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J. W. BOUTON, 706 Broadway 

Enleied according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by Frank Moore, 
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at \\^ashington. 

John F. Trow & Son, 

Pkinteks anu P.ookbinders, 

205-213 East I'ltk St., 

NEW ^■ORl•:. . 



This volume contains tlie notes of Mr. 
Gabriel Furman, on " Long Island Antiqui- 
ties and Early History ; with the Manners 
and Customs of its Inhabitants ; " " Notes 
Geographical and Historical, relating to 
the Town of Brooklyn, in Kings Ccunty, 
on Long Island," by the same laborious and 
enthusiastic collector, and a Bibliography 
of Long Island, by Henry Onderdonk, Jr., 
of Jamaica, New York. 

Of the preparation of the Antiquities, 
with which the volume is opened, Mr. Fur- 
man has left no account. The manuscript 
from which it is printed is fragmentary, 
and seems to have been put together at 
odd times during the period embraced 
Avithin the years 1824 and 1838. It was 
discovered by the editor, among the gather- 


ings of a quaint and popular dealer in old 
books, j^ictures and hric-a-braG on Universi- 
ty Place, in this city, and was tliouglit valu- 
able enough to merit multiplication. A 
few errors of date, but none of judgment, 
have been corrected, and some obscurities 
made plain. Otherwise the work is given 
as it was left by its industrious author. 

The notes relatino; to the Town of Brook- 
lyn, by the same author, which necessarily 
contain some slight repetitions of material 
found in the Antiquities, are republished 
from the edition issued in 1824. The ex- 
treme scarcity of this little volume causes 
its reproduction here. 

"^ The Bibliography of Mr. Onderdonk, to 
wdiom I am indebted for permission to 
publish, is printed from a manuscript, pre- 
pared by that historical scholar and gentle- 
man in 1866, and presented to the New 
York Historical Society. 

Frank Moore. 

New Yokk, October, 1874. 



Indians and their History ^ 

The Devil's Stepping Stones 56 

Ronkonkama Pond "^ ♦ 

John Bull's Talk. . -. ^^ 

Mongotucksee's Canal ''^"^ 

Manitou Hill ^^ 

Changes in the Aspect of the Country 'i'4 

Buttermilk Channel ' ^ 

Israel CarlVs Well 85 

Long Island Agricultural Society 91 

Ancient Fortifications and Remains 93 

Fort on Fort Neck 95 

Situation of the Sand Hill 99 

Foundation of Churches 100 

The Dutch Reformed Churches 102 

The Case of Bo\vne the Quaker 119 

The Episcopal Churches 1^''' 

St. Ami's Church l'^9 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 140 

Roman Catholic Churches 1^1 

Old Houses If-^ 

Governor Martin's House 1^0 

Paintings by Copley 1^1 

Monumental Stones and Funeral Customs 155 

Schools and Education 1^9 

Service of the Churches 1'^'^ 



Ancient Names of Places 178 

Names of Families 183 

Dutch Nicknames 186 

Manners and Customs 195 

The Duke's Laws 205 

Growth of New York 213 

Andros' Proclamation 219 

Slavery in New York 221 

Samp Porridge 226 

* ' Niggering Com " 228 

Home Habits of the Dutch 229 

Dutch Drinks and Table Service 231 

Food and Labor 235 

Knickerbocker Smoking Parties 239 

Journeying in Olden Time 243 

The Whale Fishermen 247 

Publishing the Banns 251 

Smoked Goose and Kolichees 253 

Christmas and New Years 255 

Festival of Santa IQaas 257 

St. Valentine's Day 263 

Easter and Easter Monday 265 

Pinckster Day 267 

" King Charlie," the Guinea Negro 268 

Evacuation Day 269 

Independence Day 269 

" Squeak the Fife and Beat the Drum " 270 

Notes on the Town of Brooklyn 275 

Ancient Names and Hemains 276 

Soil and Climate 278 

Kieft's Grants and Patents 280 

The Nicolls Patent 284 

Governor Lovelace's License 289 

The Deed from the Indians 290 



Governor Dongan's Patent 293 

Town Rights and Ferries 298 

Montgomery's Charter 303 

Hendrick Remsen's Ferry 305 

Breede Graft Ferry 309 

Ancient Rights and Freehold 313 

The First Steam Ferry 317 

Roads and Public Lauding Places 319 

Common Lands 325 

Differences as to Boundaries 331 

Difference with Bushwick 332 

Difference with Flatbush 333 

Difference with New Utrecht 336 

Revolutionary Incidents 338 

Battle of Long Island 339 

Charles Loosley's Lottery 343 

Descent of the Northern Indians 347 

List of Constables 349 

The Duke's " Overseers " 351 

The Town Commissioners 355 

Case of Henry Claes Vechte 361 

The TowTi Government 363 

The Village Government 367 

The Board of Health 369 

Account of the Churches 371 

Destruction of Esopus 373 

List of Dutch Ministers 375 

Trustees of Dutch Churches 379 

The First Baptist Church 385 

Public Institutions 389 

Population and Increase 390 

Growth of Brooklyn 393 

Value of Real Estate 395 

Schools and Schoolmasters 397 



Newspapers and Moral Character 399 

The Fire Department 401 

Miscellaneous 407 

Slavery in New York 409 

William Morris' Deed 411 

The Brookland Patent 415 

Petition of Volkert Brier 417 

Letter of Justice FUkin 417 

Address of the Deputies 420 

Lord Combury's Charter 423 

Division of Common Lands 432 

Advertisement of the Author 434 

Bibliography of Long Island, by Henry Onderdonk, Jr. . 435 


Although Indian history in our day seems to 
have lost many of its charms, by reason of tlie 
numerous other more highly interesting subjects 
which the advance of science and the recent in- 
crease of knowledge have presented to our minds, 
We cannot, in treating of the antiquities and early 
history of this Island, avoid giving some account 
of the aboriginal tribes which formerly lived upon 
it, intimately connected as they were with that 
period in the history of our own race. We shall, 
however, as far as possible, avoid giving mere 
dry historical details, which at the same time 
afford but little information in the case of an 
uncivilized people, and fatigue the mind of the 
reader. And, also, so far as we can do it, we will 
endeavor to strike out a somewhat new path, by 
giving sketches of their history, and points of their 
general character, which seem to promise a more 
accurate idea of them as a race, in preference to 
following in the usual beaten track. 


Governor De Witt Clinton, who devoted mucli 
time to the aboriginal liistory of this continent, 
and esjjecially of tlie State of New York, in his 
anniversary discourse delivered before the New 
York Historical Society in December, 1812, when 
speaking of the Indian tribes on the Atlantic 
coast of New York and Connecticut, including, 
of course, those upon Long Island, observes: 
" In 1771 the Government of Connecticut, in an 
official statement to the British Secretary of 
State, represented the original title to the lands 
of Connecticut as in the Pequot Nation of In- 
dians, wdio were numerous and warlike; that 
their great sachem, Sassacus^ had under him. 
twenty-six sachems, and that their territory ex- 
tended from Narragansett to Hudson's Kiver, 
and over all Long Island." 

Samuel Jones, Esq., of Oyster Bay, South, 
upon Long Island, a gentleman of much learn- 
ing, in some criticisms on this discoui'se, which 
he addressed to John Pintard, Esq., Secretary 
of the New York Ilistoric^al Society, and which 
are printed in the third volume of the collections 
of that society, thinks the statement, thus cited 
by Governor Clinton, erroneous, and he remarks: 
"Tliis must be a mistake, unless the Long Island 
Indians were part of the Pequot Nation ; for it 
is certain, that when the Europeans first began 


their settlements on tlie island, the Indians on 
the western part of it were tributary to the Mo- 

As happens in many other cases of historical 
and literary controversy, in this instance the dis- 
pute is more imaginary than real, and there is 
really no difference between the two gentlemen, 
except what is caused by the use of a name only. 
The Indians upon the mainland of Connecticut, 
and to the Hudson Kiver, and also upon Long 
Island, were of one people or nation, the great 
Mohegan Nation ; which was divided into several 
tribes, who were sometimes, but erroneously, 
called by the whites, nations ; and these several 
tribes had a species of union among themselves, 
recognizing a common descent, and arising from 
that cause. It was this circumstance that caused 
so much appreliension among tlie inhabitants of 
this colony, during King Philip's celebrated In- 
dian war with the United Colonies of N'ew Ens:- 
land, lest the Indians upon Long Island, who 
w^ere then l)oth numerous and powerful, might 
not, from being of the same blood and nation, 
feel themselves bound to take part in that con- 
test. The Pequots were one of the largest and 
most powerful of the Mohegan tribes, and their 
name has been erroneously used in this instance 
for that of the whole people ; both writers con- 


sidering and admitting the aborigines upon Long 
Island, to be of the same race with those upon 
the mainland of Connecticut. 

The writers on the Indian history of this 
country, and especially that of the tribes for- 
merly upon our Atlantic coast, previous to the 
last thirty years, have fallen into many eri-ors 
from this same cause to which we have just be- 
fore adverted. 

Charles Thomson, Esq., late Secretai-y to Con- 
gress, and also Samuel Jones, Esq., believed the 
Lenni Lenajpi^ called the Loiijjs by the French, 
and the Delaivares by the English, occupied 
Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and that part 
of Kew York and Connecticut which lies be- 
tween the Hudson and Connecticut Rivers, from 
the Highlands down to the Sound. But Gov- 
ernor De Witt Clinton thinks the statement of 
Smith, the historian of New York, that all the 
Indians w^ithin the territory thus desci-ibed were 
tributar}^ to the Five Nations, or the Iroquois, 
when the Dutch commenced their settlement of 
this colony, inconsistent with the view thus taken 
by Mr. Thomson, and subsequently by Mr. Jones. 

This difference in opinion, like that before re- 
ferred to, has but little real basis in the history of 
those Indian nations. The course of aboriginal 
emigration was directly the reverse of that of the 


white man, being from west to east ; and the 
Mohegaiis and Lenni Lenajpi were of the same 
orio-in, tlieir ancestors formino^ the first Indian 
emigration to tlie Atlantic coast ; where, after- 
wards, in consequence of their great increase in 
popnlation, being in a fertile region where their 
necessary wants were more than snpplied by 
slight labor, both from the earth and the ocean, 
they became divided into two nations, retaining 
the evidences of their common origin, not only in 
their traditions, but also in their language, habits, 
manners and customs. Thus divided, they be- 
came permanently seated on this coast, the Mo- 
hegans occupying the country east of the Hudson 
River, inchiding Manhattan Island, Staten Island, 
and Long Island, and the Lenapi holding the 
country west of that river. 

The Irocpiois, or Five Nations, were an entirely 
different race of people, and a subsequent migra- 
tion to the east ; and the same spirit which 
bi-ought them to the banks of the Hudson River, 
and there seated one of their tribes, the Mo 
liawks, a little to the south of the present city of 
Albany, also induced them to extend their in- 
cursions down that noble stream, the Hudson, 
and also to the east of it, until they had rendered 
the Mohegan tribes below them, and upon Long 
Island, their tributaries. 


The ease with which the white men fell into 
the error of applying the name of a single tribe 
to a whole people is shown in tlie case of the 
MohawJcs, a single tribe of the Iroquois ; bnt 
which for very many years was the name by 
which the whole five nations was known to the 
white population of this country, and also to Eu- 
ropeans. And the tenacity with which the In- 
dian tribes held on to the history of their com- 
mon origin, and the extent to which they not only 
recognized it, but also acted upon it, is shown in 
the union effected between the Five Nations of 
this State and the Tuscaroras of North Carolina. 
These Tuscaroras originally formed part of the 
same people with the Five Nations, and in their 
first emigration from west to east, they separated 
from the others on the great prairies of the West, 
and migrated down farther south until they 
eventually seated themselves in North Carolina, 
where they were found by the first European set- 
tlers ; while their other brethren turned their 
course towards the north, and fought their way 
through the previous occupants of the lands, in 
some instances exterminating whole nations, as is 
the traditionary history of the Eries, until they be- 
became seated in the western part of New York, 
and along the fertile valley of the Mohawk Kiver. 
Althouo;h so far removed from the descendants 


of their conmion ancestors, by interveniiio^ forests 
of hundreds of miles and numerous hostile tribes, 
the remembrance of their being of the same blood 
was sedulously preserved, and our records afford 
frequent evidence of the Five Nations sending 
assistance to the Tuscaroi-as in the prosecution of 
their wars. And at last when the Iroquois feared 
they were too much reduced by their frequent 
wars for their safety, as well as the maintenance 
of their predominance among the surrounding 
Indian tribes, they invited the Tuscaroras to re- 
move to western Xew York and to settle with 
them ; wliich invitation was accepted, and in the 
early part of the last century the Tuscaroras mi- 
grated to that portion of this State where they 
now are located, and thus was formed the Six 
Nations of Indians ; this being the last of those 
aboriginal migrati(jns which had continued upon 
this continent for very man}^ ages, and bringing 
it within the period of our colonial history. 

There were many tribes of Indians on this 
island, who were seated at the following places, as 
far as can be ascertained at this distant day : 

In Kings County. — In this county the most 
powerful and extensive tribe was the Canarse, 
who were the first inhabitants of the New World 
to welcome the arrival of Ilendrick Hudson, the 
European, who first discovered and explored the 


fine river now justly bearing liis name. The ac- 
count which he gives in liis journal of this wel- 
come, and tlie appearance which the western 
extremity of this island presented to his men upon 
their first landing, is truly beautiful, and as it 
affords ns a much better idea of these Indians, 
and of tlieir mode of living, than anything we 
can obtain from any other source, we sliall 
substantially give the description whicli he has 
left us. 

When Hudson came to anchor in Gravesend 
Bay on the fourth day of September in the year 
1609, the Canarse Indians visited him and came 
on board his vessel, apparently without any ap- 
prehension, and, as Hudson says, seemed very 
glad of their (the Europeans) coming. They 
l)rouglit with them green tobacco, and exchanged 
it for knives and beads. They were clad in deer- 
skins, well dressed^ and desired clothing, a rather 
nnusiial request for the aborigines to make on 
th.eir first intercourse with white men, and exhib- 
iting an advance in the arts of life which we have 
not been accustomed to attribute to the Indians 
of Long Island ; and they were " very civil." 
When they visited him on the ensuing day, Hud- 
son says, some of them were dressed in " mcuitles 
of feather s^^"^ and some in skins '''' of divers sorts 
of good fur sP He also states that they had yel- 


low copper, red copper, tohacco pipes, and orna- 
ments of copper about their necks ; it was the 
abundance of instruments of this yellow copper 
that first attracted the attention of the Spaniards 
when they originally landed upon the coast of 
Mexico ; and which they, believing to be gold, 
purchased in great numbers. 

Does this show an intercourse between these 
Indians of Long Island, and the more civilized 
race found by the Sp)aniards in Mexico ; or did 
the Canarse Indians understand the art of manu- 
facturing these different kinds of copper ? 

The solution of these inquiries affords matter 
not only of curious, l)ut also of a highly interest- 
ing nature ; and which, singular as it may appear, 
seems never to have attracted the notice of a soli- 
tary writer on Indian history, or on the Antiqui- 
ties of America. 

Hudson also represents these Long Island. In- 
dians as having (jreat store of maize, ox: Indian 
corn, " wherecjf they make good bread," and cur- 
rants, some of which, dried, his men brought to 
liim from the land on the second day, and which, 
lie says, were " sweet and good." Some of the 
Indian women also brought him Jieinp, wdiich 
they must have known the use of, and highly 
valued, or they would not have thought of bring- 
ing it as a present. 


Some of his men landed npon this island in 
what is now the town of Gravesend, and they 
there saw "great store of men, women and chil- 
dren," who gave them tobacco upon their land- 
ing ; they also described the country to Hudson, 
as being full of great, tall oaks, and " the lands 
w^ere as pleasant with grass, and flowers, and 
goodly trees as ever they had seen, and very sweet 
smells came from them." 

Unfortunately this pleasant and peaceful in- 
tercourse between the Indians and their Euro- 
pean visitors was not long preserved. On the 
third day a party of Hudson's crew again landed 
at the same place. Among them was John Col- 
man, an Englishman ; and although nothing is 
said in Hudson's journal about any provocation 
to the Indians, yet it is certain some must have 
been given, and most probably not of a trivial 
character, or the people who had welcomed their 
arrival in such a friendly manner would not have 
become so immediately changed as to attack this 
party of the crew on this occasion. The result 
of this contest was, that John Colman was killed 
by an arrow shot into his throat, he probably be- 
ing the principal offender in this instance, as the 
[ndians shoot no chance shot, but invariably aim 
at a particular object ; and two others were 
^vounded. Colman was buried upon the point of 


Coney Island, which Hudson from that circum- 
stance named Colman^s Point 

This serious occurrence terminated Hudson's 
intercourse with the shore of this ishind, al- 
thou2:h the ahorio-ines came and visited him the 
next day, as he says, in the same manner as if 
notliing had happened ; they evidently regarding 
Colman's death in no other light than as a just 
punishment f(^r some offence he had committed ; 
and the next day Hudson pursued his course up 
the river. 

The old Dutch inhabitants of King's county 
have a tradition that tlie Canarse tribe was subject 
to the Mohawks, as all the Iroquois were formerly 
called, and paid them an annual tribute of driea 
clams and wampum. When tlie Dutch settled in 
this county they persuaded the Canarses to keep 
back the tribute; in consequence of which a 
party of the Mohawks came down and killed 
their tributaries wlierever they met them. The 
Canarse Indians are at this time totally extiuct ; 
not a single member of that ill-fated race is now 
in existence. 

We ha^'e still preserved in the records of the 
Dutch Government of this colony historical evi- 
dence of the trutli of this tradition, and some ac- 
count of this extraordinary incursion of the Iro- 
quois or the Five Nations of Indians uj)on Long 


Island. TliGY seemed to have regarded all the 
Indians of the great Mohegan faniih^, in the 
southern part of this colony, as their tributaries ; 
and they probably were so long anterior to the 
Dutch settlement of this country. After the 
Dutch colonization the Indians upon Long Island 
appear to have discontinued the payment of the 
usual tribute to the Iroquois, or to the Mohawks, 
as they were generally called, that being the Iro- 
quois tribe most contiguous to the European set- 
tlements, being located then a little south of 
Albany, upon the west side of the Hudson Elver, 
and thus for a long period with the European 
colonists the name of Mohawk was used to desig- 
nate the whole Iroquois Confederacy ; and the 
Long Island Indians did this probably from the 
belief that the Iroquois would not dare come 
down and attack them among the European set- 
tlements. But in this they were greatly mis- 
taken. For in the 3'ear 1655, with the view of 
chastising: all their former tributaries in the 
southern part of this colony, a large body of these 
northern Indians descended the Hudson Kiver 
and made a landing upon Staten Island, where 
they massacred sixty -seven persons — a very great 
number, considerino; the state of the colonv at 
that period ; whether they were white people or 
Indians who were thus slain is not stated, but 


probably a large portion of tliem were in the first 
class, and were killed in attempting to prevent 
tlie landing of this hostile force. After this, this 
Indian army crossed to Long Island, and invested 
the town of Gravesend, which they threatened to 
destroy ; but which was relieved by a detach- 
ment of Dutch soldiers sent from Xew Amster- 
dam (New York). Upon their abandoning the 
siege of Gravesend, the Dutch records give no 
further account of them, than to mention that all 
this was done when those northern Indians were 
upon their waj^ to wage war against the Indians 
upon the east end of Long Island. It was un- 
doubtedly directly after leaving Gravesend that 
they fell upon and destroyed tlie Canarse tribe, 
and afterwards proceeded down through the 
island with that terrible foray of murder the ac- 
count of which has been preserved in tradition 
to this day ; and to prevent a repetition of which 
the Consistory of the Dutch Church at Albany 
undertook to be the agents to see that the re- 
quired tribute was regularly paid by the Long 
Island Indians to the Five Nations. So great 
was the dread of the Iroquois among the Indians 
of this island, arising from the tradition preserved 
of this terrible incursion, that a very aged lady, 
who was a small girl of, eight or nine years before 
the commencement of the lievolationary war, tells 


US that five or six Indians of the Iroquois Nation 
were for some offence brought to Kew York and 
sent to Jamaica, upon Long Island ; and that, al- 
though they were 23risoners, not one of the Long 
Island Indians could be induced to look, with liis 
person exposed, npon one of these terrible " Mo- 
hawks," as they called them ; but very many of 
them would be continually peeping around cor- 
ners, and from behind other people, to get a 
sight at those northern Indians ; at the same time 
expressing the utmost fear and dread of them. 

Mrs. Eemsen, the widow of Anthony Eemsen, 
deceased, formerly of Brooklyn, on Long Island, 
says that, soon after she was married, the^^ moved 
to Canarse on that island, now (1832) about forty 
years since, where she made the shroud in which 
to bury the last individual of the remnant of the 
Canarse tribe of Indians. This last member of 
that tribe also told her the tradition before men- 
tioned, of the destruction of the greater portion 
of the Canarse tribe by the Mohawks, in conse- 
quence of their failure to pay the required tribute. 
This Indian told her that three or four families 
of them, having become alarmed by the shrieks 
and gi-oans of their murdered friends, fled for 
the shore of the bay, got into their canoes, and 
paddled off to Barren Island, forming part of the 
great south beach, whither the Mohawks could not, 


or did not, follow them. They returned late on 
the following day, and soon ascertained that tliey 
constituted the only living representatives of their 
entire tribe, who liad the night previous laid 
them down to rest in a]:)parent security ; and that 
no ti'ace was to be discovered of their vindictive 
and ba-rbarous enemies. It was some days, how- 
ever, before they ventured to return permanently 
to their old residences, and not before they be- 
came entirely satisfied that the Mohawks had re- 
turned to their homes. 

This Indian incursion caused the Dutch Gov- 
ernment to feel much apprehension on the sub- 
ject of Indian attacks upon the towns of the 
western part of this island for a long time sub- 
sequent. The inhabitants of Flatbush were or- 
dered by Governor Stuy\'esant, in 1656, a short 
time after that foray, to enclose their village with 
palisadoes, to protect them from the Indians. 

And .again, to prevent the incursions of In- 
dians, the Governor, in 1660, ordered the inhabi- 
tants of Brooklyn to put tlieir town in a state of 
defence, and also commanded the farmers to re- 
move within the fortifications under the penalty' 
of forfeiting their estates. 

The Dutch colonists seem to have lived in al- 
most continued apprehension of the Iroquois. 
On the 26th of June, 1663, Governor JStuyvesant 


informed tlie churcli of Brooklyn that the Esopus 
Indians, who were then in league with the Iro- 
quois, had on the 7th of that month attacked and 
burnt the town of Esopus (Kingston), " killing 
and wounding a number of the inhabitants, and 
taking many prisoners; burning the new town, 
and desolating the place." July 4, 1663, was ob- 
served as a day of thanksgiving on account of a 
treaty of peace with the Indians, the release of 
the prisoners, and the defeat of the English at- 
tempt to take the whole of Long Island. 

And good reason the Dutch had for their 
fears of the Iroquois, for a more enterprising and 
vindictive nation never existed among the abori- 
gines of this continent. Immense extents of wild, 
unsettled country seem to have afforded no pro- 
tection against their incui-sions. They not only 
made regular expeditions to the southern part of 
this colony, and even to its utmost extremity ; 
they not only invaded Canada and subjugated all 
the region north of Lake Erie, and between lakes 
Ontario and Huron, and nearly exterminated its 
former population, but they also made frequent 
incursions throiio;h what is now the State of Ken- 
tucky, and claim to have acquired that country 
by right of conquest, and also upon the back 
settlements of South Carolina. In the South 
jOavolina Gazette of April 11, 1753, we have tho 


evidence of one of their expeditions to that re- 
gion, in a proclamation of the Governor, and a 
vote of the Assembly of that Province, offering 
a reward of one hundred ponnds currency to any 
person who should kill or take alive any one of 
the body of northern Indians that had lately 
come into that province, and " committed sundry- 
robberies and other acts of violence." 

The Iroquois preserved their power and influ- 
ence upon this continent by the union of five 
small tribes, which but for this confederacy 
would have been destroyed or obliged to merge 
themselves into their more powerful neighbors. 
Strange as it may seem, it is to them we owe our 
present form of government in the United States. 
Their chiefs had for years observed that the 
French in Canada, although not the one-tenth of 
the English colonies in either power or resources, 
owed their success mainly to a want of union in 
the colonies.; and that the only colonies that 
offered them any effectual resistance were the 
United Colonies of l^ew England, and they urged 
upon the Governor of ^ew York, and the British 
commanders of the forces, the necessity of a 
union. Their suggestion w^as sent to England, 
approved there, and resulted in the congress held 
at Albany in ITott, at which the Privy Council of 
England directed the chiefs should be invited, and 


their advice taken. This policy of a strict con- 
federation was adhered to by the Iroquois through 
out their history; and when, about tlie commence- 
ment of the eighteenth century, they found them- 
selves by their frequent wars reduced below the 
number they regarded necessary for their safety 
and preponderance among their Indian neighbors, 
they invited the Tuscaroras from I^orth Carolina 
to remove to the western part of New York, and 
"become a member of their league ; which invita- 
tion was accepted, and the Tuscaroras gradually 
moved up to their present location, and became 
the sixth nation of the Iroquois confederacy, 
which afterwards was known as the Six instead 
of the Five Nations. The Tuscaroras retained 
their lands in North Carolina, on which they were 
formerly settled, until within the last ten or 
twelve years, when they sold the same and di- 
vided the proceeds among their tribe. This does 
not look very much like that robbing Indians of 
their lands, of which we hear so much from the 
English press. So late as 1820 the Seneca and 
other tribes forming the Six Nations in this State, 
assumed the power of trying and punishing, and 
in some cases ca]3itall3', members of their respec- 
tive tribes for crimes by them committed within 
the Indian reservations. The question of con- 
flict between this assumed jurisdiction, and that 


claimed by the State over them in common witli 
all others its inhabitants, was brought up by the 
case of Soo-non-gize, otherwise called Tommy 
Jemmy, an Indian of the Seneca tribe, who in 
1821 was indicted for the ninrder of an Indian 
woman of the same tribe committed within the 
Seneca reservation near Buffalo, in this State. 
On the trial the defence set up was, that the 
alleged murder was connnitted by authority de- 
rived from the councils of the chiefs, sachems, 
and warriors of that tribe, who were an indepen- 
dent nation, and had full power aud jurisdiction 
in the premises, and were competent to grant the 
authority upon which the alleged act was com- 
mitted. The Court of Oyer and Terminer, at 
which, we think. Chief -Justice Spencer presided, 
refused to entertain this defence, and held that 
the Indians of this tribe, as well as all others 
within this State, were subject to the laws of this 
State; and the Indian was thereupon convicted 
of the murder, and sentenced to be executed. 
The court, however, under the peculiar circum- 
stances, commended his case to the favorable 
notice of the Governor, and the Governor commu- 
nicated it to the Legislature, upon which the 
Legislature, on the 12th of April, 1822, passed 
"An Act declaring the jurisdiction of the courts 
of this State, and pardoning Soo-non-gize, other- 


wise called Tommy Jemmy." That act, after 
reciting the claim of the Indians to jurisdiction, 
proceeds to declare : " And whereas the sole and 
exclusive cognizance of all crimes and offences 
committed within this State belongs of right to 
the courts holden under the constitution and laws 
thereof, as a necessary attribute of sovereignty, 
except only crimes and offences cognizable in the 
courts deriving jurisdiction under the constitution 
and laws of the United States ; and whereas it 
has become necessary as well to protect the said 
Indian tribes as to assert and maintain the juris- 
diction of the courts of this State, that provision 
should be made in the premises " — they then 
enact that the sole jurisdiction is in the State 
courts, w^ith the exception above mentioned ; and 
that Soo-non-gize, otherwise called Tommy Jem- 
my, is "fully and absolutely pardoned of said 
felony." And thus terminated the last effort on 
the part of the Six Nations to maintain their 
standing as an independent government ; a mea- 
sure that would have been very injurious to them 
as a people if they had been successful, as it 
would have left them without the protection of 
the State government. 

The Rev. Dr. John Bassett, the minister of the 
Dutch Eeformed Church in Bushwick, on this 
island, and who was formerly a minister of the 


same Church in Albany, states that the Montauk 
Indians npon the east end of Long Island for a 
long period paid a tribute to the Six Nations of 
Indians (tlie Five Nations of Golden, the Iroquois) ; 
and that the consistory of the Dutch Reformed 
Church in Albany were the agents for receiving 
and paying over this tribute. 

We recollect to have heard, about ten years 
ago, that, fifteen or twenty years previous to that 
time, it was usual for the farmers coming to the 
city of New York from the east end of Long 
Island, in the fall of the year, to bring w^ith them 
to the city a quantity of w^ampum (Indian money), 
which was to be sent to x\lbany. What its ulti- 
mate destination was we were not then informed, 
but we now have little doubt that it formed in 
part, if not entirely, the tribute in question to be 
paid to the Six Nations of Indians. 

It is not a little strange that, after all we have 
on tliis subject in our public records and histories, 
and also the fact that the consistory of the Dutch 
•Reformed Church at Albany were for many years 
the agents for the receipt of this tribute from 
the Montauks and other Indians on the eastern 
part of Long Island and its transmission to the 
Iroquois, Samuel Jones, Esq., of Oyster Bay, 
South, should have expressed it as his belief, in 
1817, that there was no evidence that the Indians 


Oil Long Island, eastward of about thirty miles 
from Xew York, were tributary to the Five Na- 
tions. And he makes the further extraordinary 
statement, directly opposed to the evidence af- 
forded us by the extracts from the Dutch rec- 
ords which we have previously cited, that " we 
have no reason to believe that the Five Nations 
had any war with the Indians on Long Island 
after it was settled by Europeans " (New York 
Llist. Society's Collections, vol. iii., page 324). 

In these statements Mr. Jones is evidently giv- 
ing us the results of his own thoughts, without 
having examined the original documents, which 
should alone determine such a question, or other- 
wise he would soon have found evidence enough 
of their incursions upon this island after the 
Dutch settlement. 

A small tribe of Nyack Indians was settled at 
Nyack, on Long Island, in 1646 ; and they are 
mentioned in the records of the Dutch Colonial 
Government of the New Netherlands (now New 
York) of that year. 

It is said there is a tradition that a small tribe 
of Indians formerly inhabited the valley between 
the Brooklyn, Jamaica, and Flatbush Turnpike 
road, and the Gowanus mill-ponds in the town 
of Brooklyn. On the arrival and settlenKiur of 
the Europeans here a quarrel ensued between 


them and this tribe, in which one of the settlers 
was killed. In order to avoid the vengeance of 
the whites, the little tribe moved to the Jersey 
shore not far from Communipaw, where they had 
scarcely seated themselves before the whites at- 
tacked them in the night and slaughtered tliem 
all. (This tradition I had from Mr. Jacob Ilicks, 
set. 58.) The tradition, however, we do not put 
much faith in. There were undoubtedly several 
small tribes scattered over different j^^i'ts of the 
island of which we know little or nothing at pres- 

At the first settlement of the white inhabitants 
there was a very numerous Indian population on 
this island, as is evident from the large portion 
wdiich Daniel Denton, in his description of l^ew 
York, printed at London in 1670 (the first work 
on this colony in the English language, and he 
an inhabitant of this island), devotes of his work 
to describing their manners and customs. We 
have also preserved tlie names of fourteen of 
their tribes who were formerly located upon 
Long Island. 

Every few years some discoveries are made in 
various parts of this island of the remains of 
these aborigines. On dii2:2:ino; a few feet below 
the surface recently at the Narrows, in Kings 
County, more than a wagon-load of Indian stone 


arrow-lieacls were found lying together, niider 
circumstances calculated to induce the belief that 
a large manufactory of those articles once ex- 
isted at this place ; tliey were of all sizes, from 
one to six inches long, some perfect, others partly 
finished. There were also a number of blocks of 
the same kind of stone found in the rough state, 
as when brought from tlie quarry ; they had the 
appearance of ordinary flint, and were nearly as 
hard ; not only arrow-heads, but axes and other 
articles of domestic use were made from these 

In Queens County. — In this county the Iwock- 
away, Merrikoke, and Marsapeague tribes of 
Indians were settled on the south side ; and the 
Matinecoc tribe on the north side. The middle of 
the island seems to have been by common consent 
the acknowledged boundary between the tribes 
on the north and south sides. In this county, 
about the year 1654, a battle was fought between 
the English, under Captain John Under]] ill, and 
the Marsapeague Indians. This is the only con- 
test of any importance between the English and 
Indians on Long Island, of which we have any 
account. The Indians were defeated with con- 
siderable loss. 

In Suffolk County. — In this county were the 
^Nissacpiage, Setauket, Corchaug, Secataug, Patch- 


ogue, Shinecoc and Montauk tribes of Indians. 
The Manhanset tribe was on Shelter Island, 
Earn Island, and Hog Island. Tradition asserts 
they conld bring 500 warriors into the field. 
Most of the tribes of Indians have totally disap- 
peared like 

" The baseless fabric of a vision." 

The Montank, which occnpied Montauk Point 
and Gardiner's Island, is the only tribe which has 
any number in it, except the Shinecoc tribe. 

In this decrease of the Indian tribes the white 
population has not had tlie extensive agency 
which many persons in our day seem to imagine ; 
and a minute inquiry into the circumstances of 
the case could scarcely fail to satisfy them that, 
even where the utmost exertions were honestly 
used to prevent it, tliis decrease could not be 
stayed or retarded, much less arrested in its pro- 
gress. The Dutch Government believed in the 
possibility of converting the Indians, and also of 
forming them into civilized communities, and 
with that view were very rigid in their enact- 
ments against all courses and practices which they 
thought would interfere with the attainment of 
that end. Thus it was that Governor Stuyvesant, 
in 164:7, prohibited the sale of strong drink to 
the Indians, under the heavy penalty of live hun- 

34 loinG island antiquities. 

dred Oarolus guilders " and the further respon- 
sibility for all the misdemeanors that may result 
therefrom ; " a law which was strictly enforced. 
In addition to this he directed that in all cases 
justice should be done to the aborigines ; that 
their lands shonld not be taken without a fair 
compensation, and that the inhabitants should pay 
them for any work which the Indians should do 
for them ; nnder " the penalty of such a iine 
as according to the occasion shall be deemed 

These regulations were substantially continued 
by the English Government for many years after 
they came into possession of the colony. Many 
exertions were used both by the Dutch and Eng- 
lish Colonial Governments to Christianize the In- 
dians upon this island, but with little success ; 
the restraints which religion imposed were not 
suited to their feelings or dispositions. The at- 
tempt, however, was not abandoned. In the 
year 1741, the Eev. Azariah Horton was the mis- 
sionary to the Long Island Indians, a duty which 
he assumed in the month of August of that year. 
He states that then at the east end of the island 
there were two small towns of the Indians, and 
lesser companies settled at a few miles distance 
from one another, for the length of above one 
hundred miles between the extremities of the 


island. At liis first coming he was well received 
by most of them, and heartily welcomed by some ; 
the Indians at the east end especially gave 
diligent and serious attention to his instructions, 
and a general reformation of manners was soon 
observable among them. Up to the close of the 
year 1743, he had baptized thirty-five adults and 
forty-four children. " He took pains with them 
to teach them to read, and some of them have made 
considerable proficienc}^" But notwithstanding 
all this, Mr. Ilorton, in the early part of 1744, 
complains of a great defection of some of these 
Indians from their first reformation, caused by 
" a relapse into their darling vice of drunkenness ; 
a vice to which the Indians are everywhere so 
greatly addicted, and so vehemently disposed, that 
nothing but the power of Divine grace can restrain 
that impetuous lust, when they have an oppor- 
tunity of gratifying it." Under these discourag- 
ing circumstances the mission was still continued ; 
and we are under the impression that it was not 
abandoned until after the commencement of the 
Revolutionary war, which broke up most of the 
churches in this colony. 

To show how extremely difficult it was to pre- 
vent the Indians from drinking, notwithstanding 
all the restrictions imposed ]:)y the Government, 
we refer to the case of the Rev. Samson Occom, 


the celebrated Mohegan minister, and a man 
who the Eev. Dr. Buell, in a letter of May 9, 
1761, characterizes as a " preacher of the Gospel 
who seems always to have in view the end of the 
ministry, the glory of God, and the salvation of 
man," and who he also speaks of as " the glory of 
the Indian nation." Yet this Indian clergyman, 
learned and good as he undoubtedly was, could 
not avoid the curse of his race, and in a letter 
which he addressed to the Presbytery of Long 
Island on the 9th of June, 1764, confesses himself 
" to have been shamefull}^ overtaken by strong 
drink, by which (he says) I have greatly wound- 
ed the cause of God, blemished the pure religion 
of Jesus Christ, blackened my own character, 
and hurt my own soul." 

This Indian avidity for strong drink is thus 
portrayed by a chief of the Six N^ations, in a 
speech he made to the Commissioners of the 
United States at Fort Stanwix in the year 1788. 
He observed : " The avidity of the white people 
for land, and the thirst of the Indians for spii-itu- 
ous liquors were equally insatiable ; that the white 
men had seen and fixed their eyes upon the 
Indian's good land and the Indians had seen and 
fixed their eyes upon the white men's keg of rum. 
And nothing could divert either of them from 
their desired object ; and therefore there was no 


remedy, but the white men must have the land 
and the Indians the keg of rum." 

This speech affords a correct view of the case. 
The Indians could not be prevented from drink- 
nio^, allhouo'h o^reat exertions were used to ac- 
complish that end ; notliing human could effect 
it ; it was alone (to use the words of the Rev. Mr. 
Horton, in 174:4) tlie power of Divine Grace 
that could restrain this impetuous lust. 

This account of the Rev. Mr. Horton's mission 
in 1744 was unfortunately the history of every 
attempt to ameliorate the condition of these poor 
tribes. So long as they were in the course of 
instruction, and everything was done for them, 
or they were assisted in doing matters in order to 
teach them, things went on tolerably well ; but the 
moment they were left to themselves to put in 
practice the instructions they had received, in 
governing their own towns, in conducting their 
own church service, teaching their own schools, 
and in cultivating their own fields, they began to 
retrograde ; the benefits which they had received 
were not communicated by them to their chil- 
dren, and of course the next generation was 
almost as much of savages as were their fathers 
before the advantages of civilization were intro- 
duced among them. Notwithstanding tliese dis- 
couraging circumstances, oft-repeated attempts 


were made to induce the remnants of these abori- 
gines to adopt the habits and practices of civil- 
ized life, but with very limited and partial suc- 
cess, and laws were enacted by the State Legisla- 
ture to facilitate these benevolent efforts, and to 
prevent trespasses upon the lands of the Indians, 
in order to induce them to resort to its cultivation 
for their support. It seems to have been impos- 
sible to satisfy tlie aboriginal inhabitants of this 
island as to the value of education, or to convince 
them that it was not a disadvantage for them to 
possess it. This trait, however, is not peculiar to 
the Indians of this island ; it is now found in full 
operation in the minds of great numbers of the 
aborigines west of the Mississippi, and is a most 
serious bar to their advancement in the arts of 
civilized life. Thej esteem their own education 
(if it may be so called) as immensely superior to 
that which we offer them, for the life which they 
lead, and which they desire to continue in ; and 
they look upon the learning and knowledge 
which we tender to them as only calculated to be 
of use alone to the white men. Notliing effectual 
can l)e done towards civilizing and instructing 
the Indians until this idea is removed from their 
minds, and until they become cultivators of the 
soil for a subsistence, — until they look to the 
grain Avhich they raise, and to the cattle and 


stock which they rear for a living, in place of 
seeking it by the chase, and in fishing npon the 
lakes and rivers. The moment they become 
truly fixed to the soil (and that will probably not 
be until one generation of cultivators shall have 
passed away), they will see and feel the necessity 
of knowledge, and they will then of their own 
motion seek for it ; until that time arrives all 
efforts to impart education to them are thrown 
away, they place no value on it, but, on the con- 
trary, regard it as an impediment to the course of 
life on which they depend as a means of exist- 

There has always been a very great and seri- 
ous difiiculty which we have had to contend with 
in all attempts to Christianize the aborigines, 
to which sufficient attention has not been paid. 
We refer to their religious belief. They believe 
in one God, whom they call the Great Spirit ; and 
who they believe controls and orders all things. 
They also recognize the existence of an evil spirit, 
and have their system of future rewards and pun- 
ishments. It, therefore, often becomes extremely 
difficult for the missionary to convince them that 
he is preaching a new religious faith. To their 
untutored minds the variances, so marked and pal- 
pable to us, do not present themselves ; and 
often has the sincere teacher of the Gospel been 


obliged to confess that his prospect of success 
would be very much better with a people who 
wei-e the avowed worshippers of idols, stocks, and 
stones, than with the Xorth American Indians, 
and arising from the circumstances before re- 
ferred to. It is true our Indians believed in a 
pbirality of gods, but they were all subordinate 
to the Great Spirit, and could not be distin- 
guished by them from the angelic host of the 
Christian faith ; for their subordinate gods were 
the miuisteriug spirits of their superior god. The 
religious faitli of the Long Island Indians is de- 
scribed by the Rev. Samson Occom, an educated 
Mohegan Indian ]ninister, as follows : " They 
believe in a plurality of gods, and in one great 
and good Being, who controls all the rest. They 
likewise believe in an evil spirit, and have their 
conjurers or pawaws." Occom was perfectly 
conversant with their old religion, and one who 
had great influence with them ; and when he re- 
moved to Western Kew York with the remnants 
of some of the New England tribes, a consider- 
able number of the Montauks from this island 
accompanied him. 

i\\ the year 1792, in the hope that it would 
benefit them, the Legislature of this State con- 
ferred upon the Shinecoc Indians upon the east 
end of this island, the power of electing three 


trustees from their own tribe to manage and ap- 
portion their lands among the members of their 
tribe, with a view to its improvement. At these 
elections, each male Indian above twenty-one 
years of age was a voter ; and the elections were 
to be held annually in Southampton, on the iirst 
Tuesday in April, at the place of holding the 
annual town meeting ; and the town clerk of 
Southampton was required to be present, and to 
preside at these Indian elections. But the Legis- 
lature would not permit these trustees to lease 
out the lands of the tribe to any one without the 
consent of three Justices of tlie Peace residino^ 
next to them, and then not for a longer period 
than three years. 

In order to promote friendship and a future 
good understanding between the Montauk In- 
dians and the white settlers, an agreement, in 
writing, was entered into between them on the 
3d day of March, 1702-3, by which all previous 
differences were declared settled, and the respec- 
tive rights of the Indians and the wliite inhabi- 
tants to the lands in that vicinity adjusted. 
Under this agreement they continued to live in 
peace with each other, until about the year 1787, 
when the Indians began to imagine that the 
white proprietors were in possession of much 
more land than had been declared to belong to 


them by the agreement of 1703 ; and to test this 
question they turned their cattle into some of the 
fenced fields of the white people, which caused 
their impounding. Upon the trial which result- 
ed from this act, it was shown that the white 
proprietors held the same lands that were award- 
ed them by that agreement and no more. Then 
the Indians came to regard the agreement itself, 
under which the}^ had so long lived in peace, as a 
serious grievance ; and in 1807 they petitioned the 
Legislature of this State for relief in respect to 
certain grievances which they said had been im- 
230sed upon them by the proprietors of the lands 
on Montauk in reference to the improvement of 
their lands ; and they prayed the interference of 
the Legislature to procure an alteration of the 
agreement made by their ancestors with those 
proprietors. The Legislature saw that these poor 
Indians could not be referred to the courts of law 
to test the validity of their agreement, as would 
have been the course if that petition had em- 
anated from anj^ other of the inhabitants of this 
State, and they therefore appointed Ezra L'Hom- 
medieu, John Smitli and Nicoll Floyd, Esq., of 
Suffolk County, commissioners to inquire into 
the grievances complained of by those Indians ; 
and authorized them, with the consent of tlie pro- 
prietors and the Indians, to make such arrange- 


ment as they might judge equitable, for the 
future improvement of the land at Montauk hy 
the Indians, notwithstanding the agreement made 
by their ancestors ; and to report their proceed- 
ings to the Legislature at their next meeting. 

These commissioners made their report to the 
New York Legislature on the 30th of January, 
1808, from which it clearly appeared that the 
Indians were in error in believing their ancestors 
had not conveyed to the white proprietors all the 
lands they were then in possession of ; and they 
also appended to their report the original agree- 
ment which was i:&ade on the 3d of March, 1702-3, 
which the Legislature ordered to be filed in tlie 
office of the Secretary of State. By their report 
the commissioners state that " the uneasiness of 
the Indians in respect to their rights to land on 
Montauk has been occasioned principally by 
strangers (not inhabitants of this State), who, for 
a nunal)er of years past, have made a practice of 
visiting them, and have received from them pro- 
duce and obligations for money for counsel and 
advice, and their engagements to assist them in 
respect to their claims to lands on Montauk, 
other than those now held by the aforesaid agree- 
ment." And the commissioners further state, 
that " the neck of land they (the Indians) live 
on contains about one thousand acres of the first 


quality, on which, by the aforesaid agreement, 
they have a right to plant Indian corn without 
restriction as to the number of acres, besides im- 
proving thirty acres for wheat or grass ; to keep 
two hundred and fifty swine, great and small, and 
fifty horse, kind and neat cattle, and to get hay 
to winter them. They now enjoy privileges 
equal with their ancestors, since the date of the 
said agreement, although their numbers have 
greatly diminished ;" and the commissioners con- 
clude with expressing it as their opinion that 
" there is no necessity of any further legislative 
interference respecting them." 

The explanations made by these commissioners 
appear to have been satisfactory to the Indians, 
and we hear nothing further from them until 
1816, when they complained to the Governor aiid 
the Legislature of som.e trespasses committed 
upon their lands by the white people, which 
complaint w^as answered by the appointment of 
another commission to inquire into their condi- 
tion, and to remedy the evils of which they com- 
plained, w^hich is hereafter mentioned. 

A considerable number of the Montauk In- 
dians appear to have emigrated in 1783, together 
with some other fragments of the great Mohegan 
nation, of which they formed a part, into the w^est- 
ern part of this State under the direction of the 


Rev. Samson Occom, where they all together 
merged into one tribe and became known as the 
Brotliertown Indians. Thej were also some- 
times called the N^ew England Indians, and con- 
sisted of the following tribes — the Mohegan (em- 
bracing all whose particular tribe was unknown, 
and therefore the general national name was ap- 
plied to them), the Montocks (or Montanks), the 
Stonington and Narragansett Indians, the Pe- 
qnots of Groton, and the Nehanticks of Far- 

The Legislature of this State, in 1813, con- 
firmed to these Indians the land previously 
set apart for their use, and declared that it should 
remain to tliem and their posterity, without the 
power of alienation, and that the said tract 
should be called Brothertown. They also pro- 
vided that a school should be established there 
for the Indians, to be supported out of the annual 
sum of $2,160.79, to be paid out of the State 
treasury, and that after also deducting the salary 
of their attorney to look after their interests, the 
balance should be applied to the use of those In- 
dians as should be judged most beneficial to them. 

In 1816, Govern.or Tompkins, at the request of 
the Montauk Indians, appointed Richard Ilubbel 
and Isaac Keeler, Esqrs., commissioners to inquire 
into the trespasses committed upon their property, 


and as far as practicable to have them redressed. 
In their report the commissioners state : " That 
about fifty families, consisting of 148 persons, 
men, women, and children, inhabit said point — 
that fourteen of the women are widows, and 
that they all live in about thirty huts, or wig- 
wams, nearly in the same style as Indians have 
for centuries past." These Indians, at present, 
obtain their living principally from the sea, 
although they till some land for raising corn, 
beans, and potatoes, in small patches or lots. They 
are in possession of about 500 aci-es of land of the 
best quality. They keep cows, swine, poultry, 
one horse and one pair of oxeii. Their land, 
through bad tillage, is unproductive. Civilization 
and education appear to be much on the decline, 
and their house of worship, which was formerly 
in a flourishing state, is now going to ruin. The 
elder inhabitants have learning sufficient to read 
and write, but the children are brought up in a 
savage state. The Montauk and Shinecoc Indians 
are the only tribes now remaining on this island. 
There are a few miserable individuals the rem- 
nants of some eastern tribes of this island, but no 
great number of them. 

About the year 1819, Stephen, the king or 
sachem of the Montauk Indians, died, and was 
buried by a contribution. This Indian king was 


only distinguislied from others of his tribe by 
wearing a hat with a yellow ribbon on it (E. S. 
King, iet. 22, Jan., 1825). 

The Sag Harbor newspaper, in 1830, mentions 
that on the 5th of January of that 3'ear, there 
died at Poospatuck, near Moriches, on Long Island, 
Elizabeth Job, aged seventy-two years, relict of 
Ben Job, and queen of the Indians in that place, 
" leaving but two females of her tribe, both well 
stricken in years. Thus ends the custom, for 
many ^^ears kept up, of paying a yearly tribute of 
a handful of rushes to their queen." 

^Notwithstanding the Indians upon the east end 
of Long Island were so much reduced in num- 
bers, the State Government, in 1831, made 
another attempt to elevate them in the scale of 
life, and on the 19th of April of that year, the 
Legislature passed an act directing the SujDcrin- 
tendent of Common Schools annually to pay the 
additional sum of eighty dollars from the school 
fund to the treasurer of the county of Suffolk, 
to support a school among the Shinecoc Indians, 
for the instruction of their children. And they 
require the Commissioners of Common Schools 
in Southampton to include in their annual re- 
port " a statement of the length of time that a 
school has been taught in pursuance of this act ; 
the number of children taught in said school ; 


the manner in wliich such moneys have been ex- 
pended; and whether any and how much re- 
mains unexpended, and for what cause." 

This law was limited to three years, but by 
another act passed March 1st, 1845, it was re- 
newed for four years, from April 28th, 1844, ^* and 
no longer, nnless the same shall be extended by 
the Legislature." 

Thus we see the Indians upon Long Island 
dwindling away notwithstanding all the exer- 
ticais used by the Government for their support 
and advancement. The Indian and the white 
man, it seems, cannot live together ; the former 
insensibly waste away before the latter, even 
w^iere they are well and kindly treated, and the 
utmost care taken for their preservation. At 
Eastham, on Ca23e Cod, in 1674, Rev. Mr. Treat, 
the minister settled there, states that there were 
four Indian villages under his care. They had 
teachers and magistrates of their own people, and 
they were so kindly and affectionately treated by 
him that they venerated him as their pastor, and 
loved him as their father. There were then five 
hundred adult persons in their four villages, all 
of whom attended public worship. But all these 
exertions made for their benefit were of no avail, 
they wasted away by fatal diseases and other 
causes not easily explained, so that in 1693 they 


Vv'ere reduced to only foui' individuals. So it 
was also on Long Island, as we have learned from 
the old inhabitants who were born on that island 
and resided upon it all their lives ; here the In- 
dians, although permitted to erect their wigwams 
where they pleased upon the farms of the pro- 
prietors, not in the grain fields, and one family 
of them passed their whole lives upon the farm 
of our grandfather, free of rent, and were em- 
ployed about farming duties, and paid for their 
services, and treated ^ith kindness, yet they 
seemed to die away in an unaccountable manner; 
no Hocks of children were to be seen playing 
about their huts. Their destruction cannot be 
attributed, as some now imagine, to the introduc- 
tion of ardent spirits among them by the white 
men, for old people will tell you that many of 
them did not indulge that way, and our Pilgrim 
fathers and Dutch ancestors made many very strict 
regulations to prevent the sale of those liquors to 
the Indians. There were indeed numerous cases 
of inebriation among them, for this seems to be a 
vice which the Indian cannot well avoid. We 
must bear in mind that the liquors then in use 
throughout the country were pure and unadul- 
terated, the people having not then learned the 
art of making the noxious compounds now 
vended under those names, so that they would not 


produce the deleterious effects which we witness 
in those who now use them. But the real truth 
of the case is^ the Indians had performed tlieir 
duty, and fulfilled their destiny in this world, 
and Providence designed that their place should 
be supplied bja different race and order of men, 
and had so ordered matters that portions of this 
continent became gradually no longer fitted for 
their state of existence, and as a necessary conse- 
quence tliey faded away. If we would accustom 
ourselves to look upon such things in a different 
and more extended point of view, and not at- 
tempt to explain them from our finite political 
considerations, we w^ould be more frequently 
much nearer the truth. 

Lewis and Clarice's 2 ravels (Svo, Phila., IS 14) 
shows us that the small-pox, which had then be- 
come an epidemic disease in civilized countries, 
also raged with almost unparalleled malignity on 
the banks of the Missouri river among the Indian 
tribes at the commencement of the present cen- 
tury ; whole villages and nations were swept 
away by it. 

The following account of its effect upon the na- 
tion of the Mahas will exhibit one of the causes in 
progress for the destruction of the Indian tribes. 

" The ancient village of Mahas consisted of 
three hundred cabins, but was burned about four 


years ago (in 1800), soon after the small-pox had 
destroyed four hundred men, and a proportion of 
women and children. On a hill in the rear of 
the village are the graves of the nation." 

" The accounts we have had of the effects 
of the small-pox on that nation are most 
distressing ; it is not known in what way it was 
first communicated to them, though probably by 
some war party. They had been a military and 
powerful people ; but when these warriors saw 
their strength wasting before a malady which 
they could not resist, their frenzy was extreme ; 
they burnt their village, and many of them put to 
death their wives and children to save them from 
BO cruel an affliction, and that all might go to- 
gether to some better country." 

At various periods of our history the fell pesti- 
lence has swept before it whole tribes and nations 
of the red men from the face of the earth. 
Thus it was the year before the pilgrims landed 
in ]^ew England, the country had been nearly 
depopulated by some fell disease among the abo- 
rigines. The first white settlers upon landing 
found nothing but the graves of the previous in- 
habitants, and their corn-fields with the crop un- 
gathered. It was in this way that Providence 
opened the country for its settlement by a civil- 
ized race, which, in all human probability, would 


not have been effected by the small number of 
pilgrims who made their landing at Plymouth, if 
the native tribes had existed in their pristine 
strength. And again, within our own time, about 
twenty -five years since, the small-pox made its 
appearance amongst the Marden Indians, one of 
the most numerous, and the most civilized, as 
well as the most powerful tribe west of the Mis- 
sissippi river, and entirely destroyed them. Their 
manners, habits and customs are preserved to us 
by the sketches of George Catlin, Esq., who visited 
their villages, and remained with them some 
months, about two years previous to their de- 

A singular natural phenomenon appears when 
the Indian blood is mixed with that of the white 
man ; it scarcely ever lasts beyond the second 
genei-ation ; and is very rarely met with beyond 
the third generation, but gradually wastes away, 
so that it is a common remark that the half- 
breeds soon run out. All these things melt away 
the Indian tribes from before the face of the 
white man ; and yet, notwithstanding all this, 
the Europeans, and especially the English, are 
often reading us homilies on our treatment of the 
Indians, in which they only exhibit their ignor- 
ance of the entire subject. 

A writer in the Gentlemanh Magazine^ Lon- 



don, for December, 1846, nnder the head of Ex- 
tra -ts from the Portfolio of a Man of the World, 
seems to think he lias found a panacea for all 
the evils attending this decrease of the Indian 
race, in a project which he admits cannot now be 
tried ; it is this : 

" Had settlements of the Europeans been made 
at once in the far West by a set of bachelor 
soldiers, and the Roman and Sabine mariages 
forces been effected in a civil way, the two races 
might have melted into one another miperceived, 
and spread their civilization backwards to the 
East, and red men and white men become as 
little distinguishable as a Sabine from a Roman 
in the time of Cicero." 

Nothing but a want of knowledge could induce 
such a proposition, otherwise he would have 
known that this mixed race, so far from spreading 
civilization over the continent, would have been 
in every respect a more debased and worthless 
race, and less likely to communicate any of the 
benefits they had received from their European 
fathers than even the pure Indian race. 

And who is there accustomed to take enlarged 
and extended views upon such subjects, that 
when he looks upon the Indian race and the 
mode practised by them in obtaining their food, 
can help but be struck with the idea, that Provi- 


dence is by this means prej)aring the way for the 
extinction of that race of men, and for having 
their phice supplied by one of an entirely dif- 
ferent character. Nothing in om* j iidgment shows 
this more clearly than the common Indian prac- 
tice of setting fire to the prairie, and even to the 
forest, in order to drive to them their game. Sir 
Francis Head, in his Emigrant, on this point 
observes, that the aborigines for many years have 
been and still are in the habit of burning tracts 
of wood so immense, that, from very high and 
scientific authority, he was informed that the 
amount of land thus burned has exceeded many 
millions of acres, and that it has been and still is 
materially changing the climate of North Amer- 
ica. But besides this effect it is simultaneously 
working out another great object of nature. This 
improvident mode of obtaining game, by the de- 
struction it brings upon all the small game and 
the young of the larger variety, while it for a 
short time affords the Indian an abundance, 
eventually afflicts with famine and destitution all 
engaged in it, to the utter destruction of the 
Indian tribes ; an instance of which is given in 
the Beaver Indians of Canada, who forty years 
ago were a numerous and powerful tribe, and are 
now reduced to less than one hundred men, w^ho 
can scarcely find wild animals enough to keep 


themselves alive. Tlie red population all over 
this continent have, from the period of its first 
discovery to the present day, been diminishing in 
the same ratio as the destruction of the moose 
and the buffalo, upon wliich they and their fore- 
fathers have subsisted ; and thus it is tliat we see, 
under a dispensation of Providence, by the agency 
of the aboriginal race, this continent is gradually 
undergoing a process which, with other causes, 
will assimilate its climate to that of Europe, and 
that the Indians themselves are clearing and pre- 
paring their own country for the reception of 
another and different race, who will in subse- 
quent ages gaze upon the remains of the elk, the 
bear, the buffalo, and the beaver, with the sam-e 
feeling of astonishment with which similar ves- 
tiges are now regarded in portions of Europe, 
the monuments of a state of existence that has 
passed away. AVliat, let us ask, has the civilized 
race in America to do with this certain and un- 
erring cause of extinction operating upon the 
nations of the aborigines on this continent ? It 
is indeed curious and worthy of note, that English 
writers, in treating of Canada, can both readily 
see and recognize the operation and effect of this 
great law of Providence ; but when they turn 
their eyes to the United States and observe the 
same effects .produced and operating upon our 


Indian tribes, they insist upon their being the 
result of oitr policy towards the aborigines, and 
that we are driving them before us out of exist- 
ence. So little qualified are the English, as a 
peoplfe, to judge correctl}^ in matters affecting 
other nations, and especially if they are pleased 
to regard them in any light as rivals. 


The Devil's Stepping Stones. — It is said that, 
at a certain time, doubtless some ages ago, the 
devil set up a claim against the Indians to Con- 
necticut as his peculiar domain ; but they being 
in possession, were determined, of course, to try 
to hold it. The surfaces of Connecticut and Long 
Island were at that time the reverse of what they 
are at present. Long Island was covered with 
rocks, and Connecticut was free from them. The 
Indians refused to quit on so short a notice, and 
accordingly both parties prepared for the contest. 
His Satanic majesty crossed to Connecticut, to 
enforce his claim by dispossessing the Indians ; 
but he was disappointed, the Indians were too 
much for him, and forced him to retreat to 


Throg's Point. The tide being low and the pas- 
sage not very wide, the demon secured his retreat 
})j stepping from rock to rock until he reached 
Lono^ Island. After havino^ seated himself in the 
middle of the island at Coram and brooding over 
his defeat in a sullen humor, he suddenly roused 
himself, and collecting together all the rocks he 
could conveniently get at on the island, lie de- 
posited them in heaps at Cold Spring, where he 
amused himself with hurling them across the sound 
on the fertile plains of Connecticut. The Indians 
who last remained in that part of the country, not 
only undertook to show the spot where he stood, 
but also insisted that they could discern the prints 
of his feet. 

RoNKONKAMA FoND. — This piccc of watcr, 
from its lonely and secluded situation, was often 
the theme of Indian story. Among the many 
traditions respecting this interesting little lake, 
the following is all that I have been able to ob- 
tain at this distant day. The aborigines appear to 
have regarded it with a sort of awful veneration. 
They considered its depths as unfathomable, and 
believed that the fish were specially placed there 
by the Great Spirit. Under this impression, at 
the time of the first settlement, they refused to 
eat them, regarding them as superior beings. 

John Bull's Talk to the Indians. — King Ben, 


wlio Styled himself one of the last of the Indian 
chiefs on Long Island, often resided on Whale's 
Neck, Qneen's County. lie nsed to relate many 
wonderful stories about the first settlers, and often 
told the story of John Bull speaking to the In- 
dians, wliich was as follo\\'S : The English had a 
large cannon which they told the natives was 
John Bull, and that on a certain day he would 
make a talk to them. Accordingly, on the day 
appointed, the poor Indians were placed in a line 
fronting the mouth of the gun, which being 
shotted was fired off to their destruction. King 
Ben says that the wrath of the Great Spirit, by rea- 
son of this outrage, was so great that at the sea- 
son of the year when this foul murder was com- 
mitted, no grass wiU grow upon that accursed 
spot, which still bears the stain of human blood. 
The fact is, that the place where this wicked deed 
is alleged to have been committed is a rido^e of 
red gravelly soil, on which in the dry season 
nothing can grow for want of moisture. 

MoNGOTucKSEE. — Caiioe place, on the south side 
of Long Island, derives its name from the fact, 
that more than two centuries ago, a canal was 
made there by the Indians, for the purpose of 
passing tlieir canoes from one bay to the other, 
that is, across the island frcm Mecox bay to 
Peconic bay. Although the trencliTTarijeen in 


a great measure filled np, yet its remains are still 
visible and partly flowed at high water. It was 
constructed by Mongotuc'isee (or Long Knife), 
who then reigned over the nation of Montank. 

Although that nation has now dwindled to a 
few miserable remnants of a powerful race, who 
still linger on the lands which were once the seat of 
their proud dominion, yet their traditional history 
is replete with all those tragical incidents which 
usually accompany the fall of power. It informs 
us that their chief was of gigantic form, proud 
and despotic in peace, and terrible in war. But 
although a tyrant of his people, yet he protected 
them from their enemies and commanded their 
respect for his savage virtues. The praises of 
Mongotucksee are still chanted in aboriginal 
verse to the winds that howl around the eastern 
extremity of this island. The Narragansetts and 
the Mohocks yielded to his prowess, and the an- 
cestors of the last of the Mohicans trembled at 
the expression of his anger. He sustained his 
power not less by the resources of his mind than 
by the vigor of his arm. An ever watchful po- 
licy guided his counsels. Prepared for every 
exigency, not even aboriginal sagacity could sur- 
prise his caution. To facilitate communication 
around the seat of his dominion for the purpose 
not only of defence but of annoyance, he con- 


structed this canal, which remains a monument of 
his genius, while other traces of his skill and 
prowess are lost in oblivion, and even the nation 
whose valor he led may soon furnish for our 
country a topic in contemplating the fallen great- 
ness of the last of the Montauks. After his death 
the Montauks were subjugated by the Iroquois or 
Five Nations, and became their tributaries, as did 
all the tribes on this island. The strong attach- 
ment and veneration which the Montauk Indians 
entertained for their chief is evidenced by the 
following fact : Within a short distance of Sag 
Harbor, in the forest by the roadside, is a shal- 
low excavation, which the Indians were formerly 
very particular in keeping clean ; each on pass- 
ing stopped to clean it out. The reason they 
gave for their so doing, was, that a long time ago 
a Montauk chief having died at Shinecoc, the 
Indians brought him from that place to Amma- 
gansett to be interred in the usual bury iiig-pl ace, 
and during their journey they stopped to rest, and 
placed the body of their dead chieftain in that 
excavation during the meanwhile ; in consequence 
of which the spot had with them acquired a spe- 
cies of sacred character. 

About forty years ago, there were upwards of 
130 families of Indians on Montauk ; now (1827) 
they have dwindled to four or five families. 


