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The Jumel mansion, being a f uli history o 

3 1924 015 196 128 



Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

Washington at Forty-Four 

From a portrait by Trumbull 


J U M E L 

Being a full History of the House on Harlem 
Heights built by Roger Morris before the 

Together with some account of its more 
notable occupants. With Illustrations, 

By William Henry Shelton 

"Boston & New Tori 
Houghton Mifflin Company 

€bt TBHotxtint llreM Cambrilrse 




Published December tgi6 


The purpose of the author in writing this book is, not only to 
trace the rise and fall of a famous house, but to separate the 
facts from the fables in its history and in the history of events 
that touch the house. 

At the period of the American Revolution there was but 
little education among the common people. Copies of company 
rosters show that a surprising percentage of the rank and file, 
even in the New England regiments, signed their names with a 
cross, and of course a still larger number were unable to read. 
Official orders signed by field officers were sometimes marvels 
of illiteracy. There were few books, and these were mostly reli- 
gious books, and books containing stories for the young, which, 
if not true, the authors had a prayerful conviction ought to 
be true. Such conditions were not very promising for accu- 
racy in history. Newspapers were few, and in them little space 
was given to local happenings, as something quite too trivial 
for public notice. These papers during colonial times, imita- 
ting the heavy English gazettes, gave most of their space to 
Parliamentary debates and shipping news, and where they 
have been preserved in the public libraries, there is scant re- 
ward for the searcher after facts to rectify the loose history of 

that day. 

In the years that followed the Revolution books were written 
for the young with pious fervor, like the Li^e of Washington, 
by the Reverend Mr. Weems, or with patriotic fervor, like the 
Life of Nathan Hale, by I. W. Stewart. 

Last year, 1915, was the one hundred and fiftieth anniver- 
sary of the building of the house. The first mistress of the 
house was Mary Philipse, its most distinguished occupant was 
George Washington, and the longest period of ownership was 
that of the Jumels. It was the headquarters of Lieutenant- 


To separate 
the facts from 
the fables 

The one 
hundred and 
of the house 


of a crazy 

From the 
records of a 
famous case 


General Sir Henry Clinton, commanding the British army in 
America, in 1777, and the house continued to be occupied by 
British officers until peace was declared. Under its roof a Brit- 
ish Admiral was bornj a President of the United States en- 
tertained his Cabinet, a former Vice-President of the United 
States was married, and a woman died, whose history, as it 
appears in magazines and newspapers, contains but one fact, 
the fact that she married Aaron Burr. 

The accepted story of Madame Jumel is made up from the 
fantastic imaginings of a crazy woman, who had sought all her 
life for social recognition, without success in America, and 
whose reputed triumphs were largely the dreams of a disordered 
mind. Her story is here told for the first time, with no desire 
to expose a family skeleton, but as a part of the evolution of 
an historical house which drifted upon degenerate days. 

The facts of the birth and early history of Betsy Bowen are 
taken from the town records of the village of Providence, 
brought as evidence in the United States Supreme Court, in 
a famous case, whose official record is in the Congressional 
Library at Washington. 

September f 1916. 

Table of Contents 


Foreword v 

I. The House i 

11. The Man who Built the House 13 

in. When Washington came to the House 24 

IV. The Great Fire in New York City 41 

V. Nathan Hale 55 

VI. Events from Day to Day 67 

VII. Early Military Occupation 88 

■ VIII. Courts Martial 95 

IX. The Convention 102 

X. The Capture OF THE House 114 

XI. The British Period 128 

XII. Betsy Bowen 138 

XIII. Madame Jumel 147 

XIV. Back in the Mansion . . . 159 

XV. Madame Burr 170 

XVI. The Beginning of the End 181 

XVII. A Mad-House 186 

XVIII. The Jumel Fables 198 

XIX. Invoking the Law 203 

XX. George Washington Bowen 213 

Afterword 223 

Appendix 231 

A. Text of the Carroll Deed of 1763 233 

B. The Marriage Settlement of Mary Philipse . . .238 
Index 243 

List of Illustrations 


Washington at Forty-Four, by John Trumbull 

. Frontispiece 

From a portrait attributed to Trumbull in the William Lanier Washington Collection and 
now hanging in the dining-room of the Mansion. Attached to the canvas is the studio card 
of "Colo. Trumbull 406 Broadway," written by himself. The picture is evidently a repro- 
duction of the head of his Washington at Trenton with the addition of the cocked hat. It 
shows Washington as he appeared at the time of his occupancy of the Morris house. 

Roger Morris's Bookplate . i 

Reproduced by permission of Amherst Morris, Esq., of Cheltenham, England. 

The House, Front View 2 

Ground Plans of the First and Second Floors, Attic, and Basement 6 

During General Washington's occupancy the great drawing-room was reserved for the 
courts martial of the line. The reception room was the Adjutant-General's office,^ and the 
small room behind it was the guard-room. The southeast chamber having a dressing-room 
opening from it was Washington's bedroom. It is probable that the rear chamber was used 
by Washington and his secretaries as a private office. The third-floor plan shows a hall and 
three half-story rooms, with a border of garret, under the eaves, extending around the 
entire floor with eleven low doors opening into it. The plan of the basement shows the great 
kitchen, 20 by 30 feet, and the laundry opening from it. Just what the other rooms were used 
for is uncertain. The plans were drawn by Mr. Joseph Palle, Architect. 

The House in 1887, when it was bought by Speculators . 


Roger Morris, who built the House 14 

From the portrait by Benjamin West, P.R.A., in the possession of Amherst Morris, Esq., 
of Cheltenham, England. 

Mary Philipse, for whom Washington entertained a "Sincere 

Regard" and WHO became Mrs. Morris 

From an engraving by H. B. Hall after the original picture formerly in the possession of 
Frederick Philipse, Esq. 


Mrs. Roger Morris 20 

From the portrait by Copley in the possession of Amherst Morris, Esq. Photographs of 
this portrait and that of Roger Morris were sent to the Museum in the mansion by Herbert 
Morris Bower, Esq., Mayor of Ripon, Yorkshire, England. 

X List of Illustrations 

Admiral Henry Gage Morris, Son of Roger Morris 22 

From a portrait in the possession of Amherst Morris, Esq. 

George Washington, by Charles Wilson Peale 28 

From a portrait painted by Peale in 1 791 for Colonel John Custis Wilson and now owned 
by Colonel Oswald Tilghman, of Maryland. It is identical with the Peale portrait owned 
by the New York Historical Society, which was painted five years later. The spot on the 
cheek is described by Peale as caused by an ulcerated tooth. The same scar shows in the 
Gibbs-Channing-Avery portrait. 

The First American Flag and the Evolution of the Flag ... 36 

The flag bearing the Union Jack with the thirteen stripes was used from the beginning of 
the Revolution till June 14, 1777. 

The New York Fire of 1776 52 

From the contemporary Augsbourg print, one of the "Collection des Prospects" for the 
magic lantern. 

Hannah Adams, who first published the Story of Nathan Hale . 56 

From an old lithograph by Pendleton, Boston, after the portrait by Chester Hardjng. 

The Capture of Nathan Hale at Huntington, Long Island ... 64 

From a lithograph by E. B. & E. C. Kellogg, after a drawing by J. Ropes for the Lije of 
Nathan Hale, by Isaac W. Stewart, 1856. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Tench Tilghman, Aide-de-Camp to Washington, 
1776-1782 76 

Tilghman served as a volunteer aide on the staff, refusing, like his chief, to accept pay. 
Though having at first the lowest rank on the staff, which he joined as lieutenant, he was a 
favorite of Washington, usually accompanying him on horseback. He was in business in 
Philadelphia when the war began, but belonged to the Maryland family. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Blatchley Webb, Aide-de-Camp . . So 

He came from Connecticut and was afterwards colonel of a Connecticut regiment. 

Dr. John Morgan, Medical Officer on the Staff ..... So 

Dr. Morgan, of Pennsylvania, was a civilian with the title of "Director of Hospitals," 

Colonel Joseph Reed, Adjutant-General 80 

Colonel Reed, of Pennsylvania, was Washington's Military Secretary in 1775 and 
Adjutant-General on the staff in 1776. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Hanson Harrison, of Virginia, Mili- 
tary Secretary to General Washington So 

British Map showing Movement to White Plains 90 

From the plan engraved for C. Stedman's History of the American War, London, 1794. 

List of Illustrations xi 

View of New York in 1761 98 

From the London Magazine, 1761. The sloop at the extreme right, according to a legend 
on the original, is "Colonel Morris's Fancy, turning to Windward with a Sloop of Common 

Sauthier's Map of the North Part of New York Island . . . 120 

From the map by Claude Joseph Sauthier published in 1777. Surveyed "immediately 
after" November 16, 1776, it shows Colonel Morris's house and the Heights as Washington 
had left them three weeks before. 

Sir Henry Clinton 128 

From a portrait by J. Smart, engraved by F. Bartalozzi and published in London, 1780. 

The Golden Ball Inn, Providence 144 

Madame de la Croix (Betsy Bowen), who became Madame Jumel . 148 

From Saint-Memin's reduction of his original crayon, 1797. This is the portrait of 
Madame Jumel at twenty-two. 

Mortuary Letter sent to Monsieur and Madame Jumel on the 
Death of Comte Henri Tascher de la Pagerie 154 

From the original. 

Aaron Burr, who married Madame Jumel in 1833 172 

From a woodcut after the painting by Vanderlyn. 

Madame Jumel at about the Time of her Marriage to Burr . . 176 

From a lithograph. 

Silhouette of Madame Jumel 184 

From the original made at Saratoga in 1842. 

Group Portrait of Madame Jumel and her Grand-Niece and Grand- 
Nephew 190 

The portrait was painted by Alcide Ercole in Rome in 1854. The break in the canvas 
caused by the inkstand thrown by William Inglis Chase is not discernible in the reproduc- 

The Drawing-Room 196 

From a photograph taken in 1887 and showing little change from Madame Jumel's time. 

The Entrance Hall of the House 200 

From a photograph taken in 1887. It is believed that this shows the hall much as it Was in 
Madame Jumel's time. 

xii List of Illustrations 

Genealogical Table of the Bowens, Clarks, and Chases . . . 204 

Redrawn after the original compiled by George Washington Bowen during the trial of 
Bowen vs. Chase and revised by James Wallace Tygard. 

George Washington Bowen 214 

From a photograph. 

George Washington Bowen's House on Hewes Street, Providence 218 

James Wallace Tygard, the Present Claimant 220 

Front Door and Balcony of the Jumel Mansion 226 

The Jumel Mansion 

The Jumel Mansion 




THE house was well built. That was fortunate, for it 
had a long life and a trying one before it; its stanch 
timbers were to weather storms, its broad roof to 
shelter deeds noble and ignoble, its wide halls to echo 
to the tread of great soldiers and to the bickerings of small peo- 
ple, its walls would have strange deeds to witness and dark 
secrets to keep. It was to be a house of history, of mystery, 
and of many fables. It was to begin its career in an era of pro- 
found peace, to take part in a great war, to have many owners, 
and then to settle down to a long ownership, and finally to be 
robbed and plundered by the harpies of the law. 

The story of the Roger Morris house of the Revolution, as 
we find it in current history, is largely woven out of romance 
and fable. The romantic story of its building for the bride in 
1758, the year of the marriage of Colonel Roger Morris and 
Mary Philipse, is a fable that was long passed from one his- 
torian to another. 

In 1758, and for five years thereafter, the farm, on which the 
Morris house was built later, was the property of Jacob Dyck- 
man and Yantie, his wife. It had come to Jacob by marriage, 
for Yantie, or Jannetje, Kiersen was the daughter of Jan Kier- 
sen, who had settled on the site of the Morris house as early as 
1700. "A half morgen of land from the common woods" on 
Jochem Pieters Hills was granted to Jan Kiersen aforesaid, that 
he might build a house and barn thereon and plant a garden, on 
condition that he set apart a strip of land for a road, or king's 


A hemt of 

Some bad history 

Jan Kiersen 

The Jumel Mansion 

Jan Kiersen's 
daughter Tantie 

The Carrol deed 

Some Dyckman 
spelling in 1^63 

highway, between his house and that of his neighbor Samuel 
Waldron. The king's highway became the King's Bridge Road, 
and the house that Kiersen built stood on the east side of that 

The Morris fannhouse, or "White House," that stood close 
to the road in the good old Dutch fashion at the time of the 
Revolution, was probably built at a later date, as the Kiersen 
family prospered. The date of Jan Kiersen's death and the 
descent of the property to his heirs is not given, but besides his 
daughter Yantie he left two sons, who seem to have parted 
with their interest in the farm before 1763. In that year the 
farm was sold, for "one thousand pounds of good and lawful 
money of New York," to one James Carrol. The signatures 
attached to the deed are interesting as showing the lack of ed- 
ucation among well-to-do people at that time. The deed was 
signed by Jacob Dyckman, Sr., and Yantie his wife, and by 
their married sons and daughters, in all by six married couples. 

THIS INDENTURE made this Twenty ninth of January in 
the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty three, 
between &c . . .^ 

In witness whereof the parties to these presents have hereunto 
Interchangeably set their hands and seals the day and year first 


above written. Jacob Dyckman (LS) Jannetje X (LS) Jacob 

her _ mark 

Deykmont (LS) Catalyntie X Dyckman (LS) Willem Dyck- 

her mark 

man (LS) Mary X Deykman (LS) John Vermilye (LS) Gerritye 

her mark 

X Vermilye (LS) Abraham Odle (LS) Rabeckh Odell (LS) 


Jonathan Odell (LS) Margaret Odel (LS) 

As there were no banks of deposit in those days, the thousand 
pounds was probably stowed away in leather wallets and gin- 
ger-jars until it could be invested in more land. 

James Carrol seems to have lived on the place for two years, 
raising fruit and vegetables for market in the little city ten 
miles to the south. Either truck-farming was not profitable at 
that early date or he may have bought the property for specu- 
lation: at all events, in the spring of 1765, he offered the farm 
for sale. His advertisement, which appeared week after week 
in the two city papers, the " Post Boy" and " Gaine's Mercury," 


* See Appendix A. 

"The House, Front View 

The House 

until its last appearance in the "Post Boy" on the 13th of 
June, gives us a little knowledge of the sort of crops he raised : — 

A pleasant situated farm on the road leading to King's Bridge, 
in the Township of Harlem of York Island, containing about 
100 acres: about 30 acres of which is Wood land, a fine piece of 
Meadow Ground, and more may easily be made: and commands 
the finest Prospect in the whole country; the Land runs from 
River to River, there is Fishing, Oystering, and Claming at either 
end. There is a good House, a fine Barn, 44 feet long and 42 feet 
wide or thereabouts, an Orchard of good Fruit, with plenty of 
Quince Trees that bear extraordinerily wall, three good gardens 
the produce of which are sent to the York Markets daily, as it 
sjuits. An indisputable Title to be given to the Purchaser. Inquire 
of James Carroll, living on the Premises, who will agree on rea- 
sonable terms. 

The Morrises lived at this time in their city house, at the 
southeast" corner of Whitehall and Stone Streets, which was 
near the east gate of the fort, and which, if standing now, would 
be under the east wall of the new custom-house. Up to this 
time they had probably spent most of their summers at the old 
manor house at Yonkers, the ancestral home of Mrs. Morris, 
then occupied by her brother, the Frederick Philipse of that 
day, whose city house was facing that of Colonel Morris. The 
land on which the Morris house stood, seems to have been in 
the possession of the Philipse family from a very early date. 
Mrs. Amherst Morris, in sending to the museum a document 
autographed by Mary Morris (Mary Philipse) in 1797, writes 
of the papers not destroyed by Admiral Henry Gage Morris, 
the eldest son of Roger Morris: — " 

There is also a very interesting old deed or patent signed by 
Governor Andros, Governor General under H.R.H. James Duke 
of York and Albany, of New York, in which he assigns a portion of 
land on the south side of Stone Street to Frederick Philipse, who 
had purchased the same. The date is 1689. 

Colonel Morris was the owner of a sloop-rigged yacht, the 
Fancy, which, with a favorable wind and tide, was the swiftest 
and most comfortable mode of travel between New York and 
Yonkers. His yacht lay at anchor in the East River when not 
on a cruise. An old engraving published in the "London Mag- 
azine" in 1761, and called "The South Prospect of the City of 
New York in North America," having the objects of interest 


The ^'■Post Boy," 
June /J, 176s 

The town house 
of Roger Morris 

His yacht 
the Fancy 

The Jumel Mansion 

No Morris deed 

Framing a house 

No house just 
like it in 

indicated by numbers, shows "22. Colonel Morris's Fancy 
turning to windward with a sloop of common mould." The 
windows along the hull would indicate that she had comfortable 
cabins below deck. If they drove to Yonkers by the Albany 
road, up Break-Neck Hill and past the "pleasant situated 
farm" with its "three good gardens" and the quince trees that 
"bore extraordinarily well," they had an opportunity to note 
the fine elevation of the site, on which they afterwards built 
their country seat. No Morris deed can be found, but the 
probability is that the withdrawal of the Carrol advertisement 
in the "Post Boy" in June, 1765, marks the time of the pur- 
chase of the property by Roger Morris and approximately that 
of the building of the house. 

That was a period of honest construction, when the oak tim- 
bers were cut and scored in the woods and hauled on to the 
ground by oxen ; when the sills and posts and plates were shaped 
with broadaxe and adze, and mortised with auger and chisel. 
The carpenters having completed the work of framing, the 
farmer-neighbors came to the "raising." The sills were laid on 
the cellar walls, and sections of the frame were raised into place 
and held by spike-shod poles of hickory until they were made 
secure for the ages with white-oak pins. The raising was 
"bossed" by the head carpenter, with hoarse cries of "Ready! 
He-o-heave!" and "Steady!" and when the work was done 
there were merry quips over the hard cider and doughnuts. 

There were special features in the construction of this stately 
house which were not usual in ordinary buildings. The outer 
walls were lined with good English brick, which received the 
plaster and served to keep out the heat of summer and the 
damp of autumn. The severe plainness of the colonial interior, 
where ornament was usually lavished on mantelpiece and stair- 
case, would suggest that rapidity of construction may have 
been a prime object and that the summer of 1766 may have 
found the house ready for occupancy. No essential, however, 
of stability in the foundation or in the superstructure was 
neglected, and only on the beautiful doorways was time lav- 
ishly spent. The plan of the house is Georgian, but of a pecu- 
liar English type seldom seen in this country. The distinguish- 
ing architectural feature is the deep, octagonal drawing-room 


The House 

projecting back from the broad entrance hall and forming with 
its wide doorway a peculiarly dignified interior. 

The unusually spacious halls are suggestively English, as 
comfortable survivals of the great halls in baronial castles 
where the lord of the manor and his retainers ate and slept, and 
which, in a reasonably diminished form, have held their dis- 
tinguished place in the great country houses. 

To an architect, one of the curious and interesting features in 
the construction of the old house is the stone gutter bordering 
the basement walls. Modem gutters on the roof have left it 
useless for a hundred years, but here it remains to tell its story 
of the past. It is in a good state of preservation, only, here and 
there, the turf overhanging and drooping into the stone drain 
and taking root in the crevices between the blocks. It consists 
of a ledge of limestone flagging twenty-two inches wide, just 
above the level of the lawn and sloping slightly to an eight-inch 
gutter, which is cut in a separate block of stone. For a space at 
the back of the house, the stone gutter has disappeared and has 
been replaced by a few sections of modem open drain tile. 

This flagging was laid down as the walls were built and is 
quite wide enough for a walk along the sides of the house ; it 
was intended in the old days to receive the plashing of the tor- 
rent from the roof and conduct it away underfoot instead of 

The house, when completed, contained (counting halls) nine- 
teen rooms and a finished and plastered garret. New York was 
a slaveholding colony in those early days, and the great kitchen, 
floored with plank, was in the basement. One of the three half- 
story rooms at the top of the house is provided with a fireplace, 
which seems never to have had a mantelpiece or any framework 
of wood, and may have been provided for the comfort of a pair 
of faithful negro servants, who cared for the house during the 


For one hundred and thirty years the house, above the base- 
ment, remained unchanged except for a partition wall shutting 
off the stairway from the lower hall, and designed to keep the 
living-rooms warmer in the winter-time during the open-fire 
period, and this was removed some years ago. Two English 
hob-grates were set in the fireplaces of the two parlors, probably 


Wide halls 

The eaves- 
trough on the 


unchanged for 
I JO years 

The Jumel Mansion 

Great kitchen.^ 
20 X 30 feet 


The . 

walls of stone 

Ample negro 

about 1827, for burning coal, and at some not remote period a 
door was opened between the southwest and the northwest 

It was the struggle to keep warm, in a house built for sum- 
mer habitation, that caused an important change belowstairs. 
When Roger Morris occupied it, the baronial room of the house 
was the great kitchen, where the joints were roasted before the 
open fire, in the good old English fashion, and where a bounti- 
ful table was spread for the family of colored servants. This 
kitchen was thirty feet long by twenty feet wide, having a floor 
area of six hundred square feet. It was larger than the great 

The outer walls of the house are more than two feet thick, 
and all the partition walls, dividing the smallest basement 
rooms, are stone walls a foot thick, rising from the foundation 
rock. On these walls the sills were laid for the first floor. This 
unusual kitchen space, twenty feet by thirty, made a great well 
to be bridged over, which was handled very simply by the car- 
penters, who laid a great twenty-foot beam from wall to wall 
across the center of the space, strong enough to receive the in- 
ner ends of the fifteen-foot sleepers which extended to the end 
walls of the room. This great beam is the only timber now visi- 
ble below the plastered ceiling. 

Into this great kitchen, when the house was built, opened all 
the kitchen offices, the buttery, the hallway to the region above- 
stairs, the dairy, and the laundry. The steps from the yard 
opened into the corner of the kitchen and afforded a pleasant 
shaft of ventilation in the hot summer days. The kitchen 
had a wooden floor. This was the ample kitchen of a "coun- 
try seat" where the house servants, who were African slaves, 
held sway in a realm of their own. There had been no thought 
of winter weather when the house was built, but /the time 
came in after years, when the house was occupied winter and 
summer, that the kitchen was found to be too large to keep 
warm, the more so as all the kitchen offices opened into it with 
swinging doors, and some owner built a new partition wall of 
brick, contracting the kitchen space by taking from it the 
L-shaped hall that now leads to the various basement rooms. 
If it was Stephen Jumel who made the change, the life of the 


'C EL L- U AR.' 

P O R.T\ CO 



'F 1 R.>3 T- F L.OOR. 

'v3E:CO ND'Fl^OOR' 


The House 

original kitchen, as Roger Morris built it, had been nearly half 
a century. 

The great fireplace was, and still is, at the east end of the 
kitchen, its mass of brick, nine feet wide, projecting from the 
wall one foot into the room. The significance of this projection 
was somewhat obscured by the walling-up of the right-hand 
recess, flush with the chimney face, all of which was heavily 
plastered over. There had been left, however, near the floor, a 
manhole a foot high by eight or nine inches wide, very much as 
a manhole is provided in the pavement of sidewalks and for 
mijch the same purpose. Against this end of the room a heavy 
carpenter's bench had stood for years. 

When the carpenter's bench was removed and a candle put 
through the hole, there was revealed the old fireplace, blackened 
by the smoke of many a log fire, and deeply banked with soot. 
When the hole was enlarged and the hearth was cleaned, one 
could get in and look about, candle in hand. The far-away day- 
light was visible at the top of the chimney. The breast of the 
chimney above the mantelpiece bulged inward into a narrow 
blackened throat, and pipe holes showed within that had been 
plastered over outside. The lower bricks at the back of the fire- 
place, which may have been banked with damp soot for a mat- 
ter of seventy-five years, were quite rotten and crumbled at the 
touch. High up on the right-hand side of the chimney is the 
opening of the flue from the Dutch oven. 

At the opposite end of the fireplace and at the proper height 
is the iron pivot from which swung the great crane that carried 
the cooking-pots when General Washington occupied the house. 
At the same end of the fireplace and a little higher up, a flat 
iron bar crosses the back angle of the chimney and is firmly 
bedded in the bricks. It has a round hole through it and is at 
the same level with a large pivot iron at the opposite end of tlje 
chimney, and these carried a bar with sliding chains from which 
to hang pots and kettles. 

When the heavy concrete plaster was removed from the face 
of the chimney, the outline of the old fireplace appeared, show- 
ing a flat arch composed of two rows of bricks resting on an iron 
support. The opening was seven feet wide and four and a half 
feet high at the center of the arch. The mantelpiece, which had 


A discovery 

A peep at the 
fireplace through 
the man-hole 

The TVashing- 
ton crane 


The mantelpiece 

The Dutch aven., 
opening into the 

The Jumel Mansion 

been hewn off flush with the bricks, was at the old-fashioned 
height, nearly six feet above the hearth. The mantel-bearer, 
on which the mantelpiece had rested, supported the front of the 
chimney, relieving the arch of undue strain. The right-hand 
pier of the fireplace is somewhat shattered, and the beforemen- 
tioned wall, flush with the front of the fireplace, and extending 
under the high window to the south wall, seems to have been 
built to support the crumbling pier of the fireplace, and built at 
a period before the fireplace passed out of use and was bricked 


An after discovery within the fireplace, and just above the 
brick bench, was the end of a brick arch, quite black with 
smoke, which, when uncovered, proved to be twenty inches 
wide and extending across the end of the chimney at a right 
angle with the arch of the fireplace. When a few bricks had 
been removed from this archway, it was possible to look into the 
cavity, where darkness had reigned for perhaps half a century, 
by putting a lighted candle through on the end of a wire. The 
light of the candle shone on the arch of the oven overhead, and 
on the level floor below, and on the inner side of the wall that 
had been built to strengthen the pier of the fireplace. This wall 
was unstained by fire or smoke, and the farther end of the oven- 
arch was broken off before it reached the wall, showing that the 
oven had been sacrificed to save the fireplace, and that the 
bulge of the oven had projected slightly into the kitchen. This 
unusual oven door, located within the fireplace, opened on a 
bench of brick upon which the bread was placed before shoving 
it into the oven. This bench was at other times a comfortable 
seat, whereon a ragged Continental soldier may have lounged, 
warming his feet at the blazing logs. 

That some alterations in the interior should creep into so old 
a house, occupied by so many owners and by so many tenants, 
would seem inevitable, but, barring the aforesaid alterations, 
the house seems to have come down to the end of the Jumel 
period, 1887, and even to 1894, ahnost exactly as it was origi- 
nally built. 

An advertisement, published in 1792, in the "New York 
Daily Advertiser," offering the house and farm for sale, ^ves 
the earliest known description of the interior. Anthony L. 


The House 

An opportunity 
for the city of 
New Tori 

^^New Tork 


Bleecker seems to have been a real-estate operator in the city 
of New York, who bought the property on February i, adver- 
tised it for sale on the ist of March, and later sold it to Leonard 
Parkinson. The description is detailed and interesting and will 
be especially valuable when the city of New York gets ready to 
make a complete and much-needed restoration in the house. 
The statement that there were ever three fireplaces on the third 
floor was evidently a mistake of the new owner, as the relation 
of the walls to the chimneys would have made such a number of 
fireplaces impossible. 
.The advertisement follows: — 


To he sold at private sale 

That pleasant and much admired seat, Harlem Heights, for- 
merly the property of the Hon. Roger Morris, distant ten miles 
from New York, containing about one hundred and thirty acres 
of good arable pasture and meadow land, including five acres of 
best salt meadow. The land produces good crops of grain and 
grass and extends across the island from river to river, and from 
the advantage of a communication by water on each side and the 
easy transportation of manure from the city may be brought to 
any state of improvement required. On the premises is a large 
dwelling-house built in modern style and taste and elegance. It 
has a front portico supported by pillars embelished and finished in 
character; a large hall through the centre; a spacious dining-room 
on the right with an alcove, closets and convenient pantry and 
storeroom adjoining, and beyond these a light easy mahogany 
staircase. On the left is a handsome parlor and a large back room 
particularly adapted and fitted for a nursery. A passage from the 
rear of the hall leads to an oblong octagon room about thirty-two 
feet by twenty-two, with six sash windows, marble chimney piece, 
and a lofty airy ceiling. On the second floor are seven bedcham- 
bers, four with fireplaces and marble hearths; arid a large hall 
communicating with a gallery under the portico, and from which 
there is a most inviting prospect. On the upper floor are five lodg- 
ing-rooms, three of which have fireplaces ; and at the top of the The house has 
house is affixed an electric conducter. Underneath the building a lightning-rod 
are a large commodious kitchen and laundry and wine cellar, 
storeroom, kitchen pantry, sleeping apartments for servants, and 
a most complete dairy-room. The floor is solid flat rock, and which 
with common attention to cleanliness cannot fail to render the 
place constantly cool and sweet. There are also on the premises a 
large barn and most excellent coach-house and stables. The 
buildings have been rather neglected of late, and will want some 



Its southern 

An extensive 

The Jumel Mansion 

From the top of 
the house 

repairs, but are in Qther respects substantially firm, sound and 
good. The house has a southern aspect, and being situated on 
rising ground at the narrowest part of York Island commands an 
extended view of the Hudson and the opposite range of lofty rock 
cliffs that bound the western shore, of the East River, Harlem 
River, Hell Gate, the Sound many miles to the eastward, and the 
shipping that are constantly passing and repassing. In front is 
seen the City of New York, and the high hills on Staten Island 
distant more than twenty miles. To the left Long Island, West- 
chester, Morrisania, and the village of Harlem with its cultivated 
surrounding fields exhibit a variety of pleasing views; in short, 
Harlem Heights affords a prospect as extensive, varied and de- 
lightful as any seat in the United States and considering its healthy, 
desirable position, the ample accommodation of the buildings, 
its practical distance from town, the excellent road that leads to it, 
and the many other attendant advantages, cannot fail to strike the 
observation of any one as an eligible retreat for a gentleman fond 
of rural employments and who wishes to pass the summer months 
with pleasure and comfort. 

The premises to be viewed at any time. Further particulars 
may be known by applying to 

Anthony L. Bleecker & Son, 

No. 22 Wall Street. 

The prospect was all that the new owner claimed. It was 
later the boast of the Jumel family that seven counties could 
be seen from the "gallery under the portico." One of these was 
Richmond County on Staten Island. The others were New 
York County, Westchester, just across the Harlem River, Kings 
and Queens on Long Island, and two counties across the Hud- 
son, one in New York and one in New Jersey. 

From the top of the house, to-day, some idea may be formed 
of the extended view of the surrounding country commanded 
by its windows when it was built, and for a hundred years 
thereafter. To the west, the forest crowning the Palisades 
stretched in a long line against the sky, while the bosom of the 
wide Hudson was covered by the nearer bank of the river, 
which drew a wavy line of green against the granite walls of the 
Palisades. On the other hand, beyond the East River, the pale- 
blue hills of Long Island closed the horizon, fading into the haze 
of the distant Sound, to reappear in the Connecticut shore and 
swell into the wooded hills of Westchester. Away to the south, 
Staten Island lay softly across the bay beyond the low houses 
of the old city of New York. 


The House in i88y 

The House 


The ground rose slightly behind the house toward Fort 
Washington and Fort George, but in every other direction the 
house crowned the landscape and dominated the surrounding 
country with its four white walls, just as, in distinction, it 
looked down on the humbler houses threaded along the line of 
the King's Bridge Road, and the homes on Morris Heights, 
beyond the Harlem River. To the family who built it, this 
handsome country seat was known as "Mount Morris." 

After the Revolution the house passed through many hands 
before it dropped into the long ownership of the Jumels. This 
period, including its Revolutionary and pre-Revblutionary 
days covered more than a hundred and twenty-five years, dur- 
ing which the house remained, externally and internally, almost 
exactly as it had been built. Even the speculators who bought 
the property in 1887, and who laid out the cross-roads and built 
extensively in what had been the original doorya'rd, made no 
change in the interior or exterior of the house. If the house had 
come into the possession of the city in 1894, except in the great 
kitchen no restoration would have been needed. Otherwise, it 
was still the house as Roger Morris had built it and as it was 
when Washington occupied it. 

In 1894, however, the old colonial house fell into unapprecia- 
tive ownership. Most of the fine colonial mantelpieces were 
torn out and consigned to the cellar, and carved-oak mantel- 
pieces, surmounted with looking-glasses, were installed in their 
stead. The ceilings and cornices were papered, and in the small 
parlor the woodwork was painted red. In the octagon parlor a 
decoration was put on the ceiling and on the panels under the 
windows both of which were originally plain. Throughout the 
house the small brass doorknobs gave place to cheap earthen 
ones, the liona heads on the inside shutters were removed, and 
the tall double entrance doors were replaced by a single door. A 
kitchen was built in the angle of the house, closing one east-side 
entrance door and closing two windows, one looking north from 
the first landing of the stairway and the other from that side of 
the butler's pantry. The flight of steps leading from the first 
landing into the butler's pantry was removed, and the door lead- 
ing to it was lathed and plastered over. In the chamber be- 
lieved to have been General Washington's office, at the north 


Mount Morris 

Little change for 
one hundred and 

What hefel in 


The Jumel Mansion 

A studio was 

Already an old 
farming country 

Their viewpoint 

end of the second floor, an alteration was made, converting the 
room into a studio by breaking into the garret to get a north 
light. A dormer window that had lighted the garret was re- 
moved and a railing put up to close the open garret end, and 
the English hob-grate was brought up from the octagon parlor 
to ornament the studio. It is fair to state that before this 
transformation was made a fire occurred in the room, burning 
a portion of the ceiling and damaging the dormer window. 

The country in which this house was built was not a new 
country, where the woods predominated, but already a country 
of tilled fields and cultivated farms and orchards and gardens. 
The Albany Post-Road was an old king's highway, skirting the 
Hudson, its course dotted with villages, and connecting two 
colonial cities. As it led out of New York across Harlem 
Heights, it connected certain colonial houses, whose aristo- 
cratic families justly regarded themselves as the last word in the 
culture and refinement of their day. Their sons were educated 
at King's College, and their daughters went to fashionable 
boarding-schools, where they were taught deportment, the 
musical glasses and the globes. On state occasions they ap- 
peared in embroidered coats and powdered wigs, riding in 
stately coaches drawn by bob-tailed horses gay with glittering 
harness, and to them New York was an old city and the period 
in which they lived was an age of bewildering inventions. 

Their viewpoint was much the same as ours. They were 
sorry for their ancestors, the New Yorkers of the century be- 
fore, who had not lived to see the marvels of their day. They 
wondered together what Peter Stuyvesant or Wouter Van 
Twiller, if he could be translated back to earth, would think of 
the paved streets and the high buildings and the great semi- 
weekly gazettes, with news from all the world, scarcely a month 
old, and the fire companies with leather buckets, and the light- 
ning rods and Franklin stoves, and the "flying machines" 
drawn by horses over country roads at eight miles an hour. 




ROGER MORRIS, who built the house, was born 
in England, January 28, 1727. He secured a cap- 
taincy in the Forty-eighth Foot, in the year 1745, 
at the age of eighteen. Ten years later he came to 
America as aide-de-camp on the staff of General Braddock, and 
was wounded in the engagement with the Indians on the banks 
of the Monongahela, in July, 1755. It was here that he first 
met Washington, who was also on the staff of Braddock. "A 
few months later," according to Mrs. Amherst Morris, in the' 
"Herefordshire Magazine" for November, 1907, Captain 
Roger Morris was recovering from his wound in New York and 
at the same time George Washington was visiting at the house 
of Beverly Robinson, a Virginian who had married the elder 
sister of Mary Philipse, "the charming Polly," who was to 
fascinate both 6f these soldiers and marry one of them. Per- 
haps neither of them was an active wooer at this early date, and 
Morris seems to have served in a campaign with his regiment 
in 1757, under Lord Loudon, but he was back in New York in 
July of that year, when Washington was on duty in Philadel- 
phia. It is in this year of 1757 that Joseph Chew, of New Lon- 
don, Connecticut, a friend of Washington's and a frequent 
guest at Beverly Robinson's, appears on the scene with the 
only docimientary evidence of Washington's interest in Mary 

She seems to have spent much time in New York as the guest 
of her sister, Mrs. Robinson. Social life was dull at the manor 
house in comparison with the gayety of a garrison town like 
New York, with its "microcosms" and balls. In spite of her 
fortune she was at this time a spinster of twenty-seven. Wash- 
ington was a susceptible young colonel of twenty-five, and 


Roger Morris 
the builder 
comes to America 

" The charming 

Was a spinster 
of twenty-seven 


The Jumel Mansion 

Joseph Chew's 
first record 

July 13 

From letter of 
Joseph Chew to 

Joseph Chew 
again in New 

Captain Morris was thirty and "a Ladys man, always some- 
thing to say." On March 14, Joseph Chew makes his first 
record in the closing lines of his letter to Washington from 
New York: — 

I arrived here from New London a few days agoe and hearing 
you was at Philadelphia trouble you with this, and Captain Mer- 
cer with the inclosed. . . . 

I am now at Mr. Robinson's, he Mrs. Robinson and his Dear 
Little Family are all well they desire their Compliments to you. 
Pretty Miss Polly is in the same Condition & situation as you saw 
her . . . 

On July 13, he writes to Washington from New London, 
where he has just returned from New York. As usual he leaves 
love affairs to the end of his letter: — 

as to the Latter part of your Letter what shall I say, I often 
had the Pleasure of Breakfasting with the Charming Polly, Roger 
Morris was there (dont be startled) but not always, you know him 
he is a Ladys man, always something to say, the Town talk't of it 
as a sure & settled Affair. I can't say I think so and that I much 
doubt it, but assure you had Little Acquaintance with Mr. Morris 
and only slightly hinted it to Miss Polly; but how can you be 
Excused to Continue so long at Phila. I think I should have made 
a kind of Flying march of it if it had been only to have seen 
whether the Works were sufficient to withstand a Vigorous Attack, 
you a Soldier and a Lover, mind I have been arguing for my own 
Interest now for had you taken this method then I should have 
had the Pleasure of seing you — my Paper is almost full and I 
am Convinced you will be heartily tyred in Reading it — however 
will just add that I intend to set out tomorrow for New York 
where I will not be wanting to let Miss Polly know the sincere Re- 
gard youb a Friend of mine has for her. and I am sure if she had my 
Eyes to see thro she would Prefer him to all others my Respects 
to Capts. Mercer & Stewart, if my Brother is in your way let him 
know I am well, now my Dear Friend I wish you Eternal Happi- 
ness and Content and assure you that I am with sincere Esteem 

Your most Obedt. Servt. 
Jos. Chew. 

The post brings an Acct. of the Arrival of the Fleet from Eng- 
land for which the Lord be praised — 

On the 8th of August, Joseph Chew is again in New York and 
again a guest of the Robinsons, for on that date Beverly Robin- 
son writes a letter to Washington, and Joseph Chew adds a 
postscript, written on the same paper: — 

... I 

Roger Morris 

The Man who Built the House 

... I arrived here a few days agoe Mrs Robinson & her Dear 
little Family are well Miss Polly has had a pain in her Face but is 
on the mendg hand. I pray Heaven to Protect you and Assure 
that I am my Dear Sir 

Your Obed Servt. 

Jos. Chew. 

The English descendants of Mary Philipse claim that Wash- 
ington made a fonnal offer of his hand to that young lady. It 
is plain that no such proposal had been made before Joseph 
Chew's letter in July, and the English claim is probably with- 
out foundation. In her article on Mary Philipse, Mrs. Amherst 
Morris tells us, "Mr. Chew's letter had the desired effect, and 
Washington set out for New York, arriving there one winter's 
evening; late as the hour was he sought and obtained an inter- 
view with Miss Polly." Was not that a rather tardy response, 
on the part of a young man as ardent as we know Washington 
was, to the letter of his friend written in July? 

The marriage took place at the manor house at Yonkers on 
the 28th of January, 1758. The engagement had been a short 
one. Only six months before the marriage it had been a rumor 
— only a rumor — which Joseph Chew, a guest of the family, 
refused to believe, and it is not likely that their town house was 
ready for them at the time of the marriage. The house they 
finally built and occupied was on the southeast corner of White- 
hall and Stone Streets, opposite to the house of Frederick Phil- 
ipse. It is an interesting fact that the site on the south side of 
Stone Street where Colonel Morris built, had been inherited by 
Frederick Philipse from his uncle in 1749, and it was probably 
given to the bride either at the time of the marriage or soon 
after. Colonel Morris left the statement that he built himself 
"a very good house in New York City which, with all its furni- 
ture was destroyed by the fire in N.Y. in Sept. 1776." 

The marriage settlement ^ of Roger Morris and Mary Phil- 
ipse is a curious, old-fashioned deed, ingeniously drawn to entail 
her estate upon her prospective and unborn children. A divi- 
sion of the lands of the great Philipse Manor seems to have been 
made at some previous time, so that Mary Philipse was the 
owner of 51,102 acres of land at the time of her marriage. 


• See Appendix B. 


No proposal by 

The marriage 
in i-jsS 

Marriage settle- 
ment — a curious 
old deed 

The Man who Built the House 


accompanied Wolfe in the expedition against Quebec and was 
attached to the cor'ps d^ elites the Louisbourg grenadiers, with whom 
he participated in the battle of the Plains of Abraham; Major 
Morris also performed good service at the battle of Sillery, 28th 
April, 1760, in which the French defeated the English. In May 
following he was promoted to be lieutenant-colonel of the Forty- 
seventh Foot in the place of Hale, appointed to the Eighteenth 
Light Dragoons, and commanded the Third Battalion in the ex- 
pedition against Montreal that summer, under General Murray. 
He sold his commission and retired from the army in June, 1764, 
when he was elevated to the Executive Council of the Province, 
in which body he took his seat on the 5 th of December following. 

Thus we find him retired from the army in 1764, with an 
ample fortune and a member of the most distinguished legis- 
lative body in the colony. The aristocracy of New York at that 
time had their fine country seats as well as their houses in the 
city. Morris's wife was ambitious, and no New York family of 
that day could better afford to have two establishments than 
the Morrises. Frederick Philipse had the manor house at Yon- 
kers, and the Beverly Robinsons had then, or soon after, their 
country home at Dobbs Ferry. With his retirement to private 
life, and with the new honors conferred upon him, Morris seems 
to have yielded to the natural desire of an English gentleman 
to provide himself with a country seat. He left the army in 
June, 1764, and just one year afterwards, in June, 1765, the 
farm on Harlem Heights was offered for sale, and it is probable 
that he came into possession then of the most desirable and 
commanding site on the island of Manhattan for his country 

The year 1765 found the colonies at peace with the mother 
country. The first rumblings of the Revolution had scarcely 
been heard. The ten following years, during which Roger Mor- 
ris sat in the Legislative Council of the colony, included some of 
the happiest years of his domestic life. There were four children 
in the family, two sons and two daughters. These were, by 
name, Henry Gage Morris ; Amherst Morris, named for his god- 
father, Lord Amherst ; Joanna Morris and Maria Morris. Dur- 
ing this perio4 we hear little of the doings of Roger Morris, who 
was, nevertheless, a man of affairs in the small city. In Hugh 
Gaine's "Mercury" for May 2, 1768, we find the following 

advertisement : — 


His military 

Wanttd — a 
country seat 

There were four 


The Jumel Mansion 

A tavern with 
conveniency for 
entertainment of 

Members of the 

To be let and entered upon immediately, The noted tavern, at 
the sign of the Freemason's Arms, on the west side of the Broad- 
way, fronting the great square, late the property of John Jones, 
but now belonging to the Hon. Roger Morris Esq. It contains 12 
Fireplaces, two large dancing Rooms, with every other Conven- 
iency for the Reception and Entertainment of Company, and has 
had a great run of business for many years past. Whosoever in- 
clines to hire said house are desired to apply to Andrew Gautier, 
who will agree for the same on reasonable terms. 

The members of the Legislative Council of the colony of 
New York, in 1765, were as follows: Cadwallader Colden, 
Lieutenant-Governor; Daniel Horsmanden, Chief Justice; John 
Watts, Oliver De Lancey, Charles Ward Apthorp, Roger Mor- 
ris, William Smith, Hugh Wallace, Henry White, William Ax- 
tell, and John Harris Cruger. 

Cadwallader Colden, at the time Roger Morris and John 
Watts sailed for England, was an old man of seventy-seven and 
an ardent Royalist, who had suffered for his loyalty to the 
King. When a cargo of the hated stamps was committed to his 
care, he placed them in the fort for safe-keeping. This so an- 
gered the "Liberty Boys" that he was burned in effigy and his 
private carriage was drawn out of the fort and committed to 
the flames before his eyes. 

Daniel Horsmanden, Chief Justice, was an old servant of the 
Crown, and at the beginning of the war was infirm with years 
and already nearing his end. He died soon afterwards and was 
buried in Trinity churchyard. 

John Watts was a man of distinction in the colony and at the 
time he left the country with Roger Morris was slated to suc- 
ceed Lieutenant-Governor Colden as President of the Council. 
Unlike his fellow exile, he took his wife with him and never 
returned to America. 

Oliver De Lancey raised a regiment of loyal Americans and 
operated on Long Island in 1776, much to the annoyance of 
Washington. He became a major-general in the British army. 
He was a relative of Mrs. Morris, and after the confiscation of 
his estates in the colonies he bought an estate in Yorkshire, and 
the Morrises are said to have followed his lead in selecting York 
for their place of exile. 
The members of the Council were all famous New Yorkers. 


The Man who Built the House 


Charles Ward Apthorp was a member of that body from 1763 
to 1783. He died at his country seat at Bloomingdale in 1797. 

William Smith owned a plantation up the East River, which, 
after the British occupation of the city, was out of their juris- 
diction, and he avoided taking sides for years by retiring to 
this property. In 1778, however, the year of Roger Morris's 
return to America, William Smith also returned to his allegiance 
to the Crown. 

Hugh Wallace, of the Council, was arrested and sent a pris- 
oner to Middletown, Connecticut, in 1776, where he was an 
exile with Frederick Philipse. 

Henry White was a general merchant in New York and was 
one of the consignees of the taxed tea. He fled to England 
shortly after Morris and Watts. 

William Axtell and John Harris Cruger were both colonels in 
the British service. The former had a fine country seat at Flat- 
bush, and both fell under the ban of confiscation, and sold their 
furniture at auction in the city of New York in 1783 before 
leaving the country. 

When Washington took command of the army at Cambridge 
in January, 1775, the Morrises had been married seventeen 
years. Whatever opinion Roger Morris may have held as to 
the justice of the cause of the colonists, he was not ready to 
enter into revolt against the English Government, in whose 
service he had spent most of his life. He was a man of large 
wealth and it behooved him to look ahead and divine if possible 
what would be the result of the war. His position as a member 
of the "King's Council" jeopardized his property. He might 
be obliged to sanction measures at the next meeting that would 
bring upon him the wrath of the "Liberty Boys," who loved 
to bum the houses of Loyalists. He had not yet taken sides. 
His wife, now a matron of forty-five, was quite capable of look- 
ing after the family estate. She would have no political en- 
tanglements. He believed that it was only a question of time 
when the home Government would regain control of the colo- 
nies. He could avoid taking sides by leaving the country. He 
would not need to stay away very long. 

There was another member of the Council who was evidently 
of the same opinion, John Watts, who, besides his town house, 


January, 7775 

Morris leaves 
the country 


The Jumel Mansion 

The Harriet 
packet tugs at 
her anchor 

Love letters of 
an exile 

had a country house on the Bowery. Now, it happened that on 
the 4th day of May, 1775, the Harriet Packet was taking on the 
mails for Falmouth, and Roger Morris and John Watts seem 
to have decided, while the mails were being taken aboard, to 
leave the country. 
Governor Colden wrote to Lord North by the same packet : — 

... So many gentlemen have since taken the resolution to go 
over in this Pacquet, that your Lordship may have the best In- 
formation from a variety of Hands. Mr. Watts and Col. Morris, 
both of the Council, have within a few hours of the Pacquet's 
sailing taken their resolution to go. 

The "New York Journal," or the "General Advertiser," in 
its weekly issue on Thursday, May 11, published the fol- 
lowing: — 

Thursday last the Harriet, Packet, Capt. Lee, sailed with the 
Mail for Falmouth in whom went Passengers, the Hon. John 
Watts and Roger Morris, Esqrs. Members of his Majesty's Coun- 
cil for this Province. 

Mrs. Morris with her children doubtless occupied her country 
home, "Mount Morris," as the family called it, in the summer 
of 177s, and possibly in the spring of 1776. In the summer of 
1776, New York City was the seat of war, and every family that 
could doso left it. During both summers Colonel Morris was en- 
during his self-imposed exile, and how much he longed for his 
home may be gathered from his letters to his wife. Mrs. Am- 
herst Morris* tells us that he had taken chambers in London so 
as to get the earliest news from America. In one letter he says : 

I wish I could send any public news of interest that would be 
agreeable, and could be depended on. All expectation at present, 
is upon what will be done in America. A most unhappy and un- 
natural contest. Every one I talk to upon the subject say they 
think so too, but it still continues. 

In a later letter: — 

God almighty grant that some fortunate circumstance will 
happen to bring about a suspension of hostilities. As to myself I 
breathe only: Pleasure I can have none until I am back with you. 
How much I miss you! Your repeated marks of tender love and 
esteem so daily occur to my mind that I am totally unhinged. 
Only imagine that I, who as you well know, never tidought myself 


» Mrs. Amherst Mcwris in the Hertfordshire Magazine, November, 1907. 


Mrs. Roger Morris 

The Man who Built the House 


so happy anywhere as under my own roof, have now no Home, 
and am a wanderer from day to day. 

And again he writes to his "dearest Life": — 

My chief wish is to spend the remainder of my days with you, 
whose Prudency is my great comfort, and whose Kindness in 
sharing with patience and resignation those misfortunes which 
we have not brought upon ourselves is never failing. 

Colonel Morris remained abroad for a period of two years 
and seven months, returning to America late in the autumn of 
1777. A position was made for him in the military government 
of the city of .New York. As many Loyalist refugees, who had 
been deprived of their property during the war, were constantly 
demanding compensation from the British Government, an 
office was established to adjudicate their claims. Roger Morris 
was appointed Inspector of the Claims of Refugees, with the 
rank of colonel, and he retained this position until the treaty of 
peace was signed in 1783. 

During his exile Colonel Morris copied all his letters to his 
wife into a book, before conunitting them to what he seems to 
have regarded as the uncertainty of the mails. It was his son, 
Henry Gage Morris, rear-admiral in the British navy (who 
seems to have been the family iconoclast), who destroyed the 
family papers with a ruthless hand. Mrs. Amherst Morris 
writes to the author in November, 191 1 : — 

The only documents preserved were in an old book belonging to 
Col. Roger Morris, and in this book the Colonel had made a copy 
of every letter written to his wife during his exile. In those trou- 
blous times it was doubtful whether his letters would reach their 
destination, and so he copied each letter just after writing it to 
enable him to assure his wife when they finally met, that he had 
missed no opportunity of writing. This ancient book was lent me 
by his grandson, the late Rev. Adolphus Morris, and I do not 
know into whose hands it has fallen. I made a careful copy of each 
letter, but unfortunately the book is, with all my other books, 
furniture, etc., in store. 

Something of the character of Roger Morris may be deter- 
mined from his portrait by Benjamin West and from his pecu- 
liar action in leaving the country at the beginning of the Revo- 
lution, to avoid taking sides. His whole ambition, at that time, 
was to pass the remainder of his life in the quiet of domestic 


To his " dearest 
Life^ . . . whose 
prudency is my 
great comfort" 

Copied his letters 
into a book 

Gentle character 
of Roger Morris 


The Jumel Mansion 

His life 
arranged for him 

A decision of the 
Philipse family 

happiness with his wife and children, shifting his hearthstone, 
with the change in the seasons, from one to the other of the two 
houses he had built. He only desired to be left in undisturbed 
enjoyment of the vast property that had come to him with his 
charming wife. 

That he was a kindly English gentleman, a good father and a 
loving husband, is plainly evident in the devoted letters that 
he wrote to his wife during the two years and seven months of 
their separation. His life, however, seems to have been ar- 
ranged for him by benevolent interference over which he had 
no control. After the English custom of that day, in providing 
a career for younger sons, his family had purchased for him a 
commission in the army, at the early age of eighteen, when 
what we know of his character would indicate that he was bet- 
ter suited for a career in the Church. There is no reason to 
doubt that he was a good soldier and a faithful officer, or that 
his service in the army was not an entirely creditable one; but 
he was certainly not what we recognize as a bom soldier. He 
was not a leader of men, and knowing as we do the strong char- 
acter of his wife it is not likely that he was even a leader of 
women, but rather a gentle and obedient husband in his own 

That his rather questionable course, as a retired British 
officer, in leaving the country to avoid taking sides in the great 
issue of the Revolution, was of his own free will, may be very 
reasonably doubted. It is more likely that in the judgment of 
the Philipse family, in view of their vast landed possessions, 
it was decided that the one member of the family who was a 
retired British officer should exile himself before he could be 
drawn into^the British army. His wife had the executive ability 
to manage their vast property, and when he made the prompt 
decision on the 5th of May, 1775, to sail in the Harriet Pacquet, 
and boarded the ship while she was taking on the mails and 
tugging at her anchor to be off, it is much more likely that that 
prompt decision to leave the country was the decision of Mary 
Philipse than of Roger Morris. 

While the Philipses were reckoned as Tories, they showed no 
disposition to take sides in the early years of the Revolution. 
They entertained American and British officers alike. When 


Admiral Henry Gage Morris 

The Man who Built the House 


General Howe's army returned from White Plains to the cap- 
ture of Fort Washington, the higher officers were guests at the 
manor house, but they were entertained with no greater cor- 
diality than had been extended to General Washington and his 
staff, three weeks before, and which would have been extended 
again had the opportunity offered. 

In his ten years' service as a member of the King's Council, 
we hear of no legislation initiated by Roger Morris nor have we 
any reason to believe that he took an active part in the deliber- 
ations of that body. A seat in the Council gave him social dis- 
tinction, and, as an easy-going English gentleman, he valued it 
for that advantage. He was not a leader of men. The retreating 
chin and weak jaw, shown in the portrait by Benjamin West, 
bespeak for him only gentler and more amiable qualities. 

Ten years in the 
King's Council 



Betsy Bowen 





WHEN General Washington took possession of the 
Roger Morris house for his military headquarters, 
Roger Morris, its owner and builder, had been for 
more than a year in London, and Mrs. Morris, 
with her children, had already joined her sister-in-law, Mrs. 
Frederick Philipse, in the manor house at Yonkers. 

At the same time, in this second year of the Revolution and 
the eleventh year of the house, there lay, in a wretched room 
in or near the village of Providence, in the colony of Rhode 
Island, a baby girl, the child of poverty and vice, who was 
destined to rival Mary Philipse as the mistress of the Roger 
Morris house, and to give it a new name and a new character. 
Mrs. Morris had left her house never to return, but the house 
was not empty or abandoned on General Washington's arrival. 
It was occupied by the officers of General Heath's great picket, 
that had been posted for ten miles along the shore of the East 
River to watch for the approach of the enemy, and whose 
service had ended with the landing of the British the day 
before. The officers of the picket only remained in the house to 
hand it over to the Commander-in-Chief. 

The anticipation of the evacuation of New York City had 
stirred the patriotism of the army as no crisis had stirred it 
before. Plans for wreaking vengeance on the invaders had gone 
so far among the troops that Washington was powerless to stem 
the current, and his arrival at the Morris house was closely 
followed by one of the most important events of the Revolu- 
tion, which, although easily the most tragical event in the his- 
tory of the city of New York, has disappeared from American 
history almost as completely as if its happenings had never 
been. I refer to the unofficial and unsuccessful, but intensely 

Washington Comes to the House 

patriotic, attempt of a few young officers of the Continental 
army to bum the city of New York, within the week after the 
British had come into possession. The history of this short 
period is full of error, and in later years the history of the house 
that Washington occupied for thirty-three days is a remarkable 
output of romantic fables, which are trotted out periodically 
by the newspapers of the day as good history. These particular 
fables were the inventions of a woman's disordered mind, at a 
particular period, and may be readily dismissed as such. 

The errors in Revolutionary history, during the short period 
when Washington occupied the Morris house, are not so easily 
corrected. The reliable sources of information are few: the 
Revolutionary papers published in the "American Archives" 
by Peter Force, the English and American gazettes of the day, a 
scrap of biography by General Heath, an experience of Rufus 
Putnam, a few lines in the Clinton Papers, and a stray letter or 
two written by Samuel Blatchley Webb, and privately printed, 
pretty nearly cover the supply of facts in print. A couple of 
impublished letters (historically quite unknown) throw a curi- 
ous light upon a dinner given by General Washington in the 
Roger Morris house during the thirty-three days, and afford 
the only picture of any social event that took place at his head- 
quarters. A few pages of an unpublished diary throw an extra 
ray of light upon doings outside the house. 

Before coming to the evacuation of New York City, it will be 
advisable to give the reader some idea of conditions in the city 
before that event, and of the feeling in the army about evacua- 
tion. Ever since the disastrous battle of Long Island, there had 
been a growing party in favor of burning the city, which it 
was plain the American army could not hold. The strongest 
advocates of this measure were the New England troops, and 
General Nathanael Greene, of Rhode Island, was the most con- 
spicuous leader in the movement. Many letters show that the 
British army feared to see the city in flames before General 
Howe could secure it for winter quarters. It would seem that 
General Greene's arguments made a strong impression upon 
General Washington, who laid the matter before Congress 
and was told that he must not burn the city. His hands were 
therefore tied, and there was no official hand in the burning. 



Romantic fables 

A few authorities 

Growing party 
in favor of 
burning the city 


The Jumel Mansion 

A breakfast with 
General Putnam 

Three men, idle 
spectators, killed 
by one cannon 

General Put- 
nam's quarters 
at the Kennedy 
house still 

It was not until Saturday, the 14th of September, that Gen- 
eral Washington put his army in motion to abandon the city 
of New York and retire behind the fortifications he had already 
begun on Harlem Heights. He breakfasted that morning at 
General Putnam's quarters, in the Kennedy house, No. i, 
Broadway, with Messrs. Collins and Stanton and Colonel 
Babcock, a delegation from the Governor of Rhode Island, 
who were his official guests. 

Colonel Babcock, in his report to Governor Cooke, gives us 
a glimpse of events in the city on the afternoon of Friday, the 
day before the evacuation. He writes: — 

We arrived at New York 13th current; in concert with John 
Collins, Esq., waited on General Washington, with the other Gen- 
eral Officers. Just after dinner three frigates and a forty gun ship 
(as if they meant to attack the city) sailed up the East River, 
under a gentle breeze towards Hell Gate, and kept up an incessant 
fire, assisted with the cannon at Governors Island. The batteries 
from the city returned the ships the like salutation. Three men 
agape, idle spectators, had the misfortune of bein^ killed by one 
cannon ball. The other mischief suffered on our side was incon- 
siderable, saving the making a few holes in some of the buildings. 
One shot struck within six foot of General Washington, as he was 
on horseback riding into the Fort. 

We this day (being a very busy time with the officers of the 
army) were assured by the General should have an audience at six 
o'clock next morning. However his Excellency came and break- 
fasted with us at General Putnam's, hard by the Fort where we 
lodged. He further assured us he would attend us at General 
Putnam's an hour before dinner. He did so. 

These meetings were at General Putnam's quarters, because, 
remaining in the city with his division as a rear guard to cover 
the removal of property, his quarters at the Kennedy house 
were still undisturbed, while Washington's were dismantled. 
In short, the Commander-in-Chief breakfasted at General 
Putnam's table because he had no table of his own, and after 
the interview "an hour before dinner," he probably dined with 
General Putnam. By that time his own headquarters baggage 
had probably reached the Morris house, with the staff servants 
at hand to put the house in order and the Adjutant-General's 
clerks to arrange his office for business. It was on that morning 
that Colonel Reed, the Adjutant-General, wrote to his wife: 


Washington Comes to the House 

"My bagage is all at Kings Bridge. We expect to remove 
thither this evening. I mean our Head Quarters." At that time 
Harlem Heights was called King's Bridge. 

Half an hour after sunset, then, on Saturday evening, Sep- 
tember 14, General Washington left New York City for the 
village of Harlem. Just before starting he received two letters, 
one from Horn's Hook and one from General Mifflin at Fort 
Washington, reporting unusual movements of the enemy, when 
he says, in his letter to Congress, "I proceeded to Harlem, 
where it was supposed, or at Morrisania, opposite to it, the 
principal attempt to land would be made." 

It was eight miles to Harlem. We can imagine Washington 
"proceeding," at the head of his staff and bodyguard of light 
horse, along the fragrant country road in the early September 
evening, now strung out at a brisk gallop and now bunched up 
as the head of the column reins in to pick its way over doubtful 

The expected landing of the British was not made until 
eleven o'clock the next morning. As to just how or where Gen- 
eral Washington passed the night we have no reliable informa- 
tion. He may have been in the saddle the better part of the 
night, but he evidently arrived at the Morris house before 

In a letter to General Schuyler, written on the following Fri- 
day, he names the day of his arrival. The heading of the letter 
is unusually long and explicit, evidently intended to leave 
no possible doubt in General Schuyler's mind as to the exact 
location of "Headquarters." This pecyliar heading reads: — 

Head-Quarters, Colonel Roger Morris's, ten miles from 1 

New York, September 20. 1776 / 

In the body of the letter he says, "I removed my quarters to 
this place on Sunday last," We know that he was there at 
eleven o'clock Sunday morning, for, writing to Governor Trum- 
bull on the 27th, from the Morris house, he says, "Having gone 
from HENCE as soon as the ships began their cannonade, and 
whither I had come the night before to the main body of our 
army, in expectation of an attack that night or the next 



leaves New Tork 

Eight miles to 

Posting General 


The Jumel Mansion 

Occupied for 
September i^ 

Colonel Small- 
wood to the 

Explicit as General Washington's statement seems to be in 
the letter to General Schuyler, there is still room for difference 
of opinion as to the exact time when he arrived at the Morris 
house. Evidently his quarters were ready for him on Saturday 
afternoon, and had he arrived before midnight, his arrival 
would have been on the 14th, yet Sunday being his first day in 
his new headquarters, he may have used the expression he did 
in the Schuyler letter. He had no idea that the world would be 
weighing his words in the twentieth century. From all the data 
we have, it is safe to say that the house was occupied as head- 
quarters on Saturday and that Washington arrived in person 
during the night. 

General Washington in his correspondence has surprisingly 
little to say about the landing of the British at Turtle Bay and 
the withdrawal of Putnam's division from the city. This was 
the real retreat, while the movement of the day before was only 
a shifting of troops to confront a possible landing. The conduct 
of his troops on the retreat was not a pleasant subject to revert 
to, and while he writes very fully to all his correspondents about 
the battle of Harlem Heights, he barely mentions the disgrace- 
ful behavior of the two Connecticut brigades of Fellows and 

The report of Colonel Smallwood to the Maryland Conven- 
tion comes like a voice from the dead past. He says of the re- 
treat from Kipp's Bay: — 

I could wish the transactions of this day blotted out of the an- 
nals of America. Nothing appeared but fright, disgrace and con- 
fusion. Let it suffice to say that sixty Light Infantry, upon the 
first fire, put to flight two brigades of the Connecticut troops, 
wretches who, however strange it may appear, from the Brigadier 
General down to the private sentinel, were caned and whipped 
by the Generals Washington, Putnam and Mifflin, but even this 
indignity had no weight, they could not be brought to stand one 

Washington rode from the Morris house that morning at 
eleven o'clock, as he tells us, when he heard the guns of the 
British ships covering the landing. It was a rough ride of eight 
or nine miles, by poor roads over a hilly country, that must 
have tried the mettle of the fine Virginia mounts ridden by the 
staff. It was a trying day for. Washington, and only the slow- 

George IVashington 

Fram a portrait by Charles Wilson Peale 

Washington Comes to the House 


ness of the enemy's advance across the island made it possible 
successfully to withdraw General Putnam's division from the 
city. Some of the last of the troops were only saved from cap- 
ture by moving west and then north under the cover of the hills 
sloping to the Hudson, and it was after dark and in the rain 
when the troops settled into camp on Harlem Heights. 

The enemy, elated and encouraged by the ease with which 
they had put the Connecticut troops to flight on Sunday, on 
Monday morning pushed out a reconnoitering column from 
their Bloomingdale front, expressing their contempt for their 
adversary by blowing a fox-hunting call on their bugles. They 
were out for a morning's sport. 

Just how far north the British came in their first assault, or 
to what exact point the enemy was pursued before the Ameri- 
can troops were called off, or precisely where the "buckwheat 
field " was, or where the thirty-three bodies were buried, or even 
where the remains of those gallant officers, Knowlton and 
Leach, rest, are matters of controversy. The indefinite knowl- 
edge we have of the exact limits of the battle of Harlem Heights 
offers a very significant commentary on the character of our 
Revolutionary history. 

The most important contemporary accounts were made by 
General Washington in a letter to Governor Cooke, of Rhode 
Island, written on the 17th of September, the day after the 
battle, and his report to Congress on the i8th; the letter of 
General George Clinton to the New York Convention, on the 
1 8th; and the account of the experiences of Lieutenant Samuel 
Richards, who commanded a "covering party over the fatigue 
men who buried the dead," 

General Washington must have been astir early on that Mon- 
day morning, for he had made a draft of his letter to Congress 
for his secretary to put into form describing the retreat of Sun- 
day, before he walked out of the Morris house to mount his 
horse and gallop down the King's Bridge Road toward the 
sound of the firing. 

The letter was dispatched with the following apology to 
Congress: — 

P.S. Sir: The above letter is merely a copy of a rough one 
sketched only by his Excellency this morning, and who intended 


After dark and 
in the rain 


General Wash- 
ington gallops 
dawn the King's 
Bridge Road 


The Jumel Mansion 

" About two and 
a half miles from 

Attack begun 
too soon 

to sign it; but having rode out, and his return or where to find him 
uncertain, I have sent it away without. And I have the honour to 
be, Sir, your most obedient servant, 

Robert H. Harrison. 

Rather oddly Washington begins his report to Congress, 
"About the time of the posts departure with my letter, the 
enemy appieared in several large bodies upon the plains, about 
two and a half miles from hence." This certainly throws no 
light on the exact time of the enemy's appearance, for they had 
evidently made their appearance on the plain before he left the 
Morris house, and the post left with his letter still later. The 
"two and a half miles from hence," would be the point where 
they emerged on the plain from McGowan's Pass, at what is 
now iioth Street. He continues: — 

^ I rode down to our advanced posts, to put matters in a proper 
situation, if they should attempt to come on. When I arrived there 
I heard a firing, which. I was informed, was between a party of 
our Rangers under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Knowlton, 
and an advanced party of the enemy. Our men came in and told 
me that the body of the enemy, who kept themselves concealed, 
consisted of about three hundred, as near as they could guess. I 
immediately ordered three companies of Colonel Weedon's regi- 
ment from Virginia, under the command of Major Leitch, and 
Colonel Knowlton with his Rangers, composed of volunteers from 
different New England regiments, to try to get in their rear, while 
a disposition was making as if to attack them in front, and thereby 
draw their whole attention that way. 

This took effect as I wished on the part of the enemy. On the 
appearance of our party in front, they immediately ran down the 
hill, took possession of some fences and bushes, and a smart firing 
began, but at too great a distance to do much execution on either 
side. The parties under Colonel Knowlton and Major Leitch 
unluckily began their attack too soon, as it was rather in flank 
than in rear. _ In a little time Major Leitch was brought off 
wounded, having received three balls through his side; and in a 
short time after Colonel Knowlton got a wound, which proved 
mortal. Their men, however, persevered, and continued the en- 
gagement with the greatest resolution. Finding tiiat they wanted 
a support, I advanced part of Colonel Griffith's and Colonel Rich- 
ardson's Maryland regiments, with some detachments from the 
Eastern regiments, who were nearest the place of action. The 
troops charged the enemy with great intrepidity, and drove them 
froin the wood into the plain, and were pushing them from thence, 
having silenced their fire in a great measure, when I judged it pru- 

Washington Comes to the House 

dent to order a retreat, fearing the enemy, as I have since found 
was really the case, were sending a large body to support their party. 
Major Leitch I am in hopes will recover; but Colonel Knowl- 
ton's fall is much to be regretted, as that of a brave and good offi- 
cer. We had about forty wounded; the number of slain is not yet 
ascertained; but is very inconsiderable. By a Sergeant, who de- 
serted from the enemy and came in this morning, I find that their 
party was greater than I imagined. It consisted of the Second Bat- 
talion of Light Infantry, a battalion of the Royal Highlanders, and 
three companies of the Hessian Riflemen, under the command of 
Brigadier General Leslie. The deserter reports that their loss in 
wounded and missing was eighty nine, and eight killed. In the lat- 
ter, his account is too small, as our people discovered and buried 
double that number. This affair I am in hopes will be attended 
with many salutary consequences, as it seems to have greatly in- 
spirited the whole of our troops. The Sergeant further adds, that 
a considerable body of men are now encamped from the East to 
the North River, between the seven and eight mile-stones, under 
the command of General Clinton. General Howe, he believes, has 
his quarters at Mr. Apthorp's house. 

Lieutenant Samuel Richards, who had been working all night 
"in throwing up a slight entrenchment on the brow of the hill 
at Harlem Heights in full expectation of being attacked by the 
enemy in the morning," writes, "When the sun arose I saw the 
enemy in the plain below us, at the distance of about a mile, 
forming in a line." 

This was again as they emerged from McGowan's Pass. He 
says, "the loss on our side was about thirty killed and about 
sixty or seventy wounded." He should know, for he buried the 
dead. He continues: — 

The next day I had a mournful duty assigned to me — the com- 
mand of a covering party over the fatigue men who buried the 
dead which had fallen in the action the previous day I placed my- 
self and party on a small eminence so as to see the men at_ their 
work, and to discover the enemy should they approach to inter- 
rupt them. There were thirty three bodies found on the field; they 
were drawn to a large hole which was prepared for the purpose and 
buried together. 

General Clinton was somewhat later on the ground, as he had 

to ride down from King's Bridge. He writes to the New York 

Convention: — 

On Monday morning, at about ten o'clock, a party of the enemy, 
consisting of Highlanders, Hessians, Light Infantry, Grenadiers 



The dtstrter 

Samuel Richards 

A mournful duty 


At Mart] I 
Davit's Fly 

The glimmer of 


The Jumel Mansion 

and English troops, (number uncertain) attacked our advanced 
party, commanded by Colonel Knowlton, at Martje Davit's Fly. 
They were opposed with spirit, and soon made to retreat to a cir- 
cular field, south west of that about two hundred paces, where 
they lodged themselves behind a fence covered with bushes. Our 
people attacked them in front, caused them to retreat a second 
time, leaving five dead on the spot. We pursued them to a buck- 
wheat field on the top of a high hill, distant about four hundred 
paces, where they received a considerable re-enforcement, with 
several field pieces, and there made a stand. A very brisk action 
ensued at this place which continued about two hours. Our people 
at length worsted them a third time, caused them to fall back into 
an orchard, from thence across a hollow, and up another hill not 
far distant from their own lines. 

