

THE OLD CHURCH AT SLEEPY HOLLOW 

In this church, (erected two hundred years ago), so the legend goes '* did the 
tall, spare Ichabod Crane, the same who rode so hurriedly across the bridge to 
escape the headless horseman of Irving's story, swing his baton in the ancient 
gallery of the church, and, it is said, that in the minds of the simple Dutch 
folk, he divided the honors equally with the dominie. The old church, built 
of stone and furnished with the habiliments of two centuries ago, is the point 
about which centres a great amount of legendary and romantic literature of the 
beautiful and historic country in which it is located. It is related that when 
Vreedryck Felypsen, or Frederick Philipse, as his English neighbors called him, 
was building the church on his manor of Philipsburg, he delayed the work 
when he had completed the foundations, in order to build a dam in the river. 
The dam being finished, a freshet came and washed it away. The operation 
was repeated with no better success, and in his distress Philipse was approached 
by an ancient negro who said he had had a vision that the church must be com- 
pleted first if the dam were to stand. The advice was followed, so the story 
runs, and both the church and dam remained for many years. The edifice has 
been placed in as near its original condition as is possible. Many changes have 
been wrought by time ; the raised thrones for the lord and lady of the manor 
were taken out after the revolution, in accordance with the new democratic 
ideas, and at that time the third lord of the manor, who had remained loyal to 
England and King George, was obliged to flee for safety. Services are still held 
in the old church during the summer months." 



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302 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



PHILIP VER PLANCK 
0/ Van Cortlandt Manor 

** He was the second son of Jacobus Ver Planck and Margaret Schuyler (a 
daughter of Philip Pieterse Schuyler, of Albany), and after the death of his 
father, and his mother's marriage to John Collins, an English officer at 
Albany, he continued to live there several years. 

"Philip married Gertrude, daughter of Johannes Van Cortlandt, April loth, 
1 718. By the will of Stephanus, Johannes (his son) became the owner of what 
is now Ver Planck's Point on the Hudson. 

** The estate was bought by Stephanus Van Cortlandt in 1683, from the Indi- 
ans. Endorsed on the back of the deed is the following : k Chedull or list 
of goods paid by Stephanus Van Cortlandt for the Land in this T>t^. expressed, 
viz: 

Eight Guns 

Nine Blancoats 

Five Coats 

Fourteen fathem of (wampun ?) 

Fourteen Kettles 

Fourteen fathem off black wampum 

Eighty fathem off white wampum 

Two anckers off Rum 

Five half fatts (vats) off strong Beer 

Twelve Shirts 

Fifty Pounds off Powder 

Thirty bars off Lead 

Eighteen Hatches 

Eighteen Saws 

Fourteen Knives 

A small Coat 

Six fathem off Stroutwater cloth 

Six Pr. off Stockins 

Six Earthen Juggs 

Six tobacco boxes 

''Stephanus Van Cortlandt subsequently obtained a patent from the Crown 
for this and adjoining land, bought also from the Indians, which together went 
to make up ' Cortlandt Manor.* The manor covered the whole of the upper 
part of Westchester county, and extended from * Anthony's Nose,' on the Hud- 
son, to the mouth of the Croton river. The area was eighty -six thousand 
acres. By a law of the Province of New York the manor was given one Repre- 
sentative in the Legislature, a position which Philip Ver Planck held for several 
terms. 



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PHILIP VER PLANCK. 



SOS 



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PHILIP VER PLANCK 305 

** Before the partition of the Van Cortlandt Manor, Philip was sheriff of Al- 
bany county. Several of the writs issued to him are still preserved. Among 
the papers is a declaration in ejectment containing the now obsolete phraseology 
of that technical common law action, not omitting the Casual Ejector and the 
Loving Friend. It was issued in 1721 against Jacob Hallenbeck and others, at 
the suit of John Van Loon. The declaration and notice are endorsed 'good.' 
In September of the same year a commission was issued by Cadwallader Colden, 
Surveyor General, appointing Philip Ver Planck of the City of Albany, Gent., 
' one of my lawful deputys for surveying of Lands. ' This old document is all 
in the handwriting of Colden, and has his seal attached. Philip was made a 
'freeman and citizen' of Albany, in 1724, under Van Brugh's authority as 
mayor. The evidence of these facts are the commission and patent still pre- 
served and now in the possession of Mr. Philip Ver Planck, of Yonkers, from 
whom I have obtained other facts connected with Philip of Cortlandt Manor ; 
Mr. Ver Planck having placed all the papers at my disposal. 

'•Philip seems to have held the office of sheriff of Albany until as late as 
1725. One of the unlucky incidents of his career in that office was the escape 
of a prisoner, for which the suit was ordered to be instituted against him. 

" Philip was also a partner of his half-brother, Edward Collins, in Albany, for 
some years. 

"Among the papers in Dutch there is an invoice dated Amsterdam, nth 
March, 1720, of a quantity of linen, silk and other dry goods consigned to John 
Schuyler, in New York, for the risk and account of Philip Ver Planck, of Albany. 
This may have been a shipment of goods to the partnership which Philip had 
with Edward Collins, in Albany, for there are other papers to show that such an 
association existed between them at Albany. 

" Philip and his wife became the owners of the whole of the Point under the 
will of her grandfather, who devised it to her father, Johannes Van Cortlandt, 
of whom she was the only child. On this property Philip built his manor house, 
placing it near the river, not far from the present steamboat landing of the Point. 

'* In order to secure good local government, Philip took the office of Com- 
missioner of Highways and of Justice of the Peace. A few of his warrants and 
other official papers referring to local affairs are in existence. He was also a 
practical surveyor. Some of his technical books, as well as surveys and maps 
are still preserved. An interesting one is a map of lands for Colonel Henry 
Beekman. His technical knowledge Philip was able to put to good use in the 
partition of the remaining part of the manor, which was rendered necessary 
after the death of Madame Gertrude, the widow of Stephanus Van Cortlandt. 
There were ten shares into which his property was to be divided. He had land 
also in Dutchess county, i.e., one-third of the Rombout Patent, and valuable 
property in the City of New York. 

" On the 1 2th of April, 1746, a commission was issued by George II. to Philip 
Ver Planck, Philip Livingston, Joseph Murray and others to confer with com- 
missioners from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, to confer and take measures 



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306 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

* for the annoyance of the enemy and for securing and preserving the Six Nationf 
of Indians, * * * and for engaging them to enter with us into the war 
against the ffrench.' Instructions from the Governor, George Clinton, were also 
given to the New York commissioners. Meetings accordingly were had with the 
commissioners of the other colonies and a plan of action unanimously agreed 
upon at New York, September 28, 1747, by the commissioners from New York, 
Connecticut, and Massachusetts Bay. It was resolved : * I. That an expedition 
be formed and carried on against the ffrench at Crown Point for the reduction 
of that fortress. II. That it will be necessary that four thousand men (officers 
included) be Raised, with as many of the Six Nations of Indians and their Allies 
as can be obtained to carry on the said expedition * * * and that those 
troops be at Albany by the 15th of April next.' 

** The French and Indian war dragged on with various successes and defeats 
for the English. In this war Philip's sons, James and John, each took part. 

"The massacre of the English prisoners at Fort William Henry, on Lake 
George, in i7S7» aroused the people of New York to the gravity of the situation. 
The government called on Philip Ver Planck to convey the troops up the Hudson. 
A few of the accounts of the masters of the sloops are still preserved. They 
are in the form of vouchers, which were audited in 1757-58 by Philip Ver 
Planck and John Cruger. Some of these are entitled * Expenses of Carrying the 
Forces toward Albany from the Manor of Cortlandt, Westchester county, at the 
allarm of Fort William Henry.* From them are taken the following items : 



Sloop Ranger Caleb Haux for carrying Men being absent 8 dayes at 18 . . 

Sloop Good Intent Jacob Lent 8 E>ayes 

6 Sheep from Daniel Strang 

4 Bushels Wheat, ground & Baked Dan'l Birdsall 

To Joseph Traviss for Rum for the Soldiers to Albany 24 galls at 5 . . . . 

10 lbs Sugar at I7d 

Expenses on Board the Sloop 

179 lbs pork at 5d 

*' Philip was himself the owner of a sloop, the Clinton, which he bought in 
1740 from Pieter Winne, of Albany, the bill of sale of which is still preserved. 
Her name does not appear in the list of sloops which went to Albany. Of the 
Clinton, John Ver Planck was master. He sailed in connection with the business 
of his brother James, who as a civilian had a general store at Cortlandt Manor, 
from which he supplied his father's household, his tenants, and the other people 
of the neighborhood. The sloop Clinton remained in the family as late as 1772, 
for her name appears in the inventory of Philip's estate. 

"Besides the different occupations of Philip already described, he sat for 
several terms in the Legislature as the representative for the Manor of Cortlandt. 
Several of the certificates signed by the Speaker showing the number of days at- 
tendance in the Legislature are still preserved. He was also one of the Gov- 
ernors of Kings (afterward Columbia) College, being named in the charter of 



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PHILIP VER PLANCK 307 

1754, which chair he held until his death. Philip had large landed interests in 
Dutchess county, and also became the owner of another part of the Rombout 
Patent through his wife Gertrude, who was one of the ten heirs of Stephanus 
Van Cortlandt, her grandfather. 

" It seeras to be clear that Philip and his family had the confidence if not the 
favor of the government, and doubtless he was a good Tory. Had he lived 
during the Revolution he would have been sorely tried by the destruction of his 
homestead, and the probable confiscation of his property. His death, October 13, 
1771, spared him all this. His wife had died previously, viz, September 30, 
1766. They were buried with other members of the family in the family burial 
ground at Cortlandt Manor. In the next century when the property had passed 
out of the family, the bodies were removed to St. George's Cemetery, Newburgh. 

" After his father's death James, the eldest son, took possession of the manor 
house and the other property given him by the will. 

"In October, 1772, the year after James* accession to the manor property, he 
received a letter from Philip Schuyler, in Albany, in which he says that he was 
prevented writing before on account of his * recent ill health * * * and 
the attention I was under of a necessity of paying to the Governor when he was 
here.' He then adds that he sends the letter by the hand of his brother Rens- 
selaer, and with it a deed of a piece of land ' of which I beg leave to desire 
your acceptance as a small acknowledgement of the many obligations conferred 
on me by you and the other Branches of your family. * * * 

" ' I am Dear Sir 
" ' Your affectionate Kinsman & Humble Servant 

*< * Phiup Schuyler. 

'*'To 

** * Colonel James Ver Planck. 

*' * at his seat in the Manor of Cortlandt.' " 

This sketch of Philip Ver Planck and that of Mount Gulian which follows are 
extracts from the "History of the Ver Planck Family," by William Edward 
Ver Planck. 

(" The Manor House of Philip Ver Planck and most of its contents were de- 
stroyed in 1777, by being fired upon by a British Man-of-War, in passing up 
the river by Ver Planck's Point where the homestead stood. The house after- 
ward built by Philip's descendants was also burned, so that branch of the family 
have lost a good many of its heirlooms." — W. E. V. P.) 

THE VER PLANCK HOUSE 

"MOUNT gulian" 

At Fishkill'On-the- Hudson 

'* During the Revolutionary war, Ver Planck's Point and Stony Point, directly 
opposite, were occupied successively by the English and American armies. The 



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308 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



Ver Planck properly was then in charge of Samuel Ver Planck, acting as ex- 
ecutor of Philip Ver Planck, its late owner, who had devised it to his son, Philip, 
then in his minority, and living on the homestead at the mills near Fishkill 
Plains, with his aunts. 

** Gulian Ver Planck, the first settler, was born May 31st, 1698, and died 
November nth, 1751, at 'three o'clock in the morning very suddenly.' His 
remains are interred in the New Dutch Church. 



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THE VER PLANCK HOUSE— " Mount Gulian." 

'* The will of Gulian makes the first reference to Mount Gulian, but not in 
connection with Fishkill, for that name was not then applied to this neighbor- 
hood. The house was very probably used as a country residence by Gulian. 
To this theory a good deal of force is given by the allusion in the will to the 
old house. It seems to have been fully furnished and the farm equipped by the 
owner, which would not be the case with farms on leases for long terms or 
for life, as was the case in those days. The name, too, goes to show Gulian 's 
interest and attachment for the old place. So also the architecture is of the 
Colonial period of the early eighteenth century. 

** Unfortunately no data remain to fix the date of the building of the old 
house. The usual custom was to put the date on the gable. Possibly when the 
addition on the north side was put up in 1804, the date mark had to be removed. 
At all events it was never replaced, nor is there any mark in the south gable in- 
dicating where a date may have been. 



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PHILIP VEB PLANCK 309 

'* Mount Gulian was occupied during the war by Baron Steuben, one of 
Washington's chief officers, as a headquarters. Here Steuben established him- 
self and remained until the close of the war and the disbanding of the army by 
Washington, at Newburgh, in 1783. 

'* On May 4th of that year the Order of the Cincinnati was established at 
Mount Gulian." 




VER PLANCK ARMS. 



THE SOCIETY OF THE CINCINNATI 



*« The first suggestion of the organization into a society of the officers of the 
American Army of the Revolution appears in a paper, in the handwriting of 
General Knox, entitled ' Rough draft of a Society to be formed by the American 
officers, and to be called the ** Cincinnati." ' It is dated ' West Point, 15 April, 

1783.' 

**This paper, circulated among the officers of the army, then lying on the 
banks of the Hudson, in the neighborhood of Newburgh (in the State of New 
York), is understood to be referred to in the preamble to the institution of the 
* Society of the Cincinnati * as the ' proposals ' which had * been communicated 
to the several regiments of the respective lines.' 

"The original paper of General Knox, and the 'institution* as adopted, 
both aimed at some bond which would still unite those who for long years had 
shared the hardships of the camp and the dangers of many a battlefield, now 
about to separate, many of them penniless, to find homes ruined, and families dis- 
persed or dead : they sought some tie that should bring them together at intervals, 
in social reunions — above all they sought the means of providing for the neces- 
sities of the more unfortunate of their number, and for the support of the in- 



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310 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

digent widows and children of deceased associates. They wished that their 
children should inherit and maintain the friendship which bound them to- 
gether. And conscious of their disinterestedness and proud of their claim to 
public gratitude and consideration, they followed in the line of that desire for 
recognition which is the life of the soldier's ambition, and which, in but too 
many instances, was all that they might transmit as a visible, actual inheritance 
to their children.*' 

General George Washington, of Virginia, was the first president general of the 
general society. 

Generals Schuyler and Hamilton were both members of the society. The 
former was elected vice president of the New York Society, 4th of July, 1786; 
the latter was vice president from 1788 to 1793, and president general on the 
death of Washington in 1799, until his own death in 1804. 

THE CENTENNIAL 

** On May 13, 1883, the centennial of the Order was pleasantly celebrated at 
the old house by a visit of many of its members. On this occasion the Cin- 
cinnati were welcomed by the late William Samuel Ver Planck, who then owned 
the property. One of the features of this visit was the reading of the Declara- 
tion of Independence by the vice president in the Cincinnati room, as had been 
done one hundred years before on the foundation of the order.'* 

The late Hamilton Fish, president of the society, on account of lameness 
caused by an accident, was unable to be present. 

The report of the special committee appointed to take charge of the celebra- 
tion closes with these words : 

*' And so, this memorable day ended, without an accident to mar in the 
slightest degree its enjoyment. If, as Dr. Johnson said in that well-known pas- 
sage — * That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force 
upon the plain of Marathon * — what ought to have been — what were our feel- 
ings — the representatives and descendants, in visiting the spot, the birthplace of 
our society, where, one hundred years ago, the officers of the Revolutionary 
army, as true patriots as ever honored humanity, founded an association based 
upon liberty, union, friendship and charity, as the closing act oif eight years of 
unequalled fortitude and devotion. Everything served to heighten these feel- 
ings — the venerable house built in 1730, with its ample hall, oaken floors, 
paneled walls, generous wood fires, much as they were in 1783 — the old ante- 
revolutionary trees surrounding it — the presence of the noted family, owners of 
the land from the seventeenth century to the present time — and, above all, the 
endearing Revolutionary memories, more than sufficient to rouse us from that 
' frigid indifference,' to which Dr. Johnson refers with contempt in the passage 
alluded to. What wonder if moistened eyes and a quiet but deep interest per- 
vaded the party assembled in that old hall, as we read from the institution those 
principles, simple, but earnest, in which, under the pledge to each other of their 



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PHILIP VER PLANCK 311 

sacred honor, /our fathers declared their unalterable devotion to liberty, union, 
brotherly kindness and charity, in that very spot. 

'*In the providence of God, it shall, as we tnist, be permitted to our succes- 
sors to celebrate at the end of another century the formation of the Society. 
This brief record will at least show them that in our day we were not unmind- 
ful of what was due to the memory of the Founders." 

New York, 4th. July, 1883. Alexander Hamilton, Chairman. 



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CHAPTER XIII 
Period i 777-1 790 

** If the military life of General Schuyler/* continues Chancellor Kent, ** was 
inferior in brilliancy to that of some others of his countrymen, none of them 
ever surpassed him in fidelity, activity, and devotedness to the service. The 
characteristic of his measures was utility. They bore the stamp and unerring 
precision of practical science. There was nothing complicated in his character ; 
it was chaste and severe, and, take him for all in all, he was one of the wisest 
and most efficient men, both in military and civil life, that the state or the na- 
tion has produced. 

" He continued during the remainder of his life to be eminently useful in the 
civil departments of government ; he was one of the commissioners from New 
York in 1784, and again in 1787, to settle the boundary line between that state 
and Massachusetts : the difficulty depended essentially on the variations of the 
magnetic needle, and the perusal of the correspondence shows that he executed 
his trust with great industry and skill. 

*' He had been elected to Congress in 1777, and he was reelected in each of 
the three following years. On his return to Congress after the termination of 
his military life, his talents, experience and energy were put in immediate requisi- 
tion ; and in November, 1779, he was appointed to confer with General Wash- 
ington on the state of the southern department. In 1781, he was in the Senate 
of this state ; and wherever he was placed, and whatever might be the business 
before him, he gave the utmost activity to measures, and left upon them the im- 
pression of his prudence and sagacity. He took a zealous part in promoting the 
adoption of the constitution of the United States, and in 1789, he was elected to 
a seat in the first Senate ; and when his term expired in Congress, he was re- 
placed in the Senate of the State. 

"July 19th, 1790, the Legislature of New York appointed General Schuyler 
and Rufus King, United States Senators. In the National Senate the former 
' took decided ground in favor of Secretary Hamilton's funding system, and the 
creation of a National Bank.* ** 

The two following letters have never appeared in print. 

" New York, 23d May, 1790. 
" My dear Love : 

«« I sent you yesterday by Capt. Marsellis, six lobsters, and six mackeral, with a request 
that if he had not a speedy passage to boil the former, and to salt the latter. He also had 
charge of one dozen oranges, and one dozen lemons ; fruit of that kind is at present very 
scarce. I shall send you a further supply as soon as any arrives. 

312 



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PERIOD 1777-1790 313 

" Except a little cough, the remains of the influenza, I am now perfectly well, and was re- 
joiced to hear that you and the family are so. 

" Hans forgot to carry the carrot seed on board which Johnny wrote for. I shall send it to- 
morrow. 

" Enclose you a little muskmelon seed from Baron Polnitz. The cheese you sent is a very 
good one indeed — we did not get it until Friciay last. 

«« The bill for funding the debt will be completed in the course of next week and Congress 
will adjourn the week after ; but if they do not, I will procure leave of absence as soon as the 
funding is completed. 

*« The Baron's (Steuben) bill goes hard in the Senate. If it is passed at all, the allowance 
will be much short of the expectations. 

«« The President is so far recovered as to walk across his room ; the physicians here had 
given him over, when Dr. Jones arrived from Philadelphia. Mrs. Washington whom I saw 
yesterday morning is well, and desires her respects to you. 

" The children are all well, and join me in love to you and all the family. 

" Adieu my dear love 

" I am ever yours affectionately, 

" To Mrs. Schuyler, «« Ph. Schuyler. 

" near Albany. 
" Free Ph. Schuyler." 

" New York, Wednesday, July 14th, 1790. 
"My dear Love : 

"I was in hopes that when the question of the residence of Congress was settled that 
the public business would not have met with many more obstacles ; but, contrary to my expec- 
tations, and my wishes, too, as many embarrassments occur as ever. Some in the Senate are 
for funding the debt on the Secretary's proposition — others for literally complying with the en- 
gagements of the former Congress — a third party for allowing only four per cent, interest — 
and a fourth do not wish to fund at all. Amidst this variety of jarring opinions, it is utterly 
impossible to guess at the event with any degree of precision. A few days must, however, 
bring us to an ultimate decision and perhaps something like a mean between the three first 
will be the result. 

" If a sloop offers I shall send you some oranges, lemons, &c. I hope you, my Dear, and 
my beloved children are in perfect health ; we are all well here and join in love to you and all 
with you. " I am, my Dear Love, forever, 

" most affectionately yours, 
" Philip Schuyler. 
" The post is not yet arrived and as 
" he will go out before I can receive any Letters, 

" with which I may be favored, I must close before I know if he bring any for me. 

" To Mrs. Schuyler, 
" near 
♦• Albany. 
" Free. 

" Ph. Schuyler." 



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314 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

RUFUS KING 

An American Statesman 

** Rufus King, statesman, born in Scarborough, Me., in 1755 ; died in New 
York City, April 29, 1827. He was the eldest son of Richard King a success- 
ful merchant of Scarborough, and was graduated at Harvard in 1777, having 
continued his studies while the college buildings were occupied for military pur- 
poses. He then studied law with Theophilus Parsons at Newburyport. While 
so engaged in 1778, he became aide to General Sullivan in his expedition to 
Rhode Island, and after its successful issue was honorably discharged. In due 
time he was admitted to the bar where he took high rank and was sent in 1783 
to the general court of Massachusetts. Here he was active in the discussion of 
public measures, and especially in defeating against powerful opposition the as- 
sent of the Legislature to grant the five per cent, impost to the Congress of the 
confederation, which was requisite to enable it to ensure the common safety. In 
1784, by an almost unanimous vote of the Legislature, Mr. King was sent a del- 
egate to the old Congress, sitting at Trenton, and again in 1785 and 1786. In 
this body, in 1785, he moved * that there should be neither slavery nor involun- 
tary servitude in any of the states described in the resolution of Congress in 
April, 1784, otherwise than in punishment of the crime whereof the party shall 
have been personally guilty ; and that this regulation shall be made an article of 
compact, and remain a fundamental principle of the constitution between the 
original states and each of the states named in said resolve.' Though this was 
not at the time acted upon, the principle was finally adopted almost word for 
word in the famous ordinance of 1787 for the government of the northwestern 
territory, a provision which had been prepared by Mr. King, and which was in- 
troduced into Congress by Nathan Dane, his colleague, while Mr. King was en- 
gaged in Philadelphia as a member from Massachusetts of the convention to form 
a constitution for the United States. He was also appointed by his state to the 
commissions to settle the boundaries between Massachusetts and New York, and 
to convey to the United States lands lying west of the Alleghanies. While in 
Congress in 1786 he was sent with James Monroe to urge upon the Legislature 
of Pennsylvania the payment of the five per cent, impost, but was not so success- 
ful as he had been in Massachusetts. In 1787, Mr. King was appointed one of 
the delegates from his state to the convention at Philadelphia to establish a more 
stable government for the United States. In this body he bore a conspicuous 
and able part. He was one of the members to whom was assigned the duty of 
making a final draft of the constitution of the United States. When the ques- 
tion of its adoption was submitted to the states, Mr. King was sent to the Mas- 
sachusetts convention, and, although the opposition to it was carried on by most 
of the chief men of the state, his familiarity with its provisions, his clear expla- 
nation of them, and his earnest and eloquent statement of its advantages, con- 



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RUFUS KING. 



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RUFU8 KING 



317 



tributed greatly to bring about its final adoption. Mr. King had now given up 
the practice of law, and having in 1786 married Mary, the daughter of John 
Alsop, a deputy from New Yock to the first Continental Congress, he took 
up his residence in New York in 1788. The next year he was elected to the 
assembly of the state, and while serving in that body * received the unexampled 
welcome of an immediate election with Schuyler to the Senate ' of the United 
States. In this body he was rarely absent from his seat, and did much to put 
the new government into successful operation. One of the grave questions that 
arose was that of the ratification of the Jay treaty with Great Britain in 1794. 




RESIDENCE OF RUFUS KING, Jamaica, L. I. 

Of this he was an earnest advocate, and when he and his friend General Ham- 
ilton were prevented from explaining its provisions to the people in public meet- 
ing in New York, they united in publishing under the signature of ' CanimiUus' 
a series of explanatory papers, of which those relating to commercial affairs and 
maritime law were written by ^Jr. King. This careful study laid the foundation 
of much of the readiness and ability that he manifested during his residence in 
England as United States Minister, to which post, while serving his second term 
in the Senate, he was appointed by General Washington in 1796, and in which 
he continued during the administration of John Adams and two years of that 
of Thomas Jefferson. The contingencies arising from the complicated condition 



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318 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

of affairs, political and commercial, between Great Britain and her continental 
neighbors, required careful handling in looking after the interests of his coun- 
try : and Mr. King, by his firm and intelligent presentation of the matters en- 
trusted to him, did good service to his country and assisted largely to raise it to 
consideration and respect. In 1803 he was relieved, at his own request, from 
his office, and, returning to this country, removed to Jamaica, L. I. There, in 
the quiet of a country life, he interested himself in agriculture, kept up an ex- 
tensive correspondence with eminent men at home and abroad, and enriched his 
mind by careful and varied reading. He was opposed on principle to the war 
of 181 2 with England, when it was finally declared, but afterward gave to the 
government his support, both by money and by his voice in private and in the 
United States Senate, to which he was again elected in 1813. In i8i4hemade 
an eloquent appeal against the proposed desertion of Washington after the Brit- 
ish had burned the capilol. In 1816, without his knowledge he was nominated 
as Governor of New York, but was defeated, as he was also when a candidate 
of the Federal party for the Presidency against James Monroe. During this 
senatorial term he opposed the establishment of a national bank with ^50,000,- 
000 capital ; and, while resisting the efforts of Great Britain to exclude the 
United States from the commerce of the West Indies, contributed to bring about 
the passage of the navigation act of 1818. The disposal of the public lands by 
sales on credit was found to be fraught with much danger. Mr. King was urgent 
in calling attention to this, and introduced and carried a bill directing that they 
should be sold for cash, at a lower price, and under other salutary restrictions. 
In 1819 he was again elected to the Senate by a Legislature that was opposed to 
him in politics as before. Mr. King resisted the admission of Missouri with 
slavery, and his speech on that occasion, though only briefly reported, contained 
this carefully prepared statement : ' Mr. President, I approach a very delicate 
subject. I regret the occasion which renders it necessary for me to speak of it, 
because it may give offence where none is intended. But my purpose is fixed. 
Mr. President, I have yet to learn that one man can make a slave of another. 
If one man cannot do so, no number of individuals can have any better right to 
do it. And I hold that all laws or compacts imposing any such condition on 
any human being are absolutely void, because contrary to the law of nature, 
which is the law of God, by which he makes his ways known to man, and is 
paramount to all human control.' He was equally opposed to the compromise 
offered to Mr. Clay on principle, and because it contained the seeds of future 
troubles. Upon the close of the senatorial term he put upon record, in the 
Senate, a resolution which he fondly hoped might provide a way for the final ex- 
tinction of slavery. It was to the effect that, whenever that part of the public 
debt for which the public lands were pledged should have been paid, the pro- 
ceeds of all future sales should be held as a fund to be used to aid the emanci- 
pation of such slaves, and the removal of them and of free persons of color, as 
by the laws of the states might be allowed, to any territory beyond the limits of 
the United States. His purpose to retire to private life was thwarted by an 



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BUFU8 KINO 319 

urgent invitation from John Quincy Adams, in 1825, to accept the mission to 
Great Britain. Mr. King reluctantly acquiesced and sailed for England where 
he was cordially received, but after a few months he was obliged through failing 
health, to return home. 

"His wife, Mary, born in New York, October 17th, 1769, died in Jamaica, 
N. Y., June 5th, 1819, was the only daughter of John Alsop, a merchant and a 
member of the Continental Congress from New York, and married Mr. King, 
in New York on March 30th, 1786. He was at that time, a delegate from Mas- 
sachusetts to the Congress, then sitting in that city. Mrs. King was a lady of 
remarkable beauty, gentle and gracious manners, and well cultivated mind, and 
adorned the high station, both in England and at home, that her husband's offi- 
cial position, and their own social relations entitled them to occupy. The latter 
years of her life, except while in Washington, were passed in Jamaica, L. I.** 

By his grandson. Dr. Charles R. King. 

('* It would be well to make the text correct thus — in defeating against power- 
ful opposition, Etc. 

"The original sketch says 'carrying,* but the present correction is made by 
the authority of Dr. Charles R. King, who wrote the sketch, but failed to cor- 
rect the mistake when it was published.*') 



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320 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

•■ 

MORGAN LEWIS 
A Signer of the Declaration of Independence 

** Morgan Lewis, the second son of Francis Lewis, one of the signers of the 
Declaration of Independence, was born in New York, on the i6th of October, 
1754, during the French war. His father's house was near the Battery, and the 
city was then so small, that the boy could hunt squirrels and even lose himself 
in the woods, without going far from home. He owed his early education to 
his mother, a lady of unusual cultivation, who, with none of our facilities for 
the training of the young, knew how to make solid studies interesting and ac- 
ceptable to her son before he was in his teens. Morgan was first placed at a 
grammar school, in Elizabethtown, whence, he entered Princeton College. 
There, his favorite study was Greek, and his favorite companion was James 
Madison. He graduated from Princeton with distinction in 1773, after giving 
proof of the fine qualities which were to make his life distinguished. 

''Lewis had chosen the Church as his profession, but his father, preferring 
the bar, he was preparing to go to London, to study at the Temple, when the 
growing disagreements between the Colonies and the mother country, made it 
evident that America would need the services of all her sons. Lewis sought for 
instruction in the military duties which then seemed all important, and in 1775, 
joined as a volunteer, the forces before Boston. 

** In August, of the same year, when only twenty-one years old, he took com- 
mand, with the title of major, of a company of volunteers which was soon 
taken into the Continental service, as the second New York. Almost immedi- 
ately, by order of the provincial Congress, he was * posted with his company to 
cover a party of citizens, who, after nightfall, were engaged in removing the 
arms, ordinance and military equipments from the arsenal on the Battery. The 
"Asia,** a British ship of war, lay nearly abreast of the arsenal, and Major Lewis 
was specially instructed to prevent all intercourse between that ship and the 
shore, while the working party was engaged. Scarcely had the work of removal 
commenced, when a boat was discovered gliding slowly, with muffled oars, 
within musket shot of one of the sentinels, who, after hailing several limes 
without receiving an answer, fired a shot over her and ordered her to come to 
the shore or pull out into the stream. No attention was paid to this, but a small 
blue light was exhibited under the bow of the boat, near the surface of the 
water. In an instant, the **Asia ** was lighted from her topsail yards to her main 
deck, and her battery opened in the direction of the arsenal. A section of the 
guard was now brought up, who discharged their pieces into the boat, ** wound- 
ing two seamen.*' No further attempt at interference was made by the '* Asia.** 

*' * In June, 1776, when General Gates was appointed to the command of the 
army in Canada, Major Lewis accompanied him as chief of staff, with the rank 



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MORGAN LEWIS 323 

of colonel. After the army retired from Canada, Congress appointed him 
quartermaster-general for the northern department.' Lewis remained in the 
field with the army until December, when it went into winter quarters. The 
northern campaign opened in July, 1777, with the evacuation of Ticonderoga. 
In August, General Gates again assumed command, and the army, swelled by 
volunteers from every direction, advanced to a position on Bemis Heights. 
The conduct of Lewis in the engagement of September 19th, was commended 
by General Gates in general orders. On the morning of the 7th of October, 
the drums again beat to arms, and the information was received that the enemy 
was marching in force against the American left. Colonel Lewis received an 
order from headquarters to repair to the scene of action with six or eight of the 
most intelligent and best mounted men to act as messengers ; to select the most 
commanding positions whence to watch the movements of the enemy and the 
tide of battle ; and to transmit to headquarters an immediate report of every 
important event as it should occur. That this mark of confidence in the judg- 
ment and ability of Colonel Lewis was well bestowed, is sufficiently proved by 
the events that followed. General Gates himself did not see the battle, but re- 
lied for its conduct on the information thus received. The convention of Sara- 
toga having been concluded on the i6th, the next day the rank and file of the 
British army descended from the heights to the plain on the margin of the Hud- 
son river, where they were received by Colonel Lewis, and having stacked their 
arms, were conducted by him to the rear, through a double line of American 
troops, who observed perfect silence during the ceremony. 

"In 1778 and again in 1780, Lewis accompanied General Clinton in expedi- 
tions against predatory parties of the British and Indians. 

**The following interesting incident is related by Colonel Lewis* daughter: 

" * My father returned to his house in Maiden Lane, New York, in 1783, be- 
fore the evacuation by the British troops. General and Mrs. Hamilton were 
staying at his house when the fire at the arsenal broke out. Terror seized upon 
all classes ; the inhabitants who had just returned to their homes, feared that 
the fire was the work of British incendiaries, and hesitated to expose themselves. 
The British soldiers kept aloof lest they should be suspected, and should become 
the object of popular violence. The flames continued unchecked. Citizens 
formed a line and passed leather buckets from hand to hand. My father and 
General Hamilton arrived and were preparing to organize the citizens while the 
British soldiers stood idly by. At this moment, a soldier came up and an- 
nounced that all was lost, as the arsenal contained several barrels of gunpowder 
which the fire had just reached. My father turned immediately toward the sol- 
diers, exclaiming, ** Come, my lads, won't you help us ? '* ** Yes, sir ; willingly,*' 
was the- prompt reply. My father and Hamilton led the way, the soldiers fol- 
lowed, and calling them barrels of pork, they rolled out the casks of gunpowder 
through the fire and saved the city.* 

'* * From about the period of the surrender of Burgoyne, the duties of Col- 
onel Lewis brought him frequently in contact with Washington. Comfortable 



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324 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

quarters were hard to find in those days, and for some lime he was honored by 
being permitted to share the sleeping apartment of the commander-in-chief ! ' 
At the close of the war, Lewis was appointed colonel of a regiment of militia 
in the City of New York, at the head of which he had the honor of escorting 
General Washington at his first inauguration as president. 

** After peace was established, Colonel Lewis took up with characteristic vigor 
the occupations of civil life. He studied law with such assiduity as to endanger 
his health, and soon after being admitted to the bar he established a lucrative 
practice. He was naturally adapted to public life, and, having once entered it, 
his progress in the confidence of his countrymen was rapid and distinguished. 
He represented New York City in the Assembly, and soon after Dutchess county, 
to which he had removed. He was next elected a judge of the Common Pleas, 
and in 1791, was appointed attorney-general of the state. In 1792, he was 
raised to the bench of the Supreme Court, and the next year he became chief 
justice. In 1804, he was elected Governor of the Slate of New York. His in- 
cumbency of the office was marked by his efforts on behalf of public education, 
and for the improved regulation of the militia of the state. In his first address 
to the Legislature, occurs the following passage : 

** * In a government resting on public opinion, and deriving its chief support 
from the affections of the people, religion and morality cannot be too sedulously 
inculcated. To them science is a handmaid ; ignorance, the worst of enemies. 
Literary information should be placed within the reach of every description of 
citizens, and poverty should not be permitted to obstruct the path to the fane of 
knowledge. Common schools, under the guidance of respectable teachers, 
should be established in every village, and the indigent, educated at the public 
expense. The higher seminaries, also, should receive every support and patron- 
age within the means of enlightened legislators.* ** 

**0n the breaking out of the war of 1812, I^wis reentered the military 
service of his country. In May, he was appointed Quartermaster-General, and 
in March, 1813, he was promoted to the rank of Major-General, and was or- 
dered to active service on the Canadian frontier, in which he remained during 
the rest of the war. 

** Military operations had the effect of greatly impoverishing the farms of the 
part of the state in which General Lewis* property was situated. In consequence 
of this, the general remitted a year's rent to every farmer who served in one 
campaign in the army, or who had a son in the service. During the war, a 
number of American prisoners remained in the hands of the enemy in Canada, 
after they had been exchanged, because the British commissary refused bills on 
the United States government, in payment of their debts and expenses, on the 
ground that such bills were impossible to collect through the ordinary commer- 
cial channels. The American prisoners were in a suffering condition in Quebec, 
and their own government could not see its way to help them. In this emer- 
gency, General Lewis advanced fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty dollars 
of his private funds to obtain the release of his countrymen. This sum was 



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MORGAN LEWIS 325 

credited to General Lewis, on the books of the treasury, but was never repaid 
to him. The unfortunate prisoners were relieved, but very few ever knew the 
source whence their relief came. 

** The following letter is a specimen of others received by General Lewis, and 
shows the confidence felt in his willingness to exert himself in the cause of the 
unfortunate : 

" * Dear General — In consequence of an unhappy misunderstanding relative to the ex- 
change of prisoners having taken place between our government and his Excellency tlie Gov- 
ernor of the Canadas, we have been refused our parole. We proceed immediately lo Quebec. 
For God's sake, endeavor to effect my exchange. Knowing my disposition, you know my suf- 
ferings. If darkness closes upon me here, I hope you will not think it too much trouble to in- 
quire for my dear little daughter, now at Miss Hall's school, in the City of New York ; also see 
that my name does not suffer in the adjustment of my affairs with the government. 

" * Yours sincerely, 

" * C. Van de Venter.* 

**The conclusion of the war of 1812 found General Lewis in his sixtieth 
year. But although his public life was now ended, he still had before him 
thirty years of active and happy private life. In 1779, he had married Ger- 
trude, the daughter of Robert Livingston, and sister of Robert R. and Edward 
Livingston, who were successively ministers to the Court of France. Mrs. 
Lewis died at the age of seventy-six, after a union of forty-five years, and it is 
a remarkable fact that this was the first death that had occurred in the Gen- 
eral's family during this period, although it then numbered thirty individuals. 

*' Age increased rather than diminished General Lewis' taste for reading. He 
was a deeply interested student of the Bible, and the copy which he habitually 
used is still preserved, considerably scorched by the flame of the candles close 
to which he was obliged to hold it. He studied the Old Testament closely in 
its bearings upon the subject of slavery, and he showed his conviction that this 
institution could not long continue in the United States by refusing advanta- 
geous off*ers to invest money in southern plantations. He had long been able to 
read the New Testament in Greek, and in his later life he learned the Hebrew 
in order to l)e able to read it in that language. 

** At the age of seventy-nine years, on the occasion of the centennial celebra- 
tion of the birthday of Washington, he delivered an eloquent address upon the 
life of his illustrious commander. An interesting circumstance to which he 
alluded was the fact that during the three weeks he shared Washington's rooms, 
he never saw the General resting or idle. Whether Lewis sat up late at night or 
rose early in the morning, he never beheld Washington otherwise than at work. 

'* For many years he presided over the Historical Society and the Order of 
the Cincinnati, and held the office of Grand Master of the New York Masons. 
Keeping well abreast of his time and interested in everything that concerned 
the welfare of his country, he remained until nearly the middle of the nine- 
teenth century, a noble example of the men who fought in the Revolution and 
laid the foundations of the United States. He died in 1844. In the words of 



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326 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



his Masonic brethren, * The summons to the Celestial Grand Lodge reached him 
on Sunday, the 7th meridian, when he departed from us, in the ninetieth year of 
his age.' " 

Records of the Daughters of the Cincinnati." 




STAATSBURGH." 



THE MANSION AT STAATSBURGH 

** One of the most picturesque residences to be seen as one sails up the Hudson 
is the home of Mr. Ogden Mills at Staatsburg, originally the home of Maturin 
Livingston, Mrs. Mills's father. The old manor house was kept intact, and 
wings about the dimensions of the original building were added on each side, 
the house now being one hundred and sixty-eight -feet by six hundred and 
seventy-five feet, and containing about ninety rooms. Though only two stories 
in height, the windows command views of the Hudson for many miles north and 
south. Many of the guest chambers are on the ground floor. The house is 
Grecial in design, and the exterior is a light grey stucco, with trimmings of 
white. 

** Governor Lewis purchased the property at Staatsburg in 1793, and built his 
house in 1795. ^^ was destroyed by fire in 1832, and rebuilt by Governor 
Lewis in 1833. 

** The second house has been much altered but the property has descended in 
a direct line to his great-granddaughter who now resides there." 

Geraldine L. Hoyt. 



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COLONEL TIMOTHY PICKERING 329 



COLONEL TIMOTHY PICKERING 
An American Statesman 

"Timothy Pickering was born in Salem, Mass., in the year 1745. He 
was a lineal descendant of John Pickering who emigrated from Yorkshire, Eng- 
land, in the reign of Charles I., about 1636. He was a Puritan. Colonel 
Pickering was the youngest of a family of nine children, seven sisters and two 
brothers. They all lived to an advanced age — three of the sisters living to be 
upwards of ninety and one of them, the wife of the Honorable Paine Wingate 
of New Hampshire (a member of the first Continental Congress) reaching the 
extraordinary age of one hundred, years and eight months. The subject of this 
sketch was educated at the Grammar School in Salem. When fourteen years 
old he entered Harvard College, graduating at eighteen. On leaving college he 
studied law, and subsequently became a clerk in the office of Mr. Higginson, 
register of deeds for the county of Essex. Being appointed an officer in the 
militia of the county he gave particular attention to the study of military 
science, and in the efficiency of his regiment he observed ' that it became men 
of weight, influence, and fortune more than others to encourage military exer- 
cises in order to do their country service ; that in consequence of the unconcern 
of the best citizens, unworthy personages were appointed, thus bringing the 
militia into contempt.* He wrote articles and published them, giving instruc- 
tion to officers in the manner of drilling their men — in the Manual of 
Arms. 

