Philipsburg Manor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the English land grant. For the manor house in the village of Sleepy Hollow, see Philipsburg Manor House.
Map of Philipsburg Manor with current borders overlaid on the property

Philipsburg Manor (sometimes referred to as Philipse Manor) was an English manor located north of New York City in the Province of New York. It lasted from 1693 until 1779. The land was part of a Dutch patroonship owned by Adriaen van der Donck, but was later purchased by Frederick Philipse I. Philipse was granted a royal charter in 1693, creating the manor as a legal entity. After Philipse's death, the manor was split between his son and grandson, both of whom continued to develop the manor. The Philipses took advantage of the Atlantic slave trade, using Africans to construct most of the buildings on the property. The tenant farmers on the manor also represented a diverse population of Europeans. The manor's property was eventually sold at auction after Frederick Philipse III (a loyalist) was attainted for treason by New York's revolutionary government and his land was confiscated. Some of the original structures still stand, including the Philipsburg Manor House, Philipse Manor Hall, and the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, all of which are National Historic Landmarks.

History[edit]

Philipsburg Manor House, the Upper Mills manor house

The land that would become Philipsburg Manor was first bought from Adriaen van der Donck, who had invested in an unsuccessful Dutch patroonship in New Netherland prior to the English takeover in 1664. Frederick Philipse I, Thomas Delavall, and Thomas Lewis purchased the first tracts of land in 1672 in current-day northern Yonkers. Philipse made several additional purchases between 1680 and 1686 from the Wiechquaeskeck and Sinsink Indian tribes, expanding the property both north and south of the previous purchase; he also bought a small plot of land from the Tappans west of the Hudson River. The manor comprised about 52,000 acres (21,000 ha) of land in total. Philipse also bought out his partners' stakes during this time period.[1]

The estate's boundaries were marked by the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, the Croton River, the Hudson River, and the Bronx River. Philipse was granted a royal charter in 1693, creating the Manor of Philipsburg, and making him first lord of the manor. Along with the three other main manors of the colony—Rensselaerswyck, Cortlandt, and Livingston—Philipsburg created one of the richest and most powerful families in the colony.[2] Philipse died in 1702 and the manor was divided between his son, Adolph Philipse, and his grandson, Frederick Philipse II. Adolph received the Upper Mills property, which extended from Dobbs Ferry to the Croton River. Frederick II was given the Lower Mills at the confluence of the Saw Mill and Hudson Rivers. The two properties were reunited in 1750 by Frederick II. Frederick III became the third lord of the manor in 1751.[1]

Philipse Manor Hall, the Lower Mills manor house

Taking advantage of the Atlantic slave trade, the Philipses made use of African slaves to build various structures at both the Upper Mills and Lower Mills. The Upper Mills saw the building of two gristmills on the Pocantico River as well as a stone manor house, wharf, cooperage, and bake house. the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, now a National Historic Landmark, was one of the buildings built at this time; most of the structures were completed by 1697. The Lower Mills saw a gristmill and manor house built on the north bank of the Neperhan River. The Philipses' aim was to make the manor a center for agricultural, at which they were successful. They also saw an ethnically diverse group of tenant farmers move in in the 18th century, coming from Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and even within North America. The African slaves were also diverse: 23 different African cultures—all coming from Kongo-Angola—were represented on the site. By the beginning of the American Revolution, the population was about 1,000, up from 200 at the time of Frederick I's death.[1]

The American Revolution began in 1776 and Frederick Philipse III was a loyalist. He and his family were attainted for treason in 1779 and the entire manor was confiscated and sold at public auction; the land was split between 287 buyers. The largest tract of land (about 750 acres (300 ha)) was at the Upper Mills; it passed to numerous owners, one by one, until 1951, when the property was acquired by Sleepy Hollow Restorations (now Historic Hudson Valley). Thanks to the philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller Jr., about 20 acres (8.1 ha) were restored as a historic site known as Philipsburg Manor.[1] The Lower Mills manor house, Philipse Manor Hall, served as the city hall of the city of Yonkers from 1872 until 1908.[3] Both houses became National Historic Landmarks on November 5, 1961;[4][5] they are both now house museums.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Maika, Dennis J.; Peter Eisenstadt (editor) (2005). "Philipsburg Manor". Encyclopedia of the State of New York (First ed.). Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. p. 1199. ISBN 0-8156-0808-X. 
  2. ^ Eisenstadt, Peter (2005). "New York State: An Introduction". Encyclopedia of the State of New York (First ed.). Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. p. 1199. ISBN 0-8156-0808-X. 
  3. ^ "Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  4. ^ "Philipse Manor Hall". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  5. ^ "Philipse Manor". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-10-08.