It will be observed, after the panic in the two New England 
brigades on Sunday, which almost drove Washington to de- 
spair of meeting regulars with volunteers, when on Monday 
morning he was "insolently" attacked (with the exception of 
Knowlton's Rangers), he put his trust in the Southern troops. 

One can imagine the glimmer of lanterns about the house and 
stables at headquarters on the night following the battle, and 
the lighted windows, that only grew pale as the day dawned, 
while busy men were bringing the wounded back to Dr. Mor- 
gan's hospital. Colonel Knowlton was borne from the field by 
Adjutant-General Reed, who dismounted and placed him on his 
own horse. Major Leitch was also mortally wounded at about 
the same time, but survived in hospital for more than a week. 
Although not much of a battle, the success of the day and the 
gallant behavior of the American troops put new heart into the 
army and greatly improved the feeling at headquarters, where 
the disgraceful retreat of the day before had left a feeling of 
depression and distrust amounting almost to despair. 

Almost at the beginning of this engagement, an event took 
place in the rear that at least has the merit of the picturesque, 
and which was followed by a court martial and just missed 
ending in an execution. As the Adjutant-General was riding 
back for reinforcements he came upon one Ebenezer Leffingwell 
skulking to the rear. I quote from Colonel Reed's testimony 
at the trial, on the 19th of September: — 

On Monday forenoon I left Colonel Knowlton, with a design to 
send him a reinforcement. I had accordingly ordered up Major 


Washington Comes to the House 

Leitch, and was going up to where the firing was, when I met the 
prisoner running away from where the firing was, with every mark 
of trepidation and fear. I followed him, and ordered him back 
alter striking him; he promised to return and went on into the 
bushes. A httle after I saw him running off again, and pursued 
him and came up to him and struck him with my hanger, and 
wounded him m the head and hand. He bade me keep off or he 
would shoot me; he presented his piece, and I think snapped his 
piece at me. I found him after this lying in a ditch; on his seeing 
me he fell to bellowing out and I should have shot him could I 
have got my gun off. 

The court martial found the prisoner guilty of "Misbehaving 
before^ the enemy and of presenting his musket at Colonel 
Reed," and sentenced him to death. General Washington was 
disposed to make this case an example to the army and ordered 
his execution on Monday morning, September 23, at eleven 
o'clock. The order was carried out in so far that all the regi- 
ments below King's Bridge were marched to the "grand parade, 
near Kortright's house," to see the execution. General Orders 
of the 24th state that the prisoner was pardoned at the last 
moment, at the intercession of Colonel Reed. We find in a Har- 
lem letter of September 26 that Leffingwell, of Norwich, was 
"brought to the field, was fixed on his knees, and while the 
guards were waiting to execute the decree, the General sent a 
pardon, declaring never to forgive another." 

Washington's staff was thoroughly reorganized for the New 
York campaign. Dr. John Morgan, Director of Hospitals, who 
was a civilian and not an officer at all, was the only member of 
the staff who was retained in his original capacity. Joseph 
Reed, who had been Military Secretary, gave way to Harrison, 
and was himself made Adjutant-General of the Continental 
army, by an act of Congress. Moylan and Palfry, who had been 
aides-de-camp in Cambridge, were made Quartermaster-Gen- 
eral and Paymaster-General respectively. Grayson, Cary, and 
Webb, who were new men, were made full aides, while Tilgh- 
man was only a volunteer aide, with the rank of lieutenant, and, 
like Washington, was serving without pay. Rufus Putnam and 
Guiming Bedford were new appointments, while in the Morris 
house, Stephen Moylan resigned as Quartermaster-General, at 
the request of the Committee from Congress, and General 



Running away 

Leffingwell is 

Changes in the 


Members of the 

Who may deliver 
the General's 

Fond of company 

The Jumel Mansion 

Mifflin was appointed in his stead. As reorganized, the staff was 
as follows: Colonel Joseph Reed, Adjutant-General; Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Robert H. Harrison, Military Secretary; Colonel 
William Grayson, Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel B. Webb, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Cary, Aides-de-Camp ; Lieutenant 
Tench Tilghman, Volimteer Aide; Colonel Stephen Moylan, 
Quartermaster-General; Colonel Joseph Trumbull, Commis- 
sary-General; Colonel William Palfry, Paymaster-General; 
Colonel Gunning Bedford, Mustermaster-General; Dr. John 
Morgan, Director of Hospitals; Colonel Rufus Putnam, Chief 

At the battle of Harlem Heights, as before stated, conflicting 
orders brought the flanking party under Knowlton in on the 
enemy's flank instead of his rear, and in General Orders of the 
following day, Washington announced who of the staff were 
competent to give his orders : " the Army is now acquainted that 
the General's orders are delivered by the Adjutant-General, or 
one of his Aides-de-Camp, Mr. Tilghman, or Colonel Moylan, 
the Quartermaster-General." 

Samuel Blatchley Webb seems to have been a selection of the 
Adjutant-General for work in his office. He came from General 
Putnam's staff. In a rather amusing letter to Reed, shortly 
before the appointment. General Washington writes:^ — 

You mention Mr. Webb in one of your letters as an assistant. 
He will be agreeable enough to me if you think him qualified for 
the business. What kind of a hand he writes I know not — I be- 
lieve but a cramped one; latterly none at all, as he has had either 
the gout or rheumatism or both. He is a man fond of company 
and gayety and is of a tender constitution. 

In the light of this letter it is rather amusing to read in 
Webb's diary the frequent entries recording his social evenings 
with the girls, and on one occasion he records, "Drinking wine 
last evening with General Putnam." 

Sir George Otto Trevelyan, somewhere in his " History of the 
American Revolution," says that Washington had but three 
aides, unless his secretary, Harrison, be counted as one, and 
that they were all young Virginians. This would seem to omit 
Webb, who was a Connecticut man, from service as an aide, but 


» Correspondence and Journal of Samuel Blatchley Webb (privately printed). 

Washington Comes to the House 


he was certainly one of the aides designated to carry the Gen- 
eral's orders on the battlefield. If not a prime favorite of Wash- 
ington, he was a member of his military family, as the General 
loved to designate the officers who lived with him and sat at his 
table, which by no means included the whole of his staff. It 
probably consisted of his aides, his military secretary, and the 
Adjutant-General. The duties of the other members of the 
st^ kept them moving among the widely scattered posts of the 
Continental army. The Medical Director was a civilian, with- 
out military rank. Colonel Moylan, the Quartermaster, al- 
though close enough to Washington to carry his orders on the 
field, had his lodgings near "Kortright's house." The Com- 
missary, Paymaster and Mustermaster Generals and the Chief 
Engineer might be anywhere between Boston and Philadelphia. 
So with a limited number of officers regularly to lodge in the 
Morris house. General Washington could occupy as many 
rooms as the dignity of his office and the nature of his work 

It will be interesting to note the activities of a day at head- 
quarters. Much of the official routine may be gathered from a 
careful study of Washington's General Orders. The post-rider, 
carrying the mail to the Convention at Fishkill, rode away 
every morning at daybreak after waiting on Mr. Ebenezer 
Hazzard, the postmaster of New York, whose office, if not in 
the house, was somewhere on the grounds. 

Working parties for the fortifications paraded before head- 
quarters as early as six o'clock. 

When there were trials by court martial, the court assembled 
in the great parlor at nine o'clock, and the prisoners were then 
brought in from the guardroom. The Adjutant-General and 
Colonel Webb, with their clerks, were busy in the front office, 
and if General Washington was not on some tour of inspection 
with Tilghman, his favorite aide, his quill pen was at work in 
the little office above and out of hearing of the court, with his 
secretaries, and three of his aides were secretaries as soon as 
they were out of the saddle. While in the Morris House, Alex- 
ander Contee Hanson, a young Marylander, was added to 
the working force as Assistant Secretary. 

Every morning twelve or thirteen first sergeants, from as 


His military 

A day at 

The court 
assembled in the 
great parlor at 
nine o'cloci 


The Jumel Mansion 

In their best 

Dinner at three 

Colonel Silliman 

many companies, reported at headquarters for a day of guard 
duty under the eyes of the staff. They came in their best 
clothes, with their dinner in their pockets, and left with their 
heads full of military knowledge to take back to their companies. 

The brigade-majors, who did the duty of assistant adjutant- 
generals to their brigades, arrived at headquarters at twelve 
o'clock and delivered their reports to Adjutant-General Reed. 
These morning reports had been received by the brigade- 
majors from the adjutants of the regiments, who had received 
theirs from the orderly sergeants of the companies. While at the 
Morris house Washington had some thirteen brigades, which 
were already formed into divisions, but Congress had not yet 
authorized assistant adjutant-generals for the divisions, so the 
reports had to be made by the brigades over the heads of the 
new major-generals. 

General Washington dined at three o'clock, and doubtless 
maintained a generous Virginia hospitality at his table. Besides 
the six or more members of his military family, there were al- 
ways official guests. The brigadier and officer of the day and 
the brigade-major of the day had a standing invitation, when 
on duty, to dine at headquarters, and the invitation was almost 
a command. Other members of the staff, happening at head- 
quarters, distinguished visitors to the army, and the general 
officers and colonels were frequent guests. Colonel Silliman 
says in a letter to his wife, on October lo:^ — 

General Washington's servant has this Minlt been in with a 
Billet for me and my two field officers to come and dine with him 
this day. Very extraordinary this. I am often invited myself but 
I have never had the invitation extended beyond myself before. 

The General Orders, inspired by Washington, and issued 
daily over the signature of the Adjutant-General, were pre- 
pared in the afternoon and published at six o'clock guard 
mounting. The parole and countersign were not written on the 
orders, as we find them now in print, but these two secret pass- 
words, mainly for use on the outposts, were delivered in strict- 
est confidence by the Adjutant-General, at six o'clock, to the 
brigade majors and to the adjutant of the artillery regiment; 
"they, at relief beating, and not before, delivered them to the 


' Manuscript letter in the possession of Miss Henrietta Hubbard. 

The Evolution of the American Flag 

The First American Flag 

Washington Comes to the House 


adjutants of their brigades." The adjutants delivered theni to 
the field officers, if required, and then to the officer of every 
guard post. 

A curious flag floated over the house during the time that 
Washington occupied it — a flag quite unknown to most Amer- 
icans of this day. It showed on its folds the British Union 
Jack and thirteen red and white stripes. In London it was 
called "The Rebellious Stripes." 

During the long colonial period we had lived under the Brit- 
ish flag, and when, at the beginning of the Revolution, it be- 
came necessary to have a flag of our own, the thirteen stripes 
replaced the red of the old flag, but, strangely enough, the 
Union Jack was retained. The Union Jack was not only mean- 
ingless on the new flag, but it was the sjnnbol of the confeder- 
ated enemy, and could only have been retained for want of the 
inspiration to put something else in its place. 

The original thirteen stars displaced the Union Jack on June 
14, 1777. It has been claimed by an English authority that the 
stars and stripes on the American flag were adopted from 
the Washington coat of arms, which shows three five-pointed 
stars and three bars of alternate red and white. If this had been 
the case the stars and the stripes would have made a simultane- 
ous appearance and the retention of the hated Union Jack for 
two and a half years after the adoption of the stripes would not 
have followed. 

Six months before the Revolution the Philadelphia First 
Troop of Cavalry had raised its flag having thirteen stripes, 
blue and white, in the comer of its banner. This was the first 
appearance of the thirteen stripes on any flag. The Philadel- 
phia First Troop escorted Washington from Philadelphia to 
Boston to assume command of the army, and their flag was 
carried at the head of the column. 

A curious piece of chintz, made in France at this early period, 
its pattern evidently inspired by Franklin, shows Washington 
driving a pair of leopards to a chariot, in which America, an 
Indian maiden, is seated behind him, holding a shield on which 
is the date 1776. In front of the leopards are two Indians, one 
carrying a flag bearing the Franklin device of the snake divided 
into thirteen parts, and the other a flag of thirteen stripes. 


A curious flag 

The Unitn fack 
and thirteen 

Apiece efchinta 


ll>e Jumel Mansion 

Franklin and 
the Goddess of 

Washington at 

As Colonel 
Trumbull saw 

Passing in the opposite direction, beyond the chariot and turn- 
ing to fall in behind it, is the Philadelphia First Troop carrying 
at its head a flag of thirteen stripes alongside the French stand- 
ard showing ^ht. fleur-de-lis. Above this group and completing 
the pattern is Franklin, himself, with the Goddess of Liberty, 
following the thirteen stars on a shield borne by Mercury up to 
Fame, who is blowing two trumpets at the entrance to her 

At the period this piece of chintz stands for, the American 
flag had the Union Jack in place of its field of stars, and this 
allegory would seem to suggest the adoption of the stars on the 
flag, if it does not go still further and indicate Franklin as the 
first American who suggested the stars. 

At the time when General Washington occupied the Morris 
house he was forty-four years old, still a young man. That he 
was a tall, athletic figure, large-boned, with big hands and feet, 
is a fact well attested, but in view of the great variety of his 
pictures, it is difficult to image in one's mind the young General 
as he moved about the halls and passed in and out of the rooms 
in the house of Roger Morris, or mounted his horse at the en- 
trance and rode abroad with his staff, or sat alone late into 
the autumn night, writing, by the flickering light of candles, 
those letters beginning, "Head Quarters, Col. Roger Morris's 
House, ten Miles from New York." 

Colonel John Trumbull's heroic picture of Washington at 
Trenton, which represents him standing, hat in hand, watching 
the battle from a little hillock, behind which his orderly in a 
trooper's helmet is seen holding his horse, depicts the young 
General as his gifted aide saw him but a few weeks after he left 
the Morris house. In the William Lanier Washington Collec- 
tion, now hanging in the dining-room of the house, is a half- 
life-size head attributed to Trumbull, but whether it was 
painted by Trumbull or by another, it was painted from the 
head in the Trumbull picture. It is solidly painted on a panel, 
and only differs from its prototype in the restoration of the 
cocked hat to its place on the General's head, and looks down 
from the wall on the scene of many a staff dinner in the Morris 
house dining-room, where it remains to personate the General 
Washington of forty-four. 


Washington Comes to the House 


The Boston Athenaeum portrait by Stuart, which is the uni- 
versally accepted Washington, is neither the General nor even 
the President, but the old man, the Father of his Country, if 
you please, in his declining years. It was foisted on his country- 
men by a mere happening. It was reproduced by Stuart only 
because he happened to have that particular portrait on his 
easel when Washington died, the background still unfinished, 
which enabled him to keep it to paint from. He reproduced it 
many times, and after his death, his daughter. Miss Mary 
Stuart, who lived at Newport, continued its reproduction to the 
satisfaction of many patrons. 

The Gibbs-Channing-Avery portrait, painted by Stuart a 
few years earlier, was more dignified — was rather Washington 
the President, and doubtless Stuart would have preferred to 
paint it if he had had the original at hand. Stuart was such a 
master of color that every head that came from his brush was a 
delight, whether it was a portrait or not. Probably the portraits 
by Charles Wilson Peale, of the same period as the Athenaeum 
portrait, are truer portraits of Washington. 

There are word-pictures of Washington that tell us that his 
face bore the marks of smallpox. Such a blemish would not 
be a very flattering feature for a portrait-painter to reproduce, 
and indeed it would be almost impossible to his art, however 
realistic he might wish to be. 

A singular and very graphic word-picture of Washington has 
just come to the author's knowledge as the observation of a 
child, very frankly expressed after the manner of a child. Little 
Sarah Adams was ten years old in 1783. She was a cousin of 
Governor Tompkins and lived in the village of Pleasantville, 
near White Plains. When the little army from Newburgh was 
passing through Pleasantville, on the way to Fraunces's Tav- 
ern, Sarah Adams ran down to the gate to see General Washing- 
ton, who in her childish enthusiasm she regarded as a being al- 
most superhuman. A drizzling rain was falling, and what she 
saw was the General seated in a sulky driving the horse. His 
uniform was covered by a greatcoat with capes, and his pow- 
dered hair was protected by a bandanna handkerchief bound 
around his head under his cocked hat. She distinctly saw that 
his nose was red and his face was pock-marked. This is a 


The Boston 

The Gibbs- 

A word-picture 
by little Sarah 


The Jumel Mansion 

General Wash- 
ington being now 
settled at the 
Morris House 

glimpse of Washington at fifty-one, seven years after he had 
left the Morris house, and shows that he had no intention of 
meeting the Van Cortlandt ladies that evening in a water- 
soaked uniform and a face streaked with powder. 

Having now settled General Washington under his peculiar 
flag in his headquarters at the Roger Morris house, we will 
return to conditions after the battle of Harlem Heights, from 
which time the American army remained in undisturbed pos- 
session of their camps until the i8th of October. General Put- 
nam's division formed the southern front, overlooking the 
valley, then known as the "Hollow Way," which is now 
spanned by the iron viaduct north of Grant's tomb. General 
Spencer's division connected with General Putnam's left and 
occupied the bluffs overlooking the Harlem River and extend- 
ing back toward headquarters. General Heath, who had been 
encamped above King's Bridge since the 17th of August, con- 
tinued to hold the country east of the Harlem River from its 
mouth near Montresor's Island to Frog's Neck. He had in his 
division the brigades of Scott, Parsons, and George Clinton and 
the brigade commanded by Colonel Sargent. For some days 
the Westchester roads, between the Harlem River and the 
Bronx, had been obstructed and the bridges taken up to hinder 
the advance of the enemy's artillery. 




FRIDAY, the 20th of September, 1776, was not yet 
quite a week since Washington had arrived on Harlem 
Heights and made his headquarters at the Roger Mor- 
ris house. Everything was quiet within the American 
lines, but the feeling was one of apprehension. There were" eight 
hundred pickets in the fields outside the short south front, 
guarding against any approach through McGowan's Pass or 
from the Bloomingdale Heights. General Washington, accom- 
panied by General Putnam and a cavalcade of staff officers, had 
ridden out during the day across King's Bridge on a tour of 
inspection of General Heath's camps. 

Just before midnight of that Friday a red light appeared in 
the sky above New York City, and for the rest of the night the 
officers at the Morris house watched the furious conflagration. 
Strange to say, it is probable that a vast majority of the on- 
lookers in the Continental army watched the fire with delight 
and were disappointed on Saturday to see it gradually subdued. 
To understand this feeling we shall need to recur to the attitude 
of the army, before the evacuation, toward burning the city as 
a military measure to keep the enemy from occupying it. The 
agitation on the subject seems to have begun shortly after the 
defeat on Long Island, and the strongest advocates of the meas- 
ure were the New Englanders, with the New Yorkers more 
backward about burning the chief city of their province. 

General Nathanael Greene was the strongest advocate of this 
drastic measure. On September 5, ten days before the evacua- 
tion, he wrote a long letter to General Washington, from which 
I present a few extracts: — 

The sacrifice of the vast property of New York and the suburbs, 
I hope has no influence upon your Excellency's measures. Remem- 


Friday^ Septem- 
bir 20 

And light 
appeared in the 


The Jumel Mansion 

General Greene 
would burn 
the city 

General Wash- 
ingtan consults 

ber the King of France, when Charles the Fifth, Emperor of Ger- 
many, invaded his kingdom he laid whole Provinces waste; and by 
that policy he starved and ruined Charles's army, and defeated 
him without fighting a battle. Two thirds of the property of the 
city of New York and the suburbs belongs to the Tories. We 
have no very great reason to run any considerable risk for its 
defence. . . . 

... I would burn the city and suburbs and that for the follow- 
ing reasons: If the Enemy gets possession of the city, we never 
can recover the possession without a superior naval force to theirs; 
it will deprive the enemy of an opportunity of barracking their 
whole army together, which, if they could do, would be a very 
great security. It will deprive them of a general market; the price 
of things would prove a temptation to our people to supply them 
for the sake of the gain, in direct violation of the laws of their 

_ All these advantages would result from the destruction of the 
city; and not one benefit can arise to us from its preservation, that 
I can conceive of. If the city once gets into the enemy's hands it 
will be at their mercy either to save or destroy it, after they have 
made what use of it they think proper. . . . 

I shall only add that these sentiments are not dictated from 
fear, nor from any apprehensions of personal danger; but are the 
result of a cool and deliberate survey of our situation, and the 
necessary measures to extricate us from our present difiiculties. 

I am, with due respect, your Excellency's most obedient humble 
servant, N. Greene. 

To his Excellency Gen. Washington, King's Bridge. 

In his letter to Congress on September 2, General Washing- 
ton wrote: — 

If we should be obliged to abandon the town, ought it to stand 
as Tvinter quarters for the enemy.? They would derive great con- 
veniences from it on the one hand, and much property would be 
destroyed on the other. It is an important question, but will 
admit of but little time for deliberation. If Congress, therefore, 
should resolve upon the destruction of it, the resolution should be 
a profound secret, as the knowledge of it will make a capital change 
in their plans. 

To this suggestion of Washington, Congress replied next 
day: — 

Philadelphia, September 3, 1776. 

Sir: I do myself the honor to enclose to you sundry resolves, by 

which you will perceive that Congress having taken your letter of 

the 2d instant into consideration, came to a resolution in a Com- 


The Great Fire in New Tork City 


mittee of the whole House, that no damage should be done to the 

City of New York 

I have the honor to be with perfect esteem and regard, sir, your 
most obedient and very humble servant. 

John Hancock, President. 

To which General Washington replied on the day after he 
had received General Greene's earnest appeal to burn the 
city: — 

New York, September 6, 1776. 

Sir: I was last night honored with your favor of the 3d, with 
sundry resolutions of Congress ; and perceiving it to be their opin- 
ion and determination that no damage shall be done the city in 
case we are obliged to abandon it, I shall take every measure in 
my power to prevent it. . . . 

I have the honor to be with the highest respect, sir, your most 
obedient servant, Go. Washington. 

The British feared the city of New York would be burned 
before they could gain possession of it. Even before the battle 
of Long Island, their camps were full of rumors that Washing- 
ton would burn the city before leaving it. On August 11, a 
British officer, encamped on Staten Island, wrote to his friend 
in Edinburgh: — 

We have a fine view of New York from this place, which we 
expect soon to see in flames. 

On the 2d of September, an English officer wrote home from 
Long Island: — 

I have just heard that there has been a most dreadful fray in 
New York. The New Englanders insisted on setting the town on 
fire and retreating; this was opposed by the New Yorkers who 
were joined by the Pennsylvanians, and a battle has been the 
consequence, in which many lost their lives. 

On September 2, another officer wrote from Long Island: — 

All accounts agree that they are preparing to evacuate the 
Town. Whether they will burn it or not is uncertain as the Pro- 
vincials from the Jerseys and the neighborhood strenuously oppose 
that measure. 

On the same day an English officer of the Guards wrote in 
substantially the same words. On the 4th of September another 
letter to a gentleman in London contains the following: — 


Congress said No 

British feared 
the city would be 

J dreadful fray 


The Jumel Mansion 

Report of three 
persons who 
escaped in a canoe 

News by desert- 
ers and spies 

Toung officers 
returned to burn 
the city 

In the night of the 2d instant three persons escaped from the 
city in a canoe and informed our general that Mr. Washington had 
ordered three battalions of New York Provincials to leave New 
York, and that they should be replaced by an equal number of 
Connecticut troops; but the former, assured that the Connecticut- 
ians would burn and destroy all the houses, peremptorily refused 
to give up their city. 

A letter from an officer dated, **Camp near New-Town Long 
Island, Sept. Sth," says: — 

Deserters tell us they are in great confusion at New York, one 
party wanting to burn the Town, and the other to save it; but in 
compassion for their Sick, which it is impossible they can remove, 
the number being so great, I think they will hardly set Fire to the 

These extracts from English letters sufficiently show that the 
seething controversy in the Continental army, for and against 
burning the city, found its way across the lines at the hands of 
deserters and spies. The very exaggerations and distortions of 
these rumors show that the English army officers expected the 
city to be set on fire by the New England troops. 

The last sentence in General Washington's reply to Congress 
shows that he was not uninformed of the determination in cer- 
tain quarters to bum the city, and that even he might not be 
able to prevent it. He was not able to prevent the unfortunate 
attempt; unfortunate only because it was unsuccessful. To 
those who had wished to bum the city before leaving it, it was 
a bitter thought that the hated enemy was now in comfortable 
possession, while they themselves were without shelter at the 
approach of winter and impotent to bum the city. This passion 
to bum the enemy out of the city raged with that sort of patri- 
otic fervor that prompts brave men to sell their lives. And so it 
was that certain young officers of the Continental army either 
remained in the city after the evacuation or speedily made their 
way back, determined to bum the city or die in tihe attempt. 

They died in the attempt ! 

The "St. James Gazette," November ii, 1776, says: — 

The atrocious act was conducted by one William Smith, an 
officer in a New England Regiment, who was taken with a match 
in his hand and sacrificed on the spot to the fury of the soldiers. 


The Great Fire in New Tork City 

^^ The most graphic account of the fire, published in Gaine's 
"Mercury," by an eye-witness, says: — 

A New England man, having a captain's commission under the 
Continental Congress and in their service, was seized with these 
dreadful instruments of ruin. 

The "St. James Chronicle" for Friday, November 8, says: — 

A New England captain was seized with matches in his pocket, 
who acknowledged the same. 

Richard Brown, of Thompson's Pennsylvania Rifle Regi- 
ment, was taken in the act of promoting the fire and "put to 
death by the soldiers." His commission as second lieutenant, 
signed by John Hancock, was found in his pocket and pub- 
lished in full, on December 4, in the "London Packet." Ac- 
cording to Heitman's "Historical Register of the Continental 
Army," Richard Brown was taken prisoner at the battle of 
Long Island and was probably a prisoner in the city, and pos- 
sibly released by the fire. 

Nathan Hale left the army after the retreat from New York, 
crossed the Sound from Stamford to Huntington, and went 
directly into the city of New York. He was captured in or near 
the city, late in the afternoon of Saturday, the day of the great 
fire, and executed the next morning. 

"The most graphic account of the fire," referred to above, 
published in Gaine's "Mercury," on September 30, follows in 
full. The London papers attributed the story to "Major 
Rook," formerly aide-de-camp to General Gage, and a noted 
paragraph writer in the "Massachusetts Gazette." 

On Saturday the 21st Instant, we had a terrible Fire in this 
City, which consumed about One Thousand Houses, or nearly a 
fourth of the whole City. The following is the best Account we 
can collect of this melancholy Event. The Fire broke out first at 
the most southerly Part of the City, near White Hall: and was 
discovered between 12 and i o'Clock in the Morning, the Wind 
blowing very fresh from the South, and the Weather extremely dry. 
The Rebel Army having carried off all the Bells of the City, the 
Alarm could not be speedily communicated, and very few of the 
Citizens were in Town, most of them being driven out by the Ca- 
lamities of War and several of the first Rank sent Prisoners to 
New England, and other distant Parts. A few Minutes after the 



ANnu England 
captain was 

Capture of 
Nathan Hale 

Major Rook's 


The Jumel Mansion 

Fire began at 
White Hall 

Burned Trinity 

St. Paul's 
Church and 
King's College 

Wright White, 
a carpenter 

Fire was discovered at White Hall, it was observed to break out in 
five or six other Places, at a considerable Distance. 

In this dreadful Situation, when the whole City was threatened 
with Destruction, Major General Robertson, who had the Chief 
Command, sent immediately for two Regiments that were en- 
camped near the City, placed Guards in the several Streets and 
took every other Precaution that was practicable to ward off the 
impending Ruin. Lord Howe ordered the Boats of the Fleet to be 
manned, and after landing a large Number of Officers and Seamen 
to assist us, the Boats were stationed on each side of the City in 
the North and East Rivers ; and the Lines near the Royal Army 
were extended across the Island, as it manifestly appeared that the 
City was designedly set on Fire. 

The Fire raged with inconceivable Violence; and in its destruc- 
tive progress swept away all the Buildings between Broad Street 
and the North River, almost as high as the City Hall, and from 
thence, all the Houses between Broad Way and the North River 
as far as King's College, a few only excepted. Long before the 
main Fire reached Trinity Church, that large, ancient and vener- 
able Edifice was in Flames, which baffled every Effort to suppress 
them. The Steeple which was 140 Feet high, the upper Part of 
Wood, and placed on an elevated Situation, resembled a vast Pyra- 
mid of Fire, and exhibited a most grand and aweful Spectacle. 
Several Women and Children perished in the Fire; their Shrieks, 
joined to the roaring of the Flames, the Crash of falling Houses 
and the wide spread Ruin which every where appeared, formed a 
Scene of Horror great beyond Description and which was still 
hightened by the Darkness of the Night. Besides Trinity Church, 
the Rector's House, the Charity School, the Old Lutheran Church, 
and many other fine Buildings were consumed. St. Paul's Church 
and King's College were directly in Line of the Fire, but saved 
with very great Difficulty. After raging about 10 Hours the Fire 
was extinguished between 10 and 11 o'Clock a.m. 

During this complicated Scene of Devastation and Distress, at 
which the most savage Heart might relent, several Persons were 
discovered with large Bundles of Matches dipped in melted Rosin 
and Brimstone and attempting to set Fire to the Houses. A New 
England Man, who had a Captain's Commission under the Con- 
tinental Congress and in their Service, was seized with these 
dreadful instruments of Ruin — on being searched the Sum of SOo£ 
was found upon him. General Robertson rescued two of those 
Incendiaries from the enraged Populace, who had otherwise con- 
signed them to the Flames, and reserved them for the Hand of 
deliberate Justice. One Wright White, a Carpenter, was observed 
to cut the Leather Buckets which conveyed Water — he also 
wounded with a Cutlass a Woman who was very active in handing 
Water. This provoked the Spectators to such a Degree, that they 
instantly hung him up. One of these Villains set fire to the College, 


The Great Fire in New Tork City 

and was seized; many others were detected in the like Crime and 

The Officers of the Army and Navy, the Seamen and Soldiers, 
greatly exerted themselves, often with the utmost Hazard to them- 
selves, and showed all that Alertness and Activity for which they 
are justly celebrated on such Occasions. To their Vigorous Eiforts 
in pulling down such Wooden Buildings as would conduct the 
Fire, it is owing, under Providence, that the whole City was not 
consumed; for the Number of Inhabitants was small, the Pumps 
and Fire-Engines were very much out of Order. The last circum- 
stance, together with the removal of our Bells, the Time and 
Place of the Fire's breaking out, when the Wind was South, the 
City being set on Fire in so many different Places nearly at the 
same Time, so many Incendiaries being caught in the very Fact 
of setting Fire to Houses; These to mention no other Particulars, 
clearly evince beyond the Possibility of a Doubt, that this diaboli- 
cal Affair was the Result of a preconcerted, deliberate Scheme. 
Thus the Persons who call themselves our Friends and Protectors 
were the Perpetrators of this atrocious Deed; which in Guilt and 
Villainy is not inferior to the Gun-Powder Plot; while those who 
were held up as our Enemies, were the People who gallantly stept 
forth, at the Risque of their Lives, to snatch us from Destruction! 
Our Distresses were very great indeed before; but this Disaster 
has increased them tenfold. Many Hundreds of Families have 
lost their all; and are reduced from a State of Affluence to the 
lowest Ebb of Want and Wretchedness — destitute of Shelter, 
Food or Cloathing. 

Surely, there must be some Curse — some secret Thunder in 
the Stores of Heaven; red with uncommon Wrath to blast the Mis- 
creants who thus wantonly sport with the Lives, Property and 
Happiness of their Fellow Creatures, and unfeelingly doom them 
to inevitable Ruin. 

For some reason this graphic account of the great fire in New 
York is omitted from Force's "American Archives," where al- 
most every reference to that event has found a place. More- 
over, in column 463, vol. 2, 5th series, we find the following 
garbled account, from which the words, "Many of the villains 
were apprehended with matches in their hands to set fire to the 
houses. A fellow was seized just about to set fire to the College, who 
acknowledged he was employed for the purpose. A New England 
Captain was seized with matches in his pocket, who ac- 
knowledged THE SAME," were cut out. The account referred to 
is headed, " Extract of a letter from New York to a gentleman in 
London, dated September 23d, 1776," and was published in the 



Seamen and 
soldiers exerted 

caught in the fad 

Some omissions 
fromthe'-^ Amer- 
ican Archives" 


The Jumel Mansion 

Story of the fire 
from the ^'■St. 
James Chron- 

Account of fudge 
John foseph 

"St. James Chronicle" on the 8th of November of the same 
year: — 

The day after the city was taken I repaired to it, and found it 
a most dirty, desolate, and wretched place. My house had been 
plundered by the Rebels of almost every thing I had left behind. 
However, our late success, and the pleasing Prospect before us, as 
the city was not destroyed, made me forget my loss. I thought 
little about it. 

I flattered myself that the city would soon be peopled again, and 
that matters would speedily be restored to their former state; but 
the authors of our calamities were determined to frustrate this 
expectation. The destruction of the city was resolved on by some 
villains who were concealed in the city. Accordingly on Thursday 
night following, when every thing was very dry, and a brisk south- 
erly wind blew, some of them set fire to the houses near White 
Hall. The fire instantly spread and raged with inconceivable vio- 
lence. There were few citizens in town; the fire engines and pumps 
were out of order. Two regiments of soldiers were immediately 
ordered into town, and many boats full of men were sent from the 
fleet. To these under Providence, it is owing that the whole city 
was not reduced to ashes. The destruction was very great. Be- 
tween a third and fourth of the city is burnt. All there is west of 
the new Exchange, along Broad street to the North River, as high 
as the City Hall, and from thence along the Broadway and North 
River to King's College is in ruins. St. Paul's Church and the 
College were saved with the utmost difficulty. Trinity Church, 
the Lutheran Church, the parsonage, and charity-school are de- 
stroyed. Between a thousand and fifteen hundred houses are 
burnt, and we are under the most dismal apprehensions that there 
are some more of these villains concealed in town to burn what is 
yet left. Our distresses were great before, but this calamity has 
increased them ten-fold. Thousands are reduced to beggary. 
This scheme was executed to prevent the King's troops from hav- 
ing any benefit by the city. 

Another account of the fire is from the pen of Judge John 
Joseph Henry, of Pennsylvania, who as a young man was a 
prisoner on the Pearl frigate in New York Harbor at the time 
of the fire. In his book, "Campaign against Quebec," he de- 
scribes the fire in New York: — 

A short time after the foregoing occurrence [referring to the 
escape of a prisoner from the ship], a most beautiful and luminous, 
but baleful sightoccurred to us; that is the city of New York on 
fire. One night [September 22] the watch on deck gave a loud 
notice of this disaster. Running upon deck we could perceive a 

The Great Fire in New Tork City 

light, which, at the distance we were from it (four miles), was ap- 
parently of the size of the flame of a candle. This light to me 
appeared to be, the burning of an old and noted tavern called the 
"Fighting Cocks" (where ere this I had lodged) to the east of the 
battery and near the wharf. The wind was southwardly and blew a 
fresh gale. The flames at this place, because of the wind, increased 
rapidly. In a moment we saw another light at a great distance 
from the first, up the North River. The latter light seemed to be 
an original, distant and new formed fire, near a celebrated tavern 
in the Broadway called "White Hall." Our anxiety for the fate of 
so fine a city caused much solicitude, as we harbored a belief that 
the enemy had fired it. The flames were fanned by the briskness 
of the breeze and drove the destructive effects of the elements on 
aH sides. When the fire reached the spire of a large steeple, south 
of the tavern, which was attached to a large church, the effect 
upon the eye was astonishingly grand. If we could have divested 
ourselves of the knowledge that it was the property of our fellow 
citizens which was consuming, the view might have been esteemed 
sublime if not pleasing. The deck of our ship for many hours was 
lighted as at noon day. In the commencement of the conflagration 
we observed many boats putting off from the fleet, rowing speedily 
towards the city; our boat was of the number. This circumstance 
repelled the idea that our enemies were the incendiaries, for indeed 
they went in aid of the inhabitants. The boat returned about day- 
light, and from the relation of the officer and the crew we clearly 
discerned that the burning of New York was the act of some mad- 
cap Americans. The sailors told us in their blunt manner, that 
they had seen one American hanging by the heels dead, having a 
bayonet wound through his breast. They named him by his chris- 
tian and sirname, which they saw imprinted on his arm; they 
averred he was caught in the act of firing the houses. They told us 
also that they had seen one person who was taken in the act tossed 
into the fire, and that several who were stealing, and suspected as 
incendiaries, were bayonetted. 

The testimony we received from the sailors, my own view of the 
distinct beginning of the fire, in several spots, remote from each 
other, and the manner of its spreading, impressed my mind with 
the belief that the burning of the city was the doings of the most 
low and vile of persons, for the purpose not only of thieving but of 
devastation. This seemed to be the general view, not only of the 
British, but that of the prisoners then aboard the transports. 
Laying directly south of the City, and in a range with Broadway, 
we had a fair and full view of the whole process. The persons in the 
ships nearer to the town than we were uniformly held the same 
opinion. It was not until some years afterwards that a doubt was 
created; but for the honor of our country and its good name, an 
ascription was made of the firing of the city to accidental circum- 


Thought the f re 
was at the 
" Fighting 
Cocks" where 
he had lodged 

Deck of the ship 
lighted as at 

Thought the 
burning of the 
City was by low 
and vile persons 


Sunday was a 
busy day at 

Arrival of a 
British Flag at 
the picket line 

General Wash- 
ington writes to 

The Jumel Mansion 

stances. It may be well that a nation in the heat and turbulence 
of war, should endeavor to promote its interests by propagating 
reports of its own innocence and prowess, and accusing the enemy 
of flagrant enormity and dastardliness (as was done in this particu- 
lar case) but when peace comes let us, in God's name, do justice 
to them and to ourselves. 

General Washington and the officers at the Morris house 
went to bed on Saturday night without any information as to 
the extent of the fire or any knowledge of its origin beyond con- 
jecture. Sunday was a busy day at headquarters. Preparations 
were being made for an attack that night on Montresor's Is- 
land, at the mouth of the Harlem River, by troops of General 
Heath's division. Ebenezer Leffingwell was to be executed at 
eleven o'clock the next morning, and arrangements for that 
event claimed the attention of the staff. 

Sometime in the afternoon news came from the pickets at 
McGowan's Pass that a British "Flag" was at the lines with a 
letter for General Washington. Colonel Reed, the Adjutant- 
General, rode down from headquarters to meet the flag. Ar- 
rived at the lines he found Captain John Montresor, the engi- 
neer officer on General Howe's staff. He received the letter, 
and the usual exchange of unofficial information took place, 
including, on the part of the British officer, some account of the 
fire and of the executions, official and otherwise, of American 
officers connected with it. 

On the following day General Washington concluded a let- 
ter to Governor Trumbull, with these words: — 

On Friday night, about eleven or twelve o'clock, a fire broke out 
in the city of New York, which, burning rapidly till after sunrise 
next morning, destroyed a great number of houses. By what 
means it happened we do not know; but the gentleman who 
brought the letter from General Howe last night, and who was one 
of his Aides-de-Camp, informed Colonel Reed that several of our 
countrymen had been punished with various deaths on account of 
it, some by hanging, others by burning, &c.; alleging that they 
were apprehended when committing the fact. 

I have, &c.. Go. Washington. 

In these few words of General Washington's letter to Gov- 
ernor Trumbull, we have the only official mention of the m- 
formation brought by Captain Montresor about the fire and 


The Great Fire in New Tork City 


about the young Continental officers, the flower of the army, 
who died promoting it. General Washington expresses neither 
approval nor disapproval; he states the hard facts as they had 
come to him through the lines, and with no sign of doubt as 
to the reliable character of his information. 

One other comment on the subject comes from one so close 
to Washington that it may be accepted, in the main, as his 
opinion also. In a letter to his father, written from the Morris 
house on September 25, Lieutenant Tench Tilghman says: — 

Reports concerning the setting fire to New York, if it was done 
designedly, it was without the knowledge or Approbation of any 
commanding officer in the army, and indeed so much time had 
elapsed between our quitting the city and the fire, that it can 
never be fairly attributed to the army. Indeed every man belong- 
ing to the army, who remained in or were found near the city were 
made prisoners. Many acts of barbarous cruelty were committed 
upon poor creatures who were perhaps flying from the flames, the 
soldiers and sailors looked upon all who were not in the military line 
as guilty, and burnt and cut to pieces many. But this I am sure 
was not by order. Some were executed next day upon good grounds. 

Colonel Silliman, in a letter to his wife, written from the 
field Sunday, September 22, 1776,^ says: — 

A most extraordinary manceuvre of the enemy has taken place. 
The night before last about midnight a tremendous fire was seen 
from our lines, to the southward, which continued the whole night, 
and it is said was burning all day yesterday. We are about ten miles 
from New York, and we thought it must be the city, and yesterday 
I am informed, an ofiicer came over from the Jersey shore opposite 
to New York, and said that the city was almost all in ashes, and 
the rest of it was burning as fast as it could, and that the fire was 
seen first about midnight on the east side of the town, near where 
I used to live, and that very quick the fire appeared in ten or 
twelve places in different parts of the town. 'T is supposed it must 
be the regulars who fired it, and why they should do it I can't con- 
ceive, unless they are going to some other place, which I see no 
signs of. 

On the 2Sth, Wednesday, he wrote again: — 

I find now that all the city was not burnt, but only that part 
that lay next to the Grand Battery and so up the Broadway, and 
I believe it was not the regulars, but some of our own people in the 
city that set it on fire, for they executed several of our 



» From unpublished letters in the possession of Miss Henrietta Hubbard, 

General Wash- 
ington expresses 
no opinion 

writes to 
his father 

Colonel Silliman 
to his wife 

They executed 
several of our 
friends for it 
the next day 


General Robert- 
son rescued two 
of these incendi- 

A curtain of 
silence fell over 
the disaster 

The Jumel Mansion 

General Howis 
concluding para- 

In the account of the fire in Game's "Mercury," we are 
told that "General Robertson rescued two of these incendi- 
aries from the enraged Populace, who had otherwise consigned 
them to the Flames and reserved them for the Hand of delib- 
erate Justice." Both Tilghman and Colonel Silliman refer to 
more than one execution as having taken place on that Sun- 
day morning after the fire. We have heard of the execution of 
Nathan Hale only on that date, but we should not have heard 
of that but for General Hull's statement made twenty-three 
years afterwards. 

No word ever passed between General Washington and 
General Howe about the fire or about any one connected with 
it. It was the useless sacrifice of life and property that made 
the failure so dreadful. A curtain of silence fell over the dis- 
aster, that was never broken durmg Washington's life, and 
the names of the martyrs were forgotten. 

The letter from General Howe, brought to the lines by Cap- 
tain Montresor, concerned mainly the exchange of Major- 
General Sullivan for Major-General Prescott, and Brigadier- 
General Lord Stirling for Governor Montfort Brown. It was 
written on the day of the great fire, but contained no refer- 
ence to that event. General Howe believed that General 
Washington, to whom he was writing, had sent officers of his 
army to bum the city, after taking the precaution to send 
away the bells of the diurches, to give the fire a better chance. 
And General Washington, who replied to General Howe's 
letter on Monday morning, was smarting under this unjust 
belief of his correspondent. In the circumstances, it is really 
refreshing to read the two letters, confined strictly to business, 
dignified, conciliatory, almost genial, and such models of polite 

General Howe concludes his letter with this paragraph: — 

My Aide-de-Camp, charged with the delivery of this letter will 
present to you a ball cut and fixed to the ends of a nail, taken from 
a number of the same kind found in the encampments quitted by 
your troops on the 1 5th instant. I do not make any comment upon 
such unwarrantable practices, being well assured the contrivance 
has not come to your knowledge. 

I am, with due regard, sir, your most obedient servant, 

W. Howe. 


'The New Tork Fire of IJ76 

~ 9 5 5 

^ V -^ 

- s ? 

<! ^ S • 5 - >T 
- ;. ~. "J i 

The Great Fire in New Tork City 


And General Washington, his: — 

Your Aide-de-Camp delivered me the ball you mention, which 
was the first of the kind I ever saw or heard of. You may depend 
the contrivance is highly abhorred by me, and every measure shall 
be taken to prevent so wicked and infamous a practice being 
adopted in this army. 

I have the honor to be, with due regard, sir, your most obedient 

Go. Washington. 

Oh Tuesday Lieutenant Tilghman went down to the lines 
with Washington's reply. He says: — 

I met a. very civil Gentleman with whom I had an hour's con- 
versation while my Dispatches were going up to Genl. Howe. 

The following letter, written by Samuel Curwen to Mr. 
George Russell, Exeter, England, December 30, 1776, is in- 
teresting in coimection with the claim in the "St. James Ga- 
zette" that "The atrocious act was conducted by one William 
Smith, an officer in a New England Regiment, who was taken 
with a match in his hand," etc. The "Gazette" referred to is 
evidently the "St. James." 

The accounts of the burning of the City of New York in the 
Gazette, are full, explicit and intelligible: more than one fourth 
is destroyed, beginning at the fort, and all along the Broadway, 
taking the College, &c.; and that it was fired by some Northern 
man is undoubted. A Mr. Smith, son of a clergyman of Wey- 
mouth in Massachusetts Bay, whom and whose family I knew 
very well, was concerned, taken, and I believe executed on due 

Edmund Burke, in the course of a debate in the House of 
Commons on November 6, 1776, after an eloquent defense 
of the cause of America, indulged in a fancied description of 
the origin of the fire in New York; a description more drama- 
tic than historic, but which recognizes and acclaims the noble 
patriotism of the attempt. Mr. Burke had heard the story 
that the fire had started near the Whitehall stairs in a low 
resort, and his fervid imagination pictured a degraded woman 
defying Britain by a sublime self-sacrifice. 

. . . witness the behavior of one miserable woman, who with her 
single arm did that which an army of a hundred thousand men 
could not do — arrested your progress in the moment of your suc- 
cess. This miserable being was found in a cellar, with her visage 


Tilghman goes 
down to the lines 

Edmund Burke 
in the House 
of Commons 


The Jumel Mansion 

The famous 


besmeared and smutted over, with every mark of rage, despair, 
resolution, and the most exalted heroism, buried in combustibles 
in order to fire New York, and perish in its ashes? She was 
brought forth, and knowing that she would be condemned to die, 
upon being asked her purpose, said, "To fire the City!" and was 
determined to omit no opportunity of doing what her country 
called for. Her train was laid and fired; and it is worthy of your 
attention how Providence was pleased to make use of those hum- 
ble means to serve the American cause, when open force was 
used in vain. In order to bring things to this unhappy situation, 
did not you pave the way, by a succession of acts of tyranny? 

The burning of New York was an event of capital impor- 
tance in Europe. It appeared as one of the American subjects 
in the famous Augsbourg prints, "Collection des Prospects" 
in various countries, to be shown by magic-lantern, and the 
reversed caption, as it would appear on the sheet, read " Re- 
presentation du Feu Terrible a Nouvelle Yorck." Two groups 
of English soldiers, in the foreground, are executing Ameri- 
cans, who have flaming torches in their hands. The scene is, 
of course, imaginary, and in case of the companion print, "La 
Destruction de la Statue Royale a Nouvelle Yorck," Indians 
in turbans and loin-cloths are pulling over a standing, instead 
of an equestrian, figure of King George. 




WHILE Nathan Hale's movements had nothing 
to do with the old house about which this his- 
tory clusters, they have much to do with the 
loose history of that amazing, fable-making 
historical period that followed the war of independence, and 
with the great fire, and, moreover, fall within the period of 
Washington's occupation of the house. 

The seven volumes of the "American Archives," which 
contain all the Revolutionary papers that were in the posses- 
sion of the United States Government at the time of its pub- 
lication in the fifties, are unimpeachable evidence and fre- 
quently reveal the inaccuracy of the history of that period and 
the absurdity of its traditions. In these papers there seem to 
be but two references to Nathan Hale. One of these was "An 
Extract from a letter from Harlem," dated September 28, 1776, 
just a week after the great fire. 

Friday last we discovered a vast cloud of smoke arising from 
the north part of the city, which continued 'till Saturday evening 
— ^The consequence was that the Broadway from the new city 
hall to white hall is laid in ashes. Our friends were immediately 
suspected and according to the report of a flag of truce who came 
to our lines soon after, those that were found in or near the spot 
were pitched Into the conflagration, some hanged by their heels, 
others by their necks with their throats cut. Inhuman barbarity! 
One Hale in New York, on suspicion of being a spy, was taken up 
and dragged without ceremony to the execution post and hung 

The other reference was in a letter written by Tench Tilgh- 
man, General Washington's favorite aide, to William Duer, 
secretary of the New York Convention, at a time when the 
Convention held prisoners suspected of being spies. The letter 



Nathan Hale's 
movements had 
nothing to do 
with the old 

Extract from a 
letter from 

Tilghman to 





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w^^^Bb^^' ^^ j$^ s 



I^BHI^^^ M 



^^^Hr^^ -vrf^'^ 



I^^HF^ ^ik ""^ Mm 

fn^nJn'^' ^*^' 

mmUm « . "% iSS 

XsSw*T<a . " * '~ 

HmHU'I V X -■.'^.^ ^ j>» MSi 







Mm rSi^ ,T 




k / 



H^: . 



Ha^^r ..-j^.-.^^^*^ 












Nathan Hale 

This young officer, animated by a sense of duty, and consid- 
ering that an opportunity presented itself by which he might be 
useful to his country, at once offered himself a volunteer for this 
hazardous service. He passed in disguise to Long Island, exam- 
ined every part of the British army, and obtained every possible 
information respecting their situation and future operations. 

In his attempt to return he was apprehended, and carried be- 
fore Sir William Howe, and the proof of his object was so clear 
that he frankly acknowledged who he was and what were his 


Sir William Howe at once gave an order to the provost marshal 
to execute him the next morning. This order was accordingly 
executed, in a most unfeeling manner, and by as great a savage 
as ever disgraced humanity. A clergyman, whose attendance he 
desired, was refused him. A Bible for a few moments' devotion 
was not procured, although he requested it. Letters which, on 
the morning of his execution, he wrote to his mother and other 
friends were destroyed, and this very extraordinary reason given, 
"That the rebels should not know they had a man in their army 
who could die with so much firmness." 

Unknown to all around him, without a single friend to offer him 
the least consolation, there fell as amiable, and as worthy a young 
man, as America could boast, with this dying observation, "that 
he only lamented that he had but one life to lose for his country." 

Although the manner of this execution will ever be abhorred 
by every friend to humanity and religion, yet there cannot be a 
question but that the sentence was conformable to the rules of 
war and the practice of nations in similar cases. 

It is, however, a justice due to the character of Captain Hale 
to observe, that his motives for engaging in this service were 
entirely different from those which generally influence others in 
similar circumstances. 

Neither the expectation of promotion nor of pecuniary reward, 
induced him to the attempt. A sense of duty, a hope that, in 
this way, he might be useful to his country, and an opinion which 
he had adopted, that every kind of service necessary to the public 
good became honorable by being necessary, were the great motives 
which induced him to engage va. an enterprise by which his con- 
nections lost a most amiable friend, and his country one of its 
most promising supporters. 

The fate of this unfortunate young man excites the most in- 
teresting reflections. To see such a character, in the flower of 
youth, cheerfully treading in the most hazardous paths, influ- 
enced by the purest intentions, and only emulous to do good to 
his country, without the implication of a crime, fall a victim to 
policy, must have been wounding to the feelings of his enemies. 

Should comparison be drawn between Major Andre and Cap- 
tain Hale, injustice would be done the latter, should he not be 



Apprehended and 
carried before 
Sir miliam 

His last wards 

and Captain 


The Jumel Mansion 

worded to 

Pious and pa- 
triotic invention 

Second appear- 
ance of story of 
Nathan Hale 

placed on an equal ground with the former. Whilst almost every 
historian of the American Revolution has celebrated the virtues 
and lamented the fate of Andre, Hale has remained unnoticed 
and it is scarcely known such a character ever existed. 

To the memory of Andre, his countrymen have erected the 
most magnificent monuments, and bestowed on his family the 
highest honors and most liberal rewards. To the memory of Hale 
not a stone has been erected nor an inscription to preserve his 
ashes from insult. 

The first paragraphs of this belated statement of General 
Hull are cunningly worded to mislead the student of history. 
General Hull aims to establish: (i) that Nathan Hale was sent 
by Washington; (2) that he found the British army on Long 
Island; (3) that he was captured on Long Island and carried 
into New York. Of the first claim there is no evidence and the 
others are known to be untrue, and were known by General 
Hull to be untrue. 

It is well known that many fables have been added to the 
original story, which have been accepted by certain authors 
and have passed into history. This sort of pious and patriotic 
invention culminated in 1856 in the popular life of Nathan 
Hale by Isaac W. Stewart, of which the American Library 
Association's Historical Guide says, "... a wholly uncritical 
treatment of the many tales that have gathered about the 
name of Nathan Hale. It has been entirely superseded." 

In 1805, following Hannah Adams, Mrs. Mercy Warren 
published, at Boston, "Rise, Progress and Termination of the 
American Revolution." In 1820 a translation of Charles Bot- 
ta's "American Revolution" (Italian) was published in Phila- 
delphia. In 1822 Paul Allen's "History of the Revolution" 
was published in Baltimore, and in 1823 a history of the Revo- 
lution by James Thatcher. None of these historians mentions 
Nathan Hale. 

In the following year, however, after a lapse of a quarter 
of a century of silence, following the publication of General 
Hull's story in Hannah Adams's history, the story made its 
second appearance in "Annals of the American Revolution," 
by Jedediah Morse (Hartford, 1824). The author credits 
the story to Hannah Adams, and, like that conscientious lady, 
he washes his hands of any responsibility for the story. He 

Nathan Hale 


says, "The particulars of this tragical event, sanctioned by 
General Hull, who was knowing to them at the time, are re- 
lated by Miss Adams in her history of New England." 

Two years later, Stephen Hempstead, then an old man, 
who had been the camp servant of Hale and his companion on 
his ill-fated mission as far as Norwalk, published a letter or 
statement in the "St. Louis Republican," issue of January 
27, 1827. All that is of interest in this letter follows: — 

Capt. Hale was one of the most accomplished officers of his 
grade and age in the army. He was a native of the town of Co- 
ventry, state of Connecticut, and a graduate of Yale College, 
young, brave, honorable and at the time of his death a Captain 
in Col. Webb's Regiment of Continental Troops. Having never 
seen a circumstantial account of his untimely and melancholy 
end, I will give it. I was attached to his company and in his con- 
fidence. After the retreat of our army from Long Island, he in- 
formed me he was sent for to Head Quarters, and was solicited 
to go over to Long Island to discover the disposition of the 
enemy's camp, &c,, expecting them to attack New York, but, 
that he was too unwell to go, not having recovered from a recent 
ilness: that upon a second application, he had consented to go, 
and I must go as far with him as I could, with safety, and_ wait 
for his return. Accordingly, we left our camp on Harlem Heights, 
with the intention of crossing over the first opportunity; but 
none offered until we arrived at Norwalk, fifty miles from New 
York. In harbor there was an armed sloop, and one or two row 
galleys. Capt. Hale had a general order, to all armed vessels, to 
take him to any place he should designate: he was set across the 
Sound, in the sloop, at Huntington (Long Island) by Capt. Pond, 
who commanded the vessel. Capt. Hale had changed his uniform 
for a plain suit of citizen's brown clothes, with a round broad 
brimmed hat; assuming the character of a Dutch school-master, 
leaving all his other clothes, commission, public and private 
papers, with me, and also his silver shoe-buckles, saying they 
would not comport with his character of schoolmaster, and re- 
taining nothing but his college diploma, as an introduction to 
his assumed calling. Thus equipped we parted for the last time 
in life. He went on his mission, and I returned back again to 
Norwalk, with orders to stop there until he should return, or hear 
from him, as he expected to return back again to cross the sound, 
if he succeeded in his object. The British army had, in the mean 
time, got possession of New York, whither he also passed, and 
had nearly executed his mission, and was passing the British 
picquet guard between the two armies, within a mile and a half 
of his own quarters, when he was stopped at a tavern, at a place 
called the "Cedars." Here there was no suspicion of his character 


Stephen Hemp- 
stead's story of 
Nathan Hale's 

Leave camp on 
Harlem Heights 

The British 
Army had^ in 
the mean time, 
got possession of 
New Tori 


The Jumel Mansion 

Betrayed by an 
own relation 

Beginning of a 
period of romance 
and imagination 

Story of the cap- 
ture of the sloop 

being other than what he pretended, until, most unfortunately, 
he was met in the crowd by a fellow countryman, and an own rela- 
tion, (but a tory and renegade,) who had received the hospitality 
of his board from Captain Hale, at his quarters at Winter Hill, 
in Cambridge, the winter before. He recognized him, and most 
inhumanely and infamously betrayed him, divulging his true 
character, situation in the army, &c.; and having him searched, 
his diploma corroborated his relative's when, without any form 
of trial, or delay, they hung him instantaniously, and sent a flag 
over to our army, stating "that they had caught such a man 
within their lines, that morning and had hung him as a spy." 
Thus suddenly and unfeelingly did they rush this young and 
worthy man into Eternity, not allowing him an hour's prepara- 
tion, nor the privilege of writing to his friends, nor even to re- 
ceive the last consolations of his religion, refusing to let the chap- 
Iain pray with him, as was his request. After parting with Capt. 
Hale, of all these circumstance I was authentically informed 
at the time. 

Stephen Hempstead Sr. 

And now begins the period of romance and imagination. In 
a published lecture delivered by Samuel Knapp in 1829, the 
author, in describing the scene at the execution, says, "The 
veteran soldiers wept like children at his untimely fate, won- 
dering that a rebel could die so much like a hero," 

In 1836, Judge Andrew T. Judson delivered an address 
(which seems to be out of print) before the Hale Monimient 
Association of Coventry, Connecticut, Reference is made to it 
in Thompson's "History of Long Island," which was published 
in 1843. In the appendix to this work is a brief story of Hale's 
capture, and here I find for the first time two stories that were 
long current as history. One is the story of the drawings found 
between the soles of Hale's shoes, with the descriptions writ- 
ten in Latin, and the story of the capture of the sloop. Thomp- 
son's account is taken from Hull's story in Hannah Adams's 
history and from Judson's address, and as Hull makes no 
mention of either of the above incidents, they probably origin- 
ated in the Coventry address. The capture of the sloop, for 
which no date or authority has been given, is claimed to have 
taken place in the East River under the guns of the Asia, 
British man-of-war; that Hale and his friends boarded the 
sloop in the night, and brought it to shore with the British 


Nathan Hale 


crew in the hold as prisoners, and that the vessel was loaded 
with clothing, which Hale gave to the destitute and half-clad 
soldiers. These stories have no official authority and evidently 
are of the sort characterized by the American Library Asso- 
ciation's "Historical Guide" as "Tales that have gathered 
about the name of Nathan Hale." 

It is evident that the subject of Nathan Hale was intro- 
duced in the appendix to Thompson's "History of Long 
Island" solely because of the claim, probably made by Jud- 
son, that the scene of the capture was at Huntington, Long 
Island. Thompson states that the arrest was at a place called 
"The Cedars," near Huntington, Long Island, and by a boat's 
crew from the British ship Cerberus, at about daylight, shortly 
after Hale had left the tavern of one Mother Chichester. 

In the following year (1844), "A Memoir of Captain Nathan 
Hale," by S. Babcock, was published by the Hale Monument 
Association of New Haven. Babcock; says Hale was captured 
at a tavern called "The Cedars," which he states was not more 
than two or three miles from his own quarters. 

In 1848, a life of General Hull was published by his daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Mariah Campbell. In the chapter devoted to Nathan 
Hale she quotes from a manuscript left by her father. After 
mentioning Hale's disappearance from camp, he continues: — 

In a few days an officer came to our camp, under a flag of truce, 
and informed Hamilton, then a captain of artillery, but after- 
wards an aide of General Washington, that Captain Hale had 
been arrested within the British lines, condemned as a spy, and 
executed that morning. 

I learned the melancholy particulars from this officer who was 
present at his execution, and seemed touched by the circum- 
stances attending it. „.,,«. « 

"On the morning of his execution," contmued the officer, my 
station was near the fatal spot, and I requested the Provost 
Marshal to permit the prisoner to sit in my marquee while he was 
making the necessary preparations. Captain Hale entered.^ He 
was calm and bore himself with gentle dignity, in the conscious- 
ness of rectitude and high intentions. He asked for writing mate- 
rials, which I furnished him. He wrote two letters, one to his 
mother and one to a brother officer." 

In the statements of General Hull and Stephen Hempstead, 
who were the intimates and confidants of Nathan Hale, we 


Stories having 
no official 

A tavern called 
" The Cedars' 

From manuscript 
left by General 


The Jumel Mansion 

Determined to 
keep Hale at a 
safe distance 
from the fire 

Capture probably 
at the inner line 

Correction repu- 

have the only information, of value or otherwise, of the move- 
ments of Hale. Both Hull and Hempstead seem to have been 
determined to keep Hale at a safe distance from the fire. 
Stephen Hempstead's story is frank and convincing as far as 
he goes. He tells us for the first time where Hale was cap- 
tured, but not a word about his "object" in going into the 
city of New York, nor does he offer any explanation of, or even 
acknowledge, the startling fact that he had escaped from the 
city of New York during the great conflagration and made 
his way to the place where he was captured. He says, "He 
had nearly executed his mission, and was passing the British 
picquet guard," etc. 

The account of the fire in Gaine's "Mercury" tells us that 
"the lines near the royal army were extended across the island, 
as it manifestly appeared that the city was designedly set on 
fire." This extra guard line, "near the royal army," was es- 
tablished to keep out of the city such troops as were not 
needed to put out the fire, and to prevent the escape of incen- 
diaries. If, therefore, Hale was captured at the picket lijje, it 
was probably at this inner line and very near the city, and not 
at the outpost as Hempstead thought. 

General Hull says, "he was apprehended and carried before 
Sir William Howe, and the proof of his object was so clear 
that he frankly acknowledged who he was and what were his 
views." His views on what? As he had just left the burning 
city, his views on the fire would be the only views of any in- 
terest to his captors. What made "the proof of his object so 
clear" but the fact that he had been captured so near the con- 

When the first edition of Hannah Adams's abridgment of 
her history, for the Boston schools, was published in London, 
in 1806, some one saw the inconsistency, as it related to Hale's 
departure, of the first sentence in Hull's story, "This retreat 
left the British in complete possession of Long Island," and 
changed the statement so as to read, "As this retreat left the 
British in complete possession of New York." This correc- 
tion of the original wording was repudiated in the edition pub- 
lished the next year at Dedham, Massachusetts. 

General Hull's story dealt too much in generalities and left 


Nathan Hale 

one with the feeling that important facts were concealed. In 
his notes, published by his daughter, we find interesting de- 
tails that show the sweetness of Nathan Hale's character, and 
the dignity with which he met his fate, but still we do not hear 

If we question his story, we are entitled to consider the 
character of the man who tells it. General William Hull was 
a college man who wrote fluently, a lawyer who produced an 
octavo book in his own defense before the court martial that 
condemned him to death for surrendering Detroit. His sen- 
tence was reversed by President Madison, and while he was 
probably not guilty of treason as charged, he was unquestion- 
ably guilty of cowardice and neglect of duty, as his officers 
testified at his trial. He was a master of sophistry in his own 
defense, and quite equal to dissembling in that of his friend. 

Hannah Adams, on the other hand, was a devout woman 
of the old New England school, and a particularly conscien- 
tious writer who had devoted most of her literary life to reli- 
gious subjects. All her history of New England she had writ- 
ten with her own hand, except the story of Captain Hale, for 
which she evidently declined to be responsible, referring her 
readers, for its truth or falsehood, to General Hull, of Newton. 

Why was the story ignored by Mercy Warren, by Charles 
Botta, by Paul Allen, and by James Thatcher, who wrote his- 
tories of the Revolution during a quarter of a century follow- 
ing the publication of the original story in the history by 
Hannah Adams? History books were few in those days, and 
these writers must have been familiar with the story as told 
by General Hull. Old soldiers of the Revolution were as numer- 
ous then, in proportion to the population, as are the soldiers 
of the Civil War to-day. Evidently these writers discovered 
facts that, in their judgment, made the further publication 
of the story inadvisable. 

There has long been a persistent purpose among the writers 
on Nathan Hale to suppress any documents that might in 
any way connect him with the great fire. The fact that young 
officers of the Continental army were engaged in the attempt 
to bum the city of New York, a week after General Washing- 
ton left it, has been almost completely ignored in American 



Character of 
General Hull 

Character of 
Hannah Adams 

A persistent pur- 
pose to suppress 


The Jumel Mansion 

A garbled ac- 
count of the fire 

Other Conti- 
nental officers 
executed on the 

The least that 
Stephen Hemp- 
stead could do 

history. Only one account of the fire appears in the "Ameri- 
can Archives." It is a garbled account, taken from the New 
York letter in the "St. James Chronicle," which is given in 
full in the preceding chapter. The clause omitted reads: — 

Many of the villains were apprehended with matches in their 
hands to set fire to the houses. A fellow was seized just about to 
set fire to the college, who acknowledged he was employed for the 
purpose. A New England Captain was seized with matches in 
his pocket, who acknowledged the same. 

The longer account of the fire from Gaine's "Mercury," also 
given in the preceding chapter, containing the passage, "A 
New England man, who had a captain's commission under 
the Continental Congress, and in their service was seized 
having these dreadful implements of ruin," etc., was omitted 
from the "American Archives" altogether. These two very 
significant passages, then, were intentionally suppressed, by 
some one, in this important publication of the Revolutionary 
papers, which will stand in the future as the ofliicial record. 
Neither of these letters is now in the possession of the New 
York Historical Society.^ 

The other Continental officers mentioned in the description 
of the fire were executed on the spot. There is no such state- 
ment concerning this "New England man, who had a cap- 
tain's conunission under the Continental Congress and in 
their service," etc. But the very next paragraph in the de- 
scription of the fire reads, "General Robertson rescued two 
of these incendiaries from the enraged populace, who had other- 
wise consigned them to the flames, and reserved them for the 
hand of deliberate justice." That the New England man de- 
scribed in the preceding sentence was one of the incendiaries 
so reserved by General Robertson is a logical deduction from 
the reading. This officer was probably captured late in the 
day, after the fire was well under control, and on the outskirts 
of the town near the college. The least that Stephen Hemp- 
stead could do for the companion he revered and loved was 
to claim that he was captured outside the burning city. 

Why have we not heard more of this hero who was the 


• At this particular time the librarian of the New York Historical Society was 
contemplating a life of Nathan Hale. 

The Capture of Nathan Hale 

Nathan Hale 

embodiment of the hopes of the army on the Heights of Harlem ? 
If he was not Nathan Hale, he was engaged in a more heroic 
work than the biographers of Nathan Hale have assigned to 
him. But I prefer to believe that this was Nathan Hale, for 
it does away with the silly claims of a perfectly useless mis- 
sion into the enemy's lines; it accounts for a half-century of 
silence and another half-century of pious fables; it reconciles 
the ambiguity of General Hull's story, and the caution of 
Hannah Adams, and the lifelong silence of Washington, Reed, 
and Hamilton. 

Nathan Hale went into New York for a definite purpose, and 
that purpose was not to make drawings of forts that Wash- 
ington had built, and in which he had no further interest, or 
for any other trivial reason assigned by his biographers. He 
was a daring enthusiast, to whom devotion to his country's 
cause was his religion. The idea of sacrificing the city of New 
York for the good of the cause, which had the almost univer- 
sal approval of the New England troops, would appeal strongly 
to a nature like Nathan Hale's. Had he succeeded he would 
have been the heroic figure of the war, and if he had died an 
ignominious death as the price of his success, instead of as the 
penalty of his failure, his name would have been on every 
tongue. To succeed only in part, however, was to fail utterly. 
It was a waste of life and property to no purpose. The failure 
was so appalling in its impotence that it accounts for the si- 
lence even of his friends. 

The most important monograph on Nathan Hale, and the 
fairest in its deductions, while admitting that he was captured 
just outside the city of New York, merely mentions the cir- 
cumstance that there had been a fire in the city that day. 
After expressly stating that nothing is known of the move- 
ments of Nathan Hale between the time he entered the city 
and the hour of his capture, no importance whatever is given 
to the fact that Nathan Hale had passed the last day of his 
life in the midst of the great conflagration in the city of New 
York, where other officers of the Continental army had been 
feeding the flames. 

It is not strange that he has been designated as a "spy" 
ever since his execution, and that he was so named in all 



// does away 
•with silly claims 

Not to make 
drawings of 

The most impor- 
tant monograph 
on Nathan Hale 


Nt other name 
than spy 

The Jumel Mansion 

From the British 
Order Book 

From the 
^'■Boston Inde- 
pendent Chroni- 

letters to the British papers of the time. For the officer or sol- 
dier captured in disguise within the enemy's lines there is no 
other designation. He was executed when the British army 
was in an angry mood, following the fire, and even the com- 
mon soldiers were permitted to offer insults to his body on 
the tree. In support of this surprising statement I quote from 
a letter written from New York by a British officer, on Sep- 
tember 35, just four days after the execution. The letter was 
published on the 9th of November, 1776, in the "Kentish 
Gazette," at Canterbury, England, and the closing paragraph, 
with its brutal realism, seems to have been added by the writer 
as the mention of a very trivial event: — 

We hanged a rebel spy the other day, and some soldiers got out 
of a rebel gentleman's garden, a painted soldier on a board, and 
hung it along with the Rebel; and wrote upon it General Washing- 
ton, and I saw it yesterday beyond headquarters by the roadside. 

The British Order Book uses the only known military term, 
and the order itself was read on that Sunday evening, at dress 
parade, to every British regiment in General Howe's com- 
mand: — 

A spy from the enemy by his own confession, apprehended last 
night, was this day executed at eleven o'clock, behind the Artil- 
lery barracks. 

General Hull's statement contains pathetic apologies for 
some mysterious and unnamed act. 

Stephen Hempstead says, he had nearly executed his mis- 
sion and was passing the "British picquet guard. . . ." 

The "Boston Independent Chronicle" of May 17, 1781, 

published the following: — 

About four years ago Captain Hale, an American officer, of a 
liberal education, younger than Andre, and equal to him in sense, 
fortitude, and every manly accomplishment though without 
opportunity of being so highly polished, went voluntarily into the 
City of New York, with a view to serve his invaded country. He 


Lieutenant Tench Tilghman wrote to his father, " Some were 
executed the next day upon good grounds." 

Colonel Silliman wrote to his wife, "They executed some of 
our friends there for it the next day." 






THAT Sunday, on which Captain Montresor came 
to the lines with the news of the great fire, was 
crowded with stirring events in the army on Har- 
lem Heights. In the morning two sailors, who had 
deserted during the night from the British ship-of-war, La 
Brune, which lay near Montresor's Island, were brought to 
General Heath's headquarters. They stated that most of the 
British troops had left the island and that the cannon from 
La Brune had been returned to the ship; that there were a 
few officers at "the house," in which was a quantity of bag- 
gage. General Heath thought the opportunity a promising 
one for a night attack on the island. His officers agreed with 
him and General Washington gave his consent. 

