To My Son You go to the battle, my son, Win for yourself a bright wreath
Of bravery and deeds well done Be to thy country a chief. Let God and the stripes be thy shrine Advancing to meet the foe.
Though my heart-strings are braided with thine I’ll loose them, and let thee go. My life has seemed centered in thine, My heart now bleeds at the thought;
But I’ll give thee and all that is mine To the freedom my fathers bought.

Eliza Ann Dusenbury was the daughter of Daniel and Frances Galigher Dusenbury, and was born in New York City in 1822.  Her mother was of French descent, and the Pardee Family fled from their castle and settled with other Huguenots in New Rochelle.  Her father was of Dutch extraction.  She was educated in private schools in New York City and when she was seventeen, her family moved to Spring Street in White Plains.

 

A year later, in December of 1840, she married Thomas Horton.  Thomas Horton was the son of Abraham Bogart Horton and his father was Jonathan Paulding Horton who served in the Revolutionary War.

 

Eliza and Thomas had ten children, with eight surviving.  She and Thomas lived on a farm on Mamaroneck Avenue, later moving to a new house further south on the Avenue, where she lived until 1894.  After that she resided with her daughter, Mrs. Albert Lefurgy, until her death in 1913.

 

During her long life, she wrote many poems with themes of nature, religion and the Civil War.  Her son, William, served in the Civil War with 6th New York Heavy Artillery, and her poem dedicated to his service is a most remarkable tribute to the love of a mother, struggling with her dedication to her Country and the fear for the life of her son.

 

In 1910, three years before death, her grandson E. Jay Hanford, arranged to have her large collection of poems published under her nom-de-plume, Annie Hawthorne.

 

Eliza Ann Dusenbury Horton remains today an important link in the rich and colorful local history of the City of White Plains, and in 2004 Westchester County named a bus after Eliza Horton.

 

 Eliza Horton