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Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association : ... annual meeting with constitution and by-laws and list of members (Volume 19) online

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days Washington spent there, would be exceedingly appropriate.

Likewise the headquarters of General Knox in the town of
New Windsor, which stands today as it did at the time of the
Revolution, This house was built by William Bull for John Ellison
in 1754, It was occupied by Generals Green and Knox, Colonels
Biddle and Wadsworth as military quarters for five weeks during
June and July 1779. General Knox occupied three rooms as
military quarters for ten weeks in the fall of the same year, from
November 20, 1780 to July 4, 1781, and again from May to Septem-
ber 7, 1782. His wife was with him only a short time during his
stay at New Windsor. The first county ball and other gay social
receptions were given by Mrs. Knox while she visited her hus-
band. This building has never been marked, but much do we
read about it in histories. Because this house, which stands today
in good condition, was inhabited by so many eminent men during
the Revolution, is my reason for thinking it should be marked.

Plum Point is the site of the first European settlement in
Orange county, and is a short distance below the headquarters of


Washington in New Windsor, on the west bank of the Hudson.
During an early period of the Revolutionary War, a batterj-^ of
fourteen guns was located on the southeast side of Plum Point to
assist in maintaining the obstruction of the Hudson. The outlines
of its embrasures may be seen today by visitors. In this same
vicinity are the remains of a cellar of the first dwelling house in
Orange county. These are points of much interest, and many
people walk by these sites, but know nothing of their history.
If some form of a marker was erected, many people would become
acquainted with the history oL" the locality.

The Weeling home, north of Washingtonville in the town of
New Windsor has many historical references. Before this house
was erected a small log cabin occupied the spot, and was owned
by John Young. In this cabin Thomas Young was born, who later
in life became a physician, and established himself in Boston.
Here he became a leader of the patriots, and when a meeting was
held in South Church, Boston, to decide what should be done
with a cargo of tea which had come into the harbor, Mr. Young
said "the only way to get rid of it, is to throw it overboard."
Mr. Young was one of the Indians who threw the tea into the
Boston harbor. During the Revolution he served in the army a?
a physician, but in 1777 he contracted a fever, and died. Surely
this man was one of many who possessed that independent and
daring courage which helped to make our country free. Certainly,
I think, that a man who participated in that famous "Boston Tea
party" should have his birthplace marked.

At Vail's Gate is located the Edmonston house which is be-
lieved by some to have been the headquarters of Generals Gates
and St. Clair in 1779, but the proof of the fact is not very strong.
It is certain that while the army camped about this section, that
hospital stores and equipments were kept there. It is also known
that the officers of the medical staff made this house their head-
quarters for many weeks. This building of stone was erected in
1755, and is worthy of a monument or marker as a memorial of
its importance during the war.

The Clinton house at Little Britian in the town of New Wind-
sor is the birthplace of George Clinton, the first Governor of New
York State, and also Vice-President of the United States. De Witt
Clinton, who was also governor of New York State was born in


i>his same house, which has lately been torn down. Both George
and De Witt Clinton were men of great ability, who served their
country well, and I think that as a mark of honor and respect to
them, their birthplace should be marked.

At the fall of the Highland Forts, Governor George Clinton
took refuge in the home of Mrs. Falls at Little Britian where he
remained for a short time during the month of October in the year
1777. This house is known and spoken of as the Falls house. The
militia, prior to their march to Kingston, encamped about this
place. An interesting stoiy is told, how an English horseman
seeking Sir Henry Clinton of the British forces to deliver a
message to him, came to the Falls house where Governor George
Clinton was stationed. He soon learned the mistake he had made,
and tried very hard to hide the message which had been intrusted
to him. This he was unable to do, and the message was placed in
the hands of his enemy. The messenger, whose name was Taylor,
was hung about October 18, 1777. In order to help preserve the
history of this house (the dwelling was burned down about two
years ago) it seems most suitable that a monument should be
erected on the spot.

