Historic, but not famous

Elizabeth Jackson Sands, mother, wife, farm manager and agent in an undercover munitions ring run from her Port Washington property, from the Battle of Brooklyn through to her daring contraband shipment run across the Long Island Sound. With the help of her friends, family, military contacts and slaves, she balanced taking care of her family, raising her crops and cows, and running a contraband munitions smuggling ring out of her cellar and backyard for the Continental Army.

The Sands family was one of the original three families that settled in and owned what is now Sands Point, N.Y. Elizabeth married into the Sands family, wedding John Sands (1737-1811), the eldest of the sons. John served as a colonel during the Revolutionary War and was also a member of the New York State Assembly for Queens County, 1784 to 1785. Elizabeth and John has 10 children. Elizabeth served her country from her Brooklyn home while maintaining property and family while John traveled to battle points during the Revolution.

To learn more about Elizabeth and her heroics during the Revolutionary War, follow the play written by Sarah Lyons (actress, writer, tour guide) on Facebook.

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Historic, but not famous

Margaret Cochran Corbin, first woman to get military pension in USA

Margaret Cochran Corbin (November 12, 1751 – January 16, 1800) was a woman who fought in the American Revolutionary War. On November 16, 1776, her husband, John Corbin was one of some 600 American soldiers defending Fort Washington in northern Manhattan from 4,000 attacking troops. Margaret decided she wanted to go with him. Since she was a nurse, she was allowed to accompany her husband as a nurse for the injured soldiers. When her husband was wounded in battle, she took his place and continued to work the cannon until she too was seriously wounded.

Ms. Corbin later became the first woman in U.S. history to receive a pension from Congress for military service because she could no longer work due to injury and was enlisted into the Corps of Invalids.

A memorial commemorating her heroism was erected in 1909 near the scene of her service in what would later become Fort Tryon Park. In addition, after the park was constructed, “Margaret Corbin Circle” lies just outside the main entrance, and “Margaret Corbin Drive” connects the circle through the park to the Henry Hudson Parkway. A plaque honoring Corbin, placed by the Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights in 1982, is located on the eastern of the two stone plynths which mark the start of Margaret Corbin Drive. A large Art Deco mural depicting the Battle of Fort Washington scene decorates the lobby of a nearby apartment building at 720 Fort Washington Avenue. According to the New York Historical Association, Corbin was “honored as no woman of the revolution has ever been honored before.”

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Historic, but not famous

DrSamuel Bradhurst,  was born in 1749 and trained as a surgeon. During the American Revolution served at the Battles of Princeton and Brandy wine. In an encounter in mid-1777, while attending the wounded, he was captured by the British. It was then that he was placed under house arrest.

In 1799, he sold sixteen acres in Harlem Heights to Alexander Hamilton whose thirty-two acre estate would extend from what is now Hamilton Place on the west, to Hamilton Terrace on the east, and from 140′” to 147th Streets. Bradhurst was known as a friend to both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. In an attempt to keep the two from dueling, Bradhurst challenged Burr to a duel, but both Bradhurst and Burr escaped unscathed.

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Historic, but not famous

Major-General Jacob Morton (1756–1837) was the marshal for the First inauguration of George Washington. When it was found that no bible was available, Morton retrieved the Lodge Bible from St. John’s Lodge where he was the Worshipful Master.

Morton served as New York City Comptroller from 1807 to 1808. Morton was also later clerk for the New York City Common Council. Morton was an active Freemason, and was the Grand Master of Grand Lodge of New York from 1801–04. The Grand Lodge of New York established an award named for Morton known as the Jacob Morton Award, given to Masons or Masonic Organizations that have demonstrated exceptional voluntary service to their community.  

Morton was promoted to brigadier-general in 1804. The Brigade he commanded was known as “Morton’s Brigade of Artillery,” which was the precursor for the Seventh Regiment of New York. As Major-General, Morton led the New York Militia during the War of 1812

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