ambrose t secor Ambrose T Secor, Great Grandson of John Haring at Dutch Door Genealogy, a Web Site For Rockland County New York and Bergen County New Jersey Historical Information
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Ambrose T. Secor, Great-Grandson of Judge John Haring

NOTES ON AMBROSE T. SECOR
from Historical Miscellanies, Volume I
as Collected and Compiled by George H. Budke in 1923

Ambrose T. Secor was reared near Monsey, N.Y.  He received his education
in the public schools and afterward in an institution of learning somewhere
in the west.  He early became interested in the history of his native county
and preserved the documents and relics which came to him from the family and
wrote out the stories related to him concerning his ancestors.

He was a great-grandson of Hon. John Haring of Revolutionary fame through
his daughter, Elizabeth, who married Rev. James D. Demarest.  Domine Demarest's
daughter, Mary H., married Timothy Secor and was the mother of Ambrose T. Secor.

Mr. Secor in his youth indulged in the writing of verse and for many years
devoted much of his leisure time to the collection of family and historical
data.  He lived in Bayonne, N.J., where he was in the real estate business and,
at another time, (I have been told) employed in the Hudson County Court House.

From his widow, long after his death, I secured the Haring documents which
he had valued so highly and also the privilege of copying so much of his notes
and memoranda as were of use to me.

I have been informed by one who knew him well, how narrowly the Haring papers
escaped destruction.  Mr. Secor, in his boyhood, found them in an outbuilding
(privy) where they had been thrown by some member of the family who had
found them in her way as she was cleaning house.  He gathered them up and
kept them, but after his death I found his widow and children almost as
negligent of the documents as the former owner had been.  The family still
have the tall old clock that belonged to Hon. John Haring, his pistol, and
a number of other relics of his time.  These they value more highly than
they did the old papers.

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A Poem of AMBROSE T. SECOR


IN MEMORIAM
Respectfully inscribed to Mrs. I. Iserman of Spring Valley, N.Y. whose
son died of wounds received during the closing engagement at Malvern Hill.

By A. Thersander Secor

Tis heralded "The battle's o'er! Vast numbers fought and bled!"
And quickly scans the mother's eye the columns of "The Dead".
Her sons have bravely borne their part of that eventful day,
And now with tears, and throbbing breast, she asks, "O! where are they?"

For seven days the battles raged, - the guns poured shot and shell,
And hundreds of our warriors brave in noble manhood fell.
'Twas then young Ralph on Malvern Hill received his fatal wound,
Whle proudly 'gainst the Southern foe he bore his breast each round.

By comrades true his bleeding form was carried through the fray,
And placed in rear of battle's din where corse and wounded lay;
A brother's hand was near the while, and love beguiled the pain,
But morrow's light their prisons found: - they never met again!

Days, weeks and even months pass by, - no tidings, - hope has fled;
At length a message fraught with woe, announces, "he is dead!"
No tender mother's voice was heard, his dying hour to cheer;
No sister's hand to press his brow - none, none but foes were near!

Our glorious Union to restore, his blood he freely gave,
And now, a martyr to the cause, he's sleeping with the brave.
Sleep on, young soldier, calmly rest, the cannon's thundering roar,
Nor roll of drums, nor deafening shout, can break thy slumbers more.

Sleep on beneath that southern soil, pride of our hearts and home!
Sleep on! until the Captain's trump shall shake high heaven's dome,
Then shalt thou rise before thy foes, through God's immortal love,
And if thy roll of honor's proved, march to the fields above.


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REMINISCENCE OF ELIZABETH HARING DEMAREST, AMBROSE'S GRANDMOTHER

"From Ambrose T. Secor's Notes:

I was born in 1783, at Tappan - the last of the family born there - and in 1786
Father moved to New York, (*) where he had built a house, and, in 1788, when I was
five years old, we moved to Ramapo about 2 1/2 miles southwest from Suffern.
In April, 1797, Father having sold his farm to Judge Henry Van Dalsen,
we moved to New Bridge near Hackensack, and occupied a house adjoining the sand
hills near the old Lutheran Church.  This house Father sold to Mrs. Duffy in 1803,
just six years after its purchase, and then moved to Greenbush (Blauveltville, N.Y.)
into the house bought of Van Antwerp in April of that year.  On the fifteenth of the
following month, I was married.  Father died at this house, six years afterward,
April 1st, 1809, and was buried at Tappan.  The following month (May, 1809) his
personal effects were sold at public auction.  We were then living at the parsonage,
and took my mother to live with us, where she continued to live until her death
sixteen years later, October 22nd, 1875, in her seventy-fifth year.  She was buried
in the "Brick" Church yard.