Near the outlet of Orange lake was erected by Captain
Thomas Machim in 1787-88 a coinage mill. In 1787 he formed
partnership with several residents of New York City to coin
money. The workmen wore masks so as to create a sense of terror
among the people of the neighborhood. Mostly copper coins were
coined at this place, and it is said that the first coin bearing the
words "E Pluribus Unum," was made at this mint. The enter-
prise was abandoned in 1790, on the adoption of the constitution.
During the Revolutionary War Captain Machin superintended the
making of the chain which was later stretched across the Hudson
river. Surely something ought to be placed as a memorial to these

From this site let us turn our attention to De Duyfel's Dans
Karaer, which in English means The Devil's Dance Chamber.
This tract of land is situated on the west shore of the Hudson
about six miles north of the city of Newburg. In this ground the
Indians held meetings in honor of their God Bachtamo, prior to
starting out on expeditions of hunting, fishing or war. The manner


in which the Indians conducted themselves at these meetings was
exceedingly strange. They would tumble around, head over heels,
beat themselves and leap with hideous yells through and around
a large fire. Lieutenant Conwenhoven witnessed an exhibition of
this character during the war with the Esopus Indians in 1663,
but later these dances were discontinued under orders of the
English Government. The history of this spot is very interesting,
and as many people visit it during the summer months, a monu-
ment telling of its early occupation by the Indians would be very

As we read about and visit all these places, we agree with
the citizens of Newburg and its vicinity, that they have good
reasons to be proud of their locality. People travel many miles to
visit these historical sites, and is it to be wondered at that such a
great man as Marshal Joffre was anxious, when the opportunity
afforded itself, to come to this old city of Newburg which was
built on the western shore of the Hudson so n.any years ago.


The following obituaries mark the termination of the serrice
of Walter C. Anthony, Esq., of Newburgh, N. Y., as Chairman of
the Necrology Committee, he having resigned to take effect
December 31, 1919. For years Mr. Anthony has labored in this
not altogether cheerful activity of the Association, nearly all the
obituaries in the last six volumes having come from his pen, there-
fore his request for a well earned rest could not be denied. This
Association owes him a debt of gratitude for his many hours of
unremunerated toil and for the kindly and sympathetic touch
which has always marked his work.

Mr. George A. Ingalls, of Hudson Falls, N. Y., is the new
Chairman of the Necrology Committee.

It is unfortunate that we do not have a "Who's Who" of
our living members as a glance through the following sketches will
not only reveal leaders in the world's activity who were unknown
to many of us, but will also emphasize the hig'h character of our

membership list.


Thomas Astley Atkins, an honored member of the New York
State Historical Association and one of its trustees, died February
11, 1916. It was intended by his fellow trustees that the sketch
of his career to be published among the Proceedings of the Society
should be prepared by Judge Ingalsbe who had known him in-
timately for many years, but the death of the judge — so deeply
deplored — left the duty unfilled and the task now falls to less
capable hands.

Thomas Astley, son of Dudley Atkins, M. D., was born at
Tompkinsville, Staten Island, April 8, 1839, and died at his
apartments in the city of New York at the age of nearly seventy-
seven years.

In 1860 he was graduated from Harvard Law School with
the degree of LL. B. and immediately thereafter entered upon the
practice of his profession in the city of New York. A year later
he took up his residence in Yonkers .There he was elected in 1866


police justice, which office he held until 1870. During his term
the village purchased the old Manor House and in the room which
had been the kitchen of that old colonial mansion Judge Atkins
held court for a couple of years.

His tastes and temperament led him to prefer the peaceful
paths of literature and the pursuit of knowledge, and in these he
found his avocation. He prepared several historical monographs
which were published, but his most ambitious work, entitled
"Historic Yonkers," has never yet been printed to the best of the
knowledge of the writer of this sketch.

Mr. Atkins was keenly interested in historical subjects, es-
pecially in such as related to the locality in which he had his
home. He was for many years the president of the Yonkers His-
torical Association and contributed to the local press many arti-
cles on historical subjects.

He married in 1860 Miss Julia Fenton Rockwell, of Brooklyn,
N. Y., and it was then that he went to Yonkers to reside. She
died in 1911 and thereupon Mr. Atkins gave up his home in
Yonkers and took apartments in New York City. During all
these years, however, and down to 1914 he maintained his office
and business connections in the city of New York.

