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Full text of "Annual report .."

Papers and Proceedings 



OP 



The Bergen County Historical Society 



1902— 1905, 



Number One. 

Organisation and Proceedings Rev. Ezra T. Saneord 

Report of the Committee on Colonial and Revo- 
lutionary History and Historical Places CoL. W. D. Snow 

Baron Steuben's Estate William Alexander Linn 

The Poor Monument Celebration Eugene K. Bird 

Oration Upon the Unveiling of the Statue of 

General Enoch Poor Hon. Henry M. Baker 




GEN. ENOCH POOR 



Fr<iiii II I'ahitmii '>.v Kosciusko. 



Papers and Proceedings 



or 



The Bergen County Historical Society 

1902-1905. 



I 



Number One 



Organisation and Proceedings Rev. Ezra T. Sanford 

Report of the Committee on Colonial and Revo- 
lutionary History and Historical Places Col. W. D. Snow 

Baron Steuben's Estate William Alexander Linn 

The Poor Monument Celebration Eugene K. Bird 

Oration Upon the Unveiling of the Statue of 

General Enoch Poor Hon. Henry M. Baker 



Press of the Evening Record. 
1905 



orricERS, 1904-1905. 



President— T. N. Glover, Rutherford, N. J. 

Vice Presidents— Cornelius Doremus, Rid^ewood, N. J. ; 
B. H. Allbee, Hackensack, N. J. ; Isaac D. Bog:ert, Westwood, 
N. J. ; W. M. Johnson, Hackensack, N. J- ; W. D. Snow, 
Hackensack, N. J. ; Henry D. Winton, Hackensack, N. J. ; A. 
W. Van Winkle, Rutherford, N. T- 

Recording Secretary— Rev. Ezra T. Sanford, Hacken- 
sack, N. J. 

Corresponding Secretary— Arthur Van Buskirk, Hack- 
ensack, N. J. 

Treasurer— James A. Romeyn, Hackensack, N. J. 

The officers and the following compose the Executive 
Committee— C. Christie, Leonia, N. J. ; A. C. Holdrum, West- 
wood N. J. ; E. K. Bird, Hackensack, N. J. ; Abram DeBaun, 
Hackensack, N. J. 

Publication Committee— C. Christie, H. D. Winton, W. 
A. Linn. 



LIST OF MEMBERS. 

Rev. H. VanDerwart Hackensack 

Rev. A. Johnson " 

Rev. E. T. Sanford 

Rev. W. W. Holley 

Rev. J. C. Voorhis 

W. A. Linn 

W. O. Labagh 

E. K. Bird 

C. V. H. Whitbeck 

L L Demarest " 

J. A. Romeyn " 

L. S. Marsh 

J. E. Esray 

Arthur Van Buskirk 

Leonard Kirby " 

Mrs. Leonard Kirby 

H. D. Winton 

W. M. Johnson 

Milton Demarest " 

Abram De Baum " 

W. D. Snow 

A. S. D. Demarest 

Christie Romaine " 

H. N. Bennett 

John S. Mabon 

B. H. Allbee 

Peter Bogart, Jr 

D. D. Zabriskie Ridgewood 

Rev. W. H. Vroom 

Cornelius Doremus " 

Capt. Andrew C. Zabriskie 52 Beaver Street, N. Y. 

AHster Greene i E. 62nd Street, N. Y. 

T. N. Glover Rutherford 

Arthur W. Van Winkle 

Miss E. B. Vermilye Englewood 

Geo. R. Dutton 

A. D. Bogert 

Frank R. Ford 

Dr. Byron G. Van Horn 

4 



Col. J. V. Moore Leonk 

Cornelius Christie 

Edw. Stagg ■■•• " 

James W. Pearsall Ridgewood 

Isaac D. Bogert Westwood 

Abram C. Holdrum 

Rev. D. M. Tallmadge 

R. W. Cooper New Milford 

Jacob Van Buskirk 

Henry D. Sewall Maywood 

Coleman Gray Hackensack 

J. R. Lamb Cresskill 

George W. Wheeler Hackensack 

David Talmage Leonia 

Dr. David St. John Hackensack 

Mrs. F. A. Westervelt 

R. J. G. Wood Leonia 

Rev. H. M. Dodd Rutherford 

Dr. C. F. Adams Hackensack 

Rev. H. Iserman Ridgewood 

Henry Hales 

Fred. W. Cane Bogota 

Geo. T. Ackerman 

• T J ** 

Lewis Lord 

Edward E. Easton Areola 

E. E. Wakelee Closter 

Milton J. Richardson Ridgewood 

J. A. Van Nest 



ORGANIZATION AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE 
BERGEN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



By Rev. Uara T. Sanford. 



On March 4, 1902, a company of those interested in the 
formation of a Historical Society in Bergen County met in the 
Johnson PubHc Library at Hackensack, and was called to 
order by William A. Linn. Rev. Herman Vandewart, Pastor 
of the First Reformed Church of Hackensack, was made 
Chairman of the meeting, and James A. Romeyn, Secretary. 

A Committee was appointed to perfect the organization, 
consisting of W. O. Labagh, C. Van H. Whitbeck and Rev. 
Ezra T. Sanford. 

On March 26 the Society was formed, a constitution 
adopted and a Committee appointed to nominate officers. The 
Committee made its report to a meeting held April q, 1902, 
and Hon. William M. Johnson was elected first President. In 
connection with the other officers and various committees 
appointed by the President considerable work was done the 
first year. 

On June 7 William Nelson, of the State Historical 
Society, made an address of encouragement. 

On November 21 the Rev. Ezra T. Sanford gave the 
Society a lecture on "Old Bergen County Days," Mr. George 
Walker kindly furnishing a stereopticon to illuminate the 
pictures used for the lecture. A generous offering was made 
by the audience on the occasion, towards erecting the proposed 
monument to mark the site of Old Fort Lee. 

At the first annual dinner, February 23, 1903, in Odd 
Fellows' Hall, Hackensack, addresses were made bv Cornelius 
Christie, William Abbott, D. D. Zabriskie. C. Doremus, H. D. 
Winton. C. V. H. Whitbeck, A. De Baun, W. D. Snow and 
T. N. Glover. 

At this meeting Cornelius Christie was elected President. 
During the year several articles of furniture were purchased 
for tlie preservation of the historical documents and relics 
belonging to the Society. 



On November ii, 1903, Mr. B. H. Allbee g:ave a most 
interesting lecture on "Old Houses of Bergen County, illus- 
trated with stereopticon views kindly furnished by C.Newman. 

On February 22, 1904, the annual dinner was held at 
Oritani Hall, Hackensack, where addresses were made as 
follows: Rev. H. Van Derwart, on "George Washington; 
W A Linn, on "Baron Steuben;" T. N. Glover, on 'Corn- 
wallis in Bergen County;" Rev. E. S. Wheeler of Boston on 
•'General Greene;" Byron G. Van Home, on '^ Descendants of 
Bergen County Loyalists in Nova Scotia;" B. H. Allbee, on 
"Monuments to the Builders of Bergen County. 

At this meeting the following Committee was appointed 
to co-operate with the Sons of the American Revolution m 
erecting a monument to General Enoch Poor in the open 
space in front of the County Court House : C F. Adams,_ W. 
W Holly, A. T. Holly, E. K. Bird, B. H. Allbee, C. Christie 
and Rev E. T. Sanford. With the Committee, by request ot 
the Sons of the American Revolution, W. M. Tohnson was 
asked to serve. 

Thomas N. Glover was elected President for the ensuing 

^^^^"Various gifts of relics and historical documents were 
received during the year, among them being publications 01 
the Minisink Valley Historical Society, The Newburg (N 
Y.) Historical Society, State Historian Hugh Hastings, of 
New York, and the Holland Society. 

In the month of April, under the management of Mrs._ F. 
A. Westervelt, the Society conducted an interesting exhibition 
of relics and historical documents in its rooms in the Johnson 
Library Building. 

During the year the Poor Monument Committee. Dr. C. 
F. Adams, "chairman, raised five hundred dollars towards the 
erection of the proposed monument, the State of New Jersey 
giving one thousand dollars, the State of New Hampshire five 
hundred dollars and the Sons of the American Revolution five 
hundred dollars. 

On November 13, Frank G. Speck gave a lecture on 
"Indians in Bergen County." 

On December 12 the two hundreth anniversary of the 
Old Stone House on Essex Street, Hackensack. was observed. 
The house was built by Abram Ackerman and his sons and 
was sold to Albert A. Brinkerhoff in 1825. J. G. Ackerman 



read the Ackerman family history and the Rev. E. T. Sanford 
spoke upon the subject, "When the Old House Was New." 

At a meeting of the Executive Committee on December 
23, the Editorial Committee were authorized to issue a publi- 
cation containing a brief History of the Society by the Rev. 
Ezra T. Sanford, the address of Col. W. D. Snow at the firBi 
annual dinner, the address of W. A. Linn at the second annutl 
dinner, the oration of Hon. Henrv M. Baker at the unveiling 
of the Statue of General Enoch Poor, with a brief introductiai 
to said oration by E. K. Bird, and in addition to the foregoinc; 
appropriate incidental matter; two copies to be distributed to 
each member of the Society and other copies excliane'ed with 
Historical Societies. An edition of five hundred copies 
was thought desirable. 



REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON COLONIAL AND 
REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY AND HIS- 
TORICAL PLACES. 



Read at the Annual Dinner, February 22, 1903, hy Col. W. 

D. Snow. 



The writer of this report presents it with hesitancy as 
the Report of the Committee. The field assigned is so broad, 
the material so abundant, the difficulty of co-operative work, 
arising from the scattered homes of its members so great, that 
the writer has been compelled to assume a responsibility he 
would have preferred to avoid, could he have had larger 
opportunities for consultation and advice with his fellow 
members. 

Justice requires that he should make this avowal, so that 
those who are associated with him, may not be held responsible 
for the errors of this document, and that he, solely, may bear 
the brunt of whatever is here set down, which shall not satisfy 
the critical taste and wider knowledge of the other members 
of the Committee or the Society itself. 

On a subject so complex and in part so obscure as the 
Colonial and Revolutionary History of New Jersey, for want 
of earlier societies of the nature of our own, the Committee 
has thought, that it ought to proceed upon a system, which 
should first present as briefly as possible the ascertained facts 
of History, which have affected our territory generally or 
locally; whether proprietory, political, military, judicial or 
legislative. 

Should they succeed in this, tho* in a hasty and frag- 
mentary way, covering but a small segment of the circle of 
events of the past of New Jersey and the Bergen region, they 
feel that they will at least have striven for the position of Friar 
Tuck; who is said not only to have "pointed to Heaven, but 
led the way" in that, at least they will have emulated his many 
imperfect steps and numerous back slidings; of which, it will 
be remembered, he was a most accomplished past-master. 



That unmitigated martyr to unexpected and undeserved 
good luck, by the grace of the treachery of Major General 
Monk, to the cause of the people whilom Duke of Albemarle, 
the Second Charles, King of England, among his early 
acts after the restoration of Monarchy, in utter disregard oi 
the pledges of tiie English Commonwealth, under Cromwell; 
proceeded with true kingly arrogance in 1664, to bestow on 
his brother James, Duke of York and Albany, the property of 
other people, which, he with gracious magnaminity described 
as "all the lands lying within the sweep of a line drawn up the 
Western bank of the Connecticut River from its source, to the 
sources of the Hudson, thence West to the head of the Mohawk 
branch of the Hudson River, thence to the Eastern side of 
Delaware Bay (March, 1664), and thence to the ocean. By 
one of those rare chances of inscrutable History, these lines 
correspond with the outer boundary of the Dutch Republic, 
sprung from the discoveries of Henrick Hudson in the 
Republic's service, and the occupancy and peaceful settlement 
of the citizens of that government acquiesced in and respected 
from its first settlement. In persuance of this generous scheme 
of high-handed robbery, the next step of Royalty was the 
sending of Col. Richard Nichols, Sir Robert Carr, Col. George 
Coborough and Samuel Maverick, to take possession as Com- 
missioners of the regally bestowed territory, to revoke their 
charters and assume the Government of this and other territory 
claimed as the heritage of Charles II. from the royal martyr, 
the first Charles. 

