THE GIFT OF .AvrsMvyuara35..ary^x«..^ Pj%sjaJUwo^jLm\.. 9t!cr«JuXu. Kzfe^SS \.;>.\i v.Lht^. Cornell University Library F 129Y5 H17 hilipse manor hall at Yonkers. N Y.: th lin 3 1924 028 782 187 Cornell University Library The original of tliis book is in tlie Cornell University Library. There are no known copyright restrictions in the United States on the use of the text. http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924028782187 PHILIP5E MANOR HALL AT YONKERS, N. Y. THE SITE THE BUILDING AND ITS OCCUPANTS BY EDWARD HAGAMAN HALL, L.H.D. Copyright, 1912 The American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society New York, N. Y. " Out of monuments, names, wordes, proverbs, tradi- tions, private recordes, fragments of stones, passages of books, and the like, we doe save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time." — Lord Bacon in the Advance of Learning. " A people without memories and memorials can have no true national life, because it would become entirely absorbed in the sordid and material interests belonging whoUy to the present time. A reverent attitude m respect to the Past, the epoch-marking periods of our history, and the care of their relics and memorials are not, as is so often charged, mere matters of sentiment. They spring from a sense of duty and of public need which is justified by every principle of civic virtue. In one sense, patriotism is a sentiment; but when called into action, it exhibits itself in deeds of practical significance and results." — William Allen Butler, LL.D., Dec. zi, jgoo. " Scenic and Historic Places and Objects teach patriot- ism and nourish moral sentiments, while they care also in some measure for the aesthetic nature. When once estab- lished, these famous places become unsalaried teachers. They never die, never ask to be retired on pensions, and their voices grow stronger and more convincing with increased age." — Rev. Henry M. MacCracken, D.D., LL.D., Chancellor of New York University, April 6, igoi. Dedicated to the Memory of EVA SMITH COCHRAN whose generous gift, one of many public benefactions, made possible the preservation of Philipse Manor Hall as an Historic Monument. American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society Headquuteri: Tribune Buildine, New York, N. Y. OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES, 191 2 Honorary President Preodent J. P. Morgan, LL.D. Geo. F. Kunz, Ph.D., Sc.D. Vice-Presidents Dean Liberty H. Bailey Hon. George W. Perkins H. M. Leipziger, Ph.D. Col. Henry W. Sackett Treasurer Counsel Hon. N. Taylor Phillips Henry E. Gregory Secretary Edward Hagaman Hall, L.H.D. Board o( Trustees Edward D. Adams, LL.D. Hon. Thomas H. Lee Dean Liberty H. Bailey H. M. Leipziger, Ph.D. Henry Harper Benedict Ogden P. Letchworth Reginald Pelham Bolton H. J. Messenger, Ph.D. Herbert L. Bridgman T. P. Morgan, LL.D. J. Adams Brown Edw. L. Partridge, M.D. Henry K. Bush-Brown Gordon H. Peck D. Bryson Delay an, M.D. Hon. George W. Perkins Hon. Charles M. Dow Hon. N. Taylor Phillips Algernon S. Frissell Hon. Thomas R. Proctor Hon. Robert L. Fryer Hon. Herman Ridder Henry E. Gregory Col. Henry W. Sackett Francis Whiting Halsey Hon. Charles A. Spofford Hon. Wm. B. Howland Hon. Stephen H. Thayer WoLCOTT J. Humphrey Hon. Calvin Tomkins Hon. Thos. p. Kingsford Albert Ulmann George F. Kunz, Ph.D. Charles D. Vail, L.H.D. Frederick S. Lamb Manor Hall Committee Hon. S. H. Thayer, Chn. Miss Mary M. Butler Hampton D. Ewing Miss Helen R. Croes Wn.LiAM L. Kingman Mrs. Thomas Ewing, Jr. Hon. D. McN. Stauffer Mrs. Alex. Henderson Nathan A. Warren, M.D. Mrs. Charles P. G. Scott CONTENTS INTRODUCTION THE RELATION BETWEEN THE PICTURESQUE AND THE HISTORIC PAGES The fundamental relation between topography and history — Domestic, religious and mili- tary edifices set upon hills — How trees, rocks and other natural landmarks become historic — Justification of public and private gifts for scenic and historic preservation — Public right to famous landmarks — The principle applied to the Manor Hall — Land- mark treasures of the Atlantic States and why they should be protected 13 CHAPTER I NAPFECEAMACE, THE TRAF-FISHING PLACE Aboriginal villages along the lower Hudson — Their expressive names — Their locations determined by natural conditions — Nap- peckamak, the metropolis of the Manhattan Indians — The Neperhan — A picture of abo- riginal life — Henry Hudson's arrival — The prelude of a great drama 25 CHAPTER II THE YOUNCKER ADRIAEN VAN DER DONCK Acquisition of Nepperhaem by the West India Company — Adnaen van der Donck, the first individual white owner — Origin of the names Yonkers and Saw-Kill — The Patroon's mill- ing business — Van der Donck, the first lawyer in New Amsterdam — His death — Convey- ance of property to Frederick Philipse, et al. . 30 (5) Philipse Manor Hall CHAPTER III THE PHILIPSE FAMILY PAGES A notable famUy — Vagaries of early spelling of family name — Seven generations traced — Immigration of the First Lord of the Manor from Bolswaert, Friesland — Some of his living descendants ^ 37 CHAPTER IV THE RISE OF A GREAT MERCHANT Frederick Philipse, the real founder of Yonkers — His remarkable career — OfBcial carpenter of the Dutch West India Co. — At Esopus and Bergen — Becomes a small burgher — Ac- quires choice property in New Amsterdam — His street first paved with stone — His varied mercantile business — A dealer in wampum — • Growth of his worldly possessions — Becomes the richest merchant in New York — Growth of his personal influence — Attains the Gover- nor's Council — His position in the Leisler troubles — His fortunate marriage 45 CHAPTER V THE MAKING OF A MANOR Frederick Philipse's milling interests at Yonkeis — Sued by his miller — Acquires most of Colendonck — Extends his possessions from Spuyten Duyvil to Pocantico — Precipitates and helps to settle the Connecticut boundary controversy — Visited by French voyageurs — Appointed commander-in-chief — His second marriage — The Manor of Philipsborough created by Royal Charter and he becomes First Lord of the Manor — Builds King's Bridge — Stories of pirates — The Manor House surroundings at the end of the 17th century — Growth of the Upper Mills — Death of the First Lord 62 Contents CHAPTER VI THE MANOR SYSTEM PAGES Philipse Manor one of several great manors in New York Colony — The manor as an Eng- lish institution — Not to be disparaged because obsolete — Magna Charta and the manor system compared — The manor's place in the historical development of Anglo-Saxon institu- tions — Manorial tenures and courts — Dif- ference between " Manor House " and " Manor Hall " — Some English manor halls — Com- parison with Philipse Manor Hall — An English manor for sale 82 CHAPTER Vn THE SECOND LORD OF THE MANOR Bequests of the First Lord of the Manor — The Yonkers plantation left to his grandson, Frederick Philipse — The education of a yoimg lord — A glimpse of colonial life — The grandson becomes Second Lord of the Manor and marries — Becomes an Alderman and Member of Assembly — Helps frame the Montgomerie charter — Identified with be- ginning of New York's park system — Ap- pointed Baron of the Exchequer and Supreme Court Judge — Sits in famous Zenger trial — The negro plot of 1741 — The Manor Hall enlarged — Yonkers Harbor a place of mili- tary embarkation — Marriage of Susannah Philipse — Death of the Second Lord 97 CHAPTER VIII THE THIRD LORD OF THE MANOR Another Frederick Philipse succeeds to the title of Lord of the Manor — Manorial rents — Brilliant social traditions maintained — Death of Margaret Philipse — A colonial epitaph — The Lord of the Manor weds — Practices landscape gardening — Suitors' pilgrimages to the Manor Hall 114 Philipse Manor Hall CHAPTER IX COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE OF MARY PHILIPSE PAGES Addresses of George Washington — Washing- ton's susceptibiUties — Meets Mary Philipse — Returns to Virginia and puts Mr. Chew on guard — Mary captured by Roger Morris — The wedding in the Manor Hall — The Morris Mansion in New York — Morris' distinguished military service — Goes to England upon the outbreak of the Revolution — Painful separa- tion from his wife — Property confiscated — Joined by Mrs. Morris in England — Their death — Relics — The tribute of a descendant to the saver of the Manor Hall 121 CHAPTER X THE ATTAINDER OF FREDERICK PHILIPSB The happy days at the Manor Hall approach their end — A letter from Maria Philipse to Mrs. John Jay — Col. Philipse's Tory sym- pathies — Summoned to prove his friendship for the American cause — Declines to appear and is deported to Connecticut — Mrs. Phil- ipse complains of depredations by American and British troops — Washington's compli- ments to Mary Philipse Morris — Philipse breaks his parole — Is attainted of treason — His property confiscated — Goes to England — Tablet to his memory in Chester Cathedral. . 144 CHAPTER XI THE HEART OF THE NEUTRAL GROUND The Manor Hall between two fires in the Revo- lution — Witnesses a midnight naval fight — Another river battle by day — Right of the British army rests at the Hall — Embarkation of troops for Fort Lee — Passing troops — The Manor Hall a monument to American forbearance — Yagers at Philipse's bridge — Sir Henry Clinton's headquarters in the Hall — A British camp again — Maria Philipse's Contents PAGES romance — 16,000 British troops camp at the Manor and pillage the country — Arrival of American troops — A remarkable meeting which did not occur — The end of the war. . . 160 CHAPTER XII THE DISSOLUTION OF THE MANOK The breaking up of Philipse Manor — Sales by the Commissioners of Sequestration and Forfeiture — Tales from manuscript records — Old time prices current — Samuel Fraunces — Sale of the Manor House — Losses of Fred- erick Philipse and Roger Morris — The last of Philipse's slaves — The tragedy of Philipse Manor ended — Persistence of manorial cus- toms 178 CHAPTER XIII THE PRESERVATION OF THE MANOR HALL Conveyances of the Manor Hall property after the Revolution — The Manor Hall repaired by Cornelius P. Low — Becomes Yonkers city haU — Movement for its preservation — Be- comes a local Faneuil Hall — Mrs. Cochran's gift — Cooperation of the Common Council — Legislature accepts the gift — Formal convey- ance of title to the State and custody to the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society — Copy of the deed — Mrs. Cochran thanked by the City of Yonkers 191 CHAPTER XIV THE MANOR HALL ITSELF The historic building described — The adjacent Soldiers and Sailors' Monument — The age of the Manor Hall discussed — Exact date un- confirmed — Some part ot it probably erected before close of 17th century — Propor- tions accreditable to First and Second Lords undetermined — Atmosphere of mystery about the ancient building — The scene as Washing- ton saw it compared with its appearance to-day. 208 lo Philipse Manor Hall CHAPTER XV THE MANOR IN PICTURE AND LITERATURE PAGE The oldest picture, a sepia drawing made in 1784 — Old engravings — Portraits of Mary Phil- ipse and others by Copley, Benjamin West and others — Portrait busts on Manor Hall ceil- ing — Large place occupied by the Manor and family in colonial history 248 ILLUSTRATIONS Plate I "A view of Phillipp's Manor" in 1784. Plate II Philipse Manor Hall in 1912. Plate III Interior of the East Parlor. Plate IV Interior of the East Chamber. Plate V The East Hall and Stairs. Plate VI English Fire-back and German Stove-plate. Plate VII Philipse and Hyde Tablets in Chester Cathedral. Plate VIII Bas-relief Portrait on Eastern Portion of Ceiling in East Parlor. Plate IX Bas-relief Portrait on Western Portion of Ceiling in East Parlor. Plate X Portrait of Mary Philipse before Marriage, by Woolaston. Plate XI Portrait of Mrs. Roger Morris (nee Mary Philipse) by Copley. Plate XII Portrait of Col. Roger Morris by West. Plate XIII Design of Entire Ceiling of East Parlor. Plate XIV Plan of Manor Hall. Philipse Coat of Aims (front cover). (II) o CL, p. > <! a o > s ^^ n. — . E7IJ 0^ v /t .^ imi ^^ Am 7 <ci>^tt— ^ ii'^ K^r^v Plate VIII Bas-Relief Portrait See page 218 on Eastern portion of ceiling of the East Parlor. Believed to be the likeness of one of the Lords of Philipse Manor Plate X Mary Philipse See page 249 Original portrait by John Woolaston in possession of the Misses Philipse of New York Plate XI Mrs. Roger Morris See page 249 Born Mary Philipse. Original portrait by Copley in possession of Amherst Morris of England Plate XII Colonel Roger Morris See page 249 Original .portrait by Benjaniin West in possession of Amherst Morris of England INTRODUCTION THE RELATION BETWEEN THE PICTURESQUE AND THE HISTORIC By chapter i68 of the Laws of 1908 of the State of New York, which received the signature of Governor Hughes on April 27, 1908, the State of New York accepted and placed in the custody of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society the venerable Philipse Manor Hall in the City of Yoiikers, N. Y., to " be preserved and maintained forever intact as an historical monu- ment and a museum of historical relics, and for such historical and patriotic uses." This happy consummation of hopes long enter- tained was brought about by the generous gift of $50,000 made by the late Mrs. William F. Cochran for the purchase of the property, sup- plemented by the public spirited cooperation of the municipal authorities of the City of Yonkers, who voted to sell at that price property which, at a moderate estimate, is worth at least twice that sum. After the conveyance of the property, Mrs. Cochran gave $5,000 and her son, Mr. Alexander Smith Cochran, gave $10,000 to the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society for the restoration of the building, in addition to which Mr. Cochran will furnish (13) 14 Philipse Manor Hall several rooms and place in the building his very valuable collection of oil portraits of presidents of the United States. By these acts, one of the most interesting antiqmties of the United States has been placed in permanent security, and a strong impulse given to the movement for the preservation of American landmarks. Before taking up the detailed history of this interesting btulding, it may be profitable to consider briefly the general principles and motives involved in scenic and historic preservation, some of which are conspicuously illustrated in the preservation of this venerable structure. There is an intimate and fundamental relation between scenery and history, and there is a strong probability that notable features of the landscape will possess historical interest from identification with human annals. The valleys of the earth have always been pathways of history — the history of war and the history of peace. The navigable streams which ran through them were the natural avenues of travel. The contours of their borders permitted roadways with easy grades. The streams afforded power for industry and water for domestic use. The alluvial soil and abundant moisture yielded the husbandman an ample reward for tds toil. The protecting hills sheltered the inhabitants from the chill blasts of winter. And so, mankind. Introduction 15 from the lowest stage of savagery up to the high- est stage of civiUzation, has traveled through, settled in, and made history in the valleys. This we shall see very plainly demonstrated in the history of Phihpse Manor Hall and its site. The summits of mountains, hills and crags, always picturesque, have been chosen from time immemorial for the principal public and domestic buildings of civilized man, and have become historic for many reasons. The acropolis — literally the " top-most city " — of the ancient Greeks was their citadel and the seat of their principal sanctuaries. Whoever has climbed the hills to Durham and Lincoln cathedrals has seen the same principle illustrated there, as it is also in the City of New York in the location of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Luke's Hospital, Columbia University and Grant's Tomb on Momingside Heights, the site of the Battle of Harlem; the College of the City of New York on St. Nicholas Heights, the site of Revolutionary fortifications and manoeuvers; and the University of New York on the site of the Revolutionary Fort No. Eight. In the early settlement of a new country, the wealthiest and most influential families sectu-e the first choice of sites for their residences and naturally select the most eligible and sightly places for their domiciles. Thus picturesque locations become the focal centers of the history i6 Philipse Manor Hall which the owners make. This also we find con- spicuously illustrated in the Philipse Manor Hall, as also in such buildings as the Hamilton Grange at One Hundred and Forty-second street and Convent avenue, New York City; the Morris Mansion (the married home of Mary PhiHpse, daughter of the Second Lord of the Manor) in One Hundred and Sixtieth street. New York City; the Van Cortlandt Mansion (the married home of " Eva Philipse," adopted daughter of the First Lord of the Manor) in Van Cortlandt Park, New York City; the Van Cortlandt Manor House at Croton Point; the Hasbrouck House (Washing- ton's Headquarters) at Newburgh, etc. In military afEairs, it is the first instinct of the engineer to erect his castle or fortification on a commanding eminence, which is invariably pic- turesque. When Nature piled up the rocky eminence on which Edinburgh Castle is built and molded the surrounding hills, she built not only the foundation for one of the most picturesque cities of the old world, but she also built a theater for human history; and Quebec, the most picturesque city in English-speaking America, teUs the same story of the marriage of Nature and History, of Beauty and Tragedy. Similarly we find history clustering around the smaller individual features of the landscape. A great rock becomes a " council rock," like the Council Rock on the old Seneca trail in Brighton, Introduction 17 N. Y. ; or it becomes an object of worship with the aborigines and a boundary monument with the whites, hke Amackassin, the famous boundary stone at the northwest comer of the Town of Yonkers. A great tree becomes a " treaty tree," Hke the Big Tree near Mount Morris, Livingston county (which gave its name to the Big Tree Treaty of 1797 with the Senecas*), or the Council Tree at Geneva, N. Y., or the Treaty Oak in Pel- ham Bay Park, New York City. It was as natural for the aborigines to select a rock like the Devil's Dans Kammer in Newburgh Bay on the Hudson for their religious rites, as for the white man to choose Plymouth Rock as a seciure land- ing place for the Pilgrims. It was a common instinct that led the Indians to assemble in council under the great elm at Cambridge, Mass., before the advent of the Eitropeans, and im- pelled Washington to stand tmder it when he as- sumed command of the Continental Army in 1 7 7 5 . An object may be picturesque without being historic; but when it is old enough to be historic, it is almost invariably picturesque. The magni- tude of the size of a growing object, the softening color due to exposure to the elements, the state of dilapidation due to neglect and decay, the *This tree fell several years ago. A portion of it is preserved on the Council House Grounds of Letchworth Park at Portage, N. Y. The Geneva CouncU Tree is still standing. The Treaty Oak in Pelham Bay Park has disappeared entirely. i8 Philipse Manor Hall ■ vegetable growths which spontaneously overrun an abandoned structure, the obsoleteness of style of architecture or construction due to the progress of art or invention, all tend to give objects a picturesque aspect and frequently, in addition, an educational and scientific value, by the time they are old enough to be called " historic." Thus we find a strong htunan interest in the landmarks of the country which lies at the basis of the growing movement for their preservation. Now let us consider briefly the reasons which more particularly justify not only such generous private gifts as that made in the Manor Hall case, but also the appropriation of public moneys for the same ptirpose; for although the means have been forthcoming for the acquisition and restora- tion of the Manor Hall property, the State is expected to provide the funds necessary for its maintenance. In the case of the United States v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Company, decided January 27, 1896, Mr. Justice Peckham affirmed the constitu- tionality of an act of Congress authorizing the purchase of land for the Gettysburg National Park, on the ground that " any act of Congress which plainly and directly tends to enhance the respect and love of the' citizen for the institutions of this country and strengthen his motives to defend them, and which is germane to and inti- mately connected with and appropriate to the Introduction 19 exercise of some one or all the powers granted by Congress, must be valid." Now, battlefields are not the only objects that inspire good dtizenship. Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war. And the argument may legitimately be extended to embrace any object which, by reason of association of ideas, tends to incite interest in and devotion to the State. The preservation of physical object-lessons is almost as essential to a proper understanding of our national life and to a vital patriotism as it is to teach book-history in our schools and universities. Chancellor- emeritus Henry M. MacCracken of New York University very appropriately has called them "un- salaried teachers which never die, never ask to be retired on pensions and whose voices grow stronger and more convincing with increasing age." There is, perhaps, no more eloquent evidence of the power of landmarks to excite national pride than the instinctive sense of proprietorship which the public feels in them, even while they are in private ownership. Landmarks, like men, when they become famous, may be said to belong in part to the Nation. The man who wins fame gives hostages to the people. He is no longer the independent individual that he was before. He finds that he belongs somewhat to his fellow men, that he must make concessions to them and that he must honor the claims which they make upon his time and consideration. 20 Philipse Manor Hall The same may be said of famous buildings. It does not matter who owns the little house in Devonshire Terrace, on the Marylebone Road, London, in which Charles Dickens lived — every lover of Dickens may claim a moral proprietor- ship in that btiilding. The national government of Great Britain holds title to the building in Stratford in which the Bard of Avon lived; but whoever speaks the Enghsh tongue, wherever he may dwell, is boimd by an indissoluble tie of sentiment as strong as an indenture of title to the home of the immortal Shakespeare. Who has visited some literary shrine in Salem, or Concord, or elsewhere, and not been conscious of this instinct, which is a perfectly natural one, and which every one feels to a greater or lesser degree — the feeling that the people at large have a sort of right to the houses made famous by the residence of famous men? The pilgrim ap- proaches the author's home with tender feelings of love and gratitude for the works which have delighted himself and thousands of others. He wants to see the house where the writer lived and the woods through which he walked and the pond beside which he sat. He wants to be where the author's spirit dwelt, and to place himself in the environment which once inspired the writer's thoughts. The pilgrim really feels as if he has a right to do this. Of cotirse he has no legal right to trespass on the groimds if they be private. Introduction 21 On the contrary, and equally of course, the heirs of the famous man's property have a perfect legal right to post up signs reading: " Trespassing on these grounds is forbidden tmder penalty of the law;" " Beware of the dog," etc. And when one knocks respectftilly at the front door and asks a very civil question it is the inalienable privilege of the owner of the place to regard the call as an intrusion and to resent it as such if he or she wishes to do so. Nevertheless, one goes away from such an experience with the feeling that he has been cheated out of something that was his due; that something within him that was very tender and loving has tinjustly been rejected and crushed. It is difficult tinder the circum- stances not to feel that those who inherit the property and fame of distinguished men inherit also the moral obligation which goes with the legacy to show a certain respect to this natural, justifiable, and laudable interest which the pubUc takes in the visible mementoes of their great ancestors. But since this feeling does exist, with respect not only to literary shrines but also other historic buildings ; since it is by common consent acknowl- edged to be an eleyated sentiment; and since the private owner is under no legal obligation to pay deference to it, it remains for the municipality, or the State, or the Nation to purchase and main- tain the property, and thus devote it to the satis- 22 Philipse Manor Hall faction and encouragement of this very proper interest. The application of this principle to the Yonkers Manor Hall is this: This building, for reasons more fully to be stated presently, is a famous building. It is widely known throughout the United States. It is known in Europe. The world at large is interested in it. The people of the United States who know anjrthing about our national history have a peculiar interest in it. To the people of Yonkers, it is the cradle of their city, for although the Patroon of Colendonck gave the city its name, it was the Lord of Philipse Manor who really laid the foundation of the city. To the people of the State of New York it stands as one of the conspicuous monuments of their social and political development. Upon these grounds, briefly, when the building was threat- ened with mutilation, it was urged upon the Common Council of Yonkers that morally they were not the sole owners of the building and that they could not permit the disfigvurement or destruction of the property without shocking a public sentiment which extended beyond their local jurisdiction. And it has been in deference to public sentiment which would regard as a sort of violation of popular rights the return of the building to private ownership, with consequent risk of mutilation or possible destruction, that private generosity and the public spirit of the Introduction 2$ Common Council have erected the property into a public monument; and it will be in justifiable deference to this same sentiment that the State in future years will make appropriations for its proper maintenance. Anglo-Saxon civilization in the New World is 304 years old, and if we correctly estimate the date of the erection of the oldest part of Manor Hall, the history of that building represents nearly three-fourths of the whole period that has elapsed since the permanent advent of English- speaking people upon this contineiit. That fact in itself is very remarkable and gives the building a distinction. We have, as it were, about 225 years of history invested in it. It is a capital which will increase in value as time goes on. It is an enviable distinction of our Atlantic coast, upon which the westward-moving wave of civiUzation first broke, that it has such landmarks. What woiild not the communities of our Western States give if they had the old buildings, and the battle- fields, and the old civic traditions pf the Atlantic States to stimulate their local pride and patriotism ? But with these three centuries of oiur seaboard history in which the Eastern States take such pride, have come dangers to the monuments which Time has dedicated. Here, where civiliza- tion has been rooted the longest, the population is the densest and commercial enterprise is the most active; and the pressure of those two factors. 24 Philipse Manor Hall — population and commerdaKsm — is threaten- ing to sweep away these cherished landmarks. Whenever, then, the rescuing hand is put forth and a valuable landmark like the Philipse Manor Hall is saved, a benefaction is conferred upon the public which is deserving of the most cordial appreciation. In the preparation of the following pages the writer has consulted about 300 different printed works, and numerous manuscript letters, deeds, wills, charters, maps, etc., in the United States and England, but only a portion of the available material has been drawn upon for this book. When it is recalled that there was hardly any phase of the pioneer and colonial life of New York and the adjacent commonwealths that was not connected, either directly or indirectly, with the site of the Manor Hall, the building or its owners, it can readily be understood that it would have required a much more compendious volume to follow every hne of history and tradi- tion radiating from this venerable pile. But enough has been recalled, it is hoped, to show the ground for the great popular interest taken in the Manor Hall and to indicate the value, both of the gift to the State and of the services of the Society which is conserving it. E. H. H. New York City, January, 19 12. CHAPTER I NAPPECKAMACK, THE TRAP-FISHING PLACE ■\17HEN, in 1609, Henry Hudson sailed up the Mahicanituck* he found the mouth of ahnost every tributary of any considerable size the seat of an Indian village. On Manhattan Island, where Minetta brook emptied into the Hudson at what is now Charlton and Greenwich streets (old Greenwich), there was the village of Sap- pokanican. Just behind the mouth of Spuyten Duyvil creek where Tippets brook flows into that stream, upon Spuyten Duyvil Hill, was the fortified Indian village, Nipimchsen. Four and a quarter miles farther north, where the Neperhan enters the Hudson, was the village of Nappecka- mack, of which we shall speak hereafter. Five and a half miles farther north, at the mouth of * Ma-ha-ka-negh-tuc, or Mahicanituck, was the Mohican name for the Hudson river, which was called Ca-ho-ha-te-a by the Iroquois and Shatemuc by other Indians. Other names for this historic stream were Una Grandissima Riviera (Verazzano, 1524), whence Rio Grande, Riviere Grande and Grand River; Rio de San Antonio or River of Saint Anthony (Gomez, 1525); Rio de Gamas (Span- iards, 1525-1600); River of the Mountains (Hudson, 1609); or Montaigne Rivier (Dutch maps, 1615-1664); Hudson's River (Dutch publication, 1612); River Man- hattes (De Laet, 1625); or Manhattans Rivier (Dutch maps, 161 5-1 664); River Mauritius or Maurits Rivier (Dutch period), from Maurice, Prince of Orange; Noort Rivier (Dutch period) or North River (English) to dis- tinguish it from the South, or Delaware, River. (25) 26 Philipse Manor Hall the Wysquaqua (or Wickers creek), was the village of Weckquaskeck, now occupied by the village of Dobbs Ferry. At Tarrjrtown, five miles from Dobbs Ferry, where the Pocantico creek enters the Hudson, stood Alipconk. At the mouth of Sing Sing creek, six miles farther north, was Sintsinck, now Ossining. Northward two and a half miles farther, at the mouth of the Kitcha- wonck, or Croton river, was the village of Kitcha- wonck, or Kitchawan. At the mouth of Peekskill creek, eight miles farther upstream as the crow flies, was Sackhoes, now Peekskill. And so the list might be prolonged to the head of the great river which the navigator explored. Of all these aboriginal settlements, the one at the mouth of the Neperhan river, called Nap- peckamack, the principal village of the Manhattan Indians,* is the one which especially interests us, * The highest and latest authority on this subject is " The Hand Book of American Indians," recently pub- lished by the Bureau of American Ethnology — the most remarkable work of its kind ever printed. From this it appears that Nappeckamack was the metropolitan village of the Manhattan Indians who occupied Manhattan Island, the east bank of the Hudson river in Westchester county and the Westchester shore of Long Island sound. TheJManhattans were a tribe of the Wappinger confederacy. After the Dutch occupied Manhattan Island, the name Weckquaskeck appears to have been used to designate the remainder of the tribe on the mainland. They were of Algonkian stock and closely connected with the Mahicans on the north and the Mohegans on the east, but distinguished from them by political and dialectic differences. It is inter- esting to think that the area of the present Greater New York was once tributary to the aborigines of Yonkers. Nappeckamack, the Trap-fishing Place 27 for in this locality the Lords of Philipse Manor biiilt their Manor Hall, and around the site of the vanished Indian village has grown up the thriving City of Yonkers. The eloquent nomenclature of the aborigines gives us a ready clue to the reason for the location of Nappeckamack and to one of the chief occu- pations of its inhabitants. Neperhan is a cor- ruption of Nappeckamack, or Neperhamack, and has generally been translated erroneously as meaning " the rapid water settlement." A very reliable authority on this name is WiUiam Wal- lace Tooker, who, in his " Algonkian series, No. 7," says that the " n " and " r " in Nappecka- mack and Neperhamack are intrusive and that the name is derived from " appeh," meaning " trap," and " amack," or " amuck," meaning " fishing place." Hence we have " appeh-mack," " the trap-fishing place " and Neperhan (apehhan) " a trap, snare, gin," etc. Here, we may con- clude, the Indians caught fish with the ebbing of the tide, probably after the fashion described by Wood in his New England Prospect (1634), by stretching a net or constructing a weir across the mouth of the creek, " When they used to tide it in and out to the Rivers and Creekes with long seanes or Basse Nets which stop in the fish; and the water ebbing from them they are left on the dry ground, sometimes two or three thousand at a set." 28 Philipse Manor Hall As one stands on the elevated grounds of the Manor House to-day, looking down at the rudi- ment of the Neperhan on the south side of Dock street, the imagination may bring back some of the broader outlines of aboriginal scenes of three centtuies ago: the cluster of bark huts on the hillside; the primeval forest to the north, east and south, with silence unbroken save by the soughing of the trees, the thunder of the storm, the bubbling of the brook, the scream of the bird, the howl of the wolf or the roar of the bear; to the west, the broad Hudson, bearing no craft larger than a canoe; and beyond the river, the towering Palisades, standing now, as then, in their pristine grandeur; at the foot of the hill, the crystal Neperhan, widening at its mouth into a sheltering cove; upon the shore, the canoes drawn up above the tides of the " river that flowed upward; " here and there, the busy natives, with their stone or shell implements, dressing fish, either for immediate constmiption or for drying for winter use; over the glowing camp-fire, the smoking venison from the neigh- boring forest; or under a mass of steaming grass, the roasting oysters whose shells for many years told of the savory feasts of the villagers. And then we can imagine the sensation as rumors of the arrival of the white men came up from below; the astonishment of the natives at the birdlike craft with its great white wings as it Nappeckamack, the Trap-fishing Place 29 sailed past on September 14, 1609; their excite- ment when, the following day, the two captives who escaped from the Half Moon came down the trail, arousing the warriors of the villages to revenge; the agitation here and particularly at the next village below, Nipinichsen, for several days as preparations were made for the assault on Hudson's return; and then the bloody conflict of October 2, 1609, oflE Spuyten DuyvU creek, in which their tribesmen suffered so heavily. Such was the setting of the scene, and such the prelude to the great drama soon to follow, in which the forests and their dusky inhabitants were to be swept away, leaving nothing but an almost obscured stream and its sweet-sounding name as reminders of their ancient dominion. CHAPTER II THE YOUNCKER ADRIAEN VAN DER DONCK "yHE obliteration of the aborigines in West- •^ Chester county was a gradual process, ex- tending over a period of a century and a half or more.* But, yielding to the temptations presented by European beads, blankets, iron ware, and, sad to relate, firewater, the natives began to part with their title to the soil soon after the advent of the Dutch. On August 3, 1639, thirteen years after the purchase of Manhattan Island, three chiefs of the Weckquaskecks, named " fequemec," " rech- gawac," and " packaimiens," owners of " keskes- kich,"t appeared before Comelis van Tienhoven, Secretary of the Dutch West India Company, at Fort Amsterdam, and conveyed to the West India Company the tract of land in their territory called " Nepperhaem, " embracing the site of the present City of Yonkers and much adjacent territory. This conveyance appears to have been of doubtful eflEectiveness, for, as will be seen later, subsequent owners acquired title by pur- chase direct from the Indians. * Lieutenant-Cblonei Simcoe, in his Military Journal, tells of killing an Indian chief named Nimham and forty- other Indians in Westchester county on August 31, 1778. t So written in the original document. (30) The Youncker Adriaen van der Donck 31 Owing to the hostilities between the Dutch and the Indians soon after the alleged conveyance of 1639, no individual had the courage to attempt to seek a home in this remote wilderness, sixteen miles from the protecting walls of Fort Amster- dam, until the international relations had become more amicable. Then, in 1646, a man who had contributed largely to the restoration of peace secured from the West India Company a grant of this region, reinforcing his title by purchase from the natives. This first individual white owner of the Manor HaU site and adjacent territory was Adriaen van der Donck, Doctor of Laws, a cultured member of a Dutch family of Breda, who came to New Netherland in the fall of 1 64 1 as Sheriff of Rensselaerwyck. The grant was made by the West India Company in considera- tion of his valuable services as a peacemaker be- tween Director Kieft and the lately warring red men. The property extended from a little riviilet called Amakassin* (which flows into the Hudson near the present Greystone station of the New York Central railroad), eastward to the Bronx river and southward to Spuyten Duyvil creek. In 1652, it was erected into a Colony of which * The little stream called Amakassin derived its name from a great stone at its mouth which was a landmark with the aborigines and is frequently mentioned in the early Dutch and English deeds. The name means " fishing-place stone." 