Manhattan and Albany Sons of Liberty by Author Gloria Waldron Hukle
Reacquainting myself with the document titled "Constitution of the Original Sons of Liberty of Albany (New York) " a document signed by 94 men (probably 1766 when the Stamp Act was repealed) -men who included surnames of Witbeck and VanWie, ( son-in-laws to Peter Waldron and his wife Tryntie Vandenbergh.)
The beginning words of the first paragraph of this Albany Constitutional document strike me as representational of the fears and concerns of our current time rather than the ghosts of ancestors. Today as we approach 2015 all of us find ourselves questioning the meaning of rights and liberties within a modern America. Centuries after a Revolutionary war we still ask how can we as an all inclusive people improve upon our civil rights?
Perhaps the trials and tribulations of ancestors can help us out.
Wirtten in 1766-
"As in our present distressed condition, while under the greatest apprehensions of yet threatening Slavery, our surest refuges seem the mercies of God, and our own fixed and unanimous resolution to preserve to the last in the vindication of our dear bought Rights and Privileges."
A mere 250 years ago we were not the United States of America- a people permitted the right to protest, but the subjects of Great Britain who were subject to all British law and tax. In Albany, New York, colonists recognized their responsibilities to the Crown, but the British who occupied Albany really considered Albanians far more Dutchmen than Englishmen and in some ways understandably so since Albany had been founded by the Dutch in the early 1600s and hadn't changed much. The language that flourished on the Albany streets and was preached within their church was primarily Dutch and this did continue until the early 1800s.
In 1765 Parliament passed "The Stamp Act" which required that all printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London-carrying the embossed revenue stamp. Basically it was a tax upon legal documents, playing cards (a favorite among the Albany colonists) newspapers, etc. The reason given by the English for the tax on the colonists was to raise revenue for the support of English soldiers quartered in the colony- something the colonist felt unnecessary.
In March of 1766 the "Stamp Act" was repealed and colonists took this as a great victory to be celebrated on an annual basis-a holiday in the colony. They described the repeal of the Stamp Act as their deliverance from chains. An article published in the New York Journal, March 19th, 1770 tells of celebrations hosted by Samuel Waldron at his home by the Long Island ferry landing, an annual party in conjunction with others at Abraham de la Montague's tavern located Broadway and also that of Capt.Henry Bicker. On the first anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act, among the 45 toasts offered up by 300 gentlemen, freeholders, and Freemen of the City, "real friends to liberty" one was drank to the "Sons of Liberty" in America-unanimity among all the Sons of Liberty in America and Perseverance to the glorious cause. After the dinner at Montague's it was decided to send two barrels of beer and the rest of the food to the poor prisoners in the Goal (jail) a kindness of course well received. ( a week later Capt. Bicker's tavern was attacked by British Soldiers) But the Liberty Pole (mast) that the British attempted to cut down did remain upright. Some of the men inside of Bickers escaped out the back and ran to ring the chapel bell alarming citizens. When they heard the bell the soldiers retreated. Thereafter the pole was nightly guarded by inhabitants.
Author Gloria Waldron Hukle
The genealogy links & Hukle novels.
.Pieter Waldron (Threads An American Tapestry) the first born of William Waldron ("Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple") and first born grandson to Resolved Waldron, Pieter was a Manhattan transplant around 1700 settled on the Hudson River at Albany (b. 1675 at Manhattan d. 1725 Albany) Pieter's daughters married into some of Albany's first settlers. Rebecca married Johannes G. Yates, a blacksmith (son of Christoffel) Nov. 28, 1737. They raised a large family on the Yates farm located where is today Rensselaer, N.Y. One of their sons was named for his maternal grandfather, Peter Waldron Yates. He was a counsellor at law of Albany. A daughter, Engeltie, called after her grandmother, Engeltie Stoutenburgh Waldron married Cornelis Van Schaick Jr. November 14, 1756.
Eva Waldron married into the Witbeck (also known as Van Witbeck) Jan Thomase was first in New Amsterdam (NYC) but soon found opportunity in the Albany area selling house lots as early as 1652. He bought a large parcel of land from the Natives where now is Schodack on the east side of the River across from Albany .
Johannes Witbeck married Eva Waldron May 9,1740. Sons Abram and Casper are named as "Sons of Liberty"