Ebenezer Foote

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Ebenezer Foote, a portrait in the Delaware County District Courthouse, Delhi, New York.

Contents

Biography

Published Records

Katherine Adelia Foote. Ebenezer Foote, the Founder: Being an Epistolary Light on His Time as Shed by Letters from His Files, Delaware Express Company, 1927

Letters and Papers of Ebenezer Foote; 1795–1799

Letters and other written materials concerning the Foote Family can be read, here. A small number of Foote family letters and papers were stored in a trunk belonging to R.W. Foote, which mainly held his letters and epaulets, etc. An additional trunk contained additional papers of Rensselaer's father, Charles A. Foote, his brother in law, Charles Marvine, some papers and clippings of Margaret Maxwell Marvin and Isaac Horton Maynard, and others of the family, along with the genealogical papers of Catherine Adelia Foote, assembled by her in the early twentieth century. There are newspaper clippings, business receipts and even a Masonic apron in these papers, but in general, the bulk concerns family matters. A number of papers and significant autographs connected to both Ebenezer and Charles Augustus Foote were sold at auction in the 1940s by Frances Maynard Ford. Most of these are in the manuscript department of the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., but other letters reside at depositories around the Eastern U.S., especially Princeton University, the University of Virginia, Yale, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, and even in Detroit and Florida. Due to their quantity, it is beyond my ability, or desire, to transcribe all of these papers. Pertinent papers and citations from other sources, will be transcribed and put on this website, as a kind of primary source portrait of this family. As additional relevant papers come to light, they will be transcribed here. Many of these letters, before they went out of the family, were transcribed by Katherine Adelia Foote in her book about her grandfather, Ebenezer Foote, the Founder. See also:

Foote Family Papers, 1800–1819

Foote Family Papers, 1820–1861

Memoirs; the Autobiographical Writings of Ebenezer Foote

Bibliography of Foote Family Sources

Arbor Hill

"It is a certainty that Major Foote had the esteem and respect of the public at large to such an extent as few men of his time could boast of. “Arbor Hill” was another word for hospitality and its guest over a period of years number many of the famous men and women of that age. The Van Rensselaers and the Livingstons were friends of the Foote family. General Schuyler, with whom Major Foote had formed a friendship while in the army, came on different occasions to visit at “Arbor Hill.” Martin Van Buren, already famous as a lawyer and state politician and beginning to be known nationally, was another who was entertained by Major Foote. DeWitt Clinton, the brilliant young statesman,destined to have his name permanently fixed in the annals of this country as the builder of the Erie Canal, was a guest of the Major’s. Aaron Burr, one of history’s most tragic figures, crossed the threshold of “Arbor Hill” on at least one occasion."
  • Floyd H. Lincoln, Arbor Hill... 1925.

His residence at Arbor Hill three miles below the village, still remains in its pristine beauty of location and finish"

http://www.dcnyhistory.org/books/mundel.html

Judge Foote was born 12 Apr 1756, in Connecticut. He enlisted in the United States service early in the Revolutionary war, and was a faithful soldier. He was in the battle of Bunker Hill, suffered at Valley Forge, was taken prisoner of war and confined in New York, and only escaped by swimming one of the rivers bounding the city. He was appointed to the rank of major for his meritorious conduct. After the war he was a merchant in Newburgh. He was a member of the Legislature in 1796 and 1797, when Delaware county was formed, and was active in bringing about its formation. He was made its first county clerk by appointment, filled the first offices of his town, was judge of the Court of Common Pleas, was in the State Senate from the old "middle district" four years, and sat in the council of appointment with Governor Jay and other notables. He removed to Delhi in 1797, and at once commenced the erection of his residence at Arbor Hill three miles below the village, which still remains in its pristine beauty of location and finish.

http://www.dcnyhistory.org/books/gould9.html

Genealogy

Ebenezer Foote,6 (Daniel,5 Nathaniel,4,3,2,1)

Ebenezer Foote was born 12 April, 1756 [f.f.pp., Foot Fam;1;93, Delh;gs] at Colchester, Connecticut. to Daniel Foote and Margaret Parsons [“Ebenezer Foote Born on Monday 12th April, 1756” |Foote Fam. Rec].

He died "suddenly" at Delhi, New York 28 Dec., 1829 [Foot Fam;1;93]; buried at the family cemetery at Arbor Hill, in Delhi, [Foote Family Record;1, John D. Clarke, Congressman Thirty-fourth District, 1921–1925, Arbor Hill, 1797–1925, with pl. Reprinted from an article by Floyd H. Lincoln and published in “The Walton Reporter,” June 6, 1925.]

Ebenezer Foote married at Yorktown, 10 Oct., 1779 Jerusha Purdy [Foote Fam Rec, Foot Fam;1;93, EFtF;217], daughter of Abraham Purdy and Phebe Strang; she was born, probably at Rye, Westchester County, New York, 6 Dec., 1754 [Desc. Purdy;__]. Note from NYHS: “Jerusha Foote ob. 24 Nov., 1818, æ. 64 “A Dear & tender Mother.” Wh. Pub?

Children born, at Crompound and at Delhi, New York [EFtF;217]:

