Looking for an opportunity to be part of the community and help your neighbors? Attend the Newburgh Volunteer Fair at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on April 30th from 11am – 3pm. Many of Newburgh’s community organizations will be there to share information about volunteer opportunities – opportunities for teens through seniors.
At the same time, music and refreshments will be offered, along with free tours of Washington’s Headquarters. The Volunteer Fair, organized by Washington’s Headquarters, the Newburgh Free Library, and Safe Harbors of the Hudson, is made possible by support from Wells Fargo Bank and the Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands.
For more information, please call 845-562-1195.
What better way to commemorate the culmination of Women’s History Month than with a celebration honoring Martha Washington on Saturday, March 26, at 1:00 PM at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. The program will feature a presentation entitled “From Petticoats to Breeches: Unveiling 18th Century Clothing.”
Following the lecture and a “First Ladies” Trivia game, the eighth annual “Woman of History Award” will be presented to Ms. Mara Farrell, owner of Mara Farrell Communications, a Beacon-based public relations and marketing firm who was the co-founder of the historic preservation advocacy group, Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot.
The non-profit advocacy organization is committed to the permanent preservation, stringent archeological review, and protection of the historic lands comprising the Fishkill Supply Depot, which is listed on the National Register. At present, she is a Senior Advisory Board Member of the same organization, actively involved in the major preservation initiatives of those lands, located within the Hudson Highlands ecosystem. Ms. Farrell is working on a master site plan entitled “Fishkill Living Historic Park” that would honor the Hudson Valley and its strategic importance during the Revolutionary War, while also paying homage to the heritage of Native Americans in the area.
This program is FREE; donations are accepted.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is a registered national landmark. It is located at the corner of Liberty and Washington Streets, within the city of Newburgh’s East End Historical District.
For event information or directions, please call: (845) 562-1195.
Written at the John Ellison house, Knox’s Headquarters, in early March 1783, the two letters that came to be known as the Newburgh Addresses stirred passions within the Army. The author called for the officers of the Continental Army to threaten to march on Philadelphia and use military force to compel Congress to redress their longstanding grievances. Had the conspirators been able to make good on this threat, the United States, the beacon of freedom and democracy for the world might have developed quite differently. Knox’s Headquarters will present a lecture and special tour on Saturday March 12 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM highlighting this conspiracy.
Whether this threat was real or just an elaborate bluff, the implications of the letter shocked Washington. Throughout its long troubled history, the officers had kept the Continental Army together despite dreadful conditions, bitter defeats and soldier mutinies. If the officer corps turned against the country who could prevent the military from dictating to its civilian masters. Washington countered the first letter by expressing his “disapprobation of such disorderly proceedings” and directed that the officers meet in the Temple Building on March 15th to hear the latest report of the Committee of the Army to Congress. In the second March 12th letter, the author argued that Washington, by not banning further meetings actually supported their tough rhetoric. They could not have been more wrong.
Unexpectedly and certainly not welcomed by the conspirators, Washington appeared at the meeting and he addressed the esteemed gathering. The Commander-in-Chief poured out his heart to the officers, but so deep was their resentment that by in large, most of them were still unmoved. In a fit of desperation, he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a letter from Congressman Joseph Jones, one of the Army’s staunchest supporters. He struggled to read it to them, but his eyesight was failing. His speech, in his own hand, was in large letters, but the Jones letter was written in smaller script, making it very difficult to read. He finally set the letter down and pulled from a pocket his new spectacles. Just a few at headquarters had ever seen him wearing them. This was his first use of them in public. Washington put on his spectacles and in a self-effacing manner said:
“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”
Gone for that poignant moment was the iconic great captain on horseback and in his place was revealed a fellow sufferer, aged beyond his years. This humble admission of human frailty unleashed a tidal wave of emotion. Some openly wept. Others felt the burn as the feelings of shame increased the flow of blood to their faces. Overcome by this compassionate response, Washington quickly gathered his papers and left as unceremoniously as he arrived.
Knox’s Headquarters is located at 289 Forge Hill Road at the intersection of Forge Hill Road and Blooming Grove Turnpike (Route 94) in Vails Gate, NY, just one mile from the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and New Windsor Cantonment. Call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22 to make reservations.
