Sayre House, Morristown, NJ
Signed Henry Krug
Watercolor on Paper
Mounted in a period gold leaf frame
One of the town's oldest buildings, the extraordinary John Sayre House, built in 1749, is the source of a remarkable and macabre legend. The house enjoyed a peaceful beginning including the site where Alexander Hamilton proposed to his beloved Elizabeth, and nearly a century of peaceful proprietorships, to a chilling event. In 1833 Judge Samuel Sayre, his wife Sara and their maid (or slave) Phoebe was murdered by Antoine Le Blanc, a recent immigrant from France. Quickly captured and convicted, the hapless Le Blanc was sentenced to be hung and "dissected," thus becoming the last person to be publicly hanged on Morristown's village green currently referred to as "The Green". As if this were not grisly enough, wallets, purses, book jackets, and lampshades were made from Le Blanc's skin and distributed as souvenirs, signed and authenticated by Sheriff George Ludlow. It is believed that some of these items still exist in Morristown homes.
As a slave Phoebe was not considered sufficiently important for Le Blanc to be charged and punished for her murder, and according to legend she has continued to haunt the John Sayre house ever since. Having served many functions over the years, the building is now a Commerce Bank which opened up in 2008. The bank knocked down Jimmys Haunt, the South Street restaurant that occupied the house. How that sits with the spirit world remains to be seen.
Part Number: 6744THIN