Page images
PDF
EPUB

On entering the main doorway interest centers in the Princeton room which is immediately at the left and constituted the parlor of the mansion in revolutionary times. Here it was that General and Mrs. Washington met and entertained the numerous visitors during his possession of the headquarters. This is known as the Princeton room and is furnished with homespun carpets and the general furniture is of mahogany with coverings of the horsehair variety. Numerous articles contributed by Princetonians add greatly to the historic character of the room. Some have the cards of the givers attached and the names of Mrs. Swann, Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Anderson, Mrs. Schanck, Mrs. Joseph Olden, Miss Scudder, Mrs. C. G. Rockwood, Jr., and Miss Rockwood, Mrs. Mary Hale Chamberlain, Mrs. Sandoz, and Miss Mary Dod were noticed. Two ancient spinets are on either side of the room, one from Mrs. Francis Conover, said formerly to have belonged to Lord Stirling's family, and the other from Mrs. Charles Voorhees of Rocky Hill. A cabinet of relics, pewter and china, adorns one side of the rooms. The Headquarters Association have been very fortunate in securing the original carved mantel and restoring it to its place. It seems that it was removed by a former tenant, Mr. Brennan, and placed by him in a house built for his residence in Orange, New Jersey. This dwelling was sold to the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, and through the influence of some of the members of the Association has been kindly donated by the company. The ancient Franklin fireplace beneath bears the date of 1764. This part of the room receives complete restoration by the fortunate discovery of the ancient andirons which are very beautiful. They have been in the possession of the Scudder family of Penns Neck from whom they were purchased by the Princeton Bank. In this case also through the petition of lady members of the Headquarters Association, the andirons have been generously donated by the Bank and restored to their original place. Off the parlor is a small bedroom suitably furnished, and among the notable exhibits may be found a homespun linen pillow case given by Mrs. A. S.

Leigh, and made by her great-grandmother before the year 1792; also a bedspread used by Dickinson on Washington's staff. The old fashioned wall paper with its high colors and artistic effects is also notable.

To the right of the main entrance and across the hall from the Princeton room is the old dining room, to be known as the Trenton room and to be furnished by the ladies of Trenton. Beyond the permanent fixtures, the present furniture consists of an old and interesting secretary, ancient table and chairs with home spun carpet. In the rear of this room is the Trent room, under the care of the Trent Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Lawrenceville. Here the andiro and other fireplace furniture bear the name of Mrs. Chauncey H. Beasley as donor. On the walls and shelves are many interesting historic papers, maps and books. A desk that belonged at one time to Commodore Stewart is conspicuous, and a reel from Mrs. J. Stryker Hoagland. A framed paper of the time presented by Ex-Mayor J. L. Briner gives the account of General Washington's death and tributes to his services and personal worth. In this room also the ancient wall paper with its summer landscape scenes is prominent. Adjoining this is a small room given to the purposes of an office and registration room. The book on the desk contains a large number of names which will undoubtedly increase rapidly as the attractions of the spot indoors and out become known to the general public.

Ascending the stairway from the main hall one is attracted by a glass frame revealing a portion of the original wall paper, by the removal of the plaster with which in later years it has been covered. In the second story and over the parlor is the Rocky Hill room, well stocked by the interested families of Rocky Hill. As worthy of special record we noticed a copy of the Connecticut Gazette of Friday, December 8, 1783, containing the first publication of Washington's Farewell Address to the army which was written in this house and delivered at Newburgh. Here also is the letter of instruction from General Washington to the commandant of his guard, Captain Howe, of which we have already made mention. As this letter is of special importance in connection with these headquarters, we give it entire.

“INSTRUCTIONS FOR CAPT. HOWE.” SIR:-You will have charge of the waggons which contain my baggage, and with the escort proceed with them to Virginia and deliver the baggage at my house, ten miles below Alexander.

"As you know they contain all my papers which are of immense value to me. I am sure it is unnecessary to request your particular attention to them, but as you will have several ferries to pass, and some of them wide particularly the Susquehannah and the Potomack. I must caution you against crossing them, if the wind should be high or if there is in your own judgement or the opinion of others the least danger.

“The waggons should never be without a sentinel over them, always locked and the keys in your possession.

“You will make such arrangements for the march with Colonel Morgan, at this place and Mr. Hodgsden, at Philadelphia and Wilmington, as may be necessary under all circumstances especially with respect to the expenses, failure of horses, and breaking of waggons.