The two sailors were then brought before General Heath, 
who told them that he proposed to send an expedition to the 
island that night; that if their information proved to be cor- 
rect he would send them back into the country where they 
wished to go, but if they had not told him the truth, he would 
hang them as spies the next morning. They were given an 
opportimity to correct their statement, but they stood firmly 
by their story, and submitted very cheerfully to the condi- 
tions proposed. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Jackson was assigned to com- 
mand the expedition of two hundred and forty men in three 
flat-bottomed boats. A fourth boat followed with artillery 
on board to be used in case of necessity. Major Thomas 
Henly, a gallant young officer, who was one of General 
Heath's aides, pleaded for permission to accompany the ex- 
pedition. Permission was reluctantly given, and Major Henly 
went as a volunteer, against the advice of his friends. 



A day crowded 
with stirring 

Two sailors 
brought before 
General Heath 

Major Henly 
pleads to go 


Boats pass the 
Roger Morris 

The Jumel Mansion 

Expedition ex- 
posed by sentinel 

Death of Major 

The boats fell down Harlem "creek," past the Roger Morris 
house, with the ebb tide and late enough to reach the island 
at the beginning of the flood. General Heath and some of his 
officers were observers at the river-side, near the proposed 
attack. By a fatal oversight the sentinel at the mouth of the 
" creek" on the Harlem shore had not been notified of the 
expedition, and as the boats came near his position, he chal- 
lenged them. The boats stood on their oars, a plunge was heard 
in the shallow water and Major Henly waded ashore to Gen- 
eral Heath. 

"Sir, will it do? "he asked. 

"I see nothing to the contrary," replied General Heath. 

"Then it shall do," said Major Henly, pressing the Gen- 
eral's hand, and wading back to the boat. 
" The sentinel called again, " If you don't come ashore I Will fire," 
and he did fire. The expedition was thoroughly exposed by this 
time and should have been recalled. The first glimmer of dawn 
was visible as the boats drew near to the island's shore. The 
field officers and the men in the first boat landed, expecting the 
others to follow. They drove back the enemy, who had come 
to the shore, but they were abandoned by the other boats. The 
enemy, seeing this, returned to the charge, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Jackson was wounded in the leg and Major Henly was 
shot through the heart, as they fell back to their boat. 

Everything seems to have been badly managed. There were 
confusion and insubordination in one of the boats, induced 
by the cowardly behavior of Captain John Wisner, who was 
tried by court martial and sentenced to dismissal from the 
service. This light sentence was such a disappointment to 
General Washington that he asked the court to reconsider its 
verdict, and on its refusal to do so, he brought the matter to 
the attention of Congress, hoping to force the court to his 
views. The cowardice of Captain Wisner was quite as abject 
and groveling as that of Ebenezer Leffingwell and was one of 
the causes of the failure of the expedition and the death of 
Major Henly, and General Washington wished to make this 
case an example to the army. 

A letter from Harlem, dated September 26, gives a brief 
account of Major Henly: — 

■ This 

Events from Day to Day 

This young Hero was a native of Charlestown, near Boston, 
of an ancient and reputable family. He was in England when 
the news of the battle of Lexington arrived there. He immedi- 
ately flew to the assistance of his country, and immediately en- 
tered into the Continental service, in the regiment commanded 
by Colonel Varnum, from which he was transferred to the corps 
of Artillery, commanded by Colonel Knox, as Lieutenant and 
Adjutant. In this active situation he was beloved and respected 
by the officers pf not only his own corps, but the whole army, 
and his reputation as a good officer was such that, a few days be- 
fore his death, he was promoted to be first Aide-de-Camp to 
Major General Heath. 

Major Henly was buried at five o'clock in the afternoon of 
Tuesday, September 24, by the side of Colonel Knowlton. 
The services were held at the quarters of Major David Henly, 
who was deputy adjutant-general of General Spencer's divi- 
sion, which was still on the ground assigned to it after the 
battle of Harlem Heights, a little to the south of headquarters. 
Directly after the funeral John Sloss Hobart, of the New 
York Convention, found General Washington "much indis- 
posed and crowded with business." So much consideration 
did he show for the General's exhausted condition that he 
refrained altogether from pressing his own business. Just as 
he was leaving General Washington, however, he tells us, the 
Committee from Congress on the Conduct of the War arrived 
from Philadelphia. The members of the committee were 
Roger Sherman, Elbridge Gerry, and Francis Lewis. The 
interview with this important committee may have been brief, 
but tired and worried as General Washington was, it is sur- 
prising to find that on that very night he wrote a letter to Con- 
gress of more than twenty-five hundred words, beginning with 
the sentence, "From the hours allotted to sleep." 

From the public record, we glean a few items only of the 
events that made the days so full and the work so trying to the 
commanding general. At seven o'clock on the morning of 
Wednesday, the 2Sth of September, a working party of one 
thousand men stood in line opposite headquarters, ready to 
go to work on the fortifications. All day the Committee from 
Congress was in session in the house. On this day it was that 
Washington discharged two regiments of Connecticut militia, 
one of which had thirty men left in its ranks and the other 



A native of 
near Boston 

Burial of Major 

Events had 
made the day 
so full 


General officers 
in session with 
Committee from 

Two mortars of 
solid metal from 

Diary of Eben- 
ezer fVithington 

The Jumel Mansion 

only twenty. The men were without uniforms and could 
straggle away whenever the fall ploughing or apple-picking 
required their presence at home. General Washington wrote 
to Governor Trumbull, "I am full in opinion with you that 
some severe examples ought to be made of the late deserters." 

On Thursday, the 26th, the general officers were in session 
at headquarters with the Committee from Congress on the 
Conduct of the War. The court martial also met at the usual 
time. Colonel Ewing presiding in the absence of Colonel Ma- 
gaw. The court proceeded with the trial of Lieutenant Henry 
Drake, for absence without leave. The trial was a brief one, no 
witnesses being called, and the court adjourned on the ground 
that it had no jurisdiction in the case; therefore, it is quite 
probable that the general officers and the Committee from 
Congress occupied the court-martial room after the rising of 
the court. One of the results of this conference was the resig- 
nation of Colonel Stephen Moylan, the Quartermaster Gen- 
eral, and the appointment of General Mifflin in his stead, which 
was the only change in the persoimel of the staff while in the 
Morris house. 

General Sullivan, who had been a prisoner since the battle 
of Long Island, and who had just been exchanged at Elizabeth- 
town for the British General MacDonald, arrived at head- 
quarters, but the event of the day was the arrival of two "mor- 
tars of solid metal," from Boston, which were delivered at 
Fort Washington after nearly a month on the road. 

Transportation in those early days was laborious and slow. 
The diary of Ebenezer Withington, of Dorchester, Massa- 
chusetts, for which we are indebted to his great-grandson, 
A. H. Withington, records the stately progress of the two 
great mortars of "solid metal" from Boston to Fort Wash- 
ington. Ebenezer Withington seems to have been a private 
in the ranks and his quaint story is best told in his own words: 

Sept. 5, 1776. Three companies of artificers marched out of 
Boston for New York, with two great mortars and shears and all. 
our baggage. 

We had 52 yoke of cattle. Eleven yoke to one mortar, and 12 
to the other. The mortars weighed 1000 and 800 ibs. each. 

Sept, 26th, 1776. We arrived at Fort Washington at 3 in the 
afternoon with all our effects safe and encamped close to the fort, 


Events from Day to Day 

this fort laying nigh the river and on the hight of ground. The 
ground descends every way from the fort and very much North 
West and North East. 

It lies near the east end of the Island. The ground bears chiefly 
wild onions. 

The names of the towns I passed through on way to New York — 

Dedham Newent New Haven 

Walpole Norwich 

Wrentham Mohegan 

Attleboro New London 

Pawtucket Rope Ferry 

Johnson Lyme 

Scituate Saybrook 

Coventry Killingsworth 

Voleritown Guilford 

Plainfield Bradford 

New Rochelle 
East Chester 
Kings Bridge 
New York 

Sept. 28th, 1776. We moved half a mile northwest from the 
fort and encamped, and nearer the river and nearer the ferry. 

This ferry was a mile from the fort and opposite the ferry a fort 
called fort Lee on the height of rocks on the Jersie side. 

Up the river many miles was very mountainous. 

At this ferry lay our regulars to watch the enemy — for all the 
transportation from Albany to York Island was to this ferry ex- 
cept the small river which ran up to Kings Bridge. 

Below the ferry lay the enemies vessels. 

Sept. 30th, 1776. It was pleasant. 

Oct. 7th, 1776. We worked in the woods. Hewing of timber. 

On Saturday, the 28th, while the Magaw court martial was 
in session at headquarters, and directly after dispatching his 
early morning letter to Congress, General Washington crossed 
the Hudson at the little ferry near which the artificers were 
camped and spent the day in the saddle inspecting the posi- 
tions between Fort Lee and Powle's Hook, now Hoboken. It 
is probable that the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of 
the War, then at headquarters, joined the staff on that occasion. 

A peculiar precautionary measure was promulgated in Gen- 
eral Orders of that evening, directing that, in case of an attack 
by the enemy on the lines to the south, two guns should be 
fired "at the redoubt on the road by Colonel Moylan's," 
which was near the top of "Break-Neck Hill," this alarm "to 
be repeated by two others at headquarters, and the like num- 
ber at Mount Washington." 

The published letters and papers emanating from the 



The ground 
bears wild onions 

Up the river 
was very 

A peculiar 




The Jumel Mansion 

Some new history 

Colonel Silliman 
sent his shirts 
home to be 

Criticism had 
been carried to 
the danger-point 

Morris house were either strictly confined to business, or any 
reference to social functions was cut out before they were 
printed. Certain it is that there is no hint in any published 
document of what took place at any one of the many dinners in 
the Morris house, at which prominent guests were entertained. 
Here, however, is the story of a dinner, given by General 
Washington in the Morris house, probably on Tuesday evening, 
October i. It is new history, and none the less interesting 
because the story has lain hidden for one hundred and thirty 
years in two faded letters written by Colonel Silliman to his 
wife in Connecticut; two letters out of hundreds bound in a 
thick folio, the property of a brother and sister, descended 
from Colonel Silliman on one side and from Governor Trum- 
bull on the other, whose- dining-room is enriched with a paint- 
ing of the Trumbull family by John Trumbull, and from whose 
parlor wall the very Mrs. Silliman of the faded letters looks 
down in high ruff and powdered hair. Colonel Silliman was a 
pious gentleman of the old New England school, who loved 
his second wife, in a serious and decorous way, and who sent 
his linen home to be washed, and whose letters were a gentle 
blending of piety and love, with directions as to how the clean 
shirts were to be forwarded by the first horseman riding to 
Harlem Heights who would take them. The letters were writ- 
ten two weeks after the retreat from New York, when the two 
Connecticut brigades of Parsons and Fellows had fled in a 
panic from a few British grenadiers. The affair was the talk 
of the army. Nowhere had the conduct of the Connecticut 
troops been more severely rated than among the young gentle- 
men of General Washington's military family, who were 
mostly Southerners. Criticism had been carried to the danger- 
point. Governor Trumbull, of Connecticut, was General 
Washington's strongest support in New England, and his 
son, Joseph Trumbull, was Commissary-General on the staff. 
Ill-feeling had already developed between young Trumbull 
and Colonel Reed, the Adjutant-General. It was time to pour 
oil on the troubled waters, and as the event proved, in the 
opinion of the Conunander-in-Chief, the time to pay some 
marked attention to some prominent Connecticut field offi- 
cers, and Colonels Silliman and Douglas were selected. 


Events from Day to Day 

Such were the conditions on Sunday, the 29th of Septem- 
ber, when Colonel Gold S. Silliman wrote to his wife: — 

^ General Washington's servant has just been in with a billet 
inviting me to dinner. He required an answer which is unusual 
— Colonel Douglas received the like — I don't know what to 
make of it — I am suspicious — but we shall see.^ 

Strange to say, the precise date of this dinner is still envel- 
oped in mystery, for General Washington's formal invitation 
to Colonel Douglas, for which I am indebted to Mr. Benjamin 
L. Douglas, of Boston, seemingly contradicts the letter of 
Cplonel Silliman as to the date, and at the same time contra- 
dicts itself. It is a faded scrap of paper, about three by seven 
inches in size. 

General Washington's compliments to Commandant Douglas. 
Requests the favor of his company at dinner to day at 3 o'clock. 
Tuesday Morn'g. Septemb'r 30th. 

Now it happened, in that particular year, that September 
30 was Monday, and Tuesday was October i . Here is evidently 
an error of the aide who wrote the invitation to Colonel Doug- 
las. Colonel Silliman's letter, dated Sunday, September 29, 
says, "Colonel Douglas has the like." Having written a letter 
in those days, it was customary to hold on to it until an oppor- 
tunity was found to send it by some chance messenger, and 
events that occurred during the period of waiting were fre- 
quently jotted down without entering a new date. It is prob- 
able that Colonel Silliman was finishing his Sunday letter on 
Tuesday morning with his story of the invitation, and that the 
aide who wrote Colonel Douglas's invitation forgot for the 
moment that the month of September was over and October 
had begun. The dinner was evidently on Tuesday, October 
I, and the Committee from Congress, which made its report 
to that body on Thursday, was pajring its farewell visit to 
Washington, before starting in the early morning for Phila- 

Washington was overburdened with business cares ; General 
Sullivan and the Committee from Congress were guests at 
headquarters, but the Commander-in-Chief had time to be 
politic. The dinner took place in the dining-room at the 


' Manuscript letters in the possession of Miss Henrietta Hubbard. 


General Wash- 
ington^! servant 
with a billet 

An error of the 
aide who wrote 
the invitation 

Dinner on Tues- 
day, October I 


The Jumel Mansion 

The Adjutant- 
General contin- 
ues his insults 

Washington net 
to be surprised 

Some ludicrous 

Morris house, and Colonel Silliman tells us, in his next letter 
to his wife, of what happened. He wrote that the Adjutant- 
General continued his insults to the New England troops at 
the dinner, but that General Washington took him to one side 
and told him that he did not believe in such conduct. Further- 
more, he tells us that the Committee from Congress came in 
during the dinner and that he had the opportunity to tell them 
if such talk continued "the Continent would be ruined." 

While General Howe in New York was leisurely making his 
plans to capture the little army on Harlem Heights, and taking 
care that no front attack should be made on that position, 
General Washington was in hourly expectation of such an 
attack. Probably General Howe directed the movement of 
troops to encourage just such apprehensions. In any event, 
Washington was determined not to be surprised. On the morn- 
ing of the 30th of September, and for several mornings there- 
after, every regiment on Harlem Heights was standing under 
arms before daybreak, and so remained until sunrise, expect- 
ing at any moment to hear the boom of the two guns at the 
redoubt on the top of Break-Neck Hill. 

In the midst of all these apprehensions and precautions, the 
daily routine of business at the Morris house went on as usual. 
The Adjutant-General's office was the bustling center of head- 
quarters, where brigade-majors and adjutants and orderlies 
passed in and out, saluting the armed guard on the porch; 
where clerks copied letters and condensed morning reports 
and glanced out of window at mounted orderlies and held 
horses, and at such of the pageantry of war as was drawn to 
headquarters. It was most likely through one of these win- 
dows that Colonel Reed saw "a Captain of Cavalry, of Wash- 
ington's Body Guard," shaving one of his men, and wrote 
gloomily to his wife of discipline in the Continental army. 

Ludicrous things did happen through lack of discipline. On 
October i General Washington approved the sentence of one 
James McCormick, who had been tried in General Heath's 
division for desertion and sentenced to suffer death, and or- 
dered the execution to take place on the following day. It hap- 
pened that several hours before this order was issued, James 
McCormick had been discharged from the guardhouse by 


Events from Day to Day 


Captain DeWitt, through a misunderstanding, and that before 
leaving James had treated the other prisoners to cider. 
Later in the day Colonel Grayson wrote to General Heath : — 

His_ Excellency, upon considering further on the subject of Mc- 
Cormick, thinks it will be best to order him here for execution: 
You will therefore be pleased to have this done. You will be 
pleased to Ipt the prisoner know he is certainly to die, and direct 
that a blessing may attend him. 

Desertion and cowardice were two offenses that General 
Washington abhorred. It had been, for some time, his inten- 
tion to execute the first flagrant offenders under these two 
heads, as an example and a warning to the army. His own 
kindness of heart spared the skulker Leffingwell, of Norwich, 
and the Beal court martial balked him of his purpose in the 
case of Captain Wisner, who was chiefly responsible for the 
failure of the expedition to Montresor's Island and for the 
death of the gallant Major Henly; and now the deserter, 
James McCormick, escapes his deserts and strolls off with 
a contemptuous indifference to the authorities, as he coolly 
treats his prison-mates to cider. 

There were other offenses that worried the Commander-in- 
Chief at this period, such as the lack of cleanliness, and the 
neglect of the most ordinary sanitary arrangements in the 
camps and the waste of food; further evidence of the lack of 
discipline in the regiments of raw militia. The General Orders 
on Harlem Heights were often timely lectures on cleanliness 
and patriotism and the soldierly virtues that were lacking in 
the ranks. In the Orders for the 28th of September we find 
this passage: — 

The General has also, in riding through the camps, observed a 
shameful waste of provision, ^r large pieces of fine beef not only 
thrown away, but left above ground to putrefy. While such prac- 
tices continue, troops will be sickly. 

The 2d of October began with quite an aggressive and en- 
tirely successful foray to secure forage lying between the lines 
of the two armies, of which a Harlem letter of the 3d gives the 
following account: — 

Yesterday eleven hundred men were ordered to parade at day- 
light, to bring off the corn hay, &c., which lay on Harlem Plains, 


Treated the 
other prisoners 
to cider 

Other officers 
worried the 

A foray to secure 


Pfilliam Ellery's 
humorous account 

Death of Major 

Our patrol's 

The Jumel Mansion 

between the enemy and us. This property had lain for a fortnight 
past unmolested, both sides looking at it, and laying claim to it 
until to-day, when it was brought off by us. A covering party 
were within musket shot of the enemy, but they made no other 
movements than to man their lines; and three thousand of our 
men appearing, the enemy struck their tents, expecting an attack. 
Our fatigue party finished the business, and not a single shot was 

Another account of the raid on the gram appears in a letter 
written from Philadelphia, on October ii, by William Ellery 
to Governor Cooke. With time and distance the story has 
grown a little: — 

General Washington, as I am told, played off a pretty manoeuvre 
the other day. Determined to remove the grain and the furniture 
of the houses from Harlem, he drew out into the field a party of 
seventeen hundred. The enemy turned out as many. They ap- 
proached within three hundred yards and looked at each other. 
While they were thus opposed front to front, our wagons carried 
off the grain and furniture. When this was accomplished, both 
parties retired within their lines. It is said that our men preserved 
very good faces. It would be of use to draw out our men in battle 
array frequently, to let them look the enemy in the face, and have 
frequent skirmishes with them. 

On the forenoon of Thursday, October 3, Major Leitch died 
in the hospital of lockjaw, having until then survived his wounds 
received at the battle of Harlem Heights on the i6th of Sep- 

With every succeeding day the apprehension of an attack 
by the enemy grew more and more acute, and Washington's 
army was more and more on the alert. Tench Tilghman 
writes on the 3d to Egbert Benson, of the Convention: — 

We had an alarm this morning at four o'clock; we had our men 
instantly under arms, but it turned out a mistake of our patroles, 
who conceited they had seen a large body of the enemy advancing 
to our lines. 

By this time the pending attack began to be looked for at 
some point on the East River beyond the mouth of the Bronx. 
General Heath tells us, in his "Memoirs," that, accompanied 
by Colonel Hand, he reconnoitered his lines in the direction of 
Frog's Neck. There was a causeway over a swamp, between 
Westchester and the Neck, and a tide mill on the creek. A line 


Lieutenant-Colonel Tench Tilghman 


Events from Day to Day 


of cordwood formed a natural breastwork at the Westchester 
end of the causeway. Here, by order of General Heath, Colonel 
Hand immediately stationed a subaltern and twenty-five men 
as a permanent alarm post, and the planks of the causeway 
were removed. 

; Small detachments of General Washington's troops were 
already posted in a chain of fortified camps along the Bronx, 
facing that river and extending nearly to White Plains, where 
commissary supplies were stored. Every day seems to have 
contributed some new alarm — some fresh sign of the activ- 
ity of the enemy, which, however trivial, never passed with- 
out notice at headquarters. On October 6, which was Sun- 
day, Colonel Webb wrote to General Heath: — 

I am directed by his Excellency to inform you that in the night, 
about twelve o'clock, our men distinctly heard the enemy throw- 
ing tools into boats from Montresor's and Blackwell's islands, 
and that boats were moving up the Sound most of the night. 
About twenty boatloads of men rowed up, and landed on one of 
the islands called the Two Brothers. 

On this day we find the first mention of a bridge of boats 
which seems to have been laid in the Harlem River for the 
convenience of crossing directly from headquarters to Morris 
Heights. Tench Tilghman, in a letter to William Duer, writ- 
ten on the 6th, says: — 

A bridge of boats is to be thrown over Harlem River just at 
this place, which will form a fine, easy communication between, 
should the attack be made either on one side or the other. 

The headquarters and most of the troops were on the west 
side of the river, and in case of operations beginning on the 
East River, beyond the Bronx, where they actually did begin, 
there would be great delay in crossing at King's Bridge, in- 
volving, in marching and countermarching, a distance of five 
miles. On the following day Tilghman again writes to Duer 
to send immediately sue anchors and cables to moor the boats 
for the bridge over the Harlem. 

On the same day, Monday, the 7th of October, the new 
court martial, of which Colonel Weedon was president, held 
its first session at headquarters. Just at evening General Lord 
Stirling was put ashore from a British ship near Fort Wash- 

A breastwork 
of cordwood 

First mention of 
a bridge 

First session of 
Weedon court 


General Stirling 
a guest at head- 

Tilghman to the 

Mr. Bushnell's 

The Jumel Mansion 

ington and exchanged for Governor Montfort Brown, who was 
at the Morris house awaiting his arrival. It was probably on 
the day before that the two Sachems of the Ca3rugas, with 
Mr. Dean, the interpreter, arrived at headquarters. General 
Stirling remained a guest at headquarters until October ii, 
when he assumed command of General Mifflin's brigade. 

On the morning of the 9th of October, not only headquar- 
ters, but the whole army on the Heights of Harlem, was sur- 
prised and chagrined to see several British ships easily pass 
over the obstructions between Fort Washington and Fort Lee, 
on which construction had been going on since August, and 
scatter the smaU craft engaged on or connected with such 
construction. Tilghman's report to the Convention is dated 
October 9: — 

About eight o'clock this morning, the Roebuck and Phenix, 
of forty-four guns each, and a frigate about 20 guns, got under 
way from about Bloomingdale, where they have been lying some 
time, and stood on with an easy southerly breeze towards our 
chevaux-de-frise, which we hoped would have given them some 
interruption, while our batteries played upon them, but to our 
surprise and mortification, they all came through without the 
least difficulty, and without receiving any apparent damage from 
our forts, which kept playing on them from both sides of the 
river. . . . 

As soon as the Phoenix and the Roebuck, with their con- 
sorts, had succeeded in passing the forts, they headed for two 
American ships and two row-galleys which lay in the stream 
above. The two ships were waiting to be loaded with stone 
and sunk as further obstruction of the river. The ships were 
run aground at Philipse's Mills, now Yonkers, and the row- 
galleys near Dobb's Ferry. From General Heath's "Mem- 
oirs" we quote a very interesting account of would-be mine 
laying at diat early period: — , 

The British ships, after passing Fort Washington, took a 
schooner loaded with rum, sugar, wine, &c., and sunk a sloop, 
which had on board the machine, invented by and under the 
direction of a Mr. Bushnell, intended to blow up the British ships. 
This machine was worked under water. It conveyed a magazine 
of power, which was to be fixed under the keel of a ship, then 
freed from the machine, and left with clockwork going, which 
was to produce fire when the machine had got out of the way. 


Events from Day to Day 

Mr. Bushnell had great confidence of its success, and had made 
several experiments, which seemed to give him countenance, but 
Its tate was truly a contrast to its design. 

Ebenezer Withington has something to say in his quaint 
way about the happenings of this eventful morning. He 
makes a mistake in his date, however, locating the event on 
the 8th of October instead of ^the 9th, but Washington makes 
the same mistake in writing to Governor Trumbull. Here is 
what Withington says : — 

Oct. 8th, 1776. This morning pleasant and still at 8 o'clock we 
saw the enemy hoisting the sails of three of their ships and four 
tenders and came up North River. The forts kept a constant 
firing at them, but they did not fire until they came opposite Fort 
Washington. All our regulars ran up Spiten Devil the river that 
comes out of the North River and so makes York an island. 

This name took its origen from a man who was riding that way 
before there was any bridge. Upon being informed there was no 
way to cross but the ferry — he immediately replied he would ride 
over in spite of the devil, and rode in and was drowned. 

As a fool dieth died he. 

One of our Gallies kept up the river and was taken; the hands 
all escaped. 

The enemy went up North River and lay in Tappans Bay. 

Colonel Ewing writes to the Maryland Committee of Safety: 

About four days ago there was three men-of-war, frigates, 
went up North River past all our forts. One gentleman walked 
the second deck, seemingly in command, as if nothing was the 
matter, and seven forts keeping a constant fire at the ship. 

Notwithstanding the excitement of the morning, General 
Heath's command moved, in battle formation, to the south 
over the Westchester hills. In General Heath's very interest- 
ing "Memoirs" he avoids the first person by using the phrase 
"Our General." On the 9th of October he tells us: — 

Our General's Division was formed in line, with its advance,' 
reserve, flank-guards, and artillery, all in order of battle, when 
they were moved down over the different grounds which it was 
supposed might be the scene of action. Some of this ground was 
very broken, and there were many fences. These afforded fre- 
quent opportunities for the troops to break off and form; for the 
pioneers to open avenues, &c and for the whole to become ac- 
quainted with every part of the ground, and the best choice of 
it, if suddenly called to action. 




As a fool dieth 
died he 

General Heath's 
command in 
battle formation 


The Jumel Mansion 

Americans not 

Two new ships 
to be sunk 

We are sinking 
ships as fast as 

Although disappointed at the ease with which the enemjr's 
vessels passed the obstructions in front of Fort Washington 
the Americans were not disheartened. General Washington, 
in a letter to General Schuyler, written on the loth, after de- 
scribing the exploit of the Phoenix and the Roebuck, says: — 

I have given directions to complete the obstructions as fast as 
possible, and I flatter myself if they allow us a little time more, 
that the passage will become extremely diflicult, if not entirely 

On the same day Adjutant-General Reed advises General 
Heath: — 

The General desires you would immediately order a sufficient 
party of men under Captain Cook to get off and bring down the 
vessel which is grounded above; and that in the mean time the 
ballasting the rest be proceeded in with all possible expedition. 
It is of so much consequence, that his Excellency begs the utmost 
attention may be paid to it. 

On the same day. Lieutenant Tilghman writes to Robert 
R. Livingston: — 

The two new ships are going to be sunk immediately, to en- 
deavor to stop the channel, and try if we cannot hinder the men- 
of-war already up from coming down, and more going up. 

The "ballasting" mentioned by Colonel Reed was loading 
the vessels with stone preparatory to sinking them, and the 
"two new ships" were the vessels that had just been chased 
up the river and run ashore to save them. General Clinton, 
at King's Bridge, reports, "The two ships to be sunk run 
ashore near Colonel Phillips's; we sent a party to bring them 
down last night, so that I hope they are safe." 

Immediately after the ships and galleys were beached, de- 
tachments of infantry and artillery were sent up for their 
protection. Such action was quite sufficient to keep the ene- 
my's boats from cutting them out. We find no mention, how- 
ever, of the stranded ships again afloat and disposed of as 
intended. On the 17th, Tilghman reports to the Convention, 
"We are sinking ships as fast as possible: two hundred men 
are daily employed, but they take an immense quantity of 
stone for the purpose." The following day the fighting began 
at Pell's Point, which was the opening of the campaign that 


Lt.-Col. Samuel B. Webb Dr. John Morgan 

Aide-de-Camp Medical Officer 

Col. Joseph Reed Lt.-Col. Robert Hanson Harrison 

Adjutant-General Military Secretary 

Events from Day to Day 


ended at White Plains. The only letter that General Heath 
seems to have written on the i8th was to Captain Horton, 
who was on guard over the stranded ships: "As soon as the 
ships are got off, you will return with the cannon." 

On Friday, October ii, an event occurred of which I find 
no official mention, although it must have been of peculiar 
interest to the staff in the Morris house. Three of the crew 
of General Washington's barge were accidentally killed by a 
shot from Fort Washington. r 

This afternoon General Washington's barge, coming down the 
Hudson, with top sail hoisted, was mistaken for a tender of the 
enemy and a 12 pd. shot was fired from Fort Washington, which 
killed three of the crew.^ 

Of this event Ebenezer Withington has a word to say, and 
strangely enough he names the officer who fired the shot: — 

Oct. loth 1776. Pleasant to day. 

This morning General Washingtons barge coming down the 
river narrowly made her escape and was chased by a tender. 

At three in the afternoon our people thinking it was the enemy 
Capt Horton of Boston firing a 12 pounder and endeavoring to 
fire before the barge, but the ball went under the sail and killed 
three men dead and wounded one, there were 10 men in the barge. 

It seems that General Washington's barge was among the 
craft, anchored above the fort, that fled up the river before 
the enemy's ships when they sailed over the obstructions, and 
it had been gone three days before it got past the Roebuck and 
the PhcEnk and came down to be fired on by the fort. A letter 
from Harlem, dated October 13, says: — 

The day before yesterday the General's barge, which had run 
up the North River before the ships, returned, and came oppo- 
site to Mount Washington, where our people mistook her for 
one of the enemy's boats, fired at her, killed three men and 
wounded the Captain. 

The passage by the frigates. Roebuck and Phoenk, of the 
forts to an anchorage near Dobb's Ferry, was a part of General 
Howe's plan to surround and capture the army on Harlem 
Heights. The column landing on the Sound was to be ex- 
tended across the country above Washington's forces to meet 
the ships. The movement of the American troops toward 


> Heath's Memoirs 

An tvent of 
which I find no 
official mention 

Accident to 
General Wash- 
ington s barge 

Passage of the 
Roebuck and 


The woodpile on 
the causeway 

The great mor- 
tars move to the 

General Wash- 
ington calls a 
council of war 

The Jumel Mansion 

White Plains, already under way, was so far advanced, during 
the encampment of the British at New Rochelle, that the 
general engagement was forced to take place on ground chosen 
by General Washington. The ships took their position off 
Dobb's Ferry on the 9th of October, and General Howe landed 
about four thousand troops at Frog's Neck on the i ith. There 
were days of adverse winds that prevented a part of General 
Howe's transports from sailing through Hell Gate, which ac- 
counts for his fatal delay in carrying out his original plan. 
The four thousand men landed on Frog's Neck found Colonel 
Hand's "subaltern and twenty-five men" behind the wood- 
pile at the inner end of the causeway. The alarm post was re- 
inforced with one small cannon and the planks of the cause- 
way had been removed according to progranmie. There was 
no such thing as flanking the position, so the four thousand 
men settled down in a fortified camp. 

Let us now return to the original landing, which was made 
in the early morning of the 13 th. As before, Ebenezer With- 
ington is a day behind in his chronology. He makes the follow- 
ing record in his diary: — 

Oct nth, 1776. This day the enemy landed at Frog Point. 
Several skirmishes took place with the enemy. 

Oct 13 th, 1776. We worked on traveling magazines till the 17th. 

We got the great mortars down to and over the ferry to the 

It is from Fort Washington to the ferry near a mile and all the 
way down hill. 

The adjutant sending a number of men to draw an eighteen 
pounder from the fort to the ferry the men were harnessed and 
without any apprehension of danger never put on a rope behind. 

The cannon started down the steep hill and the men threw off 
their harness and the cannon broke the iron short oiF that goes 
into the transom and not a man killed which was wonderful. 

Report of the landing was promptly sent to headquarters 
by General Heath. Washington's reply was made through 
the Adjutant-General: — 

Oct. 13th, 1776. 

Sir: It being necessary since the late movement of the enemy 
to form some plan, the General proposes a meeting of the General 
Officers this day, at twelve o'clock, at or near King's Bridge. He 
desires you would give those in your division notice of it, with as 
little stir as possible, and by the return of the messenger let him 


Events from Day to Day 

know where you would have them meet, as we are strangers to a 
suitable place. 
I am, sir, in 

J. Reed. 

am, sir, in haste, your obedient, humble servant. 
To General Heath. 

On the morning of the 14th, General Washington, accom- 
panied by his favorite aide, Lieutenant Tilghman, and prob- 
ably by other general officers, rode to East and West Chester, 
as Tilghman expressed it, "to see how matters stood." Gen- 
eral Lee, who had been a prisoner in New York, arrived at the 
Morris house during General Washington's absence. He took 
horse and joined the reconnoissance in Westchester. Colonel 
Reed was in White Plains during the day. On the i6th another 
council of war was held at General Lee's headquarters above 
King's Bridge: — 

Proceedings of a council of General Officers. 

Present: His Excellency General Washington. 

Major Generals Lee, Putnam, Heath, Spencer, Sullivan. 

Brigadier Generals Lord Stirling, Mifflin, McDougal, Parsons, 
Nixon, Wadsworth, Scott, Fellows, Clinton, Lincoln. 

Colonel Knox, commanding Artillery. 

The General read sundry Letters from the Convention and par- 
ticular members, of the turbulence of the disaffected in the upper 
parts of the State; and also sundry accounts of deserters showing 
the enemy's intention to surround us. 

After much consideration and debate, the following question 
was stated: whether, (it having appeared that the obstructions 
in the North River have proved insufficient, and that the enemys 
whole force is now in our rear on Frog Point,) it is now deemed 
possible in our situation to prevent the enemy cutting off the 
communication with the country and compelling us to fight them 
at all disadvantages, or surrender prisoners at discression. 

Agreed with but one dissenting voice, (viz: General Clinton) 
that it is not possible to prevent the communication, and that 
one of the consequences mentioned in the question must certainly 

Agreed that Fort Washington be retained as long as possible. 

After the adjournment of the council of war at General 
Lee's headquarters, the general officers rode in a body to re- 
connoiter the ground in the direction of Pell's Point. On the 
i6th, General Greene wrote to Governor Cooke, "A battle is 
daily, nay hourly expected"; and Tilghman to Duer, "One 
of the deserters, a good sensible fellow, says a man of war lays 



Arrival of 
General Lee 

Decision to leave 
garrison in Fort 


Fighting begins 
at Pell's Point 

A dull time about 

Charles Knowles, 

The Jumel Mansion 

at the Hook ready to sail with the news of the issue of the move 
to Frog's Point." On the following day he writes again to 
Duer: "We may say the 17th of October is come and nearly 
past without the predicted blow. The winds have not been 
favorable to pass Hell Gate." 

On the forenoon of Friday, the i8th, however, the long ex- 
pected fighting began at Pell's Point instead of at Frog's 
Neck. General Washington arrived at the causeway leading 
from Frog's Neck to the village of Westchester, just as General 
Heath had completed his disposition of troops to oppose the 
advance of the British. He ordered General Heath to bring 
the rest of his division into position to prevent the enemy from 
landing between the mouth of the Bronx and the Harlem 
River. The British moved in the opposite direction, however, 
reembarking and landing on Pell's Point, where they encoun- 
tered Glover's brigade posted behind a stone fence. They 
were checked and suffered heavily, but finally turned the 
position and advanced nearly to New Rochelle, where they 
camped. The American loss in this aff^air, protected by the 
stone walls, was twenty-three killed and wounded. 

It was a dull time about headquarters at the Morris house 
on that Friday morning, when every officer on the staff was at 
the front more than seven miles away, watching the battle. 
It was a cloudy and windy October morning. 

Fryday, Octr. ye i8th 1776. Cloudy and windy. All our regi- 
ment employed in getting cannon and Mortars over to the Jer- 
seys likewise in getting other things off this island,^ 

The Adjutant-General seems to have left behind him the 
draft of a letter to Colonel Thomas, which was copied and 
signed by a clerk in the office, who appears to have been the 
ranking official at headquarters, and the person left in charge 
of the house. It was a proud day for "Charles Knowles, 
Clerk," much prouder than he thought, for by the simple act 
of signing that letter he handed his name down through the 
ages : " For the Adj't Genl. Your h'ble Servt., Charles Knowles, 
Clerk." The chances are that between periods of listening to 
the distant musketry, Charles Knowles, Clerk, busied him- 
self packing up the papers of the Adjutant-General's office. 

» Nash. 

Events from Day to Day 

It was high time to be moving. General Washington had al- 
ready taken the field. It is not likely that General Washington 
separated himself so far from his troops that night as to return 
to the Moms house. Saturday, the 19th, was certainly mov- 
mg day for headquarters. No papers were issued on that day, 
no letters written, and the daily General Orders consisted 
only of the two indispensable words to be used for parole and 
countersign, "Stamford" and "France." By evening Gen- 
eral Washington had established his headquarters in his tent, 
"Near King's Bridge." General Greene, writing to Congress] 
on Sunday, the 20th, says, "I was at Head Quarters, near 
King's Bridge, with his Excellency, last night." 

The letter to Congress on the 20th was dated, "King's 
Bridge, Oct 20, 1776, half after one o'clock, p.m." It was 
written by Harrison, thft military secretary. ". . . His Excel- 
lency would have wrote himself, but was going to our several 
posts when the express arrived." The peculiar date was an 
official notice to Congress of the change of headquarters from 
the Morris house to "King's Bridge," the previous letter to 
Congress having been sent from "Harlem Heights," October 
18, before hurrying to the front. General Washington's letter 
to Congress on September 16 was the first official paper from 
the new headquarters, and its heading was very definite in- 
formation to Congress: "Head Quarters at Colonel Morris's 

"Head Quarters, Harlem Heights," was adopted by the 
Adjutant-General's office as early as the 19th of September, 
but General Washington continued to date his personal let- 
ters a little longer from the "Morris house," notably when 
the date was pertinent information. These dates are inter- 
esting as showing definitely when headquarters left the Morris 
house. The fact that no papers issued from headquarters on 
the 19th shows that headquarters was in the baggage wagons 
moving from "Colonel Morris's house" to "Near King's 
Bridge," where General Greene found it that night. 

Tilghman writes to Duer: — 

Head Quarters King's Bridge 20th October 1776. 
. . . We have been so much upon the move for some days past 
that I had it not in my power to sit down to write before. 



Moving day for 

Notice to 
Congress of 

in the baggage 


Account of 
Colonel Rufui 

I called for some 
oats for my horse 

conducted me 

The Jumel Mansion 

On the morning of the 20th, which was Sunday, Washing- 
ton sent his adjutant-general, Joseph Reed, and his chief 
engineer, Rufus Putnam, from King's Bridge to reconnoiter 
the enemy's position. The two officers were mounted and had 
an escort of twenty infantrymen. Colonel Putnam says in his 
"Memoirs": — 

. . . when we arrived on the heights of East Chester we saw 
a small body of British near the church, but we could obtain no 
intelligence; the houses were deserted. Colo. Reed now told me 
he must return to attend to issuing general orders. I observed 
that we had made no discovery yet of any consequence, that if 
he went back I wished him to take the guard back for I chose to 
go alone. I then disguised my appearance as an officer as far as 
I could, and set out on the road to White Plains; however I did 
not then know where White Plains was nor where the road I had 
taken would carry me. I had gone about two and a half miles 
when a road turned oiF to the right, I followed it perhaps half a 
mile and came to a house where I learned from the woman that 
this road led to New Rochelle, that the British were there and 
that they had a guard at a house in sight; On this information I 
turned and pursued my route towards White Plains (the houses 
on the way all deserted) until I came within three or four miles 
of the place; here I discovered a house a little ahead with men 
about it. By my glass I found they were not British soldiers; 
however I approached them with caution. I called for some oats 
for my horse, sat down and heard them chat some little time, 
when I found they were friends to America, and then began to 
make the necessary enquiries, and on the whole I found that the 
main body of the British lay near New Rochelle, from thence to 
White Plains about nine miles, good roads and in general level 
open country, that at White Plains was a large quantity of stores, 
with only about 300 militia to guard them, that the British had 
a detachment at Mamaroneck only six miles from White-Plains, 
and from White plains only five miles, to the North river, where 
lay five or six of the enemies ships and sloops, tenders, etc. Hav- 
ing made these discoveries I set out on my return. The road from 
Ward's across the Brunx was my intended route unless I found 
the British there, which haply they were not, but I saw Americans 
on the heights west of the Brunx who had arrived there after I 
passed up. I found them to be Lord Stirling's division; it was now 
after sunset, I gave my Lord a short account of my discoveries, 
took refreshment and set off for headquarters by the way of 
Philip's at the mouth of Saw Mill river, a road I had never trav- 
elled, among tory inhabitants and in the night. I dare not en- 
quire the way, but Providence conducted me. I arrived at head- 
quarters near Kingsbridge (a distance of about ten miles) about 


Events from Day to Day 

nine o'clock at night. I found the General alone. I reported to 
him the discoveries I had made, with a sketch of the country. 
I had but a short time to refresh myself and horse when I re- 
ceived a letter from the General with orders to proceed imme- 
diately to Lord Stirling's, and I arrived at his quarters about two 

clock m the morning October 21st 1776. 

When I parted with Colo. Reed on the 20th as before mentioned, 

1 have always thought that I was moved to so hazardous an un- 
dertaking by foreign influence. On my route I was liable to meet 
with some British or tory parties, who probably would have 
made me a prisoner (as I had no knowledge of any way of escape 
across the Brunx but the one I came out). Hence I was induced 
to disguise myself by taking out my cockade, loping my hat and 
secreting my sword and pistols under my loose coat, and then 
had I been taken under this disguise, the probability is that I 
should have been hanged as a spy. 

On the morning of the 21st, following Colonel Putnam's 
reconnoissance, General Washington crossed the Harlem River 
and pushed his army forward toward White Plains. 


I found the 
general alone 

The start for 
White Plains 


interesting to 

Philipse sent 
prisoner to 

Morris house 
occupied by 
of General 
Heath's picket 



IT is bteresting to learn that the Roger Morris house had 
been occupied for military purposes before it was taken 
by General Washington for headquarters, as showing 
that he was not put to the ungallant necessity of asking 
a lady, for whom he must have cherished some tender memo- 
ries, to vacate her house for his use. 

The construction of Fort Washington and the sinking of 
ships to obstruct the navigation of the Hudson River were 
operations guarded as much as possible from the knowledge 
of the enemy. The material for the work was supplied by a 
secret committee of the Convention. Tory neighbors were 
not wanted. Frederick Philipse was arrested at his house in 
Yonkers, by order of General Washington as early as the 9th 
of August, and sent a prisoner to Middletown, Connecticut. 
It is probable that Mrs. Morris, if she had occupied her house 
at all in the early summer of that year, left it at the time her 
brother was arrested and joined her sister in the old manor 
house at Yonkers. Mrs. Morris was alone with her children. 
Colonel Morris having been for more than a year in England. 
The two women, deprived of the protection of their husbands, 
would naturally be drawn together at the old home, which 
was outside the lines of the army and safe from the annoyance 
of the camps. 

For a short time before the arrival of General Washington 
the Morris house was used by General Heath as a station 
where the officers of his picket made their quarters. General 
Heath had taken command at King's Bridge as early as the 
17th of August, and on the 5th of September, nine days before 
the house was occupied by General Washington, he estab- 
lished a picket of four hundred and fifty men along the East 


Early Military Occupation 

River front from the city of New York to the mouth of the 
Harlem River and from there along the Westchester shore to 
Frog's Neck. 

This picket was to watch for the first sign of a landing of the 
enemy, which was an event daily expected. Montresor's Island 
(now Randall's) lay just east of the mouth of the Harlem and 
close to the Westchester shore. This island was already in 
the possession of the British, the enemy's pickets facing the 
pickets of General Heath, the former walking the shore of the 
island and the latter the shore of the mainland, and within 
speaking distance of each other. One day picket-firing broke 
out at this danger-point with the result that a British officer 
was wounded. General Heath relates in his "Memoirs": — 

An officer with a flag soon came down to the creek, and called 
for the American officer of the picket, and informed him, that if 
the American sentinels fired any more, the commanding officer 
on the island would cannonade Col, Morris's house, in which the 
officers of the picket quartered. The American officer immedi- 
ately sent np to our General [Heath] to know what answer should 
be returned. He was directed to inform the British officer,that 
the American sentinels had always been instructed not to fire 
on sentinels, unless they were first fired upon, and then to return 
the fire; that such would be their conduct; as to the cannonading 
of Col. Morris's house, they might act their pleasure. 

"Col. Morris's house, in which the officers of the picket 
quartered," loomed white among the green trees, quite the 
most conspicuous object on the high ground to the north. It 
was plainly visible to the officer who threatened to cannonade 
it, but the house was a little more than two miles from Mon- 
tresor's Island. General Heath may, or may not, have known 
that there were ship's guns mounted on the island. 

The threat of the officer to "cannonade Colonel Morris's 
house" had been familiar to the writer for several years and 
had been regarded as a rather bombastic threat, or as referring 
to some other house, until the refcent discovery of a letter from 
an officer. Major C. L. Bauermeister, of the Hessian division, 
which was encamped at Hell Gate, just back of Montresor's 
Island. On the 24th of September he writes: — 

Before Helgatte 2 frigates lay at anchor; la Brune and Niger, 
both of 32 guns, with a bombarding vessel, and on terra firma, 



Island in 
possession of the 

Threat to 
Colonel Morris's 




at « Helgatte " 


Island called OH 
for informatien 

A convenient 
halfway post 

The Jumel Mansion 

General Mifflin 
at Colonel 
Morrises house 

just to the left side of these vessels, a battery was erected of 2 
24 pounders, 2 12 pounders and 2 howitzers. 

The presence of twenty-four-pounders on the island was 
an interesting discovery, and Governor's Island was promptly 
called up by telephone to learn the extreme range of a twenty- 
four-pounder at that time. "After consulting the books," the 
reply came that a twenty-four-pounder of that period, with a 
double charge of powder and an elevation of forty-five de- 
grees, could throw a ball a little over two miles. 

The officer who made the threat was evidently proud of his 
newly established battery, and General Heath's reply, that 
"As to the cannonading of Col. Morris's house, they might 
act their pleasure," expressed his indifference to such long- 
range firing. 

There can no longer be any doubt about what house the 
officer referred to, or where the officers of General Heath's 
picket made their headquarters. Colonel Morris's house, 
standing on its sightly position at just the proper distance 
back from the middle of a picket line nearly ten miles long, 
was ideally located for such a purpose. Moreover, it was a 
convenient halfway post between General Heath's division, en- 
camped above King's Bridge, and the picket line at the front, 
and the river was the natural road between the two points. 
The large bodies of troops periodically required to relieve the 
pickets, evidently went by whale-boats from King's Bridge 
down the river, reporting to the officers at Colonel Morris's 
as they arrived, and as the boats neared the mouth of the river 
the men could be landed on either shore as required. 

The quarters of the officers in charge of the pickets, would 
be the point where the first news of the enemy's landing would 
come, and the following letter from General Mifflin to Gen- 
eral Heath shows that General Mifflin was waiting at Colonel 
Morris's house on September 10 for just such information: — 

Mount Washington Sept. 10. 1776. 
Dear General Heath: The enemy are making dispositions 
to land at Harlem. They will probably attempt Frog's Point at 
the same time in which their landing may be urged at Harlem. 
That consideration has induced General Washington to order 
me to remain at Colonel Morris's and upon the first intelligence 
of the enemy moving towards Harlem, to order one thousand 


British Map showing Movement to White Plains 

. / /V. i\ /'/■ riiK 
Ol'I l( \ I l(»\s 4d' llu- KlN<.S Ml 
.i».l.-r Itu- I. . minimi .•!' 

i-r\hmi s'Wii i.iwt Howh.h 

Early Military Occupation 

men to join me at Morris's from Mount Washington, and with 
them and the Maryland troops, march to the assistance of our 
friends at Harlem. I have therefore ordered Colonels Cortlandt, 
Martin, Newcomb and Furman, to hold themselves in readiness 
to join me at Colonel Morris's, Colonels Hutchinson and Philips 
to remain at Mount Washington as a garrison. 

If a landing is attempted at Frog's Point and no danger ap- 
pears of an attempt at Harlem, I am to join you with three bat- 
talions from Mount Washington and all the Marylanders. For 
that purpose I have ordered several boats to be ready near Colonel 
Morris's to carry our men over to the Heights of Harlem, (?) 
which will save us much time. 

The General expects you to prepare for a brunt on the side of 
Frog's Point, or he expects one at Harlem. I told him your dis- 
position was made and you all ready. 

I am with respect, your obedient, humble servant, 

Thomas Mifflin. 

How much or how little furniture remained in the house 
when General Washington occupied it is a question for some 
interesting speculation. The circumstance that it was not 
possible to hold the regular courts martial of the line at head- 
quarters until the 23d of September, eight days after the arri- 
val of the staff, would suggest that the great drawing-room 
was in use as a storage-room for such furniture as the officers 
of the pickets had no need of. General Washington may have 
found this condition on his arrival, and he may have cleared 
the room for his needs by sending the surplus furniture to the 
manor house, or by storing it elsewhere. 

It is certain that General Washington maintained the pleas- 
antest relations with the family at Yonkers, notwithstanding 
the imprisonment of Colonel Philipse. Samuel Blatchley 
Webb, in the Adjutant-General's office, seems to have been 
a sort of inside postmaster, ranking Ebenezer Hazzard, the 
postmaster of New York, who followed headquarters on foot. 
It was Webb who handled and forwarded the letters between 
the prisoner at Middletown and the family at Yonkers. It 
may have been his duty to read and even censor some of this 
correspondence, but if so the hard duty must have been very 
graciously done. The following letter shows the attitude of 
Mrs. Philipse to Colonel Webb and to General Washington. 
The letter bears no date: — 



Boats to bt ready 
near Colonel 

Furniture when 
General Wash- 
ington occupied 
the house 

Pleasant rela- 
tions with the 
family at 


The Jumel Mansion 


Evidence of the 
change ofPhilipse 
to Phillips 

Philipse at 

Philipsborough, Monday. 
Mrs. Phillips Compliments and thanks CoUo. Webb for his 
Polite Note of Yesterday, & the very Acceptable pacquet from 
Middletown. Mrs Phillips acknowledges herself much obliged 
to CoUo. Webb for his attention in forwarding her letters, & is 
much indebted to his goodness for the early recept of them. Mrs 
Phillips begs her compliments to CoUo. Webb with many thanks 
for her letter from Miss Van Home and his punctuality in en- 
closing the one sent to Mrs. Van Home: she shall on Wednesday 
again take the liberty of troubling Collo. Webb. — Mrs. Phillips 
has by Mrs. Pintard sent another letter to Collo. Webb's care — 
She begs her compliments to General Washington.^ 

This letter shows that the original spelling of the family 
nanae, Philipse, had been changed, and was then Phillips, as 
written in this case by Mrs. Phillips. Evidence of the same 
change of spelling appears in most Revolutionary documents 
in which the name of this family appears. In the marriage 
settlement, an old-fashioned deed of great length," which was 
written eighteen years before Mrs. Philipse's letter to Webb, 
the name appears in every instance as Phillips, with two ll's 
and the final e dropped. In fact the old spelling was obsolete 
and the family had adopted the familiar spelling of the Ameri- 
can surname, as many another humbler family has since done. 
The old spelling has been cleverly revived by descendants, 
justly proud of their colonial descent from one of the great 
manorial families, knowing that it will be more convincing 
than a coat of arms. 

The detention of Frederick Philipse at Middletown contm- 
ued until December 23, 1776, when he was released by Gover- 
nor Trumbull. While a prisoner he was at large on his parole 
and subsisted at his own expense. In his memorial to Wash- 
ington, praying for release, he describes himself as an old man 
in poor health separated from his wife, etc. Mrs. Morris was 
living at the manor house on the 21st of October, for on that 
date Washington, in replying to a letter from Mrs. Philipse, 
in which she complained that the soldiers were driving off her 
stock, added a postscript in which he presented his compli- 
ments to Mrs. Morris. This reference to Mrs. Morris may 


* Correspondence and Journal of Samuel Blatchley Webb. 
' See Appendix B. 

Early Military Occupation 


have been added to the original letter at the last moment, as 
it does not appear in the official copy. 
Washington's letter, as published by Ford, reads: — 

Head Quarters at Mr. Valentine's. 
22d October, 1776. 


The misfortunes of War, and the unhappy circumstances fre- 
quently attendant thereon to individuals are more to be lamented 
than avoided, but it is the duty of every one, to alleviate them 
as much as possible; Far be it from me to add to the distress of a 
Lady, who I am but too sensible, has suffered much uneasiness 
if not inconvenience, on account of Colonel Philipse's absence. 
No special order has gone from me for the removal of the Stock 
belonging to the inhabitants, but from the nature of the case, 
and in consequence of a resolution from the Convention of the 
State, the measure has been adopted. However as I am satisfied 
it is not meant to deprive Families of their necessary support, 
I shall not withhold my consent to your retaining such part of 
your Stock as may be essential to the purpose, relying on your 
assurance and promise that no more will be detained. 

With .great respect, 

I am. Madam, &c — 

Mrs. Amherst Morris, in publishing this letter in the "Hert- 
fordshire Magazine," omits date and address and the first 
sentence of the letter, and continues the signature from where 
Ford ends, 

Your obedient servant 

G. Washington 
I beg the favor of having my compliments presented to Mrs. 

This letter was taken to England by Mrs. Philipse, and of 

it Mrs. Morris writes: — 

A copy of Washington's letter to Mrs Philipse was given me 
by my husband's uncle, Mr. Frederick Philipse Morris, now dead. 
I do not know where the original is, but it was given by Mrs. 
Philipse when residing at Bath, to a gentleman called Hastings 
Elwyn and he was said to have presented it to the Literary In- 
stitute, I asked my brother to make inquiries respecting it, at 
the Institute. It may have been sold or Lost, but Mr. F. P. Mor- 
ris's own copy was from the original letter. 

General Washington would hardly have expressed any sen- 
timent in his letter to Mrs. Philipse before the official copy 
had been made. To add such an expression of politeness to his 


Utter to Mrs. 

The postscript 

Explanation of 
Mrs, Amherst 


The Jumel Mansion 

Stephen Kemble 
breakfasts with 
Mrs. Philipse 
and Mrs, Morris 

original letter after it returned to his hand gives the message 
the distinction of privacy, and it is just what General Wash- 
ington might be expected to do. 

This was on the 22d of October. Mrs. Morris was still at 
the manor house on the 8th of November, a week before the 
capture of Fort Washington. General Howe's headquarters 
on that date was near Philipsborough, and Stephen Kemble, 
his Adjutant-General, seems to have breakfasted on the 
morning of the 8th with the ladies at the manor. He does not 
mention the presence of any other officer at the breakfast 
table and we are left to infer that he was the exclusive guest. 
Stephen Kemble says in his diary, "Had the pleasure of 
Breakfasting, this day with Mrs. Philipse and Mrs. Morris 
All weU."' 




THE proceedings of the various courts martial, that 
sat from time to time in the great octagon parlor 
at headquarters, with their human interest and pic- 
turesque detail, bring one into closer touch with 
events in and about the old house than do any other military 
papers. The room itself, thirty feet long by twenty feet wide, 
with the comers clipped off, has six great windows, and through 
its double doors forms a dignified extension of the main hall, 
nearly as wide. If the Judge Advocate looked up from his 
writing, his eyes rested on panels of cool green colonial paper 
bordered with morning-glories that must have been the pride 
of Mrs. Morris. It was lined with buckram hung from the 
cornice, real paper-hanging, and quite unfit for the rough con- 
tact of soldiers on trial. 

This courtroom was linked to the house by a narrower hall 
entered by two outside doors, facing each other, so that the 
officers of the court could establish their own guards just as 
if they were in a separate building. The nearest room on 
the main hall was used as a guardroom, where the prisoners 
awaited trial. 

During his stay on Harlem Heights General Washington 
ordered four courts martial formed. They were known as the 
"Magaw," the "Beal," the "Weedon," and the "Ewing," 
courts martial. The "Comfort Sage" court martial, which 
tried the culprit LeflSngwell, had been formed, and had held 
earlier sessions in New York. The "Comfort Sage" and the 
"Beal" courts martial, the latter created for a special trial 
during the term of the Magaw court, sat at the White house. 
The others and two courts of inquiry sat at headquarters. 
From September 23 until the Morris house was abandoned as 



The court- 
martial room 

The four courts 


The Jumel Mansion 

The Magaw 
court martial 

The IVeedon 
court martial 

Trial of a soldier 
of Hamilton's 

headquarters, a court martial, fully officered, was ready to 
assemble in the court-martial room whenever there were 
prisoners to be tried. 

The Magaw court martial was organized on September 23, 
and dissolved on October 4. It held court in the Morris house 
on the 23 d, 26th, 27th, and 28th of September. It was during 
the period of this court martial that the special court martiaV 
of which General Beal was president, was formed to try Cap- 
tains Wisner and Scott for cowardice at the attack on Montre- 
sor's Island. It chanced that its two sessions, on September 
30 and October i, were held on days when the court-martial 
room at headquarters was not occupied by the Magaw court, 
but this could not be foreseen, and shows how jealously the 
court-martial room was reserved for the regular sessions of 
the courts martial of the line. 

The court martial of which Colonel Weedon was president 
followed the Magaw court martial from October 5 to October 
14. It sat but two days, October 7 and 9. On the afternoons 
of the nth and 12th, the two courts of inquiry were held in 
the court-martial room. The Weedon court martial was dis- 
solved on the 14th of October and a new one formed, of which 
Colonel Ewing was president and which sat in the court-mar- 
tial room on the 15th and i6th of October. 

On the 27th of September a private soldier of Alexander 
Hamilton's battery was tried in the court-martial room, and 
it is quite likely that his illustrious captain was present at the 
trial. The precise wording of the official record in this short 
trial may be of interest : — 

Proceedings of a General Court-Martial of the Line held on the 
Heights of Harlem by order of His Excellency George Wash- 
ington, Esq., General and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces 
of the United American States, for the trial of all Prisoners 
brought before them, September 27, 1776. 

Colonel Weedon President. 
Lieut. Colonel Chandler, Captain Brown, 

Lieut. Colonel Russell, 
Captain Ledyard, 
Captain Graydon, 
Captain Wiley, 
Captain Scott, 

Captain Prentice, 
Captain Chamberlain, 
Captain Rogers, 
Captain Foster, 
Captain Stanley. 

Wm. Tudor, Judge Advocate. 


Courts Martial 


The Court proceeded to the trial of William. Higgins, of Cap- 
tain Hamilton's Company of Artillery, brought prisoner before 
the Court, and accused of "breaking open a chest and stealing a 
number of articles out of it, in the room of the Provost Guard." 

The prisoner being arraigned pleads "Not guilty." Robert 
Wilson says: "A person came into a room where I was, and told 
me that some men up in the Provost Room had broke open a 
chest and were plundering it. I went up and found the prisoner, 
Higgins, with another, tucking a gown and cloak into his bosom. 
I took them away from him. He said that others were concerned 
as well as him, and denied that he broke open the chest." 

Peter Lynch confirms Wilson's testimony. 

The Court are of opinion that the prisoner is guilty of the charge 
agaiflst him, and sentence him to be whipped thirty-nine lashes 
on his bare back for said offence. 

G. Weedon, President. 

Whipping for minor military offenses had been copied from 
the British army, or rather had been handed down from Colo- 
nial times when everything was British. The stripes were 
administered by the musicians, the fifers and drummers, and 
in sonie cases it is likely were gently put on. 

On August 27th, — 

The Court being duly sworn proceeded to the trial of Sergeant 
George Douglas, of Captain Forbes's Company, in General 
McDougal's late Regiment, brought prisoner before the Court 
and accused of mutinous conduct and of exciting mutiny, and 
also of speaking disrespectfully of the Commander-in-Chief, and 
of the General Officers of the army of the United States. 

The prisoner, being arraigned on the afforesaid charge, pleads 
"Not Guilty." ^ ^ , 

Ensign Bonner deposes: "That the prisoner was confined m 
the quarter guard of the regiment for disobedience of orders, 
while the regiment was stationed on Harlem Common. I was 
officer of the guard and heard the prisoner say to part of the 
guard and some other prisoners who were confined with him 
that the Generals had sold the troops on Long Island, and brought 
the army up to Harlem to sell them there." 

Captain Forbes deposes: "In the morning of the same day 
which Ensign Bonner mentions, I was walking near the quarter 
guard, and heard someone singing 'God save the King.' I came 
up to the person, and found it to be Sergeant Douglas. After 
he had finished the song he said: he was his King and he would 
have no other King, which we should soon see. This he said to a 
soldier who was with him. .The prisoner is Sergeant in my Com- 
pany, and has been repeatedly mutinous." 

The Court are of opinion that the prisoner is guilty of mutinous 


Higgins found 

lashes on the 
bare back 

Trial of 
Sergeant George 

Courts Martial 


The Court being duly sworn, proceeded to the trial of Ensign 
Matthew Macumber, of Captain Barnes's Company, in Colonel 
Sargent's Regiment, brought prisoner before the Court-Martial 
and accused of plundering and robbery, and also of mutiny. 

The prisoner, being arraigned on the above charge, pleads 
"Not Guilty." 

Major Box: "Last Tuesday, about two o'clock, I saw a number 
of people plundering down on Harlem Plain. I took a party and 
went down on the plain, and met Ensign Macumber, with a 
party of upwards of twenty, all loaded with plunder, such as 
house furniture, table linen, and kitchen utensils, China and delf 
ware. I ordered him to lay it down, or carry it back to the place 
he took it from. He sai/d he had his Colonel's order for what he 
had done, and that he would defend the plunder as long as he had 
life. I asked him if he knew me, and told him who I was, and 
told him how express the General's orders were about plunder- 
ing. I told him if he did not deliver up the plunder, I should fire 
upon him, and jumped over a fence, and my little party followed. 
On this the prisoner and his party surrounded me, and the pris- 
oner gave orders for the party to make ready; they did so, and told 
me they would die by the plunder, and Macumber, the prisoner 
declared the same. When I found I could do nothing, I left them 
and went up and got a party, and went down. The prisoner see- 
ing me coming, left his party and put off across the fields, loaded 
with something. I disarmed the party, and made them prisoners. 
The prisoner ordered his party to make ready, before I jumped 
over the fence." 

Sergeant Thayer: "I was one of the party with Major Box, pn 
Tuesday, and met Ensign Macumber, as has been related. Major 
Box told the prisoners' party to lay down their plunder; they all 
refused, and the prisoner said that he had obeyed the Colonel's 
orders, and that he would carry the plunder to his Colonel. On 
Major Box presenting his pistol at the Ensign, he ordered the 
men to form themselves. The men were clamorous, and the En- 
sign was quieting them. He said he had orders from hisColonel, 
and had obeyed them, and would obey them to the spilling his 
blood; which I took to mean that he would defend his party and 
the plunder. The Major went off, and we returned soon after; 
but I know nothing more of the prisoner. There was women's 
clothing among other articles of plunder." 

William Thomas: Says he was one of the party, and confirmed 
Sergeant Thayer's testimony. 

Samuel Brown: Confirmed Sergeant Thayer's testimony, and 
adds that the prisoner told Major Box, after he had ordered his 
men to form, that he would see which had the strongest party, 
or that the ground should drink his blood. Several of his men 
said they would blow out Major Box's brains, if he cocked his 

P^^^°^ ^^"" William 

Trial of Ensign 



Testimony of 
Major Box 

Testimony of 
Sergeant Thayer 

Testimony of 
Samuel Brown 


The Jumel Mansion 

The prisoner's 

General Wash- 
ington's comment 

Trial of 
Lieutenant Pope 

William Cornish: Confirms Brown's testimony, and adds, 
that from every appearance, he doubts not the prisoner's party 
would have fired upon them had they attempted to have rescued 
the plunder out of their hands. 

Prisoner's Defence. 

John Petty: "Just before we entered the town of Harlem, En- 
sign Macumber stopped the party and expressly ordered us not 
to plunder. I was posted as a sentry, and know nothing of the 
party plundering. I was one who drove the cattle off, and did not 
join the party who had the plunder." 

Gordon Spencer: "After we got into Harlem, Ensign Macom- 
ber took some of the party and went off with them. After he was 
gone, some of the men broke into the house. I went and found the 
Ensign, and told him of it. He said it was against his orders, and 
to go and tell them to leave the house. Before we met Major 
Box Ensign Macomber had told the men they should carry all 
the plunder to Colonel Sargent." 

The Court being cleared, after mature consideration are of 
opinion that the prisoner is not guilty of plundering or of rob- 
bery, nor of mutiny, but that he is guilty of offering violence to 
and disobeying Major Box, his superior officer. And the Court 
sentence and adjudge that the prisoner ask pardon of Major 
Box, and receive a severe reprimand from the commanding ofii- 
cer at the head of the regiment he belongs to. 

Comfort Sage, President. 

Note by General Washington: It is to be observed that the 
men who were to share the plunder, became: the evidence for the 


There are but few records of trial by court martial of pri- 
vate soldiers for plundering, that official ceremony having 
been reserved for officers. The soldiers vi^ere probably whipped 
without the formality of a trial. The following case shows that 
an officer took property from a deserted house with, prob- 
ably, the intention to have the articles preserved for the owner, 
but yielded to the temptation to appropriate some of the plun- 
der: — 

October isth. The Court being duly sworn, proceeded to the 
trial of Lieutenant Pope, of the Detachment of Rangers com- 
manded by Major Coburn, brought prisoner before the Court, 
and accused of "plundering, and encouraging the men under his 
command to do so, by sharing the plunder with them." 

The prisoner being arraigned on the above charge, pleads "Not 


Courts Martial 

John Bushing: "My house is down by the eight-mile stone. The 
day after the army had retreated from York I left the house and 
left most of our articles in the house. I heard that the Rangers 
had a number of things, and applied to Lieutenant Pope to get 
them. Pope appeared to be quite willing to have the men searched. 
I found an old chest, twenty pounds yarn, a pot, an axe, and two 
or three trifles, in the quarters of the men. I took them away 
without opposition. Lieutenant Pope told me he had taken away 
a gun out of the house, but told me I should not have it unless 
I gave him five dollars, or gave an order for it from the General. 
I accordingly got an order, and then Lieutenant Pope told me he 
had sent the gun beyond King's Bridge, and gave me an order 
to get it. Lieutenant Pope appeared quite willing to have me take 
away every thing I found except the gun, which he made no diffi- 
culty about after I had the General's order." 

George Wilson: "I was one of the party that went into Mr. 
Bushing's house; and it lying very near the enemy, and being de- 
serted we though it best to take away what things we could, and 
save them for the owners. What we brought off were immedi- 
ately delivered up to the quarter-guard." 

Captain Holmes: "Lieutenant Pope informed me that our sen- 
tries had drove off the enemy from Mr. Bushing's house, and that 
as there was a number of articles. Lieutenant Pope proposed that 
a party should go and fetch them off and save them for the own- 
ers or the continent. When the things were brought up. Lieu- 
tenant Pope desired the officers to go over and take an inven- 
tory of them. We accordingly did, and Lieutenant Pope bid 
the men deliver everything up, that they might be inventoried: 
after they were so, they were put under the quarter-guard, and 
the next day they were sent to headquarters. Lieutenant Pope 
showed me a gun and said he thought that was his property." 

Sergeant Hempstead: "The night after the party returned from 
Bushing's house, with the things. Corporal Wilson had a coat and 
jacket and gave them to Lieutenant Pope, who gave him five dol- 
lars. Wilson said he had rather keep the coat and jacket himself." 

Adjutant Fosdick: Was present and confirms Sergeant Hemp- 
stead's deposition, and adds that he saw Lieutenant Pope throw 
the coat and jacket across his arm. 

The prisoner admits that he bought the coat of Wilson, but 
denies that he knew it to be plunder. 

The prisoner produces no witnesses. 

The Court are of opinion that the prisoner is guilty of coniving 
at plundering and the Court sentence the prisoner to be cashiered 
for said offence and he is accordingly hereby cashiered. 

Thomas Ewing, President. 


Evidence of 
yohn Bushing 

Of George 

Of Captain 

Of Sergeant 

Of Adjutant 



The post-riders 
leaving Morris 





WHILE General Washington occupied the Roger 
Morris house for his headquarters, every rising 
sun, if, indeed, the sun were a sufficiently early 
riser, saw the post-riders trotting out from the 
great gates on the road to Fishkill or Philadelphia. If it hap- 
pened that these horsemen started a little earlier than usual, 
the sun was sure to overtake them on the King's Bridge 
Road, or crossing the ferry for the ride through the Jerseys. 
Every morning either Jacob Odell or Uriah Mitchel started 
for the Convention at Fishkill, after receiving the letters from 
Ebenezer Hazzard, the postmaster. The post-rider carrying 
the dispatches to Congress over the first stage of the road to 
Philadelphia was not always in the saddle so early, and, in- 
deed, on some days did not leave headquarters at all. 

The troopers acting as mounted orderlies and messengers 
at headquarters, while Washington was at the Morris house, 
were limited in number to the barest needs of the staff. It is 
not unlikely that General Washington, in his rides about 
the camps with Tilghman or others of the staff, dispensed 
with an orderly altogether, and was followed by a negro 
groom on one of his own Virginia horses. French engrav- 
ings of that period represent both Washington and Lafayette 
attended by colored servants holding their chargers. Such 
troopers as there were were sent by General Heath from 
Major Backus's Cormecticut cavalry. On October 2, General 
Heath wrote to Major Backus, "You may relieve the horse- 
men at General Washington's as often as you may think 
proper, with the like number now posted there." On Septem- 
ber 21, in assigning Major Backus's command to various posts 
for duty. General Heath had ordered "six or seven troopers 


The Convention 


to his Excellency General Washington's quarters, and about 
the same number somewhere in this neighborhood if you can 
find quarters for them." General Heath seems to have been 
ambitious to have as many troopers at his own headquarters 
as he was sending to General Washmgton, but he feels his way 
to that end, ordering them to "somewhere in this neighbor- 
hood," and that only " if you can find quarters for them." 

Now this battalion of cavalry was made up of citizens who 
owned their own horses. It was a rather select organization, 
and the Connecticut Council of Safety, "in providing for 
their support," name them as "the gentlemen of the Horse." 
Major Backus came to General Washington with a letter of 
introduction from Governor Trumbull. The seven troopers 
provided to General Washington must have consisted of six 
privates and that officer whom Colonel Reed saw shaving one 
of his men. 

