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History of Pelham Manor

Posted by 5 years ago. (Back to all articles...)



The following was excerpted from The Pelham Manor Story, James B. Saunders, Ed., Village of Pelham Manor, 1991.


On November 11, 1654, Thomas Pell negotiated a treaty with Wampage, Chief of all the Siwanoy Indians and acquired title to about 50,000 acres including all of today's Bronx and everything east of the Hutchinson River north to Mamaroneck. Pell took possession of his property and called it "Pelham" in honor his tutor Pelham Burton.

Pell was challenged almost immediately by the Dutch who sent the Marshall of the Dutch Court in March 1655 with a court order stating that the English were trespassing on Dutch territory. Pell refused to accept the Dutch order and for the next several years they tried unsuccessfully to dislodge him. Finally, on September 21, 1664 English warships, supported by a militia unit called the Westchester Trained Band and led by Thomas Pell, sailed into the harbor of New Amsterdam and accepted the surrender of Governor Stuyvesant.


War came to Pelham Manor on October 18, 1776 when Sir William Howe, Commander-in-Chief of the British army, landed 4,000 English and Hessian troops near the stables on Pelham Parkway in an action which became the first permanent invasion of the American mainland in the American Revolution.

Howe's objective was to outflank the American army by marching west across today's Bronx along the Boston Post Road. This would also cut off Washington's vital supply route from New England and enable the British to surround Washington and quickly end the rebellion. However, 600tough seaman from the Boston area, led by Colonel John Glover, and fighting from behind Pelham Manor's stone walls put an end to Howe's plan and saved Washington's army.

The main significance of the Battle of Pelham lay in the fact that it bought time for Washington to remove the American army from an extremely perilous position and to retreat to White Plains. It is for this reason that the Battle of Pelham has been called the battle that saved the American Revolution.


In response to resident's demands for improved fire and police protection, as well as water, gas and electricity, Pelham Manor was incorporated as a village. The election for incorporation was held at the Pelham Manor School House on Monday, June 8, 1891. The official incorporation date for the Village is July 6, 1891.

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