His membership in the Union League Club, the New York
Bar Association and the Harvard Club attest his social qualities
and standing and his one-time vestiymanship of St. Paul's P. E.
Church of Yonkers indicate his conservative but orthodox reli-
gious faith.

He is survived by a son and a daughter.


Hon. Joseph M. Belford, an ex-surrogate of Suffolk county,
N. Y., died May 3, 1917, very suddenly in the Grand Central
Depot, New York. His home was, and had been for many years, in
Riverhead, N. Y., of which place he was one of the most promin-
ent and popular citizens.

He was born at Mifflington, Pa., August 5, 1853, and was a
son of D. "W. A. Belford. He was educated at the Dickinson
Seminary at Williamsport, Pa., and was graduated from Dickin-
son College, Carlisle, Pa. After his graduation he made his home


on Long Island where for a time he was principal of the Franklin-
ville Academy and later of the Riverhead Academy. At River-
head he read law and in due time was licensed and began the
practice of his profession. His pleasant manners and agreeable
personality made him hosts of friends which led him to take an
active part in politics. In 1896 he was elected to represent the
first district of New York in the House of Representatives at
Washington and in 1903 he was chosen surrogate of Suffolk
county. As an official he was efficient and popular and as a public
speaker was regarded as one of the most acceptable and magnetic
in that section of the State.

Mr. Belford is survived bj- his wife (who was Miss Inez
Hawkins, daughter of the late Hon. Edward Hawkins) and by
his son, Donald H. Belford.


John Myer Bowers was bom at Cooperstown, N. Y. Novem-
ber 27, 1849, at "Lakelands," the ancestral home of his family
and his summer home during all the later years of his life. His
forebeai*s were among the pioneer settlers of Cooperstown and
"Lakelands" has sheltered six generations of the Bowers family.

At the age of sixteen Mr. Bowers went to New York City and
there became a student of law in the office of Piatt, Gerard &
Buckley, a well-known firm of that day. After three years of
preparatory work he was duly admitted to the practice of his
chosen profession. From that time to the day of his death his
career was one of marked success and of stainless reputation. He
became one of the best known lawyers at the Metropolitan bar.
Such a life affords few striking or picturesque incidents such as
Vould attract the attention or excite the admiration of the gener-
al public, but on the other hand it demands such an endowment
of both physical and mental strength, such energy, industry and
persistence, such conscientious resistance of temptation of all
sorts as few men possess. That John M. Bowers attained high
eminence in this most exacting profession is proof conclusive that
he was a man of sterling worth.

As a lawyer he was wise in counsel, vigorous in action, tactful
and discreet in his intercourse with his fellows and with all with
whom his business brought him in contact. That he became very


well kno-vrn and frequently employed as "a corporation lawyer"
wonld be deemed by some superficial thinkers a demerit. But if
such critics will bear in mind that corporations, with their enorm-
ous financial interests and difficult and novel problems, must of
nece-ssity procure the very best legal talent available and must em-
ploy only men who can not be swerved from the line of duty by
any outside influences whatever, they vnll conclude that the term
"corporation lawyer" is one of honorable distinction and not of
contumely. Such a lawyer was John M. Bowers.

In politics he was an ardent Democrat and a consistent and
steadfast party man, but not a partisan. In other words, he could
see and appreciate the good features of his opponents' theories
/nd the reasons for their attitude toward public questions.

One of the most important cases in which Mr. Bowers ever
took a leading part was that in which William Barnes of Albany
sued Theodore Roosevelt for libel. As attorney for Colonel Roose-
velt he secured for his client a triumphal vindication.

Mr. James W. Gerard, recently United States Ambassador to
Germany, was a partner in business with Mr. Bowers prior to his
appointment as ambassador, and after his return from Europe he
rejoined the firm, the copartnership name being Bowers & Gerard
at the time of Mr. Bowers ' death.