The Convention, or Provincial Congress of the new State 
of New York, for which the post-rider left headquarters at 
sunrise, was sitting at Fishkill. The Convention was made up 
of delegates from ten of the fourteen counties that formed the 
State of New York. The western half of the State was a vast 
forest, still in the almost undisturbed possession of the In- 
dians. Four of the fourteen counties, New York, Richmond 
and Kings and Queens on Long Island, were in the hands of 
the enemy. Suffolk, at the eastern end of the Island, was not 
always able to send its delegates, William Smith and John 
Sloss Hobart, across the Sound. The delegates from New 
York County were permanent and distinguished exiles, who 
had followed the migrations of the Convention from Harlem 
to White Plains and Fishkill. Several of the largest counties 
bore names that have long been forgotten, and nearly all of 
the up-State counties have changed their boundaries. Char- 
lotte County was an immense tract lying above Albany and 
embracing the wilderness away to the Canada line and stretch- 
ing east and west from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain. 
Tryon County, named after that Royal Governor who lorded 
over the colony of New York at the beginning of the Revolu- 
tion, and who was the most cordially hated of all the Royal 
Governors, lay west of Albany County and extended back to 


Major Backus' s 
'■'■gentlemen of 
the Horse" 

The Convention 
of the State of 
New Tork 

Its delegates 
were distin- 
guished exiles 


The Jumel Mansion 

County now the 
State of Vermont 

Entry of the 
learned secretary 

A standing roll- 

the indefinite line of the famous Indian Confederacy of the 
Five Nations, and was as wide as the State. Albany County 
itself was a long, diagonal sweep of country extending back 
of the tier of counties on the west bank of the Hudson to the 
New Jersey line. The Cumberland County of that time is 
now the State of Vermont. The vast wilderness of Charlotte 
County sent to the Convention that William Duer, who wrote 
daily letters to headquarters at the Roger Morris house. 

Some ten days before General Washington arrived at the 
Morris house, the Convention had removed its sittings from 
White Plains to the village of Fishkill. It held its first meeting 
in the Episcopal Church. That the Convention was not with- 
out its trials is shown by the first entry of its learned secre- 
tary: — 

Die Jovis, 9 ho. a.m., September 5, 1776. 

The Convention of this State met pursuent to adjournment in 
the Episcopal Church in Fishkill. 

Present. Abraham Yates, Jun., Esq. 

New York. Mr. Robt. Harper, Mr. Duane, Mr, Bancker. 

Dutchess. Mr. Sackett, Doctor Crane, Mr. H. Schenck. 

Tryon. Mr. William Harper, Mr. Moore, Mr. Veder, Mr. New- 

Albany. Mr. Abraham Yates, General Ten Broeck, Mr. Cuy- 
ler. Colonel Livingston, Mr. Adgate, Mr. John Ten Broeck, Colo- 
nel V. Renselaer. 

Charlotte. Mr. Duer, Major Webster, Colonel Williams. 

SuiFolk. Mr. William Smith. 

Westchester. Colonel Cortlandt, Judge Graham, Mr. Haviland. 

Cumberland. Mr. Sessions, Mr. Stevens. 

Ulster. Colonel De Witt, Mr. Tappan. - 

Orange. Colonel Allison, Mr. Joseph Smith, Mr. Wisner. 

This Church being very foul with the dung of Doves and fowls, 
without any benches, seats or other Conveniencies whatever, 
which renders it unfit for the use of this Convention, therefore 
they unanimously agreed to adjourn to the Dutch Church in this 
village, and adjourned to the same accordingly. 

The roll-call of the Convention, for obvious reasons, was a 
standing one, in the midst of the wrecked pews and broken 
windows, which were no unusual indication of the hatred of 
the country people for the Church of England. The Dutch 
Church was unheated. Stoves were a new-fangled idea, not 
yet altogether accepted and approved of, and were still very 


The Convention 

scarce in the colonies, and the following entries in the Journal 
trace the subsequent tribulations of the Convention when the 
October cold began to pinch: — 

October 1st. Ordered that Mr. Gilbert Livingston endeavour 
to procure the use of a large iron Stove for this Convention. 

October 3d. Ordered that the President do without delay pro- 
vide two large Iron Stoves for the use of this Convention, at the 
public expense. 

October 7th. Ordered that the President write to the Com- 
mittee of Albany, requesting them to procure by purchase or 
loan for the use of this convention, the iron Stove belonging to 
the Presbeterian Church at Albany. 

Oct. 8th. On account of the cold and dampness of the Church 
the Committee [the Committee of Safety, sitting in place of the 
full Convention], adjourned to meet tomorrow at Mr. Isaac Van 
Wyck's Tavern. 

The Convention supervised the enlistment of State troops, 
uniformed, equipped, and paid them, issued commissions, 
granted supplies to the army, and, in short, exercised every 
function of a State Legislature except the making of laws, 
which was very wisely delayed until the issue of the war should 
be determined. The examination of citizens who were sus- 
pected of being "inimical to the cause of America," and their 
disposition under duress, occupied much of the Convention's 
time. While General Washington was at the Morris house 
political prisoners were the guests of Governor Trumbull at 
Middletown, Connecticut. 

To exaggerate the enemy's successes or his numbers, or 
even to express pessimistic views as to the success of the revo- 
lution, was a sufficient offense to bring a citizen before the tri- 
bunal of the Convention, as in the case of William Ware. 
The Convention was the executive head of the new State of 
New York and the base of General Washington's line of sup- 
plies as long as he operated within the State, 

One of its duties was the employment of post-riders, and, 
subject to the approval of the Postmaster-General, then Ben- 
jamin Franklin, the shifting of post-offices. Before Washing- 
ton evacuated the city of New York, the city postmaster, 
Ebenezer Hazzard, had been ordered by the Convention to re- 
move his post-office to Dobb's Ferry. As early as the ist of 



When the cold 
began to pinch 

Duties of the 

The Convention 
removes the 
New Tor k post- 
office to Dobb's 


The Jumel Mansion 

Major Abraham 

Respecting the 
Albany riders 

The Postmaster 
of New Tork 
had no desire to 
be at head- 

September we find him writing from Dobb's Ferry to John 
M'Kesson, the Secretary of the Convention. In a postscript 

he says: — 

Will it not be proper for the Convention to have a rider daily 
to and from New York, and to call on me both going and coming? 
I may be found at Major Abraham Storm's. Shall pay proper 
attention to the Committee's resolve about the post riding on 
this side the river, but I fear people on the west side will be dis- 
satisfied. Will you send word over the river, so that the post 
may be prevented going on the west side to New York this trip. 

The controversy over the route of the post-rider was a seri- 
ous one for the communities along the river, because the Post- 
Office Department was too poor to afford a rider for each side. 
On the 6th of September, Et)enezer Hazzard writes to Abra- 
ham Yates, the President of the Convention: — 

Sir: I received yesterday a letter from the Comptroller, in 
which he says, "Mr. Franklin has received no letter from Con- 
vention respecting the Albany riders; unless there is an absolute 
necesity for his going constantly on one side the river, it had best 
not be altered." However, notwithstanding this, I imagine the 
Convention's design may be answered by the post's riding con- 
stantly on the east side as far up as the Fishkill, and then crossing, 
when it is his turn to ride on the west side to New Windsor; and as 
there are few or no letters between New-Windsor and New- York, 
the revenue of the office will not be diminished by the alteration. 

In the same letter the Comptroller mentions that it is the Post- 
master-General's desire I should keep my office at Head-Quarters, 
as most of the letters now going are for the army. In consequence 
of this I expect the Convention will not long have the office so 
near them, unless they furnish a rider to ply constantly between 
Head-Quarters to carry thither such letters as may come for the 
army, and wait there while the General gets his despatches ready 
to go by return of post. This I should think they might do with- 
out being at any additional expense, as I understand they have a 
rider here who is to hold himself in constant readiness to go to 
Head-Quarters whenever called upon. Please to favor me with 
a line upon this subject as soon as you conveniently can. 

The following letter shows that the postmaster of New 
York City had no desire to attach his office to headquarters, 
for reasons which he explains later: — 

Dobb's Ferry, September 6, 1776. 
Dear Sir: Sampson [Dyckman] gave me your letter yester- 
day in due season. Their Honours, according to your account, 


The Convention 


are like myself, very busy doing nothing. I cannot tell where the 
post-office will be fixed; it is kept at present at Hercules Cronks', 
next door to Major Abraham Storms', one mile above Dobbs 
Ferry; but the Comptroller has informed me that it is the Post- 
Master General's desire it would be kept at Head-Quarters, and 
I am apprehensive I shall be obliged to remove thither, unless 
the Convention will keep a rider to go from hence to Head-Quar- 
ters with letters, and wait there till the despatches are ready to 
go by return post. When the matter is settled I will let you know. 
Whenever you determine contrary to the opinion of so respect- 
able a body as the Representatives of the State of New York, 
you should do it "with submission." 

In his next letter to the Convention he says: — 

I do not expect to have the management of these matters much 
longer, having desired that another Postmaster may be ap- 
pointed for the district of New York. 

His desire was not gratified, however, for about the 19th 
of September, Ebenezer Hazzard, with his wandering post- 
office, joined General Washington on Harlem Heights. In a 
memorial to Congress, November 14, he complained that as 
postmaster of New York, "under a necesity of keeping his 
office near Head-Quarters," he had been subjected, by the fre- 
quent removals of the Continental Army, to extraordinary 
expense and, for want of a horse, compelled "to follow the 
army from place to place on foot." The trials of Ebenezer 
Hazzard were finally rewarded by President Washington, 
who made him the first Postmaster-General of the new-born 


In those post-riding days Fishkill was a long way from New 
York; so far away that the news of the retreat from New 
York on the isth of September, and the establishment of the 
new headquarters at the Roger Morris house the day before, 
had not reached the Convention when it met on the morning 
of the 17th of September. It was at the close of the long morn- 
ing session, and promptly on the arrival of the messenger, that 
the foUowmg entry was made by the Secretary of the Con- 
vention: — 

A letter from Joseph Trumbull, Esq., Commissary-General, 
dated the i6th instant, was received by a messenger, and read. 
He therein mentions that the American Army had evacuated 
New York. That in the retreat he had left behind him large 


New Tor k post- 
office at 

Hazzard and 
his wandering 

Fishkill a long 
way from New 


The Jumel Mansion 

Appointment of 
the Committee 
of Correspondence 

Action of the 
Committee while 
still in the dark 

Provides for a 
daily mail 

quantities of Flour, which reduced the magazines too low; and 
requests the aid of this Convention to procure flour. 

At the same morning session the first act of the Convention 
had been to appoint a committee to employ post-riders be- 
tween Fishkill and headquarters. A report of this committee 
was made and a letter was written authorizing an agent to 
"repair to New York" and employ the post-riders, while the 
Convention was still in ignorance of the evacuation of the 
city. The retreat from New York on the 15th and the battle of 
Harlem Heights on the i6th of September had put the post- 
riders out of business and left the Convention in the dark. It 
was this condition of suspense that caused the appointment of 
the "Committee of Correspondence" and the following action 
of the conunittee, while still in the dark: — 

Resolved, that Uriah Mitchel and Samuel Dyckman be em- 
ployed as riders. That Mitchel set out from this place and Dyck- 
man from New York on one and the same day, and both meet at 
the house of John Blagg, this side Croton's River, and there ex- 
change mails, with which each are to return to their respective 
stages the day following, so as to arrive as early as possible on 
that day; that is Mitchel to Fishkill and Dyckman to New York, 
and set out again the day after and perform the same stages, and 
so to continue as long as this Committee or the Convention of the 
State shall think proper to employ them, and that there be al- 
lowed each respectively, while in the service, the sum of sixteen 
shillings per day. 

This resolution was only the recommendation of the com- 
mittee to the Convention, and provided for a mail every other 
day, which seems not to have been satisfactory to the Conven- 
tion in frequency of service, as shown by the following letter: — 

Sir: You are hereby directed and empowered to repair from 
this place to New York, to agree with some person at Peekskill 
to keep a horse for the public service, and with some other per- 
son at Odle's to keep another horse, to employ a rider and third 
horse at Head Quarters, who shall set out every morning at day- 
break from thence, having waited upon the General and the 
Postmaster the evening preceeding for their letters, and upon 
General Clinton at King's Bridge, from whence he shall repair 
to Croton river, at which place he shall engage to be by twelve 
o'clock every day, and exchange his mail with that which shall 
go from this place every morning at the same hour, and return 
the same into the post office that night. 


The Convention 


That such rider shall begin to ride on Thursday next, and con- 
tinue to ride every day until the further order of this Congress, 
for which he shall be allowed a reasonable compensation, and be 
exempt from military duty. Or if he shall find it more advan- 
tageous, he may agree with any person by the great to ride daily 
from New-York and return thereto, finding their own horse, for 
which he may be permitted to allow any sum not exceeding three 
dollars per day. 

Bills paid by the Convention show that sixteen shillings per 
day was the wage paid to each rider. 

The Convention met daily in morning and afternoon ses- 
sions. The attendance of the delegates at all sittings was 
understood to be compulsory. One mounted messenger was 
maintained by the Convention, whose principal business was 
to round up delegates who overstayed their leaves. The mes- 
senger's name was Sampson Dyckman. He was familiarly 
called "Sampson" by the members, and to the guilty stay- 
overs he was the dreaded strong man that his name implies. 

William Duer was appointed by the Convention to carry 
on a daily correspondence with General Washington's head- 
quarters, and Lieutenant Tench Tilghman was the member of 
the staff whose duty it was to write a daily letter to the Con- 

It was the dawn of the classic period in the infant literature 
of the country, the period that a little later gave Greek and 
Roman names to the towns, such as Troy, Syracuse, Utica, 
Rome. The proceedings of the Convention were not recorded 
in Latin, but it is evident that the classical education of its 
Secretary had not been neglected. "Die Solis 9 ho. a.m.," was 
Sunday morning, but the Convention seldom met on Sunday. 
The other days of the week, as recorded by the learned Secre- 
tary, were "Die Luns," "Die Martis," "Die Mercurii," "Die 
Jovis," "Die Veneris," and "Die Sabbati." 

There were periods of military inactivity when the Conven- 
tion adjourned, leaving the business of the State to a few mem- 
bers, who held sessions under the title of the "Committee of 
Safety," which seems to have met on plain Mondays and Tues- 

Before the battle of Long Island the Convention heard 
rumors that the city of New York might be burned by the 


Rider to begin 
on Thursday next 

the messenger 
of the Convention 

Dawn of the 
classic period 


The Jumel Mansion 

The Convention 

The Convention 
orders the 
church bells to 
'■'■New- Ark" 

The Covention 
orders the brass 
knockers to 

The Convention 
confiscates the 
property of the 
Philipse and 
Morris families 

army before leaving it to the enemy, and as early as the 22d 
of August interrogated General Washington as to his inten- 
tions: to whom he replied that the report was not founded 
upon the least authority from him, and added that "nothing 
but the last necessity, and that such as should justify me to 
the whole world would induce me to give orders for that pur- 

The removal of the bells from the churches in the city, 
which was charged to Washington by the enemy, and claimed 
to have been done preparatory to burning the city, was done 
by order of the Convention. On September 5, after a some- 
what lengthy preamble, the Convention 

Therefore, Resolved, unanimously, That his Excellency Gen- 
eral Washington be requested and authorized to cause all the 
Bells in the different Churches and publick edifices in the City 
of New-York to be taken down and removed to New-Ark, in New 
Jersey, with all possible despatch, that the fortunes of war may 
not throw the same into the hands of our enemy and deprive 
the State, at this critical period, of that necessary though unfor- 
tunate resource for supplying our want of cannon. 

Two days later, on the 7th of September, the Convention 
further, — 

Resolved, unanimously, That the Committee of Safety and 
Correspondence at New- York be appointed and authorized to 
take from the doors of the Houses in the city of New York all 
the Brass Knockers, and that they cause the same to be sent to 
some careful person at New-Ark, in New Jersey, with all possible 
despatch; that the said Committee keep as accurate an account 
as possible of the weight and value of them, and of the houses 
from whence taken, in order that satisfaction may be hereafter 
made to the respective owners. 

Action of the Convention in the spring of 1777, aimed at 
the estates of the so-called "Loyalists," practically confiscated 
the property of the Philipse and Morris families. Mrs. Morris, 
as we have seen, was at the manor house as late as November, 
1776. On the 23d of December, her brother, Frederick Phil- 
ipse, was permitted to leave Middletown, but still under parole 
and a promise to return to Connecticut if the Continental 
authorities should desire at any time to hold him a prisoner. 
He arrived at his home just in time for the Christmas holi- 
_^__^ days, 

The Convention 


days, which were celebrated for the last time at the old manor 
house, made merry by his own children and the four children 
of Roger Morris, who alone was absent from the festivities. 
These holiday times marked the end of the reign of the Philipse 
family at Yonkers, and the separation forever of the Morris 
family from their beautiful country seat, "Mount Morris." 

The British were now in the city of New York, and it is 
probable that both families removed into the city, under Brit- 
ish protection, very soon after the Christmas holidays, and 
before the drastic action of the State Convention, in the early 
spring, would have compelled their removal. 

On March 7, 1777, the Convention passed a resolution re- 
quiring all citizens who were prisoners or under parole to ap- 
pear before a committee of the said Convention and take the 
oath of allegiance to the new State and to the cause of America, 
or to "depart into New York or elsewhere into the British 
lines, with their families, their household goods and wearing 
apparrel." On the following day, March 8, the Convention 
further resolved on the sale of the personal property of such 
political fugitives, after allowing them to take with them pro- 
visions enough to last them three months. The sale of the 
stock on the broad acres of the Philipse manor began in April, 
within thirty days after the edict. Such slaves as had not been 
taken into New York became the property of the State. 

At just what date in 1777 Frederick Philipse was sum- 
moned to surrender his person to the Convention and return 
to his former condition of prisoner-on-parole at Middletown, 
Connecticut, does not appear. He was in the British lines 
when the summons came, and it was not expected that he 
would comply with any such summons. His failure to do so, 
however, was construed as a violation of his parole. Other 
legislation that followed, even passing sentence of death upon 
persons who were safely within the British lines, and whose 
apprehension was impossible, not to say undesirable, was far 
from impotent. Fifty-eight persons, including Frederick Phil- 
ipse, Roger Morris, Maiy Morris, Beverly Robinson, and 
Susannah Robinson, were attainted of treason by the Legis- 
lature of the State of New York on October 22, 1779. The 
measure was intended to extinguish the title to real property 


holidays for the 
last time at 
Philipse manor 

All citizens to 
take the oath of 

Philipse in the 
British lines 


The Jumel Mansion 

To suffer death 
without benefit 
of clergy 

Sale of the real 
estate of persons 
condemned as 

The transaction 
of John Jacob 

abandoned by such persons. The act declared that "each 
and every one of them who shall at any time hereafter be 
found in any part of the State shall be and are hereby ad- 
judged and declared guilty of Felony and shall suffer Death 
as in cases of felony without Benefit of Clergy." 

Another of these condemned felons, equally safe from cap- 
ture, was John Watts, of the King's Council, who had sailed 
with Roger Morris on the Harriet Pacquet for Falmouth in 
May, 177s, and who had never returned to America. 

The sale, by the State of New York, of the real estate of 
such persons condemned as felons followed in due course of 
law. According to Flick's "Loyalism in America," ^ "The 
large estate of Roger Morris, amounting to 50,850 acres 
(Dutchess Co.) was offered for sale April 20th, 1781, and by 
June 30th, 1785, 39,100 acres were disposed of " for a consid- 
erable sum." 

We are informed by the same authority that at the close of 
the Revolution, Roger Morris owned, in the city of New York, 
a "tract in South Ward, n by Stone St, w by Broadway or 
White Hall St, s by Widow Moore, e by Clarkson. Bought 
by Jno Lamb and Jno Delamater, Merchants." This tract 
was the site of the burned house. 

These British subjects who lost their estates by forfeiture 
put in claims against Great Britain for reimbursement. Ac- 
cording to the author cited above, Frederick Philipse claimed 
^777,000, and received $210,000. Beverly Robinson claimed 
$344,000, and received $128,000. Roger Morris claimed $310,- 
000, and received $91,000. 

Sabine, in "Loyalists of the American Revolution," * makes 
the following statements, explaining the act of attainder against 
the sisters of Frederick Philipse, and the later transaction of 
John Jacob Astor, through which the family of Roger Morris 
received another reimbursement of $100,000: — 

At the Revolutionary era part of the Philipse estate [observes 
Mr. Sabine] was in possession of Colonel Morris in right of his wife, 
and was confiscated, and that the whole interest should pass under 
the act, Mrs. Morris was included in the attainder. It is believed 
that this lady, her sisters, Mrs. Robinson, and Mrs. Inglis, were 
the only females who were attainted of treason during the struggle. 

' Page IJI. 'Vol. n, p. 104. 

The Convention 


But it appeared in due time, that the confiscation act did not affect 
the rights of Mrs. Morris's children. The fee simple of the estate 
was valued by the British Government at 20,000 pounds, and by 
the rules of determining the worth of life interests, the life in- 
terest of Col. Morris and his wife were fixed at 12,605 pounds, 
for which they received a certificate of compensation. 

In 1787, the attorney general of England examined the case, 
and gave the opinion, that the revertionary interest (or property 
of the children at the decease of the parents) was not included 
in their attainder, and was recoverable under the principles of 
law and of right. In the year 1809, their son. Captain Henry 
Gage Morris of the royal navy, in behalf of himself and his two 
sisters, accordingly sold this revertionary interest to John Jacob 
Astor, Esquire, of New York, for the sum of 20,000 pounds Ster- 
ling. In 1828 Mr. Astor made a compromise with the state of 
New York, by which he received for the rights thus purchased 
by him (with or without associates) the large amount of five 
hundred thousand dollars. The terms of the arrangement re- 
quired, that within a specified time he should execute a deed of 
conveyance in fee simple, with warrentee against the claims of 
the Morrises — husband and wife — their heirs, and all persons 
claiming under them, and that he should also obtain the judg- 
ment of the Supreme Court of the United States affirming the 
validity and perfectibility of his title. These conditions were 
complied with, and the respectable body of farmers who held the 
confiscated lands under titles derived from the sales of the com- 
missioners of forfeitures, were thus quieted in their possessions. 

Case examined 
by the attorney 
general of 

The Supreme 
Court of the 
United States 


Most eventful 
day in the history 
of the Morris 



Captain Alexan- 
der Gray don — 
his book 





THE most eventful day in the history of the Morris 
house was the i6th day of November, 1776, when 
fourteen thousand British and Hessian troops as- 
sailed and captured the Heights, including Fort 
Washington and its garrison of nearly three thousand men. 
The attack was made by the army which had been falling 
leisurely back from the battle of White Plains, and by the 
troops from New York City under Earl Percy. Washington 
by this time had crossed the Hudson and was at Fort Lee. 

The most interesting and the only comprehensive account 
of the capture of Fort Washington and the Heights of Har- 
lem and of the operation of the troops in the immediate vicin- 
ity of the Roger Morris house is given by Captain Alexander 
Graydon, in his book, "Memoirs of a Life chiefly passed in 
Pennsylvania within the last 60 Years, with Occasional Re- 
marks upon the General Occurrences, Character and Spirit 
of that Eventful Period." 

The book was printed by John Wyeth, of Harrisburg, in 
181 1. The author was a captain in Colonel Cadwalader's 
Peimsylvania regiment, and a young man of a degree of edu- 
cation and cultivation quite unusual in regimental officers 
of that day in the American army. He was familiar with the 
Heights, having been on the ground in General Mifflin's bri- 
gade since the beginning of Fort Washington. He was cap- 
tured close to the Morris house and spent the first night of 
his captivity in the loft of Colonel Morris's new barn. The 
recorded experience of no other officer touches the story of the 
Morris house so intimately. 

After a summary of his description of the disposition of the 
American troops to meet the attack of the enemy, we will let 
. him 

The Capture of the House 

him relate his own adventures. Before daybreak on the i6th 
of November, Captam Graydon was at the lower line of breast- 
works on Harlem Heights, facing south. His colonel, Cad- 
walader, with his own and Magaw's regiment and some 
broken battalions of Pennsylvania troops, was in command 
of the right df our line. Colonel Rawlins, with his Maryland 
regiment, had the left at Fort Tryon. Colonel Baxter com- 
manded a body of men posted opposite to the fort on the 
bluff overlooking the Harlem River, where the enemy was 
showing activity. The front facing the Harlem and continu- 
ing, south was committed to the military of the flying camp 
under the command of Colonel Magaw, who nevertheless 
remained in the fort. Captain Graydon states that from Colo- 
nel Baxter's post, along the west bank overlooking the Har- 
lemj River, "to Colonel Roger Morris's house, a distance of 
not less than a mile and a half, there were no troops posted for 
observation or defence." 

About midday Colonel Cadwalader, learning that the enemy 
were coming down the Harlem in boats to land in his rear, 
sent three of his captains with one hundred and fifty men to 
the bank south of the Morris house. About the same num- 
ber were sent from Fort Washington, arriving early enough 
to open fire on the boats, where it is claimed about ninety of 
the enemy were killed or wounded. Notwithstanding this 
execution the American troops retired to the fort and "this 
body of the enemy immediately advanced and took possession 
of the ground in advance of and a little below Morris's house, 
where some soldiers' huts had been left standing, not far from 
the second line." Captain Graydon's story is of events that 
took place in the afternoon: — 

The first notice that I had of the intrenchment being given 
up was from an officer I did not know, posted at some distance 
from me, going off with his men. I called to him to know what he 
meant. He answered that he was making the best of his way to 
the fort, as the rest of the troops had retreated long since. As I 
had no reason to doubt his veracity, I immediately formed my 
company, and began to retire in good order. . . . After proceed- 
ing some hundred paces, I reflected that I had no orders for what 
I was doing; and that, although I had no right to expect exact- 
ness, in a moment of such pressure, it was yet possible my move- 


Tosts of the 
different com- 

Action of Colonel 

Captain Gray- 
don's story 


The Jumel Mansion 

I halted my men 

1 walked on 
accompanied by 

They shot 
over us 

ment might be premature. I knew nothing of what had passed 
in the center, or of the enemy being master of the high grounds 
in my rear about Colonel Morris's house, from whom, no doubt, 
had proceeded the cannon balls that whizzed by us, and for which, 
coming in that direction, I could not account. To be entirely cor- 
rect in my conduct, I here halted my men, and went myself to 
a rising ground at some distance, from which I might have a view 
of the lines where Colonel Cadwalader had been posted. They 
seemed thoroughly manned; and at the instant, I beckoned to the 
officers to march back the company, which they immediately 
put in motion; but looking more attentively, I perceived that the 
people I saw were British and Hessian troops that were eagerly 
pushing forward. Upon this I hastened back to my party, and 
as there was no time to be lost, being in a situation to be cut to 
pieces by cavalry, I ordered them, under the command of my en- 
sign, to make the best of their way and join the body of men, 
which none doubted being our own, on the heights beyond the in- 
ner lines; and that I would follow them as fast as I could, for I 
was a good deal out of breath with the expedition I had used in 
going to and returning from the ground, which gave me a view 
of the outer lines. I accordingly walked on, accompanied by 
Forest, who did not choose to leave me alone. The body I had 
pointed to and directed my company to join, under the idea of 
their being our own men, turned out to be the British, consisting 
of Colonel Stirling's division of Highlanders. Upon this dis- 
covery, we held a moment's consultation, and the result was, 
that, hemmed in as we were on every side, there was no chance 
of escaping; and that there was nothing left but to give ourselves 
up to them. Thus circumstanced we clubbed our fusees in token 
of surrender and continued to advance towards them. They 
either did not or would not take the signal; and though there 
were but two of us, from whom they could not possibly expect a 
design to attack, they did not cease firing at us. I may venture 
to say, that not less than ten guns were discharged with their 
muzzles towards us, within the distance of forty or fifty yards; 
and I might be nearer the truth In saying, that some were let off 
within twenty. Luckily for us, it was not our riflemen to whom 
we were targets ; and it is astonishing how even these blunt 
shooters could have missed us. But as we were ascending a consid- 
erable hill they shot over us. I observed that they took no aim, 
and that the moment of presenting and firing, was the same. As I 
had full leisure for reflection, and was perfectly collected, though 
fearful that their design was to give no quarter, I took off my hat 
with such a sweep of the arm as could not but be observed, with- 
out ceasing however to advance. This had the intended effect: a 
loud voice proceeded from the breastwork, and the firing imme- 
diately ceased. An officer of the 42d Regiment advanced towards 
us; and as I was foremost, he civilly accosted me by asking my 


The Capture of the House 


rank. Being informed of this, as also of Forest's, he inquired 
where the fort lay and where Colonel Magaw was. I pointed in 
the direction of the fort, and told him I had not seen Colonel 
Magaw during the day. Upon this, he put us under the care of a 
sergeant and a few men, and left us. The sergeant was a decent- 
looking man, who, on taking us into custody, bestowed upon us 
in broad Scotch the friendly admonition of "Young men, ye 
should never fight against your King." The little bustle pro- 
duced by our surrender was scarcely over, when a British offi- 
cer on horseback, apparently of high rank, rode up at a full gal- 
lop, exclaiming, "What, taking prisoners, kill them, kill every 
man of them." My back was towards him when he spoke; and 
although, by this time, there was none of that appearance of 
ferocity in the guard, which would induce much fear that they 
would execute his command, I yet thought it well enough to 
parry it, and turning to him, I took off my hat saying, "Sir, I put 
myself under your protection." No man was ever more effec- 
tually rebuked. His manner was instantly softened; he met my 
salutation with an inclination of his body, and after a civil ques- 
tion or two, as if to make amends for his sanguinary mandate, 
he rode off toward the fort, to which he had enquired the way. 

Though I had delivered up my arms, I had not adverted to a 
cartouche box which I wore about my waist, and which having 
once belonged to his Britannic Majesty, presented in front the 
gilded letters G. R. Exasperated at this trophy on the body of a 
rebel one of the soldiers seized the belt with great violence and 
in the attempt to unbuckle it had nearly jerked me off my legs. 
To appease the offended loyalty of the honest Scot, I submissively 
took it off and delivered it to him, being conscious that I had no 
longer any right to it. 

At this time a Hessian came up. He was not a private, neither 
did he look like a regular ofiicer: He was some retainer, however, 
to the German troops and was as much of a brute as any one I 
have ever seen in the human form. The wretch came near enough 
to elbow us; and half unsheathing his sword, with a countenance 
that bespoke a most violent desire to use it upon us, he grinned 
out in broken English, "Eh, you Rebel, you damned rebel." 

I had by this time entire confidence in our Scotchman and 
therefore regarded the caitiff with the same indifference that I 
should have viewed a caged wild beast, though with much greater 

abhorrence. . , , . j 

These transactions, which occupied about ten mmutes, passed 
upon the spot on which we were taken, whence we were marched 
to an old stable or outhouse, where we found about forty or fifty 
prisoners already collected, principally officers, of whom I only 
particularly recollect Lieutenant Broadhead of our battalion. We 
remained on the outside of this building and for nearly an hour 


The sergeant 
was a decent- 
looking man 

At this time a 
Hessian came up 

We remained on 
the outside of the 


The Jumel Mansion 

Young and 
Insolent puppies 

Wt were 
removed to the 
barn of Colonel 
Morris's house 

I found Captain 
Tudor here 

sustained a series of the most intolerable abuse. This chiefly pro- 
ceeded from the officers of the light infantry for the most part 
young and insolent puppies, whose worthlessness was apparently 
their recommendation to a service, which placed them in the post 
of danger, and in the way of becoming food for powder, their most 
appropriate destination next to that of the gallows. The term 
"rebel," with the epithet "damned" before it, was the mildest 
we received. We were twenty times told, sometimes with a taunt- 
ing affectation of concern, that we should every man of us be 
hanged; and were nearly as many times paraded with the most 
inconceivable insolence, for the purpose of ascertaining whether 
there were not some deserters among us; and these were always 
sought for among the officers, as if the lowest fellow in their army 
was fit for any post in ours. "There's a fellow," one upstart 
cockney would exclaim, "that I could swear was a deserter." 
"What country man are you, sir?" "Did you not belong to such 
a regiment?" I was not indeed challenged for a deserter; but the 
indignity of being ordered about by such contemptible whipsters 
for a moment unmanned me, and I was obliged to apply my hand- 
kerchief to my eyes. This was the first time in my life that I 
had been the victim of brutal, cowardly oppression; and I was un- 
equal to the shock, but my elasticity of mind was soon restored, 
and I viewed it with the indignant contempt it deserved. 

For the greater convenience of guarding us, we were removed 
from this place to the barn of Colonel Morris's house, already 
mentioned, which had been the headquarters of our army, as it 
now was of the Royal one. This was the great bank of deposit 
for prisoners taken out of the fort; and already pretty well filled. 
It was a good new building, and we were ushered into it among 
the rest, the whole body consisting of from a hundred and fifty 
to two hundred, composing a motley group, to be sure. Here 
were men and officers of all descriptions, regulars and militia, 
troops continental and state, some in uniforms, some without 
them, and some in hunting shirts, the mortal aversion to a red 
coat. Some of the ofiicers had been plundered of their hats and 
some of their coats, and upon the new society into which we were 
introduced, with whom a showy exterior was all in all, we were 
certainly not calculated to make a very favorable impression. 
I found Captain Tudor here of our regiment, who if I mistake 
not, had lost his hat. It was here also that not long after I saw 
Ensign Steddiford of our regiment at a little distance, at large 
and in close conference with Major Skene. So friendly an inter- 
course between a British officer and a rebel was so strikingly in 
contrast to the general insolence I had received and was still 
treated with that it baffled every hypothesis I could frame to 
account for it. But it was afterwards explained by Steddiford, 
The garrison had capitulated; and Skene, being desirous to walk 
to this part of the field, had proposed to Steddiford to accom- 

The Capture of the House 

pany him, observing with the frankness and circumspection of 
an old soldier, that each would be a safeguard to the other — 
"I," says he, "shall protect you from our men, and you will pro- 
tect me from yours, should there be any of either lurking in the 
woods, and disposed to hostility." 

Shortly after that it was announced by an huzza that the fort 
had surrendered. This I think was about two o'clock. 

The officer who commanded the guard in whose custody we 
were, was an ill-looking, low-bred fellow of this dashing corps of 
light infantry. As I stood as near as possible to the door for the 
sake of air, the enclosure in which we were being extremely 
crowded and unpleasant, I was particularly exposed to his bru- 
tality; and repelling with some severity one of his attacks, for I 
was becoming desperate and careless of safety, the ruffian ex- 
claimed, "Not a word, sir, or I'll give you my butt," at the same 
time clubbing his fusee and drawing it back as if to give a blow. 
I fully expected it, but he contented himself with the threat. As 
to see the prisoners was a matter of some curiosity, we were com- 
plimented with a continual succession of visitants, consisting of 
officers of the British army. There were several of these present, 
when the sergeant-major came to take an account of us; and 
particularly, a list of such of us as were officers. This sergeant, 
though not uncivil, had all that animated degagee impudence of 
air, which belongs to a self-complacent non-commissioned officer 
of the most arrogant army in the world, and with his pen in his 
hand and his paper on his knee, applied to each of us in turn for 
his rank. He had just set mine down, when he came to a little 
squat militia officer from York County, who, somewhat to the 
deterioration of his appearance, had substituted the dirty crown 
of an old hat for a plunder-worthy beaver that had been taken 
from him by a Hessian. He was known to be an officer from hav- 
ing been assembled among us, for the purpose of enumeration. 
"You are an officer, sir?" said the sergeant. "Yes," was the 
answer. "Your rank, sir," with a significant smile. "I am a 
KEPPUN," replied the little man in a chuff, firm tone. Upon this 
there was an immoderate roar of laughter among the officers 
about the door, who were attending to the process; and I am not 
sure I did not laugh myself. 

Although the day was seasonably cool, yet from the number 
crowded in the barn, the air within was oppressive and suffocat- 
ing, which, in addition to the agitations of the day, had produced 
an excessive thirst, and there was a continual cry for water. I 
cannot say this was unattended to, the soldiers were constantly 
administering to it by bringing water in a bucket. But though 
we, about the door, did well enough, the supply was very inade- 
quate to such a number of mouths; and they must have suffered 
much. The fellow who had menaced me with his butt stood with 
his fusee across the door, and kept it closely immured. I did not 


" Not a word^ 
sir, ar I'll give 
you niy butt" 


The fort surren- 
dered about two 

'■'■lam a kep- 
pun" replied the 
little man 

There was a 
continual cry 
for water 


Upon this the 
sentinels were 

Kindness of 



I am invited to 

The Jumel Mansion 

choose to ask favors of him; but addressing myself to the officers 
without the door, who had been put in good humor by their laugh 
at our poor militia captain, I asked them if they made no dis- 
tinction between officers and privates. "Most certainly we do," 
said one of them. I then observed that it would be very agree- 
able to us to be somewhat separated from them now, and to re- 
ceive a little fresh air. Upon this the sentinels were withdrawn 
to the distance of about ten or twelve feet from the building; and 
we were told that such of us as were officers might walk before 
the door. This was a great relief to us as well as to the men in 
giving them more room. 

Following Lieutenant Graydon's description of his capture, 
and referring to Sauthier's map, it is evident that he advanced 
with clubbed musket just west of Colonel Morris's garden, 
which was opposite to the house, and that the shots and the 
"loud voice" came from behind that very breastwork that is 
shown as extending into the garden. He had probably been 
conducted to the King's Bridge Road before he encountered 
the galloping officer who favored killing the prisoners. Much 
of the charm of his story consists in the ease with which one 
can follow him over familiar ground. 

Captain Graydon relates that at nightfall they were taken 
from the "custody of a low ruffian" and "transferred to that 
of a gentleman" : — 

This was Lieutenant Beckett, to the best of my recollection 
of the 27th or 37th Regiment. Upon taking the guard in the 
evening, he expressed concern about our lodgings, and proposed 
to us to accompany him into the barn-loft to see whether that 
would do. He was also attendedby some of his brother officers. 
We ascended by a very good stepladder, and found a spacious 
room well roofed and floored and clear of lumber. "This, gentle- 
men, I think may do," said he. " I dare say you have sometimes 
lodged in a worse place." That we had we told him and that this 
was as comfortable as we could desire. " I will send you if I can," 
said he, "a bottle of wine; but at any rate a bottle of spirits." 
And as to the latter he was as good as his word; a soldier in about 
a quarter of an hour brought it to us and this was our substitute 
for supper as well as dinner. In the morning a little after sunrise, 
a soldier brought me Mr. Beckett's compliments with a request 
that I should come down and breakfast with him, bringing two 
of my friends with me, as he had not the means of entertaining 
more. I thankfully accepted his invitation, and took with me 
Forest and Tudor. He was seated on a bench before the door 
with a good fire before him, and the soldiers of the guard in a 


Sauthier's Map of the North Part of New Tork Island 

The Capture of the House 


semicircle about him. Besides the bench we were accommodated 
with a chair or two, and he gave us a dish of very good coffee 
with plenty of excellent toast. 

Colonel Morris's new barn, with its first crowd of prisoners, 
became at once the guardhouse of the new British headquar- 
ters, so that Lieutenant Graydon was lodged in the guard- 
house overnight and his generous entertainment at breakfast, 
by Lieutenant Beckett, the officer of the guard, was at the 
entrance to the guardhouse. He was a prisoner by courtesy 
and probably got no nearer to the great house, in plain view 
across the grounds, where the British generals were settling 
the business of the surrender. This barn of Colonel Morris's, 
according to Von Kraft, was in later years used for a church, 
where weekly services were held on Sundays, under the name 
of "Church Parades." It was probably in front of this bam 
that the following picturesque incident occurred, as described 
by Lieutenant Graydon: — 

About noon, a young officer, smartly dressed and well mounted, 
rode up with his horse in a foam, and pulling out his watch, ob- 
served that he had scarcely been an hour in coming from New 
York. He was a genuine, smooth-faced, fresh-coloured English- 
man, and from the elegance of his horse, and the importance of 
his manner, I supposed him to be a person of family and consid- 
eration. "Beckett," said he, looking round him, "this is a damned 
strong piece of ground — ten thousand of our men would defend 
it against the world.. 

Speaking of the quiet that reigned on the lines before the 
fighting began. Lieutenant Graydon writes: — 

Things remained in this position for about an hour and a half, 
during which interval General Washington, with Generals Put- 
nam, Greene, Mercer, and other principal officers, came over the 
North River from Fort Lee and crossed the Island to Morris's 
house; from whence they viewed the position of our troops and 
the operations of the enemy in that quarter. . . . They retired 
by the way they came without making any change in the dis- 
position of the troops, or communicating any new orders. It is 
a fact not generally known that the British troops took possession 
of the very spot on which the Commander-in-Chief and the' 
general officers with him had stood in fifteen minutes after they 
left it. 

Another account of the capture of Fort Washington is given 
in the journal of a Pennsylvania soldier: — 


Colonel Morris's 
new barn — the 

" Beckett^ this is 
a damned strong 
piece of ground" 

General TVash- 
iugton comes and 

"Journal of a 




The Jumel Mansion 

'■'•Whare we 
Culd See they 

The story of 
Ichabod Perry 

beheld the conse- 
quence with 
tears in his eyes 

on the 14 of November I went over to York Island Whare we 
Culd See they Regellers Quite playn and talk to them a[cross] the 
river thats runs [there by] Kings bridge And the Santerryes 
Ceeps A fireing Deally at one another and on November the 15 
they Engliss Surrounded our men upon York Island and Druve 
them ought of our Lines and forst them to forth Wesenton Whare 
there Was a Great number of both partyes Slayn but there Was 
two for one kild of they Engliss for one of ours and There Was 2 
thousand and one half of our men prisoners that Same Day. In 
our forth fire they had it to Give up for Want of more men for they 
regs ware 10 to one and that Same Night our men was all taken 
to York town and in our Camp there was an Express that they 
Enemy Was a landing just by our ferry our orders Was to perrade 
With ought beating they Drums to attack them in the night but 
When We went there it Was a false a larm and We Ware forst to 
ly. under our arms all night. 

Another account of operations about the Morris house and 
Fort Washington is from the "Reminiscences" of Ichabod 
Perry, pubUshed by the Ska-hase-ga-o Chapter of the Daugh- 
ters of the American Revolution, at Lima, New York. Ichabod 
Perry was a nine-months' man "in Capt Philet B. Bradey's 
Rig't, Capt'n Abel's Company." His regiment, apparently 
commanded by a captain, crossed the river from Fort Lee to 
reinforce Fort Washington as late as the loth of November, 
and at the time of the attack was "stationed at a breast work 
that extend'd across York Island about one mile south of the 
Fort." This was the upper line of works, one end of which 
projected into the garden of the Morris house. Ichabod is 
delightfully illiterate and amusingly inaccurate, remembering 
the conmiander of the fort. Colonel Magaw, as "Cobi. Mc- 
Coye," who, he says, "had so much confidence that he could 
hold the Fort that Gen'l Washington concent'd to let him try, 
but it was said the next day he beheld the consequence with 
tears in his eyes." 

He continues: — 

Agreeable to notice on the i6th of Nov'm at break of day the 
enemy made their appearance viz 5,000 from Kingsbridge who 
drove in awe the outposts in that quarter — 5000 more crost 
Harlem Creek between the Fort and the breastwork where we 
was station'd. Their party met with great opposition. While 
crossing the creek in boats and landing and forming, the Ameri- 
cans kept up a brisk fire upon them the whole time, to great ad- 

The Capture of the House 

vantage, until they were fairly driven from their ground; there 
was another 5000 that came up from York against the battery 
where we was station'd but they did not come within musket shot 
but kept up a brisk fire of howitz fieldpieces and Cannon. 

There was one little circumstance which took place which I 
believe no historian has before mention'd that is, when the Brit- 
ish was throwing shells from their howitzs and dropping them 
just over our breastwork, we had a small dog that would watch 
them and whenever he saw one strike the ground, he would run 
and catch the fuse in his mouth, and hold it with his feet on the 
shell, till he pulled it out and so stop't it from exploding. He 
had the good luck to serve several that way which made some 
amusement to the spectators, but at length he failed. While he 
was in the act of trying to get out the fuse, the shell explod'd and 
the poor dog went to atoms. It is possible that the little dog by 
his exertion saved some human lives but lost his own. 

He says they were waiting for the enemy in front of them 
to come within range of their long guns and at the same time 
the middle division, that had crossed Harlem Creek 

was extending themselves acrost the Island to the North River 
in order to cut off our retreat to the Fort. When we discover'd 
this we had orders to retreat to the Fort but our order did not 
come in time for the enemy had got to the top of the hill that 
went down to the river, and it was very difficult for us to get past 
them, for they were continually making down the hill and kept 
up a brisk fire till they got within 12 feet of the river. When I 
passt them (we had to go in single file) there was a Hessian that 
had got within eight feet of us who fired off his gun, the contents 
of which went through the leg of Leu't Meade, which wes next 
to me. I discovered the Hessian behind a cedar bush. I imme- 
diately drop't my gun with the muzzle to the bush and fired. I 
saw him pitch forward, but I did not stop to pick him up. There 
was few that got past after me. There was two or three hundred 
that was cut off and taken prisoners there; many of the soldiers 
threw away their packs in their retreat, and they suffered for 
the want of them afterwards. 

After we had got past this division we was ordered to stop and 
form for action, but we being in such a confus'd situation, it was 
difficult for us to form, and before we could get in proper position 
for battle, the enemy advanced in solid column upon us. But as 
poorly as we were form'd we stood our ground till they had got 
within five rod of us, and we made use of our long guns pretty 
supple. We then retreated for the Fort. There was a little de- 
scent from where we start'd till we came to a small run of water, 
where I shall leave all hands running up the assent of the hill to 
the Fort while I was refreshing myself at the brook. 


They had a 
small dog that 
drew out the 

He discovers a 
Hessian behind 
a cedar bush 

Refreshes him- 
selfat the brook 


The Jumel Mansion 

The grass did 
not grow under 
his feet 

His two compan- 
ions lost their 

He fills his 
demijohn with 


I had pick'd up a small Demijohn just before I got to the brook, 
which I fiU'd with water, and after drinking what I want'd, I 
rais'd the bank which was pretty high on both sides, when I dis- 
cover'd the enemy on the opposite bank within ten rods of me. 
They called to me to stop, but I thought it was no place for me to 
stop. They then began to fire at me, I could see the dust rise all 
round me, where the balls hit the ground, and several went 
through my clothes, and two hit the stock of my gun which 
about split it, there was one which took off most of the skin of 
one arm, but the grass did not grow under my feet, I got safe 
into the fort with my botol of water where there was many beg- 
ging for a sip at it, but I refus'd giving any of it, telling them, 
that I had been in jeoporda of my life to procure it. 

At this time there was a heavy fire from the Fort, for the three 
divisions of the enemy had got together near the Fort, and there 
was two Frigaters, which came up within gun shot, so that Fort 
Lee had begun to play on them and the British had brought sev- 
eral pieces of cannon with them that was firing at our^ Fort and 
batteries, all which made a pretty good rattling, for some time. 
As I did not go up to the Fort with the rest of my companions, 
I entered it thru one of the apertures. At Ust I found two men 
that belong'd to our Reg't and we was inform'd that our Reg't 
was out of the Fort at a breast work a few rods Distant, and we 
went out at the gate in single file. There came a ball and took 
off both their heads, the contents of which besmeared my face 
pretty well, but my head being a little one side, it was saved, and 
I went to our Reg't where I found them all at the breastwork 
in preparation for Defense. 

The enemy was making nearer the Fort, but did not come with 
in musket shot; at this time there was a white flag appeared from 
the enemy. There was a cassation of firing immediately, on both 
sides, and our Commander went out to meet the flag. After 
about half an hour he return'd, and the word was past amongst 
us that the fort was to be given up, and the Troops march out 
with Honors of War. We Kept our places for sometime, and Gen'l 
Howe and several other officers came in to see us, Menetime, 
we open'd a Hogshed of Rum and we all took a Drink, and I filled 
my Demijohn, which was a little Comfort to some of us, for that 
night about 3 O'clock we was march'd out from the Fort, with 
our Arms, towards the N. River.^ 


' The appearance of Ichabod Perry in this history is of peculiar interest to 
the author because the mortal remains of Ichabod Perry lie in the little burying 
ground of the village of Aliens Hill, in Ontario '.County, state of New York, 
where the author was born and where as a child he hunted wild strawberries 
among the grave-mounds. The old marble slab reads, " Ichabod Perry. Died 
April 19. 1839. Aged 79 Years." Hard by is the broken stone of Rebecca, his 
wife, who died at 95. 

The Capture of the House 

There is no record of any general officer occupying the 
house mimediately after the fall of Fort Washington. The 
eneniy had left their camps in Westchester County under 
guard and returned to them after the battle. General Howe 
was back m his quarters at De Lancey's Mill on the following 
day, the 17th, when he issued an order for "Major Gen 
Schmidt to march to Fort Washington with the other Brig- 
ades (2) of Knyphausen's Corps." From this order we may 
infer that a part of Knyphausen's corps had remained at the 
fort overnight, probably guarding prisoners. 

The Hessians, in front of Fort Tryon, had done nearly all 
the fighting and had sustained nearly all the losses that re- 
suhed in the capture of Fort Washington. General Knyphau- 
sen had led his troops, and it was in honor of this service that 
General Howe issued an order on the 20th, changing the name 
of Fort Washington to Fort Knyphausen. On the evening 
of the 22d, after issuing an order directing "Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Knyphausen to command on the Heights of Fordham," 
General Howe transferred his quarters to New York City. 

Earl Percy's colunm carried the works to the south of the 
Morris house, and, after passing the second line of works, 
marched along the King's Bridge Road nearly to Fort Wash- 
ington. It was General Percy who remained in authority on 
the Heights, for he ordered his engineer officer, Claude Joseph 
Sauthier, to map the Heights, which must have been done in 
November, for the map was published in London in March. 
The Morris house is designated on the map with the name 
"Colonel Morris," and if it was occupied by any general offi- 
cer following its capture that officer was Lieutenant-General 
Earl Percy. 

Sauthier's map shows that Harlem Heights was an old farm- 
ing country from which the forests had disappeared. The old 
King's Bridge Road threads the narrow strip of land between 
the rivers, and along it are strung the farmhouses with their 
outbuildings; even the barracks built by the Americans for 
the approaching winter, the orchards, gardens, woodlots, and 
highways are shown with great precision. It throws much 
light on the history of the house and its neighbors. It shows 
the three lines of earthworks facing New York, and that one 



No record of any 
general officer 
occupying the 

Fort Washing- 
ton changed to 
Fort Knyphausen 

Earl Percy^s 

Harlem Heights 
an old farming 


The Jumel Mansion 

The title-page of 
an old map 

Published by 
permission of the 

of them extended into the Morris garden opposite to the 
house. The redoubts and other works, showing the positions 
of Putnam's and Spencer's divisions, are clearly indicated and 
afford us almost the only knowledge we have of the exact 
positions of these troops after the retreat from New York. 

The title-page (if I may so call it) of the old map, long, 
like the title-page of a book of that period, is a pleasant little 
history of itself. 

A Topographical Map of the North Part 


New York Island 

Exhibiting the plan of Fort Washington 


Fort Knyphausen. 

with the Rebel's Lines to the Southward 

which were forced by 

the Troops under the Command of 

Rt. Hon'ble. Earl Percy, on the i6th NoVr. 1776. 

and Surveyed immediately after by Order of his Lordship 

by Claude Joseph Sauthier. 

to which is added 

the Attack made to the North'd by the Hessians. 

Surveyed by Order of Lieut. Gen'l. Knyphausen. 

Published by Permission of 

the R't. Hon'ble. the Commissioners of 

Trade and Plantations 

by Wm. Faden. 1777. 

Colonel Morris's new bam, mentioned by Captain Gray- 
don as the building in which the captured American officers 
were temporarily held, and in which he passed the night, is 
shown on the opposite side of the road from the house and on 
the north line of the garden. An avenue of trees indicates a 
carriageway from this new barn to the house, and, after pass- 
ing behind the house, another double row of trees marks the 
driveway to the great gate on the King's Bridge Road. The 
shaded lane from the barn passed over what is now i62d 
Street from St. Nicholas Avenue nearly to Edgecombe Avenue, 


The Capture of the House 


and the driveway in front was along what is now Sylvan Ter- 
race, bordered by the objectionable wooden houses. 

It is unlikely that there was, in the Morris time, any semi- 
circular entrance flanked by lodges, such as was afterwards 
maintained by Stephen Jumel, as such buildings would cer- 
tainly have been indicated on a map as elaborate in details as 
this map by Sauthier. 

"The British Head Quarters Military Map," surveyed in 
1782, marks these shaded driveways with a double line, as the 
smaller roads are elsewhere shown, and indicates the walks 
and beds of a very elaborate garden spreading out from the 
house to the north and east, and curving around which the un- 
shaded part of the carriageway seems to pass. 

" The British 
Head garters 
Military Map" 


Fan Kraft's 
diary on scraps 
of paper 

Morris house 
now Sir Henry 




ALL we know of the British occupation of the house 
is gathered from the few entries in the diaries of 
Stephen Kemble and Philip von Kraft. Both diaries 
are published by the New York Historical Society, 
and each is only too brief in its references to the Morris house. 

Von Kraft seems to have been a very quarrelsome soldier, 
ready to fight at the drop of the hat, but as a chronicler he was 
wonderfully painstaking and exact. He kept his diary on such 
scraps of paper as he could secure in a day when paper was 
scarce even with the well-to-do, and in a handwriting so minute 
that a magnifying glass was required to read it comfortably. 

After its capture by the enemy the house was used as a 
sort of summer headquarters by British and Hessian generals 
of the higher rank, from July until the cold weather came in 
November, and by the commandant of the fort during the 
winter months. Making war in those days was a leisurely pro- 
ceeding, and the manufacture of anununition was carried on 
by each soldier for himself with a pair of bullet moulds and a 
piece of lead, by the light of the chimney fire. 

During the summer of 1777, the summer after General 
Washington occupied it, the Morris house was the headquar- 
ters of the British army, then under the command of Lieu- 
tenant-General Sir Henry Clinton. Major Stephen Kemble, 
Deputy Adjutant-General in the British army, who was 
transferred at this time from the staff of General Howe to 
that of General Clinton, has left us the following entries in his 
diary, which establish the fact that General Clinton occupied 
the house from July 14 until November 9, 1777: — 


Sir Henry Clinton 

The British Period 

Monday July 14. if-jy. Lieut. General Clinton went this day 
to Kings Bridge, who is to command the troops on New York 
Island and posts depending. 

Friday July 18. Morris's House. 

The Commander-in-Chief [meaning General Howe] having em- 
barked the preceeding Evening, I came here this day to attend on 
General Sir. Henry Clinton, being ordered for that service Officially. 

Saty. Oct. 4. In the morning Sir Henry Clinton marched . . . 
embarked and sailed by one at night. 

Oct. 6. About Sunset Sir Henry Clinton attacked Forts Mont- 
gomery and Clinton, and carried them by Storm. , . . 

Saturday Oct. nth. At night Sir Henry Clinton came down, 
Flattered me with the prospect of Accompanying him but coun- 
termanded the next day and ordered me to remain at Morris's 

Sunday Nov. 9th. Left Morris's House and came to town; Sir 
Henry Clinton taken up his Quarters in Kennedy's House. 

This brings the summer rather abruptly to an end. We learn 
that Harlem Heights was otherwise called King's Bridge, and 
that the great Sir Henry could get along without the attend- 
ance of his adjutant-general when he sallied forth from Mor- 
ris's house. The next year, however, Major Andre having 
taken the place of Kemble, Sir Henry sent his adjutant-gen- 
eral to the front and stopped behind himself. 

Brief as these entries are, they enable us to picture the scar- 
let uniforms of the British staff, during an occupation far 
more briUiant than that of Washington, and, doubtless, quite 
the most pretentious period in the wonderfully varied history 
of the house. 

Except the occupation of the house as headquarters, for 
which the British Government afterwards paid rent, the 
Philipse and Morris property was now restored to its owners. 
There were raids by cowboys over the outlying lands, but the 
ownership was considered secure, and the ladies of the two 
families, who were attainted of treason and whose heads were 
forfeit if their owners were caught outside the British lines, 
were doubtless honored guests of the staff, from time to time, 
in the house that was theirs. 

We can only conjecture as to what took place in the old 
house, for beyond these brief entries in Stephen Kemble's 
diary, there is no record of anjrthing that happened during this 



From the diary 
of Stephen 

Sir Henry 
Clinton returns 
to the Kennedy 
House, in New 

The British 
pays rent for the 


The Jumel Mansion 

House head- 
quarters of 
Baron von 

Adventures of 
von Kraft 

long summer, when Sir Henry Clinton occupied it for a period 
nearly four times as long as it had been occupied by Washing- 
ton. November 9 was late in the season for the staff to remain 
in a house of large rooms and small fireplaces, so near to the 
social attractions of a garrison town. And yet, with an Eng- 
lish gentleman's love of country life. Sir Henry may have re- 
turned to the Kennedy house reluctantly. 

In the summer of 1778 the house was the headquarters of 
Lieutenant-General Baron von Knyphausen, whom Stephen 
Kemble records as arriving on Thursday, July 23, and remov- 
ing his headquarters to New York on Saturday, October 9. 
When Knyphausen arrived at the house in midsummer, there 
arrived in hiis train that German soldier, John Philip von 
Kraft, of the diary-in-miniature and in-extenso. He had 
reached the army of Washington in February, 1778, and had 
applied for a commission. That being denied him, he made his 
way through the lines into Philadelphia and presented him- 
self to General von Knyphausen, with no better success. He 
was finally given the position of free corporal in one of the 
Hessian regiments, and his journal is a remarkable chronicle 
of events within the enemy's lines, between March, 1776, and 
November, 1783, when, during much of the time, he was en- 
camped on Harlem Heights, not far from the Morris house. 
The first mention Von Kraft makes of this house in his diary 
is: — 

July. Satyr. 1778. At 8 a.m. I marched with 10 privates to 
what was called the Morris House, where his Ex'c'y General von 
Knyphausen lived and where the Chasseur Company was to ren- 

The journal makes no further mention of the house until 
the 9th of December. Von Kraft does not forget to tell us of his 
love-making, and of robbing cherry trees on later July days, 
as he came back from making purchases in New York, or of 
frequent challenges to fist fights, behind the barracks, which 
were decided by Marquis of Queensberry rules. On the 9th 
he says : — 

At sunsett this evening I was on active picket with 6 privates 
in No I back of what was called General Knypphaussen's Quarters, 
Morris House. 


The British Period 

On December 21st he was on "field picket behind Morris 
House." No mention is made by Von Kraft of the Morris 
house during the yearl779, and no light is thrown on the ques- 
tion of who occupied it. In November, 1780, we find General 
von Lossberg in possession. Von Kraft says: — 

22. Nov. Frid. On wording command with 1 1 privates at Mor- 
isini. (Indexed by the N.Y. Historical Society as Morris House) 
All our wood for fuel, building and fortifying was procured in 
Morrisina, a piece of land back of Number 8 redoubt, and which 
once belonged to a Rebel Colonel. In his fine house not far from 
our camp the Generals ware in the habit of lodging. At present 
our Brigadier, Maj. General von Lossburg. To cut and bring in 
wood from this place until it all be used up, men are daily sent 
from all the regiments around here and the royal wagons. 

Von Kraft seems here to confuse the two colonels Morris. 
Redoubt No. 8 was in Morrisania, near the present New York 
University, and the land where they cut the wood did belong 
to a "Rebel Colonel," Colonel Lewis Morris, but the "fine 
house near our camp" must have been the Roger Morris 
house, for Von Kraft's company, the Chasseurs, had just gone 
into camp in huts near Fort Washington. The Lewis Morris 
house was at quite a distance across the Harlem River. 

Jany. 16. 178 1. In the morning we were again mustered by 
the former English Inspector in front of the quarters of Gen. v 
Lossberg at the so called Morris House. 

25. March. Church parade in a stable near Morris House. 

I. April. On watch fort Knyphausen, church parade in a stable 
near Morris House. 

June 17. Church parade in a stable near Morris House. 

8. Oct. This morning I went on a Small tour to Morris House, 
where our Lieut. Colonel still dwelt, to report a soldier to him 
for an offense. At 10 o'clock the English prince passed our regi- 
ment to view the line, where he was saluted from the Fort with 
several guns. 

1782. 28. Oct. Mon. At 8 o'clock this morning the English 
Dragoons, all the Hessian Yagers and the Hanan Free Corps had 
left their camps and marched as far as Morritz House, when they 
again encamped until further orders. 

16. Nov. Sun. In the neighborhood of Morris House I found 
on the road a new black silk woman's Scarf with beautiful lace. 

In the winter of 1780 the Morris house was an alarm sta- 
tion, watched by night from the city for rockets which, follow- 


General von 
Lossberg at the 
Morris house 

The wood 
belonged to a 
^<- Rebel Colonel" 

Church parade 
in a stable 

Von Kraft finds 
a scarf with 
beautiful lace 


The Jumel Mansion 

Gentral Clinton 
returns to the 
Kennedy house 

Description of a 

•^Bloody News I 

ing the guns at the fort, would indicate the direction of an 
attack. One rocket would mean that Fort Knyphausen was 
attacked from the front, two that the attack was from the 
North River, and three that the attack was from Harlem 

General Clinton's headquarters after he left the Morris 
house, in the fall of 1777, was at the Kennedy house, which 
stood alone looking out on the ruins of the burned district, 
the last house and the first house on Broadway. It had itself 
escaped the fire by a miracle, and desolate as the street was up 
to and beyond the walls of Trinity Church, its west side con- 
tmued to be the Mall where the beaux and belles walked in the 

William Dunlap, in his "History of the American Stage," 
gives us a vivid picture of New York City during the Revolu- 
tion. It was altogether in the hands of the military. Dress 
parade took place every evening on the street in front of the 
ruins of Trinity Church, to the music of a military band lo- 
cated among the tombstones. Dunlap says: — 

Here might be seen the Hessian with his towering brass fronted 
cap, mustacios coloured with the same material that coloured his 
shoes, his hair plastered with tallow and flour, and tightly drawn 
into a long appendage reaching from the back of his head to his 
waist, his blue uniform almost covered by the broad belts sus- 
taining his cartouche box, his brass hiked sword and his bayonet; 
a yellow waistcoat with flaps and yellow breeches were met at 
the knee by black gaiters, and thus heavily equipped, he stood 
at attention, and received the command or cane of the officer 
who inspected him. 

The Highlanders and the Yagers were equally in evidence 
in their highly cobred uniforms, and the street rabble looked 
on from the ruins, and, gatheringl inspiration, scurried away 
to fight battles on their own account. 

Rivington's printing ofiice was at the corner of Queen Street 
and Pearl, above the principal bookstore of the city, which 
occupied the ground floor, and when a fresh batch of gazettes 
was released from the hand press upstairs, the news venders 
came screaming upon the street : " Bloody News ! Bloody News ! 
Where are the Rebels now?" The Sugar House Prison was 
on Crown Street, its small windows filled, tier above tier, with 

The British Period 

the heads of prisoners struggling to inhale a breath of fresh air, 
and adjoining to it a company of dragoons was clattering in 
through the entrance pprch of the old Dutch church for exer- 
cise m its riding-school. 

While Dunlap adds nothing to the story we already have of 
the fire, he gives us an interesting picture of the burned district 
and the use to which it was put. He says: — 

Thus, a great portion of what was then New York was left for 
years a mass of black unsightly rubbish. ... The walls and 
chimneys left by the first mentioned fire served the lowest fol- 
lowers of the army for shelter, by the aid of refuse boards, half 
burned beams, poles and pieces of sail cloth, and the filthy con- 
gregation of vile materials, went by the name of Canvass-town. 
This place of refuge for drunkenness, prostitution and violence, 
was the resort of the sailors from the ships in the harbour, of ne- 
groes who fled from the neighboring provinces, and others brought 
from the south by the troops in their southern expeditions. Can- 
vass-town was the Wapping, the St. Giles and the Five Points 
of the desolated, garrisoned city. 

There existed no brick houses beyond St. Paul's Chapel, ex- 
cept two two-story buildings since enlarged to three stories: be- 
yond to the north were wooden houses, inhabited by those who 
were allied in theory and practice to the inmates of Canvass- 
town, excepting two public houses, one having a billiard table in 
its front apartments, and behind it the Five Alley made notorious, 
not to say famous, as the daily resort of Sir Henry Clinton and 
his cortege. The Commander-in-Chief we presume, after the 
hour of morning business, was seen galloping from his headquar- 
ters near the fort up Broadway, to his five-alley, and after exer- 
cising there, he again mounted and galloped like a sportsman at 
a fox-chase, out of town and in again, followed at full speed by 
his aides and favorites. 

At the beginning of the Revolution the First Congress had 
laid a heavy hand upon the frivolity of the towns. Dancing 
and gaming were taboo, and the theaters were specially legis- 
lated out of business. With the occupation by the British all 
this changed. The ballroom at the City Tavern and the 
theater in John Street came into their own again. The young 
officers of the army soon formed themselves into a dramatic 
company, of which Dr. Beaumont, Surgeon-General of the Brit- 
ish army, was the first manager and the principal low come- 
dian. The theater was renamed the "Theater Royal." Captain 
Oliver De Lancey, of the Seventeenth Dragoons, and Major 



The story of 

Congress laid a 
heavy hand on 


Major Andre 
painted the 

Tickets at the 
sign of the Bible 
and Crown 

The Jumel Mansion 

The Morris 
farm changes 

Andre painted the scenery, assisted by Mr. Thomas Barron, 
who had been a coach painter. Major Williams was the hero 
of tragedy, and Captain Bradden, of the Fifteenth Foot, Lieu- 
tenant Pennefeather, Captain Phipps, and Captain Stanley 
were favorites among the actors. The young gentlemen of the 
army took the female parts at first, and actresses were found 
afterwards, for the theater was regularly established and con- 
tinued to give performances during the winter season as long as 
the British occupied the city. The receipts beyond the runnmg 
expenses were devoted to charity, and the music was furnished, 
at one period, by fourteen musicians selected from the mili- 
tary bands, who were paid a dollar a night. Tickets were to be 
had at Hugh Gaine's, at the sign of the Bible and Crown. 

The peace that followed the British occupation of the house 
saw the hasty departure of the Morris and Philipse families 
and the speedy confiscation of their estates. The Morris farm 
at the time of the Revolution contained one hundred and fif- 
teen acres. After peace was declared, the Commissioners of 
Forfeiture, Messrs. Isaac Stoutenburgh and Philip Van Cort- 
landt, sold it on the 9th of July, 1784, to John Berrian and 
Isaac Ledyard for the sum of twenty-two hundred and fifty 
pounds. On August 15, 1791, the executors of John Berrian 
sold his one half to Anthony L. Bleecker for one thousand 
pounds. In the same year the one half belonging to Isaac 
Ledyard passed to Theodore Hopkins and Michael Joy. 
Neither the method of transfer nor the consideration paid is 
mentioned in the records of the New York Historical Society. 
On February i, 1792, Hopkins and Joy sold their one half of 
the Morris farm to Anthony L. Bleecker for one thousand 
pounds, which returned the title to America and made An- 
thony Bleecker the sole owner of the farm. A few years later, 
however (the time and the consideration not mentioned), he 
sold to one William Kenyon. On August 29, 1799, William 
Kenyon, in turn, sold the farm to Leonard Parkinson, the 
price indicating that the whole property had been passing 
from hand to hand and that the Morris farm was still intact 
in the last year of the eighteenth century. In the sale to Park- 
inson the title had again crossed the sea. 

The Philipse manor was confiscated and sold with the 


The British Period 

Moms property. The two families having returned to England, 
It was finally held by the English courts that the act of attain- 
der for treason against the elders would not bar their children 
from inheriting. This decision was so far accepted in America 
as to render doubtful all the titles on manor property which 
embraced farms, villages, and towns. In this peculiar situa- 
tion, John Jacob Astor saw a golden opportunity. In 1809 
he bought the rights of the heirs, with legal power to transfer, 
for twenty thousand pounds, for which the State of New York, 
in 1828, paid him a half-million dollars. 

From the close of the Revolution to the purchase of the 
property by Stephen Jumel, the old house, for a period of 
nearly thirty years, was by turns tavern with swinging sign 
and humble farmhouse. In 1787, it was Calumet Hall, a 
roadhouse kept by one Tahnage Hall, where the stages from 
New York to Albany made their first stop to change horses. 

In 1786, the Legislature granted to Isaac Wyck, Talmage 
Hall, and John Kenney, all Columbia County men, the ex- 
clusive right "to set up and carry on, and drive stage waggons" 
between New York and Albany, on the east side of the river, 
for a period often years, forbidding all opposition to them under 
penalty of two hundred pounds. 

The first advertisement of the Albany stages appears in 
the "New York Journal and Weekly Register" on April 26, 
1787, headed with a woodcut of a canvas-covered wagon and 
four horses. The first stage started at four o'clock on the 
morning of April 16, from Talmage Hall's tavern, at 49 Cort- 
landt Street, which was the starting-point for all the stages 
leaving New York for Boston, Philadelphia, and Albany, 
and for New Rochelle, by a short route of which Talmage Hall 
was the proprietor. 

The first directory of the city of New York was published 
in 1786 and contained some eighteen hundred names. Here 
follows the first entry under 

Hall, innkeeper, Haerlem Heights. 

It is probable that this first directory came out late in the 
year, and that Talmage Hall had secured the Roger Morris 



fohn Jacob Astor 
saw a golden 

Calumet Hall 

The Albany 

First directory 
of Neva York 


The Jumel Mansion 

That very 
pleasant Seat 

General Wash- 
ington's dinner 

His guests 

house for the first tavern on his new stage route to Albany, in 
time to make the announcement in the new directory. At 
that time the house was owned by John Berrian and Isaac 
Ledyard, who had bought it from the Commissioners of For- 
feiture in 1784. 

The new venture, or some other cause, brought financial 
ruin to Talmage Hall, who sold his tavern at 49 Cortlandt 
Street in December, 1787, and made an assignment in favor 
of his creditors. He may have gone then to his inn on Harlem 
Heights, but if he did his occupation was a short one, for in 
June, 1788, there appeared in the "New York Packet," and 
continued until August 12, the following advertisement: — 

To be sold or let, that very pleasant Seat, late the property of 
Roger Morris, Esq., situated on Haerlem Heights, containing up- 
wards of 130 acres of meadow and arrable land, the mansion 
house and outbuildings are perhaps not exceeded in this state 
for elegance and spaciousness, and the prospect from the house 
is the most commanding on the island: the garden contains a 
large collection of the best fruit trees, for terms apply to Michael 
Joy, Hannover Square or Cornelius Bogart, No 42 Beekman 

On the loth of July, 1790, when Washington was President, 
he gave a dinner in the old house to the ladies and gentlemen 
of his republican court, from which Mrs. Washington seems 
to have been absent. In his diary of that date he says: — 

Having formed a party consisting of the Vice President, his 
lady, son and Miss Smith, the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and 
War, and the ladies of the two latter, with all the gentlemen of 
my family, Mrs. Lear and the two children, we visited the old 
position of Fort Washington, and afterwards dined on a dinner 

grovided by a Mr. Marriner at the house, lately Colonel Roger 
lorris', but confiscated, and now in the possession of a common 

John and Abigail Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Mrs. 
Hamilton, Henry Knox, Mrs. Knox, "and all the gentlemen 
of my family," with the other two guests whom he calls by 
name, must have made a very stately party at table m the 
great parlor and afterwards walking through the halls and 
over the lawns. Mrs. Lear was the wife of that faithful Tobias 
Lear, manager of the Mount Vernon estate. Even the caterer 
was a noted patriot of whale-boat fame, who kept the Ferry 


The British Period 


House Tavern on Harlem Lane, a place quite famous for its 
cooking in the years that followed the Revolution. 