Some of their squaws are very handsome women. 
The royal familj- of the Montauks were distin- 
guished among tlie Engh'sh by the name of Faro. 
The last of the family, a female, died a year or 
two ago. The authority or pre-eminence of the 
Montauk chieftain, as the head of the Mohegan 
family on this island, appears not only to have 
been claimed by them, but also to have been ac- 
knowledged by the other tribes, and his assent 
seems to have been required to any treaty or con- 
veyance made by any of tlie tribes upon Long 
Island with or to the white men. In the deed 
of confirmation given to the white settlers of 
Hempstead on the 4th of July, 1647, by tlie Mas- 
eapeage, Merioke, and Rockaway tribes of In- 
dians, they mention the fact of the Montauk 
Sachem "being present at the contirmation." 
And again, in another deed of May 11th, 1658, 
by which the Indians acknowledge to have re- 
ceived full payment of the balance due for the 
lands purchased by the settlers of Hempstead, 
the payments being made by instalments, at the 
bottom, after signatures of all the chiefs of the 
tribes, it is said, " Subscribed by Wacombound, 
Montauk Sachem, after the death of his father, 
this 14th of February, 1660, being a general town 
meeting at Hempstead." Plis allowance or con- 
firmation of the deed appearing to be esteemed 


necessary to its validity. The Montauk chief 
was also styled the Grand Sachem of Paunian- 
acke, or Long Island ; no inconsiderable dignity 
in that day. 

Manetta Hill. — About thirty miles from 
Brooklyn, and midway between the north and 
south sides of this island, is a hill known by the 
name of Manet ^ or Manetta Hill. This, however, 
is a corruption of the true name, which was Man- 
itou Hill^ or the Hill of the Great Spirit ; which 
appellation is founded on the tradition, that many 
ages since, the aborigines residing in those parts 
suffered extremely from the want of water. Un- 
der their suffering they offered up prayers to the 
Great Spirit for relief. That in reply to their 
supplications, the Good Spirit directed that their 
principal chieftain should shoot his arrow^ into the 
air, and on the spot where it fell they should dig, 
and would assuredly discover the element they 
so much desired. They pursued the direction, 
dug, and found water. There is now a well situ- 
ated on this rising ground, w^hich is not deep, and 
the tradition continues to say that this w^ell is on 
the very spot indicated by the Good Spirit. This 
hill was undoubtedly used in ancient times as 
the place of general offering to the Great Spirit 
in the name and behalf of all surrounding peo- 
ple ; and was of the character of the hill-altars 


SO common among the early nations. It is from 
this circumstance that the name was most proba- 
bly derived. 

This is another of oar Long Island Indian 
traditions, all of which are now fast fading from 
the recollections of our oldest inhabitants, and 
which, most generally, are not deemed of suffi- 
cient importance by tlie younger portion of the 
community to be preserved in memory. This is 
the reason why we have sought to preserve those 
of which we have heard, in our plain and homely 

The Long Island Indians possessed all that pe- 
culiar eloquence which has so long distinguished 
the aborigines of the West ; and it was mainly 
from them that the Europeans first obtained their 
ideas of Indian oratory, and of the strong and 
bold imagery which characterize tlie Indian 
speeches. The aborigines of this island had all 
that singular tact, which still marks the Indian, 
of discovering at once, in their intercourse with 
white men, wdio are really the men of power and 
consequence, and wdio are not ; and to the former 
they pay their respects, taking no notice of the 
others. The following official account of an inter- 
view which took place at Flatlands, upon Long 
Island, between Governor Sloughter and a Long 
Island Indian Sachem and his sons, will afford 


an instance of their eloquence and their sagacity 
— they saw that Leisler, however powerful he 
might have been only a few weeks previous, was 
then a fallen man, without power, and at the 
mercy of his inveterate enemies. 

This extraordinary interview took place on the 
2d of April, 1691, between the Governor of New 
York and a Sachem of Long Island, attended by 
two of his sons and twenty other Indians. The 
Sachem, on being introduced, congratulated Gov- 
ernor Sloughter in an eloquent manner upon his 
arrival, and solicited his friendship and protec- 
tion for himself and his people ; observing that 
he had in his own mind fancied his Excellency 
was a mighty tall tree, with wide-spreading 
hranches, and therefore he prayed leave to stoop 
under the shadow thereof. Of old (said he) tlie 
Indians were a gi-eat and mighty people, but now 
tliey were reduced to a mere handful. He con- 
cluded his visit by presenting the Governor with 
thirty fathoms of wampum, which he graciously 
accepted, and desired the Sachem to visit him 
again in the afternoon. On taking their leave, 
the youngest son of the Sachem handed a bundle 
of brooms to the officer in attendance, saying, at 
the same time, that, " as Leisler and his party had 
left the house very foul, he brought the brooms 
with him for the purpose of making it clean again." 



In the afternoon the Sachem and his party 
again yisited the Governor, who made a speech 
to them, and on receiving a few presents they 
departed. Some of the Indians npon this island 
have evinced considerable talent in other respects 
as well as in oratory. The Rev. Samson Occom, 
the celebrated Mohegan minister, was for a con- 
siderable time a missionary among the Indian 
tribes on this island. Some of his sermons and 
other pieces, which have been printed, are well 
written, and exhibit an edncated mind, to snch 
an extent as wonld nnqnestionably snrprise those 
who have not thought mnch upon the subject of 
these people. 

Paul Cuffee was also an Indian minister, a 
native of tlie Shinecoc tribe, and a man of con- 
siderable powers of mind, with some elocpience, 
who formei-ly labored among the Indians of 
Montauk and his native tribe ; and although not 
possessing mnch education, he was a useful and 
respectable man. lie was buried about a mile 
west of Canoe place, where the Indian church 
then stood, and over his grave a neat marble slab 
has been placed, having upon it the following in- 
scription : " Erected by the Missionary Society of 
New York, in memory of the Rev. Paul Cuffee, 
an Indian of the Shinecoc tribe, who was em- 
ployed by that society for the last thirteen years 


of his life on the eastern part of Long Island, 
where he labored with fidelity and success. 
Humble, pious and indefatigable in testifying 
the Gospel of the Grace of God, he finished his 
course with joy on the 7th day of March, 1812, 
aged 55 years and 3 days." 

In the early period of the settlement of this 
colony under the Dutch Government, the In- 
dians upon Long Island were far from preserv- 
ing uniformly peaceful relations with the colo- 
nists, and the latter suffered from their incursions 
upon their settlements, and were not unfre- 
quently under serious apprehensions from attacks 
by the Indians. 

This fact is abundantly shown by a reference 
to the minutes of the proceedings of the Dutch 
Colonial Government, still preserved in the ofiice 
of our Secretary of State, at Albany. The 
Council minutes of March 25, 1643, has the 
following entry, narrating a previous state of 
hostility, and the concluding of a peace between 
the Long Island Indians and the Dutch Govern- 

" Whereas, in some time past, several misun- 
derstandings have taken place between the 
savages of Long Island and our nation, by which, 
from both sides, blood has streamed upon the 
land, the houses have been robbed and burned, 


with the killing of the stock and carrying off the 
corn by the Indians, so it is, that between us and 
them who already follow the banner of their 
great chief, Pennowits^ a solid peace has been 
established, so that all injuries, from whatsoever 
side, are hereby forgiven and forgotten." 

The hostile spirit manifested by the Indians 
in what is now Kings County, in the year 1644, 
was such that the Dutch government stationed 
soldiers in the town of New Utrecht to defend 
the inhabitants from the aborigines. The "Eng- 
lish soldiers" mentioned in the following official 
document, describing an Indian attack upon New 
Utrecht, in which their conduct is complained of, 
were not foreign soldiers brought into the colony, 
but were the inhabitants of the adjoining English 
toion of Gravesend, who had been enrolled by the 
Dutch authorities in this emergency. 

" March 9th, 1644:, appeared before the Se- 
cretary, Cornells Cornelissen, from Utrecht, 
twenty-two years old, and declares that being a 
sentinel at night before the house of Jochem 
Pietersen; being about two o'clock, near the 
cow-rick, about fifty paces from the barn, he 
saw approaching a burning pile "^ (an arrow), the 

* The Indians are still in the habit of shooting arrows hav- 
ing tow, hemp or other inflammable substance on fire against 
buildings, so as to destroy them, in their wars. 


flames as blue as the flame of brimstone, about 
twenty paces from the house, between the dung- 
hill and cherry-tree door, which pile or arrow 
fell on the reeden cos-er of the house, which was 
soon in full flame by the violence of the wind. 
A little after he heard the firing of a gun from 
the same spot from which the arrow came. The 
English soldiers would not leave the cellar where 
they slept, wherefore obtaining no assistance the 
house was consumed. 

" Jacob Lambertsen, aged twenty, declares that 
going at night, about two o'clock, on patrol, around 
the house of Jochem Pietersen, he saw a flaming 
arrow, the flame resembling much the color of 
brimstone, etc. When the house was in full flame 
he heard the report of a gun, which they suspect- 
ed was fired by the Indians whom they heard yet 
the next morning hallooing and firing. During 
the fire the English soldiers did not stir from the 
cellar where they slept. 

'^ John Hagaman, Peter Jansen,and Dirk Ger- 
ritsen also declared that the English soldiers 
offered not the least assistance." 

The Dutch government seem to have considered 
this Indian attack, and the circumstances attend- 
ing it, a very important matter, and had the same 
under advisement, and were collecting testimoiiy 
about it late in the month of May following. < ^w 


tlie 19tli of May, 1644, Cornelis Cornelissen was 
aorain exainiiied, and he " certifies that some time 
before the house was burned he asked Jochem 
leave to go to the Manhattan, etc." 

The only battle which the English settlers upon 
Long Island had with the Indians was in 1653, in 
the storming of the Indian fort upon Fort Neck, 
in Queens County. The Indians had for some 
little time previous shown a very unfriendly dis- 
position towards the English settlers in that part 
of the island ; at last they garrisoned tliis fort 
upon Fort Keck, from which they at times issued 
forth in parties, destroying the crops of the colo- 
nists and driving off their cattle and horses, and 
eventually killed some two or three of the set- 
tlers. The colonists at once assembled, and all of 
them being armed, they put themselves under the 
command of Capt. John Underbill ; who at once 
stormed the Indian fort, and in doing which 
destroyed so many of their people that the Indians 
were very peaceful towards the English colonists 
on Long Island ever after. 

The following extraordinary circumstance con- 
nected with the battle is related by Samuel Jones, 
Esq., in his communication addressed to John 
Pintard, Esq., Secretary of the New York Histor- 
ical Society, and printed in the third volume of 
the collections of that Society. 


" After the battle at Fort I^eck, the weather 
being very cold, and the wind northwest, Capt. 
Underbill and his men collected the bodies of the 
Indians, and threw them in a heap on the brow 
of the hill, and then sat down on the leeward side 
of the heap to eat their breakfast. 

" When this part of the country came to be set- 
tled, the highw^ay across the Neck passed directly 
over the spot wdiere it was said the heap of Indi- 
ans lay, and the earth in that spot was remarkably 
different from the ground around it, being strongly 
tinged with a reddish cast, w^hich the old people 
said was occasioned by the blood of the Indians." 

Mr. Jones, speaking of this tradition, observes : 
" This appearance was formerly very conspicuous. 
Having heard the story above sixty years ago 
(that is before the year 1752), I frequently 
viewed and remarked the spot with astonishment. 
But by digging down the hill for repairing the 
highway the appearance is now entirely gone." 

The ancient Indian name of Long Island is 
said to have been Mattenwake / and that this 
word is compounded of the word Mattai^ which 
in the Delaware or Lenape language signifies an 
island (see Heckewelder), and the word wake 
marking its peculiar characteristic. All the In- 
dian names of places, so far as we know them, de- 
rive their origin from local circumstances; are 


peculiarly and graphically characteristic of the 
places to which they were applied, and were there- 
fore composed of two or more words. 

It is, however, a difficult matter to ascertain at 
the present day, what the true Indian name of 
this island was. In the early settlement of the 
eastern part of the island, the Montauk chieftain 
in his deed to the settlers, styles himself Sachem 
of " Paumanacke^ or Long Islmuir Hubbard, 
in his History of Xew England, says : " That at 
the time of the grant to the Earl of Stirling in 
1G35, it was called by the Indians Mattan- 

In Beauchamp's " Description of the Province 
of Kew Albion," etc., London, 164:8, this island is 
called by the Indian name of Pamiinhe ; and in 
the patent of Charles 11. to his brother the Duke 
of York in 1664, it is called Meitowax^ as being 
its Indian name. It is probable that the name 
as given by Hubbard is the true one. In the jS^arra- 
gansett language, Mattan was a term used to 
signify anything fine or good, and duhe^ or ahe^ 
meant land or earth, thus the whole w^ord would 
mean the good or pleasant land, which was cer- 
tainly highly characteristic of Loiig Island, even 
at the period of its early settlement, as abundantly 
appears from the description of it by Yander- 
donck, Denton, and other writers. 


The celebrated Indian war in ISiew England, 
called ^' King Philip's War," caused much excite- 
ment and apprehension in this city and colony, 
from the fear lest the Indians upon Long Island 
and near 'New York, being of the same great Mo- 
hegan family with the Peqnots and Narragansetts, 
might be induced to join Philip's league against 
the English, as they knew he had sent his envoys 
among them for that purpose. 

Under this view of the case the Court of As- 
sizes of this Colony, then being the legislative 
power, at their term held in New York on the 
18tli day of October, 1675, "ordered, that in case 
there should happen a war with the Indians in 
this Government (which God forbid), for the bet- 
ter carrying on of the same, one or more rates 
shall be levied, according as there shall be occas- 
ion, an account whereof to be given to the follow- 
ing Court of Assizes." To take away all excuse for 
any such war on the part of the Indians within 
this colony, they also ordered : 

" That in all cases the mao^istrates throup:h the 
whole government are required to do justice to 
the Indians as well as Christians." 

At the same session this Court of Assizes, to 
prevent if possible all excitement among the Long 
Island Indians, ordered, " That the law be ob- 
served which prohibits selling strong liquors to 

THE colonists' PRECAUTION. 73 

tlie Indians in Yorkshire, upon Long Island and 

*■' And that, pursuant to the law, the constables 
of the several towns take care no powder or lead 
be sold to the Indians, but by them as directed, 
or by their consent." 

It then became a question of the utmost mo- 
ment how these two great branches of the Mohe- 
gan family should be separated, and the branch 
upon Long Island kept from uniting with that in 
New England, and the Court of Assizes at this 
session adopted the following regulations : 

" Upon a proposal whether it will not be con- 
venient at this juncture of time of the Indians' 
disturbance to the eastward, to bring all tlie ca- 
noes on the north side of Long Island to this 
place, or to have them all destroyed, to prevent 
any intercourse with the Indians on the main and 
our Indians ; or that these canoes be brought to 
the next towns and secured by the officei's : It is 
resolved that all canoes whatsoever belonging to 
Christians or Indians on the north side of Long 
Island to the east of Hell Gate, shall, within three 
days after the publication hereof, be brought to 
the next town and delivered into the constables' 
(custody, to be laid up and secured by them near 
their block houses ; and that whatever canoe shall 
be found upon the sound after that time be de- 



The enforcing of these regulations prevented 
the apprehended Indian war in this colony, and 
secured the neutrality of the Long Island Indi- 
ans during the Indian war of Khig Philip in 
New England. 


That the greater part, if not all, of this island 
on the south side of the range of hills called the 
Backbone of Long Island, is that kind of soil 
called alluvial, and has been formed from the 
ocean's bed, must be apparent to attentive observ- 
ers of the face of the country, and its geological 

Several years since, in di^rsfino; a well on some 
of the highest ground in Brooklyn, a hemlock 
board was found at the depth of thirty feet ; and 
again at the depth of seventy-three feet oyster 
and clam shells were met with, which crumbled 
on being exposed to the air. 

It is l)elieved that Governor's Island and Red 
Hook Point, on this island, were connected to- 
gether. It is said to be an established fact tliat 
inany years since cattle were driven from Bed 
Ilook to Governor's Island, which places at that 
time were only separated by a very narrow chan- 
nel, which is called Buttermilk Channel, and is 


now wide and deep enough to admit the passage 
of merchant vessels of the largest size. ' Mr. 
Charles Donghty, formerly a very respectable in- 
habitant of the town of Brooklyn, who has been, 
dead about twenty-live years, and was about 
eighty-five years of age when he died, used to say 
that when he was a young man he had been told 
by old people that they recollected when an In- 
dian squaw waded from Governor's Island to 
Long Island with her papoose. 

This is rendered the more probable from a state- 
ment we received from a gentleman in the close 
of the year 1846, now residing in the city of 
Xew York, who informed us, the summer of 1821 
he crossed from the extensive flats south of Cor- 
nell's Red Mills, and between those Mills and 
Red Hook in Brooklyn, to Governor's Island, and 
back again, and that he walked the whole dis- 
tance except about twenty -five feet, which he was 
obliged to swim. He says he is certain it was 
not over twenty-five feet, and he thinks it was 

Gravesend, in Kings County, was at its first set- 
tlement laid out in streets crossing each other at 
right angles and intended for a city, and had a 
bold shore with a good depth of water. Old Mr. 
Barry, an inhabitant of N^ew Utrecht, now (1822) 
eighty-nine years of age, says that he perfectly 


recollects of old people telling him when he was 
young, that they remembered when the sea broke 
against the land at Gravesend, which now breaks 
upwards of a mile distant ; the beach having been 
formed since that time, as well as the meadow 
between the beach and the main land. Mr. Kiit- 
gert Yan Brunt, who is now about sixty years of 
age, says that the beach is decreasing, and he 
doubts not but the time will arrive when both 
the beach and meadow will be washed away, 
and the sea again break on the land. 

In the township of Flatbush (which is very 
level), in sinking a well on the place of William 
I. Furman, Esq., distant about five miles from 
the Jamaica Bay, at the depth of one hundred 
feet two petrified clams were found, one of which 
appears to be of the species called sand clams, 
and is in the cabinet of Judge Furman of l^ew- 
town. The other is of the species called the mud 
chim, and is in the possession of the compiler. 

Hempstead Plains is composed of small pebble 
stones, such as are found on the seashore, and 
there is not a stone larger than your fist, if so 
large, to be found in all Hempstead. All their 
biiildino: stone is brousfht from the rids^e of hills 
before referred to as the Backbone of Lono' 

There is a tradition (whether correct or not, I 


am unable to say) that Blue Point Bay Avas for- 
merly a swamp, in which wild allspice grew in 
large quantities ; and it is said that the oy stern len 
frequently draw up with their rakes decayed pieces 
of that wood. This l)ay was formerly famous for 
its very large and very line oysters. 

The people on this island have a curious 
account of the disappearance of these oysters. 
They say, that the poor people from all the coun- 
try round used to support themselves in a great 
measure by the oysters which they took here for 
their owm consum])tion and to sell. The town of 
Brookhaven, in which the bay is situated, at last 
determined they would derive a revenue from 
these oysters, and passed a law, in town meeting, 
that no one should take them without a license, 
for which they should pay a certain sum. This 
was resisted for some time, but at last the town 
raised a body of armed men and fitted out two or 
three armed boats, and drove off the poor people : 
and that as soon as this was consummated, not 
an oyster was taken, the rakes brought up noth- 
ing but empty shells. And this continued to be 
the case until, about 1839, when the whole bottom 
of the bay, for some feet in thickness, was found to 
be covered with young oysters about the size of a 
dollar, which the poor now take up in great quan- 
tities. A similar circumstance also occurred in 


Southampton Bay. The town there laid a tax on 
the taking of oysters by the poor people, and the 
oysters which were before very abundant at once 
disappeared. And the people, to this day, in 
both instances, say that God killed the oysters 
because they would not let the poor have them. 

The town of Southampton seems to have been 
anxious to secure that and similar powers to 
themselves beyond the possibility of dispute, 
and although they claimed to exercise them as a 
corporation, under their charter from Governor 
Dongan in 1686, yet they sought a confirmation of 
them under an act of the State Legislature, declar- 
ing the powers and duties of " the trustees of 
the freeholders and commonalty of the town of 
Southampton," passed April 25, 1831, which act 
declares that they " are and shall continue to be 
a corporation," to be elected at the annual town 
meeting. And it further provides that, " the 
said trustees shall have the sole control over all 
the fisheries, fowling, seaweed, waters and pro- 
ductions of the waters, within said town, not the 
property of individuals, and all the property, 
connnodities, privileges and franchises granted to 
them by the charter of Governor Dongan in 1686, 
except so far as abrogated, changed and altei-ed 
by the laws of this State, passed in conformity to 
the Constitution, and not now belonging to indi- 


viduals nor to tlie proprietors, by virtue of an 
act entitled ' an act relative to the common and 
undivided lands and marshes in Southampton, in 
the County of Suffolk,' passed April 15, 1818 ; " 
and also gives them authority to make rules and 
bye-laws in the premises, under penalties not to 
exceed fifty dollars for any one offence, to be 
sued for and recovered by said trustees. We 
never before saw a charter so loosely referred to 
in an act or public document ; not even its date, 
or the full name of the Governor, is given ; we 
should think from this that the charter itself is 
not in existence. 

Mr. John Yelsor, who lives about two miles 
southwest of Cold Spring Harbor in 0/ster Bay, 
in digging a well some years since, at the depth 
of one hundred and ten feet, found part of a tree 
about four feet in length and several inches in 
diameter, entire, with the usual marks distinct, 
but which soon decayed on its being exposed to 
the open air. — See Wood's Geograiyhy of Hun- 

The shores of Loner Island have undergone 
frequent, and at times very rapid, changes. 
This arises from their consisting of a loose sand- 
beacli exposed to the action of the waves of the 
ocean. In the case of Nicoll vs. the Trustees 
of Huntington, tried in the Court of Chancery of 


this State, in 1814, the following testimony was 
given : Jacob Seaman says that about fifty years 
ago the ocean broke through the beach, betw^een 
Fire Island Gut and Gilgo Gut, with great vio- 
lence, and formed what was called Cedar Island 
Gut, but w^hich in a few years w^as filled up and 
gone. Isaac Thompson speaks also, but loosely, of 
a gut called Huntington Gut, between Cedar and 
Oak Islands, now disappeared ; and he says that 
within his memory the water has several times 
broke through the beach, and that the inlets after- 
wards closed up. John Arthur says he lias 
always undei^tood from a boy (he said this in 
1770, and was then seventy-four years old) that 
Fire Island inlet broke through after Nicoll set- 
tled there (which was in 1688), and that it used 
to be called the New Gut. 

Eichard Udall says that old Mr. AVillis told 
him that he had been informed by his ancestors 
that Fire Island Gut broke tln-ough in the winter 
of 1690 or 1691, in a storm. The Chancellor 
said tliat this Gut w^as a passage for the priva- 
teers during the Revolutionary war. 

About a century ago, the father of Samuel 
Jones, the late Chancellor of this State, accom- 
panied some old people, he being then a boy, to 
the south side of this island, to view a new inlet 
which had then just broke through the beach dur- 


ing a very heavy storm. This inlet was afterwards 
known as " Jones inlet," and was in Oyster Bay 
south. When they came to the spot it was low 
water, and where the sand was washed away 
they discovered a meadow soil very many feet 
below high- water mark, and which had, appar- 
ently, been covered by the beach sands for many 
ages. The most extraordinary fact connected 
with it was, that on this meadow soil they found 
the tracks of cloven-footed animals, which it was 
impossible could have been made after the inlet 
was washed through, for they could not by any 
means get there, and which they supposed at the 
time were buffaloes' tracks, there having been no 
neat cattle on this island at the period when 
they thought those tracks must have been made. 
At which period the large expanse of water 
between the outer beach, through which the inlet 
was formed, and the mainland must have been an 
extensive meadow, exhibiting a most extraordin- 
ary change. 

This inlet is now nearly closed, and it is proba- 
ble that in a few years it will again be a sand 
beach. For a long time after it was thus opened 
it was navigable for small schooners. On the 
north side of this island, in the town of Oyster 
Bay, Queens County, about one and a half miles 
from the upland, is a small island of salt-mea- 


dow called Squaw'^s Island. There is now be- 
tAveen it and the main meadow a channel which 
is navio-able for the small schooners which usu- 
ally navigate the bays and inlets of Long Island, 
and which at the lowest water is too deep for a 
man to wade across. The tradition is, that it ac- 
quired its name from the fact that when the In- 
dians inhalnted this part of the country, the 
squaws were accustomed to wade across this chan- 
nel, which was then very shallow, with their pa- 
pooses on their backs, to this small island, for the 
purpose of taking clams on the flats and sand 
bars which were around it. 

There are a great number of shell banks on 
this main meadow, on the banks of the creeks^ 
many of which shell banks are from five to six 
rods in length. They are formed principally of 
clam shells, many of which, from the great length 
of time they have lain there, are broken up quite 
fine. They form an excellent manure foi* land, 
and from these beds have been carted many 
thousands of wagon-loads for that purpose, and 
they still continue to use them. 

The laro-est of the shell banks in this county 
are situated in a southerly direction below Mer- 
rick, on a creek in Hempstead Township. The 
inhabitants have been digging for very many 
years from these banks, and say they have never 


as yet come to the bottom of tliem. Thousands 
and thousands of loads have been taken away, 
and still remains a sufficient quantity for many 

The best wampum is formed of the heart of 
the clam shell, and even at this day wampum is 
manufactured on this island to be sent to the 
Indians in the Western States and Territories 
for the purposes both of a circulating medium 
and of conventions and treaties. In the summer 
of 1S31, several bushels of wampum were brought 
from Babylon, on this island, and the person who 
had them stated that he had procured them for 
an Indian trader, and that he was in the habit of 
supplying them. This wampum was bored, but 
not strung. 

Extraordinary changes — extraordinary in their 
extent and character — are frequently occurring 
upon Long Island ; and especially upon that part 
of it known as the Great South Beach, extend- 
ing from Southampton to Sandy Hook. At that 
part known as Fire Island, one of these changes 
has happened within the last few years, and is 
still in progress. This island, at the southerly 
end, where the channel of the inlet is, is contin- 
ually washing away, and the channel continually 
progressing slowly to the northward ; while the 
beach on the opjiosite side of the inlet is as con- 


tinually receiving additions to it, the effect of 
which has been snch tliat, where forty 3'ears ago 
there was depth of water sufficient to navigate one 
of the coasting schooners that trade along the south 
side of Long Island, is now a solid sand bea(;h, in 
some places elevated from twenty to twenty-fivo 
feet above the ordinary wash of the ocean. 

The northei'n extremity of Fire Island has 
within that period received an addition of be- 
tween forty and fifty acres; and what is still 
more curious is, that this new-made ground, 
which, forty years ago, was under the waves of the 
ocean, is now covered with a scrnbby white oak 
tree, and there are no trees of the kind at any 
other place witliin many miles of that spot. How 
did they come there ? Some will say tlie seed 
was carried there by birds. But if that be so, 
why do we not find some other trees and plants 
there ; the birds do not live alone upon the seed 
of the scrub white oak, and the soil is quite as 
well adapted for the growth of several other 
kinds of plants as it is for that species of tree? 
But that is not the explanation of that phenome- 
non. The earth is filled, even under the sea, 
and at very great depths, with the seeds of nu- 
merous trees and plants, which will retain their 
germinating properties for an indefinite period 
of time ; and it may even be from a period an- 


terior to the great deluge ; and they require only 
to be brought up to within a certain depth of 
the surface to have the vivifying principles of 
the sun and air to operate upon tliem to develop 
those germinating properties. 

This continual progressing of the beach and 
inlets from south to north affords the oppcM'tuni- 
ties, at long intervals of time, of tlie land becom- 
ing submerged by the ocean, with all its seeds of 
trees and plants in it, and of being cast up again 
to reproduce them. 

That seeds will retain their power of germi- 
nating wlien not subjected to the action of heat, 
is within the knowledge of gi-eat numbers of 
people, who often see it without thinkiiig at all 
about it. Kot to refer to the instance of the 
Egyptian wheat, which after being buried with 
a mummy in air-tight enclosure, for a period of 
three thousand years, was found to germinate 
and grow well, and is now cultivated in many 
parts of Europe, and also in this country; you 
may dig down a hill of mere sand, fifty or an 
hundred feet, and the year subsequent to the ex- 
posure of this new surface to the action of the 
atmosphere, it will be covered with a growth of 
plants and grasses peculiar to itself. Some years 
since, Israel Carll, Esq., of Suffolk County, hav- 
ing a large number of young cattle, which he 


kept in an extensive pasture by themselves, find- 
ing it very inconvenient to his herdsmen to drive 
them some distance for water, determining to 
sink a well on that pasture lot, near its centre, 
did so. They obtained water sufficient at the 
depth of about forty feet ; but several feet before 
obtaining that depth, they passed through noth- 
ing but gravel ; this gravel was spread out in a 
circle around the well at a regular declination 
from it on every side. The summer of the second 
season, after digging that well, the circle thus 
covered with that gravel stood as thick with a 
luxuriant crop of white clover as possible, and 
not a blade of that grass could be seen in any 
other part of that field. We have heard Mr. 
Carll say, that he could stand at his well and 
point out the circle in which that gravel was 
strewn by the circle formed by that white clover, 
none of it being seen beyond the line of the 
gravel. He was a man of sound sense and 
much observation, and at once explained this 
phenomenon by stating, that the seeds of the 
white clover had been buried in the earth among 
this gravel to the depth of between thirty and 
forty feet; and that when the gravel was thus 
cast up and spread, the germinating principle of 
the seeds was brought into activity, which had 
before been dormant for a Ion 2^ and an indefinite 
j)oriod of time. 


This Fire Island is a place of great resort in 
the pleasant season of the year, both for the 
sportsman, the pleasure seeker and the valetudi- 
narian. The latter go there in search of relief 
from the healthful breezes of the ocean ; and 
those affected with rheumatic complaints to en- 
joy the benefit of the sand-bath. The patient if 
able to help himself walks, otherwise he is car- 
ried down to the beach just as the water is fall- 
ing ; and four or five feet above the water-line, 
a hole is excavated large enough to bury him, all 
but the head, and the right arm if that is not 
affected is left out. He then strips his clothes 
and gets into the hole and is covered over with 
the sand.' Yery soon he is in a profuse perspira- 
tion, and continues so as long as he remains thus 
covered ; they are advised not to continue in this 
bath longer than fifteen minutes, the action is so 
violent ; but ver^^ few would be willing to con- 
tinue even that time, unless it was deemed neces- 
sary, the heat is so great, and the pricking sensa- 
tion through the limbs so intense. There is no 
instance, I believe, where it has been used with- 
out effecting a cure. It is necessary to be very 
careful and to go warmly clad for a day or two 
after taking this sand-bath, because the pores of 
the body are so open, and the whole system so 
relaxed, that they would be very liable to take a 


severe cold, and to be again laid up with their 
old complaint much worse than they had it 

We heard a gentleman about sixty years old 
say, that he had been much troubled with rheu- 
matism so that he could scarcely move. He 
went down to Fire Island and tried this sand- 
bath, and was at once relieved. But that was 
not all : he said the next day he felt in such spir- 
its and so Hght, that he was continually wanting 
to jump and skip like a boy. 

A ver}' striking alteration in the coast since 
the first settlement of the country, is mentioned 
in Smith's History of New Jersey (see page 58). 
But as this does not refer particularly to Long 
Island, we only mention it. 

The State Legislature found it necessary, very 
soon after the close of the Revolutionary contest, 
to make provision for the preservation of the 
Great South Beach of Long Island. And on the 
24th of April, 1784, they passed an act to pre- 
vent feeding the grass, or burning it, or cutting 
the timber, "on any of the beaches or islands 
lying between a certain gut or inlet, called 
Mastick Gut, to the eastward, and another certain 
gut or inlet called Huntington West Gut, to the 
westward," under the penalty of five pounds to 
any one who would sue for it, to their own 


proper use. The reason of this enactment was, 
that the sand forming those beaches and isLmds 
is so loose, and the particles have so little adhe- 
sion to each other, tliat if the grass is remove 1, 
either by cattle eating it, or by burning it, or the 
tind3er is cut off so that the surface is exposed to 
the action of the terrible gales of wind which 
often blow there, the beach or island would soon 
blow away to near the water-level, and then very 
soon after be washed away hj the sea in a storm. 
With the same view the State Legislature 
again, on the 21st of April, 1831, passed " An 
act respecting the Great South Beach of Long 
Island," by which they authorize any three or 
more persons owning, or thereafter to own, " that 
part of the Great South Beach on the south side 
of Long Island, in the County of Suffolk, lying 
between the South Bay on the north and the 
Atlantic Ocean on the south, and extending from 
the United States line near the light-house at 
Fire Island, on the west, easterly to Ilorsefoot 
Creek," to maintain suits at law or in equity in 
their own names, in behalf of themselves and all 
other joint owners and tenants in common of the 
premises, for any injury done thereto, or for the 
protection of the rights of the owners thereof. 
But this act provides that nothing in it " shall au- 
thorize any suit to be brought, as herein provided, 


against aii}^ person or persons who shall come or 
remain iijDon the premises aforesaid for the pur- 
pose of rendering assistance to any vessels driven 
ashore, or wrecked, or to any persons or property 
in such vessels, or to secure any property driven 

Again, on the 8th of April, 1834, they found it 
necessary to pass another " Act to preserve the 
grass on part of the South Beach in the County 
of Suffolk," which part they defined to be that 
lying between Ilorsefoot Creek^ otherwise called 
Long Cove J on the west, and Smith's inlet on the 
east. The object of this act was to protect the 
grass on a still greater extent of the South Beach, 
and on a part not included in the act of April 21, 
1831 ; the proprietors having experienced the 
beneficial effects of that act upon that portion 
comprised within its operation. Timber is not 
protected by this last act, because there is none 
upon this last mentioned extent of the South 

Under this head, referring more particularly to 
the natural history of Long Island than any 
otlier, we have thought it best to introduce the 
following interesting facts connected with the 
early history of this island : 

In the year 1762, no rain fell on this island or 
in the city of New York from early in the month 


of May until November ; and this is recorded as 
the most remarkable drought ever known in this 
collntr^^ It of course caused great distress not 
only upon this island but throughout the province 
of N'ew York, as Long Island then produced 
more of the means of human sustenance than all 
the rest of the province put together; and it was 
this unlooked-for event which probably gave 
birth to the first association established in this 
colony for improving its agriculture. A society 
mainly for that purpose, but also embracing 
within its scope the encouragement of domestic 
industry and manufactures, was formed in the 
city of Ts^ew York the following year, 1763, em- 
bracino' the most talented and distino^uished nien 
of the colony. We have now before us the cir- 
cular issued by that association upon its organi- 
zation, signed in their proper handwriting, by 
William Smith, the historian of New York; John 
Morin Scott, afterwards major-general in the 
Continental Army ; James Duane, the celebrated 
banker, and others. At a meeting of this society 
held in the city of New York on the 21st of 
December, 1767, ten pounds premium was 
awarded to Thomas Young of Oyster Bay, on 
Long Island, for a nursery of 27,123 apple 
trees. And at the same meeting the fact was es- 
tablished to the satisfaction of the society that 


Joshua Clark and Francis Furnier, both of Suf- 
folk County, had been very successful in setting 
out the grape, and making it grow in the eastern 
part of this island ; that from the year 1762, to 
the first day of April, 1767, Clark had set out 
three thousand two hundred grap)e vines, and 
Furnier had set out fifteen hundred and fifty-one 
grape vines — the description of these grapes is 
not stated. The society had not offered any 
premium for raising the grape, no one then be- 
lieving it possible to do so with any success, they 
having already forgotten that their Dutch ances- 
tors in and about New York had, at the early 
settlement of the colony, been very successful in 
th*eir attempt to introduce the vine ; and having 
no discretionary premium at their command, they 
did the next best thing in their power — they gave 
Messrs. Clark and Furnier certificates of the fact, 
commending them to the favorable notice of a 
similar association then existing in England, at 
London, which had among their more extended 
list of premiums, offered one or more for the 
cultivation of the grape. 

That the vine was cultivated in l^ew IN'ether- 
land, we have the evidence of Yanderdonck, in his 
history, who tells us that several persons in this 
colony had vineyards and " wine hills " under 
cultivation ; and also that " Providence blessed 


their labours with success, by affording fruit ac- 
cording to the most favorable expectation." They 
introduced foreign grape stocks, and induced 
men to come over from Heidelberg, who were 
vine-dressers, for the purpose of attending to the 
cultivation of the vineyards and the manufacture 
of wine. 


The most ancient fortification on this island is 
one on Fort Neck, which was garrisoned by the 
Indians in 1653, and taken from them by the 
English, under the command of Captain John 
Underhill, during that year. The storming of 
this fort was the only battle between the English 
and Indians on this island. 

On the subject of this fortification, or rather 
these fortifications, for there were more than one 
of them, Samuel Jones, Esq., of Oyster Bay South, 
on this island, addresses a letter to John Pintard, 
Esq., Secretary of the New York Historical So- 
ciety, enclosing the following memoranda, writ- 
ten by him in the year 1S12 (see Collections of 
New York Hist. Society, vol. 3). 

" When this part of Long Island was first set- 
tled by the Europeans they found two fortifica- 
tions in this neighborhood, upon a neck of land 


ever since called, from that circumstance, Fort 
Keck. One of them, the remains of which are 
yet very conspicuous, is on the southernmost 
point of land on the neck, adjoining the salt 
meadow. It is nearly, if not exactly a square, 
each side of which is about thirty yards in length. 
The breastwork or parapet is of earth ; and there 
is a ditch on the outside which appears to have 
been about six feet wide. The other was on the 
southernmost point of the Salt Meadow, adjoining 
the Bay, and consisted of palisadoes set in the 
meadow. The tide has worn away the meadow 
where the fort stood, and the place is now part 
of the bay and covered with water ; but my 
father lias often told me, that in his memory, part 
of the palisadoes were standing." 

This last described work was a true Indian fort, 
as is shown by all the plates and sketches of snch 
works accompanying Smith's History of Vir- 
ginia, De Bry's Voyages^ and all the early works 
on this country ; but no instance has ever been 
shown of the Koilh American Indians having, 
either in ancient or modern times, erected for the 
purposes of defence, or for any other purpose, a 
four-square fort of earth, with regular walls and 
ditch, or such a work of such materials in any 
other form. When the ancient fortifications, and 
other erections of this character, scattered over 


onr country, first attracted public attention, they 
were, without any examination, or much thought, 
attributed to the Indians, and were called Indian 
FuHs j for then no idea existed in the niiuds of 
any that there had ever been, at any time, any 
other people upon this continent but the Indians 
and the modern European settlers. With this 
belief evidently operating upon his mind, Mr. 
Jones regards these fortifications upon Fort ISTeck 
as a strong proof that the extensive and syste- 
matic works of the AVest (some of which Carver, 
himself a military officer, in his travels, charac- 
terizes as evincing a skill in engineering that 
would not have discredited even Yauban) were 
erected by our aborigines. lie seems not to have 
seen any of these ancient Western works, or his 
error would have been apparent to him at once ; 
and he would have realized the utter impossibility 
of keeping together a sufficient number of people, 
who, like the Indians, subsist by the chase, the 
length of time that must have been required for 
the erection of those fortifications. This fact, 
together with their character and the ability 
manifested in tlieir construction, have satisfied 
all who have visited them, and reasoned in the 
least degree upon the question involved in their 
existence, that they are the results of the labor 
of a race of men who were numerous in popula- 


tion, and who subsisted by the cultivation of the 

All this view of the case brings us to the con- 
clusion that the two forts upon Fort Neck were 
constructed at different periods of time, and it 
may be far remote from each other ; tliat the one 
first described, regular in its form, and built of 
earth, was the work of a people entirely different 
in the modes of living and in other respects 
from the aboriginal race found here by our fore- 
fathers ; and the last described work was a true In- 
dian fort, such as they were in the habit of build- 
ing long before the European settlement of this 
hemisphere, and which they continued to erect 
long after that event ; and that the two have only 
been confounded together from the want of the 
proper knowledge to enable us to discriminate 
between them. 

There are many remains of fortifications erected 
by the Americans and English during the Revo- 
lutionary war ; the most of them are in the town 
of Brooklyn, on the west end of the island. In 
1782, a fortification was erected in the centre of 
the public burying-ground of Huntington, by 
Colonel Thompson (since Count Rumford), who 
commanded the British troops there at that time. 
Throughout the island are scattered relics of the 
aborigines. At Bergen's Island, in Kings County, 


an excellent road has l)een formed of clam-shells 
and oyster shells. At Maspeth Kills, in Queens 
County, Indian corn-grinders, axes, and arrow- 
heads have been frequently ploughed up. In Suf- 
folk County there are numerous shell banks and 
other remains, as axes, arrow-heads, etc. The 
shell banks in the western towns of Suffolk 
County are much larger and more numerous 
than in the eastern towns, where shell-fish are as 
abundant, which pi-oves that the western part of 
the island had been the longest settled, and that 
the Indian emigration proceeded from west to 
east. — See Wood^s History/. 

Among other ancient remains may be reckoned 
the two venerable oak-trees at Flushing, in 
Queens County, under the shade of which the 
famous George Fox preached in the year 1672. 
I visited these trees, August 4th, 1825, in com- 
pany with Messrs. Spooner and Bruce, and as- 
sisted Mr. Bruce in measuring them, which we 
did around the trunk, six feet from the ground. 
We found one to be thirteen feet in circumfer- 
ence, and the other to be twelve feet four inches 
in circumference. 

In the month of July, 1841, eleven human 

skeletons were unearthed in excavating the ground 

to run a road through the LinnoBU Garden, at 

Fhishing, in Q.ieens County. The place where 



they were found has been for fifty years used as a 
horticultural nursery. They were within a circle 
of thirty feet, their heads all lay to the east, and 
some nails and musket-balls were found with them. 
Conjecture has been foiled in speculating upon the 
circumstances under which they w^ere inhumed. 

In the Tillage of Brooklyn, in Kings County, 
upon Long Island (1826) is a barren sand hill 
which exhibits many interesting curiosities to the 
antiquary as well as the natural philosopher. 
This hill scarcely affords support for even the 
coarsest and most hardy kind of grass, but on the 
top of it are three old Buttonwood or plane trees, 
and on each side of it the hills are covered witli 
verdure. The surface of this sand hill, which is 
about seveiity feet high, is covered w^ith stones, 
many of which are completely vitrified, and 
others nearly decomposed, l)y the action of fire ; 
and about a foot and a half, and in some places 
between three and four feet, below the surface is 
a distinct layer or stratum of ashes and cinders, 
interspersed with pieces of coarse earthenware 
and the stone heads of Indian arrows. Among 
the other articles found here have been the rem- 
nants of rough tobacco pipes formed of clay, and 
we have had in our possession one of these to- 
bacco pipes almost entire, which we found in the 
sand on this hill. The oldest inhabitants of 



Brooklyn have no tradition that there was ever 
any building erected on this spot. For a long 



time previous to the American Kevolutionary 
war, it constituted part of the farm of the Ka- 
palye family. 


The preceding diagram will show the situa- 
tion of this hill with reference to the streets of 
the village of Brooklyn, as they are laid out 
upon the village map, and intended hereafter to 
be opened. 

This sand-hill extended beyond and east of 
Bridge street, which was dug through it nearly 
at its highest elevation ; but the part exhibiting 
the appearances above described, and containing 
the articles above-mentioned as having been 
found, is that bounded by Jay street, Front street, 
Bridge street and York street. Similar remains 
may have existed to some extent east of Bridge 
street, but the examination was not made there. 


The first church founded on this island was 
Congregational or Preshyterian, and w^as built 
by the English at Southampton in 1645. In 
16S0, the salary of the minister of that church 
(Rev. Joseph Whiting) was £100. Congregational 
or Presbyterian churches were founded in differ- 
ent parts of this island at the following times. 
The first church in Hempstead was also raised in 
lG-15, but not completed until 1648. It was a 
four-square edifice, like some of the early churches 
in the Kew England towns. Their first minister 


was the Rev. Richard Denton, the father of the 
first historian of Xew York. Cotton Mather de 
scribes this Rev. Mr. Denton as " a little man, yet 
he had a great soul ; liis well accomplislicd mind 
in his lesser body was an Iliad in a nnt-shell,'' 

Salary of the minister in 1682 (Jeremiah IIo- 
bart), £66, 14s. Od. 

At East Hampton in 1651. Salary of the 
minister in 1659 (Thomas James), £60. 

The church in East Hampton, finished in the 
year 1717, being the second one built in tliat 
town, \vas, when erected, the largest and liaiid- 
somest building of the kind on this island, and 
it is still a noble structure ; althougli more than 
one hundred and thirty years old, it promises to 
continue in use for very many years to come. It 
had, what is not very common, a sccoiid gallery, 
and was furnished with a bell and a clock more 
than one hundred years ago. 

At Jamaica in 1662. Salary of the minister 
in 1663 (Zachariah AValker), £60. 

At Huntington in 1665. The first minister of 
this church w^as William Leveridge. These 
churches weie not large buildings, in consequence 
of the difficulty of obtaining proper materials. 

The first Presbyterian Church in the County 
of Kings dates its foundation no further back 
than the year 1822. It was established in the 


village of Brooklyn, and incorporated on the 13th 
of March, 1822, under the name of the " First 
Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn," and placed 
under the government of nine trustees. The 
corner-stone of the first church edifice was laid 
on the 15th of April, 1822. The church is of 
brick, and stands on Cranberry sti-eet. When it 
Avas erected, a large portion of the ground in the 
innnediate vicinity was vacant lots'; Orange, the 
next street south of Cranberry street, w^as only 
opened a short distance ; and the ground south of 
it was in large lots, used for agricultural purposes, 
surrounded by posts and rail fences. Hicks street 
was opened up to the northerly line of Clark 
street, wdiere a fdnce crossed it. Henry street 
was partially opened to Orange street. All the 
other streets south of Orange street, and to Jorale- 
mon street, were unopened. 


Dutch Reformed churches were founded on 
this island at the following dates : 

The first indication of the establishment of any 
chui-ch of any denomination on the western end 
of Long Island is an entry in the Dutch Colonial 
Government Kecords, now preserved in the oftice 
of the Secretary of State at Albany, under the 


date of October loth, 1654, that the Rev. Joannes 
Theodorus Polhenuis, a minister of the Dutch 
Reformed Church, was permitted by the Gov- 
ernor to preach at Midwout (now Flatbush), and 
Amersfort (now Flatlands). And, subsequently, 
on the 17th of December, 1651, the Governor or- 
dered a church to be built at Midwout (Flat- 
bush), to be sixty feet in length, twenty-eight in 
breadth, and fourteen feet in height below the 

As this church was designed for the accom- 
modation of the colonists in Brooklyn and Amers- 
fort, as well as those in Midwout, the Governor, 
on the 9th of February, 1655, ordered the people 
of J3rooklyn and Amersfort to cut timber to aid 
Midwout in building that church. The cost of it 
was 4,637 guilders, of which sum 3,437 had been 
collected in New Amsterdam, Fort Orange, and 
on Long Island. The Go\ernor added 400 more, 
and 800 remained to be raised to discharo:e the 
debt. The fii^t minister was the Rev. Joannes 
Theodorus Polhemus. 

The year following the erection of this church 
at Flatbush, it was found not to afford the conve- 
nient accommodation anticipated to Brooklyn 
and the other towns, and on the 15th of March, 
1656, tlie Governor, to accommodate the four vil- 
lages of Gravesend, xlmersfort, Midwout, and 


Bi'ooklyii, directed that the E-ev. Mr. Polheiiins 
should preach every Sunday morning at Mid- 
wont, and Sunday evenings, aUernately, at Anaers- 
fort and Brooklyn. 

Tlie inconveniences attending even this latter 
arrangement became more apparent every year, 
until at last, in 1659, the colonists in Brooklyn 
determined that they would establish a churc^li 
for themselves ; and they petitioned Governor 
Stuyvesant for leave to call a minister, assigning 
as a reason for their request, the badness of the 
road to Flatbnsh, the difficulty of attending Di- 
vine service at New York because of the East 
Kiver, and the old age and inabilit}^ of the Bev. 
Mr. Polhemus to perform his services at Brook- 
lyn. The Governor, upon this petition, sent Ni- 
casius de Sille, Fiscal of New Netherland, and 
Martin Kregier, Burgomaster, of New Amster- 
dam (New York), as a committee to Brooklyn to 
examine into the matter ; and upon their favor- 
able report, he granted the desired permission ; 
upon which the inhabitants of this town prepared 
the necessary call, and sent it to Holland for a 
minister. The Bev. Ilenricus Selwyn, or Solinus, 
was sent out to the New" Netherlands pursuant to 
this request — one of the best scholars ever in this 
country, and one of the best preachers in his 
day. Tie afterwards became the personal friend 


of the celebrated Cotton Mather of ^ew Eng- 
land ; and a Latin poem, of much elegance, writ- 
ten by Selwyn, addressed to Mather, is in the 
Magnalia Christi Americana. The Rev. Hen- 
ricns Selwyn, in 1660, was installed as the min- 
ister at Brooklyn by order of Governor Stuy- 
vesant, by the Fiscal de Sille and Burgomaster 
Kregier, at a salary of six hundred guilders a 
year ; three hundred of which were to be paid by 
tlie inhabitants of Brooklyn, and three hundred 
by the fatherland, Holland. 

On the 7th day of September, 16G0, four days 
after the installation of the Rev. Mr. Selwyn, a 
letter was written to the Rev. Mr. Polhemus of 
the fact, and thanking him for his labors and at- 
tention to the congregation. This letter was sent 
by a " respectable person," to whom the Rev. 
Mr. Polhemus returned his thanks for the atten- 
tion which the church of Brooklyn had paid him, 
and furnished the messenger with a list of the 
names of the church members in that town, twen- 
ty-five in number. The popularity of Mr. Sel- 
wyn's preaching soon became such that the Gov- 
ernor was anxious to have him preach at his 
chapel on his Bowery or plantation (New York), 
and he offered, on consideration that Mr. Selwyn 
should preach at the Bowery on Sunday evenings, 
to pay two hundred and fifty guilders of that 


part of his salaiy which was to be paid by the in- 
habitants of Brooklyn. 

The proposition was acceded to, but Mr. Sel- 
wjii had preached at the Bowery only a short 
period before the ^^eople of Brooklyn became dis- 
satisfied with the arrangement, and desired to 
have him to themselves. And on the 25th of 
May, 1662, the inhabitants of that town peti- 
tioned the Governor that Mr. Selwyn should re- 
side permanently with them. 

When the first church was erected at Brooklyn 
in which Mr. Selwyn ofiiciated, it is now impossi- 
ble to say, no record existing which speaks of it. 
But the old stone Dutch Church which stood in 
the middle of the public highway, now Fulton 
Street, in the City of Brooklyn, just one mile from 
the old or Fulton Ferry, opposite the present 
Dutch church burying-ground on the southerly 
side of that street, was built in the year 1666. It 
was a square edifice with very thick walls, and 
small high windows, filled with stained glass, rep- 
resenting large flower-pots at the base of the win- 
dows, from which ran up through the panes, to 
the top of the windows, numerous vines laden 
with a profusion of brilliant flowers of every im- 
aginable hue. On the top of the church was a 
short, open steeple, in which hung a small bell 
brought from Holland, as was also the window 


glass. The inside of the chureh was panneled to 
a great height, and that work, together with the 
pews and pulpit, were of oak and were either 
very dark from age or painted some sombre col- 
or, probably the former. The effect of which 
was, in connection with the s;iiall windows, that 
even in midsummer, after four o'clock in the 
afternoon, it was extremely difficult to see to read 
in that church ; in consequence of which their 
m(jrning service in the summer was at nine a.m., 
and their afternoon service at two p.m., and be- 
tween the first of September and the first of May 
the morning service was at half past ten o'clock, 
and there was no afternoon service. This church 
continued to be used until about 1810 ; the peo- 
ple seemed reluctant to abandon their ancient 
edifice ; but the incorporation, by the State Legis- 
lature, of a company to convert the old highway, 
filled as it then was with ruts, holes, small ponds 
of water, immensely large rocks, and tortuous 
windings to avoid them, rendered the removal of 
the old church imperatively necessary. So they 
built a new stone church on Joralemon street, 
partly on the site of the present edifice ; which 
they continued to use until a few years ago, when, 
not being suited with its appearance and condi 
tion, they erected the present beautiful edifice, in 
the form of a Grecian temple, on the square of 


gronnd formed by Joralemon, Court, and Living- 
ston streets. 

The Rev. Mr. Selwyn, on the 23d of July, 
1664, took leave of his congregation at Brooklyn, 
and sailed in the ship Beaver, for Holland, from 
whence he designed never to have returned. Af- 
ter his departure Charl6s Debevoise, the school- 
master of the town, and sexton of the church, 
was ordered to read prayei-s, and a sermon from 
an approved author, every Sabbath in the church, 
for the improvement of the congregation, until 
another minister was called. 

During the ministry of Mr. Selwyn the mar- 
riage fees do not seem to liave been a perquisite 
of the minister, as appears by an account rendered 
by him to the Consistory on the 29th of October, 
1662, when he paid over to the Consistory the sum 
of 78 guilders and 10 stuyvers for fourteen mar- 
riage fees received by him. 

After the establishment of the English govern- 
ment in this colony, the Dutch congregation in 
that city remembering Mr. Selwyn's acceptable 
services iuthis country, sent him an invitation to 
come over and take charge of their churcli in the 
city of New York, which he declined accepting. 
Again, in the year 1681, that church sent him an- 
other call, with many ui-gent solicitations that he 
would accept it ; to which he assented, and came 


to ~New York in 16S2, and continued the pastor 
of the Dutch Reformed church in that city until 
his death in 1701. 

A catalocrue of all the members of the Dutch He- 
formed church in the citj of IN'ew York, in the 
year 1686, with the names of the sti*eets in which 
thev resided, taken from the oric^inal manuscript 
of the Ilev. Ilenricus Selwyn, their pastor, will 
be found in the first volume of the second series 
of the Collections of the New York Historical 
Society. To those who derive their ancestry from 
the old Dutch burghers of this venerable city, 
this record will be looked upon with something 
of the pride and attachment manifested for the 
roll of Battle Abbey. 

At the period of his ministry tliere were but 
two Dutch Reformed churches in that city, the 
Soutli Dutch or Garden street church, and the 
chapel at Governor Stuyvesant's Bowery (on the 
site of the present St Mark's church) ; the Dutch 
church in the Fort being considered government 
property, went w^ith the Fort to the English, and 
became an Episcopal church. With it there w^ere 
then five churches in the city, two Episcopal, two 
Dutch Reformed, and one French Huguenot. 

In the month of April, 1708, fifty-seven of the 
inhabitants of Brooklyn, being probably all the 
meml^ers of the church, entered into an agree- 


ment (which is written in Dutch) to call a minis- 
ter from' Holland, to preach in the church of 
this town. The elders of the church at that 
time w^ere Daniel Rapalje and Jores Hanse. 
This connection with the classis of Holland con- 
tinued long after this period. 

Kotwithstandinfy the establishment of the new 


church in Brooklyn, the church at Flatbush con- 
tinued to flourish, and the Rev. Mr. Polhemus 
found full emjDloyment for all his services in the 

On the 29th of January, 1658, Midwout pe- 
titioned the Governor that the one hundred 
morgen of land reserved in that town for the 
public use might be appropriated as follows: 
Twenty-live morgen to complete the church. 
Twenty-five morgen for a school. Fifty morgen 
for the minister's house and other purposes. The 
first two the Governor granted ; the other he de- 
nied, and reserved the land for the benefit of the 

In every town patented by the Dutch Govern- 
ment in the New^ Netherlands (now New York 
and New Jersey), there was one hundred morgen 
of land reserved for the public use. In some 
cases, like that above mentioned, the Dutch 
Colonial Government authorized the disposition 
of it, but always for some use considered a pub- 


lie use at that time. The English Colonial Gov- 
ernment do not seem to liavebeen ever aware of 
the existence of this public property, and they 
made no regulations or disposition of it ; and the 
probability is that in very many cases these pub- 
lic lands have by long continued possession be- 
come private property. 

The church at Flatbush does not appear to have 
been entirely finished at the time when the new 
church was established in Brooklyn, although it 
liad been used for three years or over. On tlie 
20th of December, 1659, the Eev. Mr. Polhemus 
requests of Governor Stuyvesant, that paint may 
be furnished, at the expense of the Government, 
to paint the church at Midwout. And, again, in 
September, 1660, the Kev. Mr. Polhemus and 
Elder Stryker petition the Governor for glass for 
a window for the same churcli. This was un- 
doubtedly stained glass they wished the Gover- 
nor to send to Holland for, for the pi'incipal win- 
dow of the church ; for then all the windows were 
of glass, unless it might be in the poorest small 
houses and cottages, set in lead in small diamonds ; 
and " a glass window " for the church meant 
something different from those in common use ; 
which could be nothing other than stained glass, 
there being then only those two modes of glazing 


In this application for the window thej state 
that the}^ had received 3,437 guilders and 12 stny- 
vers towards the cost of erecting that church, in 
New Amsterdam (New Yoi'k), Fort Orange (Al- 
bany), and on Long Island ; and that they still 
wanted 1,200 guilders to discharge the expenses 
attending the completion of that edifice. Upon 
which Governor Stuyvesant gave them 400 guil- 
ders. — The Rev. Mr. Polhemus died in June, 1676. 

The people in Flatbush have a tradition that 
their secoiid church in that town was erected in the 
year 1663. This can scarcely have been the fact, 
unless the first edifice was destroyed by fire, or 
the elements, which is not said to have been the 
case; for the first church was still in an unfin- 
ished state in the latter part of the year 1660 — 
only two years before. It may be that an addi- 
tion was made to the church in 1663, but I do 
not even think that was done, and am rather in- 
clined to the opinion that this first church was not 
entirely finished and did not get up its stained- 
glass window until the year 1663, and that the 
people, many years after, not bearing in mind 
how long this first church was in building, and 
w^hat a long period intervened before it was com- 
pleted, the Government records showing over six 
years, they, when the date of its completion was 
referred to, came to believe it the time when a 


second church was built, and subsequently to 
speak of it as such. 

The Dutch Colonial Government, as a general 
rule, followed the practice of their liome govern- 
ment in the Fatherland in allowing the fi-ee exer- 
cise of all forms of religion, so long as they did 
not endanger tlie public peace. But the excite- 
ment in New England against the Quakers liad 
arisen to such a high pitch, and so much had been 
said and written and printed by the leading men 
of those colonies against the principles and prac- 
tices of the Quakers as being highly dangerous to 
all forms of civilized government, and utterly 
subversive of Christianity, that it was next to an 
impossibility that some of their feeling and tem- 
per should not manifest itself in the Xew Neth- 
ei'lands, an adjoining colony, and one with which 
they had frequent intercourse ; it, however, show- 
ed itself in a very mild and modified form in 
this colony. In this spirit Governor Stuyvesant 
had, in the year 1662, directed a Quaker, by the 
name of John Bowne, to be transported from the 
colony to Holland, on account of his religious 

The Dutch West India Company, to whom 
Governor Stuyvesant was subject, writes thus to 
the Governor in a letter from Amsterdam, dated 
in 1663 : — " We perceive, from your last letter, 


that you had exiled and transported hither a cer- 
tain Quaker named John Bowne. Although it 
is our anxious desire that similar and other sec- 
tarians may not be found among you, yet we 
doubt extremely the policy of adopting rigorous 
tneasaies against them. In the ^^outli of your ex- 
istence, you ought rather to encourage than check 
the population of the colony. The consciences 
of men ought to be free and unshackled, so long 
as they continue moderate, peaceable, inoffensive, 
and not hostile to the government. Such have 
been the maxims of prudence and toleration by 
which the magistrates of this city (Amsterdam) 
have been governed, and the consequences have 
been, that the oppressed and persecuted, from 
every country, have found among us an asylum 
from distress. Follow in -the same steps and you 
will be blessed." 

These are certainly noble sentiments, worthy 
of being written in letters of gold, and while we 
cannot but feel high pleasure in awarding the 
meed of applause to men who could thus think 
and act worthy of the station in which they were 
placed, we cannot at the same time avoid la- 
menting that the same liberality of sentiment 
had not distinguished the early settlers of the 
Kew England Colonies, who, if they fled from 
persecution, were themselves the first to persecute 


in this new empire of freedom of conscience, 
which they claimed to have founded. 

This Joim Bowne the Quaker, thus exiled by 
Governor Stuyvesant, resided at Flushing, upon 
Long Island, and his house is now in existence, 
or was very recently. The tradition is, that when 
he landed in New York in the spring of 1665, 
after having remained abroad several years, upon 
his return from his exile to Holland, he waited 
upon Governor Stuyvesant, then a private citizen, 
the colony having passed to the English, who 
welcomed him back, and expressed his regret for 
having used so much severity towards him and 
some others of his particular faith, some of whom 
he frankly admitted to be among the most valu- 
able citizens of the colony ; and assured him that 
the course of policy which he had theretofore felt 
it his duty to pursue had been based upon what 
he had ascertained to be an erroneous representa- 
tion of the view^s and intentions of Bowne and 
his friends, and that he felt it an act of conscien- 
tious duty to make such declaration to him. 

This, if it be true (which it has always been 
asserted to be), is highly honorable to Governor 
Stuyvesant as a man ; who must indeed, from the 
accounts of him, have been very high souled and 
honorable, one well calculated for the important 
and dignified office he held. 


Great injustice will be done to the memory of 
Gov. Stnyvesaiit if he is ranked as a persecntor 
of the Quakers, and others differing from him in 
religions sentiments. No ruler was ever more 
tolerant of the religious opinions of others than 
was Stu}' vesant ; and if in any case he appeared 
to deal harshly with any man, or any set of men, 
differing from the Dutch Established Church, it 
will be found on examination not to have been 
from their religions faith, but for the political 
tise which they w^ere believed to make of it. And 
we should bear in mind that very many of the 
Quakers of his daj^ were a very different kind of 
peojDle from those of onr time, and men who 
were almost the opposite of George Fox in every- 
thing but name. In place of the mild, inoffensive 
conduct and strict attention to their own business, 
without intermeddling with the concerns of others, 
wliich now characterize them as a sect, and as 
amono: the most useful and valuable of our citi- 
zens, there were then too many of them who were 
fond of seeking eveiy opportunity to abuse, in 
public assemblies, by the most pointed language, 
the magistracy and laws of the land ; represent- 
ing them not only as anti-Christian, but as origi- 
nating from the Evil One, and of declaring all 
the ministers of religion out of their own creed, 
to be hirelings, wolves in sheep's clothing, base, 


Avicked creatures, who were leading the people 
astray ; and at the same time declaring it their 
settled intention to resist the laws which they 
asserted had no controllinoj force or effect over 
them, who were governed by a new light which 
they received from Heaven itself as their guide 
and law-giver, and which was confined within 
their own bosoms ; and that they actually reduced 
these principles to practice, by refusing obedience 
not only to the laws in relation to an uniformity 
of religious worship, but also to all civil regula- 
tions, whether made by the superior government 
of the colony, or the towns in which they resided ; 
refused the payment of taxes, or the performance 
of any of the duties of citizens, unless matters 
were done according to their peculiar notions. 
All this is lost sight of by those who condemn 
Guv. Stuyvesant for his proceedings against the 
Quakers. The ei'ror he committed was in notic- 
ing them at all ; but in the principles and policy 
of government, he had not then the experience 
to guide him which we now possess, and it is 
therefore unjust to judge him not only by the 
light of the present day, but also by assuming 
that the Quaker character of his time possessed 
the same estimable uniformity which marks it in 
our age, which is very far from being truth. 
Governor Stnyvesant's character appears to 


have been siiigiilarlj misiiiiderstood by some mo- 
dern writers; and which, in onr judgment, has 
mainl}^ arisen from the error of regarding it in 
the lights and principles of the science of govern- 
ment as nnderstood and practised in our day, 
rather tlian in tliose which were common and re- 
ceived in the age in which he lived. It could 
alone be from an opinion thns formed that the 
talented author of Thompson's History of Long 
Island (second edition, vol. i., page 108) charges 
that Governor Stuyvesant persecuted and dis- 
couraged those whose religious tenets differed 
from his own, and that he exercised his preroga- 
tive in a capricious and arbitrary manner. 
Charges w^hich are certainly scarcely supported 
by the fact mentioned by the same author, that 
the Knglish who settled the towns of Gravesend, 
Newtown, Flushing, Jamaica, and Hempstead, 
and who reluctaiitly hecciTne Dutch subjects, icere 
allowed to hold their lands\ to enjoy liberty oj 
conscience, and to em/ploy their own ministers / 
rights which they w^ould not have been permitted 
to enjoy at home in England, and those which 
they had little reason to expect here, from their 
reluctance to submit to the Dutch Government, 
the then undoubted authority of the country, and 
made so by a treaty between the Commissioners 
of the United Colonies of New England and the 


Dutch Colonial Government. All which affr,Tcls 
an evidence of tolerant principles on the part of 
Governor Stuyvesant, and a forbearance for the 
views and tenets of others conflictino; with his 
own, not onlj in religion but also in government, 
rarely found in any age, and certaiidy not to be 
discovered in the proceedings of the most civil- 
ized nations of Europe in his time, except it might 
be in the case of Holland. 

