Page images

Hamilton by such thoughts that he once narrowly escaped being shut out of camp from an entire failure on his part to give the countersign to a sentinel. This was a source of much mirth on the part of Mrs. Schuyler, who was nevertheless fond of the young man, and later received him cordially into her family.

The eldest daughter of General and Mrs. Philip Schuyler was married June 27, 1777, to John Barker Church, whose fortune and family he left in England, and he embraced with ardor the cause of the colonists, but he did this under the assumed name of Carter. This is supposed to have been because he had fought a duel in England. This daughter of General Schuyler, from whom the village of Angelica was named, lived in the family traditions as well as in the memoirs and letters of her contemporaries as a brilliant, handsome woman, a belle much in society, both at home and in London. She is spoken of as Mrs. Carter by Washington in a letter to General Schuyler, describing a visit that she made to army headquarters with her younger sister, Elizabeth, afterward Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, when Washington entertained them at dinner. Mrs. Church's portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The name Angelica, in Dutch Engeltic, was a favorite name in the old Dutch families and has been used in the Schuyler family from the 17th century down, and occurs in every generation, and in the Livingston family also.

Robert Livingston, often called the first Lord of the Manor, and his nephew, Robert Livingston, both married Schuylers.

Mrs. John B. Church was at General Schuyler's house in Albany when an attack was made on it by a band of Tories and Indians under the command of John Waltemeyer. Mr. Church, of Geneva, says: “I remember hearing my grandfather, Judge Philip Church, say that in the hours of the retreat of the family to the upper part of the house, he, Philip Church, then a child, received a blow, the scar of which remained during life."

Margaret Schuyler, afterward Mrs. Stephen Van Rensellaer, is the heroine of that occasion, because she rescued her little sister, Catharine. As she ran up the stairs carrying the

child, a tomahawk was thrown after them. The mark of this tomahawk is shown to this day, as the house is still standing in Albany.

Mr. and Mrs. Church paid a visit to the late Judge Philip Church soon after he had established himself at Belvidere, making the journey to New York in their own coach with a party of attendants. Again quoting Mr. John Church, of Geneva, he says: “I have often heard my grandmother, Anna Stewart Church, daughter of General Stewart, of Philadelphia, tell of her efforts to entertain these relatives in the old white house where the family lived during the building of the present stone house. The octagon brick stable on the Belvidere farm was planned and built by Mrs. J. B. Church during this visit.”

Mrs. Church died in New York City in 1815, and was interred in the Livingston vault, in Trinity Churchyard.

Our own country of Allegany has revolutionary records, but they are to border warfare with savage Indians and the heroes of those times, like Major Moses Van Campen, thrill us by their courage and endurance, but they do not touch the heart like these women, brave but gentle, and therefore have we chosen the name of one conspicious where all seem great in service to modern eyes and standards, and we have wished to do Catharine Schuyler lasting honor by giving her name to our Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.


LAFAYETTE descended from an ancient family of Auvergne, was born in 1757, in the castle of Chavagnac, now in the department of Upper Loire. His father, Colonel, the Marquis de Lafayette, was dead when this son was born, having fallen in the battle of Hastenbeck, when he was not yet twenty-five years of age. At the age of eleven Lafayette was taken to Paris to begin his education. During the pursuit of his studies he was placed in the army lists, in order that he might secure as early as possible the advantages of military promotion. At the age of thirteen his mother died in Paris, and he was left with no nearer relative than his grandmother. His rank and title at court made him an interesting feature in the life at the capital. At an early age he became a soldier, and went to America in 1777 to take part with the colonists in their war of Independence. At a banquet in honor of the brother of the English King he first heard the Declaration of Independence. He was won by its arguments and from that time joined his hopes and sympathies to the American cause. But the question arose how he was to aid it. He was not yet twenty years old, he had just married, his prospects at home for honor and happiness were bright. To join the patriot army would take him from his native land, his wife, and all his coveted ambition, and lead him into a struggle that seemed as hopeless as its cause was just. His zeal for America overcame all obstacles, but other difficulties arose. His family objected, the British minister protested, and the French King was unwilling to give his permission. Still undaunted, he purchased a vessel, fitted it out at his own expense, and escaping the officers who were sent to detain him, crossed the ocean. As soon as he reached Cnarleston, he hastened to Philadelphia and offered himself to Congress, asking to serve as a volunteer without pay. A few days after his acquaintance with Washington began, and his friendship exercised a great influence over the development of his mind and the formation of his opinions. His bravery won for him a commission as major general before he was twenty-one. Lafayette with several officers landed at Charleston on the 13th of June, 1777, and were entertained at the summer residence of Major Huger, who received the strangers with a "cordial welcome and a generous hospitality." On the 25th of June, Lafayette, with his two colonels as counsellors and his aides-de-camp, started for Philadelphia, and after a journey of nine hundred miles presented himself at Congress. His joy at his success with Congress was redoubled by the flattering proof of friendship and regard on the part of the Commander-in-Chief. Lafayette's first service in the Continental Army was at Brandywine, and you also remember how he won distinction for himself as a soldier, and with what applause he was pronounced one of the heroes of the day. He remained but a few days in Philadelphia, and fearing lest he might fall a prisoner in the hands of the British, he was transported by water to Bristol and from there removed in a carriage to Bethlehem, where he spent four months among the Moravians, recuperating from the wound he had received in the battle of Brandywine. After he had sufficiently recovered to join the army, he distinguished himself in a skirmish near Gloucester. Lafayette appeared next at Valley Forge and Barren Hill, and it is said he never fully realized how important a crisis for him was this affair at Barren Hill. If he had been captured then by the British, the first occasion when he had been intrusted with a separate command, the memory of Lafayette would have become that of a mere incident in the War of Independence. While at the camp of Valley Forge he received news of the death of his oldest child, and the distance from Europe to America seemed a more terrible separation than ever.