Photo: The 1754 Ellison House, Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site. From November 1782 to April 1783 General Horatio Gates, from this headquarters, commanded over 7,000 soldiers of the Continental Army encamped at New Windsor. In early March 1783, Gates’ aide de camp Major John Armstrong wrote the Newburgh Addresses in this house.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is celebrating George Washington’s birthday. To mark the occasion there will be three days of celebration, Saturday, February 19th through Monday, February 21st, 12:00 PM until 4:30 PM. Come by and wish General Washington a “Happy Birthday” on one – or all three – of those days. Admission to the three-day event is by donation.
Each day of the weekend celebration, actor John Koopman will portray General Washington while Thad MacGregor, an 18th and 19th Century musician, will perform in the Headquarters. Accompanying him will be his little wooden sidekick, Limber Jim, a favorite with children of all ages. Thad’s musical selections always add a party-like atmosphere to the occasion.
Saturday, February 19: festivities will highlight the 5th New York Regiment performing drills in honor of the General.
Sunday, February 20: the 5th Connecticut Regiment will provide military flair and color with demonstrations and discussions.
Monday, February 21: Lamb’s Artillery and Morgan’s Rifles will round out the weekend, firing off salutes to General Washington. After all, what’s a birthday party without some noisemakers?
Lectures and Activities:
Throughout the weekend, historical subjects of interest will be presented in the Museum.
Saturday and Monday, topics will be “Tavern Talk –18th Century Female Proprietors” and “George Washington – 18th Century Dentistry.”
Sunday, “Washington and The Circular Letter” and “Medicine During the Revolution” will be presented. A quill pen workshop will be provided and you’ll also be able to take home a personal silhouette.
The bookseller will be plying his wares, while the Museum Marketplace will have souvenirs and gifts for sale.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is a registered national historic landmark. It is located at the corner of Liberty and Washington Streets within the city of Newburgh’s East End Historic District. Call 845-562-1195 for further details or directions.
During the winter of 1782-83, the soldiers of the northern Continental Army anxiously waited, in New Windsor, for news of the peace treaty. Though peace might be announced, Washington still ordered his soldiers to train for battle. On Sunday February 20 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and Monday February 21, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, on Presidents’ weekend, soldiers will bring to life the Continental Army’s final winter encampment with musket and cannon firings, blacksmithing, medical demonstrations and other aspects of daily life at New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site in Newburgh.
On Sunday at 1:30 & 3:30 PM and Monday at 11:00 AM, 1:30 & 3:30 PM see muskets and cannon fired. Following these firings, children enlist in the Continental Army, drill with wooden muskets and get paid in Continental currency for their service. New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on Route 300, 374 Temple Hill Road, in New Windsor, NY, just three miles south of the intersection of I-87 and I-84. For more information please call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.
Following the capture of British forces by the allied armies of France and America, at Yorktown, Virginia, in the fall of 1781, the northern Continental Army returned to the Hudson Highlands. The destruction of the principal British field army in the south broke England’s will to continue the struggle. In the fall of 1782, near New Windsor, 7,500 Continental Army soldiers built a city of 600 log huts near New Windsor. Along with some of their family members, they braved the winter and kept a wary eye on the 12,000 British troops in New York City, just 60 miles away.
Nearby, Washington’s Headquarters, at 84 Liberty Street, in Newburgh, has a full schedule of activities for the Presidents’ weekend to honor our nation’s founding fathers and the soldiers who fought for our independence. Washington’s Headquarters is open Saturday February 19, Sunday February 20 and Monday February 21 from 12:00 to 4:30 PM each day. For more information please call (845) 562-1195.
Photo: Continental Army Soldiers Michael McGurty, from Montgomery, in front and Grant Miller, from New Windsor, in back, Drill in the Snow.
If you feel like flying a kite, or watching one in flight, come to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Saturday, August 28th from 2:00 until 4:00 PM for the free annual “Kites Over The Hudson.”
For the first 150 children, ages 15 and under, there are free kites and prizes in various categories. If you are over 15, enjoy the scenery and breezes blowing off the Hudson River. For all, there are free refreshments.
