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her return. An Indian then threw a tomahawk, which cut the dress of the girl and buried itself in the railing of the stairway, where the mark is still visible. The girl fled to the upper room, having told the raiders that the General had gone to alarm the town. The raiders continued to plunder until the sound of the General's voice above appeared to be giving orders to some of his followers outside. Then they fled with what they had se. cured, and with three of the General's guards, and they did not stop short of Canada. None of the stolen plate was ever returned, but some of it was afterward used in Canada with the comment, “ This came from General Schuyler's house.” Attempts were also made to capture Colonel Van Vechten and other prominent officers, the leaders being the notorious Joe
Bettys and Thomas Lovelace, afterward executed.
At the foot of the staircase a door leads to an apartment in the north-west corner of the main building. It was the dining-room of General Schuyler, where he entertained Burgoyne so handsomely, after the surrender, as to call forth the remark: “You show me great kindness, though I have done you much injury.” The staircase itself is protected by a dark railing and white balustrades, carved in various curiously twisted designs. A short flight of steps
leads to a square landing. Three or four steps more lead to the rear part of the building on the west. A similar short flight leads to a second square landing on the south, whence a longer flight brings one to the floor above. The upper hall is longer than the lower, and the ceilings are not as high. Everywhere we see the white wainscotings and cornices, the heavy doors painted to resemble mahogany, the deeply recessed window-casings that offer inviting seats, and the heavy brass knobs and locks which were so common three generations ago. The heavy pine floors are good for centuries to come, although they have been grooved for electric bells and cut for gas-pipes. The door at the southwest opens into an entry, and thence to a small chamber on the one hand, and on the other to a stairway that leads into the attic, where one can study the architectural science which framed so heavy a structure out of hand-wrought timbers and made it fast with wooden pegs.
On the northern side of the upper hall there are two generous chambers. The one at the southeast corner, directly over the drawingroom, is famed as that in which General Burgoyne and several of
his officers slept when they were prisoners of war. General Schuyler was renowned for his hospitality. During the early part of the Revolution he entertained Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll, delegates from Congress with a mission to persuade the Canadians
to join the Americans. Carroll gave a Marylander's view of General Schuyler in these words : “He behaved to us with great civility; lives in pretty style; has two daughters (Betsy and Peggy), lively, agreeable, black-eyed girls.” The three commissioners were escorted to the summer home in Saratoga and entertained there also. When Lady Harriet Ack
land and the Baroness Riedesel, with her children, had nowhere to go after the defeat of Burgoyne, General Schuyler sent Colonel Varick to Mrs. Schuyler to announce their arrival as his guests. The ladies did not enter Albany as victors, but they were captivated by the charming hospitality of the Schuyler mansion. The generosity of the host broke over all petty opposition and welcomed General Gates, even when the latter was ready to remove him by all the arts in his power. La Fayette, Baron Steuben, Rochambeau, and a long list of eminent Americans enjoyed the genial disposition of the host and shared his bounty. Thither came Aaron Burr, with a letter of introduction from New York; and he, too, became a guest of the General before undertaking the practice of law in Albany. How strangely did he repay that hospitality! Washington, also, in the closing months of the war, came hither with Governor Clinton and was entertained on his way to view the Northern battle-fields and to examine the remark. able topography of the country.
But, in spite of all these pleasing associations, the downward side of General Schuyler's life began to show itself. His daughter Margaret, the wife of the Patroon, died. Then, after a brief interval, his wife, the daugh. ter of Colonel John Van Rensselaer, of Claverack, and known as “ Sweet Kitty Van Rensselaer," also left him. His powerful but slender frame had already become somewhat bent when a further blow was dealt in the death of Hamilton. It was the third trial in less than three years. Mrs. Hamilton returned to the old family mansion, but her father lingered only a few months.
The mansion and grounds, after a few years, passed out of the hands of the heirs, and they have remained outside of the family ever since. They are now offered for sale “ to manufacturers," and it is announced that the grounds “will be divided to suit purchasers." The chances are that the house must soon live in memory only, unless the State, city, or some private individual shall prevent its destruction. But nothing can destroy the reminiscences of all that is patriotic to an American when he reviews the scenes of the Revolution ; and no mere razing of a building can efface the sweet and kindly influences that emanated from the old mansion when it was the home of General Philip Schuyler and his beautiful wife.
Hrederic G. Mothing
A BUSINESS FIRM IN THE REVOLUTION
BARNABAS DEANE & CO.