"Your road will be through Philadelphia and Wilmington, thence by the head of Elk, to the lower ferry on the Susquehannah and thence by Baltimore, Bladensburg, Georgetown and Alexandria, to Mount Vernon. You will enquire of Mr. Hodgsden or Colonel Biddle, if Mrs. Washington left anything in their care to be forwarded by the waggons to Virginia, if she did, and you can find room for such let it be carried, if there is not desire then to send it by some other opportunity.

“The waggons and teams after the baggage is delivered is to be surrendered to the order of Colonel Pickering, which has, I believe been handed to Mr. Roberts, and is to deliver them to Colonel Fitzgerald to be sold. The bundle which contains my account you will be careful of, and deliver at the financier's office with the letter addressed to him. That is to M-. Morris. The other small bundle you will deliver to Mr. Ottringer in Chestnut street. Doctor McHenry's trunk of parcels you will (as I suppose he has already directed) leave at his house in Baltimore.

"You will have the tents which are occupied by the guards delivered to Colonel Morgan whose receipt for them will be a voucher for you to the Quarter Master General.

"The remainder of the guard under the care of a good sergeant (with very strict orders to prevent every kind of abuse to the inhabitants on the march is to be returned) to their corps at West Point. "Given at Rock Hill, this 9th day of Nevember, 1783."

G. WASHINGTON.

To the welcome gift of this letter, Dr. T. Morgan Howe, of New York City, has added a framed copy of a miniature oi Commandant Howe, painted about 1782.

Over the Trenton room is Washington's room, where he wrote his farewell address to the Army of the Revolution. A number of relics have been gathered, and the room is to be known as the "Washington Room." It is to be handsomely furnished and adorned by the Sons of the Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution, of Washington, District of Columbia. The Colonial Dames of Washington, District of Columbia, have presented many pieces of Staffordshire ware, for the cupboard of the Colonial kitchen and many Washingtonians have contributed valuable relics.

In the rear of this and over the Trent room is Washington's bed-room. This room contains an elegant old high post mahogany bedstead brought from the headquarters of Cornwallis in Brooklyn, and presented by Dr. Packard. In this bed Cornwallis and Washington are said to have slept, but it is facetiously added, “not at the same time.” The other furnishings are very ancient; and of special interest to Princetonians is a chair 130 years old, given by Mr. Robert L. Clow, by whom it was inherited from his father, Hon. Henry Clow, and his grandfather, Ralph Sansbury, both successively stewards of Princeton University in its earlier years. From this room the visitor passes into the curio room, well stocked with relics contributed by Mrs. Swann and many others. Pictures of Washington, Lafayette and other generals, historic musket balls from battlefields of the Revolution, Continental money, 2 sword of Cornwallis, pieces of Mrs. Washington's dresses, an interesting old wine chest and the standard of the Princeton Blues are among the relics of interest shown here. One room in the rear of the Rocky Hill room remains as yet unoccupied.

There is still room for many more relics and revolutionary souvenirs, and no better place could be found for their permanent or temporary location. The house is open for visitors from 9 a. m. to 6 p. m., and is under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Poole, who are ever ready to show the rooms and explain their treasures. An admission fee of twenty-five cents is charged

to all those who are not members, the fund so accumulated going to the maintenance of the property. It should be regarded rather as a small patriotic contribution than as an admission fee. The Headquarters Association have had success in raising the necessary funds for the repair of the property, and the general public should take a pride in insuring its full maintenance. The officers of the Association : Dr. J. O. Murray, President; Mrs. Josephine Ward Swann, Vice-President; Mr. Bayard Stockton, Secretary; Mr. Leroy H. Anderson, Treasurer.

All members of patriotic societies, as Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Revolution, Sons of the Revolution, and Sons of the American Revolution, members of the Society of the Cincinnati, and all others are cordially invited and welcomed to membership by the payment of the $10 fee to any of the officers.

SOME OF THE EARLY SETTLERS OF TRYON COUNTY, NEW YORK, THE BATTLE OF ORISKANY AND THE MASSACRE OF

CHERRY VALLEY.

IN 1772 Tryon County was taken from the County of Albany, which at that time embraced all the northern and western part of the State of New York extending from the City of Albany to Niagara. The new county was made to include the territory which now comprises Otsego, Montgomery, and part of Schoharie Counties, and was named for William Tryon, then Governor of the province. The eastern part was by far the most populous, and it is probable the entire county did not contain more than 10,000 inhabitants.

The men of Tryon County, who dwelt in the districts now Montgomery and Otsego Counties, have a unique and interesting Revolutionary history which was caused by the circumstances of their geographical location, the character of some of their prominent men, and the diverse nationalities presented in the community.

Throughout the colonies the Committees of Safety in all

« PreviousContinue »