John Dean Rock


There is a large boulder near Mount Pleasant NY that is known as John Dean Rock. John Dean happens to be the 2nd cousin four times removed of the wife of my daughter-in-law’s second great grand uncle… and he was a Revolutionary War hero.

The rock which bears his name served as a hiding place and refuge which Dean used to surprise British soldiers who would march along Saw Mill River Road. His exploits are recounted at length within the pages of “Souvenir of the Revolutionary Soldiers’ Monument Dedication, at Tarrytown, N.Y. October 19th, 1894” It describes him as follows: “It will be unnecessary for us to promise that John Dean was a man of stout, vigorous frame, and iron will, indomitable courage, and great impulse, for these traits were exhibited in every act of his life.”

In one of his many war stories, he tells of the time he bested a Tory in a battle fought on horseback. Though his opponent tried to shoot him many times during the fight, Dean managed to wound him with his sword and knock him from his steed. While the Tory lay on the ground bleeding and expecting to die, Dean helped him onto his horse and took him to a nearby home where he dressed the wounds he caused, thus saving his enemy’s life. They met years later, after the war, and expressed that neither held any blame towards the other. They shook hands and parted ways. The Tory’s name was Basly.

Perhaps Dean’s most historic accomplishment was his involvement with the capture of Major John Andre, the notorious British spy who had been sent by Benedict Arnold with detailed plans of West Point hidden in his boot. Dean had been given the responsibility to post men to guard the roads leading to Tarrytown. Andre was apprehended by a trio of soldiers that Dean had positioned. They immediately brought their prisoner to him and he took lead during the march to deliver Andre to his superior officers.

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