** The ending of the war and peace with France left the colonists lime to con- 
sider their relations with the mother country. The oppressive measures of the 
British parliament under the Ministry of Lord North, and their efforts to raise a 
revenue from the Colonies, together with the enactment of the odious Stamp Act 
aroused their indignation to a high pitch ; and stirred up great hostility toward 
England. It was in vain that Edmund Burke, the Earl of Chatham and the 
men of most ability in England opposed these measures, the vox populi of Eng- 
land was on the side of the Ministry and the Colonies were obliged to submit to 
these impositions. 

'* When in 1774 Parliament by an act called the Boston Port Bill shut up the 
Capital of Massachusetts from the sea, thereby prostrating its active and exten- 
sive commerce, the government of the province was removed from Boston to 
Salem. The inhabitants of that town in full town meeting voted an address to 
the new Governor, General Gage, in hopes to procure relief for their brethren 
in Boston. That address was written by Colonel Pickering. It concluded with 
these remarkable words : ' By shutting up the Port of Boston, some imagine 
that the course of trade might be turned hither to our benefit. But nature in the 
formation of our Harbor, forbid our becoming rivals in commerce with that 



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330 A GODCHILD OF WA8HING1VN 

convenient mart ; and were it otherwise, we must be dead to every idea of jus- 
tice, lost to all feelings of humanity, could we indulge one thought to. seize on 
wealth, and raise our fortunes on the ruins of our suffering neighbors.' Colonel 
Pickering was one of a committee to present this address in person to Governor 
Gage. 

** Discontent was taking strong hold on the community of Massachusetts at 
this time. In February, 1775, Colonel Leslie from Castle William was ordered 
by Governor Gage to seize some military stores deposited in Salem, and 
marched with one hundred and forty men toward Salem through Marblehead. 
A determined resistance was made at the drawbridge leading from Danvers to 
Salem by Colonel Pickering with forty men to prevent their object. The British 
troops were delayed an hour and a half at the bridge and darkness coming on 
and their object rendered impracticable, they returned without entering Salem. 
This resistance to the authority of the government was the herald of the 
approaching storm. 

** Colonel Pickering was married to Rebecca White in April, 1776. It was a 
most happy union ; she was a woman of great firmness of character united with 
gentleness and was in every way fitted to endure the vicissitudes of the long 
and anxious separations which the continuance of war and public stations in- 
volved on her and her husband. It is related of her that when the wives of 
those of her acquaintance were repining and grieving over the absence of their 
relatives in the war, she told them she should * never stand between her husband 
and his duty.' She lived until her seventy-fifth year, retaining always her fair 
complexion and delicate bloom. Her portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart bears 
evidence to her personal charms. She was born in England, her father being 
in the Naval Service of Great Britain — although born in Boston. He com- 
manded the ' Weymouth,* a sixty-four gun ship at the taking of Manilla from 
the Spaniards in 1745. 

** In the autumn of 1776, the army under Washington being greatly reduced 
in numbers a large reinforcement of militia was called for ; the quota of 
Massachusetts was five thousand. Colonel Pickering took command of the 
regiment of seven hundred men from Salem. When the orders came he as- 
sembled the militia in Salem, harangued and exhorted them to step forward 
to the defence of their country in her hour of peril. After sending round the 
drum and fife as a signal for volunteers he stepped forward as the first. This 
patriotic example was followed by large numbers. The quota of Salem was 
composed of volunteers. This term of militia duty was performed in the 
winter of 1776-77, terminating at Bound Brook, N. J. 

** Washington's headquarters being at Morristown, Colonel Pickering often 
dwelt on the hardships of that long winter march, which he shared with his 
men ; of their sleeping at night on the frozen ground, or in barns ; and lending 
his horse to any of his command who were too fatigued or unwell to march 
with the soldiers as he was able to do himself. 

** Shortly after his return to Salem, Colonel Pickering received an invitation 



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MRS. PICKERING 



33' 



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COLONEL TIMOTHY PICKERING 333 

from General Washington to accept the office of Adjutant General of the Army. 
Washington addressed a letter to Congress recommending him to that position : 

" * Gentlemen : 

" * Immediately on receipt of your resolve recommending the office of Adjutant 
General to be filled by a gentleman of ability and unsuspected allachment to our cause, I 
wrote to Col. Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts. This choice I was induced to adopt from 
the high character I had of him both as a great military genius, cultivated by an industrious 
attention to the art of war, and as a gentleman of liberal education, distinguished zeal and 
great method and activity in business. This character I had of him from gentlemen of 
merit and distinction on whom I could rely. 

" « Geo. Washington.' 

** While in this office Colonel Pickering formed part of the military family 
of the Commander-in-Chief, and chiefly during this campaign on the Hudson, 
the headquarters being at Newburgh. In the battles of Brandyvvine and Ger- 
mantown Colonel Pickering was at the side of Washington or carrying oiders 
in the field. In 1777 he was made a member of the Board of War, together 
with General Gates, General Mifflin and Richard Peters. On the resignation 
of General Green, Colonel Pickering was appointed by Congress, Quarter- 
master-General of the Army, which difficult and arduous office he held until 
the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. 

** After the disbanding of the Continental Army he became a resident of 
Philadelphia, and in 1790 he was made delegate to the convention for revising 
the constitution of Pennsylvania together with Thomas Mifflin, Thomas 
McKean, William Lewis, Albert Gallatin, James Ross and Samuel Fitzreaves. 
At the instance of Colonel Pickering a wise and benevolent provision was in- 
serted in that constitution ; namely, the establishment of free schools in that 
state. 

** From the year 1790 to 1794, Colonel Pickering was charged by President 
Washington with several negotiations with the Indian Nations on our frontiers, 
in a joint commission with Beverly Randolph of Virginia, and General Lincoln. 
In 1794 he was appointed sole agent for settling our disputes with the Six 
Nations of Western New York. Parkman, the Historian of the Indians, tells us 
these nations were all included in the tribe of Iroquois; and furthermore adds 
that female suffrage prevailed among them. Great delay was occasioned in 
making this treaty as it took the women and children three weeks to reach 
Painted Post where the council was to be held. Red Jacket was the orator at 
this council and there was a full collection of all the principal chiefs. Two 
Indians had been killed by the whites and this was a great grievance to be 
assuaged by presents and words of conciliation. It was ended satisfactorily; 
the hatchet buried and the calumet of peace smoked. At the close of the war. 
Colonel Pickering was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to organize 
the county of Lucerne. For this purpose he removed his family to the beauti- 
ful valley of Wyoming. The disputes between the settlers from Connecticut 
and those from Pennsylvania were ripe, and the former were in open rebellion 



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334 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

against the state. A company formed in Connecticut called the Susquehanna 
Company, had induced settlers to go from that state, claiming the land in the 
great bend of the Susquehanna belonged to Connecticut, they having purchased 
it from the Indians. The prime agent of the Susquehanna Company was John 
Franklin, a resolute and determined man, who with the title of Colonel, stirred 
up the settlers to armed resistance to the laws of Pennsylvania. A warrant was 
issued for his arrest and he was lodged in jail at Philadelphia. In consequence 
of aiding in his arrest, (which was a military one) Colonel Pickering became the 
person on whom they meant to wreak their vengeance. A band of men dis- 
guised as Indians, with their faces blackened, entered his bedroom at night, 
ordered him to get up and follow them. One of them followed his wife (when 
she went to bring his coat) and told her if she made any noise they would 
tomahawk her. They told him to take an overcoat with him as he would be 
long away and would need one. They pinioned his arms behind his back and 
tied another cord to them with which to lead their prisoner. In the darkness of 
the night they marched silently through the town, one of them walking in front, 
one behind, and the others on both sides of their captive. When they had 
gone twelve miles, they halted and said to Colonel Pickering, * Now if you will 
intercede with the Executive Council for Franklin's pardon, we will release 
you.' To which their prisoner replied, * The Executive Council better know 
their duty than to release a traitor to procure the liberty of an innocent man.' 
This reply angered them to such a degree that one of their number exclaimed, 
* Damn him, why don't you tomahawk him.' During his captivity of nearly 
three weeks in the woods, this proposition to ask for the pardon of Franklin was 
frequently asked, but always receiving a prompt and decided negative, they 
finally released him, after having carried him forty-four miles from his home, 
on the promise that he would ask the Executive to grant their pardon. This 
they did not wait to receive, but most of them took their departure for the 
State of New York. On their way thither one of their number was fired on by 
the Pennsylvania militia and mortally wounded. The family sent to Mrs. 
Pickering for a winding sheet, which she gave them. 

** In the year 1794, Colonel Pickering was drawn from his retirement in the 
valley of Wyoming by his appointment by Washington to the office of Post- 
master-General. The seat of government was at Philadelphia. This office he 
held until August, 1795, when on the resignation of General Knox he was ap- 
pointed by Washington, Secretary of War. There was no Secretary of the 
Navy then, its duties being included in those of the Secretary of War. During 
his administration of that office, the three famous frigates were built — the Con- 
stitution, the Philadelphia, and the Constellation. Colonel Pickering had much 
to do in equipping and arming these vessels and always took great interest in our 
warships. One of his sons was a midshipman with Commodore Perry on Lake 
Erie, and also sailed with Commodore (then Captain) Decatur, on the 
Philadelphia. 

** In the year 1795, °" ^^^ resignation of Mr. Edmund Randolph as Secretary 



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COLONEL TIMOTHY PICKERING 336 

of State, Washington gave Colonel Pickering the temporary charge of that office. 
Sometime before the meeting of Congress in the following December, the Presi- 
dent rendered him the office of Secretary of State. This from unaffected diffi- 
dence he declined. But as soon as Congress assembled, without speaking to 
Colonel Pickering again, he nominated him as Secretary of State and he was 
confirmed by the Senate. He continued in this office until the year 1800, when 
he was removed by President Adams and was succeeded by his lifelong friend 
and correspondent, John Marshall, who afterward became Chief Justice of the 
United States. 

** Shortly after this, by the solicitations of his friends in Massachusetts and 
their purchase of his lands in the valley of Wyoming, he returned to his native 
state. These valuable lands were, after the death of Alexander Hamilton, 
presented to his heirs by the gentlemen composing the company who had pur- 
chased them. 

*' In 1803, Colonel Pickering was elected by the Legislature to fill the unex- 
pired term of Davigne Foster in the United States Senate. In 1805 he was 
again elected to the Senate for six years. At the expiration of this term he was 
engaged in the pursuits of agriculture. In this occupation he was much inter- 
ested and was the founder of the agricultural society in his state; its president, 
and wrote many valuable papers on the subject. He also introduced the culture 
of buckwheat in America. In 1814 he was elected to the House of Representa- 
tives and held. his seat until the year 181 7. Thus ended his long career of public 
service. It is safe to say that no man ever held as many public offices in the gift 
of Washington as the subject of this memoir. The friendship thus formed con- 
tinued unbroken during fifteen years of constant association and correspondence. 
His official letters of Washington to him when Secretary of State are signed 
yours sincerely and affectionately G. Washington. 

" The exalted patriotism of Washington is thus set forth by Colonel Picker- 
ing in this anecdote, just as it fell from his lips : * You mention the General's 
equanimity under the severest embarrassments and disasters. In this I entirely 
concur. But I once saw him overcome with great good news. The cabal 
in the army embraced many officers, and is understood to have had consider- 
able support among members of Congress. It will never be known how far it 
had spread ; but for some time it had been extending its influence, and had be- 
come quite seriously formidable. After the unfortunate battles of Brandywine 
and Germantown it acquired much strength, and those engaged in it began to 
speak freely and were confident of success. The officer who had been generally 
thought of to supplant Washington was Horatio Gates, then in command of the 
Northern army. Hehad seen much service and was possessed of many attractive 
qualities. At the very moment when this intrigue had reached its head and was 
about to break out — when in fact its managers had begun to speak openly, a 
rumor was found circulating in camp and at headquarters that Gates had won a 
brilliant and decisive victory. It could not be traced to any source and how it 
got into currency was never explained. Days pas.sed without any intelligence 



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336 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

whatever to sustain or contradict it. Of course a state of intense excitement was 
created. All were anxiously awaiting information. In the meantime the senti- 
ment was freely and widely expressed that if true it would be fatal to Washing- 
ton ; that his days as commander-in-chief would be numbered ; and Gates car- 
ried by an irresistible enthusiasm to the head of the army. The recently and 
repeatedly defeated General would have to give way to the triumphant one. 

** * Washington was fully acquainted with this state of things and with what it 
was thought would be the consequence to himself if the rumor should be found 
to be true. At this very crisis one afternoon, Colonel Pickering was with him 
for the transaction of business. Colonel William Palfrey, the paymaster-general 
of the army, was also present. The General's quarters were in a house on the 
Shippack road, about twenty miles from Philadelphia. After business was dis- 
patched, the General inquired as to the rumor and some conversation was had in 
relation to it. The road led southwardly, to York in Pennsylvania, where Con- 
gress was then in session ; and was open to view from the General's windows for 
some distance toward the north. A horseman was seen coming from that 
direction. They watched his approach with eager interest. Soon they noticed 
that he had the appearance of an express rider. Palfrey was requested to go out 
and accost him. He did so and found him bearing a despatch to Congress. 
Knowing the superscription to be in the handwriting of one of his deputies, 
Jonathan Trumbell, then at Albany or its neighborhood, he took the document 
from the expressman to shew it to the General. The rider told him the news. 
Meeting Pickering on his way he communicated to him the information. They 
went into the General's room together. Colonel Palfrey drew out the end of an 
envelope and then the letter, handing it to the General. Not a word was 
spoken. Washington unfolded the document and proceeded to read it aloud. 
As he read his voice began to falter, his articulation became slow and broke 
under the intensity of his feelings ; as it became apparent the letter was an an- 
nouncement of the surrender of Burgoyneand his entire army, he could read no 
more, but passed it to Colonel Palfrey, signifying that he wished him to finish it, 
which he did aloud. As he concluded, Washington lifted his countenance to 
Heaven and was lost in a transport of adoring gratitude. He shewed a mind 
incapable of envy or selfishness, overjoyed at a victory the honor of which would 
be another's and fatal to his own ascendency and fame.' Colonel Pickering used 
to say that the spectacle was truly sublime, that he beheld humanity in its 
noblest grandeur, a man to whom self was nothing, his country everything. 
The image and personification of a patriot was transfigured before him. 

** Colonel Pickering said further : ' Whoever came into the presence of Wash- 
ington regarded him with profound respect. The dignity of his person, large 
and manly, increased by a steady, firm and grave countenance, forbidding ab- 
solutely all approach to familiarity, even from those whose frequent official inter- 
course brought them constantly into his presence.' A short time before Wash- 
ington's death, a large company was assembled at Mount Vernon when he ex- 
pressed this sentiment, * If there is a genuine patriot in this country (and I think 



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COLONEL TIMOTHY PICKERING 337 

there are many) Timothy Pickering is preeminent/ The subject of this sketch 
was said to be the only man in * Congress whom the eccentric John Randolph 
of Roanoke, the leader of the Democratic party in Virginia, had not been made 
to feel the sting of his biting sarcasm.* When the compensation bill was before 
the House of Representatives in 1817 Randolph expressed himself thus: 'No 
man in the United States has been more misunderstood, no man more reviled 
than Alexander Hamilton and this is a bold declaration for me to make, unless 
perhaps the venerable member from Massachusetts (pointing to the seat usually 
occupied by Colonel Pickering), whom whatever may be said of him all will 
allow to be an honest man. The other day when on the compensation question 
he spoke of his own situation, when his voice faltered and his eyes filled at the 
mention of his own poverty I thought I would have given the treasures of Dives 
himself for his feelings at that moment ; for his poverty, Mr. Speaker, was not 
the consequence of idleness, extravagance or the gambling spirit of speculation, 
it was an honorable poverty after a life spent in a laborious service and in the 
highest offices of trust under Government during the War of Independence, as 
well as under the present Constitution. Sir, I have not much, although it would 
be gross affectation in me to plead poverty; but such as I have I would freely give 
to the venerable gentleman if he would accept it, to have it said over my grave 
as it may in truth be said over his " Here lies the man who enjoyed the confi- 
dence of Washington and the enmity of his successor.'* ' 

" A warm friendship had sprung up between Colonel Pickering and Alexander 
Hamilton. They were constantly associated together when in the Cabinet; the 
former had great admiration for the exalted talents of the latter. When the 
news of his death reached Colonel Pickering his grief was extreme. One of his 
family said it was like a death in his own household. He not only mourned the 
loss of a valued friend but the loss of such a man to his country. The manner 
of his taking off was a great distress to one who held such a hatred of duelling. 
Colonel Pickering considered duelling an absurd and barbarous practice. He 
lamented the false sense of honor which induced Hamilton to accept the chal- 
lenge of a man like Burr. Colonel Pickering had been challenged himself and 
refused to fight, expressing freely his opinion of this custom. * That he had a 
large family dependent on him for support, that he should always be ready to 
defend his person from assassins, that he did not fear man but God.' This last 
reason was consistent with his character and the tenor of his life for he was an 
eminently religious man. During his absences from his wife he composed a 
prayer and sent it to her in order that although far apart they might be together 
in their devotions. On the declaration of peace he thus concluded his letter to 
his wife: 

" ' My heart's joy — You have already exulted in the happy news, soon I shall 
be restored to you by God's will, then we shall pour out the grateful effusions of 
our souls to that Great and Merciful being who has brought us through a 
calamitous war. Oh ! for a country deserving of such blessings ! But God is 
gracious even to the unthankful and unjust. His mercy endurcth forever. Ex- 



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338 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

alted be his name.' The answer to Washington's address to the army at the 
conclusion of the war was written by Colonel Pickering. He relates that when 
Washington began to deliver his address which he had written out, he paused 
(while taking his glasses out of his waistcoat pocket) saying ' Gentlemen will 
permit me to put on my spectacles. I have not only grown grey but almost 
blind in the service of my country.' This remark with the mode and manner 
of saying it drew tears from the eyes of many of the officers. 

" Toward the latter years of Colonel Pickering's life he was requested by the 
family of Alexander Hamilton to write the life of that great man. He had col- 
lected and arranged the materials and was about to commence writing it, when 
taking a severe cold, (from going to church on an intensely cold day) pleurisy 
developed, which ended his life in a very few days, in his eighty-fourth year. 
He remarked to the clergyman who visited him in his illness that he had hoped 
to live long enough to write the life of his friend Hamilton. He bore his pain- 
ful illness without a murmur, and when told that his end was approaching, 
raised his eyes to Heaven, with these words on his lips, * I bow to the will of 
God, I am ready and willing to die.' 

"The writer has no desire to dwell on the violent political controversies of 
the period succeeding the Revolution. Even Washington was often openly at- 
tacked. During his administration the illustrious John Jay and Colonel Picker- 
ing were both burned in effigy in the northern liberties of Philadelphia. ' 'Tis 
license they mean when they cry liberty,' could apply to these assailants of the 
administration. Colonel Pickering held a vigorous pen and was often drawn 
into controversies with his opponents. With him right was right, and wrong 
was wrong. He believed in no compromise with the evil when it came to his 
notice in high places and he denounced it unsparingly. An article which ap- 
peared in a scurrilous sheet, * The Aurora,* accused the Secretary of State of 
selling a passport to Europe, when they were given on application to the State 
Department gratis. On investigation it was found that one of his clerks had 
sold one for five dollars. The clerk Was summarily dismissed by Colonel Pick- 
ering. This violent attack on a faithful public servant excited the indignation 
of Washington, who was then at Mt. Vernon, and brought from him a letter to 
Colonel Pickering containing the following words: 'Notwithstanding there 
existed no doubt in my mind that the charge in '* The Aurora" against you was 
a malignant falsehood, yet, satisfied as I am of the motive and end to be an- 
swered by its publication, I have read with much pleasure your disavowal of its 
application. But the more I know of the views of those who are opposed to the 
measures of our government, the less surprised I am at the attempts and the 
means — cowardly^ illiberal^ and assassin-like — which are used to subvert it and 
to destroy all confidence in those who are entrusted with the administration 
thereof.' In the same letter, speaking of attacks on himself, Washington said 
* I should treat the essays, made to injure me with the contempt they deserve ; 
but when it is evident that the shafts which are aimed at me are calculated for a 
more important purpose than simply to wound my reputation, it becomes a mat- 



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COLONEL TIMOTHY PICKERING 



339 



ter of more magnitude, and merits consideration, which if you have leisure to be- 
stow I will thank you for the result, being with much truth and very great regard, 
dear sir, yours, George Washington.' 

** Could there be a greater proof of the confidence of Washington than the 
sentiments of this letter? 

" To the abilities of Colonel Pickering his state papers bear evidence. Presi- 
dent Monroe said they had seldom been equalled, never surpassed. Disinter- 
ested in public service, pure in his life, simple in manners, benevolent toward 
the poor, tender in his domestic relations, constant and faithful in his friend- 
ships — he died revered and honored by those among whom his life was passed. 




THE PICKERING HOUSE. 



THE PICKERING HOUSE 



" The Pickering house in Salem was built in 1651, and is now inhabited by 
the ninth generation of that family. It is kept in good repair and with its 
pointed gables, and low ceilings, is a good suggestion of the Elizabethan age. 
A pear tree in its garden, planted on the day of the battle of Lexington is still 
in bearing or was two years ago. 

** The remains of Timothy Pickering and Rebecca his wife rest under a mas- 
sive slab of Quincy granite in the old Broad street burying-ground a few hun- 
dred yards from the old mansion." 

By his granddaughter, Mary E. Pickering Donaldson, March, 1896. 



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CHAPTER XIV 

A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1 796 

Catharine V. R. Schuyler was the youngest and favorite child of General 
Schuyler, by whom she was always called **My Kitty/' During his old age 
*'she was his traveling companion, and constantly enjoyed the refined society 
by which he was surrounded. Although the stirring scenes of the Revolution 
were passed before the years of her infancy were numbered, her intercourse with 
the great and honorable men of that generation during her youth and early 
womanhood, brought facts and circumstances so forcibly to her vigorous mind, 
that their impressions were as vivid and truthful as if made by actual observa- 
tion." In 1796, she accompanied her father to Oswego with a view of visiting 
the falls of Niagara; but, arrived at Fort Ontario, they failed to obtain trans- 
portation and were obliged to return. 

It was an arduous journey of two weeks through a region which a Pullman 
car now traverses in four hours, regardless of seasons. They traveled by bat- 
teaux — rudely constructed of logs and planks, broad and without a keel. They 




A BATTEAU. 

had small draught, and would carry large loads in quite shallow water. When 
the wind was favorable, a sail was hoisted. In* still water and against currents 
they were propelled by long driving poles. The flat boats on the southern 
rivers are not unlike the old batteaux. They wei-e sometimes furnished with a 
mast for lakes and other deep water, and cabins were erected on them. 

Mrs. Grant in "The American Lady" gives a pleasing account of the trip 
which she made in 1759, with her father and other officers. '* Never, certainly, 
was a journey so replete with felicity. I luxuriated in idleness and novelty ; 
knowledge was my delight, and it was now pouring in on my mind from all 
sides. What a change from sitting down pinned to my sampler by my mother 
till the hour of play, and then running wild with children as young, and still 
simpler than myself. Much attended to by all my fellow-travelers, I was abso- 
lutely intoxicated with the charms of novelty, and the sense of my new-found 
importance. The first day we came to Schenectady, a little town situated in a 
rich and beautiful spot, and partly supported by the Indian trade. The next 
day we embarked, proceeded up the river with six batteaux, and came early in 

340 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 341 

the evening to one of the most charming scenes imaginable, "where Fort Hen- 
drick was built; so called, in compliment to the principal sachem, or king of 
the Mohawks. The castle of this primitive monarch stood at a little distance 
on a rising ground, surrounded by palisades. He resided, at the time, in a 
house which the public workmen, who had lately built this fort, had been 
ordered to erect for him in the vicinity. We did not fail to wait upon his 
majesty; who, not choosing to depart too much from the customs of his an- 
cestors, had not permitted divisions of apartments, or modern furniture to pro- 
fane his new dwelling. It had the appearance of a good barn, and was divided 
across by a mat hung in the middle. King Hendrick, who had indeed a very 
princely figure, and a countenance that would not have dishonored royalty, was 
sitting on the floor beside a large heap of wheat, surrounded with baskets of 
dried berries of different kinds ; beside him, his son, a very pretty boy, some- 
what older than myself, was caressing a foal, which was unceremoniously intro- 
duced into the royal residence. A laced hat, a fine saddle and pistols, gifts of 
his good brother the great king, were hung round on the crossbeams. He was 
splendidly arrayed in a coat of pale blue, trimmed with silver; all the rest of 




KING HENDRICK. 

his dress was of the fashion of his own nation, and highly embellished with 
beads and other ornaments. All this suited my taste exceedingly, and was level 
to my comprehension. I was prepared to admire King Hendrick, by having 
heard him described as a generous warrior, terrible to his enemies, and kind to 
his friends : the character of all others calculated to make the deepest impression 
on ignorant ignorance, in a country where infants learned the horrors of war, 
from its proximity. Add to all this, that the monarch smiled, clapped my 
head, and ordered me a litttle basket, very pretty, and filled by the officious 
kindness of his son with dried berries. Never did princely gifts, or the smile 
of royalty, produce more ardent admiration and profound gratitude. I went 



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342 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

out of the royal presence overawed and delighted, and am not sure but what I 
have liked kings all my life the better for this happy specimen, to which I was 
so early introduced. Had I seen royalty, properly such, invested with all the 
pomp of European magnificence, I should possibly have been confused and over- 
dazzled. But this was quite enough, and not too much for me ; and I went 
away, lost in a revery, and thought of nothing but kings, battles, and generals, 
for days after. 

"This journey, charming my romantic imagination by its very delays and 
difficulties, was such a source of interest and novelty to me, that above all things 
I dreaded its conclusion, which I well knew would be succeeded by long tasks 
and close confinement. Happily for me we soon entered upon Wood creek, the 
most desirable of all places for a traveler who loves to linger, if such another 
traveler there be. This is a small river, which winds irregularly through a deep 
and narrow valley of the most lavish fertility. The depth and richness of the 
soil here were evinced by the loftiness and nature of the trees, which were 
hickory, butternut, chestnut, and sycamores of vast circumference as well as 
height. These became so top-heavy, and their roots were so often undermined 
by this insidious stream, that in every tempestuous night some giants of the 
grove fell prostrate, and very frequently across the stream, where they lay in all 
their pomp of foliage, like a leafy bridge, unwithered, and forming an obstacle 
almost invincible to all navigation. The Indian lifted his slight canoe, and car- 
ried it past the tree; but our deep-loaded batteaux could not be so managed. 
Here my orthodoxy was shocked, and my anti-military prejudices revived, by 
the swearing of the soldiers; but then, again, my veneration for my father was, 
if possible increased, by his lectures against swearing, provoked by their trans- 
gression. Nothing remained for our heroes but to attack these sylvan giants, axe 
in hand, and make way through their divided bodies. The assault upon fallen 
greatness was unanimous and unmerciful, but the resistance was tough, and the 
process tedious ; so much so, that we were three days proceeding fourteen miles, 
having at every two hours' end at least a new tree to cut through. 

" It was here, as far as I recollect the history of my own heart, that the first 
idea of artifice ever entered into my mind. It was, like most female artifices, 
the offspring of vanity. These delays were a new source of pleasure to me. It 
was October ; the trees we had to cut through were often loaded with nuts; and 
while I ran lightly along the branches to fill my royal basket with their spoils, 
which I had great pleasure in distributing, I met with multitudes of fellow-plun- 
derers in the squirrels of various colors and sizes, who were here numberless. 
This made my excursion amusing. But when I found my disappearance excited 
alarm, they assumed more interest: it was so fine to sit quietly among the 
branches and hear concern and solicitude expressed about the child. 

** I will spare the reader the fatigue of accompanying our little fleet through 

" • Antres vast and deserts wild ; * 
only observing, that the magnificent solitude through which we traveled was 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 343 

much relieved by the sight of Johnson Hall, beautifully situated in a plain by 
the river ; while Johnson Castle, a few miles further up, made a most respect- 
able appearance on a commanding eminence at some distance. 

** We traveled from one fort to another; but in three or four instances, to my 
great joy, they were so remote from each other that we found it necessary to en- 
camp at night on the bank of the river. This, in a land of profound solitude, 
where wolves, foxes, and bears abounded, and were very much inclined to con- 
sider and treat us as intruders, might seem dismal to wiser folks. But I was so 
gratified by the bustle and agitation produced by our measures of defence, and 
actuated by the love which all children have for mischief that is not fatal, that 
I enjoyed our night's encampment exceedingly. We stopped early wherever we 
saw the largest and most combustible kind of trees. Cedars were great favor- 
ites, and the first work was to fell and pile upon each other an incredible num- 
ber, stretched lengthways ; while every man who could, was busied in gathering 
withered branches of pine, etc., to fill up the interstices of the pile and make 
the green wood burn the faster. Then a train of gunpowder was laid along to 
give fire to the whole fabric at once, which blazed and crackled magnificently. 
Then the tents were erected close in a row before this grand conflagration. 
This was not merely meant to keep us warm, though the nights did begin to 
grow cold, but to frighten wild beasts and wandering Indians. In case any 
such, belonging to hostile tribes, should see this prodigious blaze, the size of it 
was meant to give them an idea of a greater force than we possessed. 

*' In one place, where we were surrounded by hills, with swamps lying between 
them, there seemed to be a general congress of wolves, who answered each other 
from opposite hills in sounds the most terrific. Probably the terror which all 
savage animals have at fire, was exalted into fury by seeing so many enemies 
whom they durst not attack. The bull frogs, those harmless though hideous in- 
habitants of the swamps, seemed determined not to be outdone, and roared a 
tremendous bass to this bravura accompaniment. This was almost too much for 
my love of the terrible sublime : some women, who were our fellow-travelers, 
shrieked with terror; and finally, the horrors of that night were ever held in 
awful remembrance by all who shared them. 

** The last night of this eventful pilgrimage, of which I fesir to tire my readers 
by a further recital, was spent at Fort Bruerton, then commanded by Captain 
Mungo Campbell, whose warm and generous heart, whose enlightened and com- 
prehensive mind, whose social qualities and public virtues, I should delight to 
commemorate did my limits permit ; suffice it, that he is endeared to my recol- 
lection by being the first person who ever supposed me to have a mind capable 
of culture, and I was ever after distinguished by his partial notice. Here we 
were detained two days by a premature fall of snow. Very much disposed to 
be happy anywhere, I was here particularly so. Our last day's journey, which 
brought us to Lake Ontario and Fort Oswego, our destined abode, was a very 
hard one : we had people going before, breaking the ice with paddles, all the way. 



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344 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

'* I cannot quit Ontario without giving a slight sketch of the manner in which 
it was occupied and governed while I was there and afterward, were it but to 
give young soldiers a hint how they may best use their time and resources, so as 
to shun the indolence and ennui they are often liable to in such situations. The 
Fifty-fifth had by this time acquired several English officers ; but with regard to 
the men, it might be considered as a Scotch regiment, and was indeed originally 
such, being raised but a very few years before in the neighborhood of Stirling. 
There were small detachments in other forts ; but the greatest part were in this, 
commanded by Major (afterward Colonel) Duncan, of Lundie, elder brother of 
the late Lord Duncan of Camperdown. He was an experienced officer, pos- 
sessed of considerable military science, learned, humane, and judicious, yet 
obstinate, and somewhat of a humorist withal. Wherever he went, a respectable 
library went with him. Though not old, he was gouty and warworn, and there- 
fore allowably carried about many comforts and conveniences that others could 
not warrantably do. The fort was a large place, built entirely of earth and great 
logs; I mean the walls and ramparts, for the barracks were of wood, and cold 
and comfortless. The cutting down the vast quantity of wood used in this build- 
ing had, however, cleared much of the fertile ground by which the fort was sur- 
rounded. The lake abounded with excellent fish and varieties of water fowl, 
while deer and every kind of game were numerous in the surrounding woods. 
All these advantages, however, were now shut up by the rigors of winter. The 
officers were all very young men, brought from school or college to the army; 
and since the dreadful specimen of war which they had met with on their first 
outset, at the lines of Ticonderoga, they had gone through all possible hardships. 
After a march up the St. Lawrence, and then through Canada here, — a march, 
indeed, (considering the season, and the no road) worthy the hero of Pultowa, 
— they were stationed in this new built garrison, far from every trace of civili- 
sation. These young soldiers were, however, excellent subjects for the form- 
ing hand of Major Duncan. As I have said on a former occasion of others, if 
they were not improved, they were not spoiled, and what little they knew was 
good." 

FORTS AND BLOCKHOUSES 

In the Revolutionary period there were no less than twenty forts and block- 
houses between Schenectady and Lake Ontario. 

Castle or Fort Johnson, two and one-half miles west of Amsterdam on the 
north bank of the Mohawk, "was built by Sir William Johnson in 1742 (where 
he resided some twenty years previous to his erection of Johnson Hall, at Johns- 
town, N. Y.)." In 1757, a writer thus described it: ''Colonel (Sir William) 
Johnson's mansion is situated on the border of the left bank of the river Mohawk. 
It is three stories high ; built of stone, with portholes (crenelee's) and a para- 
pet, and flanked with four bastions on which are some small guns. In the same 
yard, on both sides of the mansion, there are two small houses; that on the 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 



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right of the entrance is a store, and that on the left is designed for workmen, 
negroes, and domestics. The yard gate is a heavy swing gate well ironed ; it is 
on the Mohawk river side ; from this gate to the river there is about two hundred 
paces of level ground. The high road passes there. A small rivulet coming from 
the north empties into the Mohawk river, about two hundred paces below the 
enclosure of the yard. (This stream is now called * Old Fort Creek'.) On 
this stream there is a mill about forty paces distant from the house ; below the 
mill is the miller's house where grain and flour are stored, and on the other side 
of the creek, one hundred paces from the mill, is a barn in which cattle and 




FORT JOHNSON. 

fodder are kept. One hundred and fifty paces from Colonel Johnson's mansion, 
at the north side, on the left bank of the creek, is a little hill on which is a small 
house with portholes, where is ordinarily kept a guard of honor of twenty men, 
which serves also as an advanced post." Sir William Johnson "was never 
given credit for great military skill or personal bravery, and was more expert in 
intriguing with Indian warriors, and sending them to the field, than in leading 
disciplined troops boldly into action. He died at Johnson Hall, on the nth of 
July, 1774, aged sixty years." 
The castle is still standing, a substantial specimen of that period. 

FORT PLAIN BLOCKHOUSE 

In his ** Field Book of the Revolution," Benson J. Lossing writes: "Fort 
Plain was eligibly situated upon a high plain in the rear of the village, and com- 
manded an extensive sweep of the valley on the right and left. A sort of defence 
was thrown up there by the people in the early part of the war, but the fort proper 
was erected by the government after the alarming demonstrations of the Indians 
in the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys in 1778. For a while it was an important 
fortress, affording protection to the people in the neighborhood, and forming a 



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346 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



key to the communication with the Schoharie, Cherry valley, and Unadilla settle- 
ments. Its form was an irregular quadrangle, with earth and log bastions, em- 
brasures at each corner, and barracks and a strong blockhouse within. The plain 
on which it stood is of peninsular form, and across the neck, or isthmus, a breast- 
work was thrown up. The fort extended along the brow of the hill northwest 
of the village, and the blockhouse was a few rods from the northern declivity. 
This blockhouse was erected in 1780, after the fort and barracks were found to 
be but a feeble defence, under the supervision of a French engineer employed 
by Colonel Gansevoort. The latter, by order of General Clinton, then in com- 
mand of the Northern department, had repaired thither with his regiment, to 
take charge of a large quantity of stores destined for Fort Schuyler. Ramparts 
of logs and earth were thrown up, and a strong blockhouse was erected, a view 




FORT PLAIN BLOCKHOUSE. 

of which is here given. It was octagonal in form, three stories in height, and 
composed of hewn timbers about fifteen inches square. There were numer- 
ous portholes for musketry, and in the lower story three or four cannon were 
placed. * * * 

"Soon after the completion of the work, doubts were expressed of its being 
cannon-ball proof. A trial was made with a six-pounder placed at a proper dis- 
tance. Its ball passed entirely through the blockhouse, crossed a broad ravine, 
and lodged in the hill on which the old parsonage stands, an eighth of a mile 
distant. 

* * * *'This place was included in the Canajoharie settlement, and in 1780 
felt severely the vengeance of the Tories and Indians, inflicted in return for 
terrible desolations wrought by an army under Sullivan, the previous year, in 
the Indian country west of the white settlements. The whole region on the 
north of the Mohawk, for several miles in this vicinity, was laid waste. The 
approach of the dreaded Thayendanega (Brant) along the Canajoharie creek, 
with about five hundred Indians and Tories, to attack the settlement at Fort 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 



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Plain, was announced to the people, then engaged in their harvest fields, by a 
woman who fired a cannon at the fort. The larger portion of militia had gone 
with Gansevoort to guard provisions on their way to Fort Schuyler, and those 
who remained, with the boys and old men, unable to defend their lives or 
property, fled into the fort for protection. In their approach the enemy burned 
every dwelling and barn, destroyed the crops, and carried off everything of 
value." 

* * * Although the fort had been greatly strengthened, *'they marched 
boldly up within cannon-shot of the entrenchments, burned the church, the 
parsonage, and many other buildings, and carried off several women and 
children prisoners. * * * 

** With the destruction of Fort Plain the devastation was for the time, stayed. 
In a day the fairest portion of the valley had been made desolate." 



THE OLD STONE CHURCH 

**0n the German Flats, four miles west of Little Falls, on the south side of 
the river," Lossing says in his Field Book, *' is one of the churches which were 
erected under the auspices and by the liberal contributions of Sir William 
Johnson. The church is of stone, but is somewhat altered in its external ap- 
pearance. The walls are very thick, and it has square buttresses at the corners. 




OLD STONE CHURCH 

It was altered and repaired in 1811, at an expense of nearly four thousand dol- 
lars. The roof (formerly steep) was raised, an upper row of windows was 
formed, and a gallery was constructed within. The height of the old windows 
is indicated by the arches seen over the present square ones, and the eaves were 
just above the keystones. The original tower, or belfry, was open, and in it 
was placed a swivel for the protection of the inhabitants against the Indians, or 
to sound an alarm to the people on the neighboring hills. The pulpit, although, 
newly constructed, when the church was repaired, is precisely the same, in 



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348 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Style, as the original. The sounding-board and panels in front are handsomely 
painted in imitation of inlaid work, and the whole has an elegant appearance. 

nn an Hf. 

** A few rods west of the church was the large stone mansion of the Herki- 
mer family, which was stockaded and called Fort Herkimer. Around this, and 
the church, the humbler dwellings of the farmers were clustered, for so 
frequently did the Indian marauder (and as frequently the unprincipled Tory, 
in the Revolution) disturb them, that they dared not live in isolation. * * * 

*' Two miles further westward, on a gravelly plain upon the north side of the 
river, is the pretty little village of Herkimer. It occupies the site of old Fort 
Herkimer, erected in the early part of the Seven Years' war, and known as 
Fort Dayton during the Revolution. This beautiful region, like the 'sweet 
vale of Wyoming,' was disturbed and menaced in the earlier periods of the 
war, and in 1778 it was made a desolation. 

" Owing to the distant situation (about thirty-five miles) of Fort Schuyler, 
its garrison afforded very slight protection to this portion of the valley." 

FORT SCHUYLER 

"This fort has quite a history. In 1758, General John Stanwix, who came 
to America in 1756, as colonel of the First battalion of the Sixtieth Royal 
Americans, was sent by General Abercrombie after his defeat at Ticonderoga 
to build a fort on the ruins of old Fort Williams near the rise of the Mokawk 
river on the Oneida carrying place at the head of boat navigation, the site of 
the present ctiy of Rome, N. Y. * It was a strong, square fortification, having 
bombproof bastions, a glacis, covert way, and a well picketed ditch around the 
ramparts.' Its position was important in a military point of view, for it com- 
manded the Mohawk and Wood creek, and was a key to communication between 
the Mohawk valley and Lake Champlain. The works cost the British and 
Colonial government two hundred and sixty-six thousand four hundred dollars, 
yet when the Revolution broke out the fort and its outposts were in ruins." 

In 1776, Fort Stanwix was partially repaired by Colonel Dayton, and by him 
was renamed Fort Schuyler in honor of General Schuyler in whose military 
department it was situated. It has been confounded by some with Old Fort 
Schuyler, which was built during the French and Indian wars and named in 
honor of Colonel Peter Schuyler, an uncle of the general. 

On the celebration of the Centennial, August 7th, 1877, the patriotic people 
of the state paid tribute to the memory of the brave men who took part in the 
battle of Oriskany and the defence of Fort Schuyler. Honorable Ellis H. 
Roberts delivered an eloquent address on the occasion, of which the following 
is an extract : 

" The plans for its reconstruction were yet in progress when St. Leger ap- 

. peared before it. But care and labor had been so effectual that the broken 

walls had been restored, and the ruins which the invader came to overrun had 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 351 

given place to defences too strong for his attack. Colonel Peter Gansevoort 
was in command. * * * 

** The garrison consisted of seven hundred and fifty men. It was composed 
of Gansevoort's own regiment, the third New York, with two hundred men 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Mellon of Colonel Wesson's regiment of the Massa- 
chusetts line. Colonel Mellon had fortunately arrived with a convoy of boats 
filled with supplies, on the second of August, when the enemy's fires were al- 
ready in sight only a mile away. This was the force with which Gansevoort 
was to hold the fort. 