The third step was in a time of profound peace between 
the Dutch and England, without notice of claim to the Dutch 
Republic or notification to the citizens of New Netherlands, 
with 450 soldiers and 120 guns mounted on three men of war. 
to take possession of the land. This proved easy. Gov. Stuy- 
vesant, taken by surprise, without instructions from home — 
so secretly had the movement been made — finding himself with 
but 120 trained men to arms and only 20 guns at the fort, was 
forced to surrender without a blow. There was no choice 
between surrender and slaughter, and he succumbed. The 
crime was consummated. Bergen and its outer territory was 
part of the land seized. A medieval afternoon miracle has been 
performed, and the Dutchmen who had gone to bed, members 
of the glorious little republic, woke up Englishmen. 

New Jersey became a political entitv for the first time in 
July, 1665. when the English Governor Nicolls. who had 

10 



taken possession of New Amsterdam in Auarust. 1664, and 
included New Jersey as a part of the grant was first apprised, 
that two months before he had taken possession, His Royal 
Highness, the Duke of York, had granted to his two friends. 
Lord John Berkley, Baron of Stratton and Sir George Carteret 
of Sal turn, "all his rights, within the territory of New Nether- 
lands, between the Hudson River and the harbor of New 
York and the Delaware River, and the sea ending at Cape 
May in the South." Col. Nicolls, who had been acting as 
Governor of the whole territory, was not a little disturbed at 
the confusion likely to ensue after a successful year's work of 
pacification. As the proof of the grant presented by Phillip 
Carteret, who had been designated as Governor by the new 
proprietors was incontestible, Col. Nicolls at once surrendered 
the territory. Before this, however. Col. Nicolls in ignorance 
of his want of power had already authorized a settlement at 
Elizabeth, and had granted rights and titles along the Hudson 
and outer bay ; particularly in Bergen, Hoboken, Weehawken, 
Pavonia, Ahasimus and Constables^ Hook ; the settlers of all of 
which were profoundly exercised by the uncertainties, which 
beset their political and pecuniary rights and titles. 

Instructed by the ideas born of the Civil War, resulting in 
the conflict between Kingly prerogative and the fundamental 
rights of the people, Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret 
had authorized Phillip Carteret to offer gifts of land to settlers 
on most liberal terms, among which were religious toleration, 
and a free Government. This document was called : 

"The Concessions and Agreements of the Lords Proprie- 
tors to and with, all and every of the adventures and all such 
as shall settle and plant in their territory." 

It will be observed that these concessions were far in 
advance of the Governmental plans of most of the other pro- 
prietors, and that for the times, New Jersey started on her 
political career on a higher plane of recognition of human 
rights, than any of the then colonies enjoyed, till the advent of 
William Penn as proprietor some years later. 

The Governor assiduously made known throughout New 
York and New England the liberal terms he was authorized to 
grant, and almost immediately a remarkable immigration, 
organized by whole companies, set in from New York, Con- 
necticut and Massachusetts as well as from Sweden, the Neth- 
erlands, France and England. 

The region known as Bergen comprised the present 

II 



county and what is now Hudson county, wath undefined limits 
South and West, and from its accessibiHty profited most in 
numbers, as is shown by the fact that in the first assembly 
called by the Governor, May 26, 1668, Bergen was allotted 
more so-called "Burgesses" than any of the other divisions of 
the colony. 

The assembling of that body revealed the significant fact 
that the largest immigration came from Massachusetts, and 
that region of Connecticut, which still maintained a theocratic 
Government, denying political rights to all who were not 
members of the prevailing church in good standing and com- 
munion. 

The Puritans controlled that Assembly and passed a bill 
of fines and penalties against various sorts of offenders, which 
was drawn in some of its parts directly from the Book of 
Leviticus. 

In that age, characterized by historians as one in which 
all sects wanted toleration for themselves, and none were 
willing to accord it to others, the New Jersey Puritans found 
religious toleration imbedded in the organic contract called 
The Concessions and left it untouched, as a basic fact whicli 
had brought to New Jersey, and especially Bergen, unbounded 
prosperity. 

How great a boon they preserved to our forefathers is 
strikingly illustrated by two contemporary acts fourteen years 
later. The debasing effects of religious rancour even on the 
superior minds of devout men, were never more strikingly 
illustrated than in the following letter, from one of the most 
celebrated divines New England has ever produced. 

It is addressed to another distinguished personage of the 
Colony of Massachusetts and is as follows : 

September ye 15, 1682. 
"To Ye Aged and Beloved, Mr. John Higginson: 

'There is now at sea a ship called the Welcome, which 
has on board an hundred or more of the heretics and malig- 
nants called Quakers, with W. Penn, who is the chief scamp, 
at the head of them. 

"The general court has accordingly given secret orders 
to Master Malachi Huscott. of the brig Porpoise, to waylay 
the said Welcome, slyly, as near the Cape of Cod as may be, 
and make captive the said Penn and his ungodly crew, so that 

12 



the Lord may be glorified, and not mocked on the soil of this 
new country with the heathen worship of these people. 

"Much spoil can be made by selling the whole lot to 
Barbadoes, where slaves fetch good prices in rum and sugar, 
and we shall not only do the Lord great service by punishing 
the wicked, but we shall make great good for his minister and 
people. 

"Master Huscott feels hopeful, and I will set down the 
news when the ship comes back. 

"Yours in ye\l30wels of Christ, 

"COTTON MATHER." 

A few months afterwards the scamp, William Penn, hav- 
ing escaped the fate so unctiously designed for him, was 
assuring by written mandate the settlers in his broad domain, 
which had cost him 16,000 ($80,000) that: 

"They should be governed by laws of their own making ; 
that they should be at the mercy of no Governor, who comes 
to make'his fortune, that all sects and conditions of men should 
be free to worship God as their consciences dictated; that 
there should be no class privileges in Church or State, and 
that he proposed by extraordinary precaution to leave himself 
and his successors, no power of doing mischief; that the will 
of one might not hinder the good of the whole community." 

Repugnant as the spirit of Cotton Mather's letter is to 
the enlightened consciences of our day and glorious as seems 
to us, in the enjoyment of the fruition of the policy of Penn 
two centuries and a quarter later ; who, knowing the infirmi- 
ties of sincere human judgment, shall judge between the 
Puritan and the Quaker? Except to say, that the erring one 
must not be condemned by the ethics of a later century and 
that the other through the susceptibility of a more exquisitely 
attuned soul, caught the pearl and crimson morning glow of 
the ascending sun of human liberty, while that sun was yet 
below the horizon to the earnest gaze of the other, and that 
each was honestly true to the light that his nature permitted 
him to rceive. 

Thus was New Jersey, chiefly Bergen (the Hill County) 
bravely launched. 

Except for the episode of the reconquest of the New 
Netherlands by the Dutch a few years afterwards, their pos- 
sessions of seven months before the treaty of Westminster 
restored it to the English, and the consequences of that treaty, 
the division of New Jersey into East and West proprietor- 

13 



ships, and the surrender of the proprietory rights to the crown 
thereafter, history has only to record a peaceful, orderly 
growth in population, wealth and comfort ; until the griev- 
ances which produced the Revolution began to be discussed 
almost a century afterwards. 

The growth was cosmopolitan. It came from every 
discontented population, suffering from the disturbed state of 
warring Europe, and the narrow doctrines and policies of 
some of the surrounding Colonies. 

An examination of the records of Bergen County dis- 
closes from the names attached to Wills and Deeds, thnt 
among the earliest settlers came many with scriptural names, 
such as Hezekiah, Rheoboam, Jethro, Azariah, etc., now sup- 
posed to represent the Puritan element. The Hugonots, then 
fleeing from the results of the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes, were represented by the Debauns, Demarests. DeVoes, 
Duboises and other names of pure Norman construction, while 
the Teutonic immigration was clearly defined by the numerous 
Dutch Vans dotted all over the County, occasionally varied by 
the German Von. 

As a whole the immigrants were a religous people. From 
Smith's History of the Colony of New Jersey, published in 
1765, we learn that there was at that time 160 meeting houses 
in the Colony, owned by six denominations. The Presbvteri- 
ans held about one-third, the Quakers one'fifth. the Episcopali- 
ans and Baptists one-eighth each, and the Low Dutch and 
Dutch and Dutch Colonist a little less than one-fifth. In 
Bergen County at that time, the Low Dutch had the lead with 
seven edifices, the Presbyterians came next with six; but the 
Quakers. Episcopalians and Baptists were without Houses of 
Worship. It is needless to add that the Unitarians — if there 
were any — were in a like plight homeless, tho' later history 
discloses that the first Universalist Church in America was 
founded in New Jersev in Monmouth County. 

In 1765 Bergen Countv's lines were exactiv defined and 
embraced what is now PTudson County, East of the Hacken- 
sack River, and to the North of Hudson territory approximat- 
ing its present limits. 

Among the intermedinrv CTOvernors of New Jersev were 
two of England's nnbilitv. whose names were popularly 
regarded as significant of their character. Lord Cornburv 
was hated and recalled because of his brutality, and for the 
fact that he left his wife and family to starve at Albany, and 

14 



Lord Lovelace, who was popular on account of his refined 
taste, suavity of manner, and his sympathetic conduct. It 
is not known whether he visited Bergen County, but it is safe 
to say he would have been welcomed by the ladies at least, 
through the suggestiveness of his name. 

It fell to the lot of an unusually good man to be the last 
Colonial Governor. 

William Franklin personally irreproachable, wise, and a 
statesman from the Royalist point of view, encountered the 
first mutterings of the storm of the Revolution. 

It is not too much to say, that by the weisfht of his char- 
acter, the adroitness of his acts of conciliation, and the just- 
ness of his temperament, he delayed for more than two years 
the climax of that political action, which was to be, and it is 
from the tumultous session of the Assembly of 1774 that we 
catch the first view of the political feeling of Bergfen Countv. 
The ofiicial record of that session does not put Bergen 
I County, as repreesnted, as anxious for the Revolution. On the 
" first of New Jersey's famous resolutions : That the Assembly 
heartily accept the invitation of a mutual correspondence 
«i and intercourse with its sister colonies, Bergen County voted 
. in the negative, and therefore had no representation in the 

Committee of Revolutionary Correspondence. 
i At the first Provincial Congress of the State, held bv 

; invitation of the General Congress (1776) thirteen Counties 
*| returned 65 members. 

On the resolution : That the proclamation of William 
Franklin, "late Governor of New Jersey, appointing a meet- 
ing of the Legislature for June 20, of that year, ought not to 
' be obeyed," there were but eleven negative votes, and Bergen 
■ County cast five of them. 

On the following day, on the resolution that Governor 

I Franklin had acted in contempt and in violation of the resolu- 

; tion of Congress, directing New Jersey and other Colonies to 

frame for themselves independent Governments, there were but 

eight votes in the negative and Bergen County cast three of 

them. 

The third resolution that William Franklin had discov- 
ered himself an enemy to his country and should be arrested, 
was passed by 42 affirmative votes, including two from 
Bergen, yet three of Bergen's votes were still cast in the 
negative. 

On the fourth resolution, that the Governor's salary 

15 



should cease, New Jersey's thrift re-inforced its patriotism, 
and there was but one Bergen vote in the negative. Governor 
FrankHn was arrested; his sahiry was stopped; he was trans- 
ferred to miHtary custody in East Windsor, where he was 
held two years ; was exchanged and disappeared under British 
protection in New York. 

A.5 early as June, 1774, a large spontaneous meeting of 
the citizens of Bergen County was held at the Court House, 
Hackensack. The meeting demanded the Repeal of the Port 
Bill, and offered to become parties to a closer union of the 
Colonies to redress all the grievances, which affected not only 
New Jersey, but all the Colonies. 

Not to be outdone the Loyalists, citizens of Hackensack 
to the number of 37, as late as March 14, 177=;, met and 
declared "their loyalty to the King, and their willingness to 
venture their lives and fortunes to support the dignity of the 
crown. 

The crisis had arrived. Meetings were held throughout 
the County, resulting in a decided preponderance of sentiment 
for redress and independence, though to the last there existe<i 
a considerable body of loyalists, until the war either drove 
them into the ranks of the English or to New York City. 

In the New Jersey Gazette of December, 1777, appears a 
peculiar appeal of the first Governor of the State of New 
Jersey, particularly addressed to Bergen County. 

