--Detail from 'View from Misses Masters School' by J. C. Cropsey, c.1890--Detail from 'View from Misses Masters School' by J. C. Cropsey, c.1890
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.  Winston S. Churchill

History is philosophy, teaching by examples. Thucydides 

I view it as a noble undertaking to rescue from oblivion those who deserve to be eternally remembered. Pliny

Village Historian of Dobbs Ferry

1781 Encampment

The Scarsdale Inquirer
 "Westchester, July 4, 1781: A pivotal point for the revolution"
by Richard Borkow
article appeared during week of July 4, 2012

Scarsdale Inquirer article-pdf format


Washington’s march from Dobbs Ferry to Virginia leads to victory at the Battle of Yorktown

In July and August, 1781, during the seventh year of the Revolutionary War, Continental Army troops, commanded by General George Washington, were encamped in Dobbs Ferry and neighboring localities, alongside allied French forces under the command of General Rochambeau. A large British army controlled Manhattan at that time, and Washington chose the Dobbs Ferry area for encampment because he hoped to probe for weaknesses in the British defenses,  just 12 miles to the south. But on August 14, 1781,  a communication was received from French Admiral de Grasse in the West Indies, which caused Washington to change his strategy. De Grasse's communication, which advocated a joint land and sea attack against the British in Virginia, convinced Washington to risk a march of more than 400 miles to the Chesapeake region of Virginia. Washington's new strategy, adopted and designed in mid-August, 1781, at the encampment of the allied armies, would win the war. The allied armies were ordered to break camp on August 19, 1781: on that date the Americans took the first steps of their march to Virginia along present-day Ashford Avenue and Broadway,  en route to victory over General Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown and to victory in the Revolutionary War.

Dobbs Ferry during the Revolutionary War

Westchester County, July and August, 1781
The Washington-Rochambeau Encampment
of the American and French Armies
at Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Hartsdale and Edgemont

A Turning Point for the United States

 by Richard Borkow, M.D.

A 15 page account in pdf format  (6,762 KB)