32 Philipse Manor Hall Van der Donck became Patroon. In an octroy dated May 26, 1652, granting Van der Donck power to bequeath his fief, he is called " Adriaen van der Donck, of Breda, Patroon of the Colony of Nepperhaem, called by him Colendonck, situated in New Netherlands." Colendonck means Donck Colony. The memory of Van der Donck is perpetuated in the name of the City of Yonkers, which is derived from the title which was occasionally prefixed to the name. In a summons to Donainie Bogardus from the Director and Council of New Netherland, dated January 2, 1646, Van der Donck is alluded to as " The Youncker." On April 12, 1646, the Dutch records refer to him as " Yoncker Adriaen Verdonck," his last name frequently being abbreviated to Verdonck. The word " Yoncker," spelled in modem Dutch both "Jonker" and "Jonkheer," is derived from two roots which in Dutch, Middle Dutch, Swedish, Danish, German, Low German, and Middle High German signify young and gentle- man. The Dutch dictionary defines it as meaning " messire, coimtry squire ox young nobleman (eldest son to a noble family)." In its old English use the word also carried the idea of distinction. Thus, in Spenser's " Faery Queen, " we have: " Amongst the rest there was a jolly knight . . . But that same younker soone was overthrowne." The Youncker Adriaen van der Donck 33 Chapman in his translation of the Odyssey, says: " Ulysses slept there, and close by The other Yovmkers." Sometimes Van der Donck's property was called "de Jonkheer's Landt" and sometimes " the YouQckers Land." In a Council Minute, dated Nov. 6, 1668, relating to a land dispute between John Archer and others, reference is made to "the Youncker's Land" and the land "that was the Youncker Van der Donck's." These expressions became shortened in the course of time to simply Younckers. By 1734, as appears from the quotation on page 107, the place was " commonly called Yonkers," although diiring the tenure of the Philipses it was frequently called by their name. In 1788, the Legislature formally adopted the name of Yonkers for the town. After Van der Donck secured his grant he laid out a farm and plantation on the Neperhan, dammed the stream opposite the Manor House site, and erected a mill for sawing wood from his forests. In one of his petitions to the home government, dated May 30, 1652, he says; "After I obtained this grant in 1646, I resolved to reside here, erected a saw-mill, and laid out a farm and plantation." He adds that after doing this, he acquired some property near Spujrten 3 34 Philipse Manor Hall Dujrvil where he expected to " fix his residence as soon as he should have finished all his concerns at the Saw Kill." Whether he ever erected a residence near Spujrten Dujrvil as contemplated is not certain. After presenting the above memorial he was detained in the Netherlands till the fall of 1653 and as he died in 1655, he did not have much time to create another establish- ment. In his " Beschrijvinge van Nieu Neder- landt," published in Amsterdam in 1655, he alludes to his mill-stream at Yonkers. Speaking of the North river, he says: " Several fine creeks empty into this river, such as the little and great Esopus, Kats-ldl, Slapershaven, Colen- doncks-kil or Sagh-Ml, Wappinckes-kil, etc." " Slapershaven " is Sleepy Haven, or Sleepy Hollow, creek; "Wappinckes-kil " is Wappingers creek, and" Colendoncks-kil, or Sagh-kil," is the Neperhan. " Sagh-kil," or, as it was spelled on Van der Donck's map, " Saeck Kil," are obsolete spellings of what would be written Zaag Kill in modem Dutch. It means, literally, Saw-creek, modernized to Saw Mill river. That Van der Donck was visited by Indians and had them in his employ is indicated in two entries in the Court Minutes of New Amster- dam. On January 10, 1656, Catalyntie Verbeeck claimed ownership of two books " which the Indians took from Ver Donck's house; " and in a paper read by Director Stuyvesant, January 26, The Youncker Adriaen van der Donck 35 1656, reference is made to an " Indian from Wiequaeskeck, who was a good friend of Vander Donck and had tended his cows for a time." Soon after obtaining his grant, Van der Donck became one of the most ardent and fearless critics of the government under Director Stuyvesant and the Dutch West India Company, and his visit to the Netherlands in 1652-53 was for the purpose of representing the sentiments of him- self and his S3anpathizers. While there he made preparations to colonize his property, but various obstacles prevented, and when he retvimed to New Netherland in the fall of 1653 he had not accomplished much, apparently, except the publi- cation of his Description of New Netherland. Although Van der Donck did little for the material promotion of his large estate, he is an interesting figure on account of the versatility of his talents, which ranged from sawing wood to the practice of law. Having taken his degree of law at Leyden University and been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Holland, he applied to the Dutch West India Company for permission to practice in New Netherland. But the directors of the Company declared that they did not know " of there being any other of that stamp " in New Amsterdam, and as there was nobody " who can act and plead against Van der Donck in behalf of the other side " they could not admit him to plead before the 36 Philipse Manor Hall courts, but they consented to his giving advice. From which it is evident that the Patroon of Colendonck was the first of that distinguished body of learned gentlemen of the law which now niunbers about 25,000 in the State of New York. Van der Donck left as his chief memorials two names in local nomenclature: " Yonkers," and the alternative name of the Neperhan, "the Saw Mill river." The Patroon's widow, who was the daughter of the Rev. Francis Doughty, after the period of mourning married Hugh O'Neale and, on October 8, 1666, two years after the surrender of New Netherland to the English, Neperhan was patented to Mr. and Mrs. O'Neale by Governor NicoUs. On the 30th of the same month the O'Neales sold the property to Elias Doughty, of Flushing, and on November 29, 1672, Doughty sold it to Thomas Delaval, Thomas Lewis and Frederick Philipse. CHAPTER III THE PHILIPSE FAMILY 'T'HE acqvdsition of a third interest in the late Youncker van der Donck's colony by Freder- ick Philipse first identifies with the Manor Hall site the name of a family which was conspicuous in the annals of the Colony and State for nearly a century and a half. In order properly to imderstand the references in the following pages to various members of the family, from the arrival of the immigrants in Stujrv^esant's time to the departure of their disinherited descend- ants at the close of the American Revolution, it win be convenient to make a brief conspectus of their genealogy. The name of the family is variously spelled, in the records of New Netherland and New York, Flipse, Flypse, Flypsie, Filipzen, Filipzon, Felyp- sen, Felypson, Flipson, PhiHpsen, Philipse, Phil- lipse. Philips and Phillips. From this varied orthography we shall use the spelling Philipse, unless literal quotation requires a change. According to fanaily usage, so long as living descendants of Frederick Philipse know, the name has been pronounced as it was sometimes spelled — Philips, with the accent on the first syllable. Concerning the first two generations of the femily, there appears to be some indefiniteness (37) 38 Philipse Manor Hall of record,* but from a careful comparison of many authorities we deduce the following: First Generation. The first generation of the family known to bear the name was the Viscount Philipse of Bohemia, who, with his wife Eva and his son Frederick fled to Friesland. Second Generation. Frederick Philipse, last above mentioned, bom in Bohemia, lived in Friesland, where he married Margaret Dacres and where he died. They had a son Frederick with whom the widowed Margaret emigrated to New Netherland on a date uncer- tain. It is suggested with some probability that the immigrants came with Peter Stuyvesant in 1647. Third Generation. Frederick Philipse, last above mentioned. First Lord of the Manor, bom in Bolswaert, Friesland f 1626; came to New Netherland with his widowed * The genealogy in Bolton's " History of Westchester County " is hopelessly confused. Scharf in his History says that Frederick Philipse and Margaret Dacres, his wife, both came to America with their son Frederick, later First Lord of the Manor ; while John Jay says Margaret was a widow when she came over with her son. The genealogy which we give also diflEers from that in "Burke's Landed Gentry" but is believed to be more nearly correct and is approved by the Philipse family of New York. t Our clue to the native place of the founder of the family in America is found in the entry of his marriage in the records of the Dutch Church of New Amsterdam which reads as follows: " 1662, Oct. 28. (Name) The Philipse Family 39 mother, probably in 1647 ; banns published, October 28, 1662, for marriage to Margaretta (or Mar- gariet) Hardenbrook, of Ervervelt, daughter of Adolf Hardenbrook and widow of Peter Rudol- phus De Vries, whom he married in December; married second, November 30, 1692, CatherinaVan Cortlandt, daughter of OlofE Stephanus Van Cortlandt and widow of John Dervall; died November 6, 1702. Fourth Generation. The children of Frederick and Margariet, his first wife, were as follows: I. " Eva Philipse," daughter of Peter Rudol- phus De Vries and Margariet Hardenbrook, bom July 6, 1660, adopted by her mother's second husband and known as " Eva PhiUpse; " married Jacobus Van Cortlandt, May 31, 1691. A petition for letters of administration on her estate was made by Abraham de Peyster and others March 8, 1760. Frederick Philipszen. (Prom whence) Bolswaert. (Name) Margariet Hardenbrook, widow. (From whence) blank." In the earlier record of Margariet Hardenbrook's marriage to Peter Rudolphus De Vries on October 10, 1659, her native place is given as Ervervelt. Bolswaert, or Bols- ward, as it is now spelled, is situated in Friesland, fourteen miles southwest of the ancient capital, Leeuwarden. It now has a population of 6,500 inhabitants. Three land- marks contemporaneous with the immigrant Philipse still stand in Bolsward — the St. Martinikerk, built in 1446-63; the Broederkerk, built about 1280; and the Stadhuis, built 1614-16. The latter has lately been well restored and is the finest Renaissance building in Friesland. 40 Philipse Manor Hall 2. Philip Philipse, baptized March i8, 1664; married Maria Sparkes about 1694; died 1700. 3. Adolphus Philipse, baptized November 15, 1665 ; died January 20, 1750. (Obituary notice in New York Weekly Post Boy, January 22, 1750.) 4. Annetje Philipse, baptized November 27, 1667; married Philip French, 1694. 5. Rombout Philipse, baptized January 9, 1670; died young. Fifth Generation. Philip Philipse and Maria Sparkes had a son, namely: Frederick Philipse, Second Lord of the Manor; bom in the Barbados 1695; married Joanna, daughter of Gov. Anthony Brockholls about 1719; died July 26, 1751. (Obituary notice in New York Gazette, July 29, 1751.) Sixth Generation. The children of Frederick Philipse, the Second Lord, and Joanna Brockholls, were: I. Frederick Philipse, Third and last Lord of the Manor, born September 12, 1720; licensed August 31, 1756, to marry, and on September 9, 1756, married, Elizabeth Rutgers, widow of Anthony Rutgers and daughter of Charles Williams, Naval Officer of the Port of New York; died April 30, 1786.* * Concerning the date 1786, see page 158. The Philip se Family 41 2. Susannah PhiKpse, baptized February 3, 1723; died young. 3. Philip Philipse, baptized August 28, 1724; married Margaret Marston; died May 9, 1768. 4. Maria Philipse, baptized March 30, 1726; died young. 5. Susannah Philipse, baptized September 20, 1727; married Beverly Robinson about 1750; died November, 1822. 6. Mary Philipse, bom July 3, 1730; married Roger Morris, January 19, 1758 ; died July 18, 1825. 7. Margaret Philipse, baptized February 4, 1733; died 1752. 8. Anthony Philipse, baptized July 13, 1735; died young. 9. Joanna Philipse, baptized September 19, 1739; died young. 10. Adolphus PhiHpse, baptized March 10, 1742; died young. Seventh Generation. The children of Frederick Philipse, Third Lord of the Manor, and Elizabeth Williams, his wife, were: 1. Frederick Philipse, who married Harriet Griffiths, of Rhual, North Wales. 2. Philip Philipse, an officer in the Royal Artillery, who died in Wales in 1829. 3. Charles Philipse, who was drowned in the Bay of Fundy. 42 Philipse Manor Hall 4. John Philipse, Captain, who was killed at the battle of Trafalgar, 1805. 5. Maria EUza Philipse, who married Lionel Smjrthe, Seventh Viscount Strangford, marriage license dated September 4, 1779. 6. Sarah Philipse, who married Mtmgo Noble, marriage license dated February 8, 1783. 7. Charlotte Margaret Philipse, who married Lieutenant-Colonel Webber, of England, and died in 1840. 8. Elizabeth Philipse, who died at Bath, Eng., in 1828. 9. Susan Philipse. 10. Catherine Philipse, who died young. In Great Britain and other foreign coimtries there are living over seventy descendants of Colonel Roger Morris and Mary Philipse Morris whose lineage comes down through their son Rear Admiral Henry Gage Morris and their daughter Joanna Morris (married Hincks). Among those who descend through Rear Admiral Morris may be mentioned the following:* Amherst Henry Gage Morris, (great-grandson). Colonel Reginald Frank Morris (great-grandson, residing at Grosvenor Terrace, York, England), Reginald Owen Morris (son of the latter), the * For these names, the writer is indebted to the kindness of Miss Anne Henrietta Gage Bower, a great-grand- daughter of Colonel Morris, who resides at the Crescent, Ripon, England, and who furnished them under date of February 17, 1909. The Philipse Family 43 Rev. Mamiaduke Charles Frederick Morris (great- grandson, residing at The Rectory, Nunbiimhohne, York), and other members of the same family; Colonel Henry Gage Morris (great-grandson), Frederick Philipse Morris (great-grandson), Roger Morris (great-grandson), and other members of the same family; Herbert Morris Bower, Mayor of Ripon (great-grandson, residing at Trinity Hill, Ripon, England), Roger Herbert Bower (son of above). Professor Frederick Orpen Bower, F. R. S. (great- grandson, residing at i St. John's Terrace, Hill- head, Glasgow, N. B.), and other members of the same family; Henry Philipse Henderson, (great-grand- son, residing at River Hill, Bramford, Ipswich, England), Rear Admiral George Morris Hender- son (great-grandson), Lieut. Francis Berkeley Henderson, R. N., D. S. O. (great-grandson), and other members of the same family; Captain William Orpen Sanders, R. G. A. (great-great-grandson, residing on Worsley Road, Southsea, England), and other members of the same family. The following are descended through Joanna Morris Hincks, before mentioned: Captain Thomas Cowper Hincks (great-great- grandson of Colonel Roger Morris, residing at Baronsdown, Dulverton, England), and other members of the same family; 44 Philipse Manor Hall Thomas Wood Craster (great-great-grandson, at present living in Ceylon), and other members of the same family; And the Rev. Robert Pulleine (great-great- grandson, residing at Queensbury Vicarage, Yorkshire), and other members of the same family. Still another living descendant of the Philipse family is Mr. Basil Philipse of Rhual, Wales. In New York City are living three great-great- grandchildren of PMlip Philipse, younger brother of the last Lord of the Manor, namely, Mrs. Francis Leroy Satterlee, Miss CatharineWadsworth Philipse, and Miss Margaret Gouvemeur Philipse. (Seepage i86.) CHAPTER IV THE RISE OP A GREAT MERCHANT A LTHOUGH the Patroon of Colendonck gave the name to the present City of Yonkers, yet it was Frederick Philipse, the purchaser of the third interest in the Yonkers plantation in 1672, who was the real founder of the City, for he built its first substantial building which later became the Manor Hall, and he was the first to develop actively the industry of the locaUty. The career of the fotmder of Yonkers was one of the most remarkable of his time. When he came to America, some time prior to 1653, he was not over 27 years of age, if he was that. He probably had some means, but they were small, and the resources by which he became the fore- most merchant and one of the foremost citizens of his generation were his craft as an architect and builder, his industry and shrewdness as a business man and his substantial character. As a " carpenter," so called, he was more than a manual laborer with hammer, saw, and plane. In fact, the word carpenter in those days was not confined to wood-workers, for Secretary Van Tienhoven, in 1650, mentions among the people desirable for New Netherland, " three or four (45) 46 Philipse Manor Hall house-carpenters who can lay brick."* But PhiHpse was even more than a brick carpenter. He was evidently an architect-builder, and was employed as the official carpenter of the Dutch West India Company to supervise the erection of buildings and to appraise structures of various sorts, t He first appears in documentary history May 8, 1653, as a resident of New Amsterdam of sufficiently long standing to be the repository of public confidence as an arbitrator in business disputes. Under that date, he is named in the Court Records of New Amsterdam in the stipula- tion of the creditors of Augustyn Herrman to abide by the valuation to be fixed by " Frederick Flipsen " and Pieter Wolphertsen van Couwen- hoven, Schepen, on the house and lot next to the Dutch West India Company's store belonging to Herrman. His duties as the Company's carpenter took him to various parts of the Province. In Gover- nor Stujrvesant's report of his visit to Esopus (now Kingston, N. Y.), in 1658, he refers twice to Philipse as a carpenter. On May 28, * " drie a vier huystimmerlieden die metselen connen." t It is said that he worked on the old Dutch Church in Fort Amsterdam, the first stone church erected in New York. The church was built in 1642, and there is no documentary evidence that Philipse was in New Amster- dam then. It is highly probable, however, that as the " Company's Carpenter," he had to do with keeping the church in repair. He was the " Church-master " in charge of building the successor of the Church in the Fort, See page 48. The Rise of a Great Merchant 47 Stujrvesant left New Amsterdam for Esopus to settle some Indian troubles there and was at Esopus from May 29 to June 25, with the ex- ception of a brief absence at Fort Orange from June 7 to 12. On Jime i he marked out the site for the fortified settlement of Esopus. In his report of this visit, Stujrvesant says: " On the 13th, 14th and isth, we were busy making the east side [of the palisaded enclosure] and Frederick PhiUipsen erected, with the help of Claes de Ruyter and Thomas Chambers, in the northeast comer of the enclosure a guard house for the soldiers, 23 feet long and 16 feet wide, made of boards which had been cut during my absence. ' ' The Governor also tells about employ- ing some carpenters to erect a small house and bam for himself at Esopus, and adds: " I referred the carpenter's work to the opinion of my carpenter, Frederick Philipsen." This inter- esting entry indicates not only Philipse's authori- tative standing in his profession or craft, but also his close relations with the Governor. Be- tween May II, 1660, and September 20, 1660, he ceased to be the Company's ofiicial carpenter,, for on the former date Abraham Martensen Clock and " Fredrick Philipsen, carpenter " were directed by the Counsel to report what extra work was required on the church at Mid- wout (Flatbush, L. I.), while on the latter date the Council passed a resolution " to charter ta 48 Philipse Manor Hall Frederick PhUlipse, late the Director's carpenter, the Company's sloop for a voyage to Virginia." In December, 1663, a complaint was made against Frederick Philipse and others for driving from Wiltwyk (Kingston), to the Redoubt (Rondout), with six wagons of grain without the safeguard of an armed escort, in which complaint Philipse is again referred to as " the Honorable Company's late carpenter." It is evident that in these two references to Philipse's first reach- ings-out for the trade to the southward and northward, we see the carpenter merging into the merchant trader. It is apparent, however, that his services as a consulting architect or builder were not altogether dispensed with at this early date, for in February, 1664, he was stationed at Bergen, N. J., where palisades had been erected and where a blockhouse at each gate was projected. In fact, his faculty as a builder continued to be called into requisition long after he became a merchant prince. The records of a meeting of the Consistory of the Old Dutch church of New York held on November 1 1, 1698, contain the fol- lowing : " When our Church was to be built and building masters (since called Church-masters) were to be chosen, the Hon. Church-master Frederick Flipsen voted with the Consistory. . . . (This must be explained and under- stood to mean: When our Chiirch was to be The Rise of a Great Merchant 49 built and bviilders were to be chosen, who have since been called Church-masters, etc.) . . . Their office draws no salary and the persons are therefore more honorable." On April 12, 1657, Philipse was admitted to the Small Btu-gher Right of New Amsterdam. Biur- ghers, or Freemen, were divided into two classes, Great Burghers and Small Burghers, in old Amsterdam January 31, 1652, and five years later this classification was adopted in New Amster- dam. Members of the first class, or Great Burghers, were eligible to the higher municipal offices of Schout, Burgomaster, Schepen, Orphan- master, etc., while the Small Burghers had only the privilege of trade and might be appointed to minor offices. In the division of April, 1657, 20 persons, including Governor Stu3rvesant, were admitted to the Great Burgher Right and 206 to the Small Burgher Right. In this list Philipse is called a carpenter. From the date of his admission as a Burgher, his advancement was rapid, doubtless under the favor of Governor Stuyvesant. On January 29, 1658, the Governor's Council authorized the granting of a lot to " Fredrick PhiHpsen, car- penter," and on February 9, 1658, Stuyvesant granted him one of the most eligibly situated lots in New Amsterdam on the northeast comer of the Markveld (Market-field, now Whitehall street) and Brouwer straat (Brewer street, now so Philipse Manor Hall Stone street). The lot was 6 rods and 9 feet long on the Markveld, 4 rods and 10 feet on Brouwer street, g rods, 9 feet and 4 inches on the east side, with a diagonal line for its northern boundary. This property, on which he lived for years, was directly opposite the eastern curtain of the fort; and was only 450 feet from the site on the water front at the foot of the Markveld upon which, that same year, Stuyves- ant built his house, later known as the White- hall. East of PhUipse on Brouwer street lived Burgomaster Olof Stevenson (sumamed Van Cortlandt), whose daughter Catharina he married. With this lot on the comer of Brouwer street and the Markveld as a beginning, he gradually acquired other properties. In 1662 he owned a lot on the Maagde Paatje (Maiden Lane), adjacent to Jan Jansen de Jongh's brewery. In 1666 he bought from Augustin Heermans some land and two houses, " to wit, the great house now occupied by Cornelius Aertsen and the little house now occupied by Pieter Stoutenburgh " situated " without the land-gate." The land- gate was the gate at Broadway in the city wall on the line of Wall street. These were only a few of the properties which he gradually accumulated by purchase and by foreclosure of mortgages and of which the tax lists give us occasional glimpses. In 1677, under the English regime, he was taxed 10 shillings on The Rise of a Great Merchant 51 his " new house " in the " Marketfield and Broadway " list. On another house in the same list, he was taxed 7 shillings; on two in Brewer street, 8 shillings and 14 shillings, respect- ively; and on a vacant lot, 35 feet front and 100 feet deep, on the Heere Graft (Broad street), 2 shillings. In 1688 he was building a house on one of the wharves near the ' ' old Dock. ' ' He was one of the earliest owners of the famous " No. i Broadway." During all these years he maintained his principal residence at the comer of the Market- field and Brewer street. In a list of the members of the Dutch church, in 1686, kept by the pastor, the Rev. Henricus Seljms, he is mentioned first in the roster of residents of Brewer street, and a directory of 1687 shows him at the same place. In fact, this place remained the hereditary city residence of the Lords of the Manor until the Revolution. (See page 155.) Meanwhile, the Brouwer straat of the Dutch and the Brewer street of the early English Period assumed, in consequence of a notable improvement, the new name of Stone street. On July 24, 1686, the Common Council voted that " the ground from the house of Frederick Philipse to the house of Lucas Kirstead, and from thence to the house of Widow Mathews and from the house of Thomas CrundeU to the said City Hall be by the several inhabitants paved from 52 Philipse Manor Hall the front of their houses nine foot deep into the street." The paving was done with cobble stones, and thus Philipse became identified with the first stone-paved street in the City of New York, as he was identified with many other " first " incidents in the city's history. Philipse's advancement in fortune was not due solely to his earnings as the Dutch West India Company's architect-carpenter or as a dealer in real estate. His genius as a trader made him the leading merchant of his day, and he was, in fact, not only the founder of Yonkers, but also one of the founders of commercial New York. Lands, mills, foreign trade, river trade and Indian trade, all brought wealth to his coffers. The records of the period are full of allusions to his dealings, and from them we learn the wide range of his transactions. Pipes of Spanish wine, brandies, " rom," Indian coats, horses, grain, wampum, bed pillows and bolsters, were among the articles in which he dealt, to which we may safely add all the staple goods of the period, including beaver skins and other furs received from the Indians in barter. His com- merce extended to Esopus and Albany on the north and to the South, or Delaware, river on the south. He took his pay in wheat, wampum, beaver skins, or whatever came most convenient. He also loaned money. When his customers could not pay, he would accommodate them by The Rise of a Great Merchant 53 taking as security their notes, or silverware, or clothing, or a mortgage on their houses. In a law-suit in 1664, Anneke Ryzen testified that she had a gown and petticoat in pawn with Frederick PhiKpse for a debt of 160 guilders. He also let out farms and draft cattle for hire and he received money on deposit. If he had lived in the twentieth century his talents woidd have distinguished him in Wall street. Not an inconsiderable part of his income was derived from speculation in wampum, or sewant, the Indian money which for a long time formed also the principal part of the currency of the early colonists, and the fluctuating value of which made it a profitable commodity for one who, Hke Philipse, was able to make a good " turn " on either a bull or bear market. Philipse bought the shell beads in bulk from the Indians, had them strung and sold them at the enhanced value which strtmg wampum commanded. The stringing of sewant was required by a law of 1650 because loose sewant was debased by the inter- mixture of beads that were broken, not per- forated or only half finished, and also by counter- feits made out of stone, bone, glass, mussel shells, horn, and even wood. Philipse employed women to string his sewant, as appears from a suit brought against him in January, 1665, by Adam Onckelbaugh, in behalf of his wife, for wages. Onckelbaugh claimed that 54 Philipse Manor Hall Philipse would not pay his wife as much as she received from others for stringing sewant. Phil- ipse claimed that she had agreed to string the shell beads at the rate of 4 guilders a hundred for the white and 2 guilders a hundred for the black. She, on the other hand, denied that she had made any such agreement and declared that her brother paid her at the rate of s guilders for the white and 2 guilders 10 stujrvers for the black. The court adjudged that Philipse should pay the latter price. Philipse made money not only by stringing wampum but also by investing in it and pro- fiting by its fluctuating value. In 1650, the value of good strung sewant was fixed at six white or three black beads to the stuyver. In 1658, the value had depreciated to eight white and four black sewants per stuyver. In 1662, the rate had further fallen to twelve beads to the stuyver. After the English conquest, the supply of sewant became so reduced that its value advanced 400 per cent, and some suc- cessful speculators made fortunes. In anticipa- tion of a still greater advance, those who cotild afford it bought all the sewant they could and waited for a rise. The foresighted Philipse had whole hogsheads ftdl of this shell money stored away in his store-houses at a time. The Rev. Charles Woolley, in his description of two years in New York, 1678-80, refers to " one Frederick The Rise of a Great Merchant 55 Philips, the richest Miin Heer in that place, who was said to have whole hogsheads of Indian money or wampam." All of which gives us an interesting insight, not only into the business affairs of the pioneer PhiHpse, but also into the now obsolete customs of that quaint and fas- cinating period of our history. The subscription lists and the tax lists of the period show the growth of Philipse's worldly possessions in comparison with his neighbors'. On October 13, 1655, two years after his authenti- cated appearance in the records of New Amster- dam, he made a voluntary subscription of 20 florins toward the repair of the defensive works of the city. These repairs were for protection against the Indians who had made an attack on the previous isth of September. The sub- scriptions, which aggregated 6,305 florins, ranged all the way from 150 florins, subscribed by Gov- ernor-General Stuyvesant, down to 4 florins. Some inhabitants gave a beaver valued at 8 florins, and some carpenters gave days' labor. PhiUpse's subscription of 20 florins indicates that even at that early period he had some resources, although they were small. By February, 1667, either his generosity or his means had increased in comparison with those of his neighbors, for his subscription of 24 florins toward the support of one of the min- isters that year was exceeded by only one other. 56 Philipse Manor Hall When in 1673, during the second Dutch regime, the real estate of the city was assessed, Philipse headed the list of 62 names. He was assessed at 80,000 guilders. The estate next was assessed at 50.000 guilders. Reckoning a guilder at 40 cents, he was then the richest citizen with a property valued at $32,000. In November, 1676, tmderthe English regime, he was taxed 81 poimds and 5 shillings for defray- ing the charges for the new dock and pajdng the city debt. The rate was i| pence per pound, which makes the assessed valuation of his property 13,000 pounds, or $65,000. At this valuation he still stood at the head of the list. The next largest property owner was Cornelius Steenwicke who was assessed on only 4,000 pounds; and there were only 16 other tax-payers who owned prop- erty worth 1,000 poimds or more. It is evident that at this time he derived a portion of his income from the city government, for on February 16, 1676-7, the city owed him 701 pounds and 2 shillings. Philipse's rank as a merchant at this period may be further estimated from the remarks of Governor Andros, who, in his report to the Lords of Plantations in 1678, said: "A merchant worth 1000 lbs. or 500 lbs. is accompted a good sub- stantiall merchant." Philipse's rise in the esteem of his fellow citizens was contemporaneous with his advance- The Rise of a Great Merchant 57 ment in wealth, and it is interesting to notice, as one goes through the musty records of the past, how " my carpenter Frederick Philipsen, " as Stuyvesant called him in 1658, became " Sieur Frederick Philipsen " in the eyes of the Mayor and Aldermen in 1666, and " De Heer Frederick Phillipse " in the opinion of Dominie Selyns in 1686. The favors of Philipse's fellow citizens were not confined, however, to business patronage and complimentary titles. His good judgment and executive ability were so conspicuous that they were soon called into requisition in positions of emolument and high honor. During both the Dutch and English regimes, he was frequently appointed by the courts as a referee in law-suits. For instance, when, in 1662, Symon Clazen Turck sued Reintje Pieters for payment for work done on the latter's yacht, the Court of Biu-go- masters and Schepens referred the matter to " Claas Tysen, navigator, and Frerick Flipsen, carpenter," to investigate and to reconcile the parties if possible. The next year he was ap- pointed referee in a similar case. In 1666 he had to arbitrate a drainage dispute. In 1668 he was foreman of a jury of arbitration. And doubtless he served in a similar capacity many other times. In 1666, when the Mayor and Aldermen elected him as one of the two City Surveyors, 58 Philipse Manor Hall he entered more distinctively upon his career as a public officer which was destined not to stop short of the Governor's Council. At the Mayor's court, January 23, 1671-2, upon nomination of the Governor, he was recommended for appoint- ment as a Xieutenant of the Third Company of Foot. In 1674 he became an Alderman, and served as a member of the Common Council for some years. In the same year, he received his first church honors, being appointed by Governor- General Colve one of the Wardens of the old dutch Church. It is evident that his reputation was not con- fined to the Province of New York, for he seems to have been well known in court circles at London. When the Duke of York issued his instructions to the newly appointed Governor Dongan, in September, 1682, the royal commis- sion directed Dongan, upon his arrival in New York, " to call together Fredericke Phillipps, Stephen Covirtland, and soe many more of the most eminent inhabitants of New Yorke, not exceeding tenn, to be of my CounciU." In the Governor's Council, Philipse served with dis- tinction several years. In 1684, he was recommended by the Mayor and Aldermen to the Governor for appointment as Mayor, but although his name headed the list of six names thus offered, Dongan passed over the heads of Philipse, Van Cortlandt and The Rise of a Great Merchant 59 two others, and appointed the fifth, Gabriel Minviel. When, upon the accession of William and Mary to the throne, Captain Leisler assumed the pro- tectorate of governmental affairs in New York, Philipse was a conspicuous figure. In the troubles that ensued, he was at first an anti-Leislerian, and Leisler appears to have reciprocated his lack of S3rmpathy, for Leisler told Philipse on one occasion that " if he should meet him again, the DiveU shottld take him"; but later Philipse appears to have accommodated himself to the de facto situation. During the excitement early in this period, an incident occurred which, while of minor importance in itself, shows the con- fidence which the conservative party had in Philipse. Colonel Bayard, inhisnarrativeof occur- rences in New York from April to December, i68g, says: " The Convention, considering that this currant of the people's furie was not to be stopt att present without hazard of great bloodshed, resolved to be passive — only desired the Cap- tains not to head their men during this rebellion; and ordered that the monny of the revenue and Cotmty Tax, etz., amounting to the summe of £773 . 12 then in the Tresury at ye fort should be removed at ye howse of Mr. ffrederick Phillips." The house of Philipse, as we have previously stated, was near the fort, and from his standing 6o Philipse Manor Hall in the community we may be sure it was a sub- stantial one. It was quite natural, therefore, that the Governor's Council should recommend that the Government funds be placed in the strong-boxes of so faithful a friend of the old order.* As Philipse was named as a CoundUor in the royal commission of Governor Dongan, so, in 1692, he was similarly named in the royal com- mission of Governor Fletcher, and served under him with the same distinction as that which had characterized his previous service in next to the highest office in gift of the Crown. No inconsiderable factor in Philipse's advance- ment in fortune was his marriage in 1662 to Margaret Hardenbrook, widow of Peter Rudolphus De Vries. She possessed both beauty and education, and in addition had a great talent for business. She accompanied De Vries on his excursions as a fur-trader, and as she had her own ships to carry the peltries to the Netherlands, she and her husband secured all the profit in the trade without the deductions of middle men. * A book printed in 1907, referring to the Philipse house at Sleepy Hollow, says: " Flypse-his-castle was a very large afifair in its day. Its proprietor was one who had the reputation of being the best housed man in the colony. So strong had this impression become that, in 1689, a popular demand was made that the puhUc money of New York (amounting to £773. 12 s) be removed from the fort to Flypse's house." The identification of the Sleepy Hollow house with the incident referred to is erroneous. The Rise of a Great Merchant 6i She bought and sold on her own account, and often went to Holland to look after the affairs of herself and her commercial associates. The Labadists, Bankers and Sluyter, who visited New York in 1679, came from the Netherlands with Dame Margaret on one of her trips "in the small flute-ship called the Charles, of which Thomas Singleton was Master; but the superior Authority over both Ship and Cargo was in Margaret FiHpse, who was the owner of both." In their well-known journal, the Labadists refer to the " terrible parsimony of Margaret." When De Vries died, and her own possessions were enlarged by her inheritance, she was a very rich woman and a very desirable business partner as well as wife for Frederick Phihpse. An educated woman herself, she took her children to Europe and gave them a thorough education, thus strengthening them for the commanding position in Colonial affairs, which, as a family, they were destined to occupy. CHAPTER V THE MAKING OF A MANOR TN thus following the mercantile and political * career of this really remarkable figure, we have been carried past the point at which he first became identified with the Manor Hall site, and must now revert to the year 1672 when, having nearly if not quite reached the position of the wealthiest man in the Colony, his ambition for a larger estate began to be realized in his pur- chase of a one-third interest in the old Yonkers Plantation. His partners in this purchase, it will be remembered, were Thomas Lewis and Thomas Delaval. Their purchase included not only the land, but also the buildings on the mill-site at what is now Yonkers. Between 1646 and 1652, as we have seen in a preceding chapter. Van der Donck had erected here a saw-mill and laid out a plantation, and when Philipse, Lewis and Delaval came into possession November 29, 1672, there was a rurming business here, including a grist-mill. During the next two years, the mill property passed into the control of Philipse, as appears from a very interesting law-suit brought in the Court of the Schout, Btirgomasters and Schepens, held in the City Hall of New Orange (as New York was called during the temporary (62) The Making of a Manor 63 resumption of Dutch tenuie) on August 21, 1674. The plaintiff was Martin Hardwyn, a miller, who sued Frederick Philipse and Thomas Lewis, jointly at first, for discharging him from their employ without cause before his term had ex- pired. Hardwyn claimed that he had been hired for a year as their miller at their water-mill, at the rate of 800 florins a year, and that after he had been with them a short time they discharged him without cause. At first, he claimed only three months' wages, but later demanded 802 florins " for damage suffered, the loss of time, [and] the affront thereby afflicted on him by the Deft, with costs." The defendants claimed that they hired Hardwjni on his representations that he was a capable miller, but that he nevertheless knew little or nothing of the business; and that on account of complaints of his incapacity they discharged him. The miller offered to prove by various witnesses that the null was out of order, previous to his emplojmient; that he put it in order, and that thereupon it ground good flour. The case ran along until October 2 of that year, when the case appears as that of " Marten Hardwyn, Plt'f ; ffrederic PhilHpsen, Deft." On that date the court condemned Philipse to pay the sum of 200 florins, " for that he hath dis- charged the plaintiff without any legitimate cause from his engagement and for the affront, loss of time, etc., caused to the plaintiff; and 64 PhiUpse Manor Hall respecting the costs incurred, it is ordered that the defendant shall pay the costs of the appear- ance of the Secretary and Messengers, and for the remaining costs, the plaintiff shall assume them." The foregoing case is interesting because, as the only water-mill in which PhiUpse and Lewis had a joint interest was that on the Neperhan, the suit refers directly to the Manor Hall miU- site. It shows that in 1674 there had been a mill there so long that it was dilapidated and had to be repaired before it would grind good flour; and that there was enough of a settlement there and tributary to it to make the incompetence of a miUer the cause of serious complaint. And lastly, the naming of Philipse as the sole defendant at the close of the suit indicates, that he had a predominating if not an exclusive interest in the mill-site twelve years before he acquired title to the whole Lewis interest in Yonkers Plantation. This has an interesting bearing on the subject of the probable age of the Manor Hall. On June 10, 1682, Thomas Delaval devised his third interest to his son, John Delaval. On Feb- ruary 19, 1684, Governor Dongan confirmed unto Philipse, Delaval, and Geertje Lewis (widow of Thomas Lewis) their interest in all the old Van der Donck property except what was called Lower Yonkers — the latter being a large tract bordering on Spuyten Duyvil creek which Elias The Making of a Manor 65 Doughty appears to have conveyed to William Betts, George Tippett and Joseph Heddy. On August 27, 1685, John Delaval deeded his interest in the Upper Yonkers property to Frederick Philipse, and on June 12, 1686, the heirs of Thomas Lewis, deceased, deeded to Philipse their third interest, thus bringing the whole of the Upper Yonkers property into the latter's pos- session. While the bulk of Van der Donck's colony was thus drifting into Philipse's hands, Philipse was extending his possessions to the northward. In 1680, he bought from the Indians the property on the Pocantico; on December 10, 1681, the adjacent land south to the Bisightick in Mount Pleasant; on April 13, 1682, from the Bisightick south to the Wysquaqua (Dobbs Ferry) ; and on September 6, 1682, from the Wysquaqua south to the great rock Sigghes marking the northern boundary of the Yonkers Plantation. On Aug- ust 24, 1685, he bought from the Indians the land between his Pocantico property and the Kitchawan creek, or Croton river. His lands now reached from Croton river (the southern boundary of what later became Cortlandt Manor), down to the northern botmdary of Lower or Little Yonkers. It was not until Philipse received by his Royal Charter of June 12, 1693, a grant to the neck of land called Paparinemin at Spuyten Duyvil 66 Philipse Manor Hall creek in Lower Yonkers, and on January 22, 1694, bought from Matthias Buckhout the fifty acres called George's Point (now Van Cortlandt Park), that the chain of his possessions from Spujrten Duyvil creek to Croton river, a dis- tance of 22 miles, was complete. Early in the history of his possession of the Yonkers property, Philipse is believed to have built a part of the building which later became the Manor HaU of Philipse Manor. We have reserved for another chapter the discussion of the interesting and by no means simple problem of the precise age of the building. At the mouth of the Pocantico, soon after his purchase there, he erected miUs which, in the course of time, came to be known as the Upper Mills, while those at Yonkers were called the Lower Mills.* To these two places the tenants brought their grain to be groimd into flour and meal for themselves and for use in the incipient metropolis on Manhattan Island. The erection of the Sleepy Hollow mill precipi- tated a controversy which had been of several years' standing with the Colony of Connecticut — a controversy which was of great importance to the parties involved and in the settlement of which Philipse took a conspicuous part. This * " Lower Mills " and " Lower Yonkers " are not synonymous. The Lower Mills were at the present City of Yonkers. Lower Yonkers, or LittleYonkers, bordered on Spujrten Dujrvil creek. The Making of a Manor 67 involved no less a question than the location of the boundary line between New York and Con- necticut, and, indirectly, the whole boundary between New York and New England. On December i, 1664, soon after the English conquest, the boundary Hne between New York and Connecticut was adjudicated to run from the mouth of the Mamaroneck river north-north-west to the Massachusetts line. In those days, the ideas of the colonists about the extent of their territories, the location of their boundaries and the points of the compass with relation thereto, were extremely vague. Massachusetts was be- lieved by many to extend westward indefinitely, and it was thought by the' Connecticut people that a line drawn north-north-west from the mouth of the Mamaroneck river would cross the Hudson somewhere south of Tarrjrtown and strike the southern botindary of Massachusetts somewhere west of the river. Such appears to have been the conception of the Governor and General Court of Connecticut in 1682, for on May II in that year, they addressed to Capt. Anthony BrockhoUs,* Lieutenant-Governor of New York, the following complaint: " May it Please yo'' Honour : Wee your firiends and Neighbours, the Govemo'' and General! Assembly of his Ma*'^ CoUony of Connecticutt, * Whose daughter Philipse's grandson Frederick, Second Lord of the Manor, subsequently married. 