Perhaps the reports which Mr. Gerard gave of the conditions
prevailing in Germany and of the temper and spirit of the rulers
of that country may have added intensity to the energy which
Mr. Bowers threw into his work as a member of the permanent
advisory board in connection with the selective draft. Be that
as it may. he gave his time and labor without stint to the work
of that board and so overtaxed his strength that his life paid the
forfeit. He attempted to recuperate at Lakewood, N. J., but too
late, and there he died March 7, 1918, as truly giving up his life
in his country's service as though he had been killed in battle on
the "western front."

Mr. BoAvers was twice married. His first wife was Miss Susan
Dandridge. After her death he married Miss Katherine Stark-
weather, who survives him. He left three sons, Spottswood S.,
Henry M. and William C, and two daughters, Mrs. Mary Coppell
and Mrs. Bowers Van Amringe.



Frederick W. Cameron died at his home, 332 State st., Albany,
N. Y., on January 14, 1918, of agina pectoris, after a brief illness.
Mr. Cameron had lived in Albanj^ all his life and had practised law
there since May, 1882. He was eminent in his profession.

He was bom in Albany June 1, 1859, son of Truman D. and
Elizabeth (Flagler) Cameron. He prepared for college at the Al-
bany Boys Academy and was graduated bachelor of arts in the scien-
tific course from Union College in 1881. That college conferred
the degree of master of arts on him in 1884. On graduating he en-
tered the Albany Law School from which he was graduated bachelor
of laws in 1882. He was admitted to the bar in May 1882, and
formed a copartnership with Walter E. Ward under the firm name
of Ward & Cameron. This firm continued for more than twenty-
five years, after which Mr. Cameron practised alone. His specialty
was the law of patents, trade marks and corporations and he was
engaged in many important cases not only in the United States but
also in Canada and, on appeals, he argued cases before the Privy
Council of England. He was United States Commissioner from 1S92
until he resigned the office in 1907 to devote his whole attention
to his practice. Mr. Cameron was one of the originators of the Deep-
er Hudson movement and, with Danfortli E. Ainsworth, was chiefly
responsible for the success of this movement which led to the deepen-
ing of the channel of the Htidson river between Troy and Albany.
In 1901, while abroad on legal business in England, he was nomin-
ated by the Democratic party for the office of surrogate of Albany
county. The election was held before his return and the whole
Democratic ticket was defeated, but he had the honor of running at
the head of the ticket.

Mr. Cameron was a trustee of the Albany Law School, of the
First Presbyterian Church of Albany, of the Fairview Home, Al-
bany, and of the Homeopathic Hospital of Albany, and a director
of the Albany Exchange Savings Bank. He was a member of
numerous clubs, societies and associations— an indication of his
social and companionable nature. In 1901 he was elected alumni
trustee of Union College and had been reelected four succeeding
times. This very unusual honor had been paid him because of his
well-recognized ability and his great devotion to the college.


Mr. Cameron was married on April 2, 1891, to Jeannie Armsby
Dean, daughter of the Hon. Amos Dean, jurist, educator and author
and a founder of the Albany Medical College. Mrs. Cameron, with
three daughters, Jeanne Elizabeth, Josephine Dean, and Freder-
icka, survives her husband.


Nelson G. Carman, son of Nelson G. and Rebecca J. (Vunck)
Carman, was born in Brooklyn, Februarj^ 13, 1847 ; and died in
the same city October 14, 1917, At the Polytechnic Institute in his
native place he obtained his early education, and later entered
Yale University, from which he was graduated with the class of
1869. Having decided to make the law his profession, he took the
course at the Coliunbia Law School and was graduated in 1874.

During his subsequent life he devoted his attention largely
to the management of his own personal business affairs rather
than to the pursuit of his vocation as a lawyer, but he found
time to take an active interest in various organizations of which
he was a member, and also in the local work of the Republican
party. He was a graceful and forcible public speaker and his as-
sistance was frequently demanded, and freely given, in connec-
tion with the campaigns of that party. He had the reputation of
being especially apt as an after-dinner speaker, and this ac-
complishment was a source of much pleasure at the dinners of the
New England Society, of which he was an active and influential
member and a director. As might be inferred from Mr. Carman's
participation in the affairs of that society, he was of New England
descent. The first of his name to come to America settled at Rox-
bury, Mass.' in or about 1631.

