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NEWBURGH AND THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION.
This arrangement furnishes the inhabitants with water preferable to the Croton of New-York; while the attractiveness of the place is increased by the salubrity of the air, and the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
EWBURGH is pleasantly situated on the western bank of the Hudson, sixty miles from New-York, having a rapid communication with that city, and, by the Erie Railroad, with the Great West. It received its name from its first settlers, who were Germans, and who, after surveying the present site of the town, about the year 1719, abandoned it for some reason unknown. These were followed by a mixed population that completed what their predecessors had planned. About six miles to the west is a fine sheet of water, called Orange Lake. The old name, which is more beautiful, was Bennin Water. Three miles west of the town is a small lake, called Little Pond, from which water is brought by an aqueduct for the use of VOL. VIII.-1
One of the finest views of Newburgh and its vicinage is from Beacon Hill, a lofty peak on the opposite side of the river, and not far from the village of Matteawan.
A party started, early one morning in July, to make this exhilarating though toilsome ascent. Five romantic young men, we had an idea that a sunrise view from Beacon Hill would be a very pleasant affair. However, we saw a sunrise on the Hudson.
Such a scene is, nevertheless, worth
the attention of a student of nature. I gazed from the Newburgh shore, in the morning twilight, a slight trembling of the glassy waters showed the approach of dawn. It was like a gentle breeze, but it was not that; it was only a breeze of light, the first faint harbinger of day. Then, as the vanishing and swelling radiance fell on the waters, the face of the river blushed, and glowed like the cheek of beauty under the conflict of hope and fear. During this struggle for the mastery of light over darkness I was thrilled with an indescribable emotion,—a conviction of the sublimity of morning. thought of the creation, the resurrection, and the judgment, and murmured, with involuntary rapture,—
"Hail, holy Light! offspring of Heaven first born,
And never but in unapproached light
It was a daring flight of the prince of poets when his powerful imagination soared into the spirit-world and suggested the possibility of light co-eternal with God.
We glided easily over the river in a small boat, and, after a short drive, found ourselves climbing the side of the mountain. First, we rose along the side of a deep ravine, winding, ascending, and climbing, till we came into a more even path, hemmed in by mountain peaks. Then appeared the South Beacon at our right, still at a distance. Our way now became more intricate, as we struck off into the woods, guided by a few marked
After losing our way once or twice, our persevering guide at length brought us to the summit in safety.
Campbell has felicitously sung,— ""Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, And robes the mountain in its azure hue."
This charm of Beacon Hill was gone; but another" enchantment," deeper, wider, grander, seized the soul. The feeling of awe was such as almost to lead me to fall prostrate, with my face upon the rock-that alone seemed capable of dispelling the illusion that there was indeed some danger of being dragged into the gulf beneath. The view on every hand is inspiring. In the distance, Poughkeepsie, with its towers and white-walled cottages, can be
The mountain ranges
distinctly seen. of distant states bear the horizon on their tops; and the magnificent Hudson, now revealed in his windings among the hills, has dwindled down to a creek. At the south, toward Cold Spring, and below West Point, a part of the river appears like a lake among the mountains. To complete our enjoyment, a most excellent spy-glass, which one of our company had brought, revealed the people in the streets of Newburgh, some going up Western Avenue, displaying their white shirt sleeves, and others, more genteelly, under the shade of umbrellas, showing that it must have been extremely warm down there, while we were enjoying a delicious coolness from our elevated position. It is said that Beacon Hill received its name at the bloody baptism of the Revolution. On its iron top was kindled the beaconfire that roused the valley of the Hudson, and gave to the inhabitants, far at the north, the intelligence that the foe was
advancing up the river. Here, like a column of fire, it rose in the gloom of the darkening heavens, an appropriate symbol
After lingering some time on this dreamy spot, we descended to where a road, branching off, led to another peak, called the North Beacon, and not so high as the South Beacon. Here the view,
though not so extensive, is more picturesque. The little town of Matteawan nestles at the base of the mountain, near enough to enable us to see clearly the movements of the people, and the dwellings, arranged as on a map, and to hear the hum of life wafted up among the songs
of birds and the music of the trees.
of the sun warned us to retire, and, after From this position the increasing heat a hasty descent, we fell in with a stagecoach going to the river, reached the ferry-boat just at the right time, and parted from each other in Newburgh as tired and happy a set of men as ever reached home in safety.
