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Gen. John Hathorn of Warwick, NY led the local militia and served on the first Congress of the United States. Learn about John and his wife Elizabeth Welling.
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INTRODUCTION Print Page
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WHO WAS JOHN HATHORN?

John Hathorn arrived in Warwick about 1770, a surveyor and teacher. 

He was soon swept up in the events of the Revolutionary War.  He was appointed as Colonel of the Orange County Militia in 1776.  His minutemen helped guard the Ramapo Mountains and Sterling Forge, responded to alarms about Native American raiding parties along the Delaware frontier, and fought at the Battle of White Plains and other conflict areas.

He was one of the commissioners to determine the placement of the Great Chain across the Hudson at West Point. 

He was a commander of the disastrous Battle of Minisink, yet for the rest of his life was continously voted into public office, a trusted and beloved representative of the people. 

He served on the first Congress of the United States and was acquainted with many of the important people of his day, attending the inauguration of Washington, and dined with the President as well as Vice President John Adams.  

 

 

WHO WAS ELIZABETH WELLING HATHORN?

Elizabeth Welling, daughter of Thomas Welling, married this dynamic newcomer to her community in January of 1772.  During his long and busy career he was frequently absent from home, so to Elizabeth, the children, and their servants and slaves fell the many tasks of running the farm and various business enterprises that they established.

A profile of her life was written by Caroline Welling Edsall in 1923.

In addition to the skills as household and business manager that she of necessity possessed, she could read and write.  A letter discovered by researcher Hugh Goodman shows something of her daily life trying keep the family enterprises going.  We have not been able to discover which repository owns this letter.

 

GRAVESTONES OF JOHN AND ELIZABETH HATHORN

Gravestones in Warwick Cemetery

   http://image1.findagrave.com/photos/2008/267/7255177_122228267489.jpg
 

ERSKINE'S MAP

Robert Erskine, Washington's map maker, drew several maps of the Warwick area and its strategic points.  This one shows "Col. Hawthorns" house in the lower left corner, under "Warwick".

Section of "From Newborough (Newburgh) to Fort Lee, No. 36" by Robert Erskine.  Collection of the New York Historical Society.


Click here to go to the History of Hathorn House page

 

TIMELINE

1749  Jan. 9

Born January 9, 1749 Elkton or Wilmington, Delaware (place of birth in question)

1772  Jan. 7

Marriage to Elizabeth Welling (Marriage license issued Dec. 18 1771 NY by NY Province)

1773

John and Elizabeth Hathorn build house

1775   

Tax assessor for the Warwick section of Goshen Precinct.

1776  Feb.

Nominated as Lt. Colonel for the Continental Line to the Continental Congress, but appears he was given Col. in the Orange County Militia instead;  is Chairman of the Committee of Goshen to the Continental Congress.

1776  Feb. 28

Commissioned as Colonel. of Goshen Precinct regiment

1777 April 25

New York Assembly at Kingston orders Hathorn and Allison to distribute seized tea to officers and troops.

1777  Aug 10

Member of the first Legislature of the State of New York (Assembly) to create first Constitution of the State.

1778  January

Serves as a commissioner on placement of  Great Chain across the Hudson at West Point for New York Provincial Convention

1779  July 21

Order received from George Washington to send 100 of his men to guard British prisoners on their way to Easton.

1779  July 22

Co-commander of the Battle of Minisink

1780+

Served as one of three Commissioners of Forfeiture for the Middle District to dispose of confiscated loyalist lands.

1783 - 1784

Speaker of the New York State Assembly

1785

Votes in favor of abolishing slavery in New York

1786

First of several terms in the New York State Senate; appointed one of the survey commissioners to settle land and border disputes in Chemung region of New York State.

1786  Sept. 26

Brigadier General of the Orange County Militia1787                                 

1787 

Serves on NYS Council of Appointment for Middle District; Foreman of the first Grand Jury at Goshen

1788

Elected to Continental Congress; surveys, with James Clinton, Elmira region of New York State.  Government changed form, so his first service was to the first Congress of the United States.

1789

Serves on NYS Council of Appointment for Middle District; Appointed to the NY Commission for Holding Treaties with the Indians, attended treaty sessions with leaders of the Cayuga tribe.

1789 April 23   

Takes his seat in the first Congress of the United States, New York City. He supported Anti-Federalist positions, and became a Jeffersonian Republican.

1789  April 30

Attends inauguration of George Washington at Federal Hall, New York

1789  Aug. 21 

Accepts invitation to dinner from Vice President John Adams

1790  April 1      

Dines with Washington, along with other New York representatives

1791  April 19   

Elected honorary member of the Society of the Cincinnati (exclusive membership of Continental Army officers)

1793  Oct. 8

Major General of the New York State Militia

1795

Elected to fourth Congress of the United States

1803-06                  

Land transactions with Solomon Townsend of the Sterling Iron Co.  

1804  April 3   

Elected Warwick Town Supervisor

1800  March 28   

New York Legislature settles title of Hathorn lands.

1810

Death of Elizabeth Welling Hathorn

1821  Nov. 19

Named to committee to recover Minisink Battle bones

1825  Feb. 20

Death of John Hathorn

 

"AN ENERGETIC MAN"

"In appearance he was about 5 feet 7 inches, of medium size, rather slender, fair complexion, brown hair & very bright keen gray eyes, of an easy amiable disposition, genial, impulsive, and very energetic." -- Letter of James B. Hathorn, grandson, in a letter to Lyman Draper in 1877.

Draper Manuscript Collection Vol. 85 Item 46.  Wisconsin Historical Society

 

THE MISSING PORTRAIT

There is no known portrait of John Hathorn. This composite portrait of him done in 1907, eighty two years after his death, was painted by C. Brower Darst. The painting has been missing for many years, but we have photographs of it.  It was composed from descriptions of him by his family and by the appearance of his grandchildren. This photograph of the portrait  is in a private family collection.

 

A QUAKER

Stories handed down tell us that John, at least in later years, was a practicing Quaker, and adopted their dress.

An eyewitness account recalls seeing Quaker meetings at the house.

 

DEATH NOTICE

Death notice from the Independent Republican (Goshen), Feb. 28, 1825

This publication was supported in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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