Eli Hasbrouck Part I

Eli Hasbrouck House-Liberty and Campbell _Newburgh Historical Society

When people visit Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, New York  they are also visiting a Hasbrouck house. This home and farm, from the 18th century to the mid -19th century, belonged to the Hasbrouck Family until New York State acquired it. The home would become the first historic site of it kind in 1850. Some of what we know about the Hasbrouck’s life there came by way of his grandson Eli Hasbrouck.

Eli was the great-grandson of one of the founders of New Paltz named Abraham Hasbrouck. He is known by local historians as “Abraham the Patentee,” a reference to the patent or land grant that he helped secure. Abraham the Patentee’s family had fled Europe because of religious persecution (they were Protestants in a largely Catholic country). Abraham’s first son was named Joseph. He married Elsie Schoonmaker in 1706.Shortly after the couple married they secured a large grant of land in Guilford which was just outside New Paltz. Hasbrouck and Schoonmaker had a large family of ten children, the last child was Jonathan Hasbrouck born in 1722.

Jonathan Hasbrouck’s mother Elsie purchased property in what is today Newburgh, New York in 1749. Jonathan would not only enlarge the stone home that was already on the property, but spent a lifetime acquiring property. By 1767, he was listed on tax records as one the wealthiest individuals in Newburgh. He married Tryntje DuBois in 1751, and the newlyweds moved to Newburgh. They had several children; Joseph, Mary, Rachel, Cornelius, Jonathan, Isaac and Abraham.

Isaac was born on September 23, 1761. It was Isaac who eventually took possession of the fieldstone home of his father. Roughly four years after his father’s death, in 1784, Isaac married Hannah Birdsall. The couple would have five children Jonathan III (1785), Sarah (1788), Israel (1789), Rachel (1793),  Eli (1796), and  Mary (1799).

Eli, according to the family bible, was born on March 17, 1796, in the family’s old stone house. When Eli was ten years old his father died. A year later his mother died. Still considered a minor, Francis Crawford was appointed Eli’s guardian. Historic Huguenot Street’s archives holds an itemized account between Jonathan Hasbrouck III, and Eli. It was countersigned by Crawford. This document involved the care of Eli Hasbrouck by his brother. Most likely Eli lived with his brother who also owned 3 slaves according the 1810 census.

Jonathan Hasbrouck III inherited the old stone house we know today as Washington’s Headquarters, State Historic Site. Eventually Eli would inherit lands near the old stone house.  He married Hannah Belknap on September 24, 1816. They were married by Rev. Johnston. The couple would have 9 children. However, shortly after their 9thchild was born, Hannah died on Monday, September 30, 1839.

Eli Hasbrouck WHQ SHS

In 1849, the State of New York took possession of the home built by Eli’s grandfather. This was because of a default on a loan by Jonathan Hasbrouck. His financial troubles forced him to relocate to New York City. The 1850 census lists him living with one of his sons.  After repeated attempts to save the home, it passed out of the family forever. Eli, seems to have escaped the financial problems that plagued Jonathan III. E.M Ruttenber later wrote that some of the house’s history was remembered by Eli.

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  • Blog Author

    AJ Schenkman

    A.J. Schenkman is the author of numerous books and articles. He is Consulting Historian for Historic Huguenot Street and Town of Gardiner Historian. Read Full

    Elizabeth Werlau

    Elizabeth Werlau is an English teacher in the Hudson Valley and is the historian for the Town of Plattekill in Ulster County. She has authored and contributed to several books on regional history, including her most recent publication, Murder and ... Read Full

    Debra Conway

    A former Features writer/Columnist for the Times Herald-Record and Director of Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History in Narrowsburg, Debra Conway is currently the Executive Director of The Delaware Company, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ... Read Full

    Matthew Colon

    Matthew Colon enjoyed nearly a decade in public history working and volunteering for organizations including Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site and the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands. Read Full

    Shannon Butler

    Shannon Butler is a Park Ranger of Interpretation and Education at Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site in Hyde Park New York. She has also interpreted the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston New York. Read Full
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