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3Itl;aca, Hera ^ork 








3 1924 070 695 709 


Cornell University 

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From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time 





New York and Chicago 


PON the writer of this has devolved the task of editing the present or second 

volume of the ** History of Long Island." While overseeing and aiding in all, 

his principal labor has been that connected with the history of his native county 

of Suffolk. In this field it has been his chief desire and plan not to follow and 

repeat former histories, but to add as much new material as possible, and the reader must 

judge as to the degree of success which has crowned his effort. 

It is painful to reflect that of the very limited editions of Hon. Silas Wood's *' Sketch 
of the Early Settlements of Long Island," a large part were never sold, and that its 
honored author never realized sufficient to recompense him for the expenses of printing. 
Almost the same may be said of Benjamin F. Thompson's "History," for the profits of 
that masterly work never yielded a reward at all proportionate to the time and labor 
expended in its production. These works are now so dispersed as to be difficult of access. 
In view of these facts the publishers of the present work are to be highly commended for 
their enterprise, and the writer has taken a genuine interest in aiding them in their work. 

Since the publication of the histories above referred to, a marked change in public 
sentiment has taken place. There was never a time when the general interest in Histor- 
ical and Genealogical information was so deep as at present, and a book is valued in 
proportion as it abounds in facts adding to the store of present knowledge. Another 
consideration wh'ich presents itself is the fact that the greatly increased advantages for 
education, as afforded by Academies and their successors, the Union Schools, have pro- 
duced a vastly increased number of intelligent readers able to fully appreciate the labor 
and importance of historical research. 

Among the new material contained in this volume may be mentioned the very ex- 
tended accounts of the Patentship of Moriches and of all the region on the south side of 
Long Island from East Hampton to the former Queens County. The early land grants 
for these necks of land, now valuable and rapidly increasing in value, are given in detail, 
with their subsequent sales and transfers. The account of Humphrey Avery's Lottery is 
a most interesting episode in the history of one of the most flourishing villages in Snffolk 
County, and is very characteristic of the former days. * 

In one respect it would seem as if recent historical research came too late. Long 
and verv exnensive law suits have been the result of a too limited knowledp-e of ihf^ nrin- 


ciples upon which all the towns in Suffolk County were founded. The publication of the 
Town Records shows that, in the beginning, all the lands were purchased by a few persons 
who were, in the fullest extent, the town, and were the sole owners of the lands they had 
purchased and paid for. AH other persons who settled in the towns were not owners, 
but simply neighbors, and had no share in the undivided lands unless they purchased such 
a part. So long as any lands of any importance (in the eyes of the first settlers) still 
remained undivided, the lists of the Proprietors and the rights they possessed were pre- 
served with minute care and accuracy. But, after the lands were divided, this was no 
longer done, and, at the present time, although there is a large amount of property of 
great present and prospective value, which in reality belongs to the descendants and suc- 
cessors of the original Proprietors, yet it is now utterly impossible to tell who they are. 

The origin and growth of the newspaper press in Suffolk County has been fully given. 
The pioneer newspaper, founded by Frothingham in 1791, is now represented by twenty- 
five papers, and the number seems likely to increase, while far the largest number are 
well supported. The Bibliography of the County is a most interesting and valuable addi- 
tion to our knowledge on that subject. 

Among those to whom especial thanks are due for valuable assistance in this work 
a very prominent place must be given to Mr. William Wallace Tooker, of Sag Harbor, 
whose learned researches in regard to the Indian language have given his name a well 
deserved prominence. To him also we are indebted for most of the information "concern- 
ing the early newspapers and books issued in the early days. 

To Mr. Orville B. Ackerley, for many years Clerk of Suffolk County, we owe many 
thanks for free permission to examine his volumes of copies of ancient deeds and docu- 
ments which he has been collecting for long years, furnishing material that cannot be 
found elsewhere. 

Mr. Nat C. Foster, of Riverhead, has been long identified with the Agricultural Soci- 
ety and the Historical Society of Suffolk County. This work has been greatly benefited 
by his contributions, and he well deserves the thanks of all sons of Suffolk County. 

The writings of Rev. Dr. Epher Whitaker, a valuable mass of historical matter, have 
been freely drawn upon, with the permission of that eminently scholarly writer. 

The earlier chapters of this volume, including those pertaining to the present Nassau 
County, and the chapter of War history, are from the pen of Captain F. Y. Hedley, of 
the editorial staif, a most capable writer, with whom the association of the writer has 
been most harmonious. The chapter on Catholic Church history is from a contribution 
by Marc F Vallette, LL. D., President of the Brooklyn Catholic Historical Society, and a 
writer of acknowledged credibility. 

William S. Pelletreau. 

Southampton, Long Island, January 11, 1903. 


Come ye who have gone forth from this fair Isle, 

To win friends, fortune, fame — in other climes — 
Back to your early haunts and homes awhile, 
Unroll with us the records of old times; 
Call to the fresh young hours now fleeting fast, 
'Ho, hurrying train, what of the dim old Past?' 

'What of the dim old Past? Why seek to stay 

The rushing Present, with such bootless quest ? 
Ask the gray gravestones crumbling in decay, 

Who sleep beneath, in deep and dreamless rest? 
Ask tireless ocean, booming on the shore, 
Who trod these wave-washed sands in days of yore ? 

'Who trod these wave-washed sands? High hearts of old! 

Strong men of giant minds, and stalwart mould, 
By goading wrongs to daring deeds impelled, 

Patient of toil — in danger calm and bold — 
Wise, wary, watchful, weighing all things well, 
Men whose stern will oppression could not quell. 

■'Neath these gray stones, who sleep in dreamless rest? 
Men faithful, fervent, eloquent, sincere, 

Names loved and lispt in childhood's earnest tones — 
Names breathed in prayer from altars and hearthstones." 

(Written in 1849, by Miss Cornelia Huntington, 
and sung at the two hundredth celebration of the 
settlement of the town of East Hampton.) 



Eastern Long Island — Its Physical Characteristics — Notable Landmarks and Points of Interest — Ancient 
Windmills — Stories of Shipwreck and Piracy— Light Houses and Life Saving Stations — Shipbuild- 
ing in Olden Times — Old Time Shipbuilders and Sailors — Modern Yachting 1 


The Counties of Nassau and Suffolk — Characteristics of the Pioneer Colonists — The Town Meeting and 
Early Courts — The Primitive Church and School — Early Industries — The Home of Long Ago and 
that of To-Day ' , : 49 


Nassau County — Its Organization — The Queens-Nassau Agricultural Association 74 


Hempstead — Its Ancient History — Early Churches and Schools — Garden City and the Cathedral — Towns 

and Villages 82 


North Hempstead — Its Separation from Hempstead — Roslyn and Its Literary Associations — William 

Cullen Bryant — The Bryant Library — Towns and Villages 110 


Oyster Bay — Early Land Grants — The Rise of Churches — Home of President Roosevelt — Glen Cove and 

Other Villages 127 


Suffolk County — Its Early History — Primitive Manufactures — Visit of Washington — Churches and Schools 

— The Long Island Bible Society — Education — The Rev. Epher Whitaker's Historical Resume 157 


Huntington — Early Land Titles — The First Settlers — Churches and Schools — A Schoolmaster of Ye Olden 

Tymme — Towns and Villages 172 


Babylon — Creation of the Town — The Village of Babylon — Revolutionary Reminiscences — Washington, 

Prince Joseph Bonaparte, and Daniel Webster — Amityville 189 



Smithtown — The First Land Titles — Notable Families — Churches and Schools — Smithtown and Other 

Villages 198 


Islip — Its Situation — Early Land Grants — Some of the Notables of Long Ago — Rise of Churches and 

Schools — Towns and Villages 233 


Brookhaven— The First Land Purchase — Some of the Pioneers — Early Patents and Deeds — The Story of 

Setauket and Caroline Church — Bohemia — Port Jefferson — Patchogue — Moriches — Yaphank 252 


Southampton — The First ImmigrantG — The Earl of Sterling's Authority Asserted— Ancient Grants and 
Deeds — Old Tombstones — Churches and Schools — Celebration of the Sag Harbor Affair of Revo- 
lutionary Times 282 


East Hampton — Annals of the Indians — Early Land Titles and Grants — Families ot the Colonial Days — 

The Beginning of Civil Institutions — Contrast Between the Past and the Present 846 


Riverhead — Organization of the Township — Early Land Grant — The Village of Riverhead — Suffolk 
County Agricultural Society — Suffolk County Historical Society and Its Notable Records and Relics 
— Aquebogue and the Steeple Church 380 


Southold — The Early Records and First Settlers — Old Tombstones and Their Quaint Inscriptions — 

Ancient Wills — Founding of the Villages of Southold and Greenport 402 


Shelter Island — Ancient Titles — Notable Families of the Early Days — Nathaniel Sylvester — The Havens 

Family — Early Churches and Schools 443 


In Times of War — Early Militia Organizations — Dawn of the Revolution — Preparing for the Fray — 
Suffolk County Troops in the Battle of Brooklyn — The British Occupation — The War of 1812 — The 
Civil War — The Spanish-American War 463 


The Whale and Menhaden Fishery — Founding and Development of These Enterprises — The Industry as 

Seen by a Participant — The Oyster Industry 494 

Newspapers of Suffolk County — Bibliography 504 


The Catholic Church on Long Island — The Pre-Diocesan Period — Creation of the Diocese — The Founding 

of Churches, Schools and Charitable Institutions 524 


Aboriginal Remains. — 157; in Southampton, 312. 
Agricultural Socieues. — Queens-Nassau, 77; officers 

of, 81; of Suffolk County, 889. 
Amagansett.— 873. 
Amityville.— 196. 

Andros, Governor. — Grant from, 298. 
Aqu^bogue.— 400. 
Art Gallery, Southampton. — 809. 

Babylon, — Descriptive, 189; Land Titles, 190; Early 
Homes, 198; Churches, 195; Villages, 196. 

Babylon, Village of. — 251; Newspaper, 509. 

Baptist Church. — At Oyster Bay, 138; in Suffolk coun- 
ty, 162; at Babylon, 195; at Patchogue, 278; at 
Greenport, 428. 

Bayles, James M. -Shipbuilder, 45. 

Bayles, Richard M.— 509; 522. 

Baysw^ater Yacht Club.— 108. 

Beecher, Rev. Lyman. — 863; his successors, 364; 
printed Sermons, 514. 

Bethpage. — 154. 

Bibliography. — 511. 

Bible Societies.— The Long Island, 62; the Suffolk 
County, 163. 

Birds of Long Island. — 19. 

Blydenburgh, Isaac— 217. 

Bowne, John.— 67. 

Bradford, William.— At Oyster Bay, 181. 

Brewster, Nathaniel.— 270. 

Bridge Hampton. — 822. 

Brookhaveo. — Early local laws, 53; Land controver- 
sies, 217; Descriptive, 252; Early settlers, 253; 
Deeds and grants, 256; Diagram, 268; Land 
division by Richard Smith and Matthew How- 
ell, 261; Diagram of Mastic lands, 264; Ab- 
stracts of df-eds, 267; Winthrop patent, 268; 
Early churches, 270; Setauket, 271 ; Stony 
Brook, 273 ; Port Jefferson, 274 ; Patchogue, 
276: Moriches, 279. 

Bryant, William Cullen. — Home at Cedarmere, 114; 
Bryant Circulating Library, 116. 

Buel, Rev. Samuel. — 862; his sucessors, 868; in Revo- 
lutionary War, 484; sermons of, 516. 

Burgess, Bishop. — 101. 

Burling, Walter R.— 510, 528. 

Cammann, Edward C. — 105. 

Canoe Place Division. — 384. 

Carpenter, Joseph. — 150; builds a mill, 151. 

Carll, Jesse. — Shipbuilder, 45. 

Cauldwell, Mrs. M. B.— 312. 

Churches.— The Primitive, 59; at Huntington, 188; 

at Southampton, 800; at Sag Harbor, 326; at 

Catchaponack, 388; in East Hampton, 359; in 

Riverhead, 389: at Southold, 420. 
Clinton Academy. — 365. 
Cold Spring Harbor.— 187. 
Congregational Church. — In Suffolk County, 162; at 

Patchogue, 277; at Greenport, 427. 
Conklin, Jacob. — 47; his property, 193. 
Conklin, Nathaniel. — 194. 

Conkling, John. — 175; Acquisition at Southold, 405. 
Cook, Capt. Joel.— 194. 
Cooper, James M. — Quoted, 192. 
Coram. — 275. 

Country Road. — Lawsuit concerning, 238. 
Courts. — In Hempstead, 55; in Suffolk County, 167; 

in Smithtown, 199. 
Cow Neck.— 112. 
Cox, Rev. Philip.— 153. 
Cutchogue. — 419. 

Davenport, Rev. James. — His visionary religionism, 

Deeds. — Early form of, 179. 
Deer Hunting. — 19. 
Denton, Rev. Richard.— 87. 
Dering, Thomas. — 456. 
Dickerson, Philemon. — At Southold, 408. 
Dosoris, — 149. 
Dwight, Rev. Dr. Timothy. — Visit to Long Island, 69. 

East Hampton. — Constitution of, 52; Descnptive, 346; 
Indian deed, 349; first setilers, 350; the early 
local government, 855; land division, 358; the 
first church, 359: Clinton Academy, 365; the 
first school, 367; Montauk deed, 368 ; Lion 
Gardiner, 376. 

Eastern Long Island. — Physical Characteristics, 1; 
Climatrc conditions, 3; Towns of, 12. 

East Norwich. — 158. 

Eburne, Samuel. — Purchase in Brookhaven, 255. 

Erskine, Sir William.— 482. 

Estates, Notable.— 17. 

Far Rockaway. — 11; Pettit and Thompson quoted, 

107; Bayswater Yacht Club, 108. 
Fairs. — In Colonial times, 57; in Nassau County, 76. 
Farmingdale. — 155. 



Farrett, James.— 127; deed to Undertakers at South- 
ampton, 286. 

Fisher's Island.— 438. 

Floral Park —124. 

Floyd, Richard.— 254. 

Flushing Battery.— 488. 

Fort Neck.— 246; 433. 


Freeport. — 102. 

Friends, The. — At Hempstead, 95; at Westbury, 125; 
at Oyster Bay, 132; at Jericho, 154; Rev. Elias 
Hicks, 154; irial of Humphrey Norton, 419; 
in Revolutionary War, 478. 

Fordham, Robert. — 83; his associates, 84. 

Frothingham, David. — 504; prints first book on Long 
Island, 511; prints a magazine, 513. 

Garden City.— The Cathedral, 96; Bishop Littlejohn, 
100; Bishop Burgess, 101. 

Gardiner, David.^"Chronicles'* by, 521. 

Gardiner's Island. — Title to, 375. 

Gardiner, Lion. — Acquires Gardiner's Island, 376; 
his life and death, 376; his descendants, 377. 

George's Neck.— 247. 

Gibbs, Andrew. — Patent to, 242; personal history, 
243; deed from Indians, 256. 

Glen Cove. — 149; early emigrants, 150; Glen Cove 
Manufacturing Company. 152; Glen Cove Mu- 
tual Insurance Company, 153. 

Godwin, Parke. — His home near Roslyn, 117. 

Goodyear, Stephen. — Purchases Shelter Island, 445. 

Great Neck.^112. 

Greenport. — 426; newspapers, 508. 

Griffin, Augustus. — Journal by, 520. 

Hale, Nathan.— Monument to, 486. 

Halsey's Manor.— 256. 

Hand, Nehemiah. — 43. 

Harrison, President. — Genealogy of, 407. 

Hashamamock. — 415. 

Hauppauge. — 218. 

Head of the Harbor.— 219. 

Heartte, Nehemiah.— 193. 

Hedges, Henry P.— Works by, 522. 

Hempstead. — Early Courts, 55; Geographical, 82; 
Early Settlers, 83; Early religious conditions, 
88; the present village, 93; other villages: Garden 
City, 96; Rockville Centre, Freeport, 102; New 
Bridge, Seaford, Bellmore, Valley Stream, 
Ridgewood, Wantagh, Baldwin's, Norwood, 103; 
Long Island Camp Meeting Association, 105; in 
Revolutionary War, 465. 

Hewlett Family. — 103; Monument erected by Abra- 
ham Hewlett, 109. 

Hicks, Elias. — 154; his Journal, 520. 

Hicksville — 154; Prime quoted, 155. 

Holdsworth, Jonas. — ^^Contract as school teacher, 184. 

Hosford, Miss. — Relic of Captain Kidd, 47. 

Horse Neck.— 176. 

Horton, Barnabas. — At Southold, 407; his home lot, 
411; will of, 440; old homestead, 441. 

Howell Family. — At Southampton, 296. 

Howell, George R. — As author, 521. 

Huntington. — Early court records, 55; descriptive, 172; 
earlv deeds, 174; first grants, 1666; "Yorkers' 
Patent," 178; Early school, 184; Villages, 185; in 
Revolutionary War, 467; in the Civil War, 490; 
Newspapers, 507. 

Huntington Bay.^ — 186. 

Huntting, Rev. Nathaniel. — 362; his successors, 363. 

Hyde Park.- 124. 

Islip— 233; early land grants, 285; contested titles, 238; 
Diagram, 239; Gibb Patent, 24'2; Mowbray Pat- 
ent, 243; Willetts Patent, 246; list of Freehold- 
ers, 248; village of Islip, 249; Babylon and Say- 
ville, 251; Newspaper, 510. 

Jackson, Richard. — Deed from James Farrett, 403. 
Jackson, Robert. — 95. 
James, Rev. Thomas. — 360. 
Johnson, Jerome B. — 73. 

Jones, J. Wesley. — Founder of United States Life Sav- 
ing Corps, 38. 

Keyes, Dr. E. L.— Home at Water Mill, 319. 

Laws, Early. — 52. 

Leverich, Rev. William.— At Oyster Bay, 132; referred 
to by C. S. Street, 179; as a lawyer and litigant, 

Libraries. — In Nassau county, 75; in Suffolk county, 

Life Saving Service.— 28; Raynor R. Smith, 29; Life 
Saving Stations on Long Island, 31; Life Savers 
and their equipment, 32; United States Life Sav- 
ing Corps, 37. 

Light Houses. — 25; at Sandy Hook, 26; on Long Isl- 
and, 27; at Sands Point, 110. 

Lindenhurst.— 197. 

Littlejohn, Bishop. — 100. 

Lloyd's Neck.— 175. 

Long Island. — Physical characteristics, 1 ; Camp Meet- 
ing Association, 105. 

Long Island Bible Society. — Organization, 61. 

Lotteries. — 104. 

Louden, John. — 196. 

Loughlm, John — Bishop of Brooklyn, 532. 

McDonnell, Charles. — Second Bishop of Brooklyn, 545. 

Mackay, Clarence. — Estate at Roslyn, 120. 

Manhasset. — Indian tradition, 13; early newspapers, 

Mansions on Long Island, 15. 

Manufacturers, early. — 161. 

Mapes, Thomas. — 254. 

Masonic. — Lodge at Hempstead, 92. 

Massapequa. — 197. 

Mastic. — Land diagram, 264. 

Matinecock. — 147. 

Mattituck.— 434. 

Meadow Brook Hunting Club. — 18. 

Mechanics, Pioneer. — 64. 

Mecox.— 321. 

Meigs Expedition. — Celebration of, 326. 

Menhaden Fishing. — 498. 

Merrick.^104; Free Circulating Library, 105; Long 
Island Camp Meeting Association, 105. 

Merritt, Israel J. — Wrecking operations, 39. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. — Of Hempstead, 91; at 
Rockville Centre, 102; at Merrick, 105; Philip 
Cox, 113; at Oyster Bay, 184; at Glen Cove, 151; 
at East Norwich, 155; in Suffolk county, 162; at 
Babylon, 195; at Hauppauge, 218; at St. James, 
220; at Smithtown Branch, 222; at Blyden- 
burgh's Landing, 223; at Islip, 249; at Patchogue, 
277; at Southampton, 805, 320; at Sag Harbor, 
328; at Quogue, 341; at Greenport, 428; on 
Shelter Island, 462. 

Mills, Historic— 20. 

Mills, Richard.— 298. 

Mills, Timothy.— 220. 



Miller, Andrew.— 254. 

Miller's Place.— 275. 

Mineola. — Letter from Queen Victoria, 12; county seat 
of Nassau county, 124. 

Motitauk.— Deed to, 368. 

Moriches. — Patentship of, 257; the villages, 279; News- 
papers, 509. 

Mott, Adam.— Will of. 111, 

Mount Sinai,— 275, 

Mowbray, John. — Patent to, 243; disposes of land, 244; 
line of descent, 248. 

Murray, Lindley. — 250. 

Nassau County. — Its creation, 74; Civil List, 75; Statis- 
tics, 76; Agricultural Society, 76. 

New Jersey, — S'-ttlement of, 67. 

New Lights.— 133. 

Newspapers. — at Babylon, 195; of Suffolk county, 504. 

Njcolls, William. — Personal history, 284; his land pur- 
chases, 235, 

Nicolls, William (2d). — Inheritance from his father, 
236; Act of Legislature for relief of, 237. 

North Hempstead.— Boundaries, 110; the first settlers, 
111; early churches, 113; home of William Cul- 
len Bryant, 115; the Mackay estate, 120. 

Northport— 187; Newspaper, 509. 

Norton, Humphrey, the Quaker. — Trial of, 419. 

Noyack.— 332. 


Onderdonk, Henry, Jr. — As an author, 520. 

Osborn, Selleck. — 505. 

Oystering.— 113; 501. 

Oyster Bay. — 127; first land grant, 128; settlement 
in 1653, 129; first freeholders, 130; William Brad- 
ford, 131; Rev. William Leverich, 132; early 
churches, 133; present village of Oyster Bay, 
134; Theodore Roosevelt, 135; villages, 149; in 
Revolutionary War, 464. 

Oyster Ponds.— 418. 

Palmer, Captain John. — 106. 

Paper Mill, First in New York. — 114. 

Parrish, Samuel L.— 299; 311. 

Patchogue.^277; Newspapers, 508; 510. 

Paulding, Admiral. — 490. 

Payne, John Howard. — 15. 

Pearsalls.— 102. 

Peconic. — 436. 

Pettit, William S.— Quoted, 106. 

Piracy. — 38; Captain Kidd, 46; Lion Gardirer visited 
by pirates, 46 ; relic of Captain Kidd, 47 ; the "San 
Antonio," 47; the "Vineyard" and the"Haidee," 

Plum Island.— 438. 

Port Jefferson. — 273; Newspapers, 509. 

Port Washington.— 122. 

Presbyterian Church. — Christ's First Church, Hemp- 
stead, 87; at Roslyn, 113; at Oyster Bay, 134; at 
Glen Cove, 151; Organization of Presbytery, 162- 
at Babylon, 195; in Islip, 250; at Setauket, 271 
in Southampton, 301, 320; at Sag Harbor, 826 
at Quogue, 337; in East Hampton, 360; in South 
old, 421; on Shelter Island, 461. 

Prime, Rev. N. S.— 187; history by, 519. 

Protestant Episcopal Church, — St. George's, Hemp- 
stead, 89; at Manhasset, 113; at Glen Cove, 151; 
in Suffolk county, 162; at Babylon, 195; at St. 
James, 220; St. John's, Islip, 249; Caroline 
Church, Setauket, 271; at Patchogue, 278; St. 

Andrews', Southampton, 307; at Sag Harbor, 
327; in East Hampton, 865; at Greenport, 428; 
on Shelter Island, 462. 

Queen Victoria. — Letter from, 12. 

Quogue— Purchase of, 315, 833; village of, 336. 

Reformed Church.— At North Hempstead, 1 13; in 
Islip, 250. 

Richbill, John -175. 

Riverhead. — Aboriginal remains, 380; boundaries, 381 
Indian deeds, 382; Diagram of Land Grant, 385 
pioneer settlers, 388; Agricultural Society, 389 
Historical Society, 395; Savings Bank, 400 
Newspapers, 508. 

Roads, Ancient and Modern. — 8. 

Robin's Island. — 486. 

Rockville Centre.— 102. 

Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton.— 310. 

Roman Caiholic Church. — At Westbury, 113; at Baby- 
lon, 195; at Patchogue, 278; at Sag Harbor, 
328; General History of, 524. 

Roosevelt, Theodore. — Address by, 61; Home at Oys- 
ter Bay, 134; his ancestry, 135; his entrance 
upon public life, 138; his military career, 140; 
elected Governor, 143; Vice-President, 144; 
President, 145; as an author, 146. 

Roslyn.— 117. 

Saggaponack. — 322. 

Saghtekoos. — Patent to Stephanus Van Cortlandt, 

Sag Harbor. — 323; old bill of ladmg, 824; early set- 
tlers, 326; churches and schools, 327; Sag Har- 
bor Savings Bank, 829; Newspapers, 504. 

Sailors, Old Time. — 45. 

Sands, Col. John — 470; harries Tories, 475. 

Sayville.— 251. 

Schools.— of Nassau County, 75; at Smithtown Branch, 
222; inBrookhaven, 271; in Patchogue, 279; in 
Southampton, 298 ; at Sag Harbor, 328 ; at 
Catchaponack, 838; in East Hampton, 367; at 
Greenport, 428. 

Scott, Capt. John.— 205. 

Seabury, Rev. Samuel. — 90. 

Sea Algae. — 5. 

Sea Cliff.— 153. 

Sea Shells.~3. 

Seaman, Capt. John. — at Hempstead, 93. 

Setauket. — 271; newspapers, 508. 

Shelter Island. — Commission to James Farrett, 443; 
sale to Stephen Goodyear, 445; Nathaniel Syl- 
vester, 447; his history, 451; the Dering family, 
456; the NicoU family, 457; first town meeting, 
458; the early church, 459. 

Sherrawog. — 219. 

Shipbuilding and Shipbuilders. — 41; at Sag Harbor, 
42; at Setauket, Port Jefferson and Greenport, 
43; Nehemiah Hand, 48; James M. Bayles, 45; 
Jesse Carll, 45. 

Shipwrecks. — 22; Monument to the lost of the "Bris- 
tol" and "Mexico," 24. 

Skinner, Col. Abraham. — 198. 

Slavery on Long Island. — 182. 

Smith, Adam.— Ancient Farm Map, 227. 

Smith, Caleb.— 217. 

Smith, Ebenezer. — Land Plat, 226. 

Smith, Jesse. — Inn at Babylon, 195. 

Smith, John.— 108. 

Smith, Jonas. — Friends' School, 222. 



Smith, Josiah.—Commands Militia, 470; at Battle of 
Brooklyn, 471. 

Smith, Ra>nor R. — Medal for life saving, 29. 

Smith, Richard.— 198; Land Controversies, 204; His 
home and family, ii06; will of his widow, 209; 
Deed made by Richard Smith, 212; sells land 
to Samuel Eburne,255; land division, 261. 

Smithtown.— First Settlers; 199; Land Titles, 200; 
First Mill, 215; Smithtown Branch, 220; Early 
Church, 221; Ancient Maps, 226-7-8; in Revo- 
, lutionary War, 468; in Civil War, 491; news- 
papers, 510. 

Smithtown Branch.— 220. 

Social Conditions. — In Colonial times, 68; after the 
Revolution, 69. 

Society of St. Johnland. — 167. 

Southampton. — Descriptive, 282; First grantees, 285; 
List of inhabitants, 290; Division of Lands, 292; 
Gov. Andros' Grant, 294; the Town Trustees, 
295; schools, 299; churches, 300; ancient bill of 
lading, 324; the Quogue Purchase, 333 ; the 
modern village, 310; in Revolutionary War, 
469; Newspapers, 510; Town Records, 521. 

Southampton Undertakers. — 283. 

Southold. — 402; Grant by James Farrett, 403; founding 
of the town, 406; descent of President Ham- 
son, 407; the early settlers, 408; Indian deeds, 
413; division of lands, 418; the early church, 
420; Greenport, 426; Orient, 432; Horton home- 
stead, Southold, 441; in Revolutionary War, 

Southold Academy. — 425. 

Spain, War with. — 492. 

Speonk. — 343. 

Spooner, Alden. — 505; prints a grammar, 515. 

Standish, Miles.— 122. 

Slate Hospital for Insane. — 168. 

St. George's Manor.~266. 

Stony Brook.— 273. 

Street, Charles R.— Quoted, 179. 

Suffolk County. — 157; William Wallace Tooker quo- 
ted, 157; early history, 160; visited by Wash- 
ington, 162; First Sunday School, 163; Educa- 
tional, 164; Libraries, 166; Political Divisions, 
166; Almshouse and other charitable institu- 
tions, 167; Civil List, 168; Rev. Epher Whita- 
ker, quoted, 168; Newspapers, 504; Bibliogra- 
phy, 511. 

Suffolk County Agricultural Society. — 389. 

Suffolk County Historical Society. — 395, 

Sunday School, first in Suffolk County. — 163. 

Sylvester Manor Estate. — 16. 

Sylvester, Nathaniel. — At Shelter Island, 447; his his- 
tory, 451; his descendants, 455. 

Talmadge, Colonel Benjamin. — 273. 

Talmadge, Rev. Benjamin, — 273. 

Taverns. — 58. 

Taxation. — Under Colonial Rule, 66. 

Teachers' Associations. — In Suffolk County, 164. 

Thanksgiving Day.— Gov. Stuyvesant's Proclamation, 

Thomas, Dr. T. Gaillard.— at Southampton, 307; quo- 
ted. 310. 

Thompson, Benjamin F. ^History by, 519. 

Thompson, Charles G.— 378. 

Tooker, John.— 254; sale to Samuel Eburne, 255. 
Tooker, William Wallace.— Quoted, 157; as author, 

Town Meeting.— 182. 
Town Trustees. — Origion of, 295. 
Training Days.^57. 
Tredwell, Mrs. Amanda.— Letter from Queen Victoria, 


Underbill, Capt. John.— 148. 
Vail, Aaron S.— 225. 

Wainscott.— 379. 

Wales, Salem H.— 311. 

War of 1812.-487. 

War, The Civil.~487; Flushing Battery, 488. 

War, Revolutionary. — 463; Oyster Bay, 464; Hemp- 
stead, 465; Suffolk county, 466; Huntington, 467: 
Smithtown, 468; Southold, 469; Southampton, 
470; Colonel Sands, 470; Colonel Josiah Smith, 
471; operations of his regiment, 472; British oc- 
cupation, 474; Whale-boat campaign, 480; Oper- 
ations of the patriots, 481; Sir William Erskine, 
483; Nathan Hale, 485. 

Warrata.— 261. 

Washington, General. — At Hempstead Harbor, 114; 
Visits Suffolk County, 162, 

Water Mill.— 318, 

Wave Crest.— 109. 

Wells, William.— At Southold, 407. 

Westbury.— 124; Friends' School, 125. 

Whale Fishing.— 328; 494. 

Wheatly Hills.— Palatial Homes, 17. 

Whitney, Henry.— 181; buys land, 190. 

Whitaker, Rev. Epher.— Quoted, 49; 168; Pastor at 
Southold, 425; Quoted, 463; as an author, 520. 

Willetts' Point, — Fortifications, 11. 

Willetts, Thomas and Richard.— Grant to, 246; land 
transfers, 247. 

Windmills, 01d.--21; 319; 321. 

Winnecomac Patent.— 228; Land Title Controversies, 

Winthrop Patent.— 268. 

Wood, Jonas.— 200. 

Wood, Silas. — As author, 518. 

Woodbury. — 155. 

Woodford, Stewart L.— 491. 

Woodhull, Nathaniel.— 255. 

Woodhull, Richard. — Purchases land in Brookhaven, 
253; his colleagues, 254; receives patent, 255. 

Wrecking. — 39. 

Wright, Peter.— Settles at Oyster Bay, 130. 

Wyandanch Club House.— 224. 

"Yorkers' Patent."— 178. 

Youngs, Colonel John. — 409. 

Youngs, Rev. John. — At Southold, 406; Indian deed to, 

413; his tomb, 421 ; his successors in the ministry, 



Long Island Militia, Colonial, 560. 
Revolutionary Soldiers, 561. 
Civil War Soldiers, 575. 



Its Physical Characteristics and Notable Landmarks — Light Houses and Life Saving 
Stations — Shipbuilding and Yachting — Stories of Shipwreck and Piracy. 

X the previous volume is contained the 
general history of Long Island, and of 
the counties of Kings and Queens. Our 
present concern is with the remaining 
counties, their peculiar conditions, and their his- 
toric associations. 

Long Island occupies a place of its own, not 
alone in its uniqueness as a geographical loca- 
tion, but in the purposes to which it has been 
devoted. Within a .space of time not much more 
than half a century, resorts for health and pleas- 
ure have been established at almost every avail- 
able spot on the shores of the Atlantic, from the 
rugged ocean barriers of ]\Iaine to the coral reefs 
of Florida. Between these far separated ex- 
tremes are cities and villages presenting every 
feature of attraction and desirability. There are 
spots, i:s along the coasts of Elaine and Massa- 
chusetts, which are delightful in summer, but 
are wellnigh uninhabitable in winter; and 
others, as in Florida, which are grateful to the 

winter sojourner, but are almost unendurable 
during the remiainder o^f the year. 

Between these geographical and climatic ex- 
tremes lies Long Island, stretching away eastward 
from the southern point of Manhattan. On the 
ocean side are the multitudinous picturesque in- 
lets dotting the waters between the main land and 
a series of beaches — Long Beach, Jones Beach 
and Oak Island Beach — and^ extending farther 
eastwardly, enclosing Great South Bay, is the 
long narrow Fire Island, an everlasting barrier to 
the mighty breakers rolling in from the shore 
of the old world. This ocean coast line is almost 
level from Brooklyn to the faraway picturesque 
Shinnecock Hills. 

]\Iuch of the eastern territory of the Island on 
its ocean side remains as nature has made it, 
wild, desolate and barren — a plaything for the 
storms and for the wintry waves which seem to 
gather strength as they roll across the Atlantic 
and break with wild impetuosity on its shore, 


lifting up miles of sand bar as if they were drift- 
wood, and even battering down the rocky bul- 
wark that for ages has carried on a ceaseless 
warfare 'with the elements but has gradually got 
the worst of it. The cliff at the extreme point is 
slowly but surely being ground to powder by the 
remorseless action of the ocean, and, while many 
of the boulders and pebbles and gravel we see are 
the results of glacial movement, much of the de- 
bris is part of the volcanic rocks. The &ea, in 
fact, is steadily encroaching upon the land and 
winning back to its. depths that which had been 
raised above its level in some primeval struggle. 

But the verse was written of an alder country, 
where the voyager might stop his boat and gaze 
down upon the rem-ains of a city sunken below 
the water, and- what has disappeared here has 
been ^ut meadow or edge of forest. 

But the sea, at one time at least, returned a lit- 
tle of what it had won. There is no doubt that 
the district we call Montauk was once an island, 
perhaps, two— one from Napeague Harbor to 
Fort Pond, and one from there to the lighthouse 
on' that 'hisitoric Point 

Against whose breast the everlasting surge 
Long traveling on and ominous of wrath 
Forever beats. 


Some scientists affirm that the entire Atlantic 
coast of this continent is gradually sinking, and 
that in the course of an indeterminate number of 
years practically all of the present coast regions 
will have disappeared. Certainly some change 
is apparent, and the mind recalls some lines O'f 
Thomas Moore: 

''On Lough Neagh's banks as the fisherman strays 

When the clear, cold eve's declining, 
He sees the remains of other days 

In the waves beneath him shining. 
Thus shall memory often in dreams sublime 

Catch a glimpse of the days that are over, 
And, sighing, look back through the waves of time 

For the long faded glories they cover." 

Froan Amagansett to Montauk Point is a re- 
gion of desolation and gloom. Sand everywhere, 
sand in all the shapes which nature can twist it, 
dunes and hills and wide rolling expanse. It is 
said that this territory was once fairly well- 
wooded in spots, but we find no signs of the for- 
est now, and the spots appear to have vanished. 
Sand, sand everywiiere, and long stretches of 
solitude, the M'ontauk peninsula looks as if it 
were intended by nature to be left alone by man. 
Yet the railroad runs through it now almost to 
the point, and it does not need much of prophetic 


power to say that within a quarter of a century 
this will rank among the favorite resorts along 
the Atlantic coast, and that it will be one gor- 
geous parterre — for three months in each year at 
least. Facing Gardiner's Bay, the coast line is 
rocky, but, except on the coast, there is no eleva- 
tion of land, and it descends by an easy gradient 
to the Atlantic, which fringes it with a sandy 
bulwark. In the west and north are quite ex- 
tensive ranges of forests. The farmiing lands, 
which extend to where the Montauk peninsula 
begins, are fairly productive, and though the 
holdings, as a general rule, are small, they sup- 
port a thrifty and settled population. 

The cooling sea breezes which sweep around 
Montauk from the far north mingle with the 
balmy zephyrs from' 'the -tropics, and the waters 
of old ocean, tempered by the warmth of the 
Gulf Stream, are unpolluted by stain or odor 
from factory or mine. According to the superin- 
tendent of the New York Weather Bureau 
(Eighth Annual Report), the July isothermal 
line of 74 degrees passes fromi Brooklyn to 
southern New Jersey, thence to northern Africa, 
to France, and through southern Europe to the 
northward of Italy, The writer of the same pa- 
per takes occasion to controvert the proposition 
that the Gulf Stream has gone astray, as has 
been asserted by some meteoroiogists, and bases 
the occasional eccentricities of temperature upon 
the erratic movements of the wind currents, argu- 
ing that, equable as climatic conditions generally 
are, they would be far more so, approaching those 
of the Azores Islands, v^ere the prevailing winter 
winds from the southeast instead of from the 
northwest. As it is, it is a matter of genetal 
knowledge that the climate of Long Island can 
in no way be measured by that of New York 
City, with its excessive humidity and habitual 
absence of sunshine. On the contrary, it has 
been shown that in various localities on Long 
Island, where observations have been made, sun- 
shine has prevailed 312 days in the year, against 
235 days in New York City, with a correspond- 
ing advantage in absence of excess-ive humidity. 
These and other like conditions point to the 
healthfulness of the region, and amply justify its 

favorable consideration as an abode for health 

Never-ending enjoyment ds there here for 
him who has well learned even the rudiments of 
the teachings of Nature — who discerns the fact 
that man has never equalled her works in delicacy 
and beauty. And another part of the same les- 
son — that Nature puts the products of her skill 
before all, and without price, only asking that 
they look and hear. But this lesson has been illy 
learned by the many, and we are all guilty of its 
neglect in some fashion or other, seeking some- 
thing we call great, when the smallest are great 
if only viewed aright. 

The beach, floored with smoothest, cleanest 
sand that could not soil the fairest foot, is 
reached twice a day by the tide which brings to 
it a wealth of ocean life, in lines of shells and 
seaweed. These arouse (or should arouse) our 
admiration at every step, in the auroral tints upon 
the curved scroll of the shell ; the delioaite carv- 
ing oi the sea urchin; the prismiatic lights of 
the medusae; still down; to those lower forms 
that mark the confines of the two great divisions 
of organic life, animal and plant, apparently hav- 
ing so little in common with each other, though 
always mingling. During somie months of the 
year, the briilliant but delicate green's and scar- 
lets, browns and purples of sea algas, blend with 
the quiet hues oi other varieties of seaweed and 
mosses into an elusive tint that evades the sense 
of color, and in these lines, sparkling here and 
there with jewelled shells, we read the poeni'S of 
the sea. 

Two of the most delicately colored shells are 
the targe snails, natica heros and natica dupli- 
cata. They are cast up on the strand in the in- 
finitesimal specks of newly hatched young, up to 
the adult shell, the size of an orange. They 
move rapidly and feed upon mussels and tender 
shells, . which they perforate. The eggs of this 
shell-fish are deposited in a nest known as the 
**Nidas," or sand saucer; this is composed of a 
glutinous substance mixed with sand, in form 
and size not unlike a saucer, and, when held up to 
the light, the eggs are revealed in tiny amber 


The pholas bakeri is a burrowing shell-fish, 
seldom fooind in a perfect condition on the beach 
cxoept when it has been carried up in the ob- 
ject in which it is burrowing; a block of wood, 
for dni&tance, may con'tain a dozen fine spieaimens 
that have burrowed circular tunnels through it, 
an(d mot in any case doeis* one shell encroach upon 
its n-eighbor or pierce the tunnel made by anoth- 

fiogers. The "miano-se" is the aristocrat of the 
clam family on account of its delicate flavor. It 
is growing too 'scarce to be 'an article of com- 
merce to any great extent. 

