Showing posts tagged 1776
Thomas Sully, "Passage of the Delaware," 1819 (oil on canvas), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Follow the link to reach an article about the painting and Sully in the Wall Street Journal (March, 2011).
One of my ancestors, Irishman John Honeyman, helped make the crossing of the Delaware possible. I joined the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution in 2010, after having formally demonstrated my relationship to John.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York reopened the newly redesigned American Wing to showcase its stellar collection of American Art. I was delighted to see Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware" at center stage. Click on the picture to reach the MET’s website.
Thanks to the Daughters of the American Revolution, I was able to identify several Patriot ancestors, including Irishman John Honeyman, who helped make the Crossing of the Delaware possible. Having this knowledge (just over a year now), has truly changed my life. I only wish I had known when I was a youngster!
Please see a prior Tumblr post, "An Ornate Stove … and the Family of a Clever Irish Spy," for more about my family’s history.
An Ornate Stove … and the Family of a Clever Irish Spy
The past few years I have been exploring my ancestry. Thanks to the assistance of genealogical researchers in the ranks of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I am gaining a greater understanding of my early American heritage.
An expert in nonprofit fundraising with some proficiency with online communications, I have marveled at the adept way in which my research colleagues cruise the Internet relentlessly in search of information. No item of information, no matter how obscure, is hidden from them (thank heaven). To those good friends I owe a debt of thanks for bringing new meaning to my life through their discoveries.
The photograph above is of Caroline Honeyman Ten Eyck, the person through whom my father and I trace our American Revolutionary War heritage. My father had this image in his personal archives; he gave it to me in 2010. Caroline Honeyman (1829-1916) was the mother of Clarence Ten Eyck, and my father was Clarence’s grandson. Caroline’s father was Robert Miller Honeyman, who was the son of James Honeyman, who was the son of our documented Revolutionary War ancestor, Irishman John Honeyman. Click on the link to reach the Wikipedia description of John Honeyman’s life.
Update: I recently found another tribute to John Honeyman on Find A Grave. (June, 2013)
John Honeyman became acquainted with George Washington during meetings of the Continental Congress in 1775. John had served in the British Army during the French and Indian War, but he was sympathetic to the American cause and confidentially presented his services to George Washington.
Washington called on John for help deceiving the British Army at Trenton, New Jersey in 1776. This ultimately led to General Washington and 2,400 troops crossing of the Delaware River at Christmastime, and to their victory at the Battle of Trenton. George Washington is known as the father of the nation, but he was also the father of American Intelligence and America’s first “spymaster.”
The literature on John Honeyman’s exploits is fascinating, but occasionally someone questions its veracity. All I can comment ~ many years hence ~ is the Ten Eyck and Honeyman families were staunch supporters of the American Revolution. That loyalty and pride has flowed down through subsequent generations to our own family today.
For further information, here below are a few websites discussing John and the activity of spies during the American Revolutionary War:
- "John Honeyman, Sr. Private Spy for George Washington"
- Central Intelligence Agency, "In Defense of John Honeyman (and George Washington)"
- Early America Review, "George Washington, Master of Misinformation"
- Liberty’s Children (Episode 19), "Across the Delaware" (an educational children’s cartoon series on YouTube that portrays John Honeyman’s role in the Battle of Trenton)
- Emanuel Leutze’s famous painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware" (1851, oil on canvas), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, may be viewed here (description and additional photographs are included). I like to think this historic event would not have been possible without the able assistance of Irishman John Honeyman.
My grandmother, Mary Carolyn Ten Eyck Appleton, and I were both named after Caroline Honeyman. The archives of my grandparents are found in the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections at Zimmerman Library, The University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. My father, David Ten Eyck Appleton, is adding more to our family’s archives in the years ahead.