Dobbs Ferry - Encyclopedia

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DOBBS FERRY, a village of Westchester county, New York, on the E. bank of the Hudson river 2 m. N. of Yonkers. Pop. (1890) 2083; (1900) 2888; (1905, state census) 3515. Dobbs Ferry is served by the Hudson River division of the New York Central railway. There are many fine country places, two private schools - the Mackenzie school for boys and the Misses Masters' school for girls - and the children's village (with about thirty cottages) of the New York juvenile asylum. The name of the village was derived from a Swede, Jeremiah Dobbs, whose family probably moved hither from Delaware, and who at the beginning of the last quarter of the 18th century had a skiff ferry, which was kept up by his family for a century afterwards. Because Dobbs Ferry had been a part of Philipse Manor all lands in it were declared forfeit at the time of the War of American Independence (see Yonkers), and new titles were derived from the commissioners of forfeitures. The position of the village opposite the northernmost end of the Palisades gave it importance during the war. The region was repeatedly raided by camp followers of each army; earthworks and a fort, commanding the Hudson ferry and the ferry to Paramus, New Jersey, were built; the British army made Dobbs Ferry a rendezvous, after the battle of White Plains, in November 1776, and the continental division under General Benjamin Lincoln was here at the end of January 1777. The American army under Washington encamped near Dobbs Ferry on the 4th of July 1781, and started thence for Yorktown in the following month. In the Van Brugh Livingston house on the 6th of May 1783, Washington and Governor George Clinton met General Sir Guy Carleton, afterwards Lord Dorchester, to negotiate for the evacuation by the British troops of the posts they still held in the United States. In 1873 the village was incorporated as Greenburgh, from the township of the same name which in 1788 had been set apart from the manor of Phillipsburgh; but the name Dobbs Ferry was soon resumed.

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