Flashback Friday Archive 2021-22: Flashback Friday: Week of November 5

2021-11-05 TWIR Image-Ver Bryk print

November 4, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

[Image: Headquarters of General Washington at Tappan: The House in which Major Andre Was Tried, by Jordan and Halpin (engravers), after Ver Bryck (painter) [reproduction ca. 1830]. Image courtesy of William Clements Library, University of Michigan. To read the issue of Lippincott’s Magazine (1871), click here.]

       A WRITER IN Lippincott’s Magazine says:
       Many years ago I made my first visit to Washington’s headquarters at old Tappantown about half a mile from the “Seventy-six House.” The ancient edifice was more than a hundred and twenty years old, and, although built of stone, seemed almost tottering to its fall. It had had four roofs, one on top of the other, and from the first lower layer of cedar shingles I selected powdering specimens which pulled out easily and have them now among my Revolutionary relics.
       I entered with my friend, whose guest I was at the time, and who was a resident of the immediate neighborhood. We were courteously welcomed by its then occupants, two elderly ladies who were born in the house.
       Nothing could be in more perfect keeping with the mansion than these two venerable women, their names, their name was Ver Bruyck; and I was the more interested in them because I had recently become acquainted in New York with a relative of theirs of the same name, a promising young painter, who was fast increasing his reputation as a very natural artist and a keen observer of the picturesque. One of his most admired sketches, I soon saw, was a most lifelike picture of this same old house.
       One of the two ladies was over eighty years old, and her sister was seventy-five. They were very lively for persons so aged, and were obligingly communicative.
       “Did you ever see General Washington?” I inquired of the oldest old lady.
       “Oh, yes—many and many a time,” she answered, “in this very room. He often used to hold me in his lap. I remember it just as well as if it was but yesterday. He was a lovely man, General Washington was. And here,” she continued, going to and opening a wide cupboard, “he used to keep his ‘things.’ These blue-and-white chaney cups and saasers [saucers] he used to drink out of; and here’s the very bowl he used to make his wine sangaree into; and they used to pass it around from one officer to another when they’d come to see him; and they’d help themselves. He seen a good deal of company, General Washington did.”
       “Did you ever see Major André?” I asked.
       “Oh, yes, more’n fifty times. He was a beautiful man. He kissed me twice. I was a little girl then. I seen him the very morning they took him in onto the top of the hill to hang him. The day before in the morning, I took him up some handsome ripe peaches. He thanked me so kind, and broke one of ’em open and put it to his mouth and tasted of it; but somehow or ’nother, he didn’t seem to have no appetite.”
       I asked how General Washington seemed to feel on the occasion.
       “Oh, he must have felt dreadful! He walked back’ards and for’ards all the morning in this very room; and I’ve hear[d] Pop Blauvelt say that he never see him feel so bad afore. He kept looking at his watch every now and then and was on oneasy [sic] till the time had come and Major André was hung. I seen the Major myself when he was a-swingin’ in the air; and I seen him when he was dug up and took away. So did you, Polly, too, didn’t you?”

November 4, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

       Kate C. Buchenau, widow of Edward C. Buchenau, was designated last Monday by the executive committees of both the Democratic and Republican town committees of the Town of Clarkstown as nominee for town clerk to fill the vacancy on the ballot caused by the death of her husband.
       As a result of the death of Mr. Buchenau it was necessary to have reprinted the election ballots. The designation of Mrs. Buchenau meets with the hearty approval of all residents of the Town of Clarkstown.

       The Metropolitan Beef Company has opened a market on Main street.
       The Miesch Manufacturing Company has commenced the manufacture of silk ribbons in the former Haddock Hall building which has been remodeled and will give employment to a number of hands.

November 4, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Times

       Miss Helen Hayes, long time member of the New York Rehabilitation Hospital Board of Visitors, accept[ed] a plaque in recognition of her services from Hollis Ingraham, M.D., State Commissioner of Health. The plaque was presented to Miss Hayes in her non-professional name, Mrs. Charles MacArthur. The ceremony took place Friday at the Wayne House, Stony Point, where 150 persons attended a luncheon honoring 25-year employees of the West Haverstraw hospital.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


Add a Comment:

Please signup or login to add a comment.