In a letter addressed to Isaac Collins, Gov. William Liv- 
ingston says : 

Sir : I am afraid that while we are employed in furnish- 
ing our battalions with cloathing, we forget the County of 
Bergen, which alone is sufficient, amplv to provide them, with 
winter waistcoats and breeches. It is well known that the 
rural ladies in that part of our State pride themselves in an 
incredible number of petticoats; which, like house furniture, 
are displayed by way of ostentation, for many years before 
they are decreed to invest the fair bodies of the proprietors. 
Till that period they are never worn, but neatly piled up on 
each side of an immense escritoire, the top of which is decor- 
ated with a most capacious brass-elapsed Bible, seldom read. 
What I would, therefore, humbly propose, is to make prize of 
those future female habiliments, and after proper transforma- 
tion, immediately apply them to screen from the inclemencies 
of the weather those gallant males, who are now fisfhting for 
the liberties of their country. And to clear this measure from 

16 



every imputation of injustice, I have only to observe, that the 
generahty of the women in that county, having:, for above a 
century, worn the breeches, it is hig:hlv reasonable that the 
men should now, and especially upon so important an occasion, 
make booty of the petticoats. 

It is pleasant to know that this suggestion was met by 
patriotic women, who organized a society for the purposes 
indicated for the whole State; that they accumulated a large 
supply of material, and the records show, that notwithstanding- 
the Governor's clumsy humor about the century worn breeches 
of the ladies, this country responded nobly, and that on its 
most important committees are found the names of the two 
Misses Deys, Mrs. Fell, Mrs. Knyper and Mrs. Erskine of 
Bergen. 

Of Historical Places, the attention of the Committee has 
been called to houses and events in Rutherford, Lodi, Kings- 
land, Carlstadt, Fort Lee, New Bridge, Paramus Plains, 
Ridgewood, Mawah, River Edge, Sufferns, Tappan and 
Riverdale; all teeming with Revolutionary Romance, relics 
and incidents, which merit the attention of the Committee, 
when it shall have more time, and a better co-operative 
organization. 

As yet the Committee have had opportunity through the 
reporter to give attention to but one of these places, and that 
the last mentioned, Riverdale, three miles northeast of West- 
wood. 

On September 23, 1778, Sir Henry Clinton, just returned 
from his Bedford expedition, sent his forces along the New 
Jersey coast to capture some American privateers, and their 
prizes, and destroy grain mills, salt works, &c. 

To divert attention and forage for meat and provisions, 
he ordered Lord Cornwallis, afterwards the Commander-in- 
Chief, captured by Washington at Yorktown, with =;.ooo men 
into Bergen County. 

He also ordered Gen. Knyphausen to Dobbs Ferry with 
3,000 men to collect all description of craft possible to trans- 
port the whole 8,000 across the Hudson. 

Gen. Washington had just left White Plains, and estab- 
lished headquarters opposite West Point. He thought from 
the direction the two columns were taking that an expedition 
up the Hudson was contemplated, and ordered Col. George 
Baylor, with parts of three companies of Light Dragoons — 116 

17 



men to move from Paramus and post themselves on the upper 
Hackensack River to watch the CornwalHs movements. 

Col. Bayer arrived at the bridge crossing the Hackensack 
at River Vale late in the afternoon of September 28th, and 
learned that Gen. Wayne, with 3,000 militia, was just north 
of Tappan. Deeming Wayne's command within supporting 
distance of him, he resolved to stay over night at that point; 
stabled his horses and men at the barns of the Holdrum's, De 
Voe's and Haring's of the immediate neighborhood on the 
west bank of the river, threw out a picket of twelve men at the 
bridge with orders for patrols of two men each to watch each 
of the four roads for a mile from the bridge, and then selected 
the house of Cornelius A. Herring for his own and his staff's 
dormitory, and Herring's barn for the sleeping places of 
twenty of his men. 

CornwalHs was at New Bridge and his force scattered 
from there to Liberty Pole. Apprised by a spy of Col. Bayer's 
whereabouts, he immediately formulated a plan to capture his 
contingent and simultaneously have Knyhausen attack Gen. 
Wayne. Maj. Gen. Gray was ordered with a regiment of 
Light Infantry and the Second Battery to attack the sleeping 
Baylor. 

Just before midnight Gen. Gray struck the west bank road 
silently and in good order, about two miles below the bridge. 
Here he forced a guide to take the troop through the fields and 
around the patrol in such manner that he captured all of them 
but one. 

This accomplished, with picked men of six companies of 
his command, he went directly to the house of Cornelius A. 
Herring. The escaped sentinel had arrived and given Baylor 
the alarm but a moment before Gray's men burst in the doors. 
Simultaneously all the barns in which the Americans were 
sleeping were assaulted. 

Col. Baylor and Maj. Clough, realizing the situation, en- 
deavored to conceal themselves up the wide Dutch fireplace. 
Both were discovered and brought down by bayonet thrusts 
up the chimney. Col. Baylor received three wounds and Maj. 
Clough died instantly. Cornet Morrow, after being bayoneted 
seven times, begged for quarter, which was refused and he was 
stabbed again and stripped of his clothing. Dr. Thos. Evans, 
surgeon, was wounded, but with Col. Baylor made a prisoner. 

The party attacking the barn used the bavonet freely. 
Lieut. John Steth, in command, finding himself surrounded, 

18 



called out that they surrendered, but was immediately 
wounded with a sword and yet escaped. 

At a barn attacked by Sir James Bond's cotingent one 
British soldier was killed, but of the sixteen Americans in the 
barn nine were killed and seven made prisoners. 

Ensign Morrow, stripped and left for dead, was found by 
Lieut. Sleth the next morning and ultimately recovered. 

The general result was of the ii6 Americans thirteen 
were instantly killed, seventeen left behind supposed dead or 
dying, thirty-nine taken prisoners and forty-seven escaped. 

Col. Baylor was the personal friend of Washington, had 
served on his staff and had been one of his family; was the 
first man to report to Washington the surrender of the Hes- 
sians at Trenton ; had been complimented by Congress and 
presented by that body for gallantry with a hosre fully capari- 
soned and promoted to a Colonelcy of Light Horse. 

His disposition of his men on that fateful night was se- 
verely blamed as unmilitary. Congress ordered an investiga- 
tion. Wayne, warned by surrounding patriots of Knyp- 
housen's advance, retreated in time to save his own command 
from being surrounded. 

The main object of the expedition was therefor a failure, 
but as for Col. Baylor his ascending career as a soldier was ar- 
rested. The mistake of that night was fatal. 

The graves of the humble soldiers killed still remain 
marked by tottering headstones in a lonely field beside the silent 
flowing Hackensack. Wounded and a prisoner, Col. Baylor 
disappeared into the mass of the unfortunate and no man 
knows for a certainty when and where he passed the Rubicon 
of death. 

A single mistake had blasted a patriotic career and all we 
can say is, that his fate has only added another illustration to 
the truth of the poet, who has said : 

"There is a time, we know not when, 

A point we know not where, 
That turns the destiny of men 

To glory or despair. 

"There is a line, by us unseen, 

That crosses every path ; 
The hidden boundary between 

God's patience and His wrath." 

IQ 



BARON STEUBEN'S ESTATE AT NEW BRIDGE, 
BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY. 



WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF HIS EUROPEAN EXPERIENCE AND HIS 
SERVICES TO THE AMERICAN ARMY. 



Read at the Annual Dinner, February 22, 1904. 



BY WILLIAM ALEXANDER LINN. 



All of you who have passed over New Bridg-e, about :i 
mile above Hackensack, have doubtless noticed the dwelling 
of ancient architectural design on the west side of the river, 
facing the bridge. It is one of the "old houses" of Bergen 
county, and some interesting things in connection with its his- 
tory were presented to those of us who were fortunate enough 
to listen to Mr. Albee's address at the Park Street Church last 
autumn. Sometime within the last ten years I read in one of 
our local papers a statement that this property was given to 
Baron Steuben by the State of New Jersey, after the Revolu- 
tionary War, in recognition of his services to this country dur- 
ing that struggle. Ever since that time, whenever I have 
ridden or driven over the bridge, I have looked with peculiar 
interest on this house, and have imagined the old soldier sitting 
on its porch in his latter days, smoking his pipe and slapping 
mosquitoes. For I accepted the statement of his ownership 
without question. 

But when, after the organization of this society, I men- 
tioned this incident to some of those who were looking up local 
history, I found that the ownership by Baron Steuben was in- 
volved in some doubt. Then I began an investigation of the 
matter on my own account, and I have found the results so 
interesting, and the Baron's story so connected with our local 
history, that when I was asked to say something: here this even- 
ing, I decided to give you the results of my inquiries. 

The subject of my investigations, William Augustus 
Henry Ferdinand von Steuben, was the oldest son of Capt. 

20 



Wilhelm Augustine Steuben. The Steubens were of noble 
family — "I am a Baron of the Holy Roman Empire," said our 
Steuben in later life — but like so many German families in the 
years following the Reformation (they were Protestants), 
they had lost their landed estates. Capt. Steuben was a Prus- 
sian soldier of scientific attainments, who, after serving his 
own country with distinction, was in 1733 ordered by King 
William I. to enter the service of Russia, and later served Prus- 
sia again in the Seven Years' War. 

The Baron was born at Magdeburg on November 15, 
1730. His father could afford no special educational advan- 
tages to his son, who said in later years that he "did not re- 
ceive any better education than that which a poor young noble- 
man in Prussia always received." But he was without pro- 
fligate habits and he was naturally studious, and so he learned 
to write and speak French and was well grounded in mathema- 
tics and history. 

His father's calling attracted him, and when only fourteen 
years old he served under him during the war ot the Austrian 
succession. The accession of Frederick the Great to the throne 
when Steuben was only ten years old gave the young man op- 
portunity to take part in some of the greatest militarv struggles 
which the world has v/itnessed. Entering a famous regiment 
as a cadet, at the age of seventeen, he was promoted to be an 
engineer in two years, to be a lieutenant in four years and to 
be a first lieutenant two years later. 

His military service was of the most practical and active 
character. He was wounded in the battle of Prague in May, 
1757, helped rout the French in the battle of Rossbach in the 
following November and, joining von Mayr's "free corps," he 
participated with distinction in that daring officer's exploits; 
after his commander's death was appointed adjutant-general 
under von Hulsen and was again wounded in the disastrous 
battle of Kunersdorf in 1759. In 1761 he was on the staff of 
Gen. Knobloch, whose brigade operated against the Russians 
in Poland, and to him was intrusted the negotiation of the 
terms of surrender of Colberg, in which city Gen. Knobloch 
was blocked up ; and he, with other officers, was sent thence a 
prisoner of war to St. Petersburg. 

His imprisonment ended the following year with the 
armistice effected between Peter HI. and Frederick, but he had 
made himself so popular with the Russians that he was urged 
to enter the Russian service. This invitation he declined, and 

21 



returning home, he was made a captain and appointed aide de 
camp on the King's staff, and in that capacity took part in the 
siege of Schweidnitz, with which the active campaigns of the 
Seven Years' War ended. Steuben's services, especially as an 
organizer, were so highly appreciated by the great Frederick, 
that he was one of the few chosen officers whom Frederick 
personally instructed in the military art. 

Steuben, however, soon resigned from the army. Various 
reasons have been advanced for this step, the one accepted as 
most probable being a slight to his rank by Frederick, who was 
very inconsiderate of his officers' feelings, his favorite ex- 
pression when an officer made any complaint being, "He may 
go to the devil." 

If Steuben received that advice he did not act uDon it. On 
the contrary, he made a trip to Hamburg and was there intro- 
duced to the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, from whom 
he accepted the office of grand marshal of the court. This 
place, the duties of which gave him supreme direction of the 
Prince's household and the arrangement of all court cere- 
monies, he held for ten years, and a contemporary has testi- 
fied that "he filled his post with all that dignity and knowledge 
of his duty which it eminently required." But Steuben was a 
Protestant, and the court was Catholic, and finding that he was 
the object of the plottings of certain priests, he retired, and in 
1769 joined the court of the Margrave of Baden, after refusing 
liberal offers to enter the military service of the King of Sar- 
dinia and of the German Emperor. He now held an honor- 
ary military position, leading an easy life, and having oppor- 
tunity to visit France and make the acquaintance of many 
distinguished Frenchmen and Englishmen. 

To form a just estimate of Steuben's services to our own 
country we must keep in view not only his military career, but 
his social opportunities, and remember how his previous life 
and surroundings corresponded with those of Valley Forge and 
the other camps of the poverty-stricken patriots. Had he been 
a mere hireling, or a mere seeker after military honors, a short 
period spent with Washington would have sufficed to dampen 
his hopes in America. 