  1. Frederick Parsons Foote, b. 15 March, 1783 [Foot Fam;1;93, “Frederick Parsons Foote Born 15 March mcccxxxiii” |Foote Fam. Rec] He died at Livorno (Leghorn), Italy, February 3, 1827 [Foote Fam;] He married Feb 6 1808 Charlotte Welles, daughter of ___ of Kingston New York.
  2. Charles Augustus Foote, b. 15 April, 1785 [“Charles Augustus Foote Born 15 April 1785” |Foote Fam. Rec]; died at Delhi, N. Y. 1 Aug., 1828 and is buried “in the private burying ground at “Arbor Hill,” the estate of his father.” [kaf, Delhi;g.s., Bio. Dir. U.S. Cong.] He married at the Dutch Reform (Collegiate) Church, Manhattan, New York City, 1808 Maria Baldwin daughter of Jesse Baldwin and Margaretta de Hart of Manhattan [Foot Fam;1;204]. Children:
    1. Frances Foote Marvin, b. 1 Aug., 1809 [ffpp, Marv Bible]; she d. 27 July, 1891; she m. 15 Oct.,1832 Charles Marvin, son of Anthony Marvin and Abigail Paine [Marv. Fam.;378, Foote Hist;204-5]. They had one daughter:
      1. Margaret Maxwell Marvin, m. Isaac Horton Maynard
    2. Catherine Bruen Foote, b. 14 Sept., 1811 [ffpp]; died Nov., 1897; “Never married but spent her time and money on good works.” [Foote Gen.;205]
    3. Rensselaer, b. 1815. Attended West Point 1834. Enlisted US Regulars and served in Florida in 1839, on the "Trail of Tears," in the Western Territories during the 1850s. Capt. in 6th Infantry U. S. Army, Brevet Major and Acting Col. in the first battle in which he took part, and in which he was killed, Gaines' Mill, 1862.
    4. Charles A. Foote, b. 18 March, 1818; died 28 Feb., 1896 at Delhi; married 11 Sept., 1844 Adelia Johnson, daughter of ___; had one daughter, [Foote Hist;338]:
      1. Katherine (Bruen) Adelia Foote, b. 27 Sept., 1845, “Active in local affairs, and with a large social acquaintance outside Delhi. Member of D.A.R. and County Regent for a number of years. Secretary of State Charities Aid for 25 years. Secretary for Columbia Exposition, etc.” [Foote Hist;338]. She was an editor of a book, mainly letters on her gr. grandfather, Ebenezer Foote, she lived Delhi, visited Manhattan every season for Grand Opera during which time she would stay in a hotel just around the corner from the old Opera House [jpf;90]; 2) Charles Augustus, 3rd, b. Feb., 1862, d. Feb., 1862 [ibid.];
    5. James Bruen Foote, 16 April, 1821; he died 13 May, 1910 [ffpp, kaf, not listed in Abram Foote].
  3. Harriet Foote, b. 9 Nov., 1787 [Foote Fam. Rec;1, Foot Fam;1;94]; d. at ___; she m. John Foote, Esq. son of Judge Isaac Foote and Mary Kellogg [Foot Fam;1;198]. John Foote was an Attorney and Counsellor at Law, Solicitor and Counsellor in Chancery and District Court of the United States; d. July 1884, res. Hamilton, N.Y. Children [Foot Fam;1;199]
    1. Acsah Sophia Foote, b. 26 Oct. 1812, d. 19 Feb., 1891 [Foot Fam;1;199]
    2. Margaret Parsons Foote, b. 17 April, 1814, m. 11 Feb. 1834 William Hart Williams, son of Solomon Williams and Hepzibah Hart, he was b. Berkshire, Tioga county N.Y., 10 Dec., 1811 [Foot Fam;1;199]
    3. John Johnson Foote, b. 11 Feb., 1816, m. Mary Crocker [Foot Fam;1;199]
    4. Mary Foote, b. ___ “d. in infancy” [Foot Fam;1;199]
    5. Mary Kellogg Foote, b. 3 Jan., 1819
    6. Caroline Della Foote, b. 26 Aug., 1820, m. John Mitchell, Norwich, N.Y. [Foot Fam;1;199]
    7. Susan Foote, b. 2 April, 1822 m. 19 Aug., 1848 Rev. David A. Peck, Clifton Park, N.Y. [Foot Fam;1;199]
    8. William Johnson Foote, b. ___, d. æ. 3 [Foot Fam;1;199]
    9. Dr. Henry Cady Foote, b. 28 Aug., 1825, m. Ann Elizabeth McKee, daughter of ___, res. Galesburg, Ill. [Foot Fam;1;199]
    10. Frederick William Foote, b. 9 Aug., 1827, m. Esther Young.
    11. George W. Foote, b. 4 July, 1829, m. Harriet Morton [Foot Fam;1;199]
  4. Margaret Parsons Foote, b. 9 March, 1790 [Foote Fam. Rec;1]; she died 1840 [Foot Fam;1;95]; she married Rev. Ebenezer Maxwell, son of ___ Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Delhi, N.Y.; he d. July, 1840 [Foot Fam;1;95]. Children, [Foot Fam;1;199]
    1. Ebenezer Foote Maxwell, b. ___; he lives in Delhi, on the place which belonged to his Grandfather Foote, and on which he died [Foote Fam;1;95].

Jerusha Purdy Foote died at Delhi, N.Y., Nov., 1818. [Delhi;d.r.?, g.s., “1818” |Foot Fam;1;93]. Ebenezer Foote married, 2d, 1818 Matilda Rosencranz (Halsey) [Foot Fam;1;93]. Said to be living in Illinois, 1849 [Goodwin].

  • References: All of Ebenezer and Jerusha's children are listed in Foote Family by Abram Foote, except James Bruen Foote. His name was added in pencil, prob. Katherine Adelia Foote, in the family's copy of this book, and he also figures quite prominently in Foote Family records and letters in various collections, Delaware County Historical Association, Main Street Museum and Princeton University. Ebenezer's Will and Inventory are filed in both Delaware County Records and Princeton University, Manuscripts and Archives, Box 12, folder 11.

His Extended Family

Eli Foote

Hannah Foote, daughter of Daniel Foote of Williamstown, Massachusetts, and niece of Ebenezer Foote, married Judge Elijah Miller

Frances Adeline Miller Seward (1805 – June 21, 1865) was born in 1805, the daughter of Judge Elijah Miller and Hannah Foote Miller. (She was the second cousin to Charles A. Foote.) She married New York attorney William Henry Seward on October 20, 1824. In his lifetime, William served as a senator in the New York legislature, Governor of New York, a senator from New York and United States Secretary of State under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Will and Inventory of Ebenezer Foote, filed Delaware County, 7 May, 1830:

"To Matilda Foote, widow of Eben deceased, Harriet F. Byran, Ebenezer K Maxwell, and Margaret P. Maxwell, Harriet F. Bryan Guardian of Frances Foote, Catherine B. Foote Renseller W. Foote, Charles Foote, and James B Foote, the minor children of Charles A Foote, and Ebenezer K Maxwell, guardian of Margaret B. Foote, the minor child of Frederick P. Foote. “we shall on Saturday, the twenty second day of May instant apply to the surrogate of the County of Delaware, wheresoever his Court shall then be held at 10 o’clock on the forenoon. to take the proof of and record the last will and testament of Ebenezer Foote."

Early Life

Sealing wax impression from the Foote family signet ring.

JUDGE EBENEZER FOOTE.* (*We are Indebted for the facts embodied in this sketch to a memorial volume concerning Samuel E. Foote in which there is an appendix giving the principal events in the life of Ebenezer Foote; also to an obituary notice by General Henry Leavenworth printed in the Delaware Gazette December 28, 1829, and to memoranda furnished by Miss Foote of Delhi, the great-great-grandaughter of Judge Foote).

Judge Foote was born April 12, 1756, in Colchester, Connecticut. He was the son of Daniel Foote and the brother of Eli Foote whose daughter Roxana married Rev. Lyman Beecher and was the mother of Henry Ward Beecher, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others of that talented family. Some of the Foote family espoused the loyalist cause in the Revolutionary war; but Ebenezer was an ardent patriot, and when the first guns were fired be, with several other young men, fled from, home without his father's permission and joined the patriotic troops near Boston. He was present at the battle of Bunker Hill and served continuously until the close of the war. For his bravery and efficiency he was promoted from the ranks in which he enlisted to the position of Major. He attracted the attention of Washington and was by him assigned to staff duty.

He had the misfortune to be taken captive during the war, and was confined with many others in the Bridewell prison in New York city. Along with a number of others he formed a plan to escape. They managed to elude their guards and found themselves in the country near where Chambers street now is. They made their way to the Hudson river with the intention of crossing it to New Jersey. They found an old leaky boat, but they were unable to make it sufficiently safe. All the other fugitives then took to the land and tried to make their way through the hostile sentinels to the country north of them. But Foote found a plank and with it undertook to swim the Hudson. It was in the month of December and the water was piteously cold. He succeeded, however, in escaping the patrolling vessels, and in making his way to the other side. He landed at Hoboken where he found shelter and dry clothes. He escaped, but he never recovered wholly from the effects of this terrible exposure.