The battle of Monmouth is the most difficult to follow in detail of any of the battles during the Revolutionary War. The battle at Newport, and Lafayette's services in the enterprise against Rhode Island, are such proofs of his zeal, ardor and talents as have endeared him to America. About this time Congress had ordered to Boston their best war vessel to convey Lafayette to France. He proceeded to Philadelphia to take formal leave of Congress, and then started on horse-back to Boston. He set out upon his journey in a hard and drizzling rain, but the long strain of anxiety and care during the siege in Rhode Island had told upon his former vigorous constitution, and he was worn out and ill. He continued through many discomforts until he reached Fishkill, when he succumbed to a violent illness, and it was not until December that he was ready to continue his journey to Boston. Upon his arrival there he was received with the warmest expressions of welcome and of sympathy from the citizens. Lafayette was the bearer of very important papers to France, especially of the instructions of Congress to Dr. Franklin, then American Minister. The declaration of war between France and Britain gave him an opportunity of aiding the new Republic effectually, by returning *o France, where he was received with honor by the court and with enthusiasm by the people. He sailed for France on the 11th of January, 1779. This closed the first period of Lafayette's career in America. Twice Lafayette came afterward to America. The first time in 1784, when yielding in his desire to see General Washington and to greet his companions in arms after the declaration of peace, he crossed the ocean and arrived in New York on the 4th of August. He spent several days amid the delightful surroundings of Mt. Vernon, whither he was conducted by General Washington, who went to Richmond to meet him. He re-visited many points of interest in the Virginia campaign, and he was received in such a manner that his tour was a continual triumph. The second time was when he made his famous visit in 1824 and 1825. He brought with him his son, George Washington Lafayette, to present him to the people whom he had helped to liberate. This visit of General Lafayette to America, nearly fifty years after the foundation of the Nation which he had so generously assisted, was an event to which the world's history can furnish no parallel. The great experiment of self-government was a triumphant success. Our population and prosperity had increased beyond all precedent, and our navy bore our flag over every sea. Never was the benefactor of a people awarded a homage so universal or so spontaneous. It was as if one of the dead heroes of the past, to whom the indebtedness of mankind is always acknowledged, were to be reanimated to receive the gratitude of a living world. The intelligence of the arrival of Lafayette in the harbor of New York on the 15th of August, 1824, spread through the city with a rapidity which our present methods of electrical communication could scarcely have increased. Multitudes poured into the street in expectation of instantly beholding him. But at the request of the city authorities he landed on Staten Island and was conducted to the mansion of the Vice-President of the United States. On the following day he sailed to New York on board the "Chancellor Livingston.” Many vessels, both national and private, arrayed in their gayest trim, welcomed the noble guest. The ringing of bells, the roaring of cannon, the decoration of steamships, the martial strains of music, and the shouts of the people proclaimed a joyous jubilee. The recollection of so many dear companions and the recognition of some who survived, among the number Colonel Willet, (then in

« PreviousContinue »