Silas Deane was born in Groton, Connecticut, where his grandfather, John Dean, had settled, on a formal invitation from the town, in 1712, to practice his trade as a smith. Silas, the eldest son of John, inherited the homestead and the trade, and earned money to send his son and namesake to Yale College. Silas, the younger, graduated in 1758; taught school for a while; then married Mrs. Mehetable Webb, a prosperous widow of Wethersfield, and established himself in a profitable business there as a merchant and general trader. His father died in 1760. Silas Deane found employment at Wethersfield and in Hartford for his younger brothers, Barnabas and two or three others, who became masters and part-owners of vessels employed in the coasting trade and in voyages to the West Indies and Surinam. By a second marriage, with a daughter of Col. Gurdon Saltonstall, of New London, Silas Deane made further advance in social position and political influence. In the spring of 1773 he was chosen one of the Committee for Correspondence for Connecticut, and soon became widely known as an able, zealous and most efficient promoter of measures for the union of the Colonies and of preparations for resistance to Great Britain. In July, 1774, he was appointed a delegate to the Congress at Philadelphia. His subsequent career belongs to history--though history seems to have cared little for the trust. It has not yet thoroughly wiped out the unfounded suspicions of his integrity and patriotism: it has persistently ignored or barely admitted the “great and important services ” which—as his colleague and constant friend, Dr. Franklin, testified-he rendered to his country, as “a faithful, active, and able minister” to France : it has not even been at the pains of ascertaining the date or the place of his death. * More than fifty years after he died in obscurity and poverty–having been to the last refused an opportunity of disproving the
* He died, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1789, about two o'clock in the afternoon, on board the Boston packet ship on which he had, a few hours previously, embarked for America. See Dr. Ed. ward Bancroft's letter to Dr. Priestley, in Priestley's “ Familiar Letters to the Inhabitants of Birmingham," pt. v., p. 54, and the Gentleman's Magazine, for September, 1789 (vol. lviii., p. 866). The biographical dictionaries, encyclopædias, etc., either omit the precise date or fix it as August 23d, “at Deal.”
VOL. XII.-No. 1.-
slander which had branded him a defaulter-Congress made grudging atonement for national ingratitude and injustice by paying to his heirs, without interest, the large balance which an examination of his accounts with the Treasury showed to have been due him since 1778.
When Mr. Deane went to the Congress in the summer of 1774, he intrusted the management of his business at Wethersfield and Hartford to his brother Barnabas. The latter had served an apprenticeship to trade, as master and supercargo in several voyages to the southern colonies and the West Indies, in some of which Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth of Hartford had an interest. He had a good reputation for ability and patriotism, and in April, 1775, he was chosen lieutenant of the Wethersfield company of volunteers, commanded by Capt. John Chester, that marched for Boston after receiving the news of the fighting at Concord and Lexington. When the expedition against Ticonderoga, which was planned at Hartford and of which Silas Deane was one of the chief managers, had succeeded in the capture of the fort and of Crown Point, Lieut. Deane was sent as one of the Connecticut commissioners to provide supplies for the garrison. He was, subsequently, often employed in similar services, by appointment of the Governor and council or by contract with the colonial commissaries. In 1779 he was a thriving merchant, in fair way to a fortune.
The firm of Barnabas Deane & Co. was formed in March or April, 1779, a firm which owes its historical interest to its silent partners rather than to its nominal head. Its origin is briefly mentioned in the last chapter of G. W. Greene's Life of Major-Gen. Nathaniel Greene (vol. iii., p. 518). The expenses of General Greene's position and the irregularity of his pay, had, as his biographer states, made serious inroads upon his small fortune, during the first years of the war: “As quartermaster-general his position was materially changed. How reluctantly he accepted that office, how generously he offered to conduct the military department of it for a year without any other compensation than his regular pay as major-general and the expenses of his military family, has already been seen. But having accepted it, what was he to do with the profits? There were no stocks to invest them in. The government credit was running low. To keep them by him in continental biils which were depreciating daily, involved a present sacrifice of the interest, and a prospective sacrifice of the principal. Nor had he time to give to private business, with such a weight of public business upon his mind. Under these circumstances he formed with Colonel Wadsworth, commissary-general, the firm under the name of Barnabas Deane & Co., he and Wadsworth supplying the greater part of the capital, and Deane undertaking the active management of the business.”