By Andrew Wroblewski
A few Northport-East Northport School District employees and students are hoping to revive the memory of Huntington’s “Forgotten Patriot.”
The group is requesting that the district lend a historic memorial tablet that honors Revolutionary War figure and early American politician and judge John Sloss Hobart to the Northport Historical Society museum for a year.
The 210-year-old marble tablet was purchased by the district in 1963. Since then, the district has used the tablet as both a teaching device and historical icon.
However, to increase awareness about Hobart’s legacy, the group, led by district employees Kathleen Cusumano, Peter White and Izzet Mergen, along with student members of a local history committee at Northport Middle School, were expected make their request at the Wednesday school board meeting after press time.
If approved, the tablet would be displayed alongside an exhibit featuring Hobart in the historical society museum at 215 Main St. in Northport.
The Northport Historical Society wrote a letter to the board in support of the move.
District Clerk Beth Nystrom said Tuesday school board members were unable to comment on the request prior to Wednesday’s meeting.
In the letter written by Northport-East Northport employees and students to the board, Hobart is described as “a very influential Long Islander during the Revolution and the years following.” He was a graduate of Yale and served in his community with roles in the Sons of Liberty, the Huntington and Suffolk County Committee of Correspondence and the U.S. Senate. He was also a New York state judge and then a federal judge.
The letter says that Hobart was an author of parts of the first New York State Constitution and was a leader at the convention in the Dutchess County Courthouse in Poughkeepsie, New York when the New York became the 11th state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
In Huntington, during the American Revolutionary War, the letter says Hobart ensured Town of Huntington residents were able to safely flee to Connecticut when the British occupied Long Island. Several landmarks around the Town of Huntington have been dedicated to Hobart. The Town of Huntington also named a beach on Eaton’s Neck after Hobart.
Hobart died on Feb. 4, 1805 at 67 years old. When he died, fellow judge Hon. Egbert Benson prepared the marble slab as a memorial.
Despite his many contributions, Hobart has been dubbed by historians as a “Forgotten Patriot.” In their letter to the school board, the Northport-East Northport employees and student members of the local history committee said they “would like to change the perception of John Sloss Hobart from the Forgotten Patriot to a Patriot to Remember.”