Moire than .seventy-five varieties of shell-fish 
inhabit the Long Island waters. Some of these 
are carried by tihe Gulf Stream from the tropics, 
and survive the colder waters of the temperate 


12 Natica heros— Snails. 
13. Natica duplicata— Snails. 

Pholas bakeri— Burrowing Shellfish. 
Mya arenaria— Mancse Clam. 

er. Fine lateral Hnes radiate from the hinge, 
and the beautiful white shell adds to its other 
channs a phosphorescent appearance that gives it 
a peculiarity seldom found in other shells. 

The "manose" (luya arenaria) is found on 
the mud flats ; it burrows very rapidly, but re- 
mains in the hole it has once made for its home 
in a locality overflowed by the tide. The shell 
is very 'soft, amd can be e:.:Mly crushed with the 

regions for a long 
and their numbers 
manner described, 
character, the cowr 
ornament, jewel an 
and the keyhole 
among the number 
Plant life upon 
chids, its TOrgeous 

time, but do not propagate, 
are reinforced only in the 
Of the univalve shells of this 
V (cypro'dca) which was the 
d currency of savage tribes, 
limpet, fissitrlUa listeria are 

land has its wonderful or- 
or sombre blossoms of state- 


ly stalk and trailing vine, fomid in the soil to 
which they are indigenous, or transplanted and 
cultivated by skillful hands to different climes 
and greater perfection ; but plant life of the 
ocean remains untouched by art and untram- 
melled in its growth by forced migration. No 
florist trains the marvelous length of the chorda 
aium over trellised arbors, or confines the wav- 
ing tangle of kelp and grasses to hanging bask- 
ets or beds of prescribed geometric lines. More 
than six thousand imarine species riot over the 
rocks an'd valleys beneath the sea^ or float upon 
its surface, in fitful or prolonged life. The shal- 
low, green waters of the shores and inlets, and 
the blue waters of the deep sea, each yields its 
own flora — as far removed in structure and hab- 
its as land plants of the tropics are removed 
from thoise of the temperate regions. 

The favorable location of the Long Island 
coast presents many advanitages for the growth 
of different varieties of ocean flora. Lying 
midway between the extremes of vegetation 
which affect alike 'both land and sea plants, to- 
gether with the ,shoal waters extending far out 
and the deep sea beyond, it yields not only the 
growth of each condition of the waters, but the 
Gulf Stream, sweeping from the tropics, here and 
there leaves portions of flotsam which the tide 
catches and carries up on the beach, laying at our 
feet specimens that belong to far distant waters. 

Crytogams, or flowerless plants, including 
sea algae, are without true stamens or pistils, and 
propagate by spores, and these are divided and 
subdivided into many classes. Roots of sea- 
weed fulfil their functions when they secure the 
plants to a foundation, and have but little influ- 
ence over their growth. By most botanists the 
clasBification of algae is on the basia of repro- 
duction, but Prof. W. H. Harvey, of Dublin, 
has divided them into three clashes distinguished 
by their color — grass green algae, olive brown 
or green algae, and red or purple algae, running 
into brown or black. 

Chlorospermeae is a bright green-colored sea- 
weed with green spores growing in shallow wa- 
ters. It is very common all along the Atlantic 
coast, and is the lowest order in organization. 

The genus nlva includes sea lettuce among its 
coarser plants. This is found adhering to shells 
and piling in thin papery leaves that are very 
perishable, tearing easily and withering rapidly. 
It resembles in color and shape the vegetable of 
the kitchen, but grows in the wild form of scat- 
tered leaves and not in heads. It is not valued 
in a collection, as it cannot be preserved by ord- 
inary process, although the effect when lying on, 
the beadi against the gray .siands ^nd driftwood 
is very pleasing. Sea beard {cladopliora rupes- 
ta) figure 3, bryopsis pliunosj, figure I, iboth be- 
long to this genus and grow in deeper waters, 
but are most beautiful in their dainty pencilings. 
The former is so delicate that its dense tufts 
must be separated and mounted in single sprays 
before its structure is revealed. 

Rhodospermeaej rose colored seaweed, wi-th 
red and purple spores, grows in deep waters and 
belongs chiefly to the temperate zonesi. Where 
it is abundant the waters assume a rosy, scarlet 
or purple hue that is gorgeous in its effect. The 
seaweeds of this order vie in color with the del- 
icate pink of the wild rose, the flaming scarlet 
of the trumpet creeper and the purple of the 
passion flower. Their fairylike structure is 
seen in figure 2, dasya clegaus, da;rk purple in 
color; figure 4, grinelliaj rosy red; figure 6, cali- 
tlionininuij pale red and pink; figure 3, polysi- 
phonia, iligiht purple shading to brown and black. 
So delicate are many of the plants of all classes 
of algae that they cannot be discovered on the 
beach with the naked eye, but must be sought 
for floating in the water. The hair-like plumes 
and fronds must be seen to be appreciated. A 
spray extending over four or five square inches, 
when (mounted on a card, the usual -manner of 
preservation, wili, when rubbed between the 
thumb and finger, disappear like goild-leaf, leav- 
ing scarcely a trace. 

Gulf weed, or seagrape (sargassuin bacci- 
forui) and sargassuin vttlgare, (figure 5,) has 
clusters of air vessels like tiny cherries attached 
coarser plants. This is found adhering to shells 
to its thick-leavetl foliage. It comes up in de- 
tached sprat's from the beds that float on the 
surface of the ocean in different parts of the 


"v ■■ t'.T^ 


IfT ■■.■A >v-v 



globe. Its presence dn the great masses in which 
it collects gives name to the "Sargossa Sea." It 
is never attached to any object, but is always 
found floating. 

There is tan indeiscribabk charm in walking 
along the ocean strand. S'ome object never seen 
before is ever apt to m-eet the eye, while tihose 
which are familiar grow more interesting. Thus, 
the study is never ending, the charm is ever new. 
A fragment of Icelanyd moss carries us in imag- 
ination to the iand of perpetual snows, and the 
long hollow tube of the sea trumpet transports 
us to the sweltering heat and luxuriant vegeta- 
tion of the tropics ; while the waves of the great 
deep roll over such forms of life that we know 
are beyond the powers of mind to conceive or 
imagination to fancy. 

The best time to gather seaweed is in the 
early mornimg, before the sun has withered its 
dainty orisp-ness or 'bleajched out its delicate col- 
oring. The Atlantic coast of Long Island, and 
particularly at the mouth of a harbor or inlet, 
presents a splendid field for the delightful pur- 
suit. Nature in her primeval majesty and love- 
liness is ihere reveailed asi the sun rises out of the 
waters and lays a brilliantly colored pathway to 
our feet, chajnging the banks of vapor to gold 
and purple and crimson, which slowly vanish to 
give place to the clear blue ether as the sun 
mounts higher in the heavens. 

Here, too, the ocean has recorded its trag- 
edies in the unmistakable characters of broken 
spars, twisted cordage and fragments of storm- 
torn vessels. What the mission of the wrecked 
vessel may have been, or whither it came and 
for what port it sailed, can seldom be determined. 
In imany cases there wais; a tragedy which left no 
witness. So broad is the ocean highway that 
even of its immense traffic no passing vessel af- 
forded an audience when death rang down the 
curtain to the roar of the teimpest, upon the last 
act, when mute white faces were covered over, 
unshniven by priest and unhallowed by prayer, in 
a cemetery where no separate plot is dedicated to 
burial purposes, and no gravestone is reared to 
mark the place of sepulture. 

This flotsam of the sea is usually thickly 

covered over with an infinite variety of ocean 
life gathered from the deep. Fragments of 
wreckage which are still partially submerged re- 
tain much of these stores, and we are enabled to 
learn the growth and manner of attaching to 
deep sea moorings m'uch better than if these spe- 
cimens had not been cast 'up by the tide. Over 
battered mast and yard and broken oar, trail 
lichens and algae foreign to our shores, while 
groups of mussels and barnacles, firmly attached 
to the wood, or waving by long threads to the 
motion of the waves, search for food with open 
imouths, as nature has ordained. And yet far- 
ther does nature continue her work. Where 
one shell dies, or has fulfilled its mission, it serves 
as a habitation or foundation far smaller ones, 
and for the innumerable varieties or hryozoa or 
inferior coral to build upon,' and on those, in 
turn, countless varieties of seaweed fasten their 
roots and flourish. An old shell may constitute 
a valuable zoological and botanical garden of the 
sea, which years of study wo-uld not exhaust. 

Unlike the land, the sea is largely protected 
from the ravages of man. "His control stops 
witlh t)he shore," and, beyond it, nature asserts 
her sway, undiisturbed and unmolested, as she 
'has from the beginning of time, withholding her 
Wonders from curious eyes, save as she reveals , 
— sufficient to awaken our wonder — those forms 
which she herself has cast up.wfhem their span 
of life is completed. 

Totally different in appearance, topography 
and soil is the northern shore, which skirts Long 
Island Sound. Here the sandy beaches have 
given way to bold amd, in many cases, precipit- 
ous bluffs, into which the Sound has broken and 
spreads itself out in placid and pictuiesque bays, 
and great arms of this inland sea stretch here 
and there into the interior. Upon their shores 
are charming sites for summer homes, where 
the loveliest of marine views may be enjoyed 
amid surroundings of field and meadow and 
copse, and where, giving out an aroma grateful 
and healing to long oppressed lungs now ex- 
panding' into renewed activity in breathing the 
air of primeval nature, 



"The murmuring pines 
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in 

the twilight, 
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophelic, 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their 


Here and -tihere, hidden away within the for- 
est, are placid lakes v^here boating may be en- 
joyed without thougiht of fear. At another 
point is a veritable nature's old curiosity shop, 
where giant trees and vines take on all sorts of 
fantaistic shape. Again is found a little body 
of water strikingly remindful of the lake of the 
Dismial Swiaimp' — s. rare spot to visit by the light 
of the moon. Looking up the tortuo-us stream 
which feeds it, the straggling moonbeam which 
creeps through the trees fringing its banks and 
glints upon its waters far away, would seem to 
be a sign of the presence of the phantom Indian 
maiden, and the voyager almo&t expects to catch 
a glimpse of 

"The lover and maid so true, 

Seen at the hour of midnight damp. 
To cross the lake by a fire-fly lamp 
And paddle their white cano'e." 

The central portion oi Long Island presents 
all the characteristics of a farming country in 
which agriculture 'has made advanced strides and 
has been brought to its highest perfection. In 
soil and climatic conditions it is admirably adapt- 
ed to vegetable and fruit farming. Thousands of 
its broad acres are being scientifically and in- 
telligently tilled, and from this region there goes 
to the market of New York City daily contribu- 
tions in enormous volume, and of the finest qual- 
ity. The surrounding waters teem with the 
finest varieties of salt-water fisih, and the world- 
famous little neck clams. The blue point oys- 
teng are natives of the Great South Bay, on the 
south side. 

That the people of Long Island are thorough- 
ly alive to the desirability oif advancing their ma- 
terial interests and personal comfort, and, also, 
of making the region as attractive as possible to 
those cominig to them- from tlie outside world, is 
attested by the intelligent attention which has 
been given to highway improvement, and by the 

large expenditures which have been and are being 
made for that purpose. 

Indispensable to moiderh commerce as are 
railroads and natural or artificial navigable wa- 
ters, the country road is of first importance. It 
is to the farmer w'hat the river is to the harbor 
and the ocean. It reaches the door of every 
farmer and gardener and orchardist, and over it 
must be conveyed every product that reaches 
either the small market in the village near by, 
or goes to that greater one where hundreds of 
thousands are to be fed. 

There is also a moral 'sdde to the question, as 
affect'ing social and educational interests. Road 
improvement tends to make the rural districts — 
tlie most enjoyable on earth for a home and in 
which to rear a family — ^more pleasant and more 
profitable to live in. Their people are thus en- 
abled to comfortably reach the village, not only to 
market, but to attend 'church, and to enjoy the 
advantages of the library, the lecture and the 
concert. Thuisi making rural domestic life more 
charming, we would ibe spared that large exodus 
of old families that has worked so woeful a tran- 
sition ini many parts of the country. Then we 
shall have really founded, as we should, homes 
in which our descendants, will delight to dwell, 
and which they will cherish as does the English 
manorial gentleman 'his old ancestral home with 
its fragrant memories and its inspiring tradi- 
tions — a condition which, asi a matter of fact, 
obtains upon Long Island as scarcely anywhere 
upon Am'erican soil. 

It is only in recent years that intelligent care 
has been given to the making and keeping up 
of the country road. Even now the matter is 
sadly neglected in. some of the moist fertile agri- 
cultural regions in the country — where the soil 
Is so deep that in rainy season the wheel of the 
farm wagon sinks into> the ruts until the hub 
drags along the road isurface. In such regions 
the old fasihioned way of "working the road" 
yet prevails. For one or two days each year 
the adjacent property owners are called out bv 
the road overseer, and for a few hours perform 



an inefficient job, filling up a few ruts, or draw- 
ing down an upheaval by means of a scraper, de- 
voting the greater part of the day to sitting in 
the fence corner, discussing politics and crop 

Years a^go, in vario'Us meetings of the Queens- 
Nassau Agricultural Society and the Suffolk 
County Agricultural Society, was discussed the 
necessity for improved roads and methods to that 
end. At a later day appeared the bicycle, which, 
for a time, was regarded by the general farm- 
ing public as being such a nuisance and menace 
to their personal safety as they consider the au- 
tomobile to be to-day. But the bicycle was an 
educator, and a powerful one. Wheeling clubs 
throughout the State and country made common 
cause in procuring legislation and appropriations 
for road making, and introduced better methods 
tjherefor. Under these combined influences, 
rapid improvement was made, and, except in re- 
mote regionisi, tihe roads of the greater part of 
Long Island now compare favorably with any in 
the State, while those in the vicinity of the prin- 
cipal towns and villages are unsurpassable. The 
accompanying plate presents the contrast be- 
tween fopmer and present road conditions. 

Delightful Long Island, which in area exceeds 
the Stat-e of Rhode Island by more than four 
hundred square miles, affords room and accom- 
modations for the three great desirable classes — 
the millionaire, the man who is in what is termed 
comfortable ciroum'stances, and the prudent 
wage earner who must needs secure the greatest 
possible comfort at a minimum expense. Pecu- 
liarly is it a home for the two classes first named 
whose business concerns are in the great metrop- 
olis, and, in these conditions, they are more 
hi'ghly favored than are their fellows in any 
other American city, or on the globe, for that 
matter. Generally speaking, there is a well de- 
fined line of separation between the pleasure 
ground and the residential region. The towns 
known as pleasure resorts are situated on the 
ocean side of the island, and do not extend far- 
ther east than Rockaway. The remainder of the 
sea front and all the Sound shore are for him 

who seeks, surcease from the gnnd of business 
and the exactions of ultra-social life in the quiet- 
ness of real 'home life. 

Dotting both coasts at frequent intervals, and 
inland as well, are a multitude of towns and vil- 
lages presenting every feature of architecture, 
from' the -modest cottage to the elegant mansion, 
with their lawns and flower gardens of exuber- 
ant foliage and exquisite fragrance. These 
towns are of every characteristic save one — there 
is none given over to the vicions, nor any where 
good morals are contemned or modesty offended. 

There are veritable cities with their church 
edifices which would grace a metropolis ; libra- 
ries sufficient for all needs save those of the del- 
ver in the deepest fields of tedhnical science; op- 
era houses and clubhouses ; and shops displaying 
the finest fabrics. They are also world famjous 
as ocean resorts, affording pleasures and social 
advantages comparable only with the most cele- 
brated European watering places. Here are ho- 
tels really palatial in their vast dimensions, beau- 
tiful architecture and sumptuous appointments, 
containing under a single roof all that can min- 
ister to personal comfort and give indoor de- 
lig'ht. They contain spacious apartments for 
concert and ball, and the ordhestra maintained 
through the season is as capable of giving a mas- 
terly rendition of the delightfully soft and sooth- 
ing nocturne from Mendelssohn's "Midsummer 
Night's Dream" before a parlor audience as of 
playing the inspiring "Blue Danube Waltzes" in 
the spacious ball room. There are billiard and 
card roomis, and special play rooms and grounds 
for children. Here fashion' has its unlimited 
sway. Here are worn costumes which would 
grace a queen's drawing room, and jewels a 
princess well might envy. 

There are also many modest villages which 
make no pretense to recognition as places- of 
popular resort, nor boast the advantages sought 
by the world of fashion, to which come hosts 
of those in quest of rest and mild recreation, 
wiho find their waants supplied at a moderate ex- 
pense. Some of these had their founding in 
such a sentiment as was expressed by the gen- 
tle Quaker" poet, who. one season long ago, set 







up his "Tent on the Beach," far from the tumult 
of the giddy throng, and, looking upon old ocean, 
and listening to its deep solemn diapason, rever- 
entially wrote: 

"The harp at nature's advent strung 
Has never ceased to play; 
The song the stars of morning sung 
Has never died away. 

"And prayer is made and praise is given 
By all things near an-d far — 
The ocean looketh up to heaven 
And mirrors every star. 

"Its waves are kneeling on the strand 
As kneels the human knee, 
Their white locks bending to the sand, 
Th-c priesthood of the sea. 

+ * * * 4: * 

"And nature keeps the rev'rent frame 
With which her years began; 
And all her signs' and voices shame 
The prayerless heart of man." 

Many of the towns notable for their historic 
associations are written of at length in succeeding 
pages of this work, but some are mentionied in 
this connection, even at the risk of some little 

Far Rockaway, which extends to the south- 
em division line between the counties of Queens 
and Nassau, was a favorite resort of men of let- 
ters three-quarters of a century ago — Longfel- 
low, Willis, Washington Irving, George P , Mor- 
ris and Herbert — and it is believed that the lat- 
ter named Inhere wrote his famous lines — 

"On old Long Island's sea-girt shore 

Many an hour I've whiled away, 
Listening to the breakers* roar 

That washed the beach at Rockaway. 
Transiixed I've stood while Nature's lyre 

In one harmonious concert broke, 
And catching its Promethean fire 

My inmost soul to rapture woke. 

"Oh, how delightful 'tis to stroll 

Where the murmuring winds and waters meet, 
Marking the billows as they roll 

And break resistless at your feet ; 
To watch young Iris as she dips 

Her mantle in the sparkling dew, 
And, chas-ed by Sol, away she trips 

O'er the horizon's quivering blue — 

"To hear the startling night winds sigh, 

As dreamy twilight lulls to skep, 
While the pale moon reflects from high 

Her image in the mighty deep ; 
'Majestic scene where Nature dwells, 

Profound in everlasting love, 
While her unmeasured music swells 

The vaulted firmanent above." 

To these stanzas, "inspired by the measured 
rhythm of the waves breaking against the mag- 
nificent jutting headland which is Rockaway 's 
pride," was given a musical setting, and were 
popular in concert rooms and parlors for many 

Juist across the island, almost due northward- 
ly from Far Rockaway, is Willett's Point, fa- 
mous as one of the most important military 
posts in the United States. Jutting far out from 
the general line of the land, where the broad 
Long Island Sound narrows into what is known 
as East River, it would seem as though nature 
had prepared it especially as an effectual barrier 
against a hostile fleet seeking, to reach the me- 
tropohs. Yet it long lay uuiutilized. True, the 
United States government, as far back as 1857, 
bought one hundred and ten acres of its land for 
military uses, but no work was accomplished 
until 1862, when fortifications were begun. The 
work was not prosecuted methodically, however, 
and the ground was principally used as a camp 
of instruction for soldiers and for hospital pur- 
poses during the civil war. After the close of 
the war, a battalion of the United States Engin- 
eer Corps was stationed here, and, since that 
time, the Point has been practically a school of 
inistruction for this highly important branch of 
the military establishment. Here the men are 
instructed in all the departments of their calling, 
practical as well as theoretical, and are famil^ 
iarized with the construction and laying of 
bridges, and the use of torpedoes, high explo- 
sives and electrical apparatus, in addition to all 
the labors formerly devolving upon sappers and 
miners. The original fortifications consisted of 
a stone fort, which long ago became obsolete 
through the introduction of long range guns. 
The present elaborate forts which crown the 
hills are massive stone and earth works, mounted 
with the most im-proved ordnance, among which 
are many guns mounted on disappearing carri- 
ages. The waters thus commanded are charted 
for the planting of torpedoes in case of neces- 
sity, as during the recent Spanish-American war, 
when alarm was occaisiioned by the reported ap- 
proach o'f a hostile fleet. The post is a verita- 



ble community in itself, with its sdiool for the 
children of officers and soldiers, a chapel, a print- 
ing office, and suitable club and assembly room's. 

A pleasant reminiscence of the past, which 
links the name of the village of Mineola to that 
of Victoria, queen of her sex as she was of her 
great realm, was resurrected in 1875 by the 
"Hempstead Inquirer," from which we condense 
the narrative which follows : 

After the death of Dr. Samuel Tredwell, of 
Mineola, which occurred September 25, 1873, 
was found among his papers a letter written in 
1774 by Mrs. Mary Campbell, then a resident 
O'f Philadelphia, addressed to her daughter, Mrs. 
Rebecca Frazer. In this letter the writer trans- 
cribed, for the edification of her daughter, some 
correspondence from her sister, a Miss Planta, 
who was, when she wrote, tutor to the children 
of King George III, w^hom she charmingly de- 
scribed, as the following excerpt will show : 

Philadelphia, 1774. 
My dear Rebecca : I know you love the King, 
and in consequence will be pleased to have a 
description of the six boys and three girls in 
King George's family, all of them being praised 
for their beauty and princely gifts. Your aunt 
says they are all healthy, sensible and good tem- 
pered and would attract notice though they were 
clothed in rags. One more thing common to 
them all is a very retentive memory. Their 
dress is as unadorned as their rank will admit. 
In the day of dress the little sword's the boys wear 
maked me laugh. Imagine yourself little Prince 
William at eighteen months old in his nurse's 
arms, with a sword by his side and a chapeau bras 
under his arm. Such was his figure. I'heir diet 
is extremely plain and light. I believe they all 
love me, and I have gained their afifections by 
making their learning as much a play as pos- 
sible; by gentleness and steadiness I have 
brought them not to ask me twice for the same 
thing. I have put to'gether a set of cards, which 
contain the history of England, or more prop- 
erly an idea of it, and have reduced the chron- 
ology of England to a game, by which the 
Princesses are better chronologists than I was 
three years ago. Princess Elizabeth is now 
learning the succession of kings, according to 
their several lines, by them. The Queen did 
me the honor to say that she would translate 
them into German. 

Pray do not consider me partial, my dear 
sister, in what I have said; for indeed 

I am with the greatest respect, very truly 

(Mrs. Samuel)' Amanda Tredwell. 
East Williston, Queens Co., 

New York, U. 'S. A. 

This letter Mrs. Tredwell, widow of Dr. 
Tredwell, transmitted to Queen Victoria, a 
graniddaughter of King George, with the follow- 
irug note : 

October 2Sth, 1874. 
Queen Victoria: 

Dear Madam : I. found the enclosed among 
some papers recently come into my possession. 
As it is a century oid, and gives an account of 
■your grandfather's family, i thought it might 
be interesting to yourself and c'hildren, which 
must be my apology for sending it. 

If, in looking it over, you are pleased to ob- 
serve how iprecocious the children were, and how 
royally they deoorted themselves, I shall have 
my xeward. You had, my dear madam-, my 
heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow, and I 
shall ever rejoice in the happiness and prosperity 
of yourself and family. 

I am, with the greatest respect, very truly, 

(Mrs. Samuel) Amanda Tredwell. 
East Williston, Queens Co., 

New York, U. S. A. 

To this letter was returned the following an- 
swer : 

Buckingham Palace, London, 
Jan. 21, 1875. 

Madam : The Queen desires me tO' acknowl- 
edge your letter of last October, and the letters 
you enclosed, which interested Her Majesty 
greatly, and for which I am to return you Her 
Majesty's thanks. 

The Queen has kept the letters and wishes 
you to accept in return the framed photograph 
of Her Majesty, which I have forwarded to be 
delivered to you per the British Legation at 

I aim, your obdt,, humble servant, 

T. 'M. Biddulph, 
Mrs. (Dr.) Samuill Tredwell. 

This letter, so characteristic of the womanly 
grace of the great Queen; was sealed with the 
royal signet, and the portrait accompanying it 



was a half-length miniature, admirably executed, 
showing the sovereign seated. The frame Avas 
of gilt bronze, with folding enclosures to the 
picture, anil ornajiiented with open^-work and a 
beautifully wrought border. Upon the solid 
back was inscribed the following : 




Mrs. (Dr.) Samuel Tredwell, 
Mineola, L. I. 

In recognition of the gift of Mrs. Tredwell, 
of an old family letter, dated 1774, in which is 
a most interesting description of the children 
of George the Third, written by their governess, 
Miss Planta. 


This beautiful token from the Queen, which 
was entirely unexpected, is carefully preserved 
and hi'g^hly prized. How the letter oi Miss 
Planta came into the possession of Dr. Tredwell 
is not known, but it is presumable that it was 
handed down to 'him by his father, who probably 
received it direct from Mrs. Frazer herself. 

In the old village of Hempstead is yet stand- 
ing tlie old 'hotel where ^\''ashington once rested, 
and in Elmhurst (formerly Newtown) is yet 
the old church in which the same great soldier 
and patriot worshipped, as did the ill-fated An- 
dre but 'shortly before he paid the penalty which 
was more properly the due of Benedict Arnold. 

Garden City is the See city of the Protestant 
Episcopal Diocese oif Long Island, and was 
founded by the late A. T. Stewart. It is a re- 
ligious, educational and social center. Grouped 
about the beautiful Cathedral are a number of 
schools, including the famous St. Paul's school 
for boys, endowed and erected by Mrs. A. T. 
Stewart, as a memorial to her husband. It is a 
splendid building, and from it through the trees 
the tall spire af the Cathedral is seen, exquLsiite 
in its Gothic beauty. Here is also located St. 
Mary's school for young ladies. 

Roslyn has its reminiscences of William Cul- 
len Bryant, who here wrote some of his choicest 
verse, and compiled bis "Glossary of American 

Poetry." Here, too, came a goodly company of 
his intimate friends — Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
John G. Whittier, Hamilton Mabie, Henry 
Ward-Beecher, Lyman Abbott and other noted 

Near Glen Cove, C. A. Dana, the veteran ed- 
itor of the "New York Sun/"' laid out his mag- 
nificent estate, known as Dana's Island, upon 
which he lavished an unremitting care, and to 
which he brought trees, shrubs and plants col- 
lected from every clime and nation. 

Manhasset has its captivating traditions, and 
among themi is the story that hither came the Pu- 
ritan Aides Standish, more successful as a soldier 
than diplomatic as a lover, and with a friend, one 
Davis. Davis loved an Indian n:iaiden, and was 
beloved by her. She> was also loved by a young 
Indian chief, but she repulsed his advances and 
fled with Davis. The white lover was faithful 
unto death. After a long pursuit, the pair were 
overtaken at a great stone, against which the 
doomed Davis placed his back, and fought val- 
iantly until he fell under the onslaught of his 
dusky rival and his companions. After her 
white lover had fallen, the Indian maiden plucked 
from his breast the fatal arrow and drove it into 
her own breast. The two were buried where 
they fell, and their names are yet to be discerned 
upon the stone once stained with their blood, and 
which is now nearly covered with moss and 
rugged vines. It is a romantic story, but such as 
has been told, in essence, since the sexes found 
each other, and the spot upon which the trag- 
edy occurred is often the shrine to which lov- 
ers of a fairer and more well spoken day repair, 
to repledge their vows of fealty to each other. 

Hicksvilie commemorates the name oi Elias 
Hicks, a leader among the gentle sect of Friends, 
or Quakers. As if in marked contrast, not far 
distant is the town of Oyster Bay, which in re- 
cent day has been a point upon which the gaze 
of the world has been fastened as the home of 
a notable representative of modern vigor and ag- 
gressiveness, whether in military or civil life — 
President Roosevelt. 

At Huntington m a sacred spot, a veritable 
shrine of patriotism. Here a massive stone, ap- 



propriately inscrited, tells the trafi:ic story of 
Nathan Hale, who came to aii ignoble death for 
discharging a most urgent duty devolved upon 
him by the great Washington. 

Every one who has liisitened to the aboriginal 
terms oi Lonig Island localities, or read the story 
of its early days, will recognize "Patchogue" as 
an Indian name. History tells us that more than 
twelve tribes who' were in their time numerouis 
and powerful, 'have left their names indelibly 
stamped on Long Island. They included the 
Canarsies, the Rockaways, Massapequaisi, Patch- 
ogues, Shinnecocks, Monitauks, Manhassets,* 
Amaganisetts, Ronkonkomas and others. 

Westhampton was the home of General John 
A. Dix, who, at a critical period, when treason 
ran rampant, and the safety of the government 
was threatened, in 1861, gave the patriotic order 
that "If any man attempts to haul down the 
American flag, shoot him on the spot !" The 
ancestral place is now 'the summer home of the 
Generars son, Rev. Dr. Morgan Dix. 

Ani'ong the traditions to which Quogue 
clioigs tenaciously is that De Witt Clinton and 
Daniel Webster were accustomed to spend their 
vacation days here, enjoying in the fullest degree 
the bathing and the fishing, with the attendant 
shore dinner. Hence it comes that fish dinners 
arc in these modern days the popular thing at 
this charming little place by the sea. 

Connecting the waters of Peconic and Shin- 
necock bays is an ancient and long disused canal, 
and near it is a tavern of ancient times but mod- 
ern comforts. There are growing in front of it 
two immense willows grown from slips brought 
from St. Helena from a tree planted by the Finst 
Napoleon, and a notable exterior decoration is a 
colossal wooden statue of Hercules, the weath- 
er-worn figure'head of the famous old United 
States warship, "Ohio." In the cemetery of a 
quaint little church nearby, in which he preached, 
is the grave o'f the last of the Indian missionaries, 
Rev. Paul Cuffee, and not far away are the ruins 
of an old fort. 

Southamipton cherishes the memory of one of 
its old-time whalers, Mercator Cooper, who, by 
returning a crew of shipwrecked Japanese sail- 

ors to their native home, first invited the friend- 
ship of Japan, and made it the easier for Commo- 
dore Perry to succeed in opening the ports of that 
country to American shipping. 

It was at Easthampton, so says tradition, that 
Europeans landed before the Pilgrims stepped 
foot upon Plymouth Rock, and here was made 
one of the first actual settlements on Long Isl- 
and. Here was the home of one of the first and 
most famous settlers, Lion Gardiner, whose 
tomb is surmounted by the efifigy of an armored 
knight recumbent. And here was born John 
Howard Payne, the author of "Home, Sweet 
Home," known to every ear and w^hich has been 
siung by nearly every voice in Christendom. "An 
exile from home," the unhappy poet bore with 
him those tender Tecollections of the quaint old 
cottage and of the guardians and companions 
of his youth which warmed his heart and tuned 
his lyre to the thrilling yet pathetic lines which 
will for all time voice the sentiments of the 
wanderer who has found this world 

"A fleeting show 
For man's illusion given — 
Whose smiles of joy, whose tears of woe, 
Deceitful shine, deceitful flow." 

The residences, whether in town, or villa 
standing apart from others, present every style 
of architecture, from the colonial mansion and 
farm home to the elegant palace-like edifice and 
pretty cottage of the present time. Those of the 
latter period are significant of the cosmopolitan 
character of the people of to-day who were their 
creators and are their occupants. They have 
travelled much, and they brought with them from 
foreign lands all that is beautiful and desirable 
(and, in some instances, much that is not), in 
design and idea for material ; indeed, in numer- 
ous cases, even material has been brought from 
workshops abroad for interior adornment. From 
Rockaway to Southampton and beyond, are 
homes which are remindful of every country in 
Europe where science has a home and art is 

Beautiful, too, are the adornments of the 
grounds surrounding them. In the more an- 
cient dooryards are trees and hedges and flow- 



ers brought long ago from lands beyond the rail-fences of Virginia, the osage orange hedges 

seas, and from far-distant places in our own of Illinois and Ohio, and the barbed wire of the 

country. The locust trees w^hidh are now found farther west — are made by cutting small trees 

everywhere upon Long Island, and give a glory half way throug'h, near the ground, and interlac- 

of color and a fragrant perfume in early sum- ing them into each other, making a continuous 



Author of the Words of the Song. "Home, Sweet Home." 

mer to the lanes and byroads, had their origin 
at Sands Point, where Captain John Sands, two 
centuries ago, planted trees brought from Vir- 
ginia to adorn the home he had builded for Si- 
byl, his fair young bride. A delightful reminis- 
cence of colonial life is seen in the picturesque 
hedgerows known now^here else in America than 
on Long Island, and- most numerous in the oldest 
parts of Suffolk county. These hedgerows — 
which here serve in place of the unsightly up- 
turned tree roots of upper New York, the stone 
walls of Pennsylvania and New England, the 

and nearly horizontal line of branches, into which 
intertwine wild vines bearing flower and fruit. 
And on Shelter Island is Sylvester Manor, with 
its old garden with a multitude of flower beds, 
and the most ancient box shrub (euphorbiaceae) 
known in America, brought and planted by Gris- 
sel Sylvester in 1656. And near it stands an 
old sun dial bearing the motto, peculiarly signi- 
ficant of the beauties of Long Island: "I tell 
only of sunny hours." The present mani&ion is 
nearly a century old, and it stands almost upon 
the site of the original building, constructed of 



brick brought from Holland, and its windows and 
doors- brought from' England. Here the toler- 
ant and warm-'hearted Nathaniel Sylvester ex- 
tended his hospitality to the meek Quakers, driv- 
en out of New England by the intolerance of the 

The old Sylvester burying ground, not far 
from the Manor house, is one of the attractions 
to visitors in search o'f the ancient and the 

It occupies but a small space, measuring 
about fifty by twenty-five yards. It is well 
shaded and is in every way such a spot as 
would be selected by the first resident pro- 
prietor of the manor of Shelter Island. Na- 
thaniel iSvlvester would have taken umbrage at 

fence around a seventeenth century graveyard. 
Relic hunters have perhaps, chipped away bits 
of the slate head stones, but the weather, 
doubtless, has had much to do with tiheir 
time worn appearance. The inscriptions upon 
the slate headstones are much more easily de- 
cipherable than those oi the granite tablets. "^£ 
these headstones there are nineteen. 

In the center of the burying place ii i 
monument of rather imposing dimensi< . 
The upper and the lower slabs are covered \ i 
inscriptions. The upper slab is of marble and 
the inscription denotes that buried beneath it 
is the body of Nathaniel Sylvester, "First 
Resident Proprietor of the Manor of Shelter 
Island, Under Grant of Charles II, A. D., 


From Photograph Furnished by Mrs. George Wilson Smith, of New York City. 

one feature, of ihis earthly resting place. It is 
enclosed by a fence made of oaken posts and 
iron piping. Of the latter there are two rows. 
Above the top row is a strip of barbed wire. 
It looks curiously out of place, and one won- 
ders why it was put there. Had the fence 
been of wood the wire would have been no 
protection against relic hunters, but even the 
most feeble mintded of that class would hardly 
contemplate tOie demolition, bit by bit, of the 
iron piping. Besides, there is som'ething un- 
pleasantly incongruous about a barbed wire 

1666." It also contains the family coat of 
arms. The monument is approached by three 
stone steps. These contain the following 
curious inscriptions : 

"The Puritan in his pride, overcome by the 
faith of the Quaker, gave Concord and Lexing- 
ton and Bunker Hill to history. 

"The blood and the spirit of Victor and Van- 
quished alike are of the glory of Massachu- 
■ setts. 

"Daniel Gould bound to the gun carriage 
and lashed. 



"Edward Wharton, the much scourged. 

"Christopher Holder, the mutila-ted, 

"Ralph Goldsmith, the shipmaster, and Sam- 
uel 'Shattuck O'f the King's missive ; these stones 
are testimony, 

"Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, de- 
spoiled, imprisoned, starved, whipped, ban- 

*"\Vho fled here to die. 

"]\Iary Dyer, Alarmaduke Stevenson, Will- 
iam Robinson and William Leddra, who were 
executed on Boston Common. 

"Of the suffering- for conscience sake of 
friends of Nathaniel Sylvester, most of whom 
sought shelter here, including 

"George Fox, founder of the Society of 
Quakers, and of his followers." 

The modern lawns are set out with all the var- 
iegated flowers and shruba known to the florist 
and arboriculturist, and the landscape gardener 
has proved 'himself a masterly artist in displaying 
them to the utmost advantage. He has) even, in 
places, so chang-ed the ground contour as to give 
it entirely dilTerent character. Upon a plain 
he 'has raised up a goodly hill, and elsewhere he 
has removed a hill to make a plain. Was the 
spot destitute of tree or shrub, he made a grove 
and hedges and flov/er gardens in brief season. 
At Westbury, on the Hempstead Plain, lives 
Henry Hicks, who, at the behest of the wealthy 
denizens of the region, Ihas literally changed the 
face of nature. With his father, Isaac Hicks, 
he knows every tree of extraordinary size or 
peculiar beauty, and every hedgerow on Long 
Island, and he will contract for their uprooting 
and their replacement elsewhere as readily as the 
city transfer company will engage to move a piano 
from one house to another. With leverage ap- 
paratus designed for the purpose, in t^he hands 
of a half-'hundred men or less, the giant oak or 
elm, thirty, forty or fifty feet in 'height, is drawn 
out of the ground in which it has been, apparent- 
ly, immovably fixed for a century or more, with- 
out impairment to its) wide-spreading roots. 
Mounted upon a truck, two c?r three span of 
horses transport it over miles of country, and it 
is reset as successfully as a rose-bush is trans- 

The story of the accomplishments herein re- 

ferred to, is of real interest, and its telling would, 
a few years ago, be regarded as the production 
of the novelist of vivid imagination. Of a truth, 
"necessity is the mother of invention." And to 
this proverb may be added the fact (for such it 
is) that whatever wealth seeks, that will inven- 
tion supply. Soon after Mr. William C. Whitney 
had purchased 'his splendid property at Wheatley 
Hills, he .bought a grove of two hundred trees 
of various varieties and had them reset upon his 
place. On Mr. Stanley Mortimer's place, upon 
the summit of . Wiheatley Hills, are many large 
transplanted cedars and other evergreens, and 
Norway maples of great^size have been moved 
to the estate of the late C. Albert Stevens, near 
by. "Wheatland's," Mr. Edward D. Morgan's 
country seat, was originally a bleak spot, but it 
is now one of bhe most entrancingly beautiful on 
the Wheatley Hills, made .so by repeated tree 
transplantations. Among these adornments of 
the grounds are a red cedar thirty-three feet in 
height, a beech of unusual proportions, a horn- 
beam, red maples and cedars trimmed to re- 
semble bay trees, and a veritable pine forest. A 
large number of very large iSiilver maples were 
similarly removed to the estate of Mr. O. H. P. 
Belmont, at Hempstead. At Cedarhurst, Mr. 
Robert C. Burton has a beautiful avenue of pin- 
oaks which were moved across the , country from 
the neighborhood of Mineola. 

The Castlegould estate of Mr. Howard 
Gould, at Port Washington, will, when the work 
is completed, afford a remarkable illustration of 
what may be accomplished in the way of tree 
transplantation. Upon the grounds are two fine 
avenues of majestic wide-spreading English 
elms of great age. Some of these trees stood 
there from the far^distant pasit. By judicious 
elimination, the avenuelike effect was produced, 
and the avenues were perfected by setting in 
proper place elms of size and shape to match in 
height and proportions those among which they 
were set, and all these were brought from con- 
siderable distancesi. On either end of the ter- 
race, wihich commands a beautiful view of Long 
Island Sound, are to be set twO' great bay trees, 
each twenty-two feet in height, and expending. 



high up in the air, into a wide-spreading mass 
fifteen feet in diameter. 

At Locust Valley, between Glen Cov-e and 
Oyster Bay, Mr. W. D. Guthrie found a little 
forest. This he eradicated, root and branch, 
and upon the ground he set out a splendid spruce 
tree thirty feet in height, many full grown sugar 
and scarlet maple trees, massive elms, and an old 
boxwood. Some of -the trees now on these 
grounds, and others) soo-n to be placed there, are 
from the famous tree collection of the late 
Charles A. Dana, on Dana's Island, Dosoris, sev- 
eral miles distant. Notable among these are a 
Colorado blue spruce, a blue Douglas fir from 
the .siam'O State, a great Colorado pine, and a 
Japanese yew. 