This house of Bowne, in Flushing, is built of 
wood, in the old-fashioned Dutch style, and w^as 
said to have been erected in the year 1661, only 
one year previous to his exile. 

Opposite this house, in front of it, are two large 
old oak trees, under the shadow of which the 
celebrated George Fox, a preacher of the Society 
of Friends, or Quakers, in 1672, preached a ser- 
mon to the people assembled around them. 
These trees are still standing. Fox was then on 
a preaching tour from Yorkshire, in England, 
and was travelling through the colonies ; he was 
then stopping at Bowne's Tiouse. 

The case of Bowne the Quaker was the only 
instance in which the Dutch Colonial Govern- 
ment attempted to exile a man for his religious 
opinions. But its general course, and particu- 
larly the administration under Governor Stuy- 
vesant, was marked by a series of measures cal- 


dilated to advance the interests of the settlers, 
and to build np the little insignificant colon}^ on 
the banks of the Hudson into a city of that char- 
acter and importance, and a colony of that value 
as to attract the attention of the English Govern- 
ment, and upon the first opportunity that offered 
to induce them to fit out an expedition for its cap- 

To t'he encouragement offered by Governor 
Stuyvesant is to be attributed the first emigration 
of the French Huguenots to this country, whose 
descendants now, and for many generations past, 
have been some of our most respectable and in- 
telligent citizens. It appeal's from the Council 
records that on the 24tli of January, 1664, M. 
Yan Beeck, a merchant in New Amsterdam, in- 
formed the Governor that he had received letters 
from Rochelle, in France, signifying the wish of 
several persons professing the Protestant religion 
to emigrate to New Netherland, as their churches 
had been burnt, etc. Upon which the Governor 
and Council resolved to receive them hospitably, 
and to allow them land gratuitously. They at 
once came over upon receiving this information, 
and a considerable number of them received 
grants of land in what is now Westchester county, 
and settled a town there, which they named after 
their old home in France, New Rochelle. This 


was in accordance with the settled policy of the 
Dutch AVest India Company; which evinced a 
more enlightened view of the advantages to re- 
snlt from the commerce of the Fatherland, from 
the establishment of a prosperous colonial system, 
than appear to have been eritertained by any other 
nation of Europe, and it was the success whicli at- 
tended this Dutch commercial policy that led to 
the celebrated navio^ation act of Eno-land. To the 
good character which this colony thus obtained 
abroad, throughout Europe, we may attribute the 
continuance, in some measure, of the same policy 
under the English Colonial Government, although 
a different policy was at the same time pursued 
in England itself. Thus in 1710, 3,000 Palatines, 
who had the yeai* previous fled into England from 
persecution in Germany, emigrated to Xew York 
under the guidance of Gov. Robert Hunter ; some 
of them settled in JSTew York City, others on 
Livingston Manor, and the remainder in Pennsyl- 
A'ania, where their descendants continue to this 

During the prevalence of the terrible witch 
mania in New England, great exertions were 
made to enlist the officers of this government 
and the clergy of this colony in that horrible 
persecution of poor infirm old men and women. 
They, however, refused to entertain the sul)ject 


in any manner, and were in consequence of that 
refusal very freely denounced as infidels by the 
wise leaders in Kew England, wlio were, accord- 
ing to tlieir own showing, almost daily receiving 
and acting upon the evidence of the evil one 
against their neighbors and fellow-Christians, 
members of the same church with themselves, 
and whose walk in life had been consistent with 
their Christian professions. There was then no 
Presbyterian church in the City of Kew York, 
and the whole population was nominally divided 
among the Episcopalian, the Dutch Reformed, 
and the French Protestant Churches — the latter 
was also under the ecclesiastical government of 
the Episcopal Church. The clergy in New Eng- 
land, who had been active in the mattei- of witch- 
craft, addressed a letter to the Butch Reformed 
ministers of this colony, as approaching nearest 
to them in form of church government, desiring 
their judgment in reference to spectral evidence, 
and other matters connected with prosecuti(jns 
for witchcraft ; and the Dutch clergy, in reply, 
cautioned them against the use of such testimony, 
as coming from an improper and evil source, and 
more likely to be available against good than 
against bad persons of evil lives ; it is very 
strange that this did not occur to them before. 
The only trial for witchcraft which ever took 


place in this colony was that of Ralph Hall, and 
Alaiy his wife, from the eastern part of Long 
Island, in the conrt of assizes held in the City of 
New York, on the 2d of October, 1GG5. The 
jury who tried them for this alleged offence, con- 
sisted of twelve men, five of whom were selected 
from this island, and seven from the Cit}^ of New 
York ; and they fonnd a special verdict, " ac- 
quitting the man, and that there were some sus- 
picions against the woman, but nothing to take 
away her life." Upon which Hall was dis- 
charged, and his wife also, on his giving security 
for her good behavior, and that she should appear 
at the next assizes ; and at the following term the 
recognizance was discharged, and this ended the 
first and only trial for witchcraft in this colony 
or state. 

Although the New York government exhibits 
but this solitary instance of a trial for witchcraft, 
yet w^hen some of the eastern towns on this 
island annexed themselves to the United Colonies 
of New England, and came under the Govern- 
ment of Connecticut, as a necessary consequence, 
all the peculiar notions of the inhabitants of the 
mainland in reference to demonology and witch- 
craft began to manifest themselves in that part 
of the island. And in the year 1657, the wife of 
Joshua Garlick being suspected of witchcraft, 


was arrested iijion that charge in Easthampton, a 
proceeding which caused great excitement in 
that town ; as usual, in most other cases of a 
simihir character, witnesses were not wanting in 
this instance who deposed to facts, which, in the 
minds of an excited and credulous people, fully 
established the truth of the accusation. But the 
town court before whom she was brought, being- 
composed of persons not very deeply versed in 
the science of demonology, and feeling them- 
selves incompetent to decide upon so grave a 
question, sent the unhappy woman a prisoner to 
Hartford, in Connecticut, to be tried by the Gen- 
eral Court at that place. AYhat became of her is 
not known, but she was probably subsequently 
discharged, or her name would appear among 
those who fell victims to that awful mania. 

Prior to the American Revolution, sermons 
were preached, and also printed, in the Dutch 
language, in the City of Kew York. We have 
seen two sermons which were printed in the 
Dutch language, in 4:to form, at Xew York, by 
" Ilendricus De Foi-est, in't Jaar 1752." In Kings 
County, upon Long Island, sermons in Dutch 
were preached in the towns of Flatbush, Kew 
Utrecht, Gravesend and Bush wick, until- about 
the year 1818. The last Dutch clergyman, or 
parson, as the English called him, or dominie, as 


the Dutch styled him, for tliose towns, was old 
Dominie Martinus Schoonmaker, who officiated 
alternately in the churches of those towns until 
he was nearly, if not quite, ninety years of age ; 
he also used, about the commencement of the 
present century, occasionally to preach a Dutch 
sermon in the church at Brooklyn. lie was the 
last connecting link of the chain which had 
bound together the churches of Flatbush and 
Gravesend from the year 1654, and which had 
united the other churches named with that of 
Flatbush from a period long anterior to the 
American Revolution ; at his death this tie was 
severed, and ever since the churches have each 
had their ministers and formed independent con- 

Before the commencement of the present cen- 
tury, it was v^ery common on the west end of 
Long Island, in the burying-grounds of the Dutch 
Reformed congregations, to put Dutch inscrip- 
tions on the monumental or grave-stones, both 
prose and poetical ; but this has now ceased to 
])e the practice. Inscriptions in this language on 
grave-stones, are in the Bush wick burying-ground 
of as late date as the year 17S0. 

The Dutch Reformed church of Flatbush, in 
Kings County, was incorporated July 31, 1784, 
under a 2:eneral act of Leo-islature of the State of 


X ew York, entitled, " An act to enable all the 
religious denominations in this state to appoint 
trustees, who shall be a body corporate, for the 
purpose of taking care of the temporalities of 
tlieir respective congregations, and for other pur- 
poses therein mentioned," passed April 6th, 1784. 
The first trustees of this church, named in the 
certificate, were Jeremias Yander Bilt, Joris Mar- 
tense, Cornelius AVyckoff, Hendrick Suydam, and 
Peter Lifferts. This was one of the first, if not 
the first church upon Long Island, incorporated 
under this general law. 

A Dutch Reformed church was erected in 
Jamaica, on this island, in 1715 ; in Newtown 
shortly after ; and in the towns of Xorth Hemp- 
stead and Oyster Bay about the year 1732. These 
churches were supplied with ministers from 
Kings County until about the middle of last cen- 

Many of the Dutch churches on this island 
w^ere of a curious style of architecture ; either 
circular, six-square, or eight-square, with high 
roofs, and a belfry or cupola springing from the 
top of the six-square or octagon roof, with a small 
bell in it. The churches at Jamaica, ^ew 
Utrecht, and Bushwick, were of this character. 
The latter, which was six-square, was taken down 
in the year 1827. A few months previous to its 


destruction, a lady of our acquaintance, who liad 
a fine taste for sketching, at our request made a 
drawing of this antique church, which we now 
possess, and prize highly as an accurate represen- 
tation of those curious old churches which have 
now all disappeared from our island before the 
march of modern improvements. 


It is generally supposed, and so stated, that 
the first attempt to establish the Episcopal Church 
in this colony was by the act of 1693. This is 
an error. The code of laws for the government 
of the colony of l^sew York, known as the Du/ce^s 
Xaws, adopted by the convention of deputies at 
Hempstead, on Long Island, March 1, 1664, evi- 
dently contemplated the establishment of that 
church, as will be seen upon reference to its pro- 
visions. This code, after stating that " the pub- 
lic worship of God is much discredited for want 
of painful and able ministers to instruct the peo- 
ple in the true religion, and for want of conven- 
ient places capjible to receive any number or 
assembly of people in a decent manner for cele- 
brating God's holy ordinances," then proceeds to 
provide that, ^' in each parish within this gov- 
ernment, a church be built in the most convenient 


pai't thereof, capable to receive and accommodate 
two hundred persons." 

" That, for the making and proportioning the 
levies and assessments for building and repairing 
the churches, provision for the poor, maintenance 
for the minister, as well as for the more orderly 
managing of all parochial affairs in other cases 
expressed, eight of the most able men of each 
parish be, by the major part of the householders 
of said parish, chosen to be overseers." 

Out of this number of overseers, the constable 
and the eight overseers were annuall}^ to make 
choice of two to be churchwardens. These 
churchwardens had very much the same powers 
possessed by those ofhcers in England ; and were 
recpiired twice in each year to make written 
presentments to the court of sessions of all of- 
fences coming within their knowledge against 
good morals. 

" To prevent scandalous and ignorant j)1'g- 
tenders to the ministry from intruding them- 
selves as teachers, no minister shall be admitted 
to officiate within the government but such as 
shall produce testimonials to the Governor that he 
hath received ordination, either from some Pro- 
testant bishops or minister within some part of 
His Majesty's dominions, or the dominions of any 
foreign Prince of the Keformed Peligion ; upon 


which testimony the Governor shall induct the 
said minister into the parish that shall make pre- 
sentation of him, and as duly elected by the major 
part of the inhabitants, honseholders." 

It is not a little curious that this code of laws, 
which are understood to have received the sanc- 
tion of tlie Duke of York, afterwards King 
James II. of England, and which were framed 
for the government of a colony of which he was 
the proprietor, should have so i-igidly excluded 
the Koman Catholic religion, and allowed no 
ministers from any part of the world to exercise 
their calling here unless the}' were Protestants ; 
and not even Protestants who had been ordained 
in a foreign country under a Poman Catholic 
monarch ; and that, too, when James himself was 
such a rigid Poman Catholic, and made such ex- 
traordinary exertions to introduce that faith into 
England, where he had the opposition of a power- 
ful and wealthy Establishment to contend with, 
and eventuall}^ lost his crown in the contest ; and 
here, where he had no Establishment to encounter, 
and might easily have introduced it under the 
general toloration which was from the establish- 
ment of his government here allowed, it is truly 
strange and wonderful. 

The same code declares that : " Ko person 
shall be molested, fined, or imprisoned, for differ- 


inty in judgment, in matters of religion, who pro- 
fesses Christianity." 

The regulations in relation to the ministers, 
as established by this code, were as follows ; 

" The minister of every parish shall preach 
constantly every Sunday, and shall also pray for 
the King, Queen, Duke of York and the Royal 
family." '' Xo minister shall refuse the sacra- 
ment of baptism to the children of Christian pa- 
rents, when they shall be tendered, under pen- 
alty of loss of preferment." " Ministers are to 
marry persons after legal publication, or sufficient 
license. Legal publication shall be so esteemed 
when the persons to be married are three several 
days asked in the church, or have a special license." 

" 'No person of scandalous or vicious life shall 
be admitted to the holy sacrament, who hath not 
given satisfaction therein to the minister." The 
court of assizes, which, previous to 1683, formed 
the legislative authority of the colony under t]ie 
Duke of York, at their term commencing Sep- 
tember 28, 1665, ordered the churches in each 
parish to be erected within three years after that 
term, and provided " to which end a town rate 
may be made to begin this year." 

The same authority, the court of assizes, at a 
term commencing October 2, 1672, ordered 
" that the laws of the government be duly ob- 


served as to parish cliiirclies ; and that although 
divers persons may be of different judgments, 
yet all shall contribute to the minister established 
and allowed of ; which is no way judged to be an 
infringement of the liberty of conscience to which 
they may pretend." 

Again, this court of assizes, at the term of Octo- 
ber 13, lG75,had the establishment of the church 
under their consideration, and seem particularly 
desirous that some maintenance for the minis- 
try in each town or parish should be actually real- 
ized. The record of their j)roceedings upon this 
point is to the following purport : 

" The church affairs being taken into consid- 
eration, and particularly the maintenance of the 
ministry, it is ordered, that towards the mainte- 
nance of the ministry', besides the usual country 
rate, there shall be a double rate levied npon all 
those towns that have not already a sufficient 
maintenance for a minister." 

The Government appears to have been truly 
anxious that churches should be established, and 
a minister of the gospel called and settled in 
each town of the colony ; and the difficulties 
wdiich they encountered in effecting this object 
seem to have mainly arisen from the disrelish of 
the people to subject themselves to the neces- 
sary taxation for those purposes* 


All these provisions and regulations show that 
while the colonial government intended to allow 
the free exercise of any particular form of the 
Christian religion used by Protestants, it was at 
the same time their wish that the churches to be 
erected in each parish might be supplied with 
clergymen of the Established Church of England, 
and they, therefore, to facilitate that, gave those 
churches, as near as possible, the officers and 
form of government of the parish churches of 
Eiigland ; and when such a minister should be 
settled in any church they intimated it to be their 
intention to compel all the inhabitants of the 
parish to contribute to his support, however much 
they might difPer from him in judgment upon the 
matters of religion ; and stated it as the conclu- 
sion which they had arrived at, that this was no 
infringement of the liberty of conscience j)i'evi- 
ously granted. They had precedent for this 
regulation in the uniform practice of the ^ew 
England colonies, which had then uniformly for 
years obliged the Episcopalians, or members of 
the Church of England, to contribute rateably 
to the support of their Congregational and Pres- 
byterian ministers, and that even where they had 
a church and ministry of their own to support. 
The first Episcopalian minister upon this island 
was the Rev. George Keith, who had formerly 


been a Quaker. He was sent here by the Eng- 
lish Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts, soon after its formation in 1701, in order 
that he might ascertain the best mode of fulfill- 
ing the object of the association. He was styled 
the Rector of Queens County, and was accom- 
panied by the Rev. Peter Gordon, as a missionary 
for this island, who was afterwards settled at 
Jamaica in 1702. 

The act of 1693, in place of being tJie first 
attempt to establish the Episcopal Church on this 
island, was in some measure a revival of the 
regulations of 1601:, somewdiat extended ; but this 
a':t, in its operation, was confined, on this island, 
to Queens County. In the year 1700, the peo2:)le 
of Jamaica, in that county, who were then gen- 
erally Presbyterians or Independent, erected a 
aUme edifice for public worship, by a general 
subscription throughout the town, without re- 
stricting it to any particular denomination. After 
a year or more, they having no minister, the 
church was not used for Divine service ; and 
Governor Cornbury considering it, from the 
manner in which the cost of its construction had 
been raised, as one of the parish churches which 
had previously been required to be erected at the 
public expense, delivered possession of it to the 
Episcopalians, w^ho continued to use it, very much 


against the will of the Presbyterians, until the 
year 1735, wlien they abandoned it, and erected 
themselves another church in that town, which 
new church was, in 1761, incorporated by the 
name of Grace Church. When the seats in this 
new church were sold, in the year 1737, the con- 
gregation consisted of twenty-four families. 

The above is one way in which the history of 
this church is narrated. Another is, that the 
stone church was actually occupied in 1702 by 
the Itev. John Hubbard, a Presbyterian minister, 
and his congregation ; and that on Sunday after- 
noon, coming to the church, he found the pulpit 
occupied by the Pev. Peter Gordon, an Episco- 
palian minister, and the body of the church in 
possession of a number of Gov. Cornbury's friends 
and others, from the City of New York ; that this 
led to a bitter controvei*sy, which, after a pro- 
tracted and expensive litigation on the trial of 
the cause before Chief Justice Lewis Morris, re- 
sulted in favor of the Presbyterians, and restored 
the church to them in 1728. Whichever is the 
true history of this matter, it is certainly to be 
regretted that any such controversy ever took 

The Episcopalians were established and a 
church built in Hempstead in 1704; and the 
Pev. John Thomas, a missionary of the Society 


for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts (of 
England), was their first minister. They erected 
a new church at that place in 1734, and were then 
incorporated, and constituted a parish, by the 
name of " St. George's Church, Hempstead." 

On a tombstone now standing in the burying- 
ground of this church is the following inscription : 

" 11 June 1764 Died Samuel Seabury Eector 
of St. George's Church at Hempstead set. 64." 

This Rector Seabury was the father of the 
Right Rev. Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop of 
Connecticut, and the first who was consecrated 
for the United States. He was consecrated by 
the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, 
before the English bishops were authorized by 
act of Parliament to consecrate any bishops for 
the United Colonies. 

The old church of St. George at Hempstead is 
still (1846) standing, and is one of the most ven- 
erable churches in our country ; it is beautifully 
situated, few more so. 

Other Episcopal churches were founded on 
this island at the following named places, and at 
the periods mentioned : — 

At Brookhaven, Caroline church, in 1730. 

At Xewtown, St. James' church, in 1734. 

At Flushing, St. George's church, in 1734. 

At Huntington, St. John's church, in 1784. 


The first Episcopal church in the town of 
Brooklyn (which now^, 1846, lias in it eleven 
Episcopal churches, and two of them among the 
most splendid in the country), and, indeed, the 
first in Kings County, w^as established in the 
year 1784, soon after the conclusion of the Revo- 
lutionary war. It scarcely took the form of a 
church ; there were but few, very few. Episcopa- 
lians in this town or county at that period, so few 
that they were not able to settle ,a minister 
among them, and were supplied with occasional 
services from the clergymen of the City of New 
York; for which purpose they assembled in a 
room of the old one-and-a-half story brick house, 
known as ]N"o. 40 Fulton street, Brooklyn, then 
called the Old Ferry Road, owned by Abiel 
Titus, Esq. There is no reason to believe that 
this little congregation was ever incorporated as 
a church, or had any regular ofiicers. The first 
regularl}^ established Episcopal church in this 
town or county w^as that formed in the year 
1786. The congregation was at first very small, 
not having in it more than fifteen or sixteen 
families, and they were not al^le to go to much 
expense about erecting a church. They there- 
fore hired the old and long one-story house, 
owned by Marvin Richardson, on the north-west- 
erly corner of Fulton street and Middagh street, 


(which old building, or a considerable portion of 
it, still remains in the interior of the frame build- 
ings now upon that corner,) and taking out the 
partitions, they seated it with seats with backs to 
tliem, and put in a pulpit. The pews they sold, 
and the tradition is, that a dispute which arose 
about the sale of one or two particular pews in 
this little church, was the origin of the Methodist 
Episcopal church in Brooklyn ; and they con- 
tinued in this edifice about a year or a little over, 
and their first minister was the Rev. Mr. Wright. 
This chui'cli does not appear to have had any 
paiticular name. 

A few months before the establishment of the 
Episcopal church in Brooklyn, a frame building 
of considerable size for that day had been erected 
on the present Fulton street, upon what is now 
the Episcopal burying ground, and was used by 
a congregation of " Independents." It was in- 
corporated on the ISth of September, 1TS5, 
under the name of the " Independent Meeting 
House," with John Matlock, pastor ; George 
Wall, assistant; John Carpenter, treasurer; 
Georo-e Powers, secretary ; and five trustees. 

After they had used it for Divine worship 
something over a year, Mr. John Carpenter, and 
two or three other gentlemen who had a claim 
upon the land and building for the money ad- 


vanced for its purchase and erection, ejected the 
Independent congregation bj fastening up the 
church, and refusing them admission ; and they 
subsequently transferred the land and chur{;h to 
the Episcopalian congregation, who thereupon 
left their room on the corner of Fulton and Mid- 
dagh streets, and occupied it as their church, 
upon which, on the 23d of April, 1787, they were 
incorporated under the name of " The Episcopal 
Church of Brookl^m," and their temporalities 
placed under tlie direction of seven trustees^ the 
first of whom were Whitehead Cornell, Joshua 
Sands, Joseph Sealy, Aquila Giles, Matthew 
Gleaves, John Van Xostrand and Henry Stan- 

The form of government which they had thus 
inadvertently adopted, not being that suited to 
the churches and congregations of the Episco- 
palian church, but intended for the Presbyterian 
and other congregations, the church was reorgan- 
ized, and the 22d of June, 1795, newly incorpo- 
rated, under the name of " St. Ann's Church," 
and placed under the government of church- 
wardens and vestrymen. 

Many have supposed, and now believe, that 
the name of " St. Ann's Church " was for the 
first time applied to the stone church erected on 
Sands street ; but this is an error : it was applied 

ST. Ann's ciiuecii. 139 

to the old frame cliurch about nine years before 
the stone church was built. 

They remained in this church until the stone 
Episcopal church on Sands street was erected; 
also known as St. Ann's church, when the old 
frame church was taken down about 1805, and 
from its materials the dwelling house 'No. 11 
Prospect street was erected. 

The first organ in any church in Kings County 
was that in St. Ann's church, Brooklyn, which 
was first opened April 11th, 1810, and a number 
of fine pieces of music performed and anthems 
sung. A sermon was delivered on the occasion 
by tlie Rev. R. C. Moore, on the importance of 
church music. St. Ann's Episcopal church was 
occupied until the close of the summer of 1825, 
when it was taken down in the month of Septem- 
ber of that year. The first clergyman wdio ofiici- 
ated in that church was the Rev. John Ireland, a 
man of a most violent temper, and who was event- 
ually silenced from preaching, or acting as a 
minister, for some very unseemly exhibitions of 
it, a restriction after some years removed, and he 
was appointed chaplain to the United States 
Xavy Yard in this town, w^hich situation he held 
until his decease. 

The new St. Ann's cliurch, constructed of 
brick, on Washington street, in the rear of the 


old charch, was consecrated in the latter part of 
the suinnier of 1S25, by the Kight Rev. John 
Croes, Bishop of New Jersey, assisted by the 
Bishops of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. At 
that time it was the only Episcopal church in the 
town of Brooklyn, or in the County of Kings, ex- 
cept that the chaplain of the Navy Yard then be- 
ing an Episcopalian, the service in that chapel 
was of the Episcopal form. 

At North Hemj)stead, in Queens County, an 
Episcopalian church was founded by the name of 
" Christ Church " in the year 1803. 


The first congregation of this denomination 
was formed in Brooklyn about the year 1787, 
but it was some three or four years before they 
became sufficiently numerous to erect a church 
or meeting-house, but they had frequent preach- 
ing supplied by the itinerant preachers of their 
connexion, in a small building of one story about 
thirty-five feet long, and twenty feet broad, 
which they built on the northerly side of High 
street, and afterwards used for many years as a 

Their first church on Sands street, near Fulton 
street, was probably erected in the autumn of the 
year 1793, as we find it to have been incorporated 


on the 19th of May, 1794, iiiicler the name of the 
" First Methodist Episcopal Clmrch," and placed 
under the government of six trustees. This 
cl lurch continued to be used until tlie year 1810, 
when being found much too small for the con- 
gi-egation attending there, it was taken down, 
and a temporary slied of large dimensions erected 
in the burying-ground immediately in the rear of 
the cliurch ; under wdiich the pnlpit and seats 
were placed, and Divine service performed tiiere 
until the new cliurch was erected. Which new 
church was erected upon the site of the old one, 
and extending much beyond it, both in length 
and breadth — it was also a frame building, as 
well as the old church. 

This new Methodist church was opened for the 
first time after its completion, on the 18th of 
August, 1811, and a dedication sermon preached 
on the occasion. 

This Methodist church erected on Sands street, 
Brooklyn, in 1793, was not only the first church 
of that denomination in this town, but also the 
first erected in Kings County. 


The first Komaii Catholic church founded upon 
Long Island takes its date from the year 1822. 


Tlie corner-stone of this church was laid in the 
yiljage of Brooklyn, on the 25th of June, 1822, 
on the corner of Jay street and Chapel street, 
which was then a large extent of vacant ground, 
there being then no buildings nearer that spot 
than High street, and not a single building 
between the site of the church and the mead- 
ows of Wallaboght mill-pond. 

This church was incorporated on the 20th of 
November, 1822, by the name of " St. James 
Roman Catholic Church," and placed under the 
government of seven trustees. The church has 
been very much enlarged every way ; the nave 
of the church, as now used, was all that consti- 
tuted the original edifice ; the front, the tower 
and sj^ire, the transept and the chancel have all 
been added. The church, as first erected, was a 
plain brick edifice, with unfinished walls inside ; 
now it is a very showy building. 


There are several houses still remaining on 
this island venerable for their antiquity, and for 
incidents connected with their history. One of 
them is the house in Southold, known as the 
" old Young's place," which was built in 1688. 
It was the mansion house of the descendants of 


the Rev. John Youngs, the first Christian minis- 
ter in that part of Long Island. In the same 
town is also the edifice known as " Cochran's 
Hotel," which was erected in the year 1700 ; and 
there are several others in the eastern part of 
this island which might be noticed, if time and 
space permitted. Approaching westwardly 
through the island, we meet, on Fort N'eck, with 
an old-fashioned brick house, which was many 
years ago owned and occupied by a Captain 
Jones, wlio is reputed to have been a pirate, and 
in it he died. Tradition says that at the time of 
his death, a large black crow (which the people 
supposed to be a demon) hovered over his bed, 
and when life was extinct, the crow made his 
exit through the west end of the house. This 
story is still told by the oldest inhabitants as a 
fact, and they also state that the hole through 
which the crow made his departure cannot be 
stopped, and that as often as it is closed it is 
opened by some unknown means. 

I saw the house in Julj^, 1827 ; it was a venera- 
ble-looking building, but fast hastening to ruin. 
It was then pointed out to me as the " haunted 
house," by persons in the vicinit}^ Capt. Jones 
was buried not far from the house, and his 
grave is designated to this day as the " Pirate's 


This grave is about half a mile south of the 
house, on the banks of a creek, in a small piece 
of p-round surrounded bv an earth wall. The 
tombstone is of red freestone. The ground also 
contains the graves of his wife, his sou, and his 
son's wife. There are no other persons interred 
there but these four. It is quite a solitary spot. 

The mansion of the Hon. George Duncan 
Ludlow, at Hempstead Plains, now called Ilvde 
Park, was one of the largest and best houses of 
its da}^ on this island. It was destroyed by fire 
accidentally, in the month of December, 1773, 
and the loss sustained was estimated at not less 
than £3000. With it was also consumed a 
library estimated to be worth twelve hundred 
pounds, which must have been a very large and 
valuable library for the colonies. This house 
was immediately rebuilt upon the same spot, 
and again destroyed by fire in 1817, while in 
the occupation of the celebrated William Cob- 

In the town of Flatbush are several of these 
relics of former days ; among them is an old one- 
story brick dwelling-house erected in the year 
1G96, situate at the corner of the Flatbush turn- 
pike road and the road leading to New Lotts. 
This house has the following figures and devices, 
containing the date of its erection, and the initials 


of its original proprietor, on its front, formed with 
bine bricks inserted between tlie red bricks. 







In the same town is a very old frame house, 
covered with cedar sliingles, the date of which is 
unknown, but we should not be surprised, judg- 
ing frOm its appearance, if the date of this build- 
ing was prior to tliat of the one above mentioned. 

The oldest liouse in the town of Brooklyn is 
supposed to be the house which was known as 
Tn^o. ()4 Fulton street, in the village of Brooklpi, 
and owned and occupied by Mr. Jacob Patchen. 
Mr. Charles Doughty, who has been dead about 
twenty-five years, and was about eighty-five years 
of age when he died, said that this was an old 
liouse when he Avas a bo}^ Mrs. Eapalje, the 
mother of John E-apalje, whose property in 
Brooklyn was confiscated during the Iwevolution- 
ary wai-, said that this house was built by a family 
of the Hemsens who came from Holland. This 


house was removed by order of the corporation 
of the village of Brooklyn, for the purpose of 
opening Market street in that village, and now 
stands on Jackson street in said village, now city. 

There was also recently an old brick honse 
standing on Fulton street, in Brooklyn, near tlie 
corner of Nassau street, which was occupied by 
the Colonial Legislature as a sessions house dur- 
ing the prevalence of the small-pox in New York 
in 1752 ; and at this house, on the 4th of June, 
1752, 2,541 bills of credit issued by this Colony, 
amounting to £3,G02. ISs. 3d., were cancelled by 
the Colonial Connnissioners. This house was sub- 
sequently occupied by General Israel Putnam as 
his headquarters during the stay of the American 
army on Long Islaiid, in the summer of 1776. 

The house was taken down in May, 1S32, and 
its timbers, which were all of oak (as were those 
of all the old buildings of that early period), were 
so perfectly sound and hard that they could not 
be cut without much difficulty ; and most of them 
were worked into the new brick buildings which 
now occupy the same site. 

What an idea does this simple fact afford us of 
the strength and permanency with which every 
thing was done by our ancestors. They did not 
build in haste, or run up houses during the frosts 
of winter, but all was done \7ith muph care and 

Washington's headquarters. 147 

forethoTiglit ; tliey were building for their pos- 
terity as well as for themselves. In building, as 
in every other matter, much time was spent in 
examining the project in all its probable bearings 
before it was adventured upon ; and wlien once 
undertaken, it was persisted in with a force and 
spirit almost unknown to the present age. To 
this peculiar characteristic of our foi-efathers we 
owe all the blessings arising from our institutions 
of government. A slight and even partial exam- 
ination of the history of the United States for the 
half century preceding the Kevolntion of 1776, 
will show us how many years of patient thought 
and unwearied toil were deemed necessary by the 
patriots of that day to precede the great event of 
the Declaration of Independence, and to give to 
it the desii-ed stability. They did not dream of 
getting up a revolution in a few hours, days or 
months, now so common in tliis world, and whose 
effects, of course, are as evanescent as were the 
deliberations which gave them birth. The house 
on Brooklyn Heights recently owned by Henry 
AVaring, Esq., was at the same time occupied by 
General AVashington as his headquarters. 

There is a very old stone dwelling house near 
the water at Gowanus Bay, and next to tiie house 
of Simon Bergen. It was formerly the old Ber- 
gen mansion house, and near the well of tliis 


house, Mr. Bergen, the proprietor, was shot dur- 
ing the Revohitionary war by an English soldier. 
Another memorial of antiquity which still remains 
to us in Brooklyn is an old stone house owned by 
the family of Cortelyou, at Gowanus, which 
bears on its gable end, in iron figures, the date of 
1699. It is a venerable looking edifice ; and 
when A^ewing it, our minds are imperceptibly led 
to think how much of human joy and sorrow, 
wdiat scenes of happiness and misery, must have 
occurred under the roof -tree of that old mansion 
since the date of its erection ; and if it were in 
our power to learn its entire history without the 
slightest embellishment, what a strange romance 
would even the plainest narrative of the facts 
which have transpired within its walls now ap- 
pear to us ! So true it is that fact is often much 
stranger than any romance which the mind of 
man ever conceived. This house was the resi- 
dence of the American general. Lord Stirling, 
prior to his capture by the British forces in the 
battles of Long Island. 

The house 'No. 27 Fulton street, opposite Front 
street, in Brooklyn, and for many years occupied 
as a tavern, was built in 1780, entirely of Long 
Island timber, and the frame of oak, as was for- 
merly the case with many houses ; it was taken 
down about the year 1830. In digging the cellar 


of this house a Large rock was found, which in 
endeavoring to sink slipped, and one of the men 
fell under it and was crushed to death, and his 
bones reraam under it to the present day : so says 

The houses mentioned were amono; the larfi:est 
and most important dwellings in the colony at 
tlie time of their erection, and serve to show us 
what the more wealthy and noble of the land 
then thought sufficient for all their wants, and for 
the accommodation of their families and friends. 
In the centui'V followino- there was an evident 
change in sentiment in this respect ; the houses 
were lariJ^er, and from beino^ lono- and narrow, 

o " o Id ' 

with two front doors, not unfrequently side by 
side, and one or one and a half stories high, they 
became square and two stories in height, aiford- 
ing double the amount of room, and often more, 
than in the old st3de of building in the century im- 
mediately preceding. Of this more modern style, 
many of the houses would even now be regarded 
highly respectable in appearance ; it was an adap- 
tation, to some extent, of the English style, as its 
predecessor was of the Dutch mode of building ; 
there are however but few, very few, of this second 
order of our old mansions now in existence : a few 
of them are mentioned in the following pages. 
The first Lighthouse erected on Long Island 


was tlie Lighthouse on Montauk Point, which 
was built in 1796. It is a very massive and dur- 
able tower of stone, and it is said to be one of the 
best lights in the United States. 

Prior to the Revolution of 1776, Governor 
Martin, of the province of South Carolina, came 
on from that province to Xew York, and built 
the large old house at Rockaway Beach, now 
(1S38) occupied as a boarding-house, where he 
resided with his family. In the large room on 
the lower floor, now used as a dining-room, 
there is a painting on a panel over the fire-place, 
representing a child playing with a dog. It is a 
splendid piece of painting, the dog especially is 
admirable : it is a spotted dog. This painting 
was done by Sir John Copley, then without his 
title, and an inhabitant of Boston, in Massachu- 
setts, and the child represented a member of 
Governor Martin's family. The house is a very 
fine specimen of the old style of mansion-house 
building. Mrs. Martin, the widow of Governor 
Martin, lived and died in the city of Kew York, 
in Broadway, on part of what is now the site of 
Astor's great hotel ; she was a daughter of Sir 
John Copley, and sister of Lord Lyndhurst, the 


English Lord Chancellor ; she says the painting 
before mentioned was from the pencil of her 
father. She died about the year 1825, and quite 
wealthy ; she gave eight thousand dollars by her 
will to Bishop Ilobart of New York. In the 
com]3troller's office of Trinitj^ Church, on the 
corner of Fulton and Church streets, New York, 
is another painting by Sir John Copley. It is a 
likeness of the Eev. Mr. Ogilvie of Trinity 
Church, assistant minister with the Rev. Mr. 
Auchnmty, tlie rector of that church. Mr. 
Ogilvie died before the Eevolutionary war, on 
Fulton street, in Brooklyn, near its junction with 
Jackson street, and about fifty feet southerly of 
that junction, on the east side of the street, is 
(1830) a relic of the olden time which has been 
there some considerable time before the Revolu- 
tionary war. It is a wood medallion, but profile 
likeness of King George III., of England, 
crowned with a laurel wreath. It is well done 
and a creditable specimen of wood carving not 
only for that day, but for any day, and judging 
from the engraved likeness of that monarch, it 
is a very good representation of him. It is now, 
and I believe always has been, on tlie front of tlie 
hay scales, near the top, which are now kept by 
Charles Poling. It should be preserved as a 
memento of our ante-lie vol utionary history. In 


1820 there was another of these old-fasliioiied 
haj-scales in Brooklyn ; it stood on the westerly 
side of Fidton street, a little southerly of the 
corner of that street and Buckbee's alley, and be- 
tween the front of those hay-scales and the oppo- 
site side of the street was only about thirty-five 
feet. On the top of these hay-scales was a small 
cupola in which hung the fire-bell of Brooklyn, 
then the only bell in the village for an alarm in 
such cases, except the bell of St. Ann's churcli, 
which was bnt a poor one, and the small bell of 
the old Dutch Church, which then hung in the 
belfry of the Dutch Reformed Lecture-room in 
Middagh street. At this period all the houses on 
Fulton street, between the corner of Front street, 
and the junction of Fulton street and Main street, 
were old frame buildings of one and tw^o stories 
high, with the exception of the stone dwelling- 
house of two stories, occupied by Jacob M. Hicks 
and John M. Hicks, on the corner of Hicks street 
and Fulton street ; and the two-story brick dwell- 
ing of Burdett Stryker, opposite Front street ; 
and the long old one-story brick dwelling of Abiel 
Titus, on the east side of Fulton street. Hicks 
street then was only about fifteen feet wide at its 
junction with Fulton street, and was a steep, ugly 
hill to get up with a loaded cart, and gullying 
very much with every rain. About this time the 


trustees of the village attempted its first regula- 
tion, by building a high stone wall along from 
the rear of the Messrs. Hicks' house for 600 or 
700 feet (outside of it being then all vacant 
ground, used for garden purposes), and then 
cutting off the top of the hill some four or five 
feet, they filled in the bottom and along even 
with that stone wall; and then, to prevent its 
gullying, paved it with a gutter in the centre of 
the street. 

On the westerly corner of Front and Fulton 
streets stood the old Rapalje mansion-house, a 
large stone building of two stories, about forty 
feet front on the street. This house was second 
to none upon Long Island, when it was built, for 
size and elegance. It was taken down about 

The next house west of that upon the Old Ferry 
street, now Fulton street, was the large, old, stone 
two-story building, occupied as a tavern, known 
as the " Corporation House ; " it belonged to the 
Corporation of the City of IN'ew York, and was 
originally erected by them as an iim or tavern 
some twenty or thirty years l:)ef()re the He volu- 
tion, and was occupied as such all through that 
war, and was a noted resort of the British officers 
stationed in New York, and many of them men- 
tion it in their published travels in this country. 


That house was destroyed by fire in the year 
1815, and its desolate walls remained standing 
for some two or three years after, when the Cor- 
poration of Xew York had a new survey made of 
their property there, and new division of lots, 
upon which they leased the same, and brick 
stores and dwellings were erected. 

Another noted house in Brooklyn was the 
mansion-house of Philip I. Livingston, afterwards 
a member of the Continental Congress. This 
was a large frame building, actually forming two 
dwellings. The larger part, wdiich was about 
forty feet square, Mr. Livingston erected for his 
son, who was a young man then travelling in 
Europe ; who, upon his return, was to be married 
to a lady to whom he w^as engaged before he left 
liome, and occupy that new house ; but he was 
taken sick, and died abroad only a few months 
before his return was expected. 

This mansion, both the old and the new part, 
was finished throughout in the best and most 
costly style of that period, having much beautiful 
carved wood-work and ornamented ceilings, and 
also Italian marble chimney-pieces sculptured in 
Italy. Most beautiful specimens they were ; we 
have often admired them. This house, upon tht^ 
death of its last owner and occupier, Judge Jorale- 
moii, in 181:2, was about to be taken down, and 


these marble chimney-pieces were packed up for 
removal, when it took fire, and they, with the 
house, were destroyed. The gardens attached to 
this mansion, when the British took possession of 
it and converted it into a naval hospital in 1776, 
are said to have been among the most beautiful 
in America. 


The oldest monumental tombstones bearing 
inscriptions are to be found on the east end of 
the island, although there were settlements made 
on the west end at an earlier date than on the 
east. The reasons for this we conceive to be 
these : Among the Dutch settlers the art of 
stone-cutting does not appear to have been used 
until within comparatively a few years, with but 
few exceptions, and their old burying-grounds 
ai-e strewn with rougli headstones which bear no 
inscriptions ; whereas the English people imme- 
diately on their settlement introduced the pirac- 
tice of perpetuating the memories of their friends 
by inscribed stones. Another reason for not find- 
ing any very old toinbstones in the Dutch settle- 
ments is, that they early adopted the practice of 
having family burial-places on their farms, without 
monuments, and not uufrequently private burials, 


both of which the Governor and Colonial Legis- 
lature, in 1664 and 1684, deemed of sufficient im- 
portance to merit legislative interference, and 
declared that all persons should be publicly 
buried in some parish burial-place ; but as there 
was no specific penalty attached to the l)reach of 
these laws, the custom of burying in private 
burial-places still continued, and is practised to a 
considerable extent at the present day. 

In the old grave -yard at East Hampton are 
said to be several ancient tombstones, and that in 
that grave-yard are buried many of the first set- 

The first English settlement in the town of 
East Hampton (excepting Gardiner's Island) w^as 
made in the spring of 1648, and the first intei-- 
ments were made in the south bui-ial-ground of 
that town, where yet nmy be seen monuments of 
red (-edar wood, which are probably as ancient as 
any other now existing. 

The public cemeteries on the east end of the 
island were uninclosed, indicating that the set- 
tlers regarded with no religious veneration the 
resting-jDlaces of the dead ; not that they had no 
respect for t/ie rnemories of their deceased rela- 
tives and friends, but that they esteemed all 
measures for setting apart the final resting-place 
of the body, by enclosures and other acts, as relics 


of superstitious observances, which should, as an 
act of duty, be avoided, and they, therefore, in 
their great care to abstain from anytliing wliich 
might have the appearance of acceding to the 
ceremonies and requirements of Prelacy and 
Papacy, ran into the opposite extreme. 

On the west end of the island, on the con- 
trary, care was taken to secure the burial-places 
from all intrusion, by fencing them, and allowing 
but one place for their entrance ; and although 
no particular ceremony was used in setting them 
apart, or upon interring the dead in them, except 
b}' the few members of the Church of England, 
or Episcopalians, yet all here regarded the grave- 
yard as a species of hallowed ground, not to be 
trod upon lightly or without caiise. 

In the church burying-ground at Southokl is 
a tombstone bearing the following inscription : 

" Here lies ye body of William AYells of South- 
old, gent, justice of ye peace, and fii-st Sheriff e of 
New Yorkshire upon Long Island, who departed 
this life November 13th, 1671, aged 63." 

" Yea here hee lies, who speaketh yet, tho' dead, 
On wings of faith his soule to Heaven is fled, 
His pious deedes and charity was such, 
That of his praise no pen can write too much. 
As was his life so was his blest decease. 
He lived in love and sweetly dy'd in peace." 


The oldest tombstone in the Dntch church-yard 
at Biooklyii, having any mark, is one which bears 
the date of 1730. 

The oldest tombstone at present in the Bush- 
wick buiying-ground is one erected to the mem- 
ory of Cornelius Bogart, and bears the date of 
1769. There are inscriptions in Dutch on tomb- 
stones in this burial-place bearing date as late as 

In the burying-ground in Flatbush \dllage, 
among the earliest grave-stones, is one now stand- 
ino^ about eiu^hteen inches in heia^ht from the 
ground, made of the white sandstone which is nsu- 
ally found in the woods. It is inscribed to the 
memory of Helen Yanderbilt, wife of one of the 
Martenses, and has cut on it, near the top, a rough 
representation of a chernb's head. There is a 
tradition in the Martense family, that this monu- 
mental stone cost ten pounds of the currency of 
the colony at that period. A most enormous 
sum, being equal to the whole salary of the Clerk 
of Kings County for a 3'ear, that being also ten 
pounds currency at that time, and explaining to 
a certain extent the reason why so few grave- 
stones of an ancient date are to be found in the 
burying-grounds on the west end of the island ; 
and taken in connection with the fact of the pri- 
vate burial-places, affords, perhaj^s, a complete 


solution to the whole question. There were un- 
questionably but few persons who here followed 
the business of stone-cutting, and consequently 
the price was too high for any but those w4io 
were comparatively wealthy, and the most of 
tliose having been interred in their private ceme- 
teries, but few of those stones are to be found in 
the public grave-yards. 

The Legislature of the State of Kew York, on 
the 6th of April, 1796, passed an Act authorizing 
the inhabitants of Flatbush to establish a night 
w^atch in that town. The object designed by this 
watch was to prevent the taking up of recently 
buried dead bodies from their graves in the church- 
yard, to be used for anatomical examinations in 
the city of IN^ewYork and elsewhere ; which it was 
said had been previously done in some instances, 
and caused much excitement in the community, 
as well as grief to the surviving relatives ; for 
there is nothing that the old-fashioned Dutch 
people so much dread and abhor as the idea of 
having their own bodies, or those of their friends 
and relatives, subjected to the dissecting knife of 
the surgeon for any such purpose. 

This watch was usually kept every night in the 
burying-ground, for eight or ten days after the 
interment, depending on the season of the year. 
The friends of the deceased supplied the watch 


each night with provisions and refreshments to be 
consnmed during their vigils. 

Formerly the funerals upon this island were of 
a very expensive character, and it was a custom 
in the old families to lay up a stock of superior 
wine to be used on such occasions ; and fre- 
quently at those funerals you would meet with 
wine so choice and excellent that it could scarcely 
be equalled by any in the land, although our 
country has always been celebrated throughout 
the world for its excellent Madeira wine. Chris- 
topher Smith, Esq., of Jamaica, on this island, 
who died about half a century since, had stored 
away a large quantity of the most superior wines 
in the country, which were used at his funeral ; 
and an old friend of ours who attended the fun- 
eral of General Curtenius, in the city of Xew 
York, several years ago informed us that from 
the great profusion of excellent wines, liquors, 
segars, etc., it resembled more a wedding feast 
than it did a funeral ; this, however, was not pe- 
culiar to this instance ; it was the general custom at 
that period and for a very longtime previous upon 
Long Island and in the cit}' of ~New York. Also, 
and not very many years since, among us a cus- 
tom universally existed of handing around w^ine 
to all persons attending a funeral ; and it was 
also usual, when the estate of the deceased would 


afford it, and even in many cases where it could 
not, to give to each of the pall-bearers, clergymen 
and physicians attending, a scarf of white linen 
(sufficient in quantity to make a shirt), which was 
worn by them across the shoulder; and also a 
pair of gloves, either of silk or kid. If the de- 
ceased was old or married, the scarf was tied 
with a black ril)l)on, and the gloves were black; 
but if the deceased was young and unmarried, 
the scai-f was fastened with a white ribbon and 
the gloves were white. The custom of giving 
gloves and scarfs at funerals is not yet entirely 
gone out of existence. At a still earlier period 
it was the custom, at the more superior order of 
funerals, to give gold mourning rings to each 
person who attended, and we have seen still pre- 
served on Long Island, in the family of the gen- 
tleman to whom it was presented, a ring which 
was thus given at the funeral of the Earl of Bel- 
lamont, who died the Governor of the Colony of 
New York; it was a very heavy, massive gold 
ring, and lias upon it the inscription, " Comes De 

And even within the present century it was 
likewise the custom at funerals in the country 
parts of Long Island, for the relatives of the de- 
ceased, at the house from which the funeral was 
to proceed, to prepare a large quantity of cold 


provisions, such as roast turkeys, boiled hams, 
roast beef, etc., which were set upon a table in a 
room opened for the purpose, and every one went 
there and helped himself as he pleased. Also 
rum, brandy and gin, with 23ipes, tobacco and 
segars, were handed around among the people 
during their stay at the house, it being considered 
inhospitable not to do so ; and it was not an un- 
usual thing to see the farmers congregate together, 
in warm weather, under the shade of trees, about 
the vicinity of the house, smoking their long pipes 
and drinking, hearing and telling the news, and 
lautyhinp: and talkino- too:ether for two or three 
hours before the funeral would move. This long 
stay at the house previous to proceeding to the 
place of interment, together with the great plenty 
of spirituous liquors distributed about, sometimes 
occasioned scenes of much noise, and very inap- 
proj)riate to the purjDose for which they had as- 
sembled. The change which has since been pro- 
duced in this practice is mainlj^ to be credited to 
the exertions of one gentleman, the Kev. Evan 
M. Johnson, then the Rector of the Episcopal 
church at ^N^ewtown, who some years since pro- 
posed to the vestry of that church, that thereafter, 
at all funerals in that congregation, the friends 
should be bidden or invited at one hour, and the 
interment should take place the next succeeding 


hour, so as to allow them sufficient time to as- 
semble and no more, and to induce its accep- 
tance the rector agreed to relinquish his claim 
to a scarf on such occasions ; he also proposed 
that the use of spirituous liquors at funerals 
should be discontinued ; to all these propositions 
the vestr}" assented, recommending that in place 
of spirituous liquors, wine should be handed 
around among tlie people; this was a great reform, 
when we consider that it was long before the tem- 
perance movement commenced. This plan being 
seen to work well in that congregation, was also 
adopted bj other congregations in other parts of 
the island, and after a while the use of wine itself 
at funerals was dispensed with. 

But expensive as was the character of the 
funeral on this island, and in New York, thej 
could not compare in that respect with those 
among the Dutch inhabitants of the city of 
Albany. Judge Benson, in his memoir read 
before the Xew York Historical Society, describes 
the funeral of Lucas Wyngaard who died in that 
city in the year 1756, a bachelor, leaving some 
estate. The invitation to that funeral was verv 
general, and those who attended returned after 
the interment, as the custom then was, to the 
house of the deceased, towards the close of the 
day ; and a large number of them never left it 


until the dawn of the ensuing day. In the course 
of the night a pipe of wine, which had been stored 
in the cellar for some years before the occasion, 
was drank ; dozens of papers of tobacco were con- 
sumed ; grosses of pipes broken ; scarce a whole 
decanter or glass was left ; and, to crown the whole, 
the pall-bearers made a bonfire of their scai-fs 
upon the hearth of the room where they were car- 
ousing. This may have been a little more uproari- 
ous than most of the funerals of that period, as the 
deceased was a bachelor, and had no widow and 
children in the same house to control, and, in 
some degree, to modify their proceedings; bat 
jet all the funerals of that time were more than 
enough so under any circumstances. Even down 
to within the last fifty years Albany was noted 
for the expensive character of its funerals ; a 
funeral, in a respectable old Dutch family at that 
place and especially of the head or any principal 
member of it, often cost from three to four 
thousand dollars. That of the first wife of the 
late Patroon, Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer, it is 
said, cost him not less than twenty thousand dol- 
lars ! All his tenants were invited, and most of 
them were in Albany two or three days at his 
expense, and tw^o thousand linen scarfs were 
given on that occasion. It was formerly the 
custom there for a young man immediately pre- 


vions to his raarriao^e, to send to the Island of 
Madeira for a pipe or two of the best wine ; a 
portion of which being used in the rejoicings 
consequent upon his marriage, and the remainder 
stored away for his funeral and that of his wife. 
It was also the practice in that city to send out 
special funeral invitations for all the friends and 
acquaintances of the deceased, being about the 
same age, and likewise for all the clergy and 
professional men of the city and neigliboring 
country, and general invitations from the pulpits 
of the churches for the citizens at large. To the 
house of each person thus specially invited was 
sent a linen scarf, a pair of black silk gloves, a bot- 
tle of old Madeira wine, and two ^^ funeral cahes^'' 
which were round, and about the size of a dinner 
phite ; this was done previous to the funeral, and 
was in addition to the great quantity of spiced 
wine and other liquors, which, with tobacco and 
pipes, were distributed and used at the hous' of 
the deceased immediately preceding and after tlie 
interment. Wlien General Schuyler died in that 
city, all the clergy, lawyers, physicians, and even 
students, in Albany and its neighborhood for 
many miles, were invited speciall}^, and a scarf, 
gloves, a bottle of wine, with funeral cakes, given 
to each one of them. So particular were they 
about the linen of which to make these scarfs. 


that ill several instances they sent down by land 
to Kew York, in the depth of winter, to purchase 
it, and paid two dollars a yard. Common linen 
would not answer; the finer it was the better it 
was liked for that purpose. These customs have 
now all died away in that city ; the only relic of 
them remaining we noticed at a funeral there dur- 
ing the winter of 1840, when the persons attend- 
ing in large numbers, after the interment, accom- 
panied the relatives of the deceased in procession 
on their return to the house, and when they had 
arrived at the door they all dispersed without 
going in. 

Among the Dutch inhabitants on Long Island, 
it was recently, and had been from time im- 
memorial, if it is not even yet, customary to con- 
vert the first money that a young man obtained 
by his labor or services, after he became of age, 
into gold coin, and then lay it by for the purpose 
of burying him, until a sufiicient sum was thus 
procured to bear the expense of a " respectable 
funeral " — they esteeming it a great reproach to 
have it said that either of them died after attain- 
ing about the age of twenty -three years, without 
leaving money sufficient to pay the expenses of 
their burial, unless under very peculiar circum- 
stances. We have seen a large number of 
guineas of the reign of George II., and Spanish 


gold pieces of a later date, which had in one 
family been collected from one generation to 
another, and laid by for that purpose, being 
esteemed as something sacred, and not to be dis- 
posed of in any other way, but to be preserved 
for the emergency, if required. It was also 
formerly the custom w^ith them, the Dutch far- 
mers, when the head of a family died, to kill an 
ox or steer, and to buy a barrel of wine, upon 
which they had a great feast among the relatives 
and friends. We have been informed by a gen- 
tleman now living, that some years ago, he had 
charge of the funeral of one of the old Dutch 
inhabitants of this island, a very respectable 
farmer, and that the expense attending that 
funeral was between seven and eight hundred 
dollars, and that it w^as the particular request of 
the surviving relatives that it should be so, their 
attachment for the deceased impelling them to 
desire that liis funeral sliould be a generous one, 
and have nothing mean or inhospitable about it. 
It was also the practice on this island, and still 
is so, to appropriate a new linen shirt, handker- 
chief, etc., for each member of the family, for 
the purpose of burying them in, and which arti- 
cles are never worn, but are left clean for that 
use. And in the country parts of Long Island 
it is usual, or was until very recently, when a 


woman died in childbed, to carry the corpse to 
the grave, with a white sheet spread over the 
coffin, in place of a pall. 

This last-mentioned custom gave rise to tlie 
onl}^ instance of second-sight we have ever heard 
of upon this island. A gentleman, who is now 
deceased, a man of veracity and high standing in 
the community, and who for many years of his 
life was in public office, informed us that some 
years previous, coming up a. road leading into 
the village of Flatbush (we think that from Xew 
Utrecht), he met or rather overtook, within about 
a mile of the village, a funeral of a female who 
had died in childbed, for the white sheet was 
spread over the coffin ; the road being quite wide 
he passed them, and some time after, in the same 
day, he inquired what female had been buried in 
the church-yard that day. He was told there 
liad been no interment on that day, and that ii<:> 
funeral had passed through the village ; he also 
inquired along the road on which he had seen 
the funeral procession moving, and all the people, 
to his great surprise, declared that no funeral 
liad passed on that day, or they would have seeu 
it, nor was any one dead in the neighborhood, or 
they would have heard of it. He now began to 
think his eyes might, have deceived him, but 
could not imagine how that could be, when the 


following day he heard of the death of the w'Pe 
')f otie of his friends not far from Flatbiishj who 
liad died that morning in childbed ; and the next 
day at the same hour in which he had seen it, 
the funeral procession did come akmg the same 
road on which he had thus before seen it, with the 
wliite sheet spread over the coffin ; and then 
he began to conclude that he had experienced an 
instance of that nature called by tlie Scotch second- 
sight, lie said he was in good liealth at the 
time, and was in no way excited, for he had no 
idea it was a vision he was looking upon, but be- 
lieved it to be a real funeral. 


The reputation of the schools in Xew York 
under the Dutch government was so high that 
it was not an unfrecpient occurrence for the Eng- 
lish settlers in Virginia, and other southern colo- 
nies, to send their children to ^ew Amsterdam, 
now New York, for the purposes of education. 

One of the very first regulations made by the 
Dutch government upon the settlement of the 
colony of the New Netherlands was to provide 
for the education of the youth, as well as for the 
religious instruction of the colonists. In the 
" Conditions offered by the Burgomasters of the 
City of Amsterdam, etc., to all who are willing 


to settle in Kew I^etherland," that city having, 
under the Dutch West India Company, the ar- 
rangement of the terms and conditions upon 
which the colonists should he transported to, and 
seated in the new colony, was the following on 
the subject of schools: — 

" The City of Amsterdam shall send there a pro- 
per person for a schoolmaster, who shall also read 
the Holy Scriptures in public, and set the Psalms." 

" The City of Amsterdam shall also, as soon as 
they conveniently can, provide a salary for the 
said schoolmaster." 

The colonists were probably very soon after 
their settlement in a situation to relieve the Fath- 
erland from this engagement on their behalf, and 
to provide a salaiy for their schoolmaster them- 
selves. For we find that by 1G50, and probably 
some time earlier, thei-e was a school estal)lished 
in each town under the Dutch government, and 
the schoolmaster's salary formed part of the re- 
gular town expenses. 

In each of these towns the schoolmaster was 
also the chorister and sexton of the church, and 
in the absence of the minister was required, by 
the terms upon which he was engaged, to read 
prayers and a sermon in the church to the con- 
gregation. Thus, when the Rev. Henricus Sel- 
wyn, on the 23d of July, 1664, took leave of his 


cliiirch at Brooklyn, on this island, to return to 
Holland, after his departure Charles Debevoise, 
the schoolmaster of this town, was required to 
read prayers and a sermon from an approved 
author every Sabbath, in the church, for the im- 
provement of the congregation, until another 
minister was called. 

This connection between the schoolmaster and 
the church in the Dutch towns existed not only 
under the Dutch administration in this colony, 
but was also continued under the English govern- 
ment for a long period after its establishment in 
the colony, as will be seen by a reference to the 
agreement made between the Consistory of the 
Dutch Keformed church at Flatbush, and Johan- 
11 is Yan Eckellen, the schoolmaster of that town, 
on the Sth of October, 1682. 

Who is it that does not see that the peculiar 
aptitude always manifested by our people for 
self-government, from a period long anterior to 
our Revolutionary contest, resulted mainly, under 
Providence, from the c^reat care manifested bv 
our forefathers for the establishment of schools, 
and their support in each town, both under the 
Dutch and English governments ? 

Long Island, at a very early period of its set- 
tlement, was peculiarly blessed in this respect. 
By the articles of agreement for establishing the 


boiiiidarv line between the United English Colo- 
nies of ^ew England and the New Netherlands, 
made at Hartford by the Commissioners of tlie New 
England Colonies and Governor Stnyvesant, on 
the 19th of September, 1650, and which was rati- 
fied and confirmed by the States General of Hol- 
land, on the 22d of Febrnarj^, 1656, it was agreed 
that the boundary line on Long Island, between the 
Dutch and English, should be " a line drawn from 
the westermost part of Oyster Bay, and thence 
in a dii^ct course of the sea-shore, shall be the 
line of division between the Dutch and English 
on Long Island, the eastern part for the English, 
and the western part for the Dutch." 

By this arrangement, the eastern part of this 
island came under the government of the colony 
of Connecticut, and received the benefit of the 
New England common-school system, which was 
established at that early peri(Kl ; and the western 
part, remaining under the Dutch government, had 
the advantage of their system of establishing a 
school in each town. 

Few, and indeed none but those who have 
niade our early history their study, can duly ap- 
preciate the causes which led to the American 
Hevolution, and gave us existence as an indepen- 
dent nation. None tended more to that event 
than the universal diffusion of education among 


onr people, which enabled them to judge accu- 
rately of public measures and foresee their conse- 

With any other people upon earth at that pe- 
riod the British Ministry might have success- 
fully tried their experiments of arbitrary govern- 
ment without meeting with resistance, and have 
effectually enslaved a whole country before its 
inhabitants would have been aware of their nlti- 
mate design. 

That the Dutch colonists were very particnlar 
in all their arrangements about their schools, and 
in makinfT their asrreements with their school- 
masters, is clearly shown by the following: 

" Articles of agreement made with Juhannis 
Yan Eckellen, schoolmaster and clerk of the 
church at Flatbush," translated from the Dutch 

"Art. 1st. The school shall begin at 8 o'clock 
in the morning, and go out at 11 o'clock.^ It 
shall begin again at 1 o'clock, and end at 4 
o'clock. The bell shall be rung before the school 

'' 2d. AV.hen the school opens, one of the chil- 
dren shall read the morning prayer, as it stands 
in the catechism, and close with the prayer before 
dinner. In the afternoon it shall begin with the 
prayer after dinner, and close with the evening 


prayer. The evening school shall begin with the 
Lord's Prayer, and close by singing a Psalm. 

" 3d. He shall instruct the children in the com- 
mon prayers and the questions and answers of the 
catechism, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, to en- 
able tliem to say their catechism on Sunday after- 
noons in the church before tlie afternoon service, 
otherwise on the Monday following, at which 
the schoolmaster shall be present. He shall de- 
mean himself patiently and friendly towards the 
children in their instruction, and be active and 
attentive to their improvement. 

" 4th. lie shall be bound to keep his school 
nine months in succession, from September to 
June, one year with another, or the like period 
of time for a year, according to the agreement 
with his predecessor ; he shall, however, keep the 
school nine months, and always be present him- 

His predecessor, John Tebout, was not bound 
to keep the school the three summer months, un- 
less twenty scholars attended ; he was, however, at 
liberty to keep the school for ten or a less num- 
ber at the stated price. 


Art. 1st. He shall be chorister of the church, 
ring the bell three times before service, and read 


a chapter of the Bible in the church, between the 
second and third ringing of the bell ; after the 
third rino^in^: he shall read the ten command- 
ments and the twelve articles of Faith, and then 
set the Psalm. In the afternoon, after the third 
ringing of the bell, he shall read a short chapter, 
or one of the Psalms of David, as the congrega- 
tion are assemblino-. Afterwards he shall asrain 
set the Psalm. 

2d. When the minister shall preach at Brook- 
lyn or New Utrecht, he shall be bound to read 
twice before the conc^reo-ation a sermon from the 
book used for the purpose. The afternoon ser- 
mon will be on the catechism of Dr. Yander Ha^ 
gen, and thus he shall follow the turns of the 
minister. lie shall hear the children recite the 
questions and answers of the catechism, on that 
Sunday, and he shall instruct them. When the 
minister preaches at Flatlands, he shall perform 
the like service. 

3d. He shall provide a basin of water for the 
baptisms, for which he shall receive twelve stuy- 
vers, in wampum, for every baptism, from the 
parents or sponsors. lie shall furnish bread and 
wine for the communion, at the charge of the 
church. He siiall furnish the minister, in writ- 
ing, the names and ages of the children to be bap- 
tized, together with the names of the parents and 


sponsors ; he shall also serve as a messenger for 
the consistories. 

