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mansions were also among the first houses erected, and are still standing and in good preservation. The Van Voorhises located on the Stony Kill road, one mile north of the village of Fishkill Landing. The old dwelling yet stands, and is located a few rods north of the residence of Mr. Wm. Henry Van Voorhis. It is only one story, with an open garret and a cellar kitchen beneath. The roof is very steep, and the roof was covered with red cedar shingles. John Van Voorhis,
father of William Henry, was one of the lineal descendants, and lived there many years. Before it was va
ated by him, the writer and his mother were invited to pay it a visit, as they had a peculiar interest in its history, for grandmother was born in this house, April 13th, 1744. Mother and sogn visited the old house for the last time, on the 1st of February, 1842. We spent the day examining the ancient landmark. My
mother pointed out to me the places where she used to play when she was a little girl, when she came to visit her grandmother. On the mantel piece in the parlor were scripture pieces, representing some of the miracles our Saviour performed while here on earth. Grandfather Peter Dubois married his wife in the old house, November 17th, 1768. He was born on what is now known as the old Dubois place, near Swartwoutville, June 13th, 1746. His father, whose name was Christian, was born in Kingston, Ulster county, Nov. 15th, 1702, and grandfather Dubois purchased the farm of the Beekmans, about the year 1710. The farm, when he came on it, was all woods, for the country was then a wilderness. He struck the first blow with his axe on his farm to fell the trees where the house now stands. The house was built of stone, and like all of the ancient Dutch houses, had very steep roofs and low walls. In 1812 another story, of wood, was added to it. This farm remained in the Dubois family until 1839, when Coert. Dubois, who then owned it, sold it to Alfred Storm. It is now owned by a Mrs. Sparks. Peter Dubois died the 16th of June, 1737. He was buried in the Reformed Dutch Churchyard, in Fishkill Village. It was not known where his remains laid until recently, when James E. Dean, of Fishkill Village, reset and scoured some of the old tombstones so that they could be deciphered. A tombstone near Main street, all covered with moss, was scraped, and this proved to be that of Peter Dubois.
The inscription is in the Dutch language, and is as follows:
“Hier lyde her lighaam,
Van Pierer D Bois
[TRANSLATION.] "Here lies the body of Peter Du Bois, who departed this life the 22d day of January, in the year 1737–8, aged 63 years."
A slave, a colored woman, who was born in the old Van Voorhis house at Fishkill Landing, long before the writer's mother, was purchased by my father when he married in the Dubois family in 1805. My father gave forty pounds for her, when he first commenced keeping house. She expressed a great desire to live with my mother.
mother. The writer well remembers the old slave, whose name in Dutch was Nanna, taking him on her lap and relating to him incidents which took place when she lived in the old Van Voorhis house. She told the writer that she had often carried his mother, when an infant, in her arms, and when grandmother was married to grandfather Dubois, what a wedding they had—how they danced. She informed me that when the British fleet came up the river, the family, all except her master and herself, left home and sought a place of safety in the Great Nine Partners, at Filkins', who was one of the original purchas- .
Her master declared that he would not leave his house; he would lose his life first, for he was a staunch Whig; and she said that she would not leave her master, so they two remained at home. When the Brit
ish fleet arrived in Newburgh bay, they commenced firing their cannon. Their house was secluded from the river, but several balls came over the house and struck near by; one came very near striking the house, Her master told her to go into the cellar kitchen, as they might get hurt. They remained there until the fleet passed by.
She said when our army arrived at Fishkill, her master was glad to think that they now had protection. General Putnam came to Fishkill Landing on horseback. Her master took her to Fishkill Village. She said that she saw Generals Washington, Lafayette, and Staff, and our army encamped on the flats just north of the Highlands, near the residence of Sidney E. Van Wyck, and on one occasion she assisted in making some arraugements at the house of Robert R. Brett, now the residence of Mrs. John C. Van Wyck, for Washington and his staff, who was then staying there. She helped light the candles for them to transact business.
Here it may not be amiss to relate an incident that occurred when the writer was a mere lad. Nanna was going to Fishkill Landing to visit her son Thomas, and she got mother's consent for me to go with her. A colored man, whose name was Jack, drove for us. We stopped near where James Rogers' harness shop is now. The writer thinks that is the identical spot, and the store-room the same place they visited Thomas, He recollects looking out on the opposite side of the street, and seeing but two or three small houses from where Snook's saloon is to where the First National Bank is now located. The writer recollects Jack tak
ing him by the hand and walking through the street towards the river, on the side of the street where he made his visit, to the Stony Kill road. He recollects seeing but two housės. We walked beyond to where Baxter & Martin's store is now. He recollects of seeing no bustle, no passing or repassing of sleighs, for it was in winter time. Along that street there was a small cluster of wooden buildings. He recollects seeing people crossing the river on the ice. Then there was no road to Matteawan, except the old Fishkill road.
Nanna could speak the Dutch and English languages, and she often told the writer that she regretted leaving Fishkill Landing, and at last when freedom was proclaimed throughout the State, in 1828, she made up her mind to live with her children the remainder of her life. Her son Thomas and daughter Rose came to our house to take her home with them. My parents tried to persuade her to remain with them what little time was allotted to her on earth, but the boon of freedom was too great for her. When she left the house, we all wept, and could it be wondered at when she was born and reared in the family, and now she was probably beyond three score and ten years, for she did not know her age. But Nanna found freedom far different than she expected. The colored people were poor, and there was no fuel in the country but wood, and that even at that day commanded a high price at Fishkill Landing, and she found that the fire of freedom did not suffice. She did not find wood and provisions as plenty there as she had in the days of slavery, and she wished herself back again in the