On September 24, 1918 the statue of Chauncey M. Depew was unveiled in Depew Park, Peekskill, NY. Chauncey himself, who was 84 years old, was on hand to assist in the ceremony. The park was originally purchased from Native Americans in 1685 by Chauncey’s ancestor François du Puy under a license from Governor Thomas Donagan and was donated by Mr. Depew to the Village of Peekskill. Fellow 1840 classmate of Chauncey’s from Peekskill Military Academy, Sanford R. Knapp, made the presentation speech.
According to the NY Times “Mr. Depew, in his speech, told of the early history of Peekskill and the efforts of many of the old Peekskill citizens during the civil war, when Mr. Depew was Secretary of State for New York, and the heroism of the soldiers who marched away then. Praising the American Army in France today.”
The NYT also transcribed part of Depew’s speech:
“Now the boys of our village are fighting over there. Though the seas divide them from us there is no waking moment when they are not in our thoughts. We have the youngest army that ever walked on a battlefield, but it understands as well as the President and the Cabinet or the House and the Senate why it is in France. It asks no loot on territory or indemnity, but it is determined never to return until autocracy has been beaten to its knees, until militarism has received its death blow, and until the world is sure of permanent peace with liberty.”
The statue was created by Sigurd Neandross and was unveiled by Miss Helen Husted, who was the daughter of General James W. Husted.