** The British advance appeared on the 2d of August. The investiture was 
complete on the fourth. The siege was vigorously prosecuted on the fifth, but 
the cannon ' had not the least effect on the sod- work of the fort,* and * the royals 
had only the power of teasing. * '* 

ST. leger's invasion 

" The corps before Fort Schuyler was formidable in every element of military 
strength. The expedition with which it was charged, was deemed by the war 
secretary at Whitehall of the first consequence, and it had received as marked 
attention as any army which King George ever let loose upon the Colonies. 
For its leader Lieutenant-Colonel Barry St. Leger had been chosen by the king 
himself, on Burgoyne's nomination. He deserved the confidence, if we judge 
by his advance, by his precautions, by his stratagem at Oriskany, and by the 
conduct of the siege, up to the panic at the rumor that Arnold was coming. In 
the regular army of England, he became an ensign in 1756, and coming to 
America the next year, he had served in the French war, and learned the habits 
of the Indians, and of border warfare. In some local sense, perhaps as com- 
manding this corps, he was styled a brigadier. His regular rank was lieutenant- 
colonel of the Thirty-fourth regiment. In those days of trained soldiers, it was 
a marked distinction, to be chosen to select an independent corps on important 
service. A wise commander, fitted for border war, his order of march bespeaks 
him. Skillful in affairs, and scholarly in accomplishments, his writings prove 
him. Prompt, tenacious, fertile in resources, attentive to detail, while master 
of the whole plan, he could not fail where another could have won. Inferior 
to St. Leger in rank, but superior to him in natural powers and in personal mag- 
netism, was Joseph Brant * — Thayendanega — chief of the Mohawks. He had 
been active in arraying the Six Nations on the side of King George, and only 
the Onedias and Tuscaroras had refused to follow his lead. He was now thirty- 
five years of age ; in figure the ideal Indian, tall and spare and lithe and quick ; 
with all the genius of his tribe, and the training gained in Connecticut schools, 
and in the family of Sir William Johnson ; he had been a ' lion ' in London, 

» While Brant was in England, the Earl of Warwick caused Romney, the eminent painter, 
to make a portrait of him for his collection, and from a print, after that picture, this was re« 
produced. His life has been written by William Leete Stone. 



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352 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

and flattered at British headquarters in Montreal. Among the Indians he was 
preeminent, and in any circle he would have been conspicuous. 

" As St. Leger represented the regular army of King George, and Brant the 
Indian allies, Sir John Johnson led the regiments which had been organized 
from the settlers in the Mohawk valley. He had inherited from his father, Sir 
William, the largest estate held on the continent by any individual, William 
Penn excepted. He had early taken sides with the king against the colonists, 
and having entered into a compact with the patriots to preserve peace and re- 
main at Johnstown, he had violated his promise, and fled to Canada. He came 
now with a sense of personal wrong, to recover his possessions and to resume 
the almost royal sway which he had exercised. He at this time held a com- 
mission as Colonel in the British army, to raise and command forces raised 
among the loyalists of the valley. Besides these was Butler — Jolin Butler, a 
brother-in-law of Johnson ; lieutenant-colonel by rank, rich and influential in 
the valley, familiar with the Indians and a favorite with them, shrewd, and dar- 
ing and savage, already father of that son Walter, who was to be the scourge of 
the settlers, and with him to render ferocious and bloody the border war. He 
came from Niagara, and was now in command of Tory rangers. 

*'The forces were like the leaders. It has been the custom to represent St. 
Leger's army as a * motley crowd.' On the contrary, it was a picked force, es- 
pecially designated by orders from headquarters in Britain. He enumerates his 
' artillery, the Thirty-fourth in the king's regiment, with the Hessian riflemen 
and the whole corps of Indians,' with him, while his advance consisting of a 
detachment under Lieutenant Bird, had gone before, and ' the rest of the army, 
led by Sir John Johnson,' was a day's march in the rear. Johnson's whole 
regiment was with him together with Butler's Tory rangers, with at least one 
company of Canadians. The country from Schoharie westward, had been 
scoured of loyalists to add to this column. For such an expedition the force 
could not have been better chosen. The pet name of the * King's regiment ' is 
significant. The artillery was such as could be carried by boat, and adapted to 
the sort of war before it. It had been especially designated from Whitehall. 
The Hanau Chasseurs were trained and skillful soldiers. The Indians were the 
terror of the land. The Six Nations had joined the expedition in full force, ex- 
cept the Oneidas and the Tuscaroras. With the latter tribes, the influence of 
Samuel Kirkland had overborne that of the Johnsons, and the Oneidas and the 
Tuscaroras were by their peaceful attitude^ more than by hostility, useful to 
Congress to the end. The statement that two thousand Canadians accompanied 
him as axemen, is no doubt an exaggeration, but exclusive of such helpers and 
of non-combatants, the corps counted not less than seventeen hundred fighting 
men. King George could not then have sent a column better fitted for its task, or 
better equipped, or abler led, or more intent on achieving all that was imposed 
upon it. Leaving Montreal, it started on the 19th of July, from Buck Island, 
Its rendezvous at the entrance of Lake Ontario. It had reached Fort Schuyler 
without the loss of a man, as if on a summer's picnic. It had come through in 



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THAYENDANEQA. 



353 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 356 

good season. Its chief never doubted that he would make quick way with the 
fort. He had even cautioned Lieutenant Bird, who led the advance, lest he 
should risk the seizure with his unaided detachment. When his full force ap- 
peared, his faith was sure that the fort would * fall without a single shot.* So 
confident was he, that he sent a dispatch to Burgoyne on the 5th of August, as- 
suring him that the fort would be his directly, and they would speedily meet as 
victors in Albany. General Schuyler had in an official letter expressed a like 
fear. 

THE PATRIOT RISING IN TRVQN COUNTY 

** St. Leger was therefore surprised as well as annoyed by the news that the 
settlers on the Mohawk had been aroused, and were marching in haste to relieve 
the fort. He found that his path to join Burgoyne was to be contested. He 
iVatched by skillful scouts the gathering of the patriots ; their quick and some- 
what irregular assembling ; he knew of their march from Fort Dayton and their 
halt at Oriskany. Brant told him that they advanced, as brave, untrained mili- 
tia, without throwing out skirmishers, and with Indian guile the Mohawk chose 
the pass in which an ambush should be set for them. The British commander 
guarded the way for several miles from his position, by scouts within speaking 
distance of each other. He knew the importance of his movement and he was 
guilty of no neglect. 

THE AMBUSCADE 

** From his camp at Fort Schuyler, St. Leger saw all, and directed all. Sir 
John Johnson led the force thrown out to meet the patriots, with Butler as his 
second, but Brant was its controlling head. The Indians were most numerous ; 
* the whole corps * a * large body,* St. Leger testifies. And with the Indians he 
reports were * some troops.' The presence of Johnson and Butler, as well as of 
Claus and Watts, of Captains Wilson, Hare and McDonald, the chief loyalists 
of the valley, proves that their followers were in the fight. Butler refers to the 
New Yorkers whom we know as Johnson's Greens, and the Rangers, as in the 
engagement in large numbers. St. Leger was under the absolute necessity of 
preventing the patriot force from attacking him in the rear. He could not do 
less than send every available man out to meet it. Quite certainly the choicest 
of the army were taken from the dull duty of the siege for this critical operation. 
They left camp at night and lay above and around the ravine at Oriskany, in 
the early morning of the 6th of August. They numbered not less than twelve 
hundred men under chosen cover. 

GENERAL HERKIMER* S RALLY 

** The coming of St. Leger had been known in the valley for weeks. Bur- 
goyne had left Montreal in June, and the expedition by way of Lake Ontario, 



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356 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

as the experience of a hundred years prophesied, would respond to his advance. 
Colonel Gansevoort had appealed to the Committee of Safety for Tryon county, 
for help. Its chairman was Nicholas Herchkeimer, (known to us as Herkimer,) 
who had been appointed a brigadier-general by Congress in the preceding 
autumn. His family was large, and it was divided in the contest. A brother 
was captain with Sir John Johnson, and a brother-in-law was one of the chief of 
the loyalists. He was now forty-eight years of age, short, slender, of dark 
complexion, with black hair and bright eyes. He had German pluck and 
leadership, but he had also German caution and deliberation. He foresaw the 
danger, and had given warning to General Schuyler at Albany. On the 17th 
of July he had issued a proclamation, announcing that the enemy, two thousand 
strong, was at Oswego, and that as soon as he should approach, every male per- 
son being in health, and between sixteen and sixty years of age, should imme- 
diately be ready to march against him. Tryon county had strong appeals for 
help also from Cherry valley and Unadilla, and General Herkimer had been 
southward in June to check operations of the Tories and Indians under Brant. 
The danger from this direction delayed and obstructed recruiting for the column 
against St. Leger. The stress was great, and Herkimer was bound to keep 
watch south as well as west. He waited only to learn where need was greatest, 
and he went thither. On the 3oih of July, a letter from Thomas Spencer, a 
half-breed Oneida, read on its way to General Schuyler, made known the ad- 
vance of St. Leger. Herkimer's order was promptly issued, and soon brought 
in eight hundred men. They were nearly all by blood Germans and low Dutch, 
with a few of other nationalities. The roster so far as can now be collected, 
indicates the presence of persons of English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh and French 
blood, but these are exceptions, and the majority of the force was beyond ques- 
tion German. They gathered from their farms and clearings, carrying their 
equipments with them. They met at Fort Dayton, near the mouth of the West 
Canada creek. This post was held at the time by a part of Colonel Wesson's 
Massachusetts regiment, also represented in the garrison at Fort Schuyler. The 
little army was divided into four regiments or battalions. The first, which 
Herkimer had once commanded, was now led by Colonel Ebenezer Cox, and 
was from the district of Canajoharie ; of the second, from Palatine, Jacob Klock 
was colonel ; the third was under Colonel Frederick Vischer, and came from 
Mohawk; the fourth, gathered from German Flats and Kingsland, Peter Bell- 
inger commanded. 

GENERAL HERKIMER's ADVANCE 

** Counsels were divided whether they should await further accessions, or 
hasten to Fort Schuyler. Prudence prompted delay. St. Leger's force was 
more than double that of Herkimer ; it might be divided, and while one-half 
occupied the patriot column, the Indians under Tory lead might hurry down the 
valley, gathering reinforcements while they ravaged the homes of the patriots. 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 367 

The blow might come from Unadilla where Brant had been as late as the early 
part of that very July. Herkimer, at Fort Dayton, was in position to turn in 
either direction. But the way of the Mohawk was the natural and traditional 
warpath. The patriots looked to Fort Schuyler as their defence. They started 
on the fourth, crossed the Mohawk, where is now Utica, and reached Whites- 
town on the fifth. Here it was probably that a band of Oneida Indians joined 
the column. From this point or before, Herkimer sent an express to Colonel 
Gansevoort arranging for cooperation. He was to move forward when three 
cannon signaled that aid was ready. The signal was not heard ; the messengers 
had been delayed. His chief advisors, including Colonel Cox and Paris, the 
latter a member of the Committee of Safety, urged quicker movements. Fort 
Schuyler might fall, while they were delaying, and the foe could then turn upon 
them. Herkimer was taunted as a coward and a Tory. His German phlegm 
was stirred. He warned his impatient advisors that they would be the first in 
the face of the enemy to flee. He gave the order * March on ! ' Apprised of 
the ambuscade, his courage which had been assailed prevented the necessary 
precautions. 

*' He led his little band on. If he had before been cautious, now he was 
audacious. His course lay on the south side of the river, avoiding its bends, 
where the country loses the general level which the road sought to follow, when 
it could be found. For three or four miles the hills rose upon valleys, with oc- 
casional gulleys. The trickling springs and the spring freshets had cut more 
than one ravine where even in the summer, the water stilled moistened the 
earth. These run toward the river, from southerly toward the north. Corduroy 
roads had been constructed over the marshes, for this was the line of such travel 
as sought Fort Schuyler and the river otherwise than by boat. Herkimer had 
come to one of the deepest of these ravines, ten or twelve rods wide, running 
narrower up to the hills at the south, and broadening toward the Mohawk into 
the flat bottom land. Where the forests were thick, where the rude roadway 
ran down into the marsh, and the ravine closed like a pocket, he pressed his 
way. Not in soldierly order, not watching against the enemy, but in rough 
haste, the eight hundred marched. They reached the ravine at ten o'clock in 
the morning. The advance had gained the higher ground. Then, as so often, 
the woods became alive. Black eyes flashed from behind every tree. Rifles 
blazed from a thousand unexpected coverts. The Indians rushed out, hatchet 
in hand, decked in paint and feathers. The brave band was checked. It was 
cut in two. The assailants aimed first of all to seize the supply train. Colonel 
Vischer, who commanded its guard, showed his courage before and after and 
doubtless fought well here, as the best informed descendants of other heroes of 
the battle believe. But his regiment was driven northward toward the river, 
was cut up or in great part captured with the supplies and ammunition. In the 
ravine and just west of it, Herkimer rallied those who stood with him. Back 
to back, shoulder to shoulder, they faced the foe. Where shelter could be had, 
two stood together, so that one might fire while the other loaded. Often the 



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358 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



fight grew closer, and the knife ended the personal contest. Eye to eye, hand 
to hand, this was a fight of men. Nerve and brawn and muscle, were the price 
of life. Rifle and knife, spear and tomahawk were the only weapons, or the 
clubbed butt of the rifle. It was not a test of science, not a weighing of 
enginery, not a measure of caliber ; nor an exhibition of the choicest mechanism. 
Men stood against death, and death struck at them with the simplest imple- 
ments. Homer sings of chariots and shields. Here were no such helps, no such 
defences. Forts or earthworks, barricades or abbattis, there were none. The 




GEN. HERKIMER. 
" I will face the enemy." 

British force had chosen its ground. Two to one it must have been against the 
band which stood and fought in that pass, forever glorious. Herkimer, early 
wounded and his horse shot under him, sat on his saddle beneath a birch tree, 
just where the hill rises at the west a little north of the centre of the ravine, 
calmly smoking his pipe while ordering the battle. He was urged to retire from 
so much danger ; his reply is the eloquence of a hero, * I will face the enemy.* 

**The ground tells the story of the fight. General Herkimer was with the 
advance, which had crossed the ravine. His column stretched out for nearly 
half a mile. Its head was a hundred rods west or more of the ravine, his rear- 



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A BATTEAU VOYAGE IN 1796 359 

guard reached as far east of it. The firing began from the hills into the gulf. 
Herkimer closed his line on its centre, and in reaching that point his white 
horse was shot under him. The flagstaiT to-day on the hill marks his position. 
Then as to-day the hills curved like a cimeter, from the west to the east on the 
north side of the river. Fort Schuyler could not be seen but lay in the plain 
just beyond the gap in the hills, six miles distant. * * * 

** During the carnage, a storm of wind and rain and lightning brought a res- 
pite. Old men preserve the tradition that in the path by which the enemy 
came, a broad windfall was cut, and was seen for long years afterward. The 
elements caused only a short lull. In came at the thick of the strife, a detach- 
ment of Johnson's Greens ; and they sought to appear reinforcements for the 
patriots. They paid dearly for the fraud, for thirty were quickly killed. Cap- 
tain Gardenier slew three with his spear, one after the other. Captain Dillen- 
beck assailed by three, brained one, shot the second, and bayoneted the third. 
Henry Thompson grew faint with hunger, sat down on the body of a dead sol- 
dier, ate his lunch, and refreshed, resumed the fight. William Merckly, 
mortally wounded, to a friend offering to assist him said, 'Take care of your- 
self, leave me to my fate.' Such men could not be whipped. The Indians 
finding they were losing many, became suspicious that their allies wished to de- 
stroy them, giving unexpected aid to the patriot band. Tradition relates that 
an Oneida maid, only fifteen years old, daughter of a chief, fought on the side 
of the patriots, firing her rifle, and shouting her battle cry. The Indians raised 
the cry of retreat, ' Oonah I ' ' Oonah ! * Johnson heard the firing of a sortie 
from the fort. The British fell back, after five hours of desperate fight. Her- 
kimer and his gallant men held the ground. 

THE SORTIE 

* * The sortie from Fort Schuyler which Herkimer expected, was made as soon 
as his messengers arrived. They were delayed, and yet got through at a critical 
moment. Colonel Willett made a sally at the head of two hundred and fifty 
men, totally routed two of the enemy's encampments, and captured their con- 
tents, including five British flags. The exploit did not cost a single patriot life, 
while at least six of the enemy were killed and four made prisoners. It aided 
to force the British retreat from Oriskany. The captured flags were floated be- 
neath the stars and stripes, fashioned in the fort from cloaks and shirts ; and here 
for the first time the flag of the republic was raised in victory over British 
colors. * * * 

THE SEIGE 

*' St. Leger's advance was checked. His junction with Burgoyne was pre- 
vented. The rising of loyalists in the valley did not occur. He claimed in- 
deed ' the completest victory ' at Oriskany. He notified the garrison that 



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360 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Burgoyne was victorious at Albany, and demanded peremptorily the surrender 
of the fort, threatening that prolonged resistance would result in general mas- 
sacre at the hands of the enraged Indians. Johnson, Claus and Butler issued an 
address to the inhabitants of Tryon county, urging them to submit because 
'surrounded by victorious armies.* Colonel Gansevoort treated the summons as 
an insult, and held his post with sturdy steadiness. The people of the valley 
sided with Congress against the king. For sixteen days after Oriskany, St. 
Leger lay before Fort Schuyler, and heard more and more closely the rumbles 
of fresh resistance from the valley. 



RELIEF UNDER ARNOLD'S LEAD 

" Colonel Willett, who led the gallant sortie, accompanied by Major Stock- 
well, risked no less danger on a mission through thickets and hidden foes, to in- 
form General Schuyler at Albany of the situation. In a council of officers, 
bitter opposition arose to Schuyler's proposal to send relief to Fort Schuyler, on 
the i)lea that it would weaken the army at Albany, the more important position. 
Schuyler was equal to the occasion, acting promptly, and with great energy. 
' Gentlemen,* said he, * I will take the responsibility upon myself. Where is the 
brigadier who will command the relief? I shall beat up for volunteers to- 
morrow.' Benedict Arnold, then unstained by treason, promptly offered to 
lead the army. On the next day, August 9th, eight hundred volunteers were 
enrolled, chiefly of General Larned's Massachusetts brigade. General Israel 
Putnam ordered the regiments of Colonel Cortlandt and Livingston from Peeks- 
kill to join the relief * against those worse than infernals.* Arnold was to take 
supplies wherever he could get them, and especially not to offend the already 
unfriendly Mohawks. Schuyler enjoined upon him also, * as the inhabitants of 
Tryon county were chiefly Germans, it might be well to praise their bravery at 
Oriskany, and ask their gallant aid in the enterprise.' Arnold reached Fort 
Dayton, and on 20th of August issued as commander-in-chief of the army of the 
United States of America on the Mohawk river, a characteristic proclamation, 
denouncing St. Leger as 'a leader of a banditti of robbers, murderers and 
traitors, composed of savages of America and more savage Britons.* The 
militia joined him in great numbers. On the 2 2d Arnold pushed forward, and 
on the 24th he arrived at Fort Schuyler. St. Leger had raised the siege and 
precipitately fled. 

" St. Leger had been frightened by rumors of the rapid advance of Arnold's 
army. Arnold had taken pains to fill the air with them. He had sent to St. 
Leger's camp a half-witted loyalist, Yan Yost Schuyler, to exaggerate his num- 
bers and his speed. The Indians in camp were restive and kept track of 
the army of relief. They badgered St. Leger to retreat, and threatened to 
abandon him. They raised the alarm * they are coming * and for the numbers 
of the patriots approaching, they pointed to the leaves of the forest. 



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A BATTEAV VOYAGE IN 1796 361 



ST. LEGER S FLIGHT 



'* On the 22d of August while Arnold was yet at Utica, St. Leger fled. The 
Indians were weary ; they had lost goods by Willett*s sortie ; they saw no chance 
for spoilSo Their chiefs killed at Oriskany beckoned thera away. They began 
to abandon the ground, and to spoil the camp of their allies. St. Leger deemed 
his danger from them, if he refused to follow their counsels, greater than from 
the enemy. He hurried his wounded and prisoners forward ; he left his tents, 
with most of his artillery and stores, spoils to the garrison. His men threw 
away their packs in their flight. He quarreled with Johnson, and the Indians 
had to make peace between them. St. Leger indeed was helpless. The flight 
became a disgraceful rout. The Indians butchered alike prisoners and British 
who could not keep up, or became separated from the column. St. Leger's ex- 
pedition, as one of the latest, became one of the most striking illustrations to 
the British of the risks and terrors of an Indian alliance. 



** The siege of Fort Schuyler was raised. The logic of the battle of Oriskany 
was consummated. The whole story has been much neglected, and the best au- 
thorities on the subject are British. The battle is one of a series of events which 
constitute a chain of history as picturesque, as exciting, as heroic, as important, 
as ennoble any part of this or any other land. 



CONCLUSION 

"Extravagant eulogy never honors its object. Persistent neglect of events 
which have moulded history, is not creditable to those who inherit the golden 
fruits. We do not blush to grow warm over the courage which at Plataea saved 
Greece forever from Persian invasion. Calm men praise the determination 
which at Lepanto, set limits to Turkish conquests in Europe. Waterloo is the 
favorite of rhetoric among English-speaking people. But history no less exalts 
the Spartan three hundred who died at Thermopylae, and poetry immortalizes 
the six hundred whose leader blundered at Balaklava. Signally negligent have 
the people of Central New York been to the men and deeds that on the soil we 
daily tread, have controlled the tides of nations, and fashioned the channels of 
civilization. After a hundred years we begin to know what the invasion of St. 
Leger meant. A century lifts up Nicholas Herkimer, if not into a consummate 
general, to the plane of sturdy manliness and of unselflsh, devoted patriotism, 
of a hero who knew how to fight and how to die. History begins to appreciate 
the difficulties which surrounded Philip Schuyler, and to see that he appeared 
slow in bringing out the strength of a patriot state, because the scales of destiny 
were weighted to hand New York over to Johnson and Burgoyne and Clinton 
and King George. His eulogy is, that when popular impatience, and jealousies 



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362 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

ill other colonies, and ambitions in the army, and cliques in Congress, super- 
seded him in the command of the Northern armies of the United States, he had 
already stirred up the Mohawk valley to the war blaze at Oriskany ; he had re- 
lieved Fort Schuyler and sent St. Leger in disgraceful retreat ; Bennington had 
been fought and won (Gates had nothing to do with Bennington) ; he had thus 
shattered the British alliance with the Indians, and had trampled out the tory 
embers in the Mohawk valley ; he had gathered above Albany an army flushed 
with victory and greatly superior to Burgoyne's forces in numbers, and it was 
well led and adequate to the task before it. * * * E. H. Roberts." 



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GENERAL PETER QANSEVOORT, JR. 365 

GENERAL PETER GANSEVOORT, JR. 

'* Albany, June ist, 1896. 
'* My dear Mrs. Baxter : 

** You ask me for some account of my grandfather, General Peter Ganse- 
voort, Jr. 1 can give no personal recollections of him, as he died in 181 2 when 
my father was a young man and many years before his marriage. 

*' He was at the time of his death a brigadier-general in the United States 
army ; and it was during his service upon the court-martial convened for the 
trial of General Wilkinson over which he was presiding, that he was taken ill at 
Washington, and returning to Albany died at his home in North Market street, 
in this city, at the age of sixty-two. 

** Family history preserves a tradition that my grandfather's stature was some- 
thing over six feet ; also that he was in person formed in just proportion to his 
height, and these facts are fully attested by measurements from his military 
uniforms, two suits of which in admirable preservation are in my possession. 
His buckskin breeches, which are made to tie below the knee, are thirty- three 
inches in length. The inside measure of his coat sleeve is twenty-five inches, 
and it is forty-six inches from the collar of his coat to the end of his coat-tails. 
Around the chest, as shown by his waistcoats, the measure is forty-six inches, 
and at the waist by the trousers forty- three inches. 

** From a portrait painted from life by Gilbert Stuart in which he is taken in 
the uniform of a brigadier-general, and wears upon the lapel of his coat, the 
badge of the Order of the Cincinnati, which portrait daily looks down on me, in 
our home at Albany, it appears that he was of a somewhat florid complexion ; 
that his eyes were of a deep grey color, and his features prominent and strong. 
His face is to me an exceedingly pleasant face to look upon, and he has the 
mien and aspect of one who would, as it seems to me, be sure to draw to him- 
self, by a certain dignity of character and force, and kindliness of disposition, 
the affection, as well as the esteem of those with whom he should come in 
contact. 

"From his private correspondence, in my possession, being of the period 
mostly of the Revolution, it is impossible not to be impressed with his intense 
loyalty to his country, and its cause, under all circumstances, the constant 
anxiety felt by him for the welfare of his father and mother, his loving solicitude 
for his wife, and his cordial and magnanimous bearing toward his brothers. 
In his relations to those under his command, I judge that he felt, and was 
accustomed to exercise, a paternal as well as official care. As for example, 
writing from the siege of Quebec to his brother Leonard, also a public man, 
afterward a member of the Continental Congress, and prominently identified in 
many ways with public affairs, and enclosing to him money which he had taken 
from a dissolute soldier, * Dear Leonard,' he says, * I send you twenty-three 



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366 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

dollars which I took from Henry Daniels, and which I was afraid he would 
spend, I therefore beg that you will give them to his wife.' A proof of the at- 
tachment felt for him by those associated with him, is found in the fact, that 
many of the officers of the Second regiment, having an option to do so, went 
with him to his new command, on his promotion to the colonelcy of the Third 
regiment. A fact shown by the rosters of the regiment of that time. 

'* As an evidence of the unusual strength of his physical make-up, it may be 
mentioned that he was wont to say jocosely that he ' had not a single tooth in 
his head,' a statement quite in accordance with the fact, as every tooth of his 
was a double tooth. 

'* He matriculated at the College of New Jersey at Princeton, at which col- 
lege my father and my brother, Captain Henry S. Gansevoort, of the United 
States army, now deceased, were afterward graduates, but my grandfather with- 
drew from his class before completing his college course and so never received 
his collegiate degree. 

'* In the times which preceded the Revolutionary war, he was undoubtedly, 
although a young man, greatly interested and quite conspicuous in the Colonial 
movements, which led up to that event, and in this respect he was not singular 
among his family connections, who were all, so far as I can discover, imbued 
with an unmistakable sympathy for the cause of the Colonists, and gave it, first 
and last, their unhesitating and active support. 

*' During the period to which I have just referred, and during the struggle 
which followed, there is evidence among his papers to show that he enjoyed the 
confidence and shared the counsels of those who, on the American side, de- 
termined its purposes, and guided its events. He had the confidence of Gov- 
ernor George Clinton, and the relations between them, continued afterward in 
the case of Governor Dewitt Clinton, his son, and my father, whose intercourse 
was very cordial and intimate up to the time of Governor Dewitt Clinton's 
death. I have in my possession the manuscript of a memorial of my grand- 
father in Governor Dewitt Clinton's hand. 

** Lafayette writes to him from Jamestown, Virginia, on the 5th of March, 
1778, a personal letter in regard to the capture of Carleton, in which he says: 
* As the taking of Colonel Carleton is of the greatest importance, I wish you 
would try every exertion in your power to have him apprehended.' 

''General Philip Schuyler, writing to him from Albany, N. Y., under date 
of August loth, 1777, four days after the battle of Oriskany, says: * A body 
of troops left this yesterday to raise the siege of Fort Schuyler. Everybody 
here believes you will defend it to the last.' 

**The event to which General Schuyler's letter refers, familiarly known as the 
siege and defence of Fort Stanwix, is an event which his descendants especially 
cherish, in a military career uniformly admirable, and seldom if at all unsuc- 
cessful, as illustrative of his character and exhibiting his qualities as a soldier. 

"He had then received a commission as Colonel of the Third New York 
State infantry, and after having been for some considerable time, occupied in 



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GENERAL PETER QANSEV00R1\ JR. 367 

the mustering of the forces, and military preparations, at and near Albany, had 
been assigned to Fort Stanwix and placed in command of its garrison. 

" The strategic position of that post, in its relation to the familiar plan of the 
enemies* campaign, was certainly one of vital consequence. Burgoyne*s advance 
from Canada, was to be through Lakes Charaplain and George to the Hudson at 
Fort Edward, and so down that river to a union at Albany, with forces from 
Lord Howe's army ascending the same river from the south, under Sir Henry 
Clinton, and intending to divert the opposition which should be made to 
Burgoyne. 

"The British Colonel, St. Leger, was to make his way from Oswego along 
the waters of Oswego river and Oneida lake to Wood creek, and over the custo- 
mary portage there, to the head waters of the Mohawk, and so descending along 
the course of the latter river, around the falls at Cohoes, to its confluence with 
the Hudson, form a junction with Burgoyne, and the main army^ intending in- 
cidentally, to occupy and forage, the fertile valley of the Mohawk, and hoping 
to corrupt or terrorize, the patriotism of its inhabitants. 

** Fort Stanwix, * or Fort Schuyler as it was then named, on Wood creek, in- 
truded itself upon the enemies* line of march over this portage, and stood in the 
way of his access to the Mohawk. It will be seen, therefore, that it would be 
the province of the fort to stay the movement of one of the three grand divi- 
sions of the British army, and of its garrison, if not to overpower, and turn it 
back, at this initiative and most critical point in its advance, at least to hold it 
resolutely in check, until succor could arrive to raise the siege. 

The general plan of a probable British campaign, such as was in fact 
attempted, had been well understood and considered, not only in respect to the 
line of march taken by Burgoyne, but to that pursued by St. Leger. The cer- 
tainty of such a plan, became manifest early in July. The warning voice of 
Thomas Spencer, the half-breed Sachem of the Oneidas, whose valuable life was 
part of the price paid for the result at Oriskany, had then apprised the inhabi- 
tants of Tryon county, of the design of Sir John Johnson, and the Indian allies 
of the enemy, to join an intended expedition of English regulars, into the Mo- 
hawk valley, through this western approach ; and the gathering of the Indians 
at Oswego was a fact not to be mistaken. 

** Fort Stanwix was an old fort. It had been built some twenty years pre- 
viously, to command this important carrying place, or portage, at great cost for 
those days, and had been strongly and artificially constructed, but at the time 
of the Revolution it had fallen greatly into disrepair, and is represented to have 
been then scarcely more than a ruin ; some efforts had been made to restore it, 

» " I am particularly anxious to preserve the name of Fort Stanwix, although I know that at 
the time of the siege it was Fort Schuyler, having been recently changed — a very proper and 
excellent. It is as well to call forts as other things by their right names ; but the name Stan- 
wix has been for a long time impressed upon the popular mind, and in the locality it is still 
frequently called so to distinguish it from old Fort Schuyler that occupied the site of the 
present city of Utica. " C. G. L." 



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368 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

but little had been accomplished for its rebuilding, when its importance, in the 
probable movements of the English army became alarmingly apparent. 

'* My grandfather was assigned to the command of the fort in April, 1777, 
and engaged himself at once in the necessary work of restoring and completing 
its defences. 

" On the 4th of July, he writes a letter to General Schuyler in which he 
points out in detail the necessities of the case, and urgently pleads for assis- 
tance. From this letter it appears that every energy of the garrison was then 
being addressed to the work of the rebuilding of the fort, the obstructing of 
Wood creek, and the preparation of the surrounding grounds and approaches for 
the impending peril. The soldiers had been transformed into laborers, and offi- 
cers and men together, bent themselves to the work with a zeal which ever 
comes of the right direction, and of confidence in a guiding hand. Their task 
notwithstanding the mistakes of some incompetent engineering, in the outset, 
which had been directed by an inexpert engineer, a Frenchman, who was 
speedily supplanted, had been so well performed, that on the third of August on 
the approach of St. Leger we are told by the chronicler of those events, * He 
found a well constructed fortress ; safe by earthworks again his artillery, and 
garrisoned by six or seven hundred men.' The excellent condition of the fort 
for defence against the attack was made a subject of public remark after the re- 
treat of St. Leger, and is distinctly emphasized in the historical accounts of the 
siege. The over-confident St. Leger resorting to importunities, deceitful repre- 
sentations and threats, made no attempt to take the position by storm. 

** Fortune, and the cooperation of General Schuyler, favored the operations 
for the security of the fort in one particular. A body of some two hundred 
troops, which had been pushed forward from the east with supplies of provisions 
and ammunition, reached the fort almost simultaneously with the advance forces 
of St. Leger, but in season to be brought by means of rapid work within the 
ramparts unmolested. With this addition of men the equipment of the fort 
was, as already stated from six to seven hundred men, with provisions for six 
weeks and an adequate supply of ammunition for its small arms, although the 
ammunition for the cannon was deficient. The estimated force of St. Leger 
including the Indian allies was seventeen hundred men well provided in all par- 
ticulars, and fully equipped for the work intended by it, excepting as it trans- 
pired, that the artillery was not quite adequate to its task. 

** My grandfather was then but twenty-eight years of age. But the result of 
the siege make it clear that his qualifications for the duties expected of him, on his 
assignment to this important fort, were not overestimated. And I believe him to 
have been wholly deserving of the thanks of the country, which were bestowed upon 
him by resolution of Congress, passed in recognition of the service which he had 
rendered to the American cause, in his resolute and successful defence of the 
fort ; service which was valuable, not only in what it actually achieved, but in 
the fact that it came at a time of the greatest anxiety and of almost universal 
depression, to cheer and encourage the hopes of the Colonists 



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GENERAL PETER 0AN8EV00RT, JR. 369 

"The laconic and determined reply which was made by him to the British 
colonel's demand for surrender, ranks in my view of it, as one of the most im- 
pressive incidents of the war. Much display had been made by the latter offi- 
cer, of the fact that he was advancing upon the fort with a body of trained and 
well provided regulars of the British army, which was supp)orted by a powerful 
alliance of Indian allies. These allies he now represented to be eager for the 
contest, and hungering for the plunder, both in the fort, and Mohawk valley 
beyond it, which in the understanding of their savage minds must be the legiti- 
mate fruits of the victory. The contest with Herkimer was declared to have 
resulted not only in his complete failure to bring succor to the garrison but in 
the entire rout and destruction of his command. Burgoyne was declared to be 
in Albany, and a picture was carefully drawn with much particularity of detail, 
of the fort, surrounded by his overwhelming and irresistible force ; wholly cut 
off from any hope of aid, the object of the cruel designs of savages, who were 
at that moment restrained with the greatest difficulty, from executing their bar- 
baric threats upon it ; of the utter hopelessness of resistance, and the tremen- 
dous consequences, both to the garrison and habitations below, for which the 
commandant must be responsible, if, through resistance, an attack should be 
rendered necessary. Terms were then offered of personal security to the troops, 
and humane treatment to the valley, which were stated to have been wrung from 
enraged and reluctant allies, and an immediate answer demanded, on account 
of the alleged importunity of the Indians. Letters from American officers, 
prisoners in the camp of St. Leger written, as it afterward transpired, under 
duress, proclaiming the death of Herkimer, and of numbers of other general 
officers, and falsely representing the situation, had preceded. 

"Under date of August 9th, 1777, after acknowledging the receipt of the 
communication, my grandfather's reply is this : * * * * It is my determined 
resolution to defend this fort to the last extremity in behalf of the United Ameri- 
can Stales who have placed me here to defend it against all enemies.* 

"This reply, from what I have been told of my grandfather's ways was, I 
believe, entirely characteristic of him, and I should say, that it was indited with 
deliberation, and meant precisely what it said, in every particular. 

" No attack followed this refusal to surrender, but the resort of the enemy was 
to be by approaches by parallels, and by the operations of sapping and mining. 
The gallant Colonel Willett who had made a bold and successful sortie from the 
fort, to aid the advance of Herkimer on the sixth, and had then captured sev- 
eral standards of the enemies' colors, which had been displayed upon the ram- 
parts, under the folds of the memorable flag, partly improvised from Major 
Swarthout's cloak, * undertook on the tenth, with Lieutenant Stockwell, the 

» " A letter of August 29th, 1778, written to Colonel Gansevoort by Captain Swarthout calls 
attention to an understanding under which a requisition was to be made * for eight yards of 
broadcloth on the .Commissary for clothing of this state, in lieu of my Blue cloak which was 
used for colors at Fort Schuyler * and asks for its fulBllment. The letter is in my possession. 

" C. G. L." 



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370 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

perilous enterprise of passing through the enemy's works by night, and of 
making known the situation of affairs in the valley, in the hope of securing as- 
sistance for the fort. 

'* The result of this bold undertaking, although the attempt to pass the enemy's 
lines had been in fact entirely successful, was matter of mere conjecture to the 
besieged, yet the hope that it might prove a success stimulated them, to delay 
by active and stubborn resistance, to the gradual advance of the enemy, the 
time, when it should be necessary to make the attempt to cut through the en- 
campment of the besiegers, which in the last event, it was intended to make, 
by a sally from the fort at night. 

** It is probable that the efforts of Colonel Willett and Lieutenant Stockwell, 
especially as they secured for the movements of Arnold the support of the militia 
in Tryon county, would have brought to the assistance of the fort, the aid 
which was hoped for, and so have raised the seige, and rendered the proposed 
sally unnecessary, but ten days after the departure of these two officers, and on 
the 22d of August, the problem was solved, by the brilliant nise of Arnold, and 
successfully carried out upon his instructions, under which St. Leger's army was 
induced to beat a precipitate retreat. 

**More was involved in the fortunate termination of this siege, than the se- 
curity of the Mohawk valley. The retreat of St. Leger was an utter rout. His 
army, pursued by the force from the fort, fled precipitately, making its retreat 
upon the line of its advance. The Indian allies were completely demoralized, 
and uncontrollable, and further effective attempts in the same direction, ren- 
dered impracticable. Burgoyne lost the support of a portion of his army, on 
which he had confidently counted, while his forces experienced the moral shock 
of this signal disaster, following quickly upon the encounter at Oriskany, and 
succeeded by the misfortunes of Bennington. The patriotism of the inhabitants 
of Tryon county received a new and inspiriting stimulus, and its militia hitherto 
terrorized by the proclamation of the British commander, and the barbarities 
practiced under their sanction, became available for the military operations, then 
so important at the east ; and the forces under Arnold, sent forward to the siege, 
and especially the services of Arnold himself, were liberated, to take their all-im- 
portant part, in the decisive contest, which soon followed at Saratoga. Is it not 
very clear that the importance of the resistance at Fort Stanwix, in its bearing 
upon the latter battle can hardly be overestimated ? 

'* In these statements which I have made in regard to the siege of Fort Stan- 
wix I have not had in mind to attempt any exhaustive, or even full account of 
it, but rather to direct attention to facts which show the nature of the defence 
which was made there, as illustrative of the qualities and character of the com- 
manding officer by whom it was conducted, and also of the importance of the 
fort as a military station at the time, as a means of forming an estimate of the 
value of the services thus rendered. 

'* The limits of this letter, as I understand them to be prescribed, do not per- 
mit me either, to give even an outline in addition of my grandfather's life. The 
letter is already more extended than it should be. 



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GENERAL PETER GANSEVOORT, JR, 371 

" Let me then only say farther, that his correspondence shows, as I have al- 
ways understood to be the case, that he was of methodical, and exact business 
ways, and in his intercourse with men, habitually courteous, and regardful of the 
etiquette and amenities, of the social intercourse of his day. 

** He was not unmindful either of the lighter accomplishments of the world. 
I have in my charge a music book in which during his military service, he was 
accustomed to transcribe musical exercises, and his fondness for musical study 
s.*ems to have led him to seek in his command for those who could aid him in 
its pursuit. In the book just referred to he makes this record : * Colonel Gan- 
sevoort*s instructor who belonged to his regiment, and who was an able in- 
structor and made an excellent performer, deserted in 1778.' 



A SOUVENIR OF ST. LEGER'S RETREAT. 
August 22d, 1777. 

** My grandfather's associations by marriage were also with those who were 
active and pronounced in the cause of the Colonies. He married Catharine 
Van Schaick, the daughter of Sybrant Van Schaick and sister of Colonel, after- 
ward General Gozen Van Schaick, whose conspicuous part in the movements of 
the Continental army in this section of our state as well as elsewhere, are a part 
of the recorded history of the Revolutionary war. 

**By his marriage there were five children ; Herman, the eldest, a resident of 
Saratoga county, upon the old homestead farm at Gansevoort in the town of 
Northumberland, who was respected and greatly beloved in his neighborhood ; 
Wesel, a lawyer, associated at one time in business with Esek Cowen, and a 
man of learning and ability ; Peter, my own father ; Maria, who married Allan 
Melville of Boston, Mass. ; and Leonard H., a prosperous business man. 



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372 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



** It will be interesting to know that among the souvenirs of the siege in my 
grandfather's possession at his death, was a drum abandoned by St. Leger's 
forces in their flight. It is of brass, costly for those times, highly decorated 
and ornamented, and in this latter respect interesting as showing the quality and 
style of the equipment with which St. Leger was provided. It was presented by 
my father to the Albany Republican Artillery; in the year 1825, and was by that 
company turned over to the custody of New York State, and is now a part of the 
war exhibits in the Military Bureau of the state in the New York capital. 

"The flag^ of my grandfather's regiment which (I have my father's statement 
for it, made in the form of a memorandum in writing) was present at the sur- 
render of Cornwallis, is still in my hands. It is also interesting as it bears the 
design of the arms of the state upon it, which after careful investigation and 
research, as to its accuracy, has served as the model for the seal of New York 
State, as now adopted by law and in use. 

** This flag is much worn and does not in its present condition bear exhibi- 
tion ; it has been my intention to have it framed and placed in proper custody 
for access, by the public, a matter which I am now considering. 

** Yours very truly, 
** Catharine Gansevoort Lansing." 

" » I have endeavored, but not with entire success, it would seem, to disabuse the news- 
papers of the idea that this flag of Colonel Gansevoort's regiment, was used during the siege of 
Fort Stanwix. There is no authority for such a statement, other than a mere surmise from the 
fact that it was the regimental flag of the regunent. 

