Kingston in Ulster County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Radical Idea: Government by the People
Senate House State Historic Site
Consider the sacrifices made by ordinary citizens like Abraham van Gaasbeck, who risked his life, family, and property, when he offered his modest stone house as a meeting place for the first New York State Senate in September 1777. Would you have done the same to support America’s fight for freedom?
New York State’s fledgling government, along with Kingston’s civilian population, had to flee the city as the British advanced north from New York City, destroying Hudson Valley homes en route. The British landed in Kingston on October 16, 1777, and burned most of the city. Van Gaasbeek’s house stands as a testament to Kingston’s citizens who were determined to rebuild after the fire and committed to establishing an independent republic.
Today, while visiting Kingston’s museums, shops, and restaurants, follow the Kingston 1777 Trail or tour the city’s historic neighborhoods and discover over four centuries of history and architecture.
Purchase your tickets
and start your tour at the Museum.
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Albany 19, October
With unexampled cruelty, you have reduced the fine village of Kingston to ashes, and most of the wretched inhabitants to ruins. I am also informed, you continue to ravage and burn all before you on both sides of the river . . . Other Generals . . . are now by the fortune of war in my hands; their fortune may one day be yours when, Sir, it may not be in the power of any thing human to save you from the just vengeance of an injured people.
Portion of a letter written by American General Horatio Gates to British General John Vaughn after the burning of Kingston.
Location. 41° 56.077′ N, 74° 1.106′ W. Marker is in Kingston, New York, in Ulster County. Marker is on Clinton Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located in the parking lot at the Senate House State Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kingston NY 12401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Senate House (here, next to this marker); The Loughran House (within shouting distance of this marker); A Community Attic (within shouting distance of this marker); The Evolution of the Senate House (within shouting distance of this marker); Senate House Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Senate House (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Stockade 1658 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Stockade Historic District (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kingston.
More about this marker. A photo of the Senate House appears in the center of the marker. The right side of the marker contains a map of the Senate House State Historic Site area, showing the location of the marker and of the Senate House, Museum and Loughran House.
Also see . . .
1. Senate House State Historic Site. New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation website. (Submitted on July 13, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Senate House. National Park Service website. (Submitted on July 13, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Revolutionary •
More. Search the internet for A Radical Idea: Government by the People.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 13, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 291 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 13, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.