surviving structure in Rockland County, NY and
an outstanding example of Hudson Valley Colonial Dutch
architecture, the DeWint House, also known as Washington's
Headquarters, allows the visitor to step back into the
American Revolution. Built in 1700 by Daniel DeClark,
a Hollander who emigrated to New York about 1676, one
can see the black glazed bricks which mark the date
of construction across the front of the building. The
Carriage House in Tappan, NY., together with the surrounding
grounds, comprise the George Washington National Historic
Site. The property was acquired by the Grand Lodge of
New York in 1932.
The house's two first-floor rooms
have been restored and furnished to reflect the period
of Washington's occupancy. The original kitchen dependency
has also been rebuilt. An adjacent 19th-century carriage
house contains displays of artifacts uncovered at the
site during archaeological digs, as wells as items related
to Washington, Andre and Arnold, and the Masons.
General George Washington headquartered
at the DeWint House four tmies during the American Revolution.
From August 8 to 24, 1780, Washington stayed at the
house while he was inspecting a redoubt on the Hudson.
returned to the house on September 28, through October
7, 1780, for the trial and subsequent hanging of the
British spy, Major John André. André
had been captured after a meeting with American General,
Benedict Arnold, at which they made plans to betray
the fortifications at West Point.
- Three years later - May 4 through
8, 1783, Washington and his key staff again headquartered
at the DeWint House while negotiating the final withdrawal
of British troops from New York City with British
General, Sir Guy Carleton. Samuel Fraunces (owner
of Fraunces Tavern in New York City) came up to prepare
the dinner for Washington and his guest. The
DeWint house played its last major role in the American
Revolution as the site of the first formal recognition
of the new nation by the British. On May 5,
1783, General Washington received the British Commander,
Sir Guy Carleton, at the DeWint House to discuss the
terms of the peace treaty. On May 7, Sir Guy received
Washington aboard his vessel Perserverance. On this
day, the King’s Navy fired its first salute
to the flag of the United States of America.
- On November 11-14, 1783, the weather
brought Washington to the DeWint house during a terrible
snowstorm on his trip to visit West Point and later
to New York City where he tendered his resignation.
During the War he had forbidden his soldiers to play
cards because it took time away from the pursuit of
the war. Now, with the fighting over, a much more
relaxed Washington took off his boots and played cards.
1676 -- Daniel DeClark, a Hollander,
emigrated to America.
1700 -- DeClark built the DeWint House.
It was made of native sandstone and is the oldest standing
residence in Rockland County. It was visited four times
by George Washington.
1746 -- West Indies planter John DeWint
bought the house. His daughter, Anna Maria, and her
husband, Major Fredericus Blauvelt, lived at the house.
1780 (August 8 to 24) – Washington
stayed at the house while he was inspecting a redoubt
on the Hudson.
1780 (September 28 to October 7) –
Washington returned to the house for the trial and subsequent
hanging of British spy, Major John André
1783 (May 4-8) – Washington
and his key staff headquartered at the DeWint House
while negotiating the final withdrawal of British troops
from New York City with British General, Sir Guy Carleton.
It was said to have been a friendly conference combined
with an elegant dinner. Samuel Fraunces (owner of Fraunces
Tavern in New York City) came up to prepare the dinner
for Washington and his guest.
1783 (November 11-14) – a terrible
snowstorm forced Washington to the DeWint house n his
trip to visit West Point and later to New York City
where he tendered his resignation.
1932 -- the Masonic Grand Lodge
acquired the property.
Hours & Admission:
Open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
daily. Free admission.
British Major John André
was one of the most famous prisoners of the Revolutionary
War. A favorite of British General Sir Henry Clinton,
the handsome young major was also popular with Philadelphia
"high society;" intelligent and witty, André
was noted for the elaborate entertainments he wrote
and designed for parties.
André was part of American
General Benedict Arnold's treasonous plot to surrender
the strategic American fortification at West Point to
the British. Arnold delivered key information about
West Point's weaknesses to General Clinton through André,
meeting him on the banks of the Hudson River. Captured
on September 23, 1780, André was convicted as
a spy, and ordered to be hanged. Many on General George
Washington's staff felt great sympathy for the condemned
man, visiting him frequently during his brief imprisonment.
André was executed on October 2, 1780.
André was born 1750 in London
to Huguenot parents, Antoine André (a merchant
from Geneva, Switzerland) and Marie Louise Giradot (from
Paris, France). He entered the British Army at the age
of twenty, and came to North America and joined his
regiment in Canada in 1774 as a lieutenant. He was captured
at Saint Johns in November 1775, and held a prisoner
at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, until December 1776, when
he was exchanged. He was promoted to captain in 1777,
and to major in 1778.
He was a great favorite in society,
both in Philadelphia and New York. During his nearly
nine months in Philadelphia, André occupied Benjamin
Franklin's house. He had a lively and pleasant manner
and could draw and paint and cut silhouette pictures,
as well as sing and write verses. He was a fluent writer
who carried on much of General Clinton's correspondence.
In 1779 he became adjutant-general
of the British Army with the rank of Major, and soon
after (1780) began to plot with American General Benedict
Arnold. Arnold's Loyalist wife, Peggy Shippen, had become
a close friend of André when he was in Philadelphia,
and she was probably the go-between. Arnold, who commanded
at West Point, had agreed to surrender it to the British
for £20,000 — a move that would enable the
British to cut New England off from the rest of the
André went up the Hudson River
on September 20, 1780, to visit Arnold. At night, André
rowed ashore in a boat from the sloop-of-war Vulture
and met Arnold in the woods below Stony Point. Morning
came before they had finished talking, and some Americans
began to fire on the Vulture. The Vulture was forced
to go down the river without André, who met with
Arnold on the 21st and 22 September.
In order to escape through American
lines, André was provided common clothes and
a passport by Arnold. André took the name John
Anderson. Arnold also gave six papers (written in Arnold's
hand) showing the British how the fort could be taken.
André hid them in his stocking.
André rode on in safety until
9 A.M. on September 23 when he came near Tarrytown,
New York, where three men with guns stopped him, including
David Williams. "Gentlemen," said André,
who thought they were Tories, "I hope you belong
to our party." "What party?" asked one
of the men. "The lower party," replied André,
meaning the British. "We do," was the answer.
André then told them he was a British officer
who must not be detained, when, to his surprise, they
said they were Americans, and that he was their prisoner.
He then told them that he was an American officer, and
showed them his passport. But the suspicions of his
captors were now aroused, and they searched him and
found Arnold's papers in his stocking. André
offered them his horse and watch, if they would let
him go, but they were not to be bribed (which was unusual
at the time).
The prisoner was taken to Tappan,
the headquarters of the American Army, tried as a spy
on September 29, 1780, found guilty of being behind
American lines "under a feigned name and in a disguised
habit", and condemned to be hanged. Sir Henry Clinton,
the British commander in New York, did all he could
to save him, but refused to surrender Arnold (who had
escaped to British lines upon learning of Andre's capture)
in exchange for Andre. He appealed to George Washington
to be executed by firing squad, but by the rules of
war he was to be hanged as a spy at Tappan on October
"He was more unfortunate than
criminal." -- from a letter of George Washington
to Comte de Rochambeau, October 10, 1780
"An accomplished man and gallant
officer." -- from the sentence of a letter written
by Washington to Colonel John Laurens on 13 October