Monday, October 8, 2007

[Originally published in the Urbana Daily Citizen.]

notice the Illuminati Symbol above the Piatt's Tomb Entrance?

The PIATT family is of French origin and Hugenot blood. Of course two centuries of births on this continent and a liberal admixture of Dutch, and Irish blood have modified the original conditions that forced the French puritans from their homes to life in the wilderness. It is a fact, however, that where any trace of the Hugenot is found, it is marked by all old quality that turned a class into a race of strong, solid, persistent men. In the persecutions that followed the revocation of the edict of Nantes, the family fled from the Province of Dauphine to Holland, where John PIATT married a VAN VLIET, and from thence John and his wife emigrated to Cuba, and from there to New York, finding a home at last in New Jersey.

From this ancestry came Col. Jacob PIATT, grandfather of A. Sanders and Don PIATT. He was born May 17, 1747. When the war of the Revolution came on he was elected captain of the military company, composed of ninety young farmers. Not long afterwards he was commissioned captain in the regular service, and from that on served through the entire war, taking part in all the great battles, and was promoted to the rank of colonel to serve on the staff of General Washington. He was wont to tell how, at the battle of Brandywine, his command was on the extreme left as it lay entrenched on the banks of the Brandywine Creek.

Before the battle, as they stood in line, looking at the English, Washington rode down, and stopping near Captain Jacob Piatt, observed: "Do you see those gentleman over there?" pointing at the red coats, "We do," was answered. He then continued, "If they come nearer give them a knock and send them back again. This will be a glorious day for America." At the battle of Monmouth, Major PIATT was under Lee, who had been ordered to advance, while Washington brought the reserve. History tells us of that Lee disobeyed orders and was in full retreat when Washington met him. The meeting happened in the presence of Major PIATT, who, seated on a pile of rails, was binding up a wound in his leg. The two generals swore at each other in the most furious manner. The old Calvinistic Hugenot approved of his general's profanity on the ground that it was deserved.

Colonel Jacob PIATT was in the first expedition against Quebec, and in the important battles of Germantown, Brandywine, Short Hills, and Monmouth. At the last mentioned engagement he was wounded, as we have said, and, although seriously, clung to the service, never even for a day off duty. He enjoyed the confidence of his great commander. After the war he married and settled on the Ohio, in Boone county, Kentucky. He was an extremely austere man, as pious as he was patriotic, giving all of his pension to the support of a clergyman of his own faith. He lies buried on the farm, under a quaint old tombstone, that had engraved upon it the simple yet poetic inscription:

Jacob Piatt.

Born May 17, 1747; died August 4, 1834.

A soldier of the revolution


A soldier of the Cross.


Mrs. Louise Kirby PIATT, wife of Col. Don PIATT, was born in Cincinnati, November 25, 1826; died at Mac-o-chee, Ohio, October 2, 1864. She was the daughter of Timothy KIRBY, a prominent and wealthy banker, an agent of the United States Bank in Cincinnati, closed by President Jackson, and a devoted Whig in days when partisan bitterness ran at fever height; but Col. PIATT was an equally zealous young Democrat, and, for this reason, principally, Mr. KIRBY strongly opposed his daughter's marriage to him. The circumstances of his courtship and marriage by Col. PIATT were, indeed, highly romantic. The license was quietly procured from his relative, Mr. Jacob W. PIATT, then clerk of Hamilton County, and the marriage ceremony as quietly performed at the Catholic Cathedral by Rev. Fr. Edward PURCELL, since Archbishop. Immediately after, the newly made bride left in her mother's carriage for her home, and the husband boarded the train for Mac-o-chee.

Six weeks after the marriage was discovered, and Mr. KIRBY, a man of firm purpose, in his wrath, as he had threatened, turned the young people out to care for themselves. It was years before he softened and forgave them. The reconciliation came none too soon. The life of poverty and privation that followed the marriage proved too much for the sensitive, delicate organization of the daughter, who, when she did return to the shelter of her father's house, returned to die.

Her brief life was beautiful in the charm of sense and sensibility, that were ever a part of, and about her, like a rose-tinted atmosphere, heavy with the perfume of flowers. She was not only a brilliant conversationalist, but a fascinating one as well, for she won the sympathy, as well as admiration, of her listeners. There was in her manner a strange mixture of shyness with a frank way that was very winning. A fine linguist she lived in the English classics with a love that made her akin to their genius. Her contributions to literature were not great, but enough to prove the excellence she might have achieved had life been spared. She had to perfection a rare quality in woman, and that was a keen sense of humor. When not encroached upon it was exceedingly delicate and quaint.

Soon after her marriage her husband was appointed as Secretary of Legation at Paris, and she accompanied him abroad, and in his promotion to charge d'affaires attracted much attention at the court of Louis Napoleon under the Second Empire, where she soon became a favorite with the Empress Eugenie. During her residence in Paris her contributions to the Ladies' Home Journal were greatly admired and widely read, and these were, in 1856, published under the title of "Belle Smith Abroad." They comprise one of the most interesting volumes of foreign travel of that period. Her descriptive powers were excellent, and through all she has written runs a vein of happy wit and merriment highly enjoyable to this day.

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