** The flag used at the siege, with which the flag in my custody has been confused, was a 
temporary flag, improvised for the occasion out of materials at hand in the fort. Captain 
Swarthout's cloak contributing an important part; there is no ground for supposing that it was 
preserved. The stars and stripes were adopted by Congress, July I4tb, 1 777. C. G. L." 




FLAG OF SECOND NEW YORK REGIMENT. 
War of the Revolution. 



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GENERAL NICHOLAS HERKIMER 373 

GENERAL NICHOLAS HERKIMER 
New York State Militia 

'* Nicholas Herkimer was the eldest son of Johan Jost Erghemar, one of the 
original patentees of Burnetsfield, in Herkimer county, N. Y. The family was 
German, and there is no. in formation on record whence or at what time they 
came to America, although they evidently possessed wealth, and soon became 
influential in the Mohawk valley. He was commissioned a lieutenant in 
Captain Wormwood's company of militia, January 5th, 1758, and commanded at 
Fort Herkimer, in the same year. Taking an active part with the Colonists in 
their troubles with the crown, he was appointed colonel of the first battalion of 
the militia of Tryon county, in 1775, ^"^ on the 5th of September, 1776, he 
was promoted to a brigadier-generalship by the Provincial Congress of New 
York. 

*' When the popular troubles arose, Nicholas Herkimer was sent to the Com- 
mittee of Safety of Tryon county, as the representative of his district ; and in 
1776 he acted as chairman of that body, maintaining a high character for in- 
tegrity, and greatly influencing his countrymen throughout the valley, in their 
political action in opposition to the Crown. 

*' Of the action taken by him in opposition to the enemy which had invested 
Fort Schuyler, of the sullen bravery which he had exhibited at Oriskany, and of 
the wound which he received there, notice has been taken in this chapter, and 
the closing scenes of his life are all that remain for us to notice. 

** After the action, General Herkimer was conveyed to his own house, in the 
present town of Danube, in Herkimer county, where his leg was amputated. It 
was done in the most unskillful manner, the leg having been cut off square, with- 
out taking up an artery, and he died from the effects of the hemorrhage which 
ensued. Finding that the time for his departure was nigh, he called for his 
Bible, read to those who were around him the thirty-eighth Psalm, and shortly 
afterward he died ; but the day of his death found no recorder, and that, as 
well as the day of his birth, appear to be now unknown." 

Henry B. Dawson. 

The grave of General Herkimer, who died of wounds received in the battle of 
Oriskany, long lay neglected, near where Herkimer had lived. Some years ago 
a relative set up a simple stone, and now a more imposing and appropriate 
monument, erected by the state, has been unveiled, November 12th, 1896. 



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374 



A GODCHILD OF WASHIN07VN 



BRIGADIER-GENERAL MARINUS WILLETT 

** General Marinus Willett was the great-grandson of Captain Thomas 
VVillett of colonial fame ; it therefore seems fitting to give a short sketch of the 
ancestor from whom he inherited his high principles, his daring courage, and 
his untiring energy. 

"Captain Thomas Willett was born in England in 1610. His father and 
grandfather were clergymen ; the latter having been vicar of Barley, Wilts, and 
prebend of Ely Cathedral. Captain Willett came to America in the ship * Lion,* 
in 1632. He landed at Plymouth, Mass., and in January of the next year, he 
was made a freeman. He held various offices in the colony, and was given a 
considerable grant of land near the James river. In 1636, he married Mary 
Browne, daughter of John and Dorothy Browne of Swanzey, Mass. In 1648, he 
was appointed captain of a military company at Plymouth, where he succeeded 
Miles Standish. For thirteen consecutive years from 165 1 to 1664, he was 
assistant to the general court. He was appointed, with eight others, in 1653, 
on the council of war, and * part of the powder and shot was to be kept by him.* 
He was a member also of the famous Hartford Boundary Treaty of 1650. 
Willett was one of the pioneers of the carrying trade on the Sound between this 
city (then New Amsterdam) and the English settlements. In subsequent years, 
when question of boundary rights arose between the Dutch and their English 
neighbors, he became an efficient negotiator between the two parties — having 
previously gained a knowledge of the Dutch language from his constant inter- 
course with them. In 1654, he was sent for, by the Commander-in-Chief of 
Massachusetts, and ordered to accompany him to Manhattan ; and to ' be an as- 
sistant unto them in advice and counsel.* From 1661 to 1665 he was an assistant to 
the Governor. In 1665 he was made Mayor of New York, the first Englishman 
to hold that office; having received his appointment from Colonel Nichols. He 
retained this office for two or three years. In 1668 he removed to Swanzey. By 
his will we learn that he had four sons; James, Hezekiah, Andrew, and Samuel 
— from this youngest son. General Marinus Willett is descended — and three 
daughters, Mary, Martha, and Esther. Captain Willett died at Swanzey, 4th 
of August, 1674. He and his wife were buried at the head of Bullock Cove, in 
what is now known as the town of East Providence, R. I. Inscription on grave- 
stones in Little Neck Cemetery : 



1674. 
" * Here lyes ye Body 
of ye word Thomas 
Willett Esqr. who died 
Augvst ye 41 h in ye 64 
year of his age Anno 

* »* Who was the 
First Mayor 
of New York 
and twice did 
sustain ye place ' 



1669. 
" * Here lyeth ye Body of 
The vertuous Mrs Mary 
Willett wife to Thomas 
Willett Esq who died 
January ye 8 about 65 
year of her age. Anno. 



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375 



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BBIQADIER'QENERAL MARINUS WILLETT 377 

** General MarinusWillettwasbornat Jamacia, Long Island, 31st of July, 1740. 
His father was Edward Willett, born in 1701, and the son of Samuel Willett, 
youngest child of Thonias Willett. There seems to be no record of the child- 
hood of Marinus Willett. When he was but a lad of eighteen, he was made 
lieutenant in General Abercorabie's expedition against Fort Ticonderoga. In 
1758 he also assisted in the capture of Fort Frontenac. Exposure in the wilder- 
ness, we are told, injured his health, and soon after this at the newly repaired 
Fort Schuyler he was detained by illness. 

** Willett's first act of great bravery, was to capture the arms that the British 
had planned to take from New York, in connection with their bwn ; but Willett 
prevented their so doing by capturing the baggage vans containing the arms and 
bringing them back to the city. These very arms were afterward used by the 
first regiment, raised by the State of New York. He was appointed the second 
captain of a company in Colonel McDougall's regiment. 

*' In 1776, he was raised to the rank of lieutenant-colonel; and at the begin- 
ning of the campaign of 1777, he was placed in command of Fort Constitution 
on the Hudson. While Willett was at this fort he received a dispatch from 
General McDougall, to come to his (the General's) assistance. Just after this 
order came, and before he could reach the general, he encountered a detach- 
ment of the British troops. Willett attacked them, and a skirmish ensued. 
Willett' s sortie from Fort Schuyler showed his courage ; and we read that he 
had but a handful of men, when he made his sudden and successful attack upon 
the camp of Sir John Johnson, and his Royal Greens ! This was so quickly 
done, that Sir John had not time to put on his coat ! Willett proceeded to take 
all the camp equipage, and, greatest treasure of all, the papers belonging to Sir 
John Johnson, containing valuable information to Willett. He then returned 
to Fort Schuyler with all his booty, and without the loss of a man. After 
Willett reached the fort, he had the British colors raised beneath the American 
standard in full view of the enemy. This victory Congress recognized ; and a 
sword was presented to General Willett in the name of the United States. The 
following spring he was again ordered to Fort Schuyler ; there he remained until 
1778, when he joined the army under General Washington, in New Jersey, and 
fought at the battle of Monmouth. In 1779, he accompanied General John 
Sullivan, in his expedition against the Six Nations. From 1780, until the close 
of the war, Willett commanded the forces in the Mohawk valley. In 1792, 
General Washington sent General Willett to the south to treat with the Creek 
Indians ; and the same year he was made brigadier-general. After all these 
stirring events, it seems very tame to record that he held the oflftce of Sheriff of 
New York. In 1807, he was made Mayor of New York, the same oflftce that 
his illustrious ancestor held, nearly a century and a half before. General 
Willett died in New York, 23d of August, 1830, in the ninety-first year of his 
age. Comment or praise does not seem necessary as a tribute to this great man, 
whose valor and strength of character, place him in the same rank with the 
great heroes of the Revolution ; and, while we read and are stirred by their 



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378 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

deeds and acts, we never can realize all that they suffered, and lived through, 
to free this great land of ours. We reap the benefits of their work, and their 
self-sacrifices." 

By his great-granddaughter, 

Helen F. King Shelton. 
New York, April i6th, 1896. 



AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER 

" New York, 7th January, 1801. 
" Dear Sir: 

«« You will find a petition before Congress, signed by Henry Rutgers, Alexander Robin- 
son, and your humble servant. The redress prayed for in that petition I flatter myself will 
appear reasonable to every considerate mind. From old acquaintance & friendship as well as 
from justice of the request contained in that petition, I undertake to ask your interest in its 
favor. 

** On the commencement of a New Year & New Century, I heartily congratulate you. May 
it be a Century of Honor, Glory, and Splendor, to our Country, and should difliculties arise 
such as we have seen, may there never be wanting such men as in 1777 we were acquainted 
with to dispel them. 

** With great esteem & regard 
" I am Dear Sir 
" To Yours 

«« H. Glen Esq." '< Marinus Willett. 



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BRIGADIER-GENERAL MARINUS WILLETT 



379 



Between Fort Schuyler and Lake Ontario there were three forts ; Fort Bull, at 
the carrying-place between the Mohawk river and Wood creek ; Fort Brewster 
at the outlet of Oneida lake ; and the fort at Oswego falls. 



BATTLE ISLAND 



One cannot pass the now peaceful and beautifully wooded Battle Island, 
nine miles from the mouth of the Oswego river, without recalling to mind the 
scenes enacted in the drama of 1756. 

General John Bradstreet, (see Chap. I.) who, ten years earlier, was Lieu- 




BATTLE ISLAND. 

tenant-Governor of St. John's, New Foundland, with a handful of men had been 
performing signal service in the interior. Lossing writes in his **Life of 
Schuyler " : * * * '* When, on the 3d of July, 1756, as Bradstreet and his 
party were just commencing their march from Oswego to Albany, they were at- 
tacked by a party of French regulars, Canadians and Indians, nine miles up the 
Oswego river, Schuyler (captain then, afterward general) displayed an intrepid- 
ity and humanity, creditable alike, to a soldier and a true man. He was one of 
eight men, who, with Bradstreet at their head, reached a small island in the 
river, and drove thirty of the enemy from it. One of them, a French Cana- 
dian, was too badly wounded to flee, and as a batteau-man, was about to dis- 
patch him with a tomahawk, Captain Schuyler interposed to save his life. Just 
then forty of the enemy returned to the attack. Bradstreet and his party had 



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380 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

been reinforced by six men, and the French and Indians were received so 
warmly, that they were compelled to flee. A few minutes afterward seventy of 
the enemy appeared upon the shore, and at the same time six more of Brad- 
street's men joined him. For awhile the contest was warm and the result doubt- 
ful. The enemy poured a cross fire upon Bradstreet and twelve of his followers 
were wounded. The French were finally compelled to retire, for the third time, 
and did not renew the attack. 

" About four hundred of the enemy were now seen approaching the river on 
the north side, a mile above, with the apparent intention of crossing and sur- 
rounding the provincials. Bradstreet immediately quitted the island, and at the 
head of two hundred and fifty men marched up to confront them. 

** Owing to accident, there was only one batteau at the island when Bradstreet 
resolved to leave it, and it was hardly sufficient to carry his party over. The 
wounded Canadian begged to be taken in, but was refused. 'Then throw me 
into the river,' he cried, ' and not leave me here to perish with hunger and 
thirst.' The heart of Captain Schuyler was touched by the poor fellow's ap- 
peal, and handing his weapons and coat to a companion-in-arms, he bore the 
wounded man to the water, swam with him across the deep channel and, with 
the approbation of Bradstreet, placed him in the care of Dr. Kirkland. The 
man recovered; and when, in 1775, Schuyler, as commander-in-chief of the 
Northern army, sent a proclamation into Canada inviting the French inhabit- 
ants to join the patriots, that soldier was living near Chambl^e, and gladly en- 
listed under the banner of Ethan Allen, that he might see and thank the pre- 
server of his life. His wish was gratified, and he made himself known to 
Schuyler in his tent at Isle Aux Noir." 

FORT ONTARIO 

There was no engagement at this fort during the Revolution, as the post was 
rather too remote for active operations. 

In 1796, Fort Ontario, with all the others upon the frontier, was given up by 
the English to the United States. ** Preliminary articles of peace were signed 
in Europe, January 20th, 1783. The posts were to be surrendered at once, but 
were held until 1796, to the great annoyance of the Americans. Various pre- 
texts were made. The fur traffic was extremely profitable, and the Indians 
came to the military posts. While these were in the hands of the English, the 
trade and profits would be theirs also. To yield these to the Americans would 
be to give up the trade, and so there was a * pressure ' in London, none the less 
strong, that was unseen by the public. Ostensibly, however, the delay was on 
other grounds not altogether unreasonable, confiscation of property, and non- 
payment of debts being among these. Along with these doubtless, was a feel- 
ing that the Union could not long be maintained, and that a little show of force 
would some day help the States return to their former allegiance. So Great 
Britain held the forts, stood by the Indians and waited for the good time coming. 

** This was exasperating and caused constant friction, shown in all private and 



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BRIGADIER GENERAL MARINUS WILLETT 



381 



public records of that day. On the soil of New York, for nearly thirteen years 
longer, the British flag and soldiers held its citizens in check, but the Jay treaty 
finally removed all difficulties and it was agreed that the forts should be sur- 
rendered on July 4th, 1796. The bitterness of feeling sometimes reached a 
dangerous height, as in the difficulty with Sir John Johnson's men and the 
Salina alarm of 1794. While Vanderkemp was at Oswego in 1792, seven bar- 
rels of salt were forcibly taken from an American boat by the garrison, and this 




FORTS ERECTED BY GEN. SHIRLEY.— 1755. 

kind of robbery was a frequent thing. The learned and patriotic traveler did 
not like this, although he was pleased with the British commander. Captain 
Wickham, who was Rhode Islander by birth. * The whole defence at Oswego,' 
said Vanderkemp, * is but one company, which could not make any resistance, 
as all the fortifications are so decayed that it would not be a great achievement • 
to drive over these ramparts with wagon and horses. Nor does it seem the in- 
tention to make any repairs — from the consciousness, no doubt, their surrender 
is long since finally concluded, and only delayed on account of some trifling 
formalities at this or the other side of the Atlantic' 

** The time came for the evacuation. It was to have been on July 4th, but 
there was no one present authorized to receive the property." 

The following letter addressed to Mr. George Scriba, fixes the actual date : 

" Fort Ontario, July 15th, 1796. 
" Dear Sir : 

" I have the pleasure of informing you that the American flag, under a federal salute, 
was for the first time displayed from the citadel of this fort at the hour of 10. this morning. A 
Captain Clark and Colonel Fothergill were His Majesty's officers left with a detachment of 
thirty men for the protection of the works. From these gentlemen the greatest politeness and 
civility was displayed to us in adjusting the transfer. The buildings and gardens were left in 
the neatest order ; the latter being considerably extensive and in high culture, will be no small 
addition to the comfort of the American officers who succeed this summer. 

*• I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, 

" F. Elmer." 



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CHAPTER XV 

ILLUSTRIOUS JURISTS 

L. B. Proctor writes that, '* When the Supreme Court and Court of Chancery 
of the state began to hold their sittings in Albany, attracting to it the great 
jurists of that day, it was the custom of Schuyler to invite them in a body to his 
mansion. To these receptions — these * Meccas of the mind ' — came the illus- 
trious Kent, and those equally great and illustrious jurists, John Jay, Brockholst 
Livingston and John Lansing; there, too, came that model of all that is vener- 
able in our memory, Abraham Van Vechten, whose teeming eloquence was Cis- 
eronian, and charmed all hearts; and the highly gifted Henry, full to abound- 
ing of every noble trait; and Hoffman, that ingenious, polished master of the 
advocates' art, and many others whose names are written on the scroll of legal 
and judicial fame." 

JAMES KENT 

CHANCELLOR OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK 

Autobiographical Sketch 

** New York, October 6, 1828. 
" Dear Sir : 

'* Your very kind letter of the 15th ult. was received, and also your argu- 
ment in the case of Ivey vs. Pinson. I have read the pamphlet with much in- 
terest and pleasure. It is composed with masterly ability. Of this there can be 
no doubt ; and without presuming to give any opinion on a great case still sub 
iudice, and only argued before me on one side, I beg leave to express my high- 
est respect for the law, reasoning and doctrine of the argument, and my admi- 
ration of the spirit and eloquence which animate it. My attention was very 
much fixed on the perusal ; and if there be any lawyer in this state who can 
write a better argument in any point of view, I have not the honor of his ac- 
quaintance. 

**As to the rest of your letter, concerning my life and studies, I hardly know 
what to say or do. Your letter and argument and character and name, have im- 
pressed me so favorably that I feel every disposition to oblige you if it be not 
too much at my own expense. My attainments are of too ordinary a character, 
and far too limited, to provoke such curiosity. I have had nothing more to aid 
me in my life than plain method, prudence, temperance, and steady, persevering 
diligence. My diligence was more remarkable for being steady and uniform 

382 



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ILLUSTRIOUS JURISTS 385 

than for the degree of it, which never was excessive, so as to impair my health 
or eyes, or prevent all kinds of innocent and lively recreation. 

"I would now venture to state briefly, but very frankly, and at your special 
desire, somewhat of the course and progress of my studious life. I know you 
cannot but smile at times at my simplicity, but I commit myself to your in- 
dulgence and honor. 

'* I was educated at Yale College, and graduated in 178 1. I stood as well as 
any in my class ; but the test of scholarship at that day was contemptible. I 
was only a very inferior classical scholar, and we were not required, and to this 
day I never looked into any Greek book but the New Testament. My favorite 
studies were geography, history, poetry, belles-lettres, etc. When the col- 
lege was broken up and dispersed in July, 1779, by the British, I retired to a 
country village; and finding Blackstone's Commentaries, I read the four vol- 
umes. Parts of the work struck my taste, and the work inspired me at the age 
of sixteen with awe, and I fondly determined to be a lawyer. In November, 
1 781, I was placed by my father with Judge Benson, who was then Attorney- 
General at Poughkeepsie, on the banks of the Hudson, and in my native county 
of Dutchess. Here I entered the law, and was the most modest, steady, indus- 
trious, student that such a place ever saw. I read the following works : Grotius 
and PufTendorf, in large folios, and made copious extracts. My fellow-students, 
who were more gay and gallant, thought me very odd and dull in my tastes ; but 
out of five of them, four died in middle life drunkards. I was free from all dis- 
sipation, and chaste and pure, as virgin snow. I had never danced or played 
cards, or sported with a gun or drunk anything but water. In 1782 I read 
Smollett's History of England, and procured at a farmer's house, where I 
boarded, Rapin's (a huge folio) and read it through, and I found during the 
course of the last summer among my papers my MSS. abridgement of Rapin's 
dissertation on the laws and customs of the Anglo-Saxons. I abridged Hale's 
History of the Common Law, and the old books of Practice, and read parts of 
Blackstone again and again. The same year I procured Hume's History of Eng- 
land, and his profound reflections and admirable eloquence struck most deeply 
on my youthful mind. I extracted the most admirable parts and made several 
volumes of MSS. I was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in January, 
1785, at the age of twenty-one, and then married without one cent of property ; 
for my education exhausted all my father's resources, and left me in debt $400, 
which it took me two or three years to discharge. Why did I marry? I an- 
swer, — at the farmer's house where I boarded, one of his daughters, a little, 
modest, lovely girl of fourteen, gradually caught my attention, and insensibly 
stole upon my affections ; and before I thought of love, or knew what it was, I 
was most violently affected. I was twenty-one and my wife sixteen, when we 
married ; and that charming and lovely girl has been the idol and solace of my 
life, and is now with me in my office, unconscious that I am writing this con- 
cerning her. We have both had perfect health and the most perfect and unal- 
loyed domestic happiness, and are both as well now, and in as good spirits, as 



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386 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

when we married. We have three adult children. My son lives with me and is 
twenty-six, and a lawyer of excellent sense and discretion, and of the purest 
morals. My eldest daughter is well married and lives the next door to me, and 
with the intimacy of one family. My youngest daughter is now of age, and 
lives with me and us, my little idol. 

"I went to housekeeping in Poughkeepsie in 1786, in a small snug cottage 
and there I lived in charming simplicity for eight years. My practice was just 
about sufficient to redeem me from debt, and to maintain my wife and establish- 
ment decently, and to supply me with books about as fast as I could read them. 
1 had neglected, and almost entirely forgotten, my scanty knowledge of the 
Greek and Roman Classics, and an accident turned my attention to them very 
suddenly. In 1786, I saw E. Livingston (now the Codifier for Louisiana) and 
he had a pocket Horace, and read some passages to me at some office, and 
pointed out their beauties, assuming that I well understood Latin. I said noth- 
ing, but was stung with shame and mortification ; for I had forgotten even my 
Greek letters. I purchased immediately Horace and Virgil, a dictionary and 
grammar, and the Testament, and formed my resolution promptly and decidedly 
to recover the lost languages. 

" I studied in my little cottage mornings, and dedicated one hour to Greek 
and another to Latin daily. I soon increased it to two for each tongue in the 
twenty-four hours. My acquaintance with the languages increased rapidly. 
After I had read Horace and Virgil, I turned to Livy for the first time in my 
life ; and after I had construed the Greek Testament, I took up the Iliad, and I 
can hardly describe to this day the enthusiasm with which I perseveringly read 
and studied in the originals, Livy and the Iliad. It gave me inspiration. I 
purchased a French Dictionary and grammar, and began French, and gave an 
hour to that language daily. 1 appropriated the business part of the day to law, 
and read Coke and Lyttleton. I made copious notes. I devoted evenings to 
English Literature, in company with my wife. From 1788 to 1798, I steadily 
divided the day into five parts, and allotted them to Greek, Latin, law and 
business, and French and English varied literature. I mastered the best of the 
Greek, Latin and French classics, as well as the best French and English law 
books at hand. 1 read Machiavel and all the collateral branches of English 
History, such as Lyttleton's Henry the Second, Bacon's Henry the Seventh, 
Lord Clarendon on the Great Rebellion, etc. I even sent to England as early 
as 1 790, for Warburton's Divine Legation and the Lusiad. 

"My library, which started from nothing, grew with my growing, and it has 
now attained to upwards of three thousand volumes ; and it is pretty well 
selected, for there is scarcely a work, authority or document, referred to in the 
three volumes of my commentaries, but what has a place in my own library. 
Next to my wife, my library has been the source of my greatest pleasure and 
devoted attachment. 

** The year 1793 was another era in my life. I removed from Poughkeepsie to 
the City of New York, with which I had become well acquainted ; and I wanted 



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ILLUSTRIOUS JURISTS 387 

to get rid of the incumbrance of a dull law partner at Poughkeepsie. But, 
though I had been in practice nine years, I had acquired very little property. 
My furniture and library were very scant, and I had not five hundred dollars 
extra in the world. But I owed nothing, and came to the city with a good 
character, and with a scholar's reputation. My newspaper writings and 
speeches in the Assembly had given me some notoriety. I do not believe any 
human being ever lived with more pure and perfect domestic repose and sim- 
plicity and happiness than 1 did for these nine years. 

** I was appointed Professor of Law in Columbia College late in 1793, and 
this drew me to deeper legal researches. I read that year in the original 
Bynkershoek, Quinctilian, and Cicero rhetorical works, beside reporters and 
digests, and began the compilation of law lectures. I read a course in 1794 to 
1 795 to about forty gentlemen of the first rank in the city. They were very well 
received, but I have long since discovered them to have been slight and hasty 
productions. I wanted judicial labors to teach me precision. I dropped the 
course after one term, and soon became considerably involved in business ; but 
was never fond of, nor much distinguished in, the contentions of the bar. 

** I had commenced in 1786 to be a zealous Federalist. I read everthing on 
politics. I got the Federalist almost by heart, and became intimate with Hamil- 
ton. I entered with ardor into the federal politics against France in 1793 ; and 
my hostility to the French democracy, and to the French power, beat with 
strong pulsation down to the battle of Waterloo. Now you have my politics. 

** I had excellent health, owing to the love of simple diet, and to all kinds of 
temperance, and never read late at night. I rambled daily with my wife over 
the hills. We were never asunder. In 1795 we made a voyage to the lakes — 
George and Champlain. In 1797 we ran over the six New England States. As 
I was born and nourished in my boyish days among the Highlands east of the 
Hudson, I have always loved rural and wild scenery ; and the sight of moun- 
tains, hills, woods and streams, always enchanted me, and does still. This is 
owing, in part, to early association, and is one secret of my uniform health and 
cheerfulness. In 1790, I began my official life. It came upon me entirely un- 
solicited and unexpected. In February, 1790, Governor Jay wrote me a letter 
stating that the office of Master in Chancery was vacant, and wished to know 
confidentially whether 1 would accept. I wrote a very respectful, but very 
laconic, answer. It was that I was content to accept of the office if appointed. 
The same day 1 received the appointment, and was astonished to learn that there 
were sixteen professed applicants, all disappointed. This office gave me almost 
a monopoly of the business, for there was but one master in New York. The 
office kept me in pretty details and outdoor concerns, but was profitable. In 
March, 1797, I was appointed Recorder of New York. This was done at 
Albany, and without my knowlege that the office was even vacant, or expected 
to be. The first I heard of it was the appointment announced in the papers. 
This was very gratifying to me, because it was a judicial office, and I thought it 
would relieve me from the drudgery of practice, and give me a way of displaying 



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388 A GODCHILD OF WASHINQIVN 

what I knew, and of being useful entirely to my taste. I pursued my studies 
with increased application, and enlarged my law library very much. But I was 
overwhelmed with office business, for the governor allowed me to retain the other 
office, and to these joint duties, and counsel business in the Supreme Court, I 
made a great deal of money that year. In February, 1 798, I was offered by 
Governor Jay, and accepted, the office of youngest Judge of the Supreme 
Court. This was the summit of my ambition. My object was to retire back to 
Poughkeepsie and resume my studies, and ride the Circuits, and inhale the 
country air, and enjoy otium cum dignitate, I never dreamed of volumes of 
reports and written opinions. Such things were not then thought of. I retired 
back to Poughkeepsie in the spring of 1798, and in that summer rode over the 
western wilderness, and was delighted. I returned home, and began my Greek 
and Latin, French, English and law classics as formerly, and made wonderful 
progress in books that year. 

** In 1799 I was obliged to move to Albany, in order that I might not be too 
much from home; and there I remained stationary for twenty-four years. 
When I came to the bench there were no reports or state precedents. The 
opinions from the bench were delivered ore tenus. We had no law of our own, 
and nobody knew what it was. I first introduced a thorough examination of 
cases, and written opinions. In January, 1799, *^® second case reported in 
first Johnson cases, of Ludlow vs. Dale, is a sample of the earliest. The 
judges when we met, all assumed that foreign sentences were only goodi prima 
facie, 1 presented and read my written opinion, that they were conclusive, and 
they all gave up to me, and so I read it in Court as it now stands. This was 
the commencement of a new plan, and then was laid the first stone in the sub- 
sequently erected temple of our jurisprudence. Between that time and 1804 I 
rode my spare time of circuits and attended all the terms, and was never ab- 
sent, and was always ready in every case by the day. 

"I read in that time Vattel and Emerigon, and completely abridged the 
latter, and made copious digests of all the new English reports and treatises as 
they came out. I made much use of the Corpus Juris, and as the judges 
(Livingston excepted) knew nothing of French or civil law, I had an immense 
advantage over them. 1 could generally put my brethren to rout, and carry 
my point, by my mysterious wand of French and civil law. The judges were 
republicans and very kindly disposed to everything that was French; and this 
enabled me, without exciting any alarm or jealousy, to make free use of such 
authorities, and thereby enrich our commercial law. I gradually acquired 
proper directing influence with my brethren, and the volumes in Johnson, after 
I became judge in 1804, show it. The first practice was for each judge to give 
his portion of the opinions when we all agreed, but that gradually fell off, and 
for the two or three last years before I left the bench, I gave the most of them. I 
remember that in the eighth Johnson all the opinions for one term are 'Per 
Curiam.' The fact is, I wrote them all, and proposed that course to avoid excit- 
ing jealousy; and many * Per Curiam * opinions are inserted for that reason. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS JURISTS 389 

" Many of the cases decided during the sixteen years I was in the Supreme 
Court were labored by me most unmercifully ; but it was necessary under the 
circumstances, to subdue opposition. We had but few American precedents, 
our judges were democratic, and my brother Spencer particularly, of a bold, 
vigorous, dogmatic mind, and overbearing manner. English authorities did 
not stand very high in those feverish times, and this led me a hundred times to 
attempt to bear down opposition, or shame it, by exhausting research and over- 
whelming authority. Our jurisprudence was probably on the whole improved 
by it. My mind certainly was roused, and was always kept ardent and inflamed 
by collision. 

**In 1 8 14 I was appointed Chancellor. The office I took with considerable 
reluctance. It had had no charms. The person who left it was stupid, and it 
is a curious fact that, for the nine years I was in that office, there was not a single 
decision, opinion or dictum of either of my predecessors — Livingston and 
Lansing, from 1777 to 1814, cited to me, or even suggested. I took the Court as 
if it had been a new institution, and never before known in the United States. 
I had nothing to guide me, and was left at liberty to assume such English chancery 
practice and jurisdiction as I thought applicable under our constitution. 

"This gave me grand scope and I was only checked by the revision of the 
Senate as a Court of Errors. I opened the gates of the Court immediately, and 
admitted, almost gratuitously, the first year, eighty-five counsellors; though I 
found there had not been but thirteen admitted for thirteen years before. Busi- 
ness flowed in with a rapid tide. The result appears in the Seven Volumes of 
Johnson's Chancery Reports. 

" My course of study in equity- jurisprudence was very confined to the topic 
elicited by the cases. I had previously read, of course, the modern equity re- 
ports down to the time ; and, of course, I read all the new ones as fast as I could 
procure them. 1 remember reading Peer William's as early as 1792, and I made 
a digest of the leading doctrines. The business of the Court of Chancery op- 
pressed me very much but I took my daily exercise and my yearly delightful 
country rides among the Catskill or the Vermont mountains, with my wife, and 
I kept up my health and spirits. I always took up the cases in their order, and 
never left one until I had finished it. This was only doing one thing at a time. 
My practice was first to make myself perfectly and accurately (mathematically 
accurate) acquainted with the facts. It was done by abridging the bills and the 
answers, and then the depositions ; and by the time I had done this slow and 
tedious process, I was master of the case, and ready to decide it. I saw where 
justice lay and the moral sense decided the case half the time. And then I sat 
down to search the autliorities until I had exhausted my books ; and I might, 
once in a while, be embarrassed by a technical rule, but I almost always found 
principals suited to my views of the case, and my object was so to discuss the 
point as never to be teased with it again, and to anticipate an angry and vexa- 
tious appeal to a popular tribunal by disappointed counsel. 

*' During these years at Albany I read a great deal of English literature, but 



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390 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

not with the discipline of my former division of time. The avocations of busi- 
ness would not permit it. I had dropped the Greek, as it hurt my eyes. I per- 
severed in Latin, and used to read Virgil, Horace, and some of them annually. 
I have read Juvenal, Horace and Virgil, eight or ten times. I read a great deal 
in Pothier's works, and always consulted him when applicable. I read the Edin- 
burgh and Quarterly Reviews and American Registers ab initio and thoroughly, 
and voyages and travels, and the Waverly Novels, etc., as other folks did. I have 
always been excessively fond of voyages and travels. 

** In 1823 a solemn era in my life had arrived. I retired from the office at 
the age of sixty, and then immediately, with my son, visited the Eastern States. 
On my return, the solicitude of my private office and the new dynasty did not 
please me. I besides would want income to live as I had been accustomed. My 
eldest daughter was prosperously settled in New York, and I resolved to move 
away from Albany, and ventured to come down to New York, and be chamber 
counsel ; and the Trustees of Columbia College immediately tendered me again 
the old office of Professor, which had been dormant from 1795. ^^ ^^^ "^ 
salary, but I must do something for a living, and I undertook (but exceedingly 
against my inclination) to write and deliver law lectures. In the two characters 
of chamber counsellor and college lecturer, I succeeded by steady perseverance, 
beyond my most sanguine expectations ; and, upon the whole, the five years I 
have lived here in this city since 1823, have been happy and prosperous. I have 
introduced my son into good business and I live aside of my daughter, and take 
excursions every summer with my wife and daughter all over the country. I 
have been twice with them to Canada, and we go in every direction. I never 
had better health. I walk the Battery uniformly before breakfast. I give a great 
many written opinions; and having got heartily tired of lecturing, I abandoned 
it, and it was my son that pressed me to prepare a volume of the lectures for the 
press. I had no idea of publishing them when I delivered them. I wrote anew 
one volume and published it as you know. This led me to remodel and enlarge, 
and now the third volume will be out in a few days ; and I am obliged to write 
a fourth to complete my plan. 

** My reading is now, as you may suppose, quite desultory; but still I read 
with as much zest and pleasure as ever. I was never more engaged in my lift 
than during the last summer. I accepted the trust of Receiver to the Franklin 
(insolvent) Bank, and it has occupied, and perplexed me daily; and I had to 
write part of the third volume, and search books a good deal, for that very ob- 
ject, and I have revised the proof sheets. If I had a convenient opportunity 
(though I do not see how I can have one) I would send the third volume out to 
you. 

** Your suggestion of an equity treatise contains a noble outline of a great and 
useful work ; but I cannot and will not enter on such a task. I have much more 
to lose than to gain, and I am quite tired of equity law. I have done my part. 
I choose to live now at my ease, and to be prepared for the approaching infirmi- 
ties of old age. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS JURISTS 391 

*'0n reviewing what I have written, I had thought of burning it. I speak 
of myself so entirely, and it is entirely against my habit or taste. But I see no 
other way fairly to meet your desires. 

*' I am with great respect and good wishes, 

** Your obedient servant, 

'* James Kent. 
"To 
«* Thomas Washington, 

** Nashville, Tennessee." 

*' In the year 1828, the late Thomas Washington, one of the most eminent of 
the Bar of Tennessee, and a warm admirer of Chancellor Kent, wrote to the 
latter, enclosing a very elaborate argument of his own, and requesting to be 
favored with a familiar account of his life, studious habits, etc. This request 
was complied with.'* The above autobiographical sketch was the result. 

"The ex-Chancellor was then (A. D. 1828) in his sixty-sixth year, and was 
a resident of New York City, engaged in the revision and publication of his 
Columbia College Law Lectures, under the title of * Commentaries on American 
Law,' a work destined to become the standard elementary text-book of the Ameri- 
can law student, as well as an imperishable monument of the author's just and 
well merited fame." 

James Kent was born in Dutchess county. New York, on the 31st of July, 
1763; he died in 1847, at his residence No. 68 Greenwich street. New York. 
The house is still standing. 



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392 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

BROCKHOLST LIVINGSTON 
Soldier and Jurist 

"Born in New York on the 25th of November, 1757. Died at Washington, 
D. C, on the 17th of March, 1823. 

*' His father, William Livingston (one of the most distinguished members of 
that family, which contributed so many representative men) settled in New Jersey 
in 1773, served in the first Continental Congress in 1774, and as the Governor 
of New Jersey in 1776. 

** He left college in New Jersey (Princeton) at the age of nineteen; was on 
the staff of General Schuyler in the northern department, with St. Clair at the 
fall of Ticonderoga, and subsequently an aide to Arnold in the battle of Saratoga, 
and at Burgoyne's surrender with staff rank of lieutenant-colonel. 

"In 1779 ^^ accompanied, as secretary, his brother-in-law, John Jay, then 
Minister to Spain. Returning in 1782, was captured by a British cruiser, and 
imprisoned in New York, but released when Sir Guy Carleton assumed command. 
A member of the New York Legislature in 1788 and 1800, and a trustee of 
Columbia College. He practiced law, and was chosen one of the judges of the 
Supreme Court of New York in 1802, and November, 1806, one of the judges 
of the United States Court, which he retained until his death. The selection 
of him as a Regent of the New York University in 1784, and the degree of 
LL. D. from Harvard in 1818, were among the tributes accorded to his talents. 

** He married three times, and left a large family of children." 

Extract from ** The Society of the Cincinnati," by John Schuyler, Secretary. 



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BROCKHOLST UVINQSTON. 

393 



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CHAPTER XVI 

CATHARINE VAN RENSSELAER 

{Mrs. Philip Schuyler) 

The following sketch was written by her youngest daughter, Catharine, the 
Godchild of Washington : 

"My mother, a great-great-great-granddaughter of the first Pairoon of Rens- 
selaerwyck, was the only daughter of John Van Rensselaer of the Greenbush 
manor house, and his wife Angelica Livingston. She was born in the * Crailo ' 
(see chapter II.) on November 4th, 1734. She was a very beautiful woman, 
delicate, but perfect in form and feature, extremely graceful in her movements, 
and winning in her deportment. My mother was well educated ; and although 
her social influence was widely recognized, she was not one to fill a distinguished 
place in history. She possessed courage and prudence in a great degree, but 
these were exerted only in her domestic sphere. At the head of a large family 
of children and servants, her management was so excellent that everything went 
on with a regularity which appeared spontaneous. A most devoted wife — many 
happy years did my father and she live together ; a tender mother, a constant 
friend, a kind mistress, prudent in conversation, and charitable to all, she is re- 
membered by the few that can have any recollection of her with esteem and 
regard. 

"Her father was a patriot in our Revolutionary struggle — a man of un- 
bounded hospitality, whose kindness and forbearance during that period in not 
exacting rent from his tenants, was the incipient step to anti-rentism. 

" Perhaps I may relate of my mother, as a judicious act of kindness in her, 
that she not unfrequently sent a milch cow to persons in poverty. 

" When the Continental army was retreating before Burgoyne, she went up in 
her chariot with four horses to Saratoga, to remove her household articles. 
While there she received directions from General Schuyler to set fire to his ex- 
tensive fields of wheat — which she did with her own hands ; and to induce his 
tenants and others to do the same rather than suffer them to be reaped by the 
enemy. She also sent her horses on for the use of the army, and returned to 
Albany on a sled drawn by oxen. 

"Catharine V. R. Cochrane. 1846." 

" A few years ago," writes J. Watts DePeyster, "a beautiful picture was ex- 
hibited in the National Academy of Design, representing Mrs. General Schuy- 
ler setting fire to her husband's golden fields of ripened grain. Thus by the 
destruction of his own crops, he set an example which thenceforward no one 

395 



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39G A GODCHILD OF WASHING7VN 

could refuse to follow. Thus when the cereals were reduced to ashes, and the 
live stock driven off, Burgoyne, as he sadly remarked, had to look back even 
across the sea to Ireland for the daily nourishment of his soldiers. The food thus 
brought in ships, river craft, and wheel-carriages, after a transit of nearly four 
thousand miles, was effectually stopped and neutralized by the barrier of deso- 
lation prepared by Schuyler. 

'* Amid this scene of desolation and affright, there was yet one woman whose 
proud spirit was undaunted. It was the lady of General Schuyler. The Gen- 
eral's country seat was upon his estate in Saratoga, standing upon the margin of 
the river. On the approach of Burgoyne, Mrs. Schuyler went up to Saratoga to 
remove her furniture. Her carriage was attended by a single armed man on 
horseback. When within two miles of her house, she encountered a crowd of 
panic-stricken people, who recited to her the tragic fate of Miss McCrea, and rep- 
resenting to her the danger of proceeding farther in the face of the enemy, 
urged her to return. She had yet to pass through a dense forest, within which 
even then some of the savage troops might be lurking for prey. But to these 
prudential counsels she would not listen. ' The General's wife,* she exclaimed, 
* must not be afraid ! ' And, pushing forward, she accomplished her purpose. 

** Before the mansion was evacuated, however, the General himself had a nar- 
row escape from assassination by the hand of a savage, who had insinuated 
himself into the house for that purpose. It was the hour of bedtime in the 
evening, and while the General was preparing to retire for the night, that a fe- 
male servant, in coming in from the hall, saw a gleam of light reflected from 
the blade of a knife, in the hand of some person, whose dark outline she dis- 
cerned behind the door. The servant was a black slave, who had sufficient 
presence of mind not to appear to have made the discovery. Passing directly 
through the door into the apartment where the General was yet standing near 
the fireplace, with an air of unconcern she pretended to arrange such articles as 
were disposed upon the mantlepiece, while in an undertone she informed her 
master of her discovery, and said aloud, ' I will call the guard.' The General 
instantly seized his arms, while the faithful servant hurried out by another door 
into a long hall, upon the floor of which lay a loose board which creaked be- 
neath the tread. By the noise she made in tramping rapidly upon the board, 
the Indian — for such he proved — was led to suppose that the Philistines were 
upon him in numbers, sprang from his concealment and fled. He was pursued, 
however, by the guard and a few friendly Indians attached to the person of 
General Schuyler, overtaken and made prisoner." 

The following letters have never appeared in print. 

" Albany, ist August, 1780. 
" Madam : 

*< I wrote a note to Philip P. Lansing at Saratoga, by a Taylor, who was a country 
man of mine, recommending him to work ; the man was taken up and put to Gaol, as an 
Enemy, and I was obliged to give Bail. The Court came on, and I was Discharged. This 
day it was ordered by Doctor Stringer, Jerry Ramlear and Mr. Beekman that I should be con- 



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CATHARINE VAN RENSSELAER. 
(Mrs. Philip Schuyler.) 