68 PhiUpse Manor Hall Haveing had att otir prsent Session had Infor- macon and Complaint made unto us that Sundry p'^sons under your Jurisdiction, and Perticularly M'' fErederick Phillips, Have Errected Lately and are Errecting Certains Mills and Other Edifices and makeing Improvements of Lands within the Limits of the Towneship of Rye and to the Bounds of this his Ma*'^ Collony of Connecticutt neere unto Hudson's River, Aledging to such as have Questioned with them thereabout that they Doe itt by Virtue of a Pattent or Pattents or Other Allowances from the Govemo'" of his High^ Terri- tory of New Yorke, the Consideracon Hereof hath Given us this Occassion to Signify Hereby the Same unto your Honour "... The letter then goes on to say that they enclose a copy of a former agreement concerning the boundary, in which they claim that it is stated that a line running north-north-west from the Mamaroneck River to the Massachusetts line was to be the boundary between them, that the line has been surveyed from Mamaroneck to the Hudson river and they find that it runs to the southward and westward of the places where the edifices, mills and purchases were,* and that Robert Ryder of New York svirveyed the line for Sir Edmund Andros and found it to run even nearer the sea than the Connecticut surveyors. The Connecticut Government therefore asked * The line was inaccurately surveyed. A true line running north-north-west from the mouth of the Mamaro- neck river would have fallen considerably above Philipse's upper mills. The Making of a Manor 69 Governor Brockholls to cause all such proceedings as were complained of to cease and to allow the Connecticut Government to exercise jurisdiction over those parts. Governor Brockholls replied in effect that he did not recognize the Connecticut claim and if the Connecticut people persisted in making trouble over the matter he would tell his Royal Master. When Governor Dongan arrived the next year, his royal commission directed him to settle the boundary controversy and he appointed Phihpse as one of the Commissioners to negotiate with the Connecticut representatives on the subject. The result of these negotiations was a compromise by which the boundary was finally fixed as at present. Subsequently, the remainder of the boimdary between New York and New England was adjusted on the basis of the Con- necticut settlement. Thus we find the impress of Frederick Philipse on the lines that limit the jurisdictions of four States. PhiUpse's natural powers of diplomacy, which enabled him to act with so much success as an arbitrator in cases brought before the Court of the Schout, Burgomasters and Schepens of New Amsterdam and later in setting the boundary dispute with Connecticut, appear also to have served him well in his relations with the Indians. His valuable property at Yonkers was never 70 Philipse Manor Hall _ attacked by the natives, so far as the records show, although there were occasional alarms from more remote sources. In 1689, several French canoes landed on Philipse's property, and the news which the voyageurs brought of the designs of the Indians upon the English settle- ments greatly alarmed the tenants. When these stories were told to Philipse, however, he laughed at the fears of his tenants and found no Uttle difficulty in calming them. While it is probable that in these primitive days Philipse spent more time in New York, where his great mercantile interests were cen- tered, than at Yonkers, yet he made frequent visits to his property on the Neperhan — some- times on horseback, sometimes by boat — now to reassure his frightened tenants upon some Indian alarm, and again to supervise his mills and plantations; and so the years rolled on until his faithful spouse Margariet died in 1691. At this jimcture it was probably well for Philipse that the critical state of public affairs diverted his thoughts from his personal bereave- ment. Rumors of the disafEection of the Iro- quois Indians and renewed rumors of the approach of the hostile French and Indians from Canada caused Governor Sloughter in May, 1691, to go to Albany to confer with the New York Indians. In this emergency he appointed Frederick Philipse and Nicholas Bayard to act as com- The Making of a Manor 71 manders-in-chief in New York City in his ab- sence. Two commanders-in-chief sounds anom- alous in these modem days, but it appears to have required more commanders-in-chief to run little old New York than are required to run big modem New York. It was during the incum- bency of Philipse and Bayard in 1691 that the Indians attacked Block Island. The records of May, 1692, when military preparations were still actively being made, are full of certificates given by Philipse and W. NicoUs for pork, beef, bread, strouds, shirts, duffles, powder and money received for the public service. In 1692, having somewhat recovered from his grief at the loss of his wife, Philipse again ven- tured into matrimony with even more conspic- uous success than before; and again, with a partiality for widows which would have shocked Samuel Weller, took unto himself for better or for worse — it proved to be for better — the relict of the late John Derval. This lady was no other than Catherine, daughter of OlofE Stephanus Van Cortlandt, his old neighbor in the Brouwers straat of New Amsterdam. She was yoimg and pretty, had a sweet disposition and charming manner, and soon ingratiated herself with the tenants of the great Philipse estate by her gen- erous benevolence. In the year after her marriage to Philipse occurred an important event which gave her the 72 Philipse Manor Hall title of " Lady " and her husband the title of " Lord," converted the Philipse estate into a " Manor, " and gave to the family residence at Yonkers the designation of the Manor House, which it has borne ever since. This event was the granting of the Royal Charter on June 12, 1693, in the name of William and Mary, erecting Philipse's possessions " into a Lordship or Manor of Philipsborough in free and common soccage according to the tenure of our Manor of East Greenwich within our County of Kent in our realm of England, yielding, rendering and paying therefor, yearly and every year, on the feast day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at our fort at New York, unto us, otir heirs and successors, the annual rent of £4 12 s. current money of our said Province." This same Charter granted Philipse the right to erect a toll-bridge across the Spujrten Duyvil creek and prescribed that it should be called King's Bridge — a name which has continued to this day. As a consequence of this license to build the King's Bridge, every New Yorker who wanted to go off the island onto the continent or from the continent onto the island had to drop into his Lordship's contribution box " three pence current money of New York for each man and horse that shall pass the said bridge in the day time, and three pence current money aforesaid for each head of neat cattle that shall pass the The Making of a Manor 73 same; and twelve pence current money aforesaid for each score of hogs, calves and sheep that shall pass the same; and nine pence current money aforesaid for every boat, vessel or canoe that shall pass the said bridge and cause the same to be drawn up; and for each coach, cart or sledge or wagon that shall pass the same, the sum of nine pence current money aforesaid; and after sunset, each passenger that shall pass said bridge shall pay two pence current money afore- said; each man and horse, six pence; each head of neat cattle, six pence; each score of hogs, calves and sheep, two shillings; for each boat, or vessel, or canoe, one shilling and six pence; for each coach, cart, waggon, or sledge, one shilling and six pence, cturent money aforesaid. ' ' In this way everybody who went to or from New York had to pay tribute to the Lord of Philipse Manor. Descendants of old New York families, who may possibly discern in the enlarged Manor Hall the embodiment of some of the money which they never inherited from their ancestors, may be pardoned if they take a peculiar interest in the preservation of this interesting structtire. It has been hinted that as the seventeenth century drew near its close, Philipse's foreign commerce was not confined within the most rigid limits of legitimate trade. The fact was that at that time privateering was pretty generally winked at by the authorities, and probably most 74 Philipse Manor Hall of the leading merchants did not consider little side ventures of this sort a very grave derelic- tion. But the charges in regard to Philipse appear to be somewhat nebulous. In 1687, Gov- ernor Dongan frankly assured the Lords of Trade that he did not believe that Philipse was engaged in any illicit trade. In 1698 a complaint was made to His Majesty's Commissioners of Trade and Plantations that Philipse sent out from New York, in charge of his son Adolphus, a ship, or sloop, named " Frederick," ostensibly for Vir- ginia, but really to cruise at sea and meet a ship from Madagascar. Upon meeting the latter, it was alleged, the " Frederick " received great parcels of East India goods and sailed for Dela- ware Bay, where she lay privately, while the Madagascar vessel, now having nothing but negroes aboard, sailed for New York. Later, it was said, the Madagascar vessel sailed for Dela- ware Bay and received part of the East India goods, and, by PhiHpse's direction, sailed for Hamburg. At the latter place some seizures were made and the crew was sent to London. The charge of trading with pirates is based on the depositions of the latter. The Lords of Plan- tations do not appear to have taken a very severe view of this charge, for in 1698 they passed no stronger strictures upon Philipse than to say that it did " not look well " for him to be employ- ing men of such character. The Making of a Manor 75 As plants and vines, sown in nature's mys- terious ways, spring from the cracks and crevices of old buildings, so mysterious growths of folk- lore and tradition cluster spontaneously around this old Manor House. One of the stories told about it is that when Philipse was consorting with pirates — the story assumes that he did consort with pirates — he was accustomed to bring his contraband goods by sloop to the mouth of the Neperhan, convey them secretly by an underground passage into the cellar of the Manor House, and conceal them there until a favorable opportunity presented itself for their sale. Imaginative people who enjoy " creepy " stories may believe this if they will. Their pleasure may be increased by recalling that Captain William Kidd, " the Pirate Chief," was a contemporary and fellow townsman of Philipse. Kidd lived in Hanover Square, New York, and married a New York woman in 1692, the same year in which Philipse married his second wife. He was an eminently respectable citizen of the infant metropolis at that time and Philipse probably knew him. But Philipse did enough that was creditable to give him a place in history without weaving about his memory legends of piracy. And his house on the Neperhan had enough to make it a con- spicuous landmark without claiming for it the darksome distinction of having been a depository 76 Philipse Manor Hall for illegitimate merchandise. At this period, the stone house must have been the principal land- mark of that region. It stood on the north side of the Neperhan river, about 300 feet from the mouth of that stream and about 300 feet west of the old Albany Post Road. The latter was the great historic thoroughfare from New York to Albany, and crossed the Neperhan by means of a bridge which was known for a centiury as Philipse's Bridge. A pictiure of the place at this time would have shown little change from natural conditions. Conspicuous on the hill was the mansion; near- by, the bridge, the mill-dam and the mill with its great revolving wheel, and a few houses for workmen and tenants. To the north and east were hills and rocky steeps, fenceless intervals, and little dells, covered with forests, shrubs, stunted grass and wild flowers. To the south was the splashing Neperhan and beyond it the hills; and to the west, the Hudson and the columned Palisades. To the east of the mansion, between it and the Post Road, were the lawn and garden paths. Commanding a view of the traffic going up and down the river on one side and up and down the old Post Road on the other, life in the Philipse Mansion cotild not have been without its diver- sions, notwithstanding its comparative remote- ness. Occasionally, travelers by water ran their The Making of a Manor 77 sloops or canoes up into the mouth of the Neper- han and made a temporary halt here. In addi- tion to the sight of the passers-by, many of the wayfarers by land stopped at the mansion to inquire the distance to the next settlement, to get refreshment for man and beast, or to exchange the news of the day. Sometimes the Manor House was the scene of elaborate hospitality, and in summer. Governors and their satellites and the leading citizens of New York, gayly attired, might have been seen riding a-horseback along the old Post Road up and down the hills and valleys of Manhattan and Westchester county, botmd for the country house of the First Lord. It is not difficult to imagine how Philipse appeared on occasions like these as he moved among the guests and exchanged dignified salu- tations. He was a tall and well-proportioned man; had a quiet gray eye, a Roman nose, and a firm set mouth. Dressed with punctilious care in the costume of the period with full embroidery, lace cuffs, etc., and head surmounted with im- pressive periwig and flowing ringlets, he moved with a slow and measured step, which gave him an air of dignity. In temperament, he was grave and melancholy, and so reticent as to be re- garded dull; and while intelligent, shrewd almost to craftiness, and the possessor of remarkable abilities in many directions, he did not possess the cultvire which his successors manifested. 78 Philipse Manor Hall But however reserved and taciturn the Lord of the Manor might have been, his vivacious Lady and the lively cheer which she served from cellar and pantry made ample amends; and the melancholy of the Master of the House was conspicuously absent from the demeanor of the guests when they set forth on their return to the city. While the little colony clustering around the Manor House was thriving and growing, Philipse also developed his interests at the mouth of the Pocantico. There also he erected a stone man- sion and there he built the Sleepy Hollow church. Upon the stone mansion, known as " Philipse's Castle," is a modern bronze tablet reading as follows: " Castle Philipse. / This House was built / about 1683 by / Frederick Philipse / First Lord of the Manor of / Philipsburgh. / The Manor Was Granted in / 1693 / by Governor Fletcher. / Placed by the Colonial Dames / of the State of New York / M C M V I " The old church at Sleepy HoUow is believed to be the oldest ecclesiastical edifice in the State, and is one of the antiquarian ctiriosities of the Hudson valley. An old stone slab on the church says that it was " Erected / by / Frederick Philips / and / Catharine Van Cortlandt / his Wife. / 1699," but Mrs. Phil- ipse, in her will, gives her husband credit for The Making of a Manor 79 building it.* It is qtdte probable, however, that she took an active personal interest in the construction of the church, and it is said that during its progress she was accustomed to ride up from New York or from Yonkers mounted on a pillion behind her favorite brother. Jacobus Van Cortlandt-t The records of the church bear testimony to the virtues of Lady Catharine in these words: * In her will she refers to " the Dutch Church erected and built at Philipsburgh by my late husband, Frederick Philipse,. deceased." t Jacobus Van Cortlandt married " Eva Philipse," adopted daughter of Frederick Philipse, May 31, 1691. In 1699, Philipse conveyed to Van Cortlandt 50 acres of land near Spuyten Duyvil creek which was part of the old Van der Donck property, and which, after passing through the possession of Elias Doughty and Joseph Heddy to Matthias Buckhout, Philipse had bought from the latter in 1694. This property was commonly called and known as " the old Younckers." Later, it came to be known as " Little or Lower Yonkers." Upon this property, Jacobus Van Cortlandt's son, Frederick Van Cortlandt, built a large stone dwelling which, according to the latter's will, dated October 2, 1749, he was then " about finishing." This house stands in Van Cortlandt Park, New York City. It is owned by the City and leased to the Colonial Dames, who have converted it into a colonial museum. Over 150,000 persons a year visit this interesting relic. Upon it is a tablet reading as follows: " Cortlandt House. / Built by Frederick Van Cort- landt / MDCCXLVIII. / Placed in the custody of the / Colonial Dames of the State / of New York MDCCCXCVI. / Opened by them as a pubhc museum / MDCCCXCVII. / This large estate has been held / continuously by the descendants / of Jacobus Van Cort- landt who /was bom in 1658. Mayor of the / City 1719 Until Purchased for a / Public Park MDCCCLXXXIX. / Virtutes Majorum Filiae Conservant." See note on page 233. 8o Philipse Manor Hall "First and before all, the right honorable, God-fearing, very wise and prudent My Lady Catherine Philipse, widow of the late Lord Fred- erick Philipse of blessed memory, who promoted service here in the highest, praiseworthy man- ner. Thus we see the Manor House connected by historical events, not only with Castle Philipse and Sleepy Hollow church on the north, but also on the south with the Van Cortlandt Mansion in Van Cortland Park and King's Bridge — the latter being the first substantial link that con- nected Manhattan Island with the mainland. Philipse's force and independence of character are illustrated in the closing years of his life by the courage with which he criticised the King's representative. I'he dislike of the latter for him is reflected in a letter which the Earl of Bello- mont wrote in 1699 from Boston to the Lords of Trade, saying that he did not intend to return to New York because he was " discouraged from going thither to be affronted and have the King's authority trampled on." Apparently among those who, in Bellomont's estimation, trampled on the King's authority were Philipse, Livingston, and some others, for in the same letter he recommended that the large land grants to " our Palatines Smith, Livingston, Phillips (father and son), and six of seven more " be " broke " by act of Parliament, for he was The Making of a Manor 8i jealous that he had not strength enough in the Assembly of New York to break them. " The members of Assembly there are landed men," said he, " and when their own interest comes to be touched, 'tis more than probable they will flinch." He thought that an act of Parliament requiring that no man in the Province should hold more than i,ooo acres would "mightily reduce " Philipse and the others mentioned. No such act, however, was passed, and the First Lord of the Manor was in full possession of his great estate when he died in 1702. It is a curious contrast of fate that the First Lord of the Manor, who was contumacious of the King's authority, succeeded in keeping his estate, while the Third Lord of the Manor, as will be seen later, lost it because of his loyalty to the King. CHAPTER VI THE MANOR SYSTEM THE Manor of Philipsborough, or Philipse Manor as it was called for convenience, was one of several great Manors erected in the State of New York during the English period.* Some of them, like Philipse Manor, succeeded patroonships of the Dutch period, and some, like Pelham Manor, were confirma- tions of land grants made before the date of erection into Manors. In nine of them the tenure was that of the Royal Manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent, England, and the grantees were allowed to hold Court Leet and Cotirt Baron. Those nine Manors, in the order of their erection as such, were as follows: The Manor of Fordham, granted to John Archer November 13, 167 1; the Manor of Fox Hall, near Kingston, granted to Thomas Cham- bers October 16, 1672; the Manor of Rensselaer- wyck, granted to Kihaen Van Rensselaer Novem- ber 4, 1685; the Manor of Livingston, granted to * These historic old Manors are not to be confused with the tracts of recently improved real estate in the vicinity of New York City which are called " Manors " by their enterprising projectors. In the modem craze for high- sounding and alluring nomenclature there is nothing more meaningless than this fictitious use of the word " Manor." (82) The Manor System 83 Robert Livingston Jxily 22, 1686; the Manor of Pelham, granted to Thomas Pell October 25, 1687; the Manor of Philipsborough, granted to Frederick Philipse June 12, 1693; the Manor of Morrisania, granted to Lewis Morris May 8, 1697; the Manor of Cortlandt, granted to Stephanus Van Cortlandt Jvine 17, 1697; and the Manor of Scarsdale, granted to Caleb Heath- cote March 21, 1701. The early records of the State also contain references to at least seven other Manors, the exact status of which it is impracticable to ascertain owing to the loss or inaccessibility of original records. Five of them were the Manor of Gardiner's Island, at the eastern end of Long Island, granted to the Earl of Sterling March 10, 1639 ; the Manor of Plumme Island, consisting of Plum Island and GuU Island, granted to Samuel Willes April 2, 1675 ; the Manor of Cassil- town (Castleton) on Staten Island, granted to John Palmer March 20, 1687; the Manor of Saint George in Suffolk Cotinty, granted to William Smith October 5, 1693 ; and the Manor of Bentley, sometimes called BiUopp Manor, on Staten Island, granted to Christopher BiUopp May 6, 1687.* Another, called Fischers Manor, appears north of Newburgh on Cadwallader Colden's Map of Manor and Grants. And * These five are listed as " Manors of the Colonial Per- iod " in French's " Gazetteer of the State of New Vork." 84 Philipse Manor Hall another called Queens Manor, on Long Island, granted to the Lloyd family, is mentioned in early documents about the year 1697. As a representative of the Manor system, Philipse Manor Hall stands for a very interest- ing and, in its day, a very useful and beneficent institution which has contributed more than most people realize to the social and political progress of the English-speaking race. It is true that the United States has entirely outgrown the manorial system and in England it has become almost obsolete, except so far as the customs developed and rights acquired under that system have become ingrafted in oiu- common law; but the Manor Hall should be cherished, never- theless, and the institution of which it reminds us should be held in grateful remembrance for the good that was in it. Not to do so, because the feudal idea which it recalls is inconsistent with modem American ideas, would be extremely narrow-minded; and would be on a par with pulling down the Jamestown church tower because it was built when the Protestant Episco- pal church in America was a State church, and because the connection of chiurch and State is inconsistent with American ideas; or destroying the famous London tower because it is a memento of mediaeval oppression which England has long outgrown; or pulling down the Coliseum because the old-time gladiatorial combats are repugnant The Manor System 85 to modem ideas; or overthrowing the obelisks and dynamiting the pj^amids because one of the Pharaohs oppressed the Children of Israel. Such a course cotild be approved only by one who could see nothing interesting or sublime or instructive in those monuments of the past — nothing interesting in their antiquity, nothing sublime in their architecture, nothing instructive in their history. And yet what are they? They are milestones in human progress. They are objects by which we compare different stages of human growth and appreciate the advancement of civilization. They are souvenirs of the childhood, youth and young manhood of the race. To appreciate what the Manor system was in relation to other institutions of its own and earlier times, we must forget the tremendous advance made in democratic ideas throughout the world since the American Revolution, and throw ourselves back into the environment of the centuries during which the Manor system flourished. The Manor should be regarded somewhat in the same light as we contemplate Magna Charta, for instance. Why is it that we Americans and all other Anglo-Saxons take pride iiji Magna Charta? Of course we love our Declaration of Independence; but next to it, and perhaps equal with it, we rank Magna Charta. And why? Why do we take such pride in that 86 Philipse Manor Hall document signed by King John and the Barons 561 years before our Declaration of Independence? Government by Barons is not in harmony with American ideas. Magna Charta was wrested from King John by the Barons for the protection of their baronial rights, and yet we continue to point with pride to that document as the first great charter of Anglo-Saxon liberties. We commend the Barons at Runnemede because in securing Magna Charta they brought the power of government down from the autocrat one step nearer to the people. Magna Charta, taken literally as it reads, is nine-tenths obsolete to-day. Even when translated into English, we can hardly understand much of it because of its allusions to obsolete customs and usages. But it was a great intermediate step in the evolution of democratic government. The Manor system of government occupies a similar intermediate place in the historical development of Anglo-Saxon institutions. It was not so democratic as our American system, but it was more democratic than the arbitrary govern- ment of an absolute monarch. It provided for a measitre of local self-government and it safe- guarded many popular rights from encroachment by the King. If we are grateful to the Barons of Runnemede, we should also be appreciative of the Lords of the Manors. The Manor System 87 The old English Manor was originally a grant of land from the Crown to the Lord of the Manor. The latter had two classes of tenants, called freeholders and copyholders. The freeholders were those to whom the Lord sold land outright. The freeholders, however, remained a part of the Manor as a political unit. The other part of his land the Lord retained as his own and it was called his demesne, or domain. His demesne was cultivated by the other class of tenants called in ancient times " villeins." Originally they could not leave the land and their service was obligatory. They were allowed to cultivate portions of the land for their own use, however. This was at first occupation at the pleasure of the Lord of the Manor; but after a while it grew into a qualified right, recognized first by custom and finally by law. This form of tenure is called " copy-hold," as distinguished from " free- hold." When a copyholder conveys his land to another, even to-day, he surrenders it to the Lord of the Manor, and pays him the customary fine or transfer tax, and the Lord of the Manor then grants the land to the person nominated by the late tenant.* The Lord, as legal owner of the fee of the land, has a right to all the mines and minerals in it and to the timber growing upon it, * See the actual practice in Philipse Manor mentioned on page 115. 88 Philipse Manor Hall even if the tenant planted the trees.* Another manorial obligation, and one of the most vexa- tious, is called the " heriot." Under this name the Lord is entitled to seize the tenant's best beast or other chattel upon the tenant's death. In quite recent times articles of great value have been seized as heriots. In one case, a racehorse worth $10,000 or $15,000 was thus seized. In ancient times the Lord of the Manor also enjoyed certain singular privileges with the bride in the case of every wedding among his tenants, but these privileges have long fallen into disuse. In return for the privileges which the Lord of the Manor enjoyed he had to render a very substantial return to his tenants in the privileges which he guaranteed to them and was bound to protect. Among the most valuable of these rights were those of the courts. In the Charter of the Manor of PhiHpsborough, Frederick Philipse was granted power to hold Court Leet and Court Baron as often as he saw fit. The Court Leet was composed of free- holders, presided over by the Lord of the Manor or his steward. It was the center of local juris- diction and under the control of the Royal Government. The Coiut Baron was an entirely local court held by the Lord and composed of the freeholders of the Manor for the redressing of * See reference on page 186 to the unextinguished mineral rights of Philipse Manor, The Manor System 89 misdemeanors and the settlement of disputes amoi^ the tenants. In the old English Manors the copyhold or villein tenants were not members of the Court Baron, but approached the court as petitioners; and the records of this court constituted the villein's title to his land. When the freeholders and copyholders thus came together it constituted what was called the Customary Court, and as the customs of different Manors varied, the condition of landholding in them varied. Hence the specification in the Royal Charter of Philips- borough that it was according to the customs of the Royal Manor of East Greenwich ia Kent. This clause, referring to the privileges of the Royal Manor of East Greenwich, in Kent, has particular significance and deserves a few words of explanation. When England was conquered by the Normans, the Saxon kingdom of Kent was the first to submit peaceably to the Con- queror, in recognition of which William the Conqueror confirmed its inhabitants in all their ancient laws and Uberties. These privileges were more liberal than those of any other part of Eng- land, so much so that the common law of Kent was different from the common law of the rest of the kingdom. One of these privileges was " free socage tenure " as distinguished from feudal tenure by kn^ht's service. The Royal Manor of East Greenwich was in this privileged territory go Philips e Manor Hall of Kent and had never been subjected to the feudal military tenure introduced by William the Conqueror. Furthermore, feudal military tenures had been abolished by the famous act of 1660, so that between the repeal of military tenures in the reign of Charles II and the express terms of the grant to Frederick Philipse, the Manor system here represented a greatly ad- vanced stage in the evolution of this institution. It was, in fact, so far advanced, that it was nearer to the modem democratic system which suc- ceeded it than it was to the ancient feudal system from which it was evolved. Indeed, the Manors in New York State were not feudal Manors in the strictest sense of the word, although they were a relic of the feudal system and contained some of its features. Without entering into further particulars, we may say that the Manor system lasted for ages because it was established on the ground of mutual interest. The theoretical disabilities of serfdom were mitigated by customs and practical considerations which were in a constant state of progression until they have evolved into the modem laws of England and America. The safety of the villein class lay in the authority of customary law, which, evolved by the local courts themselves, kept close touch with the development of the common law. Just as the Anglo-Saxon people outgrew Magna Charta and The Manor System 91 adopted a new Declaration of Independence, so we have outgrown the baronial and manorial customs and have adopted the forms of modem democracy. But so long as we cherish the memory of Magna Charta as one of the great historic stepping-stones to our present state of enfranchisement, we are justified in cherishing the memory of the old Manor system and pre- serving its visible reminder in Yonkers. Human government is not yet perfect. The present generation is doing the best it can in its day; and as it hopes that a more advanced posterity will hold its present-day efforts in respect, it should not be delinquent in its respect for those institu- tions which have helped to its present estate. It may not be without interest to mention, in passing, a distinction which was made in England in olden times between the terms " Manor House " and " Manor Hall." The Manor House, in England, was the principal house in connection with the demesne lands of the Manor. Among other business transacted in it was that of the manorial courts. It did not follow, however, that the Lord of the Manor lived in the Manor House. He may have done so; but if his estates were very extensive, or if, as sometimes happened, a single proprietor owned fifteen or twenty Manors, there would be a Manor House in each Manor, situated for the convenient transaction of manorial affairs, and the Lord would live in a 92 Philipse Manor Hall large building called the Manor Hall. The First Lord of Philipse Manor was probably an absentee landlord much of the time on account of his pre- dominating mercantile Interests in New York City. During that period, it is generally believed, the two stone dwellings were built in the Manor, one on the Neperhan and one on the Pocantico. Both of these structures might with propriety be called Manor Houses, according to the old English custom. By the same criterion, when the Yonkers house later became the principal residence of the Lord of the Manor, it also became the Manor Hall. In this book we have used the terms interchangeably. It should also be explained that the title Lord of the Manor was a purely territorial title and not a title of nobility. It was not a personal honor conferred by the Crown and did not make the Lord of the Manor a peer. Having considered the Manor Hall as repre- tative of an institution, we may now consider the particular associations with this building in Yonkers which give it additional local interest. We might easily reason from analogy that it is intimately connected with our local history. It is doubtful if there is a Manor Hall standing in England which has not played a part in the history of that realm. Some of them we can coimect with our American history. To the old Hall in the village of Washington, north of Dur- The Manor System 93 ham, we can trace the origin of the name and family of our Washington. In the Sulgrave Manor Hall a later generation of Washington's ancestors lived at a time when they filled positions of conspicuous influence in local and national affairs. The Hall in Gainsborough, a fine speci- men of the Baronial Manor, standing on the site of King Canute's palace, is saturated with local and national traditions. Scrooby Manor Hall, situated on that famous thoroughfare from Lon- don to the north of England, called the Great North Road, just as PhiUpse Manor Hall is situated on the great North Road of this State from New York to Albany, was a favorite stop- ping-place of Henry the Eighth and other digni- taries on their travels north and south. As the residence of WilUam Brewster, it is connected with American history as the birthplace of the Pilgrim chturch. In the size of the building and its location on the North Road, the Scrooby Mansion affords the closest parallel to the Philipse Manor Hall of any that the writer has seen. Travelers go miles out of their way to see the Scrooby Hall. So great is American interest in the Sulgrave Manor and Scrooby Manor Halls that certain patriotic American organizations have recently been considering the desirabiUty of purchasing them in order to preserve them. Like its English prototypes, the Yohkers Manor HaU is saturated with historic interest. Its site 94 Philipse Manor Hall was conspicuously identified with aboriginal life as the principal seat of the Manhattan Indians. The building itself is the oldest in Yonkers and one of the oldest in the State. Between the aborigines and the builder of a part of the house there were only two brief intermediate ownerships, and they have left no visible memorials. In fact, so close was the association between Frederick Philipse and the Indians that it may be said that this building is a direct connecting link with the aboriginal occupation. For over a century, from 1672 till 1778, the Philipse family held title to this property. During that period they were one of the leading families in the State, exercising an important influence in its history. Their home on the first great highway of the State was a conspicuous landmark, and its hospitable roof sheltered, at one time or another, all the great men of the period. Here stately social functions were held, attended by the flower of the Colony. To the daughter of this house, the man who after- ward became our National Hero paid court. Hither, in due course, came notable figures of the Revolutionary Period. Around this building, as the center of a maelstrom, the hostilities of the Debatable Ground raged. After the Revolution it was the radiant point of the com- munity's development. In 1868 it became the seat of local government again and so continued tmtil July 3 , 1 9 1 1 , when it passed into the custody The Manor System 95 of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society for the State as a public monument. It has its place not only in our history, but in some of the best fiction of American literature. It is mentioned in American guidebooks, and in European guidebooks for toiuists to America, as one of the interesting relics of the region. It also serves as an object lesson in our own country to give us a better imderstanding of " the hall " which is such a conspicuous feature in English literature.* *The reduced condition of some of the old English Manors is illustrated in the following incident: On a recent visit to England, the writer met Mr. D , Lord of the Manor of P , who o£Eered to sell his title and rights as Lord of the Manor for $5,000. He thought that some rich American, instead of giving his wife a box of bonbons might Uke to present her with the pretty title of Lady of the Manor, and he was willing to sell out for the moderate price of $5,000 — the titles of both Lord and Lady being included in the bargain. To prove his title, he showed several ancient parchment-roUs which were part of two or three trunkfuls of old documents of the Manor, which all went in at the same price of $5,000. Inquiry elicited the fact that he did not have any Manor House to sell and he did not own an acre of land. All he had to offer was the titles of Lord and Lady of the Manor, the ancient rolls, the right to the minerals that might be in the ground, and certain manorial fees which still went with the title. He went on to explain that he had not inherited this Manor. A few years ago the former Lord of the Manor had become bankrupt and the Manor had been sold at auction, and Mr. D had bought it on speculation. He had paid £1000 for it, and he had gotten that amount back from fees derived as Lord of the Manor according to ancient manorial customs; and now he was willing to sell it for another thousand pounds profit. The tenants of the Manor held the land by the curious form of tenure called " copyhold," before described, by g6 Philipse Manor Hall which they could not sell it to others without paying a sort of transfer tax to the Lord of the Manor. The future income from this source was also included by Mr. D in his ofEer. The writer told Mr. D that we used to have Manors in America along the Hudson, but they were abolished at the time of the seijaration of the United States from Great Britain; that since then titled Lords and Ladies were no longer a home product in this country; but that titles, however, were still in limited demand and were occasionally acquired in marriage; that his offer, to sell the two titles of Lord and Lady for a money consideration only, without matrimonial append- ages, possessed certain advantages over the prevailing method; and that possibly a purchaser could be found on his liberal terms. Whether he ever found a customer, the writer has not yet learned. CHAPTER VII THE SECOND LORD OF THE MANOR D ETURNING from our discussion of Manors ^^ in general to the story of Philipse Manor in particular: When the First Lord of the Manor died in 1702, he was possessed of vast estates in four counties of New York and one county of New Jersey. Besides the great Manor in Westchester county, with its farms, mills, stone residences, tenants' houses, church, negro slaves, cattle, horses, sheep, swine and other appurtenances, he owned a plantation across the river at Tappan, in the present Rockland coimty; a thousand or more acres in Ulster Coimty in the vicinity of Kingston; a warehouse and land in Bergen, N. J.; and seventeen or more residences, warehouses and lots in New York City, together with vessels, plate, merchandise, and money, all of a value which it is now impracticable to estimate. The bulk of this great property would naturally have descended to Philip Philipse, eldest son of the First Lord, upon the latter's decease; but Philip had died in 1700, whereupon (on October 26, 1700), Frederick made a new will, dividing his property between his wife; his three surviving children — Adolphus, Eva (Mrs. Jacobus Van (97) 98 Philipse Manor Hall Cortlandt), and Annetje (Mrs. Philip French); and his grandson Frederick. To his wife he gave a house and lot on Broad- way, New York, and an annuity of fifty pounds. To Eva, he gave the house in New York in which she and her husband were living; another city lot; a mortgage on some Westchester county property; and a fotuth part of his personal estate. To Aimetje, he gave the house in New York in which she and her husband were living; a city warehouse; the New Jersey property; the Ulster county property; and a fourth of his personal estate. To Adolphus he gave five houses and a ware- house in New York City; all of the Upper Planta- tion north of Wy^quaqua creek (Dobbs Ferry) including the twp' grist-mills at Pocantico; a half interest in a saw-mill at Mamaroneck; a half interest in the Tappan property; fifteen negroes — men, women and children; a half interest in the live stock at the Upper Mills ; the boat Unity; and a fourth part of his personal estate. To his grandson Frederick he gave the house in New York in which the testator was living at the time of his death and six other buildings — dwellings and warehouses — in the city; the island of Papirinemin* at Spuyten Duyvil creek, with * The island of Papirinemin appears to have been the little hill which has an altitude of about 60 feet and a length of about half a mile bounded on the east by the valley through which the Putnam Division of the New The Second Lard of the Manor 99 the meadows, King's Bridge, and toll; all the lands and meadows called " ye Yoncker's Planta- tion," including houses, mills, mill-dams, orchards, gardens, negro slaves, cattle, horses, swine, etc.; also a piece of land in Mile Square; also all that tract extending from Yonkers Plantation north- ward to Wysquaqua creek and eastward to Bronx river; also a half right in the meadow at Tappan; also particularly " a negro man called Harry with his wife and child, a negro man called Peter, a negro man called Wan, ye boat Yoncker with her furniture apparel and appurtenances, and ye equall half of all ye cattle, horses and sheep upon and belonging to ye plantation at ye upper Mill ; " also a fourth part of his ships, vessels, money, plate goods, merchandise, debts and personal estate. When Frederick, the Second Lord of the Manor, became heir to the superb properties last above described, he was only seven years of age and an orphan, his mother having died soon after his birth and his father having died in 1700. The grandfather therefore provided in his will that his wife should " have ye custody, tuition and guardianship of my grandson Frederick Flipse and his estate to his use, until he comes to ye age of one and twenty years, who I desire may York Central railroad runs; on the south by Spuyten Duyvil creek; on the west by Tippett's brook, and on the north by the marshy meadows which extend north- ward to Van Cortlandt Park. lOO Philipse Manor Hall have ye best education and learning these parts of ye world will afford him, not doubting of her care in bringing him up after ye best manner possibly shee can." The will also expressed the desire of the First Lord that his wife should continue to live in the family residence in New York which he had bequeathed to his grandson; and there the Widow Philipse remained, bestowing the utmost solicitude on her young ward. A glimpse at the domestic life of the widow at this time would have shown her to be living in the height of Colonial style, becoming to her station as a member of one of the first families of New York. To wait upon her and her grandchild, she had seven negro slaves — one man, three women and three children. Some other families had as many as nine household slaves, but seven were enough for the limited needs of the Widow PhiUpse's small family. Her household equipment of plate and furniture was what might have been expected of the widow of the first merchant of his day; nor was her ward- robe excelled by those of her neighbors, if we may judge from her array of petticoats — an article of apparel in which the ladies of that period delighted to present their greatest display. We are informed that among other gorgeous apparel, Mrs. Philipse possessed a red silver-laid petticoat, a red cloth petticoat, a silk quilted petticoat, and two black silk quilted petticoats. " Further- The Second Lord of the Manor loi more," says a chronicler of her times, " like the ladies of old, she presented her most notable article of Sunday outdoor ostentation in a splendid Psalm Book, with gold clasps, hanging upon her arm by a gold chain." The affectionate grandmother was not content, however, to live in New York and bring up her grandson with " ye best education and learning these parts of ye world will afford." The educational facilities of the metropolis 200 years ago were not what they are to-day, and, according to Mrs. PhiUpse's ideas, were not such as would adequately prepare her grandson to fill his station as the Second Lord of the Manor. She therefore took Frederick to England, where he was thor- oughly educated in the law and acquired the best traditions of his day. When he came of age in 1 7 16 and entered into his fuU privileges as Lord of the Manor, we may be sure that the Manor Hall was the scene of elaborate festivities, and that His Lordship received the greetings of his tenants and serfs with right royal courtesy. Three years later the English influence upon the atmosphere of the Manor Hall was increased by his manying an English wife, Joanna, daughter of Lieut.