Glover's Rock is a boulder located in Pulham Bay Park that was deposited by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Long before colonial settlement in New York, members of the Siwanoy Native American tribe hunted the lands around the boulder. After the Revolutionary War, the boulder became famous for incorrectly marking the spot of the Battle of Bell's Point, where Colonel John Glover led a group of Patriots against the British in 1776. Today, the boulder still marks the location of the battle, though most scholars accept that the battle occurred north of the marker.
Backstory and Context
John Glover was a Colonel, and later General, in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Colonel Glover played an important role in the 1776 invasion by the British in New York City. During the attack, British and Hessian hired forces outnumbered the American soldiers 31,625 to 19,000. After several skirmishes in Brooklyn Heights, George Washington was forced to retreat his army across the East River to Manhattan. During the retreat, General Sir William Howe, who led the British Army during the invasion, tried to cut the American army before the evacuation was complete. However, Colonel Glover set up a defense in Pell's Point to guard Washington's retreat. Eventually, Glover was forced to give up his position, but not before Washington moved his troops to White Plains. Without the efforts of Glover and his men, the Continental Army would have surely been crushed.
Controversy surrounds Glover's Rock because it is not the actual location where the fighting took place. The location of the battle was mistaken for the longest because of a map published by Claude J. Sauthier in 1777 that was not accurate. The map was used by William Abbatt in 1901 when he determined the location of the battle, which was later marked to honor the site. However, scholars later determined, particularly after gaining access to a more accurate map by Charles Blaskowitz, that the battle actually occurred north of the location determined by Abbatt.
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Bell, Blake A. "Glover's Rock on Orchard Beach Road Does Not Mark the Site of the Battle of Pelham." Historic Pelham. 2/28/05. Accessed Web, 7/17/17. http://historicpelham.blogspot.com/2005/02/glovers-rock-on-orchard-beach-road.html.
"Bronx Revolutionary War Remains." Forgotten New York. 8/27/00. Accessed Web, 7/17/17. http://forgotten-ny.com/2000/08/bronx-rocks-revolutionary-war-remains-in-pelham-bay-park/.
Moran, Donald N. "George Washington's Generals Major General John Glover." Revolutionary War Archives. Accessed Web, 7/17/17. http://www.revolutionarywararchives.org/glover.html.