Monday, September 9, 2019

Wyntje Quackenbosch - Fearless Messenger For General George Washington

Abraham Mabie was born December 28, 1731 in Orangetown (Now Tappan), Orange County, New York. He died in Orangetown in 1805. He was a Private in Captain Blaulevt’s Company, Rockland Company Militia, and in Captain Hags Regiment. His second wife was Wyntje Quackenbosch (Quackenbush), born November 21, 1742. Wyntje married Abraham on May 5, 1773 in Harleem, New York. Wyntje’s husband, Abraham was serving under General Anthony Wayne during the storming of Stony Point in July 1779.

Wyntje served as a messenger for General Washington during the Revolutionary War. In November of 1776 she rode by horse from her farm in Orangetown (Tappan), New York to Fort Lee, New Jersey, then using a rowboat, rowed herself across the Hudson River to retrieve papers from Washington’s former headquarters at the Roger Morris House (Morris-Jumel Mansion). She then rowed back across the Hudson River and delivered the papers to General Washington at his new headquarters in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The documents contained names of volunteer troop replacements and suppliers which allowed General Washington to quickly restore his defenses after having his army reduced to 6,000 troops in just a few short months after the British invaded New York City in August 1776. The documents aided General Washington in his first major victory at Trenton in December 1776.

Robert Quackenbush, the noted author and illustrator of over 150 books for young readers is a direct descendant of Wyntje Quackenbosch. One of Robert’s books is called “Daughter of Liberty” and is based on the above story of his great, great, great, great Aunt Wyntje. Robert stated, “For me, writing Wyn Mabie’s story meant verifying through research a story that had been passed down in my family since the Revolutionary War. Then I linked the details of her mission with precise events and the time they occurred.

This research took nearly twenty years to complete before I wrote and illustrated the finished book, which took one year. My purpose for creating Daughter of Liberty was to confirm a life that had become a legend, by restoring Wyn Mabie and her heroism to the book of life.”

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