(*) House built at "Greenwich", said to have been near the corner of Carmine
and Bleecker Streets."


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REMINISCENCE OF AMBROSE T. SECOR

"Personal appearance of Judge John Haring:

During my boyhood, (this was written by A.T.Secor) there lived at the junction
of the Nyack Turnpike and the New York and Erie Railroad, about one mile northwest
of Nanuet, a sculptor named Thom, where he had built a handsome brown-stone edifice
with terraced lawn, embellished with choice trees and shrubbery and enclosed by
a wall of masonery the capstones of which were unhewn and set upon their edges.
The columns at the two entrances were square and massive and terminated with balls
surmounted by spread eagles.  Near the driveway was placed a sundial and in the
center of the lawn was erected a life size statue of General Washington upon
a pedestal, out of brown stone by Thom's own hands.  I frequently, on the Sabbath,
passed this attractive spot in company with my grandparents on our way to the Nanuet
church where my grandfather (Rev. James D. Demarest) officiated as pastor, and I
cannot recall an occasion when my grandmother failed to mention her father when
the statue appeared in view.  She would say, "I can never look at that statue
without being reminded of my father, for it resembles him as closely as though it
had been intended to commemorate him."  "He was a tall, noble looking man and his
features closely resembled Washington's," she would say in reply to my inquiries.

This statue was removed after the sculptor's death and placed in front of the old
City Hall in New York, whence it appears to have been spirited away.  The stone
carvings of Trinity Church steeple were executed by Thom.
A.T.Secor"

