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skirmishers drove our people from their position behind the dwelling. Since then it had known many guests. Howe, Clinton, Kniphausen, Percy, were sheltered by its roof. The aged owner, with his wife and daughter, remained; but they had always an officer of distinction quartered with them; and, if a part of the family were in arms for Congress, as is alleged, it is certain that others were active for the Crown. Samuel Kip, of Kipsburgh, led a cavalry troop of his own tenantry with great gallantry in De Lancey's regiment; and, despite severe wounds, survived long after the war, a heavy pecuniary sufferer by the cause which, with most of the landed gentry of New York, he had espoused." *

In 1780 it was held by Colonel Williams, of the 80th royal regiment; and here, on the evening of the 19th of September, he gave a dinner to Sir Henry Clinton and his staff, as a parting compliment to André. The aged owner of the house was present; and, when the Revolution was over, he described the scene and the incidents of that dinner. At the table, Sir Henry Clinton announced the departure of André, next morning, on a secret and most important expedition, and added (what we have never seen mentioned in any other account, and showing what was to have been André's reward), "Plain John André will come back Sir John André."

André-it was said by Mr. Kip-was evidently depressed, and took but little part in the merriment about him; and when, in his turn, it became necessary for him to sing, he gave the favorite military chanson attributed to Wolfe, who sang it on the eve of the battle of Quebec, in which he died:

Why, soldiers, why

Should we be melancholy, boys?
Why, soldiers, why,

Whose business 'tis to die!

For should next campaign
Send us to Him who made us, boys,
We're free from pain;

But should we remain,
A bottle and kind landlady

Makes all well again.

"Life of André," p. 267.

His biographer, after copying this account, adds: "How brilliant soever the company, how cheerful the repast, its memory must ever have been fraught with sadness to both host and guests. It was the last occasion of André's meeting his comrades in life. Four short days gone, the hands then clasped by friendship were fettered by hostile bonds; yet nine days more, and the darling of the army, the youthful hero of the hour, had dangled from a gibbet." *

After the Revolution the place remained in its owner's possession, for his age had fortunately prevented him from taking any active part in the contest. And when Washington, in the hour of his triumph, returned to New York, he went out to visit again those who, in 1776, had been his involuntary hosts. Dr. Francis relates an interesting little incident which occurred at the visit: "On the old road towards Kingsbridge, on the eastern side of the island, was the well-known Kip's Farm, preeminently distinguished for its grateful fruits the plum, the peach, the pear, and the apple-and for its choice culture of the rosacea. Here the élite often repaired, and here our Washington, now invested with Presidential honors, made an excursion, and was presented with the rosa gallica, an exotic first introduced into this country in this garden -fit emblem of that memorable union of France and the American colonies in the cause of republican freedom." †

In 1851 this old place was demolished. It had then stood two hundred and twelve years, and was the oldest house on the island. It was swallowed up by the growth of the mighty metropolis, and Thirty-fifth-street runs over the spot where once stood the old mansion. A short time after it was deserted, the writer made his last visit to it, while most of it was still standing, and the stone coat-of-arms over the hall-door was projecting from the half-demolished

"Life of André," p. 268.

"Old New York"-Anniversary Discourse before the New York Historical Society, Nov. 17, 1857, by John W. Francis, M. D., L.L. D.

wall. As he stood in the old diningroom, there came back to him visions of the many noble and chivalrous men who, in the last two centuries, had feasted within its walls. But all these, like the place itself, now live only in the records of the past.

Such was life in those early days among the colonial families in the country and the city. It was simple and unostentatious, yet marked by an affluence of every thing which could minister to comfort, and also a degree of elegance in the surroundings which created a feeling of true refinement. Society was easy and natural, without the struggle for precedence which now is so universal; for then every one's antecedents were known, and their positions were fixed. The intermarriages, which for more than a century were taking place between the landed families, bound them together and promoted a harmony of feeling now not often seen. There were, in that day, such things as old associations, and men lived in the past, instead of, as in these times, look ing only to the future.

