Mastic Beach post office receives 'Revolutionary' name

President Barack Obama has signed legislation to rename President Barack Obama has signed legislation to rename the Mastic Beach Post Office in honor of Nathanial Woodhull, a revolutionary war hero. (Jan. 2, 2013) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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President Barack Obama has signed legislation to name the Mastic Beach post office in honor of Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Woodhull.

"Mr. Woodhull was one of America's first war heroes, and deeply deserving of this tribute," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a statement Wednesday announcing the naming of the post office at 110 Mastic Rd. "His bravery and patriotism should continue to inspire Long Islanders and all Americans to this day."

Schumer introduced the legislation with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton).

As then-Newsday staff writer George Dewan wrote in the Newsday book "Long Island: Our Story," in 1998, Woodhull was born into a well-to-do family at Mastic in 1722. His wife, Ruth Floyd, was the sister of William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In August 1775, on the eve of the Revolution, Woodhull was elected president of the New York Provincial Congress, the illegal patriot governing body, which appointed him head of the combined militias of Suffolk and Queens counties.

On the eve of the Battle of Long Island -- in August 1776 -- Woodhull went to war. He was later captured by the British and mortally wounded.

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According to Schumer's office, Woodhull refused to swear allegiance to King George III, was brutally attacked by a British officer and denied proper medical care. He died on Sept. 20, 1776, the first high-ranking colonial officer killed in action during the American Revolution, the senator's office said.

"This bill is a tribute to a favorite son of Mastic and to a community that deserves recognition," Bishop has said.

Mastic Beach Mayor Bill Biondi welcomed the renaming but encouraged federal officials do more to highlight the area."There's a lot of history here. It's sad because no one promotes us," he said, adding the municipality could use tourist revenue.

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