BIRTHPLACE OF WILLIAM FLOYD STILL STANDS IN MASTIC ,
BUILT IN 1723 BY HIS FATHER NICOLL FLOYD
BY THOMAS R. BAYLES
William Floyd was born in the old homestead at Mastic Dec. 17,
1734, the oldest part of this house having been built in 1723 by his
father, Nicoll Floyd. His early education was limited but he possessed
a native ability which enabled him to successfully take over and manage the large farm and estate upon the death of his father in 1752. At an
early age he became an officer in the militia, where he was advanced
until he reached the rank of major-general. He was elected to a seat in
the Continental Congress of 1774, which he held until 1782, and was
one of those who urged the adoption of the Declaration of Independence,
and was one of the signers of that historic document. During the long
years the British troops were in possession of Long Island, they seized
his 4000-acre estate at Mastic, and he and his family were forced to
flee to Connecticut for safety, but Mrs. Floyd died in 1781 at the age
of 41 from hardship. After the war in 1783, Gen. Floyd returned with
his children and began the slow work of rebuilding his home and estate,
which had suffered much damage at the hands of the British, soldiers.
He was a representative in the first Congress which met at New
York on March 4, 1789, when George Washington was elected President
and inaugurated. He was repeatedly called upon to serve as a presidential elector, his last service being in 1820.
William Floyd never seemed to tire of clearing large tracts of land,
and shortly after his return to Mastic in 1783, he began to buy land
along the Mohawk River in Westernville, N. Y. By 1803 he had constructed a house similar to the one his father had built at Mastic, and
that year moved his family to his new home. It seems strange that this
man should have left his lifelong home and started life anew in another
part of the state, but he may have felt that his son Nicoll, who had
seven children, needed all the room in the ancestral home. So in his
new home on the banks of the Mohawk River, he lived until his death
on August 4, 1821, active to the last.
Thus came to an end the life of this native Long Islander, whose
name will ever hold an honored place as long as the history of the United States is preserved.
Longwood Public Library, Thomas R. Bayles Collection, Pamphlets
New York - Long Island
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