4th. He shall give the funeral invitations, and 
toll the bells, for which service he shall receive, 
for persons of fifteen years of age and upwards, 
twelve guilders ; and for persons under fifteen, 
eight guilders. If he shall invite out of the town 
he shall receive three additional guilders for 
every town ; and if lie shall cross the river to 
New York, he shall have four guilders more. 


He shall receive for a speller, or reader, in the 
day school, three guilders for a quarter, and for 
a writer, four. 

In the evening school, he shall receive for a 
speller or reader four guilders, and five guilders 
for a writer, per quarter. 


The residue of his salary sliall be four hundred 
guilders in wheat, of wampum value, deliverable 
at Brooklyn Ferry ; and for his service fi-om 
October to May, two hundred and thirty-four 
guilders, in wheat, at the same place, with the 
dwelling, pasturages, and meadow appertaining 


to the school, to begin from the first day of Octo- 
ber. Signed by the Constable and Trustees. 
Done and agreed on in Consistory, in the pres- 
ence of the Constable and Trustees, this 8tli day 
of October, 1682. Signed by Casper Yan Zuren 
M. and the Consistory. 

I agree to the above articles, and promise to 
observe the same to the best of my ability. 

JoHANNis Yan Eckellen. 

Under the Dutch government of this colony, 
great care was used in the selection of the school- 
master for each town ; and no man was appointed 
to that office unless upon the recommendation of 
the Governor. Thus we find, in the month of 
May, 1661, Governor Stuyvesant recommended 
Charles Debevoise as a suitable person for the 
schoolmaster of the town of Brooklyn, and clerk 
and sexton of the church in this town ; and upon 
that recommendation he was employed in those 
ofiices. It may seem a matter of surprise to us, 
that the Governor of the colony should employ 
his time in selecting suitable persons for such an 
ofiice as a schoolmaster ; but our Dutch ancestors 
entertained a different view of the matter ; they, 
from the first period of their settlement, were 
fully convinced that an intelligent and educated 
community could alone make the colony of any 

173 lo:;g island antiqitities. 

value to themselves or to the Fatherland ; and 
that crime and nnhappiness among a people re- 
sulted in a great measure from ignorance. AVitli 
them, therefore, it was a cardinal principle to dif- 
fuse tlie means of education as widely as possi- 
ble ; but to establish schools was not of itself 
sufficient, unless they also secured the services of 
the jDroper men to conduct them. To effect this 
latter pui-pose, which they regarded as all impor- 
tant to the successful advaucement of the colony, 
the policy was adopted of employing no one as a 
schoolmaster who did not previously satisfy the 
Governor as to his competency, and procure his 
recommendation for his appointment to that 
office. When once appointed the records show 
that the schoolmasters retained their situations, 
almost without exception, for a number of years 
in succession. 


The following is a list of ancient names upon 
Long Island, with the dates affixed opposite to 
them, of the time when they were used, viz. : 


1667. GowanuSy which still retains the same 


1667. Cripplehush. which still retains the same 

1686. Wallaboghtj which still retains the same 

1686. MarchwiGh, and in 1722 called Martyrs 
Hook, which was the point of land forming 
the present United States Navy Yard. 
1689. Luhhertse^s N'eck, which was sold by 
Peter Corsen to Cornelius Sebringh, March 
28, 1698, for £250, and Sebringh to find 
Corsen in meat, drink, washing, lodging, 
and apparel daring his life. In 1690 the 
same place was called Graver'^ s Kill. This 
place was recently known as CornelVs Red 
Mills, and is about five hundred feet north 
of the Atlantic dock. 
1700. Gowaniis Mill Neck, sometimes called 
Mill Neck, and known by this latter name 
in 1785. In 1680, a lot of land in this town 
was called an Erffe, 
About the period of the Revolution the people 
were in the habit of distinguishing the large lots 
into which their farms or plantations were divided, 
by particular names, and these names they re- 
tained for many years. Thus in this town, near 
the road leading from Brooklyn Ferry to Flat- 
bush, were the " Geele Water's Caump," the " Erste 
Caump of Derrick's land," the " Kline Caump," 


the ^'Twede Caump of Derrick's land," the 
" Middleste Caump," the " Eenen Caump," and 
the " Agterse Caump." 

1660. Canarsee Landing, Canarsee Woods, 

which places still retain the same names. 
1679. Third Kill. 
1687. Minsehoele Hole. 
1698. Kush Swamp. 


1690. The Norman Kill. 


1636. Kashiitenstikin^ the westernmost flat of 

land of the three flats. 

1646. Mutelar's Island. 

1687. Stroom Kill. 

1687. Jurianses Hook. 

1687. Fries Hook. 

1690. Hogg's Neck. 

1694. Albertse's Island. 

1695. Majise laud. 
1704. Fresh Kill. 

1711. Bestevaar's Kill. 

1712. Craven Yalley. 



1660. Na3^ack, which name it still retains. 
1685. The Fountain at Yellow Ilook. 
1690. Turk's Plantation, afterwards called 


1692. Hoogh Penne Keck. 

1693. Gysbert's Island. 
1695. Ambrose Strand. 
1697. Garretsen's Neck. 
169S. Cellars Neck. 
1704. Great Woods, 
1718. ITarbie's Gat. 
1718. Brown's Creek. 

1718. Kobin Poyneer's Patent. 


1656. The west branch of Mespatt JTillSjCSiWed 
Quandus Quobricus. 

Dosaris^ the name of a place on this island, 
has its origin from the circumstance of the 
original owner of it, as a farm, or plantation, 
having obtained it through his wife, and he being 
a scholar, called it Dos uxoris, the Wife^s Gifiy 


which the people subsequently corrupted to its 
present name of Dosoris. 

Quogtte, in Suffolk County, is probably a cor- 
ruption of the Indian name of a favorite shell-fish 
known to us as the clam, Quohaiuj — these shell- 
fish having been verj abundant, and probably of 
a choice kind, as is indicated by the immense an- 
cient shell banks in all the surrounding region. 
A.t this place is the only point from wdiich the 
Great South Beach can be reached on foot from 
the mainland of the island, for the immense 
stretch of coast reaching from Fire Island to the 
inlet of Shinecoc Bay. In all other places you 
have to pass in a boat over many miles of water ; 
and it is this circumstance which renders a ship- 
wreck upon that beach in winter so frequently 
dreadful in its consequences from the loss of life ; 
for even if the crew and passengers should suc- 
ceed in reacliing the beach alive, they will find 
no shelter there, and having from ten to twenty 
miles of water to cross before they can experience 
any relief, and their boats being almost invariably 
destroyed or lost in the shipwreck, if the storm is 
very heavy and the cold severe, as is frequently 
the case, they perish from the exposure. It may 
be asked by those not acquainted with this beach, 
Why is this not provided against ? The answer is. 
It is almost, if not quite impossible to do so, the 


character of the beach being such, and the dis- 
tance from the mainland, and the difficnlties and 
dangers of communication often so great that 
men could not live there at the times when their 
services would be most required. The formation 
and position of this beach is, however, such that 
the great loss of life is usually sustained before the 
shipwrecked persons have the chance of reaching 
the land, from the immense seas thrown over them 
by the whole swell of the Atlantic Ocean, which, 
by the rapid evaporation it causes, comparatively 
soon chills them to death. 


Ancient. Modern. 


Defforest, Deforest. 


Hansen, Johnson. 


Houghawout, Lefferts. 


Amertman, Amerman. 


Beeckman, Beekman. 










Van Cortlandt. 

Yan Eckellen. 



Lambertson and Lamberson. 


Of all these families there are now but seven 
remaining in Brooklyn, viz. : Beekman, Deforest, 
Johnson, Lambertson, Lefferts. Middagh and Sim- 
onson. Within the last five or six years the emi- 
gration from Continental Europe has brought 
back some of the old names as in Kew York, 
merchants of the name of Courten. The name 
of Middagh is Dutch, and means, in English, mid- 
day or noon. 



Yan Westervelt. 
Van Thinhoven. 



original of Martense. 


Garretse, Garretson and Gerritson. 

Remmerson, Henison. 
















The practice of giving people what would 
now be called niciaiames^ by which they became 
known, not only to the public generally, but also 
in the official records, was very common under 
the Dutch Colonial Government, and it also con- 
tinued for a considerable period under the Eng- 
lish administration in this colony. In 1644, in 
the Dutch records we have John Pietersen, alias 
Friend John. In the INewton purchase from the 
Indians, dated April 12, 1656, one of the bound- 
aries is, " by a Dutchman's land called Hans the 
Boore / " and in tlie Bushwick patent, dated Oc 
tober 12, 1667, one of the boundaries is " John the 
Swedes Meadow." In 1695, in the Kings Coun- 
ty records a man is named living at Gowanus, as 
" Tunis the Fisher." 

And we also find that by the records of the 
Common Council of the City of New York, on 
the 25th of March, 1691, they ordered that " fish 
be brouglit into the dock, over against the City 
Flail [then standing in Pearl street, at the head 
of Coenties slip], or the house that Long Mary 
formerly lived in." 

And also on the 9th of April, in the same year, 
they directed " that Old Bush deliver into the 
hands of the treasurer, the scales and w^eights 
that he hath in his liands belonging to the city, 
being first satisfied for the making of them." 


Again, on the same day, the order " that Tup 
Knot Betty and her children be provided for 
as objects of charity, and four shilhngs a week 
allowed." And further, that "the treasurer let 
Scarehouch have a new suit, and assist him in 
what's wanting." 

All the preceding orders, from the date of 
April 9th, inclusive, were made in one day, so 
that our city functionaries of that period seem to 
have had a most charitable disposition, as well 
as a strange propensity for giving nicknames to 
people. But we are not yet done ; this Common 
Council were not so mean as to apply such nick- 
nanjes to those only to whom they afforded charit- 
able relief, as some might otherwise suppose — • 
they also used them when discharging their 
debts. Tims, on the Sth of December, 1691, the 
city records contain an order that " the treasurer 
pay English Smith, £1, 13s. for three cords of 
wood, which he bought for the use of the city 
this day." 

Strange as it may now seem to us for the Com- 
mon Council of a city to place such names upon 
the public records, yet we have seen that this 
practice extended to the highest functionaries of 
the Colonial Government, and that the Govern- 
ors, both Dutch and English, used it in their 
patents for towns, and other official documents. 


The explanation of it, in many cases, undoubt- 
edly was, that in many instances the parties 
either had no surname, or family names (for 
family names were not so common then as now), 
or if they had, they did not themselves know it, 
and that which now appears like a nickname was 
from necessity adopted as a means of distinguish- 
ing them, and was usually taken from some 
personal characteristic, and which subsequently 
became, some part or other of it, the surname of 
the children as Long and Betty. 

The manner in which names of families some- 
times become changed in this country is truly 
curious. There was previous to tlie middle of 
the last 'century, among the Dutch settlers in the 
southern part of this colony, and particularly 
upon Long Island, a regular systematic change 
of the family name with every generation, so 
that the son never bore the family name of his 
father; thus, if the father's name was Lefiert 
Jansen, and he had a son named Jacobus, this 
son's name would not be Jansen, but it w^ould be 
written Jacobus Leffertsen — suppose the old gen- 
tleman would have a grandson by his son, who 
was christened Gerrit, his whole name would be 
Gerrit Jacobsen. Tlius we would have in the 
three generations of that one single family, the 
following different names, viz. : 


1. The father, named Leffert Jansen. 

2. The son, named Jacobus Leffertsen. 

3. The grandson, named Gerrit Jacobsen. 
This strange custom does not seem to have 

prevailed among the Dutch in Albany; there 
tliey preserved their family names from the first 
settlement, and many of them may therefore be 
traced back without difSculty. 

In other parts of our country, as well as among 
the Dutch, great changes have occurred in family 
names. Edward Livingston, Esq., in his answer 
to Mr. Jefferson, in the case of the New Orleans 
Batture, furnishes us with the following singular 
instance of this nature : 

An unfortunate Scotchman, whose name was 
Eeyerston, was obliged, in pursuit of fortune, to 
settle amongst some Germans in the western ]>art 
of the State of New York. They translated his 
name literally into German and called him Four- 
stein. On his returning to an English neighb(>r- 
hood his new acquaintances discovered that Four- 
stein, in German, meant Flint in English; they 
translated, instead of restoring his name, and the 
descendants of Feijerston go by the name of 
Flint to this day. I ought, however, says Mr. 
Livingston, to excej^t one of his grandsons who 
settled at the Acadian coast, on the Mississippi, 
whose name underwent the fate of the rest of the 


fainily ; he was called, by a literal translation into 
French, PievTe-a-fusil^ and his eldest son returning 
to the family clan, his name underwent another 
transformation, and he was called Peter Gun ! 
This is about equal to the Dutch transmutation 
of names, although wanting its system. Here 
we have the following result : 

1. The father's 1st Name, Feyerston. 

2d Name, Fourstein. 
3d Name, Flint. 

2. The son's Name, Flint. 

3. The grandson's 1st Name, Flint. 

2d Name, Pierre-a-fusil. 
3d Name, Peter Gun. 

The old practice formerly so common among 
the Dutch settlers on Long Island, seems a^^o to 
have been at one time in use in Iceland. Mr. 
Hooker, who was there in the summer of 1809, 
speaking of the family of Olaf Stephenso) -, the 
former ofovernor of that island, observes : " In 
naming his children, the Stiftsamptman (gov- 
ernor), as well as his sons, have abolished the 
custom, which is otherwise, I believe, ver}^ gen- 
eral in Iceland, of calling the child after the 
Christian name of the father, wath the addition 
sen or son to it ; thus the son of the Etatsrced 
j[chief justice) Magnus Stephenson ought by this 


rule to have been Magnusen^ to which any 
Christian name might be subjoined. If it had 
been Olaf JSLtgnusen^ his son would bear the 
name of Olavsen^ or j-ather Olafsen, as I believe 
it is generally written. The females had the addi- 
tion of flatter to the Christian name of the father." 
This was precisely the old Dutch custom in 
this colony ; and it has led to great difficulty in 
tracing the descent of our early Dutch families, 
and also in examining our old records, as there 
are but few who are conversant with this peculi- 
arity in their change of names. Thus, amongst 
the Dutch the original name of the present 
family of the Lefferts was Hoiighawout . Leffert 
Houghawout's son James was called Jacobus 
Leifertsen, or Leffertse, as it was often written, 
dropping the letter n ; and when this custom 
was al)olished about the middle of tlie last cen- 
tury, this latter name Leffertse was retained as 
the family name. So also the original family 
name of the Martenses was Smack. Mattyse 
Smack's son received Mattyse as his surname, 
which eventually became the present name of 
Mnr tense, although as now written only within the 
last half century. This is also the origin of the 
present family names of Johnson, or Jansen 
(which are both the same name), Remsen, Gerrit- 
seu, etc. It is strange that such a custom should 


have been identically the same with those two 
different nations ; but it shows their common 

Upon this island, and especially in the cential 
portions of it, are very many families of the name 
of Smith, and so numerous did they become at 
an early period of the settlement, that it was 
thought necessary to distingiiish the various ori- 
ginal ramilies by some peculiar name. Thus we 
have the Rock Smiths ; the Blue Smiths ; the 
Bull Smiths ; the Weight Smiths, and the Tan- 
gier Smiths. Of the Kock Smiths there are two 
distinct families : one originally settled between 
Kockaway and Hempstead, some ten or fifteen 
years before the settlement of the first white in- 
habitant in Setauket, who derived their name 
from their contiguity to Hockaway ; and the 
other located themselves in Brookhaven, and ob- 
tained their appellation from their ancestor erect- 
ing his dwelling against a large rock which still 
remains in the highway of that town. The Blue 
Smiths were settled in Queens County, and obtain- 
ed their peculiar designation from a blue cloth coat 
Avorn by their ancestor ; whether because a cloth 
coat was then an uncommon thins; in the nei£:h- 
boi-hood, or that he always dressed in a coat of 
that color, does not appear. The Bull Smiths of 
Suffolk County are the most numerous of all the 


families of the name of Smith upon tliis island; 
it is said there are now at least one thousand 
males of that branch on this island. The ances- 
tor of this branch of the Smith family was Major 
Richard Smith, who came from England to New 
England, with his father Richard, in the early 
part of the seventeenth century ; and afterwards 
came to this island, and became the patentee of 
Smithtown. The sobriquet of this class of Smiths is 
said to have arisen from the circumstance of the 
ancestor having trained and used a Ball in place 
of a horse for riding. The Weight Smiths de- 
rived their name from being possessed of the 
only set of scales and weights in the neighborhood 
of theii" residence, to which all the farmers of the 
country around resorted for the purpose of weigh- 
ing anything they wished to sell or buy ; at least so 
says the tradition. The Tangier Smiths owe their 
origin to Colonel William Smith, who had been 
the English Governor of Tangier, in the reign of 
Charles the Second,"^ and emigrated to this colony 
in the summer of the year 16S6, where he settled 
in the town of Brookhaven, on the Xeck known 

* Tangier, in Africa, was about that period an English 
colony, having come to the British Crown as part of the 
dowry of Queen Catharine of Portugal; and was, in 1683, 
tibaudoned hj the English to the Moors, in consequence of the 
gL-eat expense and small value of the colony. 


as Little Keck, and afterwards as Strong's Neck, 
which, together with his other j^urchases, were 
e:iected into a manor by the name of St. George's 
Manor, by a patent granted to him in 1693, by 
Governor Fletcher. Most of the Tangier Smiths 
are now^ in that town, scattered throngh it from 
the north to the south side of the island. 

These different appellations of the families of 
the Smiths became as firmly settled as if they 
w^ere regular family names ; so that ^vhen any in- 
quiiy was made of any person on the road, man, 
woman, or child, for any particular Smith, they 
would at once ask whether he was of the Hock 
breed, or the Bull breed, etc. ; and if the person 
desiring the information could say w^hich hreed^ 
he at once was told of his residence. In truth 
there are so many of the same name in that most 
numerous family of the Smiths upon this island, 
that without adopting some such plan it would 
be almost impossible to distinguish one from the 
other. Among these Smiths, and at Smithtown, 
upon this island, have occurred two of the most 
marked instances of longevity known in this 

Richard Smith, the patentee of Smithtown, of 
the Bull breed, purchased at Kew^ York a negro 
man named Harry, w^ho lived wdth him, with his 
son, and then with his grandson, and died at 


Sinithtown in the mouth of December, 1758, aged 
at least one hundred and twenty years. This re- 
markable individual said he could remember 
wlien there were but very few houses in the 
city of New York ; his memor}^ must have extend- 
ed back to the administration of the Dutch Gov- 
ernor Kieft. His health and strength of body 
continued almost unimpaired until very near his 
death, and he could do a good day's work when 
he had passed one hundred years. 

There appears to have been another negro man 
in the same town, who even exceeded him in the 
point of age. In a note to Moulton's History of 
JS'ew Yorh^ it is stated, that an obituary article 
appeared in a newspaper, printed in 1739, of the 
death of a negro man at Smithtown, on Long 
Island, reputed to have been one hundred and 
forty years old ; who declared that he well re- 
membered when there were but three houses in 
New York. The memory of this man must there- 
fore have extended back to the founding of New 
Amsterdam, in the year 1626, as New York was 
then called, and he must have come into this 
country with some of the first Dutch settlers. 


There are a number of interesting facts con- 
nected with the antiquities of tliis island, which 


are not easily reducible under any of the pre- 
vious heads, which we have thought should be 
preserved, as matters of considerable moment 
connected with the first settlement and condition 
of Long Island, and we have therefore made 
for them this distinct head. Among them is the 
fc^llowing extract from the official records of 
Rhode Island, which show how early a jealous 
and unfriendly feeling sprang up between the 
English and Dutch colonies in this country. We 
have alwa^'s viewed it as an unfortunate circum- 
stance for the preservation of this colony to the 
Dutch, that Peter Stuyvesant was not the gover- 
nor here when that ill-feeling began first to mani- 
fest itself, some considerable time anterior to the 
period referred to in the following record. His 
mode of conductino^ the difficult neo^otiation with 
the English commissioners at Hartford ; the 
manner in which he settled the disputes between 
the Dutch and English colonists, and also between 
their respective governments in this country, in 
reference to the settlement at Hartford and in its 
vicinity, which had been for years a serious and 
acrimonious controversy between his predecessor 
hi the Colonial government and the United Colo- 
nies of Kew England ; and his settlement and 
defining of an established boundary, in which all 
acquiesced, between the New Netherlands and 


the English colonies, all serve to show, in our 
judgment, that if he had had the control and 
management of those controversies in the first 
instance, they would have been all adjusted in 
an amicable and satisfactory manner long before 
they attained that violent and hostile character 
which had induced in the minds of the leading 
men of New Eno-land the settled conviction that 
it was necessary to theii* peace to get rid of the 
Dutch government in the colony next adjoining 
them ; and by such a course the colony ^vo^ld 
have been preserved to Holland, at least for very 
many yeai's to come. But Governor Stuyvesant 
unfortunately arrived here after the commis- 
sioners of the United Colonies of New England 
had not only come to that conclusion, but had 
also made representations to that effect to their 
home government, and the whole effect of 
Governor Stuyvesant's peaceful and wise admin- 
istration of affairs was to procrastinate for some 
few years the English attempt at the subjugation 
of this colony; a design which the latter, how- 
ever, never abandoned, as is clearly shown from 
the communication which Gov. Stuyvesant made 
to the church of Brooklyn, on this island, on the 
last of June, 1663, directing tire fourth day of 
July following, to be observed as a day of 
thanksgiving, because, among other things, the 


English had been defeated in their attempt to 
take possession of the whole of Long Island bj the 
timely arrival of a Dutch fleet of armed ships in 
the bay of New Amsterdam (Xew York) — this 
occnrrence, it will be observed, is more than a 
year anterior to the actual capture of New 
Netherland and the taking of New Amsterdam 
(New York) by the English fleet and forces 
under Gov. Richard Nieolls. Here follows the 
Rhode Island record, above mentioned : 

"Acts and orders of the General Assembly, 
held at Newport, May 17, 18, 19, 1653— Mr. 
Nich. Eaton, moderator." 

11. A committee of two men of each town, or 
eight men, be chosen, for ripening matters that 
concern Long Island, and in the case concerning 
the Dutch. Mr. Rich. Eaton, Mr. John Eaton, 
Mr. Rich. Burden, Mr. Randall Ilolden, Mr. 
John Smith, Mr. Robert Eield, Richard Few, 
John Roome, act upon these. 

" 12. First, That we jndge it to be our duty to 
afford our countrymen on Long Island what help 
we can safely do, by virtue of our commission 
from the Right Honorable the Council of State, 
either for defending themselves against the Dutch, 
the enemies of the commonwealth, or for offend- 
ing them, as by us shall be thought necessaj-y. 

" Second, That they shall have two great guns, 


and what murtlierers are with us, on promise of 
returning tlieni, or the due vahiation, and to be 
improved as by instructions given by this As- 
sembly's authority, this or wliat else, provided 
they engage to the Connnonwealth, and confirm 
by subscription to do their utmost to set them- 
selves in a suitable posture of defence against all 
enemies of the Commonwealth of England, and 
to offend them, as shall be ordered. 

" Third, That there be allowed twenty volun- 
taries out of the colony, provided they be such 
as be under no fixed relations or engagements. 

" 13. That for trial of prizes brought in ac- 
cording to law, the general ofiicer, with three 
jurors of each town, shall be authorized to try it; 
the President and two assistants shall have au- 
thority to appoint the time, but if any fail at the 
time appointed, either officers or jurors shall be 
made up in the town of Newport (where they 
shall be tried) ; in case any of the officers fail, 
then they that appear shall proceed according to 
the law of allaroon. 

"13. Commissions granted to Capt. John Ui> 
derhill and Mr. William Dyre. 

" 14. Tiiat Edward Hall shall have a commis- 
sion, granted him to go against the Dutch, or 
any enemies of the Commonwealth of Eng- 


Tl:e following notes are necessary to a full 
understanding of this interesting record: — 

The two great guns here spoken of were can- 
non, and the mnrtherers, or murderers^ were 
pieces of small cannon, fitted into a wooden stock 
for the convenience of being carried about, and 
were used for firing stones instead of balls. Thej 
are also sometimes called in the old record " stone- 
piece s.*' 

The muskets of that day were of a very mnch 
heavier and more clumsy make than those of the 
present day, and of a larger bore ; they were at 
this period fired by laying upon a rest, with a 
slow match, as they had no locks ; the rest was 
an upright rod of iron, about five feet long, with 
a pike end to stick into the ground, and a crotch 
at the other end for the musket to lie in. The 
soldier, when marching, carried this rest in his 
right hand, and the musket upon his left shoulder. 
The present cartridge-box was supplied by a 
bandalier, as it was called, being a belt over the 
shoulder and across in front ; attached to it hung 
a dozen small leather or copper cases, each con- 
taining one charge of powder and ball for the mus- 
ket : he also carried a sword. A man thus armed 
was considered a part of the stationary or heavy 
force of an army of that day, as much so as the 
■artillery, and they were both certainly sufticiently 


iiinvieldy. It is only in comparatively modern 
times that soldiers armed with muskets have been 
considered as infantry, or light troops. 

The "engagement to the Commonwealth" 
means the Commonwealth of Eno-land, under Oli- 
ver Cromwell; and they also required that the 
Long Islanders should enter into a similar written 
subscription as that required from all the func- 
tionaries in England, to support the Cromwellian 

The meaning of the provision cciicerning 
" twenty voluntaries " is that twenty volunteers 
were authorized to be raised in Rhode Island for 
this service upon Long Island; but that they 
must be particular, and enlist no men who were 
married, or engaged to be married, or who were 
bound to service. 

The " trial of prizes " is believed to be the first 
admiralty court established in the New England 
colonies ; the establishment of which courts by 
the English government about a century later, 
was a source of great dissatisfaction in those 
colonies. But there was this difference between 
the two cases ; in tlie first, the people themselves, 
by their own immediate representatives, organized 
and made choice of its judges and officers from 
their own people, and directed that it should 
proceed with a jury ; and in the last case tlie 


courts were organized by the British Parliament, 
in which the colonies had no representation what- 
ever; the judges and officers were most of them 
strangers, selected and chosen by the King in 
Council from abroad, or from other colonies, and 
they were required to proceed without the inter- 
vention of a jury ; differences enough assuredly 
to give reason for dissatisfac^tion to the full as 
strong as anj- shown on the subject. The laws of 
Allaroon referred to as tlie code for the govern- 
ment of this admiralty court in its proceedings, 
is undoubtedly meant for the laws of Oleron. 

It was undoubtedly under the Edward Hall 
Commission from Rhode Island, and with the 
volunteer force from that colony, joined by some 
of the Long Islanders, that Caj)t. John Underhill, 
in this same year, 1658, stormed and captured 
the Indian fort upon Fort Neck, in Queens 
County, and broke up and dispersed the Indian 
force, which had seriously threatened the desola- 
tion of this part of Long Island. 

William Dyre seems to have remained upon 
Long Island until near the period of the arrival 
of the English expedition under Gov. Richard 
Nicolls, when he joined that force and accom- 
panied it to the capture of New Amsterdam 
(New York). After which he settled in tliis 
colony, and became one of its distinguished men. 



He was for a long period one of the Governor's 
council, and frequently acted as the President of 
the Court of Sessions for the West Eiding of 
Yorkshire upon Long Island. 

The Convention of Deputies assembled at 
Hempstead, on this island, during the year 1664, 
for the adoption of the code of laws afterwards 
known as the Duke's Laws^ after concluding 
their labors, adopted the following address, which 
they sent to James the Duke of York and Albany, 
subsequently King James II. of England : " We, 
the deputies duly elected from the several towns 
upon Long Island, being assembled at Hempstead 
in general meeting, by authority derived from 
your Itoyal Highness unto the Honorable Colonel 
Nicolls, as Deputy-Governor, do most humbly 
and thankfully acknowledge to your Koyal High- 
ness the great honor and satisfaction we receive 
in our dependence upon your Royal Highness, 
according to the tenor of his sacred Majesty's 
patent, granted the 12th day of March, 1664, 
wherein we acknowledge ourselves, our heirs and 
successors forever, to be comprised to all intents 
and purposes as therein is more at large expressed. 
And we do publicdy and unanimously declare our 
cheerful submission to all such laws, statutes, and 
ordinances which are or shall be made, by virtue 
of authority from your Royal Highness, your 


heirs and successors forever ; as also that we will 
maintain, uphold, and defend to the utmost of 
our power and peril of us, our heirs and succes- 
sors forever, all the rights, title, and interest 
granted by his sacred Majesty to your Royal 
Highness, against all pretensions or invasions, 
foreign or domestic, we being already well assured 
that in so doing we perform our duty of alle- 
giance to his Majesty, as free-born subjects of the 
kin«;dom of England, inhabitino; in these his 
Majesty's dominions. We do further beseech 
your Royal Highness to accept of this address as 
the first-fruits in this general meeting, for a 
memorial and record against us, our heirs and 
successors, when we or any of them shall fail in 
our duties. Lastly, we beseech your Royal High- 
ness to take our poverties and necessities, in this 
wilderness country, into speedy consideration ; 
that by constant supplies of trade, and youi- Royal 
Highness' more particular countenance of grace 
to us, and protection of us, we may daily more 
and more be encouraged to bestow our labors to 
the improvement of these his Majesty's western 
dominions under your Royal Highness, for whose 
health, long life, and eternal happiness we sliall 
ever pray, as in duty bound." 

The people of Long Island were so much ex- 
asperated against the deputies of the convention 


at Hempstead, for making that address to the 
Duke of York, which tliey regarded as too base 
and servile to come from representatives of free- 
men, and expressed their d'sgiist in such a plain, 
open manner, that the court of assizes (compos- 
ed of the governor and his council, and a justice 
of the peace of each town), at a term held at New 
York, in 1666, in order to save those de[)uties 
from abuse, if not in some instances from person- 
al violence, deemed it expedient to declare, that, 
" AYhosoever hereafter shall any ways detract or 
speak against any of the deputies signing the ad- 
dress to Ris Hoyal Highness, at the general meet- 
ing at Hempstead, they shall be presented to the 
next court of sessions, and, if the justices shall 
see cause, they shall from thence be bound over 
to the assizes, there to answer for their slander, 
upon plaint or information." 

The deputies, also, subsequent to their address 
to the Duke of York, made one to the people, in 
which they set forth their reasons for agreeing to 
the code called the Duke's Laws, and endeavor 
to show that they had done nothing in that, or in 
their address, incompatible with the duty they 
owed to their country as freemen ; they were not, 
however, veiy successful in this attempt to ward 
off the public indignation, which they certainly 
r'clilv merited for their address to the Duke. 


Ill consequence of a serious dispute wliich ex- 
isted between Governor Nicolls and the colony of 
Conuecticut relative to the boundary-line between 
New York and Connecticut (Connecticut seems to 
have thought if she and the other colonies of New 
England could dispossess the Dutch, she could 
then extend her boundary towards the south, 
which she much desired to do), in the month of 
December, 1664, Connecticut sent commissioners 
to New York to settle this difference, which ap- 
peared materially to affect the peace of both col- 
onies. By the arrangement entered into on this 
occasion, the eastern part of Long Island, which 
became a part of Connecticut by the treaty made 
with the Dutch, on the 19th of September, 1650, 
was surrendered by Connecticut to New York, 
and the Mamaroneck river, and a line drawn from 
it north-northwest to the boundary line of Massa- 
chusetts, w^as declared to be the eastern boundary 
of New York. So that Connecticut, instead of 
being the gainer, was the loser, by dispossessing 
the D 11 tell from the government of the colony of 
New Netherlands. 

Govei-nor Richard Nicolls, in the month of No- 
vember, 1665, wrote a letter to the Duke of York, 
in which he informed him : " My endeavors have 
not been wanting to put the whole go\ernmeiit 
into one frame and policy, and now the most fac- 


tioiis republicans cannot but acknowledge them- 
selves fully satisfied with the way and method they 
are in. My resolutions are, to send over to your 
Koyal Highness this winter, a copy of the laws as 
they now stand, with the alterations made at the 
last general assizes, which, if you shall confirm and 
cause to be printed at London, the country will be 
infinitely obliged to you." The laws were ac- 
cordingly sent and confirmed by the Duke of 
York, being the code adopted by the convention 
at Hempstead, and the alterations and amend- 
ments made to that code by the court of assizes, in 
September, 1665, but whether they were printed or 
not, we do not know, never having seen or heard 
of a copy ; if they were printed, it must be a very 
rare book, indeed. 

Governor Xicolls, in a letter which he addressed 
to the Duke of York two or three months after 
the capture of New York in August, 1661, says : 
" Such is the mean condition of this town (New 
York) that not one soldier to this day has lain in 
sheets, or upon any other bed than canvas or 
straw." Soldiers must have had much more 
dainty lodgings in those days, and must have 
been much nicer in their taste than at present, if 
a bed of canvas and straw in the warm season 
of the year is complained of, as from this letter 
seems to have l^een the fact. It is not, however, 


in this view of the case that we have adduced 
this extract from Gov. Ni colls' letter, but to 
show something of the situation of the citj when 
it passed from the liands of the Dutch, and came 
under the English government. The changes 
which have taken place since that period in the 
city of New York, and on the west end of Long 
Island, are without example in history ; and 
these become the more marked and strikhig when 
we extend our comparison some twenty-five 
years further back, when Kieft became the 
Dutch governor of this colony, and a full and 
minute examination into its condition was made 
and recorded, showing us changes truly wonder- 
ful, and all occurring in about two centuries, a 
period during which many of the important 
cities and towns in Europe and Asia have re- 
mained, in comparison, almost stationary. Here, 
on this little spot, then known as New Amster- 
dam, where in the year 1639 there w^as but one 
magazine, or store-house, for wares and merchan- 
dise, but one small church, one blacksmith shop, 
two saw-mills and a grist mill, and whei-e one 
hundred and twelve years later there were but 
ten thousand souls, is now congregated a popula- 
tion of about four hundred thousand, engaged 
in a commerce w^hich sends its messengers to the 
ends of tlie earth, and is now a place which 


might well be characterized, as was ancient 
Egypt by the inspired prophet and poet Isaiah, 
as '*the land shadowing with wings," ''that send- 
eth ambassadors by the sea; " for the sails of its 
shipping overshadow the ocean, and there is no 
part of the habitable globe, and scarcely of that 
portion locked np in the eternal frosts of the 
arctic and antarctic zones that is not visited l)y 
tliose sent on missions of trade or peace from this 
city. The immense increase of the trade or com- 
merce of this city has occnrred in such a short 
space of time, that we now have its whole history 
in our existing public records. We find that at 
the period first referred to, 1639, the revenue of 
the entire colony amounted to $31,220 per an- 
num, wiiile the annual expenses of the colonial 
government, civil and military, were $10,500, leav- 
ing a yearly deficit of about nine thousand dol- 
lars to be made up by the Dutch West India 
Company, and which they could well afford to 
bear, as they had all the commerce of the colony 
in their own hands, and from the single article of 
beaver alone (then exported in large cpiantities) 
were realizing a profit of one hundred and twenty 
per cent. Xow this city carries on more than 
half of the foreign commerce of the whole 
United States, and now collects more than half 
of all the duties paid upon imports into the same, 


being the main revenue of the general govern- 
ment. This will become apparent from the fol- 
lowing statement derived from official sources : 

In 1836 the whole amount of im- 
ports into the United States 
was $189,980,035 

Of which amount there was im- 
ported at JSTew York 118,253,416 

Leaving to be imported in all the 

other j)ortions of the United 

States 71,726,619 

In 1837 tlie whole amount of im- 
ports into the United States was $140,989,217 

Of which amount there was im- 
ported at Xew York 79,301,772 

Leaving to be im23orted in all the 

other portions of the United 

States 61,687,445 

This great commercial preponderance of l^ew 
York has grown up within the last thirty-five 
years. At the middle of the last century, New- 
port, in Rhode Island, was a much more impor- 
tant place in a commercial point of view than 
New York ; and Boston was very much its supe- 
rior in ever}' resj)ect. As regards Philadelphia, 


ill point of size, appearance or trade, there was 
then no comparison, and no one thought of mak- 
ing any ; Philadelphia was then a city, and New 
York, in comparison, but a village. And thus 
continued the relative positions of the two places 
until some time after the close of the Kevolution- 
ary war ; evidence of any jealousy on the part of 
the former did not begin to manifest itself until 
about 1806, and even then no Philadelphian 
would ever believe that Xew York could ever 
equal Philadelphia in population. But when 
every succeeding census of the General and State 
Governments show^ed a rapid and steady increase 
of New York in population, in a ratio far beyond 
that of Philadelphia, and the reports of the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury showed an annual and 
great increase of her trade, so that at last she 
equalled and then far outstripped Philadelphia 
in both cases, the Philadelphians at first vented 
their mortification in bitter sarcasms against New 
York and its inhabitants, and in ill liberal com- 
parisons between the two cities. But finding 
these unheeded and disregarded both by the 
New Yorkers and the inhabitants of the great 
West who went to New York to trade, that city 
from its immense foreign commerce offering 
them a better market to make their choice in, 
Philadelphia induced the State of Pennsylvania 


to embark in the immense system of railroads 
and canals traversino^ that State in various direc- 
tions, and which ahnost entirely, from their great 
cost, prostrated the credit of that powerful State, 
and has crippled their resources for a long period 
of time yet to come, in order to divert that West- 
ern trade from New York, and to bring it to 
Philadelphia, where the nu^st of it formerly was 
transacted ; and yet, strange as that may seem, 
although those works have undoubtedly bene- 
iited both that State and city, scarcely a rail- 
road or canal has been made by them that has 
not materially increased the trade of l\ew York ; 
has brought their coal to New York at a cheap 
rate, where it was much wanted, and by coimect- 
ing with the Ohio river, has, by means of the 
Alleghany river and the Ohio canal, opened the 
western part of their own State to the trade of 
New York. 

But these are all changes in our own days : 
when we look back for about a century and a 
half, a period scarcely recognized by change in 
many portions of the old world, and we find our 
Dutch progenitors assembled in this goodly city 
of New Amsterdam, goodly then in prospect, if 
not in fruition, declaring, in 1G56, that, " The 
widow of Hans Hansen^ the first-horn Christian 
daxighter in New Netherlands burdened with 


seven children, petitions for a grant of a piece 
of meadow, in addition to the twenty morgen 
granted to her at the AVaale-Boght," in the town 
(now city) of Brooklyn, opposite Usew York, we 
can scarcely realize that in this, and the examina- 
tions made into tlie state and condition of ^ew 
Amsterdam in 1639, before referred to, we are 
looking npon the beginning of the great City 
and State of New York ; and when we cast our 
eye over the assessment roll of that city for rais- 
ing the sum of five thousand and fifty guilders 
from her wealthier citizens in 1653, and com- 
pare it with the assessed value of her real and 
personal estates in 1838, amounting to two hun- 
dred and sixty-four millions of dollars, it seems 
more like the story of some minstrel of Arabia 
or Ilindostan, than sober matter of fact. 

All this immense increase of New York City, 
and the western extremity of this island, dates 
from the year 1817 — its main commencement. 
From the close of the Revolutionary war to 1812, 
Boston was the first importing city of the United 
States, and there it was that the New York mer- 
chants purchased the most of their goods of 
British and India manufacture. From 1812 to 
1815, that city maintained its commercial pre- 
ponderance, from the policy which the British 
(xovernment imagined it their interest to adopt, 


in leaving Boston comparatively a free port. 
Whatever may have been their reasons for this 
policy, or the canses operating to produce, which 
it is no part of our object or design to inquire 
into, it is certain that Boston during the war was 
the market from whence the Union principally 
derived their supplies of European and East India 
goods. After the peace of 1815, the foreign 
trade of our entire country manifested a ten- 
dency to centre in that city, and the greater part 
of the capital of the United States engaged in 
commerce collected in Boston and its vicinity. 
The general decrease of business in the City of 
^ew York, caused by the accumulation of this 
trading capital in Boston, induced the merchants 
of our city to inquire into the reasons of this 
state of affairs; and upon making this inquiry 
they arrived at the conclusion, that the auction 
business w^as highly injurious to the trade of 
New York, and that if this branch of business 
was destroyed, the trade and commerce of this 
city would become prosperous, and with that 
view they petitioned the Legislature to impose a 
duty of ten per cent, on all auction sales, which 
would, in fact, amount to a prohibition of them. 
There were some few j)ersons, however, who en- 
tertained a different opinion as to the causes of 
this depression of trade in New York ; and among 


them one of the promuieiit was Abraham G. 
Thompson, Esq., who had been for many years 
an enterprising and successful merchant in tliat 
city. lie saw that one reason operating in favor 
of Boston was that India goods could be sold in 
that city and pa}^ a duty of only one per cent., 
while at the same time, if those goods were sold 
at New York, they would be obliged to pay a 
duty of two and a half per cent., and that to in- 
crease the duty upon auction sales was only to 
increase more widely tlie difference in favor of 
Boston and against Xew York, and the existing 
duties should be, on the contrary, diminished in 
this State. With that view he went to Albany 
and submitted the result of his experience and 
judgment to the Legislature, assuring them that 
by establishing the duties at one per cent, upon 
East India, and one and a half per cent, on 
European goods, the interests of tlie City of ^ew 
York, and also of the State, would be greatly pro- 
moted, and the revenue increased by this reduc- 
tion. It was difficult at first to satisfy those with 
Avhom the matter rested that this effect would 
result from the proposed change; so many hun- 
dreds of the mercliants and citizens of Xew York 
had petitioned for this great increase of duties 
upon auction sales, that it was ahnost impossible 
to think that they could be mistaken in their view 


of the subject. Eventually, however, Governor 
Tompkins did become satisfied that the project 
of Mr. Thompson was the correct one, and gave 
his influence to secure the enactment of the law 
reducing the rates of duties as j)]-oposed, in place 
of increasing them. Previous to the passage of the 
law reducing the rates of duties, for the two best 
years between 1783 and 1812, this State had re- 
ceived from duties upon auction sales of India 
goods between five and six thousand dollars, aver- 
aging between twenty-five hundred and three 
thousand dollars per annum ; and to show his con- 
fidence in the opinions he had expressed, Mr. 
Thompson offered the Governor, that upon the 
passage of the law reducing the rate of duties, 
if the State would convey to him the duties 
alone upon India goods, he would pay into the 
State treasury, in advance, for the first year the 
sum of six thousand dollars, being more than 
the State had received for duties for any two 
years subsequent to 1783. The results following 
that reduction of duties more than, justified all 
his antici23ations, and more than fulfilled all his 
l)redictions; for soon after the passage of that 
law, in place of selling all East India cargoes in 
Boston, as had been previously the case, a Boston 
r.hip from the East Indies was sent to New York, 
Mud the auction duties upon hei* cargo alone 


amounted to upwards of six thousand dollars ; 
and the revenue received bv this State upon India 
goods, for the first year after that reduction of 
duties, amounted to between thirtj-two and thii-- 
tj'-three thousand dollars. All tlie India ships 
after the enactment of that law were sent to New 
York ; and from that time to within the last four 
years, but one attempt has been made to sell a 
cargo of India goods east of Kew York, and that 
was a failure, nothing being sold but the sample 
packages, and the bulk of the cargo was after- 
wards sent to this city and sold here. The re- 
duced rate of duties being still continued, the 
revenue arising from that source to tlie State 
treasury has gradually increased until it has 
reached to between two hundred and three hun- 
dred thousand dollars. The effect of this reduc- 
tion of the duties upon auction sales has not only 
multiplied the business of this city to the ship- 
per, tlie importer, tlie jobber, and the mechanic ; 
it has not only by this increase of business made 
^e\v York the commercial emporium of the na- 
tion, and thus has drawn to us merchants and 
purchasers from all parts of our widely extended 
country; and tended directly to enhance the 
\ alue of houses, stores, and lots, and filled our 
city with palaces, and made our merchants 
l)rinces ; it has not only materially aided the 


State in the payment of lier debt incurred from 
the system of .internal improvements ; bat it also 
afforded an impetus to the prosecution of the 
project for the gi-eat Erie canal, without which 
it would probably have been delayed for very 
many years. When the friends of the Erie 
canal urged the comiecting of the waters of Lake 
Erie with those of the Hudson river, they were 
met not only with the sarcasms and ridicule of 
those who would not bestow the time requisite to 
a proper examination and understanding of the 
subject, but also b}^ the unanswerable objection, 
that the State had no settled revenue upon whicii 
it could rely for the payment of the interest of 
the debt that must be incurred in the making of 
this canal ; and that it would be an unwise step 
to rely alone upon tlie prospective revenues of 
an untried project, and that, too, through a region 
of country entirely unsettled and in its native 
forest state, as was a large portion of the coun- 
try at that period now traversed by the Erie 
canal. When this act was passed reducing the 
auction duties, and the successful result that 
iiumediately followed, placed into the State treas- 
ury such an immensely increased amount of 
duties, compared with the previous receipts from 
the same source, that objection was obviated, and 
the State at once embarked upon the prosecution 


of this canal, which has poured and continues to 
pour untold wealth into the city and State of 
Isew York. 

The following is a copy of Governor Sir Ed - 
mond Andros' proclamation, issued upon taking 
the surrender of the colony of New York from 
the Dutch authorities in November, 1674, taken 
from an official copy sent to Long Island. 

^' By the Goverxor. Whereas it hath pleased 
his Majesty and his Royal Highness to send me 
with authority to receive this place and govern- 
ment from the Dutch, and to continue in the 
command thereof, under his Royal Highness, 
who hath not only taken care for our future 
safety and defence, but also given me his com- 
mands for securing the rights and properties of 
the inhabitants ; and that I should endeavor by 
all fitting means the good and welfare of this 
province and dependencies under his govern- 
ment. That I may not be wanting in any thing 
that may conduce thereunto, and for the saving 
of the trouble and cliarge of au}^ coming hither 
(to New York City) for the satisfying themselves 
in such doubts as might arise concerning their 
rights and properties upon this change of gov- 
ernment, and wholly to settle the minds of all in 
general, I have thought fit to publish and declare 
that all former grants, privileges or concessions 


heretofore granted, and all estate legally pos- 
sessed bv any under his Hoyal Highness, before 
the late Dutch government, as also all legal judi- 
cial proceedings during that government, to my 
arrival in these parts, are hereby confirmed ; and 
the possessors by virtue thereof to remain in 
quiet possession of their rights. It is hereby 
further declared, that the known book of Laws, 
formerly established and in force under his Roy- 
al Ilighness's government, is now again confirmed 
by his Royal Highness, the which are to be ob- 
served and practised, together with the manner 
and time of holding courts therein mentioned, as 
heretofore ; and all magistrates and civil ofiicers 
belono^ins: thereunto to be chosen and established 
accordingly. Given under my hand, in New 
York, this ninth day of November, in the twenty- 
sixth year of his Majesty's reign, Annoque Domi- 
ni 1674. 

" E. Andkos." 

The first general market for the sale of com- 
modities, upon the principle of the English fairs 
and Markets overt ^ was established at Brooklyn 
on this island in 1675, by an order of the court of 
assizes (then the legislative authority of the col- 
ony) at their session held in the City of New York 
on the 13th of October, in that vear, as follows : 


" Upon a proposal of having a fair and mar- 
ket in or near tliis citv, it is ordered that after 
this season there siiall yearly be kept a fair and 
mai'ket at Brooklyn, near the ferry, for all grain, 
cattle, or other produce of the country, to be held 
the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in 
Xovember ; and in the City of Kew York the 
Thursday, Friday and Saturday following." 

Slavery : The following exhibits one of the 
regulations which the existence of slavery 
amongst us rendered necessary npon tlie x e^t 
end of this island, as early as the summer of 

" By his excellency, Edward Lord Yiscount 
Cornbury, Captain-General and Governor in 
Chief of the ProNinces of ^ew^ York, New Jersey, 
and the territories depending thereon, in America, 
and Yice- Admiral of the same, etc. Whereas, I 
am informed that several neo-roes in Kinoes 
County have assembled themselves in a riotous 
manner, which, if not prevented, may prove of 
ill consequence; you and every of you are there- 
fore hereby recpiired and commanded to take all 
proper methods for the seizing and apprehending 
all such negroes in the said county as sliall be 
found to be assembled in such manner as afore- 
said, or have run away or absconded from their 


masters or owners, whereby there may be reason 
to suspect them of ill practices or designs, and to 
secure them in safe custody, that theii- crimes 
and actions may be inquired into ; and if any of 
them refuse to submit themselves, then to fire on 
them, kill or destroy them, if they cannot otherwise 
be taken ; and for so doing this shall be your suffi- 
cient warrant. Given mider my hand at Fort 
Anne in New York, the 22d day of July, 1706. 


*' To the Justices of the Peace 
in Kings County, and to any 
or every of them." 

Although there were some instances of unruly 
slaves upon this island, as is indicated by the 
preceding proclamation of the Governor, yet as 
a general thing they were a peaceable, orderly 
race, much attached to the families in which they 
were owned, and where they would remain from 
generation to generation ; the only separation 
that was known was when some of the younger 
members of the family would marry and leave 
the homestead to keep house for themselves, one 
or two of the younger slaves would voluntarily 
accomj^any them to form tlie new household, and 
in some instances where an old negro wencli had 
acted as the dry nurse of her young master or 




mistress, she would insist upon accompanying 
them, Avhich was almost invariably consented to, 
althouirh her services would be of little value, un- 
less it might be as a kind of oracle for the family 
in all matters of old family history, or of the 
weather, which she w(jidd deliver with great 
show of importance and no little pri h-, from the 
kitchen chimney-corner, a seat appropriated to 
her use, knowing that all the other members of 
the household were too young to know much, if 
anything, about it. And she, together with the 
other old negroes of the family, would become 
high authority in all the numberless superstitions 
which are accustomed to congregate about a far- 
mers kitchen fireside ; where the younger mem- 
bers of the household, white and colored, would 
delio:ht to assemble on the lono; winter evenino-s 
to hear their stories. 

' An intimate association with nature, with an ex- 
clusion from the more busy haunts of men, insensi- 
bly tends to make people superstitious, as the world 
calls it, and we have observed that the more pure 
and virtuous the mind under such an association 
of circumstances, the more likely it is to be su- 
perstitious. So that we have learned to look 
with great respect on this trait of human charac- 
ter, as an indication that the heart is right, and 
most pi'(>1)ably worthy of our high esteem. 


This is no imaginary picture, as any one can 
assure us who has been brought up on the west- 
ern part of Long Island, even within the last 
forty years. The general docility of these slaves, 
and their long coimection with the families, 
caused them to be highly valued when an occa- 
sion did offer for a sale or a valuation, as upon the 
event of the death of the proprietor. In an in 
ventory taken on the 16th of December, 1719, in 
Kings County, on this island, of the estate of a 
deceased person, a negro wench and child are 
valued at £60, while five milch cows, five calves, 
three .young bulls and two heifers were collectively 
valued at £20. 

Previous to our Revolutionary war there were, 
besides negro slaves, a species of white servants 
from Europe, who, upon emigrating to this coun- 
try, sold their services for a certain number of 
years. By some they were called apprentices, 
but that term, as now used, will not convey a 
proper idea of the situation of those persons. 
They were as much the subject of sales during 
the period of tlieir service as the negro slaves. 
So we find in the New York Gazette of Decem- 
ber 24, 1767, the following advertisement : " To 
be disposed of, the remaining time, being about 
three years, of three German servants, one a baker 
by trade, one a butcher, and the other a laborer. 


They are very iiidustrions, good men, whose hon- 
esty has been tried, and may be had on reasonable 
terms. Inquire of the printer hereof." (3n ex- 
amining the old journals of the General Assem- 
bly of the Province of New York, from 161)1 to 
1763, I found, particularly between 1691 and 
1725, many regulations in relation to " negro and 
Indian slaves." Before meeting with these pro- 
visions we had no idea that the Indians were ever 
made slaves, and indeed had all along supposed 
the Indian character would not brook slavery. 
We are satisfied that they were never treated as 
slaves under the Dutch government in this colony, 
and that they were not subjected to that state un- 
til man}^ years after the conquest of this colony 
by the English, in August, 1661: ; and we still be- 
lieve that none of the Indians in the immediate 
vicinity of New York, or under the English gov- 
ernment, were ever made slaves, as that would 
have been contrary to the policy which they pur- 
sued toward* the aborigines in conciliating them, 
and forming alliances with them for the j^rotection 
of their frontiers from the French in the Canadas, 
and through the valleys of the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi rivers; and that these slaves were probably 
French Indians captured by the Iroquois iu their 
excursions, and sold by them to the English in- 
habitants. If so, it was a humane arrangement, 


by which the lives of the captives were preserved, 
and tliej were saved from a death of the most 
excruciating torture, which, as is well known, it 
was then the custom of the Iroquois and many 
other Indian nations, to inflict upon their captives 
unless redeemed. 

Samp Porridge. — It is now, and has been for 
very many years j^ast, customary on Long Island, 
in the latter part of the week in autumn, to pound 
their Indian corn in samp mortars. The corn 
thus pounded is called samjp j they put the corn 
the night before in a weak ley of w^ood ashes, to 
take off the husk of the grain. This preparation 
they use in making their celebrated " samp por- 
ridge," a high favorite among culinary articles 
on this island. It is formed by boiling the samp 
with salted beef and pork, with potatoes, and 
such other vegetables as may be desired, accord- 
ing to the taste. It requires much boiling to 
make it perfect, and is said to be better on the 
second day, after another cooking, tlian it is on 
the first, and that it even improves in taste and 
goodness to the third or fourth day, being heated 
up and partially re-cooked on each day. In 
order to provide for this, they make it in a 
very large pot or kettle ; and we have heard of 
people having enough cooked for a week. By 
these various processes of cooking, the porridge 


acquires a very stout crust on the outside next 
the pot ; so much so that we have been told of 
the porridge, towards the end of the week, being 
lifted out of the pot bodily by the crust, which 
was then nsed as a dish or bowl to eat the interior 

The samp mortar is constructed by selecting 
the sound stump of a large white oak tree — if 
rooted in the ground, so much the better; then 
burning it out until the cavity is formed of the 
desired size and shape, which is carefully scraped 
U) remove all the charcoal. This being done, a 
block of ^vhite oak, weighing some fifty pounds, 
is selected, which is rounded at the lower end to 
fit the mortar, through which block a hole is 
bored near the top, and through it is a pin, pro- 
jecting about a foot on each side, by wdiich to 
take hold of. A sapling is then selected conti- 
guous to the mortal', which is bent over without 
breaking, and its top attached by a strong wythe 
or cord to the upper end of that block, and this 
completes the pestle. The spring of the sapling 
assists in raising the pestle, but is not so strong 
as to prevent a man or a stout boy from bringing 
down the block or pestle with sufficient force 
upon the Indian corn in the mortar, to break it 
and pound it fine enough for the purpose designed. 

Some captains of vessels, well acquainted with 


the harbor of Kew York and the sniTou]idii]g 
c(;uiitry, and with the manners and cnstoms of 
the people, j(3cnlarl3' say they can tell when they 
are coming upon the .Long Island coast during a 
fog in autumn, by hearing the sound of the sam/p 
mortars when the breeze is wafted oif the shore. 
Their faculty of hearing is equally acute with 
that of the strollei'S on the Battery in the City of 
Kew York, mentioPxed by the worthy Diedrich 
Knickerbocker in his veritable History of the 
JYeiv ^Netherlands, who, on a calm summer even- 
ing, just after the sunset had dyed our westei-n 
horizon with all the gorgeous colors of the famed 
Italian skies, could hear the joyous laugh of the 
negioes at the little primitive Dutch settlement 
of Comnumipaw wafted across the bay when its 
waters were scarcely disturbed by a ripple. 

When the w^estern and south-western portions 
of this State were tirst settled, there being but 
very few mills, and in many places none for 
grinding the grain of the inhabitants, they adopted 
as a substitute these samp mortars, which were 
found to answer a valuable purpose. This pro- 
cess, however, was slow, it being a day's work to 
convert half a bushel of corn into coarse meal. 
The settlers who owned a few slaves employed 
them in this work ; and hence, this process was 
vulgarly called in that part of the State " nigger 

HABITS AT iio:me. 229 

ing corn." On Long Island, however, this clutj 
was performed by the young men and stont boys 
in the family, although in some cases there it 
was also done by the negroes. Slavery existed 
upon Long Island, and also in most other parts 
of this State, only in name, for no distinction as 
to the kind of work to be perfoi-med Avas made 
between the slaves and the white young men and 
boys of the houseliold. Tliey were almost uni- 
versally treated with great kindness, and were a 
careless, happy race of moj-tals, and when they 
became too old for work, they were not cast off, 
but cherished and taken care of by the family, in 
whose service they had spent their best days. 

Home Habits. — For a long period anterior to 
the Revolution, and down to within the last forty 
vears, the stvle of furnishino; their houses aniono; 
the most wealthy and the most respectable on 
this island, was the acme of simplicity compared 
with the present style. Then a white floor 
sprinkled with clean sand drawn into various 
figures by the broom, large tables, and heavy 
high-backed chairs of walnut or mahogany, de- 
corated with brass nails along the edge of the 
leathern back and cushioned seat, furnished the 
parlor genteelly enough for anybody ; and most 
comfortable chairs they were truly, as all know 
wlio have ever seen or tried them. Sometimes a 


carpet was seen upon the dining-room, not, how- 
ever, covering the whole floor. This room, 
although called the dining-room^ was, in reality, 
a show parlor, and only used on great occasions, 
and then not to dine in. The houses, then, 
were abundantly provided with necessary and 
substantial furniture ; but with nothing that was 
merely for show, and not for use. Pewter-plates 
and dishes were in general use, and it was a long 
time after china and earthenware had been in- 
troduced into this country before they super- 
seded the pewter; very many of the inhabitants, 
and especially among the elderly and old-fash- 
ioned, preferring their pewter dining-sets, and 
urging as a reason for that preference that they 
could not keep their knives sharp and in good 
order if they used the new-fangled plates and 
dishes, but it was otherwise if they continued the 
pewter. It does one's heart good to see the sets 
of bright pewter-plates, dishes, porringers, tank- 
ards, etc., still kept among some of the old Dutch 

There was no trade f]-om the colonies to China 
or the East Indies, and the porcelain of the former 
country came from Europe, and mux^h of it had 
been preserved in the families for several gener- 
ations. It was not unfrequently in the shape of 
beautiful plates, highly ornamented ; of which a 


strange use was sometimes made hy dnlVmo^ twv> 
lioles ill the edge of the plate, through which a 
ribbon was passed, and it was hung np against 
the wall as a picture ; we have seen over half a 
dozen beautiful china plates thus hanging in a 
single room. Occasionally a very beautiful ar- 
ticle, known in that early period as burnt China, 
was to be seen in some families, but always in 
the form of plates ; all the [)orcelain, if seen at 
all on the dinner table, was only displaj^ed on 
very extraordinary occasions. Silver-plate, more 
or less, was to be seen in every family in any- 
thing like easy circumstances ; it was a matter of 
pride to possess it, and once in, it scarcely ever 
went out of the family, but descended as an 
heirloom. This plate was not in all the various 
shapes you will now see it, but in massive wait- 
ers, b<.)wls, tankards, cans, etc. Glass was then 
but little used. Punch was the most common 
beverage, and was drank by the company from 
one large bowl of china or silver; and beer or 
cider fi*om a silver tankard. Many of the wealthy 
old Dutch families on this island had casks ex- 
pressly^ made to contain their wines and liquors, 
with bi'ass hoops and much ornamented, which 
were placed upon permanent racks in their cel- 
lars ; and when they bought a cask of Holland 
gin, Jamaica rum, sherry and Bordeaux wines, 


and English beer or porter, or the latter from 
Philadelphia, where it was made very good long 
before the Revolutionary war, it was turned into 
tlie cask appropriately marked ; for all liquors 
were then used from the wood, and they did not 
know the distinction of wines in wood, and wanes 
in glass. The preceding w^ere the liquors in com- 
mon use ; Madeira wine was only used on extra- 
ordinary occasions, as on the birth of a child, a 
marriage, and at a funeral. When a young man 
of any wealth among the Dutch settlers was 
about to be married, the first thing to be done 
was to send to Madeira for a pipe of the best 
Madeira wine, a portion of which was drank on the 
occasion of his marriage, another portion on the 
birth of his first son, and the remainder was stored 
away in the cellar, to be consumed at his funeral. 
At the close of the last century, on the west 
end of this island, at an invitation to dinner at 
the house of the wealthy and respectable inhab- 
itants, the entertainment w^ould be as follows : 
Punch, warm and cold, before dinner, excellent 
beef and pork, with the table abundantly and 
solidly served in other res})ects ; and at the din- 
ner, spruce beer, cider and Philadelphia porter 
were the drink. After the meats a dessert of 
puddings and pies, with sherry and Bordeaux 


About tlie period alluded to a matron would 
driuk tea with her friends, return home by can- 
dle-light in rr, tie on her check cqyron, and put her 
children to bed, and then pass lier evening by 
her fireside in company with her husband, to- 
gether with some friend or neighbor who might 
casually drop in to chat away an hour with 

Tea-drinking in our cities was a great favorite 
among the ladies about the middle of the last 
century. Its introduction and progress in this 
country are easy to be traced ; in 1720, Bohea tea 
was selling at Philadelphia for fifty shillings a 
pound, and for some time after it was varying 
in price, from twenty to thirty shillhigs a pound, 
so that it is evident but little of it could have 
been used in this country at that time. It was 
not until some twenty-five or thirty years later 
that its use became anyway general in the com- 
nmnity. It may with some be difficult to imagine 
what substitute they used in its place ; they in- 
deed used no substitute ; our ancestors had no 
such meal as we know by the name of tea. An 
old gentleman, wdio was living on Long Island in 
1820, aged eighty-seven, recollected perfectly 
well that when he was a young man, just grown 
up, tea-drinking was first introduced in the town 
of Gravesend an.d its vicinitv on this island. The 


original china tea-cups, then first brought there, 
were some of them still, preserved in that year. 
They Avere for some considerable time after 
their introduction passed around from r.eighbor 
to neighbor when their friends visited them, for 
the convenience of tea-drinking ; for tea was then 
considered the greatest treat which could be offer- 
ed by one friend to another. These cups, as were 
all other tea-cups of that period, were very small, 
being not much, if any, larger than an egg- 

From a very early period until within the last 
twenty-five years, a custom existed on Long 
Island of visiting each other in parties on Sunday 
afternoon ; wdiicdi, coming to be regarded as an 
evil demanding a speedy change, and the clergy 
and some of the strictest of the sect insisting 
upon it, a change was effected, and the custom 
is now to a great extent broken up, if not entirely 
so. In extenuation of this practice it may be 
observed that the people, necessarily engaged in 
their agricultural pursuits during the week for a 
large portion of the year, had little time to visit 
their relatives and friends, who not unfrequently 
lived at a considerable distance from them; and 
that, after attending to the religious services of 
the day, being dressed in tlieir best apparel, and 
havinic been obbVed to use their vehicles and 


liorses in traiis}30rting the family to church, it 
seemed almost natural, in meeting their friends, 
that they should go with them, or take them to 
their own residences, to enjoy the pleasant and 
important meal in the country of taMng tea^ and 
also to pass the early evening in social inter- 
course ; and it might also be urged that consider- 
ing the manner in which the Sabbath had been 
kept under the wdiole Jewish economy, and also 
its observance by the entire Christian Churclifrom 
the earliest period of the Church down to the 
sixteenth century, it seems more like modern 
Pni'itanic rigor, than as an exhibition of Christian 
feeling, to break up such kindly and social meet- 
ings as these, after the religious services of the 
day have been performed. It may probably be 
said that it was not so much this j^art of the cus- 
tom which induced this visiting to be regarded as 
an evil, as it was the later evening visits of the 
young men to see the girls, which had been en- 
grafted on it. If this be so, why was not the dis- 
tinction made; there was certainly ample room 
for it 'i 

The following table exhibits the prices at which 
the articles enumerated were sokl on this island 
at the various periods mentioned, and will enable 
the reader to form some idea of the expense of 
living in former times. 