Major Foote from his rank in the Revolutionary army became a member of the Order of Cincinnati, and up to the time of his death took great pleasure in joining his comrades on the fourth of July to celebrate the achievement of American independence. At the close of the war he only possessed the back pay which was due to him for his services. Part of this was paid to him in money; and a part was liquidated by a grant of unsettled land on the West branch of the Delaware river. He entrusted the certificate of his army pay to an agent for collection and this precious rascal defrauded him out of the whole. He had married in 1779 Jerusha Purdy, a member of the Westchester family of that name. Her property also had been mostly destroyed by the British troops in their incursions into the regions north of New York.

Major Foote had, therefore, to commence life anew. He started in a mercantile career at Newburgh which was then in Ulster county. In this he must have been more or less successful; for we find that several times he was chosen to represent the county in the State Legislature. He is recorded as having been in the Assembly in 1792, 1794, 1796 and 1797. It was during this latter year that the bill for the erection of Delaware county was under discussion, and Major Foote took an active part in perfecting and securing the passage of the measure. He served as Senator from the Middle District during the years 1798-1802. In 1799 he was chosen to serve as a member of the Council of Appointment under Governor John Jay.

On the establishment of the new county he was appointed by the Governor the county clerk, and immediately removed thither to assume his duties. At this time it must be remembered that there was no village of Delhi. There were two sites which were looked upon as likely to become the location of the proposed county buildings. One of these was at the mouth of Elk Creek on the grounds of Gideon Frisbee. Here already the first meeting of the board of supervisors had been held and the county court had held its first session. The other was the extensive flat at the mouth of the Little Delaware. There is a tradition that some of the early county meetings and courts were held in the latter locality at the house of Mr. Leal. It was near this beautiful intervale that the land lay which had been granted to Major Foote for his military services; and it was near this on the south that he selected a site and built a residence for himself. The building is still standing but has passed out of the possession of his descendants.

Mr. Foote served as county clerk until 1801 when he was succeeded by Philip Gebhard. He was not only the clerk of the board of supervisors, but also the clerk of the courts held in the county and the custodian of their records. In 1810 he was appointed by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins as county judge for a term of six years. Subsequently in 1828 he was again appointed to the same office which he held until his death in 1829 at the age of seventy-four.

No citizen of Delaware has ever enjoyed a more distinguished circle of acquaintance. He knew and corresponded with the most active political managers of the day, and many of them were his guests at Arbor Hill. We may mention a few from whom letters are still preserved by his descendants: The Patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer, Hon. Elisha Williams, Governor Morgan Lewis, General Schuyler, the Livingstons, Cadwalader Colden, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, Philip Van Courtlandt, Martin Van Buren, John Jay, DeWitt Clinton, Aaron Burr, etc. Catherine Livingston writes to him regretting not having seen him, and would like to sell him a young slave girl, as she has more than she can afford to keep.

We have already stated that he married in 1779 Jerusha Purdy. He had four children, viz: Frederick Parsons, Charles Augustus, Harriet, and Margaret. Frederick served as general in the war of 1812 and died in Leghorn, Italy, in 1827. His second son Charles Augustus, was a lawyer and filled many local offices. He was a member of congress in 1824, but died soon after, aged forty. His eldest son was a graduate of West Point, served with distinction in the Seminole War and finally was killed in the battle at Gaines' Mills in 1862. The second son of Charles Augustus Foote was Charles A. Foote of Delhi, who died in 1896, and who will be remembered by many friends still living. He was born in 1818 and being left an orphan he was obliged to care for himself. When twenty-one years of age he commenced business and continued in it till his death. During these many years he maintained a character of spotless integrity. He held many positions of public trust. He was treasurer of Delaware county for nine years from 1861 to 1870. He served as treasurer of the village of Delhi; he was town clerk; he was a trustee of the Delaware Academy, and a director of the National Bank. In all these positions he discharged his trusts with unswerving fidelity.

A miniature was, probably, made from the portrait, now hanging in the Delaware County District Court. Current location unknown. See

Swam the Hudson River in Winter... alone, or in a Group?

This was the character Judge Foote had attained at an early day in his native state. That he was a soldier in the Revolution is evidenced by the following extract from a letter written by him in the 87th year of his age, in 1832, to Hon. Elial T. Foote, and still preserved by a son of the latter, H.A. Foote, Esq., of New York, who has furnished the writer of this sketch with a copy of the same. He says: There was a mistake in the account that Rennsalaer (Foote) gives about Ebenezer's (Judge Foote 's younger brother, who was afterwards a prominent citizen of Delhi, Delaware County, where he was successively Member of Assembly, District Attorney, State Senator and County Judge,) swimming across the Hudson river in the winter. He was taken prisoner by the enemy at the evacuation of New York, I think in September (1776). I was there at the same time as a militiaman. He was taken by the Hessians in that retreat, but he got away from them and fled to the river, and he, with three others who made their escape, collected some logs and withed them together and shoved out into the river with setting poles, and the tide being going out then it wafted them toward the British shipping. Some people from the Jersey side seeing their condition manned a boat and went out and took them across to the Jersey side, and the next day they crossed back again and came into camp where I was." No further evidence than this is needed of the fact that he was a patriot soldier in the stormy days of the Revolution. [Foote History;84-5]

"He became a volunteer in the Revolution at the first beat of the drum."

In 1798, the new town was erected which contained the county seat. There was some dispute as to what should be the name of the new township: General Root and others proposed calling it Mapleton, while Judge Foote and his associates wished to call it Delhi, which name finally prevailed. An anecdote is told of General (Erastus) Root, who was at that time young, but possessing the same impulsive, ardent, fearless disposition, which so conspicuously marked his after life, that when the decision was announced of calling it Delhi, he expressed himself in the following words to Mr. Foote, or some of his associates; "Delhi, hell-high—better call it Foote-high!" It is hardly necessary, and perhaps out of place to predict, that were the choice now to be made, Mapleton would be the decision—Delhi being rejected, from its known Hindoo origin.

We are indebted to a highly respectable correspondent for the following biographical sketch of the life of the late Judge Foote—a life covering more than half a century of the most interesting period of our country—full of incident and usefulness, which affords abundant matter, would our limits permit, for a more enlarged notice.

"Honorable Ebenezer Foote died at his residence at Delhi, on the 28th, (1818,) at the advanced age of seventy-four. Few men have been called to act as many parts in the drama of human life as the subject of this notice, or have sustained themselves as well. Judge Foote became a volunteer in the Revolution at the first beat of the drum, and continued as an intrepid soldier and active officer, until near the time of disbanding the army, in 1783. He participated in the toils and danger of the battle of Bunker's-hill, and shared in the privations and sufferings of his fellow soldiers at Valley Forge. He escaped from the enemy by swimming the Hudson River, near New York, in December, 1777. The vigilance and ability of young Foote did not escape the observation of the commander-in-chief, from whom he received an appointment in the staff department, and finally left the army in the rank of major.

