WAYNE, NJ -- In honor of Presidents Day, TAPintoTV visited the Dey Mansion, one of several locations in New Jersey which served as General George Washington’s Headquarters during the Revolutionary War.
The Dey Mansion was the home of Theunis and Hester Dey, and was built around 1770. Ten years later, Theunis, who was the Colonel of the Bergen County Militia during the Revolutionary War, received word that Washington wanted to convert the family home into his headquarters.
“When you’re told Washington is going to come to use your home as his headquarters, you don’t necessarily say no to him,” said Jessica Bush, Assistant Director at the Passaic County Department of Cultural and Historic Affairs at Dey Mansion. “For a lot of families, this was a big decision to make. Do you stay in your home alongside Washington and all of the people that are coming with him? Or, do you go somewhere else?”
The Deys, being a wealthy family with the largest home in the area, were able to continue to live there and share the space with Washington and his entourage. When Washington arrived in July of 1780, he brought five Aide-de-camps, 40-50 of his Life Guard (like bodyguards, similar to today’s Secret Service), and two to three thousand troops who camped out on the 600 acres of farmland the family owned.
One of those five Aide-de-camps was Alexander Hamilton, who lived at the house alongside Washington. In November of 1780, he left the Dey Mansion to head north to Albany to marry the love of his life, Eliza Schuyler.
The Dey Mansion was acquired by the County of Passaic in 1929, and has been renovated to reflect the time period of 1780. The Mansion regularly hosts events, educational programs, and is open to the public for tours.
The Dey Mansion will be hosting a Washington’s Birthday celebration on Saturday, February 23rd, which Bush says, will be “a full day living history event.” For more information about the Dey Mansion and their upcoming events, including Washington’s Birthday, visit www.deymansion.org.