-Gov. Anthony BrockhoUs, whose early life had been spent in England. By this dis- tinguished alliance the traditional high social and political standing of the family was main- tained. 102 Philipse Manor Hall The air of personal culture which pervaded the Manor Hall under the Second Lord showed the advance in two generations from the immigrant. Unlike his grandfather, the new master of the Hall was extremely social, had a fertile mind, was a good conversationalist and was very com- panionable. He was manly, courteous, generous, and affable, and intellectually a man of distin- gmshed parts. With these qualities he rapidly advanced in public esteem. On September 29, 1719, he was elected an Alderman from the South Ward of the City of New York, and was regularly re-elected during the next fourteen years on the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel. After each elec- tion, the Mayor-elect, Aldermen and other members of the corporation would " go ia their formalities " from the old English City Hall (which stood on the site of the present Sub- Treasury at the comer of Wall and Nassau streets), to " His Majesty's Garrison Fort George" (which was located on the present site of the Custom House at the foot of Bowling Green), and there.in the presence of His Majesty's Cotmcil, take their oath of ofi&ce. Philipse took the oath as a Justice of the Peace as well as Alderman. As an Alderman, he served on many important committees for the improvement of the City, the abatement of nuisances, the re- striction of encroachments on public lands, etc., The Second Lord of the Manor 103 occasionally advancing money for repairs of sewers, etc., and being reimbursed later. Contemporaneously with his service as Alder- man for several years, he was a Member of the Assembly of the Province of New York from Westchester cotmty, from 1721 to 1728 being Speaker of the House. For many years, begin- ning in 1723, he was a Highway Commissioner for Westchester county. Not only was Philipse influential in framing the ordinances of the City and the laws of the Province, but he also took a conspicuous part in securing the famous " Montgomerie Charter " for the City. On March 3, 1729-30, he was appointed one of a committee of six of the Common Council to apply to Governor Mont- gomerie for a Royal Charter for the City, and to consider what things needful for the corporation should be petitioned for. The grants and privileges which Philipse and his colleagues recommended were substantially adopted by Montgomerie and approved by George II, and the charter was formally presented to the City on February 11, 1730-1, O. S., just one year before the birth of George Washington. Chan- cellor Kent says of this charter that it "is entitled to our respect and attachment for its venerable age and the numerous blessings and great commercial prosperity which have ac- companied the due exercise of its powers." I04 Philipse Manor Hall PhiUpse was also identified with the beginning of the park system of New York. The first public park in New York was Bowling Green. On March 12, 1732, O. S. (1733 N. S.) the Com- mon Council voted to lease the little tract at the foot of Broadway for a beauty spot and recrea- tion ground, and on April 6 ordered that Colonel Philipse, with Mayor Robert Lurting, Alderman Harmanus Van Gelder and Assistant Alderman Isaac De Peyster be a committee " to lay out the Ground at the lower end of Broadway near the Fort for A Bowling Green; that they Ascertain the Demensions thereof with the breadth of the Streets on all sides; that the same be Leased to Mr. John Chambers, Mr. Peter Bayard and Mr. Peter Jay for the term of Eleven years for the use aforesaid and not Otherwise, under the Annual Rent of A pepper Com and make their Report with all Convenient Speed." On October i, 1733, Bowling Green having beenfenced in, Colonel Philipse, Mr. Chambers and John Roosevelt became the lessees of the Green for ten years at the same enormous rental of i pepper com per annum. On September 2, 1742, the lease was extended to the same gentlemen for eleven years from the expiration of the first lease " upon the payment of 20 shillings per annum for the said Eleven years to come." From this small beginning, the park system of the metropolis has expanded until it now The Second Lord of the Manor 105 embraces eleven square miles, including some of the original Philipse Manor. In 1733, Colonel Philipse was Baron of the Ex- chequer. When the Provincial Assembly, on November 28, 1734, passed an act to "strike and make current bills of credit to the value of £12,000," principally to be used for building fortifications, Philipse was one of the four per- sons authorized to sign them. In the same year in which he became Baron of the Exchequer, 1733, he was also appointed Second Judge of the Supreme Court, a position which he held till his death. In his judicial capacity, he sat on the bench with Chief Justice De Lancey in the famous trial of John Peter Zenger for libel, and bore with him the popular disapproval for their attitude as Royal Judges. This trial took place in the old City Hall at Wall and Nassau streets, on August 14, 1735. The circumstances of that epoch-marking case were briefly these: In 1734, in a bitterly contested city election, the Government party was com- pletely defeated and a Common Council was elected in which Governor Cosby had but a single adherent. This result was attributed largely to Zenger's Weekly Journal, whose free criticisms of the Government aroused the deepest ire of the Governor and his adherents. The articles in Zenger's Journal furnished some of the ideas and some of the actual words used in later io6 Philipse Manor Hall years by Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and James Otis in their championship of American independence. Zenger was arrested and im- prisoned for Kbel; whereupon the new cry of " the liberty of the press " was taken up and stirred the colonists to the very depths. Zenger's trial was one of the most dramatic events in the legal history of New York. The court room was jammed and the street in front of it was filled with an excited crowd. The Royal Judges directed the jury to find Zenger guilty. The jury refused and acquitted him, amid such demonstrations of popular joy as have seldom been witnessed in a court room. This trial established the freedom of the press and laid one of the foundation stones of our American liber- ties. It is said that when Zenger was acquitted, terror was depicted on the countenances of the Judges. If Chief Justice James De Lancey and Second Justice Frederick Philipse could have looked ahead two score years and seen the storm that was to break over their families, they would have realized that they had good cause for alarm, for this trial was one of the early beginnings of the American Revolution, in which De Lancey 's brother, Oliver, and PhiHpse's son, Frederick, were attainted of treason to the Colonies and their properties were confiscated. Although few will be found to-day to sympa- thize with Judge Philipse's position in the Zenger The Second Lord of the Manor 107 trial, the fact remains that Governor Cosby esteemed him highly for his character and under- standing; the Governor's Council declared him to be " a very worthy gentleman of plentiful fortime and good education; " and Governor Clinton in 1751 said that he had made him Second Judge of the Supreme Court " purely for his integrity and to the universal satisfaction of the whole pro- vince." While Zenger's Journal was uttering the editorial sentiments which aroused so much anger on the part of the Government, it chron- icled on August 12, 1734, a sad event of less public importance but more closely connected with the Yonkers Manor property, in these words : " From the cotmtry seat of Fred. Philipse Esq. in Westchester County, commonly called the Yonkers, we hear that on Saturday last a child of Mr. John Peck, the Overseer there, was drowned in the Canal or Race between the Mills." In 1 741 the Philipse family shared in the terror caused by the so-called " negro plot " in New York. Whether there was, as was popu- larly believed at the time, a genuine plot to bum and rob, or whether this belief was like the Salem witchcraft delusion, the evidence leaves us in doubt. There is no doubt, however, that the terror was very real and one of the most extra- ordinary episodes in New York history. The io8 Philipse Manor Hall City then had about 10,000 inhabitants, nearly one-fifth of whom were negro slaves. On March 14 the house of Robert Hogg, a merchant, was robbed. On March 18 the Governor's house in the fort was burned. Other fires and robberies occurred in close succession. Frederick Phil- ipse's house and store house were set afire among others. A negro slave, named Coffee, belonging to Adolph Philipse was indicted for setting fire to Frederick Philipse's house; and Coffee, together with Caesar and Prince, also negroes, and John Hughson, Sarah Hughson and Margaret Kerry, were indicted for burning the store house of Frederick PhiHpse and conspiring to bum the Governor's house. The white popu- lation was beside itself with fright, and it was not until 154 negroes had been committed to prison, 14 burned alive at the stake, 18 hanged and 71 transported, and 24 whites had been imprisoned, of whom 4 were executed, that the wave of excitement subsided and the town regained its composure. Those alleged to have been concerned in the Philipse fires were among the victims. In 1745, in the midst of his distinguished career, Judge Philipse is said to have enlarged the Manor Hall to thrice its original size, by the addition of the northern extension. By this change the eastern side became the main front. Between it and the old Post Road stretched a The Second Lord of the Manor 109 velvety lawn with garden terraces and horse- chestnut trees. On either hand were laid out formal gardens and grounds, ornamented here and there with valuable trees, choice shrubs and beautiful flowers. Among these ran graveled walks, bordered with boxwood. To the west of the building the greensward sloped to the river, unobstructed save by fine specimens of trees, among which were emparked a number of deer. From the roof of the house superb views could be obtained in every direction. The interior of the new part was elaborately finished. The walls were wainscoted, and the ceilings adorned with arabesque work in relief. The main halls of the entrance were about eleven feet wide, and proportionately broad staircases, with mahogany hand-rails and balusters, gave it an air of grandeur for that period little appreci- ated in comparison with the ampler dimensions with which the modem mansions of to-day are built. One of the first guests of the enlarged Manor Hall at this period was Philipse's friend. Governor Clinton, who spent several days here on his return from one of his Indian councils at Albany. At this period, also, we find the first record of the use of the little Neperhan harbor for the embarkation of troops. On June 4, 1746, during the war between England and France, when the no Philipse Manor Hall Colony o£ New York was making preparations for the invasion of Canada, Judge Lewis Morris entered in his journal: " Returned home; dined at Westchester, when detachments from Queens County and West- chester marched to Colonel PhUipse's* in order to embark for Albany on board Captain Conradts Derrike's sloop who lay there for that purpose." In 1750 Adolphus Philipse, uncle of the Lord of the Manor, died, and the latter thereby inher- ited the Upper Plantation, thus bringing the ancient domain again under a single ownership, and making the Yonkers Manor Hall once more the center of the whole jurisdiction. From this time onward Castle Philipse at Sleepy Hollow gradually fell into disuse. In fact, in social splendor and political importance it seems always to have been subordinate to the Yonkers Manor Hall. To maintain the establishment of the latter required the services of no less than fifty household servants — thirty whites and twenty negro slaves. Their sleeping-rooms were in the attic, lighted by the dormer windows, still to be seen in the sloping roof. Under the Second Lord, the curious old feudal customs of court and rent days were continued. There were two great rent days for the Manor — * Colonel Philipse was Judge Philipse's son Frederick, who later became Third Lord of the Manor and who held a commission in the Colonial militia. The Second Lord of the Manor iir one at Yonkers and one at Sleepy Hollow — on which occasions he feasted his tenantry in hos- pitable fashion. The rentals were graduated ac- cording to the eligibiltty of the holding, and ran from a minimum of two fat hens or a day's work upward, according as they were located far from or near to the river. Life in the Manor House during the regime of the Second Lord was not devoid of its romances, for he had charming daughters, and they had their full share of suitors. Among those who in the middle of the eighteenth century might frequently have been seen riding up from New York, and whose approach, as his horse's hoofs clattered across the bridge over the Neperhan, was watched by a pair of bright eyes at the Manor House window, was a yoimg gallant named Beverly Robinson. And the pair of eyes which sparkled with particular luster at his approach were those of the twenty-three- year-old Susannah Philipse. Robinson came of a distinguished Virginia family, being the son of John Robinson, who was President of the Colony of Virginia upon the retirement of Gov- ernor Gooch in 1734. He had become a resident of New York City, and by his personal qualities and gentlemanly address had won the good graces of the eldest of the wealthy and charming Philipse daughters. As Robinson paid his devoirs to Susannah Philipse in the Manor House, or as 112 Philipse Manor Hall the couple strolled among the boxwood borders of the extensive lawn, or rambled through the grove and park on the bluff overlooking the Hud- son, or sat in some romantic nook beside the purling Neperhan, happy was it for them that they could not foresee the political tragedies that were to begin a quarter of a century later and were destined to involve them in such unhappy consequences. But now, all was romance and joy. Susannah, with her father's approval, con- sented to be the bride of the handsome Virginian, and about the year 1750 they were married with the state becoming their position in the Colony and the wealth of the bride.* Thus, in the quaint and stately style of his contemporaries of the old country, the Second Lord of the Manor lived, passing away in 1751 in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and remembered for " his Indulgence and Tenderness to his tenants, his more than parental affection for his Children, and his incessant liberality to the Indigent," which " surpassed the splendor of his Estate and procured him a more unfeigned regard than can be purchased with opulence or gained by Interest." The writer of the words * Robinson took his young wife to their new home on the banks of the Hudson nearly opposite West Point, where they lived untU the outbreak of the Revolution. Then, overruled by the importunities of his friends and against his own judgment, he entered the service of the Crown. The Second Lord of the Manor 113 quoted, in the New York Gazette of July 29, 1751, added: " There were, perhaps, few men that ever equaled him in those obliging and benevolent manners which, at the same time that they attracted the Love of his Inferiors, gained him all the respect and veneration due to his rank and station." CHAPTER VIII THE THIRD LORD OF THE MANOR T TPON the death of the Second Lord of the ^ Manor, his son Frederick (bom 1720; died 1786), became the Third (and, as it proved, the last) Lord of the Manor. When he attained this distinction he was thirty-one years of age. He was a graduate of King's College (the mother of Columbia University) and his tastes were lit- erary. He mingled little in public life, but he was a member of the Colonial Assembly and held a commission as Colonel of the Militia. He was generally known as Colonel PMlipse. In religious belief he was an Episcopalian, and he was as generous as he was ardent in the afEairs of his denomination. He and his family erected the old stone church of St. John's in Yonkers, which dates from 1752, maintained it at their own expense, gave about 250 acres of arable land for a glebe and btiilt a rectory upon it. As Lord of the Manor he usually presided in person in the Court Leet and Court Baron which were held in a building which stood on the site of the present Getty Square; and he dispensed justice in civil and criminal matters and even administered capital punishment, it is said. (114) The Third Lord of the Manor' 115 The leases for farms in Philipse Manor were mostly life leases, and on the death of the tenant the land and improvements reverted to the land- lord. For this reason, the wiUs of farmers, up to the time of the Revolution, bequeathed their estates only with the consent of Philipse. For instance, Frederick Brown, in a will dated Jan- uary 12, 1766, says: " It is my will, with the permission of Col. Frederick Philipse, the owner, that my wife Joanna should have the farm and improvements, and that at her death my son Evert should have the same, according to the custom and after the manner of holding farms in the Manor of PhilHpsburg." And again, Joshua Bishop, whose will was dated August 23, 1775, left his farm to his grandson, Samuel Lawrence, " with the consent of my Landlord, Col. Philipse." An idea of the rents paid by his tenants may be gathered from the journal of a voyager, who says: " The tenant for Hfe here tells me he pays Col. Philips only £7 per annvun for about 200 acres of land and thinks it an extravagant rent because on his demise or sale his son or vendee is obliged to pay the Landlord one third of the value of the farm for a renewal of the lease." This is evidently an allusion to the copyhold tenure described in a previous chapter (page 87). ii6 Philipse Manor Hall Upon becoming Master of Philipsborough, he renovated the Manor Hall, and with the aid of his wife, who was fond of display, maintained the brilliant social traditions of the old mansion. On occasions of social festivities. Colonel Philipse appeared as the courtly and scholarly gentleman of the old school and appears to have been highly esteemed on account of the quahties of his mind and the generous disposition of his heart. The Rev. Timothy Dwight, S. T. D., President of Yale College, refers to the family of Philipse as " one of the most distinguished of those who came as colonists from the United Netherlands; " and adds: " Col. Philipse, the last branch resi- dent in this country, I knew well. He was a worthy and respectable man, not often excelled in personal and domestic amiableness." And John Jay says of him: "This Frederick I knew. He was a well tempered, amiable man; a kind, benevolent landlord. He had a taste for garden- ing, planting, etc., and employed much time and money in that way." The year after he attained the title of Lord of the Manor, Colonel Philipse was bereaved of his sister Margaret, a lovely girl of 19 years. The New York Gazette, or Weekly Post Boy, of August 10, 1752, contains this tribute to her memory, which is an interesting illustration of the poetic style of the period: The Third Lard of the Manor 117 Epitaph on Miss Philipse Escap'd from fleeting Joys, from certain Strife From what fond-erring Mankind call their Life Escap'd from Noise, from Nonsense, and from Pain, From Care, from Crime, from Earth and all thats Vain To all that's Stable hoping soon to Rise; Low, level'd with her kmdred Worms — Here Lies What once Was Philipse — and what once Was Truth; Pure vestal Virtue, and soft blooming Youth; Gay radiant Beauty, Fortune, Polish'd Ease, Sweet Manners, open Mien, and Power to please; Hated by none; dear to the Good and Just: — But what she Was avails not. — Now she's Dust! Such Worth and Warmth of Heart seem'd just but giv'n To show how Angels live and love in Heaven. She rose! she shone! she promis'd a bright Day! And then — Oh, then! — Soon as her Wings were fledg'd, she tour'd away Could Death forever hide such Souls, What Grief! What Joy! that they but die to higher Life: And 'yond the Sun's dim Sphere and Milky Way Shine in the blaze of God's Eternal Day. In 1756, the Lord of the Manor espoused Elizabeth Williams, the twenty-four-year-old widow of Anthony Rutgers. Their marriage license was taken out August 31, 1756, and they were married on Thursday, September 9. The New York Mercury of Monday, September 13, contains this notice of the wedding: "Last Thursday Night, Colonel Frederick Philipse Esq of Philipsburg, in this Province, was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Rutgers, Widow of the late Anthony Rutgers, Esq., and Daughter of Charles Williams, Esq, Naval Officer for the Port of New York; a very agreeable Lady and possessed of every Vertue and Accomplish- ment that can adorn her Sex and make the Marriage State truly happy." ii8 Pkilipse Manor Hall In days when only the most distinguished citizens were honored with a wedding notice in the newspapers, both Colonel Philipse and his bride must have been gratified with this sixty-two- word recognition of their marriage and the elo- quent tribute to the completeness of the bride's qualifications to " make the Marriage State truly happy." The new Lady of the Manor was " a handsome and pleasing woman," according to John Jay, and " an excellent woman," according to Dr. Dwight. Other chroniclers give her a vivacious and even dashing character, and credit her with being an imperious woman of fashion and very fond of display. She was also a fearless and skiUful horsewoman; and the tenants of the Manor often stood agape in wonder at the sight of her Ladyship setting forth with four spirited jet black horses and driving her dashing quadriga along the roads of Westchester county at what appeared to be a reckless pace. Lord and Lady Philipse seldom appeared in the same carriage together, and for a very excel- lent reason; for Colonel PhiHpse, in the course of time, attained such large dimensions that there was not room for both in the fanuly chariot. If the Colonel's temperament was at all nervous, perhaps the inconvenience of his size was not entirely without its compensations, for it prob- ably saved him from many a nervous shock The Third Lord of the Manor 119 which he might have received had he gone driving with the adventurous Lady Elizabeth. Quieter than his wife in his tastes, he foimd agreeable occupation for his thoughts at home in the administration of his Manor, the indulgence of his literary talents, and the practice of his favorite art of landscape ^axdenjng. The latter was one of the^asHonable occupations of a landed gentleman of the period, as was exemplified in the formal garden and estate at Motmt Vernon, Va., by the man who once sought an alliance with Colonel PhiHpse's family; and in his devo- tion to the art Colonel PhiUpse greatly beauti- fied the extensive grounds which surrounded the Manor House. The lawn which stretched from the east front to the Albany Post Road, 300 feet distant, was the object of especial attention, and was set off with boxwood bordered paths, beauti- ful shrubs and other lawn ornaments of the period becoming the environment of one of the most ancient, honorable and distinguished fam- ilies of the Colony. Nor was this care for these external adornments bestowed in vain. Remote as the Manor House was at that time from Harlem village, nine miles away, and from the little old City of New York, which then occupied the southern three-quarters of a mile of Man- hattan Island, yet it was a conspicuous object to passers-by on the historic thoroughfare from New York to Albany. Furthermore, it was the I20 Philipse Manor Hall jotamey's end of many a distinguished traveler who came by invitation to experience the hos- pitality for which the Hall had ever been famous, or came of his own promptings to pay court to the lovely sister of the young Lord of the Manor, Mary Philipse. To the interesting courtship and marriage of this charming young woman let us turn our attention before taking up the less congenial task of recounting the downfall of this historic family. CHAPTER IX COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE OP MARY PHILIPSE /VA ARY Philipse, sister of the Third Lord of the Manor, was esteemed one of the most beautifxd and accomplished young women in the Colony of New York. She was bom in the Manor Hall Jvily 3, 1730, and when she attained young ladyhood she was the admired of the eligible young men, not only of her own Colony but of distant parts. Among her admirers at the age of twenty-six was one whose suit, had it been successful, might have changed either the destiny of the Philipse family for the better or that of the Colonies for the worse.* This admirer was no other than Col. George Washington, who had already won dis- tinction in the French and Indian War. The circumstances in which the two were brought together were briefly these: The opening of the year 1756 found Washington in command at Fort Cumberland, Md., with a difficulty on * Lorenzo Sabine, in his " Loyalists of the American Revolution " (1864), says that in a conversation with a grandnephew of Mrs. Roger Morris he remarked: " Her fate how difEerent had she married Washington! " In- stantly the grandnephew replied: " You mistake, sir. My aunt Morris had immense influence over everybody; and had she become the wife of the leader of the Rebellion which cost our family millions, He would not have been a traitor. She would have prevented that, be assured, sir." (121) 122 Philipse Manor Hall his hand. There was at Fort Cumberland one Captain Dagworthy, who claimed a royal com- mission and refused obedience to any provincial officer. To settle the perplejdng question of authority, Washington was despatched to Boston, Mass., to confer with General Shirley, com- mander-in-chief of His Majesty's forces in America. This involved a journey of 500 miles on horseback in the depth of winter — a journey which, notwithstanding its hardships, had many pleasant incidents, for his bravery and miraculous escape at Braddock's defeat had already won him much renown and he was the object of no little popvilar curiosity. He was therefore enter- tained with cordial hospitality in the principal cities on his journey. So far as the writer has been able to ascertain, this was Washington's first journey to the Hudson valley and the New England States, where he was destined twenty years later to display his genius in a way little dreamed of at that time. Hearing of Washing- ton's prospective visit, Beverly Robinson, who had known him intimately as a schoolmate in Virginia, invited him to visit him in New York City, and the invitation was accepted. Wash- ington was in New York from February 18 to 25, and again on his return from Boston in the middle of March. The consequences of this visit were just what might have been expected. Washington was very Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 123 susceptible to feminine charms.* At the age of fifteen he had fallen in love with Frances Alex- ander, and in the interval between fifteen and his present age of twenty-four he had experienced unrequited passions for Mary Carey, Lucy Grymes and Betsey Fauntleroy. Now, for the first time, he came under the influence of the charms of a New York Colony girl, with results thus described by the historian Sparks, in his " Life of Washington: " " While in New York he was lodged and kindly entertained at the house of Mr. Beverly Robin- son, between whom and himself an intimacy of friendship subsisted which indeed continued with- out change till severed by their opposite fortunes twenty years afterwards in the Revolution. It happened that Miss Mary Phillips, a sister of Mrs. Robinson, and a young lady of rare accom- plishments, was an inmate in the family. The charms of this lady made a deep impression upon the heart of the Virginia Colonel. He went to Boston, returned and was again welcomed to the hospitality of Mr. Robinson. He lingered there till duty called him away; but he was careful to intrust his secret to a confidential friend, whose letters kept him informed of every important event. In a few months, intelligence came that a rival was in the field and that the consequences could not be answered for if he delayed to renew * Washington's bill of traveling expenses on his trip to Boston contains several items for entertaining " ladies." In New York, among other things, he took them to see a show called " The Microcosm." Possibly Mary Philipse was one of them. 124 Philipse Manor Hall his visits to New York. Whether time, the bustle of a camp or the scenes of war had mod- erated his admiration or whether he despaired of success, is not known. He never saw the lady again till she was married to that same rival, Capt. Morris, his former associate in arms and one of Braddock's aides-de-camp."* To the foregoing testimony of Sparks, Wash- ington's later biographer, Irving, bears further witness, in his " Life of Washington." He says: " When we consider Washington's noble per- son and demeanor, his consummate horsemanship, the admirable horses he was accustomed to ride, and the aristocratical style of his equipments, we may imagine the effect produced by himself and his Uttle cavalcade as they clattered through the streets of Philadelphia, and New York, and Boston. It is needless to say, their sojourn in each city was a continual fete. . . . " Washington remained ten days in Boston . . . after which he returned to New York. Tradition gives very different motives from those of business for his two sojourns in the latter city. He found there an early friend and schoolmate, Beverly Robinson, son of John Robinson, * Mr. William S. Pelletreau, in the Magazine of Ameri- can History (1890, p. 169), attributes the origin of the statement about Washington's attachment for Mary Philipse to a romantic tale in " The Telegraph, a paper published in New Jersey about 1848; " but it may be found, as above quoted, in Sparks' " Life of Washington," published two years earlier than that date, namely, in 1846. Furthermore, the reality of Washington's interest in Miss Philipse is established beyond question by the letters of Joseph Chew to Washington, quoted on another page. Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 125 Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was living happily and prosperously with a young and wealthy bride, having married one of the nieces and heirs* of Mr. Adolphus Philipse, a rich land-owner, whose Manor House is still to be seen on the banks of the Hudson. At the house of Mr. Beverly Robinson, where Washing- ton was an honored guest, he met Miss Mary Philipse, sister of and co-heiress with Mrs. Rob- inson, a young lady whose personal attractions are said to have rivaled her reputed wealth. " That he was an open admirer of Miss Philipse is an historical fact; that he sought her hand but was refused is traditional and not very probable. His military rank, his early laurels, and distin- guished presence were all calculated to win favor in female eyes; but his sojourn in New York was brief; he may have been diffident in urging his suit with a lady accustomed to the homage of society and surrounded by admirers. The most probable version of the story is that he was called away by his public duties before he had made sufficient approaches in his siege of the lady's heart to warrant a summons to surrender." While Washington was engaged with affairs of state in Virginia, continues Irving, "he received a letter from a friend and confidant in New York warning him to hasten back to that city before it was too late, as Captain Morris, who had been his fellow aide-de-camp under Braddock, was * Sparks errs as to the relationship. Susannah Philipse, who married Beverly Robinson, was not the niece of Adolphus Philipse, but was the daughter of Adolphus' nephew, Frederick, Second Lord of the Manor. 126 Philipse Manor Hall lajring close siege to Miss Philipse. Sterner alarms, however, summoned him in another direc- tion . . . and Captain Morris was left to urge his suit unrivaled and carry oflf the prize." Washington's friend and confidant was Joseph Chew of New London, Conn., a frequent visitor to New York and guest at Beverly Robinson's, where Washington was entertained. Mr. Chew was at Mr. Robinson's just a year after Washington's visit, and wrote to Washington, under date of New York, March 14, 1757, as follows: " I am now at Mr. Robinson's, he, Mrs. Rob- inson and his Dear Little Family are all well and they desire their Compliments to you. Pretty Miss Polly is in the same Condition & situation as you saw her." " Polly " was Mary Philipse's nickname, and the allusion to her " condition " and " situation " referred to her affections. Letters traveled slowly in those days before steam cars, and it was some time before Mr. Chew's letter reached Washington. The latter then wrote to Mr. Chew a letter, the first part of which was devoted to public topics, and the latter part to an inquiry about Miss Philipse.* To this Mr. Chew replied under date of New London, July 13, 1757. The * Search has been made in vain for the original of Washington's letter. The purport, however, appears from Mr. Chew's reply. Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 127 first part of his letter is of no particular interest. He then continues as follows: "As to the Latter part of your Letter what shall I say? I often had the Pleasure of Break- fasting with the Charming Polly. Roger Morris was there (don't be startled) but not always; you know he is a Lady's 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 I had Little Acquain- tance 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 ... I intend to set out to-morrow for New York where I will not be wanting to let Miss Polly know the sincere Regard* 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." The descendants of Mary Philipse living in York, England, say that Washington responded to this alarm and " set out for New York, arriv- ing there one winter's evening. Late as the hour was, he sought and obtained an interview with Miss Polly," but she was akeady the promised wife of Morris. Washington's successful rival, Roger Morris, after * In the original, Mr. Chew wrote the word " you " ter " Regard," then erased it and wrote " a Friend." 128 PMKpse Manor Hall was bom in England, January 28, 1727, and was therefore three years the senior of Mary Philipse. The name Morris, according to the family, is derived from the Welsh " M a w r - rwyce," meaning strong, or brave, in battle. Roger Morris was the son of a gentleman of Welsh extraction, the family tracing their descent from Elystan-ap-Cadwgan, founder of the fourth Royal Tribe of Wales. He secured a captaincy in the 48th Regiment of Foot, September 13, 1745, and served, like Washington, as an aide-de-camp on General Braddock's stafiE at the time of the latter's defeat in 1755. In i7S7 he served with his regiment under Lord Loudon. It was while living in New York, soon after Washington's visit, that the handsome and mag- netic Captain found his most congenial exercise in horseback rides to the old Manor Hall at Yonkers to pay court to the lovely Mary. Miss Mary herself was a fine horsewoman, and rides of fifty miles were not tmusual feats with her. Her semi-annual visits to the numerous tenants of the Manor were religiously made; and her arrival at the homes of the humble cottagers, by whom she was greatly beloved, was an event of no small importance to them. It may be inferred, therefore, that the sight of her and Captain Morris as they rode together along the roads through the extensive demesne of the Philipse family, caused no little gossip and Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 129 significant noddings of the head among the tenants; and it was not long before their suspicions were confirmed, for in due course they learned that Mistress Mary and the gallant Captain were to be married on January 19, 1758.* The wedding took place in the Manor Hall in the midst of a brilliant company. It was one of the great social events of the Colony, and the leading families of the Province and the British army were represented. There was good sleigh- ing and the weather was mild, facilitating the presence of guests, high and low, — the former to the wedding and the latter to the feast set forth forthe humbler folk. By two o'clock, the sleighing parties, with their jinghng bells and merry shouts, began to arrive, and the old Manor Hall grounds soon became alive with the bustle of festive activity. By 3 o'clock, the Rev. Henry Barclay, Rector of Trinity Church, New York, and his assistant, Mr. Auchmuty, arrived after an exhil- arating drive of sixteen mUes. The drawing- room soon became crowded with a picturesque assemblage of gentlemen and ladies, dressed in the height of the fashions of a centiury and a half ago. * The marriage was evidently a notable event in army circles. Col. John Montresor notes in his journal, under this date, " Major Morris and Miss PhiUips married." On February ist he " supped at Major Morris'." Col. Montresor, in calling Capt. Morris" Major," appears to have anticipated the latter's promotion, as his commission was not issued until February 16, 1758, according to the British Army List. 130 Philipse Manor Hall Presently a premonition of the approaching bridal party sent a magnetic thrill through the company, and about half-past three the bride and groom with their attendants entered. Miss Barclay, Miss Van Cortlandt and Miss De Lancey were the bridesmaids, and Mr. Heathcote, Cap- tain Kennedy and Mr. Watts were the grooms- men. Acting-Governor De Lancey, son-in-law of Colonel Heathcote, Lord of Scarsdale Manor, assisted. Standing under a crimson canopy emblazoned with the golden crest of the family — a crowned demi-lion issuing from a coronet — the ceremony was performed, the bride's hand being bestowed by her brother. The latter, the Lord of the Manor, was superbly dressed and wore the gold chain and jeweled badge of the ancestral office of Keeper of the Deer Forests of Bohemia.* Following the ceremony there was a grand banquet. In the midst of the feast, it is said, a tall Indian, closely wrapped in a scarlet blanket, appeared unannounced at the door of the banquet hall and with measured words said: " Your possessions shall pass from you when the Eagle shall despoil the Lion of his mane." Then he vanished as mysteriously as he had * Philipse's ancestors in Bohemia had for some genera- tions held the ofSce of Master Ranger of the Royal Forests. The insignia of their ofl&ce, a jeweled badge representing a gold deer, is in the possession of a descendant of Mrs. Beverly Robinson. Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 131 appeared.* The sensation produced by this mes- sage can be imagined. For years, it is said, the bride pondered on this strange prognostication, and never tinderstood its significance until the magnificent domain of which she was a part owner was confiscated dtiring the Revolution. Their honeymoon, however, was of short dttra- tion. The French-and-Indian War was reaching its culmination, and having purchased, in Feb- ruary, 1758 (the month after his marriage), a commission as Major in the 3Sth Regiment of Foot, the bridegroom embarked under General Wolfe in the Louisbourg campaign. He fought under Wolfe at Louisbourg in June and July, 1758; was stationed at Fort Frederic during the winter of 1758-1759, and in September, 1759, was wounded in the charge on the Heights of Abraham, at Quebec, in which Wolfe fell. On May 19, 1760, he was appointed Lieutenant- Colonel of the 47th Regiment of Foot and com- manded the 3d battaUon in the expedition against Montreal under General Murray in the summer of 1 761. On Jime 15, 1764, Lieutenant-Colonel Morris sold his commission to Major John Spital, of his regiment (the 47th), which was ordered to Ireland, and retired from the service, to enjoy at New York the long deferred pleasiu-es of * Accordii^ to Angevine (son of the favorite colored valet of Philipse), who was sexton of St. John's church in Yonkers for forty-five years.— Lossing, in Harper's Magazine, LII, 641. 132 Philipse Manor Hall domestic life. Soon thereafter, probably in 1765, he bought from James Carroll the old Kiersen homestead on Manhattan Island and btult the fine Colonial mansion which still stands between i6oth street, Edgecomb avenue, 1626. street and Jumel terrace. This building, long known as the Morris Mansion, and later as the Jumel Mansion, is now called Washington's Headquar- ters from the fact that Mrs. Morris' imsuccessful admirer made it his official residence from Sep- tember 14 to October 21, 1776. On account of the interest attaching to this property, so closely associated with the history of the Philipse family, we give below some hitherto unpublished data concerning the ac- quisition of the place. While Morris was still serving with his regi- ment, namely on January 29, 1763, James Carroll acquired from the heirs of Jan Kiersen the property on Harlem Heights described in the following deed which is recorded on pages 4 to 8 of Liber 37 of Conveyances in the Hall of Rec- ords, New York City: " This Indenture, made this 29th of January in the year of our Lord 1763, between Jacob Dyckman, Senr., and Yantie his wife, Jacob Dyck- man Jimr. and CatiHntie his wife, William Dyckman and Maria his wife, Abraham Hearson (corrected to Kearson by the recorder) all of the township of Harlem in the City of New York yeoman; and John Vermelier and Charity his Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 133 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 Carrol 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 £1000 of good and lawfull money of New York, to them in hand paid before the sealing and delivery of these presents by the said James Carrol, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged and themselves to be therewith fully satisfied and paid and thereof and of every part hereof, do acquit release and dis- charge the said James Carrol his heirs executors and administrators by these presents they the said parties of the first part above mentioned, " Have granted bargained sold aliened released and confirmed and do by these presents grant bargain sell alien release and confirm unto the said James Carrol (in his actual possession 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 for ever. " All those certain lotts, tracts and parcells of land and premises boimded as follows, to witt : " One certain tract of land scituate lying and being in the township of New Harlem aforesaid on the West side of the highway leading from New York to Kingsbridge begining at the northeast comer of the land of John Low at the west side of the said highway in the southeast comer of the said tract of land and runing from thence with a straight course westerly as the 134 Philipse Manor Hall fence now stands along by the land of the said John Low untill it comes to Hudson's River; thence runing northwardly along the said river unto the land of the said John Low late belonging to Law- rence Kortwright and from thence runing easerly along the line of the said John Low as the fence now stands untUl it comes to the highway afore- said, thence along the said highway to the place of begining containing 40 acres more or less. " Also one other certain tract of land scituate Ijring and being in the said township of New Harlem on the East Side of the above said high- way beginning at the north comer of the land of the above named John Low late of John Dyck- man and runing 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 imtill 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 20 acres more or less. " Also one certain piece or parcell of woodland scituate 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 17 in the last division as laid out by Mr. Peter Berian being the northermost one-half of the said lott number 17 and divided by and between John Kierson and Garrit Dyckman and then laid out for the property of the said John Kierson his heirs and assigns for ever. " Also one full lott of woodland known by the name of lot Nimiber 7 containing — acres Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 135 more or less and runs from the highway between the lands of Johannis Waldron and Arent Bussing to Hudson's River; " Also one other lott known by the name of number 3 containing six acres more or less and runs from the highway, between the lands of Barent Waldron and Mark Tibout to the middle line in the said division in the fourth division. " Also one other lott known by the name of number 8 containing foiu- acres and a half more or less. " Also a certain piece or lot of salt meadow Ijnng and scituate within the said township of New Harlem upon the North-northwest branch of the Rotmd-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 nmning about northeast by the edge of the upland of Jacob Dyckman until it meets with the land of John Nagal being a comer boundage, from thence running southerly by the edge of the upland of said John Nagel until it meets with the said Roimd Meadow Creek or Kill, being a boundage, from thence with the said creek or kill being a bound- age (sic) from thence with the said creek or kill until it meets with the branch that runs into the abovesaid Tieners Brook or Fall and from thence to the first mentioned boundage, containing 4 acres more or less; together with . . . " 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) 136 Philipse Manor Hall 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) Margrt Odel (LS) The foregoing conveyance was " Recorded for and at the request of Mr. James Carroll, of the City of New York, butcher, this 19th day of June, Anno, Dom: 1764." On May 9, 16, 23 and 30, and June 6 and 13, 1765, the following advertisement appeared in the New York Gazette or Weekly Post Boy : "To he Sold " A Pleasant situated Farm on the Road lead- ing 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 Bam 44 Feet long and 42 Feet wide, or there- abouts; an Orchard of good Fruit, with plenty of Quince Trees that bear extraordinary well; three good Gardens, the Produce of which are sent to the York Markets daily, as it suits. An indis- putable Title to be given to the Purchaser. Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 137 Inquire of James Carroll, Living on the Premises, who will agree on reasonable Terms." No record of the conveyance from Carroll to Morris is to be found in the Register's Office in the Hall of Records, nor is any such conveyance known to the New York Title Guarantee and Trust Company; but it is probable that Morris piurchased it soon after the last date above mentioned and began the house before alluded to.* Later he purchased lot No. 7 of the " Second Division," consisting of about 16 acres, at Har- lem, which accounts for the difference between the 100 acres bought from Carroll and the 115 acres mentioned by the Commissioners of For- feiture on page 184 following. Something of Morris' financial standing about the time of his acquisition of this property is indicated by the fact that on April 10, 1765, John Livingston and James De Peyster became bound to him in the sum of £4,000, for a debt of De Peyster. In December, 1764, a few months after his retirement from the army, Lieutenant-Colonel Morris was elevated to a seat in the Executive * On October 20, 1903, the City of New York took title to the Morris Mansion and a little over an acre and a half of land,andon December 28, 1903, the Park Department assumed formal possession. Colonel and Mrs. Morris' city residence was on the south corner of Whitehall and Stone streets, opposite the house of Frederick Philipse on the north corner. It was burned in the great fire of Septem- ber, 1776. 138 Philipse Manor Hall Council of the Province. He was present at the meeting of the Council in New York on October 29, 1765, and regularly thereafter until April, 1775. These ten years, during which he divided his time agreeably between public affairs and the management of his own and his wife's property, were probably the happiest in their lives. Upon the outbreak of the American Revolu- tion, the convictions of Colonel Morris, like those of his brother-in-law, Colonel Philipse, led him to espouse the Royalist cause, and like his brother-in-law, he eventually paid the penalty by exile and the loss of his estate. In the month after the battle of Lexington, within a few hours of the sailing of the packet on May 4, he sud- denly made up his naind to sail for England. He therefore placed his wife and children in the care of relatives and took up his residence in London. There he followed the course of " the most miserable war," as he termed it, with the deepest anxiety. The letters which he wrote to his wife at this time were frequently pathetic. In one he said: " 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 urmatural contest. Everyone I talk to upon the subject say they think so too, but it still continues." Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 139 In another letter he wrote : " God Almighty grant that some fortunate circumstance will happen to bring about a sus- pension 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 re- peated remarks 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 thought myself so happy anywhere as under my own roof, have now no Home, and am a wanderer from day to day." In another letter to his " dearest Life " he wrote: " 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 these misfortunes which we have not brought upon ourselves is never failing." After her husband went to England, and after her brother. Colonel Philipse, had been de- ported to Connecticut in 1776, as related in the following chapter, Mrs. Morris spent part of her time with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Philipse, at the Manor Hall. Documentary history gives us two references to this visit. One of them is of especial interest, as it shows that at this period Washington stiU entertained a personal regard for the object of his former admiration. At the end of the letter to Mrs. Philipse, dated October I40 Philip se Manor Hall 22, 1776 (quoted in ftill on pages 152-3), in which Washington refers to the foraging parties of the army, he adds a simple postscript: " I beg the favor of having my compliments presented to Mrs. Morris." As Washington's letter was of a strictly official character, and, on account of its subject matter, required no personal reference to Mrs. Morris, the addition of this personal message to Mrs. Morris is significant, either of a knightly chivalry or of more tender recollec- tions. The other reference to Mrs. Morris' stay with Mrs. PhiHpse is in the diary of Lieut-Col. Stephen Kemble, of the British army, who, under date of Friday, November 8, 1776 — two days after he had marched to Dobbs Ferry — records that he " had the pleasure of Break- fasting this day with Mrs. Philipse and Mrs. Morris — all well." In December, 1777, Lieutenant-Colonel Morris returned to New York, and on January i, 1779, was appointed inspector of the claims of refugees with rank of Provincial Colonel.* At the end of the war, his property having been confiscated as stated in chapter XII following, he and his wife went to England, and after some wanderings finally settled at York, where their great-grand- son, the Rev. Marmaduke C. F. Morris, still lives * Hitherto he had been only Lieutenant-Colonel , although called Colonel by courtesy. Courtship and Marriage of Mary Philipse 141 as Rector of Nunbumholme. It is not unlikely that their residence there was determined by the desire to be near Gen. Oliver De Lancey, whose American property was also confiscated and who bought a country residence near Bever- ley, in Yorkshire, about thirty-four miles south- east of York. Colonel Morris died September 13, 1794, aged 67 years. Mary, once the beautiful belle of the Province of New York, lived to the great age of 95, d3dng July 18, 1825. The soil of old York, near Saviottrgate Church, gives sepulture to their dust, and a simple tablet in the Church perpetu- ates their memory in these words: " Near this spot are deposited the remains of Col. Roger Morris, formerly of His Majesty's XLVIIth Regiment of Foot, who departed this life on the thirteenth day of September MDCCXCIV in the LXVIIIth year of his age And of Mary Morris, relict of the same, who departed this life on the eighteenth day of July, MDCCCXXV in the XCVIth year of her age And also of Maria Morris, the affectionate daughter of the above, who departed this life on the Twenty fifth day of Sep- tember MDCCCXXXVI in the LXXIst year of her age " Of their four children, the eldest son, Amherst (named after his god-father, General Amherst), entered the Royal Navy. In the engagement between the Njmiphe and Cleopatre, as First Lieutenant he led the boarding party to the forecastle of the enemy's ship and was made 142 Philip se Manor Hall Commander for his bravery. The sword which the French Lieutenant surrendered to him is among the family relics at Nunbumholme rec- tory, York, England. The second son, Henry, attained the rank of Rear Admiral in the English navy. He was father of the late Rev. F. 0. Morris, who, besides being Rector of Nunbum- holme, won reputation as a naturalist and author of " British Birds " and other works on natural history. At Nunbumholme rectory* are several inter- esting relics of Colonel Morris and his wife. Among them are a gold-headed walking stick very characteristic of the Colonial period, bearing Morris' initials and the rampant lion of the family crest, and a dress-sword which it was the fashion to wear when Colonel Morris was alive. * The author is much indebted to the Rev. Marmaduke C. F. Morris, B.C.L., M.A., Rector of Nunbumholme, Yorkshire, for information concerning his great-grand- parents, Col. and Mrs. Roger Morris. Mr. Morris, him- self an antiquarian and author of " Yorkshire Folk Talk " and " Nunbumholme: _ Its history and Antiquities," expresses his appreciation of the preservation of the Yonkers Manor Hall in these words: "It is specially interesting to me to leam from you that our old house has been secured for future ages and a place of historic interest for the American people by the truly handsome gift of Mrs. W. F. Cochran of New York; and it may possibly be some little satisfaction to that good lady to know that at least one of Mary Philipse's descendants highly appreci- ates her thoughtful generosity in this matter. I shall deem it a great favour if you can find means to convey to Mrs. Cochran this appreciation of her kindness." Courtship and Manure of Mary Philipse 143 The beautiful old silver loving-cup, out of which the healths of the bride and groom were drunk at the wedding in the Yonkers Manor Hall, is now in possession of their great-grandson, Col. Henry Morris, of the Second Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. CHAPTER X THE ATTAINDER OF FREDERICK PHILIPSE A FTER the marriage of Mary Philipse in '^ 1758; domestic life in the Manor Hall at Yonkers was comparatively quiet until, with the advent of a new generation of children, life took on a new interest for the Lord and Lady of the Manor. As the children grew up, they in their turn had their romances and took an interest in the romances of others. A glimpse at these interests, which must have been the subject of many a family discussion before the old tiled Manor Hall fire- places, is afforded by a letter written by one of the daughters, Maria Eliza, to her friend, Sarah Van Brugh Livingston, to congratulate her on her marriage to John Jay, which took place April 28, 1774. She says: "Yonkers. June ist, 1774. " You will, I hope, my dear and anaiable friend, excuse my not writing to you before. I have several times been prevented from doing myself that Pleasure; but as it is not yet too late, accept my congrattilations on an event that has con- tributed so much to the felicity of my dear Mrs. Jay and my ardent wishes for the long continu- ance of the Happiness you enjoy. The fan and (144) The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 145 gloves I received, and beg my thanks. It was no small mortification to me in not having it in my power to accept your kind invitation by Cousin Kitty Livingston of being one of the Bridesmaids, In town I own that I had flattered myself with the pleasing expectation of being one of the num- ber. Had it not been for my Papa (who thought the weather too warm for me to be in town), I should have realized all those pleasures of which I had formed such a delightful idea. The being with my dear Mrs. Jay would have been my principal inducement, and spending with her some hours as agreeable as those I enjoyed at Elizabethtown. " But apropos — Mama and I were a little jealous at your stopping twice at CoUo. Cort- landts and not once at Philipsborough, you being such a prodigious favorite. However, we all hope soon to be favoured with a visit from you and Mr. Jay. Papa and Mama beg their compts: to you and Mr. Jay with Congratulations. " Cousin Kitty Van Home has spent three weeks with me and proposes staying a week longer. But, my dear Sally, do not you intend to favour me with a letter r" Remember, you are a long one in my debt, and that I cannot think of losing my correspondent. It would not indeed be generous in you in depriving me of so great an opportunity of improvement. If at Elizabeth- town, please give my love to Cousin Livingstons, and to Cousin Susan and Kitty, and believe me to be sincerely " Your truly affectionate friend " Maria Eliza Philipse. " Do not omit my Compts : " to Mr. Jay and congratulations." 10 146 Philipse Manor Hall Miss Philipse possessed the characteristic beauty and chann of her family, as we shall see five years later when, during the Revolution, she followed her friend Sally's example by marrying in New York, Lionel, Seventh Viscount Strang- ford. When Miss Philipse wrote the letter above quoted, the happy days of the old Manor Hall were drawing to a close. The distant rumblings of the great convulsion which was to separate the Colonies from the Mother Country and at the same time separate the loyal Philipse family from their estate were already the sotirce of popTolar anxiety. It cannot but be a matter of regret that when the crisis of the Revolution came, the head of a family which had sustained such an illustrious and honorable career as the Philipses had from the very fotmding of the Colonies could not have seen his duty in the light in which the majority of his countrymen saw theirs. But unhappily for him, Frederick Philipse did not, and he paid the bitter penalty. Colonel PhiUpse's sjmipathies were well known to be in favor of the old order and against the Whigs; and when, on April ii, 1775, a number of the i^mabitants of Westchester coimty met at White Plains to choose representatives to the next Continental Congress, he joined a rival meeting which was held by those who regarded The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 147 the other proceeding as unlawful and who adopted the following protest: " We the subscribers, freeholders and inhab- itants of the Coimty of Westchester, having assembled at the White Plains in consequence of certain advertisements, do now declare that we met here to express our honest abhorrence of all unlawful congresses and committees and that we are determined at the hazard of our lives and properties, to support the King and Constitu- tion, and that we acknowledge no representatives but the General Assembly, to whose wisdom and integrity we submit the guardianship of our rights." The first of the 312 signers of the foregoing declaration was Colonel Philipse, who was at that time a Member of Assembly. This pro- ceeding, of course, left no doubt as to where Philipse stood on the momentous issue of the day. On October 6, 1775, the Continental Congress recommended the various Provincial Assemblies and Committees of Safety to secure every person whose going at large might endanger the liberties of America; and on June s, 1776, the New York Provincial Congress adopted a series of drastic resolutions on the subject. They appointed a committee before whom certain persons named should be summoned and tried as to their loyalty to the American cause. If the suspected persons were foimd guilty of hostility or equivocal 148 Philipse Manor Hall neutrality, they were to be imprisoned, or re- leased under bonds and parole, or removed from their present residence to some other place in this or a neighboring Colony where their presence would be less dangerous. The list of New York county citizens contained in these resolutions included forty-six names. Among them were those of Gov. Wm. Tryon, Mayor David Mat- thews, and citizens of such standing as Oliver De Lancey, Theophylact Bache, C. Ward Apthorpe, Robert Bayard and Peter Van Schaack. From Kings county four were named, from Richmond Coimty six, from Queens cotmty thirty-eight and from Westchester county thir- teen, including Frederick Philipse. On June 15, 1776, the committee for the hear- ing and trying of disaffected persons — which committee included Philip Livingston, Joseph Hallett, John Jay, Thomas Tredwell, Gouverneur Morris, Col. Lewis Graham and Leonard Gansevoort — met in the old City Hall of New York, which stood where the present United States sub-treasury stands, and adopted a form of summons which was sent to Philipse and others. This summons required him to appear and show cause, if any he had, why he " should be considered as a friend to the American cause, and of the number of those who are ready to risk their lives and fortunes in defense of the rights and liberties of America against the usurpa- The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 1 49 tion, unjust claims and cruel oppression of the British Parliament." Instead of answering the summons in person, Colonel Philipse sent the following letter: " Philipsborough, July 2, 1776. "Gentlemen: I was served on Saturday evening last with a paper signed by you in which you suggest that you are authorized by the Congress to summon certain persons to appear before you, whose conduct has been represented as inimical to the rights of America, of which number you say I am one. Who it is that has made such a representation or upon what par- ticular facts it is founded, as you have not stated them, it is impossible for me to imagine; but considering my situation, and the near and intimate ties and connexions which I have in this country (which can be secured and rendered happy to me only by the real and permanent prosperity of America), I shotild have hoped that suspicions of this harsh nattire would not easily be harboured. However, as they have been thought of weight sufficient to attract the notice of the Congress, I can only observe that, con- scious of the uprightness of my intentions and the integrity of my conduct, I would most readily comply with your summons, but the situation of my health is such as would render it very unadvis- able for me to take a journey to New York at this time. I have had the misfortune, gentlemen, of being deprived totally of the sight of my left eye, and the other is so much affected and inflamed as to make me very cautious how I expose it, for fear of a total loss of sight. This being my real situation, I must request the favour of you to 150 Philipse Manor Hall excuse my attendance to-morrow; but you may rest assured, gentlemen, that I shall punctually attend as soon as I can, consistent with my health, flattering myself in the meantime that, upon further consideration, you will think that my being a friend of the rights and interests of my native coimtry is a fact so strongly implied as to require no evidence on my part to prove it, until something more substantial than mere suspicion or vague surmises are proved to the contrary. " I am, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servantj Frederick Philips." For over a month Colonel Philipse was left undisturbed, but upon the arrival of the British fleet in New York, with the consequent danger that Philipse might engage in activities detri- mental to the American cause, Washington ordered his arrest, and on August 9 he was taken into custody at the Manor Hall. Thence he was immediately sent a prisoner to New Rochelle. On August 16 Washington wrote to Frederick Jay at New Rochelle as follows: " Headquarters, New York, August 16, 1776. " Sir : In consequence of my orders, the under^ mentioned persons (Colonel Phillips, James Jauncey and his two sons, Joseph Bull, Isaac Corsa, John Rodgers and Ware Branson) have been apprehended and are now under a guard at New Rochelle or its neighborhood. As the send- ing a guard through to Governor Trumbull with them would be attended with much inconvenience The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 151 to the publick and cannot be agreeable to the gentlemen, upon their giving you their word of honor to proceed to Lebanon (Conn.) to Governor Trumbull, I am satisfied to permit them to go without any other escort than that of the officer who will deliver you this. I must beg the favor of you to take the management of this business and, as soon as it is put on a proper footing, dismiss the guard now there. " I am, with due respect, sir, yotir most obedient servant " Go. Washington." After eleven days' close confinement under guard at New Rochelle, Colonel Philipse was taken to Hartford, Conn. While there, on August 28th, he signed the following parole: " Parole: I, the subscriber, being apprehended and sent by General Washington to the care of his Honour Govemotur Trumbull, in order to be kept safe, and being ordered by his Honour the Govemour to reside within the limits of the town of Middletown in Connecticut, upon my giving my parole. I therefore do hereby engage and promise to the Govemour and Company of the State of Connecticut, upon the honour, faith, and credit of a gentleman, faithfully to abide within the limits of said town of Middletown until further orders shall be had from his Honour Govemour Trumbull thereon; and in the mean- time I engage and promise not to correspond, either directly or indirectly, in any shape what- ever, with any person or persons unfriendly to these American States, and will abide such orders and directions as shall be given from time to time 152 Philipse Manor Hall by the Committee of Inspection for said town, where I shall reside as aforesaid, as witness my hand. Dated at Hartford, August 28th, 1776. " N . B . Said party is granted to go to Wethers- field and Durham, as occasion may be. " Frederick Philips." During Colonel Philipse's absence, his wife complained to Washington about the taking of cattle for the use of the American army. Wash- ington's consideration for the family at the Manor Hall in its unfortunate situation is shown in the following letter to " Mrs. Philips of Philipsboro: " " Headquarters at Mr. Valentine's, 22 October, 1776. " Madam: "The misfortunes of War and the unhappy circumstances frequently attendant thereon to Individuals are more to be lamented than avoided, but it is the duty of everyone to alleviate these as much as possible. Far be it from me, then, to add to the distresses of a Lady who, I am but too sensible, must already have suJBfered much uneasiness if not inconvenience on accoimt of Colonel Philip's absence. " No special order has gone forth from me for removal of stock of the Inhabitants; but from the nature of the case and in consequence of some resolutions of the Convention and 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 partsof your stock as may be essential to this purpose, relying on The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 153 your assiirances and promise that no more will be detained. " With great Respect, I am, Madam, etc. " Go. Washington. " I beg the favour of having my compliments presented to Mrs. Morris." Mrs. Philipse's complaints were not directed alone against the American troops. When, after the Battle of White Plains (October 28, 1776), the British were in undisputed control of the Manor south of Dobbs Ferry, Lieut.-Col. Stephen Kemble records in his diary, imder date of November 2, 1776: " The Country all this time unmercifully Pillaged by our Troops, Hessians in particular; no wonder the Country People refuse to join us." A week later, he says in his journal: " Mrs. Philips and other friends of Government complaint heavily of the depredations of our Troops; believe our Commander-in-Chief very sorry, Isut, in the present situation of affairs, cannot prevent it; think, from his probity, the next Campaign will be more regular and prevent every irregularity of this nature." The knowledge that his estate was being pillaged, even by his own friends, added to the irksomeness of restraint and other considerations, led Colonel Philipse, after three months detention in Connecticut under his parole, to address a memorial, under date of November 26, 1776, to the Convention of Representatives and Com- 154 Philip se Manor Hall mittee of Safety of the State of New York pray- ing that he be restored to his liberty; or, if that could not be granted, that he be permitted to return to the Manor House and reside there under a parole similar to that already given. In his memorial he said: " Your memorialist has already suffered great hardships and inconveniences, and if not per- mitted to return home before the severity of the winter sets in, must still suffer many more, which, in his advanced stage of life and infirm state of health, he is ill calculated to undergo. But that all the personal inconveniences he has felt and is likely further to feel if not relieved are far from making so deep an impression on his mind as the circumstances of being separated from wife and numerous family, and thereby prevented from sup- erintending his own afEairs, particularly the educa- tion of his children, whose tender years require the most watchful attention of a parent's care." This memorial, with others of like nature, was referred by the New York Convention to a com- mittee which reported on December 13, 1776: " That with respect to Frederick Philips, your Committee are well informed that he had exerted himself in promoting an association in West Chester County highly injurious to the American cause; that his great estate in that cotmty has necessarily created a vast number of dependents on his pleasure, and that your Committee verily believe that the shameful defection of the inhab- itants of that county is in a great measiure owing to his influence." The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 155 The committee advised that the indulgence of Philipse, " who requests liberty to return to his family at Philipsburgh, would put it in the power of a professed enemy of the American cause not only further to disaflect the inhabitants of West Chester County, but to put many of them in arms against the United States of America." Notwithstanding this advice of the New York Committee, on December 20, 1776, the Governor and Council of Safety of Connecticut at Middle- town voted that Colonel Philipse and others be per- mitted to return home upon giving their parole not to give any inteUigence to the enemy; not to take up arms; not to do or say an3rthing against the United States of America; and to return to Connecticut when requested. On December 23 Colonel Philipse and six others signed a parole to that effect and he returned home. In 1777, he left the Manor House in charge of his steward, WilUams, and went to his town residence on the north comer of Whitehall and Stone streets in New York city.* The city, it will be remem- bered, had been in possession of the British since September 15, 1776. Thence he was summoned to * This location had been the hereditary family seat in New York city since the original grant to the founder in 1658. It was confiscated with his other property under the act of October 22, 1779, and sold by the Commis- sioners of Forfeiture on June 14, 1785 to Isaac Hubble for £1,570. Hubble divided it into three lots, and sold the southern two to Capt. John Lamb of Revolutionary fame. The northern lot he sold to Daniel Niven. iS6 Philipse Manor Hall return to Connecticut; but it is said in his defense that he never received the summons. However that may be, he was adjudged to have broken his parole. On October 22, 1779, the Legislature at Kingston passed an act (chapter 24) attainting fifty-eight persons of " adhering to the Eang with intent to subvert the government and liberties of this State and the said other United States, and to bring the same into subjection to the Crown of Great Britain." The act also proscribed them, confiscated their real and personal estates, and declared that " each and every of them who shall at any time hereafter be found in any part of the State shall be and are hereby adjudged and declared guilty of felony, and shall suffer Death as in cases of felony without Benefit of Clergy." Under this terrible ban fell Frederick Philipse; his sister Susannah and her husband Beverly Robinson; his sister Mary and her husband Roger Morris;* and fifty-three others. And by this stroke, the great Philipse Manor, as a Manor, vanished. When the treaty of peace confirmed the Independence of the United States, he who was lately Lord of the Manor, deprived of his title, deprived of his great estate, humiliated in spirit, bUnd of sight and broken in health, betook * The attainting of Mrs. Morris, as explained in Sabine's "Loyalists in America," was due to the fact that Colonel Morris possessed a part of the Philipse estate in right of his wife, and she was attainted in order that the whole interest should pass under the act. The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 157 himself and family to England where they passed the remainder of their days. Colonel Philipse died on April 30, 1786, while residing in Saint Oswald's Parish, Chester, and was' buried in Chester Cathedral May 2, 1786. The place of interment is probably in the south transept which, until 1881, was used as the Parish Church of Saint Oswald's. In a conspicuous place on the south face of the great pier of the southwest support of the tower of the cathedral is a tablet to his memory, read- ing as follows: Sacred to the Memory of Frederick Philipse, Efquire, late of the Province of New York; a Gentleman, in whom the various focial, domeftic and religious Virtues were eminently united. The uniform Rectitude of his Conduct commanded the Efteem of others; whilft the Benevolence of his Heart, and gentlenefs of his Manners fecured their Love. Firmly attached to his Sovereign and the Britifh Conftitution, he oppofed, at the Hazard of his Life, the late Rebellion in North America; and for this faithful Dif charge of his Duty to his King and Country, he was Profscribed, and his Eftate, one of the largeft in New york, was Confifcated, by the Ufurped Legiflature of that Province. When the Britifh Troops were withdrawn from New york in 1783, he quitted a Province to which he had always been an Ornament and Benefactor, and came to England, leaving all his Property behind him Which Reverfe of Fortune he bore with that Calmnefs, Fortitude and Dignity which had diftinguifhed him through every former Stage of Life. He was bom at New York the 12th: Day of September, in the Year 1720; and died in this Place the 30th: Day of April, in the Year 1785, aged 65 years. is8 PhiUpse Manor Hall The wording of this inscription is copied from a photograph of the tablet kindly taken in 1908 by the daughter of the Dean of Chester and furnished to the author by the Rev. Marmaduke C. F. Morris of York. It differs slightly from some previous publications. The date " 1785 " inscribed upon the tablet and copied in many books is an error. It should be 1786. Bom in September, 1720, Colonel Philipse was not yet 65 years old in April, 1785. That he died in 1786 is proven by the Parish Register of Saint Oswald's which contains this record: 1786. May. Frederick Philips Esqr. 65/2 in which " 65 " is his age and " 2 " the day of the month of May on which he was buried. The Rev. John L. Darby, Dean of Chester, who kindly examined the Register for the writer, says: " I have had an opportunity of examining the Register of St. Oswald's Parish in the City. The Register is so beautifully and accurately kept in the years 1785-86 that I cannot doubt but that the Register is correct and' the Tablet gives a wrong date as to Frederick Philips' death. The Register is quite clear and means that F. Philips was buried on May 2, 1786, aged 65. The dis- crepancy is an evidence of how vmtrustworthy tablets are." The tablet is surmounted by an heraldic device, representing a lion rampant upon a The Attainder of Frederick Philipse 159 crown. It is possible that this tablet is not now in its original position, as the tablets and monu- ments of Chester Cathedral were freely moved in 1873-76; but it is so near the south transept that it is probably not far from the place of interment. For over a century the guides who show the visitors through Chester Cathedral have pointed to this tablet and told the story of the old Manor Hall on the Hudson, 3,000 miles away.* ' * Under the Philipse tablet, on the same pier, is a tablet reading as follows: " To the memory of George Clarke of Hyde, Esquire, who was formerly Lieutenant-Governor of New York and afterwards became resident in this city. He died January XII, MDCCLX, aged LXXXIV years, and was interred in this chapel." CHAPTER XI THE HEART OF THE NEUTRAL GROUND "P VENTS conspired to the enactment of many *^ events around, although but few within, the Manor Hall during the Revolution. By the removal of its master in August, 1776, Washing- ton prevented the Hall from being a ntu-sery of Toryism. During the next few months, when both armies began operations in Westchester county, a chivalric consideration for the headless Philipse family seems to have prevented any occupation of the house by either side for military purposes. After Colonel Philipse broke his parole in 1777 and the house was abandoned by the family to the care of their steward, its loca- tion in the heart of the neutral ground, bringing it within the lines of one army and then the other as the frontier of hostilities oscillated back and forth, rendered it too insecitre to become permanent headquarters for either side.