Mason's work, per day 

Carpenter's work, do 

Common laborers, do 

Beef, per pound 

Pork, do 

Butter, do 

Eggs, per dozen 

Labor, per day, for mowing and getting 

in hay 

Labor, per day, in harvest 

Wheat, per bushel 

Indian corn, per bushel 

Rye, per bushel 

In 1770. 

In 1 


$0 44 

























In 1815. 

$1 75 

1 00 


1 00 

1 25 

2 00 
1 12 
1 25 

At the beginning of the present centnry a very 
large tulip, or white wood tree, existed in Brook- 
lyn, on the bank of the East river, a short dis- 
tance northeasterly from the Main street ferry. 
It was a very old tree and hollow, large enongh 
inside to hold eight men comfortably ; and was a 
sjjlendid sight in the spring when in blossom, with 
its large flowers evaporating their perfume over 
most of the then little settlement of Brooklyn. 
Under this tree was a beautiful green sward, and 
the tree being full of large lea^'es it cast a most 
extensive and grateful shade in the warm season. 
It was so well known in the city of INew York, 
that it was usual among the old-fashioned inhabi- 


taiits of that city, to make np parties of three or 
fonr families, to cross the East river in their own 
boats, carrying their provisions with them, di- 
rectly after their early dinner hour of tw^elve or 
one o'clock, and to pass the long summer after- 
noon in laughing, talking, smoking, and drinking 
under the shade of this ti*ee. The women would 
boil their tea kettle in the hollo w" of the tree ; and 
then between four and five o'clock they would 
sit down to drink tea, with the smooth grass for 
their tea-table, after which the men would again 
smoke their long pipes, and after some social 
chat, and planning another excursion into the 
conntry (as it was then called, but how different 
now !), they would return to the city about sunset, 
without the fear of being run o^er by steamboats 
in their long and slow^ row across the river, amus- 
ing themselves with looking at the gentlemen 
playing at bowling upon the smooth lawn in tlie 
front of the Belvidere club-house, on the height 
of land south of Corlears Hook ; and w'ondering 
whether the fishermen in the small boats, anchored 
a little way fi-om the beach, between the foot of 
George street (now Market street) and Corlears 
Hook, had caught any fish ; also admiring the 
gorgeous beauties of the sunset ; but at times 
they would hasten their S2:>eed as they looked 
upon this splendid scene, because the lower cloud 


that the sun has just disappeared behind, ard 
tinged its edges with living gold, exhibited a ve^y 
black and ominous appearance, as if it had a 
thunder shower in its bosom, which idea became 
strengthened by seeing, almost directly after, the 
crinkling lightning playing along its surface ; 
and they were also startled by the rushing past 
them of several porpoises, every few miuutes 
showino: their curved backs far above the surface 
of the Avater, which, smooth and still as if it were 
glass, reflected upon its surface all the heights of 
land, the wharves, buildiugs, and even lamps of 
the neighboring city, all which they say to each 
other is a sign that the storm is near at hand ; 
but they reach home in safety just as the first 
drops of rain begin to fall. Snch parties as these 
were of very frequent occurrence during the sum- 
mer. Some may feel an interest in knowing 
what became of this interesting tree, so identified 
as it was with many of the purest and most 
pleasurable enjoyments of our ancestors. One 
Sunday morning, in the early part of summer, 
about forty years ago, wdien the few people who 
lived at " Brooklyn feVry" (as a large part of the 
present city was then called) were at church, an 
alarm of fire was given by the only bell in the 
place (the Dutch church was then at Brooklyn 
parish, or Brooklyn proper), which was the fire 


bell hanging on the Old Ferry road. All ran out 
to see wliere the fire was, and observing a smoke 
in that direction, they passed on until they dis- 
covered it was the great tree in flames. For a 
long time no one dared go near it, under the ap- 
prehension that a powder magazine, which then 
stood in the vicinity, would blow up. The tree 
was so large and the smoke so great, that for near 
an hour the inhabitants were much alarmed lest 
the fire might be connnunicated to the magazine, 
and all their houses, if not their lives, destroyed 
by the explosion, they believing a large quantity 
of gunpowder to be stored there. After some 
time, four or five of the most courageous taking 
pails, and dipping water from the river, threw it 
into the hollow of the tree and extinguished the 
fire. It was supposed to have originated from 
the carelessness of some fishermen, who, having 
cooked their breakfast there, as was then not an 
imf i-equent occurrence, had neglected afterwards 
to put out tlie fire with as much care as was 
usual. This, however, did not destroy the old 
tree ; it still continued in leaf, and was resorted 
to during the warm season by the Knickerbock- 
ers for their accustomed tea and smoking parties. 
But when the gales and storms came in the au- 
tumn, the tree was so much weakened by the loss 
of tlie wood wdiich had been burnt from the in- 


side, that it was blown down, to the great regret 
01 all the inhabitants of Brooklyn and also of 
ISTew York, to whom, and especially the latter, it 
had long been a very pleasant resort. 

The habits and manners of the people on this 
-island were qnite pi-imitive nntil a very recent 
period. This arose in a great measure from their 
seclusion from the travelling world, by reason of 
the imperfect modes of conveyance throughout a 
large portion of the island. Old Mr. John Moore, 
of Newtown, in Queens County, who was aged 
ninety-seven years in 1826, says, that his mother 
was the lirst white woman who came by land 
fi'om Newtown to Brooklyn. She came with her 
husband on horseback, riding on a pillion behind 
him (as was then the custom), through an Indian 
path, then the only road, and at that time this 
journey was considered a very arduous under- 
takincr, and her friends wondered much that she 
should have the courage to think of it. As late 
as 1793, there was no post-office on any part of 
Long Island and no mail carried on it ; the people 
on the west end received all their letters and sent 
them (and few they were) through the post-office 
in New York, except those on the east end of 
the island who used the tri-weekly mail from 
New London to New York, they having frequent 
communication with New London and other 


parts of Connecticut, by means of their small 
sailinoj vessels, a communication kept up to the 
present day. 

The first post-route upon Long Island, with the 
first post-ofhcGS, was established on the memorial 
i)i Abraham G. Thompson and Jonathan Thomp- 
son, Esqs., with a few others of the other inhabi- 
tants of this island, about the commencement of 
the present century ; and Abraham G. Thompson, 
Esq., was the first postmaster at Babylon, and 
held that office for about six years, until he re- 
moved to the city of Kew York and commenced 
his successful mercantile career in that city. 
About ten or twelve years previous to the estab- 
lishment of the post-route on this island, a re- 
spectal)le old Scotchman, named Dunbar, was in 
the habit of riding a voluntary post betw^een the 
city of Xew York along the south road to Baby- 
lon, and from thence a few miles to the east, and 
then across the island to Brookhaven. lie thus 
brought the inhabitants of the central p.ortion of 
this island their letters and newspapers about 
once a week or once a fortnight, depending upon 
the state of the weather. 

Mr. Dunbar appears to have ridden his volun- 
tary post even as early as near the commencement 
of the Revolution. Rivingtoii's Royal Gazette^ 
l)rinted in Xew York, for February 16tli, 1778. 


establishes this fact by the following article of 
news : " At two o'clock last Thursday morning a 
party of twelve rebels seized, at Coram, in Suf- 
folk County, two wagons loaded witli dry goods, 
the property of Obediah Wright of Southampton, 
These maurauders had been several days on the 
island, visited most parts, and committed many 
robberies, especially at the house of Colonel Floyd, 
Setauket, which they robbed of goods and cash 
to a considerable amount, and took some property 
of Mr. Dunhar, who rides down the island oc- 
casionaUy^ and happened to lodge in the house 
that night." 

It would not answer to be more explicit about 
Mr. Dunbar, for although there was no mail-route 
upon the island, yet the king had his deputy 
postmasters for JSi ortli America, who were alone 
authorized to transmit letters to any part of the 
country, and the people of Long Island, from 
one end to the other, were pi-esumed to receive 
their letters at the post-office in the city of New 
York; Mr. Dunbar's business being an illegal 
one subjected him to severe penalties, and was 
only winked at by reason of its absolute neces- 

A mighty change has been produced in Long 
Island within the last few years, by the introduc- 
tion of the railroad ; now by its means travellers 


leave IN^ew York citj^, after breakfasting, and 
arrive in Boston between five and six o'clock the 
same evening. Only as late as 1835, the regular 
mail-stage left I>rooklyn once a week, on Thurs- 
day, having arrived from Easthampton and Sag 
Harbor the afternoon of the previous day ; and 
this was the only conveyance travellers could 
then have through this island, unless they took a 
private carriage. The practice then was to leave 
Brooklyn about nine o'clock in the morning — they 
were not, however, pai-ticular as to a half hour — 
travel on to Hempstead, where they dined ; and 
after that, jog on to Babylon, where they put up 
for the night. A most delightful way this was 
to take a jaunt — there was no hurry, no fuss and 
bustle about it ; no one was in haste to get to his 
journey's end, and if he was, and intended going 
the whole route, he soon became effectually cured 
of it. Every thing went on soberly and judici- 
ously, and you could see all there was to be seen, 
and hear all that was to be heard, and have time 
enough to do it all in ; no mode of travelling ever 
suited our taste better ; it was the very acme of 
enjoyment. The next morning you left Babylon 
just after daylight — which in the summer was of 
itself worth living for — journeyed on to Patch- 
ogue, where you got your breakfast between nine 
and ten o'clock, with a good appetite for it, we 


warrant you. You would get no dinner this day, 
nor would you feel the want of it after your late 
and hearty breakfast; but travel along slowly 
and pleasantly until you reached the rural post- 
office at Fire Place, standing on the edge of a 
wood ; here, if you have a taste for the beautiful 
in Nature, you would walk down the garden to 
look at the trout stream filled with the speckled 
beauties. Here you need give yourself no un- 
easiness about being left by the stage, as is the 
case in some of the go-ahead parts of our country 
— in this particular region the middle of the road 
is sandy, and the driver, like a considerate man, 
gives his horses an opportunity to rest, so that 
they may the better travel through this piece of 
heav}^ road. You might, therefore, after enjoy- 
ing yourself at this spot, walk on leisurely ahead 
of the stage, with a friend, and some one who is 
conversant with the country and its legends, and 
this walk would prove by no means the least 
pleasant part of your excursion, for many are the 
tales that you would hear of awful shipwrecks, of 
pirates and their buried wealth, of treasures cast 
u]^ by the sea, and of all those horrors and won- 
ders of which the ocean is the prolific parent. 
After walking for some two or three miles upon 
the green sward at the edge of the road, gather- 
infy and eating the berries as you strolled along, 


until YOU were tired, you would find the stage a 
short distance behind you, the driver very com- 
plaisant, for you have much eased his horses in 
their journey tln-ongh the heavy sand, and the 
passengers pleased to see you back in your seat 
again, that is, if you have done as every ti-aveller 
ought to do, studied the comfort and convenience 
of your fellow-passengers as well as y<jur own. 
Shortly after sunset you would stop for the night, 
the second one of your journey, at a place called 
Quagg or Quogue. Here you might, after sup- 
per, on a moonlight night in the beginning of 
August, if you were so fortunate as to be there 
at such a time, as we were, cross the meadows 
with a guide, and walk down to the sea-beach, 
where, with no sound but the beating of the 
waves upon the shore, swelling in from a waste 
of waters of three thousand miles, and making 
the earth tremble under your feet, with scarcely 
a breath of air to move the hair upon your fore- 
head, and nothing in sight for miles upon miles 
but the white sand hills srlistenincr in the moon- 
beams on one side, and this world of waters on 
the other, y(Hi would more than at any other time 
realize the immensity of creation, and your own 
comparative insignificance. The following morn- 
ing you would breakfast at Southampton, after 
passing through a pine forest, in a portion of 



which, from the earlj hour and blindness of the 
road, you would probably require a guide to go 
ahead of the horses with a lighted lantern. You 
would also, this morning, before arriving at South- 
ampton, cross the remains of the first canal con- 
structed in what is now the United States, by 
Mongotuclvsee, the chief of the Montauk Indians, 
long before the white settlement of the country, 
and also traverse a region of hills known as the 
^ Shinecoc Hills, on which not a tree has grown 
since they were known to man, certainly not 
since the European settlement of this island ; 
and if you are wise, you would leave the stage 
near this canal, and w^ith your friend cross these 
hills on foot, for the stage has to make a long cir- 
cuit around their base, and you may leisurely 
walk over them in nearly a straight line, enjoying 
some most delightful views, wdiich are not to be 
seen from any part of the road, and reach the 
road on the opposite side before the stage has 
completed the circuit. Sag Harbor would be 
reached in time for dinner, after which the mail 
stage would travel on to its final destination at 
Easthampton, arriving there just before sunset on 
Saturday afternoon ; thus occupying nearly three 
days to traverse a distance of one hundred and 
ten miles ; but most pleasant days they were, and 
no one has ever tried this mode of journeying 


through Long Island who had pleasure in view, 
wlio did not wish to try it again. It would afford 
recollections for a life to make such a tour of this 
island to Montauk Point, going by the south 
road and returning by the north side ; to stroll 
along the great south beach near Ammagansett, 
on the hard level sand near the waters edge, 
with nothing in view but the white sand hillocks 
crowned with scrubby bushes, and occasionally, 
at long intervals, small thatched huts or wigwams 
on the highest elevations, with a staff projecting 
from the top. These huts were occupied at cer- 
tain seasons by men on the watch for whales, and 
when they saw them blowing, a signal was hoisted 
on this staff". Innnediately the people would be 
seen coming from all directions with their whaling 
boats upon wagon-wheels, drawn by horses or 
oxen, launch them from the beach and be off in 
pursuit of the great fish. You would see all 
throuo'h this reo^ion these whalinoj-boats turned 
upside down, lying upon a frame under the shade 
of some trees bv the road-side, this beinsr the 
only way in which they could keep them, having 
no harbors ; four or five families would club to- 
gether in owning one of these boats and in man- 
ning them. 

This journey was then a most interesting one, 
from the variety of scenery and curious out-of -the- 


way occurrences. The whole south side of the 
island, and also portions of the northern side, 
are full of legends and stories of pirates, ship- 
wrecks, and strange superstitions, of murders and 
buried treasures, which are revived from time to 
time by the actual discovery of Spanish dollars 
along the beach, after unusually heavy storms ; a 
large amount was found in this way, as late as 
March, 1842. It was worth the trouble of 
such a journey then, to witness the primitive 
manner of the post-office arrangements in various 
parts of the island, manifesting a degree of hon- 
esty in the whole community, and confidence in 
each other, to be met with in few other places in 
this world. The villages were in some instances 
a mile or two off the post road ; in such cases the 
driver would stop and lay his package for the 
place intended on a particular rock inside of the 
fence by the road-side, and would take up any- 
thing left there for him ; at other times, as he 
was jogging along, he would throw out two or 
three newspapers, under a certain tree or shrub, 
all of which were sure to find their true destination. 
One morning on our journey down the island, we 
came to an old tree standing at the intersection 
of two roads, with a box fastened to it without a 
lock ; this was the post-office of that district ; our 
driver deposited in it the letters and papers for 


that place, and took out those intended for car- 
riage further east. These were the mail arrange- 
ments on Long Island even at that late period, 
and yet no instance was known of any letter or 
paper having miscarried. But those things are 
Jill now passed, and such a jaunt can never again 
be taken ; the old mail route is broken up, and 
now, in place of travelling soberly along, we, by 
means of railroads and turnpikes, fly rapidly 
through the island. Now we will meet with hun- 
dred^ of tourists for pleasure, where we met one 
at that period. It was then something of an un- 
dertakino; to 2:0 to Montauk Point — now almost 
everybody goes there. Then there were few tav- 
erns, and in mau}^ places none ; the inhabitants 
were delighted to see strangers, and learn from 
them the news of the world ; they were plain and 
hospitable in their manners, so that it was a pe- 
culiar pleasure to visit them. Now there are 
taverns or hotels everywhere, and in the sum- 
mer they are filled. The people have ceased to 
offer their hospitalities, except to those with whom 
they are somewhat acquainted, otherwise from 
the great influx of strangers tliey might be much 
imposed upon. In place of that kind, open- 
hearted reception which you then met with from 
all the girls and young men in the eastern part 
of the island, you will find they have now the 


manners of the young people of our towns ; and 
in order to have any intercourse with either sex, 
a previous formal introduction is necessar}^, and 
even after that, the frolicking, kind, good-humor- 
ed attention you then received are now supplied 
by manners tinctured with distance and reserve. 
This change may have been inevitable, and, in 
fact, absolutely necessary, from their change of 
circumstances and situation, with reference to the 
travelling world, but yet it is much to be re- 

From 1664, down to the close of the British 
government in tliis colony, a period of more than 
a century, almost all the marriages upon this 
island (which were not of un frequent occurrence, 
judging from the statement of Major Rogers, 
that more than, a hundred ladies from this island 
were annually married, about the middle of the 
last century, into the neighboring plantations), 
and also in New York, took place under the 
Governor's license, thus adding very much to his 
income ; it was, in fact, esteemed rather disrepu- 
table to be married by the publication of the banns 
for three Sabbaths, in church, or by putting up the 
notices required bylaw. The following extract 
from a New York newspaper, under the date of 
December 13, 1765, will show how strongly that 
prejudice existed in the community, and that the 


occurrence of a marriage by the publication of 
the banns, even at that late period, was so uncom- 
mon as to call forth a special notice in the public 
journals of the day : 

" We are credibly informed (says the editor) 
that there were married last Sunday evening, by 
the Rev. Mr. Auchmuty, a very resj)ectahle couple, 
til at had been published three different times, in 
Trinity Church. A laudable example and worthy 
to be followed. If this decent, and, for many 
reasons, proper method of publication, was once 
generally to take place, we should hear no more 
of clandestine marriages, and save the expense of 
licenses, no inconsiderable sum these hard and 
depressing times." 

At the same time that our ancestors provided 
all the necessary facilities for entering the mar- 
riage state, a state of peculiarly high moment 
to a newly settled colony, they also made provi- 
sion for arranging and disposing of the disputes 
which sometimes arise from that condition of life, 
and we find, in 1673, at New York City, an offi- 
cer styled, '' Tlie first commissary of marriage 
affairs," — whose duty it was to hear and deter- 
mine all matrimonial controversies, and whose 
jurisdiction extended to Long Island. Notwith- 
standing there was undoubtedly some business 
for this officer and his successors to perform, yet 


our history from the first settlement of this colon j 
to tlie year 1786, presents no instance of divorce 
a m.ensa et thoro, and but one single instance of a 
divorce a vinculo inatriinonii^ and that was ob- 
tained by Rebecca Leveridge from her husband 
, Eleazer, in the Court of Assizes, held in the City 
of IS^ew York on the 22d of October, 1670. This 
certainly speaks well for the morals of our ances- 
tors. And they were indeed a moral, honest race, 
notwithstanding they were fond of good livings 
and indulged in many sports and amusements, 
which we have, from the requirements of fashioa 
suffered to become obsolete. Our records show 
tlie extraordinary fact, that from the year 1786 
there lias not been a single instance of any per- 
son executed for a capital offence in Kings Coun- 
ty ; which, considering its numerous population, 
and its immediate proximity to one of the great- 
est commercial cities in the world, is a pheiKmie- 
non in the history of morals. We cannot form 
a correct opinion as to the inhabitants of this 
island, or indeed of any country, without looking 
into their festival amusements, their sports, and 
the manner in which their fireside enjoyments 
were conducted. In this we have the advantage 
of almost any other people, for we were so fortu- 
nate as to have a " Fcvtherland^^ Vaderlandt as 
well as a " IlotJur Country^'' and our ancestors 


coming, in the good " olden time," from those 
countries, introduced with them tlie customs and 
festivities of their different nations, which have 
since become domesticated among us, and witli 
some others, originating in our own land, now of 
right form a portion of our history as a people. 
It is true that at first there was not so good a 
state of feeling existing between the Dutch and 
English settlers as might have been desired, but 
this feeling has all died awa}' long since, and the 
Dutch and English, by living as neighbors and 
coming better to understand each other's charac- 
ters, and by frequent intermarriages, have become 
one people ; and the Dutch talked English, and 
the English talked Dutch; and they eat sour- 
krout, smoked goose and kolichees, and roast 
beef and plum pudding togethei-, and everything 
has since gone as comfortably as could be wished. 
Christmas was a season of great festivity on 
Long Island from its first settleuient. Formerly 
among the English families on this island it 
was customary on Christmas eve to place on the 
fire a large log of hickory wood, which had been 
previously selected and prepared for the occasion, 
called the "Christmas log;" this was the '''Yule 
den,gh " of the Saxons. Etymologists have long 
puzzled themselves to find the meaning of this 
expiession as a]3plied to this log of wood burnt 


upon the hearth on Christmas eve, and during 
Christmas day. It was formerly the general be- 
lief from a very early period, that on Christmas 
eve the evil spirits, by reason of their spite 
and malice being increased by the birth of the 
Saviour, who was destined ultinjately to destroy 
their power, were unusually busy in their efforts 
to injure mankind; and that it was necessary to 
use some extraordinary precautions to thwart 
their designs. These logs being cut some time 
before, and destined for the hearth on that par- 
ticular occasion, were supposed to acquire a degree 
of sanctity from that fact, and also being suffi- 
ciently large to burn through the night and the 
succeeding day, the light from their burning was 
believed to drive away all evil influences of a 
supernatural character, such spirits fearing light 
and loving darkness ; the expression as thus used, 
therefore, means a log burnt to drive away the 
evil spirits. In Kolle's translation of some of the 
Psalms of David, made in the fourteenth century, 
we have the word Yule used in that sense, viz. : 
'' I shal not dreede Yueles," which we now 
translate, " I will fear no evil " (see Psalm 23). 
This word, Yuele, is evidently the same as that 
written Yide^ the orthography of the language 
not being, by any means, in a settled state at that 
early period. 


So universal is this belief that the evil spirit 
fears light, that even the aborigines of Xew Hol- 
land, v/ill never venture from their fires at niofht 
because of the horror they entertain of an evil 
spirit, whom they represent as a gigantic black 
man, always prowling about at night, ready to 
seize and devour any unfortunate wanderer, 
except from the most urgent necessity, when they 
always carry a firebrand to intimidate the monster. 
(^7ilkes' United States Ejcjploring Expedition^ 
vol. II., page 198.) 

All nations appear to have the idea of repelling 
their spiritual enemies by means of light ; and it 
is certainly a very curious circumstance that the 
declaration of Scripture that evil loves darkness 
and hates light, should find such a full confirma- 
tion in the belief of all nations, as well the low- 
est and most ignorant, as the most civilized and 

This Christmas log has been several times 
placed upon the hearth, in our family, within 
onr memory, but the custom is now nearly dis- 
continued. The children, also, formerly had 
their candles, made in different shapes, at that 
season, often three branches from one body, 
called " Christmas candles," and which they burnt 
on Christmas eve, and were allowed to sit up un- 
til they were burnt out. 


Among the Dutch settlers, Christmas was al- 
ways a great festival ; and a clay on which Saint 
Nicholas was in high repute, who, according to 
the belief of the children, on Christmas eve, came 
down the chimney in his little wagon, and dep(js- 
ited his gifts in their nice, clean, woollen stock- 
ings, hung in a row near the fire-place, for the 
good saint's convenience ; for he was mighty busy 
on that night, and had no time to waste in hunt- 
ing about the room for their stockings. A firm 
belief in these annual domiciliary visits of St. 
jN^icholas was formerly universal among the chil- 
dren on this island and vicinity ; and even now 
exists to a very considerable extent. Formerly, 
if any child should ha];)pen, in the presence of 
other children, to express a disbelief in this an- 
nual visit of the saint, he was sure to be looked 
upon by the others as little better than a heretic, 
or anything that was bad, and he would be re- 
ferred at once to the indisputable evidence of 
Santa Klaas' veritable existence afi:'orded by the 
tracks of his wagon -wheels upon the ashes of the 
hearth. 'No persons but those who, in their youth- 
ful days, have experienced it, can realize the anx- 
iety with which the youngsters look forward to 
the eves of Christmas and New Year, when they 
could hang up their stockings. After which they 
went to bed, and dreamed, if they could get 


asleep, which, at such times, was a very difficult 
matter to accomplish, about St. Nicholas, in the 
form of a pleasant little old gentleman in a 
cocked hat and breeches, with a large bag full of 
sugar-plums and toys. When they got up in the 
morniug, for they were all early risers on that 
morning, the first thing was to go to the stock- 
ings, which, if they had been good, they would 
Und full of cakes, sugar-plums, toys, and some 
small pieces of money ; but if they had been bad, 
they tremblhigly expected to find a small birch 
twig, synibolical of what they deserved. We 
have no doubt but that this belief, where it was 
prevalent among children, had a considerable 
tendency to check any vicious dispositions or in- 
clinations which tliey might have. 

The Dutch children upon this island used to 
have a hymn, written in the Dutch language, in 
praise of St. Nicholas or " Santa Klaas," as they 
call him; which hymn commences with: 

" Sanctus Klaas, goedt heyligh man; " 
Saint Nicholas, good holy man ; 

and which hymn they sang on Christmas eve and 
Christmas day. 

The New Year's eve and New Year's day were 
also seasons of great festivity upon this island, 
and still continue to be ; in few parts of the 


world are they oljserved with more hospitality 
and kind feeling than among us. Paulding, in 
his New Mirror for Travellers^ speaking of the 
celebration of New Year's eve in the good old 
Dutch way, and observing that it also is under 
the especial patronage of St. Nicholas, exclaims: 
" To whom (St. Nicholas) whoever fails in due 
honor and allegiance, be his fate never to sip the 
dew from the lips of the lass he loveth best on 
New Year's eve or New Year's morn ; never to 
taste of hot-spiced Santa Cruz ; never to know 
the delights of mince pies and sausages, swim- 
ming in the sauce of honest mirth and homefelt 

The New Year's day with us, almost from time 
immemorial, was ushered in with great noise and 
rejoicing, which was formerly continued through- 
out the day and even the day following. The 
inhabitants used to go from house to house with 
their guns and fire salutes ; and at every house 
thus saluted, it was customary to invite them in 
to partake of the good things of the season. 
After enjojang themselves for a time, in eating 
and drinking, they would depart accom^^anied by 
the men of the house, and thus they would pass 
thnjiigh the whole neighborhood, until every 
house was saluted, and all the men of the vicinity 
were collected together — then they would go to 


some convenient spot and pass the remainder of the 
day in firing at the mark and in athletic sports. 

Tliis custom of firing guns on this occasion, 
was attempted to be stopped by an act passed by 
the Colonial Legislature, on the 8th of March, 
1773, in which they state that " great damages 
are frequently done on the eve of the last day of 
December, and on the first and second days of 
January, by persons going from house to house 
with guns and other firearms." And after the 
close of the Revolution, and on the 22d of April, 
1785, the Legislature of the State of Kew York 
found it necessary to revive that enactment of 
the Colonial Legislature, and they further ex- 
tended it to prevent the firing of guns, pistols, 
rockets, squibs, and other fireworks on Ohristmas 
eve / for about this period the people began also 
to celebrate the eve of Christmas in this noisy 
manner — this last, however, continued but a short 
time, and never became very prevalent. 

It has been with us, for very manj- years past, 
and is }et customary with the clergy, to visit 
their congregations during the holidays, and to 
partake with tliem of the good cheer of tlie 
festal season. This is a good custom ; it brings 
the pastor and his flock more intimatel}' con- 
nected, and endears them to each other. 

About the middle of the last century, and for 


some time previous, it was the custom among tho 
Dutch inhabitants, when a negro woman's child 
attained the age of three years, solemnly to pre- 
sent it to a son or daugliter, or other young rela- 
tive of the master's family, who was of the same 
sex as the child thus presented. The child to 
whom the young negro was given, immediately 
presented it with some piece of money and a 
pair of shoes; and from that day the strongest 
attachment existed between the domestic and the 
destined owner. It is scarcely possible to meet 
with instances of friendship more tender and 
generous than that which often existed in this 
colony between the slaves and their masters and 
mistresses ; extraordinary proofs of which were 
not unfrequently given in the course of hunting 
and Indian trading, then matters of common 

About the same period, when the change of 
the Style took place in 1752, and in 1753, many 
people, and it may be said, the larger portion of 
them, refused to observe the Christmas and ^ew 
Year according to the new Style, and insisted 
upon keeping those festivals eleven days later, 
according to the good old style, as they called it ; 
for, said they. Parliament may, if they please, 
alter the names of the months and of the days, 
but it is out of their power to change the 


seasons. It has been frequently asserted, and 
witli Hindi truth, tliat in no part of the Union 
is the New Year celebrated with greater cor- 
diality and more hospitality than with us, 
which continues to be the case even to the 
present period. Private families are prepared to 
receive visits of congratulation on this day from 
all who have even the slightest acquaintance, 
and indeed also from those who have none, and 
who are obliged to be introduced for the first 
time, and sometimes to introduce themselves. 
These visits are understood to be tokens of re- 
spect to the ladies ; unless in the case of some 
gentlemen of high official rank, or of some poor 
fellow of a baclielor who has no lady to do the 
honors of his house. This is a blessing which we 
derive from our honest, good-natured Dutch an- 
cestors, who in their time were satisfied with 
the Oly CooJies, Prctzies, Kiskatomas-mits and 
Spitzenhurgs^ with hot spiced Santa Cruz, good 
strong Christmas heer and cider, with which their 
ample oaken tables were filled on New Year's 
day. Ill place of these, it is true, we have sub- 
stituted the splendid iced and ornamented plum 
cake, with almost numberless other cakes, confec- 
tionaries and fruits, not forgetting the true I^eio 
Yearns cake, and a variety of other choice edi- 
bles, together with Madeira and other wines, cor- 


dials and liquors, yet we have retained much of 
the kind feelins^ and heartfelt welcome which so 
much distinguished them on this jubilee of the 
year. The temperance reformation has worked 
some change in our holiday customs recently, in 
causing wines and cordials, and indeed all kinds 
of liquor, to be banished from the social board 
in the great majority of cases, on this occasion, 
and hot coffee and lemonade have been substituted 
in their places. That it may be long, a very long 
time, ere we shall forget to keep up our holiday 
customs, should be the sincere wish of all who de- 
sire the happiness of our people. It is a good 
thing for us all to have a day of mutual friend- 
ship and forgiveness when those who have been 
estranged from each other for months by wide 
separation or some foolish misunderstanding, are 
expected to meet each other with the kind feel- 
ings adapted to the season, and when friends and 
relatives, whose business and vocations have 
parted them asunder for a long period, meet and 
revive the best affections of the human heart. 

In enumei'ating our holidays and festivals, the 
14th day of February, St. Valentine's day, can- 
not be omitted. No ! St. Yalentine, thou love- 
making prelate, though most writers do unwor- 
thily unsaint thee, thou must not be forgotten. 
For thou, with our fair countrywomen, art an 


es]3ecial favorite, and tliy festival is duly ob- 
served by making of true-love knots, which are 
often niore difficuU, than tlie Gordian knot to un- 
tie, in the writing of valentines; by the seeking 
for favorable dreams ; by throwing whole ap- 
ple parings (which are taken off from a fair 
apple, standing before a looking-glass) over the 
right shoulder, thereby to show by its formation 
on the floor the first letter of the future husband's 
name, and by many other rites and mysteries 
which are known alone to and practised by the 
gentle lover. 

Among our early Dutch settlers this day was 
called " V/'ouwen dagli^^ ^YomenbS day, and was 
celebrated in the following singular manner: 
Every girl provided herself with a cord, without 
a knot in the end, and on the morning of this 
day they would sally forth, and every lad whom 
they met was sure to have three or four smart 
strokes from the cord bestowed on his 
shoulders. These, we presume, were in those 
days considered as " love-taps," and in that light 
answered all the purposes of the " valentine " of 
more modern times, as the lasses were not very 
likely to favor those with their lashes whom they 
did not otherwise prefer. 

Easter among our Dutch ancestors was a fes- 
tival of high note, and as such observed by them 


with religions services, as well as by merr3'-mak- 
ing. In a volnme of sermons by Iladrianns Vis- 
scherns (Adrian Fisher), printed in Dntch, 4to, 
Amsterdam, 1667, is one entitled " Ilet Paess- 
chen-Feest der Christelijcke Kercke, ofte de 
Evangelische historic van Jesu Christi Tri- 
ll mphante opstandinge," etc., being a disconrse 
preached on the feast of Easter. Easter day was 
called among our Dutch inhabitants, and also by 
many of the English, until the last twenty-five 
years, Paessoh, pronounced Paas ; and from 
thence the same appellation became transmitted 
to Easter Monday, to which it was applied even 
after the word Easter became generally adopted. 
Anciently, the Dutch people, and also some of 
the English, were in the habit of making presents 
of eggs to each other on Easter day and Easter 
Monday — the ^g^ being considered an emblem 
of the Resurrection, from the fact of its yielding 
animal life, after remaining for a considerable 
space of time in an inert and apparently dead 
condition. The only relic of this custom now is 
that observed by the boys on Easter Monday, and 
which a few years ago was general among them, 
of cracking the points and butts of eggs together, 
and whoever cracked the other's ^2^% won it. 
This sport was followed up with great zeal, and 
sometimes with a little knavery ; as in getting 


the Guinea hen's eggs, which have a harder shell 
than the common hen's-egg, and taking off the 
spots with vinegar, and thus by those winning 
tlie eggs of their opponents, and also byempt^'ing 
through a small hole and then filling it up with 
rosin ; and at other times by getting a piece of 
white marble, fashioned like a hen's egg; this 
last trick, however, was easily detected. The 
boys' eggs at this season were frequently 
stained various colors; and these colored eggs 
were invariably exhibited for sale at the 
small shops during Easter week, and for some 
days previous. This is a sport which excites 
much more interest in the boys than can be well 
imagined b}^ those who are unac(piainted with 
it ; this we say from experience, having been an 
adept in this species of amusement when a school- 

The first Monday in June, or as the Dutch call 
it, jRinckster, was formerly considerable of a 
festival among the Dutch inhabitants of Long 
Island ; and they celebrated it by treating their 
friends to an abundance of good cheer, among 
which, and peculiar to this festival, was the 
" Soft Trr(/<?/,v," and by riding in parties about 
the country making visits. But now poor Pinch- 
ster has lost its rank among the festivals, and is 
only kept by the negroes ; with them, however, 


especially on the west end of this island, it is still 
much of a holiday. For many days before it 
arrives, the negroes come into the City of Kew 
York with tlieir sassafras and swing] ed tow for 
sale, in order to raise money with which to keep 
this da3^ Tlie day has sunk lamentably low, and 
without any apparent reason ; to ridicule whist- 
ling ^ it is called Negro PincJcster Miisio. 

" With hurried step and nodding knee, 
The negroes keep their jubilee ; 
While Cuffee, with protruding lip, 
Bravuras to the darky's skip." 

Considering its origin, this festival, from its 
singular mode of observance, was one of the' 
strangest of the American customs. From a 
very early period, probably from the first set- 
tlement of the country, until about the com- 
mencement of the present century, Pinchster 
was a holiday among our Dutch inhabitants. It 
was celebrated as the day of Pentecost, the day 
upon which occurred the miraculous descent of 
the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. In the 
volume of sermons by Adrian Fisher, before 
referred to, when treating of Easter, printed in 
4to, at Amsterdam, in 1()67, is one entitled, 
'' Het Eerste Trac^tact : Yan de Uystortinge des 
lleyligen Geests over de Apostelen op den 


PincJcster clagh." (A Discourse on the Descent of 
the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on Pinckster 

Although this day was a species of negro 
jubilee upon Long Island at the same time that it 
was observed as a festival by the w^hite popula- 
tion, and eventually became entirely left to the 
former, yet it never was with us the perfect 
saturnalia that was for a long period exhibited 
in its observance at Albany. In that city, about 
forty years ago, and for ages previous, it w^as a 
day of much note, and the negroes used to assem- 
ble from the city and the surrounding country 
for a long distance, to celebrate it in booths 
upon the hill at the head of State street, where 
the Capitol now stands. These booths were filled 
with edibles, cakes, and fruits of every description 
which could then be procured at the season of 
the year, and also liquors ; and the carousal con- 
tinued for the space of three days and nights. It 
was indeed a real saturnalia ; about these booths 
on the green, the negroes were in the habit of 
dancing what was then known as the " Toto 
dance," which is described by those who have 
witnessed its performance as having been the 
most indecent dance that can well be imagined ; 
and yet such was the state of public sentiment, 
and the liberty allowed to their slaves at that 


time, for they were so then that respecta1)le 
females would stand by and witness this dance as 
a mere matter of course. Some may say, on 
reading this, that the state <.)f public morals has 
greatly improved since that period ; that how- 
ever is questionable, for we must bear in mind 
that there is a possibility of being so virtuous as 
not to see evil in that which would bring the 
blush at once to the cheek of a female of immoral 
heart, although of outwardly moral conduct. 

The music which usually accompanied this 
dance was the " banjo drum," formed of a hol- 
low log, with a skin of parchment stretched over 
one end, the other being left open, on which 
they beat with a stick, making a rough, discord- 
ant sound. Both the dance and the drum were 
most probably introduced from Africa by the 
Guinea negroes. They had also a great proces- 
sion through the public streets of the City of 
Albany during those three days. The head man 
in all these dances and processions was an old 
Guinea negro, aged eighty -five years, whom they 
called King Charlie. His official costume on 
such occasions was a scarlet coat and an old- 
fashioned cocked hat, and lie rode a horse at the 
head of his array. His will was law among all 
the negroes, and if there was any dispute, as 
would frequently be the case in so large an 


asseniblai^e of such people kept together for so 
long a period, he had only to decide, and the 
matter was settled, and his fiat, whatever it might 
be, was quietly submitted to. 

The frolickings on that occasion were not con- 
fined to the negroes, but the younger portion of 
the white population also shared in them, and 
had frequent balls and dances, not with the 
blacks, however, although at the same time. 

The Evacuation day, Noveml)er 25th, the day 
on which the British army left Brooklyn, on this 
island, and also the City of Xew York, in the 
year 1783, has been observed as a species of holi- 
day on the west end of Long Island ; and good 
cause they had to rejoice at it, for Brooklyn at that 
time was little more than a garrison, being covered 
witli fortifications, there being no less than five 
distinct forts, and also a line of fortifications 
more than six miles in length, within the present 
City of Brooklyn, which were occupied by 
British and Hessian troops. 

The 4th day of July, the national festival, is 
observed among us with great spirit ; in describ- 
ing: it we are oblio:ed to extend our view bevond 
the region of this island, the customs attending 
its celebration with us being so mixed np with 
those other sections as to render this unavoidable. 
This birthday of our nation is celebrated with 


all "the pomp and circumstance of" martial 
display and civic lionors from Maine to Texas ; 
but the manner and mode of its observance in 
some parts of our country sometimes has that 
about it which, although it manifests honorable 
feelings and stern independence in the people, is 
yet calculated to excite mirth. The following 
ode, though a little distorted, is, withal, a pretty 
fair description of some country celebrations ; it 
is said to be " composed for the 4th of July, cal- 
culated for the meridian of some country towns in 
Massachusetts, and Rye, in N^ew Hampshire ; " it 
was written about the year 1800, and made its 
appearance in the Farmer's Museum^ printed in 
Massachusetts : 

Squeak the fife and beat the drum, 
Independence day is come ! ! 
Let the roasting- pig be bled, 
Quick twist off the rooster's head, 
Quickly rub the pewter platter, 
Heap the nut cakes fried in butter, 
Set the cups and beaker glass, 
The pumpkin and the apple sauce. 
Send the keg to shop for brandy ; 
Maple sugar we have handy. 
Independent^ staggering Dick, 
A noggin mix of swinging thick ; 
Sal, put on your russel skirt, 
Jotham, get your boughten shirt, 


To-day we dance to tiddle-diddle — 

Here comes Sambo with his fiddle ; 

Sambo, take a draw of whiskey, 

And play up Yankee Doodle frisky — 

Moll, come leave your witched tricks, 

And let us have a reel of six — 

Father and mother shall make two ; 

Sail, Moll, and I stand all a row, 

Sambo, play and dance with polity; 

This is the day of blest equality, — 

Father and mother are but men, 

And Sambo is a citizen. 

Come, foot it, Sal ; Moll, figure in, 

And, mother, you dance up to him; 

Now saw as fast as e'er you can do, 

And, father, j^ou cross over to Sambo. 

— Thus we dance and thus we play, 

On glorious Independen(^e Day. 

Rub more rosin on your bow. 

And let us have another go — 

Zounds ! as sure as eggs and bacon. 

Here's Ensign Sneak and uncle Deacon, 

Aunt Thiah, and their Bet's behind her 

On blundering mare, than beetle blinder — 

And there's the Squire, too, with his lady — 

Sal, hold the beast ! I'll take the baby ! 

Moll, bring the Squire our great arm-chair, 

Good folks, we're glad to see you here — 

Jotham, get the great case bottle. 

Your teeth can draw the corn-cob stopple— ' 

Ensign, Deacon, never mind ; 

Squire, drink until you're blind." 






By Gabriel Furman. 

"They are worthy of reprehension who contemn the study of antiquity, (which 
Is ever accompanied with dignity,) as an arid curiosity." — LORD COKH. 




The Compiler offers these notes to the inhabitants of his native town, 
in the hope that they may be in some small degree useful and entertaining 
in discussions relating to the history and rights of this thriving place. 
He claims no merit for this performance, and neither does he write from 
the vanity of being considered an author, but is only actuated by a desire to 
rescue from oblivion such facts as may be interesting to his fellow-citizens. 
The Compiler would consider himself guilty of ingratitude, if he did not in 
this public manner, acknowledge the obligations he rests under from the 
kind assistance afforded him whilst collecting these notices, by Jeremiah 
Johnson, Abraham Vanderveer. Silas Wood, and John Doughty, Esqrs. 





This town is situated in Kings County, on the 
west end of Long Island, in the State of New 
York. It is bounded north by the City and 
County of New York ; east by the township of 
Bushwick; south by the township of Flatbush 
and Xew Utrecht ; and west by New York Bay ; 
and contains the village of Brooklyn, which is 
about a mile square. This town formerly com- 
posed part of a powerful Indian Sachemdom ; 
and with the other parts of the Island bore the 
Indian name of Matowcas. 

This part of the island, as far as Jamaica, was 
inhabited by the Canarsee tribe of Indians. The 
old Dutch inhabitants in this county have a tra- 
dition, that the Canai'see Indians were subject to 
the Mohawks, as all the Iroquois were called, and 
paid them an annual tribute of dried clams and 


wampum, When the Dutch settled hei-e, tiiey 
persuaded the Canarsees to keep back the tribute ; 
ill consequence of wdiich a party of the Mohawdvs 
came down and killed their tributaries wherever 
they met them. So great was the dread that 
these Indians afterwards entertained of the Iro- 
quois, that w^hen a party of the Iroquois, during 
the French war, were taken prisoners and im- 
prisoned in the Jail of this county, the Canarsees 
avoided them with the greatest care, and seemed 
to be afraid even to come where they should see 
them. The Canarsee Indians are at this time 
totally extinct ; not a single member of that ill- 
fated race is now in existence. 

There was also a small tribe of the Kyack 
Lidians near the Xarrows. 

lu this town is also the United States Navy 
Yard, containing about 40 acres, wdiich was pur- 
chased of John Jackson, Esq., by Francis Childs, 
Esq., for $40,000, and on the 23d day of Feb- 
ruary, 1801, was conveyed by said Childs to the 
United States. 


In 1G67, this town was known by the name of 
J3reucklen. In the act to divide the province of 
J^ew York into shires and counties, passed Nov. 


1, 1688, it is mentioned bj the name of Brenck- 
lyn. It is also called Broucklyn in the act to 
divide the province into shires and connties, 
passed Oct. 1, 1691. The present name Brook- 
lyn does not appear to have been generally 
adopted until after the Bevolutionary war. 

Heads of Indian arrows, beds of oyster and 
clam shells, denoting the former residence of the 
aborigines, are frequently found in different parts 
of this town. 

Among the most ancient remains are two 
houses, one owned by the family of Cortelyou, 
built in 1699 ; the other standing on Fulton- 
street, in the village of Brooklyn. The last 
mentioned house was occupied by the Colonial 
Legislature as a Sessions-house, during the prev- 
alence of the small-pox in 'New York, in 1752 ; 
and at this house on the 4th of June, 1752, 2,51:1 
bills of credit, issued by this Colony, amounting 
to £3,602, 18, 3, were cancelled by the Colonial 
Commissioners. This house was also occupied 
by Gen. Putnam as his head-quarters during the 
stay of the American Army on Long Island, in 
1776. But the oldest house in the town of 
Brooklyn is supposed to be the house known as 
Ko. 61 Fulton-street, in the village of Brooklyn, 
and now owned and occupied by Mr. Jacob 
Patchen. Mr. Charles Doughty, who has been 


dead about twentv-five years, and was about 
eighty-five years of age when he died, said that this 
was an old house when he was a boy. Mrs. Rap- 
alye, the mother of John Rapalye, whose property 
in Brooklyn was confiscated during the Revo- 
lutionary war, says that this house was built by a 
family of the Remsens, who came from Holland. 


The soil of this town appears to be mostly allu- 
vial, though some few primitive rocks are to be 
met with. Several years since, in digging a well 
on some of the highest ground in Brooklyn, 
a hemlock board was found at the depth of 
thirty feet, and again at the depth of seventy- 
three feet oyster and clam shells were met 
with, which crumbled on being exj)osed to the air. 

The shores of Brookl^ni, where they are not de- 
fended by wharves, are undergoing continual and 
rapid changes, in consequence of the velocity of 
the current in the East River. The tide rises 
here about five feet. 

There is very little doubt but that Governor's 
Island was formerly connected with Red Hook 
point in this town. It is an established fact, that 
previous to the Revolutionary contest, cattle were 
driven from Red Hook to Governor's Island, 


which places at that time were only separated by 
a veiy narrow channel, which is called Butter- 
milk channel, and is now wide and deep enough 
to admit of the largest size of merchant vessels 
passing through. 

The climate is very changeable, but cannot be 
called unhealthy. People in this town live to as 
great age as in almost any other part of the 
United States ; as instances of which, April, 1823, 
Mr. Tiebout died in this town, aged one hundred 
years and ten months. The same year, Mr. 
Schoonmaker died, aged eighty-four years; 
and in 1824, Mary Peterson, a colored woman, 
died, aged one hundred and three years. It 
is not an uncommon thing for the inhabitants 
to live beyond the " three score years and ten." 

This town has at different periods been visited 
by the yellow fever. Between July 10th and Sep- 
tember 10th, 1809, twenty-eight persons died of 
that disease. During the prevalence of the yellow 
fever in the city of ^ew York, in the summer of 
1822, seven persons died of that disease in Brook- 
lyn. In the summer of 1823, the yellow fever made 
its appearance in the village of Brooklyn, and 
nine persons fell victims to that dreadful pesti- 
lence in the space of one month, during which 
time its ravages continued. Every year that this 
disease made its appearance amongst us, it could 


be distinctly traced to some foreign cause; as^ in 
1809, it was brought in the ship Concordia, Cap- 
tain Coffin, on board of which vessel the first case 
and death happened. In 1822, it was introduced 
from the City of New York — and in 1823, it was 
traced to two or three vessels which had arrived 
a short time previous from southern latitudes. 
Indeed, the high and airy situation of Brooklyn 
almost precludes the idea of its being engendered 
among us. 


In the year 1638, William Kieft, Director Gen- 
eral and Counsellor for their high mightinesses 
the States General, and his highness the Prince of 
Orange, granted to Abraham Kycken, a tract of 
land in the present towii of Brooklyn. 

September 11, 1642, William Kieft, Director 
General, &c., patented to Jan Manje, a piece or 
parcel of land containing twenty morgan, or forty 
acres, in the town of Brooklyn. A copy of which 
patent is hereto annexed as a specimen of those 
ancient instruments : 

By William Kieft, Director General and Coun- 
sellor, about the high and mighty Lords, the States 
General of the United Low Country, and his high- 
ness of Orange, and the Lords Commanders of 
the privileged West India Company, residing in 


the New-Netherlaiicl, do ratify and declaie by 
these presents, that we upon the date hereinafter 
written, did give and grant to JanManje, a piece 
of Lmd, greatly twenty morgan stretching about 
south-east one hundred and ninety rods inward 
the woods towards to Sassians maise land — long 
is the limits of the said maise land fifty rod, and 
then again to the water side, two hundred and 
twenty rod, about north north-west, well so north- 
erly and along the strand or water side, seventy 
rod. AVhich abovesaid land is lying upon Long- 
Island, between Andries Iludde and Claes Janse 
Ruyter. — With express conditions, &g. Dated 
at Fort Amsterdam, in the Xew-Xetherland, 
the 11th day of September, 1042. 


By order of the Lord the Director General, 
and Counsellor of New-Ketherland. 

CoKNELius Yantienhoven, Sec'ry. 

January 29, 1652, Pieter Linde, having married 
the widow^ of Jan Manje, transported or sold the 
above tract of land to Barent Janse. August 23, 
1674, before Nicasius de Sille, admitted Secretary 
of the Dutch towns appeared Jan Barentse,^ and 

* The custom of changing the names of sons, or rather sub- 
stituting the surnames for the Christian name, prevailed at 


Alike Janse, with Simon Hansen as Gnardian of 
the other children of Barent Janse, deceased, 
" procnred by his wife Styntie Pieterse deceased, 
all living within the town of Mid wont Fflack- 
bnsh," and declared that they transported the 
above tract of land to Dirck Janse Woert- 

September 12, 1645, William Kieft, Director 
General, &c., patented to Andries Hndden, " a 
piece of land lying npon Long-Island against 
over the fort, lying to the sonth-west to Jan Man- 
je," containing 37 morgan. December 10, 1651, 
" Pieter Cornelissen, by virtne of a procnratie of 
Andries Iludden," for the consideration of 400 
gnilders, transported to Lodewyck Jongh the above 
tract. Jnly 19, 1676, Lodewyck Jongh trans- 
ported to Jeronimns de Rapalje, eight morgan of 
the above tract. Febrnary 12, 1679, Harmatie 
Jansen, relict of Lodewyck Jongh, transported to 
Dirck Janse Woertman, 12 morgan of the above 
tract. May 3, 1685, "Dirck Janse Woertman, 
transported to the heirs of Jooris Dirckse, a small 
stroke off land lying at the east side off the high- 
way being all the claime they can pretende by 
virtue off the abovesaid Pattent." 

this period ; as in the above instance, the father's name was 
Barent Janse, and the son was called Jan Barentse. 


September 30, 1645, 'William Kieft, Director 
.General, &c. patented to Claes Janse, from ^N^aer- 
der, a piece of land, containing 20 morgan, l^'ing 
south-east, a little easterly, just over against the 
Fort, upon Long Island. March 11, 1660, the 
above tract of land was transported by Claes Janse 
Ruyter, to Machiell Tadens, who transported the 
same to Machiell Hainielle. 

The three patents to Manje, Hudde, and Janse, 
from Naerder, were located near the Ferry 
in this town, and all subsequently were pur- 
chased by Derick Woortman, alias Dirck Janse 
Woertman, and were by him sold to Joras 
Remsen, on the 10th day of October, 1706, 
for the sum of £612 10s. current money of 
New- York. 

There is great reason to believe that there was 
a General Patent of this town under the Dutch 
Government, which patent is now lost. What 
strengthens this idea is, that the first by Governor 
Nicolls under the English is confirmatory of some 
former grant. 

August 10th, 1695. The Patentees and fi-ee- 
holders of this town sold unto Stephanus Yan 
Cortlandt, the neck of land Called Red Hook, 
containing by estimation 50 acres ; which they 
state in their deed "was formerly given and 
granted to the town of Broocklyn, in the year 


1657, by Governor Stiiyvesaiit, the Dutch Gover- 
nor then at that time, and since confirmed by the 
English Governors, Governor Nicolls, and Gover- 
nor Dongan." Which is very strong proof of 
there having been a general Dutch Patent for 
this town. 

October 18, 1667, Eichard Mcolls, the first 
Englisli Governor of ISTew York, granted to the 
inhabitants of Brooklyn, the following full and 
ample patent, confirming them in their rights and 

Z. >^. " Kichard Nicolls, Esq. Governor Gene- 
ral under his Hoyal Highness James Duke of 
Yoi-ke and Albany, &c. of all his Terretorys in 
America, To all to whom these presents shall 
come, sendeth Greeting. — Whereas there is a cer- 
tain town within this government, situate lying 
and being in the West Riding of Yorkshire upon 
Long-Island, commoidy called and known by 
the name of Breuckelen, which said town, is in 
the tenure or occupation of several freeholders 
and inhabitants who having heretofore been 
seated there by authority, have been at very con- 
siderable charge, in manuring and planting a 
considerable part of the lands belonging there- 
unto and settled a competent number of families 
thereupon. Kow for a confirmation unto the 


said freeholders and inhabitants in their })os- 
sessions and enjoyment of the premises, Know 
ye, That by virtue of the commission and autho- 
rity nnto me given by his E,oyal Highness, I 
have given, ratified, confirmed, and granted, and 
by these presents, do give, ratify, and (confirm and 
grant, nnto Jan Everts, Jan Daman, Albert 
Cornelissen, Panlns Yeerbeeck, Michael Eneyl, 
Thomas Lamberts, Tuenis Guysbert Bogart and 
Joris Jacobson, as patentees, for and on the be- 
half of themselves and their associates, the free- 
holders and inhabitants of the said town their 
heirs successors and assigns, all that tract to- 
gether with the several parcels of land which 
already have or hereafter shall be purchased or 
procured for and on behalf of the said town, 
whether from the native Indian proprietors, or 
others, within the bounds and limits hereafter 
set forth and exprest, viz. that is to say, the town 
is bounded westward on the farther side of the 
land of Mr. Paulus Yeerbeeck, from whence 
stretching south-east, they go over the hills, aud 
so eastward along the said hills to a south- 
east point which takes in all the lotts behind the 
swamp, from which said lotts they run north-west 
to the Tliver"^ and extend to the farm, on the 

♦According to the New- York doctrine, this boundary of 
the town can only be correct when the tide is flood, for when 


t'other side of the hill heretofore belonging to 
Hans Hansen over against the Kicke or Looke-out, 
including within the said bounds and limitts all 
the lotts and plantations, lying and being at the 
Gowanis, Bedford, Wallaboncht and the ferry. — 
All which said parcels and tracts of land and 
premises within the bounds and limitts afore- 
mentioned, described, and all or any plantation 
or plantations thereupon, from henceforth are to 
bee appertaine and belong to the said town of 
Breucklen, Together with all havens, harbours, 
creeks, cpiarryes, woodland, meadow-ground, reed- 
land or valley of all sorts, pastures, marshes, runs, 
rivers, lakes, hunting, fishing, hawking, and fowl- 
ing, and all other profitts, commodities, emolu- 
ments, and hereditaments to the said land, and 
premises within the bounds and limits all forth 
belonging, or in any wise appertaining, — and 
withall to have freedome of commouaofe for 
range and feed of cattle and horse into the woods 
as well w^ithout as within these bounds and 
limitts with the rest of their neio^hbours * — as 

the water is low, the town is bounded by property belonging 
to the Corporation of the City of New- York, and not by the 

* This town enjoyed this privilege in common with the 
other towns on Long-Island, and their cattle which ran at 
large were marked with the letter N. 


also one-tliird part of a certain neck of meadow 
ground or valley called Sellers neck, lying and 
being within the limits of the town of Jamaica, 
purchased by the said town of Jamaica from the 
Indians, and sold by them unto the inhabitants 
of Brencklen aforesaid, as it has been lately laid 
out and divided by their mutual consent and my 
order, whereunto and from which they are like- 
wise to have free egress and regress, as their oc- 
casions may require."^ To have and to hold all 
and singular the said tract and parcell of land, 
meadow ground or valley, commonage, heredita- 
ments and premises, with their, and every of 
their appurtenances, and of every part and par- 
cell thereof to the said patentees and their asso- 
ciates, their heirs, successors and assigns, to the 
proper use and behoof of the said patentees and 
their associates, their heirs, successors and as- 

* At the annual town meeting, Ai^ril, 1823, a committee 
was appointed to inquire if this town at present had any, and 
if any, what right to the above-mentioned tract of meadow 
ground called Sellers neck ; what progress this committee 
made in their investigation, the Compiler is uninformed. 
This meadow called Sellers neck, the Compiler thinks was 
apportioned among the patentees and freeholders, and what 
leads him to this conclusion is, that on the 10th of May, 
1G95, John Damen, who was one of the patentees of this 
town, sold to William Huddlestone all his interest in the said 


signs forever. Moreover, I do hereby give, 
ratify, confirm and grant nnto the said Patentees 
and their associates, their heirs, snccessors, and 
assigns, all the rights and privileges belonging to 
a town within this government, and that the 
place of their present habitation shall continne 
and retain the name of Breuckelen, by which 
name and stile it shall be distingnished and 
known in all bargains and sales made by them 
the said Patentees and their associates, their 
heirs, successors and assigns, rendering and pay- 
in o- such duties and acknowledo:ments as now 
are, or hereafter shall be constituted and estab- 
lished by the laws of this government under the 
obedience of his Royal highness, his heirs and 
successors. Given under my hand and seal at 
Fort James, in New York, on the Island of Man- 
hattat, this 18th day of October, in the nineteenth 
year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, Charles 
the second, by the grace of God, of England, 
Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender 
of the faith, &c. Annoque Domini, 1667. 


Recorded by order of the Governor, the day 
and year above written. 

Matthias Nicolls, Sec'ry. 


1670. The inhabitants uf this town desirous of 
enlarging the bounds of tlieir common hinds, and 
extinguishing the Indian claim to the same, ap- 
plied to Governor Lovelace, and obtained f rum 
him the following permission to purchase of the 

^'Z. S. AVhereas the inhabitants of Breuck- 
lyn, in the west Hiding of Yorkshire upon Long- 
Island, who were seated there in a township b}^ 
the authority then in being, and having bin at 
considerable charo-es in clearing: ifencino; and 
manuring their land, as well as building If or their 
convenience, have requested my lycense for tlieir 
further security to make purchase of the said 
land of some Indians wdio lay claim and interest 
therein ; These are to certify all whom it may 
concerne, that I have and doe hereby give the 
said inhabitants lycense to pui'chase their land 
according to their request, the said Indians con- 
cerned appearing before me as in the law is re- 
quired, and making their acknowledgments to be 
fully satisfyed and payed for the same. Given 
under my hand and seal at ffort James, in !New- 
Yorke, this ffirst day of ^fay, in the 22nd yeare 
of his Majesty ies reigne, Annoque Dom. 1670. 



The purcliase was accordlnp^ly iimde and the 
following is a copy of the deed from the Indians 
for the same. 

'' To all people to whom this present writing 
shall come, Peter, Elmohar, Job, Makaqniquos, 
and Shamese, late of Staten Island send Greet- 
ing : Whereas, they the said Peter, Elmohar, Job, 
Makaqniquos, and Shamese, afore-mentioned, doe 
lay claime to the land now in the tenure and oc- 
cupation of some of the inhabitants of Ereuck- 
lyn, as well as other lands there ad j ascent as the 
true Indian owners and proprietors thereof, Know 
Yee, that for and in consideration of a certaine 
sum of wampum and diverse other goods, the 
which in the Schedule annext are exprest unto 
the said Sachems in hand payd by Monsieur 
Machiell Ilainelle, Thonuis Lambertse, John 
Lewis, and Peter Darmantier, on the behalf of 
themselves and the inhabitants of Breuckly]i, the 
receipt whereof they doe hereby acknowledge, 
and themselves to be full}' satisfyed and payed 
therefore ; have given, granted, bargained and 
sold, and by these presents doe fully, freely and 
absolutely give, grant, bargain and sell, unto the 
said Monsieur Machiell Ilainelle, Thomas Lam- 
bertse, John Lewis and Peter Darmantier, ffor 
and on behalf of themselves, and the inhabitants 
aforesaid, their lieyrs and successors ; all that 


parcell of land and tract of land, in and about 
Bedford, within the jnrisdiction of Brucklyn, be- 
ginning ffrom Ilendrick Van Aarnheras land by 
a.swamp of water and stretching to the hills, then 
going along the hills to the port or entrance 
thereof,"^ and soe to Rockawaj ffoot path as their 
purchase is more particularly sett fforth ; To have 
and to hold all the said parcell and tract of land 
and premises within the limits before described 
unto the said Monsieur Machiell Ilainella, 
Thomas Lambertse, John Lewis, and Peter 
Darmaiitier, ffor and on the behalf of the 
inhabitants aforesaid, their heyres, and suc- 
cessors, to the proper use and behooff of 
the said inhabitants, their heyers and succes- 
sors forever; In witness whereof the partyes 
to these presents have hereunto sett their 
hands and scales, this 14th day of May, in 
the 22nd yeare of his Majestyes reigne, An- 
noque Dom. 1670. 

Sealed and Delivered in the presence of Ma- 

* This " port or entrance," as it is called, is situate in the 
valley on the Flatbush Turnpike, near the "Brush" or 
"Valley Tavern," and a short distance beyond the 3 mile 
post from Brooklyn ferry. — A freestone monument has been 
placed here, to designate the patent line between Brooklyn 
and Flatbush. 


tliias I^icolls, E. Longh, Samuel § Davies, John 
Garland. his marke 

The mark of P Peter. (l. s.) 

The mark of o Elmohar. (l. s.) 

The mark of x Job. (l. s.) 

The mark of ^ Makaquiquos. (l. s.) 
The mark of 7 Shamese. (l. s.) 

" This Deed was acknowledged by the within 
written Sachems, before the Governor in the 
presence of us, the day and jesiY within written. 
The mark of § SAMUEL DAYIES. 
" Recorded by order of the Governor. 


The Inventory^ or Schedule referred to in the 

'^ The payment agreed upon ffor the purchase 
of the land in and about Bedford, within the 
jurisdiction of Breucklyn, conveyed this day by 
the Indian Sachems, proprietors, is, viz. : — 

100 Guilders Seawant, 

Half a tun of strong Beer, 

2 half tuns of good Beer, 

3 Guns, long barrells, with each a pound of 
powder, and lead proportionable — 2 bars to 
a gun, 

4 match coates." 