Click image for larger view
statue of george washington
************************************************************************************* MARIA HARING'S MEMORIES OF ANDRE'S EXECUTION Maria Haring (1775 - 1868), who gave the interview to her grandnephew Ambrose, was the daughter of the patriot and judge John Haring (1739 - 1809). She married Peter D. Haring (1773 - 1842). It was either to this Peter D. Haring, his uncle, or his son Peter P. Haring, that Samuel Kip Haring gave a copy of The Haring Family Notebook on July 9, 1830, on the day that Samuel Kip Haring's father, Samuel John Haring, died. Maria Haring, daughter of Judge John Haring, married Peter D. Haring. As a child of less than six years, she witnessed the execution of Major Andre. The following are her recollections of that event. Maria, the eldest of the family of ten children, was born at Tappan in the old mansion lately occuped by the Rev. Isaac Cole which stands on the road leading southward from nearly opposite the site of the old church, demolished in 1836, in which the trial of Maj. Andre as a spy was held. The place of execution was about a fourth of a mile distant and on the opposite side of the road. Maria's story of that event is best told in her own language as related to me at her home at Closter, N.J., on her eighty-sixth birthday: "At an early hour in the morning preparations were being made at home to witness Andre's execution. My brother, Samuel, was a child of four years and repeatedly entreated Father to take him along. At last, Father called him to his knee and said 'My child, this man can now talk and act like others, soon he will be in eternity, where either happiness or misery awaits him.' This was too impressive for even such a little child and he replied, 'Oh! Papie, I don't want to go.' I was permitted to go with Father who secured a good position. When the moment approached, a mounted officer, Captain John Stagg, who was stationed immediately in front and near the gallows, but in the rear of the guard which surrounded it, invited me to a seat on his horn in front of him, and Father placed me there, from which position I had a full view of that awful scene. More than eighty years have passed since that event and my recollection of it is as clear and vivid as were my earliest impressions, and will so remain until my dying day. Major Andre walked between guards to the place of execution which was on the side of the hill in sight of our house. A wagon drawn by horses was driven before him and carried his coffin which was painted black. It was stopped directly under the gibbet which was made of stout poles with a cross pole at the top. He mounted the wagon and stood upon the coffin and, after the noose was adjusted and he had blindfolded himself with his own handkerchief and his arms had been bound with another, the wagon was quickly drawn from beneath him and he swung back and forth, very far at first and his feet almost touched the gound. His open grave was close by. We did not remain long afterward as Father was anxious to go home for he was very sorrowful. Andre's quiet manner and gentle bearing had softened toward him the hearts of nearly every spectator it seemed, for tears were freely shed by both men and women, of whom there was an immense multitude. Father always spoke of him afterward as a young man of rare accomplishments, and mild disposition, and a gallant officer, who was more unfortunate than criminal, and I believe Washington expressed himself in nearly the same language. Soon after Andre was brought to Tappan and imprisoned in Mr. Mabie's house, which is still standing and known as the " '76 Tavern", Gen. Washington supplied him with food from his own table. When he ws afterwards confined in the Dutch Church, father carried a blanket to him. Maria Haring said further, "I have often heard people speak of Andre's gallows being a tree, which is incorrect. He was executed on a gallows made for the purpose and it is so depicted in the newspaper which I have preserved." (She had preserved a copy of a newspaper published at the time, which contains an account of, and a wood-cut representing the execution, which is now in the possession of her son James at Closter.) Maria Haring was only five years and nine months old at the time of Andre's execution and died after attaining her ninety-third birthday - March 15, 1869. Her funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Cornelius Blauvelt in the church at Closter, taking for his text, "A mother in Israel", from Judges, V.7. Considering her extreme age at death and her youthfulness at the time of the execution, it is reasonable to assert that she was the last surviving spectator of that sad event." "From Ambrose T. Secor's Notes: Maria was a favorite with the officers about the headquarters at Tappan, and her father's house was their constant resort. She had frequently sat upon the knees of Generals Washington, Greene and Putnam while they were being entertained at meals which were partaken of under the grape arbor." ********************************************************************************************* "REV. JOHN DEMAREST - REMOVAL OF ANDRE'S REMAINS After Major Andre's remains had lain at the place of execution at Tappan nearly forty-one years their removal to England was suggested and earnestly urged by James Buchanan, Esq., her majesty's consul at New York, which met with the hearty approval of King George III., and on Friday, August 10th, 1821, at eleven A.M., they were disinterred under the supervision of Mr. Buchanan. At that time, Mr. John Demarest owned the farm of which the field of execution was a part, and it being known some time before, that a movement was on foot for the removal of the remains, one ------ ----- had applied for the purchase or rent of the field with a view to exacting payment from the British government for such privilege which was met with a prompt refusal. The coffin was reached at a depth of only three feet and found to contain the perfect skeleton of the once noble form, a few locks of hair, and the leather cord which on the day of fate had bound them into a queue. The latter was sent to the surviving sisters of the deceased. The bones were carefully deposited in an elaborate casket of mahogany with gold mountings and draped with black and crimson velvet. The roots of a peach tree, which grew at the head and marked the grave, had found entrance to the coffin and encased the skull in a network of fibres. This tree, together with two cedars which grew near it, were taken up and sent to England, and the former replanted in the King's Gardens. In addition to those in attendance from New York, there were a considerable number of the neighboring farmers with their wives and children present and though there was no elaborate ceremony, the occasion was an impressive one and conducted with the utmost decorum. The casket containing the relics was placed on board the frigate Phaeton and safely conveyed to England, where they now rest in a grave near the memorial monument erected in Westminster Abbey. Mr. Demarest had readily assented to the Consul's proposition for removal of the remains and when the time for the exhumation arrived afforded him every possible facility, in acknowledgement whereof the Duke of York presented him through the agency of the consul, with a gold mounted snuff-box made of the wood of the cedars which had grown near the grave; and from the Misses Andre he received a handsome silver chalice. This latter offering, however, he soon returned without a thought of disrespect toward the donors, but explaining that as a minister of the Reformed Dutch Church his religious convictions forbade the use of the chalice as being symbolical of creeds to which he was averse. We of today may look upon this as an act quite inconsistent with the teachings of the present, but if he did not object to it as emblematic of the established church, he certainly did as that of Popery, and he was distinguished as a man true in every case to his convictions. The ground where Andre was executed belonged at that time to one Mabie, from whom it passed to Rev. John Demarest. The snuff-box is now (1902) in the possession of his granddaughter, Mrs. Geo.H.Andrus, 170 North Fifth Street, Newark, N.J., to whom it was bequeathed by her mother. (I have searched diligently for this relic but without success. G.H.Budke) Note: One cedar tree grew at the head and another at the foot of the grave. These were both taken to England."





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