His conduct during the war, won for him the badges of the order of Cincinnati, of which society he was an active member until his death; and perhaps no event of the latter part of his life afforded him more pleasure, than on the 4th of July in each revolving year, joining this little band, the remnant of his Revolutionary compeers, in celebrating the independence which they contributed to achieve.

"At the close of the war, Major Foote had little left but his title and his friends; of the former he was tenacious, and to the latter he was true. He commenced the dull round of his civil life by embarking in mercantile business, in Ulster county, in which he continued with varied success, until 1797; when, upon the organization of this county, he was appointed its clerk, and shortly afterward came to reside upon the spot where his remains are now deposited.

"Judge Foote was a member of Assembly several years, from the county of Ulster; represented the old Middle District four years in the Senate of this State; sat in the Council of Appointment with Governor Jay, and enjoyed his confidence. Upon the resignation of Judge Brett, in 1810, Mr. Foote was appointed to fill the vacancy of first judge of this county, and has ever since remained a distinguished member of the Common Pleas bench.

"Mr. Foote having been identified with party politics in 1800, fell a victim to its retribution when at its utmost height, in 1801, and was deprived of the office of clerk, upon which he relied for the support of himself and family. This event, connected with an indiscreet selection of a successor, gave rise to considerable newspaper discussion of the day, and as the case gained publicity, it secured to Mr. Foote friends who soon obtained for him an extensive and profitable land agency, which he retained during his life. Without advantages of an early education, Judge Foote nevertheless possessed a liberal share of literary attainments. To an original and strong mind, he united peculiar amenity of manners, a high sense of moral propriety, and unyielding integrity."

"He was one of those gentlemen said to be "of the old school," because their bearing and manner were more refined than "modern degeneracy" requires." Memoirs of Samuel E. Foote, by his son, John Parsons Foote, Hartford, 1860, Appendix II, p. 321.

Although the relatives of Eli Foote were of different political and religious opinions from those which he adopted, and all his brothers were active patriots and opponents of the Royal cause, yet their brotherly love was not impaired by the political condition of their country.

Ebenezer Foote, the fourth of the brothers, imbibed the patriotic ardor of the times with all the vigor of youthful enthusiasms, and became one of a party of similar enthusiasts, all minors, who left their parents, guardians and masters, without staying to obtain leave; determined to show themselves men in action and patriotism if not in law. They took part in the battle of Bunker Hill, some of them wearing the "goodly leather aprons" appropriate to the employment which they left.

He remained in his country's service during the war, and attained the rank of major, which he held at its termination.

The whole of his pay he lost by the dishonesty of the man with whom he entrusted the certificate of the amount to which he was entitled.

He married during the progress of the war, and in addition to his other losses, sustained that of the chief property of his wife, by the depredations of the skinners, tories and out-laws, on the border region of New York.

His labors, services and sacrifices in the service of his country did not protect him from the denunciations of the Democratic party, by whom nearly all of those disinterested and patriotic officers who were his associates, and who adhered to the party of Washington, were stigmatized as tories; an exemplification of party violence not excelled by that of any subsequent period of our political history.

The following communication, published in the New York Commercial of January 7th 1830, gives an account of some of the sufferings which he shared, with many other American prisoners in New York, and which few of them survived.

"In your last obituary you take notice of the death of Ebenezer Foote, formerly a first Judge of Delaware County. He was a man of excellent character, and a great good sense, and was in the literal sense of the expression, a Revolutionary Patriot. I was intimate with him, and have heard him frequently relate the following incident of his life:

"He was taken prisoner by the British at the capture of Fort Washington, on York Island, in November, 1776 and was put in close confinement in the building now called the Bridewell, in this city. The severity of the confinement induced him, and eight or ten of his companions, to attempt an escape. They succeeded in the night in getting out undiscovered, in the rear of the building, and were then in the fields in that part of the city lying north of Chamber street. The made the best of their way to the Hudson river at Greenwich, and adroitly eluded all the sentinels. After running up and down the shore they found a crazy boat, and attempted to embark in it, but too old and leaky to be navigable, and the others went up the Island, and were most of them retaken. Mr. Foote found a plank, and determined to cross the river by swimming, though it was in the month of December. It was a most dangerous and distressing attempt. He was several hours in the water, and passed undiscovered a British ship of war that was lying at anchor in the river. He was floated down by the tide below Hoboken, and when he landed on the Jersey shore, was not able to stand, and it was near day light.

He was enabled after a while to crawl up to a house, where he got refreshed, and completed his escape, but his constitution received a shock from which it never recovered; and this desperate effort enfeebled his health through life. He was however, permitted by Providence to enjoy the blessings of prosperity and universal esteem, through a long and busy life: and I recall to mind his beautiful mansion on the bank of the Western branch of the Delaware, in the midst of romantic and wild scenery; and his warm hearted and hospitable reception of his friends, with mingled emotions of tenderness and respect."

A brief memoir of Ebenezer Foote, by his friend Gen Leavenworth, was published soon after his death, in a St. Louis paper. It was a well written article, honorable alike to the writer and the subject.

His nephew, Samuel E., he spoke of and introduced to his friends as his son so frequently that, at length, he apparently forgot their real relationship.

He was one of those gentlemen said to be "of the old school," because their bearing and manner were more refined than "modern degeneracy" requires.

He was many years a leading politician in the State of New York; and had been speaker of the House Assembly, Senator, member of the Council of Appointment, and chief Judge in the county in which he lived.

In the violent party struggles of his time he had been warmly engaged, and consequently had many bitter enemies among those of the opposite party. To these, however, he became reconciled, and the leaders of the Democratic party—such men as De Witt Clinton, Judge Ambrose Spencer, (with whom, in the early period of their political career, he had carried on a war of pamphlets, marked on each side, by the bitterness which characterized political publications generally at that time;) Morgan Lewis, the Livingstones, and other gentlemen of the old school, were always his guests when visiting that part of the country in which he resided. In a more advanced period of life, it was pleasing to hear such men speak of him with warm and friendly feelings, contrasting very strongly with the party bitterness at an earlier period.

We are apt at the present time to imagine that the rancor and virulence of party spirit have increased to such a point as to threaten civil war, and dissolution of the Union; but the danger from this cause in the days our Fathers was more apparent. Time had not then cemented the Union, and they had not had sufficient experience of the curative influence of the ballot box upon political diseases.

"Major Foote from his rank in the Revolutionary army became a member of the Order of Cincinnati, aud up to the time of his death took great pleasure in joining his comrades on the fourth of July" David Murray, Delaware County, History of the Century. Delhi, 1898, "Biographical Sketches, Judge Ebenezer Foote"

Judge Foote was born April 12, 175(), in Colchester, Connecticut. He was the son of Daniel Foote and the brother of Eli Foote whose daughter Roxana married Rev. Lyman Beecher and was the mother of Henry Ward Beecher, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others of that talented family. Some of the Foote family espoused the loyalist cause in the Revolutionary war; but Ebenezer was an ardent patriot, and when the first guns were fired he, with several other young men, fled from home without his father's permission and joined the patriotic troops near Boston. He was present at the battle of Bunker Hill and served continuously until the close of the war. For his bravery and efficiency he was promoted from the ranks in which he enlisted to the position of Major. He attracted the attention of Washington and was by him assigned to staff duty.

