Sir William Johnson, an Irish immigrant and nephew of English Admiral, Sir Peter Warren, built Johnson Hall in 1763. Now a National Historic Landmark, it was the home he shared with his second common-law wife, Molly Brant, a Mohawk, and their eight children. His relationship with the Mohawk and other Native American tribes, eventually led to his appointment as British Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the northern colonies. His house and courtyard were often filled with his Native American guests and Mohawk friends, who called him, “A Man Who Undertakes Great Things.”
He built two block houses as defenses on either side of the manor, which he eventually used to house his many slaves and servants.
Living on the edge of Native American territory put him and his family in a somewhat dangerous position, even given his high status among the Mohawk. This rack of guns, along with another matching set, flank the front door.
As we climbed the stairs, the docent told us about the numerous wedge-shaped cuts found on the banisters, made by angry Native Americans or American rebels at the start of the Revolutionary War. By the time of the Revolution, Sir William had died and his son, Sir John, owned the home and property. Because of the family’s loyalist position, the patriots seized it all and the family fled to Canada.
From the attic, we made our way down to the cellar, where all of the cooking for the house would have been accomplished. I love the rustic appearance, including the walk-in fire place and large butter churn.
Linking up with these great parties:
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