J97 



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CATHARINE VAN RENSSELAER 399 

fined, which 1 have now avoided *tiU I beseech your Influence with Jerry or Doctor Stringer, 
not to put me in prison, as my Weakly Constitution is not fit to bear Such. I have committed 
nothing that deserves imprisonment, and if they are in doubt of me, I shall give them Se- 
curity. The General was once my friend. I hope. Madam, you will be mine also in this and 
Serve your 

" Most Obt. Servant, 
"To "Geo. Smvth. 

"Madam Schuyler. 



" New York, March loth, 1803. 
" I thank you my Betsy, for your favor from Fishkill. I hope the subsequent part of your 
journey has proved less fatigueing than the first two days. I have anticipated with dread your 
interview with your father. I hope your prudence and fortitude have been a match for your 
sensibility. Remember that the main object of the visit is to console him, (General Schuyler 
on the death of his wife on the 7th) that his own burden is sufficient, and that it would be too 
much to have it increased by the sorrows of his children. 

" Arm yourself with resignation. We live in a world full of evil. In the later period of 
life misfortunes thicken round us ; and our duty and our peace both require that we should ac- 
custom ourselves to meet disasters with Christian fortitude. 

"Kiss Kitty for me and give my love to Angelica and all the friends and connections around 
you. 

" Adieu my -excellent wife. Your children are all well. I write to your father by this 
opportunity. 

" A. Hamilton. 
"To 
" Mrs Hamilton, at 

" General Schuyler's, Albany." 



A LETTER OF THE REVOLUTION 

" Beloved, I am far away, dark forests roll between 
This soldier's tent and our sweet home nestling in bowers green 
But thou are there ; I send to thee these weary deserts o'er 
My Catharine never failed in peace ; fail not beloved in war. 

" My fields thou knowest are white with grain, it covers all the land, 
Forget thy hand is slight and soft, I've work for that small hand. 
I trust no underling or friend, only thyself I trust 
Go forth and fire the wheat, my love ; go burn it to the dust. . 

" The enemy are pressing down the river every day 
That grain stands all too temptingly thus ripened in their way. 
Destroy it with unflinching heart — field, gran'ry, stock and store. 
The less we leave of war supplies — the less we'll have of war. 

" Gather the children round thee, then, and hasten to the town 
*Tis Hamilton, my brave young friend, I send to guard thee down ; 
And give our stores among the poor — they'll need them all, I know, 
Ah ! when I think of them and thee, ten times more strong I grow. 



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400 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

** My precious one ! Kiss Meg for me — who saved my life that night 
The Indian's aim was at my head — by blowing out the light. 
Pray all to Him who heareth prayers, to set our country free. 
Fire the wheat; the children guard ! and think sweet Kate of me. 

<• Composed by her great- granddaughter, 
" Pelham, N. Y. "Katharine Schuyler Bolton. 

" 1853." 



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THE VAN REN8SELAEB8 



401 



THE VAN RENSSELAERS 

0/ the Manor of Rensselaerwyck 

*' The Van Rensselaers of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck have, for over two 
hundred years, held an important position in the history of America. Coming, 
as they did, as founders of a Colonie who acknowledged no superior power on 
this side of the ocean, they were actual sovereigns on their own domains. Be- 




■•♦* 1 



8 



^^ 



J 




van fpJ ' 



'J . 







"OMNIBUS EFFULGIO." 
Van Rensselaer Arms. 

fore coming to America, the Van Rensselaers were people of importance in 
Holland, respected and honored by their countrymen ; they held many positions 
of trust, and their name figured constantly as burgomasters, councillors, treas- 
urers, etc., in many of the important towns of their native country. The 
picture of James Van Rensselaer, which still hangs in the Orphan Asylum at 



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402 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Nykerk, represents him as a jonkheer or nobleman, in the distinguishing dress 
of his class. Over the heads of the regents in this picture hang small shields on 
which are displayed their coats of arms, making it perfectly easy to identify 
Jonkheer Van Rensselaer, as these arms are identical with those borne by the 
family at the present day. An interesting tradition with regard to these arms 
exists, which however rests on no reliable foundation. It is said that on some 
festive occasion, a grand illumination was displayed in Holland. The Van 
Rensselaer of that day ordered large iron baskets (which represented his crest) 
to be filled with inflammable materials, and placed on the gate posts, house- 
tops, and every prominent position of both his city and country residences. 
This was done with such brilliant effect, as to call forth special commendation 
from the Prince of Orange, who, according to the custom of the times when 
favours were esteemed and given, instead of money, (and the highest favour was 
an augmentation of anything pertaining to the coat of arms) begged Van Rens- 
selaer to adopt, henceforward, as his motto, ' Omnibus Effulgio,* (I outshine all) 
instead of the Dutch motto, referring to the cross on the shield ' Nieman 
Zonder' (No man without a cross). The motto has been corrupted, and is 
usually written * Omnibus Effulgior,' but it has not been generally used by 
the Van Rensselaer family of late years, as being too arrogant for their simple 
tastes. 

**The following extracts from a letter written by Eugene Schuyler (author of 
History of Russia, etc.,) were published in the Albany Argus, September 21st, 
1879 • * I went to Amersfoort, to Nykerk, and to several other towns in 
Guelderland. At Amersfoort, there is a table in the Church of St. Joris or St. 
George, on which is mentioned the name of Harmanus Van Rensselaer, as one 
of its Regents in 1639. De. is prefixed to his name, which may mean Doctor of 
Laws, of Divinity or of Medicine. There is also a tomb of a Captain Van 
Rensselaer who died of a wound received at the battle of Nieuport. This is 
covered by the wood flooring, and is not visible. 

'* * In the Orphan Asylum at Nykerk, there is a very fine picture of its first 
Regents, 1638. The picture is painted by Breecker, in 1645. There are two 
noblemen in this picture, Jan or Johannes Van Rensselaer, and Nicholas Van 
Delen ; one of the four others is Ryckert Van Twiller, the father of Walter Van 
Twiller, who married the sister of Kiliaen, the first Patroon. There are two 
other Van Rensselaers named among the later Regents, Richard in 1753 — ^"^ 
Jeremias in 1803. 

** ' The original manor of the family, from which the Van Rensselaers took 
their name, is still called Rensselaer, and is about three miles southeast of 
Nykerk. It was originally a Reddergoed, the possession of which conferred 
nobility. The last member of the family who bore the name was Jeremias Van 
Rensselaer, who died in Nykerk, April nth, 1819. He married Julie Duval, 
and had no children, and in his will, he stated that he had no heirs, except the 
Van Rensselaer family then living in America. 

'* * The estate of Rensselaerwyck is now only a farm ; all the old buildings have 



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THE VAN BENSSELAERS 403 

lately been taken down — they were covered with gables and with weathercocks 
of the arms and crest of the family, but all have now disappeared. There is 
scarcely a church in Guelderland that did not have somewhere the Van Rens- 
selaer arms on the tombstones, either alone or quartered with others. The ex- 
act coat of arms is a white basket (not castle) with yellow flames, above a closed 
(or knight's) helmet.' 

**Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, the founder of the colony of Rensselaerwyck in 
America, was a man of character and of substance. He was a merchant of 
Amsterdam, wealthy, and of high consideration, at a time when the merchants 
of Holland had become, like those of Italy, the princes of the land. He was a 
proprietor of large estates, and a director in the Dutch West India Company, 
which company having obtained a footing in America, instituted a college of 
nine commissioners in 1629, to take the superior direction and charge of affairs 
of New Netherland. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer was a member of this college. A 
liberal charier of privileges to Patroons was obtained from the company, which 
provided for founding a landed and baronial aristocracy for the Provinces of the 
Dutch in the New World. 

** Early in 1630, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer sent an agent from Holland, to 
make his first purchase of land, from the Indian owners, which purchase was 
sanctioned by the authorities of the company at New Amsterdam, * who signed 
the Instrument and sealed it with the Seal of the New Netherlands, in red wax.' 
Other purchases were made for him, up to the year 1637, when his full com- 
plement of land having been made up, viz : A tract of twenty-four miles in 
breadth by forty-eight miles in length, containing over seven hundred thousand 
acres which now comprise the counties of Albany, Rensselaer, and part of 
Columbia. He himself never came to America to take charge of his colony. 
All his colonists, numbering one hundred and fifty adults, was sent out at his 
own cost, and, as the charter required, the colony was planted within four years 
from the completion of his purchases. 

" The power of Patroon, (the title given by the West India charter to these 
proprietors) was analogous to that of the old feudal barons, acknowledging only 
the States-General of Holland as their superiors. The Patroon maintained a 
high military and judicial authority, had his own fortresses, planted with his 
own cannon, (the original still in possession of the manor house family) manned 
by his own soldiers, with his own flag waving over them. The courts of the 
colony were his own courts, where the gravest questions and highest crimes were 
cognizable; but, with appeals in the more important cases. Justice was ad- 
ministered in his own name. The colonists were his immediate subjects, and 
took the oath of fealty and allegiance to him. 

" The position of the colony was one of great delicacy and danger, being 
surrounded by warlike tribes of savages ; but, happily, the Patroons of that 
period, and their directors, by a strict observance of the laws of justice, and by 
maintaining a guarded conduct toward them, escaped those wars and conflicts, so 
common among the infant colonies of the country. But, with the authorities at 



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404 A GODCHILD OF WA8HIN0WN. 

New Amsterdam, there were constant collisions ; and on one occasion, it was so 
sharp that Governor Petrus Stuyvesant sent up an armed expedition to invade 
the Colony of Rensselaerwyck ; but fortunately, his expedition was unsuccessful, 
and happily bloodless as it was bootless. It is alleged that Kiliaen Van Rens- 
laer visited his colony in person in 1637. If he ever did come, his stay in this 
country was not long. An order written to Arendt Van Corlear (his Com- 
missary-General and Colonial Secretary) with regard to the arrangement of some 
of his affairs in the Colonie of Rensselaerwyck, was signed in Amsterdam, 
September loth, 1643, by Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, and sealed with his own and 
the Colonie's seal. This order was sent to New Netherland in the Patroon's 
ship, 'The Arms of Rensselaerwyck,' which was despatched with an assorted 
invoice of merchandise, valued at twelve thousand, eight hundred and seventy 
guilders (12,870 guilders) and was intended for the use of his Colonie. 

" In 1664, grea^ changes took place ; the English conquered the province 
which had hitherto belonged to the Dutch, and the Colony of Rensselaerwyck 
fell, with that of New Amsterdam ; but the English Governors confirmed the 
claims and privileges of Rensselaerwyck when the Provinces passed under British 
rule. 

**In 1685, *^^ Dutch Colony of Rensselaerwyck was converted and created 
into a regular lordship or manor with all the privileges belonging to an English 
estate and jurisdiction of the manorial kind. To the lord of the manor, 
Kiliaen, the fourth Patroon, was expressly given authority to administer justice 
within his domain in both kinds, in his own court-leet and court-baron. Other 
large privileges were conferred on him ; and he had the right, with the free- 
holders and the inhabitants of the manor, to a separate representation in the 
Colonial Assembly. All these rights continued unimpaired down to the time of 
the war of the Revolution. 

*'The first Patroon, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, was twice married, and had nine 
children — five sons and four daughters — all of whom survived him, and accord- 
ing to the laws of Holland, shared equally his estates. He died in 1646. His 
first wife was Hillegonda Van Bylett, by whom he had one son Johannes, who 
married his cousin Elizabeth Van Twiller. 

"Johannes Van Rensselaer was the second Patroon, and died young leaving 
one son Kiliaen ; the estate in America was managed by his uncle Jan Baptist 
Van Rensselaer, who was made ' director of the estate.' 

"Young Kiliaen, third Patroon, married his cousin Anna Van Rensselaer, 
and died in 1687, at Watervliet, N. Y., without children. This Anna (daugh- 
ter of Jeremias Van Rensselaer) married William Nichol. 

" Jan Baptist Van Rensselaer, the son of the first Patroon, by his second wife 
Anna Van Wely, married his cousin Susan Van Wely. He was for many years 
director of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, and finally returned to Holland, 
about 1656, where he became one of the leading merchants of Amsterdam, and died 
in 1678. Jeremias Van Rensselaer, the third son of the first Patroon, succeeded 
his brother Jan Baptist, as director of the Colonie in 1658, and for sixteen years 



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fCmea^ ^a^i.. 



-Mi^ 




Married Maria Van Cortlandt, 1662. 



405 



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THE VAN REN8SELAEB8 407 

administered its affairs with great prudence and discretion. He was much re- 
. spected by the French, and wielded an influence over the Indians which was 
only surpassed by that of Van Corlear. On account of the inaccuracies of the 
boundaries, etc., considerable difficulty was experienced in obtaining a patent 
for the manor from the Duke of York, upon the change of government from the 
Dutch to the English rule. To obviate the trouble, some persons of influence 
advised Jeremias * the director,' to take out a patent in his own name, he being 
qualified to hold real estate, having become a British subject. To his great 
honor, it is recorded that he rejected the advice, saying : * He was only coheir, 
and could not thus defraud his sisters and brothers.' 

'* In 1664, Jeremias Van Rensselaer was elected speaker of the Representative 
Assembly of the Province. The first question which engaged the attention of 
this Assembly was that of the presidency. New Amsterdam claimed the honor 
as the capital, and Rensselaerwyck claimed it as the oldest Colonic. The right of 
the latter was admitted, and the Honorable Jeremias Van Rensselaer took the chair 
under protest. He was a man of great industry, and communicated to Holland 
an account of various occurrences in this country, under the name of * The New 
Netherland Mercury.* His correspondence (from 1656 to his death) still in 
good preservation, affords a valuable and interesting commentary on private and 
public affairs, and contains a relation of facts and incidents which, otherwise, 
would have been irreparably lost. He died on the 12th of October, 1674, and 
was followed to the grave by a large concourse of mourners. 

** Nicolaus Van Rensselaer (the eighth child of Kiliaen, the first Patroon) was 
a clergyman of the Dutch Reformed Church. On being introduced to Charles 
II. of England, then in exile at Brussels, he prophesied the restoration of the 
monarchy to the throne of England, which circumstance afterward obtained for 
him a cordial reception at the Court of St. James, when he visited London as 
chaplain to the Dutch Embassy. In acknowledgment of the truth of the predic- 
tion, the king presented him with a snuff-box. (This royal relic is now in the 
possession of the Manor House Van Rensselaer family at Albany.) Upon com- 
ing to America, the Dutch church looked upon him with suspicion, fearing he 
was papist, as one having been ordained in England as Presbyter of the Bishop 
of Salisbury — and declared he had nothing to do with the Dutch Church, with- 
out a certificate from their classes. Dr. Van Rensselaer produced his papers and 
certificates — that of his graduation as deacon and as Presbyter of the Bishop of 
Salisbury ; his majesty's allowance of him under his signature to be a minister, 
and to preach to the Dutch congregation at Westminster; two certificates of his 
being Chaplain to the Ambassador Extraordinary from the Slates of Holland ; 
and also of having officiated in a church in London as lecturer; and the Duke 
of York's recommendation of him to the present governor in this country. 

'*The governor called a council to decide the matter, asking the opposing 
ministers, why Dr. Van Rensselaer should not be considered capable of admin- 
istering the sacraments of the church, etc. The ministers recalled their 
previous views, and brought in a paper, 'amended, with all submission.' 



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408 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

** Reverend Nicolaus Van Rensselaer married Alida Schuyler, daughter of 
Philip Pieterse Schuyler. He died in 1678, without children, and his widow 
married Robert Livingston, first proprietor of Livingston Manor. 

" Ryckert, the youngest son of Kiliaen, the first Patroon, was for many years 
one of the magistrates of Albany, and also director of the Colonie, after the 
death of his brother Jeremias. He married in Holland, Anna Van Beaumont. 
He owned the ' Bowerie' called ' The Flatts,' four miles north of Albany, which, 
on his return to Holland in 1670, he sold to Philip Schuyler. He was at one 
time treasurer and burgomaster ofVianen; he died about 1695, leaving five 
sons and five daughters, only one son and three daughters being married. 

" Three of the daughters of the first Patroon, died unmarried. These were 
Maria, Hillegonda, and Elonora. Susanna, the fourth daughter, married Jan 
de la Court, and lived and died in Holland. 

*' On the death of Jeremias Van Rensselaer, in 1674, the affairs of the Colony 
of Rensselaerwyck were administered conjointly, during the minority of Kiliaen 
(then twelve years of age) by Dominie Nicolaus Van Rensselaer and Stephanus 
Van Cortlandt. Nicolaus had the directorship of the Colony ; Madame Van 
Rensselaer was the treasurer ; and Stephanus Van Cortlandt had charge of the 
books. Dominie Nicolaus dying in 1678, the chief management of the minor's 
affairs devolved on his aunt and his uncle. Madame Maria Van Rensselaer was 
the daughter of Oloff (Stephenson) Van Cortlandt and Ann Lockermans, and 
married Jeremias Van Rensselaer in 1662. She died in 1689, fifteen years after his 
■death, leaving three sons, Kiliaen, Johannes, and Hendrick ; and two daughters, 
Anna and Maria. Johannes died unmarried. From these two brothers, Kiliaen 
and Hendrick have sprung all the descendants of the Van Rensselaer blood in 
this country. The heirs of the first. Patroon held his estate in common until 
1695, nearly fifty years after his death. At that time, all of his children except 
Ryckert and Elonora, were dead. In 1696, negotiations were entered into with 
Kiliaen of Albany (son of Jeremias, deceased) and the heirs in Holland, for a 
settlement of their grandfather's estate. On the 25th of November, 1695, the set- 
tlement was completed and the legal paper executed. The Hollander attorney 
for Ryckert, Elonora, and for the children of Susanna, deceased, released to the 
American for himself and as attorney for his brothers, Johannes and Hendrick, 
and for his sisters Anna and Maria, all the Manor of Rensselaerwyck containing 
seven hundred thousand acres of tillable land ; all the Claverack track of sixty 
thousand acres except three farms, and all the personal property, except * seven 
hundred pieces of eight * (or seven hundred dollars) ; and the American released 
to the Hollanders all the estate, real and personal, and contingent, in Holland, 
of which the Crailo estate and a tract of land in Guelderland formed a part. 

*' Four of the nine children of the first patroon had died without heirs; his 
widow was also dead ; consequently the estate was divided into five parts, one 
for the family in America, and the other four, for the heirs in Holland. 

** Measuring the whole estate by our conception of the value of that in 
America, we should be likely to form an erroneous judgment as to its amount. 



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THE VAN BEN8SELAER8 409 

Land here, at that time, was very cheap, hundreds of acres could be bought 
from the Indians for trinkets. The whole estate measured by the sum which 
the Hollanders stipulated to pay to Elonora Van Rensselaer, eight hundred 
dollars (|8oo) was not large in the modern sense ; but forty cents, at that time, 
were equal to several gold dollars now. In 1704, a charter from Queen Anne 
confirmed the estate to Kiliaen, the eldest son of Jeremias (third son of the 
original Patroon, the oldest having died without issue). The estate came to him 
by inheritance according to the canons of descent established by the law of 
England. 

" Kiliaen was the first Lord of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, which he rep- 
resented in the Provincial Assembly from 1691 to 1703, when he was called to 
the council. In 1704, he conveyed the lower Manor Claverack, with the Crailo 
estate at Greenbush, to his younger brother Hendrick, as his share of his grand- 
father's estate. He married his cousin Maria Van Cortlandt, in 1701, by whom 
he had six sons and four daughters. His eldest son Jeremias, bom in 1705, died 
unmarried in 1745. He had survived his father and was consequently the fifth 
patroon. His brother Stephen, (Kiliaen's second son) became the sixth patroon. 
His son Stephen was born in 1707, and married in 1729, Elizabeth Groesbeck. 
He died in 1747, leaving a daughter, Elizabeth, married to General Abraham 
Ten Broeck; and one son, Stephen who being a minor at his father's death, 
was left under the guardianship of his brother-in-law, General Ten Broeck, who 
managed his affairs with great judgment. Abraham Ten Broeck was descended 
from one of the old families of the Colony of New York. His father was for 
many years Recorder and then Mayor of Albany. In 1753, he married the 
only sister of the sixth patroon, the second Stephen. He was called early into 
public life, and was, for many years a member of the Assembly under the Colo- 
nial government, and at the commencement of the American war, was made 
Colonel of the Militia, a Member of the Provincial Congress of 1775, Delegate 
to the State Convention in 1776, of which he was made president. Early in 
the contest, he was made Brigadier- General of the militia, and rendered mem- 
orable service in the campaign of 1777. He was a member of the State Senate, 
Mayor of the City, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and President of the 
Bank of Albany. His virtues in private life equalled the excellence of his pub- 
lic character. He died January 19th, 1810. 

"The second Stephen Van Rensselaer born in 1742, married in January, 
1764, Catherine Livingston, daughter of Philip Livingston (signer of the 
Declaration of Independence) and Christiana Ten Broeck. He built the pres- 
ent manor house, which was completed in 1765, and which he was spared to 
enjoy, only four years, as he died of consumption in 1769, leaving two sons and 
one daughter — Stephen, Philip, and Elizabeth. 

"Philip, the second son, born 1766, married in 1787 Anne de Peyster Van 
Cortlandt, daughter of General Philip Van Cortlandt. They had no issue. He 
was Mayor of the City of Albany, longer than any other mayor before or since, 
having served seventeen years in that office. He was also President of the 



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410 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Bank of Albany, and was a public man holding many positions. He died in 
1824. 

'* His sister Elizabeth Van Rensselaer, born in 1768, married in 1787, John 
Bradstreet Schuyler, son of General Philip Schuyler and Catharine Van Rens- 
selaer, by whoiu she had one son, Philip Schuyler. She married secondly in 
1800, John Bleecker, by whom she had one daughter who married Cornelius 
Glen Van Rensselaer, and several sons who died unmarried. 

*' Stephen Van Rensselaer, HI. (fifth lord of the manor and eighth patroon) 
the eldest son of Stephen Van Rensselaer, and Catherine Livingston was born 
in November, 1764, in the City of New York, at the house of his grandfather, 
Philip Livingston. His father having died, the care of his education developed 
largely upon Mr. Livingston, who placed him at school in Elizabeth, N. J.; 
but the stirring times of the Revolution came on, and Mr. Livingston, with his 
family, was driven from the City of New York, and took refuge in Kingston. 
This place possessed a teacher of great scholarship, under whose care the young 
Stephen Van Rensselaer fitted himself for college. He went to Princeton, 
under the celebrated Dr. Witherspoon ; but, at that time New Jersey was not 
safe from the incursions of the war, and so the young collegian was removed to 
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. In 1782, betook his degree as Bach- 
elor of Arts, and here it may be mentioned that in 1825, he received from Yale 
College a diploma conferring upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. 
Before he was twenty years of age, he married Margarita Schuyler, daughter of 
General Philip Schuyler ; by this marriage there were two children — a daughter 
Catherine Schuyler who died at twelve years of age, and a son Stephen. 

'*The Patroon, after his marriage, devoted himself to the care of his estates, 
and shortly after, received his first military commission, as a major of infantry, 
in 1786, and two years later, was promoted to the command of a regiment. In 
1 78 1, Governor Jay directed that the cavalry of the state be formed into a 
separate corps, divided from the infantry. The Patroon was appointed to the 
command of this division with two brigades. This commission of major-gen- 
eral he bore to his death. In political life, he was in the Assembly or Senate 
from 1788 to 1795. In this latter year, he was elected Lieutenant-Governor 
with John Jay as Governor. The same election took place in 1798, when he 
had no opposing candidate. In 1801, General Van Rensselaer was nominated 
as candidate for governor. With what difficulty his acceptance was finally ob- 
tained appears from the publications of the times. Mr. Clinton was brought 
forward as his opposing candidate. Mr. Clinton was very popular, and de- 
servedly so; and, in the midst of the campaign in this state, the election of Mr. 
Thomas Jefferson, to the presidency was announced, and the fate of parties in 
this state was decided for a long time to come. Mr. Van Rensselaer was de- 
feated by a small majority of less than four thousand votes. It was at this time 
while the election canvass was going on most actively, that the wife of his youth 
was called from him. By this marriage he had three children — two sons and 
one daughter — the first son Stephen, died in infancy. In 1802, he married 



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STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER UI. 
(Fatroon of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck. ) 



411 



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THE VAN REN8SELAERS 413 

again, his second wife being Cornelia Patterson, only daughter of William Pat- 
terson, one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the 
second Governor of the State of New Jersey. In 1810, General Van Rensselaer 
was appointed one of seven gentlemen to explore a route for the great internal 
state improvement — the Erie Canal. After the war with England in 181 2, the 
commission was resumed and in April, 181 6, the law passed for its creation. 
General Van Rensselaer was President of the Board from 1824 until his death in 
1839. 

" It was in the year 1810, that General Van Rensselaer lost his venerated 
mother. Several years after the death of her husband the Patroon Stephen Van 
Rensselaer II., Mrs. Van Rensselaer had married Dominie Eilardus Westerlo, 
pastor of the Dutch Church ; an eminent divine, a fine scholar, and a Hol- 
lander of distinguished bearing and attractive manners. By this marriage, she 
had one son and a daughter. Rensselaer, who married Jane Lansing, daughter 
of Chancellor Lansing of Albany, and Catherine who married Judge John 
Woodworth. 

** In 1812, the war with Great Britian was declared. A requisition was made 
on Governor Tompkins, to order into immediate service, a considerable body of 
New York Militia; and the governor selected Major-General Stephen Van 
Rensselaer for the command. In one month from the date of the call, he was 
at Lewiston, and in just two months, on the 13th of October, he carried his 
victorious arms into the enemy's territory. It was a triumph of short duration. 
He gained a complete and glorious victory, sufficient if maintained, to have 
secured the peninsula of Canada for the winter; but a victory, lost as 
soon as won, by the shameful cowardice and defection of his troops. With a 
mere handful of men, the heights were carried early in the morning, under the 
direction of his aide-de-camp and cousin, the brave Colonel Solomon Van 
Rensselaer, and they remained in his possession until late in the day ; and could 
have been easily defended, but for the shameful refusal of his yeomen soldiery 
to advance further. 

" On one side, General Brock had fallen ; and on the other Colonel Van 
Rensselaer was desperately wounded. The British General Sheaffe offered 
everything for the comfort of the wounded colonel. General Van Rensselaer 
informed General Sheaffe that he should order a salute to be fired at his camp 
and at Fort Niagara, on the occasion of the funeral solemnities of the brave 
General Brock. General Sheaffe thanked him in these words : • I feel too 
strongly the generous tribute which you propose to pay to my departed friend 
and chief, to be able to express the sense I entertain of it. Noble minded as he 
was, so would he have done himself.* 

" With this campaign closed General Van Rensselaer's services in the field. 

** In 1819, he was elected by the Legislature, a Regent of the State Univer- 
sity, and at the time of his death, he was its chancellor. 

'* In 1823, he first took his seat in Congress, and was continued there by 
three successive reflections, retiring in 1829. In February, 1825, the ceremony 



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414 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

of an election to the presidency took place in the House of Representatives. 
His vote determined that of the delegation from the State of New York in favor 
of Mr. Adams, on the first ballot. In 1824, having provided a suitable build- 
ing at Troy, Rensselaer county, and employed an agent to procure necessary 
apparatus and a library, he requested Dr. Blatchford to act as President of a 
Board of Trustees whom he named, to inaugurate a school * to qualify teachers 
to instruct the application of experimental chemistry, philosophy and natural 
history to agriculture, domestic economy, and to the arts and manufactures.' In 
1826, this school was incorporated, and is now known as the Rensselaer In- 
stitute. In 1828, he liberally endowed it, and during fourteen years, sus- 
tained it at his own expense. 

** After a long and useful life, honored by all who knew him, Stephen Van 
Rensselaer died at the manor house, Albany, January 26th, 1839, leaving a 
widow and ten children.'* 

By Justine Van Rensselaer Townsend, a daughter of the last Patroon. 

(** In this manuscript of Mrs. Justine Van Rensselaer Townsend, she did not 
mention what would be interesting to add, that in the Protestant Church at 
Nykerk, Holland, there are two monuments erected to the memory of Hendrick 
Van Rensselaer and of his brother Johann, who both lie buried there. Hen- 
drick, the father of Kiliaen, first Patroon of Rensselaerwyck, was a captain in 
the Dutch army, and was killed at the siege of Ostend, the 9th of June, 1602. 
His brother Johann, likewise a captain was killed on the 7th of February, 1601. 
The coat of arms, of the Van Rensselaer family is placed at the top and at the 
foot of the monuments ; and the crests of the families into which they inter- 
married form the bordering. Photographs of these interesting marbles are in 
the possessing of the family. J. V. R. T.) 

**For eighty-four years immediately preceding the Revolution, the Van 
Rensselaer Manor was never without its Representative in the Assembly of the 
Province, always either the proprietor or, in case of a minor his nearest rel- 
ative." 



THE van RENSSELAER MANOR HOUSE AT ALBANY 

** The Van Rensselaer Manor House or the ^Patroon's,' as it was usually 
called, was, at the time of its erection, the handsomest residence in the Colonies, 
and as such it exerted a wide influence over the architecture of the ambitious 
dwellings in the neighborhood. The building was erected in 1765 by Stephen 
Van Rensselaer under the direction of his guardian. General Ten Broeck. The 
house was so completely remodeled in 1840-43, from designs by Upjohn, that but 
little resemblance to the old building was left. From an oil painting made be- 
fore that date the character of the building can clearly be seen, while another 
painting shows the great gardens. The original house was built of brick of un- 
usual size and was painted in the Colonial colors, cream and white. 



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MARGARITA SCHUYLER. 
(Wife of Stephen Van Rensselaer HI.) 



4^5 



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THE VAN BENSSELAEB8 



417 



** On June 3d, 1843, *^® building was opened after the extensive repairs had 
been completed. The mansion was rectangular in plan, with the great hall 
twenty-four feet broad, extending from the front to the rear of the house, some 
forty-six feet. On either side of front and rear doors were two large windows 
with deep window seats. The walls were decorated with frescoes upon a 
yellow background, which in their day were the wonder of the country. These 
were painted upon large sheets of heavy paper, and were executed in Holland 
especially for the room and put on in 1768, the bill for wliich is still in the 
possession of the family. 

** The west wall of tiie hall was pierced in the centre by a large arched door- 




VAN RENSSELAER MANOR HOUSE. 

way leading to the stairs, flanked by Ionic pilasters. To right and left were 
doors giving access in the front to the 'greenroom,' used as a reception-room, 
and on the rear to the study or office-room of the Patroon. On the opposite 
wall were two similar doors, one of which gave entrance to the state bedroom in 
front, the other to the paneled room in the rear. 

'* There were four large frescoes which filled the wall surfaces on the side 
walls between the doors and the front and rear walls. A still larger one 
covered the wall opposite the large arched doorway ; on either side of this were 
four smaller panels representing the four seasons. The pictures were surrounded 
by arabesques in the style of Louis XV. The woodwork in this hall was very 
elaborate ; the door and window frames were crosseted, and above the doors 
were broken pediments. The cornice was of carved wood. As has been al- 



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418 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



ready said, both cornice and doors served as models for those of many other 
houses of this period. 

** The state bedroom was a large square room on the first story. Here was 
the great mahogany bedstead, ornamented with dolphins and wreaths cast in 
brass. The mantel in this room was one of the few which were preserved when 
the house was remodeled. Two columns supported the panel bar, on which 
were carved a lion and a lioness. 

** Behind this room was the * panel ' room, which before the alterations, was 




HALL OP VAN RENSSELAER MANOR HOUSE. 

used as the family dining-room, the state dinners being given in the large hall. 
The walls of this room were of wood from floor to ceiling. A low paneled 
wainscot surrounded the room, whose baseboard and chair rail were elaborately 
carved with a running pattern. Above, large panels reached to the cornice, 
which was also of elaborately carved wood. The doors were the most beautiful 
in the building, the frames were decorated with carved egg-and-dart and water- 
lily mouldings, and the curved pediment above framed a bust of carved wood. 
The fireplace was the handsomest in the building, two marble caryatides uphold- 
ing the mantel shelf. 

** On the west of the main hall was the private study, a square room whose 
walls from floor to ceiling were lined with mahogany bookcases. The mantel 
was upheld by two small columns. Above it was the picture panel, which is 
almost universally found in houses of this period. The small reception-room 
had been so completely remodeled that only a fragment of wainscot, with a 



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THE VAN RENSSELAER8 419 

carved chair rail, which had been concealed behind a pier glass, was left to show 
the style of the room in the original house. 

'* The stairs opened off the hall and were lit by a semicircular window of 
stained glass in the west wall, on which the family coat of arms was depicted. 
Tradition declares this to be the original window which was placed in the old 
Dutch Church in 1656, in memory of John Baptist Van Rensselaer. Several 
others, also were placed in the church by the more important Dutch families. 
The stairs ascend on the right wall with broad treads to the wide landing, on 
which for many years stood the spinet. In the second story a wide hall, the 
full width of the stairs, occupied the middle of the house. From this opened 
through low pedimented doors, eight bedrooms, six of them large square rooms 
and two of them small dressing-rooms. This hall was used by the family in the 
evening as a sitting-room. The third or attic story had the same large hall. 
On this story were only four large bedrooms, the remaining space being occupied 
by spacious closets. The walls of the stairs and hall walls from the bottom of 
the house to the top were covered with a glazed paper, grained to imitate oak, 
divided into panels by egg-and-dart mouldings. The staircase was well lit by a 
skylight filled with stained glass, which was inserted in the attic floor and lighted 
by a skylight in the roof. 

" The east wing was occupied by two large rooms. That in the front was the 
main reception-room, that in the rear was the library. 

" The windows of these rooms extended to the floor and gave access to the 
two large balconies in front and rear, and the four small balconies on the sides. 
The doors were pedimented and they, as well as the windows, had frames deco- 
rated with hand-carved egg-and-dart mouldings. These rooms, when the great 
folding-doors between them were opened, formed a magnificent room for enter- 
tainments. 

'* The walls of the library were lined with beautifully carved mahogany book- 
cases, above which were plaster busts of the prominent men of those times. 

** In the west wing was the great dining-room. Here for thirty years a lavish 
hospitality was dispensed, which made the manor house a noted place, not in 
this country alone, but abroad. Indeed the manor had always been famous for 
its hospitality. A noted Englishman who visited this country during the last 
years of the last century, was overwhelmed by the sumptuousness of the ban- 
quet, the magnificence of the family plate and the delicacy of the wines. At 
the old house at diff*erent times were entertained every man of distinction, and 
every foreign * lion ' from anti-Revolutionary days to the death of General Van 
Rensselaer, the old Patroon. 

*' The widow of the Patroon resided in this mansion until her death in 1876. 
In the meantime, the place had become undesirable as a residence : not far from 
the house the New York Central tracks crossed the street ; the extensive grounds 
had been transformed into a lumber district ; and it was evident that the old 
place was doomed to destruction. The property was divided among the heirs, 
and the building was demolished in 1893. 



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420 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

**This historic mansion had represented the social life of the city at a time 
when all the great families made a feature of intermarriage ; the Van Rensse- 
laers, the Schuylers, the Jays, Livingstons, Van Cortlandts and Bayards were all 
connected by repeated intermarriages and wielded a political power unknown 
in these degenerate days, and formed an oligarchical aristocracy none the less 
powerful because untitled.'* 

CUSTOMS OF COLONIAL DAYS 

** Hereditary landed property in Colonial days," writes the late Bishop Kip 
of California, " was invested with the same dignity in New York, which it has 
now in Europe ; and, for more than a century these families retained their pos- 
sessions, and directed the infant colony. They formed a coterie of their own, 
and, generation after generation, married among themselves. Turn to the early 
records of New York, and you will find all the places of official dignity filled by a 
certain set of familiar names, many of which, since the Revolution have entirely 
disappeared. As we have remarked, they occupied a similar position to that of 
the English country gentleman, with his many tenants, and were everywhere 
looked up to with the same kind of respect which is now accorded to them. 
Their position was an acknowledged one, for social distinctions were then 
marked and undisputed. They were the persons who were placed in office in 
the Provincial Council and Legislature, and no one pretended to think it strange. 
' They,' says a writer of that day, * were the gentry of the country, to wiiom 
the country, without a rebellious thought, took off its hat.' 

** In that age, the very dress plainly marked the distinctions in society. No 
one who saw a gentleman could mistake his social position. Those people of a 
century ago now look down upon us from their portraits, in costumes which, in 
our day, we see nowhere but on the stage. Velvet coats and gold lace, large 
sleeves and ruffles at the hand, wigs and embroidered vests, with the accom- 
panying rapier, are significant of a class removed from the rush and bustle of 
life — the ' nati consumere fruges ' — whose occupation was not — to toil. No one 
in that day below their degree, assumed their dress ; nor was the lady surpassed 
in costliness of attire by her servant. In fact, at that time, there were gentle- 
men and ladies — and there were servants. 

**The manner in which these great landed estates were arranged fostered a 
feudal feeling. They were granted by government to the proprietors, on condi- 
tion, that in a certain number of years, they settle as many tenants upon them. 
These settlers were generally Germans of the lower class, who had been brought 
over free. Not being able to pay their passage money, the captain took them 
without charge, and then they were sold by him to the landed proprietors for a 
certain number of years, in accordance with the size of the family. The sum 
remunerated him for the passage money. They were called in that day, Re- 
dcmptioners, and, by the time their term of service — sometimes extending to 
seven years — had expired, they were acquainted with the ways of the country 



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THE VAN RENSSELAER8 421 

and its manner of farming, had acquired some knowledge of the language, and 
were prepared to set up for themselves. Thus both parties were benefited. The 
landed proprietor fulfilled his contract with the government, and the Redemp- 
tioners were trained for becoming independent settlers. 

"These tenants frequently took the name of their proprietor. There are 
many families in the State of New York bearing the names of the old landed 
proprietors, which have been thus derived. 

** This system was carried out to an extent of which, in this day, most persons 
are ignorant. On the Van Rensselaer Manor there were at one time, several 
thousand tenants, and their gathering was like that of the Scottish clans. When 
a member of the family died, they came down to Albany to do honor to the 
funeral, and many were the hogsheads of good ale which were broached for 
them. They looked up to the * Patroon ' with a reverence which was still linger- 
ing in the writer's early day, notwithstanding the inroads of democracy. And, 
before the Revolution, this feeling was shared by the whole country. When it 
was announced in New York a century ago, that the Patroon was coming down 
from Albany by land, the day he was expected to reach the city crowds turned 
out to see him enter in his coach and four. 

*' The reference to the funerals at the Rensselaer Manor House reminds us of a 
description of the burial of Philip Livingston, one of the proprietors of Living- 
ston Manor, in February, 1749, taken from a paper of that day. It will show 
something of the customs of the times. The services were performed both at 
his town house in New York, and at the manor. * In the city the lower rooms 
of the house in Broad street where he resides, were thrown open to receive visi- 
tors. A pipe of wine was spiced for the occasion, and to each of the eight bearers, 
with a pair of gloves, mourning ring, scarf and handkerchief, a monkey spoon 
was given.' (This was so called from the figure of an ape or monkey which was 
* carved in solide at the extremity of the handle. It differed from a common 
spoon in having a circular and very shallow bowl.) * At the manor these cere- 
monies were all repeated, another pipe of wine was spiced, and, besides the same 
presents to the bearers, a pair of black gloves and a handkerchief were given to 
each of jthe tenants. The whole expense was said to amount to five hundred 
pounds.' 

" Once in a year generally, the gentry of New York went to the city to trans- 
act their business and make their purchases. There they mingled for a time, in 
its gayeties, and were entertained at the Court of the Governor. These digna- 
taries were generally men of high families in England. One of them, for in- 
stance — Lord Cornbury — was a blood relative of the royal family. They copied 
the customs and imitated the etiquette enforced *at home,' and the rejoicings 
and sorrowings, the thanksgivings and fasts, which were ordered at Whitehall, 
were repeated again on the banks of the Hudson. Some years ago the writer 
was looking over the records of the Old Dutch Church in New York, when he 
found, carefully filed away, some of the proclamations for these services. One 
of them, giving notice of a Thanksgiving Day, in the reign of William and 



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422 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

Mary, for some victory in the low countries, puts the celebration off a fortnight, 
to give time for the news to reach Albany. 

** During the rest of the year these landlords resided among their tenantry, on 
their estates ; and about many of their old country houses were associations 
gathered, often coming down from the first settlement of the country, giving 
them an interest which can never invest the new residences of those whom later 
times elevated to wealth. Such was the Van Cortlandt Manor House with its 
wainscoted rooms and its guest chamber ; the Rensselaer Manor House, where 
of old had been entertained Tallyrand and the exiled princes from Europe ; the 
Schuyler House so near the Saratoga battlefield, and marked by memories of that 
glorious event in the life of its owner — and the residence of the Livingstons on 
the banks of the Hudson, of which Louis Philippe expressed such grateful recol- 
lection when, after his elevation to the throne, he met, in Paris, the son of his 
former host. 

** There was one more of these pleasant old places of which we should write, 
to preserve some memories which are now fast fading away, because it is within 
the bounds of New York City and was invested with so many historical associa- 
tions connected with the Revolution. It is the house at Kip*s Bay. Though 
many years have passed since it was swept away by the encroachments of the 
city, yet it exists among the recollections of the writer's earliest days, when it 
was still occupied by the family of its founder, and regarded as their first home 
on this continent. It was erected in 1655 by Jacobus Kip, secretary of the Coun- 
cil, who received a grant of that part of the island. There is, in possession of 
the family, a picture of it as it appeared at the time of the Revolution, when still 
surrounded by venerable oaks. It was a large double house with three windows 
on one side of the door and two on the other, with one large wing. On the 
right hand of the hall was the dining-room, running from front to rear, with 
two windows looking out over the bay, and two over the country on the other 
side. This was the room which was afterward invested with interest from its 
connection with Major Andr6. 

