Eagle Archives, March 8, 1941: Berkshire sentiment was excessive 165 years in the past too, pages of historical past reveal | Historical past

Simply 165 years in the past, on the eve of the Revolution, sentiment on this nation, for and in opposition to, was even increased than it’s immediately. Berkshire historical past reveals that at the very least one of many county’s best-known residents got here right here as an “appeasement” exile from New York in 1775. He was Henry Van Schaak, a Kinderhook native and ardent loyalist.

He had emigrated to Albany in his youth and by 1757 had turn into a rich service provider. He had been appointed postmaster. When the stamp regulation was handed, a rumor circulated that he was planning to use to be appointed as a stamp distributor in addition to a postmaster. Consequently, a mob of Albanians stormed his home, “destroying the balcony, home windows and furnishings.” Quickly after, he returned to Kinderhook.

Earlier than his exile within the Berkshires, Mr. Van Schaak introduced his candidacy for the Continental Congress. He launched himself as a Kinderhook loyalist, espousing this platform:

“The dispute with the motherland has been performed out with an excessive amount of acrimony – no again door has been left open to reconciliation – and there’s an excessive amount of motive to consider that many individuals wish to do away with their habit to with regard to Nice Britain. The individuals have come to this passage that they don’t think about the qualities of a king as a result of he won’t have a king. Britain will convey us down, regardless of all we are able to do.

Just like the non-interventionists of immediately, the patriotism of Mr. Van Schaak doesn’t appear to be known as into query. However, though considered as a loving citizen of a rustic who feared that solely the colonies could be humiliated by the facility of England, conspiracy commissioners compelled him to retreat to Massachusetts whereas the wrestle in Congress continued. He lived for a number of months in Richmond and Stockbridge earlier than settling in Pittsfield. When his ban was revoked, he wrote to Basic Sherman:

“I’m so completely happy with the mores, customs and legal guidelines of this Commonwealth that I might not commerce them for some other I do know on the earth.” He was so proud of the exile which introduced him to the Berkshires that Mr. Van Schaak turned a citizen of the State after the conflict. In 1781, he constructed his everlasting residence there. Remembering the Albany incident, definitely, the partitions have been solidly clad in brick. It was identified for years because the best-built home on the town. Named Broadhall by the builder due to its 21-foot-wide central hallway, the construction is now house to the Pittsfield Nation Membership.

This story inside historical past is chosen from the archives of Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

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