May 13, 1686. Governor Dongan granted to 
the inhabitants of Brooklyn the following con- 
firmatory patent : 

L. 8. "Tliomas Dongan, Lientenant Gover- 
nor, and Vice Admiral of Kew York, and its de- 
pendencies under his Majesty James the Second, 
by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, 
France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, 
&c. — Supreme lord and proprietor of the Colony 
and province of Kew York and its dependencies 
in xlmerica, &c. To all to whom this shall come 
sendeth greeting, whereas tlie Honorable Richard 
Nicolls, Esq. formerly Governor of this province, 
did by his certain writing or patent under his 
hand and seal, bearing date the eighteenth day 
of October, Annoque Domini, one thousand six 
hundred and sixty-seven, ratifie, confirm and 
grant unto Jan Evarts, Jan Damen, Albert Cor- 
nelissen, Paulus Yerbeeck, Michael Enyle, Thom- 
as Lamberts, Tunis Gisberts Bogart, and Joris 
Jacobsen, as patentees for and on behalf of them- 
selves and their associates, the freeholders and 
inhabitants of the town of J>reucklen, their heirs, 
successors, and assigns forever, a certain tract of 
land, together with the several parcels of land 
which then were or thereafter should be purchased 
or procured for and on behalf of the said town, 


vvliether from the native Indian proprietors, or 
others within the bounds and limitts therein sett 
forth and expressed, that is to sav, the said town 
is bounded westward on the further side of the 
land of Mr. Pauhis Yerbeeck, from whence 
stretching south east they go over the hills, and 
so eastward along by the said hills to a south-east 
point, which takes in all the lotts behind the 
swamp, from which said lotts they run north-west 
to the River, and extend to the farm on the other 
side of the hills heretofore belono^ino- to Hans 
Hansen, over against Keak or Look-out, includ- 
ing within the said bounds and limitts all the lots 
and plantations, lying and being at the Gauwanes, 
Bedford, Wallabocht and the ferry, all which 
said parcells and tract of land and premises with- 
in the bounds and limitts aforementioned de- 
scribed, and all or any plantation or plantations 
thereupon, from henceforth are to be, appertain 
and belong to the said town of Breucklyn, To- 
gether with all harbor, havens, creeks, quarries, 
woodland, meadow ground, reed land or valley of 
all sorts, pastures, marshes, waters, rivers, lakes, 
fishing, hawking, hunting, fowling, and all other 
profits, commodities, emoluments and heredita- 
ments to the said lands and premises within the 
bounds and limitts set forth, belonging, or in any 
wise appertaining, and with all to have freedom 


of commonage for range and feed of cattle 
and horses, into the woods with the rest of their 
neighbours, as also one tliird part of a certain 
neck of meadow ground or valley, called Seller's 
neck, lying and being within the town of Jamaica, 
purchased by the said town of Jamaica from the 
Indians, and sold by them unto the inhabitants of 
Breucklen aforesaid, as it was laid out aforesaid, 
and divided by their mutual consent and order of 
the Governor. To have and to hold unto them 
the said patentees and their associates, their heirs, 
successors and assigns forever, as by the said 
patent reference being thereunto had, doth, fully 
and at large appear. And further, in and by the 
said patent, the said Governor, Hichard Nicolls, 
Esq., did erect the said tract of land into a town- 
ship by the name of Breucklen aforesaid, by that 
name and style to be distinguished and known in 
all bargains, sales, deeds, records and writings 
whatsoever ; and whereas the present inhabitants 
and freeholders of the town of Breucklen afore- 
said, have made their application to me for a con- 
firmation of the aforesaid tract of land and prem- 
ises in their quiet and peaceable possession and 
enjoyment of the aforesaid land and premises. 
Kow Know Ye, That I, the said Thomas Dongan, 
by virtue of the commission and authority derived 
unto me. and power in me residing, have granted, 


ratified and confirmed, and by these presents do 
grant, ratifie and confirm, unto Tennis Gjsberts, 
Thomas Lamberts, Peter Jansen, Jacobus Yan- 
der Water, Jan Dame, Joris Jacobs, Jeronimus 
Rapelle, Daniel Kapelle, Jan Jansen, Adrian 
Bennet, and Michael Hanse, for and on the be- 
half of themselves and the rest of the present 
freeholders and inhabitants of the said town of 
Ereucklen, their heirs and assigns forever, all and 
singular the afore-recited tract and parcels of land 
set forth, limited and bounded as aforesaid ; to- 
gether with all and singular, the houses, mes- 
suages, tenements, fencings, buildings, gardens, 
orchards, trees, woods, underwoods, ])astures, 
feedings, common of pasture, meadows, marshes, 
lakes, ponds, creeks, harbors, rivers, rivulets, 
brooks, sti-eams, highways and easements what- 
soever, belonging or in any wise appertaining to 
any of the afore-recited tract or parcells of land 
and divisions, allotments, settlements made and 
appropriated before the day and date hereof. 
To Have and To Hold, all and singular, the said 
tract or parcels of land and premises, with their, 
and every of their appurtenances unto the said 
Tunis Gysberts, Thomas Lamberts, Peter Jansen, 
Jacobus Yander Water, Joris Jacobs, Jeronimus 
Pappelle, Daniel Pappelle, Jan Jansen, Adrian 
Bennet and Michael Hanse, for and on behalf 


of themselves and the present freeliolders and 
inhahitauts of the town of Breucklen, their and 
every of their heirs and assigns forever, as ten- 
ants in common without any let, hindrance, mo- 
lestation, rig] it of survivorship or otherwise, to be 
hoklen in free and common socage according to 
tlie tenure of East Greenwich, in tlie county of 
Kent, in his Majesty's kingdom of England. 
Yielding, rendering and paying therefor yearly, 
and every year, on the five and twentyeth day of 
March, forever, in lieu of all services and demands 
whatsoever, as a quit rent to liis most sacred Ma- 
jesty aforesaid, his heirs and successors, at the 
city of New York, twenty bushels of good mer- 
chantable wheat. In testimony whereof, I have 
caused these presents to be entered and recorded 
in the Secretary's office, and the seal of the Pro- 
vince to be hereunto affxed this thirteenth day of 
May, Anno. Domini, one thousand six. hundred 
and eighty-six, and in the second year of his 
Majesty's reign. . 


Quit rents to the following amounts and at the 
follow^ing periods have been paid on the Brook- 
lyn patents. 

June 8, 1713. Paid to Benjamin Yan de 


Water, Treasurer, the sum of £96 7s Id. for up- 
wards of 16 years quit rent. 

April 6, 1775. Charles Debevoise, Collector of 
the town of Brooklyn, paid to the Keceiver Gen- 
eral of the Colony of New York, 20 bushels of 
wheat, for one year's quit rent, due from said 

November 9, 17S6. Fernandus Suydam, and 
Charles C. Doughty, two of the Trustees of the 
town of Brooklyn, paid to the Treasurer of the 
State of New York, the sum of £105 10s. in full 
for arrears of quit rent due from the said town. 


The difference between this town and the city 
of New Yoi-k relative to the water rights of the 
former, has deservedly excited the attention and 
interest of our inhabitants, as involving property 
to a great amount, and unjustly withholding from 
our town a revenue which would enable it to 
improve with almost unparalleled rapidity. In 
order tliat each person so interested may form a 
correct opinion of the subject matter in dispute, 
the Compiler has thought proper, under this 
head, to lay before them the foundations of 
the claims on both sides of the question. 

October 18, 1667. In the reign of Charles 2d 
Kichard Ni<iolls, Esq., Governor General of the 


Province of Xew York, under his Royal High- 
ness James, the Duke of York, &c., afterwards 
James 2d of England, granted to the inhabitants 
of this town a confirmatory patent, acknowledg- 
ing that they were rightfully, legally and by 
authority in possession of the property and privi- 
leges they then enjoyed. The patent after nam- 
ing the patentees, and describing the bounds of 
the town, and binding by the River and not by 
high water mark, proceeds to say, " Together 
M^ith all havens^ harljors^ creeks, marshes, vmters^ 
rivers^ lakes, fisheries," " Moreover, I do hereby 
give, ratify and confirm unto the said j^atentees 
and their associates, their heirs, successors and 
assigns, all the rights and privileges belonging 
to a town within this government." Under this 
patent the town of Brooklyn justly claims the 
land between high and low water mark on their 
shore, in opposition to the claims of the Corpora- 
tion of the City of I^ew York ; and an equal 
right with them to erect ferries between the town 
of Brooklyn and the City of IN'ew York. 

It does not appear that there was any adverse 
claim on the part of New York, until the 27th 
of April, 1686, nineteen years after the date of 
the Brooklyn patent, when the Corporation of 
New York obtained a charter from Governor 
Dongan, by which the ferries were granted to 


them, but not a word mentioned abont the laud 
between high and low water mark on the Brook- 
lyn side. From the reading of this charter it 
appears as if the Governor was doubtful as to his 
right even to grant the feriy, for it contains an 
express saving of all the rights of all other per- 
sons, bodies politic and corporate, their heirs, 
successors and assigns, in as ample a manner, as 
if that charter had not been made. 

May 13, 168G. The freeholders and inhabit- 
ants of Brooklyn somewhat apprehensive of en- 
croachments by Kew York, obtained from Gover- 
nor Dongan, a patent under the seal of the 
Colony, fully confirming that granted them by 
Governor Nicolls. 

May 6, 1691. An act was passed by the Gover- 
nor, Council and General xlssembly of the Col- 
ony of 'New York, " for settling, quieting and 
confirming unto the cities, towns, manors, and 
freeholders within this Province, their several 
grants, patents and rights respectively." By this 
act the freeholders and inhabitants of the town 
of Brooklyn were confirmed in the rights they 
possessed and enjoyed under their two sevei-al 

October 12, 1694. The Corporation of New 
York, not thinking their foothold on the Brook- 
lyn side sufficiently secure, purchased of one 


William Morris, for no specific consideration, a 
piece of land in Brooklyn near the ferry. This 
deed is the foundation of the Corporation claim 
to their land in the village of Brooklyn. A copy 
of which will be found in the appendix marked 
with the letter A. 

Bent on unjustly wresting from the town of 
Brooklyn their water right, the Coi'poration, on 
the 19th of April, 1708, obtained from Governor 
Coi'nlniry, a man infamous for his vices and dis- 
regard of justice, another charter, in which they 
came out more opeidy tlian before, and claimed 
the vacant land to high water mark, on Nassau 
Island, reserving to the inhabitants of Brooklyn 
the right of transporting themselves in their own 
boats ferriage free, to and from New York. " By 
this charter, no matter how ample soever they 
might have considered it at the time, they ob- 
tained nothing but vacant land to liigli water 
mark ; that is the land which was not already 
granted, and in the possession of some other per- 
son or persons, which was not the fact as to the land 
on the Brooklyn side, it being vested in the paten- 
tees, their heirs, successors, and assigns forever ; 
so that the only power or authority remaining in 

* Although the bounds of this grant commences about 200 
yards in the town of Bush wick, the Corporation of New York 
have made no claim to land beyond the Wallabought. 


tiie Governor was to grant tlie Corporation of 
Xew York, the privilege of baying the water 
rights of the inhabitants of Brooklyn. But that 
would not answer their purpose, for those rights 
could be bought cheaper of Governor Cornbury 
than they could of this town. 

This proceeding on the part of l^ew York stim- 
ulated the inhabitants of Brooklyn to obtain from 
tlie Colonial Legislature, in 1721, an act confirm- 
ing their patent rights. 

To obviate the effects of this law, and strengthen 
the charter of Cornbury, which from the circum- 
stances under which it was obtained, the Corpo- 
ration feared was invalid, on the 15th of January, 
1730, they procured from Governor John Mont- 
gomerie, a new charter confirming their pre- 
tended right to the land to hir/h water raarh on 
our shore f^ 

* There was some peculiar circumstances attending the 
consummation of this charter, which the Compiler thinks 
ought to be known. A short time previous to obtaining the 
charter, the Common Council of the City of New-York re- 
solved that the sum of £1400 was necessary for the pro- 
curing of that instrviment ; £1000 of which sum they deter- 
mined to raise immediately by a loan on interest for one year ; 
which they accordingly did, and gave a mortgage for that 
amount to James De Lancey, Esq., dated January 14, 1730. 
Directly after the execution of this mortgage they resolved 
to address the Governor, • for the great favour and goodness 


The grants from the Corporation of Xew-York, 
under their two charters for the water lots on the 
Brooklyn side, are very artfully and ingeniously 
drawn. By those grants are only conveyed " all 
the estate, right, title, interest, property, claim, 
and demand whatsoever, in law and equity " of 
them the said Corporation ; and their covenant for 
quiet possession only extends to them and their 
successors, and not against any other persons law- 
. fully claiming premises. These grants in order 
to save the Corporation harmless against the 
claims of Brooklyn, also contained a covenant to 
the following effect: "It is hereby covenanted, 
granted and agreed upon by and between the par- 
ties to these presents (that is the Corporation of 
New York and the person to whom they give the 
grant), and the true intent and meaning hereof also 
is, and it is hereby declared, that this present grant, 

shown to this Corporation in granting their petition, in or- 
dering and directing his Majesty's letters patent for a new 
charter and confirmation to this Corporation," and probably 
informing him that they had obtained the money. The con- 
sequence was, that on the next day, January 15, 1730, the 
charter was completed ; and on paying the £1000 was de- 
livered to them on the 11th day of February, 1730, almost a 
month after its date. By which it appears that the Corpora- 
tion of New York still continued purchasing the right of the 
town of Brooklyn from the Colonial Governors. See list of 
Corporation Charters and grants, 1747. 


or any words, or any thing in tlie same expressed, 
or contained, shall not be adjudged, deemed, con- 
strued or taken to be a covenant or covenants on 
the part and behalf of the said parties of the first 
part (that is, the Corporation of New York), or 
their successors for any purpose or purposes what- 
soever, but only to pass the estate, right, title, and 
interest they have or may lawfully claim by virtue 
of their several cliarters, of, in, and to the said 
premises. Which covenant evidently shows a 
w^ant of confidence in the validity of their title on 
the part of the Cojrporation. 

October 14, 1732. An act was passed by the 
General Assembly of this Colony, " confirming 
unto the City of New York its rights and privil- 
eges." By this act no addition was made to their 
former pretended rights. 

November 14, 1753. The freeholders and in- 
habitants of this town appointed Jacobus Lefferts, 
Peter Yandervoort, Jacob Remsen, Rem Remsen, 
and Nicholas Yechte, Trustees, " to defend our 
patent where in any manner our liberties, privi- 
leges, and rights in our patent specified is en- 
croached, lessened, or taken away by the common- 
ality of the City of New York." A copy of the 
proceeding of the town meeting at which the 
above trustees were elected, will be found in the 
ppendix marked B. 


Not satisfied with the encroachments tliey had 
made, the Corporation began to question the 
right of the inhabitants of Brooklyn to ci-oss to 
and from New York ferriage free in their own 
boats, and to carry over the inhabitants in tliose 
boats ; — the result was, that in July, 1745, a suit 
was commenced by one of the inhabitants of 
Brooklyn, named Hendrick Kemsen, ao-ainst the 
Corporation of New York, which was tried before 
a jury in Westchester County. A special verdict 
was found setting forth all its patents and char- 
ters, and among other things, that the road from 
which the said Hendrick Remsen ferried tlie in- 
habitants of Brooklyn to and from New York, 
" then and long before was laid out for a public 
highway leading down to low water mark on the 
East Itiver, between the places aforesaid called the 
Wallaboucht and the Red Hook on Nassau 
Island, and the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath 
aforesaid, do further say, that the rivei* called the 
East River, over which the said Hendrick did 
carry the persons and goods aforesaid, from the 
said lands, between the Wallabocht and the Red 
Hook, is a large and public and navigable rivei* 
used by his Majesty's ships, and otliei' ships, and 
smaller vessels employed in trade and connnerce, 
and hath always been so used from the first set- 
tlement of this Colony." On argument, judgment 


was rendered by the Supreme Court of tliis 
Colony in the month of October, 1Y75, in favor of 
Hendrick Remsen, that he recover his damages 
against the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonality 
of the City of l^ew York, and the sum of one 
hundred and eighteen pounds, fourteen shillings 
and tenpence half -penny for his costs and charges. 
An appeal to the King and Council, from this de- 
cision, was brought by the Corporation, which 
was not determined in consequence of the Revo- 
lutionary war. There is a tradition in this town 
that the Corporation of New York were so ap- 
prehensive of this claim on the part of the town 
of Brooklyn, that in order to disengage Hendrick 
Remsen from the interest of the town, they gave 
him a house and lot of land near Coenties Slip, in 
the City of New York. How far this tradition is 
correct, the Compiler is unable to say. It ap- 
pears, however, that he, about that time, became 
in possession of such property, and the same re- 
mained in his family within the memory of some 
of our inhabitants. 

Our two Patents are confirmed by the Constitu- 
tion of this State, which confirms all grants of 
land within the State, made by the authority of 
the King of Great Britain, or his predecessors, 
prior to the 1-ith of August, 1775. 

The Compiler, thinking it would not be uniu- 


terestiiig to his fellow-citizens to see a stateineiit 
of the amount received by the Corporation of 
New York for quit-rent on the water lots 
claimed by them, has given the following short 
statement : 

The Commissioners of the Sinking Fund of the 
City of New York have received, from An gust 
23d, 1813, to Dec. 31, 1824, 

For water lot rents $17,635 24 

Commutation for water lot rents. 17,275 41 

$34,910 65 

The Corporation of New York during the 
present year 1824, have received for water lot 
rents the sum of $8,862 97 

Within a short time the jurisdiction of the vil- 
lage of Brooklyn has been extended beyond low 
water mark, leaving the pretended right of soil 
still in tlie Corporation of New York."^^ August 
term, 1821, in the case of Udall vs. the Trustees 
of Brooklyn, the Supreme Court of this State de- 
cided that Kings Connty, of which the village of 

* The jurisdiction of New York by their first charter in 
1686, was limited to low water mark around Manhattan Is- 
land ; but was extended to low water mark on the Brooklyn 
side by G-overnor Montgomery's charter in 1730. 


Brooklyn is part, includes all the wliarves, docks, 
and other artificial erections in the East River, 
opposite to the City of New York, though west of 
the natural low water mark on the Nassau or 
Long Island shore; and the jurisdiction of the 
village extends to the actual line of low water, 
whether formed by natural or artificial means. 
Same term, in the case of Stryker vs. the Mayor, 
etc., of the City of New York, the Supreme 
Court decided that the City and County of New 
York includes the whole of the Hivers and har- 
bour adjacent to actual low water mark, on the 
opposite shores, as the sauie may be formed, h'om 
time to time, by docks, wharves and other per- 
manent erections; and although the jurisdiction 
of the city does not extend so as to include such 
wharves or artificial erections, yet it extends over 
the ships and vessels floating on the water, though 
they be fastened to such wharves or docks. 

April 9, 1824 The Legislature of the State 
of New York in the act to amend the act entitled 
" an Act to incorporate and vest certain powers 
in the freeholders and inhabitants of the village 
of Brooklyn in the County of Kings," granted 
this town concurrent jurisdiction with the City 
of New York in the service of process, in actions 
civil and criminal, on board of vessels attached 
to our wharves ; and in the act for the establish- 


ment of a Board of Health in the village of 
Brooklyn, authority is given to the said Board to 
remove all infected vessels from the wharves 
within the said village. 

The ferries have been unavoidably, in some 
degree, taken into consideration when speaking 
of our town rights. The Compiler will therefore 
confine himself to such historical facts, and laws, 
and such proceedings, passed and had by the 
Colonial and State Legislatures as may relate par- 
ticularly to them. 

During the early years of this Colony, the old 
ferry was from near the foot of Joralemon street, 
to the Breede Graft, now Broad street, in the 
City of Xew York. At that period a creek ran 
through the middle of Broad street, up which 
the boats ascended to a ferry -house which is still 
standing. At this time it is difficult to ascertain 
the exact period when the okl ferry was estab- 
lished at its present situation on the Brooklyn 
side. In 1697, John Aeresen was ferry master. 

It appears from the following order, that the 
Court of Sessions of Kings County, exercised 
some authority over the ferry between Brooklyn 
and Xew York. October 7, 1690. "Whereas 
much inconvenience does ai'ise by several negroes 
comino^ on this island from ~Ne\v York and other 
places, and from this island to New York. It is 


ordered, that the ferrymen shall not bring or set 
over any negroes or slaves npon the Sabbath day, 
withont a ticket from their masters." 

Acts have been passed by tlie Colonial and 
State Legislatures for the pnrpose of regulating 
the ferries between this town and the City of 
New York, in the following chronological order : 

I^ovember 2d, 1717, an act was passed, which 
was revived in the year 1726, and again in 1727. 
October 14, 1732, another act was passed for 
the same purpose. By this act it was provided, 
" That the ferryman for the time being, shall 
not impose, exact, demand, or receive any rates 
or ferriage for any goods or things whatsoever, 
transported by any of the inhabitants living 
alongst the River, at or near the Ferry on Nas- 
sau Island, in their own boats or canoes," pro- 
vided that the same be their own goods or coui- 
modities. This act continued in force until the 
28th of February, 1789, when another act was 
passed regulating the ferriage, and containing a 
similar proviso. April 9, 1813. The last men- 
tioned law was re-enacted, with the same pro- 

The winter previous to the prosecution of the 
suit between Hendrick Kemsen, and the Corpo- 
ration of the City of New York, the inhabitants 
of Brooklyn made an attempt to obtain from the 


Colonial Legislature, a further confiriuation of 
some of their rights, particularly relating to the 
ferrj ; on which application the following pro- 
ceedings were had. 

January 30, 1745-6. In General Assembly, a 
l^etition of the Trustees of the town of Brook- 
land, in Kings County, in behalf of themselves, 
and the freeholders and inhabitants of the said 
township, was presented to the House and read, 
setting forth. That a great number of the in- 
habitants of the said township, living near the 
ferry from l^assau Island to New York, and hav- 
ing their chief dependence of supporting their 
families by trading to the Kew York markets, are 
by one act of the General Assembly, entitled, an 
act to regulate the ferry between the City of New 
York and tlie Island of Xassau, and to establish 
tlie ferriage thereof, passed in the sixth year of 
his Majesty's reign, debarred from transporting 
their goods in their own vessels, to the said mar- 
kets, which exposes them to very great hard- 
ships, difficulties and expenses, and therefore 
humbly praying that tliey may have leave to 
bring in a bill to relieve them from the afore- 
said hardships. Upon a motion of Major Yan 
Home (of New York), ordered that the clerk of 
this House serve the Corporation of the City of New 
York, with a copy of the said petition forthwith. 


lu General Assembly, April 12th, 1746, Mr. 
Abraham Lott, accordhig to leave, presented to 
the House, a bill entitled, " an act to repeal an act 
therein mentioned, so far as it relates to the free- 
holders and inhabitants of the township of 
Brooklyn, in Kings County, within this colony;" 
which was read the first time, and ordered a 
second reading. — Ordered, that the Corporation 
of the City of New York be served with a copy 
of the said bill. 

April 18, 1746. In General Assembly. The 
bill entitled, an act to repeal an act therein men- 
tioned, so far as it relates to the freeholders and 
iidiabitants of the township of Brooklyn, in 
Kings County, within this colony, being offered 
to be read a second time, Capt. Richards (of New 
York) moved, that the seccjnd reading of the said 
bill micrht be deferred until the next meetino: of 
the House, after the first day of June next ; 
which was agreed to by the House, and ordered 

June 20, 1716. In General Assembly. A pe- 
tition of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty, 
of the City of New York was presented to tlie 
House and read, setting forth, That the Corpora- 
tion having been served with a copy of a bill 
now before this House, entitled, an act to repeal 
an act therein mentioned, so far as it relates to 


the freeholders and inhabitants of the township 
of Brooklyn, in Kings County, withhi this colony; 
do conceive that the passing the oaid bill into a 
law may affect their ancient rights and free- 
hold, and therefore humbly praying that they 
may be heard by their counsel against the said 
bill, at the bar of this House, on Friday next, 
ordered that the Trustees of the township of 
Brooklyn be heard by their counsel in support 
of the said bill, at the bar of this House, on Fri- 
day next, and that Mr. William Smith appear for 
them. Ordered, that the clerk of this House 
serve the parties with a copy of these orders 

June 27, 1746. In General Assembly. The 
House being informed that the Corporation of the 
City of New York were attending with their 
counsel to be heard against the bill ; and that the 
trustees of the township of Brooklyn were also 
attending with their counsel to be heard in sup- 
port of the said bill ; both parties were called in, 
and the counsel on both sides having been fully 
heard, for and against the said bill, they were di- 
rected to withdraw ; and the bill being read the 
second time, the question was put, — whether the 
said bill should be committed, and carried in the 
affirmative in the manner following : — Affirma- 
tive, Messrs. Lott, Chambers, Stillwell, Living' 


ston, Ilarring, Cornell, Abraham Lott, Lecount, 
Bradt, Nicoll, Hardenbergh, and Grale, 12. — 
Kegative, Messrs. liichards, Crnger, Clarkson, 
Van Home, Philipse, Mori-is, Yerplank, and 
Thomas, 8. 

July 4, 174:6. In General Assembly, the en- 
grossed Bill entitled, an act to repeal an act 
therein mentioned, so far as it relates to the free- 
holders and inhabitants of tlie township of Brook- 
lyn, in Kings County, within this colony, was 
read the third time, and upon Mr. Speaker's 
putting the question, whether the Bill should 
pass, a motion was made by Col. Morris in the 
w^ords followino:, viz. — As this Bill has been 
already ordered to be engrossed, by a majority 
of the House, and tl>e question that now is put, 
is, whether this Bill shall pass ; I must beg leave 
to give my reasons for opposing its passage. 
The first is, it is alleged by this bill, that the 
people of Brooklyn had a right, prior to the act 
passed in the year 171:2, which was not proved, 
nor attempted upon the hearing before this House ; 
but if we pass this Bill, we allow that right to be 
proved, and then it becomes our allegation, 
which I conceive inconsistent with the honor 
and justice of this House, to allege anything in 
such a case, but what has been proved. The 
second is, it implies that the act in 1732, took 


away unjustly, a right from the people of Brook- 
lyn, that they were entitled to. Thirdl}^, it im- 
plies, that the House have fixed the two points 
before mentioned, and then it will necessarily 
follow, that we have considered the rights of the 
Corporation,"^ as well as those of the people of 
Brooklyn ; that we have not, I appeal to the 
House, who must allow that no such right ever 
appeared to us, at least as a House, and for us to 
declare certain facts by a bill, which has never 
been proved, will be doing what I conceive we 
ought not to do, if we make justice and equity 
the rule of our conduct. For these reasons, I 
move, that the Bill may be rejected. The ques- 
tion being put thereon it was carried in the 
negative, in the manner following, viz. — For 
the negative, Messrs. Chambers, Lott, Cornell, 
Hardenberg, A. Lott, Bradt, Lecount, Gale, and 
Harring, 9. Affirmative, Messrs. Cruger, Morris, 
Richards, Van Home, Clarkson, Verplank, Phil- 
ipse, and Thomas, 8. 

Eesolved, That the Bill do pass. Ordered, 
that Colonel Harring, and Mr. Hardenberg do 

* For what purpose was it that the Coi-p ovation's counsel 
was heard at the bar of the House, if not to advance and 
support their rights? If it was not done at that time, the 
plain inference would be, that they were aware they had no 


carry the Bill to the Council and desire their 
concurrence. By which it appears that it was 
considered by the House, as well as subsequently 
by the Supreme Court, that the right of the 
town was sufficiently proved, notwithstanding the 
assertions of Colonel Morris. 

This Bill by some means was stifled in the 
Council,* and never became a law. 

During the Revolution the Old ferry was kept 
by Messrs. Yan Winkle and Bukett; at which 
period the usual charge for crossing was six 
pence for each passenger. 

August 1, 1795. The ferry from the foot of 
Main street, Brooklyn, to the foot of Catharine 
street, ]N"ew York, commonly called the New 
ferry, was established by Messrs. William Fur- 
man and Theodosius Hunt, lessees from the Cor- 
poration of the City of New York. 

In consequence of the prevalence of tlie Yel- 
low fever in Brooklyn, in the month of August, 
1809, the old ferry was removed to the foot of 
Joralemon street, and the boats plied from there 
to Whitehall, New York. 

* The Council was appointed by the King's mandamus 
and sign manual, and all their privileges and powers were 
contained in the Governor's instructions. The tenure of 
their places was extremely precarious, — See Smith's Hktory 
of New York, p. 364. 


Oil the 4th clay of March, 1814, the Legisla- 
ture of tliis State passed an act allowhig William 
Cutting and others his associates, to charge four 
cents for each passenger crossing in the Steam-boat 
to be by them placed on the Old ferry. Pre- 
vious to this, the fare was two cents for each 
passenger. May, 1814, the Steam-boat com- 
menced plying on the old ferry between Brook- 
lyn and 'New York. 

This Ferry Company derive their interest in 
the old or Fulton ferry, from a lease executed 
January 24tli, 1814, by the Mayor, Aldermen and 
Commonalty of the City of New York, to Robert 
Fulton and William Cutting. The rent reserved 
l)y the Corporation on this lease is $4,000 per 
annum for the first 18 years, and $4,500 per an- 
num for the remaining 7 years.* It is a difficult 
matter to speak correctly of the present income 
of this ferry. At its first establishment the divi- 
dends were made on a capital estimated at $45,- 
000, divided into shares of $1,000 each, and were 
made at the rate of 5 per cent, for six months, 
and what remained after this 5 per cent, taken 
out, formed the surplus dividend. From May, 

* The Corporation of New York, during the year 1824, 
have received from the ferries the sum of $12,003.75 — more 
than three -fourths of which sum is from the ferries on the 
East River. 


1814, to November, 1815, tlie regular dividends 
on one share amounted to $157.11|, and during 
tlie same period the surplus dividend amounted 
to $228.21-1-, making a dividend of $385.33, on 
one share for about 18 months, equal to about 25 
per cent, per annum. 

At the Session of the Legislature in the winter 
of 1818, the Corporation of Kew York presented 
a petition praying that they might have the regu- 
lation of the rates of ferriage between this town 
and the city of New York — against which the 
Trustees of the village of Brooklyn, and the in- 
habitants of this town strongly remonstrated, 
statin o" that " thev had full confidence that the 
Legislature of this State would never increase the 
rates of ferriage, nor permit the same to be in- 
creased, beyond what is necessary to support the 
ferries in the best manner ; they therefore prayed 
that the Legislature would not surrender to the 
Corporation of New York a right which had 
been reserved by the Legislature, and which the 
petitioners deemed of the greatest importance to 
the inhabitants of Nassau Island." 


This town appears to have entered early into 
the contest respecting roads. There are many 


instances on record previous to 1683, of tlie Con- 
stable of Brooklyn being ordered to repair the 
roads, and in case of neglect, fined ; and in one 
instance he was ordered by the Court not to de- 
part until further order. 

The main road, or as part of it is now called, 
Fulton street, in the village of Brooklpi, was laid 
out March 28th, 1704, by Joseph Hagaman, Peter 
Cortelyou, and Benjamin Yandewater, Commis- 
sioners, appointed by an act of the General Assem- 
bly of the colony of New York, for the laying 
out, i-egulating, clearing and preserving of public 
highways in the colony. The record of this road 
is as follows : — " One publique, common and gen- 
eral highway, to begin ffi-om low water marine at 
the ferr}^ in the township of Broockland, in Kings 
county, and ffrom thence to run ffour rod wide 
up between the houses and lands of John Aerson, 
John Coe, and George Jacobs, and soe all along 
to Broocklaiid towne aforesaid, through the lane 
that now is, and fProm thence straight along a 
certaine lane to the Southward corner of John 
Yan Couwenhoven's land, and ffrom thence 
straight to Bedfford as it is now staked out, to the 
lane where the house of Benjamin Yandewater 
stands, and ffrom thence straight along through 
Bedfford towne to Bedfford lane, running between 
the lands of John Garretse, Dorlant and Claes 


Barnse, to the rear of the lands of the said Cloyse, 
and ffrom thence southerly to the old path now in 
use, and soe all along said path to Philip Vol- 
kertses land, taking in a little slip of said Philip's 
land on the south corner, soe all along said road 
by Isaack Greg's house to the Filackbush new 
lotts ffence, and soe all along said ffence to the 
eastward, to the north-east corner of Eldert Lu- 
cas's land, lying within the IN'ew lotts, of Fflatt- 
bush aforesaid, being ffour rod wdde all along^ to 
be and continue forever." 

This road, or " king's highway," as it was then 
called, leading from the ferry to the old Dutch 
Church, or Brooklyn parish, was the cause of 
much contention. At the April term of the Gen- 
eral Sessions of tlie Peace for Kings County, in 
1721, indictments were found for encroaching on 
the " common high way of the King, leading 
from the ferry to the Church at Brookland," 
against John Rapalje, Hans Bergen and James 
Harding, and others. — By which indictments it 
appears that the road should have been four rods 

These indictments appear to have been predi- 
cated as well on the following application of 
John Rapalje and Hans Bergen, as on complaints 
from several of tlie inhabitants : 

" Filatbush, April 19, 1721. John Eapalje and 


Hans Bergen of the fferry, desires of tne grand 
jury that the Commissioners now being should be 
presented for not doing their duty in laying out 
the king's highway according to ye law, being 
the King's highway is too narrow from the ferry 
to one Nicalus Cowenhoven, living at Brooklyn 
and if all our neighbours will make ye road 
according to law, then ye said John Rapel}e and 
Hans Bero^en is willing: to do the same as afore- 
said, being they are not willing to suffer more 
than their neighbours. As- witness our hands 
the day and year first above written. 


Some of the persons indicted considering them- 
selves aggrieved, and others who feared being 
placed in the same situation, applied to the 
Colonial Legislature, and July 27th, 1721, ob- 
tained the passage of a law to " continue the 
conmion road or king's highway, from the ferry, 
towards the town of Breuckland, on the Island 
of Nassau, in the Province of New-York,'^ with 
the following preamble : " Whereas several of 
the inhabitants on the ferry, on the Island of 
Nassau, by their petition preferred to the General 
Assembly, by setting forth, that they have been 
molested prosecutions, occasioned by the con- 


trivance and instigations of ill and disaffected 
persons to the neighbourhood, who would encroach 
upon the buildings and fences that have been 
made many years, alledging the road was not 
wide enough, to the great damage of several of 
the old inhabitants, on the said ferry ; the said 
road as it now is, has been so for at least these 
sixty years past, witliout any complaint, either of 
the inhabitants or travellers." 

The law then proceeds to establish the road 
" forever," as it then was, from the ferry upwards 
to the town of Breuckland, as far as the swinging 
gate of John Rapalje, just above the house and 
land belonging to James Harding. These pro- 
ceedings will readily account for Fulton-street, 
in the present village of Brooklyn, being so nar- 
row and crooked in many places. 

Tlie point, however, to which the Compiler 
wishes to draw the attention of his fellow citizens, 
is to the existence and location of several public 
highways and landing-places in this town which 
at present are known to very few. 

There is a public landing-place at or near the 
mills of Neliemiah Denton, Esq., and a public 
highway leading thereto. — The record of which 
is as follows : — *' One common highway to Ga- 
wanus mill, to begin ffrom the north-east corner 
of Leffert Peterses ffence, and soe along the roade 


westerly, as it is now in use to the lane }i: parts 
tlie lands of Ilendrick Yeclite, and Abraham 
Bi'ower, and Nicholas Brower, and soe all along 
said lane as it is now in ffence to the house of 
Jurian Collier, and from thence all along the 
roade now in use to the said Gowanos mill, being 
in all four rod wide to the said lane ; and that 
there be a convenient landing place for all per- 
sons whatsoever, to begin ffrom the southermost 
side of said Gowanus mill house, and ffrom said 
house to run ffour rod to the southward, ffor the 
transportation of goods and the commodious pass- 
ing of travellers; and that said highway to 
said Gowanos mill ffrom said house of said Jurian 
Collier shall be but two rod only and where it is 
now in use ; said common highway to be and 
continue forever; and ffurther that the ffence 
and gate that now stands upon the entrance into 
said mill neck, ffor the inclosing and securing of 
said neck, shall soe remaine and be alwayes kept 
soe inclosed with a ffence and hano^ino^ srate : and 
the way to said mill to be thorow that gate only 
and to be alwayes shutt or put to by all persons 
that passes thorow." The Commissioners laid 
out the above road and landing place, March 
28th, 1704. 

In 1709, the Commissioners laid out another 
road and landing place, at or near the mill of 


John C. Freeke, Esq. The record of Avhich is as 
follows : — " One common hio-hwav to bes^in ffrom 
the honse of Jurian Collier to the New mill of 
Nicholas Brower, now sett np on Gowanos mill 
neck soe called, as the way is now in nse along 
said neck to said mill to be of two rod wide ; and 
that there shall be a landing place by said mill 
in the most convenient place ffor the transporta- 
tion of goods and the commodious passing of 
travellers ; and said highway and landing place 
to be, remaine and continue forever." 

This town has a public landing place seven rods 
in length, near the foot of what is now called Dis- 
trict-street, in the village of Brooklyn. — This 
landing place is mentioned in the record of a 
road three rods wide, leading to the same, which 
record the Compiler omits inserting in conse- 
cpience of its length and the multitude of entries 
connected therewith. 

It is believed by many, and not without very 
good reason, that this town has a public landing 
place a short distance to the North of the Old or 
Fulton ferry, and which landing place is now in 
the possession of the Corporation of New- York. 

There is a very distinct tradition of a road to 
near where this landing place is supposed to have 
been, at the foot of which road w^as the public 
slaughter house, where the butchers of Brooklyn 


dressed their meats. The road referred to, came 
out where the hoiise of the Fire Engine No. 4 
now stands, and the existence of that road gives 
the town its title to that small piece of ground. 


The town having acquired so great an extent 
of Common land bj the purchase of 1670, from 
the Indians, the inhabitants thought proper to 
take some order for the division and defending 
thereof, together with their other lands — accord- 
ingly, " at a town meeting held the 25th day of 
February, 109f, att Breuklyn, in Kings County. 
Then Kesolved to divide their common lands and 
woods into three parts, in maimer following to 

1. All the lands and woods after Bedford and 
Cripplebush, over the hills to the path of New- 
lotts shall belong to the inhabitants and free- 
holders of the Gowanis, beginning from Jacob 
Brewer and soe to the uttermost bounds of the 
limits of New Utrecht. 

2. And all the lands and woods that lyes be- 
twixt the abovesaid path and the highway from 
the ferry towards Flattbush, shall belong to the 
freeholders and inhabitants of Bedford and Crip- 

3. And all the lands that lyes in common after 


the Gowanis, betwixt the limits and bounds of 
Flattbush and N'ew Utrecht shall belong to the 
freeholders and inhabitants of Brooklyn, fred. 
neck, the ferry and the Wallabont." This pro- 
ceeding of the Town meeting was allowed of by 
the Court of Sessions, held at Flatbush, on the 
10th day of May, 1693. 

The following will serve to shew the manner 
in which the inhabitants of this town elected the 
Trustees of their common lands, and the duties 
of those Trustees. " Att a towne meeting held 
this 29th day off Aprill, 1699, at Breucklyn, by 
order off Justice Machiel Hanssen, ffor to chose 
townsmen ffor to order all townes business and to 
deffend tlieire li mitts and bounds and to dispose 
and lay out sum part thereoff in lotts, to make 
lawes and orders ffor the best off the inhabitants, 
and to raise a small tax ffor to defray the towne 
charges, now being or hereaffter to come, to 
receive towns revenues and to pay townes debts, 
and that with the advice off the Justices off" this 
said towne standing the space and time off two 
years. Chosen ffor that purpose by pluralitie off 
votes. Benjamin Yande Water, Joores Hanssen, 
Jan Garretse Dorian t. 

By order of inhabitants affbresaid. 

J. YANDE WATEE, Clarke." 


These proceedings were recorded by order of 
tlie Court of Sessions, on the 9tli day of May, 

The following proceeding is cnrions, setting 
forth the ancient practice of tradesmen cutting 
down timber in the public woods, and the regu- 
lations made respecting the same. It appears 
that directly after the Trustees were chosen by 
the above meeting they together with the Jus- 
tices, lield the following meeting. '' Att a meet- 
ing held this 29th day off Aprill (1699) in 
Breucklyn, Present, Benjamin Yande Water, 
Jooris Ilanssen, Jan Geritse Dorlant, being 
choisen townsmen in the presence and with the 
advice off the Justices off this towne. 

Considering the greate inconvenience, lose and 
intrest that the inhabitants off this towne have 
by reason that the tradesmen here living in this 
towne doe ffall and cutt the best trees and sully 
the best of our woods and sell the worke thereoff 
made the most part to others living withoute the 
towne, and that the shoemakers and others doe 
cutt and fall all the best treese ffor the barke, 
and the wood lyes and rott, and that some per- 
sons doe cutt and ffall trees for timber and ffens- 
ing stuff, and leave the trees in the woods soe 
cutt until they are spoilt, and that people off 
other towns come and cutt and fall trees ffor 


timber, ffensing stuff, and ffire woods, and trans- 
port the same away out off our townes bounds and 
li mitts, and that without leave or consent off the 
towne, soe that in tlie time off ffew veares there 
shall bee no woods leaved ffor the inhabitants 
ffor timber or ffensing stuff to the mine off the 
said towne. It is thereffore ordered. That ffrom 
the date hereoff no tradesman shall make any 
worke ffor to sell to others without thee towne, 
ffrom wood soe cutt as afforesaid as only ffrom 
old wood. 

That no shoemaker or others shall cutt or ffall 
any trees ffor to barke in the common woods 
upon the penaltie off fiive pound ffor every tree 
soe cutt. 

That no men shall leave any timber, ffensing 
stuffe, or other wood in the woods longer as six 
weeks affter itt is cutt, uppon the penaltie, that itt 
shall be ffree ffor others to' take and carry the 
same away as theire owne wood. And that iff 
any one off other townes shall be ffounden within 
our townes limitts to cutt or carry away any 
sorts off woods ffor timber, ffensing stuff or ffire 
wood, that itt shall bee ffree ffor any one off this 
towne to take it away and to take out writt to ar- 
rest, or to apprehend such offender or offenders 
presently, and that the Justices off this towno shall 
answer the action as iff itt were done by theirt> 



owneselves.* These proceedings were also re- 
corded by order of the Court of Sessions. 

'' Towne meeting held this 5th day off May, 
1701, by order off Justices Cornel is Sebringh and 
Machiell Ilanssen. We the major part off the 
ffVeeholders off Breucklyn doe hereby nominate, 
constitute and appoint Capt. Jooris Hanssen, 
Jacob Ilanssen and Cornells Yan Dnyn, to bee 
trustees of our Common and undivided lands, and 
to deffend and maintaine the rights and privileges 
off onr General pattent, as well within as without.*' 

" Towne meeting held this 2d day off Febru- 
ary, 1701-2, by order off Justice Cornelis Se- 
bringh. Purposed iff the order off" Bedford, 
made tlie 12th day off Apiil, 1G97, shall bee con- 
fiirmed concerning the lying out of the common 
or undivided lands or that the said land shall bee 
lyed out according to the last tax, concerning the 
deffending off our limitts. 

Resolved by the ffreeholders aforesaid, that the 
chosen townsmen shall ley out the commens ac- 
cording as by the said order off" Bedford was con- 
cluded, with the fiirst opportunitie, and that all 

* The idea intended to be conveyed by this regulation, I 
understand to be, that the justices of the town of Brooklyn 
shall have cognizance of the offence, as much as if the offend- 
ers resided within the town. 


the lotts joyning to the common woods shall be 
surveyed according to their grants." 

The following Resolution was passed for de- 
fending those inhabitants to whom portions of 
the Common lands were allotted, in their enjoy- 
ment of the same. " Att a Towne meeting held 
att Brookland, in Kings County, this 14:th day of 
March, 1701-2. Present, Machiel Ilanssen, Cor- 
nells Sebringh, and Hendrick Yechten, Esquires, 
Justices. — Eesolved, by the major part of the 
freeholders of the said towne of Brookland, that 
every man that lias now a right, lott, or lotts laid 
out in the quondam Common and undivided 
lands of Brookland aforesaid, shall forever free 
liberty have for egress and regress to his said lotts 
for fetching off wood or otherwise, over all or 
any of the said lott or lotts of the said free- 
holders in the lands aforesaid. And further, 
that if any of the said freeholders shall at any 
time or times hereafter, come by any loss or 
trouble, cost or charges by lawe or otherwise, of, 
for or concerning the title of any of their said 
lott or lotts, by any person or persons, either 
within the township of Brookland aiforesaid, or 
without, that it shall be defended and made goode, 
(if lost) att all the proper costs and charges of all 
the freeholders of said towne equally." 

It appears that all the Common lands of this 


town had been divided among the freeholders, 
and a portion annexed to each house in the town. 
— A deed dated the 17th of April, 1705, after 
conveying a house and lot of land in this town, 
conveys " alsoe all the rights and priviledges in 
tlie common woodlands of the towne of Broock- 
land aforesaid, to said house, belonging as j)er 
record of said towne may appear."^ 

These lands, in the month of February, 1701- 
2, were surveyed by Fieter Corteljeu and S. 
Clowes, two surveyors, and divided by them into 
three divisions. The first or west division consisted 
of 62 lots, containing about 5 acres each, about 
310 acres. The second or middle division of 62 
lots, containing about 10 acres each, about 620 
acres ; and the third or east division also of 62 
lots, containing about 10 acres each, about 620 
acres. — Total number of acres about 1550. 


The difference between this town and the city 
of New York, having been treated of under the 
head of Town Rights and Ferries, the compiler 
will confine himself to the disputes which for- 
merly existed between this town, and the towns 

* The records referred to, together with all our other town 
records, were destroyed during the Revolution. 


of, Bnshwick, Flatbush and Is"ew- Utrecht, re- 
specting their bounds. 

The following proceeding relates generally to 
the defence and settling of the limits of this town. 

" Towne meeting held this 7th day of February, 
1701-2, by order of Ilendrick Yechten, Justice. 
— The Justice Ilendi-ick Yechten, brings in that 
the towns men were nott well authorised con- 
cerninge the lying out and defending of our 
bounds by reason that they have no power to 
compounde or agree with any of the neighbouring 
townes, &c. — These are thereifore, that the free- 
holders and inhabitants doe give full power to 
the said Intrusties, for to agree and compounde 
with any of the neighbour townes concerning 
our bounds, and all what our said Intrusties shall 
doe and agree with them, we shall stand to itt." 
This proceeding was recorded by order of the Court 
of Sessions, on the 13th of May, 1702. 


The difference as to the bounds of these two 
towns seems generally to have been contested 
between individuals. The following is the only, 
general order on record respecting the same : 

At a Court of Sessions, held at Flatbush for 
Kings County, May 10, 1699. '' Uppon the de- 
sire of the inhabitants of Breucklyn, that accord- 


ing to use and order every three jeare the lim- 
mitts betweene towne and towiie must be riimi, 
tliat a warrant or order may be given, that upon 
the 17th off May, the line and bounds betwixt 
said townes of Breucklyn and Boswyck, shall be 
runn according to their pattents or agrements." 
Ordei-ed, " That an order should be past accord- 
ing to theire request." 


The dispute between this town and Flatbush, 
respecting their bounds appears to have been of 
more importance than that with any other place, 
excepting New- York. 

At a Court of Sessions, held for the West Eiding 
of Yorkshire, upon Long-Island, the 18th of De- 
cember, 1678, the following order was made : 

" There being some difference between the 
townes of Flat Bush and Breucklyn concerning 
their bounds, the which thev are both willino- to 
refer to Captain Jaques Cortelyou and Captain 
Richard Stillwell to decide. The Court doth 
approve thereof, and order their Report to be de- 

Messrs. Cortelyou and Stillwell complied with 
the requisition of the above order a« will appear 
by the following report : but subsequent disputes 
shew that the same was not " determinative." 


" To the worsliipf nil Court of Sessions, now sit- 
ting at Gravesencl, June 21, 1683. These may 
certiffie that in obedience to an order from said 
Court, and by consent of both towns of Breuck- 
lyn and Flatbush, to runn the line betwixt the 
said townes which are we underwritten have done 
and marked the trees betwixt towne and towne, 
as wittnesse our hands the daye and yeare above 


It appears by the following Certificate, that a 
subsequent survey was made in 1684, of the divi- 
sion line between this town and Flatbush. 

" To satisffie whom itt may concerne, that I be- 
ing with Mr. Jacobus Cortland, about the twenty- 
eth day off November, 1684, employed by Breuck- 
land and Fflackbush, to vew and run out the line 
between e the two towns to the south of the hills 
found that the line run fformerly by Capts. 
Jaques, Cortelyou and Mr. Stillwell, is right and 
just, which wee both being agreed, gave in our 
approbation of the same. 

PHILIP WELLS, Surveyor." 

Staaten-Island, in the County of Rich- "> 
mond, this 4th day of April, 1687." > 


The above Certificate was recorded bj order of 
several of the inhabitants of Brooklyn. 

At a Court of Sessions for Kings Comity, held 
the 4th day of October, 16S7, the following pro- 
ceeding was had : 

" Complaint off Jan Oake, and Cornelis Bar- 
dnff, anthorised by the inhabitants of Fflackbush 
being read against Pieter Cronwer, concerning 
the building uppon the land in question, betwixt 
Breucklyn and Fflackbush, Itt is ordered, that 
none off the partys shall meddle themselves with 
the said land before the question off the said land 
shall be finished." 

December 4, IGSO. Jooris Bergen, Jan Dorlant 
and 11. Claes Yechte, Commissioners of this 
town, together with Jurrian Bries, Constable, 
granted to Jeronimius Bemsen, a piece of land 
lying at Bedfoi'd, in lieu of a piece of land which 
they had formerly sold him, lying at the Port or 
entrance, and which was claimed by the town of 

At a town meeting, held in this town the 11th 
day of April, 1702, by order of Justices Machiel 
Ilanssen, and Cornelis Seberingh ; it was 

" Purposed to choise townsmen in place off 
George Ilanssen, Jacob Ilanssen, and Cornelis 
Yan Duyn, by cause theire times being past the 
29th off this instant. Besolved to prolong the 


old townsmen's time to tlie twenty-fifth of May 
next, by reason they are in action off lawe with 
them off Fflackbush, to be tryed this May court." 
The differences between these two towns have 
been amicably settled, and proper monuments 
placed on the boundary lines, to prevent, if pos- 
sible, all future disputes. 


February 14, 1702, George Hansen, Jacob 
Hansen and Cornelius Yan Huyn, Trustees on the 
part of the town of Brooklyn, and Cornelius Yan 
Brunt, Peter Cortelyou, and Aert Yan Pelt, 
Trustees on the part of the town of ]S"ew Utrecht, 
entered into an agreement, which, after setting 
forth the said Trastees' powers to enter into the 
same, proceeds to say, " that the courses and lines 
hereafter specified shall be the exact bounds be- 
tween the said two towns of Brooklyn and New- 
Utrecht and soe to continue to perpetuity without 
any alteration ; viz. The bounds to begin in the 
sloott or pond lying and being by and between the 
house of Argyes Yan dyke, of the said towne of 
Brookland and the house of Thomas Sharax, of 
the said towne of N"ew Utrecht, where the water 
runns into the salt water Kiver, by a certaine 
fence from thence stretching away south-east one 


degree southerly, two hundred eighty and eight 
Engh'sh rod, to a winter white oake tree markt 
on the south and north-west side ; and from 
thence running east eight and twenty degrees 
northerly to a white oake tree, heing on tlie east 
side of the path leading to Kew-Utrccht, afore- 
said, to the Gowanos soe called in the towneship 
of Brookland abovesaid, said tree being markt 
on two sides, and being formerly the old markt 
tree betweene the said towns, tfec." 

At the time of the execution of the above- 
mentioned agreement, the Trustees of the town 
of Brookland, gave a bond to the Trustees of the 
town of New Utrecht, in the sum of one thousand 
pounds " currant money of Kew Yorke." — The 
condition of which Bond or obligation was, 
" That if the above bounden George Hansen, 
Jacob Hansen and Cornelius YanDuyn, severally 
and their severall heires and assigns, doe and shall 
from time to time and at all times hereafter, well 
and truly observe, performe and keepe, all and 
every the covenants, articles of agreements, 
which on their and every of their parts, are or 
ought to be observed, performed and kept, con- 
tained and specified in and by certain articles of 
agreements of the date hereof and made betweene 
the above bounden George Han-sen, Jacob Han- 
sen and Cornelius Yan Huyn of the one part, and 


the above-named Cornelius Yan Briint^ Peter Cor- 
tilljon and Aert Yan Pelt of the other part, of, 
in and concerning the linimitts and bonnds of 
their townes pattents, and that in and by all 
things according to the true meaning of the said 
articles of agreement in snch wise that no breache 
be made of the premises in said articles of agree- 
ment by the towne of Brookland aforesaid, at any 
time or times hereafter, then this obligation to 
be void and of none effect, otherwise to stand 
and remain in full force, virtue and power in 

In the year 1797, a survey was made of all the 
bonnds of this town, and a map thereof trans- 
mitted to the Surveyor General of this state. 


This town had a full share of the militar}^ op- 
erations during the Pevolutionary war ; and was 
for a long time in the possession of the British 
army. It is covered with the remains of for- 
tifications which were thrown up by the Ameri- 
cans'^ and English for their defence against each 
other. In this town was fouc^ht the most san- 

* The fortifications at Red Hook were erected by a regi- 
ment of Continental troops, the night of April 8, 1776. 


guinarj part of the battle of Long Island, August 
27, 1776 ; wliicli took place on the retreat of the 
American army within their lines, and the at- 
tempt of a portion of them to ford the mill ponds 
at Gowanus ; in which attempt nearly the whole 
of a Regiment of young men from Maryland 
were cut off. 

Many of the minor events connected with this 
battle, and the Revolutionary contest, are fast 
sinking into the shades of oblivion : the compiler 
has therefore thought proper to give place to the 
following piece of history, not with an idea, that 
he can immortalize any event w^hich he relates ; 
but with a hope, that his efforts will call forth 
some nobler pen to do justice to the memories of 
many of the almost forgotten heroes of those hard 
fought battles and arduous contests. In the 
battle above-mentioned, part of the British army 
marched down a lane or road leading from the 
Brush tavern to Gowanus, pursuing the Ameri- 
cans. Several of the American riflemen, in order 
to be more secure, and at the same time more 
effectually to succeed in their designs, had posted 
themselves in the high trees near the road. One 
of them, whose name is now partially forgotten, 
shot tlie English Major Grant ; in this he passed 
unobserved. Again he loaded his deadly rifle, 
and fired — another English oflicer fell. He was 


then marked, and a platoon ordered to advance, 
and fire into the tree ; which order was immedi- 
ately carried into execution, arid the rifleman fell 
to the ground, dead. After tlie battle was over, 
the two British officers were buried in a field, near 
where they fell, and their graves fenced in with 
some posts and rails, where their remains still 
rest. But " for an example to the rebels," they 
refused to the American rifleman the rites of 
sepulture ; and his remains were exposed on the 
ground, till the flesh was rotted and torn off his 
bones by the fowls of the air. After a considera- 
ble length of time, in a heavy gale of wind, a 
large tree was uprooted ; in the cavity formed by 
which, some friends to the Americans, notwith- 
standing the prohibition of the English, placed 
the brave soldier's bones to mijigle in peace with 
their kindred earth. 

August 28, 1776. Before day break, in a very 
thick foo:, General Washinorton retreated with his 
army from near the old ferry, Brooklyn, to Xew 
York. As the last boat of the Americans left 
the shore, the fog dissipated, and the British made 
their appearance on the hills above the place of 
embarkation, when a shot or two from an Ameri- 
can Battery on the hill near the house of Col. 
Henry Rutgers, in New York, compelled the 
British to desist in their march to the ferry. 


A short time after the retreat of the Americans, 

Captain Hale, of the American army, was dis- 
patched by General AYashington, to see if the 
English had taken possession of his camp at 
Brooklyn, and what their situation was. This 
unfortunate young officer was taken by the Eng- 
lish and hung as a spj^, without even a form of 
trial ; and not allowed a clergyman at his execu- 
tion. It is believed he was executed somewhere 
along the Brooklyn shore, to the south-west of the 
old ferr}'. In our pity for Major Andre we have 
almost entirely lost sight of this meritorious 
officer, whose claims on our gratitude ought ever 
to be remembered, in proportion as his sufferings 
were greater than those of the former. 

During the stay of the American army on 
Long Island, the head quarters of General Wash- 
ington were at the house on Brooklyn Heights, 
now owned and occupied by Henry Waring, Esq. 
The house now owned and occupied by Tennis 
Joralemon, Esq., was used by the English as a 
Hospital during the Bevolution, and in its vicinity 
hundreds of British soldiers and sailors are buried. 

Most of the records of this town w^ere destroyed 
by the English when they came in possession of 
it after the battle of Long Island. 

In the month of November, 1776, one of the 
British prison ships, called the Whitby, was 


moored in the Wallaboglit, near Eemsen's mills. 
On board this vessel great mortality prevailed 
among the prisoners, and many of them died. 
Those of the prisoners who died from this ship, 
and from the others, which were afterwards 
brought to this place, were interred in the hill at 
the present Navy -Yard ; where their remains 
were found, and in the year 1808, deposited in a 
vault erected for that purpose. March, 17Y7, two 
other prison ships anchored in the Wallaboght, 
one of which bore the name of Good Hope ; 
which vessel, in the month of October, in the 
same year, took fire and was burnt. The prison- 
ers were saved and transferred to the other ves- 
sels. — The hull of this ship lies under a dock at 
the Navy- Yard, in this town. In the month of 
February, 1778, on a Sunday afternoon, another 
British prison ship was burnt in the Wallaboght. 
The hull of this vessel lies in the mud in that 
Bay. 1778, the Jersey ship of the line, having 
arrived at New York, was condemned as unfit for 
the service, and converted into a prison ship. As 
such she anchored in the Wallaboo-ht durino^ the 
month of April, in the same year, together with 
the Falmouth and Hope, for Hospital ships ; 
where they remained till the close of the Eevolu- 
tionary war. 

October 22, 1779, An act of attainder was 


passed by the Legislature of this State, against 
John Rapalje, Esq., of this town, by which his 
property was confiscated to use of the State. 
That part of his property lying within the bounds 
of the present village of Brooklyn, was on the 
13th of July, 1784, sold by the Commissioners of 
Forfeitures, to Comfort, and Joshua Sands, Esqrs. 
for £12,430. 

In the year 1780, the British being apprelien- 
sive of an attack from the American army under 
General Washington, commenced fortifying the 
high grounds about Brooklj'n ; which works they 
continued until the peace in 1783. In this town 
the British had their army yard, where their for- 
age department, and blacksmith's shops, &c. were 
kept. The enti-ance to this yard was near the 
junction of Main-street with Fulton-street, in the 
present village of Brooklyn. 

During the Bevolution, this place, was much 
resorted to by the officers of the English army, 
and the fashionables of the day, as a scene of 
amusement. In the Boyal Gazette of August 
Sth, 1781, published at IS^ew-York, Charles Loos- 
ley advertises a Lottery of $12,500, to be drawn 
at " Brooklyn Ilall." The same paper contains 
the following advertisement : ^* Pro bono publico. 
Gentlemen that are fond of fox hunting, are re- 
quested to meet at Loosley's Tavern, on Ascot 


Heath, on Friday morniiig next, between the 
hours of five and six, as a pack of hounds will be 
there purposely for a trial of their abilities : 
Breakfasting and Relishes until the Races com- 
mence. — At eleven o'clock will be run for, an 
elegant saddle, &c., value at least twenty pounds, 
for which upw^ards of tw^elve gentlemen will ride 
their own horses. — At twelve, a match wdll be 
rode by two gentlemen. Horse for Horse. — At 
one, a match for thirty guineas, by two gentle- 
men, who will also ride their own horses. — Din- 
ner will be ready at two o'clock, after which, and 
suitable regalements, racing and other diversions, 
Avill be calculated to (;on(Jude the day with pleas- 
ure and harmouy. Brooklyn Hall, 6th August, 

Lieutenant Anberry, in a letter from ^N'ew- 
York, to a friend in England, dated October 30th, 
1781, saySj "on crossing the East River from 
Tsew York, you land at Brooklyn, which is a 
scattered village, consisting of a few houses. At 
this place is an excellent Tavern, whei'e parties 
are made to go and eat fish ; the landlord of 
which has saved an immense fortune this war." 
The public house referred to in the above adver- 
tisements, and letter, was the same house, which 
after the Revolution, and in the Compiler's re- 
collection, was called the " Corporation House." 


It was a large, gloomy, old fashioned stone edi- 
fice ; and was destroyed by fire, September 2od5 

This town was left by the British troops, the 
same day that they evacnated ^ew-York. 


The first public officer appointed by the Dutch 
Government for this town after its settlement in 
1625, was a " Superintendant," whose duties w^ere 
to preserve the peace, and regulate the police of 
the town. A few years after the office of Super- 
intendant was abolished, and the offices of Schout, 
Secretary, and Assessor, created ; these officers 
were also appointed by the Governor. In 16-10, 
the town having considerably increased, the in- 
habitants w^ere permitted to elect two magistrates; 
subject, however, to the approval or rejection of 
the Governor. These magistrates had increased 
powers : they were authorised to give judgment 
in all cases as they might think proper ; provided 
that the judgment so given be not contrary to the 
charter of IS^ew IS^etherland. Subsequently this 
Town Court was new modelled by the Dutch 
Government, and its power and authority more 
clearly defined. 


The inhabitants suffering very much under the 
arbitrary exercise of power on the part of the 
government, frequently remonstrated against the 
same. Finally a convention of delegates from 
this, and the other towns under the Dutch gov- 
ernment assembled at Xew Amsterdam, Novem- 
ber 26th, 1653, on an invitation from the Gover- 
nor. Where they, on the 11th of December, 
following, entered into a remonstrance against 
the exclusion of the people from their share in 
legislation, and generally against their mode of 
government. The Governor and his Council sent 
them no answer, but entered one on the minutes ; 
in which they denied the right of this town, 
Flatbush, and Flatlands, to send deputies, and 
protested against the meeting, notwithstanding 
the same was held at the Governor's request. 
Entertaining a just sense of the responsibility 
attached to them, the deputies made another, but 
ineffectual attempt, to obtain a recognition of 
their rights, and on the 13th of the last mentioned 
month, presented another remonstrance, in which 
they declared, that if they could not obtain them 
from the Governor and Council, they would be 
under the necessity of appealing to their su- 
perior, the States General. — The Governor in a 
fit of anger dissolved their meeting, and sent 
them home. 


In 1654, it appears that the country was very 
much infested with robbers ; to disperse whom, 
April 7, 1654, the magistrates of this town, to- 
gether with those of Midwont and Amersfort, 
united in forming a company of soldiers to act 
against ^'robbers and pirates," and determined 
that there should be a military officer in each 
town, called a Sergeant. 

In order to prevent the depredations of the In- 
dians, the Governor in 1660, ordered the inhabi- 
tants of Brooklyn to put the town in a state of 
defence ; and commanded the farmers to remove 
within the fortifications, on the pain of forfeiting 
their estates."^ 

* In 1655, a large body of Northern Indians raade a descent 
on Staten Island, and massacred 67 persons; after which 
they crossed to Long Island, and invested Gravesend ; which 
place was relieved by a party of soldiers from New Amster- 
dam. It appears from the records that these Indians were 
on their way to commence a war against the Indians on the 
east end of Long Island. 

The inhabitants of Flatbush were ordered by Governor 
Stuyvesant, in 1656, to enclose their village with palisadoes 
to protect them from the Indians. These fortifications were 
required to be kept under the English government, as will 
appear by the following record of the Court of Sessions for 
the West Riding of Yorksliire upon Long Island, December 
15th, 1675. " The towne of Fflatbush having neglected the 
making of ffortifications, the Court take notis of it, and reffer 
the censure to ye Governor. " 


For the first two or three years under the Eng- 
lish government, the magistrates of this town 
were but temporary officers. Nearly all that we 
know about the government previous to 1G69, is, 
that Town Courts were established in this Colony. 
The inference would be, that as this town was 
granted " all the rights and privileges belonging 
to a town within this government," a Town Court 
was also organized here. 

The Town Clerk of this town was appointed by 
tlie Governor, and confirmed by the Court of Ses- 
sions, as will appear by the following record : At 
a Court of Sessions held at Gravesend for the 
AYest Riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island, 
December 15, 1669. " Whereas Derick Storm 
presented an order from his Hon. the Governor, 
for tlie approbation of the Court of Sessions, to 
allow him to be towme clerk of Breucklen, taking 
his oath, the Court having allowed thereof, 
and doe hereby confirme him of Gierke of said 

In tlie year 1669, the first mention is made in 
the records of the " Constable of Breucklen ; " 
which office at that period was held by Michael 
Lenell. The duties of constable as laid down in 
the . Duke's laws were, holding town courts wuth 
the overseers, and with them making assessments, 
&C.5 whipping, or punishing offenders, raising the 


hue and cry after murderers, manslayers, thieves, 
robbers, burglars ; and also to apprehend without 
warrant such as were overtaken with drink, swear- 
ing, Sabbath bi-eaking, vagrant persous, or night- 
walkers ; " provided they bee taken in the man- 
ner, either by the sighte of the constable, or by 
present imformacon from others ; as alsoe to 
make searche for all such persons either on ye 
Sabbath daye, or other, when there shall bee oc- 
cation in all houses licensed to sell beere or wine, 
or any other suspected or disordered places, and 
those to apprehend and keepe in safe custody 
till opportunity serves to bring them before 
the next Justice of ye Peace for further exani- 
inacon." The Constable was chosen out of 
the number of Overseers, whose term of service 
had expired. 