** In 1851 this old place was demolished ; it had then stood two hundred and 
twelve years, and was the oldest house on the island. 

**Such was the life in those early days among the Colonial families in the 
country and the city. It was simple and unostentatious yet marked by an afflu- 
ence of everything which could minister to comfort, and also a degree of elegance 
in the surrounding which created a feeling of true refinement. Society was easy 
and natural, without the struggle for precedence which is now so universal ; for 
then everyone's antecedents were known, and their positions were fixed. The 
intermarriages which for more than a century were taking place between tlie 
landed families bound them together and promoted a harmony of feeling now not 
often seen. There were, in that day, such things as old associations, and men 
lived in the past, instead of, as in these times, looking only to the future. 

"The system of slavery too which prevailed, added to the ease of domestic 
life. Negro slaves, at an early day, had been introduced into the colony, and 



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THE VAN REN8SELAER8 423 

every family of standing possessed some. They were employed but little as 
field laborers, but every household had a few who were domestic servants. Like 
Abraham's servants they were all * born in the house' They shared the same 
religious instruction with the children of the family, and felt, in every respect, 
as if they were members of it. This mild form of slavery was like the system 
which existed under the tents of the patriarchs of the plains of Mamre, and 
there certainly never were happier people than those * menservants and maid- 
servants.* They were seldom separated from their families or sold. The latter 
was reserved as an extreme case for the incorrigible, and a punishment to which 
it was hardly ever necessary to resort. 

** The clans of Scotland could not take more pride in the prosperity of their 
chiefs family than did those sable retainers in New Amsterdam. In domestic 
affairs they assumed a great freedom of speech, and, in fact, family affairs were 
discussed and settled as fully in the kitchen as in the parlor. The older serv- 
ants, indeed, exercised as full a control over the children of the family as did 
their parents. As each black child attained the age of six or seven years, it was 
formally presented to a son or daughter of the family, and was his or her par- 
ticular attendant. This union continued often through life, and of stronger in- 
stances of fidelity we have never heard than were exhibited in some of these 
cases. Fidelity and affection indeed formed the bond between master and slave 
to a degree which can never exist in this day of hired servants. 

**In 1774, John Adams, on his way to attend the first Congress, stopped in 
New York, and was entertained at one of the country houses on the island. He 
writes * A more elegant breakfast I never saw ; rich plate, a very large silver cof- 
fee pot, a very large silver teapot, napkins of the very finest materials, toast 
and bread and butter iii great perfection. After breakfast a plate of beautiful 
peaches, another of pears and a muskmelon, were placed on the table.* 

*' The Revolution broke up and swept away this social system. It ruined and 
drove off half the gentry of the province. The social history, indeed, of that 
event has never been written, and never will be. Th^ conquerors wrote the 
story, and they were mostly ' new men,' who had as much love for those they 
dispossessed as the Puritans had for the Cavaliers of England, whom for a time, 
they displaced. In a passage we have quoted from Sargent's 'Life of Andr^,' 
the author says : * Most of the landed gentry of New York espoused the royal 
cause.' And it was natural that it should be so, for most of them had for gen- 
erations held office under the Crown. Their habits of life, too, had trained 
them to tastes which had no sympathy with the levelling doctrines inaugurated 
by the new movement. They accordingly rallied around the king's standard ; 
and, when it went down, they went down with it, and, in many cases, their 
names were blotted out of the land. 

*' In the writer's early day this system of the past was going out. Wigs and 
powder and queues, breeches and buckles, still lingered among the older gentle- 
men — vestiges of an age which was just vanishing away. But the high-toned 
feeling of the last century was still in the ascendant, and had not yet succumbed 
to the worship of mammom which characterizes this age. 



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424 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

*< Commerce, indeed, is fast taking the place of the true old chivalry with all 
its high associations. It is impossible, in this country, for St. Germain to hold 
its own against the Bourse. Money-getting is the great object of life in this 
practical age. 

**As Edward IV. stood on the tower of Warwick Castle, and saw marching 
through the park below him the mighty host of retainers who, at the summons 
of the great Earl of Warwick, had gathered round him, and then thought how 
powerless, in comparison, were the new nobles with whom he had attempted to 
surround his throne, he is said to have muttered to himself, 'After all, you can- 
not make a great baron out of a new lord ! * " 

Extract from an article written by Rt. Rev. Bishop Kip, and published in 
Putnam's Magazine for September, 1870. 



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CHAPTER XVII 

Period i 790-1804 

'* General Schuyler^s sagacity, and practical skill and zeal for the public 
interests," continues Chancellor Kent, "led him to give the earliest and most 
strenuous support to measures for the improvement of internal navigation. He 
drafted the acts for incorporating the western and northern inland lock naviga- 
tion companies and he was truly the master spirit which infused life and vigor 
into the whole undertaking. He had sketched and caused to be executed, the 
plan of locks at the little falls of the Mohawk and Wood creek. Those feeble 
beginnings led on step by step to the bolder and glorious consummation of the 
Erie Canal. He was placed at the head of both of the navigation companies, 
and his mind was ardently directed for years toward the execution of those lib- 
eral plans of internal improvement." 

" Elkanah Watson," writes Benson J. Lossing, *' in the autumn of 1778, paid 
a jourHey to Fort Schuyler (now Rome), then at the head of batteau-navigation 
on the Mohawk river. While there he conceived the idea of producing a water 
connection between the Hudson river and Lake Ontario, by means of a canal 
from the Mohawk to Wood creek, a tributary of Oneida lake, and thence down 
the Onondaga river (renamed Oswego) to Oswego on Lake Ontarip." 

He returned to Albany and had much conversation with General Schuyler on 
the subject of both a ** northern and western canal." 

**The subject was brought before the Legislature in January, 1792, and an 
act was passed by which two companies were chartered." 

The following letter from General Schuyler to Mr. Watson gives a history of 
the movement. 

"New York, March 4th, 1792. 
" Sir : 

"A joint committee of both houses — of which I was not one — has been formed. This 
committee reported a bill for incorporating both companies, one for the western, another for 
the northern navigation. The former was to have been carried no further than Oneida lake. 
The bill contemplated a commencement of the works from the navigable waters of the Hud- 
son, and to be thence continued to the point I have mentioned ; and it obliged the corporation, 
in a given number of years — which was intended to be ten — to the completion of the whole 
western navigation. 

" When this bill was introduced into the Senate, the plan, generally, appeared to me so ex- 
ceptionable that I thought it encumbent on me to state my ideas on the subject at large. They 
were approved of unanimously by the committee of the whole house, and I was requested to 
draw a new bill. This was done, and it has met with the approbation of the committee of the 
whole, and will be completed to-morrow by filling up the blanks. By this bill two companies 

425 



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426 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

are to be incorporated ; one for ihe western, the other for the northern navigation. It is pro- 
posed that each shall consist of one thousand shares ; that subscriptions shall be opened by 
commissioners, at New York and Albany ; that the books shall be kept open a month ; that if 
more than one thousand shares are subscribed, the excess deducted from each subscription pro 
rata, so, nevertheless, as that no subscriber shall have less than one share ; that every sub- 
scriber shall pay, at the time of the subscription, say thirty dollars, and that the directors of the 
incorporation shall, from time to time, as occasion may require, call on these subscribers for 
additional monies to prosecute the work to effect, whence the whole sum for each share is left 
indefinite. 

♦♦ The western company are to begin their works at Schenectady, and to proceed to Wood 

Creek. If this part is not completed in years say six or eight, then the corporation is to 

cease ; but, having completed this in years more — say ten, they are to be allowed further 

time for extending the works to Seneca Lake and to Lake Ontario; and, if not completed 
within that term, then the incorporation to .cease, so far forth only as relates to the western 
navigation, from Wood Creek to the Lakes. The State is to make an immediate donation of 
money, which I propose at ten thousand pounds for each company, but which, I fear, will be 
reduced to five thousand pounds for each company. I thought it best that the operations should 
begin at Schenectady, lest the very heavy expense of the canal, either directly from Albany to 
Schenectady, or by the way of Cohoes or Half-Moon, might have retarded, if not have totally 
arrested, at least for a time, the navigation into the western country, and conceding that if the 
navigation to the Cohoes was completed, the continuation of it from Schenectady to the Hudson 
would eventually and certainly take place. A given toll per ton will be permitted for the 
whole expense from the Hudson to the Lakes, and this toll will be divided by the directors to 
every part of the canals and navigation, in proportion to the distances which any boat may use 
for navigation. Provision is made that if the toll does not produce, in a given time, six per 
cent., the directors may increase it until it does; but the corporation is ultimately confined to a 
dividend of fifteen per cent. Both corporations are in perpetuity, provided the works are com- 
pleted in the times above mentioned. 

*« The size of the boats which the canals are to carry is not yet determined ; I believe it will 
be that they shall draw, when loaded, two and a half feet of water. This is, substantially, the 
bill, so far as it relates to the western navigation. 

" The northern company is to commence its works at Troy, and to deepen the channel at 
Lansingburgh so as to carry vessels of greater burden to that place than are now capable of 
going there. The blank for this purpose will be filled up, I think, with two feet ; that is, the 
channel is to be deepened two feet. From Lansingburgh the navigation is to be improved by 
deepening the river by locks and canals, to Fort Edward, or some point near it, and thence to 
be carried to Wood Creek, or some of its branches, and extend to Lake Champlain. Tolls, 
etcetera, are to be on the same principal as on the western navigation. A clause was proposed 
for preventing any canals to the Susquehanna, but it was lost, it being conceived improper to 
oblige the inhabitants of the western country to make Hudson River, or the commercial towns 
on it, their only markets. 

" In the prosecution of these capital objects, I have to combine the interests of the com- 
munity at large with those of my more immediate constituents. W^hat the result will be, time 
will determine. I shall, however, be happy if my ideas on the subject shall meet the approval 
of gentlemen more conversant with those matters than I can be supposed to be. 

" I am, my dear Sir, 

*« Your obedient servant, 

** Ph. Schuyler." 

General Schuyler was unanimously chosen president of both companies. He 
showed his confidence in the project by subscribing for one hundred shares ; he 



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PERIOD 1790-1804 427 

gave his personal attention to the work ; he endured all the attendant hardships 
cheerfully; and his interest in it never flagged ! 

While exploring the route for the northern and western canals he wrote the 
following unpublished letters to his wife : 

" Saratoga, Thursday, 4th of October, 1792. 
" My dear Love : 

" As I could not conveniently spare Peter, I have sent Anthony down with the waggon. 
Please let him bring up the Little Mare ; he takes down a saddle. 

" We shall set out to-morrow morning to view Wood Creek, and shall probably not return 
until Monday, so that if you come away on Saturday or Monday will be time enough. 
«*Pray come with four horses; the roads have been partly repaired. 
" Bring some Oisters up with you. 

" Let Jacob make the waggon top a little higher. It is still too low. 
" My love to All, Adieu 

" For Ever yours affectionately 
" To Mrs. Schuyler, " Ph. Schuyler. 

" near Albany. 



" Oneida, August 10, 1795. 
« My dear Love : 

" The Oneida Indians have hitherto trifled with us. We propose to finish the business 
this evening and to set out to-morrow morning for Whitestown, twenty miles from hence. We 
shall be obliged to remain there two days and then hasten to Albany. 

" I have not experienced any ill health since I left you, and am at present perfectly well. 
Embrace all our children ; let them participate with you in my love. Adieu, God bless you. 

" I am forever 

** and most affectionately yours, 

" Ph. Schuyler. 
"To 

«* Mrs. Schuyler, Albany." 

As late as the summer of 1802, he wrote the following unpublished letter to 
his daughter Catharine : 

" Canada Creek, July 14th, 1802. 
" My dearly beloved Child : 

*• Your favors of the 5th and 8th instants I received on Sunday the nth instant. 

" My hobby horse as you call it would give me pleasure if I could ride him near home 
accompanied by your Mama and You. But remote as I am from you, my satisfaction is 
lessened. 

" It was my intention to stay here until I could pass the first lock in my boat, but the work 
is retarded for want of Caulkers and none are to be had on this side of Albany. I shall, there- 
fore, probably leave this as soon as young Mr. John Bleecker arrives, whom I requested to be 
here on the 20th of this month to go with me to Cosby Manor, where I shall have business to 
detain me not exceeding two days. 

** I shall be exceedingly happy to find my dear Cornelia (his fourth daughter, Mrs. Wash- 
ington Morton, Philadelphia) with you and your dear Mama when I return. I am pleased to 
learn that mowers and laborers were procured with little difficulty. 

«* Syrup of maple juice is not to be obtained here as none is made in this country. 



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428 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

" The ground where we operate is perfectly dry, the soil generally a red sand, and the water 
of the creek so rapid, that this place is perfectly healthy — out of twenty-four workmen only two 
or three have been slightly indisposed and not a sick person now on the ground out of five 
families who are here — I am therefore not under the least apprehension of sickness, either from 
fatigue or the air of the place. 

" What will Mr. Livingston and his Democratic friends say of the Republic of France gov- 
erned by a King. How the absurd conduct of these people leads them continually into the 

mire — there may they remain 

«« Embrace your dearly beloved Mama, your amiable sister and her children. They and you 
participate in my warmest affection. 

" Adieu my amiable and beloved child, 

" Yours ever most tenderly, 

«« Ph. Schuyler. 
" Miss Schuyler, 

" Albany." 

The following anecdote was furnished me by his great nephew, General John 
Cochran of New York City : 

GENERAL SCHUYLER AND THE DUTCHMEN OF THE MOHAWK 

"The navigation of the interior waters of the state had engaged the atten- 
tion of General Schuyler at a very early period. His intimate knowledge of its 
hydrography revealed to him the practability of a system of state improvements, 
which could connect the lakes with the Atlantic. He even then perceived that 
New York commanded the outlet to the ocean for the produce of the West; and 
long before De Witt Clinton embarked his fortunes in the Erie Canal, General 
Schuyler had projected a more feasible plan for attaining its proposed object. 

" His scheme consisted of slack water navigation up the Mohawk to Wood 
creek, thence to Oneida lake and so through the Oswego river to Lake Ontario. 
But to complete this chain a system of locks would be necessary to overcome the 
descent in the Mohawk at Little Falls. The success of his project depending 
very much upon the favor with which it should meet from the Dutch settlers on 
the Mohawk, he proceeded to possess them with his views. They assembled by 
prearrangement at Spraker*s Tavern (since the Erie Canal, better known as 
Spraker's Basin). There the General met them and opened to them his plans. 
They perceived the advantage and were pleased with the prospect of the Mo- 
hawk's bearing the commerce of the state past their doors; but they could not 
understand how the boats could ascend the Little Falls. The General explained 
that they would be carried up by locks ; but to no purpose. They liked the 
General and would take his word for anything, but he couldn't make them be- 
lieve that water would run up hill. 

'* At this they parted late in the night — the Dutchmen to their beds, and the 
General, worrying over his failure, to his. At a thought however, he arose and 
lighting his candle, took his knife and a few shingles, and going into the yard, 
dug a miniature canal of two different levels which he connected by a lock of 



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PERIOD 1790-1804 429 

shingles. Then providing himself with a pail of water, he summoned the 
Dutchmen from their beds, and pouring the water into the ditch locked a chip 
through from the lower to the upper level. 

** * Veil ! Veil ! General/ the Dutchmen cried, ' we now understands and 
we all goes mit you and de canal ! ' 

" The canal was dug and the locks were built. They can be seen at Little 
Falls to this day. Such was the policy which afterward shaped the Erie Canal, 
and such its origin with General Schuyler.*' 

As we are now nearing the end of another century, the following unpublished 
letter of General Schuyler to his eldest daughter, Mrs. John B. Church, of New 
York, is of interest. 

"Albany, February nth, 1799. 
" My beloved Angelica : 

" Since my letter to you, on the controversy relative to the termination of the present cen- 
tury, it has occurred to me, that an investigation of the subject from mere abstract deductions, 
would not be comprehended with so much facility, as when elucidated by a diagram, in which 
the sense of sight, might be brought to aid the mental reasoning. I have projected the en- 
closed, which, with such observations thereon, and such conclusions as I shall adduce there- 
from, I have the presumption to believe will determine the question, and bring the contending 
parties to coincide in opinion. 

'* Whether Christ was born at the beginning of the first moment of the first day of a month, 
now by us called January, or at the beginning of the first moment of the first day, or any other 
day of any other month, is perfectly immaterial in the solution of the question under consider- 
ation — it is agreed on all hands that the Christian Aera commenced with the birth of him. 

" I shall therefore premise the following ix)stulata : 

" 1st. That the birth of Christ was in the beginning of the first moment of the first day of 
the month of January. 

" 2d. That the Christian Aera is made up of a continued series of time called years. 

" 3d. That a year commences with the first particle of time of the first day of January and 
terminates with the end of the last particle of time of the last day of the then following De- 
cember, and that a year consists of 12 calendar months as they are named in our Companion 
Almanach. 

" 4th. That one hundred such years constitute a century. 

** 5th. That between the last particle of time of the last day of any December, and the 
beginning of the first particle of time of the first day of the then succeeding January, no time 
intervenes, but that both are in contact, the one beginning where the other ends and that this 
holds with respect to a continued series of space as well as time. 

" The truth of these five postulata, I suppose will not be contested, and having premised 
this, I proceed to observe : 

" That with respect to Christ (if we may, on this occasion, be permitted to consider him as 
one of the human race), time as to him, was not before, but commenced with his birth ; that 
at the moment of his birth was therefore the first moment* of the Christian Aera, from whence 
the computation of Years and Centuries is to commence, and that hence it follows the Christian 
Aera is a series of years, in arithmetical progression, the first term whereof (as beginning with 
the beginning of the first particle of time — to wit, with the birth of Christ) is a cypher or O ; ' and 

> Ferguson in his astronomy page 274, in a table of " remarkable events and aeras," begins 
the Christian Aera with a cypher or O. 



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430 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



each interval of the series, or common difference, is one year, and if 
carried on to any number of terms as to the end of the last moment of 
the year 99 (which by postulate the 5th) is the beginning of the first 
moment of the year 100, the number of intervals or years intervened 
will be 100, or a century compleated, and ergo if the series had been 
continued to the end of the last moment of 1799 (which by postulate the 
5th) is the beginning of the first moment of the year 1800, compleat 
1800 years will have intervened, or 18 compleat centuries ended, and 
that every particle of time subsequent to the end of the last moment of 

1799 marks the beginning of the 1st January of 1800 — must necessarily 
be in a century next following the i8th, consequently in the 19th 
Century. 

" Let us now attempt to elucidate what has been said by the diagram : 

** The two parallel lines marked A. B. and C. D. may be considered 
as the Christian Aera extended to the end of time in an indefinite 
series of years or intervals of years. 

" The vertical lines connecting the two parallel lines as dividing the 
aera into intervals of years. 

" The dotted vertical line at the left extreme of the two parallel lines 
as the beginning of time, or the birth of Christ, or the beginning of the 
Christian Aera. 

" The vertical line over which the number i stands as the end of the 
first year when Christ was i year old, or as the last particle of time of 
the last day of the say first month of December which had opened the 
Christian Aera and (by the 5th postulate) the first particle of time of the 
second month of January which had accrued in the Christian Aera. 

" And proceeding thus to the line marked 100 which was the last 
moment of the year 99, when he had compleated 100 years of his life, 
and was 100 years old. 

"In the enclosed space or interval between the first dotted vertical 
line, indicating the moment of the birth of Christ and the next vertical 
line I indicating the completion of i year of his age, or one year of the 
Christian Aera, I have placed a shorter vertical line signifying (not 
the age of Christ) but that he was then half a year old or in the first 
year of the Christian Aera, and thus numbering every whole interval 
of a year progressively adding the common difference of I year to the 
preceding we shall find that the short line marked 99)^ years old to 
stand in the interval between the vertical lines marked 99 and 100, 
so that the line of that interval, to wit, or the last moment of his 
age, he was become 100 years old, was passed, (by postulate 5th) is 
the last particle of the year 100, ergo if the vertical lines had been 
continued to 1800, the aggregate of the intervals between his birth and 

1800 would have been 1800, and in every part of this interval he 
would have been progressing to his 1800th year, and would be 1800 
years old when the last part of the last particle of the last day of 
December 1799 was passed, which (by postulate 5lh) is the first parti- 
cle of the year 1800, and compleats 1800 years or 18 centuries. 

** But if the first century is not compleated until the end of the in- 
terval between the vertical lines marked 100 and 10 1, then 10 1 intervals 
have intervened ; but 10 1 is i year more than a century, and thus the 
first century would contain 10 1 years contrary to postulate 4th. Ergo, 
if the 1 8th century as is contended, will not be compleated until the 
end of the interval, between the two vertical lines, which would be 



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PERIOD 1790-1804 431 

marked (if the series in the diagram had been continued) 1800 and 180 1, then 1801 intervals 
would intervene ; but 1801 is a year more than 18 centuries, consequently such interval would 
be m the first year of the 19th century. 

" But men of sound sense, and of such candour as to be incapable of the subterfuge which 
cavilling about words affords, have held, and some do still hold, that the present century does 
not terminate until the last moment of the last day of December of the next year that is of 
the year 1800 is past, and that the 19th century does not commence until the ist moment of 
the year 1 801. 

** They have probably reasoned thus : 

** From the year I of the Christian Era to the end of the year 1800, or beginning of 180 1, 
only 1800 years or 18 centuries have intervened, and therefore the 19th century does not com- 
mence until the first day of January 1801. So far they are right. But here they evidently 
commence their computation, not from the birth of Christ — as beginning of time — but from a 
period when he was already I year old. Thus in computation of time we say from the first 
day of January to the last day of December inclusive is one year, or 365 days, but the fact is 
that there are in that period only 364 days. 

** But if we say from the first of January to the last day of December both inclusive is one 
year, or 365 days, then we are correct. Or in other words, from the beginning of the first 
particle of time of the first day of January, to the end of the last particle of time of the last day 
of December is one year or 365 days. 

ANOTHER ELUCIDATION 

" Suppose a surveyor was directed to begin at the North-west comer of the city hall at New 
York and to measure on a due north course 1800 miles, and at the end of 80 chains or a mile 
to set up a stone to indicate how far that stone waj from the North-west corner of the city 
hall, what mark would he place upon it. Surely he would mark it with the number I. If he 
proceeded 80 chains or i mile farther and set up another stone, this he would mark with the 
number 2, and proceeding thus to set up a stone at the end of every 80 chains or i mile, when 
he had run 1800 times 80 chains, he would set up a stone and mark it 1800; and turning his 
face to the South he would say I am now 1800 miles from the north-west corner of the city hall 
of New York. 

♦« But if he had put the stone numbered i at the North-west comer of the city hall, then the 
stone to be placed at 80 chains or i mile from the said corner would have been marked 2, and 
the stone marked 1800 only 1799 miles from New York. But placing the stone marked i at 
the North-west corner of the city hall, and a stone marked 2 at the distance of a mile from the 
said corner would surely mislead the traveler in determining how far he was from New York ; 
for seeing 2 marked on the stone he would conclude that he had still two miles to traverse to 
be at the New York City Hall. 

" And thus persons have been in error on the subject in question. They have placed i at 
the birth of Christ, instead of placing it at the end of a year from his birth, and thus rejected 
one entire year out of the series of years composing the Christian Era. 

" Adieu my beloved child 

" Yours most tenderly 

" To " Ph. Schuyler. 

" Mrs. Church. 
" New York." 

** In 1796," concludes Chancellor Kent, **he urged in his place in the Senate, 
and afterward published in a pamphlet form, his plan for the improvement of 
the revenue of this state; and in 1797 his plan was almost literally adopted. 



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432 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

and to that we owe the institution of the office of comptroller. In ,1797 he was 
unanimously elected by the two houses of our Legislature, a Senator in Con- 
gress ; and he took leave of the Senate of this state in a liberal and affecting 
address, which was inserted at large upon their journals. General Schuyler at 
that time labored under pressure of ill health, and he was not able long to con- 
tinue his seat in Congress. 

** But the life of this great man was drawing to a close. I formed and culti- 
vated a personal acquaintance with General Schuyler while a member of the 
Legislature in 1792, and again in 1796; and from 1799 to his death in the 
autumn of 1804, I was in habits of constant and friendly intimacy with him, 
and was honored with the kindest and most grateful attentions. He lived for 
the last few years of his life in dignified retirement, commanding universal ven- 
eration and attachment, arising from the known memorials of his illustrious 
services; his stern integrity ; his social virtues; his polished manners ; his ex- 
tensive knowledge ; his generous hospitality. His faculties seemed to retain 
their unimpaired vigor and untiring activity, though he had evidently lost some 
of his constitutional ardor of temperament and vehemence of feeling. When 
Washington died he clothed himself in mourning. His bodily health was not 
only broken by disease, but he was severely visited with domestic afflictions. In 
1801 he lost his daughter, Mrs. Van Rensselaer ; in 1803, the wife of his youth ; 
in July, j8o4, he was deprived, under circumstances the most distressing, of his 
beloved and distinguished son-in-law. General Hamilton. Yet nothing could 
surpass the excited interest by the mild radiance of the evening of his days. 

** This great man died on the i8th of November, 1804, at the age of seventy- 
one, leaving in the history and institutions of his country, durable monuments 
of his fame." 

James Kent. 

reminiscences of my father 

'* There is no truth in the Indian tradition of a blood relationship with ray 
father's family. It is true that the Oneidas claimed him as brother ; and it 
originated in this remarkable way, as I was informed in 1849, ^^Y ^ gentleman 
living in Washington, an old friend of my father. It seems that a land shark 
had induced the young and least respectable of the tribe to sell a portion of their 
land for a small sum of money and a plentiful supply of rum. When the chiefs 
discovered this fact, they made a journey to Albany to consult with General 
Schuyler who was then, in 1751, very young. As he was the nephew of their 
old friend and Indian agent, Quidor (Peter) Schuyler, he was well known to 
them and had influence to set aside the sale. In gratitude the Indians ex- 
changed names with him. While residing in Utica I saw John Schuyler of 
Oneida, and two others at different times when they came to celebrate the 
Lord's Supper in the Episcopal Church, but never had an opportunity of con- 
versing with them. In 1848, while living at Oswego, a full-blooded Oneida 



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OLD SCHUYLER SILVER, 1650. 

(Snuffers' Stand.) 



433 



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PERIOD 17 90-1804 435 

Indian named Schuyler — a tall, finely formed man — called upon me. He was a 
descendent of a famous chief who had formerly had business with my father. 

** The Redemptioners, and many of his tenants also appropriated the name ; 
and their descendents of the name of Schuyler and not of the lineage, are 
numerous. 

** In 1760, my father went to England to settle his accounts as a Commissary 
to the British army. No sooner had they embarked than he began the study of 
navigation and management of the ship. Ten days after leaving New York the 
captain died, and Ralph Izard, his cousin from South Carolina, who was also a 
passenger, with the consent of the crew, elected him to be master. In a severe 
gale they sighted a dismantled slaver with two hundred negroes in irons ; the 
officers and crew were transferred to their ship, and the hatches opened that the 
poor black men might have a slight chance of saving their lives. They next 
hailed a craft bound to the West Indies with a cargo of horses, and gave the 
captain of it, the bearings of the slaver, that they might if they ran across it, 
feed the wretched men on horse flesh. Finally they were attacked by a French 
armed merchantman, and although they made a stout resistance were captured, 
and then recaptured by an English ship that came to their assistance. After this 
series of remarkable adventures. Captain Schuyler brought the vessel safely to 
the port of London. This account of the voyage was related to me by my father 
himself. A committee of Parliament passed a handsome encomium on the 
accuracy and neatness of his commissary accounts. These books were afterward 
stored iti six large trunks in the attic, where as a girl I delighted to examine 
them. 

" He was served by slaves, as all men were at that period. Being a very ob- 
serving man, he was struck by the peculiar deportment of one in particular — a 
field hand — and upon inquiry found that this man always took his meals alone, 
and never before he had washed his face and hands, and that all his habits were 
those of a person of some refinement. My father questioned him upon the sub- 
ject and became perfectly satisfied that he was of high birth, undoubtedly a 
prince in his own country. He took him at once into the house, gave him an 
office near himself and the name of * Prince ' who soon betrayed remarkable in- 
telligence. Separate apartments were allowed him, and the family and their 
friends treated him almost as an equal ; every New Year Day he called upon 
everybody and was received with great cordiality. Many years before the War 
of Independence broke out, my mother said to him, * Prince I wish that you 
would place a tooth pick under my plate each day.* This he never omitted 
doing for forty years. My father related this circumstance to his friend, Mr. 
Jay. Afterward, while the latter gentleman was in Europe, he had some politi- 
cal information to impart to General Schuyler, and directed the letter to the 
master of the man who for forty years had never failed to put a tooth pick under 
his mistress's plate. There could be but one such person, and the package 
reached its destination in safety. He always took his station behind his 
master's chair, and as he became advanced in years, my father showed great 



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436 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

consideration for his health and strength. One day at dinner, noticing that his 
faithful attendant looked very feeble, he said to him, ' Prince you need not serve 
me to-day.' Not long after one of the children came into the room and said, 
* Father, poor Prince is crying ; he says that now he is grown old that you will 
not allow him to wait upon you any longer.* The General filled his glass with 
wine and told the child to take it to Prince and ask him to drink his health, and 
get strong for to-morrow's attendance. From that time until his health wholly 
failed, he took his usual station. Prince was as remarkable for his punctuality 
as was his master, and was never known to fail in any habitual duty. On one 
occasion he was earnestly solicited to act as bearer at a funeral. He replied that 
he could not possibly consent unless they were punctual at a certain hour ; this 
they readily promised to be. Although he had warned them that when the time 
came he must leave, they paid little attention to his words, and were dilatory in 
their arrangements, and before they reached the grave the clock struck. He 
stopped at once saying that he had no more time to give to them and walked 
away, leaving them to supply his place as best they could. 

^* My father was in the habit of rising very early ; he thought seven hours of 
sleep was sufficient for a man in good health. Before any other member of the 
family had arisen, he attended to his private devotions; and then covered sheet 
after sheet of foolscap with figures, preparing as I have since concluded for a 
system of rectangular surveying. When on his deathbed he drew with my as- 
sistance, the last diagram, and placing it in my hands observed, * It is a fortune 
for my child.' After his decease this manuscript was entrusted to my brother- 
in-law, Washington Morton to convey to Philadelphia, that a famous scientist 
might examine it. Unfortunately it was lost by the way. 

** When his health would admit, he would read Jenk's prayers to his family, 
and as many of the servants as could be present ; and after breakfast attended to 
his extensive correspondence. Long and frequent letters passed between him 
and his son-in-law. General Hamilton, while the latter was Secretary of the 
Treasury, and most interesting and important documents they were. My father 
also wrote constantly to his esteemed friend Dr. Rittenhouse, the great mathe- 
matician of Philadelphia. At eleven o'clock he usually rode to Lewis's Tavern, 
a sort of coffee house, where the gentlemen of the city assembled to drink a glass 
of punch (although he never took any himself) and to discuss the events of the 
day. All strangers of distinction resorted to this inn, and the table was always 
so well supplied, that whenever he pleased he could exercise hospitality there, 
without inconveniencing his own household. He desired that his children 
should be so neatly dressed as never to be disturbed by unexpected guests. His 
chief pleasure in later years was in the society of Chancellor Kent, then judge; 
Abraham Van Vechten ; and John V. Henry, all honored names. They passed 
many hours of each day together in social converse, always on important subjects 
such as internal improvements, wholesome laws, etc., etc. He abhorred scan- 
dal ; checked everything like it ; and was the most forgiving of men. He said 
that no one truly forgave a wrong who liked to recall it ; charged his children 



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PERIOD 1790-1804 437 

never to speak of acts of kindness to others, nor of injuries received, though I 
do not mean to imply that he thought that no occasion justified a show of resent- 
ment. Frequently in the evening when not too ill, he would play a few games 
of piquet with mama or with me ; but in the years 1797-8, he was afflicted with 
gout almost incessantly and particularly at night. After the death of my dear 
mama in 1803, 1 was his constant companion. The last year of his life I was in 
the habit of retiring at nine in the evening, and at eleven would rise and give 
him from eighty to one hundred drops of laudanum, sometimes even more than 
that. Then with a bed chair to support me I would take him in my arms and 
read to him for two or three hours. The effects of the drug together with the 
sound of my voice would lull him into a restive sleep. At seven in the morning 
he was carried to the dining-room and placed in an easy chair; and after break- 
fast I would take a seat next at his side, resting my left arm on the arm of his 
chair, he holding my right hand in his. A table with writing materials, books, 
and newspapers was placed before us, and the day was passed in reading and 
looking over letters and accounts. The incessant pain of the anodynes, which 
his disease obliged him to take constantly, at one time reduced his strength to 
such an extent that he became so blind that he could not distinguish faces. We 
were in despair of his recovery when Dr. Stringer, our dear family physician, 
invented a means of giving him oxygen air to inhale each morning. Mama 
said: 'How does it feel, papa?' 'Like a glass of porter in my stomach.' 
His appetite returned, his strength increased, and his sight was restored. Then 
he began the study of German in order to read some books on surveying that 
had not been translated into English, and continued to work at his ' system ' to 
the close of his life. He met death without fear ; it was a great relief from dread- 
ful suffering. Some weeks before the end came, he told roe that he intended to 
leave Aunt Cochran, his sister, something; I afterward reminded him of it — he 
thanked me warmly — and it was the last time that he used his pen." 

Catharine V. R. Cochran, 1850. 



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CHAPTER XVIIl 

CATHARINE V. R. SCHUYLER 

Her Marriages 

Her first husband was Samuel Bayard Malcolm, son of General Malcolm, 
" an eminent citizen of New York, and a distinguished soldier of the Revolu- 
tion." Samuel graduated from Columbia College in 1796, and was soon after 
— although but twenty years old — appointed secretary to Vice President Adams, 
While in Philadelphia he saw much of President and Mrs. Washington, and en- 
joyed the social life of the Republican Court as evidenced by the following un- 
published letter written at that time : 

" Philadelphia, February 21st, 1797. 
•« Dear Mother : 

" I hope long before this reaches you, you will have received my letter of some days past — I be- 
lieve I neglected to inform you of my present situation of affairs, which are as flattering and agree- 
able as I could possibly desire — without a wish to wander about. I sit under the banner of 
Mr. Adams who * breathes the fresh instruction o'er my mind,' and his counsels are so mixed 
with delicacy, and his advice tempered with pleasing reflections, — am I then not to be envied? 
Happy indeed would I be, completely blessed ; but then when the stealing hours of reflection 
arrive, late and alone, I contemplate in pleasing melancholy the days that are never to return, 
the kind impartings of a friend, the social intercourse of family delight, beam fresh upon my 
reflections. But thoughts like these I know would give you pain — therefore I forbear. I yes- 
terday visited with Adams, the President and Lady and was particularly recommended to Miss 
Custis, their niece. To describe the particulars of what I saw and heard is impossible for me, 
particularly as it respects Mrs. Washington. However, it far exceeds everything that I have 
ever seen. I intend this evening to go to the President's ball with my old friend. Nothing of 
consequence to impart, but pray write me very soon, and address your letters to the care of the 
Vice President, and write me the news both public and private. 

" With esteem and aflection, 

" Your son, 
" S. B. Malcom. 
•« To Mrs. Sarah Malcom. 
" New York." 



unpublished letter 

"QuiNCY, September 17th, 1797. 
" Dear Malcolm : 

" I thank you for your favor of the 12th. Will you be so good as to write to Col. Picker- 
ing, the Secretary of State at Trenton, the substance of what you have written me, concerning 
Mr. George Sanderson of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, and other candidates for the Consulship 
at Aux Cayes. that he may be able to lay before me in one view all the applications ? 

438 



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CATHARINE V, R. SCHUYLER 439 

«« Your electioneering campaign will be an easy one unless you have adopted the French 
proverb : • Dans le Royaume des aveugles les borgnes sont les Roys.* I don't know whether 
I have the original exact so I will translate it : * In the Kingdom of the blind, the pur-blind 
are Kings.* 

" I thank you for your pamphlet. I had read it before. Is there not a phrase : Digite com- 
presse labellum ? Your observation on this miserable business does honor to your head and 
Leart. Can talent atone for turpitude ? Can wisdom reside with culpability ? 

" Mr. Locke says the world has all sorts of men. All degrees of human wisdom are mixed 
with all degrees of human folly. To me, and I believe to you, this would be a region of tor- 
ment if such a recollection existed in our memories. This must be entre nous. What are 
speculations about the place of convening Congress ? 

" With kind regards, 

" I am. Dear Sir, yours, 

«* To Samuel B. Malcolm, Esq. . " John Adams. 

" New York.** 



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440 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



GENERAL WILLIAM MALCOLM 

** William Malcolm, third son of Richard Malcolm, Baronet, of Balbeadie, 
county Fife, Scotland, was born January 23d, 1745. He came to New York in 
1763, as agent of a Glasgow firm of which he was a partner, bringing with him 
a number of family portraits and much valuable plate. His place of business 
was in Queen street, now Pearl. The same year he joined the Society of St. 
Andrew, and was its secretary from 1765 to 1766 ; treasurer and secretary in 
1772-4; one of the managers in 1784 ; vice president in 1785-6-7. 

'* His name appears in the beginning of 1776 as first major of the Second 
Battalion of New York Lidependent Companies. At this time, these companies 
were reorganized and arranged in two battalions ; the first, commanded by 
Colonel Lasher, included the 'Prussian Blues,' * Otsego Rangers,' 'Rangers,' 
'Grenadiers,' 'Sportsmen,' 'Light Infantry,' and the 'German Fusileers.* 
The second battalion was commanded by Colonel William Hyer, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Christopher Baneder, First Major William Malcolm, and Assistant 
Major George Tastes. The companies enrolled were the 'Grenadiers,' 'The 
Free Citizens,' * The Brown Buffs,' and the ' Light Infantry.' There was also a 
troop of Light Horse with John Leary, Jr., as captain, and a company of Hus- 
sars. In these companies were representatives of the leading families of the 
city; Livingston, Jay, Beekman, Keteltas, Roosevelt, Duychinck, Van Zandt, 
Berryan, Bogert, Van Dyck, Van Wyck, Ogden, Rutgers, and Governeur. The 
uniforms of all were white small-clothes, half gaiters, and black garters. The 
Sportsmen and Rangers wore short green coats with crimson or buff facing. In 
March, Major Malcolm was ordered by the Provincial Congress to dismantle the 
lighthouse at Sandy Hook ; to take the glass out of the lanterns, save it if possi- 
ble, if not break it ; pump out the oil into casks, or pour it on the ground. In 
June, 1776, he appears as colonel, commanding the Second Regiment, New 
York Levies ; composed of the ' Prussian Blues,' * Hearts of Oak,' ' Caledonian 
Rangers,' and the * Light Infantry.' 

" As the military services of the states took more definite shape. Congress au- 
thorized the raising of sixteen additional regiments to be recruited independently 
of state levies. In their report of the merits of officers, the committee of the Pro- 
vincial Congress said that * Colonel Malcolm was an exceedingly good officer.' 
He was given command of one of those additional ' Continentals.' It was known 
as * Malcolm's Regiment.' 

"In October, 1776, he took part in the battle of White Plains. June, 1777, 
Colonel Malcolm was stationed with his troops at Sufferns on the Ramapo Road, 
remaining there through the summer. In August of the same year he was dis- 
patched to Albany by Governor Clinton to prepare for the movement against the 
forts on the Hudson. He returned to his command in September. Later in 
the month, Malcolm joined with the forces of General Putnam at Fishkill, and 



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WILLIAM MALCOLM. 



441 



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GENERAL WILLIAM MALCOLM 443 

in November, joined the main army at Whitemarsh, N. J., and passed the winter 
at Valley Forge. 

*' Colonel Malcolm was engaged by Congress in a variety of affairs; in 1776, 
he was appointed Adjutant-General of the Northern army under General Gates. 
In the new arrangement of the army he was assigned to the command of Fort 
Arnold, as the first fortification at West Point was called. In June, 1779, ^^l" 
onel Malcolm was given the command of all the New York militia on the west 
side of the Hudson. He remained in command at West Point until August, 
1780, when relieved by Arnold, and he with his troops ordered to join the main 
army at Tappan. In September of the same year. General Washington sent 
Colonel Malcolm to the defence of the frontiers ; and in December, 1 780, he 
retired from the line. Colonel Malcolm was held in high esteem by Washington, 
and Clinton, and Schuyler. He had great administrative powers and enjoyed 
the respect of his fellow, as well as the confidence of his superior officers. 

** In 1774 he was chosen a member of the New York Assembly. In 1784 and 
again in 1787 he was elected to the New York Provincial Congress. He sup- 
ported Colonel Alexander Hamilton in his motion to restore the elective fran- 
chise to the Tories ; and he favored the Constitutional Convention. 

** He married Abigail Tingley, in 1766; February 5th, 1772, two years after 
her death, he married Sarah Ayscough, daughter of Richard Ayscough, of New 
York, and his wife Catharine Bayard. Colonel Malcolm was deputy grandmaster 
of Masons of New York State ; a member of St. John's Lodge and the Marine 
Society. He was Brigadier-General commanding tlie militia of New York, Rich- 
mond, and Queen's counties at the time of his death, which occurred on Sep- 
tember ist, 1 791. His remains were interred in the burying-place of the Brick 
Presbyterian Church 'with those marks of attention which his situation in society 
and his private worth merited.' " 

By his great-great-grandson, 

Richard Mortimer Montgomery. 

washington's headquarters at white plains 

" White Plains, situated in the very heart of the neutral ground so graphically 
described by Cooper in * The Spy,' was affected seriously by the arrival of the 
British army. Washington's headquarters were established in a house at the foot 
of a lofty hill, which was surrounded by dense woods. It was the home of Elijah 
Miller, adjutant of Colonel Drake's Westchester regiment of minute men, a frame 
building covered with clapboards, with the roof on the southeast front project- 
ing so as to form a pretty portico, the same pattern architecturally, as many of 
the country cottages of that period. It is still standing, well preserved, and an 
object of much historic interest to visitors." 

