John Peter De Windt

Carl Carmer describes this interesting family on The Hudson. "No where on the Hudson, not even at Armstrongs', was there a greater emphasis on the joys of the cultured life than across the river in Fishkill Landing at "Locust Grove," the low, many gabled Dutch homestead of the De Windts. The old trees that gave the place its name interlaced above the approach in fan vaulting so perfect that the "avenue" was called the "Cathedral"; creepers and roses and honeysuckle clambered over the long piazza; horse chestnuts and weeping willows shaded the big garden. John Peter De Windt had married Caroline, daughter of that Abigail Smith Adams who had been born of Abigail Smith Adams and John Adams, second president of the United States. Eleven children were born to John Peter De Windt and his delicate spouse, and the eldest of these was birdlike Caroline.

It was inevitable that Andrew Jackson Downing should find his way to Locust Grove, that the De Windts, living gaily in an atmosphere of luxurious decay, their house a rendezvous for all the young people of the neighborhood, for West Point officers, for lovers of the arts, should be impressed by his dark, glamorous person and by the quiet, polished manner learned at Danskammer. . . .On June 7, 1838, Andrew Jackson Downing and Caroline de Windt were married."