Saturday, September 21, 2019

Annatje Quackenbos - Never A Bad Day

The following reference to Annatje Quackenbos Lansing occurs in Mr. Hawley's Memoir of Col. Henry Quackenbush: Mrs. Anna, or Annatje, Lansing as she was christened, was the oldest daughter of Col. Hendrick Quackenbush of Albany, and Margarita Oothout of New York, a family descent on both sides from Holland, and in either city is there anymore respectable.

And in her case especially, blood told. I am sure her granddaughters, Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Van Santvoord, and Mrs. Freeman will bear me out in that. They will remember with what dignity she always met the duties of life, enjoying what it gave her of its good, and when reverses came, meeting them bravely and cheerfully, and they will recall, with loving memories, the sweet composure, the gentle face, and the tender affection with which she always received us, when we went to see her.

At that time she resided in the old mansion, on the corner of Broadway and Quackenbush Street [Albany] and usually received us in the rear sitting room, and as she appeared one day she appeared always — the black silk dress, the frilled cap, the lace around the neck, the white kerchief folded across the breast and fastened in front with an antique brooch. It is all before my eyes as if printed on the air. Yes! just as she was then I can see her now, seated in a low sewing chair and knitting stockings for some of us children, while she told us of her father, of incidents of the Revolution, when the city was surrounded with palisades, which perhaps you do not know, crossed Broadway (then Market Street) about half way between Quackenbush and Orange streets; of how the Indians appeared, when bands of them in their war paint and shouting the fearful war whoop, passed the city on their way to join Gates in the North, and more than all, of the terror and confusion in every household, when, hearing that Burgoyne was advancing upon Albany, the people loaded batteaux with their most precious goods to escape by the river, and of the relief when a second messenger from the army brought the news that instead of being defeated, our army had won a victory, and Burgoyne had surrendered.

Nor must I forget, what impressed me even as a boy, that grandma was never apart from, but always of, the company in which she was. With young and old it was always the same. To both ages she was equally agreeable, and it is easy to perceive why. There was never any gloom in her face, nor irritation in her manner.

God bless her memory to her descendants, and ever keep before them the lessons of her life, as a worthy expression of the obligation beneath the beauty in the chivalrous French saying, " noblesse oblige." Annatje Quackenbush died in 1852.

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