We now come to the events which led to Steuben's throw- 
ing his fortunes with the American cause. The outbreak of 
the rebellion of the American colonies seemed to many French 
statesmen to give to France the opportunity they had longed 
for, viz. : to take revenge on Great Britain for the humiliation 

22 



to which France had been subjected by the peace of Paris in 
1763, which had deprived her of her North American posses- 
sions. But the King, Louis XVI., was timid, and while he in- 
trigued in secret, he refused to give open aid to the American 
cause. His ministers did not conceal their sympathies, and 
Franklin's work at the French court was making progress. 

While this was the situation there, Steuben set out for a 
visit to England by way of Paris. Arriving at the French 
capital he let his friend, the Count de St. Germain, then min- 
ister of war, know of his arrival. The Count's reply mystified 
him. It asked him not to go to Versailles, but made an ap- 
pointment to meet hini at the Paris arsenal. As Steuben was 
traveling merely for pleasure and was not an official person, 
he could not understand all this precaution. But he allowed 
himself to be conducted to the Count's apartment by an officer, 
and was warmly received. The greeting over, the Count 
opened a map, and pointing to America, said : "Here is your 
field of battle. Here is a republic which you must serve. You 
are the very man she wants at this moment. If you succeed, 
your fortune is made and you will gain more glory than you 
could hope for in Europe in a great many years to come." 

Several elements entered into the making of this proposal 
by a French war minister to a German soldier. France wanted 
to help America and yet not to appear to do so. To European 
soldiers the American army presented itself merely as a gath- 
ering of citizens made up wholly of volunteers, without mili- 
tary organization, without drill masters, without orderly camp 
inspection, and without method or economy in the handling of 
supplies. No greater practical assistance, it seemed to these 
French well-wishers, could be given to the Americans than to 
send them an officer of Steuben's experience in all these mat- 
ters. His selection had another feature. He was not a French- 
man. If he was captured by the British, or if Congress did not 
accept his services, France could in no way be held account- 
able for his mission, and the French could simply wash their 
hands of him. 

The scheme did not at all appeal to Steuben's inclinations, 
and he gave the Count no encouragement. But other inter- 
views followed, and he was introduced to Dr. Franklin, who 
also urged his acceptance of the task. But when Steuben 
brought up the subject of his expenses, Franklin declared that 
he had no authority to make him any pecuniary offer, except 
perhaps a grant of land of doubtful value, and his manner so 

23 



offended Steuben that the interview ended abruptly, and 
Steuben told his French advisors that he did not want to hear 
anything more of America. The Count continued, however, 
to urge the project on him, and at a dinner at which the Span- 
ish Ambassador was present the Count, referring to Steuben, 
said: "?Iere is a man who will risk nothing; consequently he 
will gain nothing." 

Instead of continuing his journey to England, Steuben 
returned to Germany, where letters from France followed, re- 
newing the American proposal. Steuben accordingly took 
counsel of his friend, Prince Louis William of Baden, who did 
not hesitate to advise him that he could never hope for a better 
opportunity to achieve distinction. This was the turning point. 
The King of Prussia gave his consent to Steuben's departure ; 
he conferred on a cousin his civil position, which brought him 
a yearly income of 4,600 livres, and returning to France in 
August, 1777, he made his preparations for sailing to this 
country. The decision arrived at was that he should ask for 
no definite promises from the American agents — not even 
money for his traveling expenses — but should simply propose 
to make one or two campaigns with the American army as a 
volunteer, thus avoiding the jealousy of the younger American 
officers. 

With letters to Washington, Samuel Adams and other 
American leaders, he sailed from Marseilles on September 26, 
1777, in the 24-gun ship I'Heureux, whose name for this voy- 
age was changed to Le Flamand, entering his own name as 
Frank, and carrying, as a disguise, letters to the French gov- 
ernor of Martinique. M. de Beaumarchais, a warm sympath- 
izer with the American cause, advanced to Steuben his travel- 
ing expenses as a loan, and sent to the patriots, in the same 
vessel, supplies of powder, cannon, mortars and small arms. 

The voyage was a perilous one in several ways. Terrible 
gales were encountered, three times the powder-laden ship was 
on fire and the crew of eighty-four mutinied and had to be 
brought to terms by the fourteen officers and passengers. But 
after sixty-six days they entered the harbor of Portsmouth, 
N. H., where the vessel was saluted by the fort and the vessels 
in harbor, and the passengers were welcomed by the inhabitants 
who had just been cheered by the surrender of Burgoyne. 

One little piece of deception was practiced in connection 
with Steuben's mission. In a letter to Alexander Hamilton, in 
1790, concerning his remuneration, Steuben observed: "If I 

24 



should be charged with having made use of ilHcit stratagems to 
gain admission into the service of the United States I am sure 
the army will acquit me." This "stratagem" was the presenta- 
tion of Steuben as a Prussian lieutenant-general. It was sug- 
gested by the French statesmen who induced him to serve us 
that not a member of our Congress had ever heard of the Mar- 
gravite of Baden, and that, to limit his title to that dependency, 
would deprive him of the rank that was necessary to secure him 
the recognition that was mapped out for him in America. 

From Portsmouth Steuben sent to Congress and to Gen. 
Washington letters defining his object and enclosing: his intro- 
ductions. The short letter to Congress sets forth his purpose 
in a few words : 

"Honorable Gentlemen: The honor of serving a nation 
engaged in the noble enterprise of defending its rights and 
liberties was the motive that brought me to this continent. 1 
ask neither riches nor titles. I am come here from the remotest 
end of Germany, at my own expense, and have given up an 
honorable and lucrative rank, I have made no condition with 
your deputies in France, nor shall I make any with you. My 
only ambition is to serve you as a volunteer, to deserve the con- 
fidence of your general-in-chief, and to follow him in all his 
operations, as I have done during seven campaigns with the 
King of Prussia. Two-and-twenty years spent in such a school 
seem to give me a right of thinking myself amonsf the number 
of experienced officers; and if I am possessed of the acquire- 
ments in the art of war, they will be much more prized by me 
if I can employ them in the service of a republic such as I hope 
soon to see in America. I should willingly purchase at the ex- 
pense of my blood the honor of having my name enrolled 
among those of the defenders of your liberty. Your gracious 
acceptance will be sufficient for me, and I ask no other favor 
than to be received among your officers. I venture to hope that 
you will grant this, my request, and that you will be so good 
as to send me your orders to Boston, where I shall await them, 
and take suitable measures in accordance." 

Proceeding to Boston, John Hancock told him that it 
would be necessary for him to journey to York, Pa., where 
Congress was then in session, and he was provided with the 
equipment necessary for the trip, including saddle horses, 
vehicles and five negro servants. The start was delayed for 
five weeks, awaiting a reply to his letter to Washington (com- 
munication was very uncertain in those days), and he did not 

as 



get under way until January 14, 1778. His party included 
Duponceau, his interpreter (the Baron could not speak a word 
of English), two other Frenchmen and a cook whom he had 
brought with him from Europe. They rode on horseback, and 
the journey was by no means free from peril. The American 
army was suffering the deprivations of Valley Forge; the 
British had possession of Rhode Island, New York and most 
of Pennsylvania, and the travelers were liable to encounter 
parties of Tories, or to ask shelter of a Tory who would not 
hesitate to betray them. For instance, they had been warned 
against a certain landlord near the Connecticut boundary of 
Massachusetts, as a bitter Tory. But a snow storm left them 
no alternative against seeking refuge at his house. He recog- 
nized their affiliations and absolutely refused them food or 
beds. Steuben thereupon called for his pistols, and with these 
in hand and the assistance of a volley of German oaths, he soon 
brought the landlord to terms. 

They arrived safely at York on February 5, and Steube.i 
was warmly w^elcomed. Pleased with his reception, he wrote 
to John Hancock : "Now, sir, I am an American, and an 
American for life." Three members of Congress, including 
Dr. Witherspoon, the only member who could speak French, 
were appointed to ask Steuben on what terms he proposed 10 
serve this country. In his reply he reiterated the declaration 
of his letter to Congress, but said that he expected to have his 
expenses paid, as he had relinquished his only income on leav- 
ing Germany; that if the Americans failed to win their inde- 
pendence he would hold them free from any further obligations 
to him, but if they were successful he should expect full in- 
demnification for his sacrifices. Congress by resolution ac- 
cepted this offer, and asked him to repair to Washington's 
headquarters as soon as convenient. 

It would be almost impossible to exaggerate the condi- 
tions that he found on arriving at Valley Forge. Washing- 
ton had written to Congress that unless something was done, 
the army must either starve, dissolve or disperse to seek food. 
There was neither organization, discipline nor supplies. Men, 
enlisted for three, six and nine months, were coming and go- 
ing as their terms expired. "Sometimes," wrote Steuben, "a 
regiment was stronger than a brigade. I have seen a regiment 
consisting of thirty men, and a company of one corporal. There 
was no established system of maneuvres, no settled regulations 
for discipline or good order, and no uniformity in the service. 

26 



The soldiers were scattered about in every direction. We had 
more commissaries and quartermasters than all the armies of 
Europe. The arms were in horrible condition, covered with 
rust, many from which a single shot could not have been fired. 
The men were literally naked. I saw officers at a grand parade 
mounting guard in a sort of dressing gown made of an old 
blanket or woollen bedcover. The idea the officers had of their 
duty was that they had only to mount guard or put themselves 
at the head of their regiment or company when they were go- 
ing into action." 

Washington at once asked his new assistant to sketch a 
plan of inspection, and he undertook the task, knowing full 
well how necessary it was to avoid the jealousies of officers 
coming from different States, and all looking askance at a for- 
eigner. When his scheme was in order it was approved by 
Washington and by Congress, and from that date Steuben's 
influence made itself felt. He taught the value of an efficient 
staff, and provided Washington with one of which it has been 
said that it was one which Frederick would not have despised. 
The men themselves he had to teach such elementary practices 
as presenting arms, firing by platoons and the use of the bayo- 
net. He would make his officers drill a single man first, then 
a company of six, and so on up to a platoon. "In less than 
three weeks," he says, "I executed maneuvres with an entire 
division in the presence of the commander-in-chief." 

All this was done by a man who had to give his orders 
through an interpreter. Of course, he lost his temper at times, 
but his patience never gave out. It must have been an amusing 
picture to see this military expert trying to drive the first no- 
tions of order and discipline into the minds of these rawest of 
recruits. Speaking only a few words of English, he would ex- 
haust his store of German and French oaths, and then call on 
his aide to curse them in English. "Viens, mon ami Walker," 
he would cry. "Vien bon ami. Sacre bleu, gott vertamn, de 
gaucherie of dese badauts. Je ne puis plus. I can curse dem 
no more." "It was a brave attempt," says his friend North, 
"which nothing but virtue, or high-raised hopes of glory, could 
have supported." 

It must be remembered that Steuben's task was performed 
by a man who had for years had charge of the formalities of a 
German court, and was accustomed to all the refinements and 
luxuries of such a life. Now, however, he got up at 3 a. m., 
smoked a pipe and drank a cup of cofYee and was on horseback 



ready for parade duties at sunrise. Even his imported cook 
could not stand what his master did. Finding little to cook at 
Valley Forge and no utensils to cook with, the cook asked a 
wagoner what he should do. "We cook our meat," was the 
reply, "by hanging it on a string, and thus turning it before 
the tire.'' Whereupon the cook presented himself to his mas- 
ter and resigned in these words: "Under happier cimcum- 
stances, mon general, it would be my ambition to serve you, 
but here I have no chance of showing my talents ; and I think 
myself obliged, in honor, to save your expense, since your 
wagoner is just as able to turn the string as I am." 

Three months after Steuben's arrival at Valley Forge Con- 
gress showed its appreciation of his services by adopting a 
resolution appointing him inspector-general with the rank and 
pay of major-general. The army, too, appreciated his work. 
There was jealousy when his major-generalship was announced 
and later, but officers who first felt hurt were glad to serve un- 
der him. After the battle of Stony Point, which was won by 
the bayonet alone, the use of which he had first taught our 
soldiers, the younger soldiers, w^ien Steuben visited the field, 
gathered around him and assured him that thereafter they 
would use their bayonets for something else than utensils on 
which to broil their steaks. The result of his discipline was 
strikingly shown at the battle of Monmouth, where he brought 
retiring troops to a stand under a heavy cannonade as easily as 
if they had been on a dress parade. 