State dinners were served in those days at half-past two 
or three o'clock in the afternoon, and in the twilight of the long 
summer evening the gay procession of coaches, chaises, and 
chairs must have made its way back to New York, then the 
seat of the Federal Government. 

State dinners at 
three o'clock 


Xhe baby girl 
■whose existence 
was mentioned 

Providence was 
a village of less 
than three thou- 
sand inhabitants 




THROUGH the years of the Revolution the baby 
girl, whose existence was mentioned in the third 
chapter of this history as destined at some day to 
be the mistress of the Roger Morris house, was 
growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, very much as a 
sturdy weed grows in a neglected garden. Her story, which 
is stranger than the strangest romance, may well begin, like 
the novels of Fielding and Smollett, before the birth of the 

Her name was Eliza Bowen, "Betsy" for short, and her 
parents were John Bowen and Phebe Kelley. It is not known 
that they were married, and it is not likely that a roving sailor 
and a girl of the street would bother themselves with any civil 
or religious ceremony to sanction their marital relations, as- 
sumed in this case after the girl was already an unmarried 

In 1769 Providence was a village of less than three thou- 
sand inhabitants, and Phebe Kelley was twelve years old. 
On the 27th day of that year the Town Council of Providence 
made the following record: — 

Phebe Kelley, being brought before the Council for coming 
into the town without gaining a legal settlement . . . says that 
she was the daughter of John Kelley, late of Taunton, in the Prov- 
ince of Mass. Bay, born in Taunton, and about nine years agone 
she removed to this town to live with her sister that married 
Timothy Rind. Whereupon it is voted that the said Phebe Kelley 
be, and is hereby rejected from being an inhabitant of this town. 

So Phebe Kelley left Providence, probably returning to 
Taunton, and the next year, when she was thirteen years old, 
she gave birth to an illegitimate child. This fatherless and 


Betsy Bowen 


unwelcome infant was a son, who seems to have taken the sur- 
name of the man to whom, if there was any ceremony, his 
mother was married in the following year. So we find the va- 
grant girl, Phebe Kelley, at the age of fourteen, the wife of 
John Bowen and the mother of John Thomas Bowen. 

John Bowen, the husband, was a "foreigner and a seafaring 
man," and that is about all of his history that has come down 
to us. It is probable that he was a sailor who went away on 
long voyages and came home unexpectedly at long intervals. 
The family may have had a home and may have led a respect- 
able and moral life in Providence during the next four years. 
There is no evidence to the contrary, and within that period 
two daughters were bom, Polly in 1773 and Betsy in 1775. Her 
mother was only eighteen at the birth of her third child, Betsy, 
and her sailor husband, mostly absent on his long voyages, 
left his young wife to shift for herself and take care of her 
children as best she could. In the struggle, if any struggle 
really took place, she seems to have fallen back into evil ways, 
of which the court records of Providence furnish abundant 

On a certain Monday night in the month of July, 1782, 
when Betsy was seven years old, the house in which she lived 
with her mother was torn down by a mob. The house was 
known as the "Old Gaol-House," and its mistress was a col- 
ored woman, Margaret Bowles by name and sometimes 
called Margaret Fairchild, after the name of her former mas- 
ter. Major Fairchild. The war of the Revolution had been 
fought and won, setting the slaves free in all the Northern 
States, and Margaret had been free for four years. If the duck- 
ing-stool had still been in use in New England, Margaret would 
have been a fit subject. 

On the morning after the destruction of her house, Margaret 
was brought before the Town Council of Providence to give 
an account of herself and the names of her associates. She 
stated that at the time the house was pulled down by the 
mob, there were with her, lodging in the house, Phebe Bowen 
and her daughter Betsy, another, white woman in company 
with the said Phebe Bowen, called "Debby," and there were 
other inmates whom it is not necessary to enumerate. 


A ^'■foreigner 
and a seafaring 


The ^<- Old Gaol- 

A fit subject for 
the ducking-stool 


The Jumel Mansion 

A commendable 
effort on the part 
ofihe town 

Statement of 
Phebe Bowen 

Fixes the age of 
Madame Jumel 

Three years later, in 1785, Phebe Bowen again appears be- 
fore the Town Council of Providence. Together with Patience 
Ingraham she is arraigned for keeping a disorderly house and 
the two offenders are lodged in the "Gaol" and their children 
are sent to the work house. This was a very commendable effort 
on the part of the town authorities to rescue five unfortunate 
girls from their vicious surroundings. 

By the record: — 

June 27th, 1785, Sally Ingraham, Susannah Ingraham, and Jane 
Ingraham, Betsy Bowen and Polly Bowen sent to the workhouse. 

July 17th, 1785. Susannah Ingraham discharged to Mrs. 
Soule wife of Capt. Wm. Soule; [and July 12th] Sally Ingraham 
discharged to Rev. Thomas F. Oliver. 

July 20th, 1785, Polly Bowen and Betsy Bowen discharged from 
the work-house. 

If they were then placed in respectable families there is no 
record of it, but two years later, in 1787, they were so placed. 
On the I St of January of that year, Phebe Bowen, again brought 
before the Town Council of Providence, says that she is in 
her thirtieth year and that she has three children; namely, 
John, about seventeen years old, apprenticed to Asa Hopkins; 
Polly, aged fourteen, living at Henry Wyatt's; and Betsy, 
aged twelve years, living with Samuel Allen, all born in Provi- 
dence; that her husband has been "sometime dead" — all 
of which she signs with "her Mark." 

This statement of Phebe Bowen, made to the Town Coun- 
cil of Providence in 1787, in which she states the ages of her 
children, is important because it fixes the birth-year of her 
daughter, Betsy, afterwards known as Madame Jumel. If 
she was twelve years old in 1787, she must have been bom in 
1775, and was therefore ninety years old at the time of her 
death instead of eighty-eight. If this erring mother had any 
disposition to misrepresent the ages of her daughters, it would 
be to make them younger than they were and not older. It 
must be conceded that she knew the ages of her children, and 
the ages she gave on the several occasions when she was haled 
into court agree each with the other. 

Somewhere in the vital statistics of Providence it is re- 
corded, "John Bowen, a sailor, drowned in the harbor of New- 

Betsy Bowen 


port, May 18, 1786"; and it elsewhere appeared that he was 
knocked overboard by the boom of the sloop or schooner on 
which he was sailing. 

On the 26th of December, 1787, eighteen months after the 
death of her husband, Phebe Bowen became a mother again, 
this time of a daughter, Lavinia, afterwards known as Lavinia 
Ballou, which was probably the name of the father of this 
child that came into the world as the half-sister of Betsy and 
Polly, We hear little more of the girls until after their mother's 
second marriage, which took place in 1790. The vagrant life 
of phebe for several years before that event was of such a char- 
acter that she could have provided no home for her daughters. 
When she was not an inmate of the workhouse, she was living 
with some man as degraded as herself. 

Jonathan Clarke, whom she married in March, 1790, had 
been a Revolutionary soldier, but like many another patriot, 
he had drifted into dissolute ways and was leading a vagrant 
and shiftless life. 

On the 17th of May, 1790, two months after this marriage, 
he appeared before the Town Council, a vagrant. 

Jonathan Clarke, being again before the Council for examina- 
tion, saith, that since his former examination before the Council, 
which was on the first day of March last past, he was married to 
Phebe Bowen, widow of John Bowen, late of this town, mariner, 
dec'd, and that on the right of his real estate in Boston he voted 
there in town meeting and never owned a real elsewhere. 

It is therefore resolved that the said Jonathan Clarke, and his 
said wife Phebe, be, and they are hereby rejected from being in- 
habitants of this town, and this Council do adjudge the town of 
Boston, aforesaid, to be the place of the last legal settlement of 
the said Jonathan Clarke and his said wife. 

Whether this unfortunate bride and groom were together 
before the Town Council, or whether Phebe tarried in the jail 
while Jonathan appeared alone before that assemblage of 
grave city fathers, does not appear from the record, but it is 
clear that the newly wed remained in the jail after the hearing 
before the Town Council. They were not released and trusted 
to walk out of Providence with their bedding and bundles 
on their backs, but the following directions were sent to the 

jailor: — 


Phebe Bowen 
became a mother 

"Jonathan Clarke 
had been a revo- 
lutionary soldier 

This unfortunate 
bride and groom 


The Jumel Mansion 

Directions to the 
keeper of the gaol 
in Providence 

The hut on the 
Old Warren 

Little David 

Resolved that the keeper of the gaol in Providence be requested 
to keep Jonathan Clarke and his wife Phebe in custody till the 
town sergeant can remove thena at the expense of the town. 

Jonathan Clarke was a widower, and of the seven children 
of his first marriage only one, a daughter, remained with him 
at the time of this second venture in the field of matrimony. 
Polly Bowen, the elder sister of Betsy, was not with her 
mother in the year of this marriage, so that the new family 
consisted of Jonathan Clarke and Phebe Kelley Bowen Clarke, 
his wife, and a daughter of each of the two high contracting 
parties. Betsy Bowen was now fifteen years of age, and Polly 
Clarke, her step-sister, was probably a little younger. 

For several years after their expulsion from Providence the 
family seems to have made a home not very far from town, on 
what was called the "Old Warren Road." It must have been a 
very poor home, for the mother, no longer young and attractive, 
was remembered by the older residents of Providence as com- 
ing into town selling "yerbs and greens from a little hand 
cart." It was not vegetables or flowers she brought to market, 
or any other fruit of forethought and industry, but healing 
herbs from the woods and fields, and greens gathered from the 
roadsides and water-courses. They could come into town to 
peddle, but not to live, lest they become a charge upon the 
town. The penalty of the whipping post hung over them and 
the winters must have been hard in the hut out on the Old 
Warren Road. 

David Hull, as a very small boy, remembered driving out 
with his father on the Old Warren Road, and remembered the 
hut in which the Clarke family lived. The elder Hull was a 
baker and a kind-hearted and charitable one too, for the bake- 
wagon always stopped at the hut and gave the poor people 
some bread. While his father talked with Phebe, the girls 
talked with him because he was little. His father must have 
addressed the woman familiarly as "Aunt Phebe," for little 
David thought at the time that she was his real aunt and used 
to call her so. 

In those days Major Reuben Ballou, a butcher by trade, and 
his wife Freelove, a sort of doctress and midwife and otherwise 
of a shady reputation, lived in Providence, at 95 Charles Street. 


Betsy Bowen 

It was then called Mill Street. The house was old at that early 
day, and low, with a gambrel roof, and occupied nearly all the 
space between the street and the canal behind it. It was next 
door to the dyehouse. It was not a house of industry, where 
the hum of the spinning-wheel was heard through the open 
door, and where yellow strings of quartered apples hung in 
festoons on the south wall drying in the sun. It was just "Old 
Mother Ballou's," where the canal drivers, as they came along 
the tow-path, stopped for a drink, and where the tallow dips 
burned late into the night, casting a red light through the 
cracks in the curtains when the neighbors in the other houses 
were asleep. There was the odor of the dyehouse on one side 
and the reek of the canal behind this house, but there were 
flowers that bloomed by the doorstep and vines that clam- 
bered over the lintel. 

Phebe Bowen's daughters left her, as they grew into young 
womanhood, to vend their charms in another market, naturally 
drifting into the life in which they had been reared. Freelove 
Ballou was a friend of the Bowen girls. Polly was twenty be- 
fore the family left the hut on the Old Warren Road and Betsy 
was two years younger. Betsy Bowen had the reputation of 
being the handsomest girl in Providence. There was not much 
of Providence at that time, and what there was lay on a steep 
side hill and along the base of the hill, on ground that bordered 
the salt marsh on which the modern city has been built. College 
Street climbed up the hill to the infant university, and Benefit i 
Street clung to the side of the hill high above Main Street and 
Mill Street and the Market Square. The Golden Ball Inn, 
where Washington and Lafayette had been entertained, looked 
down from Benefit Street on the humbler streets below. 

In 1794 Jonathan Clarke and Phebe still lived out on the Old 
Warren Road. Little David Hull's father and mother had been 
taken from him by the epidemic of cholera that swept over 
Providence. David was now a little lad six or seven years old, 
and had gone to live with Mr. Weeden, another baker, whose 
shop was around the corner from Mill Street. Part of David's 
duty each morning was to deliver bread and water crackers at 
several houses in Mill Street, and one of these was the house 
of Freelove Ballou. There on his rounds he sometimes saw 



It was not a house 

Freelove Ballou 

The Golden Ball 

David Hull's 
father and 


She used to give 
him coppers 

David Hull 
meets George 

The King 
Henry Book 

The Jumel Mansion 

Betsy Bowen, his old acquaintance of the Old Warren Road, 
or he met her in the street. She had not forgotten the boy 
and she used to give him "coppers," which is what pennies 
were called in those days. She was of a generous nature as a 
girl and was fond of children, and possibly, when she gave 
"coppers," she may have had some vision of, or rather some 
hope for, better days when she could give more lavishly. 

It was in 1794 that handsome Betsy Bowen was brought to 
bed of a son in the old gambrel-roofed house by the canal, on 
Mill Street. Freelove Ballou was doctor and trained nurse in 
charge of mother and infant, and she may have known who the 
father was. One morning, when David Hull was on his rounds 
in MHI Street, delivering water crackers, Betsy heard his voice 
in the house and called him into her room. She was sitting up 
in bed, and she asked him if he did not want to see her little 
fat baby, and at the same time she held up the infant for in- 

So it happened that David Hull was one of the first persons 
in Providence to meet George Washington Bowen, who for 
ninety years was a resident of Providence, and for the last fifty 
of those years, owing to the mystery of his birth, was the most 
noted figure on the streets of Providence. 

The child was bom at a time when everything was Washing- 
ton : when men had Washington's portrait painted on their snuff- 
boxes, and his head cut intaglio on their cornelian fobs for 
seals; when his picture was in every house and his name on 
every tongue ; and it is not strange that the child was named 
after the Father of his Country. Whether the name was the 
choice of the mother, or was given by Reuben Ballou, after she 
abandoned the child, will never be known. 

There was no family Bible in the Ballou household, but 
Reuben Ballou found a substitute, in which to make a record 
of the birth that had taken place under his roof. He was the 
owner of a rare old book whose title-page is worth preserving. 

First Part of the Life and Raigne of King Henrie the IIII 
extended to the End of the First Year of his Raigne. Written 
by J. Howard. Imprinted at London by John Wolfe and am to 
be sold at his shop in Pope's Head Alley near to the exchange. 



The Golden Ball Inn, Providence 

Betsy Bowen 


In this old leather-bound tome, thumbed and dog-eared by 
two hundred years of handling, Reuben Ballou wrote the fol- 
lowing record: — 

George Washington Bowen, born of Eliza Bowen, at my house 
in town, Providence, R.I., this 9th October 1794. 

(signed) Reuben Ballou. 

It was the birth of her child, in the case of Betsy Bowen, 
which, instead of working the ruin of a young girl's life, 
operated as a rescue from the career that she had drifted into. 
A few weeks later she left her child with Mother Ballou and 
left Providence, too, never to come back except by stealth or 
in after years as a distinguished visitor to her native town. 
Reuben Ballou had a son, William Ballou, whose daughter, 
Lavinia, had recently been married, and it was in company 
with her that Betsy Bowen made her departure from Provi- 
dence for New York. It was David Hull who saw the girls 
board the packet for New York. 

After Betsy left Providence, Polly Bowen was seen for a few 
years on the streets, and she died in the winter of 1797 at the 
house of Solomon Angel in North Providence. It was not a 
reputable house or a very prosperous one, for Solomon Angel 
had to make a rude coffin for this unfortunate girl of twenty- 

It is not certain that Phebe Bowen Clarke was living on the 
Old Warren Road when her grandson was bom, for at about 
that time the Clarke family removed to Rutland in Massa- 
chusetts, where they lived in 1795-96-97. The following extract 
is from "Picturesque Rutland": — 

No persons who live in Rutland had a more romantic and 
eventful life than did Betsy Bowen, who with her sister Polly, 
mother Phebe and step-father Jonathan Clarke, lived for nearly 
three years in a "dug-out" about where the gate to "Goosehill" 
cemetery, New Boston, now stands. The family were driven 
from "pillar to post" by town authorities lest they become public 

There must be an error in the claim that Betsy Bowen was 
with the others in Rutland. It is inconceivable that, after the 
birth of her son and her taste of life in New York, she went 
back to life in a hovel or dugout. Jonathan Clarke had other 


The record in the 
King Henry book 

Betsy Bowen 
leaves Provi- 

The Clarke 
family removes 
to Rutland 


The Jumel Mansion 

What happened 
in the mountains 
of North CarB- 

The plaintiffs 
were conveni- 
ently dead 

children, who may have been with him, and the people of 
Rutland were never interested in the family in the dugout until 
a generation afterwards, when Betsy Bowen had become a rich 
and talked-of woman. 

A few words will complete the story of Phebe, the mother of 
Madame Jumel, and her husband, Jonathan Clarke. In 1797 
they left Rutland and returned to Providence, where they were 
shortly arrested and thrown into jail. The penalty for coming 
back, after a formal expulsion as undesirables, was the whipping 
post, but the city fathers were kind-hearted and gave them 
three hours to leave town. By some means they were enabled 
to make, for them, a formidable journey. From Providence 
they departed for the mountains of North Carolina. In May, 
Jonathan Clarke paid a month's house rent at Williamton, 
North Carolina, as shown by the following receipt: — 

Williamton May loth 1798. 
Received from Jonathan Clarke three dollars and thirty-3 cents 
for one months house rent to this day. his 

Edward X Griffin 

Perhaps they were not wanted in Williamton, or perhaps 
they got mixed up in some mountain feud. In September of 
that year, according to the local court docket, Jonathan Cla^e 
and Phebe, his wife, brought suit against one Stephen Fagan. 
The suit went against them, but was entered again for trial 
at the December term of the court at Williamton, and on the 
court docket for December, 1798, is the following official 
entry: — 

Abated by the death of the plaintiffs. 

Only three months had passed since the trial in September, 
but when court term came again, Jonathan Clark and Phebe, 
his wife were conveniently dead, as sometimes happens, in the 
mountain settlements, to troublesome plaintiffs. 





FROM the day in 1794, when Betsy Bowen left her in- 
fant son with the Balious in Charles Street, Providence, 
and boarded the packet, bound for New York, until 
she is settled as the mistress of Stephen Jumel in his 
house at 28 Whitehall Street, about 1800, her life is shrouded 
in mystery. Scarcely a ray of informing light penetrates the 
darkness of this period of six years, between the time that 
Betsy Bowen was nineteen and that at which she had attained 
the age of twenty-five years. 

Madame Jumel lived her life under five names, to three of 
which she was entitled. She was successively Betsy Bowen, 
Madame de la Croix, Eliza Brown, Madame Jumel, and 
Madame Burr. The second name is that under which her 
portrait was executed by Saint-Memin in 1797, when she was 
twenty-two years of age. The persistent story that she was the 
wife or mistress of one Captain de la Croix is thus established. 
The fact that after leaving De la Croix she assumed the new 
name of Eliza Brown, would indicate that she was never his 
wife. Captain de la Croix was probably the master of a ship 
plying between New York and some port in -France. We have 
evidence that Betsy Bowen had been in France before she met 
Jumel. It was a great distinction, at that early period, for an 
American girl to have been abroad, and it would seem that she 
made one or more voyages on De la Croix's ship, which must 
have been in the port of New York at some time in 1797 when 
the portrait was made. 

This portrait, however, whidi is No. 715 in the collection of 
Saint-Memin's profile portraits in the print-room of the New 
York Public Library, is claimed to be that of Madame Marie 
Delacroix, the wife of Jacques Delacroix, who was the proprietor 


She lived her life 
under five names 

The Saint- 
Memin's portrait 


The Jumel Mansion 

Saint- Mem'trCs 
portraits at 
thirty dollars 

<■<■ Mde, de la 
Croix. /7P7 ' 

Madame Jumel 
at the Golden 
Ball Inn 

of the Vauxhall Garden, and whose name was the nearest 
approach to De la Croix to be found in the little New York 
directories of that period. Madame Delacroix, who is said to 
have introduced ice cream into New York, was a woman of at 
least forty years of age and the mother of two grown-up 
daughters, and certainly not the young girl of the portrait; 
besides, its resemblance to the portrait of Madame Jumel, by 
Alcide Ercole, is unmistakable. 

Saint-Memin's method in portraiture was unique. He first 
made a profile head, life-size, in crayon, then, by a device of his 
own, he made a mechanical reduction of his drawing to the size 
he wished to engrave it. It was outside the circumference of 
this second drawing that he always wrote, with a quill pen, the 
name of his sitter. After the plate was engraved, M, Saint- 
Memin delivered the life-sized crayon, framed, the copper 
plate, and twelve proofs for thirty dollars. The second crayon, 
about two and one eighth inches in diameter, he retained, and 
on the rim of this particular head he wrote, "Mde. de la Croix. 

It should be stated that these drawings were brought to this 
country and reproduced and published in 1862, with a biog- 
raphy of each sitter. At so late a date such an attempt at 
biography was extremely difficult and certainly involved some 
mistakes in identity. The portrait of William Augustine 
Washington is named in the biography as that of Bushrod 

Betsy Bowen, under whatever name she bore, was an 
acknowledged beauty of that time, and she could hardly have 
escaped the pencil of Saint-Memin. It is probable that a por- 
tion of the six years of mystery was passed in Paris. 

Mrs. Catherine R. Williams, of Providence, author of a 
number of Revolutionary biographies, who remembered Betsy 
Bowen as a child, met Madame Jumel at the house of Colonel 
McCumber in Brooklsm about 1806. Madame Jumel made 
some remarks about Paris. After she left, Mrs. McCumber told 
Mrs. Williams that Madame Jumel had been in France. 

About the year 1808, Madame Jumel went to Providence to 
attend a funeral. She stopped at the famous Golden Ball Inn, 
on Benefit Street. It is evident that champagne, as a beverage. 


Madame de la Croix 

{Betsy Boiiien) 

^^C^otoc. ,,^ 

Madame Jumel 


was not unknown in Providence, for on the evening of her 
arrival she appeared on the piazza of the Golden Ball to ad- 
dress the crowd that had evidently gathered because the news 
had spread through town that " Betsy Bowen, that married the 
Frenchman," was there. The crowd was largely made up of 
boys who had known her in Providence, and among them was 
her old friend, David Hull. Her appearance was greeted with 
hoots and cat-calls, so that little could be heard of what she 
said, but she made it understood that she had been in France 
and that she had been presented at the French Court. 

In the famous trial of Bowen vs. Chase in 1873, a witness was 
brought into court to testify that Betsy Bowen had been the 
mistress of a sea captain sailing out of New York, but he was 
not allowed to give evidence, and the foregoing is the sum of all 
that is known of the career of Betsy Bowen or Eliza Brown, 
between 1794 and 1800. When she came to Jumel, she was no 
longer the raw country girl, Providence bred, and may very 
likely have attracted him with some taking French ways and a 
smattering of the language that was his own. 

Whatever other names she may have borne in that checkered 
interim, she seems to have returned to her maiden name, with 
aslight variation, when she became interested m Stephen Jumel. 
Eliza Brown was a plain name, but convenient to separate her 
from her career in Providence, and from her unfortunate family 
history. In 1800, M. Jumel was one of the richest merchants 
in New York, a Frenchman and a bachelor. He had come to 
New York from the Island of Santo Domingo about 1795, 
driven out by the rebellion of Toussaint I'Ouverture, his for- 
tune shattered, but with enough of commercial investment in 
the port of New York to start him in business again, which re- 
sulted in a new and greater prosperity. His relatives were all 
in France, he apparently cared little for local prejudice, and 
with the natural instinct of an independent Frenchman, he set 
up a mistress at the head of his bachelor establishment. This 
was a bold step to take in a small, church-going American city, 
in that decidedly straight-laced period. Stephen Jumel was not 
a man to do things by halves, and, perhaps, the greatest offense 
to society was when he provided for his favorite a carriage and 
horses that, in the elegance of their appointments, vied with the 


" Betsy Bowen, 
that married the 
Frenchman " 

Not allowed to 

Stephen Jumel 


The "Jumel house 
in Whitehall 
Street • 

The Jumel 

The Jumel ship. 

The Jumel Mansion 

equipages of the most aristocratic families in the city. And the 
beautiful Eliza Brown was not backward in the race to outdo 
all competitors in extravagance and display. 

The house of Stephen Jumel was on the northwest comer of 
Whitehall and Pearl Streets, a yellow, double brick house, of 
two stories, with dormer windows on the roof, in the style of 
that period. Peter Kemble lived at No. 17 Whitehall Street, 
nearly opposite to Stephen Jumel. This was then one of the 
fashionable residence sections of the' city, and had, probably, 
lost none of its aristocratic standing since Roger Morris had 
built his town house in it fifty years before. It is a coin- 
cidence worth noting that the two famous mistresses of the 
mansion, Mary Philipse and Madame Jumel, went to the house 
on Washington Heights from Whitehall Street. 

Young William Kemble remembered the Jumel carriage, 
which he often saw standing before their door, and he saw 
Madame Jumel occasionally riding in it. "Carriages," he said, 
"were by no means as numerous at that time as at present, but 
my father, Mr. LeRoy, and General Clarkson and some others 
in the neighborhood kept their carriages." 

The relations of Stephen Jumel and Eliza Brown may have 
considerably antedated 1800. Anthony B. Fountain fixed the 
date as 1800 when he saw the brand-new carriage and the hand- 
some horses drawn up in front of the Jumel house in Whitehall 
Street. The carriage he thought was the finest he had seen in 
the city, and was made by Abraham Quick, of Broad Street, a 
famous carriage-maker at that time. He had noticed the lady 
as he passed on his way to school, as he expressed it, "sitting in 
the window to show herself," and when he stopped to admire 
the beautiful turn-out she came out on the steps and told him 
that it was a present to her from M. Jumel. Besides being 
generous, M. Jumel was not without sentiment, for he had at 
that time two ships plying between New York and Bordeaux, a 
brig and a bark. The brig was named "The Stephen" and the 
bark "The Eliza." 

After some four years of this flaunting of irregular relations 
in the face of society, which was indignant in its disapproval, 
M, Jumel suddenly married his mistress. It was not his inten- 
tion to make any such concession to the prejudice of his neigh- 

Madame Jumel 


bors, or indeed to marry at all. He seems to have been tricked 

into the marriage by a clever ruse practiced upon him by his 

mistress. There were many versions of the same story told 

at the time, which all agreed that Stephen Jumel, who had 

been absent from his home for a period, returned to find his 

beautiful mistress on her death-bed, the faithful doctor at her 

side, and even the minister at hand to administer the solace of 

religion to her departing spirit. M. Jumel was awed and grieved, 

and the conspirators (the lady and the doctor) played upon his 

credulity and his generosity. He may not have shed tears at 

this improvised death-bed scene of Eliza Brown, but he wished 

to do all he could to relieve her sufferings in this world and to 

give her a better start in the next. The woman in the bed, now 

nearly past articulation, was trying to say something, and after 

listening intently for some moments, the doctor announced 

that she wanted to say that if she could be honorably married 

she would go straight to heaven. 

M. Jumel was generous; he was overcome with grief; the 
minister was there ; and, in short, the ceremony of marriage took 
place, and the sick lady recovered so rapidly that she was up 
the next day laughing at her new husband. 

M. Jumel was a Roman Catholic, and, the civil marriage 
having been, so to speak, sprung on him, he was all the more 
desirous that the sanction of the Church and the approval of 
the world should be secured by a second ceremony, which took 
place at the old St. Patrick's Cathedral in Prince Street, on the 
9th day of April, 1804. 

Society was not appeased, however, and the newly married 
pair found themselves sternly ostracized and left much to them- 
selves. If either of them had had relatives at hand, the wealth 
of Stephen Jumel would have brought about a reconciliation 
and recognition within the family. He had brothers and sisters 
in France and Madame Jumel had relations enough, but they 
were of a class that would make matters still worse. She had 
assimied the name Eliza Brown to put her own family a little 
farther away, and no social recognition could come from that 
quarter. It is true that most of her family were dead ; her sister 
at Solomon Angel's and her mother and stepfather in North 
Carolina, the victims of a mountain feud, but there were others 


Ht seems to have 
been tricked into 
the marriage 

M. Jumel was 
generous: the 
ceremony took 

Society was not 


The Jumel Mansion 

Her relatives in 
Providence were 
not kinsfolk to be 
proud of 

New York 
society controlled 
by the old Knick- 
erbocker and 
English manorial 

M. Jumel a 
man of cultivated 
taste and an 
admirer of 

left no farther away than Providence, and they were not kins- 
folk to be proud of. In fact, they constituted a menace to her 
social aspirations that made it necessary that their existence 
should be concealed from the public, as it probably had been 
from the knowledge of Stephen Jimiel. 

For the six years in the yellow house in Whitehall Street, 
following their marriage, the Jiunels were not only neglected by 
society, but they were left to themselves, few crossing their 
threshold socially. Besides the irregularity of her unmarried 
life, there was about her that vulgarity which comes with little 
education and with the sudden elevation of the base-bom to 

New York society at that period was controlled by the old 
Knickerbocker and English manorial families, so far as they had 
not been eliminated by the Revolution, and it was a much more 
exclusive set than the " four hundred " of to-day. Besides these 
arbiters of fashion, the large middle class of citizens, which 
stood for good morals, held itself equally aloof. 

It was with such conditions that the ambition of Madame 
Jumel had to deal. Stephen Jumel had as much social recog- 
nition as he had had before his marriage, and, except for his 
wife, he probably cared for no more. It was her vaulting am- 
bition that spurred him to action. The purchase of the Roger 
Morris house, in 1810, its lavish refitting and furnishing, mak- 
ing it the most elegant and luxurious country seat in the vicin- 
ity of New York, and at the same time announcing it a munifi- 
cent gift to his wife, was a last supreme effort to force social 
recognition for her. 

We shall see how it succeeded. M. Jumel did his part well. 
He seems to have been a man of cultivated taste, as well as an 
admirer of Washington, as most Frenchmen were at that time. 
Having purchased the property, he set himself promptly about 
the restoration of the house that had been Washington's head- 
quarters. Not a sin was committed against the purity of the 
colonial interior or exterior. A sample of the old colonial paper 
in the court-martial room, made in cool green panels with a 
border of morning-glories and doves and urns, was sent to Paris 
for reproduction. The original panels, lined with buckram, had 
hung from the cornice of the great parlor for nearly fifty years 


Madame Jumel 


when Stephen Jumel came into possession, and after the re- 
production of the paper on wood blocks, it was rehung in the 
old room for another seventy years. 

In addition to a perfect restoration of the colonial house, 
everything that money could buy was added in the way of 
furniture and equipment, and the Jumels settled down in their 
sumptuous home to await results. They were not quite alone, 
for they had already adopted the little daughter of Polly Clarke, 
the stepsister of Madame Jumel, who was now a child nine 
years old, and whose presence in the house constituted a very 
cheery addition to the restricted family group. The little girl 
had taken the name of her father, and was known as Mary 
Bownes. Much as the Jumels needed a wider circle, it is not 
likely that the child's mother was ever received in the house. 

Stephen Jumel was constantly adding to his landed posses- 
sions by the purchase of adjacent farms, and the little family 
could ride in their handsome carriages over an ever-increasing 
estate, but they drove alone and no neighbors came to partake 
of their hospitality. Madame Jumel was a disappointed wo- 
man; little Mary Bownes was budding into young womanhood; 
Stephen Jumel was rich enough to give up business. It would 
be a pleasure for him to rejoin his kinsfolk in France, and it was 
not difficult for his wife to persuade him to leave America. The 
supreme effort to compel recognition by a lavish display of 
wealth had been doomed to failure from the first, and after five 
years of isolation and neglect in the great house, they left it, as 
children leave a toy of which they have grown tired, and turned 
their backs on New York to seek in Paris the social life that had 
been denied them here. 

The departure was in 1815, and they sailed away in Stephen 
Jumel's own ship, the bark Eliza, named after his wife. The 
story that Stephen Jumel went to France to offer Napoleon an 
asylum in America is not true, for the Jumels left New York 
before the battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon was again Em- 
peror of France. The Eliza was bound for Bordeaux and on 
no more royal errand than a visit to the fiimily of M. Jumel, 
living near that city. 

It seems to have been, however, a very freak of fortune that 
brought the Jumels to Paris just before Napoleon became a 


He made a per- 
fect restoration 
of the old colonial 

Madame Jumel 
was a disap- 
pointed woman 

They sailed away 
in Stephen Ju- 
mel's own ship,, 
the Eliza 


The Jumel Mansion 

Another family 
tradition claims 
that Napoleon 
gave his family 
carriage to the 

They were re- 
ceived with open 
arms by the Bon- 
apartist nobility 

M. Jumel set up 
a fashionable 
establishment at 
the Hotel deBer- 
teuil, Rue de 
Rivoli, No. 22 

prisoner to the English. It is probable that Stephen Jumel did 
offer his ship to convey the Emperor to America. Such an 
offer would be quite in keeping with the generous character of 
M. Jumel. Another of the family traditions claims that Napo- 
leon, in recognition of such an offer, gave his traveling carriage 
to the Jumels, and that in attempting to drive out of Paris, 
they were arrested at the barriere, the carriage taken from 
them by the new government, and they themselves held as 
prisoners until the American Minister came to their rescue. 

In a catalogue of the Napoleon relics, shown for charity in 
1865, at Dr. Van de Water's church in Harlem, it is stated that 
the key to Napoleon's army chest "was transmitted by him 
through General Bertrand to Madame Jumel, July 14, 1815, 
the day before his embarkation for St. Helena." Something 
must have been done by him to win the admiration and the 
enthusiasm of the French people, which at the same time 
brought this obscure merchant and his unknown wife into dis- 
tinguished prominence immediately upon their arrival in 
Paris. They were received with open arms by the Bonapartist 
nobility. It was a wonderful social triumph for a woman of the 
antecedents of Madame Jumel, and she must have exercised 
great tact and have shown a peculiar adaptability to her new 
environment. A pretty woman speaking broken French is in- 
teresting, and not so likely to display her lack of education as if 
she were speaking her own language. Jumel was rich, and the 
titled families created by Napoleon were many of them reduced 
in fortune. M. Jumel set up a fashionable establishment in 
Paris at the Hotel de Berteuil, Rue de Rivoli, No. 22, and pro- 
vided his wife with a carriage, which she often loaned to noble 
ladies who were not accustomed to walk, in response to such 
notes as the following: — 

My dear Madam Jumel : It is for tomorrow that Mama has her 
appointment with Monsieur Roy, Minister of Finance. Would you 
kindly let her have your carriage — which she won't keep long — 
if that would not inconvenience you. She would be greatly obliged 
if you would send it tomorrow morning at eleven o'clock. 

She seems to have extended her acquaintance rapidly with 
the French nobility, as shown by her early correspondence with 
Madame la Duchesse de Berry, Madame la Duchesse de 


Mortuary Letter 


£>aru-i, Ae J 1/ imiHcr iSifi. 


— s^ "-f^l^WT^w/"^ ^i>i/U(t0V' c/c S^aiii/^J^au/J , (7^iahr (/& "la 

^eawn, dhoniieur, etc., etc. 

^eur 'jnarc , /ic?'o, rret-C' <?/ veoKf-ren 



t^f(xiaa/m6 la ^oinfvpe QeuxA, fcocdobeu c)c \cc IcuietnLJ . 

^onMeur OciM\kt — oxj^ke, (scWcReo do La, xcMeuij . la 
31 mzceue: cMcptjctiHie' Cooscfcci ^ ^DuchcMe. t> caotc-iiiWa . ^^^ 

^fjonilem' cllb. (slMctx-u/^ tyltotvKccluil'clo-cain/i , ^IvonJceur 

lAcm/ruwr^e -twit.^ /aore, /iml a& la /lertc an M 'Vtenoi&Jil ,^" 

ae mtra ae cAhanJcew le Oo»ite (Ji-'i'ti C' L■il^t■■Ll <)._• Ic6 
rtcuictic^ ; ,yfl)a/recnalae'CMin/t , vUtvauc/' ac I C/rc//^ 

Madame Jumel 


Charot, M. le Comte d'Alzac. At an early period she had be- 
come intimate with Madame la Comtesse Henri Tascher de la 
Pagerie, who, on January 20, 1816, announced to M. and 
Madame Jumel the death of her husband. It was from this 
Madame de la Pagerie, a relative of the Empress Josephine, 
that she ultimately obtained the Napoleon relics, and the family 
tradition is that she lived for nine years with this titled lady. 
As the two periods of her life in Paris cover no more than seven 
years, the tradition may be interpreted to mean that Madame 
Jumel and la Comtesse lived together for a long period. Possi- 
bly la Comtesse may have been a member of the Jumel house- 
hold after the death of her husband. Such a connection would 
be very convenient to put Madame Jumel in touch with court 
circles and procure her an entree to coronation balls and other 
court functions. 

The catalogue of the loan exhibit in 1865 says, "His widow, 
who had lived for nine years in the same house in Paris with the 
Jumels, being in straitened circumstances, sold the furniture 
and jewels of Napoleon and Josephine to Monsieur and Madame 
Jumel for the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars." 

Now, the Jumels occupied three different houses ui Paris, and 
Madame la Comtesse de la Pagerie must have moved with them 
from house to house, perhaps as a member of the family, sug- 
gesting that to some extent she was dependent on them. It is 
not likely that Stephen Jumel invested twenty-five thousand 
dollars in curios in 1826, the year when Madame Jumel brought 
the Napoleonic articles to America, for he was in pecuniary dis- 
tress at that time. It is far more likely that the relics were sur- 
rendered to Madame Jumel on her departure from France to 
satisfy obligations incurred by Madame la Comtesse de la 
Pagerie during the " nine " years they had lived in Paris in 
the same house. 

Notwithstanding all the tact of this remarkable woman, such 
intoxication of social success ended in a catastrophe. Whatever 
indiscretion it was that brought about the swift separation from 
her husband, in December, 18 16, and her hasty departure from 
France, it was of such a nature as to be unfit for the ears of the 
child, Mary, who was allowed to think that her dear "Mama" 
had returned to America on account of ill-health. 


She became inti- 
mate with Ma- 
dame la Comtesse 
Henri Tascher 
de la Pagerie 

She sold the jew- 
els and furniture 
of Napoleon and 
Josephine to M. 

brought about a 
swift separation 


The Jumel Mansion 

Madame Jumel 
left Paris be- 
tween two Utters 

'■Bring me my 
lace Vandyke and 
my little Vandyke 
of muslin " 

Madame JumeV. 
reply five months 

She must have left Paris in some haste, going down to Bor- 
deaux to catch the brig Stephen or the bark Eliza, for she seems 
to have made the voyage between two letters: the letter of her 
niece, Mary, who but recently had entered the boarding-school 
of Miss Laurau, and her reply, which was written from New 
York. Mary's letter is addressed " a Madame, Madame Jumel, 
Rue de Rivoli, N° 22, Hotel de Berteuil, Paris." 

Pakis, the 8 December, 1816. 
My dear Mama: — 

As the feast of Miss Laurau will take place on Thursday next, 
we will have a concert, and the mistress told me to ask you to 
come, but I told her I thought that you would not, because you 
do not like evening rides especially so far; but as Wednesday 
will be a recreation day, it would give me great pleasure if you 
would come and see me, and to bring me my gauze frock with 
my shoes and gloves, and my lace Vandyke and my little vandyke 
of muslin, because I have none to put on; do not forget to send 
them as soon as possible. Give my love to my dear papa, and 
tell him not to forget his promise in sending for me the first time 
that the piece of Abraham is to be played, and that I wait with 
impatience for that day, for it looks so dreary in this place that 
the three last English young lady are always crying and have at 
last run away from the school, but it does not look so very dreary, 
they have only cut the tops of the trees in our garden, which 
makes it look as if they wanted petticoats. As it will be very cold 
when we have to stay up stairs changing our dress, if you would 
ask Miss Laurau to let us have a fire in my room, because these 
two or three young ladies that have permission to have fire in 
their rooms. My dear Mama, I embrace you with a thousand 
kisses. Believe me, to be your fond and dutiful daughter 

Mary Eliza Jximel. 

This letter of the "dutiful daughter," written in Paris with 
a confident expectation of a reply the next day, was received 
in New York five months from the time it was written, and 
Madame Jumel answered it from the mansion: — 

May 24th, 1817. 

My dear Mary: — 

You have heard of my arrival before this as I Wrote to your 
papa on my arrival, but the vessel departed so soon that I had no 
time to write to you and as you know I am not fond of writing 
which will be another excuse: but, believe me, my dear Mary, 
my thoughts are always of you, altho' I do not write often. My 
health is restored to me, which is a great consolation, as I know 


Madame Jumel 


it will be to you. Do not forget, for my dear Mary, the sacrifice 
I made was for your good, which I hope you will profit by it; in 
one year to finish your education and to return to your mama, 
who loves you dearly. I am engaged the present time in setting 
your room in order. It is admired by every one that see it. Your 
curtains is of blue sattain trim'ed with silver fringe, and your 
toilet the same. Altho at this distance still my thoughts is of you. 
I shall be very interested, when the day of prises arrives, to know 
how many my dear Mary has gained and for what lessons. Until 
then I remain impatiently, your affectionate mama 

Eliza Jumel. 

To which Mary replied: — 

Paris, the 6th 7bre, 1817. 
My dear Mama: — 

I received your letter by William whos' arrival I have no doubt 
you have learned before this. Papa has been to see me two or 
three times since his return from Bordeaux, and is now making 
a voyage for Italie. Madame Perry has arrived in Paris with 
the intention of putting Miss Trissier in the same school as my- 
self, and has invited me to spend the day with her tomorrow and 
you may be sure that I accept her invitation with great pleasure, 
for I have not been out for a long time, I have had so much- to 
do for the examinations. The day of prizes is at length arrived, 
& I have had two first prizes, one for history and the other for 
drawing; two accessits, one for musique & the other for writing, 
and as I am in a higher classe than I was last year I could not ex- 
pect any more. I hope you enjoy good health. As for me I am in 
perfect health. In the last letter that I wrote you I told you that 
the Ducke of Berry had a little childe. It prouved to be a little 
girl, and the poor child lived but three days. Some people says 
that it was killed by its father; but I leave that for you to judge 
yourself. Miss Skiddy wrote to me and beg'ed me to answer her 
in French, which I have done, but as I wrote her letter before 
yours I sealed it without thinking. I ask your pardon for so do- 
ing, for I had so many other things to think of. I hope you will 
excuse the bad writing for it is almost dark. I must bid you 
adieu, my dear mama. 

Believe me to be your affectionate and dutifull daughter 

Mary Eliza Jumel. 

P.S. If you would be so kind as to send me your lik'ness, it would 
give me a great deal of pleasure. 
Adieu one' more my dear mama. 

Addressed — "Mrs. Jumel, New York." 

These letters evidently passed on M, Jumel's ships and were 
delivered by the captain or the supercargo or by "William." 


'•'•I am engaged 
at the present 
time in setting 
your room in 

Mary had won 
two first prixes 
and two accessits 

These letters evi- 
dently passed on 
M.Jumel' s ships 


The Jumel Mansion 

The return of 
Madame 'Jumel 
after little mare 
than a year in 

The testimony in 
court of Henry 

The story of the 
marriage into 
which M. Jumel 
was tricked, 

Madame Jumel's letter was addressed, "Miss Mary Jumel, 
Paris," and would never have found its way, by post, to the 
Hotel Berteuil, Rue de Rivoli, No. 22. 

This return of Madame Jumel to New York, after little more 
than a year in Paris, involving the violent separation from her 
new titled friends in the court circles of France, to resume her 
solitary life in the mansion on Washington Heights, must have 
been a bitter punishment. The separation may have followed 
a quarrel with her husband, who was of a very generous and 
amiable nature, and a difficult person to start a quarrel with. 
They had a very serious quarrel in New York, before they 
sailed for France, when M. Jumel seems to have heard for the 
first time that she had a son in Providence. The quarrel was in 
the presence of a servant, Henry Nodine. If Nodine was a 
Frenchman who spoke broken English, he seems also, in his 
evidence, to have tried to imitate the speech of Stephen Jumel, 
who evidently did speak broken English. According to Nodine, 
who sadly mixes his persons in his attempt to quote M. Jiunel, 
the latter exclaimed during the quarrel: "My Eliza, you tell me 
one story. You never, never tell Mr. Jumel you had one little 
boy down in Providence. Else Mr. Jumel would not marry 
you. That Madame Jumel then admitted the truth: that she 
cursed and swore at him, and threatened to shoot him with a 
pistol that she kept and carried." 

The same witness related in court the story of the marriage 
into which M. Jumel had been tricked. "You tell Mr. Jumel 
you very sick and going to die and you want to die one married 
woman. The doctor tell Mr. Jumel marry you, you die before 
morning. Doctor tell Mr. Jumel one story too. Mr. Jumel he 
marry you. In two days you ride around town in your carriage. 
You tell Mr. Jumel one big story." 




THIS is the history of a house, and by the return of its 
clever and erratic mistress, early in 1 8 17, to take up 
her solitary abode in it, our story comes back to its 
own. Early in the following year Mary had also 
returned to the mansion, as shown in the letter of a schoolmate, 

dated — 

Paris le 13 Mai 1818 
M% DEAREST Mary: — 

You are now with your Dearest Mama looking at your pretty 
little chamber and saying, O Dear Mama, how good you are to 
have my chamber so well arranged, but now leave your room 
and read these few lines that poor Selina has traced with a trem- 
bling hand. . . . 

Until the arrival of Mary, Madame Jumel had lived in the 
mansion alone with her servants; even the loquacious Henry 
Nodine was in her service from 1817 to 1821. It was a bitter 
change for this ambitious woman. Her neighbors on the 
Heights looked with a new suspicion upon her mysterious re- 
appearance in solitary state and were colder and more distant 
than ever. She must have longed for the gay society of Paris, 
into which she had made such a successful entry, but time heals 
all wounds, and as the years passed she even took occasion to 
look up some of her Bowen kinsfolk. It will be remembered that 
she had an illegitimate half-sister, Lavinia Bowen, or Ballou, 
born at Providence between her mother's two marriages. 
Lavinia, in 18 17, was Mrs. James G. Jones, and was living in 
New York City. This sister, whom Madame Jumel had occa- 
sionally visited, had a daughter, Ann Eliza Nightingale (who 
may also have taken the name of her father), and who was 
then married to John Vandervoort. The Vandervoorts had a 
bakery in Christopher Street. Lavinia had been left a widow in 



The history re- 
turns to its own 

Madame Jumel 
lived in the 
mansion alone 
with her ser- 

The Vander- 
voorts had a 
bakery in Chris- 
topher Street 

fe ffrtiaw wi W iwttWlWO 


The Jumel Mansion 

The children at 
the bakery stood 
about the door 
and stared at the 
great lady in 
the beautiful 

Early in the year 
1820 she was 
trying to lease 
the mansion to 

1820 (while Madame Jumel was still living at the mansion), and 
seems to have gone to live with her daughter at the bakery. On 
one occasion, at least, Madame Jumel called on her poor rela- 
tions in Christopher Street. It was a state call in her carriage, 
from which she did not alight. The children at the bakery 
stood about the door and stared at the great lady in the beauti- 
ful carriage and at the restless horses, in their glittering harness, 
tossing their heads in protest against their detention in such 
humble surroundings. And then, when the beautiful carriage 
rolled* out of Christopher Street, they were too much awed by 
the great lady to run after it as they were wont to do after 
ordinary carriages. 

Shortly after that, Madame Jumel met her half-sister La- 
vinia, by appointment, t>n the Bloomingdale Road. She came 
in her carriage to the rendezvous, where Lavinia had arrived 
on foot, leading one of her grandchildren from the bakery. 
This interview of the two daughters of Phebe Kelly was be- 
tween a richly dressed lady in her carriage and a poorly clad 
woman standing on the ground, — between the daughter in the 
carriage, who at least knew who her father was, and the 
daughter in the dust of the road, who had no such knowledge. 
The sister on foot was invited to visit the mansion, but she said 
she was proud as well as poor and she would rather not come. 

These condescending visits of Madame Jumel to her humble 
relatives would hardly have been made if she had not been 
neglected and lonely at the mansion. Early in the year 1820 
she was trying to lease it, furnished, to Joseph Bonaparte, which 
indicates that she was preparing to return to France. On 
March 25, Joseph Bonaparte writes from Philadelphia: — 

Madame: — 

I am sorry for all the trouble you have taken in sending me 
the list of the furniture, and your kind offers of your beautiful 
country place, but since I have decided not to leave my estate 
in New Jersey, I can only reply by thanking you, and renewing 
my compliments. 

Joseph Bonaparte. 

Two other letters from Joseph Bonaparte, of much the same 
purport, had preceded this one. There is no record of his ever 
having been in the house, but that he had visited it is extremely 


Back in the Mansion 


probable in view of this correspondence. There is a family 
tradition that he arrived at the house one day when Madame 
Jumel was out driving, that the doors were locked, and that the 
cook invited him down into the cellar-kitchen, where she was 
cooking pork and cabbage, and that this unknown visitor, the 
former King of Spain, partook of a plain New England dinner 
while he waited for the return of the mistress of the house. 

In 1 821, Madame Jumel left the mansion and returned to 
Paris, and whatever the circumstances of the reconciliation may 
have been, the little family of three was rexmited in the luxuri- 
ous home of Stephen Jumel, then at Place Vendome, No. 16. 
Whether Mary, now a young lady of twenty, had remained con- 
tinuously at the mansion, or whether she had been part of the 
time with M. Jumel, does not appear. There is abundant evi- 
dence in French letters of that period that Madame Jumel 
promptly resumed her cordial relations with the titled and dis- 
tinguished Parisian families whose acquaintance she had made 
in 1815 and 1816. 

The Baron and Baroness of Agrilly beg Monsieur and Madame 
Jumel and Miss Mary to do them the honor of spending the eve- 
ning with them on Wednesday the 12th of March, at six o'clock. 

The Countess Loyaute de Loyaute begs Madame Jumel and 
Mademoiselle her niece to do her the honor of spending the even- 
ing with her Thursday the third of February. 

The Countess of Hautpoul makes an appeal for charity to 
Madame Jumel in the interest of a poor woman, who was the 
wife of the court saddler, ruined by the Revolution. 

Rosalie Pinel writes: — 

I have the promise of two tickets for six o'clock, for you and 
Miss Mary, and besides that, a cavalier whom you will find most 
agreeable and who will be delighted to accompany you. He is 
Mons. the General Controller. He will be in uniform. 

From Adele : — 

We have just learned, Madame, that the King will go Tuesday 
to the Grand Opera, Richelieu Street. I hasten to tell you of it, 
because the boxes are very quickly sold out as soon as this news 
is known in Society. ... It is necessary to engage a box at once, 
— I beg Mr. Jumel to do the favor himself and I have the honor 
to remind him that the King, at present, does not go to the fine 


The former King 
of Spain partakes 
of a plain New 
England dinner 
of pork and 

Baronesses and 
countesses send 
her invitations 

^'■The King will 
go Tuesday to the 
Grand Opera^ 


The Jumel Mansion 

An invitation 
from Sauveur 
de la Vileray, 
Secretary of the 
CEuvre de 

Regrets of 
Duchess of . . , 
nee Chattillon 

Mile Aglai 
presents her 

Madame la 
Marquise de la 
Suze undertakes 
the conversion of 
Madame Jumel 

Royal Box which we so greatly admire, but that they have set 
aside for him a big one where gather all the Princes and the Ser- 
vice, right in the middle of the auditorium at the front of the 
theater. . . . 

Madame: — The Secretary of the (Euvre de Calvarie has the 
honor to invite you, in the name of the Bishop of Nancy, to be 
present at the ceremony which will take place next Monday, 
May 23. This celebration will be presided over by His Eminence 
the Cardinal of Clermont Tonnerre. He also has the honor of 
informing you that upon his return from the sacrament, Mon- 
seigneur de Nancy will hold, at the residence of Madame the 
Countess of Villele, the General Assembly, which should convene 
near the end of the month. He has the honor to be, Madame, 
Your very humble and very obedient servant, 
Saxtveur de la Vileray. 

Paris, May 19, 1825. 

Then there are regrets: the Marquise de Vernon declines three 

dinner invitations. 

The Duchess of . . . nee Chattillon had hoped to this very 
moment to have the honor of seeing Madame Jumel, but finding 
herself very much indisposed this evening, she is unable to accept 
her kind invitation. She begs her to accept her regrets. 

The Marquise de Maldieu is very grateful for Madame Jumel's 
kind attention, and is very sorry not to be able to accept her invi- 
tation, . . . 

Then come the shopkeepers: — 

Mile Aglai presents her compliments to Madame Jumel and 
begs to say that if Madame will have the goodness to send her 
carriage this morning at 10 o'clock, she will bring the bonnets 
and fishus that she still has kept, wishing to show them to Ma- 
dame Jumel, who had seemed to desire this. If this is agreeable. 
Mile Aglai will be ready to go to Madame Jumel's at ten o'clock 

Madame la Marquise de la Suze, who was a very devout 
Catholic, was quite determined to convert Madame Jumel to 
that faith. Her letters on the subject, not always dated, were 
written during Madame Jumel's second period in Paris. In one 
letter she writes : — 

I shall not abandon the task I have begun, and which I pray 
God with fervor to complete. In his goodness and pity I hope 
he will not make me endure such a grief, as in all this I am only 


Back in the Mansion 


seeking his glory and your present and future happiness. I do hope 
He will have mercy on us and will inspire you with the same hope 
for which I pray in every petition. 

In another letter: — 

How grateful I am to the good Abbe for having gone to see you; 
I will thank him very, very much when I see him. Yes, surely 
every door in my house will be open to you as well as to him Mon- 
day. You can come when it suits you . . . that at last this great 
task will be accomplished. . . . How good God is to have granted 
the fervent and continual prayers which I have made Him for the 
eternal welfare of your soul. 

In a third letter: — 

If your health is better at present, I advise you, my dear friend 
to go to hear a good sermon, which would so please our good Abbe. 
There is one (a preacher) who has a fine reputation at the Made- 
leine, St. Honore Street; go there Sunday if you can. He preaches 
after vespers and will not interfere with your dinner hour. 

On July 18, 1822, Madame la Marquise de la Suze, writes 
less hopefully : — 

So you are going to make a long trip, madame, and the great 
work which has so constantly occupied me, and must be still more 
absorbing for you, must come to a standstill. 

This social whirl in Paris was a remarkable change from her 
solitary life on Washington Heights, and brilliant enough to 
turn the head of a steadier woman than Madame Jumel. Hav- 
ing climbed so high there was yet one thing lacking — she 
aspired to a title. Her letter to Louis XVIII seems to be a draft, 
not in her handwriting, prepared for engrossing and beribbon- 
ing and made fit to be received in the cabinet of a king. It is 
neither signed nor dated. 

Sire: — 

Every time I have had the honor of seeing your Majesty, the 
graciousness with which you have deigned to notice my carriage, 
and the great kindness with which you bow to me, makes me feel 
like writing to you. But once out of your presence, courage fails 
me. The return of your Majesty — day I have so ardently 
wished for — caused me so much joy that I seemed to be inspired 
with new courage to present a petition in favor of my husband. 

My husband left France at the beginning of the Revolution 
and established a home in New York (U.S.A.) with the resolution 
of never again seeing his native land until the return of the Bour- 

" Hvw grateful 
lam to the good 
Abbe for having 
gone to see you " 

" He preaches 
after vespers and 
will not interfere 
with your dinner 

She writes to 
Louis XVIII— 
'■'•you have 
deigned to notice 
my carriage " 


"//if was the 
first to introduce 
La Soiree at 
wholesale in the 
United States" 

When he heard 
the news of the 
return of the 
Bourbons^ he 
made haste to 
sell his ships 

The Jumel 
was new Place 
Fendome^No. 16 

The Jumel Mansion 

bons. He became a merchant and has been very fortunate in his 
business, becoming one of the most influential men in New York. 
He is so patriotic that he has been unwilling to have commercial 
relations anywhere except with France. He was the first to in- 
troduce La Soiree at wholesale in the United States, and in do- 
ing this has created a demand for French merchandise, in con- 
sequence bringing about an enormous trade, so that the most 
celebrated manufacturers of France have worked for him and 
have sent millions . . . through his business. ^ 

He has had the misfortune to lose two of his ships, all loaded, 
which were seized by Napoleon and held at the Port of Bayonne 

— for which he has never been reimbursed. 

His kindness of heart and his directness in business have made 
him known and loved throughout the United States. He has 
frequently been offered very honorable and lucrative positions, 
which he has always refused, saying he still hoped again to see 
his own country. 

What a joyous day for him when he got the news of the return 
of the Bourbons. Immediately he made haste to sell his ships and 
his stocks and to leave his temporary home, which was for him a 
sort of exile, since it was so far away from his dear country. 

We came to Paris, and he, seeing a great deal of misfortune, 
was moved by his kindness of heart to set up several manufac- 
turers, who to-day are prosperous. At the same time he himself 
has met with nothing but losses. His lofty nature will not allow 
him to ask for a place at Court for himself, as he thinks he has 
not yet done enough for his country, to deserve such a favor. 

But, accustomed to being received as persons of high position, 
and our fortune admitting of our living in excellent style, and 
having also the good fortune — since our stay in Paris — of 
knowmg many ladies of the Court, I often find myself embar- 
rassed. When I see that I have no title and my husband no cross, 

— in spite of all he has done for his country and of his devotion 
to his king, — I feel utterly discouraged, and beg him to go back 
to' his adopted country. But knowing your Majesty's extreme 
kindness, I am anew inspired with the hope that you will not 
ignore a subject so worthy as Stephen Jumel. Whatever post 
your Majesty might deign to offer — even without remuneration 

— it would be his greatest delight to fill it, and your Majesty 
would find in Stephen Jumel a faithful subject and one wholly 
devoted to his King, and in his wife, eternal gratitude. 

The establishment of Stephen Jumel at Place VendSme, 
No. 16, was doubtless as costly as his income warranted before 
reverses came. The two ships referred to by Madame in her 
letter to the King, were the schooners Prosper and Purse, which 
had been seized by the French Government, during the Na- 

Back in the Mansion 

poleonic wars, as early as 1810, and had been sold with their car- 
goes. The Purse had made port in the harbor of Bayonne after 
being chased by a British frigate, during which chase her captain 
had been obliged to throw overboard certain letters and papers 
belonging to M. Jumel. Even after this lapse of time, Stephen 
Jumel continued his suits against the French Government for 
reimbursement. Other financial troubles were pressing. 

On the 13th day of January, 1825, he deeded to his wife the 
mansion and thirty-six acres of land, which constituted the 
original purchase. This gift was in fulfillment of a legal engage- 
ment made in 18 10, but, made at this particular time, marks 
the first step in a division of the estate, preliminary to a 
separation. Whatever his troubles were, the establishment in 
Paris was now beyond his means, but he continued to keep it 
up during the year 1825. Madame was evidently not satisfied 
with the division and not yet ready to return to America. On 
the i8th day of January, 1826, by a deed of trust, also made in 
Paris, she secured from him the use for life of the New York 
City property at the corner of Liberty Street and Broadway. 
M. Jumel was princely in his generosity. 

Madame Jumel had secured everjrthing that the most am- 
bitious woman could desire: a luxurious home, which was a 
valuable estate in itself, and a generous income from the city 
property. And she got something that promised more. Stephen 
Jumel had no intention of returning to America. He desired to 
sell his property in New York, so, after completing the other 
transactions, he gave her a power of attorney, with instructions 
to employ lawyers and to sell all his real estate and return him 
the proceeds. He expected the sales to be made as soon as she 
arrived in America for whatever the lands would fetch. He was 
still generous. He trusted the woman for whom he had done 
eversrthing, sacrificed everything, and risked everything. 

The power of attorney was very precisely set forth in the 
following words: — 

Stephen Jumel, by power of attorney bearing date May 1 5, 1 826, 
constituted and appointed Eliza Brown Jumel his attorney to 
transact and manage his aiFairs at New York or at any place 
in the State of New York, and for him and in his name and for 
his use and in his behalf to sell either by public auction or private 



M. 'Jumel con- 
tinued his suits 
against the 
French govern- 

M. Jumel was 
princely in his 

He gave her 
Jumel Mansion^ 
the Liberty Street 
property^ and a 
power ef attorney 


The Jumel Mansion 

The power of 

This was to he 
a friendly sepa- 
ration, Stephen 
fumel to live 
in Paris and 
Madame fumel 
in New York 

contract as she shall think fit and see best for the price or prices 
that can be had or gotten and for his most benefit and advantage 
all or any part of the real estate that he may have belonging to 
him and lying in the State of New York and upon sale thereof 
or any part thereof to sign, seal and execute all and every such 
contracts, agreements, conveyances and assurances, and upon 
the receipt of the moneys arising from such sale or sales to give 
sufficient release, acquittance and discharges for the same. 

And I do hereby authorize and empower the said Eliza Brown 
Jumel to substitute and appoint one or more attorney, or attor- 
neys for the purpose aforesaid, with such power or powers as to 
her shall seem meet and requisite, and generally to do all things 
for the better executing of the premises, as fully and in every re- 
spect as I myself might or could do if I were personally present, 
hereby ratifying, allowing, and confirming all and whatever my 
said attorney or substitute shall, in my name, legally do, or cause 
to be done, in and about the premises, by virtue of these pre- 
sents; also hereby revoking, countermanding, annulling, and 
making void all or any former power of attorney by me hereto- 
fore granted for the purpose above mentioned. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 
fifteenth day of May in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and twenty six. 

Stephen Jumel LS. 
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of 

R. J. Macy, J, f, m. 

A. G. Barnet; 


This was evidently a friendly separation, by the terms of 
which Stephen Junxel was to live in France and his wife in 

Madame Jumel and Mary arrived in New York in May, 
1826. The mansion was then occupied by tenants for the 
summer. A little later she writes to Jumel: — 

I am still living with the Dutch farmer on Long Island, 2| 
miles from Brooklyn, and I do not fail to go every day to New 
York, to watch over our affairs. 

She speaks in this letter of some past transaction which 
might prevent M. Jumel from returning to New York: — 

If you come back to New York, and by chance any one speaks 
to you about it deny it flatly. Say that the whole yarn is false 
and an iniposition; that you have no benefit accruing from the 
merchandise and that you only asked for the interest on your 
money, which you had lost as well as the capital, and that's the 


Back in the Mansion 


whole truth. So, dear Stephen, make all your arrangements, for 
in the spring I expect you. 

I have niade them give back all the old ledgers and bodks of our 
old Association, and one day when Mr. Israels was out, noticing 
a box marked B.D., I made his clerk give it to me. I opened 
it and found copies of the letters from B.D. . , . This box was 
nailed up and without doubt no one has ever seen it. It has always 
been in Brunei's shop. That man is half asleep and would never 
have any curiosity or desire to look inside. 

This letter is in reply to a letter of Stephen Jumel's in which 
he appeals for money and reiterates demands made in a pre- 
vious letter for specified sums. He has a debt to pay of eight 
thousand francs and hopes she is busying herself in getting the 
money. He has had to sell the dozen "Couverts" to pay his 
rent for the month. "Be good enough, then," he writes, "for 
the love of God, to send it to me at the old firm of J. & D. with 
the running account." 

To which she replies: — 

I have done every thing in my power to procure money for 
you, but it was impossible, money being scarce, but since we 
have a house at Mount de Marsan, would n't it be better to sacri- 
fice that, rather than what we have left here for old age.' 

This was to be an old age and a property ownership separately 
and the reader should not be beguiled by the honeyed words 
given so freely in place of the money Stephen Jumel so des- 
perately needed. 

It is difficult to believe, with all .these protestations of inter- 
est and devotion, that this woman was planning to use the 
power of attorney for her own selfish interest. The decision 
to do so did not take form for more than a year. The first 
move was made on July 30, 1827, in a series of transfers that 
robbed Stephen Jumel of all his property and even secured 
in fee that in which he had given her only a life interest. 
Her legal adviser was Alexander Hamilton, Jr., who was her 
nearest neighbor, and who, strange to relate, continued to 
be her counsel in transactions she made as the wife of Aaron 

While this business was in progress, Madame Jumel was 
writing letters to Stephen Jumel in France advising him not to 
sell the property as had been intended, urging as a reason for 


M. "Jumel ap- 
peals for money — 
'•'■for the love of 
God send it to 

And she sends 
him a stone 

She proceeded to 
rob him, with 
Alexander Ha- 
milton as her 
legal advisor 


When the legal 
were completed 
Stephen yumel 
had no property 
in the State of 
New Tor k 

He arrived in 
New York in 

The winter eve- 
nings were long 
to the old mer- 
chant who sat 
alone in fumel 

The Jumel Mansion 

her change of opinion that the property had largely increased 
in value, and was rapidly becoming more valuable every day. 

When the legal transactions and real-estate transfers were 
completed, Stephen Jumel had no property in the State of New 
York except a tract of unimproved land which was considered 
of negligible value at the time. Madame Jumel had it all. The 
title was in the name of her niece, Mary Jumel Bownes, but the 
revenue went to Madame Jumel. The old house itself was the 
property of that fatherless child who had been adopted into 
the family to enliven the neglected years of the early marriage. 
Besides robbing Stephen Jumel of his fortune, the cunning 
transfers of titles were intended to rob his heirs. 

After waiting two years in France for the results he expected 
from the power of attorney he had given to his wife, M. Jumel 
was obliged to set sail for America. He arrived in New York in 
the summer of 1828. That his advent on the scene was a 
pleasant family reunion is not to be supposed, in view of the 
ruthless way in which his interests had been sacrificed. Most 
of our knowledge of events at this period, and, indeed, most of 
our knowledge of the family history, is gleaned from evidence in 
subsequent litigations. He was not even in his own house, but 
his presence was tolerated for a time, until Madame Jumel and 
Mary could get away. Stephen Jumel spent the winter alone in 
the house that was not his, while the ladies were wintering in 
the South. 

If the city of New York was ten miles away when the house 
was built in 1765, it was still nine miles away in 1828. The 
winter snows lay deep on the hill, and the winter evenings were 
long to the old merchant, who sat alone in Jumel Mansion, 
brooding over his wrongs. The property in the city where he 
had done business was no longer his. He opened the city 
directory of 18 16 and read from it: — 

Jumel, Stephen, Merchant, 91I Liberty Street. 

He shut the book. It was a small duodecimo — he could 
almost put it in his vest pocket. He had no one to talk to but 
the coachman, — his wife's coachman, — but he was so full of 
his wrongs that he had to make plaint to some one, and he con- 
fided to James that he never gave that paper to his wife to rob 


Back in the Mansion 


him with. But it was all over. He had but a few more years 
of life to his credit, and he would be content to have his living 
on the place. It was all Mary's now, and, when he should be 
gone, he was content that it should stay Mary's. 

Whatever his domestic troubles were, the end came in the 
summer of 1832, four years after his return to America. He fell 
from a hay-cart on the King's Bridge Road, receiving injuries 
from which he died a few days later. Even the passing of M. 
Jumel was not without some unpleasant insinuations, which 
resulted in a lawsuit in which a lawyer by the name of CoimoUy 
was defendant. 

Stephen Jumel died on the ^^A of May, 1832. He was a 
Roman Catholic, and was buried in the consecrated ground of 
the old Cathedral of St. Patrick, in Prince Street. Just in front 
of the iron gate, opening, from the stone flagging on the Mott 
Street front of the church, into the north half of the burial 
groimd, is a horizontal slab, resting on posts three feet above 
the ground, which covers the remains of Stephen Jumel. It is 
a damp inclosure where high walls keep off the drying rays of 
the sun, and where the summer rains and the snows of winter 
have so crumbled and flaked the surface of the marble slab that 
only the one word "Stephen," can be deciphered from what 
seems to have been a long inscription. It was a fit resting-place 
for an old man, despoiled, dependent, and in the way. 

Madame Jumel lies in a stately tomb overlooking the broad 
Hudson and the flow of fashion on a famous city drive. Stephen 
Jumel lies in a neglected grave, in a squalid quarter of the city, 
where the narrow streets swarm with the children and the traflSc 
of the very poor. 

Even the passing 
of Stephen Jumel 
was not without 
some unpleasant 

Only the one 
word '•'■ Stephen' 
can be deciphered 




A curious record 
scratched with a 
diamond on a 
small pane of 
glass in the frame 
cf the front door 

Franklin Clinton 
Field was horn 
in the house 




WHEN Madame Jumel and Mary arrived from 
France in the early summer of 1826, tenants were 
in possession of the mansion. The family occupy- 
ing the house was of the name of Clinton, as is 
shown by a curious record scratched with a diamond on a small 
pane of glass within the frame of the front door. This curious 
record, scrawled on the glass ninety years ago, consists of the 
initials of four people and a date. 

J. M. T. 

G. C. T. May 13 th 

M. C. C. 1826. 


These initials should be read, "J- M. Tallmadge, George 
Clinton Tallmadge, Mary C. Clinton, and Julia Clinton." The 
lady of the house was a widow, Mrs. Hannah Clinton, and 
"M. C. C." and "J. C." were her daughters, Mary C. Clinton 
and Julia Clinton. The two young gentlemen of the name of 
Tallmadge were cousins of the girls and guests of the family. 
There was probably a deal of sentiment underlying the letters 
on the window, if they were not actually scratched with the 
engagement ring of Miss Julia, for she was afterwards the wife 
of George Clinton Tallmadge. 

The family of Moses Field occupied the house in the sum- 
mer of 1825, the summer preceding the occupation by the 
Clintons. Franklin Clinton Field, a son of Moses and Susan 
Osgood Field, was born in the house on the sth day of August, 
1825. Susan Osgood was the daughter of Samuel Osgood, the 
first Postmaster-General of the United States, under Washing- 
ton. This birth fixes the year of the Field family's occupation, 


Madame Burr 


and the reading of the hieroglyphics on the window was fur- 
nished by a lady of the Field family. 

After the Clintons left it, the mansion was occupied con- 
tinuously by the Jumel family until the death of Stephen Jumel 
in 1832, after which event a cloud seemed to hang over the 
house, and for many years thereafter its mistress seemed to 
shun it and lived in it as little as possible. 

Mary was married in 1832 to Nelson Chase, a young lawyer, 
and Madame Jumel spent most of that winter with the newly 
wed, at apartments she had rented for them at the corner of 
Elm and Grand Streets. Madame Jumel was a great match- 
maker, and in the case of Mary, her adopted daughter, who was 
then thirty years old, she proceeded in the business as if she had 
been buying a horse. She discovered the young lawyer in the 
summer of 183 1 at Judge Crippin's, in the village of Worcester, 
Otsego County, New York, where he had been studying law. 
She promptly made the proposals, settled the income of the 
young people, and left Mary at Judge Crippin's to finish the 
courtship, with the understanding that the young people were 
to come and live with her at the mansion. 

