Light-House Hill, also known as Beacon Hill was used as a site for a beacon as early as 1746. At that time, England was at War with France in the War of Austrian Succession. The colonies of both England and France was in danger of being taken over by the other. A beacon system was established near the site of the present Twin Lights, that was to be used in the event the French decided to invade New York. The beacon consisted of whale oil in pots, that were to be ignited and raised if the French fleet were sighted. The beacon was accidentally ignited one night in 1746 but no one took notice of the warning anyway and confidence in the system was destroyed. Below is the text of the letter from President John Hamilton to the Council of New York regarding the matter.

Letter from President John Hamilton to the Council of New York-relating to the destruction of the Beacon on the Highlands of Neversink

Perth Amboy
September 27th, 1746


I think it my Duty as well in Regard To His Majesty and the Trust Reposed in me, as to the Security and well Being of the Province the Lower Part of which is at this Time more Immediately Committed to Your Care, To Acquaint You that by undoubted Information I am Satisfied that the Beacon sometime ago Erected on the Highlands of Neversink was by pure Accident Sett on fire not long Since in the Night, at a Time when it might very well have been Discovered by the Persons Appointed in your Government to Take and Communicate such an Alarm Notwithstanding which no Notice was Taken of it, This to me makes it more than Probable that the Watch appointed in your Government on this Particular Service have been too Negligent in their Duty and however Lucky it may be thought that Your Province has Escaped a false Alarm, Yet I make no Doubt but You are of Opinion with Me than an Alarm from Quarter when Rightly Given must be of the Utmost Importance and therefore hope you will for Our Mutual Security take such Steps in Regard to your Watches as will Effectually Prevent the Like Neglect for the Future, I am Gentlemen

Your most Obedient Humble Servant

John Hamilton

The Honorable His Majesty's Council of New York

2006 NJLHS