One of the most beautiful spots in the vicinity of Newburgh is the residence of Mr. Philip A. Verplanck, an engraving of which heads this article. This beautiful retreat is reached by a road that descends through a small dell, and winds up a slight hill, with meadows sloping off at each side. Murderer's Creek comes in at the right, and the river, with Pollo
pel's Island, is in front. The house stands | the chevaux-de-frise stretching across the
channel of the river to Pollopel's Island. These fortifications, being in the woods, and so near the water's edge, have escaped the plow, that great leveler of the monuments of war. A portion of the chevaux-de-frise is to be seen at Washington's head-quarters in the village.
on a high, but level plot of ground, commanding a fine view north and south. When seen from the top of Snake Hill, this estate has the appearance of a green nound crowned with a wreath of groves. On the steep bluff across the creek is "Idlewild," the villa of N. P. Willis, who has written some of the loftiest strains of our American poetry. Newburgh is also favored with the residence of J. T. Headley, the author of "Washington and his Generals,""Napoleon and his Marshals," and of several other popular works. Mr. Headley lives, in classic retirement, about a mile south of the village. At the west of Mr. Verplanck's, situated in a glen, is an old house, formerly the head-quarters of General Lafayette. At Plum Point, near the shore of the river, are still to be seen, in good preservation, the embankments of a battery of fourteen guns, intended to protect
Opposite Verplanck's, on the other side of the river, is Break-Neck Mountain, which possesses some interest from its having had a resemblance to the human countenance. This curious formation was called Turk's Face, and could be easily seen from the deck of a steamboat when approaching Pollopel's Island. A sad catastrophe befell Turk's nose. A company were quarrying near by for granite, when a jolly Irishman put a blast of powder before the Turk's face, saying, rather mischievously, he thought the old fellow would like to have his nose blowed. And,
sure enough, his nose was blowed; but so violently that it was broken off, and has never been seen since. As the story runs, the poor Irishman was himself, shortly after, blown up and killed. The admirers of the curious and beautiful will be half inclined to believe that this man was hurried from the world as a punishment for his wanton destruction of the works of nature. The picture here given is believed to contain the only representation of Turk's Face now in existence. It was painted by Tice, and daguerreotyped by
Gorseline, from the original picture. May the same hand that has preserved to us the portrait of this man of the rock long hold the pencil, that beneath his touch the scenes of our beautiful Hudson may glow on the canvas!
Among the objects of greatest interest in Newburgh may be mentioned the old stone house, where Washington had his head-quarters during the stay of the army at New-Windsor. This house is now the property of the state of New-York. The small windows, the antiquated piazza, and
the long steep roof, render it a very suitable monument of the Revolution. The stranger is greeted at the entrance by a lady whose duties, assigned her by the state, are performed with much urbanity. The room used as Washington's parlor is small, but neat, and in plain old style. A feeling of awe begins to pervade the mind even here. You pass into the dining room. The old Dutch fire-place, with its high, massive jambs-its flue, broad and ample, where you may stand erect, and look straight out at the heavens, is cer
tainly the very thing that must have accorded with Washington's ideas of Virginia comfort and hospitality. Here, too, around the blazing fire, stood the officers who supported our noble chief. Here Knox, as true as steel, and Wayne, with lion heart, stood and talked of Arnold's treachery, and of the hope and daring of our gallant men. And here, too, is the old black-walnut table, around which they gathered at the social repast. In the fireplace hangs a small copper tea-kettle, from which tea has been drawn for Wash