Of course, as she was parting with one adopted daughter, she 
would need another. She had met also at Judge Crippin's an 
attractive little miss, seven or eight years old, whose name was 
Mary Marilla Stever. It was just another Mary, and in her 
prompt, business way she secured the consent of Mary's 
parents and brought her back to live at the mansion. This 
meeting of the lovers and the introduction of a new daughter 
into the house were before the death of Stephen Jumel, but the 
marriage was after. 

In 1833, Madame Jumel was a woman of fifty-nine, possessed 
of large wealth, and still ambitious to break into that social 
compound in New York which had always been barred to her. 
Aaron Burr was an old man, seventy-eight years old, himself a 
social outcast, poor and alone, but his name was one of distinc- 
tion; he had been Vice-President of the United States. His 
object in a marriage, which was certainly ill-assorted, was the 
money that he sorely needed, and perhaps he dreamed of a 
placid old age in a home of luxury. Whatever the motive of the 
bride may have been, the distinction she added to her name by 


Jfter the death 
of Stephen 
Jumel^ its 
mistress seemed 
to shun it 

As she parted 
with one adopted 
daughter she se- 
cured another 

Aaron Burr was 
an old man of 


The Jumel Mansion 

Notice of the 
marriage of 
Aaron Burr and 
Mrs. Eliza 
Jumel from the 
^Evening Post' 

The ceremony 
took place in the 
small parlor at 
the left as one 

The familiar 
stories about the 
marriage are of 
no value 

joining it to that of Aaron Burr, was the social triumph of her 
eventful life. She dreamed that she entertained royalties in the 
mansion and that she was the mistress of an imaginary salon, 
b\it she actually married Aaron Burr. 

The marriage seems to have passed almost without public 
notice. The "Evening Post" and the "Contunercial Advertiser" 
each gave it two lines in the marriage column, and not a word 
of comment. The "Evening Post" of July 4, 1833, had this 
notice: — 

On Monday evening last, at Harlaem Heights, by the Rev. 
Dr. Bogart, Col. Aaron Burr to Mrs. Eliza Jumel. 

The following extract is from the diary of Philip Hone: — 

Wednesday, July 3d, 1833. The Celebrated Col. Burr was 
married on monday evening to the equally celebrated Mrs. Jumel, 
widow of Stephen Jumel. It is benevolent in her to keep the old 
man in his latter days. One good turn deserves an other. 

Aaron Burr gained six thousand dollars in cash by the mar- 
riage and Madame Jumel some further experience with lawyers. 
The marriage was one of the most famous events that ever 
occurred in the old house. The ceremony took place in the 
small parlor at the left as one enters the main hall. There was a 
wedding journey to Hartford, where the bride sold some 
Hartford bridge stock, from which, by her own allegation in the 
divorce proceedings. Burr secured the six thousand dollars 
aforesaid. The family tradition is that, when the money was 
being paid to Madame Burr, she said with a wave of her hand, 
" Pay it to my husband." It is also a family tradition that in his 
last illness she had him brought to the house, and that for two 
weeks, he lay, night and day, on an old sofa that had been 
Napoleon's, before the fire in the great drawing-room. This 
claim is more traditional than probable, as it would be just in 
the period of the divorce trial, during which they were hurling 
corespondents at each other, and, on the part of Burr, in the 
unfair proportion of four for one. 

The familiar stories about the affair, emanating from 
Madame Jumel herself, are of no more value than her fantastic 
statement on the subject, made to the Haven party, which will 
be found in the next chapter. The only reliable information 


Aaron Burr 

Madame Burr 


about the union with Aaron Burr is to be found in the divorce 
case, which was brought to trial in the last few weeks of Burr's 
life, in the Court of Chancery, before PhiloT. Ruggles, Charles 
O'Conor representing the interests of Burr. The divorce was 
granted a few days before Burr died. Burr's stay in the house 
was evidently a brief one, at the time of the marriage, but it 
seems that, after an interval of seven months, he renewed his 
relations with his wife, which continued for just five weeks. 

Even after the divorce and after the death of Aaron Burr, 
she continued to use his name when she thought it would con- 
tribute to her distinction. She used to say that it was a good 
name to travel under, and it is claimed that on one occasion in 
France, when she met a body of troops on a country road, she 
rose in her carriage and cried, "Make way for the widow of the 
Vice-President of the United States." 

On her last trip to Europe, in 1853, she traveled under the 
name of Madame Burr. 

It was after Madame Jumel's death that she became the 
grande dame in fiction, the social leader, the entertainer of 
royalties, and the founder of a political salon. Her marriage to 
Aaron Burr, the mystery of her origin, the many eccentricities 
that marked her career, ending in insanity and seclusion, com- 
mended her to the novelists, who alone have written her history. 
She has appeared in the pages of a dozen novels and made love 
to Hamilton in "The Conqueror," and in every case she has 
appeared only as a creation of the author's unbridled imagina- 

There is no probability that she knew Alexander Hamilton. 
He was killed in the duel with Burr in 1804, the year in which 
Stephen Jumel married his mistress, and six years before they 
came to live in the mansion. 

It was the women of her time who saw to it that Madame 
Jumel had no social recognition. One lady, whose grandfather 
was a prominent lawyer on the Heights, states that Madame 
Jumel came to her grandfather sometimes for legal advice, but 
that if her grandmother chanced to be sitting on the piazza 
when Madame Jumel's carriage drove in, she disappeared into 
the house and remained out of sight until the carriage drove 


The divorce was 
granted a few 
days before Burr 

It was after her 
death that she be- 
came the "■grand 
dame" in fiction 

There is no prob- 
ability that she 
ever knew Alex- 
ander Hamilton 


The Jumel Mansion 

Piqued by a re- 
mark ofShep- 
pard Knapp^ she 
bought four gray 

Madame fumel 
was fond of 

The interesting 
story of Alexan- 
der Hamilton 

On the other hand, it is related of Madame Jumel by a mem- 
ber of the family (which probably means that Madame Jumel 
told the story of herself), that shortly after her return from 
France, in 1826, she drove down to New York, after a single 
horse, and that the animal fell in front of the store of Sheppard 
Knapp, and that Mr. Knapp, who was her neighbor on the 
Heights, came out, and, seeing who it was, remarked that it was 
only Madame Jumel. This slur so touched her pride that, as 
soon as her finances were in condition, she went over to New 
Jersey and bought four gray horses, and putting them to her 
carriage, and arraying herself in an exquisite toilet, she drove 
through the city in state and, within a few days thereafter, she 
received fifteen hundred cards from distinguished New Yorkers. 

Like most childless people, Madame Jumel was fond of chil- 
dren. Perhaps she felt lonely in the year after her unfortunate 
marriage with Burr. It was in that year (1834) that she took a 
deep interest in an interesting event that took place in her 
neighborhood. It was the birth of two twin boys, one of whom, 
Alexander Hamilton Wallace, is still living at the age of eighty. 
His quaint story is best told in his own words: — 

My father, Jacob Wallace, at the time of my birth, lived a 
little west of the King's Bridge Road, between what are now 
iS8th and isgth Streets. I had a twin brother, and Madame 
Jumel, who was our nearest neighbor, took great interest in the 
twins and asked my father to be allowed to name us. My father 
asked her what she would like to call us, and she said she would 
name one of us Stephen Jumel and the other Aaron Burr. As I 
was fifteen minutes older than my brother, I should have been 
named Stephen Jumel. My father was rather a rough-spoken 
man, and my mother used to say that he replied that he had two 
dogs out in the yard and that he would not have those names 
on his dogs. The Madame was so good to us afterwards that I 
doubt if my father used that language to her. 

The Hamiltons were our neighbors, too, and my father was a 
great admirer of Alexander Hamilton, and so it came about that 
I was named Alexander Hamilton Wallace and my brother, Ed- 
ward Hamilton Wallace. 

As I said, we were great favorites of Madame Jumel and from 
my earliest recollection until we were well-grown children, and 
my father moved off the hill, we played in the mansion just as 
if it was our own house. The Madame imported a box of won- 
derful toys from Germany, and had suits of clothes made for us 
just alike. 


Madame Burr 


Mr. Wallace further stated that he had always heard his 
mother say that the cypress trees around the fish pond were 
planted the year the twins were born, 

Madame Jumel was an attendant at the Church of the 

Intercession, then on Amsterdam Avenue. Mr. Edwin B ^k, 

of 52 West iioth Street, who as a boy lived near the mansion, 
and was a playmate of her nephew, Willie Chase, gives an 
amusing account of Madame Jimiel's habit of coming into 
church late, after the sermon was begun, dressed in rustling silk 
over huge hoops, and wearing a Leghorn hat decked with a white 
ostrich plume, and how the rector, on one occasion, stopped in 
his sermon until she got seated. 

Among those still living who remember Madame Jumel, and 
who are able to give us brief glimpses of that lady in life, is a 

Mrs. M M y who lives at 190 Wadsworth Street, New 

York. She is now nearly eighty-two years old and remembers 
very distinctly coming with her father, Richard Watkinson, to 
pay a visit to Madame Jumel. They came from their home in 
Philadelphia, where her father was a prominent merchant. He 
had been a friend of Aaron Burr, and that seems to have been 
his reason for paying this visit. She remembers the ride from 
the station in an open wagon, and that there were two gentle- 
men from North Carolina with them going to the same destina- 
tion. One was an old man, Mr. de Cojme, and the other, Mr. 
Graham, was younger. She thinks she was fifteen years old at 
the time, which would fix the year as 1846. She wrote down the 
names of the strange gentlemen in her diary. She remembers 
very vividly how Madame Jumel, or Madame Burr, was 
dressed as she appeared entering the hall through a door at the 
foot of the stairway. She seemed very grand and beautiful in a 
gown of royal purple velvet, the skirt open in front and lined 
with yellow satin. She wore side curls and greeted them with 
very grand manners. After greeting them she took them into a 
very small room where a table was set and gave them cake and 
wine. This room, which she described as being between the hall 
and the butler's pantry, was formed by an old partition that 
formerly cut off the stairway from the hall. Then Madame 
Jumel ordered her carriage and drove them to the manor 
house at Yonkers, where they were again entertained. 


Mr. Edwin 

B i's story 

of Madame 
Jumel entering 


M , as a 

child, with her 
father, to Jumel 
Mansion < 

She wore side 
curls and greeted 
them with very 
grand manners 


The Jumel Mansion 

The little girl 
who listened at 
the gate to the 
string band 

After the death 
of Stephen Jumel 
there was aghast 
in the house 

Mary Marilla 
Stever, who went 
away between the 
time that Stephen 
Jumel was hurt 
and the time 
when he died 

A woman now living in New Jersey reports that as a child 
she used to pass the great gate on her way to school, and that 
she often stopped to listen to the music of a string band playing 
on the balcony under the front porch. She remembers that the 
band was playing operatic airs, and believes that it was playing 
for Madame Jumel while she was breakfasting in her room. 
The lady, who is musical, says that as a child she always re- 
mained with her face pressed against the gate until the last note 
of the music sounded. ■ 

After the death of Stephen Jumel there seems to have been 
a ghost in the house, or some other mysterious influence, that 
drove its mistress from it. Shortly after his death, her adopted 
niece, now married to the young lawyer. Nelson Chase, had 
come home with her husband, just as Madame Jumel, with that 
constant craving for companionship in her isolated life, had 
stipulated before the marriage. Instead, however, of settling 
down for the autumn and winter with the young people to 
enliven the household, she promptly rented apartments for 
them at the comer of Grand and Elm Streets in the city and 
went herself to live with them. 

She was back in the house in the following summer for the 
marriage with Burr, and was still there in the winter of 1833-34 
for the renewal of their marital relations for "five weeks." In 
the fall of 1834, she turned her back on her luxurious home, a 
voluntary outcast and a wanderer for five years from one 
lodging to another in the city. 

Some time in 1839 she was back in the mansion. William 
Henry Carroll, a colored man, testified that he drove the car- 
riage for Madame Jumel in the summer of 1839, and that she 
did not go to Saratoga that summer. He said: "A young lady 
and a cook was the family. Mary appeared to be 14 or 15. 
She had a little boy living with her named Johnny." It was the 
old craving to have young people about her, and "Mary" was 
Mary Marilla Stever, who went away between the time that 
Stephen Jumel was hurt and the time when he died. 

If Madame Jumel's mind had not begun to fail then, unmis- 
takable signs of its breaking up appear two years later in 1842. 
In that year Ann Northrup was a servant in the house and 
her son "Alonzo was Madame's footman." She testified that 


Madame Jumel 

From a lithograph 

Madame Burr 


"there was a large handsomely furnished room in which a table 
was set." That was the table with broken ornaments that 
Madame Jumel claimed were the remains of the banquet she 
had given to Joseph Bonaparte, the late King of Spain. As she 
never entertained Joseph Bonaparte, and perhaps never saw 
him, only a demented woman could set up such a delusion and 
close the most important room in the house to contain it. In 
1862, Mrs. Charles O'Conor told Mrs. Appleton Haven that 
she had seen this table twenty years before. 

In 1834, the mansion was rented to a Mr. Pell and afterwards 
to a Mr. Monroe, their tenancy covering five years. In the 
winter of 1834 we find Madame Jumel with the Chases, living 
at 63 Chambers Street. In May, 1835, they moved to 339 Green- 
wich Street, where they lived for two years. In 1837, the 
Chase family moved to Hoboken and Madame Jumel was 
sometimes with them. Some of her summers she spent in 
Saratoga, returning to Hoboken in the fall; but when winter 
came and the ice in the river made the crossing of the small 
ferryboats uncertain, she stopped in New York, usually making 
her home at the Astor House. 

Madame Jumel and the Chases seem to have come together 
in the mansion as a united family in 1848, but Mary, the favor- 
ite niece and wife of Nelson Chase, in whose name the title to 
the entire property vested, had been dead for five years. She 
had left two children, a daughter and son, — Eliza Jumel, then 
twelve years old, and William Inglis, who was eight. 

In 1853, at the age of seventy-eight, Madame Jumel went 
abroad for the last time, taking with her the young people, now 
seventeen and thirteen. She seems to have taken passage for 
Bordeaux from force of habit, and certainly not to visit the 
family of M, Jumel. She traveled under the name of Mrs. Aaron 
Burr and announced herself as the widow of the Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States. She found at Bordeaux, however, a 
husband for Eliza in the person of M. Paul Guillaume Raymond 
Pery, and with her usual energy she settled the affair out of 
hand, guaranteeing an income of five thousand francs to the 
bride, and stipulating that they should come and live with her 
at the mansion. This having been arranged to her satisfaction, 
she pushed on to Rome, where she sat, with her nephew and 


First account of 
the table with the 
broken ornaments^ 
the remains of the 
banquet to foseph 

Some of the sum- 
mers she spent in 

In 1853 she 
went abroad for 
the last time., 
under the name 
of Mrs. Aaron 


The Jumel Mansion 

She appeared in 
the village of 
with her posti- 
lions in green 

She was taken 
advantage of by 
her neighbors, as 
she grew old 

Statement of 
William Luby 

niece, for a life-size family group painted by Alcide Ercole. It 
was stated by M. Pery that when Madame Jumel came to 
Bordeaux she was traveling as Eliza Burr. She remained 
abroad until after the young people were married and then 
returned with her nephew. She was a woman nearly eighty, who 
had always been eccentric, and it is not easy to fix the time 
when eccentricity develops into insanity. It was on this visit to 
Paris that she bought green liveries for her postilions, when she 
had no postilions. On her return she determined to show the 
green liveries, and so she notified the village of Carmansville, 
which was the railway station for New York, that on a fixed 
date she would pass through the village in her carriage with 
postilions in her new liveries. At that democratic period it is 
said that the consul-general of Great Britain was the only 
person in the city of New York whose coachman wore livery. 
She must have got together a scratch team, and put the coach- 
man and the gardener in the green uniforms, but she drove 
through Carmansville at the specified time, when her carriage 
and postilions were pelted with such missiles as the boys could 
lay hands on. 

It is evident that Madame Jumel was sadly imposed upon by 
unprincipled neighbors, who played upon her eccentricity or 
took advantage of the fact that she had no husband or other 
responsible agent to look after her large property, and that 
these impositions began soon after Stephen Jumel's death. 
Indeed, it is not unlikely that, during the long absence of thp 
family in France, the neighbors gradually formed the habit of 
helping themselves to anything they wanted on the neglected 
farms of the estate. 

The following statement by William Luby, gives incidents of 
just this kind of imposition : — 

When I was born, in 1841, my father, James Luby, was coach- 
man for Madame Jumel. I think he continued in her service until 
about 1846. In my father's time Madame Jumel owned a forty- 
acre wood-lot on the west bank of the Harlem River, just above 
where High Bridge has since been built. All thfe neighbors helped 
themselves to their firewood and to timber for building. One day 
she stopped her carriage where a man was scoring timber, and 
calling the man by name, informed him that the stick of timber 
was her property. 


Madame Burr 


"No," said the man, "it is mine." 

"Well, you cut it oflF my lot." 

"But you can't prove it," replied the man. 

"No more than Connelly could," said Madame Jumel, refer- 
ring to a lawsuit she had just won, and drove on. 

Scows came up the river and stole wood to sell in the city. 
Finally, Madame Jumel got a detail of two policemen to guard 
her wood-lot, to whose salary she made a liberal addition. There- 
after, when a neighbor wanted wood, he tqok a bottle of whiskey 
to the officer on duty, and the officer helped cut the wood. My 
uncle bought six acres of land from the Madame and helped him- 
self to the timber to build his house. 

My father said that one winter the Madame had two fat hogs 
to be killed and she hired a neighbor to do the butchering. When 
he had the sleigh drawn, up on the snow to dress the hogs on, 
and the tub alongside to scald them in, the Madame came out 
and said that she was fond of pork, but she did n't like hair, and 
she wanted to have the bristles taken out roots and all. The 
butcher told her that it would cost a little more for an extra scald, 
and that he should need to have a gallon of whiskey to add to 
the boiling water. She sent my father to Harlem to get the whis- 
key. The butcher expected to set the demijohn in the coach- 
house and drink its contents at his pleasure, but the old lady came 
out to see the whiskey put into the water. My father said that 
the butcher saved enough of the whiskey to get so drunk that he 
fell backwards oflF the sleigh, when the hook tore out as he was 
hauling one of the hogs out of the tub. 

That Madame Jumel could be small in small matters and 
generous in larger transactions is well illustrated by two 

Mr. Bailey, who did the plumbing about the house, said that 
she always disputed his bills, no matter how small they might 
be. If he presented a bill for $1.50, she would insist that she 
had no such sum in the house, but a little later she would 
suggest that if Mr. Bailey would drop the fifty cents and call 
the bill a dollar, she might possibly find the money. 

Mr. Benjamin S. Church was formerly the city engineer in 
charge of the old reservoir, which was removed to make room 
for the new library building, and of the pipe-line from High 
Bridge, which formed the eastern boundary of the Jumel door 
yard between iS9th and i62d Streets. One day Mr. Church 
discovered that the city fence was slightly over the Jumel line. 
He called on the Madame and informed her of the fact, and 


Scmus came up 
the river and 
stole her wood to 
sell in the city 

The butcher 
scalds her hogs 
in whiskey and 

Mr. Bailey's 

The experience 
of Mr. Benjamin 
S. Church 


The Jumel Mansion 

She left the mm 
and presently re- 
turned with a 
check for $500 

As to theprop~ 
erty, M. Jumel 
had left none 

remained for luncheon. Shortly after this interview he exam- 
ined the official records and later caused the fence to be cor- 
rectly placed. The whole transaction may have taken a day of 
Mr. Church's time, and was a part of his official duty, and he 
expected nothing for what he had done. When, however, he 
called and reported the adjustment of the fence to Madame 
Jumel, she excused herself, left the room, and presently re- 
turned with a check for ^500. 

Her strange doings must havp been trying to the other mem- 
bers of the household, but she had an iron will and she held the 

Soon after M. Jumel's death, when her mind was quite nor- 
mal, his relatives in France heard of his death and conununi- 
cated with Madame Jumel, asking for information regarding 
his decease, and also as to the amount of property left by him. 
In July, 1833, one year after M. Jumel's death, and a few days 
after her marriage to Aaron Burr, the French heirs received an 
answer to their inquiry in which it was stated that, by reason of 
her great grief at the death of her husband, Madame Jumel had 
been compelled to delay the reply, and that, as to the property, 
M. Jumel had left none. 




IT was in the year 1857, according to Mr. Edwin Brad- 
brook, who then lived in Carmansville, that Madame 
Jumel organized her military company and maintained 
for a time an armed garrison, including a brass band. 
This curious proceeding seems to have been prompted by a 
benevolent impulse. Having heard that some French immi- 
grants down in the city were out of work and in distress, she 
got them together on the Heights and formed them into a 
company with a band, and maintained them all winter. At 
that time, it is said, sentries were posted at the gates, and that 
the soldiers passed in review before Madame Jumel and fired 
volleys at her command. 

Some of the details of this military exploit in mobilizing by 
the poor demented lady may have been enlarged upon in the 
telling, but all the old residents on Washington Heights who 
remember Madame Jimiel, remember her company of soldiers 
and the brass band. Was it a feeble effort of the old house to 
Uve up to its martial past? 

Several years before this writing a man told the writer that, 
as a boy, he remembered seeing, from the opposite shore of the 
Harlem River, Madame Jumel mounted on a horse and riding 
about the grounds followed by people with sticks. The writer 
did not at the time connect this incident with the military 
company. A recent statement from a perfectly reliable source, 
however, indicates that the foregoing circumstance was an 
indifferent parade of her irregular soldiery. 

Mr. George Luckey, of Closter, New Jersey, and one of the 
patrons of the museum, used to spend his summers, when a boy, 
at the country house of his family on Morris Heights over- 
looking High Bridge. With some of his boy companions he was 



The military 
company with 
wooden guns 

jfll the old resi- 
dents of Wash- 
ington Heights 
remember the 
military company 

Story of Mr. 
George Luckey 
of Closter, New 


The Jumel Mansion 

He remembers 
Madame fumel 
as very spare and 
thin, sitting as 
straight as a 
grenadier m 
her horse 

The fishing in 
the Harlem 
River was good 
at that time 

She could be seen 
from the path 
over the swamp, 
as she rode at the 
head of bet 

fond of fishing in the Harlem River and his favorite fishing- 
ground was on that part of the river directly opposite to 
i6oth Street and affording an unobstructed view of the Jumel 
Mansion and grounds. 

Mr. Luckey thinks that he was about twelve years old at the 
period he refers to and that the year was 1859. At times when 
the boys were fishing, he states that Madame Jumel would ap- 
pear at about ten o'clock in the morning, mounted on a horse, 
and followed by from fifteen to twenty men, marching like sol- 
diers each carrying a stick for a gun. He remembers her as very 
spare and thin, sitting as straight as a grenadier on her horse, 
and turning about now and then to face her company, and then 
resuming the march. The grounds were much larger then than 
now, and the first appearance of the military company and its 
strange commander was along the edge of the bluff, moving 
south on the ground now occupied by Edgecombe Avenue. 
The procession would disappear along the isgth Street side of 
the yard to reappear in due time as before. She would make a 
number of rounds with her company before disbanding, and the 
boys sometimes formed their fishing boats in line as a sort of 
naval salute. This movement was plainly to be seen, and 
Madame Jumel would halt when she noticed them and look 
very sternly in their direction. The boys had heard at that 
time that the strange lady was fabulously rich, but, as they 
expressed it, "dotty." 

According to Mr. Luckey, the fishing in the Harlem River 
was good at that time, perhaps ahnost as good as it was when 
James Carroll advertised his farm for sale. The boys caught 
more black bass and flounders than they cared to carry home. 
They were mostly the sons of rich parents, but they were not 
above earning a little pocket money by their own exertions. 
Flounders, fresh from the water, were worth a shilling a pound 
at the near-by roadhouses on Harlem Lane, and the boys were 
very flush until some of their parents learned the source of the 
money supply and put a stop to the traffic. 

Madame Jumel, as she rode at the head of her troops, could 
be seen from the path of two planks, laid on stakes, that led 
diagonally across the wide swamp between the river and the 
bluffs, a narrow footbridge by which the boys from Morris 
^ Heights 

The Beginning of the End 


Heights crossed to school near Hamilton Grange. She could be 
seen from the two brick tombs, round like beehives, and set into 
the bank where the stairs went up from the end of the path of 
planks, just under the western end of the viaduct of to-day. 
These were the tombs of the family of Alderman Broadhurst, of 
the out-ward. She could also be seen from the fine old colonial 
house standing on about the site of Eighth Avenue and iSSth 
Street whose neglected grounds sloped back to the river. 

The river at this point was a paradise for boys, and there 
were greater attractions for them than observing the strange be- 
havior of a demented lady. Below the bridge when the tide was 
out, there were soft-shells and shedders wriggling among the 
rushes, and the sands along the river were full of clams. In the 
gardens of the colonial house, beyond the broken palings, grew 
the sweetest of peaches and the most luscious pears, and in the 
neglected asparagus beds the green stems pushed their heads up 
through the mould just beckoning to be picked. 

In those days Tom Hyer, the pugilist who fought Yankee 
Sullivan, came each summer to one of the roadhouses, and each 
year with a new mistress. George Luckey, at twelve years old, 
was very proud to know Tom Hyer. 

Inspector Steers, who is eighty-four years old, and now totally 
blind, is one of the old residents of Washington Heights who 
remembers the military company, which bethinks consisted of 
about thirty men, and who, he says, were lodged in a great barn 
on the place. He knew the mansion from about 1850, and the 
men of the family, but his personal acquaintance with Madame 
Jumel was only during the last two years of her life, when he 
was a police officer whose duties sometimes took him to the 
mansion. He said she usually entertained him in the hall and 
would talk for hours, but exacted a certain amount of attention 
from her listener. It was necessary to say, "Yes, Madame," 
frequently, and "Indeed," and "Really, Madame," to keep her 
flow of talk at high tide. According to her boasting every 
President of the United States had, at some time, been in the' 
house. She was a great story-teller, but when the inspector was 
asked if he remembered any of the stories, he said he only 
remembered that they were nasty. 

In her journeys to Saratoga, Madame Jumel sometimes 


She could be seen 
from the two 
brick tombs, 
round like bee- 

George Luckey 
was proud to 
know Tom Hyer 

Inspector Steer's 
recollections of 
Madame fumel 


The Jumel Mansion 

The fantastic 
appearance of 
Madame Jumel 
on a Hudson 
River boat 

The two car- 
riages with pos- 
tilions, that drove 
through the 
streets of Sara- 

The postilions on 
the white lady's 
horses were black 
and on the black 
lady's, white 

went by rail and sometimes by the Albany boat on the river. 
An incident is related by a lady who, as a child of twelve, was 
taken by an older sister for her first trip on a Hudson River 
steamer. What impressed her most was the strange appear- 
ance of a little old lady, fantastically dressed and powdered 
and rouged, who was smiling and bowing to the right and to 
the left, and who seemed to focus the attention of every one 
on board. She was seated in the dining-saloon, surrounded 
by a wall of small baskets, fluttering with ribbons. Even the 
waiters had retired to a little distance and were nudging each 
other and exchanging knowing smiles, showing that they were 
in possession of the common knowledge that the poor lady 
was out of her mind. This was probably her last visit to Sara- 
toga. If so, it was in the simimer of 1859, and although we are 
informed in a recent magazine article that on that last visit 
to Saratoga she took with her a retinue of fifty household ser- 
vants, she was really living very quietly at her house in Cir- 
cular Street, with one or possibly two servants. 

It was during that last summer that an event took place 
on the streets of Saratoga that reflected no credit on the young 
men who promoted it. Madame Jumel's ambition to ride 
after postilions was well known, and the authors of the pag- 
eant played upon her peculiar weakness. One afternoon a 
coach and four horses, the near horses ridden by postilions, 
was drawn up before the Congress Hall Hotel, and in it was 
seated Madame Jumel, quite unconscious that behind her was 
another coach with similar appointments, and that in it a fat 
colored "woman" occupied the seat corresponding to her own. 
The only difference in the two turnouts was the fact that the 
two postilions on the white lady's horses were black, while 
those on the black "lady's" were white. The black "lady" 
was a well-known character in Saratoga, who was in low neck 
and short sleeves, his skin blackened for the occasion. The 
fact that this strange procession drove out to the lake and 
back, past cheering throngs, would indicate that Madame 
Jumel accepted the affair as an ovation to her, and that she 
had no knowledge that a carriage followed her. 

During these strangely eventful years, the life-size family 
group, painted in Rome by Alcide Ercole, was hanging in 


Silhouette of Madame Jumel 

! -I 

The Beginning of the End 


the wide hall opposite to the dining-room door. It was an 
unfortunate event connected with this portrait, which about 
the year 1862, suddenly separated Madame Jumel from the 
rest of her household and left her alone in the mansion for the 
last three years of her life. One day the young nephew flew 
into an ungovernable fit of anger at his great-aunt, which took 
the form of an assault on the painting. He seized an inkstand 
from a writing-table in the hall, and, evidently aiming at the 
smiling face of his aunt, the missile hit his own shoulder leav- 
ing breaks still visible on the canvas. It was not to cover a 
break, but as a punishment of her grand-nephew, that she put 
a black patch over his face. 

Madame Jumel was enraged in turn, and in her wrath she 
drove the Chase family from the house, and, it is said, their 
belongings were thrown out upon the lawn. From this event 
until her death in 1865, she lived alone in the house with one 
servant to take care of her — a house shut up from fresh air, 
in an atmosphere that has been described as stifling and offen- 
sive by the few visitors who found their way into her presence. 

JVhat befel the 
picture painted 
by Alcide Ercole 
in Rome 


The horses, like 
their mistress, 
had grown old 
and queer 

The Venetian 
blinds were closed 
as if the house 
were the house 
of the dead 





DURING the last three years of her life, Madame 
Jumel shut herself up in the old house with one 
servant of all work indoors and a man outside to 
take care of the horses, which, like their mistress, 
had grown old and queer and seldom left the stable. The 
man was coachman or gardener or footman or companion as 
occasion required. His home was in one of the small octagonal 
gate-houses, where he kept the key of the great gate and slept 
at night on guard. 

The period of insane activity had lapsed into a period of 
insane seclusion, perhaps induced by the weight of years. The 
sentinel with a wooden gun no longer stood at the gate, and the 
Amazon on horseback at the head of her tattered army no 
longer circled the grounds on summer mornings. 

The house had grown shabby for want of repairs. The paint 
was dingy. The grounds were unkept; weeds and bushes grew 
rank along the paths and spread their mantles of green over 
the ledges of rocks, and pushed their fronds through the pal- 
ings of the old fence; and as the years passed by, their steady 
growth pushed the palings out of place. The Venetian blinds 
were closed as though the house were a house of the dead, only 
a glimmer of candlelight showing through the broken slats at 
night and like a restless thing moving from window to window. 

To the curious neighbors who peeped through the bars of 
the gate, rarely was a moving object visible on the grounds, 
and above the great chimneys only a thread of smoke hung 
at rare intervals to indicate that there was life in the rooms 

Within, the house was equally forlorn and shabby, a gloomy 
interior where the fresh air and the sunlight found it difficult 


A Mad-House 


to enter, and where cleanliness was not encouraged. Ehist and 
stale odors lurked in the wide halls and shut-up rooms, and 
Madame Jumel roamed about her empty house like a tragedy 
queen. She was mentally irresponsible, and she seems at that 
time to have lived over her eventful life, supplying the social 
triumphs she had failed to realize, and embellishing it with 
other fantastic dreams, which have been accepted as tradi- 
tions of the house. 

Although a recluse, she was far from alone. She peopled the 
rooms with distinguished visitors and sat on a dais to receive 
royal guests. Former occupants of the house and personages 
of her fertile imagination touched elbows at these social and 
political salons in dreamland. Washington and Burr and Mary 
Philipse and Charles O'Conor and red Indians, strewing palm 
branches, mingled with the Bonapartes and the Duke of 
Palermo and the Khedive of Egypt. She had their exploits 
and sa3rings at her tongue's end, and could point out the beds 
they had slept in and their favorite chairs, and recount the 
compliments they had paid her, and the honors she had con- 
descended to extend to them. Then there were the treasured 
recollections of her career in Paris, crusting the walls in small 
frames of every variety; there were framed visiting cards and 
framed death notices, as the formal announcement of the loss 
of her husband by Madame de la Pagerie; the three letters of 
Joseph Bonaparte, and one of his agent, Joseph Curret; invi- 
tations by titled people and even regrets of distinguished 
Parisians. There were donations and acceptances and silhou- 
ettes and newspaper clippings, all framed, and each affording 
its little grain of comfort to the demented lady. 

Even during this period of seclusion, she sometimes ven- 
tured into the world outside with her keeper, but not on foot, 
for she would scorn to walk abroad. She was still mistress, 
and the old gray horses would be harnessed to one of the tat- 
tered carriages, and the great gate would be unlocked for the 
passage of my lady in state. 

Few saw her at this period, except as some one of the house- 
hold that she had driven out occasionally looked in, or John 
Howard Smith, the rector of the Church of the Intercession, 
or her physician, or such other persons as necessity compelled 


Dust and stale 
odors lurked in 
the wide halls 

Some of the im- 
aginary guests 
that passed 
through the 

Sometimes she 
rode out into the 
world outside he- 
hind the old gray 


The Jumel Mansion 

One of her visi- 
tors was Mr. 
Bailey^ the 

Her appearance 
was fantastic 
and her dress 
was shabby and 

She is visited 
by a party of girls 
conducted by Mr. 
John Appleton 

A strange story 

her to call in. One of these was the plumber, Mr. Bailey, who 
died in 1912 at an advanced age. Mr. Bailey said that the 
house was an arsenal of firearms, and that this was particu- 
larly true of her own room, now known as the "Washington 
Bedroom." These arms were distributed in places where she 
thought they would be most available in case the house should 
be attacked by robbers. She would boast of her marksman- 
ship. One day taking a pistol from a table in her room, she 
called Mr. Bailey's attention to a distant tree where she said 
a bird was sitting, and assured him that she could take off his 
head at the first shot. 

Her personal appearance at this time was as fantastic as 
her imaginings — her dress was slovenly and unkempt ex- 
cept when she put on her ill-assorted finery to sit in state on 
her dais in the great drawing-room, to receive some real or 
imaginary guest. Her idiosyncrasies were long treated with 
reverence by the family whom she had expelled from the house, 
and who returned to it after her death as her heirs. Nelson 
Chase once said to a young lady, to whom he was showing 
the house, "That is the room in which my aunt died. You 
may not enter"; and a moment later, after showing her the 
view from the balcony, "You may now depart." The movable 
dais was still standing in the drawing-room in 1868, three 
years after Madame Jumel had passed away. 

Her mental condition at this time and conditions in the 
house are vividly portrayed in a remarkable paper prepared by 
a young girl immediately after her visit to Madame Jumel 
in 1862. She was one of a party of girls conducted by Mr. 
John Appleton Haven, whose country place was near by. The 
writer,^ now dead, was afterwards a married woman of great 
social prominence in the State, and her description of the 
appearance of Madame Jumel, and particularly of the articles 
of her clothing, is given as only a woman could give it. 

I wish to write down the facts connected with my visit to 
Madame Jumel at Fort Washington, for the stories she related 
of herself are so very remarkable that I fear in relating them I 
might either exaggerate them, or that from fear of drawing too 
largely on my imagination I might fail to do them justice. 


' Miss Parker, afterwards Mrs. John V. I. Pruyn, of Albany, New York. 

A Mad-House 


It was with great difficulty we gained admittance to the place, 
Mr. Haven, his daughter. Miss Treadwell, and myself, in Octo- 
ber, 1862, although Madame appointed a day and hour to see us 
and appeared to be delighted with the prospect of a call from 
"young girls." The second appointment was made after the 
failure of the first, and we found the gate locked as usual; but 
we sent the coachman over the fence, who returned from the 
house with a message from Madame saying she was waiting to 
receive us, and the Irishman came with the key to let us in. I 
felt as though we had even then when within the gates achieved 
a victory. There she stood on the front doorsteps, which were 
painted with blue moons on a lavender floor — a more fearful 
looking old woman one seldom sees — her hair and teeth were 
false — her skin thick, and possessing no shadow of ever having 
been clear and handsome — her feet were enormous, and stock- 
ings, soiled and coarse, were in wrinkles over her shoes — on one 
foot she wore a gaiter and on the other a carpet slipper. Her dress, 
or the skirt, which was all that was visible, was a dyed black silk 
with stamped flounces, three of them, such as were worn six or 
eight years ago. It was very rusty and narrow in the skirt. She 
wore a small hoop, which in sitting down she could not manage, 
so that it stood up, displaying her terrible feet. Over her shoulders 
she wore a rusty, threadbare blax;k velvet talma — and a soiled 
white merino scarf around her neck — her cap was made of hum- 
bug white blonde and cotton black lace and had long pea-green 
streamers. Her appearance was anything but neat. Such was 
the sight that greeted us — and this was the fabulously wealthy 
and elegant Madame Jumel, who received such unbounded atten- 
tion in Europe not only from nobility but from royalty itself. 

She received us as if we were all duchesses and she a queen. 
She called our attention to the splendid view before we went in. 
There at our left was the East River and a distant view of High 
Bridge and New York far beyond. Her place must have been 
superb before, and at the time of her marriage to Col. Burr — 
but now it is sadly neglected. The house is beautifully planned — 
two large square halls and a parlor back of them and opening 
with an arch, so that as you enter the idea strikes you that there 
are three halls. On the left is a parlor, and back of that a dining- 
room; on the right is a sitting-room, and back of it a staircase 
which is not visible as you enter. I am thus particular as the 
place is so historical, and the plan which is not a bad one may be 
of some practical use some day. Everything looked as if it was 
many years since they had been dusted, and the atmosphere was 
very disagreeable — as though fresh air was unknown. 

These two halls had inlaid tables, choicely and beautifully set 
in gilt frames, hanging baskets and etageres covered with articles 
of virtu. The walls were hung with rare paintings — one es- 
pecially, a full length of General Washington, which was my ad- 

There she stood 
on the front door- 
steps^ which were 
painted with 
blue moons on a 
lavender fioor . . . 
on one foot she 
wore a gaiter 
and on the other 
a carpet slipper 

The atmosphere 
was very 

1 90 

The Jumel Mansion 

Over the boy's 
face was sewed, 
a piece of black 

Her coach- 
man's livery coat 
hung by the side- 

'■'■ I will bring out 
the priest and 
to-morrow you 
shall be my 

miration. A large painting of a lady and two children, a boy and 
a girl, hung on the left. The size was enormous, and the frame 
of maroon velvet ornamented with a gilt vine. Madame said 
it was her design, the frame. It was a likeness of herself taken in 
Rome within ten years, and the children were a niece and nephew 
of M. Jumel's. Over the boy's face was sewed a piece of black 
stuff. "Ah," said Mr. Haven with his fine old-school manners, — 
"ah, Madame, what has happened to mar so fine a painting."*" 
" Sir," she replied, " I placed that patch there with my own hands; 
his character is defaced and not the picture. There it shall re- 
main until he redeems himself." We learned afterwards that the 
nephew ran off when fifteen years old with a woman much older 
than himself, who wanted his fortune, and that Madame had 
discarded him. The niece, Eliza, met and married, when in 
Europe ten years ago with Madame, a preacher, a Mr. Perri or 
Perrer, and they live in New York City. She will probably in- 
herit all this fabulous wealth which Madame hoards so carefully. 
She led us to the sitting-room on the right of the hall where there 
was a fire in the grate and I should think from all appearances 
she lived in it entirely. The place was chilly like all houses never 
aired, and the fire made little difference. Her coachman's livery 
coat hung by the sideboard, a pair of soiled stockings lay in the 
corner, on the table was a Britannia tray and tea-things of the 
same metal and relics of a forlorn breakfast — a dirty molasses 
pot and a shabby cake basket of grapes — all of Britannia • — 
completed this most interesting of breakfasts. We were very 
much afraid that she would invite us to eat something, but she 
was very magnificent and amiable in her manners and conversa- 
tion and called our attention to the superb paintings on the walls, 
where they were bought, etc. We were curious to hear her talk 
of Aaron Burr, and when she alluded to him incidentally we 
asked her if he was at all handsome. "Ah, my child," she replied, 
"he was a wretch!" And then she told the following story which 
I find very similar to the one told by Parton in his life of Burr. 

He was in the habit of playing whist with her, and drove out 
very often to spend the evening, and one night he said to her, 
"Madame, I offer you my hand; my heart has long been yours." 
She shrugged her shoulders and said she replied nothing, think- 
ing he was in jest, but the next night he came and said, "We must 
be married, Madame; I will bring out the priest and to-morrow 
you shall be my wife." " I told him it was no use, that I was faith- 
ful to the memory of M. Jumel, but he came the next night and 
I heard him and ran in fast upstairs to avoid seeing him, and 
Mr. Chase was with him. He saw me and ran after me, catching 
me on the landing, and he prayed me to marry Colonel Burr — 
that he, Chase, would be ruined if I did not, that Burr would 
turn him out of his office he would be so angry. The Colonel had 
promised him the deed of a village he owned on the North River 

Group Portrait of Madame Jumel and her Grand-Niece and 

A Mad-House 


and $150,000 from Trinity Church which he was to receive next 
week, if I would only marry him, and, poor boy, he appealed to 
my sympathy, but I did not mind. I tried to run downstairs and 
Burr was waiting at the foot, and caught my hand and dragged 
me to the parlor, saying the priest was old and it was nearly 
midnight and I must not detain him — and he was so handsome 
and brave and I allowed him to keep my hand and I stood up 
there, pointing to the place in the parlor on the left, and like a 
fool was married to him! The wretch, but he did not stay here 

Who this Chase is I do not know. He is an ordinary-looking 
man but has a keen black eye. He is a lawyer and intimate with 
Charles O'Conor. They two are called the steamboat and tug. 
On dit that Chase is a son of Aaron's Burr's. He lived until the 
June of 1862 with Madame at Fort Washington and looked after 
her property, but interfered too much, Madame said, and when 
he came home from town one night he found his luggage and 
traps all thrown in a heap on the lawn outside. Since that time he 
has lived in town. Madame told us all this, and that Chase's 
wife was born in her house, the mother had died, and she (Madame) 
had reared her. 

She says Joseph Bonaparte came to this country to marry her 
— he knew of her wealth from her European reputation, and she 
has regretted ever since his death, when she found he had left 
three millions of dollars, that she had snubbed him. He lived at 
Manhattanville so as to be near her and drove up to see her every 
day, and, in fact, bored her so much that she had the gate locked, 
and to her surprise he climbed over one day and went into her 
kitchen, and she thought it was a great shame for the ex-King 
of Spain to be in her kitchen and that she would give him a grand 
dinner to wipe out her bad treatment. Colonel Burr and many 
distinguished guests were present, and Joseph Bonaparte praised 
the table so much that she has kept it standing to this day. 
There in the dining-room on the left was the table — china, glass, 
still there, and gold ornaments and pyramids of confections, still 
standing on this greasy, dusty table, crumbled and moulded. It 
is a la Havisham in "Great Expectations." This same table Mrs. 
Appleton Haven saw twenty years ago. It is unchanged now, 
except Madame was persuaded by Mrs. O'Conor that it was im- 
prudent to leave so many gold and silver ornaments about, so 
some of them were put into the safe. 

Madame Jumel was abroad with her husband for twelve or 
fifteen years receiving great attention even from royalty, and 
distinguished herself for her fine manners and conversational 
talent. She is at this time eighty-four years old, and when she 
was seventy-two went abroad. again taking her nephew and. niece 
-^ and traveling under the name of the widow of the Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States. She said it was a good name to travel 


" and $150^000 
from Trinity 
Church which 
he was to receive 
next week " 

They are called 
the steamboat 
and tug 

"Joseph Bona- 
parte came to this 
country to marry 

Gold ornaments 
and pyramids of 
confections still 
standing on this 
greasy and dusty 


The Jumel Mansion 

The Vice ^een 
of America — it 
was whispered 
that she had come 
that night to stab 
Louis Napoleon 

'•'■Ah^ my dear 
Madame" ex- 
claimed the re- 
lieved Emperor., 
" when did you 
leave Fort 
Washington ? " 

When he left her 
he kissed her 
hand six times 

by, although she had never adopted it in this country. That 
when they were in Paris she went to a ball at the Tuileries — 
that her toilet was magnificent, and this we heard from another 
lady who was present on the occasion, that she was one blaze of 
diamonds. Madame says that she had a party of ladies with her 
and when she entered it was whispered that there came the Vice 
Queen of America, that she had come that night to stab Louis 
Napoleon, and to beware of her. So she said when she heard this 
she thought she would act the queen, and tossed her head and sat 
down, surrounded by her train — that finally she thought she 
would go and speak to the Emperor — he had been dancing with 
his cousin. Princess Mathilde, and was resting — so she arose, 
and at her feet on a lower seat was -sitting Jerome Bonaparte and 
she waved her hand and said, "Make way for the Vice-Queen" 
— and he arose very haughtily and looked at her — she- passed 
on followed by her train and stood before Louis, and stamping her 
foot, said, "Sire — Sire" — another stamping of her feet — the 
court were behind her with outstretched arms to seize the dagger 
they thought she carried. "I come to present — to present (a 
low bow, the court behind made another step in advance) — 
"to present myself — sire" — and a very low bow — "I am 
the widow of Colonel Burr, the ex-President of the United States, 
and am Madame Jumel from Fort Washington." "Ah, my dear 
Madame," exclaimed the relieved Emperor, "my dear Madame 
Jumel, I am so glad to see you; when did you leave Fort Wash- 
ington," etc., etc. "We conversed a great while together," she 
said, "about my place, and how I beat him at whist, but I did 
not ask him for the money he owed me," It seems he went 
poaching in or near Hoboken and was arrested and went to Mr. 
Chase to get him out of trouble, and neither of them having the 
money to pay the judgment given by the court against Louis 
Bonaparte, Mr. Chase borrowed the $200 or $300 of Madame 
Jumel, who was never refunded. 

When she was at Palermo she went to see the palace of the 
Duke, and the great door opens upon seven halls lined with mir- 
rors from ceiling to floor, and she stamped her foot and said, 
"This palace shall be mine" — she did not know the Duke was 
a widower, but the woman laughed and must have reported her 
speech to her master, for the next day the Duke alighted at her 
lodgings arrayed^ in laces and diamonds, and as he stepped from 
his carriage a friend asked him where he was going, what pre- 
sentation was to take place, and he replied he was to present 
himself to the "Vice-Queen of America." When he left her, he 
kissed her hand six times, and she says, to use her own language, 
"I said to Eliza, 'that man is going to bore us, let us go to Paris 
to-night," and we were no sooner in Paris than a beautiful letter 
in French came from the Duke offering me his hand and half of 
his possessions if I would only marry him." She did not return 


A Mad-House 


the letter, and he soon made his appearance and implored her to 
marry him, but she replied, "I am faithful to the memory of M. 
Jumel. I bear to you the celestial affection that the Angels in 
Heaven bear to one another — I love you as a brother." He 
kissed her hand many times and departed "overcome with 

"My dear," she said to me, "I was seventy-two years old, 
think of my inspiring such love ! Parlez vous Fran^ais, ma chere ? " 
"Yes," 1 replied, "I speak it easily"; and then followed a long 
conversation in which she joined with as much ease as if she was 
twenty or a Frenchman. Complimented me on my style and pro- 
nunciation, and told me I should see the Duke's letter, but 1 heard 
nothing more of it. She asked me if I had ever seen her place in 
Saratoga called the "Tuileries," that she had bought it in ten 
minutes. It was a delightful retreat. That she had not been there 
in three years, as Mr. Chase told her that the rich men in the 
hotels were making a crown of precious stones for her to crown 
her Queen — and that she was so frightened at the prospect that 
she had packed up and returned home immediately and did I 
think she could go the next summer and would I go with her.? 
"Certainly," I replied — and where should she send me word 
to go with her.? "To Mrs. Haven," I replied, which seemed to 
satisfy her. She showed us a framed letter she had written in 
Saratoga to the National Guards or Grays of Syracuse or Utica, 
presenting a stand of colors, and the reply which was very flat- 

From this she went to talk of the war and her sorrow for our 
troubles — she betrayed some Southern sympathy which vexed 
Mr. Haven, and then she told him of a plan she had heard a short 
time before from Mr. William B. Astor, who, she said, recog- 
nized her team before a shop in town and had gone in to speak to 
her. And he told her a mighty prophet had appeared who pre- 
dicted the loss of a ship at one time and it occurred, and then fore- 
told when the war would come to pass, and that now he said the 
North and South would be reconciled by making Madame Jumel 
Queen — what did we think of the plan, etc. 

These stories I have written are among the most remarkable 
ones. My patience would be exhausted to write more. We were 
there for more than two hours, and then could only get away by 
promising to come again very soon. She followed us out to the 
carriage, telling us of her religious belief, her education as a 
Friend, and her present faith in the Church, and her great belief 
in the Holy Spirit, She related some marvelous stories of her 
early life on this place which belonged to her and her plans for a 
new house with seven halls lined with mirrors. She had much 
to say of the treasures of Captain Kyd buried on her place — of 
the times when the Indian massacres took place and of General 
Washington's intimacy at her father's house. I dare say there is 


^Iwas seventy- 
two years eld; 
think of my 
inspiring such 

The rich men at 
Saratoga were 
making a crown 
of precious stones 
to crown her 

The war between 
the North and 
the South could be 
stopped by mak- 
ing her ^een 

The treasures of 
Captain Kyd 
were buried on 
her place 


Her horsis art 
her only luxury 

*^^My aunt never 
Joseph Bona- 

The Jumel Mansion 

Given to fantas- 
tic imaginings 
which had no 
foundation in 

much truth in her remarkable stories, but living alone and think- 
ing continually of the days gone by — she has dwelt so much on 
the incidents of her remarkable life that they are all magnified 
into marvelous stories. She has but two very inferior servants 
who have charge of house, horses, and place. Her horses are her 
only luxury. Her meannesses are easily accounted for, as she 
thinks all who have an interest in her are merely so for her great 
wealth and a desire to make something from her. Her horror of 
Mr. O'Conor and Mr. Chase seems to be on this account. They 
advised her strongly to make a will. It is unfortunate that she 
has no children to interest and take care of her. A childless and 
forlorn old age hers has proved to be, in spite of the brilliancy of 
her youth and of more good fortune in her early days than gen- 
erally falls to us. This verifies my belief that to a certain extent 
all things are equal. 

After reading this remarkable description of Madame Jumel, 
and particularly of the table standing in the smallest room on 
the dining-room floor, the most unlikely place for a banquet 
to royalty, I went to see the grand-niece, Mrs. Caryl, who 
had passed most of her life in the house, and who was the 
Eliza to whom Madame Jumel remarked that the Duke was 
going to be a bore, and asked her about the dinner to Joseph 
Bonaparte. She said, "My aunt never entertained Joseph 

Thus we see that one of the most important traditions of 
the house, that a door was once widened by Madame Jumel's 
orders, so that she and her royal guest could go in to dinner 
side by side, falls to the ground. The story itself is silly be- 
cause there never couU have been a door in this colonial house 
of particularly wide doors, through which two persons could not 
easily pass together. The banquet to Joseph Bonaparte, which 
was the parent fable, is also eliminated from the facts about 
the house. 

It will be readily seen, by any reader of the experience of the 
Haven party, that this demented lady, dwelling on her social 
ambitions in Paris as well as in New York, and on her rela- 
tions with the Bonaparte family, was given to fantastic imagin- 
ings which had little foundation in fact. Nothing could be 
more fantastic than her evident belief that the table and its 
crumbled ornaments, which she maintained for years, were 
the remains of a banquet which she had given to an imaginary 

A Mad-House 


royal guest, except the table of Miss Havisham in "Great 
Expectations," where the bride's cake was buried in cob- 
webs and fungus, from their holes in which the black beetles 
and the speckled-legged spiders emerged and left their tracks 
in the dust on the tablecloth. But Dickens out-imagined 
Madame Jumel, with his banquet-room dimly lighted with 
candles, in the house of his CTZzy woman, where all the clocks 
had stopped at twenty minutes to nine. There was no need of 
stopping the clocks in the Jumel Mansion, where the banquet 
had been a banquet of triumph, while Miss Havisham's was 
a banquet of disappointment. The similarity, of conditions, 
however, is so striking that some have thought that when 
Dickens was in America he may have paid a visit to Ma- 
dame Jumel and have seen in her the prototype of poor Miss 

Although, at the time of the visit of the Haven party, this 
mouldering banquet table was standing in the small room, 
there is abundant evidence that it was originally spread in the 
great drawing-room at the end of the hall and that it had been 
standing there for many years. Miss Parker tells us that Mrs. 
Appleton Haven had seen the same table twenty years before. 
That would put the date of the banquet table as far back as 
1842. This would carry the insanity of Madame Jumel back 
to 1842, for no sane person could possibly have taken such ac- 
tion. The long lease of the mansion, during which Madame 
Jumel lived in the city, ended in 1839, and the spreading of 
this table must have taken place at about the time of her re- 
turn to her own house. This was ten years before she went 
abroad for the last time, taking with her the children of Nel- 
son Chase, when she arranged the marriage of her niece at 
Bordeaux, and sat for the portrait in Rome and bought the 
green liveries in Paris. She was insane then, but it was that 
kind of insanity that is often firmly dominated by great 
shrewdness in money matters and which passes for eccentricity. 

The interesting question now arises as to the period when the 
table was removed from the great drawing-room to the small 
room, — from the court-martial room of General Washington's 
time to the guardroom where the prisoners awaited trial, — 
and as to the motive that prompted her to make the change. 


The bride's cake, 
from their holes 
in which the 
black beetles and 
the speckled- 
legged spiders 

Mrs. Appleton 
Haven had seen 
the same table 
twenty years ' 

It was a kind of 
insanity often 
dominated by 
great shrewdness 
in money matters 


The Jumel Mansion 

It was (luring 
this period that 
we first hear of 
the raised plat- 

What befel 
Mr. Bailey, the 

On his head he 
wore a red f ex. 
As soon as he saw 
Mr. Bailey he 
cried in a loud 
voice, ^ril hang 
your jaw " 

It was during this period of seclusion that we first hear of 
the raised platform erected in the great drawing-room, on 
which Madame Jumel sat to receive her guests, providing 
they were sufficiently distinguished; and it is probable that 
when she made that room into a throne room, she found it 
necessary to remove the table to another room. It was before 
the visit of the Haven party that she advertised for a com- 
panion. The advertisement was answered by an English lady, 
who, at the time, was living in Flushing, Long Island. When 
the lady presented herself at the mansion, she found Madame 
Jumel dressed in a gown of red satin and seated on her throne 
waiting to receive Governor Hofi^man. 

These outbursts of insane eccentricity were sometimes as 
amusing as they were fantastic. On one occasion when Mr. 
Bailey, the plumber, was approaching the house with a bill 
for some recent plumbing, she saw him coming up the walk 
leading to the front door, and, calling from the window of her 
room, she bade him wait until she was ready, as she wished to 
receive him in the French style. After some delay she reap- 
peared at the window. 

"Now, Mr. Bailey," she said, "go up and tap gently on the 
knocker three times and my valet will open the door and ad- 
dress you in French." 

"But I don't understand French, Madame." 

"Never mind," she said, "do as I say." 

So Mr. Bailey knocked as directed and the door opened, re- 
vealing the coachman, who was a small Irishman, rigged up 
in a chintz wrapper, hitched up and tied around his waist with 
a string to keep it off the floor. On his head he wore a red fez, 
and, as soon as he saw Bailey he cried in a loud voice, — 

"I'll bang your jaw." 

"What's the matter John?" said Mr. Bailey. 

"I'll bang your jaw." 

Then Madame Jumel, listening over the stairs, heard the 
language of her valet, and called down: — 

"What do you mean, John? Did n't I tell you to say, 'Bon 
jour ? 

Madame Jumel died on the i6th of July, 1865, in the last 
year of the Civil War. Her remains rest in the Jumel tomb in 
. Trinity 

"The Drawing-Room 

A Mad-House 


Trinity Cemetery, on the slope overlooking the broad Hud- 
son, while the remains of Stephen Jumel lie in the consecrated 
ground of the old St. Patrick's Cathedral on Prince Street. 

The poor demented lady breathed her last in that chamber 
of the old house known as the "Washington Bedroom." She 
may be said to have died in state as a grande dame should, 
decked in all her jewels and powdered and rouged to the end. 
And this is no flight of imagination, but the very circum- 
stantial testimony of a Mrs. E. W. J., who as a young girl 
saw Madame Jumel on her death-bed. She relates that she 
was brought into the house by the doctor in attendance, and 
led to the upper hall, where she was allowed to look through 
the door into the sick-room. She saw an old woman Ijang in 
bed whose cap was gay with pink ribbons and whose face was 
very much powdered and rouged. 

Although she has forgotten the doctor's name, she remem- 
bers that he told her that Madame Jumel insisted on having 
her face powdered and rouged every day. 

She may be said 
to have died 
in state as a 
'■'■ grande dame" 


Fables published 
periodically in the 
magazines and 
Sunday news- 

Some of the 
things that it is 
claimed she was 
and did 




THE story of Madame Jumel has never before been 
written, but for more than a generation, a series 
of fables has been current, published periodically 
in the magazines and Sunday newspapers, to which, 
now and then, a handsome addition has been made by some 
ambitious newspaper ^sop. The disposition to add a newly 
coined fable to the sum of the fables that make up the popu- 
lar story of Madame Jumel, exemplifies a peculiar phase of the 
newspaper mind. The new fable may be merely a playful 
flight of the writer's imagination, or a desire to make additional 
copy, or, by its exaggeration, may constitute a satirical thrust 
or a covert sneer at what has gone before. Whether consciously 
or unconsciously, the addition of the new fable indicates the 
disbelief of the writer in the statements he has already made. 
It has been claimed that Madame Jumel was born at sea 
of mysterious and unknown parentage ; that she was the daugh- 
ter of Napoleon Bonaparte; that she was a Capet; that she 
was born in France; that she was of royal blood; that she en- 
tertained the Bonapartes and other royalties and celebrities; 
that she held a political salon in the mansion; that she was 
over-intimate with Alexander Hamilton; that she habitually 
drove about in a yellow coach with her postilions in livery; 
that she was a figure at the French Court; that she was a 
friend of Louis Philippe, and of Louis XVIII, and of Charles X, 
and of Tallejrrand, and of Dolly Madison, and that M. Jumel 
received presents from the great Napoleon, and indirectly 
from the JChedive of Egypt. 

They are cheerful and ambitious fables and among them 
all is one lonely fact, the fact that Madame Jumel married 
Aaron Burr, and that event is embellished with a set of minor 


The Jumel Fables 


fables. While Madame Jumel has been dead but fifty years, 
as much mystery surrounds her life as if she had been a con- 
temporary of Peter Stuyvesant and Washington Irving had 
been her biographer. 

As fables, whether secular or religious, never die, the pic- 
turesque stories told about this woman's career will probably 
live forever, although they were only the imaginings of her 
disordered mind. 

The story of the underground passage from the house to the 
Harlem River and the claim that Washington used the small 
bajconies over the side doors for sentry boxes are equally absurd 
and equally untrue. The latter claim could only be entertained 
by persons profoundly ignorant of military affairs. 

Madame Jumel seems always to have been ready to give 
information on demand, with cool indifference to facts. The 
story in all the old histories, that the house was built for the 
bride before the wedding in 1758, probably originated with 
Madame Jumel. The Philipses and Morrises having all left 
the country, the most natural place to seek information about 
the house was at the house itself. 

When she weaves us the legend that a party of Indian 
braves from the Six Nations laid branches of laurel at Wash- 
ington's feet in the "Council Chamber," while Aaron Burr was 
writing a letter in the room, we might think that this informa- 
tion, at least, was true, and that she got her information from 
Burr himself; but when we find that the body of Indians con- 
sisted of only two sachems of the Ca3mgas, sent down by Gen- 
eral Schuyler, and that there never was any council of war held 
in the house, and that the "Council Chamber" was the court- 
martial room, we find that the statements were all romance. 
The fact is that two chiefs of the Cayugas were sent down by 
General Schuyler with an interpreter, and General Washing;- 
ton treated them very much as Indians used to be treated in 
Washington when it was desirable to impress them with respect 
for the power of the white man. On October i, General 
Schuyler wrote to General Washington: — 

Albany, October ist, 1776. 
Dear Sir: — Two Sachems of the Cayugas, who have been 
with me on business, expressed an inclination to visit your Ex- 

Js fables never 
die, these will 
probably live 

The fable of the 
building of the 
house in 17^8 

The fable of the 
party of Indians 
bringing laurel 


General Schuyler 
to General 

General Wash- 
ington to General 

The Lafayette 

The Jumel Mansion 

cellency, which I greedily embraced, as their reports, when they 
return, will I hope, eradicate the various accounts, which prevail 
among the savages to our disadvantage, they go down under the 
care of Mr. Dean the interpreter to this Department, I wish if 
convenient that they might be shown as much of our force as 
possible, and to have some presents made them, they do not wish 
to remain above a day or two with you. 

I am, dear sir, most respectfully, your Excellency's most Obedi- 
ient, humble servant. 

Ph. ScHtryLER. 

On Thursday, the loth of October, General Washington 
wrote a letter to General Schuyler, in the first part of which he 
gives an interesting account of his treatment of the two Indian 
chiefs, whose numbers have been so much exaggerated in local 
history: — 

Dear Sir: — I am now to acknowledge your favor of the first 
instant, and inform you that the two Sachems of the Caughnua- 
gas, with Mr. Dean, the interpreter, have been with me and 
spent three or four days. I showed them every civility in my 
power, and presented them with such necessaries as our barren 
stores afford and they were pleased to take. I also had them 
shown all our works upon this island, which I had manned to 
give 'em an idea of our force, and to do away with the false 
notions they might have imbibed from the tales which had been 
propagated among 'em. They seemed to think we were amaz- 
ingly strong and said they had seen enough without going to our 
posts in Jersey or to the other side of Harlem river. They took 
their departure yesterday morning, and 1 hope with no unfavor- 
able impressions. 

Madame Jumel claimed that she entertained Lafayette in 
the mansion, and the room which he occupied for a night was 
pointed out, and the bed on which he slept was shown to visi- 
tors. The old mahogany sofa-bedstead, with rolling head- and 
foot-board, was among the articles removed from the house 
in 1887. When Count Lafayette was shown the bed on which 
his great-grandfather slept, it is another family tradition 
that he burst into tears. Lafayette landed in New York on 
the isth of August, 1824, and left the country at about the 
same date in August, 1825. Madame Jumel was living in 
France from 1821 to 1826. 

A similar dihi disposes of the nest of fables that have con- 
nected Madame Jimiel's name with that of Louis Napoleon. 


"The Hall of the House 

Shoiuing the Dratving-Room at the End of the Vista 

The Jumel Fables 


He left France in November, 1836, and returned in 1837. This 
was his only visit to America and Madame Jumel did not 
occupy the mansion between the years 1834 and 1839. 
Louis Napoleon was in America for less than one year, and 
during the five years that she rented the house to strangers, 
and thought about it only as a house to be avoided. There- 
fore, the stories that she entertained him at the mansion, that 
she played chess with him, that she loaned him money, and 
that she was afterwards received at Court and was repaid the 
loan, and that she received a necklace of diamonds from the 
Empress Eugenie, are all fabrications. 

She did, however, attend the court ball at the Tuileries in 
1852, when, with her niece, she was invited by Prince Louis 
to attend the ceremony of presenting the Eagle at the Champs 
de Mars. The invitation to the court ball was readily ob- 
tainable through the American Minister, and the invitation 
to the ceremony of "Presenting the Eagle" may have gone 
with it. "Eliza," her niece, who was traveling with Madame 
Jumel in 1852, wrote to her father from Edinburgh that 
they had remained longer in Paris than they had intended, in 
order to accept an invitation from Louis Napoleon to attend 
the ceremony of presenting the eagle to the army, at the 
Champ de Mars. Her costume worn at the court ball and the 
framed invitation of Prince Louis were among the treasures 
of Madame Jumel in her irresponsible old age, and the stories 
of her social relations with Louis Napoleon seem to have grown 
about these two events. Furthermore, there is no satisfac- 
tory evidence that any of the Napoleonic property brought 
to America by Madame Jumel was given to Stephen Jumel 
by the Emperor. The "campaigning trunk," the "Josephine 
table," the furniture owned by General Moreau, and all the 
other relics were bought by Stephen Jumel, and probably at 
one purchase, when his wife was starting for America. 

Stephen Jumel was still generous; and now that she is leav- 
ing him for a final separation, besides giving her "Jumel Man- 
sion" and its beautiful grounds, and valuable property in the 
city of New York, he gives her an outfit of curios, which she 
can bring home as Napoleonic gifts, to help a little in another 
bid for social recognition. 


The nest of 
Louis Napoleon 

Seme facts that 
are not fables 

Stephen Jumel 
was still generous 


The fable of the 
cypress trees 

The Jumel Mansion 

She imagined that she had refused to marry Joseph Bona- 
parte and that she had made amends to his wounded feelings 
by giving him a banquet at which other distinguished guests 
sat down. All of the Jumel traditions are untrustworthy, and 
the more fantastic they are the more certainly are they the 
imaginings of her disordered mind. None of tiiese traditions 
is more fantastic or more ridiculous than the story of the 
cypress trees given by the Khedive of Egypt to Napoleon 
Bonaparte and by Napoleon Bonaparte to Stephen Jumel, 
who had gone to France expressly to bring the great Emperor 
to America and to Jumel Mansion. 




AFTER Madame Jumel's death, and following the 
reading of her will, began a period of litigation 
that continued for nearly twenty years, absorb- 
ing the great estate until the resident heirs were 
shorn of everything except the old house and the grounds sur- 
rounding it. The original one hundred and seventy-five acres 
on the Heights that had belonged to Stephen Jumel had shriv- 
eled and shrunk to the dooryard of Jumel Mansion. 

The heirs living at this time in the house were Nelson Chase, 
now a widower, and the families of his married son and daugh- 
ter. Wrangling about the property and litigation within the 
household had so estranged the inmates that at times there 
were three families living in separate apartments, and having 
no intercourse with each other. 

The poor demented lady, two years before her death, had 
made a will, devising the bulk of her real and personal prop- 
erty to religious and charitable societies, not forgetting to be- 
stow a Uberal sum on her favorite pastor, John Howard Smith, 
rector of the Church of the Intercession, who was acting as 
her adviser and guide. Irresponsible and incompetent as she 
was, she acted under good advice, and the making of her will 
was the most meritorious act of her life. Besides the CJhurch 
of the Intercession, the other beneficiaries of her will were the 
Society of the New York Hospital, the New York Orphan 
Asylum, the New York Institution for the Instruction of the 
Deaf and Dumb ; the New York Institution for the Blind : the 
Society for the Relief of the Destitute Children of Seamen ; 
the Trustees of the Fund for Aged and Infirm Clergymen of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New York; 



Litigatim began 
after the reading 
of Madame 
"Jumel's will 

The Church ef 
the Intercession 
and some of the 
ether beneficia- 
ries of her will 


The nephew who 
threw the ink 
bottle at the por- 
trait by Alcide 
Ercole not men- 
tioned in the wiU 

The "Janei family 
■with the middle 
Home ofjumel 

The Jumel Mansion 

the Missionary Society for Seamen in the City and Port of 
New York; the American Bible Society; and an Association 
for the Relief of Respectable, Aged, Indigent Females in the 
City of New York. 

Following the charitable bequests she mentioned in her will 
"Eliza Jumel Pery and Paul Guillaume Raymond Pery, her 
husband, and Matilde Elizabeth Georgiana Pery." William 
Inglis Chase, who threw the ink bottle at the portrait by 
Alcide Ercole, was not mentioned in the will. 

In the suit to break the will, each society or individual 
named as a beneficiary was represented in court by one or 
more lawyers or law firms, so that the legal profession was well 
represented at the first tilt in the Jumel lists. This will was 
set aside on the ground of the incompetence of the testatrix, 
but more than a year was absorbed in the legal proceedings, 
so that it was in November, 1866, when the will was set aside 
and administrators appointed to administer the estate. The 
administrators were William C. Wetmore and William B. 
Jones, the latter a claimant on the estate as a nephew of Ma- 
dame Jumel. The title to the real estate, up to the time of the 
death of Mary Jumel Bownes, afterwards the wife of Nelson 
Chase, had been in her name. She was the illegitimate daugh- 
ter of Madame Jumel's stepsister, Polly Clarke. William B. 
Jones, the administrator, was also an illegitimate son of Polly 
Clarke, and associated with him as claimants were three legiti- 
mate children of Polly Clarke. These four children of Polly 
Clarke — William B. Jones, Stephen Jumel Jones, Eliza Jumel 
Tranchel, and Louisa Jumel Maddox — were named by the 
court as the nephews and nieces of Madame Jumel and her 
only heirs at law. Judging by their middle names they had 
been bom with expectations. These were the brothers and 
sisters, legitimate and illegitimate, whole and half, of Mary 
Jumel Bownes, deceased. 

To put aside legal verbiage, the court found that Madame 
Jumel, at the time of her death, was the owner of the estate, 
and that these children of her stepsister, not of her blood, were 
to inherit. It was a curious situation arrived at by the appli- 
cation of the law governing illegitimacy; a situation where a 
well-intentioned law worked injustice. Probably never before 




DIED 18TH MAY 1786 




BORN IN 1757 



IN MARCH 1790 




8TH APRIL 1804 

1ST JULY 1833 




BORN 9TH OCT. 1794 









BORN IN 1770 




BORN 26TH DEC. 1787 


IN 1808 


DIED 1820 



BORN 17TH NOV. 1805 






BORN 1836 


19TH DEC. 1805 
DIED 1850 



BORN IN 1801 


JAN. 1832 

DIED 1843 


BORN 1840 



















NOV. 9, 1912 


. TRANSCRIBER'S" /^ ../ u * n ki i ru 

NOTE ■ George Washington Bowen, Nelson Chase 

John Reuben Vandervoort; Deceased since 1873, 



MARCH 1790 




19TH DEC. 1805 

DIED 1850 



BORN IN 1801 


JAN. 1832 

DIED 1843 




BORN 17TH JUNE 1755 


19TH DEC. 1805 

DIED 1849 













B0RN16TH APRIL 1806 







BORN 2IST DEC. 1809 




BORN 31ST DEC. 1813 


BORN 1840 



wallace tygard 

:l estate owner 


NOV. 9, 1912 


Power Atty, Stephen Jumel to Eliza B. Jumel, Dated May 16, 1826. 
Deed Stephen Jumel & Eliza B. Jumel to Mary Jumel Bownes, Dated July 30, 1827 
Trust Deed Mary Jumel Bownes to Michael Werckmeister, Dated Deo. 11, 1827. 
Trust Declaration Eliia B. Burr & Michael Werokmeister, U. 3. Sup. Ot. No. 312. 
Deed EUza B. Burr, Michael Werckmeister & Alex. Hamilton, January 10, 1834. 
Deed Alex. Hamilton & Wile to Michael Werokmeister, Dated October 21, 1834. 
Deed between Eliza B. Jumel, mohael Werokmeister and Francis PhiUipsn. 
Deed Francis Phllllpen to Eliza B. Jumel, Dated August 20, 1842. 
Deed Stephen Jumel & Eliza B. Jumel to Benjamin Desoby, Dated June 3, 181B. 
Deed Stephen Jumel & Wife to Benjamin Desoby & Others, Dated Jan. 13, 1825. 
Deed Elvy Berger & John E. Skiddy to Mary Jumel Bownes, Dated Jan.l, 1828. 
Deed Mary Jumel Bownes to Michael Werckmeister, Dated May 13, 1828. 
Deed between Stephen Jumel & Wife & Robert J. Maoey, Dated January 18, 1826. 
Deed between Robert J. Macey, Stephen Jumel, Eliza B. Jumel & Mary Jumel 
Bownes, Dated November 24, 1827. 