* * Mrs. Lamb, the historian, in her article in Appleton's Journal (Vol. X, p. 385), says that Washington and his generals stayed several nights in the Manor Hall, and that the southwestern room in the south front was the scene of several important councils of war. Although this is not impossible, the present writer has been unable to find documentary authority for a more precise state- ment than Mrs. Lamb's. (160) The Heart of the Neutral Ground i6i The Manor Hall was the witness, however, of exciting events near by and the finding of cannon balls and exploded shells* on the grounds adjacent to the Manor Hall show that it was at times in the midst of fljring " shot and shell." It will be remembered that at that time the Hudson river shore was only about 300 feet from the house on one side, while the old Post Road, crossing PhiUpse's bridge over the Neperhan, was about 300 feet on the other. The widened mouth of the Neperhan formed a little harbor which extended well up toward the base of the hill on which the mansion stood. The first exciting event to startle the occupants of the Hall was the first exclusively aquatic engagement of the Revolution on the Hudson river. On Saturday, July 13, 1776, the British warships. Phoenix, 44 gtms, and Rose, 36 guns, Tryal armed schooner, and two tenders Charlotta and Shuldham, came up the river and for over a month lay in the Tappan sea and Haverstraw bay, annojdng both shores. The counter move- ments of the Americans, however, forced them down near a point opposite Yonkers. The log of the Phoenix of August 14th says: "Weighed, and with the Rose, Tryal sch. & 2 Tenders anchored in 6^ f. abreast of Colonel Phillips, * Martial relics of this kind, found near the Manor Hall, were exhibited in the Bicentennial Loan Exhibition held in the Manor Hall October 18-28, 1882. II 1 62 Philipse Manor Hall distd. from each shore f mile." Here on the night of Friday, August i6, they were surprised by two American fireships — a sloop of loo tons and another smaller one, filled with combustibles — commanded by Captains Thomas and Bass. In the face of a terrific cannonade from the British warships, Thomas grappled the Phoenix and Bass the Charlotta, set fire to their com- bustibles, and then tried to escape by their rowboats, but six of them perished. The British lost several lives. The Charlotta was totally consumed, and the Phoenix- was badly damaged, before the latter, with the Rose, Tryal and Shuld- ham escaped. Lossing says that the vessels took refuge in the little Neperhan haven. General Heath, General Clinton, and others witnessed the engagement. Ruttenber says that they stood on high ground at Yonkers. The point at which this engagement took place is clearly indicated on a map entitled "A sketch of the Operations of His Majesty's Fleet and Army under the Command of the Rt. Hble. Lord Viscount Howe and Genl. Sr. Wm. Howe, K. B., in 1776," by J. F. W. Des Barres, pub- lished according to act of Parliament January 17, 1777, upon which the place " where the enemy's ships engaged the Phoenix and Rose on the 16 Augst " is shown to be directly opposite the mouth of the Neperhan. One can readily imagine the excitement of The Heart of the Neutral Ground 163 Colonel Philipse and family on the night of the 1 6th, as, awakened by the firing of cannon, they beheld the conflagration on the river and watched the desperate efforts of the British to disentangle themselves and escape. On the i8th, the British vessels discreetly dropped down the river and rejoined the fleet in New York harbor. Early on the morning of October 9, 1776, occurred another event, similar in kind but of a different complexion. The Phoenix, Roebuck, Tartar, Tryal and two tenders from the British fleet again stood up the river, while before them fled some American galleys, small craft, and two large ships. The latter (which had been designed to be sunk among the obstructions between Fort Washington and Fort Lee to prevent the ascent of the British vessels) were beached by the Americans just below the Manor House and two of the galleys near Dobbs Ferry. General Heath, who was stationed at Kings Bridge, instantly dispatched Colonel Sargent and 500 infantry, 40 light horse, Capt. Jotham Horton of Knox's artillery with two 12-pounders and Capt. Edward Crafts with a howitzer to Philipse's and Dobbs Ferry and soon the tramp of their feet and the nmible of their wheels were heard on the Neper- han bridge. Part of the force kept on to Dobbs Ferry and part stopped at the Manor House to succor the American ships. One of the latter was successfully floated by the Americans, and 1 64 Philipse Manor Hall the next day most of the detachment returned to Kings Bridge. About 8 o'clock at night on October 20, 1776, the Philipse family, if they had looked out of the eastern windows, might have seen riding south- ward past the Manor Hall a solitary horseman whose outward appearance little indicated the rank which he held in the American army. This was Col. Rufus Putnam, Chief Engineer of the Continental Army, travelling in disgtiise over a road to which he was an entire stranger, after having secretly reconnoitred the British army which lay on the road from Pells Point to White Plains. Putnam, to gain information for Washington, whose headquarters were in the Morris Mansion in New York, had disguised himself by taking out his cockade, lopping his hat, and secreting his sword and pistols under his loose coat, and had travelled incognito into the dangerous zone. " Had I been taken under this disguise," he says in his Memoirs, " the probability is that I should have been hanged for a spy." His route back to New York was " by the way of Philip's at the mouth of Sawmill river, a road I had never traveled, among Tory inhabitants, and in the night." Under the circumstances, he did not knock at the Manor House door for information, as many another traveller in less troublous times had done. " I did not inquire the way," he says, " but Providence conducted me." The Heart of the Neutral Ground 165 On October 26, 1776, a party of American light horse and infantry took possession of Philipse Manor and stayed there all night but retired the next morning, on the eve of the battle of White Plains. After the battle of White Plains, while Washing- ton threw his army over into New Jersey, Howe extended his to Dobbs Ferry. The Manor Hall was now within the British lines. On November 1 1 , General Orders were issued for the British army to march southward the next day, the baggage of the Seventy-first Regiment being ordered to stop at Colonel Philipse's, where that famous regiment was instructed to halt until further orders. On November 12, says Lieut.- Col. Stephen Kemble, in his diary, " The Army Marched as ordered Yesterday. Occupied Grounds from Colonel Phillips's to East Chester." On the following day the bulk of the army marched to Kings Bridge preparatory to the attack on Fort Washington on November 16. The British commander followed up his success at Fort Washington by a prompt movement upon its supporting post, Fort Lee (formerly called Fort Constitution) directly across the river, and used the little Neperhan harbor at the Manor House as the point of embarkation. The British map of operations in 1776, before referred to, shows the place " where the King's troops embarked on the (19) November for the attack 1 66 Philipse Manor Hall of Fort Constitution " to have been at the mouth of the Neperhan. At 9 o'clock on the night of the 19th, says Kemble's diary, " the Reserves, two Battalions Light Infantry, Chasseurs and three BattaUons Hessians, Embarked under the Command of Lord ComwaUis and Crossed the North River the next morning early (the 20th) and landed without any opposition nearly opposite Colonel Philips's," at the foot of the crooked Httle defile at Closter. This force, amounting to about s,ooo men, captured Fort Lee on the 20th. There appears to have been a fort of some kind on the Manor House side of the Neperhan at its mouth to protect the embarkation of these troops and other movements at this point. A rare British map, surveyed by Sauthier and engraved by Faden according to an act of Parlia- ment of October 1, 1776, entitled "A topographi- cal map of Hudson's River, with the channels, depth of water, rocks, shoals, etc." shows a square enclosure at this point and the word " Fort". It was probably an earthen redoubt. Two months later, on January 17, 1777, the Manor Hall came back within the American lines, when Lincoln's Division marched down past the house to join in the brisk fighting from the 1 8th to the 29th near Kings Bridge. On the latter date, Lincoln's Division tramped back up the river road over Philipse's bridge and withdrew to Dobbs Ferry above. The Heart of the Neutral Ground 167 The Manor Hall is particularly a monument to the forbearance and humanity of the American Generals, in the face of great provocation, as is illustrated by the following incident. On Novem- ber 18, 1777, General Tryon sent out a small force of Hessians to bum some houses in Philipse Manor and the work was done with savage barbarity. Women and children, stripped of their clothing, were turned out of their homes on a severely cold night, and men, in no other clothes than shirts and breeches, were led with halters arotmd their necks to the enemy's lines as prisoners. Gen. Samuel H. Parsons, who com- manded the American troops at White Plains, Wrote a scathing letter to General Tryon under date of November 21, 1777, in which he said: " You cannot be insensible 'tis every day in my power to destroy the buildings belonging to Col. Phillips and Mr. Delancey — each as near your lines as these biuned by your troops were to the guards of the army of the United States, nor can your utmost vigilance prevent the destruction of every building on this side of King's Bridge. 'Tis not fear, sir; 'tis not want of opportunity has preserved those buildings to this time, but a sense of the injustice and savageness of such a line of conduct has hitherto saved them, and nothing but necessity wUl induce me to copy the example of the kind so frequently set us by yoiu* troops." An incident in September, 1778, illustrates how nearly the Manor House was the center of the 1 68 Philips e Manor Hall neutral ground. Miss Sarah Williams, a sister of Mrs. Frederick Philipse, was living with the widow of the Rev. Luke Babcock in the par- sonage near the foot of Boar Hill — about three- quarters of a mile northeast of the Manor House. Nearby was camped a corps of Americans under Colonel Gist. The latter was enamored of the Widow Babcock and it is said that the attach- ment was reciprocated. While thus situated, the British planned to surprise and capture Gist and his force. A detachment of 200 Yagers under Major Pruschank was sent to the bridge at the Manor HaU with instructions to force it, and then proceed to Gist's rear and cut off his retreat, while Simcoe's Rangers and Emmerick's Infantry proceeded by more easterly routes to the main attack. Pruschank evidently found Philipse's bridge too strongly defended, for instead of forcing a passage as instructed, he turned o£E to the east and joined the other troops. Gist's rear being thus left open, the Americans, aided by signals waved by Mrs. Babcock from an upper window, escaped, Lieutenant-Colonel Kemble infomas us under date of September 30, 1778, that " General Knyp- hausen, with the greatest part of the Troops from King's Bridge, at this time advanced to the Heights above PhiUips's House on the North River." The most important event relating to the Manor House the next year, 1779, was Sir Henry The Heart of the Neutral Ground 169 Clinton's expedition during which he made his headquarters in the house. On Friday, May 28, 1779, the British " march'd from the lines of King's bridge in four column's . . . and form'd a Camp about five Miles beyond it in a very strong ground, the right extending to East Chester Creek and the left to PhilUps's House on the North River." This was the first move- ment in the campaign against Verplanck's and Stony Points. On Saturday evening, more British troops arrived at New York from Virginia. Whereupon Sir Henry CHnton ordered the transports with those troops to move up the river that night and anchor opposite the Manor HaU, where they were to be joined by another corps which was to embark there the next morning from the camp. The same day. Sir Henry left New York in one of his own vessels and proceeded to Philipse's, where he took up his headquarters in the Manor House. As Maj. John Andre was his aide on this expedition, it may be assumed that he was with the Commander-in-Chief in this house. Here he perfected the plan for the capture of Verplanck's and Stony Points which were successfully carried out on May 31 and Jtme I. After this temporary success, Sir Henry Clinton returned to the Manor House on Sunday, June 6. Lieut.-Col. Stephen Kemble remained with the 170 Philipse Manor Hall troops fortifjdng Stony and Verplanck's Points, but embarked on Sunday, June 27, and on " Monday, June 28th, Got to Philips's and Disembarked." On the night of July 15-16, the British were surprised by the coup de main by which Wayne recaptured Stony and Verplanck's Points. In this crisis, CUnton moved his army out of camp at Yonkers up to Dobbs Ferry, anticipating an American attack; but when the Americans, taking with them the cannon and stores foimd at Stony Point, relinquished that post, the British army fell back to its camp around the Manor House. In 1779, while these currents of military affairs were swirling around the Manor House — deserted by its former owners — members of the family were taking as much pleasure as they could in the social whirl in New York City. A LoyaHst manuscript of the period gives an inside view of their gayety. There was no end of " Lords, and Sir Georges and Dear Colonels " in the garrison. Fine dressing, dinner parties, sleigh riding and amatexur theatricals engaged both the belles and the beaux of the city, while dicing and drinking added to the amusement of the latter. Every handsome girl had half a dozen titled or gaily uniformed admirers. " You cannot imagine," says a contemporary, " what a superfluity of danglers there is here, so that a The Heart of the Neutral Ground 171 lady has only to look over a Ust of a dozen or two when she is going to walk, or to dance, or to sleigh." This same authority then goes on to describe some of the belles of the fashionable coterie. A " Miss T " was the greatest beauty; another was " the sentimental Miss L ; " and after a bit of gossip about a plain little mortal who eloped with a Captain, our informant says that the coterie has lately " admitted into that mysterious order a Miss P . Yet she would not be affronted with the ' a : ' it was Miss P , celebrated for her beauty, wit and accompUshments; indeed, so immensely sensible that he was thought a bold officer who ventured on her. It was the Hon. Capt. Smith, eldest son of Lord Strang- ford of Ireland. All the observations made upon her siace are that her eyes are brighter than ever." The charming " Miss P " was the daughter of the Third Lord of the Manor, Miss Maria EUza Philipse, who married Lionel Smythe, Seventh Viscount Strangford, September 4, 1779. There can be no doubt, from the foregoing characterization of this Miss Philipse, as well as from the encomiums upon the beauty and wit of other ladies of this celebrated family in their respective generations, that they were exception- ally charming and were of the aristocracy in the best sense of the word. 172 Philipse Manor Hall While life passed thus gaily in the city, events less pleasing continued to occur in the vicinity of the Manor House. The principal event of the next year, 1780, in that locality, was the landing and encamping of some 16,000 British troops at Philipse's upon Clinton's return from Charleston, S. C. The diary of Lieut. John Charles Philip Von KrafEt of the Hessian troops stationed on Manhattan Island, under date of June 23, 1780, says that on that day he " saw all the Grenadier and English regiments passing from Staten Island in large ships and sailing up the North River where they landed at Philips' house and were obHged to pitch a hut camp." Even Judge Thomas Jones, the Tory historian, in nis " History of New York in the Revolution," is. compelled to indignation by the disgraceful conduct of Clinton's troops. He says that parties " were daily sent out who robbed the poor inhabitants of their cattle, their horses, their hogs, their sheep, their poultry, their garden stuff, their Indian com, their hay, their household furniture, in short, of eversrthing they could lay their hands upon; burnt houses, barns and stables; insulted women and imprisoned their husbands. Thus suffered innocent farmers who had nothing to do with the controversy. A noble emplojnnent this for a British Army of 16,000 men under the command of a British General sent to America to crush a rebellion! " The Heart of the Neutral Ground 173 In 1 78 1, the Manor House again marked more clearly the center of the neutral or debatable ground than any other landmark that can be cited. About it the contending forces circled, sweeping up to it from both sides, sometimes passing it, but never leaving it within the per- manent lines of either camp. The southern- most fortification of the Americans at this time was at Dobbs Ferry. Before daybreak on July 3,1781, General Lincoln and 800 Americans, who had come from Peekskill by way of Croton Point and the Hudson river, landed near the Manor House and proceeded southward with a view of surprising the works at the northern end of Manhattan Island; but were discovered and the enterprise was not prosecuted. On Jvily 6, the French army joined the Ameri- cans in the northern part of the Manor. During the next six weeks, the Americans conducted foraging expeditions southward toward Philipse's like that of Scammel's on July 29, while the British from the south conducted similar expedi- tions northward toward the same point, like that of De Lancey's Corps on August 5. On one occasion — July 2 1 to 23 — the Americans made a reconnaissance with a force of 5,000 men as far as Kings Bridge. The right column under General Parsons marched down by the Manor 174 Philipse Manor Hall House on the night of the 21st and returned by the same route on the 23d. The precipitous nature of the Palisades opposite Manor Hall prevented greater activity at Yonkers during the Revolution. The only means of ascending the western shore between Fort Lee and Piermont was the narrow and difficult defile at Closter. Except for the ascent of the British troops at the time of the capture of Fort Lee in 1776 and the descent of Lincoln's troops in 1781 on return from the Fort Lee reconnaissance, the Closter trail was generally avoided for more convenient landing places. Hence, when the American and French armies broke camp in the northern part of the Manor on August 17, 1781, preparatory to marching to Yorktown, Va., they proceeded to Dobbs Ferry and to Kings Ferry (Verplanck's to Stony Point) to make their crossings. With the virtual termination of the war at Yorktown, the Manor Hall did not drop out of the official literature of the Revolution. In 1782, while the armies were resting on their arms awaiting the conclusion of the peace negotiations, an incident occurred which brought the Hall conspicuously into the correspondence of the opposing commanders-in-chief. On April 12, 1782, a detachment of British at New York hung in cold blood an American prisoner of war named Captain Huddy. Washington, upon learning of The Heart of the Neutral Ground 175, the act, held a council and decided to have recoiirse to the lex talionis unless the British commander-in-chief punished the perpetrators. Lots were drawn to determine upon which of several prisoners of equal rank the retaliation should be inflicted, and the name of . Captain Asgill, a British officer of noble family, was drawn. Captain Lippincott, the leader of the lynching party, was court-martialed by order of Sir Guy Carleton. In July, Sir Guy requested from Washington a passport with which to send Chief Justice Smith to the American Head- quarters with the proceedings of the court- martial. This Washington peremptorily refused, but said that he would send Major-General Heath to Philipse's Manor House at Yonkers to- meet such officer of equal rank as Sir Guy might send. The Manor House (called " Phillips s House ") is mentioned at this time in five official docimients from Washington to General Heath — one dated July 30, one July 31, and three dated August 3. Heath was ordered to repair to the Manor House on August 5 to meet the representa- tive of the enemy, but he was to take care that the proceedings of the conference were committed to writing to avoid all misconceptions; and he was to countenance no procrastinating or evasive tactics. The British representative was to be given distinctly to understand that either the murderer of Captain Huddy was to be given up,. 176 Philipse Manor Hall or a British officer should suffer in his place. But the conference, involving the threatened fate of the innocent Captain Asgill, never took place. On August 3 Sir Guy Carlton wrote Washington that he would not trouble him to send an officer of such high rank merely to be the bearet of a bundle of papers, but that they would be sent in the ordinary course of conveyance. The papers showed that Lippincott was acquitted; and while Washington was preparing to have Asgill executed, the latter's mother. Lady Asgill, appealed to the French government to intercede in behalf of her son. As a consequence of diplo- matic representations from America's helpful ally. Congress, on November 5, directed Washington to set Asgill at liberty. This is but one of innumerable instances which show that while events may not have occurred in the Manor House, it was a conspicuous land- mark in the literature of the Revolution and its preservation is a valuable help to an under- standing of the history of that period. On Thursday, November 20, 1783, a person looking out of an east window of the Manor Hall might have seen a little cavalcade of horsemen, uniformed in blue and buff, riding down the old Post Road past the entrance to the Manor House groimds, and, clattering over the bridge across the Neperhan, disappear among the hills and woods to the south. The treaty of peace had been The Heart of the Neutral Ground 177 signed; the British had begun to withdraw their forces, and the Httle cavalcade was composed of Washington,* Governor Clinton and others, en route to New York to take possession of the city on Evacuation Day. * On the preceding night Washington had stayed at Edw. Cowenhoven's at Tanytown. On the night of the 20th he slept at the Van Cortlandt Mansion near Kings Bridge. 12 CHAPTER XII THE DISSOLUTION OF THE MANOR T^HE dissolution of Philipse Manor, foreshad- * owed in the chapter on the attainder of Frederick Philipse, although justified by the laws of war, nevertheless cannot be contemplated without a stirring of those kindlier human senti- ments which generous minds entertain toward those who conscientiously differ from them in matters of principle. The expatriation of a family which had promi- nently and honorably been identified with the poUtical, religious, social and commercial life of the Colonies for a century and a quarter and four gene- rations of which had been native bom Americans; the losses and sufferings of those who chose to sacri- fice their property rather than sacrifice their honest convictions; and the dispersion of the once great property of Philipse Manor until the very slaves which the one time proprietors left behind became dependents on public charity and were buried in the Potter's field, present a tragedy well calculated to arouse, even in Americans, mingled feelings of regret, respect and sjmipathy. (178) The Dissolution of the Manor 1 79 The breaking up of the Manor property was a gradual process, beginning almost immediately upon Philipse's violation of his parole in 1777 and ending after the close of the war. The appropriation of certain portions of Philipse's property — live stock, hay, wood, etc. — which began about two years before the act of attainder was actually parsed, was made imder resolves of the State Convention passed on March 7 and March 8, 1777. On the former date, the Con- vention empowered the Commissioners appointed to inquire into, detect and defeat all plots against the rights and liberties of America to send for aU citizens of the State confined by parole or otherwise except those charged with actually taking up arms against the United States or aiding the enemy, and offer them an opportunity to declare their allegiance to the State. Such as took the oath of allegiance were to be discharged. Such as refused to take the oath were to be directed to repair with their families, household goods and apparel, to New York City or some other place in the possession of the British. Such as refused to appear before the Commissioners were to be considered as having gone over to the enemy. With respect to the latter class, it was voted that " the personal property of such per- sons shall be seized and sold at public vendue and the money arising therefrom shall be paid into the treasury of this State and be subject i8o Philipse Manor Hall to the disposition of the futtire Legislature thereof; unless, upon the appearance of such delinquents before the said Commissioners pre- vious to such sale of their personal property, a sufficient reason be assigned for their non- attendance." On March 8, 1777, it was resolved that the Commissioners take possession of all the personal property of the persons named and sell the same at public vendue, and to file with the Treasurer of the State accounts of the sale, " leaving nevertheless to each of the families of the persons aforesaid their apparel, necessary household fttmiture and as much provisions as will be sufficient for their subsistence for three months." The act of attainder and confiscation, as stated on page 156, was passed October 22, 1779. Under these and other acts of the Convention or Legislature, the sale of the personal and real property of the so-called Loyalists was conducted by commissioners called Commissioners of Seques- tration and Commissioners of Forfeiture. The former disposed of the personal property and the latter at first had to do with the real estate only. Later, the duties of the Commissioners of Seques- tration were merged with those of the Com- missioners of Forfeiture. The sale of the confiscated real estate did not take place until the close of the war. The dis- posal of the personal property began in 1777 but The Dissolution of the Manor i8i nattarally was limited at first to the area within American control. The manuscript records in the State Comptroller's office at Albany and the Department of Manuscripts in the State Library, although incomplete,* give many glimpses into the proceedings attending the dispersion of the Philipse property. The records are interesting also as giving the current prices of various articles at that time. An abstract of vouchers and evidence of the value of firewood, timber, etc., taken by the army of the United States during the war from seques- trated estates, for the use of the army, as valued by appraisers chosen by Charles Tillinghast on the part of the United States and George Trimble on the part of the State shows property to the value of £s,66o, 15s., 6d. taken from Colonel PhiUpse's estate. Rails were reckoned at 30 shillings a hundred, wood at 8 shillings a cord, hay at 3 pounds a ton and com at 3 shillings a bushel. On April 15, 1777, the Commissioners sold 12 sheep taken from Colonel Philipse at 31 shillings apiece. On April 24, they sold a mare * There is to be found no record of the sale of the house- hold effects of the Manor HaU. As the HaU was within the British lines during the greater part of the war, there was ample opportunity for removing the furniture and other personal property to New York City, so that, unless some of the family plate and other valuables of small compass were concealed in secret closets, as is alleged in a current tradition, it is probable that the family left nothing of value to be sold. i82 Philipse Manor Hall taken from him for 3 shillings — either a pretty poor beast or a very low price, but there is no mistake about the price in the record. On May 2, they sold a white mare for £10, 3s., on May 5 another mare for £21, los., on June 4 a pony mare for £4, and on June 10 a horse for £8. In April they sold a chain weighing 103 lb. for £10, 6s. And so the fragmentary documents run. Having asstmied the proprietorship of Phil- ipse's property, the State likewise assumed ownership of all accounts due to Philipse prior to July 9, 1776, and liability for all accounts payable by him accrued prior to that date. Among the various accounts so assumed and paid by the State, of which the documents in the Comptroller's office bear record, is one due from Philipse to " Samuel Fraunces of the City of New York, Innkeeper," for the sum of £27, 6s., 6d., rendered by Fraunces in 1784 and paid by the State. . Fraunces was the famous publican who kept Fraunces' Tavern in New York, who catered to Washington, and whose daughter, while Washington's housekeeper in 1776, frustrated a plot to poison him. Fratmces' autograph may be seen attached to the receipt for Philipse's account at page 133 of volume XLVI of " Manu- scripts of the. Colony and State of New York in the Revolutionary War " in the State Comp- troller's office at Albany. The Dissolution of the Manor 183 The sale of the real estate of the Manor took place in 1785. On September 9, that year, 320 acres — or, as some of the manuscripts at Albany- say, 386 acres, — including the Manor Hall, were sold to " Cornelius P. Low of the City of New York, Gentleman," for £14,520. An idea of the increase of values since that date is gained from the fact that while 320 acres in 1785 brought only £14,520, the single scant acre on which the Manor Hall stands is now estimated to be worth $100,000. The total of the sales credited to the Philipse estate in the manuscript records at Albany is 235,413 pounds, 14 shillings, 3 pence. The vari- ations in the rate of exchange and in the relative value of sterling and Continental money were so great that it is almost impossible to express the equivalent of this stun in American currency to-day. An idea of the value of Philipse's indi- vidual loss may be gathered from the fact that before he died he applied to the British govern- ment for compensation and was allowed 62,075 pounds sterUng, or about $300,000. Philipse's estate, by reason of gifts and sales from time to time during his tenure, did not, at the time of the Revolution, comprise the whole of the original Manor. The value of the latter was estimated by an EngUsh work in 1809 to have been between 600,000 and 700,000 pounds, or from $3,000,000 to $3,500,000. 184 Philipse Manor Hall The fate of Mary Philipse (Mrs. Roger Morris) was so closely connected with that of her brother that the records about the Morris property in New York City are also of interest. The fur- niture and plate of the Morrises were sold at auction in New York in 1783. The Morris Mansion and lands on Harlem Heights, New York City, were appraised June 7, 1784, by the American authorities, at £2,250. The fate of the property is indicated in the following entry under date of July 9, 1784, on page 6 of the voltune entitled " Forfeited Estates " in the Hall of Records, New York City: " Sold to John Berrian and Isaac Ledyard for the sum of two thousand two hundred and fifty pounds all that certain messuage or dwelling house bams stables out houses and farm situate in the Out Ward of the City of New York on the heights commonly called Haerlem Heights con- taining IIS acres, forfeited to the People of this State by the conviction of Roger Morris Esquire." A formal conveyance of this property from the Commissioners of Forfeiture, Isaac Stouten- burgh and Philip Van Cortlandt, to John Berrian and Isaac Ledyard was recorded August 13, 1792, on page 452 of Liber 47 of Conveyances in the Hall of Records. The description of the property in this conveyance is in the same general terms as those given in the above record of sale» dated July 9, 1784. The Dissolution of the Manor 185 Meanwhile, on April 12, 1783, Colonel Morris addressed a memorial* to the British Government praying for compensation. The Government val- ued the fee simple of their estate at £20,000 and their life interest at £12,505. For the latter they received compensation. In 1787 the Attorney-General of England decided that the reversionary interest of the children in the prop- erty on the death of the parents was not included in the attainder and was recoverable. In 1809 Capt. Henry Gage Morris, R. N., and two sisters sold this reversionary interest to John Jacob Astor of New York for £20,000. The deed to Mr. Astor was signed in London in the presence of the Lord Mayor. Soon thereafter the pur- chaser notified the various tenants of the land, but took no legal steps until after Mrs. Morris' death in 1825. Meanwhile, several tenants, hav- ing purchased their farms from the State of New York after the confiscation, refused to pay rents to Astor, and he instituted suits of ejectment. This led to complications which were finally adjusted in 1828 by a compromise between Astor and the State, by which the State paid him $500,000 for the reversionary rights which he had acquired from the Morris heirs. * This memorial is to be seen in the Public Records Office in Chancery Lane, London, in " Duplicate Despatch No. 67, Miscellaneous New York Papers, 1783; No. 590, Colonial Office Records, America and West Indies." 1 86 Philips e Manor Hall An old map of the Philipse patent, on which the respective shares of Susannah, Mary and Philip Philipse are indicated, shows Mary's portion in that estate to have been 51,000 acres. The legal difficulty of eradicating the rights of the Philipse family to real estate acquired over two centuries ago appeared in a bill which was passed by the New York Legislature in 191 1, " To extinguish the claim of the heirs of Philip Philipse by the acquisition of their mineral and mining rights in certaia lands in the counties of Putnam and Dutchess heretofore conveyed by the Commissioners of Forfeiture of the State of New York." It provided that " if Mary Philipse Satterlee, Margaret Gouvemeur Philipse and Catharine Wadsworth Philipse, as sole remaining heirs of Philip Philipse, and claimants to an undivided one-third interest in the mines and minerals in 100,000 acres, more or less, of certain lands in the coimties of Putnam and Dutchess heretofore sold by the people of this State as forfeited by the attainder of Roger Morris, and Mary, his wife, and Beverly Robinson, and Susannah, his wife " would reHnqviish all their rights therein, they should be paid $225,000. The bill, however, was vetoed by Governor Dix.* * The existence of these old mineral rights of Philipse Manor frequently prevents the giving of a clear title to real estate and is said by the representative of a prominent title insvirance company of New York seriously to retard real estate development in certain parts of the old Manor. The Dissolution of the Manor 187 One of the most striking facts recalled by an examination of the old documents relating to the dissolution of Philipse Manor — a fact almost forgotten in these modem days — is the former existence of human slavery in the Colony of New York. The records of the sales of Philipse's property inform us not only of the value of hay, cordwood, sheep and horses, but also of the value of a human being with a black sldn at that time. On July 3, 1777, a negro boy named George was sold for £100, and on May 21, 1778, a negro man named Pompey was sold for £150. These able-bodied servants were taken within the American lines during those years. Con- cerning the fate of Philipse's other able-bodied slaves we are left to conjecture. Allusions in official correspondence in 1783 indicate that the British, upon evacuating New York, took many negro slaves with them; and it is probable that the Philipses took with them such of their own slaves as were serviceable. The aged and infirm appear to have been left behind. Some became charges upon the public care of the town of Yonkers and at least one upon the care of another town, Flatbush. For thirty-three years after the close of the war, and perhaps longer, these unfortunate people remained pitiful reminders of the departed glory of their former masters. " For the maintenance of Tom and Mary, two old helpless negroes, late the property of Fred- 1 88 Philipse Manor Hall erick Philipse, Esq." so reads an old yellow docu- ment, "from the 13th Octr. 1786, to the 17th Jany, 1790, 169 weeks and 5 days," David Hunt was paid at the rate of 12 shillings a week for each, and for keeping another " old negro belong- ing to the said estate " for 232 weeks he was paid at the rate of 6 shillings a week. In 1795 the rate for Tom and Mary dropped to eight shillings a week. Betty and Csesar were two other negroes, " late the slaves of Frederick Philipse whose estate was confiscated " who were maintained by the overseers of the poor of the town of Yonkers. The latter rendered biUs annually to the State of New York, and the State paid them. From April 24, 1809, to April 24, 1810, Caesar cost $2 a week for main- tenance, or $104 for the year, plus $22.50 for clothing. In 18 14 he cost $120 and Betty $90 for maintenance. Betty was still living in 1816 when she was being maintained at the rate of $1.75 a week. Another of Philipse's slaves named Wall became dependent on the town of Flatbush; and in the last bill rendered by that town to the State on his account, from January 19 to Feb- ruary 12, 1 813, we get an idea of how these poor creatures came to their end. The Dissolution of the Manor 189 To paid Abraham Van der Veer for blankets and sundry articles furnished for the use of Wall $6.28 Stephen B. Schoonmaker for boarding and lodging ditto John Scott for a shirt for ditto Mary Cornell for washing Wall's clothes Dr. Nicholas Schoonmaker, medicine and attendance for do. William Algeo for making coffin for do. Francis Rayner for burying Wall $22.90 1/2 With this sombre scene, we let down the cur- tain on the tragedy of Philipse Manor. Although the War for Independence nominally ended the ancient Manor system in America, yet so deeply was it ingrained in the customs and land tenures of the State that traces of it persisted in the Hudson river Manors farther north* for 4 ■50 .87 1/2 1 ■37 1/2 5 .62 1/2 3 •25 2 .00 * It is interesting to recall how difficult it was to eradi- cate the manorial system in New York State. After the new order had been established, the proprietors of the Manor grants contrived a form of deed by which the tenants agreed to pay rents and dues almost the same as before. These tenures were odious to the tillers of the soil, but they were borne without violent resistance until about 1839. Then the opposition manifested itself in what is known in our State history as the Anti-Rent War. The tenants of the Patroon Van Rensselaer, who had lately died, organized associations of farmers for the pur- pose of devising means of relief. This was followed by open resistance to the service of legal process for the collection of manorial rents. In Grafton, Rensselaer cotmty, a man was killed by a band of anti-renters, but the criminal was never discovered. The insubordination to law became tantamount to civil war, and the agrarian disturbance became so serious that Governor Seward had to order out the militia. In 1841 and 1842 Governor Seward recommended arbitration and appointed three igo Philipse Manor Hall more than sixty years after the war. Philipse Manor, however, having been confiscated, im- mediately became free soil, so that the Manor House stands as a monument, not only to the Manor system when it flourished, but also to the earliest and most complete emancipation from its tenures when it was outgrown. commissioners to investigate and report, but nothing was accomplished. In 1845 Governor Silas Wright declared Delaware county in a state of insurrection and recom- mended legislation for its suppression. At length the conviction of a few persons for resistance to the laws and their confinement in prison put an end to the operations of masked bands of outlaws. In their grievances, the anti-renters had a great deal of popular sympathy, which finally found expression in a clause which was inserted in the revised Constitution of 1846 abolishing all feudal tenures and incidents, and forbidding the leasing of agri- cultural lands for more than twelve years. CHAPTER XIII THE PRESERVATION OP THE MANOR HALL T TPON acqiiiring the Manor Hall property from ^ the Commissioners of Forfeiture September 9, 1785, Cornelius P. Low paid one-third of the purchase price and gave his obligations for the balance. Having difficulty in finding ready money to pay the remaining two-thirds, he sent a petition to the Legislature dated February 22, 1786. asking an extension of time and stating, among other things, that " your petitioner has already spent a very large sum of money in repairs and improvements and hath contracted for further reparations by which the value of the premises will be greatly enhanced." Mr. Low never occupied the property, but sold it on May 12, 1786, to William Constable, another New York City merchant. On April 29, 1796, the latter sold it to " Jacob Stout, Gentleman " of New York for £13,500, and on April i, 1802, Mr. Stout and his wife conveyed it to Joseph Howland of Norwich, Conn., for $60,000. Mr. Howland, after giving several mortgages on the property, made an assignment as an insolvent debtor on January 8,1812. By a bill in chancery filed December 31, 1812, a mortgage given by Howland to Stout was foreclosed and the prem- (191) 192 Philips e Manor Hall ises were sold by the master April 20, 18 13, to Lemuel Wells of New York. Mr. "Wells died February 11, 1842, intestate, and a partition sale took place May 21, 1844, when Lemuel W. Wells, a nephew of Uhe last owner, bought in the property. On December i, 1849, Mr. Wells sold 6.62 acres to William W. Woodworth. On Oc- tober 18, 1862, it was sold under foreclosure of mortgage to James C. Bell, who, on May 2, 1868, sold to the village of Yonkers the reduced tract on which the Manor Hall now stands. The building served as the Village Hall until 1872, when it became the City Hall, in which capacity it was used until it was surrendered to the cus- tody of the American Scenic and Historic Preser- vation Society on July 3, 191 1, pursuant to resolution given on page 207 following. The movement for the preservation of this interesting landmark may be said to have begun in 1868 when the then village of Yonkers pur- chased it for the sum of $44,000 for a village hall. Since then, with the growth and incorporation of the City of Yonkers, real estate values have increased so greatly that the property is now estimated to be worth at least $100,000. The acquisition of the Manor Hall by the municipality in 1868 distinctly contemplated the historical value of the structure and the desira- bility of some form of public control which should remove it from the vicissitudes of private owner- The Preservation of the Manor Hall 193 ship. In 1877, tlie Board of Aldermen, on motion of Frederick Shonnard, adopted a resolu- tion providing for the appointment of a per- manent Committee on Historical Relics who should have certain responsibilities with regard to the Manor Hall and grounds. This com- mittee did a great deal to stimtdate interest in the Hall and the history of the city which had grown up aroimd it. On October 18, 1882, the bicentennial of Yonkers was commemorated with the greatest popular demonstration that Yonkers had ever seen, up to that time, and still further impressed upon the public mind the dignity of the old landmark. For several years thereafter the people of Yonkers enjoyed a sense of security in the pos- session of their cherished relic; but, in 1895, the proposition to erect a new municipal building in the space between the Manor Hall and War- burton Hall on the north, and extending from Music HaU to the south line of Manor Hall on the west, indicated the danger to which the HaU was exposed even with mtmidpal ownership under certain conditions and evoked the most vigorous protest from various civic organizations and leading citizens. Among the former were the Yonkers Historical and Library Association, Kekeskick Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Yonkers Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Empire 13 194 Philip se Manor Hall State Society of the Sons of the American Revo- lution and the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. The last named society had been founded that year, and one of its first acts was the adoption on November 26, 1895, of a respectftd entreaty to the Yonkers Common Council not to disturb the architectural condition or relations of the building or reduce the dimen- sions of the site upon which it stood. This memorial was signed by the Hon. Andrew H. Green, President, Gen. Horace Porter, Judge Henry E. Howland, Walter S. Logan, and Wil- liam H. Webb, Executive Committee. Among the prominent residents of Yonkers and West- chester county who by voice, pen and other resources have been leaders in the championship of the old building and who are entitled to grate- ful remembrance for their services to the cause may be mentioned Judge T. Astley Atkins, Dr. G. B. Balch, William Allen Butler, LL.D., Miss Mary Marshall Butler, Rev. S. Parkes