He had the misfortune to be taken captive during the war, and was confined with many others in the Bridewell prison in New York city. Along with a number of others he formed a plan to escape. They managed to elude their guards and found themselves in the country near where Chambers street now is. They made their way to the Hudson river with the intention of crossing it to New Jersey. They found an old leaky boat, but they were unable to make it sufficiently safe. All the other fugitives then took to the land and tried to make their way through the hostile sentinels to the country north of them. But Foote found a plank and with it undertook to swim the Hudson. It was in the month of December and the water was piteously cold. He succeeded, however, in escaping the patrolling vessels, and in making his way to the other side. He landed at Hoboken where he found shelter aud dry clothes. He escaped, but he never recovered wholly from the effects of this terrible exposure.

Major Foote from his rank in the Revolutionary army became a member of the Order of Cincinnati, and up to the time of his death took great pleasure in joining his comrades on the fourth of July to celebrate the achievement of American independence.

At the close of the war he only possessed the back pay which was due to him for his services. Part of this was paid to him in money; and a part was liquidated by a grant of unsettled land on the West branch of the Delaware river. He entrusted the certificate of his army pay to an agent for collection and this precious rascal defrauded him out of the whole. He had married in 1779 Jerusha Purdy, a member of the Westchester family of that name. Her property also had been mostly destroyed by the British troops in their incursions into the regions north of New York.

Major Foote had, therefore, to commence life anew. He started in a mercantile career at Newburgh which was then in Ulster county. In this he must have been more or less successful, for we find that several times he was chosen to represent the county in the State Legislature. He is recorded as having been in the Assembly in 1792, 1794, 1796, and 1797. It was during this latter year that the bill for the erection of Delaware county was under discussion, and Major Foote took an active part in perfecting and securing the passage of the measure. He served as Senator from the Middle District during the years 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801 and 1802. In 1799 he was chosen to serve as a member of the Council of Appointment under Governor John Jay.

On the establishment of the new county he was appointed by the Governor the county clerk, and immediately removed thither to assume his duties. At this time it must be remembered that there was no village of Delhi. There were two sites which were looked upon as likely to become the location of the promised county buildings. One of these was at the mouth of Elk Creek on the grounds of Gideon Frisbee. Here already the first meeting of the board of supervisors had been held and the county court had held its first session. The other was the extensive flat at the mouth of the Little Delaware. There is a tradition that some of the early county meetings and courts were held in the latter locality at the house of Mr. Leal. It was near this beautiful intervale that the laud lay which had been granted to Major Foote for his military services; and it was near this on the south that he selected a site and built a residence for himself. The building is still standing but has passed out of the possession of his descendants.

Mr. Foote served as county clerk until 1801 when he was succeeded by Philip Gebhard. He was not only the clerk of the board of supervisors, but also the clerk of the courts held in the county and the custodian of their records.

In 1810 he was appointed by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins as county judge for a term of six years. Subsequently in 1828 he was again appointed to the same office which he held until his death in 1829 at the age of seventy-four.

No citizen of Delaware has ever enjoyed a more distinguished circle of acquaintance. He knew and corresponded with the most active political managers of the day, and many of them were his guests at Arbor Hill. We may mention a few from whom letters are still preserved by his descendants: The Patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer, Hon. Elisha Williams, Governor Morgan Lewis, General Schuyler, the Livingstons, Cadwalader Colden, Josiah Ogden Hoffmann, Phillip Van Courtlandt, Martin Van Buren, John Jay, DeWitt Clinton, Aaron Burr, etc. Catherine Livingston writes to him regretting not having seen him, and would like to sell him a young slave girl, as she has more than she can afford to keep.

We have already stated that he married in 1779 Jerusha Purdy. He had four children, viz: Frederick Parsons, Charles Augustus, Harriet, and Margaret. Frederick served as general in the war of 1812 and died in Leghorn, Italy, in 1827. His second son Charles Augustus, was a lawyer and filled many local offices. He was a member of congress in 1824, but died soon after, aged forty. His [Charles's] eldest son was a graduate of West Point, served with distinction in the Seminole War and finally was killed in the battle at Gaines' Mills in 1862. The second son of Charles Augustus Foote was Charles A. Foote of Delhi, who died in 1896, and who will be remembered by many friends still living. He was born in 1818 and being left an orphan he was obliged to care for himself. When twenty-one years of age he commenced business and continued in it till his death. During these many years he maintained a character of spotless integrity. He held many positions of public trust. He was treasurer of Delaware county for nine years — from 1851 to 1870. He served as treasurer of the village of Delhi; he was town clerk; he was a trustee of the Delaware Academy, and a director of the National Bank. In all these positions he discharged his trusts with unswerving fidelity.

  • We are indebted for the facts embodied in this sketch to a memorial volume concerning Samuel E. Foote in which there is an appendix giving the principal events in the life of Ebenezer Foote; also to an obituary notice by General Henry Leavenworth printed in the Delaware Gazette, December 28, 1829, and to memoranda furnished liy Miss Foote of Delhi, the great-great-granddaughter of Judge Foote.</blockquote>

Freemasonry in New York

Foote, Ebenezer, Steuben, Lodge 18 (Newburgh?); Senior Warden, 13 Nov 1788; Master 13 Nov 1788 (sic). Note: According to an article in The Utica Daily Observer, 14 Nov 1888, the Charter and Minute Book of Steuben Lodge No. 18 were in the possession of Hudson River Lodge No. 607 (which is now Hudson River Lodge No. 309).

While it is an undisputed fact that a warrant was issued by the Grand Lodge to Ebenezer Foote, Master of Steuben Lodge of Newburgh, to organize Courtlandt Lodge (No. 34 at Peekskill, NY, in 1793), the early years of its existence are unknown so far as any existing records give testimony, the first recorded meeting in the old minute book being dated July 10, 1800. Many items both interesting and curious appear on the pages of this old book. (1903 Grand Lodge Proceedings)

The first located lodge in Newburgh was "Steuben Lodge, No. 18." Its charter was applied for by F. A. Morris and nine others, June 5, 1788, and it was constituted Sept. 27, of that year. We have not been able to obtain any further facts in reference to its history or membership except that Ebenezer Foot(e), Levi Dodge, and Chas. Clinton, were P. M.'s in 1797. Its charter was probably surrendered soon after the commencement of the present century.

In 1806, "Hiram Lodge, No. 131," was constituted—Jonathan Fisk, M.; Chas. Baker, S. W.; John R. Drake, J. W. Its charter was surrendered in 1831. In 1842, (Sept. 7,) the charter was revived and the number changed to 92—Peter F. Hunn, M.; Minard Harris, S. W.; James Belknap, J W. It was again surrendered in 1844. In 1853, (June 11,) "Newburgh Lodge, No. 309," was constituted.

