Historical Purchase Revolutionary War

Sat, May 30, 2020 • General

On Memorial Day, we honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country and our freedom.  But this year, in the midst of a COVID19,  many local Memorial Day observances have been cancelled. Still, the holiday celebration remains a good time to honor those who served by discovering  stories about military history.

For example, did you that know  General George Washington  required the entire Continental Army to be inoculated against smallpox; and it worked? According to the George Washington Presidential Library death by smallpox decreased from 17% of deaths to 1% of deaths after troops were inoculated.

Today’s newsletter highlights more Revolutionary War history, and offers a look at:

5 things you may not know about Historical Purchase in 1776

  1. The Honorable John Thomas, the first judge of Westchester was a Purchase resident. He made the earliest public reading of the Declaration of Independence in the “new” state of New York at the White Plains Court House. Afterwards, he was arrested in his Purchase home by British Soldiers. He died in prison one month later.

  2. The Battle of White Plains is generally considered to have been a drawn battle. During the fourth (out of five) actions, the British attacked at Purchase’s Hatfield Hill where their cannonade of 70 was answered by an effective, but outnumbered American troop of 18. According to one account “it was such an astonishing feat it was reported all over Europe.”

  3. The Friends of Purchase Meeting House on Purchase Street served as a hospital for George Washington’s soldiers injured in the Battle of White Plains.

  4. Born a Quaker, and raised a  pacifist, Cornelius Oakley broke ranks with his fellow Quakers at the Meeting House when he took up arms and paid military taxes. Believing in the Patriot cause and the notion that every human being has unalienable rights, he served George Washington as an area scout.

  5. Cornelius Oakley was laid to rest at the Friends cemetery, along with the remains of fellow patriot fighters.

These outstanding situations and stories of courage might inspire us to take pause and make their sacrifices meaningful every day.


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