The system of slavery, too, which prevailed, added to the ease of domestic life. Negro-slaves, at an early day, had been introduced into the colony, and every family of standing possessed some. They were employed but little as field-laborers, but every household had a few who were domestic servants. Like Abraham's servants, they were all "born in the house." They shared the same religious instruction with the children of the family, and felt, in every respect, as if they were members of it. This mild form of slavery was like the system which existed under the tents of the patriarchs on the plains of Mamre, and there certainly never were happier people than those “ men-servants and maid-servants." They were seldom separated from their families, or sold. The latter was reserved as an extreme case for the incorrigible, and a punishment to which it was hardly ever necessary to resort.

The clansmen of Scotland could not take more pride in the prosperity of

their chief's family than did these sable retainers in New Amsterdam. In domestic affairs they assumed a great freedom of speech, and, in fact, family affairs were discussed and settled as fully in the kitchen as in the parlor. The older servants, indeed, exercised as full control over the children of the family as did their parents. As each black child attained the age of six or seven years, it was formally presented to a son or daughter of the family, and was his or her particular attendant. This union continued often through life, and of stronger instances of fidelity we have never heard than were exhibited in some of these cases. Fidelity and affection, indeed, formed the bond between master and slave, to a degree which can never exist in this day with hired servants.*

This state of things continued far down into the present century. In the writer's early day his father owned slaves for domestic servants, and he well remembers, when visiting the place of a relative on the Hudson River, seeing the number of slaves about the house. At that time, however, the system was just going out; it had lost its interesting features, and the slaves, still remaining at these old places, had become a source of care and anxiety to their owners.

The charm of life in that day was its stability. There was no chance then for parvenuism-no stocks in which to dabble, no sudden fortunes made. There was but little commerce between the colony and the mother-country, and men who embarked in this business were contented to spend their lives in acquir ing a competence. They never aspired to rival the landed families. With the

"Almost every family in the colony owned one or more negro-servants; and, among the richer classes, their number was considered a certain evidence of their master's easy circumstances. About the year 1703-a period of prosperity in wealth and social refinement with the Dutch of New Amsterdam-the Widow Van Courtlandt held five male slaves, two female, and two children; Colonel De Peyster had the same number; William Beckman, two; Rip Van Dam, six; Mrs. Stuyvesant, five; Mrs. Kip, seven; David Provoost, three, &c."-Stone's "History of New York," p. 90.

latter, life flowed on from one generation to another in the same even way. They lived on their broad lands, and, when they died, the eldest son inherited the family residence, while the others were portioned off with farms belonging to the estate, but which it could well spare. On their carriages and their silver were their arms, which they had brought with them from Europe, by which every one knew them, which were used as matters of course, and were distinctions no one ventured to assume, unless entitled to them. Sometimes these were carved in stone and placed over their doors. This was the case with the Walton House, which we believe is still standing in Franklin Square (Pearl-street); and, as we have already mentioned, with the Kip's Bay House. The windows of the first Dutch church built in New York were filled with the arms of the families at whose expense it was erected.

In 1774, John Adams, on his way to attend the first Congress, stopped in New York. The honest Bostonian was very much struck with "the opulence and splendor of the city," and "the elegance of their mode of living," and, in his Journal, freely records his admiration. He speaks of "the elegant country-seats on the island;" the Broad Way, a fine street, very wide, and in a right line from one end to the other of the city;" "the magnificent new church then building, which was to cost £20,000;" the Bowling Green, which he describes as "the beautiful ellipse of land, railed in with solid iron, in the centre of which is a statue of His Majesty on horseback, very large, of solid lead, gilded with gold, on a pedestal of marble, very high." He records that "the streets of the town are vastly more regular and elegant than those of Boston, and the houses are more grand, as well as neat."