Cadman, Rev. David Cole, D.D., Gen. Thomas Ewing, Theodore Gilman, John C. Havemeyer, Col. Wil- liam L. Heermance, Hon. Norton P. Otis, Col. Ralph E. Prime, G. Hilton Scribner, Hon. Fred- erick Shonnard, Judge Stephen H. Thayer, Hon. James Wood, and others. Responding sjmipa- thetically to the overwhelming expression of public sentiment, Mayor John G. Peene on The Preservation of the Manor Hall 195 December 23, 1895, vetoed the ordinance for the new building. In October, 1896, the building was threatened with destruction by the burning of the wrapping of the furnace pipe in the cellar, and in July, 1898, the roof caught fire from the portable stove of a plumber. In both instances, the building was saved by James W. Carter and wife who for about fifteen years prior to the vacation of the premises by the city government were custodians of the building. In 1900, it was proposed to remodel the police stables on the Manor Hall grounds for use as a firehouse and a contract for the work has been let; whereupon some of the gentlemen already named contributed about $2,500 to recoup the contractor and secured the entire removal of the unsightly structure. About this time the Manor Hall Association was formed and did valuable work in defense of the biiilding. Since then, the old building has stood alone in its native simphcity and picturesqueness save for the beautiful soldiers' monument which had been erected in 1891 on the east lawn and some small brick additions in the rear. The dangers from which the building had been saved admonished those interested that steps should be taken to remove it from all utilitarian uses and preserve it solely for its educational and civic value. In 1903, after a conference 196 Philipse Manor Hall with the various local societies which had been working for the salvation of the Manor Hall, a bill was drafted and introduced in the Legisla- ture by Senator Charles P. McClelland and Assembljmian Francis G. Landon, appropriating $50,000 for the purchase of the property by the State and committing it to the custody of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. The latter provision was the voluntary suggestion of the Yonkers societies. On April 4, 1903, the Common Council of Yonkers signified its willingness to contribute to the State the remaining value of the property, estimated at $50,000 or more, by formally approving the bill and urging its passage. The bill failed of passage and was introduced again in the Legislatures of 1904 and 1905 by Assemblyman George N. Rigby with no better success. Meanwhile, the old building had become the local Faneuil Hall — the recognized place of meet- ing for historical purposes and the shrine of patriotic pilgrimages by the public school children and adults. On October 16, 1907, the Civic League of the Women's Institute of Yonkers, of which Miss Mary Marshall Butler was President, devoted its first meeting of the season to the subject of Manor Hall, when addresses were made by Judge Thayer and the writer of these pages. On the following day, Mrs. William F. Cochran wrote to Miss Butler, asking her to com- The Preservation of the Manor Hall 197 municate to the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society her offer of $50,000 for the purchase of Manor Hall from the City, upon condition that the title should vest in the State and that this Society should be custodian. On November 11, 1907, the Trustees of the Society adopted the following resolutions: " Whereas, Miss Mary Marshall Butler of Yonkers has communicated to the Trustees of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society the offer of a person whose name at present is not disclosed to give $50,000 for the purchase of the Manor Hall of Yonkers upon con- dition that it shall become the property of the People of the State of New York and shall be in the custody of this Society, to be pre- served in perpetuity as an historical monument for the benefit of the American people; -there- fore be it " Resolved, That the American Scenic and His- toric Preservation Society hereby signifies its consent to accept the custodianship of said Manor Hall property, with sincere appreciation of the generosity, public spirit and patriotism of the Donor, and of the responsibility which the trust involves. " Resolved, That in this generous act, the Donor not only has proffered the means of preserving one of the most interesting antiquities of the Colonial Period of the United States, but also has given a notable impiolse to the movement in tins country for the perpetuation of the land- marks of American history for the promotion of education, patriotism and civic spirit. iqS Philipse Manor Hall " Resolved, That with a knowledge of the long- cherished wishes for the preservation of the Manor Hall and of the diligent and self-sacrificing labors of many patriotic citizens for many years to that end, the Trustees of this Society hereby express to the Donor not only their own grateful apprecia- tion but also the confident assurance of that of the People of the State of New York when the benefaction shall be made known to the public. " Resolved, That the Trustees express their particular pleasure at having received this gener- ous tender through Miss Mary Marshall Butler, not only on account of their high regard for her character as manifested in her many-sided philan- thropic work, but also as the daughter of the late William Allen Butler, one of the Charter Members and original organizers of this Society and one of the most earnest workers for the rescue of the Manor Hall. " Resolved, That the President be authorized to appoint a committee of Trustees and Members of the Society with power to confer with the Donor or the Donor's representative and to take such steps as may be necessary and expedient to carry out the Donor's generous purpose." Subsequently the President appointed a Com- mittee* to take charge of the negotiations. The * The Committee of Trustees and Members consisted of Colonel Henry W. Sackett, Chairman; and Reginald P. Bolton, Miss Mary Marshall Butler, Miss Helen R. Cross, Hampton D. Ewing, Henry E. Gregory, Samuel V. Hoff- man, Hon. George W. Perkins, Hon. N. Taylor Phillips, Colonel Ralph E. Prime, Hon. D. McN. K. StaufiEer, and Hon. Stephen H. Thayer. The names of the members of the present committee in charge will be found at the begiiming of this book. The Preservation of the Manor Hall 199 Committee drafted a bill to carry out the purpose of the benefaction, and it was unanimously approved by the Common Council of Yonkers December 9, 1907. On January 13, 1908, the new Common Council added its indorsement, making the third Common Council to approve of State ownership with custody in this Society. On January 7, 1908, the Hon. Francis W. Carpenter introduced in the Senate the bill to provide for the acquisition of the Manor Hall property by the State, and on January 9 the Hon. Harry W. Haines introduced it in the Assembly. With a few verbal changes, the Assembly passed the bill with only one dissenting vote on February 19. The Senate Committee made a slight further amendment and reported the bill favorably as follows: AN ACT to provide for the acquisition by the people of the State of New York of the Philipse Manor House and grounds in the City of Yonkers, Westchester coimty. The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows: Section i. The City of Yonkers is hereby authorized and empowered to convey by its deed, to the people of the State of New York, aU that certain parcel of land situated in the city of Yonkers, Westchester county. New York, with the buildings and improvements thereon, known as the Philipse Manor House property, or the 200 PMlipse Manor Hall Manor Hall property, which is bounded on the east by Warburton avenue; on the south by Dock street; on the west by Woodworth avenue, and on the north by the southerly line of the property of the Warburton Hall Association, upon pay- ment to said city, at any time within two years after the passage of this act, by any citizen or citizens of this state, of the sum of fifty thousand dollars, contributed and given for the purpose. § 2. Upon delivery of such deed, duly executed, to the Comptroller of this State, in form approved by him, title to such said premises shall be and is hereby accepted by the people of the State of New York; the purpose and object of such deed and acceptance being that the said Manor House and grounds shall be preserved and maintained forever intact as an historical monument and a museum of historical relics and for such histori- cal and patriotic uses. § 3. The American Scenic and Historic Preser- vation Society shall be and is hereby constituted and appointed custodian of said property for the State upon conveyance thereof to the State as herein contemplated; and said society, as such custodian, shall have control of and jurisdiction over said property to preserve and maintain the same in accordance with the purpose and object stated in section two of this act until the Legisla- txire shall otherwise direct. § 4. The City of Yonkers is authorized to use and occupy the said property as it is now used and occupied, tmtil the completion of the new municipal building or city hall, now in course of construction in said city, unless other provision shall sooner be made for the public business now The Preservation of the Manor Hall 201 transacted therein, and during such occupation and use shall maintain and preserve the property* § s. This act shall take e£Eect inunediately. The Senate passed the bill without opposition on Monday, March 30, 1908, and the Assembly passed it in concurrence. On April 13, the Yohkers Common Council accepted the bill and on April 27, Governor Hughes signed it. It is chapter 168 of the Laws of 1908. On Wednesday evening, July i, 1908, the title to the property was formally conveyed to the State of New York with brief but impressive ceremonies in the Council Chamber in the Manor Hall. The Chamber was filled with officials of the State, City, and American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society and citizens of Yonkers and New York. The Hon. Stephen H. Thayer, Chairman of the Manor Hall Committee of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, presided and made the opening address, explaining the significance of the meeting. Miss Mary Marshall Butler, representing Mrs. WiUiam F. Cochran, made the presentation address, concluding by deUvering to the Hon. Nathan A. Warren, Mayor of the City of Yonkers, Mrs. Cochran's check for $50,000. Mayor Warren handed the check to Gideon H. Peck, Treasurer of the City of Yonkers, who delivered the receipt therefor to Miss Butler. The Mayor then made an address, concluding by delivering the deed 202 Philipse Manor Hall of the property to Earl H. Gallup, representing State Comptroller Martin H. Glynn. As the document which transferred the title of the property from the City of Yonkers to the State of New York was handed to the Comptroller's re- presentative and the Manor Hall became a Public Montmient, the impressiveness of the moment was felt by all present and they rose and remained standing during Mayor Warren's concluding remarks. Mr. Gallup, for the Comptroller, accepted the property in behalf of the State of New York, and was followed by George Frederick Kunz, Ph.D., Sc.D., President of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society; Edward Hagaman Hall, L.H.D., Secretary of the Society; Hon. T. Astley Atkins, Vice-President of the Yonkers Historical and Library Association; Theodore Gilman, of the Yonkers Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and Hon. Daniel H. Cashin, President of the Yoiikers Common Council, who made brief addresses. The Manor Hall property, as conveyed to the village of Yonkers by James C. BeU and Harriet Thomas Bell, his wife, by warranty deed dated May I, 1868, for the consideration of $44,000, embraces "All those fotirteen certain lots, pieces or parcels of land situate, lying and being in the Town and Village of Yonkers, County of Westchester and State of New York, which, taken together, are bounded and described as follows: Beginning at The Preservation of the Manor Hall 203 a point on the Westerly side of Warburton Avenue distant 175 feet South of the Southerly line of WeUs Avenue, and running thence Westerly and parallel to Wells Avenue 200 feet to the Easterly side of Woodworth Place; thence Southerly along the Easterly side of Woodworth Place 179 feet 6 in. to the Northerly side of Dock Street; thence Easterly along the Northerly side of Dock Street to the Westerly side of Warburton Avenue ; thence Northerly along the Westerly side of Warburton Avenue 150 feet,* more or less, to the point or place of beginning. Together with all the right, title and interest of the parties of the first part of, in and to the adjoining half of Warburton Avenue, Dock Street and Woodworth Place." Since the above quoted conveyance was made, Warburton avenue has been widened 10 feet and Dock street about 5.5 feet, reducing the width of the Manor Hall grounds from 200 to 190 feet and the depth from 179.5 to 174 feet. The plot contains a little less than an acre. The deed from the City of Yonkers to the State of New York reads as follows: " This Indenture, made the first day of July in the year one thousand nine hundred and eight between ' The City of Yonkers ' a municipal cor- * Owing to the rounding of the comer of Warburton avenue and Dock street, 150 feet does not express the actual frontage on the avenue. That figure represents only the straight portion of the frontage. The actual frontage is about 174 feet. 204 Philipse Manor Hall poration duly corporated under the laws of the State of New York, party of the first part and The People of the State of New York, party of the second part, " WITNESSETH, That the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of one doUar lawful money of the United States, paid by the party of the second part, and other good and valuable considerations does hereby grant and release unto the said party of the second part, its successors and assigns forever All that certain parcel of land situate in the City of Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, with the build- ings and improvements thereon, known as the Philipse Manor House Property or the Manor Hall Property, which is bounded on the East by Warburton Avenue; on the South by Dock Street; on the West by Woodworth Avenue and on the North by the Southerly line of the property of the Warburton Hall Association. " The premises hereinabove described being the same premises described in Chapter 1 68 of the Laws of the State of New York passed in the year 1908, and pursuant to which act this conveyance is made. " Together with the appurtenances and all the estate and rights of the party of the first part in and to said premises. " To Have and to Hold the above granted premises imto the said party of the second* part its successors and assigns forever. " And the said party of the first part covenants with said party of the second part as follows: * The habendum clause of the original deed erroneously read: " To have and to hold the above granted premises unto the said party of the first part," etc. The error was cured by a subsequent instrument so as to read as above. The Preservation of the Manor Hall 205 " First, That the said party of the first part is seized of the said premises in fee simple and hath good right to convey the same. " Second, That the party of the second part shall qtiietly enjoy the said premises. " Third, That the said premises are free from encumbrances. " Fourth, That the said party of the first part will execute or procure any further necessary assurance of the title to said premises. " Fifth, That the said party of the first part, will forever warrant the title to said premises. " In Witness Whereof, the said party of the first part has caused these presents to be signed in its name by its Mayor and its corporate seal to be hereto affixed and attested by its City Clerk, the day and year first above written. " (L.S.) The City of Yonkers, " By Nathan A. Warren, " Mayor. " Attest " John T. Geary, City Clerk. " State of New York ] " County of Westchester > " City of Yonkers. J " On the first day of July in the year nineteen hundred and eight before me personally came Nathan A. Warren to me known who being duly sworn did depose and say that he resided in ' The City of Yonkers ' that he is the Mayor of said ' The City of Yonkers ' the corporation described in and which executed the above instrument; that he knew the seal of said corporation; that the seal affixed to said instrument was such 2o6 Philipse Manor Hall corporate seal; that it was so affixed pursuant to ordinance of the Common Council of said ' The City of Yonkers ' duly enacted and thereafter duly approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of said city and that he signed his name thereto by like order. (L.S.) " Daniel J. Cashin, " Notary Public, Westchester County, N. Y. " Recorded in the office of the Register of the County of Westchester in Liber 1846 of Deeds, Page 271, on the 24 day of July, A. D. 1908, at 8 o'clock — minutes a. m. Witness my hand and affixed seal. Edward B. Kear, Register." On July 24, 1908, the Yonkers Common Coimcil adopted the following resolutions, approving of the transfer of the property and thanking Mrs. Cochran for her gift. " Whereas pursuant to the provisions of Chap- ter 168 of the Laws of 1908, and an ordinance of the Common Council, the premises known as the Manor Hall property were on the first day of July, 1908, conveyed to the People of the State of New York to be forever held, under the custody and supervision of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, for patriotic and historical purposes, and " Whereas the Comptroller of the City has certified that consideration for such conveyance, namely $50,000.00, was on said first day of July, 1908, paid to the City of Yonkers by Eva S. Cochran, of said city. Therefore be it " Resolved, that the Common Council of the City of Yonkers hereby acknowledges receipt of said sum of $50,000.00 in payment for said The Preservation oj the Manor Hall 207- premises, and approves and confirms the con- veyance of said premises as aforesaid. " Resolved further that the Common Council hereby expresses its sincere appreciation of the generous patriotism of said Eva S. Cochran in insuring, so far as may be, the preservation and the care of the historic building arotmd whose walls the City of Yonkers has grown. " Approved July 27, 1908, " Nathan A. Warren, " Mayor. "Adopted July 24, 1908, " John T. Geary, " City Clerk." On July 3, 191 1, the Common Council adopted the following resolution: " Whereas, all of the City offices having been removed from Manor Hall to the new City Hall,, therefore be it " Resolved, That the possession of Manor Hall be and the same is hereby delivered to the Ameri- can Scenic and Historic Preservation Society as. custodian for the State of New York." CHAPTER XIV THE MANOR HALL ITSELF THE Manor Hall is about five minutes walk from the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Station, It is a stone and brick structure shaped like a reversed letter L, its long arm extending toward the north and the short arm toward the west.* Its north end is 60 feet from Warburton Hall; its east front 75.5 feet from Warburton avenue; its south front 22 feet from Dock street; and its western end about 52 feet from Woodworth Place. The building measures 26.1 feet across the north end of the long arm; 91.85 feet along the east front; 62.15 feet along the south front; 25.32 feet along the west end of the short arm; 36.43 feet along the north side of the short arm; and 66.65 feet along the west side of the long arm. It will be noticed that the sum of the measurements of the western exposures (25.32'+66.65'=9i.97') slightly exceeds the length of the east front (91.85'). A similar discrepancy is observable between the total measurements of the north * The points of the compass mentioned in this descrip- tion are only approximate. The direction of the principal length of the building is about twenty degrees east of north and west of south. The dimensions here given are in feet and decimals. (208) The Manor Hall Itself 209 and south exposures. The building is not perfectly symmetrical in whole or in detail. The east wall is 1.7 feet thick. The other first story walls vary from 1.89 to 1.93 feet in thick- ness. The second story stone walls are about 0.25 of a foot thinner. All window spaces are squared up with brick. Beneath the window- sills, the brick-work is not as thick as the adjacent wall, and it extends low enough to permit inside window seats in the recesses within. The struc- ture is two stories high, with attic in the hipped gambrel roof. The lower slopes of the roof contain dormer windows. The upper slopes of the roof are inclosed with a balustrade, the space between the rails being nine feet. There is a cellar under the southern portion of the house, including the space under the East Hall and the Dining Room. Near the middle of the south front, there is a Colonial porch, about ten feet wide and six feet deep, with side seats between the pillars and pilasters. The steps are of red sandstone. On each side of the porch are two windows. In the second story, in the spaces corresponding to the door and four windows of the first story, are five windows. The windows and doorway are not spaced S5mimetrically. In the second story of the east front are eight windows. Underneath them in the first story are corresponding windows, except that the spaces 14 2IO Philipse Manor Hall under the third window from the south and the second window from the north are doorways with porches similar to that on the south front. There are also windows and doors in the other sides of the building. Where the windows have shutters, those of the first story are outside and those of the second story inside. The jambs of the south front door are beveled, flaring outward. The jambs of the windows, except those of what was the old kitchen at the north end (not the cellar kitchen) are beveled, flaring inward. The east front is of red brick laid in Flemish bond. All other sides are rough gneiss rubble. When the building passed into the custody of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society in 1 9 1 1 , the brick front was painted yellow and the stone sides plastered with stucco, in which con- dition they had been for years ; but by mechanical means, and the application of strong lye and acids, the paint and stucco have been removed, restoring the antique appearance of the building.* It has been said that the bricks were imported from Holland — a statement more frequently * The work of restoring the Manor Hall has been done under the auspices of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society and the immediate supervision of G. Howard Chamberlin, architect, with means gen- erously given to the Society by the late Mrs. William F. Cochran and her son, Alexander Smith Cochran. The Manor Hall Itself 211 made with respect to Colonial buildings than the facts probably warrant, although as early as 1633 we find records of ships coming from Holland with bricks as ballast. Bricks were also imported from The Netherlands piirposely for building, and in the records of New Amsterdam we find reference to the appointment of " tellers of bricks and tiles coming from Patria and other places " — Patria being the Dutch fatherland. But the Dutch inhabitants of New Amsterdam did not depend on the old country entirely for their bricks, for they began to make them for them- selves within two years of their settlement. A letter of Donainie Michaelius, dated August 11, 1628, says " They bake brick here, but very poor. There is good material for burning lime, namely, oyster shells, in large quantities." The bricks used in the Manor Hall are more or less irregtilar in size, but generally measure about 8 by 4 by 2 inches, except where modem bricks have been inserted in repairs. Some, however, measure 8|x4X2, 8|x4X2, and 8x4|xi|, and a few yellow bricks found in making repairs are 7 x 3! x if . There are also many large red bricks 7i x 7I x zf in size in various parts of the construction. On accotmt of these irregularities, efforts to identify the age of the building by the bricks have been unsuccessful. Whatever their sotorce or age, they are not standard bricks of the English Colonial period. Chapter 138 of the 212 Philipse Manor Hall laws of the Colony of New York for 1703 fixed the standard size of bricks, as it doubtless had been for years before, at 9 by 4I by 2§ inches. No person, master or servant, was permitted to make or suffer to be made within the Colony bricks of any other size. Bricks were imported, however, from Holland and other places, up to the time of the Revolution, for an act of March 8, 1773, "to regulate the sale of bricks within the city and county of New York," reiterates the dimensions above named but excepts such bricks as anyone might make for his private use and " bricks im- ported from Europe." The prevaiUng proportions of the Manor Hall bricks — the breadth one half the length, and the thickness one half the breadth — are very sug- gestive of Dutch bricks. From the Groot Placaet Boeck of Holland we find that in 1645 and again in 1662, and presumably for years following, it was required that bricks made in that country should be twice as long as they were wide and twice as wide as they were thick. Dutch bricks, however, were not all of the same size. " Mop- pen " were ten inches long, Amsterdam measure.* * The Amsterdam inch was just a trifle longer than the English inch, although the Amsterdam foot was appreci- ably shorter than the English foot, there being only 11 subdivisions or inches in a Dutch foot. Following are the equivalents according to " Verhandeling over Volmaakte Maaten en Gewigten" by J. H. Van Swinden, Amsterdam, 1802: 1 Old Amsterdam foot . o . 2830594 meter I Old Amsterdam foot . 11 . 144272 English inches I Old Amsterdam inch i .013115 English inch The Manor Hall Itself 213 Leiden or Rhine brick (Le3^se ofte RMjnse steen) were 7+ inches long (7 duim stijf.) Yssel brick (Ysselschen steen) were 6| inches long. The old Manor Hall brick do not correspond to any of these Dutch measurements, and yet they are not of the English standard, and it is highly probable that they were imported.* All sills and lintels are of pine or oak. Rimning the whole length of the east front and of the western side of the long arm of the L imder the second story window sills is a string course of two layers of brick, projecting about three inches. Under the string course on the east front is a beautiful Colonial cornice. When the house came into the custody of the Scenic and Historic Society in 191 1, there was, * The bricks in Fort Crailo in Rensselaer, N. Y., said to have been erected in 1663, are very irregular in dimen- sions, measuring 2 by 4 by 8i; 2 by 4 by 9; 2 by 4 by 9! ; and 2 by 4! by 9J inches. They are mainly 2 by 4 by 9. When the Van Rensselaer Manor House was demolished, Marcus T. Reynolds, architect of Albany, found be- neath the basement floor and concealed by earth an arched vault, evidently part of a previous structure, per- haps an out-building of the Manor House of 1666. The bricks varied in size but averaged l^ x 3i by 6 inches. The colonial bricks of the later Manor House were 2 by 4i by 9 ii size. The imported yellow Dutch brick of Praunces' Tavern in New York, erected 1719, also vary in size but average about if by 3! by 7 inches. The width is the most variable factor, ranging from 3 to 3 J inches. What appear to have been Dutch bricks found in the fire- places of British camps on upper Manhattan Island by R. P. Bolton and the writer measure from if to i^ inches in thickness; 3i inches wide and 7 inches long. A brick said to have come from the old building at No. i Broadway measures the same. 214 Philipse Manor Hall in the angle of the building, a brick addition about 30 by 36^ feet in size built by the city and used for the accommodation of the janitor's family. This addition succeeded a frame struc- ture erected by the Woodworth family and used as a billiard room. There was also a brick addition about 10 x 17! feet on the west side of the extreme northern end of the building, used by the city for a safe or vault. These have been removed, making room for a porch 12 feet wide which has been built along the western side of the building to replace that which probably belonged to the original building. Ascending the South Porch, one comes to a fine Colonial doorway with fan-shaped transom. The door is a ponderous double door, constructed, in the Dutch style, in two parts, so that the lower half can be closed while the upper half remains open. Mrs. Lamb says that this door was brought over from Holland in 1681 by the wife of the first Lord of the Manor. Inside, one sees the great iron hinges, and the heavy lock, the latter 6 x 10 inches in size. The south door gives entrance to the South Hall 10.8 feet wide and 21.4 feet deep. It is partly occupied by a staircase 4.3 feet wide, which makes two square turns in the ascent to the second story. The stairs and balustrade flare to a width of 6.75 feet at the bottom. The The Manor Hall Itself 215 stairs are of the close-string construction, unlike the stairs in the East HaU in which the angle between riser and tread at the outer end is left open. The balustrades are of pine. In the rear wall over the first landing is a window. In the rear wall under the second landing is a door. A doorway in the western side of the haU leads into a large room, which may be caUed the West Parlor, measuring 23.1 feet by 21.4 feet between walls. The latter dimension has been reduced, however, to 19.5 feet by the closets on the north side which have been built out flush with the fire- place. The wooden mantelpiece with its con- ventionalized flower design and some of the other woodwork in this room are very old. The fire- place had been closed with bricks twice prior to 191 1. In opening it, in the work of restoration, an interesting iron fire-back, bearing the royal arms of Great Britain, was discovered. In the first quarter of the oval escutcheon are the three lions passant gardant of England impaled with the lion rampant of Scotland. In the second quarter are the three fleurs-de-lis of France. In the third quarter is the harp of Ireland. The fourth quarter is much corroded, but for reasons stated hereafter we know that it contained the arms of the house of Hanover; namely, two Hons passant gardant for Brunswick, impaling a lion rampant for Limenburgh; in the base a horse courant for Saxony; and on the center of the 2i6 Philips e Manor Hall quarter an escutcheon charged with the crown of Charlemagne. Surrotmding the foregoing is the Garter, upon which is distinguishable most of the motto, " Honi soit qui mal y pense." The crest is a royal helmet surmounted by the im- perial crown, upon which is a lion statant gardant imperially crowned. The arms are supported on the dexter side by a Hon rampant gardant, imperially crowned, and on the sinister side by the conventional unicorn, gorged with a coronet to which is attached a chain. In a scroll under- neath the arms are legible some letters of the motto,. " Dieu et mon Droit." Within a whorl of the scroll on the dexter side is the rose of Eng- land and in a corresponding position on the sinister side is the thistle of Scotland. The period of this fire-back is the eighteenth century, certainly between 17 14 and 1801, and probably between 17 14 and the Revolution. The presence of the arms of England and Scotland impaled (that is, side by side) in the first quarter indicates that the date is subsequent to the legislative union of those two countries in 1707 during the reign of Queen Anne; and the motto, " Dieu et Mon Droit," shows that it was subse- quent to the accession of George I, for the royal motto of Aime was " Semper Eadem." The presence of the fleurs-de-lis in the second quarter indicates that the date is prior to November, 1800, when George III laid aside the titiolar The Manor Hall Itself 217 assumption of King of France and abandoned the fleurs-de-lis. For these same reasons we know that the arms in the fourth quarter were those of the house of Hanover. As it is unlikely that anyone would have erected the royal arms in the Manor House after the Revolution, the date of the fire-back is narrowed down to between 1 7 14 and 1783 at least. The fire-back measures about 2 feet 10 inches each way, and is one of a pair, its counterpart being in the fireplace in the East Parlor. In the fireplace in the West Parlor were found some brown Dutch tiles with quaint figures representing cavaliers in armor, and women with strange, hom-Uke head-dresses, holding birds perched on their hands. To restore the fireplace, tiles of a conventional pattern, matching in color the old tiles, were imported from Holland. In the South Hall, corresponding to the door to the West Parlor, is a door in the east side of the hall leading to the famous East Parlor in which Mary Philipse was married to Roger Morris and many other brilliant social events took place. This room is 22.6 feet square between, walls, but it has been shortened to 20 feet one way by building closets on the north side flush with the fireplace. The walls and ceiling of this room are preserved in their original beauty. The fluted composite pilasters embracing the door- ways, the broken arch over the mantelpiece 2i8 Philipse Manor Hall looking-glass, the paneled wainscoting, the deep window seats, and the arabesque ceiling are charming relics of Colonial elegance. The center piece of the ceiling of the East Parlor is an elaborate arabesque, at the outer edge of which are eight figures. Beginning at the north and going around the circle to the eastward, the figvires represent a Cupid, a Girl with Mandolin, a Cupid, a Man with Bag-pipe, a Cupid, a Man with Hautboy, a Cupid, and a Girl dancing and singing. A beautiful border runs around the ceiling near the wall and at the cardinal points and in the comers are embellish- ments as follows: On the north side over the mantelpiece, flowers and tropical birds; in the center of the east side, a portrait medallion of a man; in the center of the south side, the same as on the north side; in the center of the west side, another portrait medalUon of a man; and in each of the four comers, a wreath of flowers and arabesque. In each of the northeast and southwest quarters of the ceiling is a bird, ap- parently a pelican, with wings elevated; and in each of the northwest and southeast quarters is a hunting dog. Living descendants of the Philipse family recognize in the medallions a resemblance to family portraits, but the personal identity of their prototypes has not yet been satisfactorily established. The mantelpiece on the face of the chimney The Manor Hall Itself 219 at the northern end of the room is a fine piece of Colonial woodwork, the head on the frame of the mirror and the surrounding border of roses and oak leaves being hand-carved out of solid wood. When the building was surrendered by the city government in 191 1, the fireplace was closed and had a mantel shelf and sides of bluish stone, said to have come from a quarry belonging to Mr. Woodworth who owned the building prior to 1868. This incongruity has been removed, the fireplace opened, and imported Dutch tiles of a conventional pattern in blue on a white background inserted. In this fireplace is an iron fire-back of the same pattern as that in the West Parlor. On the west side of the mantelpiece is a closet, equal to the depth of the chimney and the height of the ceiling. During municipal ownership a narrow stairway led from this closet to a vault in the cellar used for the care of city records. This stairway has been closed in the process of restoration. There is a tradition that there was once a secret passage-way here, leading to an underground, arched chamber, the location, extent and purpose of which chamber are now wrapped in mystery. Many strange tales are told of this " cave " or passage-way. By some it is said to have extended to the river front and to have been designed as a secret avenue of escape in time of danger.- By those who believe 220 Philipse Manor Hall the stories about the first Lord having engaged in traffic with privateersmen and pirates, it is said to have been the passage by which forbidden goods were clandestinely introduced into the Manor House. These stories, whether true or not, are a part of the folk-lore of the house and give it the indescribable romance that gradually grows up about an ancient structure Uke this. There is further suggestion of this mystery in the cellar under the East Parlor, referred to here- after, but in spite of the most persistent efforts of the architect in the restoration, no tangible evidence of the secret passage has been discovered. The door east of the fireplace in the East Parlor leads to the East Hall. The East Hall, also entered through the South- east Porch, is 11.05 feet wide and 23 feet deep, extending east and west. Like the South Hall, it is partly occupied by a broad staircase with picturesque balustrade terminating in a great spiral at the newel post. This stairway also makes two square turns in its ascent. Over the first landing is a window and xmder the second a rear door. Although the South Porch is more elaborate than either porch on the east side, the East Hall is superior architecturally to the South Hall. This is particularly noticeable in the bal- ustrade of the staircase, which is made of mahog- any instead of pine, as in the South Hall, and the whorl of which arotmd the newel-post is more The Manor Hall Itself 221 generous than in the South Hall. The balusters in the East Hall are of a beautiful spiral pattern while those in the South HaU are lathe-turned. In the restoration, it was necessary on account of the tenacious incrustations of varnish and dirt, to remove the balustrade temporarily and take it apart in order to soak and clean the mahogany balusters. North of the East Hall is a room 17.8 feet by 22.7s feet in size, formerly used as the family Dining Room. Some of the woodwork here is original. In the middle of the northern parti- tion there was formerly a huge fireplace and mantel. When the Manor Hall was remodeled for occupancy by the village authorities in 1868, this whole chimney was removed, and the upper part was illogically rebuilt over a western win- dow, continuing up through the roof. At the same time, the partition at the north end of the room was reversed, so that its paneled front would make an ornamental reredos for the Judge's bench in the Court Room adjacent to the northward, the fireplace opening being closed. In the restoration in 191 1, the misplaced chimney was removed, the partition returned to its original position and a fireplace constructed on the foundation of the old one. Dutch tiles, with a blue rose pattern on a white background, were imported for this ptupose. North of the Dining Room the remainder of 22 2 Philipse Manor Hall the ground floor was formerly divided into a Larder and a Kitchen, the latter being entered through the Northeast Porch. When the interior was altered forty-three years ago, all of this space was thrown into one apartment, 22.75 feet by 34.83 feet in size, for a Court Room. The Judge's bench was at the southern end, backed by the old mantelpiece paneling which was formerly part of the Dining Room cabinet work. As before stated, this Dining Room partition was reversed in 191 1 to its original position, but no effort was made to replace the partition or partitions which originally sub- divided the modem Court Room. In the west- em wall of the Court Room, opposite the door in the eastern wall, was originally a door which had been partially btult up and converted into a window. In the restoration the doorway has been re-opened. At the northern end of the Court Room, in what was probably the north wall of the Kitchen, is a shallow fireplace. There are indications in the exterior surface of this wall that there was once a Dutch oven here and that the fireplace had been altered. In the restora- tion, this fireplace has been opened and tiled with pictorial Dutch tiles imported for the purpose. Returning to the South Hall and going up- stairs, one finds in the West Chamber, corre- sponding in size to the West Parlor below, much The Manor Hall Itself 223 of the early woodwork. The great open fireplace is oi^e of the attractions of this room. It was originally Hned with blue and white Delft tiles, five inches square, with extremely quaint designs representing Biblical scenes with citations to the passages in Holy Scriptures which they illustrate. One design, illustrating Luke xix, 4, represents Zaccheus in a tree, and Christ and two compan- ions passing by. Another, illustrating Mathew ii, 13, represents Joseph fleeing to Egypt with the young child and mother riding on an ass. Others illustrate the miracle of the loaves and fishes (John vi, 7), the removal of the body of Jesus from the tomb (John xix, 38), and other scenes from the New Testament and the Apocrypha. Of the original tiles, only 106 remained in 1911. The architect found, however, that tiles of the same pattern were still being made in Holland, and more were ordered from the old coimtry to complete the restoration. The new tiles closely resemble the old ones but an expert can dis- tinguish a slight difference in the shade of blue.