July 10, 2004

Saturday Observation: Vol 2

While driving today from one errand to the next, during nap time for the children, I went past Heathcote Hill in Mamaroneck, overlooking the Mamaroneck Harbor. There is an historical marker there to commemorate a small battle during the Revolutionary War. I give it a mental nod of the head whenever I pass by in recognition of the sacrifices past. Today, getting out of a Japanese car, in front of the historical marker, were three Indian women dressed in their saris. It made for an interesting juxtaposition of America past and America present. As I've said in this blog before, if we are still attracting immigrants, like the ones who fought at Heathcote Hill, for instance, we are probably doing better than the pundits would like us to think.

By the way, here is a little information I found on the net regarding the battle:

Heathcote Hill, to the north of the Post Road, is now covered with dwellings, but is rich in both historic and literary associations. It was named from Colonel Heathcote, who built a large brick mansion burned before the Revolution. The post-Revolutionary Heathcote Hall is now a road house.

In 1776 it was the scene of a surprise attack by a Delaware regiment upon the Queenes Rangers, a battalion of Loyalist Americans, who were worsted. This is interesting as an occasion where Americans fought Americans. The dead were buried near the hill in a common grave, "Rider and horse,Ã?—friend and foe, in one red burial blent."

A great-grandson of Colonel Heathcote's, Judge DeLancey, who succeeded to the estate, had two daughters, one of whom married John MacAdam, the inventor of the road which bears his name, and the other, James Fenimore Cooper.

Cooper lived for some time on the slope of the hill and here were written his first two novels, "Precaution" (1820) and "The Spy." The scenes of the latter are almost wholly in this `Neutral Ground,' which lay between New Rochelle and Stamford, where were respectively the lines of the British and the Continental armies.

Posted by Random Penseur at July 10, 2004 10:22 PM
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