I cannot do the justice of even a mention of the many 
things he did in putting our army on an efficient basis. He 
wrote the "Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the 
Troops of the United States," which was the army blue book 
for many years to come. This work of twenty-five chapters 
was first written in German, then translated into bad French, 
put into good French by his interpreter, and finally translated 
into English by his aide, Capt. Walker. He made recommen- 
dations, planned campaigns and commanded troops in action 
as an officer of the line. With Washington in New Jersey, he 
ascertained Clinton's route from Allentown, took a very prom- 
inent part in the battle of Monmouth and believed himself that, 
in command of the left wing, he saved the day, after having a 
meeting with the traitor Lee, who tried in vain to make him 
believe that he had mistaken his orders to push on with his 
troops. He was with Washington in the camp at Morristown, 
where he received neither rations for his servants nor forage 

28 



for his horses, and where a loan kept him from starvation. 
Then Congress allowed him 250 louis d'ors (which netted him 
$575), for his expenses in coming to this country. From 
Moristown he was sent by his chief to West Point when Clin- 
ton threatened that position, and thus he came to be a member 
of the court which passed sentence of death on Major Andree. 
He pitied, but could not save, and exclaimed, "Would to God 
the wretch who drew him to his death could have suffered in 
his place." Sometime later, hearing a soldier answer to the 
name of Jonathan Arnold on parade, he called him to his quar- 
ters and said : "You are too fine a soldier to bear the name of 
a traitor. Change it at once." "But what name shall I take?" 
asked the soldier. 'Mine is at your service," was the reply, 
and his name was duly changed to Steuben by the Connecticut 
Legislature. 

Sent to Virginia to help Gen. Greene when the invasion of 
that State by Arnold occurred, he found a condition of things 
worse in some respects than he had encountered at Valley 
Forge. He remained there until the surrender of Cornwallis, 
being in the trenches when that event occurrd, putting forth 
all his energy to discipline and reinforce his commander's 
forces in the face of almost countless discouragements. 

Without attempting to do any justice to his further mili- 
tary services we come now to the dark picture which his bio- 
grapher draws of the ingratitude of the republic in telling the 
story of Steuben's long contest to obtain from Congress some 
pecuniary recompense for what he had done. The whole busi- 
ness does seem petty in the light of our days, when the nation 
appropriates hundreds of millions annually as pensions for 
those who rallied to the defense of the nation in her time of 
need. But our days are not Steuben's days. The country 
then was very poor, the government newly organized, with 
scant means of communication, and few newspapers to spread 
abroad the story of each man's achievements. Congress was 
slow, lamentably slow, in making an appropriation for the 
veteran soldier. But let us blame the times and not the men. 

In 1782 Congress voted him $2,400 and $300 per month 
to enable him to take the field. In 1787 it voted him a gold- 
hilted sword. Finally, after seven years of efforts on his part, 
an act, approved June 4, 1790, gave him an annuity of $2,500 
during his life, in full discharge of all his demands. Had the 
appropriation been larger it would not have gone further with 
him ; for he was no financier, and his generosity knew no limit. 

29 



If he was in funds his table must be filled with guests, and 
rank was not regarded in his invitations. "Poor fellows," he 
once remarked, when giving orders that some subordinate of- 
ficers be invited, "they have field-officers' stomachs without 
their rations." When he took up his residence on his farm in 
New York State, he made to more than one needy soldier a 
present of from forty to one hundred of his acres. Washing- 
ton observed that Congress did well to make his recompense an 
annuity and not a gross sum, as in the latter case his generosity 
would have made him die a beggar. Even this precaution did 
not save him from his debtors, and we find on record an assign- 
ment which he made in his later years, to cover an indebted- 
ness of 2,271 pounds, in which he deeded 16,000 acres of land 
and one-fifth of his annuity. Among the creditors named are 
Alexander Hamilton and Brockholst Livingston. 

If the nation seemed disregardful of Steuben's services, 
the States in, which he served most actively did not. Pennsyl- 
vania made him a grant of 2,000 acres and Virginia gave him 
10,000. What disposition he made of these gifts his bio- 
grapher does not say. 

We come now to the gift that concerns us locally, and 
makes the Baron an object of special interest to Bergen 
county. Knapp, in his life of the Baron, says : "New Jersey 
had given him a life lease of a forfeited estate of John Za- 
briskie, lying in the county of Bergen, township of New Barba- 
does, at the New Bridge, in the immediate neighborhood of 
New York ; but Steuben, when informed that Zabriskie, in con- 
sequence of that confiscation, was left without means, did not 
accept the gift, and interposed in behalf of Zabriskie." 

If this statement was correct it settled the question of 
ownership of the New Bridge estate, without further research. 
But as I undertook the work of verification, I found that the 
statement was very questionable, and by the expenditure of a 
good deal of time and a little money, and the kind assistance 
of the State Librarian and the librarian of the New Jersey His- 
torical Society, I think I have obtained all the facts as based on 
official records. 

The New Jersey Legislature passed an act which bears 
date of December 23, 1783. setting forth as follows: 

"Whereas, the Legislature are informed that Maj.-Gen. 
Baron Steuben is anxiouslv desirous to become a citizen of the 
State of New Jersey, and are also impressed with a sense of 
the many and signal services by him rendered to the United 

30 



States of America * * * that that part of the real estate 
formerly belonging to John Zabriskie, and which has been for- 
feited to and vested in this State, lying, situate and being in 
the county of Bergen, township of New Barbadoes, and at the 
New Bridge, shall be, and the same hereby is, appropriated to 
and for the use of Ma j. Gen. Baron Steuben, to hold, use and 
enjoy the said estate, and all the emoluments that may there- 
unto appertain and belong, in as full and ample a manner as 
if the fee simple of the said estate was vested in him. Pro- 
vided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this act, 
that the said Ma j. -Gen. Baron Steuben shall have, hold, occupy 
and enjoy the said estate in person, and not by tenant" ; other- 
wise the estate was to revert to the State. 

The Baron did not propose to occupy the estate in person, 
and to meet his wishes a supplement to this act, bearing date of 
December 24, 1784, was passed, which set forth that the Legis- 
lature was informed that the conditions of the gift interfered 
materially with his views ; but, being "deeply filled with a sense 
of the many and signal services by him rendered to the United 
States of America, and desirous to testify to the world the 
grateful sense they entertain of the said services." therefore 
the agent for forfeited estates was authorized to sell this esate 
to the highest bidder and pay the money into the State treasury, 
and the interest thereon should be paid to the Baron during his 
life. 

The estate was sold, in accordance with the act, on April 
I, 1875, the successful bidder being the Baron's aide-de-camp, 
Capt. Walker, and the price bid being 1,500 pounds. But the 
terms of payment were not observed, and again the Legisla- 
ture manifested its generosity. A further act was passed, bear- 
ing date of February 28, 1786, which provided that, if the pay- 
ment was not made by the following March, then the Baron 
should have the use and benefit of the estate during the time of 
his residence in any of the States. The bid for the estate by 
Walker was evidently in the Baron's behalf, for we find a letter 
from him to Gov. Livingston in the State library, dated No- 
vember, 1785, speaking of having purchased the estate, and 
complaining that a certain wood lot was withheld at the sale. 
Undoubtedly the Baron had not the money to meet the pay- 
ment, and this was why the Legislature again came to his re- 
lief. 

Still he was not satisfied, and once more the Legislature 
manifested its generous spirit toward him. An act, bearing 

31 



date of September 5, 1788, was passed, repealingr all the pre- 
vious acts conferring on him any rights in the estate, and pro- 
viding as follows : 

"Whereas, the Legislature are still anxious to evince to 
the world the high sense they entertain of the important ser- 
vices rendered to the United States of America, during the 
late war by Ma j. -Gen. Baron de Steuben; and whereas, the 
acts of the Assembly heretofore passed on behalf of said Baron 
have been found not to be so advantageous to him as were in- 
tended; therefore, be it enacted that (dropping the full legal 
text) the Baron be vested with the full title of the State in the 
said estate, "for the sole and only use of the said Baron de 
Steuben, his heirs and assigns forever." 

Thus the State of New Jersey paid finally its share of the 
debt which the nation owed to the old soldier. And thus it set at 
rest any doubt as to the ownership of this estate by the Baron. 
But he did not occupy it. Unquestionably he visited it, and he 
had a knowledge of its value. But he needed cash more than 
land ; and if you will go down to the court house on the Green 
and ask for Liber F of deeds and turn to page 2, you will find 
a deed dated three months after this act became a law, in which 
for the sum of 1,200 pounds he conveyed back to John Za- 
briskie all this estate, "together with all and singular the edi- 
fices, buildings, grist mill, barns and stables, fences, right-of- 
way, privileges and advantages, hereditaments and appurten- 
ances whatever." 

In May, 1786, the Legislature of New York, as a public 
testimony to his "very essential service," voted the Baron a 
quarter section of a township (16,000 acres), a part of the 
lands recently purchased from the Oneida Indians. He made 
his selection near the present city of Utica, and there he spent 
the summers in his later years, returning in the winters to the 
city, where he had the entre to the most exclusive houses. 
While at his farm, in November, 1795, he was stricken with 
paralysis, and he died on November 27. He had made a will 
in 1794 in which he gave certain legacies to his servants on 
condition that "they do not permit any person to touch my 
body, nor even to change the shirt in which I may have died ; 
but that they wrap me up in my old military cloak, and in 
twenty-four hours after my decease bury me in such a spot as 
I shall, before my decease, point out to them, and that they 
never acquaint anv person with the place where I shall be 
buried." 



32 



He had not designated such a place, but he was laid away 
under a group of trees which he had mentioned as a p^ood place 
for a man to be buried under. Not many years later a high- 
way was laid out directly over his graye, and in time the earth 
was so worn away that the coffin became exposed, and it is 
said that some one opened a corner of it and tore off a piece of 
the coat that formed his winding sheet. A friend came to the 
rescue, and gaye to the Wesleyan Baptist Society fifty acres 
of land on condition that fiye acres, to the middle of which the 
coffin was removed, should be kept fenced and uncleared. 

I do not doubt that if the Baron had chosen to become an 
actual resident of our township, and had died at New Bridge, 
we would have seen to it that his grave was properly rever- 
enced, and that there would be to him today a monument in 
this town erected in grateful tribute to his memory. 




33 



THE POOR MONUMENT CELEBRATION AT HACK- 
ENSACK, OCTOBER 7, 1904. 



BY EUGENE K, BIRD. 



In preparation for the formal unveiling and dedication of 
the monument many private residences, business and public 
houses displayed the national colors, some of them being ela- 
borately decorated. This evidence of interest in the patriotic 
event was an appreciation very encouraging to the committee, 
in charge of the celebration, indicating, as it did, that public 
spirit was in accord with the demonstration. 

Preceding the parade the local committee entertained 
the invited guests from abroad at luncheon, served at the 
Hackensack Golf Club House. 

The parade was under the direction of Maj. Charles F. 
Adams, M. D., and Lieut.-Col. Alfred T. Holley, marshals, 
the line forming as follows : 

Robinson's Fifth Regiment Band, of Paterson; Fifth 
Regiment, New Jersey National Guard, Col. Edwin W. Hine, 
commanding; Battery A, Field Artillery, of Orange, Capt. 
Oscar H. Condit, commanding; delegations of Sons of the 
American Revolution, other guests and the committee in car- 
riages. 

The procession formed on State street at the Armory of 
Company G, Fifth Regiment, and covered this course : North 
to Central avenue, west to Union street, north to Anderson 
square, east to Main street, south to Court square and the 
statue. Here the immediate exercises attending the dedication 
were carried out at the monment with flawless accuracy of ar- 
rangement, an assemblage estimated at 4,000 or 5,000 persons 
being massed around the grand-stand. The stand itself was 
crowded by delegations of Daughters of the American Revo- 
lution from several States, among the ladies being a number of 
distinguished for active prominence in the national body of the 
organization. Many gentlemen conspicuous in the Sons of the 
American Revolution were also present in rcognition of the 

34 



merit due him in whose name the shaft and figure were set up 
as an inspiration to all who love their country. 

The formal program of the unveiling and dedication was 
as follows : Prayer by Rev. Charles L. Pardee, chaplain New 
Jersey Society Sons of the American Revolution ; presentation 
of the plot of ground to the municipality of Hackensack by 
Mr. B. B. Barkman and its acceptance by the Rev. E. T. San- 
ford on behalf of President Jacob Bauer ; unveiling the statue 
by Mrs. Frank E. Dunbar, of Lowell, Mass., a descendant of 
Gen. Poor, followed by a salute of twenty-one guns by Capt. 
Condit's Battery A, light artillery. 