One might here digress to make a little 
preachment in answer to those enivious ones who 
decry what they are pleased to term the extrav- 

Social life, as associated with out-door and 
water sports, find'S its fullest development on 
Long Island. In many localities clubs and asso- 
ciations composed of wealthy gentlemen have se.- 
lected choice sites, and erected delightful club- 
houses, in which they have set up all the luxuries 
and conveniences of metropolitan life. Several of 
these clubs have purchased or leased large tracts 
of land to make a summer home. Perhaps the 
most far noted organization is the Meadow 
Brook Hunting Club, of ¥/estbury, with its 
membership of three hundred splendid riders, 
all men of wealth. Indeed, thisi club was the 
great attraction for numerous millionaires, whom 
it drew to its vicinage, where many of them 
erected palatial mansions, among them Theodore 
Havemeyer, who has brought to America some 
of the best huntinig horses which ever ran to 
hounds. The club was also primarily respon- 


agances of the rich in the erection of magnificent 
homes and the creation of ground surroundings 
whidh bear all conceivable variety of beauteous 
vegetation. Surely the buildera and creators of 
these have not wrought only for themselves, for 
their works are open to sight of all, and are won- 
drously pleasing to all eyes save those of him 
who holds bitterness in hisi soul — 

"The motions of whose spirit are dull as night, 
And his affections dark as Erebus." 

sible for Theodore Roosevelt (before he came to 
his present high position) making his residence 
at Oyster Bay. It is told of him that shortly af- 
ter opening his establishment, several years 
ago, while on a before-breakfast hunt, he was 
thrown from the saddle and broke an arm' — an 
accident w'hidh he endeavored to conceal from his 
fellows, but without success. Among the most 
persistent and enthusiastic riders of the imme- 
diate present is the veteran publisher, P. F. Col- 



lier, who, near about the seventy years age mark, 
with splendid saddlers and a fine pack of hounds, 
abates none of his youthful interest and daring. 
Other ardent sportsmen, who are well known 
in financial and commercial circles, are August 
Belmont and sons, Reginald and Alfred Vander- 
bilt, Stanley ^lortimer, Samuel Willets, James 
L. Kernochan, E. W. Roby, Sidney D. Ripky 
and others of like celebrity. 

Xor is the sport restricted to the men folk. 
There are daring 'horsewomen whose feats have 
challenged the admiration of such equestrian 
adepts as Lord Charles Beresford and the Duke 
of ]\Iarlborough, w'ho 'have been delighted partic- 
ipants in meets O'f fhe Meadow Brook club. Fa- 
mous among these horsewO'men are j\Irs. Emily 
Ladenburg and Alrsi. James L. Kernochan. 5lrs. 
Ladenburg grew up beside her brother, Eben 
Stevens, who was once master of the hounds, and 
an expert rider and owner of several fine ani- 
m.als. Her exploits have Ibeen admiringly wit- 
nessed not only on the home course but at New- 
port and in England and Europe. Airs. Kernoc- 
han, who is equally expert, and has imported 
fine saddlers from abroad, is an enthusiastic de- 
votee cf the sport and rides several days a week 
during the season. 

The master of the Meadow Brook hunt is 
Ralph Ellis, who keeps a number of splendid 
horses and is as enthusiastic a yachtsman as he is 
a hunter. 

F~arther out, away in the island interior, is 
the opportunity for 'hunting of a different char- 
acter. There, not more than fifty miles from the 
metropolis (and the statement will "be a revela- 
tion to many who think themselves acquainted 
with all the Long Island region), are dense for- 
ests and tangled underbrush where deer are yet 
to be hunted. 

The most attractive points of rendezvous are 
Ronkonkoma, on the north or main hne of the 
Long Island Railroad, and Sayville, on the south 
branch. While it is true that the full range of 
the deer is but ten miles square, which is mostly 
covered with a scrub oak and pine growth, 
there is within this larger area a stretch of for- 
est, about five miles square, owned as a private 

game preserve by the South Side Gun Club, an 
organization of wealthy New York men. This 
presei^ve, its boundaries marked by a single 
strand of wire strung on stout posts on the far 
side of a hundred-foot "fire line,'' is seldom shot 
over, the members preferring to allow the deer to 
remain in peace within the preserve, and to keep 
off trespassers and poachers. The grounds are 
patroled by a large corps of gamekeepers, which 
is increased to a small army on legal shooting 
days. Short though the season isi, covering only 
four days in all (the law reading that "deer 
shall be shot only on the first two Wednesdays 
and the first two Fridays in November each 
year"), it claims a steadily increasing number of 

It is estimated that in 1901 as many as three 
hundred deer were killed on the Lo^ng Island 
hunting grounds. Nor is there immediate dan- 
ger of extermination, the law providing excellent 
. protection for the animals except during the 
limited open season. Again, the animals have 
a certain degree of protection in the perils 
which beset the .sportsmen. For the hunting is 
extremely dangerous at all times, with the great 
number of hunters crow.ded into such a limited 
area, and the rank novices, knowing nothing 
about the handling of fire arms ; others, far worse, 
shooting with reckless and criminal disregard in 
the direction of every rustling leaf or breaking 

In these regions, and elsewhere in the inter- 
ior of Long Island, are to be found nearly one 
hundred and fifty species and sub-species of na- 
tive birds. Among these are the ruby crown 
and the golden crown kinglets, two tiny song- 
sters whose strains are entrancing; the downy 
woodpecker, several species of warbler, of which 
the chestnut-siided is the handsomest and most 
rare, the black-throated blueback warbler, one 
of the sweetest but laziest singers, which loves 
the thick foliage of the maple or beech ; and also 
the pine, palm, Parula and the black and white 
creeping warblers, whose notes are very sweet. 
There are numerous thrushes, including the 
brown, the wood and the hermit, and field and 



chirping as well as clear voiced song .spar- 
rows, while among the special favorites of the 
woods are the sprightly white eyed and blue- 
headed vireos. 

Among the finest local nest builders is the 
favorite little snow bird, or slate-colored jinco; 
the provoking, mischievous catbird, 'the noisy 
woodpecker and the tiny chickadee that falls heir 
to the nest of the woodpecker when he, later, is 
through with it. There are also specimens of the 
yellow-bellied ,siap-sucker, cowbird, chewink, 
ovenbird or golden-crown warbler, and robin 
redbreast. ' Specimens of the greater number of 
the native birds have been taken and mounted by 
Mr. George K. Oherrie, ornithologist and taxi- 
dermist of the Museum o-f the Brooklyn Insti- 
tute, and a naturalist whose work is known all 
over Europe as well as in the United States, He 
has traveled abroad in the prosecution of his or- 
nithological studies, making collections not only 
for himself but for the Rothschild Museum in 
London, England', and for prominent European 
scientific institutions. Mrs. Cherrie is also an 
accomplished naturalist, and has accompanied 
him in much of his traveling. 

But if Long Island presents such scenes as 
we have described, which have inspired and ever 
will inspire the poet, it is also prolific in such as 
delight the artist, whether with brush or cam- 
era. The coast regions, from whatever view- 
point, present an old yet ever new field, with 
their changing settings — at times the glorious 
cloud tints under a brilliantly shining sun or a 
mildly beaming moon, and again, the dense black 
heavens rent asunder by the lightning's flash. 
Then, when the sea is boisterous and is piling 
mountain high, those who love to paint the ocean 
in its wildest fury may find the freest .scope for 
th-eir genius. Perhaps, as is often the case, some 
great ship will be tossed far up on the beach, 
and the sturdy life-savers from one of the num- 
erous -stations which dot the shore will become 
living and unconscious models for a thrilling 
chef-d*oeuvre. The light-house is ever a con- 
spicuous feature in such a scene, and adds to its 

Inland, the woodlands, the meadows, the 
broad level moorlands, with glimpses of the sea 
beyond and between, will challenge the skill of 
hand and eye as long as art shall last. The Dutch 
windmills, choice bits of antiquity and land- 
marks of othe^ days, have been in the past, and 
will be in the future, an inspiration for many a 

In Nassau county we begin to see the old 
mills which are sfuch prominent features of the 
Long Island landscape. Some of these, notably 
out by Southampton and East Hampton, are at 
least a couple of centuries old, and, were any of 
them removed, the appearance of their surround- 
ings would change as completely as though a 
hill had been leveled or a natural landmark de- 

On the North Shore, at Port Washington, is 
the largest tidewater mill ever built on Long Isl- 
and. It was erected by Adam Mott in 1730, near 
his home, which is still called the "Mill House." 
Wlien the troops of Lord Howe had driven the 
American army across the Harlem River this- 
old mill was seized, along with its owner, and 
thereafter, until the war of independence was- 
over, the unwilling miller, who was a Quaker,, 
was forced to grind rations for the invading 
army. Another large mill was built near this,. 
one in 1785, and to these two mills the village 
of Port Was'hington owes its early importance.. 
The mills were supplied with wheat from the 
Mediterranean Sea, and did a large business. 

On the beautiful shores of Manhasset Bay,, 
formerly known as Little Cow Neck, stands the 
well-known Plasdome Mill, built by William 
Nicolls in 1735. It was spoken of as Latham's- 
Mill in 1746. It was afterward owned by the 
learned and renowned Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell — 
one oi Long Island's famous men — who named 
it Plasdome, meaning a pleasant place. Part of 
it was carried away by the great wind and flood 
of August 10, 1826. It was rebuilt, and remained 
unchanged until 1863, when it was changed to its 
present form, with additions. 

At Babylon, on the south shore, is the old 
Monfort Mill, rich in historic interest and leg- 
ends of olden days, when the sturdy farmers of 




By Courtesy of the Long Island Railroad Company. 



Suffolk county 'claimed citizenship with N-ew 
England. It was built in- 1680, and is one of 
the oldest mills on Long Island. It was run by 
Judge Garret Monfort for fifty years. The 
Monforts sold it to the Oakleys, a family of mil- 
lersi, who ran it for sixty years as a grist mill. 
It is now used as a toy whip factory, the only 
one in the United States. At Mill Neck are the 
ruins of the old Cocks Mill and homestead, dat- 
ing back to 1675. Old Thomas Cocks was a 
staid owner, and only on certain days would he 
turn the water against the old mill wheel. On 
other days be would attend to his estate of 180 

At Smithtown is another old-time mill, built 
about 1725, and at Cold Spring, across from the 
State fish hatcheries, not far distant from the 
spot wbere Nathan Hale landed on his perilous 
undertaking, is a mill dating back to long before 
the Revolution. This is one of the few mills that 
are now run by the overshot wheel, the power for 
which is obtained from a narrow canal built along 
the hillside. 

Only a few years ago, one of the most inter- 
esting of the old landmarks was removed to 
make way for modern improvements. This was 
the old cloth mill of 'James Mott, at Wheatley 
Hills — probably tbe only one ever erected on 
Long Island, and one of the first to be built in 
America after the Revolution. 

James Mott, the genial old Quaker who built 
the quaint oild structure, was a plain, simple farm- 
er who had never sudied the mechanical arts, but 
he deserved to rank with the great inventors of 
his age — ^Whitney, Fitch, Fulton and others — 
who revolutionized the industries of the country 
by their inventions. It was long before the in- 
troduction of steam, and his was the first at- 
tempt to supplant the spinning wheel by the use 
of motive power. Upon the apex of the quad- 
rangular roof he set up a horizontal wind-mill, 
whose great square sailsi caught the full force of 
the wind, from v/hatever quarter, and set all the 
interior machinery in motion. The farmers for 
miles around brought their flax to this mill and 
received in exchange some of the most beautiful 
linen fabrics ever produced in this coumtry. Linen 

tablecloths, napkins, towelsi, sheets, pilloAv cases, 
beautifully colored bedspreads, all these were 
manufactured in this isolated country mill. As 
this volume is in course of preparation, a move- 
ment is afoot to construct a model of the old 
mill on the original site as a monument to the 
memory of a most worthy and useful man. 

But the Long Island coast has its dangers and 
horrors, as well as its beauties. That the re- 
gion is dangerous) and fatal to shipping is evi- 
dent in view of the fact that, along the greater 
part of the ocean front, the shore shelves gradr- 
tially at a rate of descent of about six feet to the 
mile. At a distance varying between three hun- 
dred and eight hundred feet from the visible 
beach, the depth of water rarely exceeds two feet. 
Hence, a vessel driven inland by stress of weath- 
er, must inevitably be stranded far from land, 
from which it is ^separated by an intervening 
stretch of water too shallow to float any but- the 
lightest of boats ordinarily carried by ships. Dur- 
ing the winter months, particularly, fierce north- 
easterly winds rage for long intervals, and are 
often accompanied by that thick heavy weather 
which is so deceiving to the sailor, obscuring 
landmarks by day and the glare of the lighthouse 
by night. These are the perilous conditions that 
confront a great proportion of the immense com- 
merce, domestic and foreign, which seeks the me- 
tropolitan harbor of the United States. 

Small cause for wonder is there, then, that 
the shores are strewn with the relics of ships, em- 
bedded in the sands and lodged far up the inlets, 
whither they have been borne by wind and tide. 
Statistics fail to convey an adequate idea of the 
aggregate of sea disasters. As early as 1657 the 
ship 'Trins Mauritz," with emigrants from New 
Amsterdam, went ashore in a gale off Fire Isl- 
and and was completely wrecked, although the 
passengers and crew were saved. This is the 
earliest disaster of importance on record. 

During a storm on the night of January 22d, 
1781, the British frigate, *'Culloden," a ninety- 
gun ship, was wrecked off IMontauk, and the 
spot where it went do\ las since been known 
as "Culloden Point." 



The wrecking of the British ship-of-war 
"Sylph," nearly opposite Shinnecock Point, on 
the night of January 25, 181 5, was one of the 
most dreadful disastersi which ever occurred on 
the American coast. She struck on a reef, and 
was discovered, early in the morning, by Na- 
than White, who assembled a large party to at- 
tempt the rescue of the people on board the ves- 
sel, which was already breaking up. The surf 
was running very high, a furious snow storm was 
raging, and the weather was bitterly cold. After 
several efforts, a fishing boat was finally 

ment was erected over the grave. Mr. John 
Pelletreau was> wreck-master at the time of the 

The wrecking of the "Savannah," on the 
beach opposite Fire Island, on October 27, 
1822, was a catastrophe which attracted atten- 
tion on both sides of the Atlantic, on account of 
the history of the vessel. She was the first to 
cross the ocean by means of steam power, and 
was built in New York City by Francis Fickett. 
Her engines were made by Stephen Vail, at Mor- 
ris'town, New Jersey. She was of only three hun- 


launched, and after desperate exertion five per- 
sons were brought ashore, all others perishing, 
to the number of one hundred and eleven souls. 
By act of the legislature the proceeds of the 
wreck, after payment of the expenses, were di- 
vided among the religious societies of the town. 
The ship "Helen" was wrecked off Southamp- 
ton on January 17, 1820. Several passengers 
were lost, and among them was Major Robert 
Sterry, U. S. A. His remains w'ere interred near 
the spot where they came ashore, and a monu- 

dred tons burden, and her fuel carrying capacity 
was limited to seventy-five tons of coal and 
twenty-five cords of wood- — quantities so insuffi- 
cient that she was largely dependent upon her 
sails. May 25, 1819, she sailed from Savan- 
nah, and reached Liverpool after a voyage of 
twenty-six days, using steam for eighteen days 
of this time. She was afterward converted into 
a simple sailing vessel, and came to her doom 
on the date before recorded, while under the 
command of Captain John Coles, of Glen Cove, 



Long Island, while siailing from Liverpool to 
New York. She went to pieces, and all on board 
perished — ^her commander and his crew of ten 
m^en. The New York "Daily Advertiser," in 
narrating the occurrence, said that a trunk be- 
longing ito Captain Coles was thrown upon the 
beach and broken by the force of the waves, and 
a large quantity of gold and silver coin which, it 
contained was scattered along the strand, along 
with the lifeless bodies of the shipwrecked mar- 
iners. The disas-ter was discovered by one soli- 
tary man, Smith Muncey, about daylight, and 
the honest fellow turned over to the wreck-mas- 
ter every dollar which he found. 

The brig "Brilliant" was lost on Cedar Isl- 
and Beach at a later time, but all on board were 
saved by a fisherman named Ezra Sammis', by 
means of a small boat. A romantic incident grew 
out of the wrecking of the vessel. Some years 
afterward, John Webber, a son of Captain Web- 
ber, the commander of the "Brilliant," wedded 
a daiighter of Sammis, the fisherman who had 
rescued the elder Webber from impending death. 
At the wedding. Captain Webber, on being intro- 
duced to the father of his daughter-in-law, re- 
marked that they had met before, but the old 
fisherman had no recollection oi him until the 
shipwreck scene was recalled to his mind. On 
the following day Captain Webber was s'hown 
in the neighborhood a small building which was 
used as a school house, and which he recognized 
as the former cabin of the vessel which he had 
comnTanded and had gone to pieces on the adja- 
cent beach. 

Rockaway Beach was so prolific of wrecks 
that the inhabitants of Hempstead set apart, in 
the cemetery between Rockville Centre and Pear- 
sails, a plot known as "the Mariner's Lot," for 
the interment of the unfortunates cast lifeless 
ashore. Upon the lot was erected a monument 
to commemorate two o£ the most stupendous ca- 
tastrophes which ever occurred upon that portion 
of the coast. The inscriptions upon the stone 
relate these tragedies of the sea asi follows : 

On the front: "To the memory of "j^ per- 
sons, chiefly emigrants from' England and Ire- 
land, being the only remains of loo souls, com- 

poising the passengers and crew of the Ameri- 
can ship "Bristol," Captain McKown, wrecked 
on Far Rockaway Beach, November 21st, 1836." 

On the second side : "To commemorate the 
melancholy fate of the unfortunate sufferers be- 
longing to the 'Bristol' and 'Me&cico,' this monu- 
ment was erected, partly by the money found up- 
on their persons, and partly by the contributions 
of the benevolent and humane in the County of 

On the third side : "To the memory of sixty- 
two persons, chiefly emigrants from England 
and Ireland; being the only remains of 115 souls 
forming the passengers and crew of the Ameri- 
can barque 'Mexico/ Captain Winston, wrecked 
on Hempstead Beach, January 2d, 1837. 

In this grave, from the wide ocean, doth sleep 
The bodies of those that had crossed the deep ; 
And instead of being landed safe on the shore, 
In a cold, frosty morning they all were no more. 

On the fourth side: "All the bodies) of the 
'Bristol' and 'Mexico' recovered from the ocean 
and decently interred near this spot, were fol- 
lowed to the grave by a large concourse of cit- 
izens and strangers, and an address delivered 
suited to the occasion from these words: 'Lord, 
save us, we perish.' " 

Henry P. Hedges, in his ''History of East 
Hampton," tells of the wrecking of the barque 
"Edward Quesnel," on Nepeague Beach, about 
the year 1838. Some ten or twelve of the crew 
were drowned, and their ghastly corpses, drawn 
up on the sands, side by side, was a pitiful sight. 
The ship was a total loss, but a portion O'f its 
cargo of sperm oil wasj saved. 

One record says: "The Sound steamer "Lex- 
ington" took fire on the evening of January 13, 
1840, when off Eaton's Neck. In a few moments 
she was enveloped in flames and burned to the 
Vater's edge. One hundred and eighteen per- 
sons perished either by the flames or the waters, 
only four of all those on board surviving." 

About 1848 the steamship "Atlantic" was 
wrecked on Fisher's Island, with a large loss of 
life. The point which witnessed this dire catas- 
trophe was so dangerous, and wrecks were so 
common there, that, soon after the "Adantic" 



went down, the legislature passed an act requir- 
ing the coroner of Suffolk county to make his 
residence at Fisher's Island. 

On July 19. 1850, the ship "Elizabeth" was 
wrecked off Fire Island, and among the pas- 
sengers lost was ^Margaret Fuller, the famous 
American writer, her husband and their child. 
A bronze tablet commemorative of this disaster 
was unveiled at Point o' Wood&, on Fire Island 
Beach, July 19, 1901. The tablet describes ]\Iar- 
garet Fuller as "author, editor, poet and orator.'' 
She was a power in her day, and her influence 
and example are yet potent in the cause of the 
advancement of her s^ex. 

The ship "Jdm Alilton," of New Bedford, 
returning from the Chica Islands, February 20, 
1858, went ashore on Alontauk, in a snow storm. 
She wasi a vessel of nearly fifteen hundred tons 
burden and was loaded with guano. The entire 
crew, comiposed of the captain, three mates and 
twenty-two seamen, and a number of passengers 
— all on board — -perished. 

The schooner "Helen J. Holway" was 
wrecked on Flat Beach, opposite Sayville, April 
4, 1876, with a loss of six lives. 

About 1806 the French vessel "Alexander 
Lavallie ■ went ashore off Southampton during 
a severe storm. All on board were rescued in 
safety, by the life saving crew, under the volun- 
teer leadership of Captain George T. White, an. 
old and experienced sailor, and an experienced 

The ship "Circassdan" was stranded on the 
beach opposite Bridgehampton on December 30, 
1876. The entire crew, among whom were a 
number of Shinnecock Indians, who were ex- 
pert mariners, were rescued by the life savers. 
By a strange fatality, the greater numl^er of 
these men thus snatched from death during a 
howling storm, came to a dreadful fate a day 
or two later. They returned to the vessel, in 
pleasant weather, to assist a wrecking crew. The 
ship was floated into deep water, and anchored 
near the bar. During the following night an- 
other storm arose, and she was broken into pieces 
by pounding upon the bar, and all but three of 

the lately saved sailors perished miserably in the 

No case of serious earthquake has been 
known on the island, nor have there been any 
unusual convulsions of nature. The storm of 
December 23, 181 1, however, which raged 
throughout its entire territory, is unprecedented. 
Snow 'fell without intermisision for twenty-four 
hours, and the wind blew in tornado fury. Al- 
m.ost every vessel afloat between Hell Gate and 
jMontauk Point was driven ashore, involving 
much loss of life and destruction of property. 
Thirty-six bilged and stranded vessels were 
counted in one day. 

Every winter adds a fresh chapter to the 
story of disaster and death. On the north side 
the battle between the waves and the rockbound 
coast is often' a terrific one, and woe to any un- 
fortunate vessel which at such times gets into the 
power of the sea through any accident or mis- 
calculation. On the south side the storms beat 
with awful fury on the great sand bar, some- 
times seemingly lifting it up and tossing it about, 
changing its appearance, closing one inlet and 
opening another, covering one stretch entirely 
over and raising a temporary sandhill of con- 
siderable proportions on another. There, again, 
danger lurks for every passing vessel. The 
light-houses, with their beacons and whistles and 
bells, of course, do much to lessen the number 
of such disasters, while the life-saving stations 
save many lives each winter. 

The present magnificent light-house system 
of New York harbor and adjacent waters had 
its beginning at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, but 
its authors were business men f New York 
City. The foundations of the system were laid 
in the necessity for providing for the safety of 
shore property during a state of ,war. In 1746 
the British and French, nations were in fierce 
hostility, and each had afloat a large and well 
appointed navy to prey upon the commerce and 
colonies of its enemy. In that year the people 
of New York, and more particularly the mer- 
chants, were in great fear that French war ves- 



sels would enter the harbor and destroy the city. 
Among other preparations for defence, the 
authorities of the city addressed to the Councii 
of New Jersey, in session at Perth Amboy, a 
communication urging the estabhshment of a 
beacon at the Highlands of Navesink to give 
warning of the approach of hostile vessels. The 
Council promptly acceded to the request, and 
John Hamilton^ the President of that body, is- 
sued instructions to the colonel of the Mon- 
mouth County Militia requiring that a ''Prop- 
er Beacon be Erected upon the said Highlands 
of Navesink/' The beacon was not to be fired 
except under the direction of a field officer of 
the regiment, and upon occasions of emergency. 
It was expected that the flame would be visible 
in New York, and this was to be the signal call- 
ing troops to the defence of the city, and among 
them the mihtia of Bergen and Essex counties*. 
It does not appear that the precaution served any 
good purpose, for a month after its establish- 
ment a beacon was lighted, presumably by atc- 
cident, without attracting attention in New York, 
and confidence in the efficiency of the system 
was destroyed. During the Revolutionary war, 
however, beacons at this and other points were 
of frequent service in assembling the militia to 
defend threatened places in their vicinity. 

Long prior to this, however, an attempt had 
been made to establish a light-house at Sandy 
Hook. In 1679-80 Sir Edmund Andros, Gov- 
ernor of New York, had suggested to Philip Car- 
teret, Governor of East Jersey, the desirability of 
erecting '*sea marksi for shipping upon Sandy 
Point," as Sandy Hook was then known, and he 
also Urged the purchase of land for that purpose. 
He met with no favorable response, and the 
project was destined to lie dormant until nearly 
a century later. 

In 1761 the merchants of New York under- 
took the establishment of a light-house on Sandy 
Hook, and sought to purchase four acres of land 
for the purpose, but the owner, Isick Harts- 
horne, demanded seven hundred and fifty pounds 
sterling for the tract, a sum which was consid- 
ered unreasonable, and the plan was again de- 
layed. May 8, same year, at the solicitation of 

the New York merchants, the Assembly of New 
York authorized a lottery for procuring a sum 
not exceeding three thousand pounds sterling 
with \\^hich to purchase land and erect a beacon. 
The matter was placed in charge of a committee 
consisting of Messrs. Cruger, Livingston, Lis- 
penard and Bayard, all merchants of New York, 
and twelve months later this body reported that 
something more than twenty-six hundred pounds 
had been realized. Out of this money was pur- 
chased a tract of land on Sandy Hook, and this 
transaction was recognized by the crown authori- 
ties, in a legislative act. May 22., 1762, forbid- 
ding trespass on the land designated, and mak- 
ing violation thereof actionable in the New 
York courts. 

The money derived from the lottery being 
insufficient for completing the light-house, the 
Assembly of iNew York authorized a second lot- 
tery for a like 'Sum of three thousand pounds 
sterling, and the drawing took place June 13, 
1763. In 1764 was completed a stone edifice one 
hundred and six feet in height from the ground 
surface to the lantern, and this light-house is 
believed to be the second in the American col- 
onies, having been antedated by but one, that 
at Brant Point, near Nantucket, Massachusetts, 
in 1759. The Sandy Hook light-house is re- 
ferred to by Smith, in his "History of New Jer- 
sey," published in 1765, who notes that "at the 
Highlands of Navesink the New York merchants 
have lately erected a commodious light-house 
for the security of navigation." It also appears 
on a "chart of the bar of Sandy Hook and en- 
trance o>f Hudson's River," made from surveys 
by Lieutenant Hills, and published in London in 
1784, and the "New York j\Iagazine" of August, 
1790, gives such description as* to identify the 
site with that upon which stands the present 
structure. The location was originally five hun- 
dred feet from the northern extremity of Sandy 
Hook, but, by a natural process of land pro- 
longation, about one hundred years later the 
point had extended itself seven-eighths of a 
mile to the northward. In the last twenty-five 
years this point has shown little change. 

The first lamps were of copper, enclosed in 



a lantern of ordinary glass. March 4, 1776, the 
Provincial Congress decided to darken the bea- 
con for the discomfiture of a British fleet which 
was then expected, and Major Malconi, to 
whom the task was entrusted, brought away the 
glass and oil, and it does not appear that a light 
was again displayed until after the end of the 


With the re-organization of the Colonies as 
States, Sandy Hook came within the territory of 
Xew Jersey, and that State, by Act of Council, 
ceded to the United States jurisdiction in and 
over a four-acre tract of land in Monmouth coun- 
ty, upon which stood the light-house. February 
26, 1806, the federal government acquired the 
property by purchase, and subsequently secured 
additional land, extending its holdings south- 
ward to the mouth of Young's Creek. 

The Light-House Board of the United States 
has established the following lights at the most 
diangerous points) on Long Island and in the vi- 
cinity : 


Montauk Point, on the extreme east end of Long 

Shinnecock Bay, on Ponquogue Point, Shinnecock 

Fire Island, on the east side of Fire Island Inlet. 

Fir-e Island Light Vessel, No. 68, light vessel 9.7 
miles south from Fire Island Light House. 

Race Rock, near Fisher's Island, north side entrance 
to Long Island Sound. 

Little Gull Island, south side of easterly entrance to 
Long Island Sound. 

Plum Island, Plum Island, Gardiner's Bay, north- 
east extremity of Long Island. 

Long Beach Bar, entrance to Orient Harbor and 
Peconic Bay, Long Island. 

Cedar Island, entrance to Sag Harbor. 

Greenport Harbor, on outer end of breakwater, 
Greenport Harbor. 

Horton Point, on Horton Point, north of Southold 

Stratford Shoal, in Long Island Sound, nearly op- 
posite Port Jefferson. 

Port Jefferson Breakwater, east side of entrance to 
Port Jefferson Harbor. 

Port Jefferson West Beacon, west side of entrance 
to Port Jefferson Harbor. 

Old Field Point, north of Setauket. 

Eaton's Neck, east side of entrance to Huntington 

Lloyd Harbor, southeast end of Lloyd Neck. 

Cold Spring Harbor, easterly point of shoal, en- 
trance to Cold Spring Harbor. 

Great Captain Island, near Greenwich Point. 

Execution Rocks, off Sands Point. 

Sands Point, on northwest extremity of Manhasset 

Stepping Stones, near Hart Island. 

Throg's Neck, northwest side of Fort Schuyler. 

Whitestone Point, P. L., on Whitestone Point. 

Flushing Bay, P. L, on dike in Flushing Bay. 

Riker's Island, P. L., on north end of Riker's Island. 

Oak Bluff, P. L, on Oak Bluff to east of Port 

North Brother Island, south end of North Brother 

South Brother Island Ledge, west entrance to South 
Channel, East River. . 

Lawrence Point Ledge, west entrance to South 
Channel, EaFt River. 

Sunken !Meadow, P. L., on Sunken Meadow, East 

Blackwell's Island, on northern point of 'Blackwell's 

Man-o'-War Rock, P. L., opposite foot East Thirty- 
eighth street, East River. 

Governor's Island, P. L., on Castle Williams, Gov- 
ernor's Island. 

Coney Island, on Norton Point, western end of 
Coney Island. 

Fort Lafayette Fog Bell, east side of Narrows. 



Fort Wadsworth Fog Bell, west side of Narrows. 

Old Orchard Shoal, on Romer Shoal, northeast side 
of Swash Channel. N-ew York lower bay. 

Navesink, on Highlands of Navesink, New Jersey. 

Scotland Light Vessel. No. 7, four and three-six- 
teenths miles northeast, three-fourths east 'from Navesink 

Sandy Hook Light Vessel, No. 48, eight and one- 
eighth miles northeast by east, three-fourths east from 
Navesink light. 

Sandy Hook, on Sandy Hook, seven and three- 
fourths miles west, three-eighths north from Sandy Hook 
light ves'sel. 

North Hook Beacon, on north point of Sandy Hook. 

Princess Bay, on Staten Island, near entrance to 
Raritan Bay. 

Elm Tree Beacon, on Staten Island, near New Dorp. 

Fort Tompkins, on Staten Island, at the Narrows. 

Bergen Point, in Kill Van KuU, at Newark Bay en- 

Robbins Reef, in New York Upper Bay. 

Statue of Liberty, inside Fort Wood, Bedloe Island, 
New York Harbor. 

Jeffreys Hook, P. L., in Hudson River at Fort 

One of the most famous liglit-houses in the 
United States, directly across the Great South 
Bay from Bayshore, on Long Island, and reached 
by steamer, is the far-famed one on Fire Island, 
known the maritime world over as the place from 
whence all transatlantic steamships are first 
sighted and their arrival telegraphed to New 
York. This island is a low-lying sand key, not 
over a mile in width at any one point, and full 
forty miles in length. It forms a natural break- 
water for the south shore of Long Island, and 
between it and the main shore is the Great South 
Bay so 'frequently referred to in this work. 
Some years ago the island was purchased by the 
State of Xew York, and although several syndi- 
cates have undertaken its purchase, it still re- 
mains one of the ptiblic possessions. The great 
light-house, whose electric beacon of twenty- 
three million candle-power is the most powerful 
in the country, is a never-ending source of in- 
terest to visitors. It is an immense structure, 
and its friendly light, w'hich is plainly visible 
for many miles at isea, has brought joy and com- 
fort to many a storm-tossed mariner. 

At 'Montauk Point, the extreme eastern end 
of the Island, is another famous light-house, with 
its powerful Fresnel light, which throws its rays 
to a distance of twenty miles in the darkest nie'ht. 

The splendid lantern was the gift of the French 

And so stand these sentinels of the sea — 
silent^ yet impressive and commanding, ever 
pointing the way to the safe and quiet harbor. 
Among all the hosts who are called to the serv- 
ice of the government, in its various depart- 
ments, perhaps none is charged with duties of 
such moment and of such universal usefulness as 
is the light-house keeper. The soldier and the 
statesman protect the national honor and the 
person and property of the citizen, and their 
acts are performed in the gaze of the world. 
But the quiet man who trims and lights the shore 
and harbor lights, and watches them through the 
long night watches lest they fade out and bring 
death to sleeping voyagers upon the great wa- 
ters, stands his vigil for all humanity, asking no 
questions as to the nationality or purpose of 
him whom he directs to safety. Nor is there, 
in all the annals of the service, an instance where 
he has failed in his duty. On the contrary, on 
many occasions, he has faithfully perfo^rmed his 
tasks when his life was going out in the effort, 
and dying alone at his post at the very moment 
when came the relief which was too late to re- 
store his overtaxed strength. 

The Life Saving Service merits mention in 
this connection. To no man comes such noble 
missioru as that of imperilling his own life in 
saving that of another. From' the earliest days 
of letters, historians have delighted in narrating 
the achievements of the soldier on the field of 
battle, and poets have been inspired to the loftiest 
heights in singing his praises. But the saver of 
human life, not its destroyer, is he who merits 
the greater honor. His deeds are not undertaken 
in the hot blood which quickens the step to the 
charge, nor under the eye of a leader of men 
whose approbation is prized as was the knight- 
making sword-stroke of the monarch in days of 
old, nor do they lead to those high places in 
civil and military life to which the gallant soldier 
is so often ^called. On the contrary, his effort 
is exerted in a hazardous undertaking in face of 



the most dreadful forces of nature, the tempest 
and the storm, frequently in the darkest hour of 
the night, and with no witnesses save his few 
companions on an errand of mercy which they 
may not accomplish, and in which they may be 
doomed to sudden death, and with no record of 
their supreme devotion ^save the brief mention 
made in a ifoTmal official paper which never 
comes before the public eye. The horrors of 
shipwreck, the heroic efforts of those who es- 
say th-e work of rescue, and the dreadful dangers 
which they encounter, are beyond description. 
Shortly after the French steamer "L'Amerique" 
went ashore at Seabright, New Jersey, in 1877, 
the wreck was viewed by the gifted painter, 
Bierstadt. He saw it in weather like to that at 
the time of the disaster, and he listened to the 
narratives of gallant men 'who had struggled 
nobly in the merciful work of rescue, and of 
those whom' they had saved. Yet he confessed 
his inability to portray the scene upon canvas. 
It defied his art. The raging storm, the howl- 
ing wind, the blinding snow, the seething foam, 
the strange, dim lights on the doomed vessel, 
the answering signals on shore, the wild shrieks 
of the imperilled passengers and crew, men, 
women and children, and the seemingly hopeless 
struggle of the life saving crew against the ele- 
ments — all this made up a scene not to be de- 
lineated by painter nor described by poet. Yet 
in such a dreadful picture, of which the mind 
may form but feeble conception, the central fig- 
ure was the life saver. 

As in all undertakings essayed in behalf of 
humanity, the present United States Life Sav- 
ing Service, so 'beneficent in its operations, and 
whose annals are adorned with countless thrill- 
ing narratives of splendid effort and tinquail- 
ing courage, had its foundation in urgent neces- 
sity, and its development was slow and laborious. 

The hardy sailors and fishermen of the Long 
Island coast were among the first life savers. 
Long before there was organized effort, shore 
dwellers who were accustomed to the sea, moved 
by humane purpose, at the risk of their lives, and 
on many occasions, manned their own frail boats 
and rescued 'human heings from vessels strand- 

ed and breaking up within sight of their dwell- 
ings. To these poor people, who lived upon 
scanty fare and were inadequately clad, the flot- 
sam and jetsam from a wreck — rich food stuffs 
and dainty fabrics — were a great temptation, but 
enough has come to us out of the traditions of 
their times for us to know that usually their 
first care was to bring off imperilled pa&sengers 
and crew, leaving to a later time the cargo sav- 
ing which w^as to bring them reward.; 

The achievements of these life savers of the 
long ago find eloquent attestation in the record 
we have of Captain Raynor Rock Smith, of Free- 
port, a seafaring man, and one of the most en- 
terprising and exemplary men of his day. It was 
largely through his effort that a number of the 
passengers of the "Mexico" escaped a dreadful 
fate in the wrecking of the vessel named, a 
disaster which has been hereinbefore referred to. 
A number of citizens of New York City, in 
recognition of his heroic services upon that oc- 
casion, procured a silver memorial cup, most 
elaborately wrought and artistically engraved. 
Upon the obverse it displays the ship imbedded 
in the sand, with the waves breaking over her. 
Her helpless crew are seen stretching out their 
imploring hands. A boat is making its way 
to them. A few figures stand upon the beach, 
surrounded by masses of ice, which show the 
severity of the season and the peril of the un- 
dertaking. The reverse side bears- the following 
inscription : "Reward of Merit, Presented to 
Raynor R. Smith, of Hempstead South, L. L, 
by a number of his fellow citizens of the fifth 
ward, as a token of regard for his noble daring, 
performed at the peril of his own life, in saving 
the eight persons from the wreck of the fated 
ship 'Mexico/ on the morning; of Jan. 2nd, 
1837." The presentation was made to Captain 
Smith, on February 25, 1S37, at the hotel of 
Oliver Conklin, in Hempstead, and the relic is 
carefully preserved by the descendants of the 

' In course of time gallant deeds performed 
by 'these volunteer life savers came tO' the notice 
o'f humanely disposed men of means, principally 
residents of New York City, who formed such 



associations as the Life Saving and Benevolent 
Association and the American Shipwreck Asso- 
ciation. These organizations, at times bestowed 
gold medals upon gallant men "for humane and 
Christian effort" in saving lives from wrecked 
vessels. They also, with the Board of Under- 
writers, provided crude equipments for volun- 
teer life savers at particularly dangerous points 
on the coast, and, at a later day, they aided by 
their influence in the establishment of a govern- 
mental .life saving service. The surf-boats they 
provided were only needed at intervals, and no 
one was specially chargeable with their care. 
As a result, they soon became useless through 
inattention, or were diverted to other uses, and 
so this feeble attempt resulted in little good. 

In succeeding years various individuals had 
devised apparatus for life saving purposes, 
whidh was put to use at times, and one of these 
incidents occurred quite near to Long Island. 
In 1839 the Hon. William A. Newell, of New 
Jersey, witnessed the wreck of the Austrian 
brig "Terasto" (which has erroneously ap- 
peared in history as the *'Count Perasto"), off 
Long 'Beach, New Jersey. Thirteen of the crew 
had met their deaths in endeavoring to swim 
through the raging surf. Mr. Newell con- 
ceived the idea that the 'unfortunate men could 
have ibeen saved by means of a rope with which 
to drag them to land, and with the thought oc- 
curred to him the necessity for a projectile to 
carry a line from the shore to a vessel. He in- 
stituted 3. series of experiments for the carry- 
ing of a light line by arrow, rocket, or by a 
shot from a shortened blunderbuss, and all with 
some degree of encouragement, which culmin- 
ated in the successful use of a mortar or cor- 
ronade discharging a ball with a line attached. 

In 1846 Mr. Newell was elected to Congress 
from the district including the Atlantic coa&t 
region from Sandy Hook • Bay to Little Egg 
Harbor. In -1847 Congress made its first effort 
in aid of life saving, by making an appropriation 
of $5,000 to furnish the light-houses on the 
Atlantic coast with means of rendering assist- 
ance to shipwrecked mariners, but in the fol- 

lowing session this beggarly sum was returned 
as unexpended. 