Mr. Carman had his summer home at Babylon, Long Island.
He was a member of the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn. He
married October 14, 1869, Mary Adella Cary, who survives him.


Frederick 0. Clarke, who was born at Oswego, N. Y.,
December 21, 1834, died at the same place January 10, 1917.

He was descended from Dr. Deodatus Clarke, who was one
of the tirst physicians to settle in that part of the State. His edu-


cation was obtained in the schools of Oswego. When he was
eigrhteen years old he entered upon a business career as an em-
ploye of one of the great milling firms of his native city. Ultimate-
ly he became a partner in this firm and continued such until the
firm was dissolved in 1894. Thereafter he acted as the representa-
tive of several of the great milling concerns having their head-
quarters in the West. A few years prior to his death he retired
from active business.

Mr. Clarke's business transactions were along lines which led
him, of necessity, to give much attention to methods of trans-
portation and his keen interest in this important subject con-
tinued all his life — and attached especially to the waterways of
the State. He was deeply interested in the growth and prosperity
of his native city and took an active part in every movement
designed to promote the city's interests. He was particularly well
informed in regard to the history of Oswego and the surround-
ing country and was an active and prominent member of the
Oswego Historical Society.

In his church connection he was an Episcopalian. For more
than forty years prior to his death he had been a member of the
vestry of Christ Church and was the senior warden at the time
of his death.

In many and various ways he was an active, useful and
honored citizen of his native city.

He married in 1860 Miss Cornelia C. Dunham of Albany, N.
Y., who died in 1889. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Henry
Clapp, of Boston, Mass.


William Henry Crandall Avas born in Almond, N. Y., the son
of Ezra Potter and Sardinia Greenman Crandall in 1852, but re-
moved while still a youth to AKred, N. Y., and continued to re-
side in the latter place until his death, which occurred March 22,

He soon became one of Alfred's most busy and useful citi-
zens. He was engaged for a number of years in mercantile busi-
ness, which he prosecuted with marked success.


His interest in public affairs led him to devote much time to
the promotion of such institutions as would serve the convenience
of his fellow citizens and the prosperity of his neighbors and
friends. For many years he acted as treasurer of Alfred Univer-
sity. He served for a long time as vice president and later as
president of the University Bank, which was founded largely
through the efforts of Mr. Crandall. He held similar positions
in the Alfred Mutual Loan Association, which was likewise due
in large measure to his initiatve.

In political matters he took a keen interest, especially in such
as affected the interests of his home locality. This led to his
selection as supervisor of his town, which position he held for
eight years, and during the last of these years he was chairman
of the board.

His acquaintance was Avidespread ; his friendships were
numerous and warm : his death was regretted by many and
mourned by not a few.

He was twice married; first to Miss Helen M. Crandall and
second to Miss Kate M. Clarke, who survived him. He left no


In the New York daily papers of November 10, 1917, ap-
peared a notice of the death of this well-known and influential
resident of that city. He had reached the age of upwards of
seventy-three years and had been engaged during most of those
years in the management of important business affairs in the
metropolis. In that place he was born on May 18, 1844, and there
was his home and his place of business during his entire life.
When he was twenty-three years of age be became a partner in
his father's business as a builder and contractor, which had even
then attained large proportions. It had been managed by the
father with such skill and ability that it had developed from a
small beginning until it had become an extensive and lucrative
one. It was continued for several years by the father and son
under the firm name of Thomas and John D. Crimmins. In 1872
the father retired and the firm name became John D. and Thomas
E. Crimmins — the two partners being brothers.


Gradually the business developed into that of general con-
tract work and the qualifications of the two brothers for the
management of affairs of this nature was such that in their hands
it proved largely profitable and grew gradually to very large
proportions; at times as many as ten or twelve thousand work-
men were in its employ, and it is claimed of Mr. Crimmins, who

Online LibraryNew York State Historical Association. MeetingProceedings of the New York State Historical Association : ... annual meeting with constitution and by-laws and list of members (Volume 19) → online text (page 23 of 51)