ExploreUK home

0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

22 > Page 22 of Old Yorktown and its history / by Mrs. Sydney Smith.

22 OLD YORKTOWN AND ITS HISTORY to the man who would fire it. The gunners refused to disobey Washington's command. General Nelson fired the gun himself and the ball struck the gable end of the house, making the hole which can now be seen by the tourist. Nelson spent his entire fortune in the Revolution for his coun- try's cause and died in poverty, the grave being unmarked until 1907. No recompense was ever made to the family by the nation. Some years after the war the losses were computed for the purpose of applying to Congress for an appropriation to cover them. A bill was brought up in the meantime for Mrs. Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton (who it was that made the great speech under the walls of the redoubt at Yorktown and was the general who took Fort Hamilton, named after him). A member of Congress inquired if there was not a poor house in New York, that Mrs. Hamilton had come to Congress begging. Governor Nelson, being a listener in the legislative halls at the time of this incident, refused to proceed further in his mother's behalf, saying that he was unwilling to permit her name to be brought before a body that tolerated such expressions. Mrs. Nelson, wife of the governor, died at her home in Hanover and was buried in an un- marked grave in the old family graveyard. After the grave of Governor Nelson was found the Nelson descendants wished to have the remains of Mrs. Nelson brought and laid beside her hus- band, but as there is nothing to show where her grave is, it will be difficult to carry this out after so many years. A verbatim copy of the parole of Lord Cornwallis, taken from the original, which was found in an obscure place in the State Library in Richmond, Virginia: Charles, Earl Cornwallis, Lieutenant General of his Majesty's Forces. Do acknowledge myself a Prisoner of War to the United States of America, and having permission from his Excellency, Gen'l Washington agreeable to Capitulation to proceed to New York & Charlestown, or either & to Europe- Do pledge my Faith and Word of Honor, that I will not do or say anything injurious to the said United States or Armies thereof