January 3, 1848, Mr. Newell offered a reso- 
lution instructing the ccmmittee on commerce 
to enquire "whether any plan can be devised 
whereby dangerous- navigation along the coast 
of New Jersey, between Sandy Hook and Little 
Egg Harbor, may be furnished with additional 
safeguards to life and property from shipwreck, 
and that they report by bill or otherwise." In 
this resolution lay the germ of the United States 
Life Saving System, as it now exists, and 
which, to the present time, has neither counter- 
part nor parallel upon any other shores in the 
world — save the Danish system, which is crude 
by comparison — and which has become and will 
remain one of the chief features of ■ our gov- 
ernmental system, with its nearly three hundred 
rescue stations, manned by two thousand brave 
and skillful wreckers, and for which the gov- 
ernment annually appropriates nearly two mil- 
lions of dollars. Yet Mr. Newell's beneficent 
measure was ignored by the committee, not- 
withstanding the fact that several of its mem- 
bers were from maritime States, and should have 
reasonably been expected to appreciate the value 
of his suggestions, and to lend their sympathy 
and assistance to him in an effort at once phil- 
anthropic and economic. Yet he persisted, mak- 
ing personal appeals to men of great distinction 
in both houses of Congress, among them being 
John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Henry 
Clay, John C. Calhoun, Stephen A. Douglas, 
Thomas H. Benton and Thaddeus Stevens-, but 
without avail, his views being regarded as 
chimerical, and as tending to useless and ex- 
travagant expense. Toward the close of the 
session, however, 'he procured the passage of 
an amendment to the Senate Light House Bill 
which provided for surf-boats, rockets, car- 
ronades and other necessary apparatus for the 
better ipreservation of life and property from 
shipwreck along the coast of New Jersey, be- 
tween 'Sandy Hook and Little Egg Harbor, and 
this amendment carried an* appropriation of 
$10,000. New York first figures in national life- 



saving legislation in the second session of the 
same Congress, when, under an additional ap- 
propriation, stations were established on the At- 
lantic coast of Long Island. 

The life saving apparatus first provided was 
placed at eight convenient stations on the New 
Jersey coast. ^Meantime Josep'h Francis, a noted 
boat builder, built in his shops in Brookl3'n the 
famous corrugated metal life-boat and life-car 
which bore his name, aiid brought him honoring 
recognition from almost every nation in Chris^ 
tendom. The Francis boats and the Newell 
carronade and life-line were first used on Jan- 
uary 12, 1850. in bringing ashore two hun- 
dred people (all but one of those aboard), Eng- 
lish and Irish immigrants, from the Scottish 
brig "Ayrshire," which went to wreck off Ab- 
secon Beach, in New Jersey. Dr. Robert Laird 
witnessed the heroic i-escue, and was afterward 
deputized to present the gold medal of the New 
York Life Saving Association to John Maxson, 
who shot over the vessel the first line for the 
saving of human life at sea. By curious for- 
tune, many years afterward, the ball fired at the 
"Ayrshire" was found in a fragment of her 
wreckage, and is now preserved in the National 
Museum in Washington, where is also the Fran- 
cis life-car, which proved so serviceable on the 
same thrilling occasion, and which, when it was 
retired from service in 1878, had been the means 
of saving nearly fifteen hundred lives^in exact 
figures, 1,493. 

The system was imperfectly organized, how- 
ever, and the meager equipment provided was 
left uncared for by any responsible custodian, 
and went to ruin. As a consequence, dreadful 
shipwrecks occurred in view of stations which 
existed only in name and were powerless to 
, render assistance. In this emergency, in 1854, 
Congress passed a law providing for the ap- 
pointment of superintendents for New Jersey 
and Long Island. To this time the life-savers 
had performed their arduous and dangerous du- 
ties without compensation or reward. In 1868 
an ineffectual effort was made in Congress to 
reorganize the Life Saving Service in a more 
perfect manner. In 1871 the brilliant orator, 

Hon. S. S. Cox, of New York, then in Congress, 
made a splendid appeal to the House, and an ap- 
propriation of $200,000 was made, out of which 
new stations were built and old ones were re- 
paired for the housing of the men and their 
boats and apparatus. The service was attached 
to the Revenue Cutter Division oi the Treasury 
Department, under S. I. Kimball as Chief. Un- 
der his administration the service was made non- 
partisan, a code of. signals for use between life 
saving crews and vessels in jeopardy was adopt- 
ed, and minute regulations were laid down for 
the management of boats and life-saving ap- 
paratus. Somewhat later the shore patrol system 
was adopted. In 1876 a Aledal of Honor w^as 
provided for by Act of Congress, to be bestowed 
upon such persons as had performed conspicuous 
service in life saving on the ocean and inland 
waters. In 1878 the Life Saving Service be- 
came a separate governmental institution in it- 

Tlie Long Island coast constitutes the Fourth 
Life Saving District, in which are thirty-three 
Life Saving Stations, in point of number com- 
ing second, New Jersey (the Fifth District) hav- 
ing forty-two stations. The Long Island stations 
are as follows : 


Montriuk Point(a), at the light. 

Ditch Plain, three and one-half miles southwest of 
Montauk iig"ht. 

Hither Plain, one-half of a mile southwest of Fort 

Napeague, abreast of Napeague Harbor. 

Amagansett, abreast of the village. 

Georgica, one mile soiith of village of East Hamp- 

Mecox, two miles south of the village of Bridge- 

Southampton, three-fourths of a mile- south of the 

Shinnecock, two miles east southeast of Shinnecock 
light. ^ 

Tiana, two miles southwest of Shinnecock light. 

Quogue, one-half of a mile south of the village. 

Potunk, one and one-half miles southwest of Po- 
tunk village. 

Moriches, two and one-half miles southwest of 
Speonk village. 

Forge River, three and one-half miles south of 

Smith's Point, abreast of the point. 

Bellport, four miles south of the village. 

Blue Point, four and one-half miles south of 



Lone Hill, eight miles east of Fire Island light. 

Point of Woods, four miles east of Fire Island 
light. _ 

Fire Island, one-half of a mile west of Fire Island 

Oak Island, east end of Oak Island. 

Gilgo, west end of Oak Island. 

Jones Beach, east end of Jones Beach. 

Zachs Inlet, west end of Jones Beach. 

Short Beach, one-half of a mile east of Jones Inlet. 

Point Lookout, two miles west of New Inlet. 

Long Beach, near west end of Long Beach. 

Far Rockaway(t). 

Rockaway, near the village of Rockaway. 

Rockaway Point, west end of Rockaway Beach. 

Coney Island(c), Manhattan Beach. 

Eaton's Neck, east side entrance to Huntington 
Bay, Long Island Sound. 

Rocky Point, near Rocky Point, Long Island Sound, 
about four miles northerly from Greenport. 

Each station is in charge of a Keeper who 
has direct control of all its affairs, subject to the 
District Superintendent. The position held by 
this officer will be recognized at once as one 
of the most important in the service. He is, 
therefore, selected with the greatest care. The 
indispensable qualifications for appointment are 
that he shall be of good character and habits, 
not less than twenty-one nor more than forty- 
five years of age; have sufhcient education to 
be able to transact the station .business ; be able- 
bodied, physically sound, and a master of boat- 
craft and surfing. He keeps a daily log or jour- 
nal, a weekly transcript of which he sends 
through the District Superintendent to the Gen- 
eral Superintendent, who is thus kept advised of 
all that transpires. Immediately after the oc- 
currence of a wreck he furnishes a complete re- 
port of every detail of interest concerning the 
disaster^ and from time to time various other re- 
ports are required of him. 

The crews are selected by the keepers from 
able-bodied and experienced surfmen residing 
in the vicinity of the respective stations. A 
surfman, upon original entry, must not be over 
forty-five years of age, and must undergo a 
stringent examination as to physical condition, 
character for courage and endurance, and sea- 
manlike qualifications, and it is all but impossible 
for an unfit or unworthy man to secure entrance 
to the service. His compensation is fifty dollars 
per month during the active season, and three 
dollars for each occasion of service at other 

times. He cannot be discharged from the Sei-v- 
ice without good and sufficient reason. For well 
proven neglect of patrol duty, or for disobedi- 
ence or insubordination at a wreck, the keeper 
may instantly dismiss him; in all other cases 
special authority must first be obtained from 
the General Superintendent. 

In case a Keeper or Surfman becomes dis- 
abled by injury received or disease contracted in 
the line of duty, he is entitled to receive his full 
pay during the continuance of the disability, if 
it does not exceed one year, and, upon the 
recommendation of the General Superintendent, 
the Secretary of the Treasury may extend the 
time for a second year, or a part thereof, but 
no longer in any case. If any Keeper or Surf- 
man loses his Hfe by reason of injury or dis- 
easte incurred in the line of his duty, his widow 
or children under sixteen years of age may re- 
ceive for two years the pay that the deceased 
would receive if alive and in the Service. If 
the widow remarries, or a child survives' at the 
age of sixteen, the amount that would have been 
paid to the one or the other is paid to the re- 
maining beneficiaries, if any. 

The number of men composing the crew of a 
station is determined by the number of oars 
required to pull the largest boat belonging to it. 
There are some five-oared boats at the Atlantic 
stations, but at all of them there is at least one of 
six oars. Six men, therefore, make up the 
regular crews of these stations, but a seventh 
man is added on the ist of December, so that 
during the most rigorous portion of the season 
a man may be left ashore to assist in the launch- 
ing and beaching of the boat and tO' see that the 
station is properly prepared for the comfortable 
reception of his comrades and the rescued people 
they bring with them on their return from a 
wreck ; also to aid in doing the extra work that 
severe weather necessitates. 

At the opening of the active season, the men 
assemble at their respective stations and estab- 
lish themselves for a residence of eight months. 
They arrange for their housekeeping, usually 
by forming a mess, taking turns by weeks in 
catering and cooking, although at some of the 



stations they engage board of the Keeper at a 
rate approved by the General Superintendent. 
These preliminaries being settled, the Keeper 
organizes his crew by arranging and numbering 
them in their ascertained order of merit. These 
numbers are changed l^y promotion as vacancies 
occur, or by such re-arrangement from time to 
time as proficiency in drill and performance of 
duty may dictate. Whenever the Keeper is. ab- 
sent, Surfman Xo. i assumes command and ex- 
ercises his functions. 

The rank of his men being fixed, the Keeper 
assigns to each his quarters and prepares sta- 
tion bills for the day watch, night patrol, boat 
and apparatus drill, care of the premises, etc. 
For every week day a regular routine is ap- 
pointed. For ^Monday, it is drill and practice 

method adopted for restoring the apparently 
drowned; and for Saturday, cleaning house. 

For practice with the beach apparatus there 
is provided near each station a suitable drill 
ground, prepared by erecting a spar, called a 
wreck-pole, to represent the mast of a stranded 
vessel, seventy-five yards distant (over the water 
if possiblej from the place where the men op- 
erate, which represents the shore. 

A code of signals, understood by all seafar- 
ing men, is used at every life-saving station, 
flags being the medium of communication in 
day-time, and torches or rockets at .night. 
Among the most important phrases signalled at 
night are: "You are seen; assistance will be 
given as soon as possible," indicated by a red 
light or rocket ; "Do not attempt to land in your 


with t'he beach apparatus and overhauling and 
examining the boats and all apparatus and gear; 
for Tuesday, practice with the boats ; for 
Wednesday, practice with the international code 
of signals; for Thursday, practice with the 
beach apparatus ; for Friday, practice in the 


own boats ; it is impossible," indicated by a blue 
light; and "This is the best place to land," in- 
dicated by two torches. There are also numer- 
ous signals conveying instructions for use of 
boats, hawsers and other life-saving appliances. 
The life-saving station equipment includes 



the surf-boat, often called the life-boat, specially 
designed for the service; a life-car, carrying six 
to eight persons; a breeches buoy, which con- 
veys one person, and a piece of life-saving ord- 
nance with its appurtenances. The first gun 
used was of cast iron, weighing 288 pounds, 
throwing a spherical ball to a distance of 420 
yards. This was succeeded by the Parrott gun, 
weighing 266 pounds, and having a range of 
470 yards. In 1878 this gave place _to a bronze 
gun constructed by Lieutenant D. A. Lyle, of 
the United States Ordnance Department. The 
Lyle gun weighs 185 pounds, and has a range of 
695 yards, or nearly a half-mile, and surpasses 
in mobility and effect all other life-saving ord- 
nance. I 

On arriving within range of a wreck, the 
gun is fired, discharging a projectile to which 
is attached a light line, by means of which the 
crew of the vessel haul inboard a strong hawser. 
The hawser supports by means of rings the life- 
car, or the breeches buoy, as necessity may de- 
mand. The life-car is a covered boat, made of 
corrugated galvanized iron, furnished with rings 
at each end, into which hauling lines are bent, 
whereby the car is hauled back and forth on the 
water between the wreck and the shore without 
the use of any apparatus. It is supplied, however, 
with hails, one near each end, by which it can 
be suspended from a hawser and passed along 
upon it like the breeches buoy, if found neces- 
sary, as is sometimes the case where the shore 
is abrupt. The cover of the boat is convex, and 
is provided with a hatch, which fastens either 
inside or outside, through which entrance and 
exit are effected. Near each end it is perforated 
with a group of small holes, like the holes in a 
grater, punched outward, to supply air for 
breathing, without admitting much if any water. 
It is capable of containing six or eight persons, 
and is very useful in landing sick people and 
valuables, as they are protected from getting 
wet. On the first occasion of its use it saved two 
hundred and one persons. 

Aside from the immediate personal danger in- 
curred at the actual scene of the wreck, the life- 
saving crews, in many instances, have performed 

remarkably arduous labor and endured the se- 
verest exposures in reaching the spot where there 
services were needed. On occasion, they were 
obliged to travel dis,tances of ten and even 
twenty miles, in part by boat, and in part by land, 
dragging the carts containing their apparatus, 
and arriving at their destination in such ex- 
hausted physical condition that only the most 
supreme courage and devotion could inspire 
them to their final humane efforts. A volume 
would be needed to relate these achievements. 

The labors of the life-savers do not end with 
landing those imperilled. After rescue, the ship- 
wrecked people are taken to the station .and pro- 
vided with every comfort it affords. They find 
hot coffee and dry clothing awaiting them, with 
cots for those who need rest and sleep. If any 
are sick or maimed, as is frequently the case, 
they are nursed and cared for until sufficiently 
recovered to safely leave ; in the meantime med- 
ical aid is called in if practicable. For wounds 
and ailments requiring only simple and well 
known remedies, resource is had to the medicine 
chest, which is stocked with restoratives and 
medicines that can be safely used according to a 
hand-book of directions. Dry clothing is pro- 
vided from a supply constantly kept on hand 
at each station by the Woman's National Relief 
Association, an organization established to af- 
ford relief to sufferers from disasters of every 
kind. Libraries are provided by the Seamen's ' 
Friend Society and by benevolent individuals. 
Several newspaper publishers send their papers 
regularly to many of the stations. The food is 
prepared by the station keepers or the messes, 
who are reimbursed by the recipients if they are 
financially able, and otherwise by the govern- 

Occasionally unfortunate victims of the sea 
who are to all appearances dead are brought to 
the shore. In such cases the life-saving crews 
attempt their restoration, according to methods 
for restoring the apparently drowned, in which 
they have been thoroughly drilled. During a 
given period, in one hundred and eighteen at- 
tempts at resuscitation, sixty were successful, 
very nearly fifty per cent. In some of the success- 



ful instances, after the patient was taken from 
the water, several hours elapsed before natural 
respiration was induced. Success has followed 
even after reputable physicians had pronounced 
the patient actually dead. In the saving of prop- 
erty, the work of the service is conspicuously 
useful. This is accomplished by getting vessels 
afloat when stranded, a task in which the surf- 
men are particularly expert ; in extricating them 
from dangerous situations ; in pumping them out 
when leaking; in running lines between wrecked 
vessels and tugs when it can not be done with 
ordinary boats ; in rendering assistance in vari- 
ous ways, and in warning off vessels standing 
into danger. In the majority of casualties the 
surfmen succeed in saving the vessels and car- 
goes without any other aid than that afforded 
by the ship's crew. When this is impracticable, 
they act in conjunction with the revenue cutters 
■ — which are equipped for rendering assistance 
in such cases — if these vessels are available, or 
assist, when necessary, when other relief ap- 

In the Fourth (Long Island) District, in 
1901, there were thirty-four disasters to vessels 
which, with their cargoes, were valued at $235,- 
250, and of this sum $197,510 was saved, leav- 
ing a loss of only $37,740. But two vessels were 
totally lost. The number of persons imperilled 
was 127, and but one life was lost. It is to be 
presumed that many disasters were averted by 
warnings given by the life-saving crews to ves- 
sels in jeopardy. 

The services of a life-saving crew may be 
discerned in the narrative of the stranding of 
the Norwegian steamer ''Gwent," off Long 
Beach, on March 26, 1901. The station patrol 
discovered her plight about nine o'clock at night, 
and the surfmen at once pulled to her through a 
heavy sea. The master of the vessel informed 
them that one of the steamer's boats containing 
the passengers had just pulled away from the 
vessiel. The keeper pulled after the boat, over- 
took it, and transferred four passengers to the 
surf-boat; then, with the steamer's boat follow- 
ing, be returned to the steamer and advised all 
hands to remain on board until the next morn- 

ing, as the vessiel lay high up on the beach and 
was in no immediate danger of breaking up. 
Had not the steamer's boat been brought back 
it would undoubtedly have been carried' out to 
sea by the strong wind which sprang up before 
morning. Surfmen carried the seven passengers 
ashore early on the next morning and they took 
the train for New York. The steamer's crew 
stood by their vessel until a wrecking vessel 
floated her on March 31st. 

October 16, 1901, the sloop "Fenella" went 
ashore off Rockaway, with the loss of her boom. 
The surfmen boarded her, but by that time the 
wind had driven her afloat. The nine men on 
board were fearful their craft would be driven to 
sea in her disabled condition, and the station 
crew made her fast by a strong line, and .brought 
all her people ashore. 

The only life lost during the year was un- 
der circumstances which afford a vivid idea 
of the severe effort which life-savers frequently 
make, and the dangers they incur. 

On December 3 1 , 1900, near the Quogue 
Life Saving Station, three colored fishermen put 
to sea in a small dory. The sea was smooth 
when they went out, but about ten o'clock a 
flag was displayed from the station v\^arning 
fishermen that the surf was becoming dangerous 
for small craft. Three fishing boats were out 
at that time, and the keeper, apprehending that 
there might be difficulty when they should at- 
tempt to land, mustered his entire crew, hauled 
the surf-boat down to the water's edge, and made 
all ready for launching. By this time the three 
boats were in plain view, headed for the shore 
in the vicinity of their respective fisth houses. 
The keeper immediately set out in that direction, 
in order to be close at hand to render all possible 
assistance should mishap overtake any of them. 
The surf at that point turned out- to be much 
rougher and more difficult of passage than it 
was opposite the life-saving station, and, there- 
fore, mounting a high bank, the keeper waved 
his oilcoat as a signal to the dories to proceed 
further westward, which they immediately did. 
One of the fisher boats made safe landing, but 
the other two, when thev arrived abreast of 



the life-saving station and beyond the outer bar, 
stopped pulling and laid by for a time, as though 
in doubt whether to attempt a landing. The 
keeper, however, being uncertain as to what 
their purpose might be, and whether or not. they 
wished assistance, determined to go out to them 
with his surf-boat. Taking .with him six men 
of his crew, leaving the other on the beach, a 
launch was effected, and the surf-boat was soon 
pulled to the vicinity of the two doriesi. To the 
men in charge of each, Edward F. Warner and 
Herbert G. Smith, the, keeper stated that the 
surf was pretty rough, and requested them all to 
get into his boat and let him take them ashore, 
but they declined, saying they would endeavor to 
make the passage themselves. 

After a little delay for a favorable oppor- 
tunity, Warner's boat pulled for the shore and 
made a siafe passage through the breakers of the 
outer bar, followed by the life-saving boat, which, 
in turn, was followed by that of the colored 
men, who were using a drag made of a piece of 
fish net filled with fish and towed astern. When 
all three boats had passed the bar, they held back 
for a few minutes in the quieter water, waiting 
for another '"slatch" which would afford them a 
fair opportunity to pass through the dangerous 
surf tumbling between them and the shore. 
Warner again started first, and succeeded in 
landing without serious trouble. About this 
time the surf-boat and the Smith dory started 
in. The Smith boat passed the first roller suc- 
cessfully, and Flerbert Smith, who had com- 
mand, ordered the other two to pull hard, in- 
tending to follow in close behind^ the great wave. 
Reginald Smith, however, did not respond \\'ith 
his oars, being young and of little experience in 
boating, and, therefore, the dory lacking the 
necessary headway, was caught by the next great 
roller which lifted the stern high and drove her 
forward- with frightful rapidity. As it broke 
under tlie stern, the dory slewed s^harply to the 
westward, and Herbert was pitched headlong 
into the sea. Then the dory rolled over broad- 
side to the beach and threw out the other two 

Half swimming and half wading, Flerbert 

and Frederick scrambled for the shore, while 
the boy Reginald, apparently dazed, attempted to 
climb on the bottom of the capsized dory. The 
life-saving boat was at this time within about 
fifty feet of the beach, and, under the circum- 
stances, there was nothing to be done but first to 
force it with all possible celerity to the shore, 
when all hands jumped overboard and rushed 
into the surf to aid the young fellow still cling- 
ing to the dory. Taking the end of a small line, 
Surfman Overton made it fast around his waist, 
the men behind holding on to it so that he might 
not be swept to sea by the undertow, which at 
this point is unusually strong and perilous in 
consequence of its concentration from both sidea 
into a deep gully or "sea-puss." He thus s-trug- 
gled out toward the helpless man, to whom Her- 
bert Smith from on shore shouted instructions 
that he let go of the boat and get away from it 
as soon as he could. Upon this injunction, the 
young man appears to have let go, and was now 
washing helplessly back and forth just inshore of 
the dory, and the life-savers resolutely pushed 
toward him as far as they could go, but he was- 
vet beyond their reach. Once he was swept with- 
in fifteen or twenty feet of Overton, who was 
barely able to keep his place, while every sea 
dashed shoulder high against him. The reced- 
ing waves now carried young Smith back to the 
dory, and he attempted to climb upon it again,, 
but a heavy sea swept him oft", and, when he re- 
appeared, he was floating face downward out- 
side of the boat, drifting slowly away. Then he 
sank and was seen no more. 

That Keeper Herman and the several mem- 
bers of the Quogue Life Saving Crew used all 
judicious and necessary precautions on this occa- 
sion for the prevention of the accident, and, after 
it had taken place, exerted every effort within the 
power cf man to effect a rescue, is clearly shown. 
If the three persons in the Smith boat had com- 
plied with the request of Keeper Herman to 
transfer themselves from the dory to the station 
surf-boat, all would have been landed without 
any trouble whatever. 

A veritable honor list is that which bears the 
names of those to whom the povernmeiit medal 



was awarded for ithe saving of human life. 
Among them are the following, who are well de- 
serving of remembrance : 

Dominick J. Ryder, of New York, for the 
rescue from drowning of eleven persons at Rock- 
away Beach, between the years 1876 and 1881. 

F. C. Bartholomew, of Stony Creek, Connec- 
ticut, for rescuing eight persons from the yacht 
''Prodigal," capsized in Long Island Sound, Au- 
gust IT, 1883. 

Alarie D. Parsons, of Fireplace Point, Long 
Island, for rescuing from drowning a young 
man and a little girl, July 7, 1883. The little 
girl hero was then only ten years old. 

William J. \'enable, of New York, for res- 
cuing thirty persons from drowning, at Coney 
Island, at various times between 1879 and 1888. 

John H. Hanley, of New York, for the rescue 
of several persons from drowning at Rockaway 
beach, in 1877-8. 

Philip Bierschenk, of Brooklyn, New York, 
July T, 1900, for rescuing from drowning a boy 
who had fallen overboard from a tug ijound from 
Green Point to Glen Cove, Long Island. Bier- 
schenk jumped into the water, swam to the boy, 
and supported him until the tug turned and 
picked them up, the boy being uncon:^cious, and 
his rescuer so ex^hausted that he was unable to 
stand or speak. 

The United States \'olunteer Life Saving 
Corps is a body maintained by humanely disposed 
persons of means. Its membership comprises 
shoremen, fishermen, sailors and )'achtsmen, who 
serve for the sake of humanity. It has 898 sta- 
tions, of which the following are located upon 
Long Island : 

Brooklyn Division. — ^vlanhaltan Beach, Co- 
ney Island, Norton's Point, Sheepshead Bay, 
Plum Island, Coney Island Creek, Bay 27th st, 
Ulmer Park, Gravesend Bay Yacht Club, Ben- 
sonhurst, Bath Beach, West End Hotel, River 
View Pier, Bay 17th st. Pier, 58th, 56th, 53(1 St., 
Bay 2Tst and 20th st. piers, Gowanus Bay, Erie 
Basin, .\mity, Harrison, Baltic and Bridge sts., 
Catharine St. Ferry, Wallabout Basin, N. 8th st., 
Newtown Creek and Gowanus Canal brid.j^^es. 

Queens County. — Canarsie, Bergen Beach, 
Ruffle Bar, Barren Island, Rockawav Beach, 
Broad Channel, Old Mill Creek,. Aqueduct, 
Breakwater, Hammels, Springfield, Arvcrne, 
Edgmere, Far Rockaway and Long Beach. 

Sound Divisions. — Ravenswood Boat Club, 
Clinton av., Astoria, Bowery Bay, Steinway, 
College Point, iNorth Beach, Seawanhaka Boat 
Club, Flushing and Sanforcl Points, Wetzel's 
Island and Alax Zehden's, Flushing Bay. 

The crews are on duty at all the seashore re- 
sorts and principal shore points during the sum- 
mer months. They are provided with metallic 
buoys, air-chambered cork life-preservers and 
long life-lines, and also with chests containing 
such medicines as are needed for the restoration 
of persons recovered from the surf in condition 
of exhau&tion or apparently drowned. Life boats 
are provided at particularly dangerous points 
where there is no life-saving station under the 
national establishment. \"arious yacht clubs and 
crewsmen of coasting craft have been enrolled 
as members of the corps. A medal of honor is 
awarded to life savers for heroic rescues. The 
organization is maintained l>y the contributions 
of humanely disposed people.. 

In 1901 the corps organized 7,400 enrolled 
members, and the expense of maintenance was 
yi, 152.05.. In eight years it has saved 3,574 lives 
and its executive board has awarded 970 medals 
for heroic rescues from drowning. 

The noble organization whose work has been 
£0 beneficent owes its origin primarily to a num- 
ber of gentlemen of Brooklyn, who, in 1870, 
formed a Humane Benevolent Association to 
reward heroic service in the rescue of persons 
from drowning in the immediate vicinity, and 
the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Father Sylves- 
ter Malone and others made notable speeches on 
the occasion of memorable presentation of med- 
als. No attempt was made to organize life-sav- 
ing crews or to provide life-saving equipments, 
and the Association lapsed. In 1890 the Uni- 
ted States Volunteer Life Saving Corps (Inland 
W'aters) was organized by act of incorporation. 
Its s}-stem of orLianved life-saving was first de- 
veloped in the State of New York, the legislature 
aiding it by two small appropriations to extend 
it over its numerous lakes, rivers and sounds, 
and, from this beginning, its operations' were 
gradually extended throughout the country, in- 



eluding inland waters. In 1898 the chief or- 
ganizer and instructor of the Corps, Captain 
Davis Dalton, the most celebrated swimmer in 
the world, visited all the noted watering places 
and other important points on the rivers and in 
the harbors of New York and New Jersey, and 
organized and instructed crews of life-savers, 
who from the first have rendered noble and effi- 
cient service, increasing in numbers and useful- 
ness in each succeeding year. 

Colonel J. Wesley Jones, the founder and 
managing director of the United States Volun- 
teer Life Saving Corps, has lived a most use- 
ful and eventful life. In his student days he wit- 
nessed the riot in Alton, Illinois, in which Love- 
joy came to his death for anti-slavery sentiments 
expressed in his newspaper, and he was twice 
mobbed himself, while yet under age, for mak- 
ing anti-slavery speeches. In 1850, as captain 
of cavalry, he commanded one hundred and fifty 
men to protect emigration on the plains to Cali- 
fornia, and at one time he received six arrow 
wounds in a battle with Indians. During the 
Civil war he performed conspicuous service at 
tlie national capital, and in command of cavalry 
in the field. He was severely wounded while 
pursuing General Jubal Early, after the battle 
of Gettysburg, and lay in the hospital for sev- 
eral months. Being disabled for field service, 
he accepted a position in the New York Custom 
Service. A lawyer by profession, he retired 
from business pursuits some years ago to de- 
vote his entire attention to the life-saving serv- 
ice which he had established and which, despite 
his advanced age, nearly eighty years, he con- 
ducts with skill, energy and hearty enthusiasm. 
He maintains his residence in New York City, 
and the offices of the Volunteer Life Saving 
Corps are in the Pulitzer Building. 

After the savers of human life, the savers of 
property imperilled by the sea are deserving of 
recognition for heroic effort and great achieve- 
ments, often undertaken at imminent risk of life. 

In the early days, the shore fishermen be- 
came also> wreckers, and these had a quasi gov- , 
ernmental recognition in appointment by the 

Governor of the Province. The share coming to 
the wrecker was pitifully small. He took des- 
perate chances in his contest with the elements, 
and in contact with the flotsam and wreckage 
which the tempestuous waves hurled against him. 
Did his life pay the penalty of his daring, there 
were none save his fellows, as poor as himself, 
to succor his widow and orphans. And so, it 
was to be expected, the law became practically 
inoperative. The spoils of the seas were in 
greater part appropriated by the wrecker, and in 
this he was justified by the practice of the times. 

Despite their poverty and necessities, the 
wreckers as a rule kept within the pale of the 
illy defined law which governed their calling, and 
contented themselves with the goods which came 
ashore, or which they brought from the wrecked 
vessel after its abandonment by the captain and 
crew. But the life was demoralizing. Familiar- 
ity with scenes of destruction and death were 
dulling to the sensibilities, begetting contempt 
for human life and a rapacious desire for plun- 
der. There were instances where the wreckers 
became lost to all sens'e of honor, even between 
themselves. In the winter of 1830 the ship 
'George Cannon," from Liverpool, laden with 
dry goods and hardware, went ashore on the 
New Jersey coast, below Sandy Hook. The shore 
people scented prey and came in throngs, eager 
for the spoils, and cupidity reigned unrestrained. 
Neighbor robbed neighbor. Boxes of goods 
were burred in holes made in the hills, and while 
the hider was gone in quest of more plunder, 
another would dig them out and take them to 
other places of concealment. The night was bit- 
terly cold, and two men perished in such under- 

Such occasional scenes were an inspiration for 
the sensational newspaper writer and lurid novel- 
ist of the period, who improved the occasion to 
the utmost. According to their telling, cold- 
blooded deceit was practiced to bring ashore ves- 
sels for sake of gain. False lights were dis- 
played by night and false hails were given by 
day to lure to wreck the mariner who had wan- 
dered away to an unfamiliar coast. Even then, 
the annalist averred that it was to be said, in 



justice, that the treacherous wrecker at times 
permitted his humane instincts 1o prevail, and 
hastened to siave those whose hves he had brought 
into peril, before seeking the flotsam upon which 
he was at heart intent. But then followed the 
relation of scenes of shocking inhumanity and 
lawlessness — the despoilment of corpses, with- 
out regard to sex, and to the point of utter 
nakedness ; passengers and sailors were made 
to give up money and valuables upon their 
persons; in some extreme cases, where resist- 
ance to the act of robbery was attempted, the un- 
fortunate castaway was subjected to personal 
violence, even to the extremity of murder. 

Such charges as these were of frequent repe- 
tition, particularly between 1830 and 1835, and 
at intervals thereafter. In 1832 a pirate, Panda 
by name, attempted a horrible crime on the high 
seas. Having captured the brig "^Mexican," of 
Salem, Massachusetts, he drove the crew between 
decks and battened down the hatches. After re- 
moving to his own craft treasure amounting to 
twenty thousand dollars, he fired the captured 
vessel and sailed away. Providentially, one of 
the sailors left in this miserable plight found 
his way to the deck and removed the hatches, re- 
leasing his fellows, who put out the fire and 
brought their vessiel safely into port. The news 
of this affair and a description of the pirate ship 
went to all parts of the globe, and two years af- 
terward she was captured by a British man-of- 
war off the African coast. Seven of the pi- 
rates were brought to trial in Boston,' where they 
were fully identified by some of those whom 
they thought they had burned to death, and their 
execution speedily followed. 

This affair had excited the public imagination 
and indignation to the utmost, and for some 
years nearly every disaster on all the coasts adja- 
cent to 'New York was magnified into a. crime 
perpetrated by shore-dwelling pirates. 

Charges finally became so specific that in 
1846 a committee of the New Jersey Legislature 
was appointed, pursuant to a resolution reciting 
an allegation that at the time of the distressing 
wreck of the "J<^hn Minturn'' and other vessels, 
February 15th of that year, on the coast of New 

Jersey, some persons on shore neglected and re- 
fused to render relief and assistance to the per- 
ishing passengers and seamen, and that some 
plundered the bodies of the dead of valuables, 
and exacted money for the delivery of the bodies 
to their friends. The charges were disproven, 
and the shore dwellers were relieved of an unde- 
served stigma. 

About the middle of the last century, wreck- 
ing became an established business, and itsi de- 
velopment and operations find accurate telling 
in the story of the career of a representative 
wrecker, Captain Israel J, Merritt, of White- 
stone, Queens county, Long Island. 

From his very youth his effort has been 
devoted to the saving of human life and 
property, and it was his good fortune, while 
yet actively engaged in his calling, to have 
eloquent evidence that his name was held in 
high honor as that of - a real benefactor of 
his fellow men in saving hundreds of souls 
from awful death and millions of dollars 
of vessel and cargo property from entire loss. To 
this service, during more than a third of cen- 
tury, he not only devoted his personal effort at 
scenes of disaster, but hist fertile brain originated 
devices and methods which have been utilized 
by every maritime people for the saving of im- 
periled and wrecked shipping, and have won for 
him world-wide renown. His entrance upon 
this work marked a new era in marine engineer- 
ing, for, up to that time, save in exceptionally fa- 
vorable instances, a soinken ship was utterly 
abandoned, and the corpses of her crew and the 
cargo in her hold were left to sepulture in the 
ocean ooze. 

Beginning his life work as a driver of a ca- 
nal boat, when fifteen years of age, he entered 
the employ of a wrecking captain, and there 
found his true vocation. In 1-854 he was appoint- 
ed agent for the Board of Marine Underwriters, 
and later he became connected with the Coast 
Wrecking Company, of which he was for many 
years) the manager. While constantly active -in 
wrecking operations he yet found time to devise 
methods and appliances to promote the efificiency 
of the wrecking service, his most important in- 



vention (in 1865) being the pontoon for rais- 
ing sunken vessels, a device now of constant use 
wherever there is necessity, and so perfected that 
it has not admitted of improvement. 

In 1880 Captain Merritt formed the Merritt 
Wrecking Organizaition (unincorporated) , in 
which was admitted to partnership Israel J. Mer- 
ritt, Jr., who had been for s-everal years associ- 
ated with his father in practical work. The new 
company spared no expense in providing a fleet 
and equipment unrivaled in the world, and its 
success was phenomenal, surpassing that of any 
similar concern. It accomplished practically all 
the heavy wrecking work on the Atlantic coa&t, 
and saved the most difficult' cases known, its re- 
coveries amounting tO' many millions of dollars. 
In 1897 the ,Chapman Company, which had a 
large derrick, lighterage and inside business, was 
united with the Merritt \\''recking Organization, 
the consolidated firms taking the name of the 
Merritt & Chapman Derrick and Wrecking Com- 
pany, with Captain Merritt as president, and 
his son, Israel J. M'Crritt, Jr., as treasurer. 
The most notable undertaking of the new 
company was its work upon the United 
States battleship "Maine," after its sink- 
ing by explosion in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, 
Secretary of the Navy Long having telegraphed 
an appeal, which met with prompt response as 
a patriotic duty. 

The career of Captain ^lerritt in the rescue of 
human life and the saving of property imper- 
illed at sea, justly entitles him to be named 
among genuine humanitarians as well as with 
those successful in an honorable and useful call- 
ing. To merely enumerate the notable cases in 
which, through his instrumentality, and often at 
his own great peril, hundreds of persons were 
rescued from impending death, and property of 
ir:mense value was saved or recovered, would 
require a chapter of great length. Among them 
n:ay be named the rescue of the brig "Kong 
Thryme." on Barnegat Shoals, in midwinter, 
1856, for which he received a gold medal from 
the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New 
York ; the rescue of the passengers and crew of 
the ship "Chauncey Jerome," at Long Branch, 

in 1853; the rescue of sixty-five souls from, the 
steamship "Black Warrior," at Rockaway Shoals, 
in 1859, for which he was awarded five hundred 
dollars in gold ; the saving of the 4,8so-ton steam- 
ship "LAmerique," at Seabright, in midwinter, 
1877 ; the rescue of the crew of the steamer "Lou- 
ise H. Randall," south of Long Island, in 1893; 
and the saving of the steamship "St. Paul" near 
Long Branch in 1886. In the "St. Paul" and 
"L'Amerique" instances, Captain Merritt had 
entire personal charge (as in many others), and 
in the case of "L'Amerique" he remained at his 
post on the stranded ship for ninety-three days, 
until he floated her and returned her to the com- 

On January 3, 1894, Captain Merritt com- 
pleted a half-century's service with the Board of 
Marine Underwriters, and that body made the 
anniversary the occasion for foi'mal recognition 
of his distinguished service. On behalf of the 
board, its president, John D. Jones, who was also 
president of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Com- 
pany, presented to him a splendid silver service 
costing one thousand five hundred dollars. The 
principal piece bore an inscription testifying to 
his eminent services, and Mr. Jones, in his pre- 
sentation address, gave eloquent utterance to the 
estimation in which Captain Merritt was held 
by the donors. Other recognition has come to 
him from time to time in appreciative letters of 
admiration from distinguished people of various 
nations, and in almost innumerable medals in 
c commemoration of special deeds of daring and 

The invaluable museum in the New York 
offices of the Merritt & Chapman Derrick and 
Wrecking Company is incomparably unique, be- 
ing made up of relics and souvenirs of the many 
famous wrecks in which Captain ^lerritt figured, 
and there are few piece's but have direct personal 
reference to himself. 

Dealing so largely with maritime subject.^, as 
we do in this chapter, the topic of shipbuilding 
naturally presents itself. 

Veritable "hearts of oak" were the vessels 
of an olden time! Built under the very eye of 



him who was to command, he had seen every 
piece of material entering- into the construction, 
and he could well say that he knew 

'"What master laid thy keel, 
Who made each mast, each sail, each rope, 
What anvils rang, what hammers beat, 
In what a forge and what a heat, 
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope," 

When builded they were mastered and 
manned by such old-time sailors as Dibdin told 
of in verse, and whom IMarryat and Cooper 
painted in graphic story. Their crew weighed 
anchor by pushing the capstan-bars to the chanty 
of the old country man-o'-warsman of a century 
ago, and when once it was at the cathead the 
sailors sprang to bowline and sheetrope, one af- 
ter another, until every stitch of canvas was fully 
set. No machine-work aided in propulsion or 
sailing. The old sea-dog who was in command 
was at once master, executive officer and naviga- 
tor. He read the skies as readily as he did his 
compass, and his stentorian voice rang out from 
hour to hour in directions to send aloft studding- 
sails, sky-scrapers and moon-rakers when 
breezes were light, or to shorten sail and send 
down the upper spars on indication of gale or 

But — alas ! for the romance of the sea — the 
old skipper and the old sailor and the old ship 
have vanished into the past, and with them, too, 
the literature that inspired and delighted gen- 
eration after generation. For who can weave a 
romance or write a song out of a great floating 
macl-ine shop, and out of the quiet hfe of the 
well-groomed gentleman who increases or re- 
duces speed and who changes his course by his 
finger's pressure upon a button ! 

Some of the pioneer settlers fashioned their 
first water craft in the same manner as did the 
savages whom they came to supplant, making 
dugout canoes by burning out one side of a 
great log and shaping it into the rude sem- 
blance of a boat. In a later day they built such 
vessels as could be made by the most ordinary 
worker with saw and axe, giving little attention 
to symmetry of form or even ease of propulsion, 
but only to buoyancy. Of such were the sail 

scow, used in transporting salt hay from the 
marshes to the farm, and the garvey, which was 
used in gathering and bringing to shore oysters 
and clams. 