The Hon. John Whitehead, president of the New Jersey 
Society Sons of the American Revolution, who was the first 
speaker, confined his remarks largely to a detail of the work 
involved in securing the monument. He gave credit to Eugene 
K. Bird, of Hackensack, for conceiving the idea of rearing the 
monument; to A. W. Bray, secretary of the New Jersey So- 
ciety Sons of the American Revolution and chairman of the 
committee, whose alertness, patience, perseverance and deter- 
mination were so largely instrumental in carying the enter- 
prise to a magnificent completion, and to all others directly 
concerned in forwarding the patriotic enterprise. 

The Hon. Edmund W. Wakelee, of Bergen county, at 
that time president of the State Senate and acting Governor in 
the absence from the State of Governor Franklin Murphy, 
represented the chief executive. Following Judge Whitehead 
Senator Wakelee spoke as follows : 

"Ladies and Gentlemen : — It is fitting that at the dedica- 
tion of this monument, erected in part through the aid of the 
State, that the highest executive officer of the commonwealth 
should be present ; but because of other official duties he is pre- 
vented from being here, and I have the honor of representing, 
upon this happy occasion, his excellency Franklin Murphy, 
Governor of New Jersey. He is an honored member of the 
Sons of the American Revolution, and commander-in-chief 
of the National Guard of this State here represented, and I 
know he regrets his inability to be present, as I do my inability 
to more worthily represent him and more eloquently to ex- 
press thoughts which he would wish expressed. 

"It is for others here today to speak of the life and works 
of Brig.-Gen. Enoch Poor, whose memory we have assembled 
to perpetuate. He served his time and generation faithfully 

35 



and well, and we serve our time and generation best by being 
faithful to the traditions of the past ; by honoring those who 
by honest work and patriotic service at the birth of this country 
as a nation laid the sure foundation of our present greatness 
and all our future glory. 

"I was more than interested in the diary of Col. Israel 
Angell, now in the possession of Judge Angell, of Etna, this 
county, where I read under the date of September lo, 1780, 
the following: 

" 'In the afternoon the remains of Gen. Poor were in- 
terred in Hackensack church yard amidst a numerous con- 
course of people.' 

"Today, one hundred and twenty-four years after that 
date, another and more numerous concourse of people is gath- 
ered upon this historic spot. But how things have changed 
since that September afternoon when those cold remains were 
laid in their last resting place over there in the church yard. 
Then the articles of confederation had just been adopted by 
the Continental Congress, and only the year before had New 
Jersey agreed to them. There was no national existence, only 
a league of friendship between sovereign States; only one 
house of Congress; no national executive or judiciary, with no 
power in Congress to levy taxes or to protect itself, with the 
great tractless West unexplored and unknown. Those thir- 
teen weak States were even then in the midst of that struggle 
which has been the marvel of the world and which resulted in 
setting up here the standards of liberty, justice and equality. 

"And unlike that other concourse, we are not dressed in 
funeral garb ; we are not surrounded by the sound of war and 
the dread fear whether our arms would finally be victorious 
and freedom be made secure. To-day, because they \vere faith- 
ful and true, we meet happy and prosperous — all citizens of 
this greatest, grandest and freest country in all the world, at 
peace with all nations." 

The Hon. Henry M. Baker, of New Hampshire, a former 
member of the House of Representatives at Washington, was 
next introduced as the orator of the day. He delivered an ad- 
dress embodying a just and comprehensive estimate of Gen. 
Poor's life, services and character, given in full in the follow- 
ing pages. 

The exercises closed with the benediction by the Rev. 
William Welles Holley, D. D., of Christ (Episcopal) Church, 
Hackensack, and "America," sung by the audience. 

36 



ORATION UPON THE UNVEILING OF THE STATUE 

OF GEN. ENOCH POOR AT HACKENSACK, 

N. J., OCTOBER 7, 1904. 



BY HON. H^NRY M. BAKER^ OE NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



His Excellency, the Acting Governor of New Jersey, Mr. 
President, Members of the Hackensack Commission, Com- 
patriots, Ladies and Gentlemen : — By monuments and statues 
the living commemorate and honor the dead, illustrious for ser- 
vice to country and humanity. Such tributes become incen- 
tives to high endeavor and brave deeds. Poets and orators, 
sculptors and painters vie with each other to express fittingly 
the approbation of the people and the people applaud their best 
efforts and achievements. Patriotic societies promote and 
sustain this natural tendency to perpetuate the honor of the in- 
dividual and the glory of the State and in that they find ample 
justification for their existence and prosperity. 

The period of the revolution is replete with examples of 
the highest excellence in patriotism, personal service and 
moral purpose. No other era of our history presents so much 
of high thinking and noble action. Then wise statesmen, tjrave 
as wise, enunciated principles in government which have found 
hearty approval wherever men have aspired to personal liberty 
and self-government. 

They began with the assertion that taxation without rep- 
resentation is tyranny and through a series of sagacious 
aphorisms declaratory of the rights of mankind passed to those 
sublime self-evident truths that all men were created equal and 
that governments derive their just powers from the consent of 
the governed. The idea of civil liberty grew in their minds 
until, before the war ended, they had established upon an en- 
during basis the right of mankind to constitutional govern- 
ment administered for the benefit of the governed. Wherever 
men prayed for liberty and struggled for self-control the suc- 
cess of the American revolution gave sympathy and encour- 
agement. A new epoch was begun in which manhood was the 

37 



ruling factor and the rights of each were secured and main- 
tained through the safety and honor of all. 

We cannot too often remember or too greatly honor those 
who endured hardships and perils and freely made sacrifices 
that liberty might live and men be ennobled by representative 
government. 

To-day, two of the original States — New Hampshire and 
New Jersey — and two societies of the Sons of the Ameican 
Revolution representing those States unite in erecting a statue 
and monument to the memory of a brigadier-general of the 
revolution who served the common cause as the representative 
of the one and, dying in the service, was buried in the soil of 
the other with the military honors due his rank and merit. 

We honor ourselves and our respective States by the re- 
spect and devotion we pay the memory of Gen. Enoch Poor, 
who enjoyed the confidence and esteem of Washington and 
the friendship of Lafayette. 

Enoch Poor was born on the 21st of June, 1736, in that 
part of Andover in the State of Massachusetts which is now 
incorporated as North Andover. The family was of good 
English stock. In the mother country it had held responsible 
positions in both civil and military life with a marked prefer- 
ence for army service. Gen. Poor was of the fourth gener- 
ation in America. The homestead farm was on the Shawsheen 
River, near its junction with the Merrimack. Both rivers are 
of clear water and picturesque beauty. The country is diversi- 
fied by hill and valley, river and lake. The combination is 
pleasing and inspiring. 

Here his ancestors settled in the first half of the seven- 
teenth century and at once began to clear and till the soil. His 
great-grandfather, Daniel Poor, was one of the town officers 
and also a member of the first military company organized in 
the town. His father was at the siege of Louisburg in 1745. 
They were all of the Puritan stock, faith and practice. Their 
homes were religious and their lives exemplary. 

Amid such suroundings and influenced by such examples 
and instruction the boyhood of Enoch Poor was passed in the 
usual routine of New England farm life. His education was 
that of the district school and the home circle. He appears to 
have been an industrious and thoughtful boy with a wonderful 
adaptation to details. Whatever he attempted he generally 
accomplished through persistent effort and careful thought. 
In his early manhood he was apprenticed to a cabinet-maker 

38 



and served his time as such. Some of his handiwork remains 
to attest his skill and ingenuity. 

When nineteen years old he' enlisted as a private in the 
French and Indian War and was assigned to the expedition 
under Gen. John Winslow, which subjugated the Acadians of 
Nova Scotia. His brother, Thomas, was a captairi in the same 
service. A few years later he removed to Exeter, N. H., which 
remained his home through life. There he engaged in trade, 
but soon became a shipbuilder, employing many men. Before 
he left Andover he had fallen in love with Miss Martha 
Osgood, the daughter of a neighbor. Col, John Osgood. She 
fully reciprocated his attachment, but her father did not give 
his approval. So when Enoch Poor called at the Osgood man- 
sion for his bride he met with firm opposition. Col. Osgood had 
locked his daughter in her chamber. He would not permit 
young Poor to see or communicate with her. Defeat for the 
lovers seemed imminent. Col. Osgood's tactics appeared to be 
beyond their power of resistance or immediate skill. Just then, 
however, Martha appeared at her open window and quickly 
jumped into Enoch's extended arms. Their marriage speedily 
followed and Col. Osgood, in due time acknowledging his de- 
feat, became fully reconciled to his son-in-law. 

Gen. Poor's married life was happy. Three daughters 
crowned the union, each of whom survived him. His widow 
resided in Exeter until her death in 1830. 

No record has been found which determines the date when 
he removed to Exeter and began business there. It was prob- 
ably prior to his marriage, but diligent inquiry and search have 
failed to discover the exact date of his marriage. It is gener- 
ally admitted that he must have established himself in New 
Hampshire about 1760, for by 1765 he had become sufficiently 
prominent in the town to be one of the thirty principal citizens 
who united in an agreement to maintain peace and order dur- 
ing the excitement occasioned by the Stamp Act and the de- 
termination of the people not to conform to it. Five years 
later the town voted not to purchase tea until the tax upon it 
should be repealed and to encourage so far as possible the use 
of home products. Mr. Poor was one of a committee of six 
to enforce the vote. When the Continental Congress of 1774 
passed the famous non-importation resolution Exeter ratified 
them in town meeting and elected a committee, of which he 
was a member, to secure a faithful compliance with them. The 
following year he was elected to the third and fourth Provin- 

39 



cial Congresses of the colony. On the 24th of May, 1775, he 
was selected to muster into the service of New Hampsliire the 
men at Medford under the command of Col. John Stark. The 
same day the Provincial Congress, of which he was a mem- 
ber, authorized the enlistment of three regiments to serve for 
the year and elected John Stark, Enoch Poor and James Reed 
colonels to command them. Stark, with about 800 men, was 
already encamped before Boston. Reed's regiment was made 
up of two companies detailed from Stark and from enlistments 
made before and after his election as colonel and soon en- 
camped at Charlestown. Both were in the battle of Bunker 
Hill. Col. Poor's regiment was to be wholly enlisted and en- 
listment papers were promptly issued and rapidly filled, A 
careful examination fails to disclose that Col. Poor ever held 
a military commission before he was appointed colonel. We 
have already noted that he served as a private in the French 
and Indian War and he must have had service in the militia 
of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In his business he 
had had great experience in the control of men and his ap- 
pointment to muster Col. Stark's regiment into the service 
indicates that he was known to have military knowledge and 
experience. That he was believed to be competent is proved 
by the fact that his selection to command the second regiment 
appears not to have been criticised and from the further fact 
that men did not hesitate to enlist under him. The wisdom 
of his selection is attested by his subsequent service. From 
May, 1775, until his untimely death, he was constantly in com- 
mand of a regiment or a brigade. He was not at Bunker Hill. 
Prior to that battle the people of New Hampshire were ap- 
prehensive that their territory might be invaded with the pur- 
pose of capturing Portsmouth, which led the attack on Fort 
William and Mary and Exeter, where the rebellious Provin- 
cial Congresses held their sessions. Col. Poor's men were 
stationed along the coast, at Portsmouth and at Exeter. At 
Exeter they were building fire rafts with which to destroy 
any vessels which might attempt to ascend the river. The next 
day after the battle the Committee of Safety of New Hamp- 
shire ordered the regiment, with the exception of one com- 
pany which was stationed at or near Portsmouth, to join the 
other New Hampshire troops before Bostgn and they arrived 
there on the 25th of June and encamped at Winter Hill. From 
that time until the following March when the British evacuated 
Boston Col. Poor and his men were performing their usual 

40 



routine duty in an army of investment. The records show 
that the regiment discharged its full share of guard and fatigue 
duty and that the men were perfected in the manual of arms. 
The nine months during which the Americans besieged Bos- 
ton were valuable to them for instruction and discipline. Be- 
fore the evacuation of the city they had learned that a long 
contest was inevitable and that they must prepare for it in 
earnest. However much the patriots failed to profit by this 
experience they knew the necessity for drilled troops and for 
long terms of enlistment. They also learned the necessity for 
supplies and that the demands of an army are multiform and 
incessant. The stern realities of war confronted them and no 
man who loved his country could neglect or disregard the 
duties of the hour. On the other hand the British had been 
taught to respect the foe they despised at first and to recognize 
that a man fighting for his home and liberty is a braver soldier 
than the hireling of despots. 