The most amusing display is when he is invited to one of these country-seats, 66 near Hudson's River." He writes: "A more elegant breakfast I never saw; rich plate, a very large silver coffee-pot, a very large silver tea-pot, napkins of

the very finest materials, toast and bread and butter in great perfection. After breakfast a plate of beautiful peaches, another of pears, and a muskmelon, were placed on the table."

It is evident, however, from his Journal, that he saw little of the best families. He was not in a situation to be feted by them, for they had no sympathy with the object of his journey. His principal entertainers were two lawyers

Scott and Smith-who had grown wealthy by their profession. Among all he mentions as extending civilities to him, the only persons belonging to the aristocracy of the city were some members of the Livingston family, who, even then, were putting themselves forward as leaders in the coming movement.

The Revolution broke up and swept away this social system. It ruined and drove off half the gentry of the province. The social history, indeed, of that event has never been written, and never will be. The conquerors wrote the story, and they were mostly “new men," who had as much love for those they dispossessed as the Puritans had for the Cavaliers of England, whom, for a time, they displaced. In a passage we have quoted from Sargent's "Life of André," the author says: "Most of the landed gentry of New York espoused the royal cause." And it was natural that it should be so, for most of them had for generations held office under the Crown. Their habits of life, too, had trained them to tastes which had no sympathy with the levelling doctrines inaugurated by the new movement. They accordingly rallied around the king's standard; and, when it went down, they went down with it, and, in many cases, their names were blotted out of the land.

We once read, in an old number of Blackwood's Magazine, some discussion about the impolitic course pursued by England towards her colonies. The remarks about the manner in which she lost her American colonies were peculiarly judicious. The writer says the Government should have formed an

aristocracy in America, by giving titles, and thus gathering the great landed proprietors about the throne by new ties. These extensive landholders, previous to the Revolution, were as able to keep up the dignity of a title as were the English nobility of that day; and the effect which would have been produced, in the strengthening of their loyalty, is obvious. Had the head of the Livingston family been created Earl of Clermont, and that of the Laurences been made Lord Newtown, would they have taken the side of the Revolutionists? We trow not. Instead of this, these powerful landed families were neglected, until some of them became embittered against the Government. No title, as a mark of royal favor, was given to a single American, except a baronetcy to Sir William Johnson.

Of the few landed families who took the popular, side, perhaps the Livingstons and Schuylers occupied the leading position. The former had not been in favor with the Government, but were the political antagonists of the De Lanceys, by whom they were excluded from office. They therefore welcomed the new order of things.

Religion, in those days, had a good deal to do with the state of parties. As far back as 1745, the De Lanceys were the leaders of the Church of England party, and the Livingstons of the Dissenters. Religious bitterness was added, therefore, to that which was political. "In 1769" (says Stone, in his "Life of Sir William Johnson"), "the contest was between the Church-party and the Dissenters, the former being led by the De Lanceys and the latter by the Livingstons. The Church, having the support of the mercantile and masonic interests, was triumphant; and John Cruger, James De Lancey, Jacob Walton, and James Jauncey, were elected by the city." During the election a song was published in the German language, which became very popular with the Germans, the chorus of which was:

"Maester Cruger, De Lancey,

Maester Walton and Jauncey." "The De Lancey interest," wrote

Hugh Wallace, a member of the Council, to Sir William Johnson, "prevails in the House greatly, and they have given the Livingstons' interest proof of it, by dismissing P. Livingston the House, as a non-resident." It was an old feud, therefore, which, at the Revolution, induced them to take different sides.

To the popular side, also, went the Jays, the Laurences, a portion of the Van Courtlandts, who were divided, a part of the Morris family, which was also divided (while Lewis Morris was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, his brother, Staats Morris, was a General in the British army, and married the Dowager Duchess of Gordon), the Beekmans, and some few others. The "Patroon "-Mr. Van Rensselaer-was fortunately a minor, and therefore, not being obliged to take either side, saved his manor. Many of the prominent leaders were from new families, made by the Revolution. An upturning of this kind is the time for new men. Peculiar circumstances brought some forward who otherwise would have had no avenue for action opened before them. Alexander Hamilton, for example, had just arrived in New York, a young man from the West Indies, when the popular outbreak gave him, at a public meeting, an opportunity of exhibiting his peculiar talents.