We find in the History of Westchester county, by Bolton, reference made to 
Colonel Malcolm as one of the principal actors in the battle of White Plains. 
General Washington was in command at the time. 



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444 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



** General Heath's Memoirs contain the following additional particulars re- 
specting the engagement of Chatterton's Hill, near White Plains. 

** Twenty-seventh of October, 1776, 'In the forenoon, a heavy cannonade 
was heard toward Fort Washington. Thirteen Hessians and two or three British 
soldiers were sent in on this day. From the American camp to the west-south- 
west, there appeared to be a very commanding height worthy of attention. The 
Commander-in-Chief ordered the general officers who were off duty, to attend 
him to reconnoitre this ground, on this morning. When arrived at the ground, 
although very commanding, it did not appear so much so, as other grounds to 




WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS. 

(White Plains, N. Y.) 

the north, and almost parallel to the left of the army, as it was then formed. 
** Yonder," says Major Lee, pointing to the grounds just mentioned, 'Ms the 
ground we ought to occupy." " Let us then go and view it," replied the Com- 
mander-in-Chief. When on the way, a light-horseman came up on full gallop, 
his horse almost out of breath, and addressed General Washington — "The 
British are in the camp, sir." The General observed, "Gentlemen, we have 
now other business than reconnoitring," putting his horse in full gallop for the 
camp, and followed by the otiier officers. When arrived at headquarters, the 
Adjutant-General (Read), who had remained at camp, informed the Comman- 
der-in-Chief, that the guards had been all beat in, and the whole American 



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GENERAL WILLIAM MALCOLM 445 

army were now at their respective posts, in order of battle. The Commander- 
in-Chief turned round to the officers, and only said, ''Gentlemen, you will re- 
pair to your respective posts, and do the best you can." Our General (Heath), 
on arriving at his own division, found them all in the lines; and, from the height 
of his post, found that the first attack was directed against the Americans on 
Chatterton's Hill. The little river Bronx, which ran between the American right 
and this hill, after running round its north side, turned and ran down on the 
east and southeast. The British advanced in two columns. At this instant, the 
cannonade was brisk on both sides ; directed by the British across the hollow 
and Bronx, against the Americans on the hill, and by them returned. Almost 
at the same instant, the right column, composed of British troops, preceded by 
about twenty light-horse in full gallop, and brandishing their swords, appeared 
on the road leading to the courthouse, and now directly in front of our General's 
division. The light-horse leaped the fence of a wheat field, at the foot of the 
hill, on which Colonel Malcolm's regiment was posted, of which the light-horse 
were not aware until a shot from Lieutenant Fenno's fieldpiece gave them notice 
by striking in the midst of them, and a horseman pitching from his horse. They 
then wheeled short about, galloped out of the field as fast as they came in, rede 
behind a little hill on the road, and faced about; the tops of their caps only 
being visible to our General where he stood. The column came no further up 
the road, but wheeled to the left by platoons, as they came up; and, passing 
through a bar, or gateway, directed their head toward the troops on Chatterton's 
Hill, now engaged. When the head of the column had got nearly across the 
lot, their front got out of sight ; nor could the extent of their rear be now dis- 
covered. The sun shone bright, their arms glittered, and perhaps troops never 
were shown to more advantage, than these now appeared. The whole now 
halted ; and for a few minutes, the men all sat down in the same order in which 
they stood, no one appearing to move out of his place. The cannonade con- 
tinued brisk across the Bronx. A part of the left column, composed of British 
and Hessians, forded the river, and marched along under the cover of the hill, 
until they had gained sufficient ground to the left of the Americans ; when, by 
facing to the left, their column became a line, parallel with the Americans. When 
they briskly ascended the hill, the first column resumed a quick march. As the 
troops, which were advancing to the attack, ascended the hill, the cannonade on 
the side of the British ceased ; as their own men became exposed to their fire, 
if continued. The fire of small arms was now very heavy, and without any dis- 
tinction of sounds. This led some American officers, who were looking on, to 
observe that the British were worsted, as their cannon had ceased firing; but a 
few minutes evinced that the Americans were giving way. They moved off the 
hill in a great body, neither running, nor observing the best order. The British 
ascended the hill very slowly, and when arrived at its summit, formed and dressed 
their line, without the least attempt to pursue the Americans. The loss on the 
side of the Americans was inconsiderable. That of the British was not then 
known. The British army having got possession of the hill, it gave them a vast 
advantage of the American lines, almost down to the centre.' " 



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446 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



J. W. Tompkins in his address, delivered at White Plains, October 28th, 
1845, stated : ** The British forces engaged in that attack were the flower of 
the army. * * * That General Washington did make a successful stand at 
this place, has ever excited the wonder of military men. His troops were 
greatly inferior in numbers and discipline, and composed in part of militia and 
raw recruits. After the battle, the enemy, for several days attempted to gain 
Washington's rear, tried to alarm him and induce him to retreat or fight by 
threatening his flanks. At several times they formed a semicircle about him. 
On the night of the 31st of October, Washington evacuated his camp at White 
Plains, and established his new position in the hills of Northcastle, about one 
mile in the rear of his former encampment, when the British appear to have re- 
linquished all further offensive operations." 

AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER 

" Albany, Octor 14th, 1780. 
" Dear Sir ; 

" I have consulted with General Schuyler on the propriety of the Indians going out. He 
thinks it right. Colonel Harper undertakes to go with them & I think in the first Instance 
the Route by Lake Otsego & frontiers of Schoharie is their proper place. I shall see you to- 
morrow. I send on two Field pieces, & halt at Schenectady for orders — that will contribute to 
quiet the minds of our citizens. It is proper that a party go out to Ballstown to keep the peace 
there & to watch the expected party under Mr. John. Genl. Ten Broeck wrote to Col. Wemp 
to detach a party for this service — the remainder of the Regiment may remain until further 
orders. You will soon have force enough in Schenectady to assist Col. Harper in getting off 
with the Indians. 

" Yours sincerely, 
«' To «* Wm. Malcolm. 

" H. Glen, Esq." 




MALCOLM ARMS. 



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GENERAL WILLIAM MALCOLM 447 

*'THE willows'* 

("The Willows, the fine old mansion of General Malcolm is still standing 
near the bank of the Hudson river in Sing Sing, N. Y. Alas I two or three 
enormous willow trees alone show what it was. The house has been renovated 
— you know what that means — and adjoining it, an unsightly brick factory has 
been erected, and I do not believe that you would care for a view of the home- 
stead. The old Van Wyck place is just above it on the hill." C. T. R. 
Mathews.') 

Samuel Bayard Malcolm was of a literary turn of mind and had written sev- 
eral books — one of which President Adams refers to as a pamphlet. From 
Samuel Bayard, of New York (an uncle on his mother's side) he inherited a 
handsome fortune. He died early in life at Utica, N. Y., where he resided 
with his family in a delightful old house, with extensive grounds, still standing 
on upper Genesee street. He was educated for the law ; but his chief occupa- 
tion was in looking after the property of his wife in Cosby's Manor and other 
sections of the state. Several years after his death, his widow, Catharine V. R. 
Schuyler, married her cousin James Cochran — a graduate of Columbia college, 
member of the bar, representative in Congress from Montgomery county in the 
years 1797-9, and eldest son of Dr. John Cochran of the American army dur- 
ing the Revolutionary war.' 

» Miss Cornelia Rutsen Van Rensselaer, formerly of Utica, N. Y., now residing at " In- 
wood," New Brunswick, N. J., is the last of her generation of the Van Rensselaers to remem- 
ber Mrs. Cochrane. 

Miss Van Rensselaer is a granddaughter of Brigadier-General Robert Van Rensselaer, of 
Claverack and Greenbush, and a great-niece of his only sister Catharine, the wife of General 
Philip Schuyler. Her father, James Van Rensselaer, Esq., was for many years a resident of 
Utica, where his house was the meeting place for a large family connection. Mrs. Cochrane 
was a frequent and honored guest in her cousin's hospitable home. She bore her mother's 
name of Catharine Van Rensselaer, while her sister, Cornelia, Mrs. Washington Morton, was 
named after her aunt, Cornelia Rutsen, the wife of General Robert Van Rensselaer, to whose 
namesake and only living grandchild we are indebted for these personal reminiscences. 

Miss Van Rensselaer says, " I remember Cousin Catharine well. I was very fond of her. 
She was one of the most intellectual, attractive, charming women I ever knew. Young people 
were fascinated by her. I remember her well between the years 1822 and 1840. As a child, 
I loved to go to church with her. A person of that age must be very attractive for a young 
girl to remember her so well. I only knew her after her second marriage which took place in 
1822. My mother often pointed out to me the house on the New Hartford road, now Gene- 
see street, where Cousin Catharine lived during the years of her marriage to Samuel Bayard 
Malcolm and for some years after his death. Her only daughter, Catharine, named after Mrs. 
Schuyler, was bom and died in this home. 

" Cousin Catharine came often to my father's house with her second husband, Major Cochrane, 
who was also a relative of ours and her first cousin, through his mother, a sister of General 
Schuyler. Our house was always their stopping place in the frequent trips from Oswego. 
Her brother, Rensselaer Schuyler, often came with them. He was a strikingly handsome 
man, with most courtly manners. So great was the reverence felt for the * blood ' in those 



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448 A QODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

days, that I well recollect an old physician of Utica, Dr. Coventry, who had dined with us, in- 
sisting upon carrying the overcoat of Rensselaer Schuyler, when they left the house together, 
saying it was an honor to do anything for the son of * our great general.* 

** Mrs. Cochrane had no such claim to personal beauty as her brother, but she had equal dis- 
tinction of look and manners. She was a high-bred gentle woman, and a simple, earnest, de- 
voted Christian. None but the wilfully blind could mistake her for other than the aristocrat 
she was. 

" In this connection, I remember a household tradition — ^Cousin Catharine dressed with the 
utmost simplicity, very misleading to the eye which then, as now, looks on feathers and furbe 
lows as the only insignia of gentlefolk. Going quietly into church one day, where she was 
not known, she took her seat in a vacant pew assigned to her. The so-called owners of the 
pew, coming late, looked askance upon the modest intruder. The discourteous crowding was 
a matter of physical discomfort, but the ill-bred comments, barely suppressed, were powerless 
to ruffle Mrs. Cochrane's serene dignity. Imagine the discomfiture of the haughty Pharisees, 
when, after service, Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, who had been detained, came up to join her 
sister and make her known to her acquaintances.'* — S. de L. Van Rensselaer Strong. 



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JOHN COCHRAN 461 

JOHN COCHRAN 
Director General of Military Hospitals 

" A century has elapsed since the American Revolution, and in the interim 
much has been written and published concerning it. But there is still some- 
thing to be supplied. Comparatively little has ever been accessible to the public 
concerning the medical department of the army of patriots. The historian 
seems only to have considered this feature of the war in a general way, while 
dealing with other subjects in detail. Reasons for this possibly exist ; the rec- 
ords may have been destroyed by the British in 1814. Whatever the cause, cer- 
tain it is, that there is a lamentable absence of information about an arm of the 
public service of no secondary importance. Fortunately, the letter-book of its 
official head, Dr. John Cochran, has been preserved, and in the belief that a 
few extracts from its centennial pages will be of interest to the reader, and serve 
to throw fresh light upon obscure passages in our history, this paper has been 
prepared. 

*'In the year 1570, John Cochran, of kin to the Earl of Dundonald, emi- 
grated from Paisley, in Scotland, to the north of Ireland. James, his descend- 
ant in the sixth generation, crossed the sea to America, and in the early part of 
the eighteenth century settled in Pennsylvania. His third son, born at Sads- 
bury, Pennsylvania, September ist, 1730, was Dr. John Cochran of the Rev- 
olution, who was educated for a surgeon by Dr. Thompson, of Lancaster, Penn- 
sylvania. Having received his diploma, he, on the outbreak of the French and 
Indian war, entered the English service as surgeon's mate in the hospital de- 
partment, and remained with the Northern army to the close of hostilities. 
When General Bradstreet marched against Fort Frontenac in the summer of 
1758 he joined him, together with Major (afterward General) Philip Schuyler. 
In the campaigns of this year he acquired the medical proficiency and the sur- 
gical expertness for which he was afterward celebrated. On the 4th of Decem- 
ber, 1760, he was united in marriage at Albany, N. Y., to Gertrude Schuyler, 
the widow of Peter Schuyler, and the only sister of General Philip Schuyler. 
He afterward removed to Brunswick, N. J., where he practiced his profes- 
sion, and was one of the founders of the New Jersey Medical Society in 1766, 
succeeding Dr. Burnet as its President in 1769. His residence at Brunswick 
terminated when the British burned his house in the first years of the war. At 
the close of the winter of 1776 he volunteered his services in the hospital de- 
partment of the Army of the Revolution, and Washington, in a letter written in 
the beginning of 1777, in which he spoke of his experiences and services in the 
French war, recommended his name to the favor of the national legislators. 
Congress having, April 7th, 1777, resumed the consideration of a report on the 
hospitals, plans modeled after those of the British army were submitted by Dr. 
Cochran and Dr. William Shippen, which being duly approved by General 
Washington, were on that day adopted, and prevailed till remodeled by Con- 



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452 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

gress September 30th, 1780. On the nth of April, 1777, in pursuance of His 
Excellency's recommendation, Dr. Cochran received the appointment of Chief 
Physician and Surgeon- General of the army. After nearly four years of service 
in this position, he was, on the resignation of Dr. Shippen, promoted by the 
appointment of Congress (17th of January, 1781) to that of Director of the 
Military Hospitals of the United States, in which capacity he continued to the 
end of the war. The documents handed down to us — his entries, memoran- 
dums and letters — partake of the authority of an official record. They also dis- 
close the many and distressing difficulties of the situation. During this exciting 
period the country passed through the severest of trials. There have been other 
wars of greater magnitude and of longer duration, but none, I think, so hercic 
as this. The war of 1861 was to preserve the government — the government es- 
tablished by the Army of the Revolution in the birth-throes of pain and trib- 
ulation. The Army of the Union was organized with formidable numbers, an 
abundant commissariat, speedy transportation, adequate supplies, a thoroughly 
appointed medical department, and every equipment requisite to the conduct of 
modern war. In these essentials, certainly it was superior to its enemy ; and 
though justly deserving the meed of praise, its proudest laurels are by no means 
concurrent with the heroism of the Army of the Revolution, as the effort of a 
people in their incipience to establish a government is more heroic than the ef- 
fort of a people at their maturity to prevent its overthrow. 

"The Medical Department, as rearranged October 6th, 1780, consisted of a 
Director of the Military Hospitals of the Army, stationed at headquarters, a 
Chief Physician and Surgeon of the Armv. stationed with the army, three chief 
physicians of surgeons of the hospitals, stationed variously at the principal hos- 
pitals, a purveyor and assistant, with their clerks, an apothecary and five assist- 
ants, fifteen hospital physicians and surgeons and twenty-six mates, detailed to 
different hospitals as required, nine stewards, three storekeepers, one clerk of 
the magazine, seven ward masters, seven matrons, thirty nurses and orderlies 
detailed from the ranks, or otherwise employed, as occasion demanded. As 
already stated. Dr. Cochran was appointed Surgeon-General of the Army April 
nth, 1777, and commissioned October 6, 1780, Chief Physician and Surgeon of 
the Army, with Dr. William Shippen his superior as Director of the Military 
Hospitals. He continued in that capacity until the resignation of Dr. Shippen, 
when January 19th, 1781, he was advanced to the head of the medical depart- 
ment. Dr. James Craik, previously the first in order of the three chief physi- 
cians and surgeons of the hospitals, was given the place of Chief Physician and 
Surgeon of the Army, vacated by Dr. Cochran, and Dr. William Burnet, one 
of the fifteen hospital physicians and surgeons, was promoted to his place. The 
remaining two chief physicians and surgeons of the hospitals were Messrs. Mal- 
ichi Treat and Charles McKnight. Dr. Thomas Bond was the purveyor and 
Andrew Cragie the apothecary. Military necessity decided the location of the 
hospitals. The most prominent were at the artillery huts near New Windsor, 
the Robinson House, West Point barracks, Morristown, Albany, Philadelphia, 



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JOHN COCHRAN 453 

New Hampshire huts, New Boston, Fishkill, Yellow Springs, Williarasburgh 
and Trenton. An additional flying hospital accompanied the army, and small- 
pox hospitals were established when needed. The hospitals at the artillery huts, 
ihe barracks at West Point and the Robinson House, appear to have been desig- 
nated by Congress. Returns from all of these, so frequent as to enable a state- 
ment to be tabulated and transmitted every month either to the chairman of the 
Medical Committee of Congress, the Board of War, or the Secretary of War, 
represented with periodical accuracy the physical condition of the army. The 
columns which show for each month the treatment in hospital of an average of 
fifty of the wives and children of soldiers, happily discloses to the observation 
of the curious an exceptional benevolence in the usage of war. 

'* The scale of compensation was at the extreme of moderation. In no de- 
gree, however, in the absence of value to the currency in which it was rated, 
could pay have been invested with the attraction of reward. Yet, it is submit- 
ted as not devoid of interest. To the office of director of the military hos- 
pitals was attached the pay of $150 per month, two rations, one for servant and 
two for forage; to that of the chief physician and surgeon of the army, ^$140 
per month, two horses and wagon, and two rations of forage ; to each of the 
three chief physicians and surgeons of the hospitals, I140 per month and two 
rations; to the purveyor, $130, and his assistant J75 per month; to the apoth- 
ecary, ^130 per month, and his two assistants, ^^50 per month each ; to the fif- 
teen hospital physicians and surgeons, $120 per month each, and to each of the 
twenty-six mates, $$0 per month. The stewards received each $35 per month, 
the clerks and storekeepers $2 per day, the seven matrons a half dollar each, and 
a ration per day, the thirty nurses each two shillings and a ration a day, and the 
orderlies, if soldiers, one shilling and a ration, and if citizens two shillings and 
a ration a day. 

'*The department at the South was organized by resolution of Congress of 
the 15th of May, 1781, with David Oliphant, of South Carolina, deputy director; 
Peter Fayssonx, chief physician of the hospitals — pay, $140 per month, two 
rations, and two of forage ; James Browne, chief physician of the army — pay, 
$140, two rations, and two of forage; Robert Johnson and William Reed, 
hospital physicians, with pay of $120 each per month, one ration and one 
for forage; and Nathan Brownson, deputy-purveyor, all of whom were stationed 
in South Carolina. Subsequently, on the 20th of September, 1 780, were ap- 
pointed by resolution of Congress, Drs. Thomas, Tudor, Tucker and Vickars, 
physicians and surgeons, for the Southern Department, David Smith, deputy- 
purveyor, and John Carne, assistant deputy-apothecary. 

"Such was the medical department, to the administration of which Dr. 
Cochran was chosen because of his comprehensive experience and intimate 
knowledge of its details. The language of his letter from New Windsor, 
March 25th, 1781, to Dr. Peter Turner, hospital physician and surgeon, 'My 
appointment was unsolicited, and a rank to which I never aspired, being per- 
fectly happy where I was,' attests the modesty of his nature in the acceptance 



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454 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

of an unsought and unexpected distinction. The fortunes of the country were 
then at their darkest — a helpless Congress, an empty treasury, and an exhausted 
people. Yet, he unhesitatingly undertook the responsibilities of the station, 
and cheerfully devoted his engeries to the services of his country. Writing 
from New Windsor, March 26th, 1781, to Dr. George Campbell, he said: 
* Whether my present station will contribute to my future happiness time must 
discover. But if I have no better success than my predecessors, my lot must be 
unfortunate indeed. A determined resolution to conform to the rules of right, 
and that support which I have some reason to expect from every gentleman of 
the department will, I hope, protect me against the malevolence of my enemies, 
if I have any. I say, if I have any, for sure I am that I never put a thorn in 
any honest man's breast.' 

**The temerity often generated by self-sufficiency was alien to his nature. 
When assuming his official responsibilities, he in appropriate words refers his 
Conduct to the support he may deserve and receive from his official subalterns. 
*I thank you,' he wrote to Dr. Binney, March 25th, 1781, 'for your very 
polite congratulations on my appointment, and the favorable sentiments you are 
pleased to entertain of my disposition, and the willingness you express of serving 
under my superintendence. In return, I only wish to act such a part as will en- 
title me to a continuation of your approbation, and that of every gentleman in 
the department.' In a letter to Dr. Thomas Waring Morris, dated February 
28th, 1 781, he said, 'The gentlemen of the corps which I have the honor to 
superintend may be assured that every endeavor of mine shall be exerted to 
render them as happy as possible.' But his native benevolence was not con- 
sumed with the beneficent phrase of amiable intentions. His charities were 
conversant with the affairs of the humblest, and wherever misfortune interfered 
with the duties of dependents, or oppressed the deserving, his offices were in- 
terposed to alleviate or remove. Strong, however, as were these humane dis- 
positions, they were duly subjected to the superior obligations of official respon- 
sibilities, and their exercise duly restricted within the sphere of official trust. 

'* From New Windsor, February 28lh, 1781, he wrote to Dr. George Steven- 
son, of Morristown : 'Dear Sir, I was favored with yours of the 19th inst. 
yesterday, and thank you for your congratulations on my appointment to the 
Directorship of the Hospitals. Whether I shall answer the expectations of the 
public in general, or of my friends in particular, will greatly depend on the 
gentlemen of the department, by a faithful discharge of their duty, and a strict 
observance of the rules laid down by Congress in the plan for conducting the 
Hospital Department. I believe that you are persuaded that you have my 
patronage and every good intention to your welfare. Therefore, I should be 
very sorry that your situation should ever be such as to put it out of your power 
to comply with any orders you may receive from your superior. It is very 
evident that you cannot live on the air, and unless money is furnished you can- 
not proceed to Virginia, where I do not believe you will be ordered. But should 
you be so unfortunate, as it so badly accords with your circumstances, on ap- 



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JOHN COCHRAN 465 

plication to Dr. Treat, I am persuaded he will order another in your place, you 
first making known to him your peculiar situation.* 

** But in a letter to Dr. James Craik, the lifelong friend and personal physi- 
cian of Washington, Dr. Cochran expressed in the candor of mutual friendship, 
sentiments which, under the circumstances, reflect honor on them both. * New 
Windsor, March 26th, 1781. Dear Craik: The enclosed act of Congress ap- 
pointing you Chief Physician and Surgeon of the Army in my room, came to 
hand a few days since, under cover from the President of Congress. Give me 
leave to offer my congratulations on this appointment, as I know it is more 
agreeable to yourself than your former station, and more acceptable to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief and the whole army. You will not think me guilty of adula- 
tion, when I assure you that I would rather have complimented you on the oc- 
casion of your being appointed Director, than where you are, for many reasons ; 
and I believe that every member of Congress will do me the justice to acknowl- 
edge that I gave you the preference upon every interview I had with them when 
conversing upon the subject. I know of none dissatisfied with my appointment. 

* * * I hope to act such a part as to be out of the power of friend or foe. 

* * * I shall be happy to see you once more with us. I purpose to be the 
greater p?rt of my time in the field. Perhaps, you will say, no thanks to you, for 
that a resolve passed a few days after you left Philadelphia ordering the Director 
to repair to Head Quarters, and to make that the chief place of his residence.* 
The presence of the medical staff in the field, indeed was demanded. In all the 
war, the doctor had been with the army, alleviating its sufferings, in the rigors 
of Valley Forge, and stimulating its convalescence in the camp at Morristown. 
The termination of the war found him at his post near headquarters of the army. 

"The following letter, written while he was surgeon-general, to Jonathan 
Potts, then purveyor to the hospitals, represents concisely the condition of the 
hospitals, and the routine of their neglect during the period of the war, anterior 
to his accession to their care and direction. 

" « Morristown, March 18, 1780. 
" * Dear Sir : 

** * I received your favor by Dr. Bond, and am extremely sorry for the present situation of the 
Hospital finances. Our stores have all been expended for two weeks past, and not less than 
six hundred regimental sick and lame, most of whom require some assistance,' which being 
withheld, are languishing and must suffer. I flatter myself you have no blame in this matter ; 
but curse on him or them by whom this evil is produced. The vengeance of an offended 
Deity must overtake the miscreants sooner or later. It grieves my soul to see the poor, worthy 
brave fellows pine away for want of a few comforts, which they have dearly earned. I shall 
wait on His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, and represent our situation, but I am per- 
suaded it can have little effect, for what can he do ? He may refer the matter to Congress, 
who will probably pow-wow over it awhile, and no more be heard of it. The few stores sent 
on by Dr. Bond in your absence have not yet arrived. I suppose owing to the badness of the 
roads. If they come, they will give us some relief for a few weeks. 
*• * Compliments to all friends and believe me, 

" « Depr Sir, yours very sincerely, 

"«JoHN Cochran.* 



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456 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

** At no time did the army abound in medical stores. In the year 1781, how- 
ever, they were nearly extinct. Untended wounds or languishing disease filled 
hospitals destitute of medicines, and swelled the daily returns of death. 
Scarcely was convalescence a boon, when the lack of subsistence faced the 
soldier in the hospital, and compelled him to beg in the streets for the neces- 
saries of life. A crisis more strenuous and an hour more appalling can hardly 
be conceived than when want and nakedness vainly craved mercy from frigid 
skies, and the delirium of fever reproached the physician with the futility of his 
art. In a letter to Dr. Treat from New Windsor, March 25th, 1781, Dr. Cochran 
said : * The state of our finances is such that it will be impossible to lay in a 
magazine for the campaign. Therefore, we must in great measure, depend upon 
purchasing as we go.* February 28th, 1781, he wrote from headquarters near 
New Windsor, to Dr. Thomas Waring Morris : ' The want of necessary stores 
for our Hospitals affords a gloomy prospect ; * and again on the same day wrote 
to Abram Clark, chairman of the Medical Committee in Congress : * We have 
few deaths yet. The poor fellows suffer for want of necessary supplies, which I 
hope will be afforded them. Otherwise there will be little encouragement for 
physicians and surgeons.' To Samuel Huntington, the President of Congress, 
he wrote from Philadelphia, May 24th, 1781 : * The Hospitals are in the utmost 
distress for want of necessaries for the sick. In some of them we have not 
stores, and in others the supplies are so trifling and insignificant as to be of little 
or no service. I am sensible of the difficulties and embarrassments of Congress, 
but am also sensible that unless some speedy and effectual measures are taken to 
relieve the sick, a number of the valuable soldiers in the American army will 
perish through want of necessaries, who would soon be serving their country in 
the field could they be supplied. The surgeon who has the care of the hospital 
at Boston writes me that his sick are in great want, and that he is not in a 
situation to procure any relief. At Albany the only article of stores is about 
sixty gallons of vinegar, and the sick suffer extremely at times for want of pro- 
visions. The other Hospitals are in a similar condition.' He repeated to Abram 
Clark, April 30, 1781, from New Windsor, his previous admonition of the 28th 
of February, of that year : * I have from all quarters the most melancholy 
complaints of the sufferings of the sick in the hospitals for want of stores and 
necessaries that you can conceive, and unless some speedy remedy is applied, 
tlie consequence must be very fatal. Dr. Warren, who has charge of the 
Boston hospital, represents his situation in a very distressing condition, and 
prays earnestly for relief — a picture gloomy enough, but scarcely as dark as 
that drawn in the following words to the purveyor, Dr. Thomas Bond, from New 
Windsor, March 25th, 1 781 : 'I was favored with yours of the 20th of February, 
about fifteen days ago, on my way to Albany, which accounts for my not 
answering you until now — as I only returned last night. I am sorry to inform 
you that I found that Hospital entirely destitute of all kinds of stores, except a 
little vinegar, which was good for nothing — and frequently without bread or 
beef for many days — so that the doctor, under those circumstances, was obliged 



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JOHN COCHRAN 457 

to permit such of the patients as could walk into town to beg provisions among 
the inhabitants. * * * I pity our distressed condition on the score of 
money, and unless a sufficiency can be procured at the opening of the cam- 
paign, we are undone.' If to these instances of official decrepitude is added the 
significant request made by Dr. Bond, purveyor at Norwich, no evidence will be 
wanting of the penury of the medical department, in all that appertains to an 
effective or even tolerable arm of the public service — Camp near Dobb's Ferry, 
July 26th, 1 781: 'Could you not, by advertisement, be able to procure a 
quantity of old linen from the good ladies of your city — I was obliged, after the 
last skirmish, when fifty men were wounded, to give every sheet I had in the 
world, but two, to make lint.' 

** It has been seen that he alluded in his letter to Samuel Huntington, the 
President of Congress, to the failure of Congress to exert the effort required to 
relieve the deplorable condition of the medical service. Several valuable phy- 
sicians and surgeons had resigned since the new arrangement of the department 
went into effect. He suggested to Congress, in his letter to Samuel Hunting- 
ton, May 24th, 1781, that there were, 'several vacancies for hospital physicians 
and surgeons, occasioned by resignation, and that in case we should have an ac- 
tive campaign, the department may suffer for want of a proper number of as- 
sistants. The eldest mates are qualified to fill their places, and if they could 
be appointed by Congress with propriety, it would have a tendency to promote 
the good of the service.' In a letter from the Board of War from New Wind- 
sor, July 4th, 1 781, he represents that these vacancies * leave us only eight hos- 
pital physicians and surgeons out of the fifteen established by Congress,' three 
of whom being employed respectively at Boston, Philadelphia and Yellow 
Springs, * there will remain only five to do the whole duty of the hospitals of 
the army, a number very inadequate to the service. The four eldest mates 
whom I recommended to Congress are very uneasy, and unless promoted, I have 
too much reason to believe, will leave the service very soon ; and this, together 
with other mates who have resigned since my arrival in camp, will deprive us 
of a great part of our medical aid.' A disregard of this recommendation seems 
to have been productive of much inconvenience and disorder. Evidently the 
political necessities of his position did not dispose the average congressman to 
supply a vacancy with the candidate best qualified for the place, to the exclu- 
sion of an incompetent candidate of his own. The glimpse thus had of the 
influences which dominated the public service of the Revolution reflects a very 
exact resemblance upon those which impress the public service now, and un- 
pleasantly imply the painful truth that even in conjunctures of great hazard, 
private interests are apt to obstruct the public weal. The course urged upon 
the Board of War in this communication, if continuously pursued, might 
perhaps have obviated the necessity of reform in the civil service of the 
Government to-day ; for in the same letter occur these words : * I am alto- 
gether averse to any regular succession of promotion of physicians and sur- 
geons in the hospital department ; for the situation of the medical gentlemen 



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45S A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

in our service is very different from other services. The medical officers in the 
former have been pushed up as occasion required, many of whom were not the 
least qualified (to say na 'vorse of them) while those of the latter undergo a 
strict examination, and in general are every way qualified ; and I would further 
observe, particularly in the British service, there is no regular succession, but such 
are generally promoted in the hospital departments as are more capable and at- 
tentive, whether from the Regimental Surgeons or Hospital Mates.* The effect 
of these persistent official derelictions is thus announced to the Board of War, 
August 29th, 1 78 1, from headquarters, east side of Hudson river : * Dr. Marshall, 
one of our most valuable mates, has resigned within a few days, which will be 
followed by several others who have been long in service, and acted some years 
in a superior capacity under the old arrangement, and accepted of mates* sta- 
tions with an expectation of promotion. A favorable opportunity offered io 
retain these gentlemen in service by promoting them to the present vacancies, 
but it appears as if Congress had forgotten that either hospitals, sick or 
wounded, had any existence.* 

** Deficient, however, as was the medical department in the means of admin- 
istering to the health or comfort of the army, there comes to us among the 
causes, a remarkable instance of personal obliquity, in strong contrast with the 
ardor of self-sacrifice which characterized the patriotism of the time. In a 
letter to Abram Clark, Chairman of the Medical Committee, Dr. Cochran said: 
' I have a letter from Dr. Cragie, our chief apothecary, now at Boston, informing 
me that Dr. Foster, the former Deputy Director to the Eastward, has absolutely 
refused giving up the medicines, instruments, etc., purchased by him for public 
use, which deranges us much. There is a quantity of hospital stores at Windsor 
and Danbury in Connecticut, in the same circumstances, which he has refused 
also. I have taken a short cut, and by stealing a march on him, may probably 
obtain part, if not the whole. It appears very extraordinary that a public officer, 
•purchasing stores, etc., on public credit, shall, when out of office, retain large 
quantities of those articles in his hands, in pretence that his accounts are not 
settled, when perhaps the public owe him nothing, and the sick are perishing for 
want of these very stores.' The ' short cut * appears to have been the device of 
despatching Dr. Ledyard, the assistant purveyor at Fishkill, upon a stolen march 
to Danbury for the medicines and stores, the failure of which scheme is subse- 
quently thus recorded in the letter to Mr. Clark, which announces the abstrac- 
tion : * Since sitting down to write, I received a letter from Dr. Ledyard, our 
assistant Purveyor at Fishkill, telling me that he could not possibly proceed to 
Windsor, in Connecticut, in quest of the stores already mentioned, for want of 
money, not being able to raise as much as would put a hoop on a cask, or a 
board on a box, if it was wanting.' 

** But the doctor was not thus to be baffled, as we learn by his letter subse- 
quently to Dr. Ledyard, from New Windsor, March 24th, 1781 : * I know not 
what to advise you. I hope you have sent some one with the officer to Danbury, 
to take charge of the stores. Those at Windsor must take their chance until 



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JOHN COCHRAN 469 

some method can be fallen on to raise the wind, to carry our scheme into exe- 
cution. In the meantime, either from public or private credit, you can proceed 
to the business. I will be accountable for the expense attending the procuring 
of the stores.' On the 25th of the same month, a letter to Dr. Thomas Bond, 
the purveyor, announces : * The stores from Danbury have arrived at FishkilL* 
Thus the extreme of selfishness was confronted and defeated by a prompt benefi- 
cence, worthy of the cause to which it was devoted. 

**Such was the destitution which paralyzed, and very nearly extirpated, the 
hospitals during the greater part of the war. Under the recuperating effects of 
its foreign alliances, the country emerged slowly from its indigence, and the 
medical department gradually expanded to its full functions in the dispensation 
of the supplies procured from France. A letter from New Windsor, February 
2d, 1782, directs Dr. Isaac Ledyard, assistant purveyor, to, * order Dr. Johonet, 
the assistant apothecary, to take such quantity of the medicine lately received 
from France as will be necessary for supplying the Hospitals ; ' while an earlier 
letter of September ist, 1781, from headquarters, east side of Hudson river, to 
Dr. Bond, the purveyor, thus joyously announced the vigor imparted by France 
to the energy of the war, and her generous ministration to the exhausted re- 
sources of the country ; * Colonel Lawrence, who passed through camp last 
night, on his way to Philadelphia, has put us in good spirits from the supply of 
money and everything else requisite, arrived in Boston from our good and gener- 
ous ally, in consequence of which I hope we shall soon be in high BLAST.' 

** But desperate as was the condition of the medical department, that of its 
officers was not less afflictive. It could not be otherwise than when the sources 
of general prosperity vanished, individuals should be oppressed with the utmost 
penury. We have seen the soldier begging for bread ; we shall see the officer 
in quest of clothing. The ordinary uses of life were circumscribed by the blight 
of indigence. It extended to all stations and effected all classes. Calamity 
impended over families and want intensified the rigor of war with menaced 
starvation. In the letter previously quoted, to Abram Clark, President of Con- 
gress, February 28th, 1781, Dr. Cochran said : * I hope some pay is ordered to 
be advanced to the officers of the department, without which it cannot much 
longer exist. Many of us have not received a shilling in near two years, nor 
can we procure public clothing.' 

**From New Windsor he wrote, March 26th, 1781, to Dr. Craik : * We are 
so squeezed for paper, that I can only afford you a half sheet for cover and all.' 
From New Windsor, March 25th, 1781, he wrote to Dr. Peter Turner, hospital 
physician and surgeon, Norwich, Connecticut, * Several of the hospital physi- 
cians and surgeons have resigned since the new arrangement took place, owing, 
I believe, principally to their not being able to subsist themselves in the service, 
for it is upwards of two years since many of us have received a shilling from the 
continent, and there is as little prospect now of pay as there was two years ago.' 
Again, under the date of April 2d, 1781, he wrote: 'Neither myself nor any 
of the gentlemen who have served with me have received a shilling from the 



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460 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

public in twenty-three months, which has, as you reasonably may suppose, re- 
duced us to some difficulties. * * * Paper is so scarce that I am obliged to 
take a leaf out of an orderly book.' 

"To Abram Clark, President of Congress, he wrote from New Windsor, 
April 30th, 1 781 : * I have sent the originals (hospital returns) not having paper 
enough to transcribe them into form. Several of the hospital physicians and 
surgeons complain that they have not paper sufficient to make out the necessary 
hospital returns ; therefore, are obliged to omit them.' To Robert Morris, from 
the camp near Dobb's Ferry, July 26th, 1 781, he wrote : ' For God's sake, help 
us as soon as you can. Most of our officers have not received one shilling of 
pay for upwards of two years.' To Mr. Nitchie, formerly hospital commissary 
headquarters, Peekskill, he wrote, August 25th, 1781 : ' I am sorry you have 
not been able to keep your family from starving, but on credit. Your situation 
is like many others in our service, for I have not received one shilling as pay in 
twenty-eight months, and there are few among us who have been in better cir- 
cumstances.' In the following passage from a letter to Dr. Treat, from New 
Windsor, March 25th, 1781, we are admitted to a pathetic scene relieved by a 
gleam of illusive fortune, as quickly quenched in disappointment : ' Dr. Young 
showed me your letter enclosing a resolve of Congress, respecting the deprecia- 
tion, &c., which made him happy; and poor fellow, he wanted comfort as 
much as any man I ever saw. His situation is truly pitiable, and I hope some- 
thing will turn up which will give him relief.' 

" It is true that Congress issued warrants for the pay of the army. But the 
warrants were as worthless as the credit of Congress, and utterly incapable of 
relief. He wrote to Dr. Thomas Bond, camp neai> Dobb's Ferry : * Am very 
sorry that there is no probability of our receiving money on the warrants ob- 
tained for the use of our department, the want of which you may reasonably 
suppose has a bad effect, both with respect to the officers and the poor suffering 
soldiers, who deserve a better fate.' 

" As may be supposed, the destitution of the army, both of officers and men, 
occupied attention largely with efforts to mitigate it. The evil obviously was 
incident to the occasion, and inherently the chief obstacle to the successful con- 
duct of the war. As we have seen, the distress fell heavily upon the medical 
department. Its necessities were, in truth, but the total of those of the army, 
concentrated in effect upon its health, and expressed in representations of the 
deplorable want of every appliance essential to the preservation of life. The 
complaints of the sufferers were importunate and ceaseless. As the head of the 
department, Dr. Cochran, while the recipient of numberless petitions, rarely 
caused disappointment to the expectations of the petitioners. In his letter 
(without date) to Dr. Thomas Bond, after stating that ' Dr. Wilson urges his 
coming to Philadelphia to assist in adjusting some matters relative to the depart- 
ment,' he said, *I only wait for the arrival of Dr. Craik to set out, but I wish 
my presence could be dispensed with, for I am most heartily tired of shuling my 
way so often to that place without one shilling in my pocket ; ' and in the follow- 



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JOHN COCHRAN 461 

ing paragraph of his communication, while in Philadelphia, May 24th, 1781, 
to * Samuel Huntington, Esq., President of Congress,* he alludes to the personal 
expense and the official inconvenience he incurred, in redressing complaints, by 
importuning Congress for their relief: 'Should Congress wish any further or 
more particular information on the subject, I shall be ready to furnish it and 
will be obliged to your excellency to have the matter taken up as soon as possi- 
ble, that the distresses of the hospital may be relieved, and that I may be ena- 
bled to return to the army, as neither my finances nor my duty will permit me 
to remain longer in this city.' 

*'But the pay of the officers and men was a theme of more serious anxiety. 
The magnitude and extent of its arrears were grave causes of apprehension. 
While it buoyed the hopes of the enemy, it occupied unremittingly the delibera- 
tions of Congress. Its amount was not in dispute. The default was in the 
depreciation of the currency in which it was paid. At length Congress deter- 
mined to draw its warrant, for the depreciation, on the credit of the state where 
the officers served. It seems, however, that a frivolous and impertinent distinc- 
tion was made by the Legislature of New York against the officers of the medical 
line. The ire of the department was aflame, and not in the most courtly phrase 
discharged in the following terms, used at New Windsor, July 5th, 1781, to Dr. 
Bond, one of the suff*erers : ' The State of New York has refused the warrant in 
your favor drawn by Congress, and have refused to comply with the requisition 
of Congress for making up the depreciation to the officers of the medical line. 

They are most certainly an execrable set of . A new Assembly is called, 

which may probably think better of the matter and do justice.* 

"In a letter to Dr. Treat, from camp near Dobb's Ferry, July i8ih, 1781, 
occurs this passage: 'I have been uneasy about the Marquis* situation.* 
Doubtless this was the occasion referred to by the Marquis in his letter from St. 
Jean d*Angely, June loth, 1799, ^^ which he says: 'My health, dear doctor 
— that very health you have almost brought back from the other world, has been 
since as strong and hearty as possible. * * * As during my fit of ill- 
ness the watch I then had was of great service to you for feeling the pulse, I 
thought such a one might be convenient, which I have entrusted to the Chevalier 
de la (name illegible) and I beg leave to present you with. I did fancy that 
adorning it with my heroic friend's picture would make it acceptable.' 

