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Old Landmarks About Warwick Town Part 3 — 3 Comments

  1. The third final chain across the Hudson following 2 failed attempts was built by Noble, Townsend & Company’s Sterling Iron Works, run by Peter Townsend who was known to be capable of quality work and also capable of filling such a large order in a hurry. In early February Townsend signed a contract agreeing to supply, “…before the first day of April next …an iron chain…in length five hundred yards, each link about two feet long, to be made of the best sterling iron, two inches and one quarter square, or as near thereto as possible, with a swivel to every hundred feet, and a clevis to every thousand weight [1000 pounds]….” It was a stupendous order requiring over 750 chain links, eight swivels and 80 clevises plus anchors, staples and other hardware. Townsend and his men worked day and night to complete the successful chain, a few links of which are on display at West Point above the spot that the chain had been anchored. My Grandmother, Laura Benedict Ayers was descendant from Peter Townsend. Also, Peter’s first cousin, Robert Townsend, was an important member of George Washington’s secret 6 spy ring, the Culper Ring. Robert Townsend name in the spy ring was Samuel Culper, Jr. The Culpers, among other things, provided George Washington with the information that the British were planning to attack at Yorktown, which enabled Washington to plan for and defeat the British there, thus ending the Revolutionary War. The cousins working independently each had an important role to play in the American Revolution.

    • Hi Jill,

      thank you for the information on your ancestors and their part in the Revolution. What immediately caught my eye was the Townsend surname. My great, great, grandmother, Phoebe Bronson, (Warwick born and raised) had a daughter when she was just 16, on Feb 15, 1875.

      She named her Hannah Townsend Bronson. On Hannah’s birth record, the father is listed as William Bronson, (not likely) yet in her death obit (July 10, 1953) it states that her father was a William Clark. I suspect that the Townsend as a middle name is some how connected to her birth father but I have not been able to learn anything further. Still, I always put this info out there as you never know who may be able to help.

      Interestingly, I, too, am connected to a Washington Spy Ring participant, as I am a descendant of the Setaukut, NY Woodhull family. with Richard Woodhull being a direct ancestor of mine. This Richard would have been the Spymaster Abraham Woodull’s great grandfather & my ninth.

      Although I have not yet seen much of my ancestors’ names in many written works, it is still a thrill to read about the town and life at the time in Warwick during the time in history when my ancestors themselves lived there. Thanks again – Kim England McGuirk, Cornwall on Hudson, NY

  2. The above quote about the contract as well as the details about the chain is from ‘The Journal of the American Revolution’ and was written by Hugh T. Harrington.

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