Boston having been occupied by the patriot army it be- 
came evident that the British intended to make New York their 
headquarters. Washington immediately ordered a march 
upon that city. Among the troops selected for that service 
was Gen. Sullivan's brigade, including Col. Poor's regiment. 
The British troops evacuated Boston on the 17th of March, 
1776, and ten days later Col. Poor and his men marched for 
Long Island. Soon after their arrival there they were ordered 
with other regiments to join the ill-fated expedition under 
Montgomery which had attempted the occupation of Canada, 
At that time there were no steamboats and no railroads. The 
march of an army was literally a march. All the privates and 
many of the officers were on foot. There were few roads and 
they were in poor condition. Frequently the troops followed 
a trail or cut a road through the forests as they advanced. The 
country was too sparsely settled for an army to subsist upon 
it and the transportation of munitions and other supplies was 
by horse and ox teams or occasionally by boat. Such a march 
from Long Island to Canada is a hardship from which the 
veteran troops of today would shrink. The patriots began it 
without complaint and endured reverses and disasters seldom 
equaled. To add to their losses and ill fortune smallpox rav- 
aged the American army to such an extent that in some regi- 
ments hardly a man was fit for duty. Col. Trumbull said: 
"I did not look into a tent or hut in which I did not find either 
a Aqv-cI or flying man." Everything went wrong and the army 

41 



abandoned Canada and retired to Crown Point. There a coun- 
cil of war was held July 7, 1776, and it was decided to retire 
to Ticonderoga, which then became the only fortress held by 
the Americans on Lake Champlain. 

Against the evacuation of Crown Point Cols. Stark and 
Poor, with others, protested in writing and it is conceded that 
Washington believed the surrender of Crown Point unneces- 
sary and ill advised. 

While at Ticonderoga Col. Poor became president of the 
court-martial which tried Col. Hazen, who had been arrested 
upon charges presented by Gen. Arnold. In the course of the 
trial the court refused to admit the testimony of Maj. Scott, 
who was one of Arnold's principal witnesses, on the ground 
that he was personally interested in the result. Gen. Arnold 
protested in a vigorous communication which the court held 
to be disrespectful and prejudicial to its authority. They re- 
fused to enter it upon their records and instructed their presi- 
dent to demand an apology from Gen. Arnold. This Col. 
Poor did in a letter which would have done credit to an ex- 
perienced lawyer. Gen. Arnold returned an intemperate re- 
ply in which he refused to apologize and suggested his readi- 
ness to fight a duel wnth any member of the court. Col. Poor 
then reported the whole transaction to Gen. Gates in a cour- 
teous and dignified letter, but Gen. Gates thought it unwnse to 
enforce the rights of the court at that time against an officer 
of Arnold's standing and popularity. Hence he dissolved the 
court and the trial ended. Col. Poor continued to serve under 
Gen. Arnold and did not permit this episode to influence his 
conduct toward him. In this he exhibited a magnanimity and 
k)ve of country worthy the emulation of all soljdiers. 

The British commander, Sir Guy Carleton, went into win- 
ter quarters in Noveml^er and the danger of an attack upon Ti- 
conderoga being removed, Gen. Gates sent a considerable part 
of his troops to reinforce Washington in New Jersey. Col. 
Poor's regiment and two others from New Hampshire were in- 
cluded in the order and joined Washington in December. These 
troops enabled him to win the battles of Trenton and Prince- 
ton. 

On the 7th of January, 1777, the army under Washing- 
ton arrived at Morristown, where it built log huts and w^ent 
into winter quarters. The army suffered for supplies of every 
kind. The destitution of that winter was exceeded only by 
that of the next at Valley Forge. 

42 



Gen. Howe occupied New York as his winter headquar- 
ters. Neither army engaged in any extensive offensive oper- 
ations during the winter. The Americans were active in per- 
fecting their mihtary organization, in recruiting and in secur- 
ing supphes. The army was estabhshed upon a more perma- 
nent basis, enhstments were made for three years or during the 
war and the officers were commissioned accordingly. 

To meet the new conditions and to provide for an in- 
creased army, Congress appointed additional generals and on 
the 2 1 St of February, 1777, Col. Poor was commissioned a 
brigadier-general. Col. John Stark was the senior colonel 
from New Hampshire and had had considerable service prior 
to the revolution. He was a brave officer, conspicuous at 
Bunker Hill, and had proved himself capable and vigilant at 
all times. Therefore when Congress promoted Col. Poor and 
other colonels and did not promote him he felt the slight bit- 
terly, especially as he believed that his merits had once before 
been unrecognized. He at once resigned from the army. Col. 
Poor offered to decline his promotion and ask for the appoint- 
ment of Col. Stark in his place. This Stark positively refused 
and congratulated Col. Poor upon his promotion, which he 
said was merited. There was no enmity between them and 
they remained friends through life. 

In the early spring Gen. Poor was assigned to duty in 
the Northern Department and stationed at Ticonderoga. His 
brigade was composed of three regiments from New Hamp- 
shire and detachments from Connecticut and New York. 

It was the purpose of the British commanders to extend 
their posts from Crown Point southward and from New York 
north until they should have a complete line of fortifications 
from Canada to the sea, thus segregating New England from 
the other colonies. To that end Burgoyne was to fight his 
way to Albany, where forces from Gen. Howe ascending the 
Hudson were to join him. The plan was excellent and almost 
successful. 

Gen. Schuyler, who was in command at Ticonderoga, had 
neglected to fortify or occupy Sugar Loaf Hill, which com- 
manded the fort. The excuse was that he did not have troops 
sufficient to hold both places. This may have been true, but 
the result was unfortunate. The British occupied this hill, 
sometimes known as Fort Defiance, on the 5th of July, 1777. 
A council of war decided to evacuate the fort, which was done 
early in the morning of the next day. Gen. Poor favored the 

43 



evacuation. Congress was excited by the abandonment of the 
fort and demanded the immediate removal of Gen. Schuyler 
and that the other officers be tried by court-martial. The wiser 
and cooler judgment of Washington prevailed. The court- 
martial was not held and Gen. Schuyler remained in command 
until superseded by Gen. Gates on the 19th of August. 

At that time the tide of victory had turned in favor of the 
patriots. The advance of the British upon Albany by the 
Mohawk Valley had been defeated and the glorious victory at 
Bennington under Stark, who had returned to the service of 
his country under the authority of his State, had been 
achieved. The spirits of the patriots revived and confidence 
again ruled in camp and field. 

Meanwhile Burgoyne had great difficulty in supplying his 
army with provisions. The devastation he had accomplished 
counted against him. It was almost impossible to procure 
sufficient supplies from Canada and there was no immediate 
prospect of a union with Gen. Howe. His Indian allies were 
importunate in their demands and failed to obey his orders. 
The Americans harassed him upon every side. They had 
abandoned Fort Edward anrl Fort George, but they made it 
difficult for Burgoyne to profit by their retreat or to follow in 
pursuit. Their numbers increased daily and by the time the 
Americans were encamped at Stillwater Burgoyne was com- 
pelled to provide against an attack upon his rear. 

Upon the 19th of September, 1777, soon after noon, the 
British attacked the American camp. The battle, now gener- 
ally known by the name of Stillwater, ensued. On the part of 
the Americans it was almost wholly fought by the left wing, 
commanded by Arnold. Gen. Poor's brigade, then consisting 
of about 1,600 men, constituted one-half of Arnold's division. 
The battle was not decisive, though generally favorable to the 
Americans, whose loss was only one-half that of the British. 
The total Ameican loss was 321. Of this number Gen. Poor's 
brigade lost 217, or more than double that of all the other 
troops of the patriot army. 

The battle of the 7th of October — one hundred and 
twenty-seven years ago today — became a necessity to the Brit- 
ish, for inaction was assured starvation. There was no safety 
in camp or in retreat. Victory alone could save Burgoyne and 
his men. Therefore the British again assumed the initiative. 
The attack was met by a superior force and the British were 
soon driven from the field. Poor's brigade was in the thick 

44 



of the fight and in conjunction with Morgan's regiment really 
won the battle of Saratoga, as it did that of Stillwater, 

Gen. Wilkinson says in his Memoirs : "After I had de- 
livered the order to Gen. Poor, directing him to the point of 
attack, I was commanded to bring up Ten Broeck's brigade of 
New York troops, 3,000 strong. I performed this service and 
regained the field of battle at the moment the enemy had turned 
their back, only fifty-two minutes after the first shot was fired. 
I found the courageous Col, Cilley (of Poor's brigade) 
astraddle of a brass 12-pounder and exuUing in the capture." 

The victory was complete; the enemy being pursued and 
driven from his own camp. The surrender of Burgoyne oc- 
curred ten days later. 

It was well known to Gen. Gates that about 2,000 men 
under command of Sir Henry Clinton had left New York and 
were marching up the Hudson with the intention of joining 
Burgoyne at Albany. They had captured Forts Clinton and 
Montgomery and in consequence Forts Independence and Con- 
stitution had been abandoned. Everywhere the Americans had 
retired before him. Hence it was a matter of supreme import- 
ance to occupy Albany before Gen. Clinton could arrive there. 

To accomplish that Gen. Poor's brigade marched forty 
miles and forded the Mohawk below the falls in fourteen 
hours. Clinton, having heard of the surrender of Burgoyne, 
returned to New York. 

The campaign on the Hudson having ended gloriously, 
Gen. Poor and his brigade joined Washington near Philadel- 
phia. The battle of Germantown had been fought, nearly won 
and then lost. Washington, being urged by the Assembly of 
Pennsylvania and some of his officers not to go into winter 
quarters, but to attempt the capture of Philadelphia, required 
the written opinion of his officers as to the advisability of an 
assault upon the city. Four of them favored the attack and 
ten, including Gen. Poor, advised against it. The prevailing 
opinion was that the army was in no fit condition to risk a gen- 
eral engagement which might prove fatal to the patriot cause. 
The army went into winter quarters at Valley Forge on the 
19th of December. To those who objected, Washington re- 
plied as follows : "Gentlemen reprobate the going into winter 
quarters as much as if they thought the soldiers were made of 
sticks or stones. I can assure those gentlemen that it is a 
much easier and less distressing thing to draw remonstrances 
in a comfortable room than to occupy a cold, bleak hill and 

45 



sleep under frost and snow, without clothes or blankets. How- 
ever, although they seem to have little feeling for the naked 
and distressed soldiers, I feel superabundantly for them and 
from my soul I pity their miseries, which it is neither in my 
power to relieve or prevent." 

Gen. Poor was no growler. He did his duty fearlessly 
and so far as possible accommodated himself to his environ- 
ment. He wrote few letters. Probably there are not a score 
of them relating to public affairs now in existence. Such as 
have been found are well expressed, direct and positive. 

Just before the troops went into winter quarters he wrote 
to a member of his State Legislature, stating their condition 
and needs and the duty of the State to them in simple, but burn- 
ing words. An extract from that letter is as follows : 

"Did you know how much your men suffered for want 
of shirts, breeches, blankets, stockings and slioes your heart 
would ache for them. Sure I am that one-third are now suffer- 
ing for want of those articles which gives the soldier great rea- 
son to complain after the encouragement given by the State to 
supply those of its inhabitants who should engage in their ser- 
vice. 

"But there is another circumstance more alarming still ; 
that is when you engaged your men to serve for three years or 
during the war they were promised a certain sum for their ser- 
vices ; your State at the same time fixed a reasonable price upon 
such articles as the country produced and which they knew 
their families must be supplied with which would but barely 
support them at those prices. But after they left home it seems 
by some means or other the contract on the side of the State 
was broken and those very articles which their families must 
have or suffer rose four or five hundred per cent. ; soldiers' 
wages remain the same. How can it be expected that men 
under those circumstances can quietly continue to undergo 
every hardship and danger which they have been and are still 
exposed to ; and what is more distressing is their daily hearing 
of the sufferings of their wives and children at home? 

"I don't write this by way of complaint, but do wish that 
some mode may be hit upon that the families of those in service 
may be supplied or I fear we shall have many of our best offi- 
cers resign and many soldiers desert for no other reason than 
to put themselves in a way to support their families or share 
with them in their sufferings; and should that be the case I 
fear the consequences." 

46 



Later, while in camp, he wrote the Legislature of New 
Hampshire: "I am every day beholding their sufferings and 
am every morning awakened by the lamentable tale of their 
distresses." 