*'An incident cursorily stated in his letter to Dr. Craik, of March 26th, 
1 781, from New Windsor, while affording an inkling of the difficulties of land 
carriage, admits us to a view of the affluent hospitality of the landed gentry of 
New York a century ago, and yet more agreeably surprises us with an intimation 
that in all * the time that tried men*s souls,' the ruggednessof war was smoothed 
and its asperities refined by the amenities attendant upon the presence of wives 
and daughters in camp. * I am just returned,' he says, * from an eighteen days* 
tour up the North river to attend Mrs. Washington. We had an agreeable jaunt 
excepting the badness of the roads. But we met with so much hospitality 
wherever we went, that compensation was made for the difficulty of traveling.' 



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462 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

"Probably the 'agreeable jaunt' was to the manor of Livingston, and ter- 
minated at the hospitable manor house of its proprietor, Walter Livingston, the 
husband of Mrs. Cochran's daughter, Cornelia, by her first husband. After the 
destruction of their domicile at Brunswick by the British, Mrs. Cochran spent 
much of her time, during the presence of her husband at the headquarters of the 
army, with her daughter ; and it may have been that the hospitable entertain- 
ment of Mrs. Washington on this occasion was not disconnected with the in- 
vitation of the General, over a year before to Mrs. Cochran and Mrs. Livingston 
to partake of the dinner which, in his letter to the doctor, he thus humorously 
imagines and describes : 

a < West Point, Au^st i6, 1780. 
" « Dear Doctor : 

" * I have asked Mrs. Cochran and Mrs. Livingston to dine with me to-morrow ; but ought I 
not to apprise you of their fare ? As I hate deception, even when imagination is concerned, 
I will. 

" * It is needless to promise that my table is large enough to hold the ladies — of this they 
had occular demonstration yesterday. To say how it is usually covered, is rather more essen- 
tial, and this shall be the purport of my letter. 

" * Since my arrival at this happy spot, we have had a ham, sometimes a shoulder of bacon, 
to grace the head of the table. A piece of roast beef adorns the foot, and a small dish of green 
beans — almost imperceptible : — decorates the centre. When the cook has a mind to cut a 
figure, and this I presume he will attempt to-morrow, we have two beefsteak pies, or dishes of 
crabs in addition, one on each side of the centre dish, dividing the space, and reducing the dis- 
tance between dish and dish to about six feet, which, without them, would be nearly twelve apart. 
Of late he has had the surprising luck to discover that apples will make pies ; and it is a 
question, if amidst the violence of his efforts, we do not get one of apples, instead of having 
both of beef. 

" « If the ladies can put up with such entertainment, and submit to partake of it on plates 
once tin, but now iron, not become so by the labors of hard scouring,, I shall be happy to see 
them. 

«* * Dear Sir, Yours 

" * George Washington.* 

"Quaintly is revealed the peculiar prejudice of the Revolutionary period 
against the parasites of royalty and its scions. The conflict of our ancestors 
with British oppression extended to the persons of those who represented it. It 
was not singular therefore, that the appearance in America of William Henry 
(subsequently William IV.) one of the sons of George III., and then a midship- 
man under Admiral Digby, should have provoked a flood of popular derision. 
It is curious to observe the spirit in which the apparition was discussed by those 
whose lives had been dedicated to the service of their country. Nor is it un- 
reasonable to suppose that the opinion of the camp were reflected by the sense 
of the people. From camp, near Peekskill, October loih, 1781, Dr. Cochran 
writes to Dr. Craik : 

' ' * Digby is arrived in New York with three ships of the line and some frigates. 
With him came one of the royal whelps from Great Britain. The address from 



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JOHN COCHRAN 463 

the Governor and council with his answer you will see in the public papers. A 
young lad who came out of New York some days ago, being examined before 
General Heath, was asked if he saw the young prince. He answered yes — he 
saw many get a look at him and he thought he might as well see him as the 
rest. He was asked what he was like and what he thought of him. He said he 
expected to have seen something more in him than in other people, but was dis- 
appointed except his being the ugliest person he ever saw, with a very large 
nose His eyes resembled those of a wall-eyed horse, and his legs, being all of 
a thickness, from his knees to his ankles ; but that he had a fine gold coat. A 
pretty representative the fellow will make to cause a rebellion to sink at his ap- 
proach. I think from the description given of him, he is much better calculated 
to cause an abortion in the fair sex than to quell a rebellion.' 

" But when domestic treason incurred the popular displeasure, the indignation 
of the army was intense. The crime of Arnold not only was the theme of de- 
nunciation ; his very name was proscribed. *Ledyard,' wrote Dr. Cochran, 
October ist, 1781, to Thomas Bond, purveyor, 'has gone to New London, 
where he has sustained the loss of an uncle and brother killed, and another 
brother taken by that infamous scoundrel, Arnold.* 

"In an application to Samuel Huntington, President of Congress, while in 
Philadelphia, May 24th, 1781, Dr. Cochran thus expressed himself: 

'* ' I have also to request that the hospital officers should be entitled to receive 
their letters free from the expense of postage, as well as the officers of the line. 
The propriety of this will be evident when I mention that returns are to be sent 
from every part of the continent to me as director, and the expense of postage 
would nearly swallow the whole of my pay.* 

** The result of this application is thus recorded : New Windsor, June 30th, 
1 781, Doctor Townshend, Albany. 'All letters to and from me are post-free. 
This I accomplished when in Philadelphia, though I had not interest to obtain 
the like for the department in general, which was my desire. I labored hard 
for that purpose.' 

** A serious oversight had forbidden to the disabled and deprived inmates of 
the hospitals the solace of religious instruction during the term of the war. Dr. 
Cochran from the camp at Fishkill, October 9th, 1781, thus directed the atten- 
tion of Thomas McKean, President of Congress, to the subject : * Before I con- 
clude, permit me, sir, to suggest that while we are endeavoring to provide for 
the care of the body, should we not pay some attention to the comfort of the 
souls of our sick soldiers in the hospitals, by appointing a chaplain to perform 
that duty. The brigade chaplains either find it inconvenient, or have not an 
inclination to officiate in that capacity. It is customary to have a chaplain to 
the hospitals of other nations, to whom we would not wish to yield in point of 
Christianity.' There is no record that the suggestion was acted upon. But it 
is certain that chaplains devoted to the welfare of the sick, wounded and dyin^, 
in hospitals or field, have never been wanting in our wars. 



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464 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

"On the 30th of April, 1781, he announced to Abram Clark, chairman of 
the medical committee, from New Windsor : * As soon as my strength will en- 
able me, I propose setting out for Philadelphia. On the 5th inst., I was taken 
with a pleurisy, which has confined me till yesterday, and has left me very 
weak.' On the 23d of March, 1781, from New Windsor, he writes to Dr. 
Craik that ' his poor little boy lies ill of a fever.' New Windsor, June 30th, 
1 781, he requested Dr. Townshend of Albany, to give his love to his son and 
* give him some of your pious advice. You will oblige me by enquiring of his 
tutor how he comes on, and acquaint me in your next. He has been hitherto 
too much neglected, which causes me more anxiety than perhaps I otherwise 
might feel.* From Albany, 17th of March, 1782, he informs Dr. Bond that 
he came there three weeks before * to settle my boys at school, and to endeavor 
to dispose of some of my property for their and my subsistence.' From head- 
quarters, east side of Hudson river, August 29th, 1781, he communicates to the 
Board of War : ' Our army, till within a few months has been remarkably 
healthy. But dysentery, intermittent and remittent fevers, wilh a few putrid 
diseases begin to prevail,* and again, September 26th of the same year, from 
the camp at Peekskill, that * the chief part of the sick of the army and hos- 
pitals, is composed of the new levies and the three months men.* 

** From these letters we catch glimpses of the man — a type of that heroism 
that consists in the consecration of self to duty, and in its beneficial and con- 
scientious performance. The heroism of the soldier is eclipsed by the heroism 
of the surgeon ; and, however public sentiment may adopt the captain of war 
as the hero of the day, the emancipator from the ihralldom of prejudice and 
ignorance, the vindicator of humanity in the persons of its oppressed and suffer- 
ing children, the steadfast disciple of the divinity of manhood, and the martyr 
to its assertion in adversity and persecution — these shall survive as the heroes of 
the world, when the fame of the warrior shall have slaked and his laurels have 
withered in the light of higher civilization. And so he who treads the endan- 
gered plain, to alleviate and not to inflict, to retrieve and not to dissipate the 
crushed energies of life, who sedulously devotes his whole of man to the attain- 
ment of honor by a just comprehension of life's obligations, and by their thor- 
ough discharge, becomes the heir of a glory, truer and more consummate in the 
realms of time than the illusory gleam of the conquering sword. Dr. Cochran 
was of stately presence, of fair and florid complexion, features which testified 
his Scots-Irish descent, and an expression indicative of genial and benevolent 
qualities. His reliance was on the merit of which he was conscious, his cre- 
dentials the evidence Yurnished by his deeds. The volunteer surgeon*s mate of 
tlie French war, and the volunteer physician and surgeon of the war of the 
Revolution, became the head of the medical department of the army by superior 
expertness in the functions confided to him, and superior alacrity in their per- 
formance. An unusual degree of personal modesty precluded expectation and 
quelled the desire of official preferment. Not only was his promotion unsolic- 
ited, but it was a surprise to the sincerity with which he had urged the undeni- 



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JOHN COCHRAN 465 

able qualifications of his friend and advocated his claims to the position. The 
separate trials to which he was exposed were but the enumerated perils that lay 
in the path of the Revolution. The necessities which paralyzed the officer were 
lamented only as impediments which prejudiced the service. The malignity 
which committed his dwelling to the flames, and the disease which afflicted his 
little son and prostrated himself, he suffered only in the contraction of his use- 
fulness to his country. He pawned his personal credit to restore to the public 
service the property withheld from its use. The last sheets from his bed were 
bestowed on the exigencies of the wounded. A glowing humanity, intensified 
his attention to the sick, and with an executive capacity as thorough as rare, he 
was author, advisor and director of multifarious reforms in the army. He was 
the support and buttress of the languishing and suffering medical department. 
He ineffectually appealed to Congress, that exemption of the officers from lia- 
bility to postage should remove from their correspondence an odious duty on 
their domestic affections. His effort was strenuous to compensate to both offic- 
ers and men, the depreciation of their pay, and having accomplished the full 
circuit of their temporal wants, he contributed to their spiritual welfare, a tender 
and fervid appeal to the president of Congress, that the consolations of religion 
should be extended to the inmates of the hospitals by chaplains appointed for 
that purpose. With enviable patience, under troubled dispensations, and with 
faith in the rectitude of the cause of the people, he witnessed the return*of 
health to the army, of prosperity to the country, and the establishment of a free 
and permanent government in a new world. 

• * Such and like considerations are necessary to the comprehension of the true 
proportions of the war of the Revolution. Interesting, and by no means unin- 
structive research might educe from the social condition and domestic relations 
of the people an important factor in the problem of rebellion. A country of 
unrestricted extent was sparsely occupied with a primitive and hardy race. In 
the far removed centres of population and wealth, social intercourse partook 
naturally of the habits engrafted by the early and intimate associations of the 
Colonies with the mother country. Fortunate opulence asserted against indi- 
gence the privileges of class, and forthwith intrenched itself in the pretensions 
and assumed the cognizance of an aristocracy. Courtly English customs were 
reflected in the intercourse which regulated their life, and the interval between 
the people and the great families when established, increased with their growth 
in significance and strength. Confessedly, the germ of American independence 
found no root in the houses of the great. It sprang from the rugged bosom of 
the people. It was indigenous there. Not that it was unfaithfully protected or 
negligently cultivated by the magnates of the land. It was theirs by adoption ; 
not indeed in the primal vigor and purity of its uncomplying inception, which 
demanded separation, but in the subsidiary of compromise, which contemplated 
adjustment. Hence it is true, that the march of Revolution was vigorous and 
united ; but the consummate flower of independence sprang from the humble 
homes of the tillers of the soil, rather than from the stately mansions of its opu- 
lent aristocracy. 



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466 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

"In the light of a century, it is diflBcult to exaggerate the grandeur of the 
victory. Popular institutions, responsible for the good government of millions 
engaged in the innumerable pursuits which construct the material prosperity and 
constitute the social and moral character of a people. An expansion of enter- 
prise, boundless, except by the limits of the possible, an intensity of purpose, 
concentrated upon the attempt, and devoted to the accomplishment of gigantic 
undertakings in every industrial department, and a position achieved in science, 
literature, and the arts, competing with European schools, reflect an extraordi- 
nary lustre upon the armies and their leaders, that raised us to an equality with 
the governments of the Old World, and made us first among the governments 
of the New. 

*' But it is not this consummation that Americans should consult when 
measuring the proportions of the Revolutionary war. The magnitude of the 
conflict is more truly expressed in the condition of the opposing forces that 
waged it. A century had not sufficed to render practicable communication be- 
tween the thirteen Colonies, which, though of coincident boundaries, were 
separated by tracts of dense wilderness and ranges of impassible mountains. 
Population, grouped principally in isolated spots, near the seaboard, was small, 
but its area large and sparsely settled. In most part exposed tg a rigorous 
climate, it suff*ered both the ravage of an inhospitable winter and the onset of a 
more inhospitable foe. The tillage of the soil made niggard return to the labor 
of the farmer. Individual subsistence depended on daily labor, and the want of 
public revenue implied an empty treasury. Ignorant of arms, save as required 
by the exposure of frontier life, without military training, and destitute of the 
equipment, the stores, and the ammunition of war — a people thus provided, un- 
prepared, and defenceless, were precipitated into war with a nation of vast and 
available resources, of incalculable power in the cabinet and field, with veteran 
armies and navies at command, and distinguished with the renown of enemies 
vanquished and victories won. Eight years the /Struggle continued. Its ruthless 
proportions were not remitted to the alleviation of a noble and generous nurture, 
nor were the resources of high civilization counted in reserve among the ener- 
gies of the Revolutionary army. The flame they followed by day, that warmed 
them by night, that lighted their darkness and guided all their way, was the 
flame of liberty, inextinguishable in their bosoms. This was their reserve, and 
to it must be ascribed the issue of the war — to the unquenchable patriotism of 
the commonality of America.'* 

By John Cochran, * 
(eldest grandson of Dr. Cochran.) 

» " New York, 7 East 62d Street. 
*' Mv DEAR Cousin : 

•« I enclose to you a fac-simile of the Washington letter addressed to James Duane, in 
1780. It was found among the papers of Judge Duane, and thus came into my possession. 

" A duplicate of it — literature et punctuation — in Washington's handwriting, of the same 
date addressed by the superscription, also in Washington's handwriting, to the Hon. Joshua 



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JOHN COCilRAN 467 

A LETTER OF WASHINGTON 

''HEAD Qs, Sept. 9th, 1780. 
'^ Dear Sir: 

*' / have heard that a new arrangement is ahovi to take place in the medical Department 
and that it is likely^ it will he a good deal curtailed with respect to its present appointments. — 
Who will be the persons generally employed I am not informed^ nor do I wish to know—hmc- 
ever I will mention to you that I think Doctors Cochrane and Craikfrom their services — abilities 
and experience — and their close attention, have the strictest claim to their Country's notice, and 
to be among the first officers in the establishment. 

" There are many other deserving characters in the medical line of the army, but the reasons 
for my mentioning the above QenVn are, that I have the highest opinion of them — and have it 
hinted to me that the new arrangement might possibly be influenced by a spirit of party out of 
Doors, which would not operate in their favor. — / will add no more tJian thai I am with the 
most perfect reg^d. 

''D'Sir 

** rV. mostobed\ ServH. 

"G. Washington.'' 

"The above letter allows a curious glimpse of the perils to which, even in 
that primitive time, ' a spirit of party out of doors,' exposed those in the pub- 
lic service. We detect in those suggestive words the irrepressible desire, whose 
prurience is better known to this degenerate age, as the greed of office. We 
learn that, in very truth, human nature discloses the same characteristics, under 
similar circumstances, at all times ; and whether the world's theatre is occupied 
with the struggles of revolutions, or with the wrangle of politicians, the strife is 
ever the same between the ins and the outs.'* 

John Cochran. 

the residence of dr. cochran at palatine bridge, n. v. 

'*Near the western boundary of the Town of Palatine, within sight of the 
old church, and looking across the broad flat lands skirting the Mohawk river 
stands an old-fashioned square house, surrounded by locust trees. 



Jones, Esq., of Congress at Philadelphia is in the possession of Luther Kountz of this city. 
James Duane was Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs in the Continental Congress 
and Joshua Jones a member from Virginia. 

" The duplicates illustrate a remarkable feature of General W's. wonderful exactness and 
diligence in business matters. 

" The enclosed sketch of my grandfather is taken from the February number of the Magazine 
of American History edited by Mrs. Martha J. Lamb, now deceased. 

" The Register of American History in which the anecdotes were published nearly two 
years since was copy-righted. However, I suppose that there will be no objection to your 
quoting one or two of them. 

«* Sincerely your cousin, 
" John Cochran. 

" Mrs. Kath. S. Baxter." 



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468 



A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 



** That it has stood there for a long time is evident, but that it was the home 
of the Surgeon-General of the Revolutionary army is probably known to but 
few. 

"This mansion was built when the accommodations for travelers between 
Albany and Utica were few, and was the resort of all the acquaintances of the 
family who passed up and down the Mohawk. Especially was this so during the 
war of 1812-13. Their hospitality was generous and proverbial. General 
Scott told me that, as he passed to the northern frontier, he stopped with iheni. 




THE COCHRAN HOUSE. 

Their larder being exhausted, they killed for him, he said, the peacock which 
furnished to his taste a capital dinner. 

** In those days long trains of * Canastoga' wagons, driven by Yankees and 
bearing merchandise for the west, thronged the highway, and exasperated the 
Dutch farmers of the Mohawk. Thereupon would ensue furious battles between 
the Palatine Dutchmen and the * damned Yankees.' 

*' There were mutterings of wrath also when it was learned in March, 1792, 
that Joseph Brant (Thayendanega) had been invited to a conference with the 
government at Philadelphia and that he had left Niagara for that city, via the 
Mohawk valley, to visit his old home and to look upon the land that he had 
wasted so ruthlessly with fire and tomahawk. In due time he came accom- 



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JOHN COCHRAN 



469 



panied by two gentlemen and attended by two body servants of his own, and, 
as the home of the Cochrans stood but a few miles from Brant's old home at 
Indian Castle, he was invited by Major John Cochran to pass the night. 

" As soon as this became known a mob gathered and there was danger that 
he would be dealt with in a very summary manner, and it became necessary to 
spirit him away in the darkness to some other place. But he pursued his journey 
the next day and arrived safely in Philadelphia, although he was followed as far 
as New York by a man who vowed to take his life." 

Many of the pieces of handsome mahogany furniture that adorned this man- 
sion were used by Washington at his headquarters at Newburgh • and in 1781, 
presented by him to his " esteemed friend,*' Dr. Cochran. 




COCHRAN ARMS. 



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CHAPTER XIX 

CATHARINE V. R. SCHUYLER 

Her Home at Oswego 

The large hospitable-looking mansion with its high chimneys and porticoes 
of Ionic columns ; its strong wooden shutters ; its spacious front entrance with 
heavy panels and small glass side lights, and its colossal brass knocker, carried 
the spectator into the last century. This two story and attic structure, though 
of wood, had thick dividing walls, to which one might whisper a secret without 
confiding it to his next door neighbor. Until destroyed by fire, it stood as a 
link between the past and the present, quite different in appearance and style 
from the modern dwellings which are constructed with such lightoing-like ra- 
pidity. 

Early in the century, this unusually retired and picturesque locality was a mile 
from the village — in a southeasterly direction ; its extreme western boundary 
being washed by the broad, beautiful, swift flowing river. A more charming 
spot could not have been selected. The house, in Colonial design, stood in at- 
tractive grounds graced by fine old maples, elms, chestnuts, and beeches, and 
sloping gently to the water — not three hundred yards distant. There is no tree 
better or more beautiful for lawn planting than the beech with its long and grace- 
ful branches and leaves of a peculiarly bright color. Many were of extraordi- 
nary size, and one venerable monarch — the delight of old and young — was sur- 
rounded by seats, and was a great resort in summer evenings. Lapsing decades 
and the outward march of business demanded their destruction ; and now but 
few of these relics are standing. Directly in front of the house and towering 
like stately columns stood four tall locusts, a favorite variety in Western New 
York in early days ; and near by rose a tulip tree of unrivalled magnitude, with 
large greenish yellow flowers marked with orange, cupped seed pods, and the 
peculiarly smooth truncated leaves that distinguishes it from all others. 

In the rear, were ^s^ acres of garden and orchard ; beyond, to the east, ex- 
tended meadows, — varied and broken ; and then a broad stretch of woods, the 
same delightful woods that welcome one everywhere in the state. The land- 
scape was devoid of any striking beauty or grandeur, except for a hill whose 
brow afforded an expanded prospect of Lake Ontario. Cooper in his "Path- 
finder " graphically described it : ** Turning from this view, our heroine felt her 
cheek fanned by a fresh and grateful breeze, such as she had not experienced 
since quitting the far distant coast. Here a new scene presented itself; although 
expected, it was not without a start, and a low exclamation indicative of pleas- 

470 



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CATHARINE V. R. SCHUYLER.— 1806. 



47' 



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CATHARINE V, B. SCHUYLER 



473 



urc, that the eager eyes of the girl drank in its beauties. To the north, and 
east, and west, in every direction, in short, over one entire half of the novel 
panorama, lay a field of rolling waters. The element was neither of that glassy 
green which distinguished the American waters in general, nor yet, of the deep 
blue of the ocean, the color being of a slightly amber hue, which scarcely af- 
fected its limpidity. No land was to be seen, with the exception of the adja- 
cent coast, which stretched to the right, and left in an unbroken outline of for- 
est with wide bays and low headlands or points ; still, much of the shore was 
rocky, and into its caverns the sluggish waters occasionally rolled, producing a 
hollow sound, which resembled the concussion of a distant gun. No sail 
whitened the surface, no whale or other fish gambolled on its bosom, no sign of 
use or service rewarded the longest and most minute gaze at its boundless ex- 




LAKE ONTARIO. 

pause. It was a scene, on one side, of apparently endless forests, while a waste 
of seemingly interminable water spread itself on the other. Nature appeared to 
have delighted in producing grand effects, by setting two of her principal agents 
in bold relief to each other, neglecting details ; the eye turning from the broad 
carpet of leaves to the still broader field of fluid, from the endless heavings of 
the lake to the holy calm and poetical solitude of the forest, with wonder and 
delight.'' 

The scene to-day is but little changed. 

The cheerful house which was for so many years the home of my grand- 
mother was well situated, on an eminence, overlooking an enchanting prospect 
of woods and water — though it must be confessed that the leafy branches of the 
forest trees made the view much less distinct in summer than in winter. It was 
painted white, and in later years separated from the highway by a stone wall, 
surmounted by a picket fence. Graveled walks led through the generous strip 



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474 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

of sward, and the entrance was reached by two short flights of steps, with 
wrought iron railings. South and west were piazzas, overgrown with creepers 
and flowering vines; sweet tendrils of honeysuckle climbed about the columns 
whose vanilla-scented flowers, when in full blossom, were a triumph of beauty. 
Here also were great arches of woody trumpet creeper, with large red tubular 
flowers in terminal corymbs making lovely bits of color ; and when the season 
pleased them well, pale clusters of wistaria with lilac pendants waving in grace- 
ful profusion. 

Those expert fly catchers, the humming birds, whose tiny bodies are so ex- 
quisitely adorned with rainbow tints, and whose lives are spent amid the bright- 
est scenes of nature, darted all day long from flower to flower — sometimes so 
close, I could have touched them with my hand ; and cheerful, fussy, short- 
tailed wrens nested in a decayed spot halfway up one pillar— reach June finding 
them snugly ensconced there, and the mother hard at work hunting food for the 
greedy little beaks and gaping mouths that filled up the small entrance hole. 
The energy of this indefatigable, diminutive personage was wonderful. 

The library windows were clothed with a mass of sweet-scented clematis, in 
which song birds fluttered in and out — keeping up a conversational, cheery twit- 
ter all day long. Virginia creeper, too, grew very wild and thick on the rear 
wall and fell trailing to the ground — turning when " touched by autumn's fiery 
finger " to brilliant scarlet and crimson. Great numbers of sparrows built in it 
and rested at night among the leaves. They claimed it for their own, and 
finally became so saucy, an attempt was made to drive them off" by clipping away 
the green, — leaving only the bare branches ; the birds, meanwhile, prying about 
to see the changes occurring. Toward sunset they became very impatient ; 
cheeping and wheeling, they flew against the wall trying to find shelter; and 
then darted off" again, pouring out wrathful volleys. It was not unlike going to 
bed and finding blankets and sheets gone and nothing to shelter them . . . 
Screaming with astonishment, they flew away into the nearest tree, and the old 
cherry was alive with them. No one, however, was made very unhappy about 
their condition, for in a few days they had found new quarters; even invading 
the pole house in possession of the blue birds, where they squabbled and fought 
for apartments, — contending loudly for a knot hole, occupied by a pair of swal- 
lows. Nests were to be seen in waterspouts and odd places wherever they could 
^\ them ; and we used to watch them for hours and see all their comings and 
goings. Sparrows are very quarrelsome, as well as great thieves ; stealing one 
another's twigs and grasses from half-built nests, unless a watch is stationed for 
protection. 

The broad hall way, finished in oak, ran through the centre of the house. By 
its open doors on summer days, the breezes brought delicious odors from the 
honeysuckles in front that exchanged nods in a most friendly manner with a 
great clump of pink and red hollyhocks blooming gaily near the back steps. 

From this hall opened the principal rooms on the ground floor, each provided 
with its generous old-fashioned fireplace. The mahogany furniture, much of 



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CATHARINE TEN BROECK. 



47b 



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CATHARINE V. B. SCHUYLER All 

which was brought from Holland, looks as if it had been made to last and in- 
tended to do so. A Goliath would be required to move some of the pieces. 

To the left of the central hall was a small parlor ; and adjoining that, the 
library whose tall bookcases, well filled with attractive volumes, covered the 
walls on two sides. Its windows looked out over a pied vista of shrubbery and 
flowers. Around the big chimney lurked closets, the queerest that I have ever 
seen; large and small, square and three-cornered, close down to the floor, or 
high up, out of reach near the ceiling, their deep-set shelves filled with bric-a- 
brac not of the nineteenth century. In this room were large sofas with claw 
feet, and covered with horsehair cloth studded with brass nails ; tables beauti- 
fully carved and inlaid ; odd chairs ; and a secretary which we ascertained to be 
the hiding place of secret drawers, and which still contains valuable relics of a 
time long past. There were busts of Schuyler, Washington, and Hamilton in 
niches, and several old paintings about the walls — it was the custom in the last 
century for every family of position to have their portraits taken. The charm- 
ing fireplace that we used to enjoy so greatly when the evenings were cool, had a 
high mantelpiece adorned with silver candlesticks; fender and andirons of brass; 
and a broad hearth, on which blazed a huge fire of logs whose ruddy glow 
brightened the room and shone out on the lawn to give a cheery welcome. Our 
elders had a fondness for reading ; when at home, my father spent many hours 
of the day there, and altogether it was an ideal spot for reflection and repose. 

Quite as interesting was the large parlor into which the sunshine penetrated 
all day long, and in which were hung the greater number of the portraits, that 
seemed looking at us from the walls. The likeness of Aunt Bruce, a Scottish 
ancestress, is black with age ; it represents her in a loose-fitting gown, crossed 
at the waist, with a crimson velvet mantle falling from the shoulders, and the 
red rose of the clan in her hair — a costume of the sixteenth century. The face 
is so full of living intelligence that it seems almost rude to stand gazing into it. 
A portrait of a great uncle, in a high collar encircled by a stock, hung opposite. 
Although considered a young man of ability, he was persuaded to invest his 
fortune so securely in manilla rope, that he was unable to get more than a tithe 
out again. He had just succeeded in ** cornering " the market, when two ships 
from the Philippine Islands laden with the precious article arrived in New York 
harbor. The crash came and he was ruined. Nearby was a quaint likeness of 
Catharine Ten Broeck (wife of John Livingston) painted on wood in 1719. 
This was somewhat warped by age. She is dressed like a young lady rather 
than a child of three, and sketched with a falcon resting in one hand and hold- 
ing a brilliant red rose in the other. She really looked as if she heard every 
word we were saying. Our great-grandfather, Philip Schuyler, was in the full 
Continental uniform of a major-general, his searching, kindly eyes following 
us everywhere about the room. Opposite the fireplace hung another ancestral 
portrait that represented the gentleman in a great coat, only relieved by the lace 
and frilled shirt front. On his right was a curious painting ; it was the full length 
figure of a boy dressed in a long blue coat reaching to the knees, with large 



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478 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

cuffs turned up at the elbow, knee breeches, scarlet stockings, high shoes, and 
silver knee buckles. In that room, among middle-aged people, he looked soli- 
tary and forlorn. A portrait that I could never pass without a sense of relief 
that a portrait was all that was left of him, was that of a grandfather in full 
bottomed wig, gold spectacles, watch chain hanging from a fob, and resplendent 
in blue coat and brass buttons. Sometimes he was a very naughty man, and I 
would not repeat his language for anything. In his last years — half sick, 
irritable, and exasperated by noisy grandchildren — he would scowl over his 
spectacles, growl from the depths of his cravat, and occasionally tap us with his 
cane. This latter was a gift to his father from the first president of Columbia 
College, but that fact did not make the grievance less. When the old gentle- 
man was at last gathered to his fathers^ my lamentation over him was not 
unaccompanied by a certain joy of having felt the last of that stick. One old 
painting particularly engaged the attention. It was the life-sized portrait of a 
most beautiful young woman with a smile, half of triumph, in the lovely 
lustrous eyes. She was robed in a quaint gown of pink satin, and wore the ex- 
aggerated coiffure of the day, high heeled shoes, patches, powder and paint. 
How exquisitely she was dressed ! That was our great-grandmother. The 
two portraits most dear to us, were those of our paternal grandmother, 
Catharine V. R. Schuyler. In the first, painted by Count de Neuville in 1798, 
she is represented as a young girl with soft brown ringlets falling about the face, 
and seated at a piano. In the second, the work of the celebrated Stuart, she 
appears as a mother with her little daughter in her arms. The lace turban, col- 
larette, and a bit of the gold-colored satin dress are still preserved. This room 
was really the brightest and most inviting in the house; into it the sun flooded 
every corner with its radiance ; and in winter, the three deep windows were al- 
ways filled with hyacinths blossoming in glasses. 

The dining-room was also attractive. There was a large fireplace, and there 
were a few Dutch and English pictures upon the walls — some so dark one could 
scarcely make out what they were intended to portray. The high sideboard 
that looked so much at home there, glittered with cut glass decanters, and the 
old silver tea service. A christening bowl of silver used at my grandmother's 
baptism in the old Dutch Church, at Albany, and for each grandchild in turn, 
had its place of honor there. Wine and cake were served to friends who 
called ; and from the little closets beneath came signficant odors of these 
dainties whenever the doors were opened. There were quantities of blue willow 
ware, brought from China by the first American ship ; the silver was handsome 
and heavy, and each large piece was engraved with a coat of arms. What a 
history is attached to much of this furniture and tableware that came from the 
Schuyler mansion at Albany ! It is intimately connected with the great men 
whose lives have been sketched in former chapters. When General Washington 
left his headquarters at Newburgh, in August, 1783, he presented the furniture 
of the house to Dr. Cochran. Time has dispersed much of it, but several 
pieces still remain in our possession. What tales they could tell ! 



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CATHARINE V, B. SCHUYLER 479 

The main staircase with its balustrade of hard wood and carved post was one 
of the most interesting features of the house, though hardly worthy of that 
distinction. It really did not seem like going upstairs at all, the steps were so 
broad and low ; and twice in the ascent one came upon a square landing with 
old straight backed chairs in the corners. 

The sleeping apartments on the upper floor — bright and cheerful even during 
the darkest of winter days — were curiously connected by closets. Each room had 
a wide four-poster of mahogany, and a bureau and dressing table of the same 
beautiful wood. The wall papers were execrable. The pictures on them 
represented great festoons of gaudy colored flowers, birds and insects — improb- 
able while the laws of nature remain as they are ; and land and sea views ar- 
ranged without regard to perspective. Wrens would come in the morning and 
sit on the window ledge and sing. Bird houses with small apertures — a most 
hospitable arrangement — had been placed there for them to nest in, and it was 
sweet to be roused from sleep by their cheerful, melodious notes; and great fun 
to watch the dainty sprites go in and out — utterly oblivious of our presence. 
From time to time I sketched the view we enjoyed from the south windows — a 
stretch of the river, a bit of the red stone house on the opposite shore half 
hidden by clustering foliage, and the oak crowned hill beyond toward the west. 

There was a fascinating garret with cobwebby windows, and bunches of herbs 
and clusters of popcorn ears hanging from the rafters. It was filled with 
broken down haircloth sofas ] odds and ends of curious furniture ; hair trunks 
with initials made of brass nails ; camphor- wood chests ; boxes and barrels and 
other repositories of family papers and discarded finery of the past eighty years, 
standing in a solemn row under the eaves. The old attic where all these mis- 
cellaneous articles had met as if by some prearrangement was a fine place for 
the game of hide-and-seek. Side by side with the accumulated rubbish of the 
past, stood General Schuyler's camp chest — a wooden box three feet long, 
filled with the table furniture and cooking utensils used by him during the war ; 
and a big square trunk — I have it still — contains the grand ball dress of rich 
brocade, and the high heeled satin slippers. It was made after the Colonial 
period, the materials being of light ground with bunches of bright colored, 
hand-embroidered flowers. It is partly covered with lace and ornamented with 
ostrich plumes ; the sleeves and fichu are also of rare lace. This costume was 
first worn by our great-aunt, Margarita Schuyler when she was married to 
Stephen Van Rensselaer. At President Washington's first Inauguration Ball 
given in New York on May 7th, 1787, it graced the fair form of an ancestress. 

In the lower back hall hung a row of leather buckets — relics of a past age 
when ** fire buckets filled the office of hose ; in them water was passed by friendly 
hands disposed in a file from the place of supply to where it was needed, an op- 
posite file returning the buckets when emptied." 

The well at the kitchen door was one of our most attractive possessions ; with 
its great wooden bucket — not yet supplanted by the more convenient pump — for 
bringing up the cooling draught. It was like a deep cup, lined from top to 



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480 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

bottom with the softest of green, living moss ; and ferns tender and fine, lean- 
ing out over the water — as if to gaze upon the reflections of their own loveliness 
mirrored there. 

But after all, the greatest charm of this realm of delights was the garden — 
bright with blossoms — that called to us with a thousand voices. Nothing but 
greenery ; shady arbors, fruits and flowers, shut out from the rude world by 
trellises of grapevines; hedges of the Old World sweet briar with light red 
fragrant flowers; and thickets of barberry growing wild — whose racemes of 
yellow blossoms were most graceful — as its bright red berries were most tooth- 
some. On the lower wall, ivy — real English ivy — ^grew so lavishly that it had 
to be kept well in hand. Our friends envied us the ivy. 

The square lawn on the south side was laid out in wide beds of bloom. A 
broad walk, bordered with tall box, led through the old garden to the magnolia 
tree that blossomed so well. No other flower I think in arrangement of details 
approaches this handsome specimen. 

Beyond this a much-trodden pathway wound past a clump of lilacs and shrub 
evergreens to the latticed summerhouse, which had once been painted green ; 
but time and weather had changed it to a sage-colored drab, with here and there 
a trace of the original tint. It had benches along the sides; was open, both 
front and back; and thickly draped with vines — fragrant, but not too sweet — 
that almost completely enclosed it, and entirely hid the small diamond-shaped 
windows. Just before reaching it, one was enveloped in a wonderful cloud of 
fragrance that came stealing on the sense from the rosebushes that rioted closely 
around it. In sheltered nooks the catbirds built ; fidgeting in and out, pouring 
forth their melodious notes, or uttering their cry of alarm with the mistrust that 
is born of their diminutive natures. It was a delightful retreat. 

Three varieties of hawthorne grew to perfection in our garden. One with 
white blossoms, refinement itself; another with the branches a mass of pink 
color — to be compared to nothing but velvet; and a third with deep red, rose- 
like flowers — that under the hot sun, threw vivid coloring — was quite dazzling. 
A grand old double thorn — each year it had draped itself down to the very 
grass in scarlet bloom, graceful, elegant, distractingly pretty, — a cruel wind- 
storm snapped off" close to the ground one day. The gardener made every 
effort to save it, but the valuable specimen was doomed. When the guelder- 
rose with its glory of snowballs was in blossom the broad walk looked its best. 
Thousands and thousands of greenish- white petals dropped from the globose 
clusters until the soil was covered with innumerable stars. They were great 
favorites of ours. There were also two varieties of syringa ; the mock orange, 
whose cream tinted flowers of beautifully rounded petals resemble those of the 
orange in form, though not in fragrance ; and the familiar shnib of the olive 
family. I much preferred the latter with its powerful scent; and it has the 
merit too, of lasting long enough for one to enjoy it. When the lilacs and other 
ornamental trees that grew along the high fence and in scattered clumps were in 
the height of their splendor, the air was full of fragrance and delight. 



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CATHARINE V. B. SCHUYLER 481 

My grandmother had an exceeding fondness for flowers — a gift in making 
them grow ; and lavished upon them the tenderest care, each fine morning find- 
ing her hard at work with hoe and rake among her treasures, which seeming 
conscious of her love responded to it generously. The borders were crowded 
with bulbs and perennials ; and later, planted with all the old-fashioned annuals 
that never ceased to bloom the entire season. 

Fast on the retreat of snow and ice follow those twin harbingers of spring — 
the flowers and the birds. To one who loves the varying moods of nature as 
manifested throughout the Northern States, the early spring has a charm pecul- 
iarly its own. The struggle on the part of winter to retain supremacy is often 
fierce, but always futile. The flowers know that his power is broken, and raise 
their heads in chill purity above the level of the half-frozen sod. On the threshold 
of the year, before the trees have begun to shiver and to rustle with awakening 
life, and the grass to mantle the spaces with green, we greet enthusiastically the 
blossoms that peer out into a world still cold. 

The first to start the glad procession is the fine double snowdrop, piercing 
the leaf mold, peeping forth from the half-grown, grass-like leaves — each day it 
grows larger and whiter, its inner petals delicately tipped with green. The cour- 
age and self-assertion of this transplanted stranger, looking at itself in the ice 
and laughing in a bitter March wind is amazing to comprehend. 

One of the earliest of the little border flowers is the pretty blue scylla — blue 
as deep sea water — pushing through last year's dead leaves. It is radiant in 
early spring, and having come to us from Siberia, this quaint beauty is perfectly 
hardy. I enjoyed seeing its refreshing tint in among the new blades of grass ; 
for it had long ago with the snowdrop escaped the confines of the garden beds. 

As they pierced the black mold everywhere, the prettiest sight imaginable was 
the white, yellow, and purple crocus of the iris family — appearing almost before 
the leaves, against the dark greens and browns of box and earth. If you look 
quite near, these flowers — resplendent in color and of easy cultivation — seem 
dipped in powdered sugar, as if for a fairy's repast. They would have remained 
perfect for days had the birds shown more impartiality and not chosen them for 
their private feast. 

In our climate a light snow invariably fell on the hyacinths and the first brood 
of young robins. Hard fate ! I remember the coincidence well for it never 
failed to occur — 

" An envious sneaping frost, 
That bites the firstborn infants of the spring." 

The beautiful spike-like clusters of white, pink, purple, and other hues, both 
single and double, — the delicious fragrance wafted here and there in all direc- 
tions over the garden — were to me the most precious of all the bulbs. One 
morning in early springtime, that busy anxious season for the birds, I discovered 
a young robin standing in a pool of water — his feathers soaking wet, his eyes 
tightly closed, he, rigid with cold. I took the chilled little body in my hand 



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482 A GODCHILD OF WASHINGTON 

most tenderly, and placed him in a sunny window-seat to dry ; while his parents 
in a state of expectancy chirped noisily in the shrubbery. Slowly the tiny crea- 
ture returned to life ; fluttered his wings , opened his eyes and looked about ; 
and when perfectly restored was set free ; and the fuss that my feathered friends 
made over their offspring, was quite the prettiest little drama that I ever saw 
enacted. The presence of a human being was nothing to them. As I looked 
on in admiration all three flew away over my head — so closely they almost swept 
me with their wings. 

The daffodil is characteristic of the early year. I remember beds of them in 
the gardeh of my childhood, their yellow blossoms and green leaves forming a 
most beautiful combination of color. The finest grew on the north side of the 
house; as fine as those I saw on the margin of Ullswater, ** Nodding their 
golden heads beside the dancing and foaming waves ** — a veritable golden trail. 

" Ten thousand saw I at a glance 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance." 

" For oft when on my couch I lie 

In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye 

Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure thrills, 
And dances with the daffodils.'* 

The tulip — the flower that best satisfies the fondness for bright colors — was 
well represented. It was in Holland that I first learned to appreciate tulips. 
There the varieties were almost endless. The low lands around Harlaam were 
covered with myriads of them gorgeous beyond expression in tropic coloring — 
the many single and double species that we are familiar with, biblooms and 
bizarres ; and the parrot tinted with every shade that the human mind can sug- 
gest. This last is a rare, grotesque, disorderly beauty : at times this splendid 
creation trails its untidy head in the wet soil; at times, flaunts its charms full in 
the face of the sun. To do the scene justice, to paint those bold, brilliant hues 
would require the brush of a Van Huysam, himself. 

Primroses, yellow-eyed perennials ranging from gold to deepest crimson — em- 
blems of early sweetness — bloomed profusely wherever the sun's rays were 
strongest. 

After a day of rain, it was wo