Deed Leonard Parkinson to Stephen Jumel, Dated June 26. 1810. Lib. 88, Page 86, 

New York Records. 
Deed and Power Atty. Stephen Jumel to EUza B. Jumel, Dated July 1, 1826. Li ber. 

2, Page 88, New York Records. 
Deed Gerardus Post & Wife to Stephen Jumel, Dated May 3, 1814. Liber. 106, Page 

261, N.Y. Records. 
Decision Bowen's Heirship. See Paige's Chancery Record. Vol. 7, Page 591. 
Deed George Washington Bowen to John Reuben Vandervoort, Dated Feb. 28, 1882. 

Recorded Liber. 2051, Page 474, on July 12, 1887. N. Y. Records and in County 

Clerk's Office, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. July 26, 1887. Deed Book 178, Page 56. 
Deed John Reuben Vandervoort to James Wallace Tygard, Dated April 23, 1903. 

Recorded April 27, 1903. Block Series General Conveyance, Liber. 2, Page 55. 

N. Y. Records. 
Deed James Wallace Tygard to Elizabeth Ann T^ygard, Dated April 27, 1903. Re- 
corded April 27, 1903. In Block Series Conveyances, Section 8, Liber. 20, Page 

29, Block No. 2109. N.Y. Records. 
Deed James Wallace Tygard & Elizabeth Ann Tygard to Joseph Bird, Dated April 

27, 1903. Recorded April 27, 1903. 
Deed James Wallace Tygard & Elizabeth Ann Tygard to Mark P. Roberts. 
Deed James Wallace Tygard & Elizabeth Ann Tygard to Mary J. Tygard. 
Deed James Wallace Tygard & Elizabeth Ann Tygard to Mrs. Ida Tygard. 

Invoking the Law 


or since has the aforesaid statute been called upon to work its 
way through such a tangle of illegitimacy. 

While these distant kinsfolk (the result of a marriage that 
was no marriage), discovered by the law, were actually no 
relations of Madame Jumel, she had left a half-sister, Lavinia, 
the daughter of her mother, of her own blood, with children 
and grandchildren, the same to whom Madame Jumel had 
paid the visit at the bakery in Christopher Street, but who 
was barred from inheriting because she was illegitimate. 

Even the children of "Mary Bownes," the adopted daughter 
and the wife of Nelson Chase, now grown up and married, 
with children of their own, who had lived on the property all 
their lives, and whose mother, until her death, was the actual 
owner of the estate by deeds of transfer made by Madame 
Jumel, were barred from inheriting by the illegitimacy of 
their mother and grandmother. 

Such a tangle of illegitimacy drew the bar sinister across the 
path of the claimants, who had been all their lives in possession 
and enjoyment of the Jumel estate, in a way that it would be 
hard to parallel in modern times. The children of Polly Clarke, 
after she began to be a married mother, were each given the 
name of Jumel. The first-born in wedlock was a son, who was 
named Stephen Jumel Jones ; he was given the honored name in 
fuU measure. Then followed Eliza Jumel Jones, almost equally 
well provided for, and lastly, Louise Jumel Jones. Perhaps the 
mother was prompted, in part, by her gratitude to her step- 
sister, Madame Jumel, who had adopted her first mistake. It 
is not likely that she ever dreamed of her legitimate children 
securing the inheritance of her first-born, Mary Bownes, who 
had been reared in luxury and educated in Paris, as the 
adopted daughter of the Jumels, but that was what the court 
decreed, as it interpreted the law on illegitimacy. 

This strange and threatening situation was so well under- 
stood by the heirs in possession and their lawyers, that these 
dangerous "sole heirs" of Madame Jumel were side-tracked and 
disposed of just thirteen days after that lady's death. The Jones 
family, with the middle name of Jumel, for the consideration of 
forty thousand dollars, gave quitclaim deeds to Nelson Chase 
by which they relinquished all claim on the Jumel estate. 


A half-sister is 
because she is 

A tangle of 
illegitimate ties 
upon the Jumel 

These trouble- 
some heirs were 


The Jumel Mansion 

Forty thousand 
dollars and five 
thousand for pin 

Count yoannes 
appears as one 
of the counsel 
and afterwards 
carries the um- 
brella over 
Nelson Chase 

Counter-suits of 
the BowenSf 
BallouSf and 

Nelson Chase and his family at this time were in debt, with 
arrears of debt to the city for unpaid taxes, and with no ready 
money at hand to employ lawyers or for ordinary expenses, but 
the estate was regarded as inexhaustible. So, when raising the 
forty thousand dollars to satisfy the Joneses, an extra five 
thousand dollars was borrowed for pin-money, making the 
round sum of forty-five thousand dollars, for which a note was 
given, which remained on interest for fifteen years, and when 
it was paid under a decree of the court in 1880, it had grown 
to the bulk of $73,125.17. 

When the Jumel-Joneses realized that they had sold their 
claim on the estate for too small a sum, several suits to set 
aside the quitclaim deeds were instituted by Stephen Jumel 
Jones, whose attorney was no less a personage than George, 
the Count Joannes (who was also a Jones), at whom the col- 
lege boys used to throw vegetables when he appeared on the 
stage as Hamlet. It is a tradition of the Heights that, after 
the breaking of the will. Nelson Chase was so elated that he 
celebrated the event by bringing up the Count Joannes as an 
attendant or companion. The pair, as they appeared on the 
country roads together, suggested Don Quixote and Sancho 
Panza, except that the position of master and man was re- 
versed. The Coynt was tall and lean, while Chase was short 
and fat. The Count, who carried the umbrella over his diminu- 
tive companion, would sometimes, in a moment of poetical 
absorption, find himself far ahead with no one at his side, and 
be brought to a realization of his position by a volley of oaths 
from the little man back in the sun. 

The suits and counter-suits brought by claimants against 
the estate were interminable and involved to a degree that it 
is unnecessary to follow in this history. The Bowens, Ballous, 
and Vandervoorts, descendants of Madame Jumel's mother, 
legitimate or otherwise, swarmed like flies over the sugar bowl, 
but the most important suit was brought by George Wash- 
ington Bowen, the illegitimate son of Madame Jumel, which 
will be considered in a separate chapter. 

Following Madame Jumel's death, an inventory was made 
of the real and personal property of the deceased. The per- 
sonal property, enumerated under the heads, "Carriages, 


Invoking the Law 


Horses, Furniture, Paintings, Statuary, Silverware and Glass- 
ware," was listed at the insignificant sum of $1238.74. In the 
last years of her life, owing to her irresponsible condition and 
her extreme old age, the establishment of a woman of wealth 
had dwindled in value through neglect and the lapse of years. 
Included in the appraisement were two old gray horses, valued 
at thirty dollars each, and three carriages, at twenty, fifteen, 
and five dollars each. The fifteen-dollar vehicle was the an- 
cient and^tattered barouche which she claimed had been given 
to her by King Louis Philippe. 

The appraisement further included a balance in bank of 
$3645 and a promissory note valued with interest at $18,240. 
Further than these two items of real value, any stocks or bonds, 
jewelry or silver, that may have belonged to the estate, dis- 
appeared from view and were never included in any of the 
litigation that followed. 

The family portrait by Alcide Ercole was passed by cour- 
tesy by the appraisers. None of the so-called "Napoleon 
relics," or the diamonds and jewelry afterwards shown at a 
fair for charity in Dr. Vanderwater's church in Harlem, were 
found by the appraisers. There was not a single piece of ster- 
ling silver in this old home of a wealthy family. Even the 
spoons and forks had vanished. 

There were jewels somewhere. Madame Jumel was a pecu- 
liarly vain person, who for many years had been able to spend 
money lavishly, and, tempted by the display of diamonds in 
the shops of Paris and New York, she probably possessed a 
small fortune in jewels. The vanity that demanded that her 
poor withered face should be powdered and rouged every day, 
as she lay on her death-bed, would as certainly have decked 
her person, in life, with all the jewelry within her reach. Such 
possessions were in the vaults of safe-deposit companies, be- 
yond the reach of the appraisers. It has been asserted, with 
much detail, by the Bowen claimants that boxes and hampers 
were buried in the garden on the night before the visit of the 
appraisers and dug up shortly afterwards. 

With the endless litigation outside the house began endless 
strife within. Three years after Madame Jumel's death, the 
mansion was occupied by three families, of which Nelson 


The appraise- 
ment of the be- 
longings of a 
woman of wealth 

The balance in 

A portrait is 
passed by courtesy 

The jewels and 
silver are not 


The Jumel Mansion 

Thrte families 
in one house live 

Madame "Jumel 
not really a suc- 
cess as a match- 

A thousand 
dollars or its 
equivalent., five 
thousand francs^ 
her fixed allow- 
ance for the 
newly wed 

Chase was one, as he lived alone and dined alone. He slept in 
the southwest chamber, known as the "Burr Room." Mr. 
and Mrs. Pery occupied the "Washington Bedroom," and 
the family of William Inglis Chase the rooms above the great 
drawing-room. They were all served by the same cook, but 
they entered the dining-room at different periods. This con- 
dition was the natural result of the atmosphere in which some 
of the inmates had been born and in which all of them had 
lived most of their lives. It was an atmosphere of suspicion, 
of dissension, of dissipation. 

Madame Jumel, as events proved, had not been a success 
as a matchmaker. Although she had secured the husbands 
and brought about speedy marriages with her direct business 
method, the results were far from satisfactory. In arranging 
these marriages, besides securing husbands for her nieces, her 
prime object was to secure more inmates for the mansion, 
which was dreary for want of fellow beings to speak to. She 
needed some one to live with, to be social with, to quarrel 
with, to drink with. The solitary life of this woman, of ample 
wealth, in her great house, after her first return from France, 
is almost unbelievable at this time. The neighbor families 
held aloof from her and she knew that their doors were closed 
to her. The efforts she made to secure companionship in the 
house were pathetic. She adopted children who left her. At 
each of the marriages of her nieces, she stipulated that the 
young people were to come and live with her at the mansion. 
In each case she guaranteed an income, and she had a definite 
idea of what the income of young married people should be. 
She named a thousand dollars a year at the first marriage, 
and five thousand francs at the second, which in the last case 
was secured with all the formality of French custom, but such 
incomes were never paid. She gathered each pair under her 
roof, and supported them lavishly, quite regardless of cost, 
but she held the purse-strings and kept them like children 
dependent upon her. The husbands were encouraged to live in 
idleness. There was no need of work for them. There was an 
abundance of everything at the mansion. Nelson Chase had 
studied law, but there was no need for him to practice it. 
M. Pery was a gentleman of leisure, who appeared on the hill, 


Invoking the Law 


like Bismarck, accompanied by great dogs, and who drank 
heavily to kill time, and in his cups complained that he had 
been deceived in the matter of his promised income of five 
thousand francs. 

By this time Charles O'Conor, who was a neighbor on the 
Heights, had taken up the cause of the resident heirs in im- 
portant pending litigation, and was able to act with authority 
when his clients quarreled within the house. On one occasion, 
when Nelson Chase, for whom Mr. O'Conor entertained no 
respect whatever, brought his girl wife into the house and 
ordered the family out, it was Charles O'Conor who settled 
the trouble with an arbitrary hand. 

A remarkable picture of life in the mansion at this time is 
furnished by Mademoiselle Nitschke, who was the governess 
of the child, Matilde Elizabeth Georgiana Pery. Her narra- 
tive includes a ghost story, and certainly a house that has 
stood on its foundations for a century and a half, and passed 
through the strange and varied experiences of Jumel Mansion, 
must have a ghost concealed somewhere. 

She says: — 

I came to live at the mansion three years after Madame Jumel 
died, or about 1868. My room was at first on the third story and 
the schoolroom was on the same floor. Little Matilde was sup- 
posed to study for half an hour and then play for half an hour, 
but at any moment Mrs. Pery might snap her whip under the 
window and call us to drive in a rattle-trap wagon. 

At this time Nelson Chase would rise at five o'clock in the 
morning and make the halls ring with profanity calling for his 
breakfast. Nelson Chase ate at one time, the Perys at another, 
and Will Chase and his family still later. The three families were 
not always on speaking terms. I was told not to speak to Mrs. 
Will Chase or her children. After a little time I was moved down 
to the "Lafayette Room," to be nearer Mrs. Pery, who was in 
nightly terror of the ghost of Madame Jumel, which she claimed 
came with terrible rappings between twelve and one o'clock or 
about midnight. 

Mrs. Pery would come to my room in the night in great ex- 
citement to escape the ghost. I would ask her if she did not fear 
to leave her daughter, but she said Matilde slept soundly and 
never heard it. One night she insisted on my coming to their bed- 
room and awaiting the ghost. I always told them there was no 
such thing as a ghost. 

On that particular night the trouble began as early as seven 


Charles O'Conor 
adjusts the 
family squabbles 

The ghost story 
of Mademoiselle 
Nitschke^ the 

The ghost of 
Madame Jumel 
came between 
twelve and one 


The Jumel Mansion 

Mr. P'ery came 
up the stairs 
from the kitchen 
where he had 
been toasting 

Mr. P'ery leaped 
as if he had been 

A skeleton hand 
clattering on the 
wintkw panes 

A tin shp-bucket 
painted green 

o'clock in the evening. They had just come up from supper when 
Mrs. Pery rushed into the hall trembling with fright and calling 
"Mademoiselle!" She had seen or heard some manifestation 
by which she claimed to know that the ghost was going to make a 
night of it. 

At about the same time, probably hearing the cries, Mr. Pery 
came up the stairs from the kitchen where he had been toasting 
cheese. He disliked to sleep in the room in question, claiming 
that Madame Jumel had come to the side of his bed in white. At 
my suggestion they sent for the gardener, who lived in one of the 
gate-houses, for an additional witness. With his help I expected 
to prove to them that their fears were groundless, and that what 
they thought they heard, they did not hear at all. 

It was a still night outside, a warm September night without a 
breath of wind; and it was also very quiet inside as the hour drew 
on to midnight. No one had broken the silence for some moments 
by a spoken word. Mr. Pery was pretending to read from a book. 
He was seated in the middle of the room in a light chair, with 
nothing about the legs to conceal anything. Suddenly there were 
loud raps like the sound of a mallet striking under the floor, and 
directly, seemingly, under Mr. Pery's chair, from which he leaped 
as if he had been shot. 

I had told. them when the ghost came to ask it if it wished to 
havie" prayers said for it, so I put the question, "Do you want to 
have prayers said for you?" This was answered by three knocks, 
which is the knock-language for "yes." The raps that answered 
to "yes" and "no" seemed to be in the walls, now on one side of 
the room and now on the other. The manifestations, as I stated, 
began with heavy raps on the floor under Mr. Pery's chair, and 
they were followed by a clatter of what sounded like a skeleton 
hand drumming on the panes of the east front window. At one 
time during the manifestations this same drumming by the skele- 
ton hand seemed to come from the room where Matilde slept, 
but the clatter seemed to be on some object of tin instead of on 
glass. I stepped to the door and looked in. Even as I looked, the 
tapping continued on the tin slop-pail and then ceased altogether. 
The child was sleeping soundly and Mrs. Pery thought I was very 
brave to enter the room at all. 

As the governess gave these particulars we were standing in 
the doorway of the "Washington Bedroom," looking over the 
gate. We then went into the room where little Matilde had 
slept. She showed me where the bed stood and the washstand, 
and exactly where had stood a tin slop-bucket, painted green 
and with a lid. 

The governess further stated that during the nine months 


Invoking the Law 


she lived in the house, which was three years after Madame 
Jumel's death, the raised dais, on which she had been wont to 
sit in the great parlor when she received her guests, was still 
standing in the room, no longer in the center, but pushed back 
into the northwest corner. She said that the great painting 
by Alcide Ercole, then standing in its old-time place in the 
hall, still had a black patch over the head of Will Chase, who 
had broken the canvas when he threw the ink-bottle at it. 

But to return to the law, which has no sympathy with things 
supernatural: the suits that followed Madame Jumel's death, 
before the estate was finally settled, covered a period of six- 
teen years of litigation, ending in 1 88 1, in the sale of the real 
property by the court and the settling of all claims. The man- 
sion remained in the possession of the Chase family, in three 
undivided shares belonging to Nelson Chase and to his son 
and daughter. The French heirs, the brothers and sisters of 
Stephen Jumel, and their descendants, were allowed one un- 
divided sixth part of all the estate that had been Stephen 
Jumel's. In the suit that resulted in this award, the court set 
aside as fraudulent and void all the deeds of transfer made, 
with the express purpose of defeating this French claim, by 
Madame Jumel to her niece, Mary Bownes. 

There were some twenty cases at law in the course of this 
prolonged] litigation, all of which except one — that involv- 
ing the French claims — were won by the resident heirs. There 
were four suits for ejectment, brought jointly by thirty-eight 
plaintiffs, who were descendants of the vagrant girl, Phebe 
Kelley, who was warned out of Providence in the year 1769. 

At the beginning of these suits the family of Nelson Chase, 
then in possession, lacked the ready funds to retain lawyers 
to defend their interests, and Mr. Charles O'Conor and Mr. 
James C. Carter undertook the defense, without retainers, 
knowing that in the final settlement the court would set aside 
an amount covering their fees. Here was a peculiar situation, 
in which two of the most distinguished lawyers at the New 
York Bar, of which Mr. O'Conor was perhaps the leader, were 
defending a lawyer of no standing and of whom each had a 
very poor opinion. An amusing account of the trials of Mr. 
Carter is furnished by a cousin of that lawyer. Frequent con- 

The raised dais 
remained in the 

The litigation 
covered a period 
of sixteen years 

There were 
twenty cases at 

A peculiar situa- 
sien between two 
eminent lawyers 


The Jumel Mansion 

Some libiralfets 
allotted by the 

All the litigation 
caused by the 
absence of three 
wedding rings 

ferences with their client, Nelson Chase, were necessary, in 
and out of court. Each eminent lawyer wished to shirk this 
particular work, but Mr. O'Conor, who was a very forceful 
man of great dignity, stood aside, leaving Mr. Carter to hold 
all the conferences with their lawyer client. Mr. Carter was 
the attorney, upon whom fell most of the labor of fourteen 
years of litigation, and the fee allowed him for such service 
was $100,000. Mr. O'Conor's fee was $75,000, while smaller 
fees were granted to other lawyers. In satisfaction of mort- 
gages given as security for loans, of arrears of taxes, and of 
city assessments for improvements, the court allotted various 
sums amounting to $235,000. 

After the first suit at law to break the will of Madame Jumel, 
and excepting the suit brought by the French heirs, nearly 
every suit that followed was the result of one or another of the 
illegitimate births that happened in old Providence and else- 
where, which resulted in the founding of a family by methods 
that were not only immoral, but extremely expensive. 

And this litigation might have been prevented by the trifling 
expense of three wedding rings on the fingers of Phebe Bowen, 
Betsy Bowen, and Polly Clarke. 





THE infant son of Betsy Bowen, born in Providence 
at the house of Reuben Ballou, the gambrel-roofed 
house on Old Charles Street, next to the dye-house, 
grew up in such undesirable surroundings, fathered 
by Reuben Ballou, the butcher, and mothered by Freelovc, 
his wife. His board was probably paid in those early years 
by some agent of his unknown father, for the Ballous were not 
charitable people to bring up at their own cost such infants 
as chanced to be born under their roof. 

George Washington Bowen said that the first he knew of 
anything, he was living in Charles Street, Providence, in the 
house of Major Reuben Ballou, and his wife, Freelove Ballou. 
When he was six or eight years old. Major Ballou died, and a 
year later he was sent out into the world to shift for himself. 
A place was found for him in North Providence, where he was 
taken into the family of Smith Wilbur, to learn to be a farmer. 
He stayed but a short time in North Providence, returning to 
Charles Street and the old home, only to be bundled off to 
another farm in Smithfield, and finally to farmer Jenks in 
Cumberland. His sponsors seemed quite determined to make 
a farmer of him, while he seems to have been equally deter- 
mined to be something else. The country had no attraction 
for George and he returned again to Providence, and was then 
apprenticed to Mr. Weeden, the baker, the same Mr. Weeden 
for whom little David Hull was delivering water crackers in 
Charles Street when he was born. He learned to be a baker 
and a weaver, as well as a farmer, before he attained his 
majority in 1815, when he entered the store of Asa Newell 
in Providence as a clerk. Opposite to Asa Newell's store was 
the grocery store of Major Thayer, whom Bowen soon bought 


Birth of the in- 
fant son ef Betsy 

He becomes 
farmer^ baker ^ 
and weaver be- 
fore he is of are 


The Jumel Mansion 

He was in the 
rubber business^ 
the lottery busi- 
ness^ and the 
grocery business 

He was hng a 
prominent figure 
on the streets of 

For thirty years 
he spent some 
part of his sum- 
mer at Saratoga 

out and then embarked in business for himself. In middle life 
he was for a time in the rubber business and for years he was 
prominent in Providence as an agent for lotteries, in which line 
he continued until the State laws of Rhode Island put a ban on 
lotteries. He then returned to the grocery business, continuing 
in it until he retired with a modest competence, leaving the 
business to his son. He was married twice and left two children. 

From the day when he was sent to the farmer in North 
Providence, he had to make his own way in the world, and he 
was moderately successful as a business man in a small town. 
He may have been worth thirty thousand dollars, which was 
quite a fortune fifty years ago. He lived in a comfortable house, 
which he built for himself on Hewes Street, near Benefit, and 
overlooking the place of his birth and early life, in Old Charles 

Many middle-aged people in Providence to-day remember 
the tall, distinguished-looking old man, known to every one 
as George Washington Bowen. He was long a prominent fig- 
ure on the streets of Providence. His portrait, at the beginning 
of this chapter, enlarged from a daguerreotype, shows a head 
of unusual character and distinction. The forehead is high 
and broad, the jaw determined, the nose clean-cut, and the 
deep-set eyes, together with the drooping at the corners of 
the mouth, suggest a sadness induced by a long consciousness 
of illegitimacy. 

His resemblance to Washington was said to be striking. 
The fact that he bore his name, coupled with the mystery of 
his birth, may gradually have fixed in his mind the belief that 
he was the son of Washington. He believed that he was and 
his descendants hold the same belief. Perhaps he involuntarily 
dressed the part. It was a common thing, as he passed in the 
streets of Providence, for a citizen who knew him to point 
him out to a stranger with "Who does that man remind you 
of?" The answer would almost invariably be, "Why, he looks 
like Washington." 

For thirty years he spent some part of his summer at Sara- 
toga, where Madame Jumel was a familiar figure. Although 
she never acknowledged him publicly, or spoke to him after 
he could talk, she sometimes mentioned him in her cups and 


George Washington Bowen 

George Washington Bowen 


in her dotage. Stephen Jumel and his wife had quarreled over 
his existence before he was of age, and the resident heirs were 
well aware of his presence in Providence, so well aware that 
a lawyer was dispatched to Providence seven months after 
Madame Jumel's death to interview him and secure from him 
some disavowal of his relationship to Madame Jumel, for use 
in court in case it should be needed. In her last insane years 
she would sometimes threaten to hunt him up, and a watch 
was kept on her movements lest she should really do as she 
threatened to do. It is said that on one occasion she got into 
her carriage to go to Providence, and that the barn was mys- 
teriously set on fire to distract her attention. It was some time 
during this demented period that she managed to send an invi- 
tation to her son to come and see her. This was before he had 
any thought of being a possible heir to her fortune and he sent 
an indignant and uncomplimentary refusal. 

He stated that Freelove Ballou, about a year before her 
death, had informed him who his mother was, but that she 
had not told him who his father was. She died in 1823 when 
he was twenty-nine years old. He does not say that her in- 
formation was his first knowledge of the fact. He could 
hardly be ignorant of the fact that he was the son of Betsy 
Bowen, which was the common knowledge of his associates in 
Providence a few years older than himself, and that she went 
to New York and married the "Frenchman" was known to 
her old associates in Charles Street. 

In 1867, two years after Madame Jumel's death, he was in- 
formed by Judge Edmonds that, by a law then in force in the 
State of New York, an illegitimate son could inherit from his 
mother when there were no legitimate children, and steps 
were immediately taken to brir^ an action to dispossess the 
resident heirs, which resulted in the famous case of George 
Washington Bowen vs. Nelson Chase, which was tried in the 
United States Circuit Court for the Southern District of the 
State of New York, in 1873. The plaintiff was represented by 
his attorney, Mr. Chauncey Shaffer, and the defendant by his 
attorney, Mr. James C. Carter. The presiding judge was the 
Honorable William D. Shipman, District Judge of the United 
States for the District of Connecticut. 


J disavowal of 
his relationship to 
Madame 'Jumel 
was sought by 
the lawyers 

Freelove Ballou 
told him who his 
mother was 

He learns that 
an illegitimate 
son may inherit 


The Jumel Mansion 

The striking fig- 
ures of Charles 
O'Conor and 
George Wash- 
ington Bowen 

Mr. Chauncey 
Shaffer's intro- 
ductory remarks 
on Madame 

The preliminary 
work of gather- 
ing witnesses and 
securing evidence 

There are a few men living on Washington Heights who 
went down to the trial, and who remember the tall figure of 
the plaintiff, who looked strangely like Washington, and the 
equally striking figure of Charles O'Conor, who was associated 
with James C. Carter for the defense, and who seemed to domi- 
nate the trial with his grim personality and his exalted posi- 
tion at the New York Bar. 

The issue had been joined in this case in the Court of Common 
Pleas in April, 1868, but the famous case was tried in the United 
States Circuit Court in 1872. Mr. Chauncey Shaffer, in stating 
his case to the court, spoke of Madame Jumel, the putative 
mother of the plaintiff, in the following remarkable words: — 

Her history was romantic, eventful, and ahead in many re- 
spects of the most exciting novel. Her rise in life, her progress 
through life reminds one more of the elevation of a prisoner to 
the chair of state under eastern despotism than any thing in the 
natural growth of our republican country. She was born and 
reared under the most unfavorable circumstances, and it is a 
miracle of miracles that she ever became such a remarkable 
woman as she did; for early in life she was wrecked, but she was 
one of the wrecked ones who have not floated down the stream 
and become loathsome weeds on the strand. 

The main issue in the trial was to determine who was the 
mother of the plaintiff, and not who his father was, but Mr. 
Shaffer, anticipating the shafts of ridicule that Mr. O'Conor 
might direct at his client, as claiming to be the son of George 
Washington, very cleverly took the ground, at the beginning 
of the trial, that he was the son of Reuben Ballou. He had 
the plaintiff admit on the stand that Reuben Ballou some- 
times called him "My son," and "My son George." 

An amusing part of the trial was the preliminary work of 
gathering witnesses and securing evidence, which began soon 
after Madame Jumel's death, and on the part of the defendant, 
before the plaintiff thought of prosecuting. Before Madame 
Jumel had been dead a year, lawyers were sent by the defend- 
ant to Rutland, Massachusetts, and to Williamton, North 
Carolina, to trace the movements of Phebe Bowen and Jona- 
than Clarke. After the issue was joined, both parties were 
equally keen in securing evidence. It happened that an old 
colored woman, Elizabeth Freeman by name, who had some- 

George Washington Bowen 


time been in the service of Mr. Chauncey Shaffer, the attor- 
ney for George Washington Bowen, had also been a servant 
of Madame Jumel, and in the winter of 1869 was in charge of 
the house on Circular Street in Saratoga, as she had been since 
Madame Jximel's death. It was a cold winter and the snow 
was deep on the Saratoga streets, when a series of events took 
place that resulted in placing in the hands of the prosecution 
several of the lithographic portraits of Madame Jumel that 
were used in the trial. 

Mr. Nelson Chase, the defendant, having heard that Aunt 
Elizabeth had been approached by the attorney for the plain- 
tiff, made a journey to Saratoga and established himself at 
the American Hotel. His object was to get on the right side, 
or the blind side, of Aunt Elizabeth and secure her as a wit- 
ness for the defense. The picturesque story of her experience 
as told by the old colored woman, who was then sixty-three 
years old, and her statement of events was too characteristic 
of the actors to leave any room for doubt of its truth. 

Mr. Chase, she said, sent for her to come to the hotel, which 
she did, accompanied by her son. Mr. Chase came down the 
steps of the hotel to greet her, and "took me by my old black 
hand" with the most effusive politeness, led her up to his 
room and into the presence of his young wife. As soon as Aunt 
Elizabeth and her son were seated, Mr. Chase rang the bell 
and ordered a bottle of champagne and glasses, which was his 
idea of overwhelming a plain old colored woman with flash 
hospitality. Aunt Elizabeth, however, declined to drink, and 
without any further preparation he asked her when she had 
last seen "that George Washington Bowen." In the course 
of the conversation that followed, she told him that Madame 
Jumel had told her that she had a son. 

At that Mr. Chase flew in a rage and called her a liar, 
with several profane adjectives, and emphasized his words by 
striking the table with his fist until the champagne glasses 
danced and fell over. He ordered her out of his presence and 
out of the hotel, and when they appeared on the street he put 
his head out of the window and called after them that she had 
better look out what she said or he would have her and all 
that Shaffer crowd put in state's prison. 


// was a cold 
winter and the 
snow was deep on 
the Saratoga 

An attempt to get 
on the blind side 
of Aunt Eliza- 
beth with a bottle 

He struck the 
table with his fist 
until the cham- 
pagne glasses 


The Jumel Mansion 

Aunt Elizabeth 
secured the litho- 
graph portrait of 
Madame fumel 
used in the trial 

The record of his 
birth was read 
from the ^'■King 
Henry Book" 

The great age 
of the witnesses 
for the plaintiff 

In consequence of Aunt Elizabeth's plain speaking, she 
was evicted next day from the house in Circular Street and 
found herself in the snow with all her belongings about her. 
There were quite a number of the lithographs of Madame 
Jumel, which are very rare now, stored in the house, and in 
the process of eviction, these were thrown out upon the floor, 
and Aunt Elizabeth threw them into a trunk and the trunk 
was thrown out into the snow after her. From her abun- 
dance she gave to Mr. Shaffer three of these portraits, which 
afterwards figured in the great trial. Aunt Elizabeth testified 
under oath that she did not sell the pictures to Mr. Shaffer, 
but that it was "close to Christmas time, you know, and Mr. 
Shaffer done send me a turkey and a pair of ducks and he 
shore come to see me and eat some of the turkey." 

The first witness called was Catherine Williams, the author- 
ess, who had been dead several years, and her testimony, taken 
before a commission, was read to the jury. The plaintiff was 
then called, and his identity established with the record of his 
two marriages. Furthermore, the record of his birth, as en- 
tered in the "King Henry Book" by Reuben Ballon, was read 
to the jury, followed by the records of the Providence courts 
made nearly a hundred years before. 

George Washington Bowen, the plaintiff, was seventy-eight 
years old at the time of the trial, and the witnesses for the prose- 
cution, the schoolmates and playmates of the plaintiff in the 
old days in Charles Street, were necessarily old people. Of 
twelve witnesses who knew him as a boy, eight were between 
eighty and ninety years of age. Catherine Williams was dead 
at eighty-two; Stephen Randall, a schoolmate of the defendant, 
was seventy-seven; and Philip W. Martin, another school- 
mate, was seventy-eight; and George Burr, a third schoolmate, 
was seventy-nine. It was a remarkable showing of longevity 
in the lads who had got a little schooling along with George 
Bowen, in the old days in Charles Street. Mowry Randall was 
nine years older than the plaintiff, and used to peddle peaches 
to Mother Ballou, and remembered little George when he was 
running about the door in a nightgown. Mowry Randall 
was eighty-seven. Joseph Sweet was twelve years old when 
the plaintiff was born, and his age was ninety. Mary Wil- 

George Washington Bowen's House on Hewes Street, Providence 

George Washington Bowen 


Hams, another schoolmate, was eighty-six. Mary Ormsbee 
was eighty-four. James Angell was eighty-seven; and Lemuel 
Angel was eighty-nine. David Hull, who delivered water 
crackers in Charles Street when the plaintiff was born was 
eighty-five, and Freeman Beckwith was eighty-eight. 

As soon as issue was joined in the Court of Common Pleas 
in 1869, these witnesses were looked up, and^in view of their 
advanced age, and anticipating the deliberate procedure of 
the law in such cases, the evidence of these old people was 
taken before commissions legally constituted for that purpose. 
Several of these witnesses for the prosecution (and it is a signi- 
ficant fact that the defense could find no witness for rebuttal 
among the old people of Providence) were too old and feeble 
to have made the journey to New York to be present in court, 
even if they should be living (and some of them were dead) 
when the trial came off. 

David Hull, who had known the Bowen girls at the hut on 
the Old Warren Road, and who had seen the plaintiff in his 
mother's arms when he was five days old, was the star witness 
for the prosecution, and the witness whose evidence must be 
broken down by the defense at all hazards. Two or more 
commissions examined the old man in Providence, and cross- 
examined him until he was nearly worn out by the ordeal. 
At the last examination preceding the trial, it was a formidable 
array of lawyers that journeyed to Providence to take the tes- 
timony of David Hull. His evidence was simple and direct. 
He was sometimes a petulant, protesting, and exhausted wit- 
ness, under the grilling cross-examination, during which Mr. 
Charles O'Conor worried and hectored the old man for three 
long days, with all the skill and all the magical dominance of 
that great advocate, without weakening his testimony. 

Eleven witnesses, most of them having been servants of 
Madame Jumel, were produced in court to testify that Madame 
Jumel had told them about her son in Providence, but such 
evidence, in every case, was ruled out as hearsay evidence. 
Among those who came to give such evidence was Mrs, Mary 
M. Mumford, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who had been the 
child, Mary Marilla Stever, whom Madame Jumel had met 
at Judge Crippin's and had brought home to take the place of 


Evidence in 
several cases 
taken before com- 
missions, to be 
used in case of 
the death of the 

Efforts to break 
down the evidence 
of David Hull, 
the star witness 
for the plaintiff 

Mary Marilla 
Stever came from 
Grand Rapids, 


She said that she 
lefi the house be- 
tween the time 
when he was 
hurt and the time 
when he died 

The Jumel Mansion 

The marriage 
certificate of the 
Jumels was in 

To the evidence 
of the playmates 
and schoolmates 
of George Wash- 
ington Bowen, 
the defense made 
no reply 

Mary Bownes, who was about to marry Nelson Chase. The 
witness stated that she was sent away before the death of 
Stephen Jumel. " When she was asked if she went away before 
he was hurt, she replied that she left the house between the 
time when he was hurt and the time when he died. 

Although these witnesses were not allowed to testify to 
what they had heard, they were at liberty to testify of their 
own knowledge, and in each case the question was put by the 
attorney for the prosecution: "Did any ladies visit Madame 
Jumel, to your knowledge, while you were in her employ?" 

The answer was always, "No." 

After the witnesses for the prosecution had all been heard 
and the claim that George Washington Bowen was the natural 
son of Madame Jumel had been established to the satisfaction 
of the prosecution, the plaintiff by his attorney read in evi- 
dence the marriage certificate of the Jumels, who were mar- 
ried on the 9th day of April, 1804. It was in Latin and the 
names were written, "Stephanus Jumell and Elizabethum 

Then the record in the "King Henry Book," written by 
Reuben Ballou, was solemnly read to the jury: — 

George Washington Bowen, born of Eliza Bowen, at my house 
in town, Providence, R.I., this 9th October 1794. 

It was admitted that Eliza B. Jumel died on the i6th day 
of July, 1865. 

And the plaintiff rested his case. 

To the evidence of the playmates and schoolmates of George 
Washington Bowen, establishing his relationship to Madame 
Jumel, the defense made no reply, except the testimony of 
the lawyer, who was sent directly after Madame Jumel's 
death, to find Bowen and get a denial from him of his relation 
to Madame Jumel. 

The effort of the defense was mainly directed to show that 
Mary Bownes was regarded as the adopted daughter of the 
Jumels and that the intention and wish of Stephen Jumel and 
of Eliza Jumel, his wife, were that the property should go to 
their said adopted daughter, Mary Bownes, and to her issue, 
who had been in possession and enjoyment of the estate 


James Wallace 'Tygard 

George IVashington Bowen 


since the death of the owners, even down to the children who 
represented the third generation of the heirs in possession, and 
this was made as clear as the prosecution had made clear the 
identity of George Washington Bowen. 

It was a case where justice lay on one side and a hard and 
strict interpretation of the law lay on the other side. The 
court and the jury, and Charles O'Conor, who shook his finger 
in the face of the plaintiff and called him "You bastard," 
must have known that George Washington Bowen was the 
natural son of Madame Jumel. But, on the other hand, no 
jury could have the hardihood to oust the claimants in posses- 
sion, who had been born, lived, and died on the estate, and 
whose possession was the will and desire of the deceased owners. 

And it came about that, when the evidence was all in, and 
the attorneys had exhausted their eloquence before the jury. 
Judge Shipman charged and directed the jury that if the plain- 
tiff was the son of Eliza B. Jumel they should find a verdict 
for the plaintiff, but if he was not her son, then they should 
find a verdict for the defendant, and that in addition to any 
verdict which the said jury might find on that point, he di- 
rected the jury to find, specially, that Eliza B. Jumel, at the 
time of her death, had no other estate or interest in the lands 
claimed which was descendible to her heirs. 

After a few hours' deliberation the jury found a verdict for 
the defendant. 

The great trial in New York was in October, 1872, but the 
judgment of the court was not rendered until October, 1873. 
By a writ of error the case was carried by the plaintiff up to 
the Supreme Court of the United States, and six years later, 
in 1879, that court confirmed the findings of the Circuit Court, 
and the plaintiff, George Washington Bowen, had lost his case.^ 
The duration of this case as it dragged through the courts, 
reckoning from the time when the defense began to gather 


» The action of the Supreme Court at Washington consisted in reviewing the 
proceedings of the Circuit Court, as set forth in a bound volume entitled, Tran- 
script of Record, Supreme Court of the United StaUs, No. 31Z, George W. Bowen, 
plaintiff in error, vs. Nelson Chase, of which but sixteen copies were ijnnted. The 
copy which was the property of George Washington Bowen is now m possession 
of the present claimant, John W. Tygard, at Toronto, Canada; the Congressjonal 
Library at Washington has the official copy; and a third copy is in the John Hay 
Library, of Brown University, at Providence, Rhode Island. 

// was a case 
where justice lay 
on one side and a 
strict interpreta- 
tion of the law 
on the other 

The jury found a 
verdict for the 


The Jumel Mansion 

Gearge fVash- 
ington Bovjen^ 
the first claimant., 
died in Provi- 
dence at the age 
vf ninety 

Other claimants 
continue tofolhw 

witnesses until the decision of the highest court was made, 
covered a period of thirteen years. 

This was a case which, in justice to both parties, and to 
the advantage of both parties, might have been settled out of 
court. George Washington Bowen, the plaintiff, who was 
beaten at the trial and obliged to pay the costs, still persisted 
in claiming ownership of the Jumel estate. He died in Provi- 
dence, Rhode Island, on the 6th of February, 1885, at the age 
of ninety, attaining precisely to the remarkable longevity of 
his mother, Madame Jumel. 

After the death of George Washington Bowen, the claim 
to the Jumel estate passed to a cousin, John Reuben Vander- 
voort, who for eighteen years sold quitclaim deeds to pur- 
chasers of lots on Washington Heights who wished to be 
doubly secure in their title. In 1903, shortly before his death, 
Vandervoort sold his claim to James Wallace Tygard, of Plain- 
field, New Jersey, who is the present claimant. 



A HOUSE has a character given to it by the people who live in 
it, who are the soul of the house; a character for honesty, for 
truthfulness, for culture, for distinction. It is courted or 
shunned by its neighbors as they approve or disapprove of 
the people who live in the house. 

The Roger Morris house was an aristocrat among houses. 
Its builders were people of the highest character, and the house 
stood erect on its firm foundations, respected and approved 
as a man of probity and honor is regarded by his fellows. It 
partook of the high character of its inmates. It was an honor 
to be a guest under its roof. The neighbors delighted to come 
to it. Its hospitality was sought after, and its social favors 
were eagerly returned. It stood on a hill in the sun, without a 
blemish on its character, or a tarnish on its shield, or a bar 
sinister on its escutcheon. 

The occupation by Washington conferred a new honor on 
the house, and gave it a patriotic character that was bound to 
outlive any lapse from respectability that might befall it in 
the uncertain future. 

The "Old Gaol House" at Providence, Rhode Island, on 
the other hand, had a character so vile that a posse of indignant 
citizens tore it down one summer's night and arrested the in- 
mates in the name of the law. This happened in 1782, near the 
close of the Revolutionary War, in a village of less than three 
thousand inhabitants. What had this to do with the Roger 
Morris house ? 

Fate works in a mysterious way. Among the inmates of 
that demolished house was a child of seven years, who was 
destined to reverse the high character of the Roger Morris 
house, to make it in her Ufetime a house to be avoided by its 
respectable neighbors, and finally, to die an insane nonage- 


The Roger Mor- 
ris house was an 
aristocrat among 

Its occupation by 
General Wash- 
ington conferred 
a new honor on 
the house 

Gaol House" 
at Providence 
touches the Mor- 
ris house 


The Jumel Mansion 

The house has 
three names: 

1. Roger Morris 

2, Jumel Man- 
sion ♦ 

J. fVashington's 

The City of New 
Tork has no in- 
terest in the house 
except under its 
third name 

Only a corner of 
the original door- 

narian within its walls, leaving in her wake such a trail of vul- 
gar family quarrels and impoverishing lawsuits as has rarely 
fallen to the lot of another house. 

If it had been desirable to bring this history down so far, 
its title might have been extended to read, "From Roger Mor- 
ris House to Jumel Mansion to Washington's Headquarters." 
It is a house possessing and entitled to possess three names. 
If we speak of it in its Revolutionary period, it is the "Roger 
Morris House," or the "Roger Morris House of the Revolu- 
tion." The popular name of the house is the "Jumel Mansion" 
— the name the people choose to call it. Whether the house 
was famous or infamous under that name, it is the people's 
name. The house has a third and business name, the "Wash- 
ington Headquarters." The Daughters of the American Rev- 
olution are engaged in the business of preserving the old 
headquarters. If one speaks of the house as "Washington's 
Headquarters," or as "Jumel Mansion," or as the "Roger 
Morris House," the name chosen identifies the period one 
wishes to refer to. The City of New York has no interest in 
the house, officially, except as Washington's headquarters, yet 
its generous, annual appropriation for the maintenance of the 
headquarters is made for the "Jumel Mansion." 

The house and the original dooryard (less the plot known 
as "Sylvan Terrace"), bounded by St. Nicholas Avenue, isgth 
Street, the line of the city water pipe, and i62d Street, was 
sold in 1887 by the Jumel heirs to Mr. Seth Milliken for $100,- 
000. The wooden houses on either side of Sylvan Terrace, 
formerly the carriage drive from the house to the entrance to 
the grounds on the King's Bridge Road, had been built and 
disposed of several years before the sale of the house. 

Following this sale, Edgecombe Avenue, i6oth Street, and 
Jumel Terrace were laid out by the city and lots were sold and 
buildings were erected. In 1894, the corner of the original 
dooryard, now Roger Morris Park, bounded by i6oth Street, 
Jumel Terrace, i62d Street, and Edgecombe Avenue, was sold 
by Mr. Milliken to General Ferdinand P. Earle for $100,000, 
the same sum that he had paid for about five times the area, 
seven years before. 

On the 29th of July, 1903, the property was sold by the 




widow of General Earle to the City of New York for the sum of 
$235,000. The purchase by the city was urged by the patriotic 
societies, among whom the Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion took a prominent part, and three years later they were 
given the control of the house by the Park Department for a 
Revolutionary museum. The Washington Heights Chapter of 
the Daughters of the American Revolution took immediate 
possession and an association was formed of four chapters, 
the Washington Heights, the Mary Washington Colonial, the 
Knickerbocker, and the Manhattan Chapters, which was in- 
corporated by the Legislature of the State of New York un- 
der the title, "Washington Headquarters Association, founded 
by Daughters of the American Revolution." 

During the three years between the purchase of the house 
by the city and its opening as a museum, it stood neglected, 
without repairs, in care of a single watchman. The fine old 
colonial paper, formerly on the great drawing-room, as repro- 
duced by Stephen Jumel in 1810, which had been removed 
by General Earle, hung free from the wall on panels in the 
guard-room. This invaluable possession of the house, the 
only Revolutionary furnishing connecting the house with the 
Washington period, was torn off in small pieces and carried 
away as souvenirs by visitors during those three years of neg- 
lect. Fortunately, enough of this paper was preserved to make 
two complete panels, which are now under plate glass. 

In 1906, twelve thousand dollars was appropriated by the 
city for repairs and restoration. It was an inadequate sum for 
the needs of the old house, but more than should have been 
expended by those who had charge of the restoration. In- 
stead of employing the best colonial architect in the city for 
the work, a good architect was at first put in charge, who 
made the preliminary drawings, but through some sinister 
influence he was removed to make way for a firm of political 
architects, of no professional standing. The room that is be- 
lieved to have been General Washington's private office re- 
mains to-day Affinity Earle's studio, to make which the ceil- 
ing was removed with the dormer window that lighted the 
garret. The great drawing-room was upholstered with yellow 
satin, when it should have had the green colonial paper re- 

Four chapters of 
the Daughters of 
the American 
Revolution in 
charge of the 

A period of neg- 
lect and van- 

A liberal appro- 
priation which 
was spent with- 
out proper archi- 
tectural control 
and advice 


A thorough re- 
storation needed, 
under the control 
of the Municipal 
Art Commission 

Details of needed 

The Jumel Mansion 

stored to its historic walls. The original front doors, at the 
time of the so-called restoration, were in a carpenter's shop 
within a few blocks of the house. 

The interior of the house, as it is to-day, is a discredit to 
the City of New York. It sorely needs a thorough restora- 
tion by the best colonial architect in the profession, and the 
work should be done under the control of the Municipal Art 
Commission, by carpenters working with the same tools that 
were used when the house was built, and without the use of 
any lathe work or machine work. If it was worth while for the 
City of New York to pay $235,000 for the house, it is worth 
while for the city to bear the trifling — comparatively trifling 
- expense of restoring it to the precise condition it was in when 
George Washington occupied it. 

As a result of years of study, a complete knowledge has been 
gained of what that restoration should be, and in view of the 
indifference of the city, an opportunity offers itself to some 
public-spirited citizen to distinguish himself by making a taste- 
ful and complete colonial restoration of the old house. 

Restoration Needed in the Roger Morris House 

1. Removal of the Earle kitchen, and restoring to use the 
east side door of passage to octagon parlor. 

2. Restoration of door-fixtures, sill, porch floor, and steps 
and roof and railing, as on opposite side. 

3. Restoration of two windows, uncovered by removal of 
kitchen — one looking north from the butler's pantry 
and one from the first landing of the stairway. 

4. Restoration of a dormer window midway of the east roof 
of the rear building, which formerly lighted the garret. 

5. Removal of the front door and restoration of the two 
narrow doors, as shown in a photograph in possession of 
the museum. These doors to be hung with brass hinges, 
like those on door to balcony above, to have fan-shaped 
wings to enter mortises in door and post and to be fas- 
tened with wooden wedges dipped in glue. 

6. Restoration of missing sections of the stone flagging, 


Front Door and Balcony 

Taken during the Reno-vatian 



twenty-two inches wide, bordered by stone drain eight 
inches wide, along the walls of the house, which origi- 
nally took the place of an eave-trough on the roof. Res- 
toration of planking of front porch. 
7. Restoration of sash of the east dormer window with fif- 
teen panes. 


1. Kitchen: The interior restoration should begin with the 
great kitchen, restoring it to its original dimensions of 
twenty by thirty feet, by removing the modern brick wall 
now separating the present kitchen from the hall. Be- 
fore any use can be made of the basement rooms, the 
iron boxes enclosing the under-floor heating apparatus 
should be removed and the steam coils, throughout the 
house, should be sunk out of sight in the walls under the 
windows, as in the Governor's room in the City Hall. 
The kitchen and the offices opening from it should be 
floored with old planks; the high wainscot restored, like 
that in the laundry; and the great fireplace and oven re- 
stored; in this case, leaving minor details to the discre- 
tion of a Colonial architect. 

2. Octagon Parlor (court-martial room): Reproduction of 
the colonial paper on wood blocks,^ and restoration to 
the walls, the panels lined with buckram and hung free 
from the cornice; removal of the modern Adams ceiling 
and modem ornament on eighteen wainscot panels; res- 
toration to the inside shutters of a brass disk, one and 
one half inches in diameter, showing a lion's head in 
low relief, with a ring depending from the mouth, orig- 
inally used to close the shutters: this fixture also used 
in dining-room, reception-room, and hall on first floor. 
On windows having four shutters, this disk should be 
twenty-nine inches above base of lowfcr shutter and four 
inches above base of upper shutter and to center one 
inch from edge. This fixture was also used on the shut- 
ters of the Washington Bedroom, and seventy-two will 


• This paper has already been reproduced through the generosity of Mr. J. 
Sanford Saltus. 


The Octagon 

The brass disi, 
of the sixe of a 
half dollar^ 
showing a lion's 


The Jumel Mansion 

Restoration of 
the Guard-Room 

Of the Butler's 

Of the Dining- 

Of the Second 

Of the Wash- 
ington Bedroom 

Of the Wash- 
ington Office 

Of the Garret 


be required to replace the original brasses removed 
most shutters the mark of this fixture is still visible. 

3. Guard-Room: Restoration to the fireplace of the heavy 
iron plates now in the cellar; reopening of a cupboard in 
the east wall. 

4. The Butler's Pantry: Removal of shelving and modem 
wainscot; restoration of flight of five steps from door on 
landing to correspond with the five steps in main hall 
from same landing, which served originally as back stairs. 

5. Dining-Room: Restoration of a cupboard at the east end 
of the alcove above the door into the butler's pantry. 
The cross cornice, thirty-five inches from the end wall, 
shows that a curtain of wall fell to the top of the door 
and that a cupboard must have been there. 

6. Second Floor: Removal of the modern door between the 
northwest and the southwest chambers and the removal 
of the mantelpieces in each room, to be replaced by others 
of the same pattern, but of colonial workmanship. 

7. Washington Bedroom: Removal of the contract-made 
mantelpiece, and colonial restoration for the same reason. 

8. Rear Chamber known as Washington's Office: Restora- 
tion of the low ceiling and original cornice in plaster; 
removal of the brass hob-grate from the fireplace and of 
two slabs of modern stone from the hearth; the hearth 
to be laid with red brick to match the brick of the chim- 
ney, and the blackened back and sides of the fireplace to 
remain uncovered; the old fossiliferous limestone border 
of the hearth and fireplace to be carefully preserved. 
This is one of the few mantelpieces never disturbed. 

9. The Garret: Floor to be restored over the "Washington 
Office" with boards to match the old floor; the side walls 
of the garret to be extended north, the present railing 
removed, and the approach to the dormer window con- 
structed. N.B. Examination of the rafters on the west 
roof should be made for a possible dormer window on that 

Also, it is desirable, either by city purchase, or through pri- 
vate bounty, that the original carriageway to King's Bridge 




Road, now St. Nicholas Avenue, should be restored to the 
mansion in the form of a parkway, instead of a short and 
useless private street. This needed section of the original 
door5rard, known as "Sylvan Terrace," is a tract one hun- 
dred feet wide by two hundred feet long, occupied by a double 
row of wooden houses which constitute a serious menace to 
the mansion, in case of a fire starting in such houses during 
the prevailing west winds of winter. 

Furthermore, if this restoration of the old colonial house, 
through the influence of these pages, shall be brought about, 
either by private or by public funds, the book will not have 
been written in vain. 

All honor to the stanch old house that stands on its firm 
foundation, after long years of obloquy, and again holds up its 
head among houses without fear of shame, as it enters upon 
the third period of its career, that should be the longest and 
the most honorable! 

An entrance f ram 
St. Nicholas 
Avenue and a 
protection from 




Text of the Carrol Deed of 1 763 


Following is the full text of the Carrol deed of 1763. The 
"Jno. Watts," who makes the memorandum of record, was the 
John Watts of the King's Council, who left the country with 
Roger Morris in 1775 : — 

This Indenture made this Twenty ninth of January in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty three, 
between Jacbb Dyckman, Senr, and Yantie his wife, Jacob Dyck- 
man, Junr, and Catilintie, his wife, William Dyckman and Maria 
his wife, Abraham Kearson, all of the Township of Harlem in the 
City of New York, yeoman, and John Vermelier and Charity 
his wife, Abraham Odel and Rebeckah, his wife, and Jonathan 
Odle and Margaret, his wife, all of Westchester County in the 
province of New York, yeoman, of the one part, and James Car- 
rol of the City of New York of the other part witnesseth that the 
said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum 
of One Thousand pounds of good and lawful money of New York 
to them in hand paid before the sealing and delivering of these 
presents by the said James Carrol, the Receipt whereof is hereby 
acknowledged and themselves to be therewith fully Satisfied and 
paid and iJiereof and 6f every part hereof do acquit, release and 
discharge the said James Carrol his heirs Executors and Admin- 
istrators, by these presents they the said parties of the first part 
above mentioned Have granted, bargained, released and Con- 
firmed and Do by these presents. Grant, bargain, sell, alien, re-' 
lease and Confirm unto the said James Carrol in his actual pos- 
session now being by virtue of a Bargain sale and Lease for one 
year to him thereof made bearing date the day before the day of 
the date of these presents and by force and virtue of the Statute 
made for transferring uses into possession and to his heirs and 
assigns forever. All Siose certain Lotts, Tracts, and pafcells df 
land and premises bounded as -follows to wit, one certain Tract 
of land, Scituate lying and being in the Township of New Harlem, 



The John Watts 
who sailed away 
on the Harriet 
Pacquet and 
never came back 

For a thousand 
pounds of good 
and lawful 
money of New 

One certain 
Tract in Scituate 



As the fence now 
standi along by 
the land of the 
said John Low 

Also one certain 
piece or parcel of 
Wood Land 

Also one full Lott 
of wood Land 

Also one other 
Lott known by the 
name of number 

aforesaid, on the West side of the highway leading from New York 
to Kingsbridge, beginning at the north east corner of the Land of 
John Low at the West side of the said highway in the South east 
Corner of the said tract of land and running from thense with a 
Straight Course westerly as the fence now stands along by the 
land of the said John Low until it comes to Hudsons River, thense 
running northwardly along the said River unto the land of the 
said John Low, late belonging to Lawrence Kortwright, and from 
thense running Easterly along the line of the said John Low as 
the fence now stands until it comes to the highway aforesaid 
thence along the said highway unto the place of beginning con- 
taining forty acres more or less; Also one other Certain Tract of 
Land scituate, lying and being in the same Township of New 
Harlem on the East side of the above said highway beginning 
at the north corner of the Land of the above named John Low, 
late of John Dyckman, and Running from thence by and with the 
said highway into the land of John Benson from thence running 
in a Straight line along the land of John Benson until it comes 
to Harlem River and from thence by the said Harlem River to 
the Southward until it comes to the land of the above named 
John Low, from thence Running westerly along the land of the 
said John Low to the place of beginning containing twenty acres 
more or less. Also one certain piece or parcel of Wood Land scit- 
uate lying and being in the said Township of New Harlem (that 
is to say) the one full half of that certain Lott known by the name 
of number seventeen in last division as laid out by Peter Berian 
being the northermost one half of the said Lott number Seven- 
teen and divided by and between John Kierson and Garrit Dyck- 
man and then laid out for the property of the said John Kierson 
his heirs and assigns for ever; Also one full Lott of wood Land 
known by the name of lot number seven containing 

g —acres 

more or less and runs from the highway between the lands of 
Johannis Waldron and Arent Bussing to Hudsons River; Also 
one other Lott known by the name of number three containing 
six acres more or less and runs from the highway between the 
lands of Baxent Waldron & Mark Tiebout to the middle line in 
the said division in the fourth division; Also one other Lott known 
by the name of number eight containing four acres and a half 
more or less; Also a certain piece or Lot of salt meadow lying and 
scituate within the said Township of New Harlem upon the North 
Northnest Branch of the round meadow, kill or creek, beginning 
at a certain place known by the name of Peter Tieneer's Brook 
or Fall where the said Brook or Fall meets with the salt meadow 
running about northeast by the edge of the upland of Jacob Dyck- 
man until it meets with the land of John Nagal being a corner 
boundage from thence running southerly by the Edge of the up- 
land of said John Nagel until it meets with the said round meadow 
creek or kxU bemg a boundage from thence with the said creek 


or kill until it meets with the branch that Runs into the above 
saidTiener's Brook or Fall and from thence to the first mentioned 
boundage containing four acres more or less Together with all 
and Singular the Orchards, Gardens, Fences, Trees, Woods, 
underwoods, Fields, feedings, pastures, meadows, marshes, 
swamps, ponds, pools, lakes, streams. Rivulets, Runs, and Streams 
of Water, Fishing, Fowling, Hunting, Hawking and all other 
profits, privileges, advantages. Emoluments, Hereditaments, 
right of Commonage, and appurtenances to the same belonging 
a an)rwise appertaining or therewithall now or at any time here- 
tofore used occupied possessed or enjoyed or accepted reputed or 
known to be part or parcel thereof and the reversions remainder 
and remainders thereof and also all the Estate, right, Title, dower. 
Interest, property, claim, and Demand Whatsoever of them the 
said parties of the first part of this present Indenture of release 
mentioned and named orof in or to any part or parcel thereof, to 
Have and to Hold the said Tracts and parcels of land and premises 
with their and each and every of their hereditaments and appur- 
tenances and every part and parcel thereof unto him the said 
James Carrol his heirs and assigns against them the said parties 
of the first part before-mentioned and named and their heirs and 
against all and every other person or persons whatsoever shall 
and will warrent, and by these presents forever defend, and they 
the beforementioned parties of the first part for themselves their 
heirs Executors and administrators Do covenant and agree to 
and with the said James Carrol his heirs and assigns in manner 
and form following that is to say that they the parties of the first 
part at and immediately before the sealing and delivery of these 
presents are and do stand Lawfully seized in their own right of! 
and in the said Lots Tracts and parcels of land and premises of a 
good estate in fee simple and have in themselves Good right fullj 
power and Lawful and absolute authority to grant bargain selli 
Release and confirm the same and every part & parcel thereof' 
unto him the said James Carrol his heirs and assigns in manner! 
and form afforesaid and Also that he the said James Carrol his; 
heirs and assigns shall and may by force and virtue of these pre- 
sents freely, quietly, and peaceably have, hold, use, enjoy andl 
keep the said Lotts, Tracts and parcels of Land and premises and • 
the Rents and Profits thereof receive and take to and for his and ; 
their own proper use and Behoof without the Lawful Lett Suit, ■ 
trouble, denial, Interruption or Contradiction of or by the said 
parties to the first part, or any or either of them, or any claiming 
or to claim by from or under them or either of them or any other 
person or persons whatsoever and that free and clear and freely 
and clearly acquitted and discharged of otherwise well and suffi- 
ciently saved harmless and kept indemnified by them the said 
parties of the first part of this present Indenture of release men- 
tioned and named and by each and every of them and their heirs 



Fishing, Fowl- 
ing, Hunting, 

Each and every 
ef their heredita- 
ments and appur- 

That said James 
Carrol shall 
freely, ^ietly, 
and peaceably 
have, held, use, 
enjoy, etc. 


Gi/is., GrantSf 
Bargains, Title 
of Dower., 
Troubles, and 
had, made, or 


To "James Car- 
rol, his heirs and 

The parties to 
these presents 

Sealed and de- 

and assigns of and from all former or other Gifts, Grants, Bar- 
gains, Sales, Leases, Releases, Jointures, dower Right and Title 
of Dower, Judgements, Mortgages, Executions and all other 
changes, titles Troubles, and Incumbrances whatsoever had made, 
Committed, done or suffered or to be had, made. Committed 

done or suffered, by them the said parties of the part or by 

any or either of them or their heirs or assigns or any other per- 
son whatsoever. ^ , , , c ^ _^ j *t. • 
And lastly that they the said parties of the first part and their 
heirs and all and every other person or persons whatsoever having 
or Lawfully claiming any estate, right, Title or interest of in to 
or under them or either of them shall and will from time to time 
and at all times hereafter at or upon the reasonable request, proper 
costs and charges in the law of the said James Carrol, his heirs 
and assigns, well and sufficiently further to acknowledge and 
Execute or cause to be done, acknowledged and executed this and 
all and every such further and other Lawful and reasonable act 
or acts, deed or deeds. Conveyances and assurance, m the Law 
Whatsoever for the further better and more perfect assurance, 
surety, and sure making, releaseing, conveying, and assuring the 
Said Lotts Tracts and parcels of land and premises with the ap- 
purtenances unto the said James Carrol his heirs and assigns for 
ever as by the said James Carrol his heirs or assigns or his and 
their Councill Learned in the Law shall be reasonably advised, 
devised or required. 1. 1 ^ 
In witness whereof the parties to these presents have hereunto 
Interchangeably set their hands and seals the day and year first 
above written. 

Jacob Dyckman (LS) 

Jannetje her X mark (LS) 

Jacob Deykmont (LS) 

Catalyntie her X mark Dyckman (LS) 

Willem Dyckman (LS) 

Mary her X mark Deykman (LS) 

John Vermilye (LS) 

Gerritye her X mark Vermilye (LS) 

Abraham Odle (LS) 

Rabeckh Odell (LS) 

Jonathan Odell (LS) 

Margaret Odel (LS) 

sealed and delivered the words Harlem River & from thence 
by the said Harlem River to the southward until it comes to be- 
ing one of the Courses in the Second Lott is twice wrote over & 
therefore scored. In the presence of Neal Shaw Richard Varian 
Harman Knickerbocker. Received on the day and year within 
written of and from the within named James Carrol the within 
mentioned sum of One Thousand pounds being the consideration 



money within mentioned to be paid £iooo, Jacob Dyckman, 
Jacob Dyckman, Jr, Willie Deyckman, John Vermilye, Abraham 
Odell, Jonathan Odell. 

Memorandum that on the sixth day of June in the year of our 
Lord one Thousand seven hundred and sixty four Personally 
came and appeared before me, John Watts Esq. one of his majes- 
ties Council for the Province of New York, Neal Shaw, one of 
the subscribing witnesses to the within written Indenture of re- 
lease and being duly sworn declared that he was present at and 
saw the within named Jacob Dyckman and Cathelyntie his wife, 
William Dyckman and Mary his wife, John Vermilye and Gar- 
ritye his wife, Abraham Odell and Rebeckah his wife and Jona- 
than Odell and Margaret his wife, Severally sign seal and as their 
severall act and deed deliver the said Indenture of Release within 
mentioned to the uses and purposes therein mentioned and that 
he the deponent Together with Richard Varian and Harman 
Knickerbacker Severally subscribed their names as witnesses there- 
unto and I having perused the same and finding no eraizures nor 
interlineations therein nor words scored Except such as are taken 
Notice of in a memorandum made and done before the Execution 
thereof do allow the same to be recorded. 

Jno. Watts. 


On the sixth day 
of June in the 
year of our Lord 
one Thousand 
seven hundred 
and sixty four 

John Watts 


In the thirty first 
year of the reign 
of our Sovereign 
Lord George the 

In consideration 
of a Marriage 
intended to be had 
and Solemnized 

Unto the said 
"Johanna Phil- 
lips^ Beverly 
Robinson^ and 
to their heirs 



^he Marriage Settlement of 
Mary Philip se 


This Indenture made the fourteenth day of Jany in the 31st 
year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the 
grace of God of Great Brittain France and Ireland King de- 
fender of the faith &c; and in the year of our Lord 1758: Between 
Mary Phillips of the first part Major Roger Morris of the Second 
part, and Johanna Phillips, and Beverly Robinson, of the third 
part Witnesseth that in consideration of a Marriage intended 
to be had and Solemnized between the said Roger Morris & Mary 
Phillips and the settlement herein after made by the said Roger 
Morris on the said Mary Phillips and for and in Consideration 
of the sum of five Shillings current money of the Province of New 
York by the said Johanna Phillips and Beverly Robinson to her 
the said Mary Phillips at or before the Ensealing & delivering of 
these presents well and truly paid the recept whereof is hereby 
acknowledged and for divers other Good causes and considerations 
her thereunto moving She the said Mary Phillips hath granted 
bargained Sold Released and confirmed and by these presents 
doth Grant Bargain sell release and confirm unto the said Johanna 
Phillips & Beverly Robinson (in the actual Possession now being 
by virtue of a bargain and sale to them thereof made for one 
whole Year by Indenture bearing date the day next before the day 
of the date of these presents and by force of the Statute for Trans- 
ferring of uses into Possession) and to their heirs. 

All those Several Lotts or parcells of land known by the several 
Names of Lott number three. Number five, and number nine, 
and one third part of the Meadow Land lying in lot No two which 
Lotts Lotts Number 3, 5, 9, and two, are part of a certain tract 
or parsal of Land granted iinto-Adolph Phillips since deceased by 
his Late Majesty King William the third by his Letters Patent 



under the Great seal of the Province of New York: Bearing date 
the Seventeenth day of June in the Year of our Lord 1697: Scit- 
uate lying and being in Dutchess County in the High Lands on 
the East side of Hudsons River: and are butted and bounded as 
follows: To wit Lott No 3 beginning at two Hemlock bushes 
Standing in a gully between Bull and Brakeneck Hills on the East 
side of Hudsons River and from thence running N, 77 degrees 
East 386 Chains to a heap of Stones and walnut bush Marked 
P.R. 1753 : standing in the west lone of Lot No 4 and is also the 
Northeast corner of lott number two: then North ten degrees 
East 228 chains to a heap of Stones thirty links North of a White 
oak Tree marked P 1753 being the north west corner of Lott 
Number four, then South eighty seven degrees west 408 Chains 
to the mouth of the Fishkill from thence down the several courses 
of Hudsons River to the beginning, including Pollapes Island: 
Containing about 8600 Acres : — 

Lott Number 5 beginning at a heap of Stones in the line of the 
Mannor of Courtland at the Southeast corner of Lot Number 4, 
then North ten degrees east 947 Chains to a heap of Stones at 
the Northeast corner of lot No 6 then North 87 degrees East 344 
Chains to a heap of Stones which is the North West corner of 
Lott No 6 thence south 10 Degrees West along the line of Lot 
No 6 960 Chains to a heap of Stones In the line of then Manor of 
Courtland, at the Southwest corner of lot No 6: Then west along 
the line of the mannor of Courtland 340 Chains to the beginning 
containing about 31,200 Acres: — 

Lot Number 9 Beginning at a hemlock tree Standing on the 
south side of the East Branch of Croton River, and a heap of 
Stones on the north side, which is also the Southeast Corner of 
lot No 6, in the line of the mannor of Courtland from thence 
running North ten degrees East 333 Chains to a heap of Stones 
and a Walnut tree mark'd P.R.1753, on the south side of the 
Hill near an old meeting House in the line of Lott No 6 being 
the Southwest Corner of Lott No 8: then East along the line of 
Lott No 8: 337 Chains to a Chesnut bush marked P.R.1753 
Standing in the Oblong line on the west side of Rocky Hill which 
is the Southeast corner of lot No 8: thence Southerly as the oblong 
line Runs 333 to the northeast corner of the mannor of Court- 
land in Peach Pond thence West along the said Mannor of Court- 
land 336 Chains to the begining about 11,220 Acres: 

And the one third part of the Meadow land lying in lot No 2; 
Beginning five Chains from the upland upon Danfords Creek and 
running to Crooked Creek five chains from the upland then down 
Crooked Creek to the Meadow belonging to lot No i the North- 
west to Martless Rock then along the upland the North side of 
little Island in the meadow to the mouth of Danfords creek then 
up the said Cr:eek to the beginoing containng 82 Acres: — 

And also all & Singular other the lands tenements Heriditi- 



Beginning at two 
Hemlock bushes 
Standing in a 
gully between 
Bull and Brake- 
neck Hills 

Lott Number 5 
beginning at a 
heap of Stones, 
jl,200 Acres 

Lott Number p 
Beginning at a 
hemlock tree, 
11,220 Acres 

Andthe one third 
part of the Mea- 
dow land upon 
Danfords Creek 


And all and 
Singular her 
other lands f etc. 

To the use and 
behoof of such 
Child or Chil- 
dren as shall or 
may be procreated 
between them 

Provided that it 
may be lawful 
for the said 
Roger Morris 
and Mary Phil' 
lips during the 
said marriage 


ments and real Estate whatsoever & wheresoever of her the said 
Mary Phillips and also all the Estate Right title Interest Posses- 
sion claim & Demand whatsoever of her the said Mary Phillips 
of in and to all and Singular the said lots or parcels of Land above 
mentioned and Described and all and Singular her other lands 
Tenements Heriditaments and real Estate whatsoever or any part 
or percel thereof with the Appertenances to have and to hold all 
and Singular the said several lots of land herein before mentioned 
or intended to be hereby released and all and Singular other the 
Lands Tenements Heriditaments and real estate whatsoever of 
Her the said Mary Phillips, with their and every of their members 
and Appertenances unto the said Johanna Phillips and Beverly 
Robinson, and their Heirs: To and for the several uses intents 
and purposes herein after declared expressed limited and ap- 
pointed and to & for no other use intent and purpose whatsoever 
that is to say to and for the use and behoof of them the said 
Johanna Phillips & Beverly Robinson And their Heirs until the 
Solemnization of the said Intended Marriage and from and Imme- 
diately after the Solemnization of the Intended Marriage then to 
the use and behoof of the said Mary Phillips and Roger Morris 
and the Surviver of them for & during the term of their natural 
lives, without Impeachment of waste and from and after the 
determination of that Estate then to the use & behoof of such 
Child or Children as shall or may be procreated between them 
and to his her or their Heirs and Assigns forever but in case the 
said Roger Morris and Mary Phillips shall have no Child or Chil- 
dren begotten between them or that such Child or Children shall 
happen to die during the lifetime of the said Roger and Mary and 
the said Mary should survive the said Roger without issue then 
to the use & Behoof of her the said Mary Phillips and for Heirs 
and assigns forever and in case the said Roger Morris should 
Survive the said Mary Phillips without any Issue by her or that 
such Issue is then dead without leaving Issue then after the de- 
cease of the said Roger Morris to the only use and Behoof of such 
person, or persons, and in such manner and form as she the said 
Mary Phillips shall at any time during the said Intended Man- 
age devise the same by her Last Will and Testament which last 
will and Testament for that purpose: it is hereby agreed by all 
the parties to those presents that it shall be Lawfull for her at 
any time during the said Mariage to make public and declare the 
said mariage or any thing herein contained to the Contrary 
thereof in any wise notwithstanding. 