Gen, Poor's camp was on the extreme west of the encamp- 
ment at Valley Forge. The best that can be said of his troops 
is that they suffered no more than the oth^s. During the win- 
ter a committee of Congress visited Valley Forge and made a 
careful report of their observations. In mid-winter Baron 
Steuben arrived at the encampment and the troops were sub- 
jected to stern discipline and exacting drill. Gen. Lafayette 
again joined the army here. Plans were discussed and formu- 
lated for the coming campaign. It was not a winter of idle- 
ness. On the 7th of May, 1778, there was great rejoicing in 
camp. The treaty of alliance with France was announced to 
the troops while on parade at nine o'clock in the morning. 
The chaplains thanked God that He had given them a power- 
ful friend. The troops sang "Praise God from Whom All 
Blessings Flow." 

Everywhere in camp there was thanksgiving and rejoicing 
with cheers for the King of France, for Washington and 
liberty. 

The encampment at Valley Forge was not broken up un- 
til late in June, but on the i8th of May Washington sent La- 
fayette with 2,100 chosen troops, including Gen, Poor's brig- 
ade, to occupy Barren Hill, an eminence about half way to 
Philadelphia. This was Lafayette's first independent com- 
mand and it gave him an excellent opportunity to observe and 
prove the ability of Gen. Poor. Subsequent events show he 
was well satisfied with his ability and efficiency. Gen. Clinton 
sent 5,000 troops to surprise and capture Lafayette and his 
men. 

The surprise was nearly complete, but Lafayette, with 
great wisdom and coolness, ordered Gen. Poor to lead the re- 
treat, which was done so promptly and in such good order that 
their guns were saved and the loss in men was only nine. The 
British returned to Philadelphia. 

At three o'clock of the morning of the 18th of June Gen. 
Clinton began the evacuation of Philadelphia and before noon 
his entire army was in New Jersey en route to New York. 
Washington had anticipated this movement and immediately 
bridges were burned and roads obstructed so as to impede his 
progress. A series of skirmishes led up to the battle of Mon- 

47 



mouth. Clinton did not wish to fight, but desired a safe and 
expeditious march to New York. Washington hoped to en- 
gage him in battle and win a victory. 

Rev. Israel Evans, a native of Pennsylvania and a gradu- 
ate of Princeton, was the chaplain of Gen. Poor's brigade. He 
was a stanch patriot and a firm believer in the rights of man. 
He was one of those outspoken, independent and arrogant men 
who 

"Would shake hands with a king upon his throne 

And think it kindness to his majesty." 

When the brigade was about to engage in the battle of 
Monmouth it paused for a moment for prayer by the chaplain, 
in which he is reported to have said : 

"O Lord of hosts, lead forth thy servants of the American 
army to battle and give them the victory ; or, if this be not ac- 
cording to Thy sovereign will then we pray Thee stand neutral 
and let flesh and blood decide the issue." 

Each was partially successful. Clinton escaped and 
joined his troops to those in New York, but Washington com- 
pelled him to fight and would have won a decisive victory had 
not jealousy and treachery prevented. The Americans re- 
mained masters of the field, but the British fled under cover 
of the night so quietly that even Gen. Poor, who was near 
them, did not know they were escaping. The heat was intense, 
the suffering extreme. The thermometer registered 96 degrees 
and the troops contended not only with the enemy, but with an 
inexpressible thirst which could not be satisfied. Washington 
and the whole army slept upon the field of battle. Gen. Poor 
was active in efforts to retrieve the fortunes of the day and re- 
ceived the approbation of Washington. 

There were in that year no extensive field operations in 
the Northern States after the battle of Monmouth. Washing- 
ton stationed his army so that it could be easily concentrated 
and at the same time restrict the British in securing supplies. 
The Southern States were rapidly becoming the theatre of the 
war. 

By intrigue and purchase the British frequently availed 
themselves of the service of the Indians. They were unable 
satisfactorily to control them in the camp or in battle. The 
hatred and independence of the Americans thus engendered in 
the hearts of the Indians broke out in frequent depredations 
and in the massacres of Cherry Valley and Wyoming. Wash- 

48 



ington determined to end these brutalities by such an object 
lesson as would prevent their repetition. The so-called "Six 
Nations" were selected for punishment. 

A total force of about 5,000 men was detailed for that 
service. The command was ofifered to Gen, Gates, but declined 
for the reason that in his opinion a younger man was prefer- 
able. Gen. Sullivan was then given the command. His orders 
were to devastate their country, destroy their villages, crops 
and orchards and capture those of every age and sex. Gen. 
Poor and his brigade constituted the right wing of Sullivan's 
army. Evidently from the records of the expedition he relied 
upon Poor and his men for faithful service in difficult situ- 
ations. The Indians were overtaken on the 29th of August, 
1779, and the battle of Newtown was fought. Geu. Poor was 
ordered to gain the enemy's rear. In doing so he encountered 
some 600 of the savages and a warm fight took place in which 
twenty of them were killed. 

The Indians fought from tree to tree until our troops had 
gained the summit of the hill and captured their stronghold 
by a bayonet charge when they fled in disorder. In his ac- 
count of the battle Gen. Sullivan said Gen. Poor, his officers 
and men deserve the highest praise for their intrepidity and 
soldierly conduct. The bloody work was continued until the 
Indians were completely subjugated. 

Gen. Sullivan made a full official report of his expedition 
to Gen. Washington, in which he gave great credit to his 
troops for bravery and efficiency. Upon its receipt Washington 
wrote to Congress congratulating it upon "the destruction of 
the whole of the town and settlements of the hosile Indians in 
so short a time and with so inconsiderable a loss of men," and 
to Lafayette rejoicing that the Indians had been given "proofs 
that Great Britain cannot protect them and it is in our power 
to chastise them." The Indian confederation in New York 
was broken and their lands opened to peaceful settlement. A 
historian of the expedition has said : "The boldness of its con- 
ception was only equalled by the bravery and determination 
with which its hardships and dangers were met and its object 
accomplished." 

It was late in the fall before the expedition rejoined the 
main army. Soon after the troops went into winter quarters. 
This winter was an exceedingly severe one and the hardships 
and suffering endured by the army were scarcely less than those 
of Valley Forge. 

49 



Lafayette, availing himself of the winter's inaction, went 
home for a visit, returning the latter part of May with renewed 
promises from his government of substantial help. Again he 
offered his services to Congress, which were gladly accepted 
and recognized by an appointment to the command of a division 
to be composed of two brigades of light infantry, a troop of 
horse and a battery of artillery. 

He selected Gen. Poor to compiand one of these brigades. 
The whole division went into camp in New Jersey and the 
work of drill and discipline began under his own direction. 
Largely by his generosity the soldiers were uniformed. The 
division was known as the best clothed, equipped and disci- 
plined in the Continental Army. It has been said that in the 
essentials of drill and efficiency it equaled the veteran troops 
of Europe. By the fortunes of war they were to see no im- 
portant service during the year. 

While in camp on the 8th of September, 1780, Gen. Enoch 
Poor died. Universal sorrow pervaded the army. He was 
popular with officers and men. Two days after he was buried 
with full military honors. The officers of his brigade followed 
immediately after the coffin. Then came Gen. Washington and 
Gen. Lafayette and other general officers of the army. The 
escort consisted of three regiments of light infantry and a 
troop of cavalry. At the grave the chaplain of the brigade de- 
livered a eulogy in which he said : 

"Oh. sacred liberty! with thee this day we condole the 
loss of one of thy worthy sons ! Early he saw thy danger and 
early in this contest espoused thy cause. Happily he united 
the love and defense of thy glorious person with the practice of 
sublime virtue. That glory which results from the generous 
protection of the privileges of our country and that righteous- 
ness which exalteth a nation he laudably pursued. * * * 

"The State of New Hampshire in tears will lament the 
loss of a brave defender of her rights. To him she may not 
fear to decree the title too rarely found of a patriot. * * * 
No charms were powerful enough to allure him from the un- 
utterable hardships of the American war and the dangers of 
the field of battle. * * * 

"He was an unchangeable friend of the moral and social 
virtues and taught the excellence of them more by his amiable 
example than by a pompous parade of words without actions. 
He was an invariable advocate for public and divine worship. 
His virtues laid the solid foundation for all his other excell- 

50 



ences to build upon and stand immovable amidst all the seem- 
ing casualties of time. Intemperance and profaneness and 
every vice were strangers to him. * * * 

"From the time when he with his country first armed in 
opposition to the cruelty and domination of Britain and pre- 
cious American blood was first shed in defense of our rights 
near Boston * * * j-,g ^^g entitled to a large share of 
those laurels which crowned the American arms." 

One of his staff officers, Maj. Jeremiah Fogg, in the in- 
tensity of his love and grief, wrote : "My general is gone. A 
cruel, stubborn, bilious fever has deprived us of the second 
man in the world." 

In a communication to Congress announcing his death 
Gen. Washington said : "He was an officer of distinguished 
merit, one who as a citizen and a soldier had every claim to 
the esteem and regard of his country." As a further mark of 
respect and esteem the Congress ordered Washington's letter 
to be printed as the nation's tribute to his memory. 

Governor Plumer, of New Hampshire, said of him 
(quoting almost literally from the eulogy of Chaplain Evans) : 
"As an officer he was prudent in council and sound in judg- 
ment, firm and steady in his resolutions, cautious of unneces- 
sary danger, but calm and undaunted in battle, vigorous and 
unwearied in executing military enterprises, patient and per- 
severing under hardships and difficulties, of which he had 
many to endure, and punctual and exact in performing all the 
duties assigned and devolving upon him. His mind was de- 
voted to the improvement of the army. He possessed great 
self command. * * * He promptly obeyed his superior 
officers, respected his equal and subordinate officers and 
thought no man who was faithful and brave unworthy of his 
notice. The soldiers when distressed had free access to him 
and he was a father to them." 

Of very few of the men famous in civil or military life 
during the revolution are there authentic and accurate por- 
traits. The friends and relatives of Gen. Poor are to be con- 
gratulated that his features have been preserved to them and 
posterity by a talented artist known to us more by his generous 
patriotism than by his artistic talent and accomplishments. 

Among the friendships Gen. Poor formed in the army 
was that of the distinguished Polish engineer and general, 
Thaddeus Kosciusko, who was an artist of considerable merit. 
Gen. Kosciusko had several times requested him to sit for his 

51 



portrait, but he had not done so. One day Kosciusko handed 
it to him. Gen. Poor was greatly surprised and asked, How 
is this general, I have never sat for my picture? Kosciusko 
replied, "I drew it in church on the fly leaf of a hymn book 
and have since painted it for you." Gen. Poor presented it to 
his wife when on his last visit home. It represents the general 
in Continental uniform and is now in good preservation. From 
it the oil painting which adorns the hall of the New Hamps^iire 
House of Rerpresentatives and all other pictures of Gen. Poor 
have been copied. The graceful statue unveiled today repro- 
duces the features preserved to us by Kosciusko. 

The war of the revolution is crowded with events ot pa- 
thetic and dramatic interest. Possibly no life, not even that of 
Washington, presents more incidents in the same number of 
vears to attract the attention and secure the sympa hy of the 
observant student than that of Gen. Poor. His rank was less 
and his field of service more limited than that of many others 
and hence he does not fill the space in history to which they are 
entitled, but there was no officer in the revolution more con- 
scientious or more faithful, who gave more ^"^"tion to de- 
tails and performed within his sphere of action his whole duty 
more wisely and discreetly than he whom we now commem- 
orate He was equallv beloved by his superior officers and the 
soldiers of his command. His courtesy was constant and un- 
influenced by rank or position. He was courageous in mmd 
as well as in bodv and stood firmly upon the right as he saw 
it He withheld his approval from no one whose conduct was 
meritorious or whose intentions were kindly and honorable. 

In the highest sense of the words he was a soldier, a pa- 
triot and a man. Had his life been spared fresh laurels would 
have crowned his work and his chosen State would have en- 
trusted to his keeping her dearest rights and conferred upon 
him her highest honors. 

In behalf of the people of New Hampshire I thank you 
gentlemen of New Jersey, that you have guarded and honored 
his memory and his grave and that to-day you have distin- 
euished yourselves and them by this further testimonial of your 
respect, esteem and love for one of the purest and bravest men 
of the most renowned era in our history. 

"Long may our land be bright 
With freedom's holy light. 
Protect us by Thy might 
Great God, our king." 

52 



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