Delhi, New York, and the Naming of Delhi

"They all belonged to a small club, each member bearing some fanciful name; Senator Foote’s was 'The Great Mogul,'” Abram Foote, Foote Family, comprising the genealogy and history of Nathaniel Foote, of Wethersfield, Conn., and his descendants. 1907. 1;93:

At Nineteen Ebenezer Foote was found with the Minute Men at Bunker Hill; made sergeant of the Second Conn.; was at Trenton and Valley Forge; taken prisoner at the battle of Fort Washington, and confined to the old Bridwell, managed to escape, and by means of a plank found on the shore swam the Hudson in the month of December, but the exposure brought on a severe illness, and he never again could engage in active service. His patriotism, however, would not allow him to remain an outsider, and we next find him in the Commissary Department at General Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson, where he remained until his health again forced his resignation just before the close of the war. He saw much of Washington; was temporarily on his Staff, and retired with the rank of Major.

One of the most interesting events of his life is well related by Mr. Abbot, in his delightful work entitled “The crisis of the Revolution,” when Capt. Foote, in the early morning of Sept. 22, 1780, for a few moments held the fate of that gallant soldier, Major Andre, in his hands. As officer in command at Crompond, Capt. Foote scanned the pass produced by Andre, but knowing Benedict Arnold and his writing well, and seeing that his appended signature was correct, allowed the party to proceed.

After the war Major Foote engaged in a large mercantile and shipping business at Newburgh, N.Y., with his brother Justin, who later married Marie Evertson, whose sister had just married Governor Smith of Conn.

Major Foote, whose duties at headquarters caused him to ride much and far, had met and married the charming young Jerusha Purdy, of Yorktown, Westchester, N.Y., and from old tales and letter she appears to have remained a fascinator until her death.

Mr. Foote was for a long time Member of Assembly from Ulster, and was largely instrumental in procuring the setting off of Delaware Co., where he came to reside in Aug., 1797. He was Co. Clerk for a number of years, conducted an extensive land agency, and three times was appointed First or Presiding Judge, as well as acting for a short time as puisne on the bench. He represented the old Middle District for four years in the Senate of the State; was nominated for Congress, but other duties forced him to decline; sat in the council of Appointment with Gov. Jay, and enjoyed his friendship and confidence. (See Jay Gould’s History)

In 1798 the Co. town was erected, and Judge Foote, as chief citizen, was appointed by the Legislature to name it. Not particularly desiring the honor, he said to his intimate friends at Albany, the Patroon, Gen. Schuyler, etc., “I think I shall decline.” They all belonged to a small club, each member bearing some fanciful name; Senator Foote’s was “The Great Mogul,” and his fellow members said, “We shall name it for you, and call it after your city, ‘Delhi’,” which was done, to the great annoyance of Gen. Root, a prominent man and politician, who had also come to reside in the place, and wished much to have the privilege of giving the name.

As Speaker of the House in 1801, he gained great credit for his “dignity and courtesy.” At Delhi he assisted in organizing St. John’s Church and an Academy, which for many years enjoyed a wide reputation; of the one he was made the first Senior Warden, of the other, the first President of the Board of Trustees.

In the issue of Jan. 7, 1830, “The Commercial Advertiser,” New York City, (See Life of Samuel Foote) in an extended notice of his death, speaks of his integrity, of his prominence in the State, and of his beautiful mansion, Arbor Hill, on the banks of the Delaware, and of the long list of eminent men who enjoyed from time to time its hospitality. A man refined, honest and honorable in all his ways.

His niece, Roxanna, married Lyman Beecher, and became the mother of Henry Ward and Mrs. H.B. Stowe. A grand-niece married William Seward, Governor [of New York] and [United States] Secretary of State [during the Civil War].

“How it was Named Delhi,” History of Delaware County. p. 449:

Judge Foote, who was in the Legislature of 1796–97 from Ulster county, was instrumental in the formation of Delaware county, and was much interested, with many others, in the location of its county seat. The judge was appointed, from his earnest support of the formation of the new county, to give a name to the town so soon to be brought forth, and the clique with which he boarded and was intimate requested him to allow them to suggest a name; he consented. His nick-name was “The Great Mogul,” and they, knowing he was to reside here, suggested the name of Delhi, that being the city of the Mogul, and he, agreeable to his promise, so named it. This is the proper account, and will explain why so singular a name appears among the many that followed naturally. A former history of this county gives a ludicrous scene that occurred among other warm friends of the new county, who wished the name to be “Mapleton.” General Erastus Root, who was an impulsive gentleman, and leader of those who insisted upon the latter name, when told that the name should be Delhi, said:

“Del-hi—hell-hi! Better call it Foote high!” The name was thus given, and the town formed took rank among sister towns in the general work of the new county.

He was short and fat...

A place’s name is not the place itself, but it can be a snapshot of its history, if it’s old enough to have one — and I’m not unaware of how peculiarly American it must seem to others, to have “places” too young to have a history.
The standard local history of my hometown maintains that after a church was burnt down by a carpenter who wasn’t paid for his work, the town fathers were so embarrassed that they renamed the place in honor of a War of 1812 naval hero. The hero’s subsequent career didn’t add much to the village’s luster, but the name remains, pinning the town to the early 19th century.

Around it is a welter of places named for home by the ex-New Englanders who settled the region: Sherburne, Mt. Upton, Afton, Coventry and places with names borrowed from a vague understanding of Indian languages, like Otsego, Otego, Otsdawa, Chenango and Susquehanna.

When the interior of New York opened up after the Revolution, the state parceled out names as fast as Adam must have and the tracts given as pay to Continental Army soldiers drew a library of names from classical literature, then very much in fashion: Syracuse, Manilius (now Manlius), Clay, Cicero, Pompey, Apulia and many more. D.G. Rossiter of Ithaca posits that the names came from John Dryden's translation of Plutarch's "Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans." Whatever—The stately architecture of the region’s oldest buildings echoes the theme.

Among my favorite origin stories, though, is that of Delhi, a county seat in the northern Catskills: When the time came to give the narrow valley and the township around it a name in 1802, politicians thought to honor Judge Ebenezer Foote, a landowner and state senator known as “the great mogul” to his buddies — for wealth, but also because he was short and fat. They offered “Delhi,” it being the Indian potentate’s home.

Proponents of “Mapleton” grouched about the choice, and Erastus Root, a fellow politician who eventually became lieutenant governor (he was buried in Delhi for a while), quipped: “Dell-high, hell-high — better call it Foote-high!”

The maple lovers got Maple Grove on the East branch of the Delaware River, but Delhi became the county seat — graced by a lovely, warm-brick French Empire courthouse and the ample homes of well-to-do 19th-century lawyers — while Maple Grove remains only in the bitter memories of onetime residents; it was lost under the Pepacton reservoir.

Now, you should take origin stories with a grain of salt. They’re no more provable than Homer’s (another Upstate New York placename) tale of the Trojan Horse, but they’re just as important to the town’s identity, and you question them at your peril. "P." retrieved 6 Feb, 2011.