The following is a list of the Constables of 
Brooklyn, from\669 to 1690 : 

1669. Michael Lenell. 

1671. Lambert Johnson. 

1675. Andries Juriaensen. 

1676. Cornelius Corsen. 

1678. Thomas Lambertse. 

1679. John Aeresen. 

1680. Andries Juriaensen. 
1682. Martin E-yersen. 


Brooklyn and l^ewtown were ordered to make 
a new clioice according to law. 

1683. Jan Cornells Dam. 

1684. Thomas Ffardon. 
1687. John Aertsen. 
1668. Yolkert Andriese. 
1689. Jacobus Beavois. 

1689. Jurian Bries. 

1690. Jurian Hendrickse. 

Shortly after the conquest of this Colony by the 
English from the Dutch, the towns of Brooklyn, 
Bushwyck, Midwout, or Flatbush, Amersfort, or 
Flatlands, and New Utrecht, were formed into a 
separate district for certain purposes, by the name 
of the " Five Dutch towns." A Secretary was 
specially apj^ointed for these five towns, whose 
duties appear to have been confined to the taking 
acknowledgment of transports, and marriage 
settlements, and proof of wills, &g. This ofiice, 
in 1674, was held by " Nicasius De Sille, in the 
absence of Sir Ffrancis De Brugh." This same 
Mr. De Sille, was in authority under the Dutch 
government, in the year 1658, as Schout of the 
city of New-Amsterdam. He was styled, " Heer 
Nicasius De Sille." There was no uniformity in 
the title of those acknowledging ofticers of the 


Five Dutch towns. In 1675, Michiel Hainelle 
exercised that office, and styled himself *' Clerk." 
In the same year the Court of Sessions for this 
Hiding, after setting forth the appointment of 
Hainell, and calling him " Secretary," said, " It 
is the opinion of the Court that for what pub- 
lique or private business he shall doe he ought to 
have reasonable satisfaction."^ 

There were also in this town, officers, w^ho were 
called " Overseers." The Duke's Laws provide 
for their appointment in the following manner. 
" Overseers shall be eight in number, men of 
good fame, and life, chosen by the plurality of 
voyces of the freeholders in each towne, whereof 
foure shall remain in their office two yeares suc- 
cessively, and foure shall be changed for new 
ones every yeare ; which election shall preceed 
the elections of Constables, in point of time, in 
regard the Constable for the year ensuing, is to 
bee chosen out of that number which are dismist 
from their office of Overseers." 

* There were also a " Clerk " in most if not in all of these 
towns, who seems to have been authorised to take proof of 
the execution of wills ; whether he was the Town Clerk 
does not appear. This officer was differently appointed in 
the different towns. In Bushwick he was appointed by the 
Commissioners of the town, and in New Utrecht he was 
elected by the people, and approved of by the Governor. 


The following is a copy of the oath which was 
administered to the overseers elect. 

" Whereas you are chosen and appointed an 
Overseer for the Towne of Breucklen you doe 
sweare by tlie Ever-living God, that you will faith- 
fully and diligently discharge the trust reposed in 
you, in relation to the publique and towne affaires, 
according to the present lawes established, with- 
out favour, affection or partiality to any person 
or cause which shall fall under your cognizance ; 
and at time when you shall bee required by your 
superio]"S to attend the private differences of 
neighbours, you will endeavour to reconcile them: 
and iu all causes conscientiously and according to 
the best of your judgment deliver your voice in 
the towne meetings of Constable and Overseers, 
So helpe you God." These officers were com- 
monly sworn by the Court of Sessions ; but in the 
year 1671, the Constable of N"ewtown objected to 
the Court's swearing the overseers of that town, 
" alledginge that accordinge to the amendments of 
the law iff special occation required, itt is in the 
power of the Constable to sweare them, otherwise 
not, which is left to his Honor the Governor to 
decide." The inhabitants of the town for which 
the overseers were elected were authorised to de- 
termine by a major vote whether the said over- 
seers should, on admission to office, take the 


oath prescribed as above ; and in case the said 
overseers were not sworn, it was a legal objection 
against their proceedings on the part of any per- 
son prosecuted in their court, unless the overseers 
immediately on objection being made, took the 
oath, which the Constable was permitted to ad- 

It was the dutv of the Overseers, tos^ether with 
the Constable, to hold Town Courts, for the trial 
of causes under £5. Their other duties are con- 
tained in the following summary. On the death 
of any person, tliey were to repair with tlie Con- 
stable, to the house of the deceased, and inquire 
after the manner of his death, and of his will and 
testament ; and if no will was found, the Consta- 
ble in the presence of the Overseers was, witliin 
48 hours, to search after the estate of the de- 
ceased, and to deliver an account of the same in 
writing, under oath, to the next Justice of the 
Peace. They, together with the Constable made 
all assessments. If any Overseer died during his 
term, the rest of the Overseers by a major vote, 
made choice of another in his place ; and if the 
person so cliosen refused to serve, he forfeited the 
sum of £10, tow^ards defraying tlie town charges. 
They were to settle the bounds of the town, 
within twelve months after the bounds were 
granted. They had tlie power of regulating 


fences. They were authorised together with the 
Constable to make choice of two out of the eight 
overseers of the Church affairs. 

They and the Constable, were frequently to 
admonish the inhabitants " to instruct their chil- 
dren and servants in matters of religion, and the 
lavves of the country." They, with the Constable, 
appointed an officer " to record every man's par- 
ticular marke, and see each man's horse and colt 
branded." The Constable and two of the Over- 
seers were to pay the value of an Indian coat for 
each wolf killed ; and they were to cause the 
wolf's head to be '^ nayled over the door of the 
Constable, their to remaine, as also to cut of both 
the eares in token that the head is bought and 
paid for." 

The following is the only list that the Compiler 
could obtain of the Overseers of this town. 

1671. Frederick Lubertse and Peter Pernied- 

1675. John Peterson Mackhike, and Jerome 
De Rapostelley. 

1676. Tunis Guis Bergen, and Thomas Lam- 

1679. John Harrill, and Martyn Peyandsen. 

1680. Symon Aeresen, and Michael Ilarsen. 
1683. John Aeresen, and Daniel Papellie. 
In the year 1683, the " Overseers " were 


chano^ed to " Commissioners." The " act for de- 
fraying the publique and necessary charge of 
each respective citty, towne, and county through- 
out this province ; and for maintaining the poore 
and preventing vagabonds." Passed by the Gen- 
eral Assembly of this colony, November 1st, 1683, 
provides — " That annually and once in every 
yeare there shall be elected a certaine number 
out of each respective citty, towne, and county 
throughout this province ; to be elected and 
chosen by the major part of all the ffreeholders 
and ffreenien ; which certaine number so duely 
elected shall have full power and authority to 
make an assessment or certaine rate within their 
respective cittys, townes and countys annually, 
and once in every yeare, which assessment and 
certain rate so established as aforesaid, shall bee 
paid into a certaine Treasurer, who shall be chosen 
by a major part of all the ffreemen of each re- 
spective citty, towne, and count}^ ; which Trea- 
surer soe duly chosen, shall make such payment 
for the defraying of all the publique and necessary 
charges of each respective place above-menconed, 
as shall bee appointed by the commissioners, or 
their President, that shall be appointed in each 
respective citty, towne, and county within this 
province, for he sujyervising the jpxiblique affaires 
and charge of each respective citty, towne and 


county aforesaid." And tlie said act proceeds 
further to say, " And whereas it is tlie custome 
and practice of his Majesties realme of England, 
and all the adjacent colonjes in America, that 
every respective county, citty, towne, parrish, 
and precinct, doth take care and provide for the 
poore who doe inhabit in their respective pre- 
cincts aforesaid ; Therefore it is enacted, &c., that 
for the time to come the respective commis- 
sioners of every county, citty, towne, parish, pre- 
cinct aforesaid, shall make provision for the 
maintainance and support of their poore respect- 
ively." ^ 

The following is a list of the Commissioners of 
this town from 16S4, to 1690, inclusive. 

1684:, Thomas Lambertson, Randolph Emans, 
and John Aeresen. 

1685. Tunis Guis Bergen, and Daniel Ea- 

* This law provides, that any person not having a visible 
estate, or a manual craft or occupation, coming into any- 
place within this province, should give security, not to be- 
come chargeable within two years ; and the captains of ves- 
sels bringing passengers into this j)rovince, were required to 
report them to the chief magistrate of the place within 
24 hours after their arrival. Under the Dutch govern- 
ment the poor were supported out of the fines imposed 
for offences committed, and by contributions taken up in. 
the Churches. 


16S6. Michael Hansen, and Jeromus De 

The town made choice of Hansen and De Eap- 
alie ; and were ordered bj the Court of Sessions 
to make a new selection by the 12th of April, 
1686, and return the same to one of the Justices 
of the Peace for Kings County. 

1687. Adriaen Bennet, Thomas Lambertson, 
and Tunis Guysbert. 

The Court of Sessions ordered the town to make 
choice of a new Commissioner in the place of 
Tunis Gnysbert ; which they according did, and 
elected Jan Gerritsen Dorland. 

1688. Simon Aertsen, Michael Hansen, and 
Claes Barense. 

The Court of Sessions refused to swear Michael 

1690. Joris Hansen, Hendrick Claasen, and 
Jan Gerbritse. 

The office of "Commissioner" continued until 
1703, when a '^Supervisor" was elected. The 
Supervisors of Kings County had their first meet- 
ing on the first Tuesday of October, 1703 ; at 
which meeting Captain Joras Hansen was the 
Supervisor from Brooklyn. The duty of the 
Supervisors was, "to compute, ascertaine, ex- 
amine, oversee, and allow the contingent, pub- 
lick, and necessary charge of each county." Two 


assessors were also elected for this town, whose 
names were, Peter Garabrantse and John E. 
Bennett ; and one Collector. This is not the 
first mention of the assessors and collectors of this 
town in our County Records. In 1688, Michael 
Hansen and Daniel Rapalie were chosen assess- 
ors, for the purpose of assessing this town's pro- 
portion of a tax of £308 83 Od, which was im- 
posed on King's County. It is the opinion of 
the Compiler, that these were distinct officers 
from the Commissioners, whose duty it was 
to assess the ordinary rates ; and that these 
assessors were but temporary officers, appoint- 
ed to assess this particular tax. In 1699, Jan 
Garretse Dorlant is mentioned as Collector of 
Brooklyn ; and in 1701, John Bybout held the 
same office. 

In 1691, a majority of the freeholders of the 
town were empowered to make orders for the 
improvement of their public lands ; and annually 
to elect three surveyors of liighways. The duties 
of these surveyors were to amend and lay out 
highways and fences. The town meeting at 
which these orders were made, and officers elected, 
were held by the direction and under the super- 
intendence of one or more justices of the peace. 

November 8, 1692. The court of sessions for 
Kings County ordered that each town within the 


county should erect " a good pair of stocks, and 
a good pound ; " and tliat the clerk of the court 
should issue a warrant to the constable of every 
town, requiring them to see this order complied 
witli " at their peril." The following is a list of 
the constables of this town, from the new organi- 
zation of the colony in 1691 to 1711, as far as the 
Compiler has been able to ascertain the same : 

1693. Yolkert Brier. 

1697. Volkert Brier. 

169S. Jacob Hansen. [This man was 
complained of by the last constable for not making 
his appearance at court ; and the sheriff was or- 
dered to summon him to appear at the next court.] 

1699. Jacobus Beauvois. 

1700. Cornelius Yerhoeven. 

1701. Jacob Yerdon. 

1702. Thomas Davies. 

1703. Thomas Davies. 

1704. William Brower. 

1705. Jacob Ffardon. [This con- 
stable refused to call a town meeting in 1706, in 
compliance with the requisitions of a warrant he 
had received from Justice Ffilkin,for the election 
of town officers ; and the inhabitants complained 
of him to the court of sessions, who ordered that 
a town meeting should be held for the election 
of town officers, and that Ffardon should hold 


over until a new constable was elected and sworn 
in his stead.] 

1707. Abram Sleghter. 

1708. Cornelius Collier. 

1709. William Brower. 
1711. Thomas Davies. 

For some time previous and subsequent to the 
year 1693, the colony was in a very disordered 
state, arising probably from its new organization 
after the Revolution in Great Britain. 

At the same period, both the civil and military 
governments in this town, and also in the county, 
were very unpopular. In order to support their 
authority, the justices of the peace resorted to the 
exercise of very arbitrary measures: arresting 
and confining many persons under the pretence 
of their having uttered scandalous words against 
them and the government ; by which proceedings 
they completely alienated the jjeople's affections, 
and exasperated them to such a degree that they 
committed many excesses : all which will appear 
by the following extracts from the records : 

" October 11, 1693. At a meeting of the justices 
of Kings County, at the county hall. Present, 
.Roeleff Martense, Nicholas Stillwell, Joseph liege- 
man, and Henry Ffilkin, esqrs., justices. John 
Bibout, of Broockland, in the county aforesaid, 
we aver, being committed by the said justices to 


tlie common jail of Kings County, for divers 
scandalous and abusive words spoken by the said 
John against their majesties justices of the peace 
for the county aforesaid, to the contempt of their 
majesties authority and breach of the peace; the 
said John having now humbly submitted himself, 
and craves pardon and mercy of the said justices 
for his misdemeanour, is discharged, paying the 
officer's fees, and being on his good behaviour 
till the next court of sessions, in November next 
ensuing the date hereof." 

In another instance, during the same year, in 
the month of October, in the town of Bushwyck, 
a man named Urian Hagell, was imprisoned for 
having said on a training day, speaking jestingly 
of the soldiers, '' Let us knock them down, we 
are three to their one." The justices called these 
" mutinous, factious, and seditious words ; " 
which, with the like, appear to have been favourite 
terms with them. Again, in the same month and 
year, Ilendrick Claes Yechte, of the town of 
Brooklyn, was imprisoned by the justices, on a 
charge of " raising of dissension, strife, and mu- 
tiny, among their majesties subjects." And May 
8, 109:1:, two women of Bushwick were indicted 
at the sessions, for having beat and pulled the 
hair of Captain Peter Praa, whilst at the head of 
his company of soldiers on parade. One of them 


was fined £3, and tlie cost, £1 19.5. 9d. ; and the 
other 406'. and the cost, £1 19.5. 9d. In the last 
mentioned year (1694) Yolkert Brier, constable of 
Brooklyn, was fined £5, and the costs of court 
amounting to £1, by the sessions, " for tearing and 
burning an execution directed to him as consta- 
ble." ^ Brier afterwards petitioned the govern- 
or to have the fine remitted ; a copy of which pe- 
tition is in the appendix, marked C. 

This town with respect to legal mattere was un- 
der the jurisdiction of the court of sessions held 
at Gravesend, for the West Riding of Yorkshire, 
upon Long Island,t until the year 1683 ; when 
an act was passed by the first legislative assembly 
of this colony, dividing the province into counties 
by which the ridings were abolished. The court 
however, continued to be held at G-ravesend until 
1686, when it was removed to Flatbush, in con- 
formity to an act of the colonial assembly, passed 

* Sept. 14, 1696, about 8 o'clock in the evening, John 
Rapale, Isaac Bemsen, Joras Yannester, Joras Danielse Ra- 
pale, Jacob Reyersen, Aert Aersen, Tunis Buys, Garret 
Cowenhoven, G-abriel Sprong,Urian Andriese, John Williamse 
Bennet, Jacob Bennet and John Meserole, Jr. met armed at 
the court-house of Kings, where they destroyed and defaced 
the king's arms which were hanging up there. 

f The West Riding was composed of the towns of Brook- 
lyn, Bushwick, Flatbush, Flatlands, New-Utrecht, and 
Grravesend, together with Staten Island and Newtown. 


in the year 1685. This town continued under 
the jurisdiction o£ that court and the court of 
common pleas, which was afterwards establislied, 
until the close of the revolutionary war. At tlie 
close of the war the courts were re-organized, 
and this town still continues under their jurisdic- 


In 1816 the village of Brooklyn was erected 
out of the town, and constituted a distinct govern- 
ment ; thereby forming an hnperium in i7nperio. 

The present government both of the town and 
village, approach as near a pure democracy as 
that of any other place in this State. JSTo business 
of importance is undertaken without first having 
the sanction of a public meeting. Here these 
sterling principles, that all power emanates from 
the people, and that public officers are but public 
servants, are fully recognized and acted upon. 

This head the Compiler will divide into two 
divisions, in order to avoid confusion : First, the 
Town Government, and second, the Tillage Gov- 

First — the Town Government. 

The government of the town is administered by 
A Supervisor, elected by the people, at the an- 
nual town-meeting, on the first Tuesday of April. 


The duties of this officer are principally coniiDed 
to the apportionment of taxes, presiding at elec- 
tions, &c. He is also ex-officio a commissioner 
of excise for granting tavern licenses in the town, 
and the general guardian of the town rights. 
There is no salary attached to this office : the su- 
pervisor receives a compensation of two dollars 
per day, for attending the general meeting of 
the supervisors of the different towns in the 
county, and a trifling amount for granting licenses. 
The present supervisor is William Furman, esq. 

A Town Clerk, also elected by the people. 
The duties of this officer are to call special town- 
meetings on the request of twelve freeholders, re- 
cord the proceedings of town-meetings, and pre- 
serve the records of the town. In 1G9S, Jacob 
Yandewater, town clerk of this town, received 
the sura of £6 5^. for two years and six months 
salary."^ In 1822, in order to make the town 
clerk's salary in some degree proportionate to the 
increase of business, the town voted him a salary 
of $50. In 1824, the town clerk's salary was in- 
creased to $75. The office is at present held by 
John Doughty, Esq., who has been successively 
elected since the year 1796. 

* At the same period, the salary of the clerk of the county 
was £10 per annum. 


Five Assessors, also elected by the people — 
whose duties are to assess all real and personal 
estate liable to taxation within the town, and to 
forward such assessment to the supervisors, that 
they may apportion the amount of tax on the 
same. The present assessors are Messrs. John S. 
Bergen, Richard Stanton, John Spader, Joseph 
Moser, and Andrew Demarest. Their compen- 
sation is one dollar and twenty-five cents per day 
during the time they are employed in making 
and completing the assessment. 

There are also elected two overseer's of the 
poor, Messrs. AA^illiam Corn well and Isaac Moser ; 
one constable and collector^ Mr. John McKenney ; 
two constahles, Messrs. John Lawrence and Sam- 
uel Doxsey ; and several other ofticers, whose 
names and duties w^ill be set forth in the subse 
quent parts of this work. 

The judicial business of this town is at present 
transacted by three justices of the peace, viz., 
John Garrison, John C. Murphy, and Sanmel 
Smith, Esqs. These magistrates are appointed 
by the judges of the com]non pleas and the super- 
visors of the county. 

Second — the Village Government. 
April 12, 1816, the village of Brooklyn was in- 


corporated by an act of the legislature of this 
state. By this act the freeholders and inhabi- 
tants are authorized annually to elect, on the first 
Monday of May, *' Five discreet freeholders, resi- 
dent within the said village, Trustees thereof ; " 
and these trustees are authorized to appoint a 
president and clerk. The first trustees, Messrs. 
Andrew Mercein, John Garrison, John Doughty, 
John Seaman, and John Dean, were appointed 
by the legislature, and continued in ofiice until 
the first Monday of May, 1817; when the first 
election was made by the people, and they made 
choice of Messrs. William Furman, Ilenrj^ Stan- 
ton, William Henry, Tunis Joralemon, and Noah 
Waterbury. The present trustees are Messrs. 
Joshua Sands, John Doughty, Joseph. Moser, 
John Moon, and Samuel James. Joshua Sands, 
Esq., president, and John Dikeman, Esq., clerk of 
the board. Tlie president, previous to 1824, re- 
ceived no salary ; at present, his salary is $300. 
The clerk formerly received a salary of $100, 
which, in consequence of the great increase of 
business, is now raised to $200. The powers of 
the trustees are principally "to make, ordain, 
constitute, and publish, such prudential by-laws, 
rules and regulations, as they from time to time 
shall deem meet and proper ; and such in par- 
ticular as relate to the public markets, streets, al- 


leys, and highways of the said village ; to di-aiiiiiig, 
tilling up, levelling, paving, improving, and keep- 
ing in order the same ; relative to slanghter- 
houses, houses of ill-fame, and nuisances gene- 
rally ; relative to a village watch, and ligliting 
the streets of said village ; relative to restraining 
geese, swine, or cattle of any kind ; relative to 
the better improvement of their common lands ; 
relative to the inspection of weights and mea- 
sures, and the assize of bread ; relative to erect- 
ing and regulating hay-scales ; relative to the 
licensing of public porters, cartmen, hackney- 
coachmen, gangers, weigh-masters, measurers, in- 
spectors of beef and pork, of wood, of staves and 
heading, and of lumber ; relative to public wells, 
pumps, and reservoirs or cisterns of water to be 
kept filled for the extinguishment of fires ; rela- 
tive to the number of taverns or inns to be 
licensed in said villao^e; and relative toanv thino^ 

7 f O 

whatsoever that may concern the public and good 
government of the said village ; but no such by- 
laws shall extend to the reornlatino; or fixino: the 
prices of any commodities or articles of provision, 
except the article of bread, that may be ofiered 
for sale." The powers of the trustees in open- 
ing, regulating, and widening streets, are enlarged 
and defined by an act passed by the legislature 
of this state, April 9, 1824. 


The board of trustees have the appointment 
of several officei-s. The following is a list of the 
names of the officers at present holding under them. 

John Lawrence, Collector. 

Samuel Watts, 1 

John Titus, K.,. . , 

A 1 mi r VVei^rhers. 

Andrew Tombs, ^ 

Robert W. Doughty, j 

Burdet Striker, Measurer. 

William A. Sale, Measurer of Lime. 

Three village Assessors are also elected by the 
people, for the purpose of making an assessment 
on which to apportion the village tax. The pres- 
ent assessors are Losee Yan l!sostrand, Gamaliel 
King, and John D. Conklin. 

The Trustees, by an act passed April 9th, 
1824:, are constituted a Board of Llealth. The 
President and Clerk of the Trustees are ex- 
officio President and Clerk of the Board of 
Health. The salary of the President of this 
Board is §150. 

A Health Physician is appointed by the Board 
of Health ; which office is at present held by Dr. 
J. G. T. Hunt, with a salary of $200. 

The duties of the Board relate to the general 
conservation of the health of the village. 

As early as 1809, during the prevalence of the 


yellow fever in this town, the inhabitants met to- 
gether in conseqnence of repeated solicitations 
from the Common Council of New York, and 
after stating in their proceedings that, " reports 
prevailed, that disease exists to an alarming ex- 
tent in the town of Brooklyn," they appointed 
the following gentlemen a committee "for the 
purpose of inquiring into the state of the health 
of the inhabitants of said town, and to act as the 
case in their opinion may require," viz., William 
Furman, John Gari'ison, Burdet Stryker, Henry 
Stanton, and Andrew Mercein. A sum of money 
was raised by subscription to meet the expense of 
this Committee. 

In the year 1819, the Trustees, although not 
strictly invested with power, yet feeling the 
necessity of acting with some degree of energy, 
in order to quiet the fears of the inhabitants, 
arising from reports of the existence of a pesti- 
lential disease in New York, published an address, 
in which they state, "that during this season of 
alarm, they have not been unmindful of that part 
of their duty incumbent on them as a Board of 
Health for the village," and that " measures have 
been taken to obtain from time to time a report 
of the state of health throughout the village, that 
the inhabitants may be early apprised of any 
change affecting their welfare." 



This head will be divided into three divisions 
— first, Churches; second, Markets; and third 
Public Institutions. 

Mrst, Churches. 

The first Church established in Kings County, 
was, October 13, 1654, when the Rev. Joannes 
Theodoras Polhemus, a minister of the Dutch 
Reformed Church, was j^enniUed by Governor 
Stuyvesant, to preach at Midwout (Flatbush) and 
Amersfort (Flatlands).* The congregation was 
gathered at this time ; but the order of Governor 
Stuyvesant for building the Church is dated 
December 15, 1654. February 9, 1655, the 
Governor ordered the inhabitants of Brooklyn 
and Amersfort, which at that period, together with 
Gravesend, were one congregation, to cut timber 
for the erection of the Church at Midwout; which 
building was to be 60 feet in length, 28 feet in 
breadth, and 14 feet in height below the beams. 

In order to accommodate the four towns of 
Gravesend, Amersfort, Midwout, and Brooklyn, 
the Governor ordered that Mr. Polhemus should 
preach every Sunday morning at Midwout, and 

* This minister died in the month of June, 1676. 


Sunday afternoons alternately at Amersfort and 

In the year 1659, the inhabitants of this town 
applied to Governor Stnyvesant for permission to 
call a minister for their congregation, assigning 
as their reason for their application, the badness 
of the road to Flatbush, the difficulty of attend- 
ing divine service at 'New York, and the extreme 
old age and inability of the Rev. Mr. Polhemus 
to perform his services at Brooklyn. 

The Governor deemed the request reasonable, 
and sent Nicasius de Sille, Fiscal of New Neth- 
erlancl, and Martin Kregier, Burgomaster, of 
New Amsterdam, to this town, as a committee of 
inquiry, who reported in favor of the application ; 
whereupon the request of the inhabitants was 
granted. The inhabitants prepared a call for the 
Rev. Ilem-y Solinus, alias Ilenricus Selwyn, from 
Holland, who was approved of by the classis of 
Amsterdam, on the 16th of February, 1660, when 
the classis also gave the Rev. Mr. Solinus a dis- 
mission, wishing hitn a safe and prosperous jour- 
ney by land and by water to his congregation in 
the New Netherland. The time of the arrival of 
this minister is not known. He was installed in 
his church on the 3d of September, 1660, in the 
presence of the Fiscal, and Burgomaster Kregier, 
by the order of Governor Stuyvesant, who ap- 


pears to have been at the head of the eccleslastic^al, 
as well as the civil and military government of 
the colony. 

On the 7th of September, 1660, a letter was 
written to the E-ev. Mr. Polhemns, informing him 
of the installation of the Kev. Mr. Solinus in the 
Church of Brooklyn, and thanking him for his 
labom-s and attention to the Congregation. The 
letter was sent by a respectable person, to whom 
the Rev. Mr. PoUienius returned his thanks for 
the attention which the Church at Brooklyn had 
paid him, and furnished the messenger with a list 
of the names of the Church menibers, twenty- 
iive in number. 

Mr. Solinus' salary was 600 guilders per an- 
num, equal to $200. Three hundred guilders of 
which \vas to be paid by Brooklyn, and three 
hundred by Fatherland (Holland). Some time 
after, the inliabitants of Brooklyn objected to 
raising their proportion of the salary ; and May 
25, 1662, petitioned the Governor that Mr. 
Solimis should reside amonor them; settins^ forth 
as a reason, that if their minister resided with 
them more people would go to church, and they 
would be better able to raise the salary. Gover- 
nor Stuyvesant, in order to accommodate this 
dispute, proposed to pay 250 guilders towards 
Mr. Solinus' salary, on condition that he would 


preach in the Bonweiy on Sunday afternoons. — 
This arrangement appears to have been entered 
intOy for a short time after Mr. Solinus preached 
at the Bouwery half the time. 

The Indians having on the 7th of June, 1663, 
attacked the town of Esopus, burnt the same, 
and destroyed many of the inhabitants, and took 
many prisoners; the event was communicated by 
Governor Stuyvesant to the church at Broolvlyn, 
in the following manner. 

" As a sorrowf ull accident and willf ull massaci-e 
has been committed by the Esopus Indians, who 
have with deliberate design under the insidious 
cover of friendship, determined to destroy Eso- 
pus, which they effected on the Tth instant, 
killing and wounding a number of the inhabi- 
tants, and taking many prisoners, burning the 
new^ town, and desolating the place. Whereupon 
the congregation is directed and desired by his 
Excellency the Governor General to observe and 
keep the ensuing AV'ednesday as a day of fasting, 
humiliation and prayer to the Almighty, hoping 
that he may avert further calamities from the 
ISTew Netherlands, and extend his fatherly pro- 
tection and care to the country. And it is fur- 
ther ordered, that the first Wednesday in every 
month be observed in like manner. By order of 
the Director-General, and Council, &c. Dated at 


Fort Orange, June 26, 1663." Wednesday the 
4tli of July, 1663, was observed as a day of 
thanksgiving on account of a treaty of peace 
having been made with the Esopus Indians, and 
the release of the inhabitants who had been taken 
prisoners ; and also for the success obtained over 
the British, who attempted with flj'ing colours to 
take possession of all Long Island for the King 
of England, which was prevented by the timely 
arrival of the Dutch fleet. 

On the 23d of July, 1664, the Kev. Henry 
Solinus took leave of his congregation and sailed 
in the ship Beaver for Holland. After his de- 
parture, Charles Debevoise, the schoolmaster of 
the town, and sexton of the church, was directed 
to read prayers, and a sermon from an approved 
author, every Sabbath day in the church for the 
improvement of the congregation, until another 
minister was called. 

The first Dutch church in Brooklyn was built 
in the year 1666, although a minister had been 
settled to preach here for some years previous. 
— A second church was erected on the site of that 
built in 1666; which second church continued 
standing until about 1810, when a new and sub- 
stantial church was erected on Joi-alemon street, 
and the old one taken down. This old church 
was a very gloomy looking building, with small 


windows, and stood in the middle of the highway, 
about a mile from Brooklyn ferry. In removing 
it the workmen found the remains of a Hessian 
officer, who had been buried there in his uniform, 
during the Kevolutionary war. 

The Dutch congregations on this island formed 
but one church, although they had different con- 

The ministers under the Dutch government 
were not permitted to marry any persons without 
making the marriage proclamation on three suc- 
ceeding Sabbaths in their churclies. The same 
practice was observed after the Colony came un- 
der the British government. The last mentioned 
government however sold marriage licenses, which 
were granted by the Governor's Secretary in 
New York, for the sum of eight dollars each. 
The inhabitants generally preferred purchasing a 
marriage license, and thus contributed to the 
revenue of the Governor and Secretary. 

During the ministry of the Kev. Mr. Solinus, 
the marriage fees were not the perquisite of the 
Minister, as appears by his account rendered by 
him to the Consistor^^, on the 29th of October, 
1662, when he paid over to the consistory the sum 
of seventy-eight guilders and ten stivers, for four- 
teen marriage fees received by him. 

The following is a list of ministers of the Dutch 

876 N()Tp:3 on the town of Brooklyn. 

Reformed Church, who officiated in the church 
on tliis island (with the exception of Poliiemus 
and Solinus), taken from a manuscript of the 
Eev. Peter Lowe. 

Joannes Magapolensis, probably died. 1668 
Casper us Van Zuren " " . 1677 

Clark " " . 1695 

William Lupardus " " . 1709 

Bernardus Freeman,* from 1702 to. .. 1741 
Yincintius Antonides, from 1715 to. . . 1744: 
Joannes Arondeus, probably died. . . . 1742 

Anthony Curtenius, from 1730 to 1756 

Ulpianus Yan Sinderin, from 1747 to. 1796 
John Casper Rubeb, from 1760 to. . . . 1797 
Martinus Schoonmaker, from 1785 to 1824 
[This venerable pastor was eighty-eight years 
of age at his death ; and a short time previous of- 
ficiated in four congregations.] 

Peter Lowe, from 1787 to 1818 

In the month of April, 1708, fifty-seven of the 
inhabitants of Brooklyn entered into an agree- 
ment (which is written in Dutch) to call a minis- 
ter from Holland to preach in the church of this 
town. The elders of the church at that time 
were Daniel Bapalie and Jores Hanse. 

* This minister was naturalized in the Court of Sessions 
for Kings County, November 8, 1715. 


The salary of the Clerk of the Clmrch in tliis 
town was f(jrmerly raised by a tax on the whole 
town. At a town meeting, held February 1, 
1568, It was resolved, that the sum of £20 10s. 
should be raised and paid into the hands of the 
" church masters " for " the widow of Ilendrick 
Sleght, ffor 1 year and 8 months salary, and being 
Clarke off the churche." 

The following singular proceediug may be 
amusing to some readei'S, and will serve to show 
to what exti-emes both the people and the magis- 
trates carried themselves in former times. Ilen- 
drick Yechte, Esq., a Justice of the Peace, was 
pi-esented at the Kings County Sessions, May 11:, 
1710, for coming into the Brooklyn Church, on 
Sunday, August 10, 1709, " with his pen and ink 
in his hand, taking of peoples names, and taking 
up one particular mans hatt up, and in disturbance 
of the minister and people in the service of God, 
&c." Yechte's plea was that in obedience to an 
order of the Gover^ior he did go into the church 
as alledged, " to take notice of the persons that 
were guilty of the forcible entry made into the 
Church, that by Abrom Brower, and others, by 
breaking of said Church doore with force and 
arms, forcibly entering into said Church, not- 
withstanding the forewarning of Mr. Freeman 
the minister, and his people to the contrary." 


The Court found that Justice Yechte was not 
guilty of a breach of the peace, and discharged 
him. It must be remembered that Justice Yechte 
was a member of the Court. There was a con- 
siderable difference of opinion and m.any disputes 
among the inhabitants of this town, and of the 
County, as to the right of the Hev. Mr. Freeman 
to preach ; into the merits of which controversy 
it is not to be expected that the Compiler can 
enter at this distant day. Excepting the above 
proceeding of the Court, the only document which 
the Compiler has been able to obtain relative to 
this controversy is a letter from Henry Ffilkin, 
Esq., to the Secretary at New York, which will 
be found in the Appendix marked with the let- 
ter D. 

December 18, 1814, the Trustees of the Dutch 
E-eformed Church of the town of Brooklyn were 
incorporated. At which time the following gen- 
tlemen were officers of the Church. 

Martinas Schoonmaker, ) ^^^^^^^^^^ 

reter Lowe, j 


Fernandus ^uydam, Walter Berry, 
Jeremiah Johnson, John Lefferts. 



Jeremiah Brower, Lambert Schenck, 

Abraham De Bevoise, Abraham Eemsen. 

The present officers of this Church are, 
Eev. S. S. Woodhull, D.D., Pastor. 


Leffert Lefferts, Tunis Joralemon, 

David Anderson, Nehemiah Denton. 


Theodorus Polhemus, James De Bevoise, 
Adrian Hegeman, Adriance Yan Brunt. 

September 18, 1Y85, an " Independent Meeting 
House" was incorporated at this place. The 
officers of which were : 

John Matlock, Pastor, 
George Wall, Assistant, 
John Carpenter, Treasurer, 
George Powers, Secretary. 

William Bunton, John Emery, 

Eobert Steath, William Hinson. 

Barnard Cordman, 


Their place of worship was a frame building 
Oil what is now the Episcopalian burying ground 
in Fulton street. This conOTCP-ation continued 
but a short time, in consequence of the seceding 
of its members to the Episcopalian Cliurch, which 
was soon after established in this place. 

The hrst celebration of Divine Service after 
the inanner of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
in this town, subsequent to the Kevolution, was 
at the old brick house known as Ko. 40 Fulton 
street, and now owned by Mr. Abiel Titus. 

About the year 17S7, the Episcopal Church 
was established in Brooklyn, under the pastoral 
care of the Rev. Mr. Wright, at the house on the 
north-east corner of Fulton and Middagh streets; 
which house was fitted up with pews, etc. 

April 23, 17ST. "The Episcopal Church of 
Brooklyn" was incorporated. The following are 
the names of the first 


Whitehead Cornell, Joshua Sands, 

Joseph Sealy, Aquila Giles, 

Mathew Cleaves, Henry Stanton, 
John Yan Nostrand. 

This congregation afterwards came into pos- 
session of the place of worship before used by the 


Independent Congregation, and continued to wor- 
sliip in that edifice until they erected the Stone 
Chnrch called " St. Ann's Church," Sands street. 
June 22, 1795. The Episcopal Church in this 
town was re-organized and incorporated by the 
name of " St. Ann's Church." 

Church Wardens. 
John Yan Nostrand, and George Powers. 


Joshua Sands, Aquila Giles, 

Paul Durel, John Cornell, 

Jose}>li Fox, Gilbert Yan Mater, 

William Carpenter, Robert Stoddard. 

The congregation at the same time resolved 
that Monday in Easter week should be the time 
of their future elections for Church officers. 

The stone church which was erected on Sands 
street, has continued to the present time ; but is 
now in bad repair, in consequence of the walls 
not liaving been properly erected. The Yestry 
passed a vote for erecting a new church to front 
on Washington street, the corner stone of which 
was laid March 31, 1824. The new edifice is fast 


progressing, and promises to be a great ornament 
to the place. 

The present officers of St. Ann's Church are, 
Rev. Henrv U. Onderdonk, Rector. 

Church Wardens. 
William Cornwell, and Joshua Sands. 


James B. Clarke, John H. Moore, 

Robert Bach, Robert Carter, 

Adam Tredwell, Losee Yan Nostrand, 

Fanning' C. Tucker, A. H. Yan Bokkelen. 
William Cornwell, Treasurer. 

May 19, 1794, the " First Methodist Episcopal 
Church " in this town was incorporated. The 
Trustees at which period were, 

John Garrison, Stephen Hendrickson, 

Thomas Yan Pelt, Richard Everit, 

Burdet Stryker, Isaac Moser. 

The present Meeting-house of this denomina- 
tion is erected on the site of their first place of 
worship, on Sands street ; and is a neat, plain 
edifice. The present officers are. 

Rev. William Ross, Pastor in charge. 


John Garrison, George Smith, 

Isaac Moser, Isaac Nostrand, 

William Foster, John G. Miirph}^, 

Jacob Brown, R. Van Yoris. 

Andrew Mercein, 

Isaac Moser, Treasurer. 

January 12, 1818, the "African Wesley an Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church in the village of Brook- 
lyn," incorporated. 

First Trustees. 
Peter Croger, Benjamin Crogcr, 

Israel Jemison, John E. Jackson, 

Ceasar Sprong. 

The place of worship of this congregation is a 
frame meeting house situate on High street. 

March 13, 1822. The " First ^ Presbyterian 
Church of Brooklyn " was incorporated. 

First Trustees. 

Jehiel Jaggar, Elkanah Doolittle, 

Nathaniel Ilowland, Joseph Sprague, 

Silas Butler, Alden Spooner, 

John B. Graham, George Hall, 
Charles H. Pichards. 


The corner stone of this church was laid, April 
15, 1822. The Church is situate on Cranberry 
street ; and is a very handsome brick building, 
something in the Gothic style. The present offi- 
cers are : 

Hev. Joseph Sanford, Pastor. 

Zechariah Smith, Selden G-ates, 

Ezra C. Woodhull. 

Alden Spooner, George Ilall, 

Edward Coope, Nathaniel Howland, 

Henry W. Warner, Benjamin Meeker, 
Elkanah Doolittle, Joseph Sprague, 

Silas Butler. 

Elkanah Doolittle, President of the Board, 
Silas Butler, Clerk, do 

Nathaniel W. Sandford, Treasurer. 

November 20, 1822. "St. James Eoman 
Catholic Church," incorporated. 

First Trustees. 
George S. Wise, Jr. William Purcell, 
Peter Turner, James Pose, 

Patrick Scanlan, Darby Dawson, 

William M'Laughlin. 


The corner stone of this Church was laid, June 
25, 1822. The edifice is of brick, and ap- 
proaches nearer to the Gothic architecture than 
any other building in this town. It is yet un- 
finished. This is the first Eoman Catholic Church 
erected on Long Island. The present Trustees 
are : 

, President,* 

Peter Turner, Secretary, 

William Purcell, Treasurer, 

James Kose, 

Darby Dawson, 

William M'Laughlin, 

Patrick Scanlan. 

October 15, 1823. The " First Baptist Church 
in Brooklyn," incorporated. 


Eliakim Kaymond, Elijah Lewis, 
John Brown, Richard Poland, 

Charles P. Jacobs. 

March 24, 1824. Rev. William C. Hawley 
was ordained Pastor of this Church. This con- 
gregation have, as ^^et, erected no building for 

* This office was held by Greorge S. Wise, Jun., Esq., 
until his death in November, 1834. 


public worship; but assemble for that purpose 
in the District School room, IsTo. 1. 

There are also in this town some of the de- 
nomination of Friends, and a small congregation 
of [Jniversalists ; neither of which have estab- 
lished places of public worship. The Universal- 
ists are nnder the pastoral care of the Hev. AVil- 
liam Mitchell, aiid assemble for Divine service in 
the District School-room, No. 1. 

In the present year, this town purchased ol 
Leffert Lefferts, Esq., a small farm situate at the 
"Wallaboght ; a portion of which was set off for 
a burying ground, and divided into convenient 
parcels; which were allotted in the following 
manner to the different congregations worship- 
ping in the town, viz. 

No. 1. Dutch Keformed, 6. Universalist, 

2. Friends, 7. Episcopalian, 

3. Presbyterian, 8. Baptist, 

4. Roman Catholic, 9. Common. 

5. Methodist Episco- 


Second, Markets. 

A market was established in this town as early 
as the year 1676, which will appear from the fol- 


lowing order of tlie General Court of Assizes, 
made in the month of October, 1675. " Upon 
proposall of having a fayre and Markett in or 
neare this City (Kew York), It is ordered. That 
after this season, there shall yearely bee kept a 
fayre and markett at Breucklen near the ferry, 
for all grayne, cattle, or other produce of the 
countrey, to be held the first Munday, Tuesday, 
and Wednesday, in November ; and in the City 
of New York, the Thursday, Friday, and Satur- 
day following." 

Previous to the year 1814, there were two mar- 
kets in this place ; one of w^hich was situate at 
the foot of the old ferry street ; and the other at 
the foot of Main street. Both these markets 
were taken down in 1814. 

At present we have no public market ; the in- 
habitants are supplied from several butchers' 
shops for the sale of meat, and stands for vege- 
tables, scattered about in different parts of the 
village. The people have been for some time 
past endeavouring to obtain a public market, and 
the great difficulty appears to be the location of 
a proper site. At a village meeting, held June 
26, 1824, the sum of $10,000 was voted to erect 
a brick market liouse and Village Hall, with 
other offices. This amount it was resolved, should 
be raised by a loan for not less than ten years, at 


six per cent; that the proceeds of the market 
arising from the letting of stalls, etc., should be 
appropriated to paying tlie interest of said loan ; 
and that if in process of time there should be a 
surplus, after paying the interest, the same 
should be converted into a sinking fund for ex- 
tinguishing the principal. These resolutions have 
not as yet been carried into effect. 

Third, Public Institutions, 

Of public institutions we have not many to 
boast — they may be strictly confined to one Bank, 
a Fire Insurance Company, and an Apprentices' 

The " Long Island Bank " was incorporated, 
April 1st, 1824, with a capital of $300,000, di- 
vided into six thousand shares of $50 each. The 
present officers are, Leffert Lefferts, Esq., Presi- 
dent, and D. Embury, Cashier. 

The " Brooklyn Fire Insurance Company " 
was incorporated, April 3, 1824, with a capital 
of $150,000, divided into six thousand shares of 
$25 each. The present officers of this institution 
are William Furntan, President, and Freeman 
Hopkins, Secretary. 

There is also in this village a branch of the 
" Equitable Fire Insurance Company ; " of which 
Abraham Yanderveer, Esq., is Agent. 


The Apprentice's Library Association, which 
has been formed but a short time, promises to be 
of great benefit to the apprentices of the phice, 
by introducing among them habits of reading 
and reflection, which, if properly attended to, 
will enable them to support the honourable char- 
acter of good citizens. 

The Library at present consists of about twelve 
hundred volumes, which have been presented by 
different individuals. About one hundred ap- 
prentices take books from it, regularly once a 
week. This institution was incorporated by an 
act of the Legislature, passed in November, 1S24:. 
The present officers are : 

Robert Snow, President ; Thomas Kirk, Yice- 
President ; Andrew Mercein, Treasurer ; Robert 
Nicholls, Secretary. 

Under this head it may be proper to notice, 
that there are two Masonic Lodges in this town, 
and a Post office. 

Fortitude Lodge, ]^o. 81. — W. Levi Porter, 

Ilohenlinden Lodge, N"o. 338. — W. Abiathar 
Young, Master. 

The Post office is kept at Is'o. 97 Fulton street, 
by George L. Birch, Esq., Post Master. The 
mail is carried daily (Sundays excepted) between 


Bi'ooklyn and I^ew York, and closes at Brooklyn 
at 8 A. M. and arrives at 4c P. M. 


Within a few years this town, and particularly 
the village has increased very rapidly. In 1814, 
the town of Brooklyn contained 3805 inhabitants ; 
and in 1816, the town contained 4402 inhabitants. 
In 1820, the census was as follows (being almost 
two-thirds of the population of the Count}-). 

White males 

i, under 10 years of age, 876 


between 10 and 16 376 


between 16 and 26 717 


between 26 and 45 961 


between 45 and upwards,379 


White females, under 10 years of age, 876 


between 10 and 16 398 


between 16 and 26 705 


between 26 and 45 961 


between 45 and upwards,379 


Free blacks, 






Foreigners not naturalized - . - 252 
Persons engaged in Agriculture, - - 264 
do. in Commerce, - - 67 

do. in Manufactures, - - 497 

The following account of the population of 
Kings County at different periods, may not be 
uninteresting to many readers. 
The population of Kings Coun- 
ty in 1731 was 2150 














11187 ^ 

* Governor NicoUs, in a letter to the Duke of York, No- 
vember, 16G5, informed him "that such is the mean condi- 
tion of this town (New York), that not one soldier to this 
day has lain in sheets, or upon any other bed than canvas 
and straw." 

1678. New York contained 843 houses, and 3430 inhabi- 
tants ; and there were owned in the city three ships, eight 
gloops and seven boats. 

1686. The City of New York contained 594 houses, and 
6000 inhabitants ; and there were owned in it 10 three-masted 
vessels of between 80 and 100 tons; 3 ketches or barques, of 
about 40 tons ; and about 20 sloops, of 25 tons. In the same 
year the militia of the colony consisted of 4000 foot, 800 
horse, and one company of drag'oons. 


In 1706, there" were 64 f eeholders in the town 
of Brooklyn. In 1802 their number had only in- 
creased to S6, as appears from the list of Jurors 

1696, There were owned in the City of New York, 40 
ships, 62 sloops, and 62 boats. 

In 1697, the population of New York has considerably de- 
creased, from what it was in 1686 ; the census taken thia 
year was as follows : 

f Men, - - - 946 

' Women, - - 1018 

Whites I Young men and boys, 864 

I Young- women and girls 899 


(Men, - - - 209 
Blacks ] Women, - - - 205 

( Boys and girls, - - 161 575 

Total, 4303 

1731. The City of New York contained 

White males, - - - 3771 
White females, - - - 3274 7045 

Black males, - - - 785 

Black females, - - - 792 1577 

Total, 8622 

1756. The City contained 10,881 inhabitants. 

1771. It contained 21,863 inhabitants. 

1736. It contained 3,340 houses, and 23,614 inhabitants. 

1790. It contained 33,131 inhabitants 

1800. 60,489 

18ia. 96,373 

1820. 139,000 


at that period. In the year 1800, there were 
253 votes given in this town, at a contested elec- 
tion for assemblyman. In 1824, on the same 
occasion 1013 votes were taken. 

At the close of the Eevolutionary war, the 
town of Brooklyn within the bounds of the pres- 
ent village contained 56 buildings. In 1821, the 
village contained 867 buildings; of which 96 
were Groceries and Taverns, and several store- 
houses. These store-houses depend principally, 
on the operations of the Quarantine laws, in the 
months of June, July and August, for business. 
On the 23d of July in the same year, there were 
lying at the wharves in this village, 13 ships, 9 
brigs, 8 schooners, and 14 sloops. July 1, 1824, 
there were lying at the wharves in this village, 8 
ships, 16 brigs, 20 schooners, and 12 sloops. 

In 1822, 50 dwelling-houses were erected in 
this village. In 1823, 122 frame dwellings and 
32 brick and brick front buildings were erected. 
January 1, 1824, the village of Brooklyn con- 
tained 113 stone, brick and brick front buildings. 
During the present year 143 frame dwelling- 
houses have been built in this village. 

The town contains 8 Ropewalks, which manu- 
facture 1130 tons of cordage annually ; 4 Distil- 
leries ; 2 Spirits of Turpentine Distilleries ; 1 
Glue factory ; 1 Chain cable manufactory ; 2 



Tanneries ; 2 White lead works ; 1 Whiting 
manufactory ; 1 Glass factory and 1 Furnace for 
casting iron. The manufacture of Hats is con- 
ducted on a large scale in this place. 

In the year 1703, a survey was made of 
" Broocklands improveable lands and meadows 
within fence," and the same was found to amount 
to 51Y7 acres. At that period the greatest holder 
of that description of land was Simon Aersen, 
who owned 200 acres. In 1706, all the real and 
personal estates of the town of Brooklyn were as- 
sessed at £3122 12s. Od. The tax on which was 
£41 33. 7^(1., and the whole tax of the county 
£201 16s. lid. In 1707, the real and personal 
estates of this town assessed at £3091 lis. Od., 
the government tax on which was for the same 
year £116 7s. 3d., payable in two payments ; and 
the whole tax of the county £448 3s. 7d. The 
present year the real estate in this town was as- 
sessed at $2,111,390. And the personal estate 
at $488,690 ; being considerably more than one 
half of the whole value of the county. The State, 
county and town tax on which amounts to $6,- 
497.71. At this period there are in the village 
1149 taxable persons, and the village tax amounts 
to $2,625.76, averaging about $2.29, each taxable 
person. This village tax includes $450 raised to 
meet the expenses of the Board of Health, and 


is exclusive of all local assessments for opening 
and improving streets, &c. 

The receipts of the overseers of the poor of 
this town for the year 1823, amounted to §3108.- 
Y7, and their expenditures to $3469.49, leaving a 
balance of $360.72 against the town. 

On the 22d of March, 1823, there were 54 
persons in the Almshouse; 51 persons were ad- 
mitted during the year ending March 30, 1824. 
During the same period 34 were discharged, and 
10 died. March 30, 1824, there w^ere in the 
almshouse 40 persons, viz., 11 men, 16 women, 5 
girls, and 8 boys. In the winter of 1823-4, 93 
loads of wood were distributed from this institu- 
tion among the poor of the town.* 

April 21, 1701, a piece of land about 100 feet 
square, lying within the present bounds of the 
village of Brooklyn, was sold far £75, " current 
money of the Province of ISTew York." 1720, a 
dwelling-house and lot of ground, containing 62 
feet front, 61 feet rear, and 111 feet deep, near 
the ferry, on the north-east side of what is now 
called Fulton street, sold for £260, '' current 
money of New York." In the year 1784, all the 
property owned by the Corporation of the City of 

* The town is now erecting a very neat building for an 
almshouse, on the property lately purchased from Leffert 
Lefferts, Esq. 


New York in this town was assessed at £365, 
New York currency, which property is now 
worth $50,000 at the lowest calculation. 

August 30,1701, John Bybon sold to Cornelius 
Yanderhove, for £37 10s, the one equal half- 
part of a brew-house, situate at Bedford, in the 
town of Brookland, fronting the highway leading 
from Bedford to Cripplebush ; together with one 
equal half- part of all the brewing vessels, &c. 

In 1685, a windmill was erected in this town 
by John Yannise and Peter Hendricks, for 
Michael Ilainell. There is a great reason to be- 
lieve that this was the first mill erected in this 
town. August 19, 1689, an agreement was en- 
tered into between Cornelius Seberingh, of 
Brookland, and John Marsh, of East Jersey, 
relative to building a watermill on Graver's 
kill, in this town. At present there are in this 
town seven watermills and two windmills. From 
February 16, 1823, to February 15, 1824, 5,825 
barrels of superfine flour, 260 barrels of fine flour, 
and 124 hogsheads of cornmeal were inspected in 
this county. The most, if not all, of which flour 
and meal was manufactured at the mills in this 

May, 1661, Charles Debevoise was recom- 
mended by Governor Stuyvesant as a suitable 


person for schoolmaster of this town, and also for 
clerk and sexton of the church, who was employ- 
ed and received a good salary. 

Immediately previous to the Revolutionary war, 
that part of the town of Brooklyn which is now 
comprised in the bounds of tlie village, and for 
some distance without those bounds, supported 
but one school of nineteen scholars, five of whom 
were out of the family of Mr. Andrew Patchen. 
The school-house was situated on the hill, on 
property which was then owned by Israel IIoi-s- 
field, but now belongs to the heirs of Carey 
Ludlow, deceased. The teacher was Benjamin 
Brown, a staunch whig from Connecticut. 

District School, No, 1. — This school was or- 
ganized at a public meeting held January 2, 
1816, at which meeting Andrew Mercein, John 
Seaman and Robert Snow were elected trustees, 
and John Doughty clerk of the school. The 
trustees were appointed a committee to ascertain 
a proper site for building a school-house, and re- 
port the probable expense thereof. At a meet- 
ing held January 12, 1816, the trustees reported 
that they could purchase four lots of ground on 
Concord street, of Mr. Noah Waterbury, for $550. 
The meeting thereupon resolved, that " the sum 
of $2,000 should be raised by tax on the inhkbi- 
tants of the said district, to purchase said lots and 


to build a school-lionse thereon ; " and that in the 
meantime the ^'Loisian school be the common 
school of the said district;" and that "the 
trustees of the district be authorized to ex- 
onerate from payment of teacher's wages all 
such poor and indigent persons as they shall 
think proper, pursuant to the act of the legisla- 
ture ; " and that " it be recommended by this 
meeting, that the common school to be taught 
in this district, be on the Lancastrian plan of 

In the school of this district, which includes 
the village of Brooklyn, upwards of 200 children 
are taught. The price of tuition does not exceed 
four dollars per annum, and from that amount 
down to nothing, in proportion to the abilities of 
the parent. The School District No. 1, at present 
contains 1,607 children between the ages of five 
and fifteen years, of whom 1,157 go to the public 
or private schools. 

In 1821 there were eight private schools in the 
village of Brooklyn. 

In 1823 the town received from the State 
$418.13 for the support of common schools. 

The present officers connected with the com- 
mon schools of the town are : 

Commissioners : Jordan Coles, Robert Nichols, 
Josiah Noyes. 


Inspectors : Charles 1. DoTighty, Evan Beynon, 
Robert Snow. 

Trustees of District School Bo. 1 : "William 
Cornwell, Joseph Sprague, Charles I. Doughty. 
Clerk: Ralph Malbone. 


Four newspapers have been published in this 
town in the following chronological order : 

June 26, 1T99. Tlie first number of The Cou- 
rier and New York and Long Island Adver- 
tiser^ published by Thomas Kirk, Esq. This 
was the first newspaper established on Long 

May 26, 1806. The first number of The Long 
Island Weekly Intelligencer^ published by Messrs. 
Robinson and Little. 

June 1, 1809. The first number of The Long 
Island Star, published by Thomas Kirk, Esq. 

March 7, 1821. The first number of The Long 
Island Patriot, published by Geo. L. Birch, Esq. 

In the month of E^ovember, 1810, proposals 
were issued by Benjamin F. Cowdrey & Co. for 
establishing in Bix)oklyn a weekly newspaper, to 
be entitled The Long Island Journal and 
American Freeman. For some reason unknown 
to the Compiler this paper was not published. 


During the month of May, 1820, Erockholst 
Livingston, Jun., issued proposals for publishing a 
weekly newspaper in this village, to be entitled 
The Long Island Hepiiblican. J^Tot meeting 
with sufficient encouragement, this attempt was 

The only two papers now in existence in this 
town are The Star, published by Alden Spooner, 
Esq., and The Long Island Patriot, by George 
L. Birch, Esq. 

Moral Character. 

It is a delicate subject for a writer to treat of 
the morals of a people among whom he is a 
resident, lest by telling the truth too plainly, he 
awaken unpleasant feelings in the breasts of some 
whom perhaps he would not wish to offend. On 
the other hand, if glaring faults are slightly 
passed over, or palliated, it calls down on his de- 
voted head all the envenomed attacks of malicious 
criticism. The Compiler, however, flatters him- 
self that neither will be the case in this instance. 

The people of Brooklyn, it is true, cannot be 
considered as rigid in religious matters as the 
saints of Oliver Cromwell's army, whose very 
cannon had on the inscription of " O Lord, open 
thou our lips, and our mouth shall show forth thy 


praise ! " But they are far from being irre- 
ligious ; the churches are well filled, religious so- 
cieties are liberally supported, vice discounten- 
anced ; and for the more effectual suppression 
thereof, in 1815, a society for the suppression (if 
vice and immorality was formed, consisting of 
many of tlie most respectable inhal)itants of the 
town. By the exertions of our Sunday-school so- 
cieties, attached to the different congregations, the 
morals of the younger part of the community 
have been greatly reformed ; and it is highly gra- 
tifying to observe the improvement made in the 
general morals of the town, in consequence of 
their benevolent exertions. 


Although this might with some propriety be 
placed under the head of Public Institutions, the 
Compiler has thought proper to make it a head of 
itself ; and he hopes that the following few his- 
torical facts relative to this valuable depai'tment, 
may be useful to such as feel an interest in its 
progression and improvement. 

By an act passed by the Legislature of this 
State, March 15, 17S8, '' for the better extinguish- 
ing of fires in the town of Brooklyn," the number 


of firemen was limited to eiglit, who were nomi- 
nated and appointed by the freeholders and in- 
habitants of the fire district, which was comprised 
within nearly the same bounds with the present 

In the year 1794 the smn of £188 19^. lOcl 
was raised by subscription in this town, for pur- 
chasino^ a fire engine. On the 24tli March in the 
following 3'ear, an act was passed by tlie legisla- 
ture " for the better extinguishing of fires " in this 
town ; by which act the number of firemen was 
increased to thirty. 

1796. The sum of £49 4:S. was raised by sub- 
scription for purchasing " a suitable bell for the 
use of the town of Brooklyn." This is the 
present fire bell. 

March 21, 1797, an act was passed by the legis- 
lature " for the prevention of fires, and for regu- 
latino^ the assize of bread in the town of Brook- 
lyn." This act authorized the inhabitants to 
choose not less than three, nor more than five 
freeholders, who might from time to time make 
such prudential by-laws as they judged necessary 
for the prevention of fires by the burning of 
chimneys, and for sweeping and otherwise cleans- 
ing the same. The inhabitants accordingly met 
on the second Tuesday of May, in the same year, 
and appointed Messrs. Henry Stanton, John 


Doiightj, Martin Boerum, John Yan Nostrand, 
and John Fisher, to carry into effect the provisions 
of the above act. In the execution of which duty 
the persons so appointed ordained, that from and 
after the 11th day of July, 1797, a fine of ten 
shillings should be levied on each person whose 
chimney should take fire through carelessness, or 
be set on fire for the purpose of cleansing ; and 
that " all penalties shall be received and recovered 
by tlie clerk of the fire company for the time 
being, if he be one of the persons so chosen ; if 
not, the said persons elected shall nominate and 
appoint one of their number to serve for and re- 
ceive in the same maimer that the clerk is at 
present authorized." From 1798 to August 6, 
1806, the sum of £20 7s. was received for 
chimney fines. 

For a considerable length of time this town 
had but one small fire engine ; they subsequently 
purchased another, which was called Xo. 2. 
About 1810, Ko. 3, now styled the " Franklin," 
was purchased by the inhabitants of the Fire Dis- 
trict. The Fire Department of the village at 
present consists of four Fire Engines (of which 
three are new, namely, IN^os. 1, 2, and 4), and 
a Hook and Ladder Company, viz. : 

No. 1. "Washington," full complement 30 
men. Foreman, Joshua Sutton. 


No. 2. " Keptuiie," full complement 30 men, 
Foreman, Gamaliel King, 

No. 3, " Franklin," full complement 30 men, 
Foreman, Jeremiah Wells. 

No. 4, " Eagle," full complement 30 men, Fore- 
man, George Fricke. 

Hook and Ladder Company, full complement 
30 men. Foreman, John Smith. 

There are also in the Navy Yard, two excellent 
fire engines, well manned, and which, together 
witli those from New York, generously come to 
our assistance whenever our place is visited by 
that dreadful calamity, fire. 

The receipts of the Fire Department, from 
1794 to 1815, amounted to £89S 10s. Id. and 
the expenditures from July 7, 1795, to November 
15, 1816, amounted to £964 3s. 3d. 

The office of Clerk and Treasurer of the Fire 
Department of this town, was held by John 
Ilicks, Esq., until 1796 ; at which time Jolm 
Doughty, Esq., was appointed, and held that 
office until the incorporation of the village in 
1816, when he was appointed Chief Engineer of 
the Fire Department of the village, which office 
he held for one year. In 1817, William Furman, 
Esq, was appointed Chief Engineer, and of- 
ficiated in that capacity until 1821, when, on the 
resignation of Mr. Furman, John Doughty, Esq., 


was again appointed, and continues to hold the 
office. The present officers of the Fire Depart- 
ment are : 

John Doughty, Chief Engineer. 

Fire Warde?is, Joseph Moser, Edward Coope, 
Joseph Sprague. 

April 16, 1823, an act was passed by the Legis- 
lature of this State to incorporate the firemen of 
this village, by the name of the " Fire Depart- 
ment of the Village of Brooklyn." The act al- 
lows this corporation to hold, purchase, and con- 
vey any estate, real or personal, for the use of the 
corporation, provided such real or personal estate 
shall not at any time exceed the yearly value of 
$1,000. The following officers were appointed by 
the act of incorporation, viz. : 

John Doughty, President. 

Josliua Sutton, Yice-President. 

Richard Cornwell, Secretary. 

Trustees : Jeremiah Wells, Morris Simonson, 
Michael Trapple, Joseph Moser, George Fricke, 
Gamaliel King, Simeon Back, Parshall Wells, 
George L. Birch. 

The laudable object proposed by this institu- 
tion is to raise a fund for the relief of widows 
and children of deceased firemen. 

By an amendment to the act of Incorporation 
of the village of Brooklyn, passed April 9, 1824, 


it is provided, " That all fines and penalties under 
any bj-law of the said village, in relation to the 
burning of chimneys, and for the preventing and 
extinguishing of fires, and also, all fines and pen- 
alties, either under such by-laws, or under any 
statute of this State, in relation to the manner of 
keeping and transporting gun-powder within the 
said village, shall be sued for in the name of the 
said Trustees (of the village of Brooklyn) by the 
fire department of the said village, and when re- 
covered shall be paid to the said fire department, 
for theii' own use. 


June 7, 1625, Sarah De Eapalje, born in this 
town. Tradition says that she was the first white 
child born in the colony. Her parents were 
Walloons ; from whence is derived the name of 
Wallaboght, or Walloons Bay, where they lived.* 
She was twice married. Iler first husband 
was Hans Hanse Bergen, by wliom she had six 
children, viz. Michael Hanse, Joris Hanse, Jan 

* The first settlement in tMs town was made by George 
Jansen De Rapalje, the father of Sarah, in 1625, on the farm 
which is now owned by the family of the Schencks at the 


Hanse, Jacob Ilanse, BrechjeHanse, and Marytje 
Hanse. Her second husband was Tennis Gnys- 
bertse Bogart, by whom she also had six children, 
viz. Aurtie Bogart, Antje Bogart, Neeltje Bo- 
gart, AnUje Bogart, Catelyntje Bogart, and Gnys- 
bert Bogart. The account of Sarah De Bapelje, 
in the archives of the New York Historical So- 
ciety, contains the names of the persons to whom 
eleven of her children were married, and tells the 
places where they settled. The twelfth, Brechje 
Hanse, went to Holland. 