Prosaic, certainly, were the uses of these 
water craft with their burden of oysters, fish and 
marsh hay. Yet there were occasional pleasure 
boats to be seen, or one with something of decor- 
ation, when it was called into service to convey 
a high official or a gentleman of importance on a 
public errand or a visit of ceremony — a barge 
decorated with flowers and laurels, with men 
dressed in white as oarsmen. 

With the development of the fishing and lum- 
ber industries, the latter through the introduction 
of the sawmill, vessels of larger build came into 
vogue, first of the sloop and later of the schoon- 
er type, but of limited size, for many years not 
exceeding thirty tons. 

Before the days of steamboats, what were 
known as market sloops were sailed between the 
Raritan Bay ports and New York. These ves- 
sels carried what produce the farmers had to sell, 
such as hay, potatoes, apples and cider ; also many 
a pail of butter made by the farmers' wives, in 
oak pails of ten to fifteen pounds, the handle of 
which had their initials carved upon it. Some of 
this butter was equal to the creamery produc- 
tions of the present day, and was eagerly sought 
for by city purchasers. 

The market or sailing day was quite a lively 
" time. The landing was crowded with wagons 
and carts of the farmers' bringing their products 
for shipment, and the stores did a thriving busi- 
ness. Many people availed themselves of these 
vessels to visit the city. The time of sailing was 
always at night, at such hour as wind- and tide 
favored. The accommodations on these boats 
were very small. There were only four berths on 
each side of the main cabin, and as many in the 
after cabin for women. It was expected to make 
the trip in the night, and to arrive at the dock 
in the morning, but on many occasions the sloops 
had not accomplished more than half the distance 
when morning came. 

In the later colonial days large numbers of 
open boats designed for fishing purposes were 



built at various coast points, and were known 
as whaleboats. During the Revolutionary war, 
craft of this description, but of larger build, came 
into vogue, and nearly every coast neighborhood 
where was an inland stream had its association of 
men who owned and manned such a vessel. The 
boat was usually about thirty feet in length, 
pointed at bow and stern to facilitate readiness 
of movement by avoidance of turning, and with 
high gunwales in order to admit of carrying large 
loads. The material was cedar, ana the boat wasi 
so light that a few men could conveniently carry 
it into the woods for concealment. The necessi- 
ty for thus ensuring its safety lay in the fact that 
the British armed boats kept the coast industri- 
ously patrolled. The crew of the whaleboat usu- 
ally (Consisted of fifteen men, selected for their 
physical strength, endurance and courage. They 
were trained to row noiselessly, and were able to 
drive their boat at a speed of twelve miles an 
hour. Each man was armed with a cutlass and 
pistols. The command was vested in one who 
was at once helmsman aboard the boat and cap- 
tain ashore. Many daring feats were performed 
by such crews. 

Many of the vessels, sloops and schooners 
which were engaged in peaceable commerce prior 
to the Revolutionary war, were transformed into 
privateers when the struggle for liberty began, 
and others were hurriedly constructed for a sim- 
ilar purpose. In both instances, as a rule, the 
builder and commander was- the same person. In 
some cases, doubtless, the desire for gain was 
the more powerful incentive, but the greater 
number of seamen who engaged in these un- 
dertakings were as worthy of praise as were their 
fellows in the regular service. As a matter of 
fact, these privateers were invaluable to the em- 
brvo American government, which was destitute 
of means for the creation of a regular navy. In 
the necessity of the case, through the British oc- 
cupation of New York and the strict surveillance 
of the adjacent waters maintained by the British 
fleet, the privateersmen were a most efficient ma- 
rine force; and they continually harrassed Brit- 
ish commerce. In these undertakings the pri- 
vateersmen displayed great daring and superb 

courage, and many of their deeds were worthy 
the glowing pen of a Marryat or a Cooper. 

During the war with Great Britain in 1812, 
another generation of privateersmen came out 
from the same and adjacent ports, in home built 
vessels, and worked great injury to the enemy. 
These hardy sailors were curiously resourceful in 
time of necessity. On returning to port, in or- 
der to escape the eye of the British commander 
off shore, they would fasiten pine tree branches 
into their rigging, and thus lose themselves to 
sight against the foliage of the forest. 

About 1650 a sloop of fifty tons was a huge 
vessel — the majority were not more than one- 
third of that tonnage, but in the course of a hun- 
dred years the sloops had doubled in size. About 
1712 the first schooner was built — a rig which 
was destined to become a favorite down to the 
present day. Anent this. Judge Henry P. Hedg- 
es, the veteran leader of the Suffolk county bar 
and a well known local annalist, says that when 
this first schooner was launched, a spectator said, 
''See how she scoons" or skims, and the owner 
replied, "A schooner let her be/' and this is said 
to be the origin of the word schooner. 

With the name of Sag Hari>or is pleasantly 
associated that of the great American novelist, 
James Fenimore Cooper, who made the entire 
Long Island coast a favorite resort, and it is said 
that he made a long stay in the village named, 
and there wrote "Precaution," 

Sag Harbor was a principal ship building 
point from- a very early day, and authentic rec- 
ords contain mention of vessels on the stocks in 
1780. They were for whaling purposes. A 
"Captain Prior" obtained the lease of a piece of 
land near the old wharf in 1795 for the purpose 
of ship building, and in 1806 it was voted by the 
trustees of the town that Captain Stephen How- 
ell should have the privilege of building a ship 
"near the old wharf, not interfering with the 
road, for the sum of 16 shillings." About this 
time many vessels were built by Messrs. Plowell, 
Huntting, and others, which made to their own- 
ers rich returns in prosperous whaling voyages. 

The first vessel to undertake long voyages 
was the ship "Hope," owned by the Gardiners 



and commanded by Captain Ripley. The result 
was far from satisfactory, and the enterprise 
proved a loss. In 1785 Colonel Benjamin Hunt- 
ting and Captain Stephen Howell sent out ves- 
sels which finally extended their voyages to the 
coast of Brazil. The average duration of a voy- 
age was ten or eleven months, and the voyages 
were almost always successful. The war of 1812 
caused a temporary suspension of business, which 
soon recommenced with increased vigor. In 
1807 there were four ships fitted out from this 
port. In 1845, when the business was at its 
highest point, there were seventy vessels engaged 
in whaling. In 1862 the last vestige of what had 
been a great and extended enterprise disap- 
peared by the sale of the brig "Myra,'^ which 
was the last remnant of the once powerful whal- 
ing fleet. 

The following statistics are from the records 
bi the Sag Harbor Custom House : 

In .1794, 472 tons registered; 473 tons enrolled 

and licensed vessels. 
In 1800, 805 tons registered; 1449 tons enrolled 

and licensed vessels. 
In 1805, 1916 tons registered; 2228 tons enrolled 

and licensed vessels. 
In 1810, 1 185 tons registered; 3223 tons enrolled 

and licensed vessels. 
In 1815, S08 tons registered; 2719 tons enrolled 

and vessels. 
In 1820, 2263 tons registered; 3416 tons enrolled 

and licensed vessels. 

Bearing in mind the small tonnage of those 
days, the magnitude of the seafaring 'trade may 
be accounted as something really important. 

Setauket was another considerable ship- 
building point. Records show that as early as 
1662 Richard Bullock purchased timber and 
plank of John Ketcham', and built a boat here. 
The size of the vessel is unknown, but from the 
fact that he was allowed four months in which 
to complete it, and that he was then to leave the 
town with it, we may infer that it was designed 
for the sea. In the period not many years re- 
mote from Revolutionary times the business was 
carried on by Benjamin Floyd, a representative 
of the prominent family of that name. The scale 

upon which it was conducted, however, was at a 
later period enlarged. In the early part of the 
present century the building of sloops was ex- 
tensively carried on. David Cleaves was en- 
gaged in it in 1820, and continued until about 
1835. In 1832 were laid the foundation of the 
Hand shipyards, with which the family name is 
yet associated. 

At Port Jefferson, the pioneer shipbuilder 
was John Wilsie, who constructed vessels in 
1797, on the ground occupied many years after- 
ward by the large shipbuilding hrm of James M. 
Bayles & Son, 

The first vessel built at Greenport was a 

sloop named ''Vam. Buren," built by Calvin Hor- 

ton, in 1834. The first ship was the "J^'^^ A. 

Bishop," built by Hiram Bishop, and named af- 

\ ter his daughter. 

The accomplishments of the old-time ship- 
builder may be discerned in the stirring careers 
of several who are of comparatively recent times. 

Nehemiah Hand, of Setauket, born in Brook- 
haven, in 1814, became apprentice to a shipbuild- 
er when he was but seventeen years of age. Be- 
fore he was of age he was placed in charge of a 
gang of men, 'and attended to the completion and 
launching of a vessel. In 1836 he built his first 
vessel, the schooner "Delight," for Adam Bayles, 
and the next year he made the models and 
moulds for the schooner "Swallow." In later 
years he built several vessels in which he held 
an ownership interest. In 1849 he built a schoon- 
er upon his own account, and named her the 
"Marietta Hand," after his eldest daughter, and 
sold one-half to Captain Micah Jayne, and Cap- 
tain Scudder Jayne was put in command. In 
four years the vessel had earned for its owners 
$7,200, and they sold her at an advance upon 
her cost. In 1850 Mr. Hand built the schooner 
"Nassau," for Stephen H. Townsend and Cap- 
tain Richard Edwards. This vessel went into 
the Mediterranean trade, and was capsized in a 
storm, but one man being saved. In 1851 Mr. 
Hand built a brig, named for himself, for Turner 
& Townsend, in which he owned a one-fourth 
interest. This vessel cost $14,600, paid her own- 
ers $22,562 in four years, and was sold for $10,- 



250, In 1852 Air. Hand built a large sloop, the 
"Chase," which ran as a packet between New 
York and Providence. On one of her trips, while 
racing with the sloop "Pointer/' her mast was 
carried away. But the sporting sentiment pre- 
vailed, even then, the principal owner, who was 
aboard, remarking, "Never mind; we are ahead." 

In 1853 Mr. Hand built the schooner "Fly- 
ing Eagle" on his own account, and sold one- 
half interest to Captain Benjamin Jones and 
others. She made a voyage to Constantinople 
during the Crimean war, and earned for her own- 
ers $5,000 for carrying a single cargo of rum and 
pepper. In 1854 Mr. Hand built the bark "C. 
W. Poultney," for Baker & Studson, at a cost 
of $39,000, for the Philadelphia and New Or- 
leans trade. The next year he built the brig 
"T. W. Rowland," at a cost of $28,000, be being 
a one-fcurth owner. He subsequently built the 
bark "Urania," costing $31,000, in which he 
owned a three-eighths interest. She was built 
for the New York and Brazil coffee trade, and, 
when the Japanese ports were first opened to for- 
eign ocmmerce, she was run as a packet between 
Shanghai and Nagasaki, and brought home a 
cargo O'f tea and silks, the freight charges upon 
which amounted to $12,000. 

Mr. Hand built various other vessels down to 
1S60,, v/hen he ran off the stocks the schooner 
"Aklebaran," in which he gave his son Robert a 
one-eighth interest, and made him commander, 
his first mate being Edward Hawkins, neither 
one being twenty years of age. The vessel left 
port the day before Fort Sumter was fired upon, 
sailiUig for Spain. While sailing from New 
York to Alarinham, she was captured on March 
13, 1863, by the rebel privateer "Florida," com- 
manded by Captain Moffit, who was a son of the 
Methodist preacher Moffit, who was a noted re- 
vivalist, and had visited Long Island. The prize 
was plundered and burned. Young Moffit plead 
earnestly for his chronometer, nautical instru- 
ments and chart, which were gifts from his fa- 
ther, but he was denied, Captain Moffit declaring 
the articles to be contraband of war. Captain 
Hand and his crew were held aboard the priva- 
teer for ten days, and were then put on board a 

vessel bound for Scotland, entirely penniless, with 
nothing save their clothes. In the award made 
by the claims commission after the close of the 
war, the owners of the "Aldebaran" received 
$30,160, with interest at the rate of four per cent. 

In 1863 the Hands, father and son, became 
partners, and the first vessel of their joint build- 
ing was the brig "Americus," in 1864-5, which 
cost $42,000. The junior Hand was a one-six- 
teenth partner and commander. In 1868 the 
senior Hand built for Captain Henry Baker the 
brig "Mary E. Thayer," which had an unfortu- 
nate career. She went into the Mediterranean 
fruit trade, and was twice disma&ted, was robbed 
of $1,750 while in the port of Lisbon, Spain, and 
her owners paid $2,117 ^^^' damages accruing 
from a collision when the captain of the vessel 
sailed in mid ocean without lights. Another un- 
fortunate vessel of Mr. Hand's building was the 
three-masted schooner "Georgetta Lawrence," 
which cost $32,000. Struck by lightning off the 
coast of Cyprus, her cargo of cased coal oil 
caught fire. The vessel was saved through the 
heroism of Charles Robinson, the mate, who 
went 'tween decks and threw out the burning 
packages, the crew throwing water upon him 
while he was so engaged. 

Mr. H.and built many other vessels during all 
these years, among them the bark 'De Zaldo," 
for Waydell & Co., which paid her owners her 
cost ($40,000) in five years; the brig "Daisy," 
for Captain Casey, at a cost of $32,500, which 
made the voyage from Cape Henry to Stetten, in 
the German Baltic, in twenty-six davs, and paid 
her owners $10,000 the first year,- and the bark- 
entine "Thomas Brooks," which went into the 
West Indies trade and carried one cargo of 660 
hogsheads of sugar. 

About 1874 Mr. Hand, in association with 
Daniel Bayles as superintendent, undertook the 
building of a ship of 3,500 tons, a mammoth ves- 
sel for that day, but owing to the remarkable fi- 
nancial depression of that decade the original de- 
sign was never carried out, but that which was 
intended to become one of the proudest specimens 
of marine architecture was afterward finished as 
an ungraceful barge. 



In all his large and varied experience as ship 
builder and owner (and he built forty-four ves- 
sels) Mr. Hand never paid as much as $500 for 
insurance. He acted upon the theory that if in- 
surance companies could make money in the in- 
surance of poor vessels, he could make money 
by taking his own risk upon sound, well built 
craft, and his ideas were amply vindicated in his 
experience. In 1873 he left his shipbuilding bus- 
iness to a worthy successor, his son, George 
Hand. But he did not retire to lead an inactive 
life. He was one of the projectors and survey- 
ors of the railroad route from Centerport to Port 
Jefferson, and he was a leading spirit in secur- 
ing state legislation for the improvement of the 
pilotage system in New York waters. 

:-i.nother famous shipbuilder, James AL Rayles, 
of Port Jefferson, born in 1815, took to sea- 
faring pursuits when he was fourteen years old. 
When he was seventeen years old he went to 
work as a ship caulker and rigger. In 1836 he 
built his first vessel, and has a total of more than 
one hundred to his credit, furnishing employment 
to many workmen. 

Jesse Carll, of Northport, whose activities 
have but lately ceased, when seventeen years of 
age entered the shipyards of James and Lloyd 
Bayles, at Port Jefferson. Five years later he 
and his brother David engaged in shipbuilding 
at Northport upon their own account. The third 
vessel of their building was the double-decked 
bark "Storm Bird/' of 650 tons, contracted for 
at $35,000, but upon which they lost $7,000. But 
their work was a marvel, for the craft was built 
and launched within the short period of eighty- 
seven days-. In 1865, after an association of ten 
years, the brothers dissolved partnership, dividing 
$50,000 as the fruits of their mdustry. 

Mr. Carll subsequently built vessels sufficient 
in number to make a veritable fleet. A monu- 
ment to his integrity as a master workman was 
his schooner "Joseph Budd," launched in 1871, 
and costing $34,000. While laying in the har- 
bor of Brazos, on the coast of Rio Grande, in the 
Gulf of Mexico, in the midst of a sudden tropical 
storm and tidal wave, the vessel was driven in- 
land, and when the waters subsided she was two 

miles from the shore, Mr. Carll and his part- 
ner, Joseph Budd, on information given them 
by their foreman, George Tillett, contracted with 
a dredging firm to build a canal through which 
to float the vessel to the water. Work was pros- 
ecuted vigorously, but occupied a years time and 
cost $23,000. But so perfect was the ship in ma- 
terial and workmanship, that, after twelve 
months' exposure to the intense heat of .the cli- 
mate, her seagoing qualities were unimpaired, 
and, without repairs, she safely landed in New 
York a $160,000 cargo of hides, wool and lead. 

There were able commanders, too. Captain 
Isaac Ludlow, of Bridgehampton, was thus 
spoken of in all truthfulness by a friend: "Few 
men embody more prominently the higher traits 
of ocean life than this^ man. The sea molds as 
if to itself the hardy and resolute spirits that dare 
its perils. He was brave as a lion, sincere as 
truth, generous as a prince, sympathetic as a 
child, tender and humane like the good Samari- 
tan; and if at times the strong emotional nature, 
so full of elevated sentiment, broke the bounds 
of decorous restraint in censure of aught untrue 
or dishonest or mean, all remembered that, rocked 
by the stormy wave, assailed by the tempest's 
breath, nurtured in the rage of the mighty deep, 
something of its elemental wrath seeaied in- 
woven intoi the fibres of the nature and the frame 
they nurtured and tried." 

Captain Ludlow became a sailor when he was 
fifteen years of age, and in all he made as many 
as twenty long whaling voyages in Atlantic and 
Pacific waters, and he commanded a vessel in his 
last eight voyages. In August, 1853, he rescued 
from the island of Amsterdam, in the Indian 
ocean, the shipwrecked crew and passengers of 
the British bark "Aieridian." His care for them 
involved the failure of his voyage, and was but 
partially compensated by the gift of a fine chro- 
nometer from the British admiralty and other 
presents and acknowledgments. 

A native of Southampton, born in 1825. Cap- 
tain James R. Huntting went before the mast on 
a whaling voyage, in the bark ''Portland," Cap- 
tain William H. Payne, when he was sixteen 
years old. In three successive voyao^es in the 



same vessel he was boat steerer, second officer 
and first officer. In 1848 be commanded tbe 
bark *'Nimrod," and returned with a full cargo of 
whale oil and bone after a voyage of two years. 
In November, 1850, as master of the ship "Jeffer- 
son/' he left port and, after a voyage of two 
years and six months, returned with a cargo val- 
ued at $150,000. He made another successful 
voyage in thp same vessel, and then followed 
land pursuits until i860, when he again went to 
sea and sailed successively the bark ''General 
Scott," and the bark "Fanny." Returning in 
1869 he abandoned the sea and engaged in mer- 
cantile business. 

The builders and commanders named by no 
means exhaust the list. They are only presented 
as types of those worthies of a now past age who, 
by energy, daring, self-reliance and enterprise, 
wrested from distant lands the wealth that has 
enlarged the commerce of America, built up its 
maritime cities, and presented to the national navy 
the elements which have made the flag of the 
United States the emblem of heroic achievements 
upon every sea. 

But the times have changed, and the waters 
of the ocean front and of the sound bear but few 
of the sails of the old time commerce. In their 
stead are fleets of the finest and fleetest pleasure 
craft, sailed by hundreds of enthusiastic amateur 
sailors. Oyster Bay leads in priority of yacht 
club organizations and membership, its Seawan- 
haka-Corinthian Yacht Club, dating from 1871, 
and having a membership of 500, and its cup 
races are events which are regarded with intense 
interest in yachting circles the world over. Other 
clubs are the Bayswater Club, at Jamaica iBay; 
the Indian Creek Club, of Carnasie, 69 members, 
organized in 1896; the Jamaica Bay Club, Rocka- 
way, 150 members, organized in 1892 ; the Jeffer- 
son Club, Rockaway Beach, 25 members, organ- 
ized in 1897; the Progressive Club, Rockaway 
Beach; the Vigilant Club, 21 members, organized 
in 1897; the Cedar Island Club, New Babylon; 
the Hempstead Bay Club, Elder Island, Great 
South Bay, 94 members, organized in 1892; the 
Hempstead Harbor Club, Glen Cove, 51 mem- 
bers, organized in 1891 ; the Huntington Club, 

Huntington, 60 members, organized in 1894; the 
Keystone Club, Windmere, 56 members, organ- 
ized in 1892; the Manhasset Bay Club, Port 
Washington ; the Northport Club, Northport, 74 
members, organized in 1898; the Patchogue Club, 
Patchogue; the Penataquit^Corinthian Club, 
Bay Shore, 96 members, organized in 1896; the 
Point o' Woods Club, Point o' Woods, 100 
members, organized in 1899; the Quantuck Club, 
Quogue, 85 members, organized in 1896; the Sag 
Harbor Club, Sag Harbor, 35 members, organ- 
ized in 1897; the 'Sea CHff Club, Sea Cliff, 135 
members, organized in 1892; -the Shelter Island 
Club, Chequit Point, 90 members, organized in 
1896; the Shinnecock Club, Quogue, 50 mem- 
bers, organized in 1897; and the Yacht Squadron 
of the West Hampton Country Club, West 
Hampton Beach, 125 members, organized in 

Tales of piracy in connection with Long Isl- 
and were plentiful in the days of long ago. Coney 
Island and Rockaway, in particular, were hotbeds 
of' pirates, principally the small fry who o,ught to 
be more properly classed as smugglers, but who 
were equally as ready to murder and to rob as 
to cheat the revenue of what the government 
claimed to be its just due. Then there are istor- 
les of Captain Kidd, who is claimed to have hid- 
den treasures in so many places along the coast 
that if he had only dropped one strong box in all 
the places alleged to he his "hiding places" he 
must ihave had enough of such boxes to have 
burdened an entire fleet. 

John Gardiner, son of Lion Gardiner, asserted- 
during his life that in the summer of 1699, when 
he was eight years old, Captain Kidd, "as he 
sailed,'' made a visit at Gardiner's Island. Ac- 
cording to John L3^on Gardiner's narrative, the 
redoubtable rascal "took what fr^sh provisioris he 
wanted ; came in the night and cut the old gentle- 
man's hands in the dark with their cutlasses; de- 
stroyed feather beds ; stayed several days and 
lived well; tied the old gentleman up to the mul- 
berry tree, which 'is now standing at the north of 
the house; left money, etc., with him. It was hid 
in a swampy place at Cherry Harbor. He showed 



JNIr. John where he put it, told him if he never 
called for it he might have it, but if he called for 
it and it was gone he would 'take his son's 
head.' After the apprehension of Kidd, com- 
niissioners came to the island and were given 
possession of the valuables. 

jMiss Hosford, the last descendant of Na- 
thaniel Sylvester, preserved in the old manor 
house on Shelter Island a piece of gold chain, 
several links-, which was given to a Sylvester by 
the buccaneer Captain Kidd in payment of 
some supplies. The local story. is that the pirate, 
'*as he sailed," got short of fresh meat and land- 
ed at the head of a party of his desperadoes on 
Shelter Island in search of some. In the manor 
house yard they came across two pigs, which 
they appropriated in the easy manner usual with 
pirates. But the pigs objected and began to 
squeal, and the racket brought out on the scene 
a servant girl who defied the whole gang and de- 
manded that the pigs be dropped. A cowardly 
historian has suggested that if she had known 
she was dealing with Captain Kidd and his free- 
booters she would have run away to the other end 
of the island. That, however, is a base slander. 
Captain Kidd saw that he had a determined 
woman to deal with, so he called a halt, explained 
his necessity in the way of provender, and tore 
off several links of the gold chain he wore — far 
more than the value of the pigs. She accepted the 
payment and left the pigs to their fate, and hand- 
ed the bullion to her mistress, who had watched 
the entire scene with fear and trembling from 
an upper chamber window. She had recognized 
Kidd and would willingly have let him take all 
the stock he could lay his hand& on if only he and 
his crew would have departed in peace.- 

But Captain Kidd, on one occasion, unwit- 
tingly contributed to the population of Babylon 
one who became a most useful citizen and who 
reared an excellent family. This was Captain 
Jacob Conklin, who had been impressed on board 
of Captain Kidd's ship and served under him 
on one of his voyages. On Kidd's return from 
his last voyage, and while his vessel, the "San 
Antonio," lay in Cold Spring Harbor, Conklin 
and others, having been sent on shore for water. 

hid themselves and did not return to the ship. 
Doubtless they feared Kidd's arrest and trial, and 
dreaded lest they might be punished with him. 
They were for some time isecreted among the 
Indians. Conklin purchased a large tract of land 
from the natives, of which the farm, late the prop- 
erty of Colonel James F. Ca&ey, is part, and upon 
which Conklin built a fine mansion, which is yet 
standing. The house was probably erected about 
1710, and every part of its bears evidence of its 
antiquity. The high hill behind the dwelling 
commands a splendid though distant view of the 
ocean and bay. Near by are several fine springs 
of water, one of which is said to be of medicinal 

Captain Conklin was born in Wiltshire, Eng- 
land, probably in 1675, and died at his residence 
in Babylon in 1754. His wife was Hannah 
Piatt, of Huntington, by whom he had several 
children, among them Colonel Piatt Conklin, 
who was an ardent patriot during the Revolution. 
The latter had only one child, Nathaniel, who 
was Sheriff of the county. He was the third 
owner of the premises above described. This 
property descended to the grandchildren of 
Sheriff Conklin, thus having been owned by four 
successive generations of the family. It has since 
been owned by Dr. Bartlett, formerly editor of 
the ''Albion," Colonel James F. Casey and Ulys- 
ses S. Grant, Jr. 

A treasure laden ship said to have come 
ashore at Southampton through treachery, some 
time in the early part of the last century, has al- 
ways remained a mystery. Whether she was an 
English merchantman or a Spanish pirate re- 
turning from the Carribean sea to old Spam, will 
always remain unknown. Spanish money was 
found in the vicinity frequently afterward, and 
the hope of finding more sprang up in the minds 
of many avaricious creatures. All that is known 
is Captain Terry's story of how on a Sunday in 
June the vessel hove to and set ashore a man, and 
then sailed out again. The ione sailor set out at 
a brisk pace along Napeague Beach, reaching 
Amaganset at dusk. He was a creature of 
such forbidding appearance that lodgings were 
repeatedly refused him, and where he passed the 



night is not knovvn, bnt at Easthampton and at 
Southampton he was seen and commented upon. 
Who the unpleasant appearing stranger was, and 
what his errand and where he went, were mat- 
ters of speculation for many days. 

At one of the villages where the Great South 
Bay widens out, he was boated across to Fire 
Island Beach, and there he lighted a signal. In 
the meantime a violent storm had arisen and the 
sea was furious, and the precious ras- 
cals who had expected to escape with all the 
treasure, leaving a scuttled ship to tell no tales, 
were cast helpless upon the shore, weighted to 
death by the gold hidden in their belts, and only 
three escaped. With no sense of mercy or honor, 
they rifled their rascally comrades, and, burying 
the treasure, fled the country to avoid the arrest 
which their suspicious spending of money 
brought upon them. Some say they never re- 
turned for their ill-gotten booty. 

On November g, 1830, the splendid brig 
''Vineyard" left New Orleans with a valuable 
cargo and $54,000 in specie. Had this last de- 
tail not been known to the crew, all might have 
gone well, but the fact that it was on board 
aroused the cupidity of the fo'csle and the appar- 
ently innate desire of ignorant, lawless men to 
get rich quickly. A mutiny was determined upon 
so as to gain possession of the money, and the 
plans arranged were put in effect when the brig 
was off Cape Hatteras. The Captain and mate 
were murdered and the crew of seven men took 
possession of the brig. They determined to pro- 
ceed to the Long Island shore and there aban- 
don the ship and scatter, each with his share of 
the plunder. The vessel arrived safely within a 
few miles of Long Island and was, in accordance 
with their plans, burned and sunk. The mutin- 

eers took to the small boats, intending to land at 
different places. Then their troubles began. One 
boat with three men upset and its occupants 
were drowned. The other boat had a hard time 
making shore, and much of the money had to be 
thrown overboard to lighten the little craft. The 
four pirates landed near Coney Island with some 
$5,000, and then began quarrelling, with the re- 
sult that their crime became known and their ar- 
rest followed. Two of them were hanged on 
April 22, 1831. 

In September, 1858, the brig '^Haidee," of 
New York, was scuttled and sunk by her crew 
when o£F Montauk. The brig had been to the 
coast of Africa, whence she had taken a cargo 
of 960 slaves to Cuba. After landing the slaves 
the captain and owners sent the brig in charge 
of the mate north to be sunk. The entire crew 
of twenty-two men came ashore in boats and 
scattered, some going to New York and others 
to New London. The mate was arrested near 
New Bedford, and three of the men in New 

But these dreadful tales have had their tell- 
ing, and find no counterpart in the narratives of 
the present day. The pirate and shoresman who 
thrived upon the flotsam from the wreck have 
passed away forever. Even the sea is far less 
prolific of disaster, thanks to the splendid per- 
fection of the lighthouse service, and, when a 
wreck occasionally occurs, human life is seldom 
lost, so perfect is the work of the life-savers, gov- 
ernmental and volunteer. And so the story of 
■ the historian and annalist has ceased to be one 
of horror and human suffering, and comes to be 
of those things which arei 

"A beauty and a joy forever." 



Characteristics of the People — The Foundations of Communities. 

"Beneath the roots of tangled weeds, 
Afar" in country graveyards, lie 
The men whose unrecorded deeds 
Have stamped this nation's destiny. 

"We praise the present stock and man; 
But have we ever thought to praise 
The strong, still, humble lives that ran 
The deep-cut channels of these days? 

"Beneath those tottering slabs of slate, 
Whose tribute moss and mold efface. 
Sleeps the calm dust that made us great, 
The true substratum of our race !" 

— James Buckham. 

X order to avoid otherwise necessary repe- 
titions, it is well, thus early in the narra- 
tive, to dispose of the Nassau-Suffolk re- 
e^ion in so far as their characteristics and 
history are -similar. In a way the Jtwo counties, 
the strongly alike; and, in some respects, they 
differ materially from the counties of Queens and 
Kings. In a physical sense, the former preserve's 
in greater degree its original features. The denser 
population of the district to its Avesitward has ne- 
cessitated the obliteration of hill and forest, and 
even of water-courses, and what of the natural 
contour remains is disguised hy the multitude of 
buildings of all classes and style. But eastward 
from ithe line separating the counties of Queens 


and Nassau the territory is, in natural conforma- 
tion, much as it was before the advent of the 
white man. With that line we may be said to 
have fairly entered upon the most picturesque of 
the coast region of Long Island, to which, in its 
entirety, some reference may be in order, &o full 
is it of interest and beauty on the south, so wild 
and romantic is it on the north side of the island. 
On the sound it has several fine harbors — Little 
Neck, Hempstead, Oyster Bay and Cold Spring, 
On the Atlantic front its water line is more 
adapted for summer resorts than for commerce. 
Hempstead Bay and its islands present countless 
spots which can and undoubtedly will be utilized 
for such purposes, and quite a number are already 
high class residential neighborhoods. 

But we may particularise somewhat more 
closely. In an address delivered by the Rev. Dr. 
Epher Whittaker, at the annual meeting of the 
Historical Society of Suffolk County, held in 
Riverhead, in February, 1900, that scholarly 
gentleman referred to the gradual sinking of the 
land along the Atlantic from Cape Cod to Flor- 
ida, and observed that while in places, and nota- 
bly at Charleston, South Carolina, this subsidence 
has been attended by tremendous convulsions, 



Long Island has not been violeiitly affected. 
There has not been entire absence of earthquakes 
but these have been of the mildest character. 
The shores have shown change, but in no radi- 
cal way. Along both the ocean and sound sides, 
some fruitful land has been lost by the encroach- 
ments of the sea. As an instance, the new light- 
house at Orient Point was built in water several 
feet deep, at a point where men now living have 
seen fields of grain planted and harvested. On 
the other hand, nature has made ample compen- 
sation for what she has taken, by pouring rich 
stores of soil into lakes and ponds and shallow 
streams, and these have been added to farm and 
.garden spots, making this one of the most pro- 
ductive regions in all America, adorned with 
beautiful homes and all that goes to make happi- 
ness upon earth. 

But before and above all these excellent ma- 
terial conditions is to be admired the power 
which has mlade them — ^the people. In numbers 
native to the soil for the greater part, these cher- 
ish with affection and pride the ancestry whence 
they sprung and whose worth and names they 
have commemorated, in many instances, in en- 
during form. For the people, despite the tur- 
moil of business and the glamour of society, are 
a home-loving and family-loving people, and, in 
their homes, their schools and their churches, 
they are rearing to-day a generation which, in its 
own time, will doubtless be called upon to engage 
in effort and confront obstacles and conquer suc- 
cess after the manner of those who have gone be- 
fore them. 

Of a verity were their forebears, the 
worthies of two and a half centuries agO', the 
founders of a new England. Suffolk is notable 
as being the oldest -purely English settlement — 
entirely English in its forms and institutions — 
within the limits of the great Empire State, and 
various of its towns had a healthy existence and 
were practically independent and self-governing 
communities before any real powers of ^sov- 
ereignty were sought to^ be exercised over them. 
The same fact practically obtains in those towns 
which were recently separated from Queens 
county to form the county of Nassau. Indeed, it 

may be said — and the fact is important — tthat the 
Dutch influence was scarcely felt within the re- 
gion now known as Nassau county, and was not 
at all perceptible in Suffolk county. 

At the risk of slight repetition, it may be ob- 
served that the immigrants acquired title to their 
lands through purchase from the Indians, and 
through grants made by proprietors holding un- 
der the English crown. 

James I of England granted to the Plymouth 
Company a charter for all the land between the 
fortieth and forty-eighth degrees of north lati- 
tude, extending from sea to sea, which territory 
bore the name of New England. In 1636 King 
Charles I procured the transfer oi the whole of 
Long Island and the adjacent islands to William 
Alexander, Earl of Sterling, by patent from the 
Plymouth Company. The Earl appointed James 
Farret as his general deputy, and authorized him 
to select for his own use a tract of twelve thou- 
sand acres in this territory. Farret chose Shelter 
Island and Robin's Island in Peconic Bay; he 
made various sales to actual settlers, and in 1641 
he sold the remainder to Stephen Goodyear, of 
the New Flaven Colony. The Earl of Sterling 
died in 1640, and his son and heir died a few 
months afterward. The next in heirship, a grand- 
son of the Earl, for a consideration of £300, sur- 
rendered to the crown the grant acquired from 
the Plymouth Company, and it was conveyed 
(April 2, 1664,) to the Duke of York, acording 
to the following description : "All that island or 
islands commonly called by the several name or 
names of Meitowacks, or Long Island, situate, 
lying and being toward the west of Cape Cod 
and the narrow Higansetts, abutting upon the 
mainland between the two rivers there called or 
known by the several names of Connecticut and 
Fludson's River." 

To this region came a splendid race of men, 
many of whom settled in Rhode Island, whence 
they came to Long Island. They were English- 
men, and their ancestry was most honorable. 
They were merchants and seafaring men, among 
the most enterprising of their day. The major- 
ity came with means of support, and often with 
what in those days was considered wealth. They 



were educated beyond the average yeomanry of 
Great Britain. This is proven by the fact that 
a majority cou'ld sign their own names to the legal 
documents which they recorded. Some Scotch 
and English bordermen of the highest classes- 
signed legal contracts "with their hands to the 
pen led by the clerk." The men who organized 
the oldest towns and townships of Long Island 
were men of the world of business and affairs, 
far beyond the average villager or yeoman of 
the English or Scotch rural districts. They were 
men of thought as well as of intelligence. They 
were exiled not as blind or ignorant rioters, but 
as men who had contemplated the affairs of state, 
formed their opinions, held fixed principles, and 
they were ready in the new world to give them 
the test of practical application. They were in 
most instances the clean, honest republicans of 
the ^'Republic of England" (or of the Common- 
wealth) who would not sell their love of liberty 
and their manhood to the degraded policies of the 
.Stuarts after the Restoration. Some of the other 
members were among the roundheads of Crom- 
well and had fought at Naseby, and by their side 
were a few descendants of iHuguenots who had 
been allied with Admiral Coligny, and had taken 
refuge in England after the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes. 

If there is aught in the history of Long Isl- 
and that is so completely established as to be 
wholly outside the pale of controversy, it is the 
fact that its early colonists were a deeply relig- 
ious people. Indeed, had they been less con- 
scientious and less unyielding as religionists, the 
political structure which they aided in rearing 
would doubtless have been of other design. It 
was decreed in a very early day that the country 
was to be essentially English, and dominated by 
English thought and policies — the withdrawal 
of the Dutch fleet and the Dutch Governor set- 
tled that matter. Had the Englishmen and 
Scotchmen then on the ground been time-servers, 
had they abandoned their meetings and conven- 
ticles, they would doubtless have proven as 
truculent in their political conduct, and — would 
there have been the Revolution ? And this sug- 
gests another query: Had the Established 

Church of England utilized the Methodjsm of 
Wesley in England, and displayed a conciliatory 
attitude toward the Presbyterians of Scotland, is 
it not probable that there would have been an Es- 
tablished Church in America, with Trinity Church 
standing in the new land for what Canterbury 
does in the mother country? 

A fruitful field for speculation this, but- there 
is sufficient of momentous interest in what did 
actually occur. And so, it may be repeated that 
the early colonists were a deeply religious peo- 
ple, and this is not the less true if, as was the 
case, with different standards, their conduct was 
in many instances somewhat at variance with 
that expected of professed religionists in the 
present day. But deeply religious these people 
were, yet not super-sentimental, but entirely 
practical. Without being aware of it, they were 
the most astute politicians (in the best sense of 
the term) of their day, and they were anticipat- 
ing, albeit all unconsciously, that assertion of 
political liberty which culminated in independ- 
ence after the Revolution. Religious as they were, 
they were not bigoted or intolerant. While ac- 
cording to all comers a broad measure of per- 
sonal liberty, they jealously guarded against 
what would be destructive of good morals. The 
early government of the little communities was 
by the town meeting, in which, in nearly all in- 
stances, the influence of the Presbyterian Church 
was predominant until the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, and, indeed, for many years 
thereafter, the same influence continued tO' be 
important in community affairs. True, the towns 
differed somewhat as to the details of govern- 
ment, but, in the main, there was a noticeable 
similarity of method as there wa& entire unani- 
mity of purpose. 

The social life of a community is but the re- 
flection of the personality of its members. Where 
the leaders in affairs are men of strong character, 
whose conduct is dominated by stern moral con- 
victions, rectitude of conduct prevails, coloring 
the present life of the community, and affording 
an example for the guidance of succeeding gen- 

Law is the product of social life, rather than 



its maker. Law is generally enacted only when 
conditions have shown the urgent necessity 
therefor — when moral tenets and personal use- 
fulness seem powerless to eradicate or mitigate an 
evil which threatens society. Hence, the statute 
books of a nation, in whatever era, may be un- 
derstood as indicating a mjore or less widespread 
existence of those misdemeanors and crimes for 
which penalties are provided. The Mosaic law is 
the most convincing instance in point that ap- 
pears in all ihuman 'history. Its minute regula- 
tions for the conduct of the individual, even to 
the details of personal cleanliness and foods, re- 
veal an existent state of almost savagery, from 
which the children of Israel were upraised by 
their great lawgiver, ultimately becoming models 
in these respects for all mankind and for all time. 
The high moral and religious sentiments 
which animated the makers of these miniature 
commonwealths upon. Long Island may be dis- 
cerned in the constitution of East Hampton, en- 
acted by the people on October 24, 1654: 

East Hampton, October 24, 1654. — Foras- 
much as it has pleased Almighty God, by the 
wise dispensation oi his Providence, so to order 
and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants of 
East Hampton are now dwelling together, the 
word of God requires that to maintain the Peace 
and Union of sudi a people there should be an 
Orderly and Decent Government established ac- 
cording to God, to order and Dispose as Occa- 
sion shall rec[uire. We Do therefore associate 
and conjoin our selves to be one Town or Cor- 
poratio^n, and Do ^^'^ ourselves and successors, 
and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time 
hereafter, enter into combination and confedera- 
tion together to maintain and preserve the purity 
of the Gospel of our Lord JesuS' Christ, which 
we now possess ; as also the Discipline of the 
Church, which according tO' the truth of said 
Gospel is now practiced among us ; As also in 
our Civil affaires to be guided and Governed by 
such Laws and Orders as shall be made accord- 
ing to God, and which by vote of the Major Part 
shall be in force among -us. Furthermore we 
do engage our selves that in all vote& for choos- 
ing Officers or making orders that it be accord- 
ing to Conscience and our best light, And also 
we do engage our selves by this Combination to 
stand to and maintain the authority of the sev- 
eral Officers O'f the Town in their Determinations 

and actions according to their Orders and Laws 
that either are or shall be made, not swerving 
therefrom-. In witness whereof each accepted 
Inhabitant set to our hand." 