"Not only did she knock out the bully who killed her cat but further punished the whole crew by serving the pet in a surprise meat pie"

Delhi, (1,370 alt., 1,840 pop.) home of a State School of Agriculture, is a neat, modern town. Shortly after the Revolutionary War Ebenezer Foote was so influential locally and as a member of the State legislature that he was nicknamed 'the Great Mogul.' At the suggestions of facetious citizens the community was named after Delhi, India, the capital city of the real Great Mogul. At Delhi is the junction with State 10, which follows the valley of the West Branch of the Delaware, locally known as Cat Hollow since 1843. At that time there was a lumber camp operating in the valley that was dominated by an Amazon of a cook. Not only did she knock out the bully who killed her cat but further punished the whole crew by serving the pet in a surprise meat pie.
New York, a guide to the Empire state. American guide series, US History Publishers, 1949.


Delhi—Named through the influence of Judge Ebenezer Foote. The name "Mapleton" was suggested by several prominent citizens. It was formed from Middletown, Kortright, and Walton, March 23, 1798. A part of Bovina was taken off in 1820, and a part of Hamden in 1825... It occupies a nearly central position in the co. Its surface is a hilly upland, broken by the deep valleys of the streams. The w. branch of the Delaware flows s. w. through the center of the town, receiving from the n. w. Platners, Peeks, Steels and Elk Creeks, and from the s. e. Little Delaware River. The valleys are generally narrow and bordered by steep hills. The soil is a clay loam, and the surface is very stony in places. Delhi, the county seat, if finely situated on the n. bank of the w. branch of the Delaware. It was incorp. March 16, 1821. Besides the co. buildings, it contains the Delhi Academy, 4 churches, a bank, 2 printing offices, a woolen factory, an iron foundry, a gristmill and a sawmill. Pop. 919. The first religious meetings were commenced by Abel and John Kidder in 1785. The first church (Cong.) was formed in 1798.
Gazetteer of Delaware County, New York, J. H. French, 1859.

Judge Foote, who was in the Legislature of 1796–97 from Ulster county, was instrumental in the formation of Delaware county, and was much interested, with many others, in the location of its county seat. The judge was appointed, from his earnest support of the formation of the new county, to give a name to the town so soon to be brought forth, and the clique with which he boarded and was intimate requested him to allow them to suggest a name; he consented. His nick-name was “The Great Mogul,” and they, knowing he was to reside here, suggested the name of Delhi, that being the city of the Mogul, and he, agreeable to his promise, so named it. This is the proper account, and will explain why so singular a name appears among the many that followed naturally. A former history of this county gives a ludicrous scene that occurred among other warm friends of the new county, who wished the name to be “Mapleton.” General Erastus Root, who was an impulsive gentleman, and leader of those who insisted upon the latter name, when told that the name should be Delhi, said: “Del-hi—hell-hi! Better call it Foote high!” The name was thus given, and the town formed took rank among sister towns in the general work of the new county.
"How it was Named Delhi,” History of Delaware County, p. 449.

Clarita Anderson American coverlets and their weavers: coverlets from the collection..., lists Asahel Phelps, Delhi, as a weaver. Ebenezer Foote paid him $5.62 1/2 cents for weaving 33 and a half yards of carpeting in 1828.

Published Records

"Ebenezer Foote and Asa Worthington were Inspectors of Cattle" 24 June, 1780."

Office of the Comptroller, New York in the Revolution as a Colony and State, a Compilation of Documents and Records, Office of the State Comptroller. Two volumes with supplement 1780, Albany NY. 1904.

Ebenezer Foote and Asa Worthington were Inspectors of Cattle. Timothy Benedict and Tinas Benedict were Receivers of Cattle. A Law to prevent a Monopoly of Cattle was passed, June 24, 1780. 1780 State of New York to Daniel Graham Dr. March For 10 Head Cattle purchas'd & delivered for the use of Genl. Clinton's Brigade — Viz*.

3 Head Cattle from Wells £4000

2 do Goldsmith 2236.16.— I do Smith 1020. 1 do Keembergh 700. 2 do Gillesby 1650 I do Crance 1230 March my own Expences Goldsmiths Boy/to drive Cattle Col. Isaac Nicoll To Crance & Keemburgh for purchasing & driving part of the above Cattle to Newburgh To 4 days Service — at 100 Dollars pr day Cr. By Cash from the Treasurer

£8284. 8. [Certified by Genl. James Clinton.]

Senators of the Middle District

The Balance; and Columbian Repository, vol. 2; No. 16. Hudson, 19 April, 1803: "Resolved, That Ebenezer Foote, of the county of Delaware, and Jacob Ford, of the county of Columbia, be supported as Senators to represent the middle district in the Legislature of this State."

Ambrose Spencer, Albany, 8 January, 1802, in the Poughkeepsie Journal, from the Albany Register, extra. Jan. 19, 1802. "To Ebenezer Foote"

"I'll put in every honest hand a whip, to lash the Rascal naked through the world—even from the East to the West."

IN your last Exhibition you have shewn yourself a puppet, moved by jugglers behind fences; they have made you assume the semblance of bravery, by a species of legerdemain, for which the principal has long been famous, and al though he is a stranger to a single throb of courage, he has learned to prate on the subject. The texture of your adopted peice so far transcends your attainments in the art of vilifying, as really to have afforded much merriment to see the unread and illiterate Mr. Foote strutting forth in a garb notoriously borrowed. The wilds of Delhi were not adapted to the production of such high wrought calumny—Hence we find you journeying to the city of Albany ten days before your public duty called you here; the inference is plain—Whilst every new day produces some new attack on the most eminent men, and distinguished patriots of the nation; and thus evinces a settled plan of hostility against republicans and republicanism, growing out of the most deadly passions; I might, without the smallest dread of injury, silently wait your envenomed darts; but on a subject so justly irritating to an injured and defamed individual, my feelings have urged me to an undertaking, degrading as respects the Pigmy who has provoked it, but I hope honorable as regards public opinion.

You now plainly confess, that it was your first object to provoke a duel; you therefore must, according to honourable etiquette, consider yourself the aggressor. What credit this will gain you with the public, they must decide.—It must, however, be matter of astonishment to them to behold a grave Senator, a Judge in the last resort, a Legislator, incumbered with a family, publicly avowing a design to produce a single combat, and a thirst for human blood. This evidences a mind completely desperate, and under the influence of the most diabolical spirit of revenge: and can you, sir, really believe, that the members of the present Council are bound in honor to fight with desperadoes for the due discharge of their public duty? It they are—dreadful indeed would be their delima! Between us, sir, the contest would be unequal;—thwarted in your ambitions projects; exposed and defeated in your flagitious plans; deprived of the emoluments of an office which you had abused—life to you has become a burthen.

But let us examine the question of honor between us. According to you, I did you a wrong in voting for your removal from office. To this was superadded a still greater, that of writing and publishing a false history of your conduct, and slandering your character. Who then was the party first injured and insulted? Who ought first to have demanded redress? And who, by an appeal to the public, discovered himself a coward?—You—or myself? If reflection and the verdict of men of honor should decide against you, then in what an advantageous light must your courage and your laurels (acquired Heaven only knows when and where appear?—the one proved to be mere rant and gasconade, and the other withered.

