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she informed me that Washington, accompanied by his favorite Aid, my father, frequently passed up and down the country, sleeping at the Manor House ; and that, on such occasions, camp beds were made for them, with pillows, in the two arm chairs referred 'to. They originally belonged to the Van Horn family; and are more than two hundred years old. The old mahogany chairs of my father, were made for him, on his marriage to Miss Banker, in 1780; and the coverings underneath the plush seats, were worked by her before her marriage.
NEW YORK, 14 West 38th Street,
NOVEMBER 4th, 1881. Thus much of these memoranda was completed in 1876, when laboring under almost continuous attacks of my old hereditary enemy, the gout (of which my grandfather died,) and I was compelled to suspend my labors. In the Spring of 1878, I was attacked by gout and bronchitis, accompanied by a local inflammation, which appeared to render my death inevitable; and the newspapers published daily bulletins, setting forth the extremity of my position, and also published what might be termed obituaries in advance of my dissolution, but a kind Providence, permitted my recovery ; and now, enfeebled in body, but I believe not in mind, I proceed to finish my intended tribute to the memory of my father.
I am greatly embarrassed in proceeding, by the fact, that although my material for a biographical notice of my father, is not sufficient for writing a history of his life, it is so valuable and interesting, that each of my children is desirous of participating in it on my departure. As this is impossible, and would, if distributed among the ten, render almost valueless the letters and documents, which, while of little interest to the public, are to us of value, I have been induced to enlarge the contemplated publication. I have, therefore, introduced into this offering, notes, documents, &c., &c., of no earthly interest to the public. But the public, it must be borne in mind, have nothing to do with this purely family affair. It is prepared for the family only; and no doubt, several volumes of equal size and interest, may, and probably will, be prepared by the party who may become the custodian of these family papers, now more or less scattered.
In preparing this volume, I am enabled to give each member of the family, printed copies of many of my father's papers still in our possession ; and thus, each one will participate in a small portion of the remains, of what was, probably, the best history of our Revolution at the time of its close.
Since I commenced these notes or memoranda, Mr. John Austin Stevens, the editor of the Magazine of American History, and one of the most accomplished historians of our country, in relation to the war of the Revolution, has prepared and published in his valuable wor's, a lrief biographical sketch of my father, and a notice of the mansion at Wethersfield, in which he was born,known in the early Histories of Connecticut and in Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, as the “ Webb House.” That notice, including a view of the “ Webb IIouse,” I have embodied in this publication; in wbich I have not even attempted any arrangement of the papers.
Our old family home became historical, because it was there that Washington and the Count Rochambeau-the Commander-inChief of the French forces, sent to aid us in our struggle for independence-met and arranged the subsequent campaign of the allied forces which resulted in the capture of Lord Cornwallis, and virtually closed the war. On the arrival of the French fleet, with Rochambeau and his army on board, the British fleet were in possesison of New York and its waters; and a meeting between Rochambean and Washington cculd only take place somewhere at the eastward.
In 1775, when Washington repaired to Boston to take command of the American army, he took with him from Philadelphia, a letter of introduction from my step-grandfather, Silas Deane, the leading member of the Congress of 174, then in session in Philadelphia, to his wife and spent a day with her in our family home. Pleased with his visit in '76, he applied in '81 to my father, his friend and former Aid, to arrange a meeting with Rochambeau, at Wethersfield, in the old family mansion, where he had been hospitably entertained in 1775, Mr. Dean, was then absent in France, where he had secured the acknowledgement of our independence in spite of the timorous conduct of Franklin and Lee, --and my uncle, Joseph Webb, was living in the “ Webb House,” familiarly known as “lcspitality. Hall.” Arrangements for the
desired meeting were accordingly made; and on the 21st May, 1781, the two Chiefs, attended by their staffs, numbering in all sixty-five persons, met and held their conference, which resulted in the southern campaign by the allied forces, and the capture of Cornwallis. The centennial anniversary of that auspicious event, the United States are about to celebrate in a manner worthy of a great Nation-with France, our early friend, our chief guest; and the “ Webb House,” in which Washington and Rochambeau first met and arranged their work, will forever have a place in the history of our country.
Lossing, in his Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution, thus describes the meeting between Washington and Rochambeau, and his visit to the “ Webb House," for the purpose of sketching it, on the 4th Oct., 1848:
“ The most important occurrences of general interest at Hartford during the Revolution, were the two conferences between Washington and the Count de Rochambeau, the Commander of the French Army in America. The first interview was on the 21st of September, 1780; the second on the 23d of May, 1781. The French fleet, under the command of the Chevalier de Seruay, conveying the troops sent to our shores, to aid us, by Louis XVI. of France, arrived at Newport in July, 1780: and the conference of Washington with Rochambeau and Seruay, in September following, was to consult upon future operations. This interview resulted in the conclusion that the season was too far advanced for the allies to prepare anything of importance, and, after making some general arrangements for the next campaign, Washington returned to his camp at West Point, in the Hudson Highlands. It was during his absence at Hartford, that Arnold attempted to surrender West Point, and its subordinate posts, into the hands
of the enemy.
“ The second conference between Washington and Rochambeau, was at Wethersfield, four miles from Hartford. Rochambeau, and General, the Marquis of Chestellux, with their suites, arrived at Hartford the 21st May, where they were met by Washington and Generals Knox and Duportail, and their suites. The meeting was celebrated by the discharge of cannons; and after partaking of refreshments, the oflicers, with several private gentlemen as an escort, rode to Wethersfield. Washington lodged at
the house of Joseph Webb in Wethersfield, and there the con-
I drove down to Wethersfield and sketched the Webb House,'returning in time to make the drawing of the Charter Oak.”
Tradition says, that the suites of the two commanders consisted of sixty-five persons; and that only Washington and Rochambeau, with one Aid-de-Camp cach, slept in the house; while the other members of the two suites were billeted upon the hospitable villagers. I recently visited the old mansion; which like all Connecticut houses of that day of any pretensions, has its door in the centre, with a hall and rooms on each side. The two bedrooms in front were occupied by the two chiefs; and such is the veneration of the owner and occupant of this old mansion, Mr. Wells, a lineal descendant from one of the original companions of Hooker and his associates,—that the rich crimson velvet paper which covered the walls in '81, and probably for years previous, has never been removed.
Opposite our old home in Wethersfield, is the graveyard; and in it is one of the finest monuments of that day, erected to the memory of my grandfather, Joseph Webb, born at Stamford, December 8, 1727, and died in 1761; and to his wife, Mehetable Nott. Adjoining his tomb, are the graves of my maternal great-grandfather, Captain Nott and of my great grandmother. My great grandfather, Joseph Webb, was born and died in Stamford; his great ancestor, Richard, having removed from Hartford to Stamford in 1650.
Before me are two of his letters, one written in 1780 and the other in 1781, when he was ninety years of age; and both of them are perfectly spelled and punctuated, a remarkable fact in view of the great age of the writer and the period at which he lived, when