Admission to Washington’ Headquarters, the first historic site in the nation, will be underwritten by the Central Hudson Gas and Electric Company. The kites, refreshments, prizes and entertainment for the day all are being provided through the gracious patronage of the Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands.
Guided tours, conducted by costumed historic interpreters, will address not only the history of the house and the role it played during the Revolutionary War, but also touch upon its importance in light of historic preservation. From its inception as a designated state historic site, it set the example for over 7,000 similar locations to follow.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is a registered national historic landmark. It is located at the corner of Liberty and Washington Streets within the city of Newburgh’s East End Historic District.
“You Are Needed at Headquarters” a special presentation on the important role of the Continental Army military headquarters in Newburgh and New Windsor, will be held at the New Windsor Cantonment on September 25, 2010. The event includes special tours of the Edmonston House, headquarters for Major General Arthur St. Clair, Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site and Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site.
Once the British captured New York City, in 1776, the natural defenses of the Hudson Highlands sheltered the Continental Army for the remainder of the war, except for a few weeks, in the fall of 1777. Many of the homes in the valley were used as military headquarters. Typically, the soldiers stayed in tents during mild weather and constructed log huts for the winter. The highest ranking officers vied with each other to stay in the most comfortable houses available. In the sparsely populated Highlands, there were few places large enough to accommodate the generals and their retinue, without being a major burden on the property owner, who often continued living in the house. Learn about the role of these headquarters and the interaction between the army and their often reluctant hosts.
The formal presentation, at the New Windsor Cantonment, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM, will give visitors the background of the American military presence, in the Hudson Valley, during the Revolutionary War. General George Washington made his headquarters at the home of the widow Hasbrouck, south of Newburgh. The modest fieldstone home was used for 16 months, the longest occupation of any headquarters by Washington. Constructed in 1754, the elegant John Ellison house was the military headquarters for Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene and artillery commander General Henry Knox, in 1779. Knox returned in 1780-81 and over the summer of 1782. Appointed commander of the army at New Windsor, in October 1782, General Horatio Gates, victor of the Battle of Saratoga, resided there from November 1782-April 1783. First billeted at the Edmonston House, Gates complained directly to Washington that “your Excellency’s dog kennel at Mount Vernon, is as good a Quarter as that I am now in.” If the Edmonston House was any where near as bad as Gates intimated, it was fortunate that the New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Maryland Detachment commander, at the New Windsor Cantonment, General Arthur St. Clair, the next occupant, spent much of the winter of 1782-83 home on furlough.
From 2:00 to 5:00 PM, visitors are invited to visit Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Liberty Street, in Newburgh, New York, Knox’s Headquarters, at the intersection of Route 94 and Forge Hill Road, in Vails Gate and Edmonston House, located on Route 94, west of the Vails Gate intersection with Routes 32 and 300. There is a small fee to tour Washington’s Headquarters and the Edmonston House. For more information please call New Windsor Cantonment at (845) 561-1765 ext. 22. New Windsor Cantonment is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on Route 300 (374 Temple Hill Road) in the Town of New Windsor, four miles east of Stewart Airport. It is three miles from the intersection of I-87 and I-84 in Newburgh, New York.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, Orange County, has opened its doors to a new season of guided tours, entertaining programs and special events. The site will be open each Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday, 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM, and closed every Monday and Tuesday, until October 31st. There is a small admission fee for tours and programs.
Throughout the season, guest speakers will periodically offer presentations dealing with the Hudson Valley’s historic importance, not only during the Revolutionary War, but prior to it and after, in the period of national expansion. The 2010 schedule follows.
August 7th: Badge of Military Merit Day
August 28: Kites Over The Hudson
September 13: Cornelia Tappan Clinton: A First Person Experience (as part of the Dutch Ramble)
September 19: Tryntje Hasbrouck: First Person Experience (as part of the Revolutionary War Ramble)
October 15 and 16: A Night At The Headquarters
December 12: Warm up at the Washington’s (as part of the Newburgh Historical House Tours)
December 27 through the 30: Winter Welcome Week
For more information about visiting Washington’s Headquarters, contact the Museum office at 845-562-1195.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which administers 28 parks, parkways, and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. For more information about New York State parks and historic sites, visit www.nysparks.com and for more information about the Palisades Interstate Park parks and historic sites, visit www.palisadesparksconservancy.org