To strip our controversy of all foreign matter, how does it stand? The sole cause of your philippic, was the pretext only, that I was the author of a piece under the signature of A Friends to Justice. Setting aside my own positive declaration on that head, the testimony of Mr. Barber spontaneously given, proves that I had no agency in writing or procuring the publication of that piece. Mr. Barber's character as a man of truth, even you, with all your facility to slader, do not attempt to impeach; and you have not condescended to produce the least circumstance or shadow of proof contradictory of his allegation.—It follows then, sir, that you stand before the public convicted of having commenced your infamous career upon a pretence devoid of all truth and foundation: and hence there can be but one motive left you for commencing and following up your attack; you was pricked on by the mean spirit of rancor, and by certain malignant individuals, who had rather be the first at a feast, and the last at a brawl. But even you, sir, have abandoned your first ground; with much industry, the labors of a month, and the aid of your faction, you have brought up a corps de reserve; you have, with great warmth, and a generousity peculiar to yourself, adopted the quarrels of the Governor the Secretary and Door Keeper of the Council. Whilst I knew his Excellency only from the resort of such men as yourself, it was impossible not to believe him a compound of vice and hypocrisy; but since I have had the honor to know him for myself, I have repeatedly given him the elogium his exalted worth and patriotism demand. He has too much discernment not to see in your respectful mention of him, a design only so so answer base purposes;—for he well knows that his own reputation is treated with as little mercy, by these bull-dogs of faction, whenever it becomes necessary, as has been mine.—Mr. Tillotson knows how to appreciate your tender regard for him, of these tender mercies he has long been a peculiar object, and he well knows your relation to be fictitious. With respect to Mr. Elliot, it is sufficient to my vindication from your charge of ingratitude, to say that he was never appointed Door-keeper to any former Council; and that he is 77 years of age—on this subject, therefore, you stand again convicted, by the annexed document, of falsehood, in representing him as removed from office; and had I, which never was the case, voted for the removal of this aged man, on account of his utter inability to do the errands of the Council, I should have felt undisturbed by anything you could urge. With a view to my injury, you asserted in your first libel, that I had become a worshiper of the present order of things, for ambitions purposes; this charge was denied, and you was dared to the proof. How have you established the fact? You reiterate the accusation and point out to me an application to Mr. Morris, and an unnamed gentleman in New York, hte first you suggest will not become a volunteer, and the latter feels a restraint from the obligations of secrecy. What facts cannot be established in this manner? You, Mr. Foote, are no lawyer, but you most certainly are not inops concili; you owe this artifice wither to the former practice in your Courts at Delaware, or the suggestion of some person well gifted in chicanery, that the accused is to prove himself innocent—you have given us a new rule of evidence, and I thank Heaven it is federal origin. I re-assert your charge to be false and malicious, and again defy you to establish it; and not withstanding your minute relation, I publickly declare that I never did apply to a single member of hte Council for the office of Comptroller, and that if any application was amde for me, it was wholly unauthorized and unsolicited; to facilitate you in your enquire I absolve the whole world from the injuncitons of secrecy and the restraints of delicacy on this subject. The resolution you mention I did oppose for that it was unnecessary & improper—unnecessary because the Council might be governed by the principle with out recording it—and improper because it was a species of legislation, and dictation to other Councils, and might in its rigid application, at future times, prevent a Council from selecting a man the best qualified in the state, because he happened to be one of their body.
I come now to an accusation against yourself? you are made to deny that you was guilty of persecution, and you call on me "to establish the instance wherein you consented to the removal of an officer, but on the grounds of the specific complaint." In obeying this call, I shall not adopt your new rule of convicting, but shall give you documents the most authentic; slush then at the these proofs which convict you of folly and falsehood.

[New York Secretary of States minutes follow]

Dare you, Mr. Foote, pretend that against these men there were specific complaints? Dare you assert, that you opposed these removals? If you have this hardihood deal no more in your assertions, they are become stale, produce us some proof, or the assent of every honest man must be withheld. Should you succeed in establishing that there were complaints pray let us know the nature of them, and by what new rule of justice you could remove without guilt, without proof, and without a hearing. Besides these direct dismissals, under your reign the civil list of the county of Montgomery was new modelled, although it had stood but two years, for the express purpose of silently removing those who though differently from you in politics; and two Judges, three Assistant Justices, and seven Justices of the Peace, were left out in the renewed list. In the County of Queens, four

Abbreviations and Repositories

  • Dela;b.r., d.r., m.r., g.s: Delaware (county) Birth Record, death record, marriage record, grave stone
  • Delaware County Historical Association, Delhi, New York. Ebenezer Foote papers, 1785-1829: (NIC)NYDE240-160-0039 Add Author: Ebenezer Foote. Title: Ebenezer Foote papers, 1785-1829.
  • Delhi;b.r., d.r., m.r., g.s.: Delhi, N. Y. (town) Birth, Death, Marriage Record, grave stone
  • Detroit Public Library.
  • fff: Frances Foote [Ford] pp., copies of Bible of other records of births and marriages poss. of Jane and Maynard Ford, photocopy of the ed.
  • ffpp: Foote Family Papers. Collection Main Street Museum.
  • Foote Fam Rec: Foote Family Records including, papers, letters, a pen and ink handmade graphic showing the family of Ebenezer Foote, Jerusha Purdy, and children of C.A. Foote, as well as clippings and annotated published sources, collection, Main Street Museum.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York. Van Gaasbeek, Peter, 1754-1798. Correspondence.
  • kaf: Katherine Adelia Foote, papers. Collection Main Street Museum.
  • Library of Congress. Papers of the Foote Family were sold at auction, 1943 by Frances Maynard Ford. 1751-1871 (bulk 1790-1807). There are 60 items in this collection, 1 container plus 1 oversize. Finding aid: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms012104
  • Louisiana State University.
  • Marv Rec: Family records of Charles Marvine family from letters (black edged stationery, perhaps copied from a Bible) and clippings, provenance: Francis and Charles Marvine, Margaret Marvine Maynard, Frances Maynard Ford, Maynard and Jane Ford, David Ford II, now Main Street Museum.
  • Marv Bible: Bible belonging to Charles Marvine and family, dated in pen on end-papers, “Delhi, Jany 24 1853.” Collection, Ford Family.
  • National Archives. Washington D.C. Information on all soldiers, sailors and others serving the United States is found here, as well as in Federal Records Centers around the United States.
  • New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division. Letter, primarily dealing with business dealings with Eli, John Foote (brothers of Ebenezer) and Justin (nephew).
  • New York State Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections, Albany, New York.
  • Princeton University Library, Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections: Foote, Ebenezer (1756-1829) Papers, 1766-1925, bulk 1785-1829. Most of these papers concern business and land dealings, and politics. One box of family information.
  • Society of the Cincinnati. Library, Washington, D.C.
  • University of Florida, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Gainesville, Florida.
  • University Virginia Library, Special Collections. Letters to Ebenezer Foote [manuscript] 1794-1820. Archive Description 29 items.
  • Yale University Library, Sterling Memorial Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Burr Family Papers.

Bibliography of research sources, papers and published materials, for the Foote Family click here.