Provided Nevertheless, and it is the true intent and meaning 
of the parties to these presents that it shall & maybe Lawfull to 
and for the said Roger Morris, & Mary Phillips jointly at any 
time or times during the said marriage to sell and Dispose of any 
part of l^e said several Lots and p>ercels of Land or any other 
her lands teniments Heriditaments and real estate whatever to 



the value of three Thousand Pounds Current money of the Prov- 
ince of New York; and in case the said sum of three Thousand 
Pounds be not reised by such sale or Sales during their joint lives 
and they have Issue between them that then it shall be Lawfull 
for the surviver of them to raise the said sum by the sale of any 
part of the said lands; or such deficiency thereof as shall not then 
have been already raised thereout so as to make up the said full 
sum of three thousand Pounds. 

Any Thing herein before Contained to the conterary thereof 
in any wise notwithstanding and the said Roger Morris for and 
in consideration of the premises and the sum of five Shillings cur- 
rent money of the Province of New York to him in hand paid by 
the said Johanna Phillips and Beverly Robinson, Doth hereby 
fpr himself his Heirs Executors and Administrators Covenant 
promise grant and agree to and with the said Johanna Phillips 
and Beverly Robinson their and each of their Executors and Ad- 
ministrators in manner & form following that is to say that in 
case the said Mary Phillips shall survive him the said Roger 
Morris that then & in such case immediately after his Death all 
and singular the monie and Personal estate whatsoever whereof 
he shall die Possessed shall be Accounted the proper monies and 
Estate of the said Mary Phillips during the Natural life and after 
her Decease in case there be no Issue begotten between the said 
Roger Morris & Mary Phillips then living that then the said 
monies and Personal Estate shall and may be had and taken by 
the Executors and administrators of the said Roger Morris these 
presents or any thing herein Contained to the Conterary thereof 
in any wise notwithstanding. 

but if such Child or Children shall survive the said Roger 
Morris and Mary Phillips then the said monies and Estate to be 
divided among them in such shares and proportions as he the 
said Roger Morris shall think fit at any time hereafter by his last 
will and Testament'or otherwise to order and direct 

In Witness whereof all the parties first above named have to 
three Parts hereof all of the same tenor and date set their hands 
and seals the date and Year first above written. 

Mary Phillips (L.S.) 
Roger Morris (L.S.) 

Johanna Phillips (L.S.) 
Beverly Robinson (L.S.) 

Sealed and Delivered the words (then south ten degrees West 
along the line of Lot Number six) being first interlined between 
the sixteenth and Seventeenth lines of the first Sheet and the 
words (thirteenth) wrote on a razure. In the Presence of William 
Levingstone Sarah Williams. 

Be it remembered that on the first day of April in the Year of 
our Lord 1787: Personally came and appeared before me John 
Sloss Hobard one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the 
State of New York. — William Levingstone Esqr. Governor of 



Three Thousand 
Pounds Current 
money of the 
Province of New 

And the sum of 
five shillings 
current money of 
the Province of 
New Tor k 

but if such Child 
or Children shall 
survive the said 
Roger Morris 
and Mary Phil- 
lips the monies 
and Estate — 
to them 

Personally ap- 
peared before me 
John Sloss 



Finding no me- 
terial Erasures 
or InterlinatiiHS 
therein, etc., 
do allow the same 
to be Recorded 

Above marriage 
settlement to be 
found on page 
55°t rfthe 20th 
volume of Deeds 
in the office of the 
Secretary of 
State at Albany 

the State of New Jersey one of the subscribing witnesses to the 
within written Indenture who being by me duly sworne did tes- 
tify & declare that he was present at or about the day of the date 
of the within Indenture & did see the within named Johanna 
Phillips Beverly Robinson Roger Morris & Mary Phillips Sign 
and seal the same Indenture and deliver it as their Voluntary 
Act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein mentioned and 
I have carefully Inspected the same and finding no meterial 
Erazures or Interlinations therein other than those noted to have 
been made before the execution thereof do allow the same to be 

John Sloss Hobard. 

The Preceeding deed was recorded at the request of John 
Watts Jr. Esqr. and is a true coppy of the Original thereof Exam- 
ined and compared therewith this lith Day of Apl. 1787 by me 

Robert Harper, D. Secretary 

The above transcript of the indenture between Mary Phillips, 
Major Roger Morris, Johanna Phillips, and Beverly Robinson, 
January 31, 1758, was made from the manuscript copy of the 
record in Deeds, volume 20, page 550, in the office of the Secre- 
tary of State, found in Assembly Papers, volume 8, pages 735- 
45, which was filed with the Legislature in connection with peti- 
tions dated January, 181 1, in Assembly Papers, volume 36, pages 
446-47 and 460-70, presented by persons living on the upper 
part of the Philipse patent, in Dutchess County, in which peti- 
tions they set forth that John Jacob Astor claims to hold the title 
to their lands, by virtue of the above-mentioned indenture exe- 
cuted before the marriage between Mary Phillips and Major 
Roger Morris, by which the lands in question were conveyed to 
the use of the said Mary Phillips and Roger Morris for their lives, 
with the remainder in fee simple to their children, from whom 
the said John Jacob Astor obtained a deed, and pray that if upon 
investigation the claims of the said Astor prove founded, the 
State may take steps to extinguish his claims and give them a 
perfect title. 

(Signed) A. J. F. van Lear, 

Albany, N.Y., April 28, 1909. 




Adams, Hannah, first tells story of Nathan Hale 
in her History oj New England, in 1799, 56; her 
character, 63. 

Adams, John and Abigail, guests of Washington, 
at Morris house, 136. 

Adams, Sarah, her word-picture of Washington, 

Aglai, Mademoiselle, presents her compliments to 

Madame Jumel and will bring the bonnets and 

fishus, 162. 
Agrilly, Baron and Baroness, friends of the 

Jumels, 161. 
Albany County, description of, 104. 
Albany Post-Road, an old king's highway, 12. 
Allen, Paul, author of History of the Revolution 

(1822), makes no mention of Nathan Hale, 58. 
Allen, Samuel, Betsy Bowen living at house of, 

Alzac, M. le Comte d', acquaintance of Madame 

Jumel, ISS- 
American Archives, published by Peter Force, 25; 

Majpr Rook's account of the great fire omitted 

from, 47; frequently reveals inaccuracy of his- 
' tory, 55; only a garbled account of the fire 

appears in, 64. 
American Bible Society, the, a beneficiary under 

Madame Jumel's will, 203. 
Andre, Major, comparison with Nathan Hale, 57; 

successor to Kemble on* Sir Henry Clinton's 

staff, 129; painted scenery for the Theater 

Royal, 134. 
Andros, Governor, mention of, 3. 
Angel, Lemuel, at eighty-nine a witness for George 

Washington Bowen, 219. 
Angel, Solomon, Polly Bowen died at house of, 


Angell, James, at eighty-seven a witness for 
George Washington Bowen, 219. 

Apthorp, Charles Ward, of the Legislative Coun- 
cil, 18; his house occupied'by General Howe, 31. 

Association for the Relief of Respectable, Aged, 
Indigent Females in the City of New York, one 
of the beneficiaries named in Madame Jumel's 
will, 204. 

Astor, John Jacob, his transaction with the 
PhUipse and Morris families explained, 112; 

sold the property to the State of New York, 
135; mentioned in Assembly papers, 242. 

Augsbourg Prmts, "Representation du Feu Ter- 
rible a Nouvelle Yorck" and "La Destruction 
de la Statue Royale a Nouvelle Yorck," 54. 

Axtell, William, of the Council, 18. 

B k, Mr. Edwin, his story of Madame Jumel 

entering church, 175. 

Babcock, Colonel, his report to Governor Cooke, 

Babcock, S., author of a Memoir of Captain 
Nathan Hale (1844), 61. 

Backhus, Major, of the Connecticut cavalry, 102; 
comes to General Washington with a letter of 
introduction from Governor Trumbull, 103. 

Bailey, Mr., who did the plumbing in the Jumel 
Mansion, 179; died in 1812, 188; is received by 
Madame Jumel in the French style, 196. 

Balconies used for sentry boxes, fable of, 199. 

Ballon, Freelove, wife of Reuben, 142; known as 
"Old Mother Ballon," 143; informed George 
Washington Bowen who was his mother, 215. 

Ballou, Lavinia, daughter of Phebe Kelley Bowen, 
and half-sister of Madame Jumel, 141; after- 
wards Mrs. James G. Jones, 159; barred from 
inheriting from Madame Jumel on account of 
illegitimacy, 205. 

Ballou, Major Reuben, a butcher by trade, 142; 
George Washington Bowen born at the house 
of, 213 ; put forward in the trial as the father of 
George Washington Bowen, 216. 

Barron, Mr. Thomas, painted scenery with Andre 
and De Lancey, 134. 

Bauermeister, Major C. L., his letter from camp 
near "Helgatte," 89. 

Baxter, Colonel, his position at the capture of 
Fort Washington, 115. 

Beall, General Rezin, president of court martial, 

Beaumont, Dr., Surgeon-General of the British 
Army, manager of the theater in John Street, 

133- ,. 
Beckett, Lieutenant, 120. 
Beckwith, Freeman, at eighty-eight, a witness for 

George Washington Bowen, 219. 



Bedford, Colonel Gunning, Mustermaster- 

General on Washington's staflF, 34. 
Benson, John, his land adjoining Morris farm, 

Berrian, John, half owner of the Morris farm, in 

1784, 134. 
Berrian, Peter, surveyor, mentioned in Carrol 

deed, 234. 
Berry, Madame la Duchesse de, a social acquaint- 
ance of Madame Jumel, 154. 
Blagg, John, post-riders meet at house of, 108. _ 
Bleecker, Anthony L., his description of Morris 

house when offering it for sale in 1792, 9; his 

original purchase, 134. 
Bloomingdale, British front at battle of Harlem, 

29; guarding against approach of enemy from 

heights of, 41. 
Bonaparte, Joseph, a letter from, 160; a family 

tradition concerning, 161; remains of a banquet 

to, 177, 187; description of the banquet table. 


Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon, his visit to America, 

Bonaparte, Napoleon, said to have given his 
carriage to the Jumels, i54- 

Boston Athenaeum portrait by Stuart the ac- 
cepted portrait of Washington, 39. 

Boston Independent Chronicle, extract from, 66. 

Botta, Charles, author of American Revolution 

. (Italian), makes no mention of Hale, 58. 

Bo wen, Betsy, first mention of, vi; daughter of 
John Bowen and Phebe Kelley, 138; born in 
^775> 139; '1 1787 living with Samuel Allen, 
140; the handsomest girl in Providence, 143; 
brought to bed of a son, 144; leaves Providence, 
145; her life shrouded in mystery, 147; probably 
a portion of it spent in Paris, 148; claim that 
she had been the mistress of a sea captain, 149; 
marries Stephen Jumel, 151. See also Jumel, 
Madame, and Burr, Madame Aaron. 

Bowen, George Washington, for ninety years a 
resident of Providence, 144; born of Eliza 
Bowen, October 9, 1794, 145; most important 
suit against the heirs brought by, 206; his early 
years, 213; in business, 214; his resemblance to 
Washington, 214; his case in the United States 
Circuit Court, 215; his tall figure in the court- 
room, 216; was seventy-eight at the time of the 
trial, 218; record of his birth in the King Henry 
Book, 220; lost his case, 221; his death, 222. 

Bowen, John, father of Betsy, 138; a foreigner 
and seafaring man, 139; drowned in the harbor 
of Providence, 140. 

Bowen, John Thomas, half-brother of Madame 

, Jumel, 139; in 1787 apprenticed to Asa Hop- 
kins, 140. 

Bowen, Polly, sister of Madame Jumel, born in 
I773i 139; living at Henry Wyatts, 140; death 
of, 14s. 

Bowen vs. Chase, the famous trial, 149; tried in 
United States Circuit Court for the Southern 
District, of the State of New York, 215; verdict 
of the Supreme Court of the United States ren- 
dered against the plaintiff in 1879, 221; litiga- 
tion lasted thirteen years, 222. 

Bowles, Margaret, or Margaret Fairchild, keeper 
of the "Old Gaol House" in Providence, 139. 

Bownes, Mary Jumel, adopted by the Jumels, 
153; in Miss Laurau's school, writes to Madame 
Jumel, 156; writes again, 157; had returned to 
the mansion, 159; the title to the Jumel prop- 
erty in the name of, 168; all transfers to, fraudu- 
lent and void, 211. 

Bradbrook, Edwin, his story of the military com- 
pany, 181. 

Bradden, Captain of the Fifteenth Foot, one of 
the actors at the Theater Royal, 134. 

Braddock, General, mention of, 13. 

Break Neck Hill, mention of, 4; alarm guns to be 
fired from, 71 ; troops in line before day listen- 
ing for guns from, 74; mentioned in marriage 
settlement of Mary Philipse, 239, 

Bridge of boats on Harlem River, 77; anchors and 
cables sent for to moor, 77. 

Brigade-Majors, reported to Adjutant-General at 
twelve o'clock, 36; had standing invitation to 
dinner from General Washington, 36. 

"British Head Quarters Military Map," shows 
grounds about Morris house, 127. 

British Order Book, extract from, 66. 

Broad Street one limit of the great fire in New 
York City, 46. 

Broadway, the, mentioned in connection with the 
great fire, 46. 

Bronx, the, mention of, 40; mouth of, 84; Colonel 
Putnam crosses the "Brunx," 86. 

Brown, Eliza, a convenient name to separate 
Betsy Bowen from her career in Providence, 

Brown, Governor, Montfort mentioned for ex- 
change, 52; at the Morris house to be exchanged 
for General Stirling, 74. 

Brown, Richard, taken in the act of promoting 
the fire in New York City, and executed, 45. 

Brune, La, two sailors from, 67; anchored in 
"Helgatte," 89. 

Buckwheat field,, mention of, 29. 

Building the house for the bride in 1758, the 
fable of, 199. 

Burke, Edmund, extract from speech in House of 
Commons, 53. 

Burr, Aaron, mention of, vi; an old man of sev- 
enty-eight, he marries Madame Jumel, 172; 
divorce of, 173; one of the imaginary guests of 
Madame Jumel, 187. 

Burr, Madame Aaron, 147; chapter on, 170; her 
marriage to Burr, 172; divorced from, but 
travels under name of, 173; travels in Europe 



as Mrs. Aaron Burr, 177. See also Bowen, 

Betsy, and Jumel, Madame. 
Burr, George, schoolmate of and witness for 

George Washington Bowen, 218. 
Bushndl, Mr., his contrivance for blowmg up 

ships, 78. 
Bussing, Arent, named in Carol deed, 234. 

Cadwalader, Colonel Lambert, in command of 

right of line in defense of Fort Washington, 115. 
Calumet Hall, Morris house in 1787, 135. 
Campbell, Mrs. Mariah, daughter of, and author 

of a life of General Hull, 61. 
Canvass-town, in the burnt district of New York 

City, 133- 
Carmansville, Madame Jumel drives through, 178. 
Cafrol, James, buys the farm from the Dyckmans, 

2; advertises it for sale, 3; mentioned in deed, 

433. 235. 236- 

Carrol deed, 233. 

Carroll, William Henry, coachman for Madame 
Jumel in 1839, 176. 

Carter, James C., undertook defense of Chase 
heirs without retainer, 211; his fee, 212. 

Cary, Lieutenant^Colonel Richard, made aide-de- 
camp on Washington's staff, 33. 

Cayugas, two sachems of, arrived at Washing- 
ton's headquarters, 78; the fable about, 199; 
letters of General Washington and Schuyler, 
referring to, 200. 

"Cedars," the, a tavern mentioned by Hemp- 
stead as within a mile and a half from Hale's 
quarters, 59; a place called "The Cedars" near 
Huntington, Long Island, 61. 

Cerberus, British ship, a boat from which is 
claimed to have captured Nathan Hale, 61. 

Charlotte County, New York, description of, 103. 

ChaiDt, Madame la Duchesse de, social acquaint- 
ance of Madame Jumel, 154. 

Chase, Eliza Jumel, daughter of Nelson Chase, 

Chase, Nelson, husband of Mary, niece of Ma- 
dame Jumel, 171; brought his wife to New 
York, 176; moved to Hoboken, 177; back in the 
Mansion with Madame Jumel, 177; one of the 
heirs living in the house, 203 ; borrows $45,000 
to buy off the claim of the Jumel Joneses, and 
for pin money, 206; a family by himself, 208. 

Chase, William Inglis, son of Nelson Chase, 177; 
throws the inkstand at the family portrait, 185; 
not named in Madame Jumel's will, 204; occu- 
pied rooms above the great parlor, 208; black 
patch over head of, in great portrait, 211. 

ChattiUon, the Duchess of , nee Chattillon, 

tends her regrets, declining Madame Jumel's 
mvitation to dine, 162. 

Chew, Joseph, a guest at Beverly Robinson's, 13; 
writes a letter to Washington, 14; sends a post- 
script in letter of Beverly Robinson, 15. 

Chichester, Mother, keeper of a tavern near 
Huntington, Long Island, 61. 

Chintz, curious piece of, described, 37. 

Church, Benjamin S., his story of the city fence, 

Church of the Intercession, 187; a beneficiary un- 
der Madame Jumel's will, 203. 

Church parade, in stable near Morris house, 
March 25, April i, June 7, 1781, 131. 

City Hall, New York, great fire almost reached, 

City Tavern, comes into its own again, 133. 

Clarke, Jonathan, second husband of Phebe 
Kelley, 141; living on the Old Warren Road, 
142; death of, 146. 

Clarke, Polly, stepsister of Madame Jumel, 142; 
her children named as the only legitimate heirs 
of Madame Jumel, 204; bought off for $40,000, 

Clarkson, General, and some others in the neigh- 
borhood of the Jumels, kept their carriages, 1 50. 

Classic period, dawn of, 109. 

Clinton, Brigadier-General George, reports battle 
of Harlem Heights to the New York Conven- 
tion, 31; in General Heath's division, 40; re- 
ports ships run ashore near Colonel Philipse's. 

Clinton, Mrs. Hannah, rented the mansion, in 
summer of 1826, 170. 

Clinton, Lieutenant-General Sir Henry, head- 
quarters at Morris house, vi; encamped near 
seventh and eighth milestones, 31; arrives at 
Morris house, 128; captures Forts Montgomery 
and Clinton, 129. 

Clinton, Julia, name on the pane of glass at side 
of door of Jumel Mansion (1826), 170. 

Clinton, Mary C, daughter of Mrs. Hannah 
Clinton, in the mansion (1826), 170. 

Colden, Lieutenant-Governor Cadwallader, 
burned in effigy, 18; writes to Lord North, 20. 

Collins, John, waited on General Washington, 26. 

Congress, Washington reports to, 27; Secretary 
Harrison's apology to, 29; forbids Washington 
to burn the city of New York, 43; committee 
from, on the conduct of the war, 69; committee 
from, in session at the Morris house, 70; 
committee came in during the dinner to the 
Connecticut colonels, 74; laid a heavy hand on 
frivolity in the towns, 133. 

Congressional Library, contains official record of 
a famous case, vi. 

Convention of the State of New York, first men- 
tion of, 29; post-rider to, at Fishkill, daily from 
headquarters, 35; chapter on, 102; members of, 
104; its trials, 105; resolutions on post-riders, 
108; otders churcii bells and brass door-knock- 
ers sent to New Ark, lio; required' all citizens 
who were prisoners, to take oath of allegiance, 



Cooke, Nicholas, Governor of Rhode Island, z6, 

Giuncil of war, at or near King's Bridge, 82; pro- 
ceedings of another at General Lee's head- 
quarters, 83. 

Gjurts Martial, assembled in the great parlor at 
nine o'clock, 35; chapter on, 95; trial of William 
Higgins, 96; trial of Sergeant George Douglas, 
97; trial of Ensign Mathew Macumber, 99; trial 
of Lieutenant Pope, 100. 

Crippin, Judge, Nelson Chase studied law with, 

Cronks, Hercules, New York post-office at the 
house of, 107. 

Cruger, John Harris, member of the Legislative 
Council of New York, 19. 

Cumberland County, New York, now State of 
Vermont, 104. 

Curret, Joseph, agent of Joseph Bonaparte, 187. 

Curwen, Samuel, his letter to Mr. George Russell, 

Cypress trees, the fable of, 202. 

Daughters of the American Revolution, preserv- 
ing the headquarters, 224; four chapters of, 
incorporated under the title, "Washington 
Headquarters Association, founded by Daugh- 
ters of the American Revolution," 225. 

De la Croix, Captain, probably the master of a 
ship, 147. 

De la Croix, Madame, one of Madame Jumel's 
five names, 147; her portrait painted by Saint- 
Memin, 147, 

Delacroix, Jacques, the proprietor of the Vauxhall 
Gardens, 147. 

Delacroix, Madame Marie, to whom the Saint- 
Memin portrait was attributed, 147; said to have 
introduced ice cream into New York, 148. 

De Lancey, Oliver, a member of the Legislative 
Council of New York, 18. 

De Lancey, Captain Oliver, of the Seventeenth 
Dragoons, with Major Andre painted scenery 
for the Theater Royal, 133. 

De Witt, Captain, discharged James McCormick 
from the guard house, 75. 

Dickens, Charles, may have got his idea of Miss 
Havisham from Madame Jumel, 195, 

Dobbs Ferry, country seat of Beverly Robinson, 
17; the Phoenix and Roebuck run aground at, 78. 

Douglas, Sergeant George, trial of, 97. 

Douglas, Colonel William, General Washington's 
invitation to, 73. 

Drake, Lieutenant Henry, tried for absence with- 
out leave, 70. 

Duer, William, Secretary of the New York 
Convention, 55. 

Dunlap, William, his picture of a Hessian soldier, 
132; his description of New York City during 
the Revolution, 133. 

Dyckman, Catalyntie, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 

Dyckman, Garrit, named in Carrol deed, 234. 
Dyckman, Jacob, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 234, 

Dyckman, Jacob, Jr., signs Carrol deed, 2, 236. 
Dyckman, Jannetje, signs Carrol deed, 2, 236. 
Dyckman, John, named in Carrol deed, 234. 
Dyckman, Mary, signs Carrol deed, 2, 236. 
Dyckman, Sampson, the messenger of the New 

York Convention, 109. 
Dyckman, William, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 236. 

Earle, General Ferdinand P., bought Jumel 
Mansion from Seth Milliken, in 1894, 224. 

Edmonds, Judge, informed George Washington 
Bowen that an illegitimate son might inherit, 

Eliza, the. Monsieur Jumel's bark, 150; the family 
sails for France in, 153. 

EUery, William, his letter to Governor Cooke, 76. 

Ercole, Alcide, painter of the Jumel family group, 
178; portrait by, passed by courtesy by ap- 
praisers, 207. 

Evening Post, the notice of marriage of Aaron 
Burr and Madame Jumel in, 172. 

Ewing, Colonel Thomas, to the Maryland Com- 
mittee of Safety, 29; sittings of the court mar- 
tial of which he was president, 96. 

Fancy, the, Colonel Morris's sloop-rigged yacht, 3. 

Fellows, General, disgraceful behavior of his 
Connecticut Brigade, 28. 

Ferry House Tavern, kept by Mr, Marriner on 
Harlem Lane, 136. 

Field, Franklin Clinton, bom in the Mansion 
(182s), 170. 

Field, Moses, rented Mansion in summer of 1825, 

"Fighting Cocks," old tavern on Broadway where 
Judge Henry lodged, 49. 

Fire in New York City (1776), Colonel Morris's 
city house burned, ij; a forgotten event, 24; 
watched by officers from the Morris house, 41; 
General Greene writes to Washington urging 
the burning of the city, 41 ; Washington is or- 
dered by Congress not to harm it, 42; letters 
from British officers fearing fire, 43; report of 
three persons who escaped from the city In a 
canoe, 44; extract from St. James Gazette, 44; 
account of, in Gaine's Mercury by Major Rook, 
45; most important accounts of, omitted from 
Force's American Archives, 47. 

Fishkill, seat of the New York Convention, 104; 
meetings of Convention held in Episcopal 
Church at, 104. 

Flag, the American, the Union Jack and thirteen 
stripes, 37; some account of its origin, 37; the 
thirteen stars on the piece of chintz, 38. 



Flick's Loyalism in America, gives figures of 
estate of Roger Morris, 112. 

Force, Peter, publisher of American Archives, 25. 

Ford, Worthington C, his copy of Washington's 
letter to Mrs. Philipse, 93. 

Fort Clinton, captured by Sir Henry Clinton, 129. 

Fort Knyphausen, new name for Fort Washing- 
ton, 125; signal from Morris house to show 
attack on, 132: 

Fort Lee, site of, bore chiefly wild onions, 71; 
Washington at, 114. 

Fort Montgomery, captured by Sir Henry Clin- 
ton, 129. 

Fort Washington, II, 23, 27; British vessels pass, 
78; decided to retain, 83; work on, guarded 
fO>m observation, 88; Graydon's story of cap- 
ture of, 114; Colonel Magaw in command of, 
lis; surrender of, 1 19; Ichabod Perry's descrip- 
tion of capture of, 124; renamed Fort Knyp- 
hausen, 125. 

Fountain, Anthony B., described the Jumel 
carriage, 150, 

Franklin, Benjamin, curious pattern on chintz 
inspired by, 37; possibly the first to suggest the 
stars on the American flag, 38; Postmaster- 
General, 105. 

Fraunces's Tavern, Washington's little army on 
way to, from Newburgh, 39. 

Freeman, Elizabeth, colored woman who had 
been in the service of Mr. Chauncey Shaffer, 
216; in charge of house in Circular Street, Sara- 
toga, 217; visits Nelson Chase at the American 
Hotel, Saratoga, 217; is evicted from the house 
in Circular Street, 218; secures the lithograph 
portraits of Madame Jumel for use at the trial 
in litigation after Madame Jumel's death, 218. 

French heirs, the, were allowed one undivided 
sixth part of the Jumel estate, 211. 

Frog's Neck, mention of, 40; cord wood breast- 
work, commanding, 77; four thousand troops 
land on, 82. 

Gage, General, mention of, 45. 

Gaine, Hugh, at the sign of the Bible and Crowi) 
sold tickets for the Theater Rctyal, 134. 

Gaine's Mercury, extract from, 2, 17, 18; extract 
from, describing the great fire in New York 
City, 4S, 

General Orders, published at six o'clock guard 
mounting, 56; passage from, 75. 

Gerry, Elbridge, member of Congressional Com- 
mittee on the Cbndiict of the War, 69. : 

Gibbs-Channing-Avery portrait of Washington 
by Stuart, 39. 

Glover, Colonel, at Pell's Point, 86. 

Golden Ball Inn, the, on Benefit Street, Provi- 
dence, Rhode Island, where Washington and 
Lafayette were entertained, 143; Madame 
Jumel stopped at, 148. 

Governor's Island, 26; information from, as to 
range of cannon, 90. 

Grant's Tomb, mention of, 40. 

Graydon, Captain Alexander, first mention of, 
as member of court martial, 96; his story cif the 
capture of Fort Washington, 114; "began to 
retire in good order," 115; surrenders, 116; is 
marched to an old stable, 117; is removed to 
Colonel Morris's barn, 118; is invited to break- 
fast, 120. 

Grayson, Colonel William, Aide-de-Camp on 
Washington's staflE, 33; letter to General 
Heath, 7S. 

Greene, General Nathanael, the most conspicuous 
advocate of burning New York City, 25; writes 
a letter to General Washington advising burn- 
ing, 41 ; visits Washington at new headquarters 
near King's Bridge, 85; crosses with Washing- 

' ton to Morris house, 121. 

Griffith, Colonel, at battle of Harlem Heights, 30. 

Hackett, Major, Mrs. Montresor dines with, at 
Scotch Johnny's, 16. 

Hale, Nathan, capture, 45; letter from Harlem, 
SS; his story first given to the public in her 
History of New England, by Hannah Adams, 56; 
text of General Hull's story, 56; his last words, 
57; many fables of, 58; statement of Stephen 
Hempstead, 59; beginning of period of ro- 
mance, 60; particulars of his execution, 61; 
stories of, compared, '62; mention of in the 
British Order Book, 66; and in the Boston 
Independent Chronicle, 66; Life, by I. W. 
Stewart, V. 

Hall, Talmage, innkeeper and stage-proprietor, 
135; meets with financial disaster, 136. 

Hamilton, Alexander, Captain of Artillery, 61; 
guest of Washington at Morris house dinner, 
136; probably not known to Madame Jumel, 173. 

Hamilton, Alexander, Jr., counsel to Madame 
Jumel, 167. 

Hancock, John, signs letter to Washington as 
President of Congress, 43; his name signed to 
commission of Richard Brown, who was exe- 
cuted for setting fire to New York City, 45. 

Hanson, Alexander Contee, Assistant Secretary 
to General Washington, 35. ' 

Harlem, 27; extract of a letter from, JJ; foray to 
secure forage lying near, 75; William Ellery's 
account of affair nfear, 76. 

Harlem Heights, mentibn of, 12, 26, 27; troops 

, went into camp on, 29; sometimes called 
King's Bridge, 129. 

Harlem Heights, battle of, mention of, 28, 29; 
Washington's report to Congress on, 30; Gen- 
eral Clinton's account of, 31; conflicting orders, 
at, 34; conditions after, 40. 

Harper, Robert, "D. Secretary," mentioned in 
marriage settlement of Mary Philipse, 242. 



Harriet Packet, the, Colonel Morris and John 
Watts sail for England on, 20. 

Harrison, Robert H., apology to Congress, 30; 
Lieutenant-Colonel and Military Secretary on 
Washington's staff, 34. 

Hautpoul, Countess of, applies to- Madame 
Jumel in the interest of the wife of the Court 
Saddler, 161. 

Haven, John Appleton, and party of young girls 
visit Madame Jumel, 188. 

Hazzard, Ebenezer, postmaster of New York, at 
headquarters, 35; ordered to remove his office 
to Dobb's Ferry, 105; letters from, io6; joined 
General Washington at headquarters, 107. 

Headquarters, of Washington, at Morris house, 
27; activities of a day at, 35; letters from, 38; 
Colonel Reed rode from, to meet British flag, 

Heath, General William, oflicers of his picket 
occupy Morris house, 24; holds command of 
country east of the Harlem River, 40; camp 
inspected by General Washington, 41; plans 
expedition to Montresor's Island, 67; observed 
the attack from river-side, 68; reconqoitered 
his lines in the direction of Frog's Neck, 76; 
account of Mr. Bushnell's machine for sinking 
ships, 78; extract from Memoirs, 79, 89; in 
command at Pell's Point, 84; his great picket, 
90; sends seven troopers to headquarters, loz. 

Hell Gate, 26; wind unfavorable to pass, 82; La 
Brune and Niger anchored before, 89. 

Hempstead, Stephen, his story of the movements 
of Hale in the St. Louis Republican, 59; his 
claim that Hale was captured outside the burn- 
ing city, 64; says he had nearly executed his 
mission, 66. 

Henly, Major David, the funeral of Major 
Thomas Healy held at quarters of, 69. 

Henly, Major Thomas, volunteers for expedition 
to Montresor's Island, 67; his death, 68; brief 
account of, 69. 

Henry, Judge John Joseph, another account of 
the fire from the pen of, 48. 

Hessian Riflemen, under General Leslie at Har- 
lem Heights, 31. 

Higgins, William, trial by court martial, 97. 

Hobart, John Sloss, finds Washington crowded 
with business, 69; delegate to Convention from 
Suffolk County, 103 ; (Hobard) one of the wit- 
nesses of the marriage settlement of Mary 
Philipse, 241, 242. 

Hollow Way, now spanned by the iron viaduct, 40. 

Hone, Philip, extract from diary of, 172. 

Hopkins, Asa, John Thomas Bowen apprenticed 
to, 140. 

Hopkins, Theodore, part owner of Morris house 
and farm, in 1791, 34. 

Horn's Hook, General Washington receives a let- 
ter from, before leaving New York, 27. 

Horsmanden, Daniel, Chief Justice and member 
of the New York Council, 18. 

Horton, Captain, of Boston, fired the shot that 
killed three of the crew on General Washing- 
ton's barge, 81. 

Hotel de Berteuil, Rue de Rivoli, No. 22, first 
home of the Jumels in Paris, 154. 

Howe, Lord, his cooperation with General Rob- 
ertson to put out the fire in New York City, 46. 

Howe, General Sir William, 25; quarters at Mr. 
Apthorp's house, 31; conclusion of lettei; to 
General Washington, 52; orders execution of 
Nathan Hale, 57; making plans to capture the 
army on Harlem Heights, 74; back in his quar- 
ters at De Lancey's Mill, 125. 

Hull, David, son of the kind-hearted baker, 142; 
meets George Washington Bowen, 144; saw the 
girls, Betsy Bowen and Lavinia Ballou board 
tiie packet at Providence, 145; in the crowd 
before the Golden Ball Inn, 149; at the time of 
the trial was eighty-five, 219; great effort to 
break down evidence of, 219. 

Hull, General William, Hannah Adams indebted 
to for account of Nathan Hale, 56; his state- 
ment cunningly worded to mislead, 58; portion 
of manuscript left by, 61; comparison of his 
statements with those of Hempstead, 61; his 
character, 63; his statement containing path- 
etic apologies, 66. 

Huntington, Nathan Hale crossed the sound, 

^ 16, 4S. 

Hyer, Tom, came each summer to one of the 
Harlem roadhouses, 183. 

Ingraham, Jane, discharged from the Providence 
Workhouse (1785), 140. 

Ingraham, Patience, arraigned with Phebe 
Bowen, for keeping a disorderly house, 140. 

Ingraham, Sally, discharged from the Providence 
Workhouse to Rev. Thomas F. Oliver, 140. 

Ingraham, Susannah, discharged from the Provi- 
dence Workhouse to Mrs. Wm. Soule, 140. 

J., Mrs. E. W., describes Madame Jumel on her 

deathbed, 197, 
Jackson, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael, commands 

expedition to Montresor's Island, 67; wounded, 

James, Duke of York and Albany, mention of, 3. 
Jenks, farmer in Cumberland with whom George 

Washington Bowen lived as a boy, 213. 
Joannes, George, the Count, attorney for Stephen 

Jumel Jones, and an attendant on Nelson 

Chase, 206. 
Jochem Pieters Hills, i. 
Jones, Stephen Jumel, son of Polly Clarkie, named. 

by the Court as one of the heirs of Madame 

Jumel, 204; brought several suits to set aside 

the quitclaim deeds, 206. 



Jones, William B., an administrator of the estate of 

Madame Jumel, and a daimantas a nephew, 204. 

Journal of a Pennsylvania soldier, extract from, 


Toy, Michael, part owner of Morris house and 
farm, in 1791, 134- 

Judson, Judge Andrew T., delivered address 
before the Hale Monument Association of 
Coventry, Conn., 60. 

Jumel, Madame, story of, mostly fantastic imag- 
inings, vi; born in 1775, 140; lived under five 
names, 147; went to Providence to attend a 
funeral, 148; her carriage, 150; marries Stephen 
Jumel, 151; was a disappointed woman, 153; a 
wonderful social triumph, 154; writes to her 
niece Mary from New York, 156; looks up her 
relatives in Christopher Street, 159; meets her 
half-sister on the Bloomingdale Road, 160; re- 
turns to Paris, 161 ; she writes to Louis XVIII, 
163; arrives in New York in May, 1826, 166; 
plans to use power of attorney, 167; robs 
Stephen Jumel of his fortune, 168; marries 
Aaron Burr, 172; is divorced, 173; buys four 
gray horses, 174; entering church, I75;she rents 
apartments at corner of Elm and Grand Streets, 
170; lives at various places, 177; goes abroad 
for the last time, 177; shows green liveries at 
Carmansville, 178; her forty-acre woodlot, 178; 
some financial transactions of, 179; informs the 
French heirs that M. Jumel left no property, 
180; her military company, 181; Inspector 
Steer's story of, 183; the affair of the two car- 
riages at Saratoga, 184; she drives 'the Chase 
family from the Mansion, 185; visit of the 
Haven party to, 188; personal appearance of, 
,189; seated on her throne to receive Governor 
Hoffman, 196; on her deathbed, 197; fables 
about, 198; her will, 203; probably possessed 
a small fortune in jewels, 207; not a success as 
a matchmaker, 208. See also Bowen, Betsy, 
and Burr, Madame Aaron. 

Jumel, M. Stephen, one of the richest merchants 
m New York, 149; his house, ijo; is tricked into 
a marriage, iji; buys the Roger Morris_ house 
in 1810, 152; he was rich enough to give up 
business, 153; deeds to his wife property in New 
York and gives her power of attorney, 165; 
writes, "for the love of God send me money," 
167; spent the winter in the house that was not 
his, 168; his death, 169. 

Jumel Mansion, bought by Stephen Jumel, 152; 
the Jumels leave for France, 153; Madame 
Jumel returns to, 155; Joseph Bonaparte de- 
clines to lease it, 160; Stephen Jumel presents 
it to his wife, 165; Madame Jumel leaves it for 
five years, 177; is sold to Mr. Seth Milliken, 
224; is sold to General Ferdinand P. Earle, 224; 
becomes the property of the City of New York, 
225. See also Morris house. 

Jumels, the, neglected by society, 152; they arrive 
in Paris just before Napoleon became a pris- 
oner, 153; Napoleon's carriage given to, 154; 
trouble in the family of, 158. 

Kelley, John, maternal grandfather of Madame 
Jumel, 138. 

Kelley, Phebe, mother of Madame Jumel, brought 
before the Town Council of Providence, 138; 
marries John Bowen, 139; arraigned for keep- 
ing a disorderly house, 140; marries Jonathan 
Clarke, 141; in Providence jail, 142; living on 
the Old Warren Road, 144; her death in North 
Carolina, 146; troublesome descendants of, 211. 

Kemble, Major Stephen, breakfasts with Mrs. 
Philipse and Mrs. Morris, 94; Adjutant- 
General to Sir Henry Clinton, 128. 

Kemble, William, remembered the Jumel car- 
riage, 150. 

Kennedy house, General Putnam's headquarters, 
26; General Sir Henry Clinton returns to, 129; 
the first and last house on Broadway, 132. 

Kenney, John, in stage operation with Talmage 
Hall and Isaac Wyck, 135. 

Kentish Gazette, extract from, 66. 

Kenyon, William, bought the Morris house and 
farm from Anthony L. Bleecker, 134. 

Khedive of Egypt, the, one of Madame Jumel's 
imaginary guests, 187. 

Kiersen, Jan, settled on site of Morris house, i; 
mentioned in Carrol deed, 234. 

Kiersen, Jannetje, daughter of Jan, i. 

King Henry book, imprinted at London by John 
Wolfe, 144; contained record of the birth of 
George Washington Bowen, 145; record is read 
to the jury, 218. 

King's Bridge, mention of, 33; General Heath 
encamped above, 40, 42. 

King's Bridge Road, 2, 11, 27; Washington rode 
down, to battle of Harlem Heights, 29, 31; as 
shown on Sauthier's Map, 125. 

King's College, sons of the New York colonial 
aristocracy were educated at, 12; northern 
limit of the great fire in New York City, 46; an 
incendiary was seized about to set fire to, 47. 

Kipp's Bay, retreat from, 28. 

Kitchen, old, of Morris house, description of, 6, 

Knapp, Samuel, author of a lecture on Hale 
(1820), 60. . , 

Knickerbocker, Harman, one of the witnesses of 
the Carrol deed, 234. 

Knowles, Charles, clerk, signs, for Adjutant- 
General, a letter to Colonel Thomas, 84. 

Knowlton, Lieutenant-Colonel, place of burial 
unknown, 29; at battle of Hariem Heights, and 
death of, 30, 31; borne from the field by Adju- 
tant-General Reed, 32, 34. 

Knox, Henry and Mrs- Knox, guests at the 
Washington dinner at the Morris house, 136. 



Knyphausen, Lieutenant-General Baron von, 
Fprt Washington renamed in honor of, 125; his 
headquarters at Morris house, 130. 

Kortright's house. Colonel Moylan's lodgings 
near, 35. 

Kortright, Lawrence, his land adjoining Morris 
farm, 234. 

Lafayette, Count, burst into tears when shown 
the bed in the Mansion on which his great- 
grandfather slept, 200. 

Lafayette,, General, had been entertained at the 
Golden Ball Inn, 143 ; the fable about his enter- 
tainment by Madame Jumel, 200. 

Lear, Mrs, Tobias, guest of Washington at the 
Morris house dinner, 136. 

Ledyard, Isaac, half owner of the Morris house 
(1784), 134. 

Leifingwell, Ebenezer, skulking to the rear, 32; 
found guilty of misbehaving before the enemy 
and sentenced to death, 33; pardoned on the 
field, 33. 

Legislative Council, members of, 18; Roger Mor- 
ris ten years in, 23. 

Leitch, Major, place of burial unknown, 29; 
wounded at battle of Harlem Heights, 30, 31, 
32; death of, 76. 

Le Roy, Mr., and General Clarkson kept their 
carriages, 150. 

Leslie, Brigadier-General, in command of British 
at Harlem Heights, 3I1; 

Lewis, Francis, member of the Congressional 
Committee on the Conduct of the War, 69. 

Liberty Boys, Governor Cplden burned in effigy 
by, 18; loved to burn the houses of Loyalists, 

Livingston, Gilbert, ordered to procure a stove 
for the New York Convention, loj. 

Livingston, Williani, one of the witnesses of the 
marriage settlement of Mary Philipse, 241. 

London Magazine (1761), showing the South 
Prospect of the City of New York, 3. • 

London Packet, story of Richard Brown published 

Long Island, counties of King's and Queen's on, 
ipj since the battle of, 25. 

Loudon, Lord, mention of, 13, 16. 

Low, John, his land adjoining Morris farm, 234. 

Loyaute de Loyaute, Countess, friend of Ma- 
dame Jumel, 161. 

Luby, William, stories of his father's service at 
the Mansion, 178. 

Luckey, George, as a boy lived on Morris Heights, 
181; his story of the military company, 182; 
was proud to know Tom Hyer, 183. 

M Mrs. M , her story of a visit to 

Madame Jumel, 175. 
McCormick, James, story of his desertion, 74. 

McCumber, Mrs. Colonel, told Mrs. Williams 
that Madame Jumel had been in France, 148. 

McGowan's Pass, mention of, 30, 31; guarding 
against the approach of the enemy from, 41. 

M'Kesson, John, Secretary of the New York 
Convention, 106. 

Maddox, Louisa Jumel, daughter of Polly 
Clarke, and named by the Court as one of the 
heirs of Madame Jumel, 204. 

Magaw, Colonel Robert, president of court mar- 
tial, 96; in command of Fort Washington, 115. 

Maldieu, Marquise de, is unable to accept dinner 
invitation of Madame Jumel, 162. 

Marriner, Mr., served the dinner given by Wash- 
ington at the Morris house, 136. 

Martin, Philip W., schoolmate of and witness for 
George Washington Bowen, 218. 

Massachusetts Gazette, Major Rook a paragraph 
writer for, 45. 

Mercer, General Hugh, mention of, as Captain 
Mercer, 14; at Morris house with Washington, 
Putnam, and Greene, 121. 

Mifflin, General, mention of, 27, 28; letter to 
General Heath, 90. 

Military company, the, statement of Mr. Edwin 
Bradbrook, 181; story of Mr. George Luckey, 

Milliken, Seth, bought the Mansion in 1887, 224. 

Missionary Society for Seamen in the City and 
Port of New York, the, a beneficiary under 
Madame Jumel's will, 203. 

Mitchel, Uriah, post-rider to the New York 
Convention, 102. 

Montresor, Colonel James, extracts from the 
diary of, 16. 

Montresor, Mrs. Colonel James, went to a concert 
in New York City, 16. 

Montresor, Captain John, son of Colonel James, 
16; arrives at the lines with a "flag" and a let- 
ter for General Washington, 50. 

Montresor's Island, mention of, 40; preparations 
being made for an attack on, 50; expedition 
starts for, 67; failure of expedition, 68; trouble 
between sentinels, 89; battery on, 90. 

Morgan^ Dr. John, Director of Hospitals, 33; 
member of Washington's staff, 34; a civilian 
without military rank, 35. 
Morris, Rev. Adolphus, grandson of Roger, 21. 
Morris, Amherst, son of Roger, 17. 
Morris, Mrs. Amherst, writes of family papers, 3; 
in the Herefordshire Magazine, 13; says Wash- 
ington secured an interview with Mary Philipse, 
15; supplies some of the letters of Roger Morris 
to his wife, 20; part of letter from, 21 ; her state- 
ment about the Washington letter to Mrs. 
Philipse, 93. 
Morris, Henry Gage, son of Roger, Rear-Admiral 
in British navy, and the iconoclast of the family, 



Morris, Joanna, daughter of Roger, 17. 

Morris, Colonel Lewis, mentioned by von Kraft 
as a "Rebel Colonel," 131. 

Morris, Mariah, daughter of Roger, 17. 

Morris, Roger, builder, i; owner of a yacht, 3, 
4, 6» 7; description of his "seat" (Harlem 
Heights), 9, 11; Aide-de-Camp to Braddock, 
13 ; described by Joseph Chew, 14; his marriage, 
15, 16; his military record from Colonial History 
of New York, 17; owner of the "Free Mason's 
-Arms," 18, 19; he sails for England, 20; in- 
spector of claims of refugees, 2I; his kindly 
character, 22, 23; in London when Washington 
occupied the house, 24; mentioned in the mar- 
riage settlement of Mary Philipse, 238, 240, 
241, 242. 

Morris, Mrs. Roger, her ancestral home at Yon- 
kers, 3; mention of, 16; related to Oliver De 
Lancey, 18; with her children at Mount Morris, 
20; leaves her home never to return, 24; alone 
with her children, 88. See also Philipse, Mary. 

Morris house, construction of, 4; to be sold, ad- 
vertisement, 9; when Washington came to it, 
24; ready for Washington on Saturday after- 
noon, September 14, 28, 29; Washington's staff 
lodged at, 35; officers watched the fire in New 
York City from, 41 ; a dull time at, 84; aban- 
doned as headquarters, 85 ; in military use when 
Washington came, 88; threat to cannonade, 89; 
suitably located for headquarters of picket, 90; 
General MifHin to remain at, 90; most eventful 
day in the history of, 114; visited by Washing- 
ton, Putnam, Greene, and Mercer, 121; its 
British period, headquarters of Sir Henry Clin- 
ton, 128; headquarters of Lieutenant-General 
von Knyphausen, 130; General von Lossburg 
at, 131; sales and transfers of house and farm 
after the Revolution, 134; in 1787 Calumet 
Hall, 13s; advertised for sale, 136; Washington 
gives dinner at, 136; bought by Stephen Jumel, 
152; was an aristocrat among houses, 223; en- 
titled to three names, 224. See aba Jumel 

Morse, Jedediah, author of Annals of the Ameri- 
can Revolution (1824), mentions Hale, 58. 

Mortars, "of solid metal," from Boston, 70. 

"Mount Morris," name of country seat of Roger 
Morris, II; mention of, 20. 

Moylan, Colonel Stephen, Aide-de-Camp at 
Cambridge, 33; Quartermaster-General on 
Washington's staff, 34; lodgings near "Kort- 
right's house," 35. 

Nagal, John, named in the Carrol deed, 234. 
Napoleon relics, the, shown for charity, 154; 

bought from Madame de la Pagerie, 155. 
Newburgh, mention of, 39. 
New Rochelle, British camp near, 82. 
New York City, what the citizens thought of it. 

12; evacuation of, 25; the great fire in, 41; its 
post-office at Dobb's Ferry, 103; church bells 
and door knockers removed from, no; the first 
directory of, 135; its society, 152; bought Jumel 
Mansion in 1903, 225; appropriates $12,000 for 
repairs and restoration, 225; employed archi- 
tects of no professional standing, 226. 

New York Daily Advertiser, extract from, 9. 

New York Historical Society, letters not in the 
possession of, 64; publisher of diaries of Kemble 
and von Kraft, 128. 

New York Institution for the Blind, the, a bene- 
ficiary under Madame Jumel's will, 203. 

New York Institution for the Instruction of the 
Deaf and Dumb, the, a beneficiary under 
Madame Jumel's will, 203. 

New York Journal and General Advertiser, extract 
from, 20. 

New York Journal and Weekly Register, advertise- 
ment in, of the Albany stages, 135. 

New York Orphan Asylum, the, a beneficiary 
under Madame Jumel's will, 203. 

New York Packet, advertisement in, 136. 

Newell, Asa, whose store George Washington 
Bowen entered as a clerk in 1815, 213. 

Niger, the, anchored with la Brune in "Helgatte," 

Nightingale, Ann Eliza, daughter of Lavinia 
Ballou, 159. 

Nitschke, Mademoiselle, the governess, her story 
of the ghost, 209. 

Nodine, Henry, a servant of the Jumels, 158; still 
in service, 159. 

Northrup, Ann, a servant of Madame Jumel in 
1842, 176; saw the table with the broken orna- 
ments in that year, 177. 

O'Conor, Charles, representing the interests of 
Burr, 173; one of Madame Jumel's imaginary 
guests, 187; entertained no respect for Nelson 
Chase, 209; associated with James C. Carter, 
in defense of the Chase heirs, without retainer, 
211 ; his fee, 212; his striking figure in the court- 
room, 216; examined David Hull for three days, 
219; called the plaintiff "you bastard," 221. 

O'Conor, Mrs. Charles, her statement about the 
banquet table, 177. 

Odell, Abraham, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 236. 

Odell, Jacob, post-rider to the New York Con- 
vention, 102. 

Odell, Jonathan, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 236. 

Odell, Margaret, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 236. 

Odell, Rabeckh, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 236. 

Old Gaol-House, in Providence, torn down by a 
mob, 139; a vile place, 223. 

"Old Warren Road" Jonathan Clarke and family 
lived in a hut on, 142; family left hut on, 143. 

Oliver, Rev. Thomas F., took Sally Ingraham 
from the Providence Workhouse, 140. 



Ormsbee, Mary, eighty-four years old, witness 
for George Washington Bowen, 219. 

Osgood, Samuel, first Postmaster-General under 
Washington, 170. 

Pagerie, Madame la Comtesse Henri Tascher de 
la, from whom the Napoleon relics were bought, 
155; framed announcement of the death of her 
husband on Madame Jumel's wall, 187. 

Palermo, Duke of, one of Madame Jumel's imag- 
inary guests, 187; visited her "arrayed in laces 
and diamonds" and leaving "kissed her hand 
six times," 192. 

Palfry, William, Colonel and Aide-de-Camp at 
Cambridge, 133; Paymaster-General on Wash- 
ington's staff, 34. 

Parker, Miss, her story of a visit to Madame 
Jumel, 188. 

Parkinson, Leonard, bought Morris house and 
farm m 1799, 134. 

Parsons, Brigadier-General Samuel H., disgrace- 
ful behavior of his brigade, 28; 'in General 
Heath's division, 40, 

Peale, Charles Wilson, painter of Washington, 39. 

Pell's Point, fighting begins at, 84. 

Pennefeather, Lieutenant, actor at the Theater 
Royal, 134. 

Percy, Earl, his attack on Fort Washington, 114; 
remained in authority on the Heights, 125; 
orders his engineer Sauthier to map the 
Heights, 125. 

Perry, Ichabod,-his experience at capture of Fort 
Washington, 122; discovers a Hessian behind a 
cedar bush, 123; his two companions lose their 
heads as they leave the fort, 124. 

Pery, Eliza Jumel, named in Madame Jumel's 
will, 204; in nightly terror of Madame Jumel's 
ghost, 209; trembling with fright, 210. 

Pery, Matilde Elizabeth Georgiana, named in 
Madame Jumel's will, 204; to study for half an 
hour and then play for half an hour, 209; slept 
through the ghostly visits, 210. 

Pery, M. Paul Guillaume Raymond, a husband 
for Eliza, 177; occupied Washington bedroom, 
208; a gentleman of leisure, 208; leaped as if he 
had been shot, at sound of rapping under his 
chair, 210. 

Philadelphia First Troop of Cavalry, had first flag 
with thirteen stripes, on piece of chintz, 37, 38. 

Philipse, Frederick, mention of, 3, 15, 16, 17; 
arrested by Washington, 88; permitted to leave 
Middletown, no. 

Philipse, Mrs. Frederick, mention of, 16, 24; her 
letter to Colonel Webb, 92; change in spelling 
name, 92; complains that soldiers are driving 
off her stock, 92. 

Philipse, Mary, first mistress of the house, v; 
"The Charming Polly" visiting her sister, 
Mrs. Beverly Robinson, 13; mentioned in 

Joseph Chew's letter to Washington, 14; her 
marriage, 15; to have a rival as mistress of the 
Morris house, 24; an imaginary guest of Ma- 
dame Jumel, 187; marriage settlement of, 238, 
240, 241, 242. See also Morris, Mrs. Roger. 

Philipse Manor, at Yonkers, 15, 24; last Christ- 
mas at, III. 

Phipps, Captain, one of the actors at the Theater 
Royal in John Street, 134. 

Picturesque Rutland, extract from, 145. 

Pinel, Rosa, offers tickets and a cavalier, who will 
be in uniform, 161. 

Place Vendome, No. 16, the home of Madame 
Jumel on her return to Paris, 161. 

Pond, Captain, carries Hale in his sloop to 
Huntington, 59. 

Post Boy, the, 2; extract from, 3; mention of, 4. 

Post-riders, trotting out from the gates of Morris 
house, 102; controversy over routes of, 106; 
Uriah Mitchel and Samuel Dyckman em- 
ployed, 108; sixteen shillings per day the wage 
of, 109. 

Power of attorney, the, given Madame Jumel by 
her husband, 165. 

Prescott, Major-General, mentioned for exchange, 

"Presenting the Eagle" at the Champs de Mars, 

Providence, city of, in 1769, 138; some of the 
streets of old, 143 ; George Washington Bowen 
the most noted figure on the streets of, 144. 

Providence Town Council, record of, 138; Mar- 
garet Fairchild is brought before, 139; records 
of, 140; proceedings of, 141. 

Putnam, General Israel, Washington breakfasts 
with, 26; possible to withdraw his division, 28; 
he forms the southern front of the lines, 40; 
visits Morris house with Washington, 121. 

Putnam, Colonel Rufus, 25 ; new appointment on 
Washington's staff, 33; with rank of Colonel 
and Chief Engineer, 34; extract from Memoirs 
of, 86; on reconnoissance with Colonel Reed, 
86; reports to General Washington, late at 
night, 87. 

Quick, Abraham, a famous New York carriage- 
maker, 150. 

Randall, Moury, witness for George Washington 
Bowen, 218; peddled peaches at Mother Bal- 
lou's and remembered "little George when he 
was running about the door in a nightgown," 

Randall, Stephen, schoolmate of and witness for 
George Washington Bowen, 218. 

Rangers, Knowlton's, at battle of Harlem 
Heights, 30. 

Rawlins, Colonel, in command at Fort Tryon, 



Redoubt No. 8, in Morrisania, near the present 

New York University, 131. 
Reed, Joseph, writes to his wife, 26; encounter 
with Ebenezer LeflSngwell, his account of, 32; 
intercedes for pardon of, 33; made Adjutant- 
General of Continental Army, 33; on list of 
Washington's staff, 34; brigade-major's report 
to, 36; rides from headquarters to meet Captain 
Montresor, 50; advises General Heath to bring 
down the stranded vessels, 80; goes on recon- 
noissance with Colonel Putnam, 86. 

Revolutionary history, errors in, 25; indefinite 
knowledge of the battle of Harlem Heights a 
commentary on, 29. 

Richards, Lieutenant Samuel, commanded a 
burial party at Harlem Heights, 29; his account 
of burying the dead at Battle of Harlem 
Heights, 31. 

Richardson, Colonel, his Maryland Regiment at 
Harlem Heights, 30. 

Rind, Timothy, of Providence, maternal uncle of 
Madame Jumel, 138. 

Rivington's printing office, at corner of Queen and 
Pearl Streets, 132. 

Robertson, Major-General, his efforts to put out 
the great fire in New York City, 46; his rescue 
of two of these incendiaries from the enraged 
populace, 52; and reserved them for the hand 
of deliberate justice, 64. 

Robinson, Beverly, married to sister of Mary 
Philipse, 13 ; writes to Washington, 14; country 
seat at Dobb's Ferry, 17; mentioned in mar- 
riage settlement of Mary Philipse, 238, 240, 
241, 242. 

Robinson, Mrs. Beverly, sister of Mary Philipse, 
13 ; reported well in Joseph Chew's postscript to 
Washington, 14; again so reported in second 
postscript, 15; mentioned as Beverly Robin- 
son's wife Joanna, 16; "Johanna Philipse" in 
marriage settlement of Mary Philipse, 238, 
240, 241, 242. 

Roebuck and Phenix, pass Fort Washington, 78; 
account of passage, 79; General Washington to 
General Schuyler on the exploit of, 80; passage 
of forts part of General Howe's plan to capture 
the American Army, 81. 

Rook, Major, author of principal account of the 
great fire in New York City, 45. 

Royal Highlanders, under General Leslie at battle 
of Harlem Heights, 31. 

Ruggles, Philo T., divorce trial before, 173. 

Rutland, the Clarke family lived (i79S-97) Jn a 
hovel at, 145. 

Sabine, in loyalists of the American Revolution, 
explains the Astor transaction, 112. 

Sage, Colonel Comfort, president of the Sage 
court martial, sitting in Morris farmhouse, 
September 29, 95, 98. 

Saint-Memin, who executed the portrait No. 715, 
of Madame de la Croix, 147; his method in 
portraiture, 148. 

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Prince Street, the Ju- 
mel marriage at, 151; Stephen Jumel buried in 
ground of, 169. 

St. James Chronicle, extracts from, 48, 64. 

St. James Gazette, extracts from, 44, 53. 

St. Paul's Church, New York City, escaped the 
great fire, 46. 

Sargent, Colonel, in General Heath's division, 40. 

Sauthier, Claude Joseph, ordered to map Harlem 
Heights, 125. 

Sauthier's map, reference to, 120; ordered made 
by Earl Percy, 125; its title-page, 126. 

Schmidt, Major-General, ordered to Fort Wash- 
ington, 125. 

Schuyler, General Philip, letter to General Wash- 
ington, 27; letter to General Washington, send- 
ing the Indians, 199. 

Scotch Johnny's, New York restaurant, 16. 

Scott, General John Morin in. General Heath's di- 
vision, 40. 

Sha-hase-ga-o chapter D.A.R., Reminiscences of 
Ichahod Perry published by, 122. 

Shaffer, Mr. Chauncey, attorney for George 
Washington Bowen, 215; remarkable words of, 
in opening the case, 216. 

Sha-w, Neal, one of the witnesses of the Carrol 
deed, 236. 

Sherman, Roger, member of Congressional Com- 
mittee on Conduct of the War, 69. 

Shipman, William D., presiding judge in the case of 
Bowen vs. Chase, 2 1 s ; his charge to the jury, 221 . 

Silliman, Colonel Gold S., extract from letter of, 
to his wife, 36; letters to his wife about the 
great fire in New York City, Ji; invited to 
dinner with General Washington, 72; letter to 
his IVI16 7^ • 

Smallwood, Colonel, his report to the Maryland 
Convention on the retreat of the 14th of Sep- 
tember, 28. „ , , , 

Smith, John Howard, rector of the Church of the 
Intercession, 187; helps Madame Jumel make 
her will, 203. . 

Smith, William, delegate to the Convention from 
Suffolk County, New York, 103. 

Smith, William, member of the Legislative Coun- 
cil, 18, 19. „ . vT t7 1 J • 

Smith, William, officer m a New England regi- 
ment, taken at the great fire in New York City, 
wilJb a match in his hand and executed on the 
spot, 44; mentioned by Samuel Curwen, in the 
St. James Gazette, 53- ^ . ^,.., , 

Society for the Relief of the Destitute Children of 
Seamen, a beneficiary under Madame Jumel s 
will, 203. 

Society of the New York Hospital, a beneficiary 
under Madame Jumel's will, 203. 



Soule, Mrs. Captain William, took Susannah In- 
graham from the Providence Workhouse, 140. 

Spencer, General, division occupied bluffs facing 
Harlem River, 40. 

Spuyten, Duyvil, origin of name explained by 
Ebenezer Withington, 79. 

Stamford, Hale crosses from, to Huntington, 45. 

Stanley, Captain, one of the actors at the Theater 
Royal in Johns Street, 134. 

Staten Island, in sight from the Morris house, 10. 

Steers, Inspector, statement of, 183. 

Stephen, the, M. Jumel's brig, 150. 

Stever, Mary Marilla, adopted by Madame 
Jumel, 171; who went away between the time 
Stephen Jumel was hurt and the time when he 
died, 176; afterwards Mrs. Mary M. Mumford, 

Stewart, I. W., author of the Life of Nathan Hale, 
V, his work rated by the American Library 
Ass'n, 58. 

Stirling, Lord, Brigadier-General, mentioned for 
exchange, 52; put ashore from a British ship, 
77; a guest at headquarters, 78, 

Storm's, Major Abraham, Ebenezer Hazzard to 
be found at, 106. 

Stoughtonburgh, Isaac, commissioner of for- 
feiture, after peace was declared, 134. 

Stuart, Gilbert, his portrait of Washington, 39. 

Stuart, Miss Mary, sister of Gilbert, also painter 
of Washington, 39. 

Suffolk County, not always able to send its dele- 
gates, 103. 

Sugar House Prison, on Crown Street, 132. 

Sullivan, Major-General, mentioned for exchange, 
52; arrived at headquarters, 70. 

Summary History of New England and General 
Sketch of the American War, published by Han- 
nah Adams at Dedham, Mass., 56. 

Suze, Madame la Marquise de la, wishes to con- 
vert Madame Jumel to Catholicism, 162; more 
letters on the same subject, 163. 

Sweet, Joseph, witness for George Washington 
Bowen, at ninety, 218. 

Sylvan Terrace, on what was the carriage drive 
to the King's Bridge Road, 124; a serious 
menace to the Mansion, 229, 

Tallmadge, George Clinton, married Miss Julia 
Clinton, 170. 

Tallmadge, J. M., a guest of the Clinton family 
in the Mansion, 170. 

Thatcher, James, author of History of the Revolu- 
tion (1823), 58; story of Hale ignored by, 63. 

Thayer, Major, whom George Washington 
Bowen succeeded in the grocery business, 214. 

Theater Royal, the, in John Street, 133; receipts 
devoted to charity, 134. 

Thompson's History of Long Island contains brief 
story of Hale's capture, 60. 

Tiebout, Mark, named in Carrol deed, 234. 

Tilghman, Lieutenant Tench, Volunteer aide on 
Washington's staff, 33; favorite aide, 35; letter 
of, to his father, 51 ; goes down to the lines with 
General Washington's reply to General Howe, 
53; suggestion of, to William Duer, 55; letter to 
Egbert Benson, 76; Report to the Convention 
on the Roebuck and Phenix, 78; writes to Rob- 
ert R. Livingston, 80; writes to Duer, 85. 

Tompkins, Governor, mention of, 39. 

Tories, two thirds of the property of the City of 
New York belongs to, 42, 

Town Council of Providence, see Providence Town 

Tranchel, Eliza Jumel, daughter of Polly Clarke, 
and named by the court as one of the heirs of 
Madame Jumel, 204. 

Trevelyan, Sir George Otto, says Washington 
had but three aides, 34. 

Trinity Church, in flames,' 46; dress parade in 
front of the ruins of, 132. 

Trumbull, Jonathan, Governor, mention of, 27; 
Washington writes to, 50; Washington's strong- 
est support in New England, 72. 

Trumbull, Colonel John, pictures of Washington 
at forty-four, 38. 

Trumbull, Colonel Joseph, Commissary-General 
on Washington's staff, 34; ill-feeling toward 
Colonel Reed, 72; notifies Convention of retreat 
from New York, 107. 

Trustees of the Fund for Aged and Infirm Clergy- 
men of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
Diocese of New York, the, named as beneficiary 
under Madame Jumel's will, 203. 

Tryon County, description of, 103. 

Tudor, Captain William, judge advocate, 96; 
captured at Fort Washington, 118. 

Turtle Bay, landing of the British at, 28. 

Tygard, James Wallace, the present claimant of 
Jumel Mansion, 222. 

Underground passage to the Harlem River, the 
fable of, 199. 

Union Jack, on American flag at Morris house, 37. 

United States Supreme Court, early history of 
Betsy Bowen brought as evidence in, iv; case of 
Bowen vs. Chase carried to, by a writ of error, 221. 

Van Cortlandt, Philip, a Commissioner of For- 
feiture after peace was declared, 134, 

Vandervoort, John, the baker in Christopher 
Street, 159. 

Vandervort, Reuben, the second claimant of 
Jumel Mansion, 222. 

Van Lear, A. J. F., archivist at Albany, 242. 

Van Twiller, Wouter, mention of, 12. 

Variau, Richard, one of the witnesses of the 
Carrol deed, 234. 

Vermilye, Gerritye, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 236. 



Vermilye, John, signs Carrol deed, 2, 233, 236. 

Vernon, Marquise de, declines three dinner invi- 
tations from Madame Jumel, 162. 

Vileray, Sauveur de la. Secretary of the (Euvre 
de Calvarie, invites Madame Jumel, 162. 

Von Kraft, Sergeant, John Charles Philip, first 
mention of, 121; his remarkable diary, 128; 
made free Corporal in one of the Hessian regi- 
ments, 130; his diary continues, 131. 

Von Lossburg, Lieutenant General, his head- 
quarters at Morris house, 131. 

Waldron, Johannis, named in Carrol deed, 234. 

Waldron, Samuel, neighbor of Jan Kiersen, 2. 

Wallace, Alexander Hamilton, his statement, 174. 

\Yallace, Hugh, of the Legislative Council, 18, 19. 

Warren, Mrs. Mercy, author of "Rise, Progress 
and Termination of the American Revolution," 
58; ignores story of Nathan Hale, 63. 

Washington, George, the most distinguished occu- 
pant of the Morris house, 11; a visitor at Bev- 
erly Robinson's, 13; Joseph Chew's letter to, 
14; no proposal of marriage to Mary Philipse, 
15; Morris house occupied on his arrival by 
officers of General Heath's pickets, 24; break- 
fasts with General Putnam, 26; leaves New 
York City, 27; rides from Morris house to meet 
landing of British, 28; goes to battle of Harlem 
Heights, 29; his report to Congress on, 30; 
members of his staff, 33 ; who may give his or- 
ders, 34; writes to Reed about Webb, 34; his 
military family, 35; dines at three o'clock, 36; 
description of on piece of chintz, 37; the various 
portraits of, 39; inspects General Heath's camp, 
41; asks Congress if he shall burn New York, 
42; promises to take every means to prevent 
it, 43 ; conclusion of letter to Governor Trum- 
bull, 50; his reply to General Howe, 53 ; gives 
consent for expedition to Montresor's Island, 
67; discharges two Connecticut regiments, 69; 
inspecting troops, 71 ; invites Colonels Silliman 
and Douglas to dinner, 72; his compliments to 
Commandant Douglas, 73 ; not to be surprised 
by Howe, 74; o£Fenses abhorred by him, 75; his 
barge fired on from Fort Washington, 81; calls 
a Council of War "at or near Kings Bridge," 
82; arrives at Frog's Neck, 84; his headquarters 

• at Kings Bridge, 85; starts for White Plains, 87; 

1 sends Frederick Philipse prisoner to Middle- 

' town. Conn., 88; pleasant relations with the 
family at Yonkers, 91 ; presents his compliments 
to Mrs. Morris, 93 ; letter to Congress on evils 
of plundering, 98; at Fort Lee, 114; crosses 
Hudson to Morris house, 121; gives dinner to 
cabinet and ladies in Morris house, 136; had 
been entertained at the Golden Ball Inn, 143; 
when everything was Washington, 144; an 

imagmary guest of Madame Jumel, i87;hi8 let- 
ter to General Schuyler, 200; his occupation con- 
ferred new honor upon the Morris house, 223. 

Washington, William Augustine, portrait of, by 
Saint-Memin, 148; this portrait given in list of 
Saint-Memin's drawings as that of Bushrod 
Washington, 148. 

Watts, John, of the Council, mention of, 18, 19; 
sails for England, 20; one of the condemned 
felons, 112; orders Carrol deed to be recorded, 
837; marriage settlement of Mary Philipse re- 
corded at the request of, 242. 

Webb, Samuel Blatchley, mention of, 25; Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp on Washing- 
ton's staff, 34; Washington's view of him in 
letter to Joseph Reed, 34; writes to General 
Heath,, 77; handles mail for Philipse family, 91. 

Weedeii, the baker, to whom George Washington 

1- Bowen was apprenticed, 213. 

Weedon, Colonel G., his regiment at battle of 
Harlem Heights, 30; first session of his court 
martial, 77; dates of his court martial, 96. 

Weems, Rev. Mr., author of juvenile history of 
Washington, v. 

West, Benjamin, his portrait of Roger Morris, 21. 

Westchester, roads obstructed and bridges torn 
up, 40. 

Wetmore, William C, one of the administrators 
of the estate of Madame Jumel, 204. 

White, Henry, of the Legislative Council, 18, 19, 

White House, the, Morris farmhouse, 2. 

White, Wright, a carpenter who cut the fire 
buckets, 46. 

Wilbur, Smith, with whom George Washington 
Bowen started to learn to be a farmer, 213. 

Will of Madame Jumel, beneficiaries named in, 
203 ; set aside, 204. 

Williams, Major, the hero of tragedy at the 
Theater Royal, 134. ^ 

Williams, Mrs. Catherine R., met Madame Ju- 
mel at the house of Colonel McCumber, 148; 
was dead at the time of the trial of Bowen vs. 
Chase — her testimony read, 218. 

Williamton, North Carolina, last home of Jona- 
than and Phebe Clarke, 146. 

Wisner, Captain John, cowardly behavior of, 68. 

Withington, Ebenezer, diary of, 70; his account of 
the British vessels passing the forts, 79; con- 
tinues his diary, 81; more of the diary, 82. 

Wyatt, Henry, Polly Bowen living at house of, 

Wyck, Isaac, in stage operation with Talmage 
Hall and John Kenney, 135. 

Wyeth, John, printer of Graydon's Memoirs, 114. 

Yates, Abraham, first president of the Conven- 
tion, 104.