Th.e duties devolved upon the law officers 
were deemed so important, and their proper dis- 
charge was recognized as a sacred duty, as wit- 
ness the following oath administered: 

"You, being chosen by this court for the 
careful and comfortable carrying on the affairs 
of this town, do here swear by the name of the 
great and ever living God that you will faith- 
fully and without respect of persons execute all 
jury laws and orders as shall or may be made 
and established by this court, according to God, 
according to the trust committed to 3^ou during 
this year for which you are chosen, and until a 
new 'one be chosen, if you remain among us, so 
help you God." 

Among the earliest laws enacted were those 
for the guarding of the public morals. The fact 
is significant. The "people were deeply imbued 
with religious sentiments Which had been their 
heritage from many preceding generations. The 
community was in its formative stage, and the 
laws were framed rather to establish a standard 
for conduct, and more especially for later immi- 
grants who were beginning to arrive, than out 
of immediate necessity. Again, the legislators 
of the day were familiar with the vicious con- 
duct of the worst classes in the mother country, 
and they did not clearly discriminate between the 
conditions in an old and thickly populated land, 
with its diversified classes and those in a new 
community where all were practically upon a 
common level, and where all must struggle for 
an existence, practicing industry and economy, 
with little time or means, and less of inclination, 
for debasing pursuits. Again, these laws may, 
in part, be taken as having origin in the horror 
in w^hicli these early English immigrants held the 
conduct O'f the ruling classes at home, in the time 
of that "Merry Monarch" who was, to use the 
unique phrase of Macaulay, "much addicted to 
women," and whose profligate behavior on the 
Sabbath, and in public gaze, had provoked the 
pained indignation of Pepys and Evelyn. 



The town meeting — the general assembly of 
the people — was not only the legislative body, 
but it was also, in some cases, the judicial body, 
when it was kno'wn as the general court. This 
body was constituted without written constitu- 
tion or governmental warrant except in the 
broadest sense, and owed its being solely to that 
organizing power which has resided in the Briton 
from time immemorial, and which he has made 
the dominating power in every land wherein he 
has established a firm foothold. It taxed the 
people for the establishment and maintenance of 
churches and schools, for the support of ministers 
and teachers. It organized military forces for 
the defense o-f the town, and erected fortifications. 
The boundaries of the town and of farms and 
"home lots" were recorded in the town book. 
Every year the owners of adjoining lands met 
and made what was called a "perambulation of 
the bounds," and every three years there was a 
"perambulation" by the officers of adjoining 
towns of the boundaries between such towns, 
and a record made. The constables and over- 
seers were empowered to establish and lay out 
roads and designate convenient places near the 
highways for watering domestic animals. The 
road law was afterward changed, and three *'ser- 
veyors and orderors of roads" were elected at 
town meetings, and roads were in the control of 
such officers until about 1708, when John Tuthill, 
Joseph Parson and Thomas Helme, commission- 
ers appointed by the governor for Suffolk coun- 
ty, were given power to lay out roads and record 
those already in use. All the main roads in 
Huntington and somie landing places were estab- 
lished by them and put on record in the county 
clerk's ofEce; but under a new law passed in 1732 
John Wickes was appointed a commissioner for 
that town for seven years to lay out and regulate 
roads. Swinging gates were then first author- 
ized in certain places. Roads were now required 
to be recorded in the town books. This contin- 
ued until 1739, when the freeholders at a town 
meeting were authorized to elect commissioners 
to lay out and regulate roads. Afterward what 
was known as "the three-county act," applying 
to Suffolk, Queens and Kings counties only, was 

enacted, and it continued in force until a recent 
period. On the bay shore, landing places were 
established for loading and unloading vessels. 
Each town adopted a peculiar "town mark" to 
be branded by the constables and overseers upon 
the cattle tO' distinguish them from animals be- 
longing to the inhabitants of other towns, and 
the owner also had his own personal brand. 

The town meeting also legislated upon every 
manner of question that could enter community 
life or the conduct of the individual, short of 
grave crimes and misdemeanors. It named the 
value of the variousi products of the farm, and 
fixed the wages of the laborer. A day's work 
was adjudged to be worth 2S 6d, but at that time 
a night's lodging was only valued at twopence, 
and two days' wages paid for board for a week. 
At such rates the laborer of 1658 was at least as 
well paid as is his brother of the present day. 
Persons coming with intention of making a per- 
manent settlement were placed upon a proba- 
tion of three to six months, when, if they were 
not deemed desirable neighbors, they were no- 
tified to seek a home elsewhere. In places, at- 
tendance at church was deem'^d a first duty, and 
it was provided that any man or woman who 
did not attend at the Sabbath services should be 
fined five shillings — the price of a week's board — 
for the first offense, ten shillings for the second, 
and twenty shillings for the third. Those who 
continued to absent themselves after being so 
mulcted, were deemed incorrigible under lenient 
measures, and were to be dealt with by means of 
corporal punishment, and, after that, if this rem- 
edy failed, were to be banished the town. The 
sale of intoxicants was stringently regulated, 
and drunkenness was severely punished, as were 
desecrations of the Sabbath, profanity, slander 
and lying. 

The curious nature of some of the early town 
regulations may be discerned in the following 
enactments made by the town of Brookhaven : 

"Orders and constatutio-ns maed by the 
Athoaty of this towne 8th July 1674, to be duly 
cept and obsarved. 

"i. Whereas there have beane much abuese 
a prophaneing of the lord's day by the younger 



sort of people in discourssing of vaine things 
and iRuning of 'Raesses. Therefore we make an 
order that whoesoever shall do-e the lieke againe 
notis shall he taken of them, and be presented to 
the nex court, there to answer for ther falts 
and to Reseve such punishment as they desarve. 

"2. Whereas It have bene two coman in 
this towne for young men and maieds to be out 
of ther father's and mother's house at unseason- 
able tiems of niete, It is therefore ordered that 
whoesoever of the younger sort shall be out of 
there father's or mother's house past nien^ of the 
clock at niet shall be summonsed in to the next 
court, and ther to pay cort charges with what 
punisthment the cort shall se cause to lay upon 
them, ecksep't thay can give suffissient Reson of 
there being out late. 

"3. Whereas godi have bene much dis'hon- 
ered, much pressious tyme misspent and men Im- 
povershed by drinking and tipling, ether in ord- 
nery or other privet houses, therefor, we maek 
this order that whoe soe ever shall thus trans- 
gres or sett drinking above two houres shall pay 
5s. and the man of the house for letting of them 
have it after the tyme prefixed shall pay los., 
exsept strangers onely. 

"4. that whosoever shall run any Rases or 
Run otherwise a hors back in the streets or 
within t!he towne platt shall forfet ids. to thee 
use of the towne. 

*'These above sayed orders is sett up and 
mad knowne the flay and daete above written." 

Huntington has preserved with great fidelity 
the history of the earlier tribunals, and these 
present a most interesting picture of the times. 
Stringent regulations were made with reference 
to the sale and use of intoxicating liquors, con- 
stables and overseers were to> admonish parents 
and masters to instruct their children in religion 
and laws and to bring them' up in some useful 
calling, and the children, wilfully refusing "to 
harken to the voice of their parents or masters," 
were to be whipped by the constables. Penalties 
were provided against masters cruelly beating or 
maiming their servants. Laborers must "work 
in their calling the whole day, the master allow- 
ing them sufficient tyme for feed and rest." 
The "court of three men" tried all ordinary cases, 
and the edicts of the courts', of the town, meet- 
ing, and, after a while, of the commonwealth 
beyond the Sound, were carried into effect by 

the constable, ■\^^ho was, under the conditions, a 
most necessary and most important personage. 
"In the little town republics," write Professor 
Johnston, "the ancient and honorable office of 
constable was the connecting link between the 
commonwealth and the town. The constable pub- 
lished the commonwealth laws in his town, kept 
the "publike peace" of the town and the com* 
monw^ealth, levied the town's share of the com- 
monwealth taxation, and went "from howse to 
howse" to notify the freemen of meetings of 
the general court, and of the time and place of 
election of deputies thereto." And the import- 
ance of the constable was made to appear 
through his emblem of authority, which was thus 
prescribed under the Duke's laws : "And that 
no man may pleade ignorance for such neglect, or 
refuse obedience, constables shall have a staffe 
of about six feet long, with the King's arms on 
it as a badge of his office." "The parish,'' said 
(John) Selden, "makes the constable, and when 
the constable is made he governs the parish." 
But the constable was not left entirely to his 
own devices. He was the actual representative 
and embodiment of the law, its executive, but 
he does not seem to have had the power "to gov- 
ern the parish" at any time, even between the 
dates of the town meetings. The local court 
was always in session, or ready to be called in 
session, and it, under the town meeting, was the 
real ruler of the parish, rather than the con- 
stable, whose doings and dictum could be over- 
ruled by it on short notice, s'hould occasion arise. 
On entering upon his office (and our state- 
ment is made with particularity because it indi- 
cates how law was enforced throughout the vari- 
ous settlements) the constable took an oath to 
carry on his work "without respect of persons 
-^ * >ic according to God, according to the 
trust committed to you." in 1650 we read that 
in East iHampton "there were chosen 4 men 
with the constable for ye orderinge ye affaires 
of ye towne, and it is ordered that any two of 
them shall have poweir to grant a warrant for 
ye bringing of any delinquent before them in 
any case ; also ye said five men shall have power 
to try any case under the ;suni of 40 shillings ; but 



if any case or action be to be tryed that is above, 
then it is to he tryed by a jury of seven men." 
Thus the constable had not full power to make 
arrests ; the warrant must be signed by two, but 
it would seem tfhat he could even sit in judg- 
ment in the causes which, by virtue of his office, 
he !was the means of bringing to the bar of jus- 
tice. But even this court was not omnipotent, 
and had its limitations, for we find an entry (in 
1652) that '*if any man 'be aggrieved by anything 
that is 'done by the men in authority he shall 
have libertie to make his appeal to the next gen- 
eral court, or when the men are assembled to- 
gether on public occasions." At the same time, 
while its powers were thus subject to review, the 
dignity of the tribunal was jealously upheld. 
Thus (in 1655) one William Simmons was fined 
five shillings, ''which is to be disposed of to 
make a paire of stocks, for his provoking 
speeches to the three men in authoritie, being a 
disturbance to them- in their proceedings." And 
then, "the men in authoritie" had ample means 
of making their court a terror to evil doers. As 
early as 1650 a house was set aside as a lock-up, 
and, as we have seen, it was not long afterward 
until the village stocks, the pillory and the whip- 
ping post stood in public view as a visible ex- 
ponent of the terrors of the law and the right- 
eousness and certainty of judgment. 

The transactions of such a primitive tri- 
bunal as has been described are seen in the fol- 
lowing, taken from the Hempstead annals: ; 

1658, July 25. — Richard Valentine having re- 
ported that Thomas Southard went up and down 
with a club, the latter, meeting him one morn- 
ing as he was going about his avocations, struck 
him on the face. As Southard still menaced and 
threatened to further beat him, he took oath that 
he stood in danger and fear O'f his life, and re- 
quired the peace and that Southard might put in 
security for his good behavior. It is therefore 
ordered by Mr. Richard Gildersleeve, for that 
Thomas Southard idid contemptuously resist 
authority in refusing to obey the marshal with 
his warrant, and did fly the same and betook 
himself to his own house for his refuge, in con- 
sideration for these outrages and misdemeanors 
he is required to put in security for his appear- 
ance at court. And said Southard doth bind him- 

self and all his lands, ,goods and chattels, to ap- 
pear at court, and meantime tO' keep the peace 
and good behavior. 

At a court held iDecember 28, on the submis- 
sion of Southard, and paying all costs, the pen- 
alty and fault are remitted in hopes of his refor- 
mation. Valentine is also reconciled, and doth 
remit the abuse done unto him. 

1659, January 2. — Thomas Ireland complains 
of Richard ^Brudenell, keeper of an ordinary, for 
using deceitful dealings, and produces in court 
the following witnesses : 

Mary, wife of Richard Willis, sent her child 
for a pint of sack and he afterward demanded 
pay for a quart. 

William Jacocks bought four cans of beer, 
c-ne day- last spring, and was booked seven. He 
paid it. 

Thomas Langdon was charged for four bush- 
els 'of oats and had but two, and a few oats in 
a piggin and a tray — being half a bushel. 

•Richard Lattin, four or five years ago, agreed 
with iBrudenell for diet of himself and son for 
twelve shillings the week, and had it a week and 
four days, which did come to twenty shillings. 
Lattin said it was ten- days, but Brudenell made 
it eleven^, and said if he would not pay for eleven 
lie would show him such a trick as he never had 
seen ; that is, he would set upon his book a guil- 
der a meal and eight pence a night for his bed, 
and then he should pay whether he would or not. 

The court find, January 14, that Brudeneirs 
books are false and not fit to pass in law, and he 
is to pay twelve guilders for calling a court, else 
execution to follow. 

1659, January 14. — Robert Lloyd, 'having 
spoken imseemly words to the dishonor of God 
and the evil example of others, is fined ten guil- 
ders. 'But having, February 11^ made an 
acknowledgment of his fault, the court hath re- 
mitted the fine om his reformation. 

1659, January :i6. — Daniel Whitehead, when 
he lived at Hempstead, lost linen and other goods, 
and upon' search he found at Richard Brudeneirs 
a brass candlestick 'and one small striped linen 
carpet and one table napkin which he doth judge 
to be his own. IWhereas Brudenell would not 
enter into recognizance and utterly refused the 
favor of the court, he is condemned to restore 
fourfold — that is, twenty-eight shillings sterling 
— else 'execution to follow in fourteen days. He 
appeals to the e^overnor, and the answer in Dutch 
may be seen im the Hempstead court minutes. 

1659, May I. — Robert Jackson contra Rich- 
ard Lattin — action of the case, defamation to the 
value of iioo sterling damages. Jackson in his 



declaration says that, having occasions of ac- 
count with Lattin, upon some debate he gave him 
very bad language tendimg to his defamation and 
scandal, and amongst other evil words called him 
a rascal. The court, June 5, sentences him to 
forty guilders fint, or corporal punishment, un- 
less he submissively acknowledges, in presence 
of the court, that he hath wronged Mr. Jackson, 
and is sorry for it. 

1659, May I. — Robert Williams sent to the 
mill of Hempstead six bushels of good Indian 
corn and delivered it into the keeping of Will- 
iam, son of Peter Cornelissen, to be ground. He 
received two bushels, but the rest of the meal 
lay on the mill-bed and had been spoiled by the 
rain beating upon it, and was grown sour and not 
fit for man's food. When Williams demanded 
satisfaction Cornelissen refused, and said he had 
carried corn himself to Manhattan's mill and it 
took damage and he could get no recompense. 
He then desired Cornelissen to put out the meal 
and give him the sack, but he told him he would 
not meddle with it. The court adjudged Cor- 
nelissen to make good the damage done unto 
the sack and meal by giving him good meal, and 
in case they can not agree, then to stand at the 
judgment of two indifferent men ; and Cornelis- 
sen is to pay court charges and give satisfaction 
within fourteen days, or before he depart the 
town, else execution to follow, 

1659, June II. — It is ordered that all wills 
proved in this court at Hempstead shall pay six 
guilders unto the use of the court, and the clerk 
and marshal's fee. 

1658, September 2. — Among other items in 
the will of [Nicholas Tanner is that "a beast shall 
be sold to buy some linen to bury me in, and 
also a Siheet and other things that shall be need- 
ful, and the white-faced cow killed at my burial 
and given to the neighbors." 

1659, Noivember. — Richard Lamson put out 
a cow to Joseph Schott to winter. He removed 
that winter from Hempstead, and the cow was 
to be returned next spring to Samuel Clark, his 
agent, but Schott refused, though Clark tendered 
security. Schott says the cow proved unsound in 
her bag, and the .spring following, being farrow, 
he put her down to the common pasture to feed, 
and in the fall sold her to D. Whitehead. Her 
calf he maintained till it came to be a cow, and 
she had. one calf, and another w'hich was de- 
stroyed by wolves. The cow, being well so far 
forth as he knew, was found dead one morning, 
leaving a calf. The court order Schott to pay 
for the cow £6. 10, and 20s for one soinimer's 
milk, with one guilder on the pound interest upon 

interest for eight years, and costs, and los for 
the plaintiff's charges for this journey. Schott 
(ultimo January, ,1659) makes a tender of goods 
to the valuation of the aforesaid sum, to be pub- 
licly solid at outcry by the marshal, and engages 
to save him harmless. Primo February Schott' s- 
barn and appurten'ance, with his home-lot (three 
acres), is sold to George Hewlet for £5.4 in pres- 
ent passable pay, I, Thomas Skidmore (May 6, 
1659), have received £15.9.6 in full satisfaction 
of the above .sentence, in behalf of Edward Hig- 
bie of Huntington. 

1660, January 21. — John Smith, .Jr., sues 
Thomas Ellison in an. action for trespass, for that 
he did ride bis mare double, contrary to his 
knowledge, and his mare was lamed to his dam- 
age 40s. Ellison answers that he was at John 
Carman's door, and at his wife Hannah's request 
did ride before her to Oyster Bay, on Saturday, 
and on the Lord's day kept the mare there and 
on Monday rode her back and delivered her to 
John Carman. The court doth condemn the 
plaintiff in all the court charges, to be paid with- 
in fourteen days, else execution to follow. 

At a later day was put into effect a criminal 
code — "the Duke's Laws," so called because pro- 
mulgated by the Duke of York— copied in large 
part from those in force in England. Eleven 
crimes were enumerated for which the pre- 
scribed penalty was death, these including false 
witness, forgery, arson, denying the authority of 
the King, and against children for smiting a 
parent, but it is proper to note that in England 
the criminal offenses thus punishable were of 
greater number. Punishments savoring, of the 
inquisition were provided for less heinous of- 
fenses. However, the cases in which the sever- 
est penalties were imposed were but few. Few 
persons were placed in the stocks or whipped, 
and the records do not reveal any instances of 
branding, tongue boring or ears cut off. When 
the people came to enact their own laws, in as- 
semblies composed of representatives chosen 
from among themselves, the bloody code was 
abrogated and replaced with one much more 

The Duke's Laws also provided for a military 
establishment, and the regulations were minute 
and elaborate. "Every male over sixteen years 
of age and under sixty years was to provide 


himself with one good serviceable gun fit for 
present service, a powder horn, a worm, a prime 
rod wire, one pound of powder, seven pounds of 
pistol bullets, 20 ibullets fitted to the gun, four 
fathoms of serviceable match for a match-lock 
gun, and four good flinte fitted for a fire-lock 
gun." On forming military companies, the con- 
staible and overseers S'ent to the governor the 
names for captains, lieutenants and ensigns, and 
he appointed them unless objectionable. There 


were 60 m'en in a full company. The captain every 
three months or oftener examined the arms ; if 
these were not up to the 'standard required, the 
delinquents were feed 40 :&hillings, and if the 
fine was not paid they might be put in the stocks. 

There were four training days a year for the 
town and one general training for the "riding," 
■occupying three days ; and once in two years 
there was a general muster and training of all 
the soldiers in the colony, at a time and place 
appointed by the governor. Fines were imposed 
on those who failed to attend or were disobedient 
or 'disorderly. For sleeping on the watch the fine 
was iS- 

A troop of horse consisted of 50 "troopes," 
with a captain, lieutenant, cornet, quartermaster 

and three corporals ; each was required to have 
"one horse, saddle, bridle, holsters, pistols or 
carbine, and a good sword ;" it was a is offense 
for a trooper to sell his horse without leave of 
his captain. 

Under the colonial government the people 
had their holidays, made for them by the British 
Parliament or by royal proclamation, and these 
were invariably to convey some lesson of loyalty 
to the crown. Thus, the principal holidays were : 
November ist, to give thanks for deliverance 
from the gunpowder plot of Guy Fawkes, who 
sought to destroy Parliament; January 30th, a 
day of fasting and prayer in commemoration of 
the barbarous murder of Charles I, whereby to 
divert God's judgment from falling on the whole 
nation ; May 29th, a day of thanksgiving for the 
restoration of Charles II, and the birthday of the 
King. 'It is not to be supposed, in the condition 
of the temper of the people, that they entered 
into these observances with any heartiness, but 
all persons were required to abstain from labor 
(except the minister, who was commanded to 
preach), and they devoted the time to the sports 
then prevalent. 

The "training day'' 'had a pernicious influ- 
ence, and, at a later day, the tavern and the fair 
afforded occasion and excuse for such conduct 
by those lewd fellows of the baser sort who 
by and by crept in, as was viewed with reproba- 
tion iby the orderly portion of the community. 

So early as in 1683 there is record of fairs. 
Three years later they were authorized by the 
legislative assembly, and were permitted for 
three days in each of the months of May and 
October. These were intended for the purpose 
of affording farmers an opportunity of meet- 
ing for the exdiange of products, mostly domes- 
tic animals, in imitation of the old Englisih coun- 
try fashion. Property oi all descriptions could 
be sold freely, without payment of license. These 
fairs were made more of a social affair, how- 
ever, and revelry and mirth prevailed. Horse 
racing, running, jumping, wrestling and pitching 
quoits were the sports engaged in. The "fakir" 
of his day was always present, and inveigled the 
innocent countrymen into games with which they 



were unacquainted, and in wliich they were only 
successful in parting with their money. Drink- 
ing was common on such occasions, and at times 
there were serious personal affrays in settlement 
of old quarrels or out of grievances at the mo- 
ment. Law was practically abrogated during the 
fair, all persons being privileged from arrest, 
except for offenses committed against the crown 
or for flagrant crime on the spot. Court days 
were regarded as holidays, and the same sports 
were indulged in as at fairs. 

Again, the exct;&ses beginning in the later 
colonial days and e::tending far beyond the close 
of the Revolutionary war, are traceable in large 
degree to the tavern. Taverns were established 
to meet the wants of travelers, to provide them 
with food and lodging. According to the cus- 
tom of the timesi, ardent spirits were dispensed 
on call, but the tavern was by no oneans in- 
tended to be a mere tippling place. Always on 
an important line of travel, it was m many cases 
a terminal or relay point for travelers, and its 
customers were therefore numerous. It also 
gained, in the absence of. public buildings, cer- 
tain prestige as the place of assembly for courts 
and local boards of officers, and for the holding 
of elections. It sheltered from time to time the 
highest dignitaries and most emment men in the 
land — Governors, Judges, lawyers and clergy- 
men. These were the newsbeai'ers and oracles 
of the day, and their presence attracted the prin- 
cipal men of the neighborhood, who gathered 
to listen to their utterances, and to enter into 
discussion upon events present and impending. 
The tavern keeper, by reason of his more inti- 
mate acquaintance with his distinguished guests, 
to whose comfort he ministered with scrupulous 
care and much tact, was a man of commanding 
importance in the neighborhood, and the ex- 
ample which he set in liis personal conduct 
found many ready imitators. 

But the few brawlers and wrongdoers were 
not the makers of the conmiunity. They would 
occasionally mar its peace and blemish its good 
name, but they could not materially affect its 
morals. From the beginning, religion had a 
first claim upon the attention of the people. Of 

the old meeting-house itself, it is to be said that, 
according to a neighborhood tradition, it was pri- 
marily built for town purposes. It passed into 
decay, but the spiritual light kindled within its 
walls survived its fall, to illuminate other neigh- 
borhoods and other generations of worshippers. 
Prom what we know of the beginnings of a 
church in- a new settlement, it would appear that 
the early meeting-house was what would be 
now called a Union Church, such as many Long 
Islanders yet living have aided in establishing 
in the western States — a church wherein people 
of all denominations assembled for wor&hip, min- 
istered to by clergymen of various denomina- 
tions, until, as the community increased, there 
came to be a sufficient number of a particular 
faith to separate from their fellows and set up 
a church society of their own. 

And here it is appropriate to note that as 
early as 1662 a Day of Thanksgiving was pro- 
claimed, and this by Peter Stuyvesant, the last of 
the Dutch Governors, 'and was appointed for the 
mid-winter, whereas in the New England col- 
onies the time designated was in the fall, after 
the harvests had been gathered. This paper is 
"SO richly appropriate in sentiment and verbiage 
that it is well worth preserving: 

"Honest Dear Commons. Notwithstand- 
ing the Great God and Righteous Judge, has in 
the past year, on account of our sins (among 
which not the least are our ingratitude for re- 
ceived favors, blessings and protection; against 
foreign and domestic enemies) severely visited 
this province in general and many inhabitants 
in particular, with dire pestilences and unheard 
of fevers, diseases and afflictions in some places^ 
with unexpected rains and floods in isummer, by 
which the crops were destroyed, in others with 
too much drouth and heat of the sun through 
which the products of the fields were scorched 
and well nigh ruined ; besides which other visita- 
tions, if not punishments ; still as a ]\Ierciful and 
gracious Father he has thoug'hts of commisera- 
tion for ii^s in the midst of his Righteous Judg- 
ments, by blessing this province in general and 
many inhabitants in particular with great favor 
^.nd benefaction, not the least among which are 
the turning aside and cure of the above named 
strange diseases and fevers, the continuance and 
needed rest and peace in the mia-st of many 



enemies, and notwithstanding so many rumors 
of wars, disturbances, trials (or straits) and 
again in clemency cheering other places with an 
abundant and satisfactory harvest, and what is 
to be appreciated a'bove all, the maintenance 
among us of pure religion and the practical en- 
joym.ent of the bright and undimmied light of 
the Gospel upon our candlestick, w'hich light in 
many places has often been dimmed through per- 
secution or darkened through human inventions. 

"These and many more favors and blessings 
and benefactions, ought not only to make us feel 
thankful, but the blending of them with his pa- 
ternal chastisements, if not iDunishments, should 
lead us to observance in order to keep the first 
named through thankful prayer, and to turn the 
last named awa} from us throug*h genuine hu- 
mility and patience. 

"The Director General and Council have 
therefore thoue^ht it necessary to plan and appoint 
a day of general thanksgiving, fasting and pray- 
er, which shall be generally 'done within the 
province, on Wednesday, being the 15th day of 

"Wherefore all inhabitants of this province, 
officers as well as subjects;, are ordered to appear 
on the appointed day, in the churches or in such 
places where it is customary to preach the word 
of God to call w^ith fervent and contrite hearts 
most earnestly upon the Lord's name to pray 
and to beseech H;im that it may please His Di- 
vine Majesty to turn aside and to stop His just 
plagues and well deserved punishments, to con- 
tinue among us peace and peaceful relations with 
our neighbors, take this only a just developing 
province under his 'paternal protection, and 
carry her through all danger to bless his field 
with crops, with early and late rains, and above 
all to make the knowledge and fear of his name 
grow and increase amiong us, and to make us hate 
our own sins. 

''The Director General and Council in order 
to make the observance more general, forbid, on 
the forementioned day of fasting and prayer, all 
games of tennis and ball, fishing, navigating, 
rowing, plowing or sowing, besides all unlawful 
games, as playing at dice and drinking, under 
penalty as heretofore threatened against them. 

''We also request the ministers of the Di- 
vine Word within this province, to arrange their 
sermons and prayers so as to befit the occasion. 
"This given and done in the mieeting of the 
Director General and Council, holden at Fort 

Amsterdam in New Netherlands, January 26, 

P. Stuyvesant, 
''By the Director General and Council of New 

"C. VanRuyoen_, Secretary'' 


It is to be regretted that we have no record 
of the manner of observance of this early 
Thanksgiving Day, but it is to be presumed that^ 
on account of the wide dispersion of the early 
colonists, and the difficulty of transmitting in- 
telligence, the day received little if any recog- 
nition in the interior of Long Island. 

The early church building was of the utmost 
plainness, for the people were plain in them- 
selves and in all about them, and there was no 
market to provide luxuries and adornments. 
The plain board or shingle sides were destitute 
of paint, inside and out, and it was long be- 
fore there was either fireplace or stove. The 
pulpit stood (high up, and in front of it was a 
low platform whereon were seated the deacons. 
The worshippers came well prepared for their 
religious duties. With them the Sabbath was 
already v/ell begun. The women devoted Sat- 



urday to cooking food for that sacred day where- 
on no avoidable labor was to be performed, 
and Saturday night had been given to religious 
meditation. At such sm hour, too, some mem- 
ber of the family would read a chapter or two 
from the Scriptures, or from one of those vol- 
umes treasured in nearly every Presbyterian 
home — often the entire family library — Bun- 
yan's "Pilgrim's Progress," 'Baxter's "Saints' 
Everlasting Rest," Young's "Night Thoughts," 
or Dodridge's "Rise and Progress of Religion in 
the Soul." 

The Sabbath church service began with a 
solemn prayer which continued for a quarter 
of an hour or more, and after this a chapter of 
the Bible was read and expounded. The sing- 
ing was most impressive. Only the Psalm-s 
w^ere used — it was before the days of hymns — 
and these according to the quaint version of 
Roulse, of which the following (Psalm xxii) is a 
beautiful exampile: 

''The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want, 
He makes me down to lie 
In pastures green; he leadeth me 
The quiet waters by. 

"My soul he doth restore again, 
And me to walk doth make 
Within the paths of righteousness 
Ev'n for his own name's sake. 

"Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale. 
Yet will I fear none ill; 
For thou art with me, and thy rod 
And staff me comfort still. 

"My table thou has furnished 
In presence of my foes ; 
My head thou dost with oil annoint. 
And my cup overflows. 

"Goodness and mercy all my life 
Shall surely follow me; 
And in God's house for ever more 
My dwelling-place shall be." 

The Psalm was "given out'' by the minister 
or an elder, two lines at a time, although there 
was probably not one in the congregation who 
had it not firmly anchored in the memory. Mu- 
sical instruments were not tolerated — they were 
too suggestive of prelatic worship or of sinful 
amusements — and the Psalms were sung slowly 
and heartily to some dear old tune brought from 

the land of Knox, after the home-country fash- 
ion, as told of by Burns : 

"They chant their artless notes in simple guise. 
They tune their hearts, by far the nobler aim. 

Perhaps "Dundee's" wild, warbling measures rise, 
Or plaintive "Martyrs," worthy of the name, 

Or noble "Elgin" beats the heav'nward flame, 
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays." 

The sermon was usually pronouncedly doc- 
trinal, and was of considerable length, often ex- 
ceeding an hour. In many churches an hour- 
glass stood upon the pulpit, and, on ordinary 
occasions, the preacher was expected to finish 
the "lastly" of his discourse with the running 
out of the sands, but there were instances when 
the glass was turned the second and even the 
third time before the condusion was i^eached. 
If no minister were present, an elder would read 
a discourse from a volume of sermons by some 
noted divine of an earlier day, even so ancient 
a worthy as the martyred Latimer. After the 
sermon, another prayer was offered, and another 
Psalm was sung. On occasion a baptism took 
place, immediately after the regular service, and, 
once each month, the .Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper was administered in connection with the 
service. There was frequently an afternoon 
service, but very seldom was there one at night, 
and not then until the days of sconces and tallow 

But the primitive house of worship has passed 
away, and the old-time Christian ministers and 
laymen have left no descendants of their own 
kind. Each -sect now rears ,such ornate temples 
as its means will permit, and frequently antici- 
pates the future by incurring a great debt in 
its building. In the condtuct of worship only 
the staid Quakers maintain any semblance of the 
original! simplicity, and even they have their 
regular preaching and their Sunday-school. The 
Presbyterians, who so abhorred anything at all 
imitative of what they regarded as Catholicism, 
repeat the Creed, chant the Gloria, read the 
Psalms antiphonally with the minister, and sing 
popular hymns led by a grand organ- and a 
salaried choir. In only a few feeble congrega- 
tions of Covenanters, well back in the remote 



hill regionts, are the old traditions preserved. 
The followers of Wesky vie with their Presby- 
terian brethren in making their service elaborate, 
•even to the introduction of vested choirs, and 
the old-time revival and powerful exhortation 
remain only in story. 

agencies for good has been and is the Long 
Island Bible Society, which was organized Au- 
gust I, 1815, antedating by one year the Amer- 
ican Bible Society, to which it became auxiliary 
September 16, 1817. In October, 1815, the Suf- 
folk County Bible Society was organized, and 


But, to end this little interlude, and to re- 
turn to the old church. The ministers were sup- 
ported by the towns, and "so early as 1678 their 
salaries were from £40 to £70 per annum, with 
the use of a house and a tract of land. In 1677 
complaint was made at Huntington that the 
Quakers disturbed the meetings — a curious 
averment, ocnsidering the quiet disposition of the 
sect thus charged, and the further fact that there 
were but few of them in the neighborhood. Ten 
years before, there were only nine Quakersi reg- 
istered, and only two of these at Huntington. 

The hold which religion has ever had upon 
the people of Long Island is apparent in their 
churches, record of which is to be found in con- 
nection with the narratives concerning the in- 
dividnal villages, and additional evidence is 
found in the annals of various societies organized 
for religious purposes. One of the miost potent 

this was afterward merged into the Long Island 
Bible Society. The latter named body held its 
eighty-sixth annual meeting on November 12, 
1901, at Jamaica, and it was a notable event. On 
that occasion, Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, then 
President of the United States, delivered an 
address, which was thus commented upon by 
"The Bible Society Record:" 

*'The address of President Roosevelt on the 
Bible has attracted the widest attention. The 
demands for it have kept our presses more than 
busy. They come from all classes and conditions 
— the heads of schools ; the ministers of churches ; 
business men ; publishers of periodicals, and many 
individuals. It has reappeared in print in vari- 
ous journals, notably in the British and Foreign 
''Monthly Reporter." The chaplain of a large 
penitentiary asked for enough copies to give each 
prisoner one, feeling sure that it will do much to 
persuade them to read the Scriptures: It has 



been translated into Spanisli in Mexico, and 
will no doubt circulate largely there. "Winged 
words" like these fly through the earth. Who 
can measure their influence for good?" 

At the last meeting of the Society, held at 
Far Rockaway, November ii, 1902, overtures 
were made by the Brooklyn Bible Society, look- 
ing to a consolidation of the two, and a com- 
mittee was appoinJ;ed to take the proposal un- 
der consideration and make report at a future 

The Long Island Bible Society was organized 
in ai time when the region was sparsely popu- 
lated, and its people were widely dispersed. In 
many localities there was no church or minister. 
It was before the day of cheap printing, and 
many families were without \a copy of the sacred 
Scriptures. Philanthropic people made liberal 
contributions for procuring copies in quantity, 
and colporteurs made their journeys through the 
island to supply the destitute. 

That necessity yet exists for a Bible So- 
ciety i9 discernible from reports presented at the 
last meeting of the body to which reference is 
made. During the preceding fiscal year, the de- 
positories at Port Jefferson, Greenport, Lake 
Grove, Northport, Orient, Port Washington, 
Sag Harbor, Shelter Island and Southampton 
had distributed 105 Bibles, 30 Testaments and 
two part volumes, amounting in value to $100.90. 
The liberality with which the Society is sus- 
tained is shown by the report of the treasurer. 
The sum of $1,080 had been donated, this 
amount to be expended in constituting thirty- 
six life members of the American Bible Soci- 
ety. Other receipts, for the direct purposes of 
the local society, ■amounted to $829.74, from the 
following sources : Queens county, $94.34 ; 
Nassau county, $49; Suffolk county, $225.30; 
and East New Yiork Comference, $129. The 
following named were elected officers : 

President, the Rev. Richard S. Campbell, D. 
D., Southampton : vice-president, President The- 
odore Roosevelt, Oyster Bay; Henry P. Hedges, 
Bridgehampton ; the Rev. Corneliua L. Wells, D. 
D., Flatbush; the Rev. William P. Estes, Oyster 

Bay; Daniel H. Buckingham, Port Jefferson; 
the Rev. James S. Chadwick, presiding elder; 
Lewis L. Fos'dick, Jamaica; Jobn S. Havens, 
Patchogue; Joseph S. Osborne, Easthampton ; 
Charles C. Overton, Coney Island ; the 
Rev. James Montgomery, presiding elder; 
corresponding secretary, Minot C. Mor- 
gan, Far Rockawav; recording secretary, 
the Rev. William Jay Peck, M. D., Co- 
rona; treasurer, Nat W. Foster, Riverhead; 
executive committee, the Rev. R. S. Camp- 
bell, D. D., the Rev. C. L. Wells, D. D., the Rev. 
T. S Gardner, -the Rev. J. H. Hdbbs, the Rev. 
W. J. Peck, M. D., the Rev. M. C. Morgan, Nat 
W. Foster, A. H. Beers, B. F. Hallock. 

The following named have been the princi- 
pal officers from the date of organization to the 
present time : 

Presidents. — Adrian Sinderen, Newtown, 
1815-43; Rev. John Goldsmith, D. D., New- 
town, 1843-53; Laurens Reeve, Esq., Jamaica, 
1853-65; Judge John A. Lott, Flatbush, 1865- 
78Vjudge John J. Armstrong, Jamaica, 1878-86; 
Rev. Samuel Whaley, Riverhead, 1886-99; ^^v. 
Richard S. Camj^bell, D. D., Southampton, 1899- 

Corresponding Secretaries. — Rev. David 
Schuyler Bogart, North Hempstead, 1815-23; 
Rev. John V. E. Thorn, Flushing, 1823-25; Rev. 
John Goldsmith, D. D., Newtown, 1825-43 ; Rev. 
Melancthon W. Jacobus, D. D., Brooklyn, 1843- 
51; Rev, Jonathan Greenleaf, D. D., Brooklyn, 
1851-52; Rev. N. Locke, D. D., Hempstead, 
1852-59; Rev. John P. Knox, Newtown, 1859- 
68; Rev. Benjamin F. Stead, Astoria^ 1868-79; 
Rev. Franldin Noble, Hempstead, 1879-80: Rev. 
Cornelius L. Wells,' D. D., Flatbush, 1880-86; 
Rev. W. S. C. Webster. D. D., Islip, 1886-97; 
Rev. E. C. Lawrence, Ph. D., West Ham.pton 
Beach, 1897-1902; Rev. W. J. Peck, M. D., 
Conona, IQ02 to date. 

Recording Secretaries. — Rev. Jacob Schoon- 
makcr, D. D., Jamaica, 1815-24; Rev. Thomas 
AI. Strong, D. D., Flatbush, 1824-28; Rev Elias 
W. Crane, Jamaica, 1828-35; Rev. Ichabod S. 
Spencer, D. D., Brooklyn, T835-36; Rev. George 
A. Shekon; Newtown, 1836-64; Rev. William H. 
Moore, D. D., Hemipstead, 1864-68; Gilbert 
Sayres, Esq., Jamaica, t868-8i ; Rev. Arthur H. 
Allen, Islip, 1881-85; l^ev. W. S. C. Webster, 
Islip, 1885-86; Rev. W. Jay Peck, M. D., Corona, 
1886-1902; Rev. M. C. Morgan, '1902 to date. 

Treasurers. — John Titus, Esq., Flushing, 



1815-20; Van Wyck Wicks, Esq., Jamaica, 
1820-36; Hiosea Webster, Esq., Brooklyn, 1836- 
52; Henry Onderdonk, Jr., Jamaica, 1852-80; 
Lewis L. Fosdick, Esq., Jamaica, 1880-88; Nat. 
W. Foster^ Esq., Riverhead, 1888 to date. 

Information concerning educational condi- 
tions during 'the early colonial times is exceed- 
ingly meager, but we do know that there was 
a vast difference between the school then and its 
modern successor. In the former, moral and 
religious training were the most important fea- 
tures, while in our day secular instruction takes 
precedence over all else. 

In the early days, the teacher was not ex- 
pected to teach other than the most rudimentary 
branches. He was usually paid in greater part 
in farm produce, and sometimes in wampum. 
As late as 1763, in Hempstead, his compensation 
was £25 and board the year, the school contin- 
uing throughout the year, albeit few if any 
scholars attended from beginning to end, com- 
ing in and going out as circumstances would 
permit. The teacher collected his stipend from 
the people, as a rate bill. The boy scholars were 
obliged to cut wood and build the fires, while 
the girls swept the floor and kept the room in 

But there was another school between that of 
the very long ago and that of the present, which 
was almost as primitive, and it existed within 
the memory of the writer of these pages, and 
it was in one such that he made his beginning in 
education. The picture will be readily recog- 
nized by many who will peruse this narrative. 

