Isaac and Joshua Smith tease the English

Stop “Joshing” me



The Smith family of Coram talks about the legendary “Petticoat” Isaac Smith. He was taken prisoner in his own home and escaped by dressing up in woman's clothing. After making his escape he went to Connecticut with his family where he remained until the end of the war. Returning to Coram he regained his property and began repairing the damages done by the Tories. Two of his sons, Joshua and Isaac are mentioned as being with him.

Isaac married Sarah Rockwell, and Joshua married Lucy Wallace. It was claimed that when Washington came through Coram in 1890 he stopped for dinner at the Smith home on his way to Setauket and that Lucy Wallace Smith entertained the beloved Father of his Country, and Washington had the table set for himself and his bodyguards in the same room that “Petticoat” Isaac had been held in by the Tories.

Jacob Longbotham, still living at the age of 90, has told me recently that he remembers perfectly well hearing his father tell of the time the British encamped at the foot of the hill in Coram, where there were two large ponds. Mr. Longbotham said that Isaac and Joshua were always playing all sorts of tricks on the British to frighten them away, so that it became a regular byword among the townspeople to say “You can’t play Isaac and Josh on me”.

Mr. Longbotham also said that one of the British officers fell in love with one of our pretty American girls and threatened to carry her off with him, but when the British broke camp she ran through a high cornfield and climbed a tree, remaining in it until all the danger was past. He said his father had pointed out the very tree she had chosen for her hiding place; and, as the girl was his grandmother, we have no reason to doubt his story.

By, Amelia Augusta Smith Norton

Mrs. Smith was born in Baiting Hollow in 1839 and was 78 when she wrote the above article.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.