March 1, 1665, Hendrick Lubbertson and John 
Evertsen, appeared as deputies from the town of 
Brooklyn, at the Assembly convened at Hemp- 
stead, by order of Richard IN^icolls, Deputy 
Governor under the Duke of York ; at which 
assembly the code of laws called the "Duke's 
laws" were adopted and published. In the 
appendix marked E. will be found the address 
which these deputies, together with the others, 
sent to the Duke of York ; and which occa- 
sioned so much excitement in the Colony at that 

1671, This town, with five other towns in the 
West Biding of Yorkshire upon Long Island, 
petitioned the Court of Sessions " for liberty to 
transporte wheate," which petition was referred 
to the Governor. 


1687. The Clerk's office of Kings Comity was 
kept in this town, by the Depntj Register, Jacob 
Yandewater, who was also a Notary Public in 
this town at the same period. The Register, 
Samuel Bayard, Esq., resided in the city of New 

About the year 1691, there was a custom prev- 
alent in this town of calling a widow the " last 
wife of her deceased husband," and a widower 
" the last man " of his deceased wife. 

The following is an Inventory of the estate 
which a bride in this town brought with her to 
her husband in the year 1691. The husband by 
various records appears to have been a man of 
considerable wealth ; notwithstanding which, the 
following inventory was thought by both of them 
of sufficient importance to merit being recorded, 

" A half worn bed, pillow, 2 cushions of 
ticking with feathers, one rug, 4 sheets, 4 
cushion covers, 2 iron pots, 3 pewter dishes, 

1 pewter bason, 1 iron roaster, 1 schuryn spoon, 

2 cowes about five yeares old, 1 case or cupboard, 
1 table." 

November 12, 1695, the Court of Sessions for 
Kings County, ordered that the Constable of this 
town, " shall on Sunday or Sabbathday take law 

king's county coukt house. 409 

for the apprehending of all Sabbath breakers," 
and '^search all ale houses, taverns, and other 
suspected places for all prophaners and breakers 
of the Sabbath daye," and bring thcni before a 
Justice of the Peace to be dealt with according to 
law. This was to be done by the Constable un- 
der the penalty of six shillings for each neglect 
or default. 

The same Court also made an order, " that Mad 
James be kept by Kings County in general, and 
that the deacons of each towne within the said 
county doe forthwith meet togetlier and consider 
about their propercons for maintainence of said 
James." This is the first instance which has 
come to the Compiler's knowledge of tlie Court 
making an order for the county generally to sup- 
port a pauper. 

In the year 1758, the sum of £122 18s. 7d. was 
assessed in two assessments, by the Justices of the 
Peace, on this town, towards building " a new 
Court house and gaol " for Kings County. The 
whole amount assessed on the County was £41:8 
4s. Id. 

The present Court house of Kings County, was 
built by contract in the year 1792, at an expense 
of $2944.71, under the superintendance of John 
Vanderbilt, Johannes E. Lott, and Charles 
Doughty, Esq'rs. The contractor was Thomas 


Fardon, and plans were furnished for the build- 
ing by Messrs. Stanton and Newton, and James 

* In 1700 the Court House was let to James Simson for 
one year, at £3 "in money." In this agreement, "the 
Justices reserved for themselves the Chamber in the said 
house, called the Court Chamber, at the time of their pub- 
lique Sessions, Courts of Common Pleas, and private meet- 
ings ; as also the room called the prison for the use of the 
Sheriff if he hath occasion for it." 



Deed from 'William liorris and wife to the 
Corjporation of New-Yorh, 

This Indenture made the twelfth day of Oc- 
tober, in the sixth year of the reign of our Sov- 
ereign Lord and Lady William and Mar}^, by the 
grace of God, of England, Scotland, France and 
Ireland, King and Queen, defenders of the faith, 
&c. and in the year of our Lord one thousand 
six hundred and ninety-four, between William 
Morris, now of the ferry, in the bounds of the 
town of Bi-euchlen, in Kings County, on Long- 
Island, Gentleman, and Kebecca his wife of the 
one part, and the Mayor, Aldermen, and Com- 
monalty of the City of Kew York, of the other 
part, Witnesseth, that the said William Morris, 
by and with the consent of Rebecca his said wife, 
testified by her being a party to the sealing and 
delivery of these presents, for, and in consider- 
ation of a certain sum of good and lawful money 


to him, at and before the sealhio- and delivery 
liereof, by the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Com- 
monalty, in hand well and trul}^ paid, the receipt 
whereof he the said William Morris doth hereby 
acknowledge, and thereof and therefrom and of 
and from all and every part thereof, he doth 
hereby, acqnit, exonerate and discharge the said 
Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, and their 
successors forever, hath granted, bargained, sold, 
assigned, conveyed and confirmed, and by these 
presents doth grant, bargain, sell, assign, convey 
and confirm unto the said Mayor, Aldermen and 
Commonalty of the said city of New York, and 
their successors forever, All that messuage or 
dwellino^ house and lot of p^round thereunto ad- 
joining and belonging, with the appurtenances, 
situate, lying and being at the ferry, in the 
bounds of the town of Breucklen, in Khigs 
County aforesaid, now and late in the possession 
of him, the said William Morris; as also one 
small house, now in the possession of one Thomas 
Hock, lying in the said City of New York, over 
against the ferry aforesaid. Together with all and 
singular houses, barns, stables^ yards, backsides, 
wharfs, easements, benefits, emoluments, heredit- 
aments, and appurtenances to the same messuage 
or dwelling house and premises belonging, or in 
any wise appertaining, and the reversion and re- 


versions, remainder and remainders, rents, issues, 
and profits of all and singular the premisses and 
the appurtenances, and all the estate, right, title, 
interest, property, possession, claim and demand 
of him the said William Morris and Kebecca his 
said wife, of, in, unto or out of, the said messuage 
or dwelling house and premises, or, of, in, unto, 
or out of, all or any part or parcel thereof, and all 
and singular grants, deeds, escripts, minuments, 
writings and evidences, touching, relating to or 
concerning the above-mentioned, to be bargained, 
messuao-e or dwellino- house and all and sino^ular, 
the premises with the hereditaments and appur- 
tenances to the same belonging, or any part 
thereof, unto the said Mayor, Aldermen and 
Commonalty of the city of Xew York, aforesaid, 
and their successors unto the only proper use, be- 
nefit and behoof of the said Mayor, Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the City of New York afore- 
said, their successors and assigns forever. In 
witness, &c.^ 

* The above deed to the Corporation of New York did not 
extend to the River. January 15, 1717, Samuel Garritsen, 
of Gravesend, quit-claimed to David Aersen of Brooklyn, all 
his right and title to a piece of land, ' ' lying next to tho 
house and land belonging to the City of New York, bounded 
north-west by the River, south-east by the highway that 
goes to the ferry, south-west by the house and land belong- 
ing to the City of New York, and north-east by the houso 


A Warra7it for enforcing the payment of a 
town tax in the town of Brooklyn. 

"Whereas there was an order or towne lawe bj 
the ^Freeholders of the towne of Brooklyn, in 
Kinoes County aforesaid, the 5th day of May, 
1701, ffor constituting and appointing of Trus- 
tees to defend the rights of their quondam com- 
mon wood lands, and to raise a tax ffor the same 
to defray the charge of that and theire towne 
debts, &c. which said lawe has bin since ffurther 
confirmed by said ffreeholdei-s at a towne meet- 
ing at Bedford, the 11th of April, 1702, and 
since approved of and confirmed by a Court of 
Sessions, held at Fflatbush, in said County the 
13th day of May, 1702. And whereas by virtue 
of said lawe, a certaine small tax was raised on 
the ffreeholders in said towne proportionably to 
defray the charges aforsaid : And now upon 
complaint of the said Trustees to us made, that 
A. B. has refused to pay his juste and due pro- 
porcon of said tax wch amounts to L\ 16s Od, 
current money of New- York. These are there- 

and land belonging' to the said John Rapalje, containing one 
acre be the same more or less." On the 16th day of the same 
month, David Aersen sold this property to Gerrit Harsura of 
New York, Gunsmith, for the sum of ilOS current money of 
New York. 


fore in her Majesty's name, to command you to 
summons A. B. personally to be and appeare be- 
fore us, &c., then and there to answer C. D. E. F. 
Trustees of said towne of Brooklin, in an action 
of tresspass on the case, to the damage of the 
said C. D. E. F. LI 16s Od, current money as 
aforesaid, as it is said, and have with you then 
there this precept. Given, &c. 


Brookland, November 14, 1Y53. A Town 
meeting called by warrant of Carel Debevois, 
Esq. and Jacobus Debevois, Esq. two of his Ma- 
jesty's Justices for the township of Brookland, in 
the County of Kings, to elect and chuse Trustees 
to defend our Patent of Brookland against the 
Commonalty of the City of New York. — And the 
Trustees so elected and chosen by the freeholders 
and inhabitants of the township of Brookland 
aforesaid, are as follows: Jacobus Lefferts, Peter 
Yandervoort, Jacob Pemsen, Pem Pemsen, and 
Kicholas Yechte. And we the hereunder sub- 
scribers behig freeholders and inhabitants of the 
township of Brookland, by these presents do fully 
empower and authorize the abovesaid Trustees, 
Jacobus Lefferts, Peter Yandervoort, Jacob Pem- 
sen, Pem Pemsen. and Nicholas Yechte, elected 


and chosen by the freeholders and inhabitants of 
the township of Brookland aforesaid, to defend 
our patent where in any manner our liberties, pri- 
vileges and rights in our patent specified is in- 
croached, lessened or taken away by the Com- 
monalty of the City of New- York. And that we 
hereunder subscribers of the township of Brook- 
land, oblige ourselves, our heirs, executors and 
administrators to pay to the abovesaid Trustees, 
all cost that they are at in protecting of the pro- 
fits of our patent, and that money sliall be col- 
lected in by the constable of our town. And 
that the abovesaid Trustees do oblige themselves 
to render upon oath a true account of all such 
moneys they have expended in protecting or de- 
fending our patent, to any person or persons, as 
the hereunder subscribers shall appoint for that 
purpose. And in defending our patent so that 
verdict shall come in our favour, where incon:ie 
of money or other profits should arise concerning 
the premises, all such profits or income should be 
kept towards defraying of all the necessary cost 
and chai'ge of our township of Brookland, till 
such time as it is altered by the majority. And 
that the Trustees should have three shillings per 
day for their service and no more. 




The Petition of VolJcert Brier. 

To HIS Excellency. — The humble peticon of 
Volkert Brier, inhabitant of the towne of Broock- 
lancl, on the island of Nassau. 

May it please 3-our Excellency your peticoner 
being lined five pounds last Court of Sessions, in 
Kings County for tearing an execucon directed 
to him as Constable. Your peticoner being 
ignorant of the crime, and not thinking it was of 
force when he was out of his office, or tliat he 
should have made returne of it as the lawe 
directs, he being an illiterate man could not read 
said execucon nor understand any thing of lawe : 
humbly prays yr Excellency yt you would be 
pleased to remit said fine of five pounds, yr peti- 
coner being a poore man and not capaciated to 
pay said fine without great damage to himself 
and family. And for yr Excellecy yr peticoner 
will ever pray, &c. 


A Letter from Justice Ffilhin to the Secretary at 
Neio TorJi. 

Sir, — I am in expectation of a complaint com- 
ing to his Excellency by Coll. Beeckman against 


me, and that his Excellency may be rightly 
informed of the matter, my humble request to 
you is, that if such a thing happen, be pleased to 
give liis Excellency an account thereof, which is 
as follows : A Ffriday night last, the Justices of 
the County and I came from his Excellency's ; 
Coll. Beeckman happened to come over in the 
fferry boat along with us, and as we came over 
the iferry. Coll. Beeckman and we went into the 
fferry house to drink a glass of wine, and being 
soe in compau}^, there happened a dispute be- 
tween Coll. Beeckman and myself, about his 
particular order that he lately made to Mr. Ffree- 
man, when he was President of the Councill, 
without the consent of the Councill ; Coll. Beeck- 
man stood to affirm there, before most of the 
Justices of Kino;s Countv, that said order, that he 
made then to Mr. Ffreeraan as President only, 
was still in fforce, and that Mr. Ffreeman 
should preach at Bi-oockland next Sunday 
according to that order ; whereupon I said it 
was not in fforce, but void and of noe effect, and 
he had not in this County, any more power now 
than I have, being equall in commission with him 
in the general commission of the peace and one 
of the quorum as well as he ; upon which he 
gave me affronting words, giving me the lie and 
calling me pittifull fellow, dog, rogue, rascall, 


&c. wliich caused me, being overcome with pas- 
sion, to tell him that I had a good mind to knock 
him off his horse, we being both at that time get- 
ting upon our horses to goe home, but that I 
would not goe, I would light him at any time 
with a sword. I could wish that these last words 
had bin kept in, and I am troubled that I was 
soe overcome with passion and inflamed with 
wine. The works of these Dutch ministers is 
the occasion of all our quarrells.* And this is 
the truth of the matter, there was no blows 
offerred, nor noe more done. Mr. Ffreeman has 
preached at Broockland yesterday accordingly, 
and the church doore was broke open, by whom 
it is not yet knowne. Soe I beg your pardon ffor 
this trouble, crave your favour in this matter, and 
shall alwayes remaine. 

Sir, your ffaithful and humble servant, 


* The Compiler congratulates his fellow citizens on the ex- 
tinction of those national animosities which in former times 
existed between the Dutch and English in this our happy 
country. We may now truly ask, with Sterne, "are we not 
all relations ? " 



The Address of the Deputies^ assemhled at 


"We the depnties duly elected from the several 
towns upon Long-Island, being assembled at 
Hempstead, in general meeting, by authority 
derived from your royal highness unto the honor- 
able Colonel Nicolls, as deputy governor, do most 
humbly and thankfully acknowledge to your 
royal highness, the gi-eat honor and satisfaction 
we receive in our dependence upon your royal 
highness according to the tenor of his sacred ma- 
jesty's patent, giJ^nted the 12th day of March, 
1664 ; wherein we acknowledge ourselves, our 
heirs and successors forever, to be comprized to 
all intents and purposes, as therein is more at 
large expressed. And we do publickly and un- 
animously declare our cheerful submission to all 
such laws, statutes and ordinances, which are or 
shall be made by virtue of authority from your 
royal highness, your heirs and successors forever: 
As also, that we will maintain, uphold, and de- 
fend, to the utmost of our power, and peril of us, 
our heirs and successors forever, all the rights, 
title, and interest, granted by his sacred majesty 
to your royal highness, against all pretensions or 


invasions, foreign or domestic; we being already 
well assured, that, in so doing, we perforin onr 
duty of allegiance to his majesty, as freeborn sub- 
jects of the kingdom oi England inhabiting in 
these his majesty's dominions. We do fartlier 
beseech your royal highness to accept of this ad- 
dress, as the first fruits in this general meeting, 
for a memorial and record against us, our heirs 
and successors, when we or any of them shall fail 
in our duties. Lastly we beseech your royal high- 
ness to take our poverties and necessities, in this 
wilderness country, into speedy consideration ; 
that, by constant supplies of trade, and your royal 
highnesses more particular countenance of grace 
to us, and protection of us, we may daily more 
and more be encouraged to bestow our labors to 
the improvement of these his majesty's western 
dominions, under your royal highness ; for whose 
health, long life, and eternal happiness, we shall 
ever pray, as in duty bound. 

List of the Dejputies. 

New Utrecht Jaques Cortellean Younger Hope 

Gravesend James Hubbard John Bowne 

Flatlands Elbert Elbertsen Roeloffe Martense 

Flatbush John Striker Hendrick Gucksen 

Bvishwick John Steahnan Gisbert Tunis 

Brooklyn Hendrick Lubbersten John Evertsen 

Newtown Richard Betts John Cos 













Elias Doughty 
Daniel Denton 
John Hicks 
John Underhill 
Jonas Wood 
Daniel Lane 
William Wells 
Thomas Topping 
Thomas Baker 
Edward Jessup 

Richard Comhill 
Thomas Benedict 
Robert Jackson 
Matthias Harvey 
John Ketcham 
Roger Barton 
John Youngs 
John Howell 
John Stratton 

The people of Long Island considered the 
language of this address as too servile for free- 
men ; and were exasperated against tlie makers 
of it to such a degree that the court of assizes, in 
order to save the deputies from abuse, if not from 
personal violence, thought it expedient, at their 
meeting in October 1666, to declare that "who- 
soever hereafter shall any wayes detract or speake 
against any of the deputies signing the address to 
his royall highnes, at the general meeting at 
Hempstead, they shall bee presented to the next 
court of sessions, and if the justices shall see 
cause, they shall from thence bee bound over, to 
the assizes, there to answer for the slander upon 
plaint or information. 

The deputies subsequently to the address made 
to the duke of York, made one to the people, in 
which they set forth their reasons for agreeing 
to the code styled the duke's laws. 


APPENDIX, 1^0. 2. 

The following is a copy of the first charter by 
which the corporation obtained any color of title 
to the land between high and low water mark, on 
the Brooklyn side. 

"Anne, by the grace of God, of England, Scot- 
land, France and Ireland, Queen, defender of 
the Faith, (fee. To all whom these presents may 
in any wise concern, sendeth greeting. AYhereas 
the Ma^'or, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the 
city of 'New York, by their petition to onr trusty 
and well-beloved cousin Edward, Yiscount Corn- 
bury,"^ our captain-general and governor-in-chief 
in and over our province of New York, and ter- 
ritories depending thereon in America, and Yice 

* " Lord Combury came to this province in very indigent 
circumstances ; hunted out of England by a host of hungry 
creditors, he was bent on getting as much money as he 
could squeeze out of the purses of an impoverished people." 
He was infamous for his " excessive avarice, his embezzle- 
ment of the public money, and his sordid refusal to pay his 
private debts." Combury became so obnoxious to the in- 
habitants of this province, that they sent a complaint to Eng- 
land against him. The Queen, in consequence of this com- 
plaint displaced him. ' ' As soon as his lordship was super- 
seded, his creditors threw him into the custody of the sheriff 
of New York." See Smith's History of New York. Such 
was the man from whom the corporation of New York ob- 
tained the rights of the town of Brooklyn. 


Admiral of the same, &c., preferred in council ; 
therein setting forth, that they having a right 
and interest, under divers antient charters and 
grants, by divers former governors and com- 
manders in chief of our said province of New 
York,^ under our noble progenitors in a certain 
ferry from the said city of New York, over the 
East River, to Nassau Ishmd (alias Long Island), 
and from the said island to the said city again, 
and have possessed the same, and received all 
the profits, benefits, and advantages thereof for 
the space of fifty years and upwards ; and per- 
ceiving the profits, advantages, and benefits usu- 
ally issuing out of the same, to diminish, de- 
crease, and fall short of what might be reason a; 

* These "divers former governors," &c., are limited to 
two, viz. : McoUs, who in 1665 granted them a charter, if 
that may be strictly called so, which only altered their form 
of government from scout, burgomasters, and schepens, to 
Mayor and Aldermen, without a word about ferries or water 
rights, or indeed any other matter — the original of which 
paper is not in existence. There is nothing to warrant a 
belief that there was a charter of any kind granted to the 
corporation between Nicolls and Dongan, who is the second 
of these "divers former governors," <fec., and who in 1686 
granted them the ferry (as is mentioned in a former part of 
this work) with an express reservation as to the rights of all 
others. The charter of Dongan notwithstanding all their 
pompous recitals, is the oldest they can produce, which in 
any manner affects the interest of this town. 


bly made of the same, for the want of the bounds 
and limits to be extended and enlarged on the 
said Island side, whereby to prevent divers per- 
sons transporting themselves and goods to and 
from the said Island Xassau (alias Long Island) 
over the said river, without coming or landing at 
the nsual and accustomed places, where the fer- 
ryboats are usnally kept and appointed, to the 
great loss and damage of the said city of Kew 
York; have humbly pi-ayed our grant and con- 
firmation under the great seal of our said pro- 
vince of Xew York, of the said ferry, called the 
Old Ferry, on both sides of the East Eiver for 
the transporting of passengers, goods, horses and 
cattle, to and from the said city, as the same is 
now held and enjoyed by the said mayor, alder- 
men and commonalty of the said city of Kew 
York, or their under tenant, or under tenants ; 
and also of all that vacant and unappropriated 
land, from high w^ater mark to low water mark, 
on the said Xassau Island (alias Long Island), 
lying contiguous and fronting the said city of 
INew York, from a certain place called the Wall- 
about, unto the lied Hook, over against Xutten 
Island, for the better improvement and accom- 
modation of the said ferry ; with full power, 
leave and license to set up, establish, maintain, 
and keep one or more ferry, or ferries, for the 


ease and accommodation of all passengers and 
travellers, for the transportation of themselves, 
goods, horses and cattle, over the said river, 
within the bounds aforesaid, as they shall see 
meet and convenient, and occasion require ; and 
to establish, ordain, and make bye laws, orders, 
and ordinances for the due and orderly regula- 
tions of the same : The which petition we being 
minded to grant, Know Ye, That of our especial 
grace, certain knowledge and meer motion, we 
have given, granted, ratified and confirmed, and 
in and by these presents, for us, our heirs and 
successors, we do give, grant, ratify and confirm, 
unto the said mayor, aldermen and commonalty 
of the city of New York, and to their successors 
and assigns, all that the said ferry, called Old 
Ferry, on both sides of the East River, for the 
transportation of passengers, goods, horses and 
cattle, over the said river, to and from the said 
city and island, as the same is now used, held 
and enjo3^ed, by the said mayor, aldermen and 
commonalty of the city of New York, or their 
under tenant or under tenants, with all and sin- 
gular the usual and accustomed ferriage, fees, 
perquisites, rents, issues, profits, and other bene- 
fits, and advantages whatsoever, to the said Old 
Feri-y belonging, or therewith used, or thereout 
arising; and also all that the aforesaid vacant 


and unappropriated ground, lying and being on 
tlie said Nassau Island (alias Long Island), from 
high water mark to low water mark aforesaid, 
contiguous and fronting the said city of Xew 
York, from the aforesaid place called the "Wall- 
about to Red Hook aforesaid ; that is to say, 
from the east side of the Wallabout, opposite the 
new dwelling house of James Bobine, to the west 
side of the Ked Hook, commonly called the Fish- 
ing place, with all and singular the appurten- 
ances and hereditaments to the same belonging, 
or in any wise of right appertaining ; together 
with all and singular the rents, issues, profits, 
ad^•antages, and appurtenances, w^hicli heretofore 
have, now are, and which hereafter shall belong 
to the said ferry, vacant land and premises, 
herein before granted and confirmed, or to any 
or either of them, in any wise appertaining, or 
which heretofore have been, now are, and w^hich 
hereafter shall belong, be used, held, received, 
and enjoyed ; and all our estate, right, title and 
interest, benefit and advantage, claim and de- 
mand of, in or to the said ferry, vacant land and 
premises, or any part or parcel thereof, and the 
reversion and reversions, remainder and remain- 
ders ; together with the yearly, and other rents, 
revenues and profits of the premises, and of every 
part and parcel thereof, except and always re- 


served out of this our present grant and confirma- 
tion, free liberty, leave and license to and for all 
and every person or persons, inhabiting or hav- 
ing plantations near the said river, by the water 
side, within the limits and bounds above men- 
tioned, to transport themselves, goods, horses and 
cattle, over tlie said river, to and from the said 
city of New York, and Nassau Island (alias Long 
Ishmd) to and from their respective dwellings or 
plantations, without any ferriage, or otlier ac- 
count to the said ferry, hereby granted and con 
firmed, to be paid or given; so always as the 
said person or persons do transport themselves 
only, and their own goods, in their own boats 
only, and not any stranger or their goods, horses 
or cattle, or in any other boat. To have and to 
hold, all and singular the said ferry, vacant land 
and premises, hereinbefore granted and confirm- 
ed, or meant, mentioned or intended to be hereby 
granted and confirmed (except as is herein before 
excepted) and all and singular the rents, issues, 
profits, rights, members and appurtenances, to 
the same belonging, or in any wise of right ap- 
j^ertaining, unto the said mayor, aldermen and 
commonalty of the city of New York, and their 
successors and assigns forever ; to the only pro- 
per use and behoof of the said mayor, alclermen, 
and commonalty of the city of New York, and 


their successors and assigns forever ; to beholden 
of US, our heirs and successors, in free and com- 
mon soccage, as of our manour of East Green- 
wich, in the county of Kent, within our kingdom 
of England ; yielding, rendering, and paying 
unto us, our heirs and successors, for the same, 
yearly, at our custom house of Kew York, to our 
collector and receiver general there for the time 
being, at or upon the feast of the nativity of St. 
Joim the Baptist, the yearly rent or sum of five 
shillings, current money, of Xew York. And 
we do further, of our es])ecial grace, certain 
knowledge and meer motion, for us, our heirs 
and successors, give and grant unto the said 
mayor, aldermen and commonalty, and their suc- 
cessors, full and free leave and license to set up, 
estal)lish, keep, and maintain one or more ferry 
or fei-ries, as they shall from time to time think 
fit and convenient, within the limits and bounds 
aforesaid, for the ease and accommodation of 
transporting of passengers, goods, horses and cat- 
tle, between the said city of Xew York and the 
said island (except as is herein before excepted) 
under such reasonable rates and payments as 
have been usually paid and received for the 
same ; or which at any time hereafter, shall be 
by them established, by and with the consent 
and approbation of our governor and council of 


OTir said province, for the time being. * And 
we do further, of our especial grace, certain 
knowledge and meer motion, give and grant unto 
the said mayor, aldermen and commonalty of 
the city of New York, and their successors, full 
and absolute power and authority, to make, or- 
dain, establish, constitute and confirm, all man 
ner of by-laws, orders, rules, ordinances and 
directions, for the more orderly keeping, and 
regularly maintaining the aforesaid ferry that 
now is kept, or any ferry or ferries which shall 
at any time or times hereafter be set up, estab- 
lished, or kept within the bounds aforesaid, by 
virtue hereof, or of, for, touching or concerning 
the same (so always as the same be not contrary 
to our laws of England, and of our province of 
New York) and the same at all times hereafter 
to put in execution, or abrogate, revoke, or 
change, as they in their good discretion shall 
think fit and most convenient, for the due and 
orderly keeping, regulating and governing the 
said ferry or ferries herein before mentioned. 
And lastly, our will and pleasure is, and we 
do hereby declare and grant, that these our let- 

* The corporation of New York appear to have abandoned 
the right of regulating the rate of ferriage very ear^y ; for 
in 1717, nine years after the date of this charter, an act was 
passed by the colonial legislature for that purpose. 


ters patent, or the record thereof, in tlie secre- 
tary's office of our said province of New York, 
shall be good and effectual in the law, to all in- 
tents and purposes whatsoever, notwithstanding 
the not true and well recitintr or mentionino^ 
of the premises, or any part thereof, or the 
limits and bounds thereof, or of any former 
or other letters patents or grants whatsoever, 
made or granted; or of any part thereof, by 
us, or any of our progenitors, unto any person 
or persons whatsoever, bodies politic or corpo- 
rate,* or any law or other restraint, incertainty 
or imperfection whatsoever, to the contrarj^ in 
any wise notwithstanding and although express 
mention of the true yearly vahie, or certainty of 
the premises, or any of them, or of any other 
gifts or grants by us or by any of our progeni- 
tors, heretofore made to the said mayor, alder- 
men, commonalty of the city of New York, in 
these presents is not made, or any other matter, 
cause or thing whatsoever, to the contrary there- 
of in any wise notwithstanding. In testimony 
whereof we have caused these our letters to be 
made patent, and the seal of our said province of 
New York, to our said letters patent to be af- 

* This clause was undoubtedly inserted to obviate if pos- 
sible the claim under the two Brooklyn patents, both of 
which were many years older than this charter. 


fixed, and the same to be recorded in the secre- 
tary's office of our said province. Witness our 
right trusty and well beloved cousin, Edward 
Viscount Cornbury, captain-general and govern 
or-in-chief in and over our province of New 
York, aforesaid, and territories thereon depend- 
ing in America, and vice admiral of the same, 
&c., in council, at our Fort in New York, tlie 
nineteenth day of April, in the seventh year of 
our reign, Annoq. Domina, one thousand seven 
hundred and eight. 


At the time of printing that part of this work 
under the head of " Common lands and the di- 
vision thereof," the Compiler was not aware of 
the existence of the following proceeding relat- 
ing to the division of said lands, he has therefore 
placed the same in this appendix. 

" At a towne meeting held this twentieth day 
of Aprill, 1697, at Bedford, within the jurisdic- 
tion of Brookland, in Kings County, upon the 
Island of Nassau, Ilesolved by all the ffreehold- 
ers of the townes of Brookland, aforesaid, that 
all their common land not yet laid out or divided, 
belonging to their whole patent shall be equally 
divided and laid out to each freeliolders of said 
towne, his just proporcon in all the common 


lands abovesaid, except those tliat have but an 
house and a home lott, which are only to have 
but half share of the lands aforesaid. And for 
the laying out of the said land, there are chosen 
and appointed by the freeliolders abovesaid, 
Capt. Henry Filkin, Jacobus Yanderwater, Dan- 
iel Rapalje, Joris Hansen, John Darlant, and 
Cornelius Yanduyne. It is further ordered that 
no men within the tow^nship abovesaid, shall have 
privilege to sell his part of the undivided lands 
of Brookland not yet laid out, to any person liv- 
ing without the township abovesaid. It is like- 
wise ordered, consented to, and agreed by the 
towne meeting aforesaid, that Capt. Henry Fil- 
kin shall have a full share with any or all the 
freeholders aforesaid, in all the common land or 
woods in the whole patent of the towne of Brook- 
land aforesaid, beside a half share for his home 
lott ; To liave and to hold to him, his heirs and 
assigns forever. It is likewise ordered, that no 
person whatsoever within the common woods of 
the jurisdicon of Brookland aforesaid, shall cutt 
or fall any oake or chesnut saplings for firew^ood 
during the space of foure years from the date 
hereof upon any of the said common lands or 
woods within the jurisdicon of Brookland pat- 
ent, upon the penalty of six shillings in money, 
for every wagon load of saplings abovesaid soe 
' 19 


cntt, besides the forfeiture of the wood or timber 
soe cntt as abovesaid, the one-half thereof to the 
informer, and the other half for the nse of the 
poor of the towne of Brookland aforesaid. 

By order of the towne meeting aforesaid, and 
Justice Henry Efilkin. 

Jacobus Yanderwater, Towne Clerk." 


The Compiler here closes his notes, and has 
only to remark, that throughout the whole of this 
little work, he has been less solicitous about his 
reputation as an author, than a correct compiler. 
Studies of this nature are but ill calculated to 
admit of a luxuriance of diction or sentiment, 
and to these he has in no place aspired. His 
business was to collect authentic information con- 
cerning subjects at once obscure and interesting, 
and in what degree he has effected this object he 
leaves his readers to determine, feeling conscious 
himself that however imperfectly he may have 
executed his design, his only aim was the public 

^/i y 


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Renne, T. W. (Newtown). Add. to Young Men's Deba- 
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Reynolds, Sam'l. His. of Williamsburg, 1852. 12mo, 

pp. 137 (reprint from Directory). 
Rhode Island Colony Records, 1636-1776. 8vo, 9 v 

Riker, Jas., Jr. Annals of Newton, 1852. 8vo, pp. 437. 
Riverhead Temp. Soc. First Annual Report, Jan. 1, 1831, 

8vo, pp. 10. 
Rubel, J. C. (Minister, of Flatbush). On Unlawful Pro 

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pp. 19. 
Romeyn, Benj. (Review). " Tombs of the Martyrs " (plate), 

July 4, 1839. 8vo, pp. 7. 

Sabine, Lorenzo. Lives of the Loyalists, 1847. 8vo, 2d 

ed., 2 V. 8vo, 1864. (L. L Tories.) 
Sag Harbor. Report of Bible Society, Nov. 1, 1857. 8vo, 
pp. 11. 
Constitution of Literary Society, adopted 
Feb. 9, 1807. 18mo, pp. 11. 
Sands, Joshua (Br.). On Filling up a Pond (Wallabout), 
1826-7. 12mo, pp. 11. 
Elisha (Jamaica). Ser. on the Ironsides, July 19, 
Savage, Jas., LL.D. Genealogical Diet, of New England 

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Sayres, Sam'l W. Ser. on Death of Mrs. Betsy Cunning- 
ham, Dec. 29, 1861. 8vo, pp. 14. 


Sclienck, Wm. Ser. on Death of Noah Wetmore, Mar. 10, 

1796, Sag Harbor. 
Schooumaker, R. L. Ser. on Death of Mrs. Sarah J 

Tread well, 1851, 8vo, pp. 9. 
Schroeder, Rev. J. F. (Flushing). Oration at St. Paul's 

College, July 5, 1841. 8vo. 
Schroedei-, J. F. Circular of St Ann's Hall, Flushing, 

1840. 8vo. 
Seabury, Samuel (Flusli.). Study of the Classics, April 

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Seaman, Arden (Jerusalem). Genealogy of the Seaman 

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Selyns, Henry (Minister at Br,). Poems. See Murphy's 

Shelton, Rev. F. W. (Jam.). Two Lectures before Hun- 
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Egbert. Tangier. Speech in Assembly on Union 

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Rev. J. Caq^enter (Flush.). Thanksgiving Ser., 
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Spear, T., D.D. (Br.). Two Sermons for the Times. 

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Spencer, Icliabod S., D.D. A Pastor's Sketches. 12mo. 
1851. 2d Series, 1853. 12mo. 
Sermons. 2 v. 12mo. 1855. 
Elihu (Jam.). The Dissenting Interest in Mid- 
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Strong, Thos. M., D.D. His. of Flatbush. Map & Plates. 
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Thos. C. (Newtown). Ser. on Death of Dr. 
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Teale, Thos. P. Add. on bat. of Br. before Marion Chap. 

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Whitaker, Epher (Southold). New Fruits from an Old 

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Wilson, Hugh N. (S. Hampton). Manual of Church 
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1744. 18mo. 
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Youngs, Daniel K. (O. Bay). Culture of Onions. 1862. 
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Admiralty Court, the first, 201. 

Aersen, David, 413. 

Agricultural Society of Long Island, 

Almshouse of Brooklyn, 395. 

Ammagansett, the Execution at, 60. 

Andre, Major, noticed, 841. 

Andros, Gov. Sir Edmund, Procla- 
mation of, 219. 

Arthur, John, noticed, 80. 

Apples, large Orchard of, 91. 

Apprentices' Library Association, the, 

Astor House, the, noticed, 150. 

Backbone of Long Island, the, 74, 76. 

Banks in Brooklvn, 388. 

Baptist Church, "the first, 385. 

Bari-ntse. Jan, 281. 

Barry, "Old Mr.,"' noticed, 75. 

Bas.sett, Rev. Dr. John, on the Tri- 
bute to the Si.K Nations, 29. 

Beauchamp, his Description of the 
Province of New Albion, quoted, 71. 

Beaver Indians, of Canada, the, 54. 

Bedford, L. I., the Indian Price of, 

Beeckman, Col., account of trouble 
with Justice Filkin, 417. 

Bellamont, Earl of. Funeral of, 161. 

Benson, Egbert, noticed, 163. 

Benyon, Evan, 399. 

Bergt-n, Simon, 147. 

Bii)Uogra^3hy of Long Island, by 
Henry Onderdonk. Jr., 435. 

Birch, Greor.ire L.. noticed, 400. 

Blue Point Bay Oysters, Tradition of 
the, 77. 

Board of Health, the, 369. 

Boerum, Martin, noticed, 403. 

Bogart, Cornelius, noticed, 158. 
Tueuis Guysbert, 285, 

Boston, Mass., the Commercial Em- 
porium, 212, 215. 
Boundaries, differences as to the, 

Bowne, John, the Quaker, the Case 

of, 114. 
Breede Graft Ferry, the, 309. 
Brier, Volkert, Petition of, 417 
Brookhaven, Episcopal Chiu-ch at, 

Brooklyn, account of Churches in, 
Ancient names of, 376. 
Apprentices' Library Associa- 
tion, 389. 
Defence of the Patent of, 415. 
Moral Character of, 400. 
Fire Department of. 401, 403. 
The Sand Hill at. 98. 
Diagram of a Portion of, 99. 
Growth of, 393. 
Value of Real Estate in, 395. 
Indian Deed of, 290. 
"Independent Meeting House" 

in, 137. 
Notes on the Town of, 275. 
Oldest House in, 145. 
The First Episcopal Church 

in, 136. 
The Town Government of, 363. 
Village Government of, 365, 

Town Justices of, 365 
The Almshouse of, 395. 
Town Rights and Ferries, 299. 
Population and Increase, 3!K). 
Put in a state of Defense, 23. 
Mills in. 396. 

Warrant for Payment of Town 
tax in, 414. 
Brothertown Indians, the, 45. 
Burying Grounds on Longlsland, 125. 



Bushwiclc. noticed, 332. 

The Two Fighting Women of, 
Bntterm Ik Channel, its Depth in 
olden time, 73, 278. 

Canal built at Mongotucksee by the 
Indians, 58. 

Can arse Indians, the, 15. 275. 

Carll, Israel, account of his Well, 85. 

Carpenter, John, noticed, 137. 

Catharine Street Fen-y, 316. 

Cat] in, George, noticed, 52. 

Cedar Island Gut, some account of, 

Christ Chixrch, North Hempstead, 

Christmas Festivities, 253, 256. 

Churches, Service of the. 174. 

Foundation of, on Long Island 

Clams, petrified, found at Flatbush. 
Tribute of dried, 275. 

Clark, Joshua. Grape Calturist, 92. 

Clinton, DeWitt. Discourse of, De- 
cember, 1812, 10. 

Clover, spontaneous Growth of, 86. 

Cobbett, William, his Residence at 
Hempstead Plains, 144. 

Cochran's Hotel, account of, 143. 

Cold Spring Harbor, Relics of, 79. 

Coles, Jordan, 398. 

Collier, Jurian, 323. 

Colman, John, Death of, 18. 

Colman's Point, L. I., 19, 

Commerce of Brooklyn, 39?. 

Common Lands, the Division of, 432. 

Congregational Church, first found- 
ed, 100. 

Connecticut Boundary, the, 172. 

Constables, List of, from 1669 to 
1690, 349 
from 1693, 359. 

Cooking Utensils and Table Service, 

Copley, Sir John, Paintings by, 151. 

Copper in u=e among the Indians, 17. 

Corchang Indians, the, 32. 

Cornbury, Governor, Lord, Procla- 
mation concerning Slavery, 221. 
Charter of, 423. 
Noticed, 133. 

Cornel issen, Albert, 285. 

Cornelissen, Cornelius, Testimony of, 

Cortielissen. Picter, 282. 

Cornell, Whitehead, notiaed, 138. 

Comwell, William, 399. 
Corporation House, the, 153. 
Cortelyou, the Family of, 148, 276. 
Jacques, 334. 
Peter. 319. 
Couwenhoven, J<hn Van, 319. 
Cowdrey. B. F., 399. 
Croes, Right Rev. John, noticed, 

Cromweirs, Oliver, his Cannon, 400. 
Cuffee. Paul, the Indian Minister, 65. 
Curtenius, Samuel, Funeral Expenses 

of, 160. 
Cutting, William, noticed, 317. 

Daman, Jan, 285. 

Darmantier, Peter, 290. 

Debevoise, Charles, Schoolmaster, 

108, ni. 
De Bry, Voyages of, 94. 
De Forest, Hendricus, Printer, 124. 
De Lancey, James, noticed, 302. 
Delaware Indians, 12. 
Denton, Daniel, his Description ol 

New York, 31. 
Denton, Nehemiah, 322. 
Denton, Rev. Richard, noticed, 101. 
De Sille, Nicasius, noticed, 104, 281, 

DeviFs Stepping Stones, the, 56. 
Devil, the, throws Stones from Long 

Island into Connecticut, 56. 
Dirckse, Jooris, 282. 
"Discreet Freeholders," the Five, 

District Schools, 398. 
Divorce, one case of, 252. 
Dongan. Governor, noticed, 78, 284, 
His Patent and Grant, 293. 
Dorlant, John, 433. 
Dosaris. Origin of the Name, 181. 
Doughtv, Charles, noticed, 75, 145. 
Charles J., 399. 
John, 402. 
Drought, gi-eat on Long Island, 90. 
Duane, Jame.s, 91. 

Duke's Laws, Troubles concernmg 
the, 127. 
203, 351. 407, 420. 
Dunbar, Mr., the Post Rider, 241. 
Dutc;h and English, Disputes be- 
tween. 196. 
Dutch Churches Agents of the In- 
dians, 21. 
Officers of the, 1814, 378. 
Clergyman, the last one, 124. 
Colonization of Indians, 20. 



Dutch Churches, Ministers, List of, 

Mode of buildin?, 1-19. 
Peace with the Indians, 66. 
Precaution, IH. 
Reformed Churches, founding 

of, 102. 
Reforiuei Churches, Members 

of the, 109. 
Dyre, William, l'J9. 

Easter, the Celebration of, 263. 

Mock Eggs of, 2()4. 
Eastham, Cape Cod, Indian Villages 

at, 48. 
East Hampton, Church at, 101. 

Burial-ground at, 156. 
East India, the Trade of, 216, 217. 
Education on Long Island, 169. 
Eloquence of the Indians, 63. 
Euej'l. Michael, 285. 
English, Cowanlice of the, at the 
Burning of Pieterson's 
House, 68. 
Defeat of the, 198. 
English and Dutch, Disputes between, 

En,'lish Soldiers in New Yorlc. 207. 
Episcopal Churches, Foundation of, 

Erie Tribe of Indians, 14. 
Esopu-i, the Earning of. 24, 373. 
European Writers, Ignorance of, on 

the Subject of American Indians, 

Evacuation Day, the Celebration of, 

Everts, Jan, 285. 

Family Names. Changes in, 188. 
Faro, the Royal Family name of the 

Montauks. 61. 
Ferries between Brooklyn and New 

York, 430. 
Feyerston, the case of, 189. 
Filkin, H., Letter from, to Secretary 

of New York, 417. 
Fire Bell, flrst in Brooklyn, 152. 
Fire Engine, the first in Brooklyn, 

Fire Insurance Companies, .388. 
Fire Island. Ch inges in, S3. 

the Sand Baths of. 87, 88. 
Fire Island (xut, some Account of, 80. 
Fisher. Adiian, his Dutch Sermons, 

264. • I 

Fisher, John, 403. j 

Five Dutch Town.s, the, 350. I 

Five Nations, the, 19. 

Flatbush, L. I., '-Palisadoed," 23. 

the Dutch Reformed Church 
at. 112. 12.5. 

the Old H.use at, 144. 

Accounts of, 77, 33^3. 
Floyd. Niroli, noticcl, 42. 
Flushing, Venerable Oaks at. 97. 

Episcopal Cliuri:h at. 135. 
Forfeitures, Property Sold Under, 

Fortifications, Account of, 93. 
Fort Neck, the Battle of, 69, 93. 
Fourth of July, Celebration of, 269. 
Fox, George, the Quaker, Noticed, 97 

116, 119. 
Fox hunting. Notice for, 343. 
Freeke, John C, 324. 
Fulton, Robert, ol7. 
Fulton Street, Condition of, 152. 
Funeral Customs, 155. 

great Expense of, 160. 

Baked Meats, 162. 

a " Respect. ible" One. 166. 

a Case of Second SiAt, KiS. 
Furmin, W. I., noticed, 76. 
Furnier, Francis, Grape Culturist, 

Garabrantse, Peter, noticed, 358. 
Garlick, John, Wife of, sent to Con- 
necticut for Trial as a Witch, 123. 
Garretse, John. 319. 
Garritsen, Simuel, 413. 
Gentleman's Magazine, quoted, .52 
Geritsen, Dirlc, Testimony of, 68. 
Germans Sold into Slavery, 224. 
Giles, Aquila, noticed, 138. 
Gleaves, Mitthew, noticed, 138. 
Gordon, Rev. Peter, noticed, 133. 
Gowanus. the Road to, 328. 
Grapes, the Cultivation of, 92. 
Grant, Major, the Death of, 339. 
Grave Robbing on Long Island. 1.59. 
Gravesend, the Laying out of. 75. 
Great South Beach, the, Account of 
Changes in, 8-3. . 

Act for the Preservation of, 38, 
Guysbert, Tuenis, 285. 

Habits, Domestic, of the Dutch, 229. 
HMgiman, John, Testimony of, 68. 

Joseph, 319. 
Hainelle, Michael, "Clerk," 283, 

Hale, Nuthan, noticed, 341. 
Hall, Edward, 199. 



Hall, Mary, Tried for Witchcraft, 

Ralph, Tried for Witchcraft, 
Hans the Boore, noticed, 180. 
Hanse, Jores, noticed, 110. 
Hansen Simon, 2^2. 
Hanssen Jooris, 327. 
Hansen, Hans. Widow of. the First 
Born Christian Daughter in New 
Netherland, 212. 
Hansen, Hans, 286. 
Harsum, Gerrit, noticed, 414. 
Hawley, Rev. W. C, 385. 
Head, Sir Francis, quoted, 54. 
Headstones, Cost of, 155. 
Heclievvelder, Narrative, quoted. 70. 
Hempstead, first Church at, 100. 

Episcopal Church established, 

Address of Deputies at, 420. 
Hempstead Plains, Accounts of, 76. 
Hessian Officer,Ilemains of found,375. 
Hicks, Jacob, his Tradition. 31. 

Jacob M., noticed, 152. 

John M., noticed, 152. 
Hobart, Bishop of New York. 151. 
Hobart, Jeremiah, Rev., noticed, 101. 
Houses, Old, noticed, 145, 149. 
Horton, Azariah, Rev., Missionary to 

Long Island Indians, 34, 37. 
Hubbard, Rev. John, noticed, 134. 
Hubbel, Richard, 45. 
Hudden, Andnes, 282. 
Hudson, Henry, Description of the 

Canarse Indians, 16. 
Huguenots, the French, 109, 120. 
Hunt, J. S. T., Health Officer, 368. 
Hunt, Theodosius, 316. 
Hunter, Robert, Gov., noticed, 121. 
Huntington, Churches at, 101. 

Episcopal Church at, 135. 
Huntington Gut. some Account of, 80. 
Huntington West Gut, noticed, 88. 

Iceland, Family Names in, 190. 
Independence Day, Celebration of, 

269, 270. 
"Independent Meeting House" at 

Brooklyn, 137. 
India Goods. Auction Sales of, 216. 
Indian History. 10. 
Indians, their Fondness for Rum, 36. 
religious Belief of the, 40. 
empowered to vote, 40. 
Condition of, in 1831, 47. 
Results of Intermarriage with 
the Whites, 52. 

Indians, Policy to be pursued towards 
the, 55. 

Condition of, in 1827, 60. 

Justice to be done to the, 72. 

Slavery of the, 225. 

Deed of Brooklyn, 290. 
Indian Forts, 94. 

Ireland, John, Rev., Account of, 139. 
Iroquois, the, noticed, 12. 

Invasion of the, 19. 

the Power and Influence of, 25. 
Irving, Washington, quoted, 228. 

Jacobson, Joris. 285. 

Jamaica, Churches at, 101, 126. 

Grace Church incorporated at, 

Church Troubles at, 134. 
Jansen. Peter. Testimony of, 68. 
I Janse Anke, 282. 

Barent, noticed, 281. 

Claes, 283. 
Jersey Prison Ship, 342. 
Job, Elizabeth, Death of, 47. 
John Buirs Talk, 57. 
Johnson, Rev. Evan M., noticed, 

Jones, Captain, the Pirate, Tradition 
of. 143. 

Samuel, noticed, 10, 69, 80, 93. 
"Jones Inlet," account of, 81. 
Jongh, Lodewyck, 282. 
Joralemon, Judge, 154. 
Journeying on Long Island, 244. 

Keak, L. I., or Lookout, 294. 
Keeler, Isaac, 45. 

Keith, Rev. George, the First Episco- 
pal Minister on Long Island, 1.32. 
Kieft, William, Gov., his Patent to 

Jan Manje, 280; noticed, 208. 
'• King, Ben," the Indian Chief, 57. 
"King Charlie," the Guinea Negro, 

King, Gamaliel, 404. 
King George III., Medallion of, 151. 
" King Philip's War," fear of the, on 

Long Island, 72. 
Kings County, N. Y., Indians in, 15. 
First Presbyterian Church in, 

Court House, the Buildmg of, 

Destruction of the King's arms 
there, 362. 
King's Highway, the making of, 321, 
Kingston, the Burning of, 24. 
Kirk, Thomas, 399. 



Knickerbocker Smoking Parties, 239. 
Kolichees, account of, 2'^i. 
Krcsier, Martin, Burgomaster, no- 
ticed, 104, 371. 

Labor and Wages, Prices of, 236. 

Lamberts, Thomas, 285. 

Lambertsen, Jacob, Testimony of, 68. 

Lefferls, Letfert, noticed, 3115. 

Leisler, Governor, Unpopularity of, 

Lenell, Michael, Constable, 348. 

Lenni-Lenapi, 12. 

Leveridge, Kebecca, noticed, 252. 

Leveridge, Rev. William, 101. 

Lewis, John, 290. 

L'Hommedieu, Ezra, noticed, 42. 

Lighthouse, the first on Long Island, 

Linde, Pieter, noticed. 281. 

Linen, extravagant Price of, 166. 

Linnien Garden, bones e.xhuraed at, 

Liquor, pure, on Long Island, 49. 

Livingston, Brockholst, noticed, 400. 

Livingston Manor, Palatines settle 
at, 121. 

Livingston, Philip J., House of, 154. 

Longevity, some cases of, 195, 279. 

Long Island, ancient names of, 70, 
Changes in the shore of, 79. 
First Settler, 93. 
Battle of, 3;^9. 

Long Mary, noticed, 186. 

Looseley, Charles, his Lottery, 343. 
his Tavern, 343. 

Lott, Abraham, noticed, 312. 

Lotteries, noticed, 343. 

Loup Indians, 12. 

Lovelace, Francis, Gov., 269. 

Lucas, Elderl, 320. 

Ludlow, George Duncan, the Resi- 
dence of, 144. 

"Mad James," the Support of, 409. 

Mahas Indians, account of the De- 
struction of, 50. 

Malbone, Ralph, 399. 

Manetta Hill, account of, 62. 

Mauhansett Indians, 3.^. 

Manje, Jan, Gov. Keift's Grant to, 

Manners and Customs on Long Isl- 
and, 195. 

Marden Indians, the, 52. 

Markets, EstabUshment of, 220, 387. 
Prices in the, 236. 

Marriage, publishing the Bans of, 251. 

** Commissary of," 251. 
Marriage, A Bride's Inventory, 408. 

Fees, 108, .375. 
Marsapeagiie Indians, the, 32. 
Martin, Governor of S. C, his House, 
Death of his Wife, 151. 
Maryland, Regiment of, at Battle of 

Long island, 339. 
Masonic Lodges. 388. 
Maspeth ICiUs, Relics found at, 97. 
Mastick Gut, account of, 88. 
Mather, Cotton, description of Rev, 
Mr. Denton, 101. 
His Poem to Rev. Henricus 
Selwyn, 105. 
Matinecoc Indians, the, 32. 
Matlock, Rev. John, noticed, 137. 
Matowcas, Indian name of Brooklyn, 

Mattenwake, the ancient name of 

Long Island, 70. 
Methodist Episcopal Chxirch estab- 
lished in Brooklyn, 137, 140, 141. 
Merrikoke Indians, the, 32. 
Midwoiit. the Church Window at. 111. 
Military Accoutrements, ancient, 200. 
Missionary work among the Indians, 

Modern Innovations, the ruin caused 

by, 249. 
Mohawk Indians, 14. 

Canarse Indians, fear of the, 22. 
Mohegan Indians noticed, 10. 
Mongotucksee, Canal at, built by In- 
dians. 58. 
Mongotucksee, Indian Chief, venera- 
tion of the Tribes for, 58, 60, 246. 
Moutauk Indians, the, 33. 

Agreement with the Whites, 41. 
Emigration of the, 44. 
Condition of the, in 1816, 45. 
Stephen, King of the, 46. 
Noticed, 246. 
Montauk Town, Improvement of land 

at, 43. - 
Montgomery John, Governor, his 

Charter, 303. 
Moore, John, noticed, 240. 
Moore, Rev. R. C, Sermon on the 

importance of Church ilusic, 139. 
Morris, Lewis, Chief Justice, noticed, 

Morris, William. Deed to Corporation 
of New York, 411. 

Names of Places, Ancient, 178. 



Kames of Families, 1<S3. 

ISTarragansett Indians, 45. 

Nan-ows, the Indian Relics fonnd at 

the, yi. 
Nassau Island, see Long Island, 424. 
Nehantick Indians, 45. 
New England, tlie United Colonies of, 
their power, 25. 
Indians of, 45. 
"New Mirror for Travellers," quoted, 

New RocheUe, N. T., Settlement of, 

Newspapers, 390. 

Newtown, Episcopal Church at, 1^5. 
New-Year's Day, Celebration of, 257, 

New York, the Growth of, 2C8 ; Com- 
merce of, 210. 
Number of Houses in 1678 and 

Kibf), o91. 
William Mon-is' deed to the 
City of, 411. 
New Y'ork Historical Society, 10. 
New Y'ork Purchase, the, 801. 
Nicolls, Matthias, noticed, 288. 
Nicolls, Gov, Richard, his Letter to 
the Duke of York, 206. 
Noticed, 284. 288. 
Address of People of Hemp- 
stead to, 420. 
Nicknames, Dutch, 185, 186, 187. 
" Niggering Corn," account of, 228. 
Nissaquage Indians, the, o2. 
North Carolina, the Indians of, 26. 
Noyes, Josiah, 398. 
Nyack Indians, settlement of, 30, 

Oak Trees, venerable ones at Flush- 
ing, 97. 

Occom, Samson, Rev., "overtaken by 
strong drink," 35. 
Noticed, 35, 40, 45, 65. 

Ogilvie Rev. Dr., 151. 

Old Ferry, the, 316. 

Old Houses, on Long Island, 142. 

Onderdonk, Henry, Ji., Bibliography 
of Long Island, by, 435. 

Onderdonk, Henry "U., Rector, .^82. 

•Overseers of Brooklyn, the, i5 1. 

Oysters, of Blue I'oint Bay, Tradition 
of, 77. 

Palatines, Settlements of, 121. 
Paumanacke. an ancient name of 

Long Island, 71. 
Parties under the Tulip Tree, 236. 

Patchen, Jacob, 145. 
Patchogue Indians, the, 32. 
Paulding, James K., quoted, 258. 
Paupers, the support of, 409. 
Pennowits, the Long Island Chief, 66. 
Pequot Indians, 10, 45. 
Peterses, Leffert, '6x2. 
Pettrson, Mary, colored, 279. 
Philadelphia, Pa., the Trade of, 211. 
Pici.ics unrler the Tulip Tree, ^36. 
Pietersen. Jocliem, Indians biu-n the 

House of. 68. 
Pietcrsie, Styntie, 282. 
Pinokster Day, Celebration of, 266, 

267, 268. 
Pintard, John, noticed, 10, 69, 93. 
Pirate, Capt. Jones the, 143. 
Polhemus, Rev. Joannes Theodoras, 
J)eath of, 112, 370. 
Poling, Charles, 151. 
Poospatutk, L. I., Indians at, 47. 
Porridge, Samp, 227. 
Post-office, on Long Island, the, 240, 

241, 248, o89. 
Powers, George, noticed, 137. 
Praa, Capt. Peter, his Hair pulled, 

Presbyterian Churches first founded, 
100, im. 
See Kings County, 101. 
Prison Ships, the, 341. 
Public Landing Places, 319. 
Public Officers, the first in Brooklyn, 

Public Woods, preservation of the, 

Punch, Dutch, a Beverage, 232. 
Putnam. Gen. Israel, Headquarters 

of, 146, 216. 

Quakers on Long Island, 97. 

Governor Stuyvesant's Treat- 
ment of, 116. 

See George Keith, 133. 

See George Fox. 
Queens Co., N. Y., Indians in, 32. 
Quogue, the Journey to, 245. 

Rapalje, Daniel, 110. 

Jeronhnus de, 282. 

Jol.n, 145. 

Sarah de, Fecundity of, 406. 
Religious Toleration, 117, 118. 
Remsen, Henry, his Ferry, 305. 

Joras, 283. 
Representation, Discuasion ou the 
Right of, 346. 



Revolution of 177(5, Forts erected 
during the, 96. 
Records destroyed in the, 331. 
Incidents of the, 338. 
Rheumatism, a Long Island Cure for, 

Rhode Island gives Help to Long 
Island, 198. 
Sharpshooters. 200. 
the "Voluntaries" of, 201. 
Richardson, Marvin, noticed, 136. 
Rivington's Royal Gazette, quoted, 

Roatls, Public and Private, 319. 
Rockaway Indians, the, 32, 
Rouian Catholic Cuurches, Founda- 
tion of, 141. 
Roukonk ima Pond, Account of, 57. 
Ruin and the price of Land, 36. 
Ruuiford, Count, noticed, 96. 
'• Rushes,-' the Tribute of, 47. 
Rnyter, Ciaes Janse, 2S3. 

St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn, notices 
of, 138, 139, 381. 

St. George's Church, Hempstead, no- 
ticed, 135. 

St. James' Catholic Church, 142. 

St. Mark's Church, N. Y., noticed, 

St. Nicholas, Festival of, 256. 

St. Valentine's Day, Account of, 262. 

Samp Mortars, Account of, 227. 

Saud Baths of Fire Island, 87. 

Sands, Joshua. notic>.'d, 138. 

Santa Klaas, Festival of, 257. 

Sch >ols among the Shinecoc Indians, 

Schools on Long Island, 169. 

School Commissioners, 402. 

Schoolmaster, the Dutch, 171. 

Schoonmaker, Douiinie Martinus, the 
last Dutch Preacher, 124. 

Schout, the. of New Amsterdam, 350. 

Schuyler, Gen. Philip, Funeral of, 

Scott, John Morin. 91. 

Seaman, Jacob, noticel, 80. 

St;abury, Rev. Samuel, Death of, 135. 

Sebringh, Cornells, noticed, 330. 

Secataug Indians, the, 32. 

Second Sight, a Case of, 168. 

Sellers Neck, Account of, 286, 2S7. 

Sehvyn, Rev. Henricus, noticed, 104, 
sails for Holland, 108. 

Sermons, preached in Dutch, 124. 

Setaaket Indians, the, 32. 

SheU Banks, the, 82. 

Roads on Long Island, 97. 
Shinecoc Indians, the, 33. 
Six Nations, the, 15. 

an independent government, 

Long Island Indians pay Trib- 
ute to, 2'.). 
Slavery in New York, 221, 224. 
Slaves, Prices of, 224. 
Sloughter, Gov., Interview with the 

Indian Chief, 63. 
Small-pox, very fatal to Indians, 50. 

in Brooklyn, 277. 
Smiths, the, of Long Island, 192, 195. 
Smith, Christopher, Expense of hig 
Pumral, 160. 
John, of Suffolk Co., 42. 
Wil'iam. the Historian, 91. 313. 
Smith's History of New Jersey, no- 
ticed, 88. 
History of Virginia, quoted, 
Smoked Goose, 253. 
Soliuus, Rev. Henricus, see Sehvyn, 
Cotton Mather's Poems to, 105. 
noticed, 371, 373, 374. 
see Selwyn. 
Soo-nou-gize, or '"Tommy Jemmj'," 

Ti-ial of, 27. 
Southampton, the Fisheries of, 78. 

first Church at, 100. 
South Carolina Gazette, quoted, 24. 
Spencer, Chief Justice, presides at 

the Trial of Tommy Jemmy, 27. 
Spooner, Alden, noticed, 400. 
Sports and Amusements, 252. 
Sprague, Joseph, 399. 
Squaw's I.sla d, 82. 
*• Squeak the Fife and beat the 

Drum," 270. 
Stauton, Henry, noticed, 138, 402. 
Staten Island, descent of Northern 

Indi ms on, 20, 347. 
Steam Ferry, the first, 317. 
'' Stephen," King of the Montauks,46. 
Stillwell, Richard, 3:34. 
Stirling, Lord. Capture of, 148. 
Stonington Indians, the, 45. 
Street Commissioners, 319. 
Stryker, Burdett, noticed, 152. 
Scuy vesant, Peter, orders Flatbush to 
be •' palistidoed." 2S. 
prohibits the Sale "f strong 

Drink to Indians, 33. 
see Selwyn, 106. 
the Chapel at his Bowery, 109. 



Stuyvesant, Peter, as a Politician, 116. 

recommends Charles Debe- 
voise, 177. 

Character of, 196, 197. 

noticed, 284, 371. 
Suffolk Co., N. Y., Indians in, 32. 
Sunday Laws, 408. 
Sunday Visiting?, noticed, 2.34. 
Supervisor, Election of the, 363. 

Tadens, Machielle, 283. 

Tea Drinking, Introduction of, 233. 

Teibout, John, 174. 

Temperance, G-ov. Stuyvcsant's en- 
deavor with the Indians, 33. 

Thomas, Rev. John, noticed. 134. 

Thomson, Charles, noticed, 12. 

Thompson. Abraham G., noticed, 241. 
Isaac, noticed, 80. 
Jonathan, noticed, 241. 

Titus, Abiel, noticed, 136, 380. 

Tombstones, the Expense of, 155. 

" Tommy Jemmy," the Case of, 27. 

Tompkins, Gov., on the Trespass on 
Indian Lands, 45. 

Top-knot Betty, noticed. 187. 

Town Clerk, Election of the. 364. 

Town Commissioners, the, 355, 357. 

Tulip Tree, Account of the, 236, 237. 

Tuscaroras Indians, the, 15, 

Traditions of Long Island, 56. 

Treat, Rev. Mr., at Eastham, Mass., 

UdaU, Richard, noticed, 80. 
Underhill, Capt. John, his Battle 
with the Marsapeague In- 
dians, 32. 
noticed, 69, 93, 199. 
United States Navy Yard, Brooklyn, 

XJniversalists in Brooklyn, 386. 

Van Beeck, M., noticed, 120. 
Van Cortlandt, Stephanus. 283. 
Vanderbilt. Helen, noticed, 158. 
Vanderdonck on the Culture of Wine, 

Vander Hagen, Dr., noticed, 175. 
Vandewater, Benjamin. 319, 326. 
Vandewater, Jacobus " Clerk," 326, 

Vanduyne, Cornelius, 433. 
Van Eckellen, Johannis, 171, 173,177. 

Van Home, Major, the Motion of, 
the Vote on. 314. 

Van Nostrand, John, 138, 403, 

Van Rensselaer, Stephen, Patroon, 

Vechte, Henry Claes, Case of, 361, 

Veerbeeck, Paulus. 285. 

Velsor, John, Account of the dig- 
ging of his Well. 79. 

Village Hall, the, 387. 

" Vrouwen dagh," Account of, 263. 

Wacombound, the Chief, Account of, 

Walker, Rev. Zachariah, noticed, 

Wall, George, noticed, 137. 
Wampum, gathered at Babylon, L. I., 
as Salary for School-teaching, 

the Canarse Tribute of, 276. 
Waring, Henry, 147, 341. 
Washington, George, Headquarters 
of, 147. 
the Retreat of, 340. 
Water Lot Rents, 307. 
Watermills in Brooklyn, 396. 
Wells, Philip, Surveyor, 334. 
Wells, WilUam, of Southold, 157. 
West Riding of Long Island, 362. 
Whale Fisheries of Long Island, 247. 
Wheat, Liberty to transport, granted, 

Whitby Prison Ship, 341. 
Whiting, Joseph, Rev., noticed, 100. 
Widow, how called, 408. 
Widower, Definition of the Word, 408. 
Willis, "Old Dr.," noticed, 80. 
Windmills in Brooklyn, 396. 
Wine, manufacture of, 92. 
Witchcraft, in New England, 121, 123, 
Woertman, Dirck Janse. 282, '28^i. 
Woman's Day, Account of, 263. 
Women, two fighting, of Bush wick, 

Wyngaard, Lucas, his Funeral, 164. 

"Young's Place," Account of the old, 

Young, Thomas, Nurseryman, 91. 
" Yule Cleugh," the, 253. 




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