Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Wouter Quackenboss, In Defense Of Liberty

Wouter (Walter) Quackenboss, son of Johannes was born in New York on August 29, 1732. He married in New York on October 27, 1757 to Sophia Roorbach. The couple had the following children: Johannes, born Oct. 27, 1758; Sophia born January. 6, 1760; Johannes, baptized October. 18, 1761; Garret, baptized September. 25, 1763; Margrietje baptized December 1 , 1765; Cornelia, baptized September 17, 1767; Maria baptized April 28, 1769; Anna baptized September. 29, 1771.

Wouter or Walter Quackenboss, of New York City, was an ardent " Son of Liberty " and figured conspicuously in the defense of the Liberty Pole, which had been set up on the Common to commemorate the repeal of the Stamp Act. Many attempts on the part of the British troops to destroy this emblem of liberty had been thwarted by the " Sons," which so irritated the British that they caused a scurrilous placard to be printed and posted in public places, assailing the " Liberty Boys" individually and collectively. Referring to this incident the "New York Journal and Advertiser" of March 1, 1770, relates the following:

Mr. Isaac Sears and Mr. Walter Quackenboss, seeing five or six soldiers going toward the Fly Market, concluded they were going to put up some of the above papers. Upon the former's coming to the market, they made up to the soldiers and found them as they had conjectured, pasting up one of the papers. Mr. Sears seized the soldier that was fixing the paper, by the collar, and asked him what business he had to put up libels against the inhabitants, and that he would carry him before the Mayor. Mr. Quackenboss took hold of the one that had the papers on his arm. A soldier standing to the right of Mr. Sears drew his bayonet, upon which the latter took up a ram's horn and threw it at the former, which struck him on the head and then the soldiers, except the two that were seized, made off and alarmed others at the Barracks.

A fight between the soldiers and the inhabitants resulted which drew blood and lasted all that day (Jan. 19, 1770, and not Jan. 18, as appears on the tablets and in the various histories) and part of the next, during which one man was killed and several wounded. This fight is known to history as the " Battle of Golden Hill," and is commemorated by two bronze tablets, placed near the site of Golden Hill (John Street, near William) because it occasioned the first bloodshed of the Revolution. It thus appears that Walter Quackenboss and Isaac Sears struck the first blows in the first battle for Independence. Wouter Quackenboss resided in New York City, where he died August 5, 1785.

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