American Revolution, historic Towns and also Villages, long Island, tales from Stony Brook, The history Trekker / September 21, 2013 by gothiccurios / 2 comment


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The very first Presbyterian Church of Brookhaven on Setauket town Green, c. 1812. The very first church come be constructed in the township the Brookhaven, the building was supplied to home men and also horses alike throughout the American Revolution. Heavily fortified at the time, it to be the target of colonial troops during the battle of Setauket.

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It’s only natural that the Setaukets would certainly be a center for loyalist task in the American Revolution. When Setauket was first settled, the pilgrims and also early settlers which came v them had only remained in this nation for around 20 years, and also were already beginning to branch out towards the south. The Dutch, that actually had representatives top top Manhattan island for close come a decade prior to the pilgrims landed, were pushing east throughout Long Island. V the dutch entrenched in Manhattan, the English moved onto long Island indigenous the east and settled to the west. For this reason the beforehand inhabitants of the Setaukets would certainly be firmly British.

The first white inhabitants arrived in Setauket in the center of the seventeenth century. They came from brand-new England which meant a strong religious life, and indeed, among the very first mentions the the town comes from a newspaper in 1647, noting that the writer had attended a Quaker conference there.

By the beforehand 1700s, one Anglican mission to be underway in Setauket. The Anglican Church to be the Church of England, and also many from new England to be fleeing England and in particular, the Church the England. Yet as an ext and more settlers were coming directly from England, and brand-new Amsterdam now new York and also British, the Anglican Church began to grow.

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Colonial era tombstone in the Presbyterian Church burial Ground, Setauket, new York

Additionally, the colonists themselves were split in between loyalty come the crown and also support for the cause. In the much more urban areas, the propensity was to assistance the crown, if rural locations had a higher support for the revolution, and also offered for sure harbors because that underground tactics and spy networks. This division in lengthy Island culture led to brutal plot by both sides, but specifically by the loyalists in the direction of those advocating freedom from brother rule.

Setauket was no exception. Loyalists tended to to visit the newer Caroline church, and also as elsewhere, the British lived in the church which they didn’t use, in this situation the first Presbyterian Church of Brookhaven. The militarization the the church was done under the command the Colonel Richard Hewlett, a remarkable loyalist from a loyalist family members from Hempstead, long Island. He had around 150 males under his command, mostly other loyalists from roughly Long Island. And also they set about fortifying the Presbyterian Church.

Flush with that success, around 500 troops crossed lengthy Island Sound in whaleboats native Connecticut and landed at Old Field, west of Setauket on the night of august 21. They carried with lock a grasp of tiny cannon, and upon landing in the early on morning, marched top top the brother holed increase in the Brookhaven church in Setauket. The leader that the expedition was basic Samuel Holden Parsons, who had actually the support of the regiment of Colonel Samuel Blachley Webb.

Under a flag of truce, general Parsons instructed the loyalists come surrender, which to be refused. The Colonials collection up a line at Patriot’s Rock, currently located simply off of Setauket village Green, and began shoot on the church. The British returned fire, and for the next few hours both political parties exchanged volleys, with neither next bringing an advantage to the action. Parsons, worried the the sound of battle would lure the brothers stationed along the coast to the conflict, make the decision to abandon the mission, taking with him a dozen horses and also some blankets, caught from the British. Reports the casualties vary, despite it’s certain they were rather low. Parsons report one injured militia member, however others have asserted that four were killed and also several wounded. British numbers aren’t available, but the hurt were taken to the Caroline Church top top the other side of the environment-friendly to be treated.

Thus finished the battle of Setauket. In December, a 2nd attempt was made ~ above Setauket, but rough seas and the catch of several of the colonists by a brother ship stopped it prior to it had a opportunity to begin. Several months later, the British exit the an initial Presbyterian Church of Brookhaven, leaving the a devastated shell. Smaller sized raids were lugged out on the loyalists in Setauket, and the Benjamin Tallmadge spy ring to be based in Setauket, however otherwise lengthy Island had small influence on the rest of the American Revolution.

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Toward long Island Sound in ~ Sunken Meadow county Park

The Presbyterian Church was repaired and also services organized once more. The building remained in use till it to be struck through lightening and burned. A new church was developed in 1812 which quiet stands.

The Caroline Church probably suffered more. The building itself suffered damages in the battle of Setauket, and added damage was developed by colonist that targeted the church because that its loyalist tendencies. Many damaging at all, was the lose of a good number that its congregation, who were compelled to flee as soon as the british surrendered in Yorktown, together those who had supported the crown to be at best, confronted with a loss of income and property, and also quite perhaps their resides as well. There are penalties because that backing the not correct side.

Over time the Caroline Church was remodeled until it bore little resemblance come the original early american building. In 1936, Ward Melville, shoe baron and CEO that Thom McAn shoes, who seems to have actually been trying come recreate his own colonial haven on lengthy Island paid to have actually the church revived to its former early american appearance. The steeple is currently fifteen feet lower than it to be originally, and distorted through the impacts of weather over practically three centuries, however it’s otherwise a faithful reconstruction of the initial building. It’s likewise the second oldest Episcopal church building in consistent use in America.

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Today, Setauket town Green is a quiet clues in the bustle of lengthy Island. Setauket itself appears in part ways tiny changed over the centuries, the light william Sydney Mount speak of quiet filters with the trees, people still take benefit of the environment-friendly on sunny afternoons, and also the two churches still challenge each other, though the congregations are now at peace. The eco-friendly is smaller sized now, with roadways passing v it, and also the trees have actually swallowed up Patriot’s Rock. Yet it still retains its charm and also its history, and is one of the more tranquil battlefield’s the the Revolutionary battle that you’re likely to find.