The school house was a log building with 
two windows. A great fireplace, wide enough 
to take in a cordstick, occupied one-half the 
width of the room. The seats were rough planks 
supported by legs let into auger holes at either 
end, and without backs. At the sides of the 
building were rough planks resting upon punch- 
eons, and at these stood the pupils over un- 
ruled copy books, laboriously tracing with a 
goose-quill pen the copy set by the master — 
capitals and small letters, and then such allitera- 
tive sentences ,as "Many Men of Many Minds," 
It was before the days of ''Readers,** too, and 

two or three generations learned to read and 
spell from the Bible. If the master was an ami- 
able creature, he would turn the children to the 
plain short word passages in the Gospels. If he 
was irascible and domineering, he would "give 
out" a chapter in the pentateuch, and his gorge 
would increasingly rise as the .frightened young- 
sters stumbled over the unpronounceable names 
in the old genealogies. But the youth thus 
taught became admirable readers, and the pul- 
piteer or rostrum speaker who was taught in 
such fashion had no difficulty in being clearly 
understood by his readers. Indeed, were there 
no other reason to cling to the Bible, it were 
valuajble before all other books for its splendid 
influence in the formation of a clear and con- 
cise use of the English language, whether in ut- 
terance or in writing. 

Aside from' the Bible there was no uni- 
formity of text-books in those early schools, each 
scholar bringing such as the family closet would 
afford, and, as a consequence, there were rarely 
two alike. Those were the palmy times of the 
"Three R's" — "readin,' *ritin' and 'rithmetic." 
He was accounted something of a mathematician 
who was ready in vulgar fractions, tare and 
tret, and the double rule of three. If perchance 
one had a grammar, or a geography, he was 
viewed by his less favored fellows as one whose 
learning would enable him to make a great mark 
in the world. And the learned despot who 
ruled in this hall of learning! The typical 
schoolmaster of the period was a Scotchman or 
Irishman, who wrote a clerkly hand and had 
some knowledge oi the classics. His post of ob- 
siervation was in the chimney corner, where he 
sat enjoying a pipe, and apparently immersed 
in a book, but not so abstracted but that he 
noted any inattention to study or disposition to 
horseplay, which brought from him a sharp 
"draw near," and a volley of blows from his 
convenient birch (almost a cudgel) when the 
head or shoulders of the offender were within 
reach. Similar punishment attended a failure 
in a lesson, and it was a lucky lad who worried 
through a day without a castigation more or less 



Tender-hearted, after all, in a fashion, was 
this old-time schoolmaster, and in later years, 
when old and infirm, he would drag himself to 
the office or home of him who had been his 
scholar, whom' he regarded with almost paternal 
affection, and whose punishing, he firmly be- 
lieved, was the chief instrumentality in form- 

and the yet later practice of granting subsidies to 
induce their establishment. The blacksmith was 
so useful in his calling that he became a man 
of influence in the community. In Brookhaven, 
on December lo, 1686, the townsmen voted "that 
Cristofer Swaine be admitted and incouraged 
as a smith for this town, and that a shop shall 


ing his character, and providing him with that 
mental equipment which enabled him to take 
an honorable and useful position among men. 
But reminiscence may not have too free a 
rein, and we would drop the subject, referring 
the reader to the general educational chapter in 
the previous volume and to the various town 
histories to follow. 

The people of the primitive towns gave 
hearty welcome to the mechanic, anticipating, in 
a way, the doctrine of fostering infant industries 
as taught by Henry Clay in a much later dav, 

This old-time blacksmith was, perforce, a busy 
man.. Every nail driven in every board must 
be built for ye 'sd Cristofer about May next." 
needs be hammered out aeparately upon his anvil. 
He made every horse-shoe, and every nail which 
bound it to the hoof of the animal. The shoe- 
maker was almost as necessary. He usually took 
his kit 'of tools, and went from house to housse, 
staying at each' so long as was necessary to 
make shoes for the entire family. The weaver 
was another useful man, although many families 
did their own weaving. For a time the settlers 
were obliged to send their grain across the 



Sound over into Connecticut to be ground. Sub- 
sequently mills were established in all the towns, 
usually through aasistance rendered by the peo- 
ple. Thus, in Brookhaven, on October lo, 1664, 
eighteen of the principal inhabitants agreed that 
if one Lane would build a substantial mill and 
keep it in repair for the grinding of the town's 
corn, they would erect a strong dam, and also 
pay him twenty shillings a lot for the proprietary 
rights which they represented. Further, he was 
to have absolute possession of the mill and dam, 
and was to have a tollage of two quarts in every 
bushel of English grain, and a pint in every 
bushel of Indian corn. The importance of the 
mill is seen in the fact that at one time the 
miller was notified by the authorities that unless 
he put his mill in good and sufficient repair with- 
in six months, the privilege of the water power 
would be sold at public sale. 

The simple and industrious habits of the 
people, and their predilection for farming pur- 
suits, is evidenced in the annals of all the town- 
ships. The following agreemenc made at Oyster 
Bay, January 20, 1670, well exemplifies the fact : 

"This is an agreement made between me and 
Thomas Youngs jr. and Richard Youngs, his 
brother. First they are to have the free use of 
my team, cart and plow, with the iron chains, 
with all tilings thereto belonging ; and they are 
to stub and break up and manure all the land now 
within fence that is fit for it ; and t^ey are to look 
well and carefully after all my creatures; and 
they are to have for their team and plow two- 
thirds of the increase of all the land manured 
that I own there. And they are to liave two- 
thirds O'f the fruit, and I reserve one of 
two barrels for John Youngs and so every 
}'ear folloAving as they enjoy it. Then for 
the sheep ; there are thirty, and they arc 
to deliver thirty pounds of wool per year, 
that is one pound for one sheep; and there are 
nine lamljs, and at the end of three years and a 
half they are to deliver me thirty sheep and nine 
lambs. Xow for the cattle; we are to have 
half the milk and one-third of the increase, and 
they two-thirds, and they are to find or provide 
me a beast to ride on when I please ; and they 
are to provide me wood to burn, what is needful. 
Four cows, one two-year-old heifer, one two- 
year-old bull, four yearlings. And the principals 

engage to me to make good at the term and time 
of three }'ears and a half of all these creatures; 
they do also engage to sow so many acres of 
wheat and rye on the gro'und as there is now, 
at the end of three years and a half, and to leave 
all my goods and carts and plows, and them with 
all things ebe that they receive of me, as good 
as they are now (two broad chisels, two narrow, 
chisels, one saw, two adze, compasses, one inch- 
and-a-'half auger, three lesser augers -and bung- 
borer, one pruner bit, one mattock, two forks, 
three pair of new traces and one old pair, two 
new collars, two old collars, one pair of cart 
traces with iron hooks, with a new collar, one 
cross-cut saw, one new file, a beetle, three wedg- 
es, one saw-set, two great clevises with bolts, two 
lesser clevises with the bolts). And they are to 
tan my hides for one-third. And they are to 
leave all my farm and tools in as good order and 
repair as they are now, with all things else, with 
six bushels of oats, two bushels and half peas, 
twoibushels of barley, one bushel and half of flax- 

"As witness our hand and seal the manner as 

Thomas Youngs^ Senior."' 

And Gaine's Mercury thus throws light on 
the state o'f agriculture: "December 18, 1768, 
the Xew York Society for Promoting Arts ad- 
judged a premium of iio to Thomas Youngs, 
of Oyster Bay, for the largest nursery of apple 
trees. It contains twenty-seven thousand one 
hundred and twenty-three trees." 

The old families of those da^^s were certainly 
healthy, thrifty, moral men and women, who 
made the very best of citizens. Brought up to. 
consider ^hard work honorable, and an honest 
name their best inheritance, they labored per- 
severingl}', lived frugally,- and prospered by pru- 
dence. Their well-tilled farms afforded them 
d good living, and in most instances a small 
yearly income besides. This little surplus, by 
careful saving, made many of them rich, and" 
placerl nearly all in comfortable circumstances. 
The representatives of these old families cling 
affectionately to the ancestral acres; and it is not 
unusual to find a lineal descendant of the first 
settler of the name still residing on the old 
homestead, which in several instances is held by 
a deed running back to the first settlem|ent of 



the country and attested by the curious signs of 
the Indian chiefs. 

The interior of Long Island, too, has had 
many representatives in the great cities and other 
busy marts of commerce and industry, as the 
farmers have been in the habit of encouraging- 
some of their sons to fifthemselves for business 
pursuits. Some of tlie mos't respected and 
wealthy merchants in New York, both at pres- 
ent and in times past, were there born and 
were the sons of farmers. These merchants, with 
scarcely an exception, when they acquired a com- 
petence, themselves returned -or sent their sons 
to occupy and improve some part of the home 
farm, thus demonstrating that inherited love of 
the freedom and independence of a country life 
survives amid the cares of business and the lux- 
uries of the city. 

The conditions of the colonists may be dis- 
cerned in some degree from the tables of prop- 
erty values as returned for taxation — ^these show- 
ing, at least, of what they were possessed. The 
principal occupation was farming, and the prod- 
ucts were mainly corn and cattle. Under the 
administration of Governor Andros the taxes 
levied for the support oif the government in New 
York were only a penny in the pound sterling, 
but. the valuations were excessive : Improved 
land, £i fhe acre; oxen, £6 per head; cows, ac- 
cording to age, tO' £$; horses, £3 to £12; 
hogs, £1 tper head; goats-, 8 shillings, and sheep 
6 shillings eight pence. Remonstrance was 
made as to horses, and the values were reduced 
to about one-third, and the complaint was yet 
made that this was heyond the real market value. 
In addition, an assessment of £18 was made as 
a poll tax — probably upon each adult male. The 
improved and meadow lands were returned as 
5,867 acres, and the animals 'owned were 4,297 
cattle, 896 horses, 2,030 hogs, 1,262 sheep, and 
a few gO'ats. In 1675 the assessment of the vari- 
ous towns of Suffolk county was: Southamp- 
ton, £13,667; Southold, £10,195 los. ; East- 
ham'pton, £6,842 i6s 8d; Huntington, £6,339 ^I'^d 
Brookhaven, £3,065 i6s 8d. At the rate oi one 
penny to the pound, the aggregate annual tax 
paid to the Governor and his New York estab- 

lishment was about £170. Shortly afterward, 
negro slaves were listed, and they were valued at 
from £30 to £35. 

Such people as these we have feebly por- 
trayed — the founders of the town meeting, of the 
primitive school and of tlie church without char- 
ter save their own act of creation — were the 
settlers throughout the region now known as the 
counties of Nassau and Suffolk. Mighty build- 
ers were they, building 'far better than they 
knew, for their works have followed them 
through the centuries and yet endure in cumula- 
tive influence and results. 

No colonies coming out of England ever 
had more auspicious beginning than those found- 
ed uipon Long Island, nor did ever colonists dis- 
play more masterly ability for self-government. 
But these salutary conditions were not to long 
endure. Royal 'governors 'began petty intermcd- 
dlings, interfering with the local authorities in 
their conduct of the affairs of their little towns, 
placing restrictions upon ministers and upon 
congregations who practiced their religion in 
what tlie great little Poobah at New Amster- 
dam was pleased to deem a heterodox manner, 
and imposing annoying taxes, as for marriage 
licenses. And this impolitic intermeddlement led 
to events most remarkable as viewed from an 
after day. Elsewhere this volume narrates the 
results in New York. But there was a more 
remarkable result, all things considered, to come 
out of the exodus' of Long Islanders to Nova 
Csesarea, or New Jersey. True, these English- 
men who had come voluntary expatriates from 
their native land, to New England, to again be- 
come wanderers and searchers- out for a new- 
home, were not of the Nassau-Suffo-lk region 
which we have been considering. But they were 
fellow-countrymen, and they had come to Amer- 
ica with the same purposes and the same ends 
in view. They were, under then existing condi- 
tions, neighbors with those who remained on 
Long Island, and their efforts in the establish- 
ment of civil institutions had been along the 
same lineis. And it was their destiny to work 
to the same ends, though in different fields. 



In 1663 a number of Long Islanders formed 
a company for the exploration and occupation 
of the unknown region lying south of New 
York Bay — Nova Csesarea, or New Jersey. 
Their names are as worthy of preservation in the 
history of New York ai& in that of New Jersey, 
where they are revered and will be for all time 
to come. They were John Bowne, Gerrard 
Bowne, Jam-es Bowne, William Bowne, William 
Compton, John Conklin (earlier from Salem, 
Massachusetts), Thomas Cox, Richard Gibbons, 
William Goulding, James Grover, James Grover, 
Jr., William Lawrence, Bartholomew Lippen- 
cott, Richard Lippenoott, Richard Moor, Thomas 
Moor, John Ruckman, Nathaniel Sylvester, Ben- 
jamin Spicer, Samuel Spicer, John Stout, Rich- 
ard Stout, John Tilton, Peter Tilton-, Nathaniel 
Tompkins, John Townlsend, John Wall, Walter 
W^all, Thomas Wansick and Thomas Whitlock. 
Not all of these became actual residents in the 
new land, but many of them did. They were 
such men as we have portrayed on a preceding 
page — Godly men^, men who had demonstrated 
their ability to govern themselves in model com- 
munities of their own e'S'tablishment, and among 
them were those who had been the victims of 
religious persecution, more or less bitter in de- 
gree, and some of these are to be named. They 
were mostly from' Gravesend, but they were of 
the same class as we have heretofore portrayed. 
John Tilton, when he first came from, Eng- 
land, located at Lynn, Massachusetts. His 
wife was a Baptist, and in December, 1642, she 
was indicted for ''holdinge that the Baptism of 
Infants' is no Ordinance of God." They left 
Massachusetts with Lady Deborah Moody and 
other Anabaptists and settled at Gravesend, Long 
Island, where again they were m^ade to suffer. 
In 1658 Tilton was fined by the Dutch authori- 
ties for allowing a Quaker woman to stop at his 
house. In September, 1662, he was fined for 
"permitting Quakers to quake at his house." In 
October of the same year himself and wife were 
summoned before Governor Stuyvesant and 
Council, charged with having entertained Quak- 
ers and frequently attended their conventicles, 
and they were ordered to leave the province un- 

der pain of corporal punishment. They were 
among the Jersey settlers of 1665. 

Samuel Spicer had resided at Gravesend, 
Long Island. He was a member of the Society 
of Friends, and had been severely dealt with by 
Governor Stuyvesant for nonconformity to the 
established religion. 

Richard Stout was head of one of the first 
five families who settled on the Indian purchase 
in Jersey in 1664. He had previously lived a 
number of years on Long Island. 

There were others, but the royal man and 
leader of them all was John Bowne, who sailed 
from Gravesend, Long Island, in December, 
1663, and wa'S' a leader in the first purchase 
from' Indians in Monmouth county. New Jersey, 
and his was one of the first five families which 
made a permanent settlement on the tract. He 
was the most important citizen of the county, 
esteemed for his integrity and ability. He was 
a deputy to the first Assembly in Governor 
Carteret's time, which met May 26, 1668, the 
members of the Lower House being then called 
"burgesses." He was deputy again in 1675; in 
the first legislature under the twenty-four pro- 
prietors ; in 1683, he was a member and the 
Speaker, and be acted until the December fol- 
lowing. He held other position's of trust. 
March 12, 1677, a co^mmission was issued to him 
as president of the court to^ hold a term at Mid- 
dletown. In December, 1683, shortly after his 
last illness, he was appointed major of the militia 
of ^Monmouth county. He was the first minister 
in that count}^ but who can say of what sect 
was he, or what his creed, after reading his 
"woiids of a'dvice or councell to his children as he 
lay on his death bed," January 3, 1683-4: 

"There is no way in the rwhole world for a 
man to obtain felicity, in this world or in the 
world to come, but to take heed in. the ways of 
the Lord, and to put his trust in Him, who deals 
faithfully and truly with all men , for He knocks 
at the door of your hearts, and calls you to come 
and buy, without money and without price. 

"My desire is, that in all actions of Meum 
and Teum you deal not deceitfully, but plane 
hearted witla all men, and remember that your 
dying Father left it with yon for your instruc- 


tion, that when trust is with your Honor to pre- 
serve it. And in ail contract^ and bargains that 
you nmke, violate not your promise, and }ou 
will have praise. Let your Mother be your 
Counsellor in all matters of difference, and goe 
not to Lawyers, but ask her councell first. If 
at any time any of you have an advantage of a 
poor man lat law, O pursue it not, but rather for- 
give him' if he hath done you wrongue, and if 
you do so, you will have the help of the Law of 
God and of his people. Give not away tO' youth- 
ful jolities and sports, but improve yonr leisure 
time in the service of God. Let no good man 
be dealt churlishly by you, but entertain when 
they come to your house. But if a vitious, wicked 
man come, give him meat and drink to refresh 
him, and let him pass by your doors. It has been 
many times in my thoughts, that for a man to 
marry a wife and have children, and never take 
any care to instruct them, but leave them worse 
than the Beasts of the Field, that if la man ask 
concerning the things of God, they know not 
what it means. O, this is a very sad thing. But 
if we can season our hearts, so as to desire the 
Lord to assist us, He will help us, and not fly 
from us." 

Such as these were the men who fled froui 
the petty tyrrany exercised by the colonial gov- 
ernors O'f Xew York — who became the settlers 
of South Jersey, and there, on the banks of the 
Shrewsbury river, organized the first townis with 
their town meetings, and there resisted another 
persecution, and were among the first to give 
formal and emphatic utterance to the doctrine 
that those actual colonists abiding upon its soil, 
holding title by honest purchase from the na- 
tives and by compliance with legal requirements, 
were freemen and not serfs. The "Monmouth 
Declaration of Independence'' in v/hich this 
principle was embodied, as was also that of local 
self-government, was of weighty importance in 
the formation of that public opinion which a cen- 
tury later found final and unequivocal expression 
in the Declaration of Independence by all the 
Colonies. Their coming to Long Island, and 
their going thence to Xew Jersey, was the open- 
ing of a new. chapter in the history of civiliza- 
tion as written by the English speaking race — 
that history which began at Runnymede and, in 
cur day, has had continuation under the Amer- 

ican flag in the islands of the isea, a history which 
gives an added significance to the poet's 
thought — 

"For Good i& not a shapely mass of stone, 

Hewn by man's hand and worked by one alone. 

It is a seed God suffers man to sow; 

Others will reap, and when the harvests grow 

He giveth increase through all coming years, 

And lets men reap in joy seed that was sown in tears." 

But what of those who remained on Long 
Island? Theirs were not the opportunities of 
their brethren who 'went to New Jersey. But, 
for the greater number, they acted well their 
parts. They kept alive the spirit of 'self-gov- 
ernment, thoiugh they often submitted to tyr- 
rany. Their geographical position during the 
Revolutionary period placed them in an awkward 
situation in relation to political affairs. But 
they sustained little moral harm — less in some 
respects than did others^ who were ir the immedi- 
ate track of war. Even then., they did not, at 
least, retrograde, and it may be said that their 
progress has steadily and constantly been up- 
ward, each generation showing improvement 
over that which- had' 'preceded it. 

After peace was restored, the churches' re- 
sumed their functions, and the people of this 
war-ridden region turned to the taisk of repair- 
ing their shattered fortunes, setting out upon 
a new career as modest, quiet, God-fearing peo- 
ple, rearing their families in ways of decency, 
and isetting up anew, and upon more solid foun- 
dations, the church and the school — the bulwarks 
of virtue and good order. Hospitable they al- 
ways were, and never, before nor since, so much 
?o as then. The wayfaring man' — he would be 
termed a ''tramp" to-day — was ever welcome, 
and was ever well entertained. If only needy, 
he was fed and lodged for sake of that Dear 
Lord who loves and pities all his children, and 
who said "inasmiKh as ye have done it unto one ■ 
of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done 
it unto me." If he was a man of intelligence, he 
was gladly hailed as a messenger from an outer 
world, and the news which he brought and the 
views which he expressed were listened to with 
respectful attention and interest. 



Social conditions under the colonial estab- 
lishment have already been narrated. The Rev- 
olutionary period was a crucial one for society 
and for civil institutions. The track of the 
British 'soldier and hiis foreign allies was seen 
in wasted fields and the ashes of homesteads, 
and in some homes was an agony worse than 
death. The effect upon the people was in a man- 
ner demoralizing, and some, who under peaceful 
conditions would have lived exemplary lives, 
gave their time tO' idleness and dissipation, bid- 
ding defiance to all moral restraints and respect- 
ing the law but little. Some of these had been 
Continental soldiers, and for them was a certain 
measure of excuse. They were but mere youths 
when they 'set out in a war which engaged them 
for seven long years of untold privation and 
•danger. They had gone to the life of the camp 
and march — demoralizing unider the most favor- 
able conditions — before character was formed, 
and without knowledge of the temptations and 
vicious influences \vhich were to beset them. 
They returned full grown men, to enter intO' a 
world which was new to them, one wherein was 
no home they could call their own, nor occupa- 
tion for which they seemed to be fitted. But 
iS'Uch were the exceptions, and far the greater 
numiber turned readily to the peaceful pursuits 
of life. 

In the times preceding the Revolutionary 
war, nearly all manufactured articles came from 
England, and the cost was such as to deter all 
but a highly favored few from indulging in ar- 
ticles of luxury. Inventories made of goods at 
this time show that in general personal property 
was of the rudest and simplest kind compatible 
with civilized Life. These people, isolated from 
the rest of the world, and destitute of skilled 
artisans, tools, and materials necessary in pro- 
viding ornaments and articles of luxury, were 
compelled to content themselves with rudely con- 
structed household furniture and plain but sub- 
stantial dress. Indeed, they were compelled to 
this 'by the policy of the British government, 
which was avowedly hostile to the idea of permit- 
ting the people of the colonies to be aught else 
than a community of self-expatriates who should 

esteem it a privilege to be permitted to merely 
maintain an animal existence. Even so stanch 
a fniend of America as wa-s W'illiam Pitt frowned 
upon the idea of permitting its people to lessen 
in any degree their servile dependence upon the 
mother country, and declared that they had no 
right to make so much as a horse-shoe nail, but 
should be compelled to purchase all products of 
skilled labor in the British markets ; and, to com- 
pel acquiescence in such doctrine, taxes were 
imposed by Parliament, which were virtually in 
prohibitions of American manufactures. And so, 
as Dr. Epher Whittaker said of the people of 
Southold : ''Within their dwellings they used 
tables, chairs, drawers-, chests, bedsteads, beds, 
bedding, shovels, tongs, andirons, trammels, pot 
hooks, pots, pans, knives, wooden ware, pewter 
ware, especially plates and ;&poons, and some- 
times a little earthen ware, and perhaps a few 
pieces of silver — as a tankard and a cup. But 
stoves, tin ware, plated ware of every kind, china, 
porcelain, queensware and all kinds of fine work 
of the potter's art seem to have been unknown 
among them. So were table cloths, and especial- 
ly table forks. They had no carpets, and few 
had any pictures, watches, musical instruments 
or works of art for the adornment of their homes. 
Tea and coffee were not on their tables.'' 

Shortly after the close of the RevO'lutionary 
war, the Rev. Dr. Timothy Dwight, the leighth 
president of Yale College, one of the most schol- 
arly men and most careful observers of his time, 
made a journey through a large portion of 
Long Island, and said of it that because of its 
insular position "the people muse be always^ nar- 
row and contracted in their views, affections and 
pursuits; that they were destitute of the ad- 
vantages that were calculated to awaken and 
diffuse information and' stimulate energy, and 
that, if such were to spring up here, they would 
emigrate, and that it must continue for an in- 
definite period to be a place where advantages 
that were enjoyed elsewhere would be imperfect- 
ly realized." But even as he wrote, there, was 
dawning a brighter day, giving promise of a 
higher development, yet affording no prophecy 
of what the region was to become, a wonderfullv 



productive garden spot, the abode of a prosper- 
ous and cultured people, and the pleasure ground 
of the American metropolis. 

At the time of Dr. Dwight's coming, the resi- 
dences remained unchanged outwardly, but the 
changes were many within. A carpet covered 
the floor of the best room, if none other; people 
of means purchased an imported article, while 
the poorer cla'sses made their floor coverin'g out 
of woven rags. The family no longer dined in 
the kitchen, but in another room, which was also 
the sitting room. The furniture was simple but 

silks and figured shawls. They usually knitted 
their own stockings and their gloves. Jewelry 
was affected only by the wealthy, excepting the 
wedding ring, without which no woman claiming 
to be married was regarded as respectable. In- 
land travel was principally by horseback, which 
finally gave way to the old-fashioned horse-cart. 
Such multiplication of comforts and luxuries 
excited a keen mental stimulation. By and by 
the weekly newspaper came with its message from 
the outer world, and this created desire for yet 
m^ore knowledge, and the book followed. Social 


substantial, usually home made, of the splendid 
native pine, walnut and cedar, then common 
and cheap, but now scarce and costly. Clothing 
for mei;i had not yet changed in style, but it was 
of better quality and 'frequently of limported 
goods. Boots and shoes were made by the trav- 
eling shoemaker, from home dressed leather. 
The female sex revealed its constant fondness 
for finery. The poorest wore homespun and 
linsey-woolsey, but they had learned to make 
dyes from barks and roots, and their garments 
were of varying hues. Those in better circum- 
stances wore goods of foreign make, linens, and 

gatherings came into vogue, and these soon led 
to the debating society and the singing school. 
The two last named were admirable in an in- 
structional way, and those who 3^et remain with 
us, who were participants in them in their youth- 
ful days, are acustomed to recall them with deep 
pleasure, and to the disparagement of much that 
IS peculiar to the present fair, well-spoken days. 
For many years the only musical instrument in 
the farm or village home was the violin or flute, 
and a fair performer on either was a gladly 
hailed acquisition to any company, and frequent- 
ly in sacred music in such churches as were not 



sternly set against the use of instruments in di- 
vine worship. It was not until about 1850 that 
the seraphine or melodeon became at all familiar, 
and ten years later a piano was a great curiosity 
in many good sized towns. 

In the commundty where a half century ago 
a book was uncommon, is now a well stored li- 
brary. Where were but few isolated instru- 
ments of music is now an orchestra capable of 
performing the music of the great masters. The 
humble cottage has given place to the elegant 
mansion with its luxurious furnishings, and the 

stately temple stands where did the modest plain- 
walled country church. 

But here and there i& an old-time dwelling 
of the long ago, or an old church so far from the 
busy throng that it has not been deemed worthy 
of destruction to make way for one more mod- 
ern. Such are pleasant to look upon, and in 
gazing upon them there come to .us fragrant 
memories and a reverent feeling sometliing akin 
to that "benediction that follows after prayer." 

The constant progression which has led to 
these conditions cannot be more accurately de- 
picted than by presenting the .words of Dr. Whit- 

taker, the writer referred to in the opening sen- 
tences of this chapter, and which are as pertinent 
to Nassau county as they are to Suffolk county, 
of which he more particularly wrote : 

After the greater part of Long Island was 
torn govemmentally from its kindred New Eng- 
land in 1662, the ipeople here were doubly isolat- 
ed. The Sound and the ocean were less of a bar- 
rier than' the repulsive governm,ent and the un- 
cong-enial population of New York. Hence our 
people lived signally within themselves for sev- 
eral generations. The county produced its own 
men and women: — its own 
farmers, mechanics, sailors, 
fishermen, ministers, lawyers, 
doctors. It produced, also, in 
great measure, its own food, 
clothing, utensils, buildings, 
and other supports and re- 
ceived little benefit from the 
great world beyond it. This 
somewhat undesirable but 
thoroughly natural state con- 
tinued until near the middle 
of the century which has just 
ended, h: * * 

Many causes have been 
active to effect the changes al- 
ready indicated. The build- 
ing of the railroad from one 
end of the island to the other 
brought into the county a 
small army of men born on 
the other side of the sea. 
Many of them' saw the fitness 
of the land to reward indus- 
tr}', to afford health and to 
make pleasant living. They 
set up their barriers all along the road, and they 
have' not ceased for half a century to call their 
kindred and countrymen effectively to their 
standard. These and their descendants are now 
an important part and element of our people. 
The railroad has notably fostered a change in the 
agriculture of the county by making quick and 
ready acces:& to the ^best markets for the produce 
of the soil. And this change has summoned a 
multitude of men of alien birth to w^ork the 
ground. The facilities of travel by cats and 
steamers between the great emporium' and our 
beautiful shores and villages, with their ocean 
waters 'and health-giving air, have brought hither 
in ever increasing throngs the summer visitors 
who have profoundly affected our native citizen's 



and rural ways. The opportunities for thrift and 
gain of riches here have also led many other 
classes of persons to build their homes within our 

These enlargements of the life of our coun- 
ty have not turned away our people from agri- 
culture as their chief employment. They are 
well pleased with the ways of Cincinnatus and 
the Master of Mount \>rnon. But they have 
revolutionized the methods of their fathers. 
These gave a large part of their time and 
strength to the work of gathering fertilizers for 
their fields. The seaweed of the ocean, the grass 
of the 'bays, the sedge of the marshes, the fishes 
of the briny deep, and even the leaves of the 
trees were diligently and toilesomely collected to 
be used in giving heart to the land and making it 
yield fruitful harvests. 

The products of the soil in those days were 
little else than grain, potatoes, turnips and hay. 
Step ^by Istep the farmers have had recourse to 
cheni'ically prepared fertilizers and to the raising 
of a wiide range of marketable crops. The vast 
regions of the west and northwest of our coun- 
try have made the cultivation of grain^ on Long 
Island unprofitable. Formerly this land, in 
broad fields, raised wheat and rye and oats. For 
these crops its occupation is gone. 

On the other hand, our nearness and facili- 
ties of access to the great markets in the popu- 
lous cities of New lYork and New England en- 
able O'Ur farmers to raise and sell green crops to 
advantage. Strawberries, cranberries, cabbage, 
cauliflower, and kindred vegetables, as well as 
various fruits, have come to be a prominent part 

of the .sources of our support and wealth. Li- 
crease of this kind of industry and profit has 
come from the ever-increasing accession of 
sammier guests and cottages and from the 
multiplication of factories for canning fruits 
and vegetables in the neighborhood of their 

All of this transformation has been animated 
and fostered by the beginning which invention 
has made in the creation of manifold and effec- 
tive agricultural implements. The farmer of 
fifty years ago, if he should now return to us, 
would not know the names of half the tools and 
utensils that his son now employs. He could not 
name a monkey wrench; and the boys of to-day 
will hereafter use more implements of future 
invention than all that now exist. The weeder, 
the mower, the tedder, the reaper, the binder, the 
thresher, the sifter, the planter, the 
drill, the digger, and others, separate 
or combined, and with or without 
steam' po-wer, have come after the hoe, 
the spade, the plow and the harrow, 
but there are many more to follow 
that have not yet been invented. 
These inventions have already made 
the farmer's life easy 'and pleasant 
in comparison with his toilsomie' days 
and weary nights five decades ago. 
He does not now sling a peck of 
wheat over his shoulder, trudge over 
soft, uneven, plowed ground, and 
scatter the seeds with his ever swing- 
ing and ever increasingly weary arm. 
He pours his grain into a box, mounts 
his seat behind his fine span of horses, 
says to them "go," and the drill does 
the rest. 

The conditions above depicted did not form- 
erly exist as universally as they do at the pres- 
ent time. While the Nassau-Sufi'olk region was 
always famed as an agricultural country, many 
of its people, and particularly those along the 
shores, were adventurous spirits, and were not 
to be restricted to the dull, tame land, but made 
for themselves splendid record as sailors, 
whether in ships of commerce or o'f war, and 
their descendants of a later day emulated their 

An illustration of the character above depict- 
ed is found in' the person of one who is now liv- 
ing a quiet una'ssuming life as sherifif of Nassau 



county — Mr. Jerome B. Johnson — the record of 
whose life is a veritable romance, worthy the pen 
of a Alarryat or Cooper. 

^Ir. Johnson is probable the sole survivor of 
the famous "Foreign Legion/' that band of 
young daredevils which practically put down the 
Taeping rebellion in Cbina in 1859. He was at 
that time -a mere yo'Uth and was attracted to 
China by a longing for adventure. He shipped 
as third mate on a ship bound for Shanghai, and 
on arriving at that port enlisted in the Chinese 
navy and was giveil a commission to raise a com- 
pany b}- the Governor of Shanghai. It is an in- 
teresting document, yellow with age, and reads 
as follows : 

"I, Toutal of Shanghai^ representative of the 
Emperor of China, authorize herewith Jerome 
B. Johnson to form a company, of 100 to 200 
men and to take charge of them to operate against 
Souchow OT any places in that vicinity. I here- 
with give him the 'command of said company 
and he may choose four per cent, of the men as 
officers, according to his choice. .1 hereby com- 
mand also the said J. B. Johnson to pay such men 
the sum of $50 a month, and officers as follows : 
First officer, $90 ; second officer, $80 ; third offi- 
cer, $70 ; fourth officer, 60. All their salaries are 
to he paid at the end of each month, and beside 
he has the power to reward them w^ho distin- 
guish themselves in their imperial cause accord- 
ing to their merits. Provisions will be supplied 
by the commissary, who' has to act according to 
his orders from the said J. B. Johnson. 

"Done this day as the palace.'' 

This company was recruiited from dis- 
charged men and officers of the various foreign 
vessels in port, and many seamen, eager for ad- 

venture, deserted their ships and joined Mr. 
Johnson. The officers of the Foreign Legion- 
were Ward, the intrepid American; an Italian, 
whose name Sheriff Johnson does not remember; 
Ashley, another American, who had charge of 
the commilS'sary, and Sheriff Johnson. The bulk 
of the men were Filipinos, and were armed with 
Sharp's rifles, while the sailors in the company 
rendered themselves invaluable by improvising 
scaling ladders. 

The Taepings, a fierce Chinese tribe, were in 
rebellion, and were gaining strength each day, so 
that the situation was- becoming very serious. 
The first fighting done by SherifL" Johnson's com- 
pany was before the walled city of Sungkiang. 
An attempt was made to scale the walls, but was 
met with a reputse, and the Foreign Legion 
suffered heavily and was forced to retreat to the 
boats and make their way to Hongqua. In this 
engagement Mr. Johnson was wounded six 
times and afterward had a very severe attack of 

After his recovery Mr. Johnson returned to 
this countr}^ and enlisted in the Union navy and 
fought on Admiral Farragut's flag-ship, also par- 
ticipating in the severe fighting around Galves- 
ton, Texas. 

At the close of the Civil War, Mr. John- 
son's thirst for adventure was not satisfied, and 
he isailed for South America and spent several 
years in the Argentine Republic working on the 
large cattle ranches. Tiring at Itist of a 
vaquero's life, the adventurer returned once 
more to his native land and settled down to 
peaceful avocations. 

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 




T is' not to 'be expected that a county 
^^'hich d'a^tes back only three of four years 
affords any fertile field for investigation 
as a political division. The res gestae 
lies in the sitory of the settlement and develop- 
ment of its towns and villages, and this is in part 
contained in the chapter pertaining to Queens 
county and in that i'mmediately preceding this, 
and, for the remainder, will appear in con/nection 
with the annals which are presented on other 
pages to follow. 

Nassau county owes its creation to the move- 
m'cnt which brought about the Greater New 
York. It is to be said, in this connection, that 
the separation was not unattended by conflict of 
ideas and .strenuous opposition in some quarters. 
Many of an older class of people, whose remote 
ancestors were among the first white occupants 
of the region, objected on sentimental grounds. 
Up to the time of the creation of the new county, 
the three Long Island counties of Kings, 
Queens and Suffolk ihad been unaltered in boun- 
daries and extent from their original creation by 
act of the colonial legislature in 1683, save in one 
instance — when, in 1881, Lloyd's Neck was 
transferred from the jurisdiction of Queens 
county to that of Suffolk. On the other hand, 
a potent argument for the separation of 'Nassau 
from Queens was the discontent of many of 
the people of the projected new county, due to 
the previous expenditure of the public funds and 
large bond issues, much after the fashion of a 
new mushroom county out west during the 
''boom''' times. 

The new county of Nassau was constituted 
by act of the legislature, which became operative 
when that act received the signature of Gov- 
ernor Black, April 28, 1898. It became the sixty- 
finst county in the State of New York, and it 
stood, at its creation^ the thirty-finst in order 
of size and wealth. It was made to comprise 
the towns of Oyster Bay, North Hempstead, and 
that part of -Hempstead set o€ as a part of 
Queens county, the latter separation being mark- 
ed by a line extending almost due northwardly 
from Floral Park to the eastern extremity of the 
Far Rockaway Beach, on the Atlantic Ocean. 
The total area of the new county is 320 squai^ 
miles, containing 162,000 acres, including waters 
well enclosed by land, and is sixteen miles^ in 
width from the borough of Queens to the county 
line of Suffolk, and twenty-two miles in length 
from. Long Island Sound to the Atlantic. 

The first officials of Nassau county — ^County 
Judge and Surrogate, District Attorney, Sheriff, 
Treasurer, Clerk and Superintendent of the 
Poor— were elected November 8, 1898, and the 
county commenced business on January 3, 1899, 
when the first Board of Supervisors assembled 
in Mineola, the new county seat, and adopted a 
seal — "a golden lion rampant, between seven 
golden billets, on an azure field." 

In 1903 the civil list of Nassau county was 
as follows : 

State Senator, Luke Keenan; Assemblyman, 
G. Wilbur Doughty ; County Judge, Robert Sea- 
bury ; Sheriff, Jerome B. Johnson ; County Clerk, 



Thomas S. Clieshire; Supervi'sors^ Smith Cox, 
Edwin Willetts and William H. Jones ; County 
' Treasurer, Charks F. Lewis ; District Attorney, 
James P. Nieman; Superintendent of Poor, 
George W. Smith; School Commissioner, James 
S. Cooley. 

Nassau county is in the Second Congres- 
sional District, and is represented by Hon. Town- 
send Scudder, elected in 1902 to succeed Hon. 
Frederick Storms. 

When Nassau county was erected, the 
bonded debt of Queens county was about $14,- 
000,000 and the real estate valuation was a trifle 
more than $83,000,000. The new county of Nas- 
sau entered upon its existence with about twenty- 
three per centum of the population of the old 
county of which it was formerly a part, and with 
a trifle larger percentage of the assessed realty 
valuation. Perhaps the greatest inconvenience 
to the people of Nassau county is the necessity, 
in case of real estate title litig^ation, of searching 
records in Queens as well as in their own county. 

While the county as a political division, as 
has been remarked, has practically no history, 
its townships are among the richest in that re- 
spect on Long Island, and to them we will pres- 
ently return. They are the towns of Oyster Bay, 
North Hempstead and the greater part of Hemp- 
stead. Mineola, the county seat is in North 
Hempstead township, and has a population of 
some Qoo. There are the following villages: 

Oyster Bay, with a population of 2,000 ; Hemp- 
stead, 5,000; Freeport, 2,500; Glen Cove, 4,000; 
Rockville Centre, 2,000; Hicksville, 1,500; 
Farmfngdale, 1,100; Manhasset, 800; Sea Clifif, 
1,300; E-Oslyn, 1,300; Port Washington, 1,250; 
Lynbrook, 1,000; and Garden City, 800. All are 
delightful for resi-dential purposes, and those on 
the bay waters of the Atlantic or on Long Island 
Sound combine all the natural advantages of 
sea-shore life with those of retiring quiet home 
life. There are in the villages, besides, all the 
elevating and refining agencies belonging to our 
civilization. Garden City, with its Episcopal 
cathedral and schools, and splendid array of 
homes, churches, etc., promises in time to develop 
into one of tlie most important towns on Long 
Island 'for educational purposes. 