The history of a single family will show the course of events. Probably the most powerful family in the State, before the Revolution, was that of the De Lanceys. Descended from the ancien noblesse of France, and holding large possessions, they had exerted a greater influence in the colony than any other family. James De Lancey administered the government of the colony for many years, till his death, in 1760. Most of the younger members of the family were in the British army, previous to the Revolution. When that convulsion took place, they, of course, remained loyal, and became leaders on that side. Oliver De Lancey was a Brigadier-General, and organized the celebrated corps styled "De Lancey's Battalion." His

fine mansion at Bloomingdale was burned, in consequence of his adherence to the royal cause. They forfeited their broad lands, and their names appeared no more in the future history of the State. Some fled to England, where they held high offices, and their tombs are now to be seen in the choir of Beverley Cathedral. Sir William De Lancey died at Waterloo, on the staff of the Duke of Wellington. Just two months previous, he had been married to a daughter of Sir Benjamin Hall; and his friend, Sir Walter Scott, thus alludes to him in his ode, "The Field of Waterloo":

De Lancey changed Love's bridal wreath
For laurels from the hand of death.

The son of General De Lancey, Oliver De Lancey, Jr., who succeeded André as Adjutant-General of the British army in America, rose through the grade of Lieutenant-General to that of General, and died, at the beginning of this century, nearly at the head of the English army-list.

In 1847 the late Bishop of Western New York (William Heathcote De Lancey) told the writer a curious story of his recovery of some of their old family papers. In the Spring of that year, being in New York, a package was handed to the servant at the door by an old gentleman, on opening which the Bishop found an anonymous letter directed to him. The writer stated that, being in England between thirty and forty years before, he found some papers relating to the De Lancey family among some waste paper in the house where he was staying; that he had preserved them, and, seeing by the newspapers that the Bishop was in the city, he now enclosed them to him. These the Bishop found to be: 1st, the commission of James De Lancey as Lieutenant-Governor of the colony; 2d, his commission as Chief-Justice of the colony; 3d, the freedom of the city of New York, voted to one of the family in 1730; 4th, a map of the lands owned by them in West Chester county and on New York island, prepared by the Bishop's grand

father. He advertised in the New York papers, requesting an interview with his unknown correspondent, but there was no response, and he heard no more from him.

Some branches of this family remained in New York, and we cannot point to a more striking evidence of the change wrought by the Revolution than the fact that, since that event, the name of De Lancey, once so prominent, is never found in the records of the Government. It is in the Church only that it has acquired eminence, in the person of the former distinguished Bishop of Western New York.

This is the kind of story which might be told of many other loyalist families. Ruined by confiscations, they faded out of sight, and, being excluded from political office, they were forgotten, and their very names would sound strange in the ears of the present generation of New Yorkers. Many years ago, in the old country-house of a relative, the writer amused some days of a summer vacation by bringing down from the dust of a garret, where they had reposed for two generations, the letters of one of these refugees, who, at the beginning of the Revolution, was obliged to seek safety on board a British shipof-war off New York harbor (from whence he writes his farewell, commending his wife and children to the care of the family), and then made his home in England, until, as he hoped, "these calamities be overpast." It was sad to read his speculations, as night after night he attended the debates in Parliament and watched the progress of the war, and, to the last, confidently trusted in the success of the royal arms, which alone could replace him in the position from which he had been driven into exile. When these hopes were ultimately crushed, a high appointment was offered him by Government, but he' preferred to return to his own land to share the straitened circumstances of his family, and be buried with his fath


The withdrawal of so many of the gentry from the country, and the world.

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