In the New York Times of November 12, 1913, there is an article entitled “Old Cannon Ball tells Story of ’75.” According to this report, a workman uncovered an old 4-inch cast iron cannonball forty feet underground while excavating for the Equitable Building, under construction by Thompson-Starrett & Co. It had evidently been buried there since revolutionary days.
W. H. Lockwood of Title Guarantee and Trust Company stated that as early as 1749 a considerable portion of this land had belonged to the Stoutenburgh family. Seventy feet on Nassau Street (formerly called Kipp or Smith Street), and 80 feet on Pine Street (formerly King Street) as well as a thirty-eight foot frontage on Broadway, (the former location of a celebrated tulip garden), had belonged to the Stoutenburghs.
British munitions captured by Col. Marinus Willett in June of 1775 were transported to a vacant lot at the Northwest corner of Broadway and John Streets and allegedly came under the care of Jacobus Stoutenburgh at City Hall.
On September 6, 1775 Jacobus stated in a certified affidavit to the Common Council that “musquets…and bullet molds” had been removed by “sundry persons”.
In a related story, the book “The Colonial Ancestry of the Family of John Greene Briggs and Isabell Gibbs De Groff” by Harry Tallmadge Briggs and John Greene Briggs provides two separate accounts of the revolutionary days. One day in 1777, as dusk drew near, Captain Luke rode his horse along Lower Pine Woods Road to visit William at Union Corner. At Obey’s Folly, he was suddenly attacked. One assailant caught his mount’s bridle while the other two attacked. Luke swung his loaded lash whip deep into the first man’s temple, who fell, losing his hold. As Luke spurred his horse away, the other two fired several shots after him. The following morning, the Tory was found dead in the road.
The patriots’ homes, among which the Stoutenburghs were counted, had been identified to Vaughan, who, upon his return from burning Kingston, N.Y., fired upon them. The Stoutenburgh manor-house was a conspicuous object, a visible target from the river. One cannon ball shot through the lower panel of the westerly Dutch-door, grazed the floor, and passed out of the opposite Dutch-door into a sand bank just beyond. Another shot landed nearby. One other lodged under the north eave of the west door and with the other two was recovered and kept as trophies by the family.