* * The old Biblical tiles are probably i8th century products. An article on Dutch tiles in the Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for December, 1908, says: " One can trace three distinct periods in the devel- opment of the Dutch art of tile making — the first extend- ing from about 1580 to 1630; the second from 1630 to 1670; and the third, summarily speaking, from the end of the 17th to the end of the i8th century. . . . During the third period. . . . whole compositions, portraying ani- mated scenes especially of a Biblical or pastoral character, are crowded on to one tile." 224 Philipse Manor Hall In this fireplace is an old stove-plate — a slab of iron 24 x 26 inches square, upon which, crudely cast in relief, is represented Elijah being fed by the ravens. Underneath this scene is an almost illegible inscription in closely crowded capital letters, some of the letters being joined together and there being no spacing between the words. In the restoration in 191 1, a counterpart was brought to light and placed in the fireplace in the East Chamber. From a careful study of the two, the writer has deciphered the inscription as follows: ICHHABEDENRABENBEPOLENDICHZWERS DIED K17C Spacing the words we have the German quota- tion: " ICH HABE DEN RABEN BEFOLEN DICH zv VERS." The letter " v " in next to the last word is the equivalent of " u," and the last word is an abbreviation of " versorgen." What appears in the inscription to be " zwers " therefore stands for " zu versorgen," meaning " to feed," and the whole line means: " I have commanded the ravens to feed thee." The " DiBD " under the left hand end of the line and the "K17C" under the right hand end stand for " Das I Buch der Koenige 17 Capitel," or " the first Book of Kings, seventeenth chapter." At the bottom of the plate are the date and initials " 17 bsdw 60." The 1760 is the date of The Manor Hall Itself 225 the casting. The initials BSDW stand for Benedict Schroeder and Dietrich Welcker, iron- masters, who at that tiihe owned Shearwell Furnace near Oley, Berks county, Penn. This is not a fire-back, Uke the English fire-back pre- viously mentioned, but a stove-plate, having been cast originally as part of a "five-plate non- ventilating stove," although it may have been used as a fire-back. A "five-plate stove" was a primitive iron stove enclosed with iron plates on five sides and open on the sixth side, built with the open side against the wall. The cast- ing of ornamental stove-plates was an industry of the early Pennsylvanian Germans. They represent a little known but very interesting chapter of American history and of German folk-lore. Several replicas of the Manor Hall stove-plate exist, one of them being in the re- markable collection of stove-plates and fire-backs belonging to the Bucks County, Perm., Historical Society.* Similar fire-backs are known to exist in old houses in Kingston and the Mohawk region dating about the middle of the eighteenth century. They are often mistaken for Dutch fire-backs. Somewhere in the northern end of the West Chamber there is (or was years ago) a secret * Probably the best authority on the subject of stove- plates and fire-backs is Henry C. Mercer of Doylestown, Perm., President of the Bucks County Historical Society. IS 226 Philipse Manor Hall closet, now hidden or obliterated by the closets btiilt on either side of the chimney place for the use of the City Clerk. The Hon T. Astley Atkins distinctly remembers it, but no trace of it was found in the restoration. Across the Upper South Hall, over the East Parlor, is the East Chamber, corresponding in size to the parlor below. The early woodwork of this room is an interesting architectural feature. The fluted pilasters and the broken arches over the doors and mantelpiece on the north side of the room are of a design different from those in the room below. The mantel- piece is highly enriched by solid wood carving around the mirror representing fruit and birds, and in the broken arch over the mirror are the three pltunes of the Prince of Wales. The fireplace has been restored with Dutch tiles imported for the purpose. They have octagonal designs, representing in yellow, blue and green, landscapes in which appear castles, sail boats, fishermen, etc. In the fireplace is an iron stove-plate like that in the West Chamber, representing Elijah being fed by the ravens. Passing through a doorway in the north side of the East Chamber one comes to the spacious Upper East Hall, corresponding in size to that below. A door on the north side of the hall opens into what has been used by the City Government The Manor Hall Itself 227 as the Common Council Chamber, occupying the remainder of the second floor, 22.75 feet by 53.2 feet in size. Formerly, a central hallway extended the length of this floor with bedrooms opening off on either side. To accommodate the city fathers, the attic floor over this space was removed, thus giving the Cotmcil Chamber the height of both the second story and the attic. The brackets and trusses supporting the roof of this enlarged apartment present an architect- ural incongruity, but the means at the disposal of the custodian society for restoration were not sufficient to warrant any changes in this respect. Returning to the Upper South Hall and ascend- ing to the attic, one comes to apartments less picturesque and commodious, but to some people not less interesting than those below. These are the old slave quarters. The rude plank floors, the thin partitions and doors, the wooden latches, the wooden hinges with leather washers to prevent squeaking, the unceiled attic roof showing the ancient hewn timbers of the gambrel or curb roof, and the little dormer windows are all quaint reminders of the period when slavery and villeinage existed on the Manor and when no less than thirty black and twenty-six white servants were quartered in this third story dormi- tory. Some of the hand-hewn timbers are num- bered in Roman numerals, having been fitted before being assembled in the firial construction. 228 PMKpse Manor Hall Exposures of some of the lath-work show that the original laths were hand split. As before stated, that portion of the attic occupying the northern fifty-three feet of the house has been thrown into the room space of the Council Chamber below, so that the present attic accommodations give no idea of the extent of the quarters which the fifty servants occupied. Ascending by a stepladder to the roof, it is found that the great L-shaped space within the balustrade is not a flat platform, as it appears from below, but consists of the upper slopes on dther side of the ridge pole which characterize the gambrel or curb roof. From this uncertain footing a fine view of the Hudson and Palisades is had. Upon the eastern balustrade were placed, at the time of the bicentennial celebration in 1882, huge wooden letters and figures as follows: " 1682 MANOR HALL, 1882." In the re- storation of the roof the badly decayed balustrade has been rebuilt, the dates and name omitted, the roof reshingled, the modem flagpole removed, and the misplaced chimney before referred to removed. The cellar extends only under the southern portion of the building, the East Hall, and the old Dining Room before mentioned. For the safety of the building, the furnace and hot air pipes have been removed from the cellar and a steam heating plant has been installed in a small The Manor Hall Itself 229 brick building erected in 19 11 for this purpose and as a caretaker's lodging in the northwestern comer of the grounds. Subterranean steam pipes from this detached building connect with the newly installed radiators in the Manor House. The West Cellar under the West Parlor is said to have been the Kitchen of the First Lord. It is paved with stones eighteen inches square, some of which are fossiliferous and the source of which is unknown. A mass of modem brickwork was removed in the restoration. The brick arch supporting the fire place in the parlor above appears to have been altered since the building was originally constructed and if there was once a practical fireplace in this cellar, all trace of the flue-opening has been obliterated. In the corresponding East Cellar one can see the basement walls, two feet or more thick, the hewn oak floor timbers overhead, and what looks Uke a large open fireplace with hewn timber lintel. It is not apparent whether this was a practical fireplace or is simply the support of the fireplace in the East Parlor above. Against the south and west walls is an inner wall of masonry, four feet high and three feet thick, the purpose of which is not known. The total thickness of this low mass of masonry and the western wall against which it abuts is between six and seven feet. In the restoration, it was penetrated, with a view to discovering whether it contained the secret 230 Philip se Manor Hall passage which tradition persistently associates with the building, but no trace of such passage was found. It is possible that the low wall was used for the support of wine casks. In the grounds opposite the Northeast Porch which shelters what was once the Kitchen door, and about twenty-five or thirty feet therefrom, was formerly the drinking well, with a large cavity in one side for cold storage. Upon the southeast corner of the mansion is a fine bronze tablet bearing the arms of the Philipse family, reduced copies of the medallion busts which appear on the ceiling of the East Parlor, the seal of the Yonkers Historical and Library Association, and the following inscription: " Manor House of The Manor of Philipsburg. The Manor was created in 1693 and by Royal Charter granted to Frederick Philipse. By act of the Legislature of the State of New York, the Manor was confiscated in 1779 and sold by Com- missioners of Forfeiture in 1785. The Manor House was purchased by the Village of Yonkers in 1868 and became the City Hall in 1872. This tablet was erected by the Yonkers Historical and Library Association in 1899." Associated with the Manor Hall as the civic center of Yonkers and standing upon the east lawn of the grounds is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. This was erected tmder the auspices of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association and was dedicated on September 17, 1891, with The Manor Hall Itself 231 elaborate ceremonies in the presence of 20,000 spectators. It was given by the Monument Association to the City of Yonkers and is included in the deed to the State of New York with the other Manor House property. The monimient consists of a base, die plinth, die, cap, pediment cap, shaft plinth, shaft and capital of dark blue Barre granite, thirty-five feet high, surmounted by a granite statue of a Color Bearer eleven feet high, making the total height forty-six feet. Around the base of the shaft are four bronze statues, each seven feet high, repre- senting the Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry and Naval services. The monument is inclosed with a low granite coping about seventeen feet square. Under the Infantrjmian is the inscription: " Patriotism — To honor the men of Yonkers who fought to save the Union. 1861-1865. — Slavery Abolished." Under the Artilleryman: "Endurance — The Union is the Palladium of our Safety and Pros- perity. (Washington.) — Credit Maintained." Under the Cavalryman: "Valor — My para- mount Object is to save the Union. (Lincoln.) — Let us have Peace. (Grant.) " Under the Navyman : " Courage — The Union Must and Shall be Preserved. (Jackson.) — The Union Saved." The monument was planned by George H. Mitchell, of Chicago. The four bronze statues 232 PhiKpse Manor Hall were modeled by Lorado Taft, after the designs for the first three by J. E. Kelly, of New York, and after a design for the fotarth by Lieuten- ant Washington Irving Chambers, U. S. N. The monument cost $10,500; the granite in- closure $1,000; and the dedicatory exercises, contingent expenses, and the publication of a memorial volume, $3,500, making a total of $15,000 raised by the association. This sum was contributed by about 550 individuals and by fifty organizations and entertainments. The indi- vidual subscriptions ranged from three cents to $1,050. The names of those who contributed their means and services to the erection of this memorial, together with the names of those in whose memory it was erected and an account of the dedicatory exercises, are to be found in a voltmie entitled " Yonkers in the Rebellion," by Hon. Thomas Astley Atkins and John Wise Oliver. As to the date of the erection of the Manor Hall, the majority of printed histories express the opinion that its southern portion was built in 1682 and that its northern portion was added in 1745. The present writer, after a painstaking study, has been unable to find primary authority for these statements, and must be content with presenting the pros and cons as they appear from secondary sources and from the probabilities of the case. The Manor Hall Itself 233 In considering a question of this sort, one must discriminate between first-hand and second-hand information. Authors who copy from earlier works are secondary authorities, and their testi- mony is open to question unless their authority is known and known to be primary. By primary authority is meant an original record, such as a deed, a will, a letter, a map, a diary, or some other authentic contemporary evidence. Often- times, a single subordinate clause in such a docu- ment throws a flood of light on a much vexed problem. The words, " the Dutch chtirch erected and built at PhiUpsborough by my late hus- band," in the will of Catharine Van Cortlandt Philipse, definitely fix the date of the Sleepy Hollow church prior to 1702, the year in which her husband died. The date 1699 which is claimed for it cannot be far, if at all, out of the the way for that building. The declaration: " Whereas, I am now about finishing a large stone dwelling house on the plantation in which I now live," in Jacobus Van Cortlandt's will, dated 1749, confirms beyond any doubt the figures " 1748 " on the date-stone of the Van Cortlandt Mansion in Van Cortlandt Park, New York City. No such fortunate discovery has yet rewarded the search for the date of the beginning of the Yonkers Manor House.* * The Van Cortlandt Mansion, built by a descendant of Eva Philipse, is an interesting building. It is built 234 Pkilipse Manor Hall Among the secondary authorities, Lossing, the artist-historian, who has done so much to iden- tify the sites and perpetuate the memories of American landmarks, appears to have been the earliest writer to ascribe the date 1682 to the Manor Hall. In his " The Hudson from the Wilderness to the Sea" (1866) he says: "The older portion was built in 1682. The present front, forming an addition, was erected in 1745 when old Castle Philipse at Sleepy Hollow was abandoned." Martha Lamb, in " Appleton's Journal," Vol- ume XI, (1874,) in one of a series of articles on " Historic Houses of America " which she and Lossing contributed to that publication, says: " It is a curious mixture of Dutch and English architecture and belongs properly to two eras, as a part of it was erected in 1682 and the re- mainder in 1745." Bolton's " History of Westchester County," (1881), says that " the present (eastern) front was erected circ. 1745; the rear at a much earlier period — which is reported to have been bviilt soon after the Philipse family purchased here, A. D., 1682." entirely of rough stone, and is L-shaped, the wings point- ing to the north and west like the Manor Hall. The windows are cased with brick, after the fashion of the Manor Hall. The south front, which is the most orna- mental, measures 55 feet and 2 inches in length at the level of the window-sills; the east front 51 feet and 7 inches; the north end of the north wing 22 feet, and the The Manor Hall Itself 235 Scharf in his "History of Westchester County" (1886), says: " It is claimed that the south end was built in 1682." Allison, in his " History of Yonkers " (1896), says: "At the time it was erected (probably 1682) it terminated in the rear by a huge slanting roof." Cole, in his " History of Yonkers," also leans toward the date 1682. Mrs. Lamb, in the article before quoted, makes the most specific statement on the subject, and it is greatly to be wished that her authority for it were known. She says that the door of the South Porch was manufactured in Holland in 1681 and was brought here by Mrs. Margaret Hardenbrook Philipse for this building. If this could be established, it wovild fix the date of part of the building between 1681 and 1691, the year in which Mrs. Philipse died. At the time of the bicentennial celebration in 1882, the year 1682 was accepted as the date of the building and was placed in large figures on the roof, together with the name " Manor Hall." But Shonnard & Spooner, in their " History of Westchester County," (1900), referring to this west end of the west wing 24 feet. The broken arch over the mantelpiece of the south east parlor is in the same general style as some of the woodwork of the Manor Hall. The bricks used in the window casings are larger than those used in the Manor Hall and there are many other ardiitectural difiEerences. (See footnote on page 79.) 236 Philip se Manor Hall fact, add: " It is sturdily maintained by respec- table authorities on the early history of Philips- burgh Manor that the dwelling did not have its beginning until many years later." Bacon, in his "Annals of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow," says: " There is not a shadow of trust- worthy evidence that the house of Yonkers can lay claim to a date prior to the marriage of Eva Philipse with Van Cortlandt," (1691). The Hon. T. Astley Atkins, an indefatigable searcher into the past, referring, in an article published in the Yonkers News January 15, 1910, to the second Lord of the Manor, says: " This Frederick Philipse died in the year 1751, and his son Colonel Frederick Philipse, of Revolu- tionary notoriety, succeeded to the title of Lord of the Manor. The Barbados Lord of the Manor" [meaning Col. Philipse, the third Lord,] "probably built the Manor House upon taking up his inheritance at Yonkers." Having presented the foregoing statements by others, the facts and probabilities of the case as they appear to the present writer may now be considered. In the first place, there is intrinsic evidence in the building that it was not all built at the same time. It is true that there is no apparent break in the stonework of the southern facade (now exposed by the removal of the stucco) nor in the brick-work of the eastern facade. Nevertheless, The Manor Hall Itself 237 the following suggestive facts appear with respect to the southern portion of the house. (i) No two exterior wall spaces between win- dow and window, door and window, or window and comer, in the southern facade, are alike. Frederick Philipse, the First Lord of the Manor, was an architect builder, and it does not seem probable that if he had built or supervised the building of all the southern portion, these irregu- larities would have occurred. This suggests that the southern portion of the house represents in some way two different periods of erection. (2) The most noticeable lack of symmetry is in the wall spaces on either side of the south door, the space between the door and the next window to the eastward being 3.8 feet greater than the corresponding space between the door and the next window to the westward. Glancing now at the plan of the building, one is struck with the thickness of the wall between the South Hall and the East Parlor, a thickness unnecessarily great for an ordinary partition. If that wall was once the exterior wall of a building comprising only that portion of the Manor Hall represented in the plan by the South Hall and West Parlor, the south door would have been symmetrically located, the wall space between the door and the comer of the building being the same as the space between the door and the next window to the westward. 238 Philipse Manor Hall (3) An examination of the southern facade clearly discloses the line of demarcation between the foundation and the wall above it along that portion of the front represented by the South Hall and West Parlor, but not along that portion of the south front represented by the East Parlor. In the former portion the foundation wall, ter- minating about two feet above the ground, projects about two inches beyond the wall above it. In the latter portion there is nothing exter- nally to indicate where the foundation ends and the wall begins. (4) The paved floor of the cellar under the South Hall and West Parlor is at a higher level than the floor under the East Parlor. (s) The unexplainable mass of masonry be- tween the two cellars, alluded to on page 229, suggests even more strongly than the unnecessary thickness of the wall above it between the South Hall and East Parlor, the conjimction of two periods of construction. The writer's conclusion on this point is, that at least the foundation walls of that portion of of the Manor Hall represented in the plan by the South Hall and West Parlor represent one period of construction, and that the remainder of the building is the product of one or more subse- quent periods. An interior examination of the foundation wall on the east side of the cellar under the East The Manor Hall Itself 239 Parlor and the corresponding wall under the East Hall and Dining Room, suggests, by the different ways in which they are finished at the top, that they also represent two different periods, thus making three different periods represented by all the foundation walls at least. As before stated, the stone-work of the southern facade above the foundation appears to be con- tinuous and the brick-work of the eastern facade appears to be continuous. Whether they and the other walls were erected simultaneously upon fotuidations partly or entirely older than them- selves or whether the walls represent different periods, there is no certain way of judging now. There is evidence, however, of local alterations in the external walls for chimneys and fireplaces, and if all parts of the superstructure of the building are not contemporaneous, it is possible that the brick window casings of the older portion are alterations. As to the time of various extensions and im- provements of the house, the following dates of important family events may be recalled. In 1702 the First Lord of the Manor died and the Manor was divided between his son Adolph and his minor grandson Frederick. The Yonkers portion went to Frederick and the northern por- tion to Adolph. During Frederick's minority, Adolph had the practical management of the whole, although nominally the yotmg Frederick's 240 Philip se Manor Hall share was in the care of his grandmother. There has been no suggestion, however, that Adolph made any improvements at Yonkers. In 1716, Frederick, the Second Lord, became of age. He had been bom in the Barbados and educated under his grandmother's care, in England, but returned to New York about this time, entered into his inheritance, married in 1 7 19, and that year began to take an active part in public affairs, as is evidenced by his repeated election as Alderman of New York and his frequent appointment as Commissioner of Highways in Westchester County. Judge Atkins thinks the house was built about this time. Mrs. Lamb says that under hitn the Manor House swelled to thrice its original size, and she accredits to him the carved woodwork and arabesque ceiling. Allison, in his History of Yonkers, says: " It was he who en- larged the Manor House on the Neperhan in 1745 by extending it to the north and changing its front to the east." In 1750, Adolph died and the whole Manor was consolidated under Fred- erick, the Second Lord. About this year Fred- erick's sister, Susannah, was married. In 1751 Frederick, the Second Lord, died and Frederick, the Third Lord, inherited the Manor. In 1756 the Third Lord was married, and in 1758 his sister Mary was married in the house. These later occasions suggest dates when the house may have been furbished up. The Manor Hall Itself 241 In the interior work of the southern portion of the building there is evidence of elaborate reno- vation about the middle, or just a little after the middle, of the eighteenth century. The Dutch tiles and the iron stove-plates of approximately that period strongly suggest this. Coming now to the date of erection, we can begin with certainty at the period of the Revo- lution and work backward. The original water- color drawing which the Hon. D. McN. K. Stauffer discovered in Philadelphia in 1895 among some pictures imported from England and which is dated " June 18, 1784," shows the building as it appeared at the close of the War for Independence. The sketches from which it was made were probably drawn some years earlier during the English occupation. Corre- spondence before quoted shows the building to have been occupied by the PhiHpse family during the War. Lossing's circumstantial description of the marriage of Mary Philipse and Roger Morris, printed in Harper's Monthly Magazine, Vol. liii, page 642, is apparently from a source which must be accepted and carries the date back to January, 1758. Mrs. Lamb, in her History of New York, says that Governor George Clinton (the Admiral) spent several days at the Manor Hall in 1745 on his way back to New York from Albany, where he had been in attendance at an Indian conference. Her authority for this statement 16 242 Philtpse Manor Hall does not appear, but the fact seems highly prob- able. Bolton, in his History of Westchester county, and Mrs. Lamb both say that Mary Philipse was bom in the Manor Hall in 1730. This statement, probably derived from a family source not now available, is about the limit to which we can reasonably go with reference to any considerable portion of the present Manor Hall, except the old foimdation before referred to. Passing now from the region of reasonable certainty to the region of reasonable inference, and considering only the old foundation, it seems highly probable that a strong if not large building once stood upon that foundation early in the history of the possession of the first Philipse. We know from Van der Donck's remonstrance of 1652 that Van der Donck erected buildings at the Yonkers mill-site prior to that date. The suit of the miller Martin Hardwyn against Philipse in 1674 shows that at that time there was a community on the Neperhan in which Philipse had a controlling and apparently ex- clusive interest. We know that at that time there was great apprehension in the colony of New York on account of the Indians. In 1675 there were massacres in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, concerted by the powerful Indian King Philip. An uprising in New York was feared. The Wickquaskeek Indians, whose ancient home was only s| miles The Manor Hall Itself 243 north of the Neperhan colony, were under sus- picion and by the Governor's order were kept under surveillance. Governor Andros also or- dered all towns to keep double and strict watch. Some of them erected defenses. If any man had incentives to erect a strong house for the defense of his property and tenants, Philipse had. It was customary for the head of a great plantation in either the Hudson or the Mohawk valley in those days to erect at least one strong building which served the double purpose of proprietary residence and asylimi of refuge in time of danger.* The date commonly ascribed to the original edifice, 1682, is coincident with Philipse's pur- chase of the land adjacent to the Yonkers plan- tation on the north, by which he completed a chain of possessions extending from the northern bounds of Lower Yonkers on the Spuyten Duyvil up to the Pocantico at Sleepy Hollow, a distance of 13 or 14 miles. It seems very probable that if he had not begtm a strong house on the Neper- han before, he would do so now, with possessions of such great extent. The complaint of the Government of Connecticut to the Government of New York, dated May 11, 1682, that sundry persons " and Perticularly Mr. ffrederick Phillips Have Erected Lately and are Erecting Certaine * Fort Crailo at Rensselaer, and Port Frye near Pala- tine Bridge, are types of several such buildings, still standing, ranging in age from 1663 to 1755. 244 Philipse Manor Hall Mills and Other Edifices . . . neere lonto Hud- son's River," etc., taken together with a state- ment from the same source dated October lo, 1684, concerning " Frederick Phillipps upper Mills over against Tappan," (impljring the existence of the lower mills on the Neperhan,) suggests the Neperhan as one of the localities of his activity in building. The testimony of Barent Witt, on August 14, 1689, that he lived at " Weskeskek " on land of Frederick Philipse; that several Frenchmen landed with alarming news from Canada about the Indians; that he told Philipse and Philipse laughed at the news, indicates that at that period Philipse spent a portion of his time at his lower mills, and it is not to be thought that the richest man in the Colony of New York, who was also an architect builder, would have neglected to provide himself with a substantial shelter on such occasions. Whatever inducements Philipse may have had to erect a similar structure at Sleepy Hollow, and whatever may be the age of that building, he certainly had very strong reasons for building at Yonkers. In addition to those previously men- tioned, part of the Yonkers property was ah-eady cleared before he acquired the Sleepy Hollow land, and afforded the strongest attractions for a residence. His business was well developed there long in advance of the building of his upper The Manor Hall Itself 245 mills. Yonkers was about midway between the Pocantico on the north and the nearest settle- ment on the south at Harlem. And as business must have caused him to travel frequently be- tween his country possessions and the City, a house at Yonkers would have been much more convenient than one ten miles farther north at Sleepy Hollow, in those days when travel was either by horse or by sloop. The conclusion of the writer is that while it may not be safe to give an earlier date than about 1725 or 1730 to any considerable portion of the superstructure of the Manor Hall, it is very probable that the old foundation represents a portion of the smaller original Philipse dwelling erected within a dozen years of 1682, that is to say, approximately between 1682 and 1694. If there is any error in this estimate, the ratio of error to the total age of the building is probably comparatively small — a ratio which, of course, will continue to diminish as the age of the btdld- ing increases, and which, in proportion to the great volume of historical interest that attaches to the btdlding, is a practically negligible quantity. If the gentle reader is not satisfied with the foregoing deductions, a more satisfactory con- clusion must be deferred until the missing docu- mentary link be found. Until then, the ancient building must continue, like the Sphinx, to ask a question which itself refuses to answer. 246 Philipse Manor Hall Over all of that which has here been described so imperfectly there hangs an indescribable atmosphere of mystery. There are questions of construction suggested by the unsymmetrical measiirements which appeal to both the architect and the antiquarian and which can not yet be answered. There are, or were, well-authenticated secret closets or passageways whose whereabouts have been lost. There is a strong belief among some of the students of the building that the Philipse family did not take away all of their belongings, and that hidden somewhere in the mysterious recesses of this ancient pile are relics of the departed glory of Philipse Manor which would shed a flood of new light on the history of this picturesque and famous monument to two and a quarter centuries of our social and pohtical Ufe. One cannot look upon the Old Manor Hall without being moved to compare its present with its former environment. If these aged walls could speak, they could tell a wonderful story of the changes which they have witnessed during the 128 years which have elapsed since Washington and his suite rode by on their way to take pos- session of New York upon its evacuation by the British. At that time, wooded hills stretched indefinitely to the north, east and south. To the west a narrow bank, with a grove of trees, sloped to the Hudson river, not 300 feet distant. Within The Manor Hall Itself 247 150 feet of the South Porch, the Neperhan river flowed by, unobscured save by the mills with their three great overshot wheels and half a dozen smaller buildings on the north bank. At the foot of Dock street, about 300 feet west of the house, the north bank of the stream projected into the Hudson a little point, at the end of which was a rock containing a huge iron ring used in warping vessels into the little Neperhan harbor. Such was the scene at the close of the Revolu- tion. Seventy years later there had been com- paratively little growth. In 1813 there were only twenty-six buildings of all kinds scattered over the adjacent 320 acres. The Manor House and a dozen others were available for dwellings; five were saw, grist, plaster, and fulling mills; five were bams and sheds; one was a shop; and one was old St. John's church. To-day, a city of 80,000 inhabitants has grown up around the old Hall; the forests have disap- peared; the Neperhan has almost been buried from sight; the Hudson has been driven back by filling in; and the whole aspect of the region changed; but the Manor Hall remains, a silent monument to the changes of time and the mortality of generations. CHAPTER XV PHILIPSE MANOR IN PICTURE AND LITERATURE T^HE oldest known picture of the Manor •^ Hall and its surroundings is a sepia drawing found by the Hon. D. McN. K. Stauffer in an old print shop in Philadelphia in 1905. It is entitled and signed " A view of Phillip's Manor and the Rocks on the Hudson or North River in N. America. June 18, 1784. D. R. Fecit." In this picttire, drawn from a point south of the Neperhan and looking northward, the Neperhan occupies the foreground, plunging over a milldam at the right and joining the Hudson on the left. Below the dam there is a cluster of rocks in midstream. On the north bank, just below the dam, are three large overshot wheels, furnishing power for the adjacent mill directly in front of the Manor Hall. Three large and half a dozen smaller buildings adjoin the mill, while over the roof of the latter appears the south front of the Manor House. In the right background appears the primitive forest, while in the left flows the Hudson, beyond which appear the Palisades or " the Rocks on the Hudson." The point of view is such that the northern wing of the Manor Hall cannot be seen. (248) The Manor in Picture and Literature 249 In the Bicentennial Loan Exhibition held in the Manor Hall October 18-28, 1882, there was a drawing of the Manor Hall, dated 1850, loaned by Mrs. Lyman Cobb, Jr. There are many engravings of the Manor Hall, all comparatively modem, and almost all repre- senting the eastern front. Scharf's " History of Westchester County " has engravings represent- ing the building as it appeared in 1842 and 1886. The other Histories of Westchester Coimty have pictures of their respective periods. Lossing's " Hudson from the Wilder- ness to the Sea " has a picture of the period of 1866. Mrs. Lamb's article in Appleton's Journal, Volume XI, has a woodcut of 1874. Irving's " Life of Washington " has a steel engraving of the building as it appeared in 1855. The Misses Philipse of New York City have a charming portrait of Mary Philipse (see plate X) painted by John Woolaston, who came over from England and pursued his art in New York between 1754 and 1757. It was probably painted in i7S7. the year before her marriage to Roger Morris. A portrait of Roger Morris by Benjamin West (see plate XII) and a portrait of Mary Philipse painted by John Singleton Copley after her marriage (see plate XI) are in possession of Amherst Morris of England, a great-grandson of Col. and Mrs. Morris. Colonel Morris. 250 Philipse Manor Hall is represented in his uniform. His wife is depicted in a white satin gown with a gold embroidered belt. Around her shoulders is draped a spotted pink sUk fichu. Her hair is raised over a cushion, a la mode, but is not powdered. The painting of this portrait by Copley possesses additional interest from the fact that Washington sat to Mm in 1755, the year before Washington met Mary Philipse. Copley married Alice de Lancey of New York and was a fashionable portrait painter among New York women. His portraits are not only valuable as representations of the costumes of the period, of which he was a faithful delineator, but he, in turn, exercised no little influence over the dress of the period. He was a lover of fine dress, and not only dressed himself with attention to form and color, but also had his own theories about women's dress which he carried out elab- orately in his pictures. His granddaughter says that " the beautiful costumes which we admire to-day in the stately portraits of owe grand- mothers' times were the results of his combined taste and study." He paid scrupulous attention to the values of the dress, hair, head-coverings, and jewels, and to such deliberately introduced features as birds, dogs, sqiiirrels, corsage bouquets, etc. Copies of the portrait of Colonel Morris by West and the portrait of Mrs. Morris by Copley The Manor in Picture and Literature 251 are in Nunbumholme Rectory, York, England, and also in possession of their great-grandson, Herbert Morris Bower, lately Mayor of Ripon, England. To the latter the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society is indebted for the photographs made from his copies, which photographs now hang in the Manor Hall at Yonkers. There are in the New York Historical Society two portraits, which the Hon. John DeWitt Warner, of New York, formerly counsel for the American branch of the PhiUpse family, believes to be the likenesses of Col. Frederick Philipse (Third Lord of the Manor), and his sister Sus- annah, (Mrs. Beverly Robinson). These can- vases were given to the Historical Society, closely rolled up, by Miss Richard, January 27, 1873. They are crudely cut from their frames and in very bad condition. Miss Richard stated that the portraits were presented to her by a member of the Hamilton family. The pedigree of the paintings, however, is so obscure that the Society carries them on its catalogue as " Un- named." Mr. Warner's conclusions as to their identity are based on the following traditions and facts: It is the family tradition that about the year 1750, Judge Frederick Philipse (the Second Lord of the Manor) had painted the portraits of all the living members of the family, namely, himself (Judge PhiHpse,) his wife Joanna, his 252 Philipse Manor Hall sons Frederick and Philip, and his daughters Susannah, Mary and Margaret, — all in the best manner possible. It is said that these portraits long adorned the walls of the Yonkers Manor House; that some of them were left in the house when it was abandoned by the family during the Revolution, and that those of Mrs. Joanna Philipse and her daughter Susannah were dam- aged by slashing and bullets. Up to about 1880 the family knew only of the portraits of Philip, Mary and Margaret. Upon learning of the canvases in the Historical Society, Mr. Warner examined them with technical assistance and became convinced that they were those of Fred- erick and Susannah, as before stated. The feat- ures of the former closely resembled those of his father Judge Philipse and agreed with the family tradition of his appearance. An artist skeptic having called Mr. Warner's attention to the obviously inferior work in a certain part of the portrait of Philip as compared with the alleged portrait of Frederick, Mr. Warner himself was puzzled until he looked at the back of Philip's portrait and found the inferior portion to be a patch filling a large hole in the original canvas. The portrait which is thought to be that of Susaimah so closely resembles the known portrait of Mary in feature and costume that it was at first thought to be a replica of the latter. Expert comparison of the technique of execution, the The Manor in Picture and Literature 253 artist's mannerisms, the pigments used, the costiraies depicted, etc., and an analysis of the known facts concerning the family's portraits, have left no doubt in Mr. Warner's mind as to the identity of these portraits, although the Historical Society still catalogues them as " unnamed." A portrait of Mary Philipse belonging to Augustus Van Cortlandt was exhibited in the Manor Hall Bi-centennial Loan Exhibition in 1882. There is in the Van Cortlandt Mansion in Van Cortlandt Park, New York, a water-color drawing of a landscape — not the Manor Hall — attributed to the brush of Mary Philipse. As to the literature of Philipse Manor — the Manor at large, the Manor Hall itself, and the Philipse family occupy conspicuous places in the original contemporary records of the Colony and State down to about 1785; in the secondary histories of New York City and Westchester County written since that date; and in a growing number of works of fiction. The Manor Hall is mentioned in European guide books for tourists to America and also in Baedeker's " United States." Perhaps the best work of fiction dealing directly with the Manor Hall is " The Continental Dragoon: A Love Story of Philipse Manor House in 1778," by Robert Neilson Stephens. 254 Philipse Manor Hall An interesting story for children is "A Loyal Little Maid " by Edith Robinson, but it cannot be relied on for historical acctiracy. Judge T. Astley Atkins, of Yonkers, the delightful antiquarian, has in manuscript some twenty- five chapters of legends of the vicinity which it is to be hoped will be printed. The following by him may be fotmd in the Yonkers (N. Y.) Statesman (newspaper): "Legend of the Manor Well," May 24, 1890; " Mile Square Legends," September 4, 1890; "A Legend of the Manor: The Secret Closet," May 29, 1891; "A Legend of the Nepperhan," October 9, 1891; "Tessie Morton: A Legend of the Nepperhan Valley" (date tinknown); and "The Under- ground Room," about December 9, 191 1. He is also the author of two monographs, now out of print, entitled "Adriaen van der Donck" and "The Manor of Phillipsburg." The best work of fiction dealing with the Manor at large during the Revolution is " The Spy," by J. Fenimore Cooper, a tale of the Neutral Ground in 1780. Sabine, in his "American Loyalists," and other authors have suggested that Mary Philipse was the prototype of the heroine Frances Wharton. This can hardly have been the case, as Mary Philipse had been married twenty-two years at the period of the story. It is not tmHkely, however, that the political situa- tion of the Philipse family suggested some The Manor in Picture and Literature 255 features of the plot, but the author has so skill- fully located the scene elsewhere and taken such Hcense with historical facts that he cannot be charged with having portrayed any member of the Manor Hall family. A like similarity may be detected between the clandestine maritime ventures of a character in Cooper's " Water Witch" (period 171- ) and the alleged traffic of the first Lord of the Manor with privateersmen and pirates, but by giving his character the title of the Patroon of Kinderhook, locating his seat farther up the river, and making the period subsequent to the first Lord Philipse's death, he must be acquitted of an attempt to portray the latter worthy, however weU he may have depicted the customs of the times. A sequel to Cooper's " Spy " will be found in " The Spy Unmasked," by H. L. Barnum. For a short story of condi- tions in the Manor at large in the Revolution, nothing Is more delightful than Irving's "Wolfert's Roost." Roe's "Near to Nature's Heart " may also be read with pleasure.