In Nassau coujity there were, at the time of 
its organization, ninety-one houses of worship, 
including the magnificent cathedral at Garden 
City. At Garden City are two libraries — ca- 
thedral and school — with five thousand volumes 
each. There are also two libraries at Hemp- 
stead, aggregating 8,000 volumes, one each at 
Massapequa, Oyster Bay, Rockville Centre, 
Roislyn and Sea Cliff, and in many of the public 

The public schools arc fifty-nine in number, 
and several of the buildings represent a value of 
from $25,000 to $60,000 each. The following 
table gives the statistics for the year 1900: 





ers Em- 
for Legal 

Number of 


Average Days' 

School Year 



Amount of 

Public Money 


from State 

Amount of 

Raised by 
Local Tax 

Value of 

and Sites 











$ 7,781,202 


$ 85,512.77 


North Hempstead 

Oyster Bay 












That the people of Xas^^au county are awake 
to their splendid natural conditions, and that they 
are determined to add to the attractiveness of 
their regfion l^v all possible means, is attested by 
the fact that when the new county entered upon 
its separate existence, it wa& estimated that there 
were within its borders more than three hundred 
miles of neXv macadamized roads of the 'best 
possible material and construction. The re- 
sourceis of the county may be ascertained from 
an inspection of the following valuation and tax 
lists for 1899 — the year the county was fully or- 
ganized — and the figures show a material in- 
crease since that time: 

Nassau county is pre-eminently an agricul- 
tural region, and the fairs of the Agricultural 
Society of Queens-Nassau Counties, held in Min- 
eola, now the county seat of Nassau county, have 
been for mlany years the most important event in 
the history of the two districts named. 

The foundation of the Society lies far back 
in the history of Long Island. In 1693 a fair was 
established at Jamaica after the English method, 
under authority of an act of the General As- 
sembly of the Colony of New York, "to remedy 
the inconvenience of a want of certain market 
days, and that trade may be better encouraged. 
This so-called fair was to be held every Thurs- 




Real Estate 






State Tax 


North Hempstead 


Oyster Bay 

$ 4,405,785 

$ 429.100 

$ 42,590.90 

$ 9,637.89 


$ 4,500.56 










Population, census of ] 

900, 55,44S. 

There are in the county two useful charitable 
institutions. The Nassau iHospital Association, 
located at West Hemp'Stead, owns real estate 
valued at $3,000. In a recent year its receipts 
were $7,058, and it expended $6,284, and ren- 
dered assistance to 213 persons. The Temporary 
Home for Children, at .Mineola, established in 
1884, with the purpose of caring for children 
between the ages of four and fourteen, owns 
property valued at $20,000. 

A peculiar institution, of Nassau county — and 
the !same is to be said of Suffolk — is a splendid 
fire company organization which exists in nearly 
every town of any 'size and makin'g pretensions 
to keeping pace with the" times. These com- 
panies, in the older villages, are of considerable 
antiquity, and the wealthiest men are pleased to 
be of their active membership. Their annual 
meetings are marked with a grand parade, and 
the event is notable as a society function. 

day, from eight o'clock until sunset, for sale or 
barter of cattle, grain, victuals, provisions ar.d all 
other necessities, and no toll was exacted. At 
Jamaica was also established a semi-annual fair of 
four days in ]\Iay and a like period in October, 
which was presided over by a governor or ruler 
of the fair. This was for the sale of horses and 
cattle-, and a toll ^gatherer made a record of each 
transaction, entering in a book the distinguish- 
ing marks of each animal sold, with the names of 
seller and buyer, and for this was paid nine pence 
tollage in each case. In 1728 a great quantity of 
various descriptions oi merchandise, as well ais 
many fine horses, were exposed lor sale. It is of 
interest to note that on this occalsion we have the 
dawn of the "show" busiiVess, a lion being exhib- 
ited to add to the attractions of the fair. It is 
presumable that at this time many urchins who 
not long afterward attained distinction in mili- 
tary and civil life were delighted witnesses to the 



performances of "Punch and Judy/' given by 
itinerant performers. In 1774 John Rapelye was 
governor and superintendent of the fair, and 
Robert Brooks was clerk of 'two fairs for Queens 
county — one at Jamaica, in May, and another at 
the sam-e place in Octol)er. 

But the fair as we know it in substance to- 

lips, Recording Secretary ; and Daniel Kissam, 
Treasurer. The purpose of the .society was to 
improve methods of farming and stock raising, 
and for mutual improvement in rural economy. 
In November following the first exhibition was 
held in and about the court house. The exhibits 
were entirely of local production. Premiums 


(By Permission of Long Island Railroad Company.) 

day had its beginning with the formation of an 
agricultural associajtion at the old court house 
near Mineola, November 11, 1817, but it does 
not appear that a permanent organization was 
effected until June 21, 1819, when officers were 
elected as follows : Rufu's King, President ; Ef- 
fingham Lawrence, Singleton Mitchell and Will- 
iam Jones, Vice Presidents; the Rev. David S. 
Bogart, Corresponding Secretary ; Thomas Phil- 

amounting to $200 were distributed, and among 
the awards were to Towni=end Cock, for his cele- 
brated horse ''Duroc,' to Rufus King for the best 
milch cow, and to Joseph ( hiderdcnk for ruta- 

In 1 82 1 the premium list was increased to 
$369, and some of the awards are interesting as 
indicating what 'the industries of the little agri- 
cultural community were. Henry Covert received 



$io for a garden plow and a machine for plant- 
ing 'beans and sowing turnip seed. Garrett 
Laton received a similar amount for the largest 
quantity of cloth made in one family, his exhibit 
being 202 yards of woolen and 363 yards of linen 

In 1822 the programm-e was varied with some 
displays of oratory — ^by General Rufus King and 
Judge Effingham Lawrence. The premiums 
amounted to $263.50. Samples of cotton were 
exhibited by Colonel Leverich, of Newton, by 
Tunis D. Covert, of South Jamaica, and by Dan- 
iel Coles, of Oyster Bay, the latter named having 
raised sufficient cotton to make twenty yards of 
muslin. Public interest had flagged, however, 
and the society went out of existence. 

The recent Queens County Agricultural So- 
ciety had its founding in a meeting of the execu- 
tive committee of the New York State Agricul- 
tural Society, held in New York City, July 21, 
1 841. At this time was mooted the formation of 
a society in Queenls county, and the following 
named were appointed a comlmittee to carry the 
purpose into effect : Grant Thorburn and Gar- 
ret Cowenhoven, Newtown; John W. Lawrence 
and Effingham Lawrence, Flushing; Singleton 
Mitchell and Robert W. >Mott, North Hemp- 
stead; John Wells and Albert G. Carll, Oyster 
Ba-y; John Bedell and Edward H. Seaman, 
Hempstead; and IWilliam R. Grace and John 
Johnson, Jamaica. October 9 of the same year 
the Isociety was fully organized with the follow- 
ing named officers : Effingham Lawrence, Presi- 
dent; George Nostrand, William H. Carter, 
Thomas B. Jackson, Piatt Willets, Singleton 
Mitchell and George D. Coles, Vice Presidents ; 
Albert G. Carll, Corresponding Secretary; John 
G. Lambert, Recording Secretary; and Daniel 
K. K. Youngs, Treasurer. A circular was issued 
appealing to the people of the county to "unite 
with the society and give it your encouragement, 
and not let it be said that the farmers of Queens 
county have not sufficient spirit to keep an agri- 
cultural society in existence." 

The ffrlst faic was held in Hempstead, Oc- 
tober 13, 1842. On the day appointed the entire 
populace and a host from a distance participated 

in the event. A grand procession of the clergy, 
officers and members of the society and citizens 
generally, headed by the Hempstead Brass Band, 
marched from Anderson's Hotel to the Metho- 
dist Church, where Vice-Chancellor McCoun de- 
livered an address, and an ode composed by Will- 
iam Cullen Bryant was sung. The receipts (in- 
cluding $91 contributed by the State) amounted 
to $338, and the premiums awarded amounted to 
$250. At the second fair, in 1843, more than six 
thousand people were present — a vast concourse 
in that day. Lieutenant-Governor Daniel S. 
Dickinson delivered an address, and one of Bry- 
ant's odes was sung. The third fair was held in 
Jamaica, October 10, 1844, and was notable for 
a larger display of fruits, vegetables and articles 
of domestic manufacture. Gabriel Furman was 
the speaker of the occasion. At the fourth fair, at 
Hempstead, October 9, 1845, ^^^ weather pre- 
vented a large attendance. Some relics were 
here placed upon exhibition — an inkstand which 
had been used by William Penn, and specimens 
of continental currency. 

Some interesting innovations were intro-^ 
duced at the fifth fair, which was held in Flush- 
ing, October 9, 1846. The United States Military 
Band from' Governor's Island was present, con- 
veyed through the village in a tastily decorated 
wagon, drawn by thirty-six yoke of oxen. An ad- 
dress was delivered by Dr. Gardiner. At the close 
of this fair, exhibitors were permitted to sell 
their animals and wares on the ground. Literest 
waned after this, and in 1849 the receipts were 
so .small that subscriptions were called for to pay 
a premium deficit. In 1850, at Hempstead, a tent 
fifty feet in diameter sufficed to contain all the 
exhibits. After thi!s', fairs were held in turn at 
Hempstead, Flushing and Jamaica. 

To the writer it is miost interesting to trace 
the record of these fairs, and he trusts that the 
reader shares in Ihi's interest. There is not in 
America an agricultural association which pro- 
trays more vividly the gradual development of 
industries than does that oi which we write, and 
it is to :be said that the influence was far-reach- 
ing. In the then west— Ohio, and beyond, 
throughout Indiana and Illinois, and to a slight 



extent in that part of Missouri bordering the 
Mississippi River — the fairs which were held 
within the 'decade heginning in 1850 were pat- 
terned in large degree after that of Queens coun- 
ty, and, in many instances, Long Islanders who 
had taken the advice of Horace Greeley to "go 
west, young man, and grow up with the country" 
were concerned in their management, and aip- 
plied the methods they had learned at home, 
And hence no farther excuse is made for continu- 
ing the narrative in order to discover the salient 
points in the development of the country fair 

The fair of 1852 was held in Flushing. This 
was- a notable success, and, as the writer has 
cause to know, proved a great stimulus to those 
held in St. Louis, Missouri, in the two following 
years. There was prelsent a delegation from the 
American Institute, and 'these gentlemen and 
other invited guests rode from the steamboat 
wharf to the fair grounds in a decorated wagon 
drawn by fifty-six yoke of oxen, with a brass 
band, and a military escort — Bragg's Horse 
Guards and the Hamilton Rifles. The State fair 
was outdistanced in the horse display, which in- 
cluded 'some splendid descendants of the most 
famous animals of America, ''Eclipse/' ''Mes- 
senger,''" ''Engineer," "Mambrino" and "Ab~ 
dallah." The premiums amounted in value to 
about $800, and comprised seven silver medals, 
numerous articles of Isilver, book, and cash pre- 
miums, and three hundred diplomas were issued. 
The display of flowers and fruits was very beau- 
tiful. An interesting feature of this fair was a 
plowing match. 

In 1853 woman's handiwork received recog- 
nition. Premiums were offered for the best loaf 
of bread made by a woman under twenty-one 
years of age, and for home-made cheese, pre- 
serves and needle work. 

In 1857 'the Society had so largely increased 
its membership and added to its treasury that in- 
corporation was decided upon, and the scope of 
the organization was broadened, as the charter 
phrased it, "to encourage and improve agricul- 
ture, horticulture and the mechanic arts." The 
incorporators were John Harold, John Bedell, 

Joseph Tompkins, William T. McCoun, Samuel 
T. Jackson', Benjamin W. Doughty, Jeremiah 
Valentine, Uriah Mitchell, Samuel L. Hev^lett 
and James P. Smith. To the first named was 
presented a silver service in recognition of his 
efforts in behalf of the Society. 

The fair of 1858 was held in Flushing, a local 
committee of citizens defraying all expenses. A 
ten-acre lot enclosed in a high board fence con- 
tained a quarter-mile track for the display of 
horses, one individual, Simon R. Browne, bring- 
ing twenty fine animals. E. A. Lawrence exhib- 
ited a 2500-pound ox. Seven thousand people 
assembled upon this occasion, including a con- 
siderable delegation- from those regions of the 
metropolis which graduate fakirs and pickpock- 
ets, and these classes reaped a rich harvest. The 
receipts were over $1400. 

In 1859, at Hempstead, three premiums were 
offered for trotting horsels and seven premiums 
for carriages, wagons ,and harness. About one 
hundred cattle were exhibited, and nearly as 
many horses. The fruit interests were exempli- 
fied by Isaac Hicks and Jacob Williams, who put 
on exhibition, respectively, eighty-seven and 
eighty varieties of apples and pears. 

Substantial advancement was seen in i860, at 
the fair held in Jamaica, which was attended by 
'eight thousand people. The various classes of 
stock, implements, fruits and vegetables and 
products of woman's skill were well filled. The 
educational feature made its appearance at this 
time, cash awards being made for essays upon 
the agricultural history of Queens county, upon 
horses, and upon the potato and its diseases. In 
1861 the fair officers were designated by .suitable 
badges. In 1862 the fair was held on the Fash- 
ion Course at Newton, and largely increased pre- 
miums were offered for horses. The Flushing 
Railroad Com/pany gave $100 for the best trotter 
in harness, driven by the owner, $20 for the best 
saddle horse, and $250 for the best trained pair 
of road horses. Liberal premiums were also 
offered for all classes of thoroughbred cattle. At 
this fair premiums were also offered for speci- 
mens of penmanship by public school pupils. 

In 1866 the Society saw its way clear to make 



for itself a permanent home. April 3 of that 
year, at the annual town meeting in Hempstead, 
it w^s voted to grant to the Society a forty-acre 
tract of land near the village of Alineola, to be 
used 'by the Society, and to revert to the town be diverted from its legitimate pur- 
poses — the promotion of agricultural and me- 
chanical interests. This proffer was accepted, 
and it was given legislative sanction on April 23, 
1867, and since that time the grounds so desig- 
nated have been the permanent abiding place of 
the Society. 

June 18, of the same year in which it ac- 
quired the^ property designated, the board of 
managers met to consider plans for necessary 
buildings. Work was begun July 26, and, by the 
aid of volunteer 'workmen, the grounds were 
available for the fair on September 27-8 follow- 
ing. The cost of construction, making no al- 
lowance for volunteer labor and donations, was 
$8,115.32 for the agricultural hall, and $9,809.47 
for stables, stalls, etc. The receipts of the first 
ten years of the existence of the Society were 
$4,101.59, and for the next ten years they were 
$19,096.11. The receipts for the first four years 
of permanent location at Alineola .were about 
$40,000. 'Receipts steadily increased from year 
to year, and in 1900 had reached such a sum that 
$12,831 were expended in premiums alone, to say 
nothing of the expense of maintaining the prop- 

The gradual development of the fair since its 
establishment at Mineola can only be shown by 
tracing the innovations from time to tmie. The 
first agricultural exhibition was held in 1867, 
when was also held a ladies' festival which netted 
$846.75. In 1869 a splendid horticultural and 
floral shoiw wa's given, when one individual (T. 
W Kennard, of Glen Cove), put one hundred 
and twenty varieties of roses on exhibition. At 
the horticultural show on June 14, 1871, Allen & 
Co. laid out a beautiful miniature garden. In 
1874 over $8,000 was expended in erecting a 
grand stand, and increasing the stabling capacity. 
At the fair that year was a bench show of dogs, 
with one hundred and twenty entries. In 1876 

the centennial celebration of the founding of the 
nation called out an enthusiastic interest, and the 
crowning feature of the fair was the exhibition 
of relics of the colonial and revolutionary pe- 
riods — implements of war and peace, ancient ar- 
ticles of dress, historic documents, etc. 

The year of 1880 was one of disaster. The 
usual cattle display was wanting because of the 
alarm occasioned by the epidemic of pleuro-pneu- 
monia among domestic animals. In the fall, 
ninety-two horse sheds were destroyed ]:)y fire, 
and the insurance did not more than half repay 
the loss. 

In 1899 the Association disbursed something 
more than $32,000, of which amount $13,077.98 
was for premiums. In 1900 the premiums paid 
amounted to $12,831.25, and in 1901 to $12,- 

The Association was known as the Queens 
County Agricultural Society until 1899, when 
the creation of the new county of Nassau made 
a change of title advisable, and, at the annual 
meeting, the title "The Agricultural Society of 
Queens-Na^ssau Counties" was adopted. 

Before this action was definitely agreed upon, 
Hon. Harrison S. Aloore had been consulted rela- 
tive to any complications likely to arise by reason 
of the location of the grounds in Nassau County, 
while the Society was reorganized as the Queens 
County Agricultural Society. Legislative action 
was deemed necessary, and other steps were 
taken to insure the receipts from State appro- 
priations and from other sources. While the 
title has been changed, the word "Queens" is 
retained, so that the original name may not be 
entirely lost sight of. The Association has an 
effective ally in the Ladies' Festival Association, 
which provided means for remodeling and im- 
proving the interior of the house devoted to the 
art exhibitions. 

In J902, June 18-19, 'the Association held its 
thirty-sixth summer exhiblition. The exhibits 
included all classes of road horses, horticultural 
and iioricultural products and farming imple- 
ments. In the same year^ September 23-27. was 
held the sixty-first annual exhibition, including 



local products of farm, field and orchard, to- 
gether with domestic products and a fine art 

Subjoined are the names of the presidents of 
the Association from the date of organization. 

Effingham Lawrence 1841 

Singleton -Mitchell 1845 

WiUiam T. McCoun 1847 

John A. Ring 1848 

William T. McCoun 1856 

David iR. Floyd-Jones 1858 

Edward A, Lawrence i860 

Daniel K. Youngs 1861 

John C. Jackson 1863 

Samuel T. Taber 1866 

Peter C. Bamum^ 1868 

Samuel T. Taber 1869 

Charles H. Jones 1870 

Robert Willets 1873 

John C. Jackson 1874 

Horatio S. Parke 1876 

Thomas Messenger '^'^77 

George T. Hewlett 1878 

Townsend D. Cock 1879 

Frederick N. Lawrence 1882 

George S. Downing 1883 

Samuel S. Aymar 1885 

Charles Post 1888 

Edward Cooper 1890 

G. Howland Leavitt 1893 

Thomas Mott 1895 

J. William Ahles 1897 

George P. Titus 1899 

For nine years past, Lott Van de Water has 

been secretary, and Thomas H. Bacon hais been 



I HE town of Hempstead, as a political di- 
vision, originally 'extended from Long 
Island Sound to the Atlantic Ocean, 
with the town of Ovster Bay as its 
eastern boundar\', and the towns of 'Flushing 
and Jamaica as its western boundaries. In 1784, 
by an act of the legislature, the territory now 
known as North Hempstead was taken from it, 
reducing it to its present proportion's. It was the 
largest town in Queens county when it was 1>odily 
detached therefrom to form a portion of the new 
county of Nassau, one hundred square miles, or 
sixty-four thousand acres. Its ocean frontage is 
a'bout twenty miles. 

There are many evidences of the Indian oc- 
cupation, and the instances adduced, aside from 
the history of the aborigines in their relations 
with the whites, are of considerable interest. 

In 1862 two copper axes, with four of jasper, 
were found at Rockville Centre, three feet below 
the surface. They were surrounded by spear 

heads of flint, set upright in a circle. The cop- 
per axes were evidently of native copper, and 
wrought into form by hammering. One of these, 
in posseis'sion of the Long Island Historical So- 
ciety, is 'seven inches long by four and oiTe-half 
broad. These relics are rude in pattern and the 
deep corrosion of their surface indicates that 
they are of considerable antiquity. These axes 
were prefsumably from the copper-bearing re- 
gions of the upper lal<:es, and upon this hy- 
pothesis it is reasonable to conclude that the 
Long Island Indians were in intercourse with 
those of the copper region. 

There is nothing to lead us to believe that . 
the Indians of Long Island knew anything of 
the 'working of copper. They were workers' of 
stone, but not of metals. Stone axes, clubs and 
spear and arrow 'heads were found at an early 
date throughout the island. All these are of the 
same material as composes the rocks of Long 
Island, and include flint, quartz, jasper, compact 



sandstone and slaty rock pestles, mortars, whet- 
stones .and pottery, but not as frequently as one 
would expect from the density of the Indian 
population. A large whetstone or milling ston'e 
of silicious slaty rock was foiund at Rockaway^ 
and a well-formed skull was taken from an In- 
dian grave in Rockaway. It was found enclosed 
in a round urn^shaped vesisel, the skeleton being 
upright and the vessel turned over the 'head; 
on the outside it is rudely worked or carved. 
The entire skull and about half of the urn were 

The origin of the name of the old town of 
Hemipstead has long been held in doubt. Thomp- 
son derived it from the English town of the 
same name, and this is presumably correct, when 
we rememiber that the early settlers were Eng- 
lishm-en. But the name has also appeared in 
an antiquated Dutch form, that of Heemstede, 
which lin form and meaning is akin to the Eng- 
lish Homestead. In the early days the people 
of the northern and southern divisionls. were prac- 
tically two communities, who together cut grass 
upon the south meadows and until as late as 
1815. After the division, litigation began (in 
1797) between the two towns with relation to 
grass cutting rights, which wafe only finally set- 
tled in December, 1S28, with such victory as 
there was to Hempstead. It was at best a mis- 
erably petty dispute, and, like most of the bound- 
ary dispute's which were so frequent in the early 
history of the various Long Island towns, seems 
to us to have been silly enough. Empty land 
was all about them, yet they wrangled for }'ears 
oyer a field or two, as if there were not room 
eniough for their insignificant population — the 
epithet relating to their numbeils, of course. In 
1830 Hemipstead disposed of all its public lands 
by auction, a consummation' that added greatly 
to the internal peace of the settlements. Down 
to 1784 the history of the two towns — ^Hemp- 
stead and North Hempsteaid — ranst be consid- 
ered as one topic which relates to both. After 
the division this story follows the fortunes of 
the southern division, that section which now 
bear!s the plain title of Hempstead. 

While much is doubtful as to the early his- 
tory of Hempstead, two things seem certain. It 
was a theocratic colony, like SouthoM, and it was 
peopled by a congregation, or part of a congre- 
gation, from' Stamfoird, Connecticut, most of 
them being natives of England. One of the first 
things they set up was a building for public wor- 
ship, as already told in this work. But the 
town had a civil history as well. Among the 
early settlers who came after arrangements for 
their reception had been completed by Robert 
Fordham and John Carman, were Richard Gild- 
ersleeve, Edward Raynor, Thurston Raynor, 
William Raynor, the Rev. Richard Denton, Mat- 
thew Mitchell, John Underbill, Robert Coe, An- 
drew Ward, Jonas Wood, John Ogden and Rob- 
ert Jackson. Most of these people, if not all 
of them, were possessed of more or less means, 
and several had been p>rominent in public life in 
Connecticut, such as Richard Gildersleeve, 
Thurston Ra3aior, Robert Coe and others. The 
patent was obtained from Governor Kieft in 
1644, which may be accepted as the legal date 
of the foundation of the township, although .an- 
tiquaries place it a year earlier, when Fordham 
and Carman had bought the township from the 
Indian's. Whatever may have been the nature of 
that transaction, it was confirmed on July 4, 
1647, when the Indians of Hempstead, repre- 
sented' by the sachems Takapousha and Wantagh, 
with seven other head men of their tribe made an 
• agreement as follows : 

July the 4th, 1647. Stilo Novo. 
Know all men by these Presents, that We, 
the Indians of Marsapege, j\Iericock, and Rock- 
away, whose Names be underwritten, for our- 
selves, and all the rest of the Indians that doe 
Claime any Right or Interest in the Purchase 
that hempsteed bought in the year 1643. And 
within the bounds and limits of the AA^hole tract 
of Land, Concluded upon with the governor of 
Alanhatans 'als- it is in this paper Specified, Doe, 
by thse p'rsents, Ratifie and Confirme to them 
and their heires forever, freely, firmly, quiettly 
and Peaceably, for them and their heires and 
successVs for Ever to enjoye without any Mo- 
lestacon or trouble from us, or any that 'shall pre- 
tend Any Clame or title unto itt. 



In Witness whereof Wee, whose names bee 
here under written, have hereunto subscribed. 

The 'Marke of Takaposha. 
The Sachem of Marsapeague. 
The Marke of Wantagh. 
The Montake Saci-iem. 
The AIarke of Chegone. 
The 'Marke of Romege. 
The 'Marke of Wangwang. 
The Marke of Rumasackromen. 

The Marke of . 

The Marke of Woronmcacking. 
In the presence of us, 

Richard Gildersleeve. 
John Seaman. 
John Hicks. 

Vera copia concordans cum originahs 
scripsit, per me, John Ja^ies^ clerk. 

According to Charles B. Moore ("Early His- 
tory of Hempstead") the following named were 
residents of the town in the year in which this 
above described deed was executed : 

Robert Ashman, Thomas Armitage, Sam- 
uel Baccus. John Carman, Samuel Clark, Ben- 
jamin and John Coe and their father, "Robert, 
Rev. iRichard Denton and his sons, kuel, 

R(ichard, Nathaniel and Daniel (the historian), 
John Ellison, John Foucks, Rev. Robert Ford- 
ham and son John, Christopher Foster, Thom- 
as Foster, Richard Guildersleeve, John Hicks, 
John Hudd, Henry Hudson, Thomas Ireland, 
Robert Jackson, John Lawrence, William Law- 
rence, John Lewis, Richard Lewis, Roger 
Lines, John Ogden, Richard Ogden, Henry 
Pierson, Thomas Pope, Edward Raynor, Will- 
iam Raynor, AVilliam Rogers, Joseph Scott. 
William Scott, Simon Sering, John Sewel], 
William Shadden, Thomas Sherman, Abraham 
Smith, James Smith, John Smith, sen, and John 
Smith jr., William Smith, Thomas Stephenson, 
John Storye, John Strickland, Samuel Strick- 
land, Nicholas Tanner, John Topping, William 
Thickstone, Richard Valentine, AX'Illiam Wash- 
burne, Daniel AAHiitehead, Henry Whitson, 
Thomas Willett, Robert Williams, William 
Williams, Edmund AA'ood, Jeremiah Wood, Jo- 
nas Wood, Francis Yates. 

While out of 'the chronological order, a final 
disposition of the land buying affair of 1643 ^'^^Y 
be here made by stating that the last install- 

ment of the purchase money (or whatever else 
it was) was paid February 14, 1660, when the 
Lidian chiefs executed to the Rev. John Ford- 
ham and John Carmian, who represented the set- 
tlers, the following curiou'sly written release, 
which presumably covers the same tracts as were 
described in Governor Kieft's grant in 1644: 

We the Indians under written do hereby 
acknowledge to have received of the magis- 
trates and inhabitants of Hemsteede our pay 
in full satisfaction for the tract of land sould 
unto them according to agreement and accord- 
ing to patent and purchase. The general 
boundes is as followeth : beginning at a place 
called Mattagarrett's Bay, and soe running up- 
on a direct line north and south, from sea to 
sea; the bounds running from Hempsteede 
Harbour due east to a pointe of treese adjoin- 
ing to the lande of Robert Williams, where we 
left markt treese ; the same line running from 
sea to sea; the other line beginning at a markt 
tree standing at the east end of the greate 
plaine and running a due south line, at the 
south sea by a markt tree in a neck called 
Maskachoung. And wee doe further engage 
to uphold this our present act and all our form- 
er agreements to bee just and lawful; and wee 
doe binde ourselves to save and defend them 
harmless from any manner of claime or pre- 
tense that shall be made to disturb theire right. 
Whereunto we have subscribed this eleventh 
day of May Anno 1658, stilo novo. 



Subscribed by A\'acombound, Afontauk sa- 
chem after the death of his father, this 14th day 
of February 1660, being a general town meet- 
ing at Hemsteede. 

John James, clerk. 

To return to the proper order of events,, 
it is to be remarked that ithe white set- 
tlers got along remarkably well with the 
aborigines upon whom they had intruded. 
Indeed, -we are not certain but they behaved a 
great deal better than some Americans have 
since behaved, as witness some of our dealings 
with foreigners coming to our shores, with tlie 



Indians of the far west during the century just 
passed, and with others who' might be named. 
It is fair to presume that in larger measure such 
unpleasantness as occurred had its origin in 
misunderstandings, such as were inevitable in 
that early contact of two widely differing peo- 
ples, each unknown to the other. At any rate, 
there were several unpleasant occurrences in the 
early relations, but it would seem to a less ex- 
tent than waJs the case in most of the other, set- 
tleni'ents. A sort of treaty of peace governing 
the relations of the two races was made, by a 
conference with the colonists and the sachem.s and 
head men of the Marsapeagues and other tribes 
in interest, on March 12, 1656, at Hempstead. 
It was then and there agreed that all injuries 
**foniierly passed" since the year 164-5, "shall be 
forgiven and forgotten ;" a house or fort was to 
be built, and ''to be furnished with Indian trade 
and commodities;" the inhabitants of Hem- 
steede, according to their patent, were "to enjoy 
their purchase without molestation from ye 
sachem or his people, and the sachem will live 
in peace with all ye English and Dutch within 
this jurisdiction, and the governor doth promise 
for himself and all his people to live in peace 
with ye sachem and all his people," and it was 
finally provided that "in case an Indian do 
wrong to a Christian in person or elstate, and 
complaint be made to the sachem, he shall make 
full satisfaction ; likewise if a Dutchman or 
Englishman shall wrong an Indian the governor 
shall make satisfaction' acording to equity." 

The original conjdition on which the first 
patent was granted was that the people should 
pay to the Council at New Amsterdam a tax 
of one-tenth part of their farm produce ten years 
after the first general peace with the Indians. 
It would seem that it was not until 1658 that the 
people declared their readinesis to contribute to 
Stuyvesant^si treasury. In that 'year they in- 
formed the Governor that they had 'Voted and 
put upon denomination our former Magistrate, 
Mr. Gildersleeve, and with him William Shod- 
den, Robert Formian and Henry Pearsall/' all 
of them known as "men/ of honest life and of 

good integrity," as their magistrates. That this 
choosing of officers was regarded as a most 
solemn act, wholly different from the perfunc- 
tory methods of the present day, can not be 
gainsaid after reading the humble prayer of the 
petitioners : 

After the remembrance of our submissive 
and humble respects, it hath pleased God, aft- 
er a sickly and sad sommer, to give us a sea- 
sonable and comfortable autumne, wherewith 
wee have beene (throw mercy) refreshed our- 
selves and have gained strength of God soe 
that wee necessarily have ibeen employed in 
getting wiinter foode for our cattell, and there- 
by have something prolonged our wonted 
tyme of chosing magestrates, for ye wch wee 
hope yor honour will hold us excused; and 
now, according-e to our accustomed manner, 
wee have voted and put upon denomination 
our former magestrate, Mr. Gildersleeve, and 
with him William Shodden, Robert Forman 
and Henry Pearsall ; all of whom are knowing 
men of honest life and good integrity ; there- 
fore wee desire your honour to appoint two 
of them, and always according to cur duty 
shall pray the most high God to bless and pre- 
serve yor honour with much health and pros- 
perity, in all your noble designs, wee humbly 
take our lea\'e. 

Ever honour sr., your Loyall, true and 
obedient servants, the inhabitants of Hem- 

John James, clerk. 

Stuyvesant, invariably gracious to the Eng- 
lish settlements, at once confirmed the selection. 
The same year ^Magistrate Gildersleeve was 
authorized to go to New Amsterdam and ar- 
range about the paymient of the taxes, provided 
the Governor was reasonable in his views of 
the matter, als he seems to have been. 

The change brought about by the downfall 
of the Dutch Government and the institution of 
English authority seems to have been accepted 
with equanimity by the Hempstead settlers. Gov- 
ernor Nicolls introduced among them a new 
"industry," that of horse-racing, for which pur- 
pose the great Hempstead "plain was iso well 
adapted, and 'his lead in that regard was still 
further developed by his successor, Governor 
Lovelace, and Salisbury Plain, near the present 



pleasant village of Hyde Park, became celebrated 
on both sides of tbe Atlantic for its sporting 
events. The sport still oontinues a favorite 
one in Hempstead, although it has there lost 
some of its vulgar and debalsing features, and, 
as at Mineola, where is an exhibition of racing, 
pure and simple. 

The Duke's Laws were felt in Hempstead, as 
elsewhere, to be oppressive and unjust, and it 
cam not be Isaid that when the Dutch regime 
in 1673 was once more established in New Ams- 
terdam, the Hempstead people mourned over the 
change. As soon as Governor Colve took hold 
of the reins of power, he <sent a letter of in- 
structions in which he really granted as full 
a mealsiire of local self-government as was con- 
ceivable in those days. Some of his instruc- 
tions (which were sent to the other Long Isl- 
and towns, and to which they equally refer) 

3. All cases relating to the Police, Securi- 
ty and Peace of the Inhabitants ; also to Justice 
between man and man, shall be finally deter- 
mined by the magistrates of each of the afore- 
said Villages, to the amount of sixty florins, 
Beaver, and thereunder without appeal : In 
case the sum be larger the aggrieved party 
may appeal to the meeting of the Sheriff and 
Councillors delegated from the Villages sub- 
ject to his jurisdiction, for which purpose one 
person shall be annually appointed from each 
Village who shall assemble in the most con- 
venient place to be selected by them, and who 
shall have power to pronounce final judgment 
to the amount of fl. 240 Beavers and there- 
under. But in all cases exceeding that surn 
each one shall be entitled to an appeal to the 
Governour General and Council here. 

4. In case of inequality of votes, the mi- 
nority shall submit to the majority; but those 
who are of a contrary opinion may have it 
recorded in tbe minutes but not divulge it 
without the meeting on pain of arbitrary cor- 

5. Whenever any cases occur in the meet- 
ing in which any of the ^Magistrates are in- 
terested, such Magistrate shall, in that in- 
stance, rise and absent himself, as is herein- 
before stated. 

6. All the Inhabitants of the abovenamed 
Villages shall be citable before said Sheriff" 

and Schepens or their delegated Councillors 
who shall hold their meetings /and courts as 
often as they shall consider requisite. 

7. All criminal offences shall be referred 
to the Governour General and Council, on 
condition that the Sheriff he obliged to ap- 
prehend the ofl'enders, to seize and detain them 
& to convey them as prisoners under proper 
safeguard to Chief Magistrate with good and 
correct informations for or against the of- 

8. Smaller offences, such as quarrels, abu- 
sive words, threats, fisticuffs and .such like, 
are left to the jurisdiction of the Magistrates 
of each particular Village. 

9. The Sheriff and .Schepens shall have 
power to conclude on some ordinances for the 
welfare and peace of the Inhabitants of their 
district, such as laying highways, setting off 
lands anJ gardens, and in like manner what 
appertains to agriculture, observance of the 
Sabbath, erecting churches, school houses or 
similar public works. Item, against fighting 
& wrestling and such petty offences — provided 
such ordinances are not contrary but as far as 
is possible, conformable to the Laws of our 
Fatherland and the Statutes of this Province; 
and therefore all orders of any importance 
shall, before publication, be presented to the 
Chief Magistrate and his approval thereof re- 

With the return of the British power and 
the advent of Governor Andros upon the scene, 
the "Duke's Laws" were again enforced, even 
more rigidly than before. Under Governor Don- 
gan, the great charter monger, in 1685, much 
against the will of the majority of its people, 
the towo was compelled to take out a new char- 
ter. It (seems to have taken three years of ne- 
gotiations to perfect an instrument which was 
thoroughly satisfactory to Hempstead, and prob- 
ably the gift which the people gave to Dongan 
of a plantation of six hundred and fifty acres had 
something to do with directing his mind in the 
right direction on many mooted points of boun- 
dary, and in the annual tax of the township be- 
ing placed at twenty bushek of good winter 
wheat or four pounds of good current money — 
a reasonable enough 

From that time until the outbreak of the 
Revolutionary struggle there is. little to tell of the 



civil history of Hempstead. In 1775, wheii the 
crisis with the mother country became acute, 
Hempstead was pronouncedly against any 
change in the relatione between the crown and 
the colonies, and a public meeting held on April 
4th pledged renewed allegiance to King George 
HI and declined to send deputies to. any pro- 
vincial congress or assembl}^ It seems, how- 
ever, to have changed its views so far as to 
elect ThomaiS' Hicks and Richard Thome to rep- 
resenit it iu the provincial congress, but Hicks 
refused to attend, saying that Hempstead wanted 
to remaini peaceable and quiet. Under the cir- 
cumstances we can understand its becoming a 
favorite hunting ground for Tories in the days 
immediately preceding the landing of the Brit- 
ish forces in 1776. Colonel Heard and the other 
Continental raiders captured many stacks of 
arms and stores O'f ammunition in Hempstead 
and sent many of the local Tories into exile. 
That, however, did not win the inhabitants over 
to the . side of the patriots, although, under 
orders from tlie Wliig leaders-, it contributed sev- 
eral companies to the Queens county militia un^ 
der Colonel John Sands. 

But when that time came, when the British 
were in posses'sion of the island and Hempstead 
was overrun with redcoats, the people found 
small comfort in their Toryism. The soldiers 
rode roughshod over Whig and Tory alike, 
helped themselves to produce and provender 
without stint, paid prices of their own choO'S- 
ing, burned up fences and barns for firewood, and 
robbed orchards and farm buildings without 
fear. But this story is told in another place. 

The local hii=tory of the village of Hemp- 
stead is of peculiar interest, and particularly in 
that of its religious bodies. ''Christ's First 
Church," which is held to' have been, the first 
Presbyterian Church organized in America, has 
been mentioned in the chapter on religiouls his- 
tory in the previous volume. 

On Sunday, October 14, 1894, Christ's First 
Presbyterian Church, of Hempstead, celebrated 
its 250th anniversary. The historical address 
was delivered by the Rev, Frank M^elville Kerr, 

the pastor. From^ hi:& discourse the following 
narrative is principally derived. 

If not founded by th-e Rev. Richard Denton, 
he was certainly its first minister, serving from 
the time of his coming, in 1644, until 1659, when 
he returned to England, where he died three 
years later, at the age of seventy-six years. 

Mr. Denton was a Prelsbyterian nuinister of 
Coby Chapel, Parish of Halifax, England, "sl 
good minister of Jesus Christ and affluent in his 
worldly circumstances. In his time came out 
the book for .sports on. the Sabbath days. He 
saw he could not do what was required, feared 
further persecution and therefore took the op- 
portunity of going into Xew England.'' 

This "Book of Sports" was the cause for 
a considerable exodus from England. In 1618 a 
royal proclamation was drawn up by Bishop 
Morton for James I, which was called "The 
Book of Sports." The object of this proclama- 
tion walS" to encourage the people who had at- 
tended divine service to spend the remaining part 
of the day in such "lawful sports" as dancing, 
archery, leaping, vaulting. May games, Whit- 
sun ales. Morris dances, setting of May polels, 
etc. This royal document was aimed at the 
Puritans. To carry his plan to oompletioil the 
king ordered this "Book of Sports'' to be read in 
every church in the kingdom. Many of the 
dissenting mini)sters refused to do this, prefer- 
ring the wrath of the king and bishops to the 
violation of conscientious scruples, and some, 
like Denton, left the kingdom. 

Mr. Denton labored first at Watertown, Mas- 
sachusettlS', but in 1635, on account of opposition 
to his Presbyteriandsm' by the Congregationalists 
of Massachusetts, he started a new settlement 
in Connecticut, and gave it the name Weathers- 
field. In 1 641 he became the owner of valuable 
real estate in Staanford, Connecticut, then in the 
jurisdiction of New Haven, and, after his re- 
moval to Hempstead in 1644, he sold his place to 
the Rev. John Bis'hop, his successor in work at 

The first church building was completed in 
1648. It stoo'd at the northwestern part of the 


town, near Burley Pond, now the northwest cor- 
ner of Fulton and Franklin streets. The build- 
ing was twenfty-four feet square, and had con- 
nected with it a fort or stockade, for protection 
in case the Indians manifested any hostility. The 
buiMing was also used for town meeting and 
other public purposes, and, after a time, it 
was given over entirely to the latter uses. In 
1770 it was sold and removed to North Hemp- 

''At A Jeneral townd meeting held in Hemp- 
stead the 7th day of Janeuary in the yere of our 
Lord 1677 it was agreed oni by the major vote 
that they should bild a rmeeting house." This 
house, as afterward agreed upon by a town 
meeting, was thirty feet long, twenty-four wide 
and twelve hig'h, with a lean-to on each side. The 
building was completed in 1679 ^^^ stood a few 
ro'ds south of the present po-sition of the Epis- 
copal church. This building, whidh was en- 
larged in 1770, was roofed with cedar shingles, 
had clapiboard sides, and the interior was lined 
with pine. For seats there were benches. A 
parsonage was built in 1682, and was used for 
about one hundred years. 

After the departure of Mr. Denton, the 
church sent Joseph Meade "on a voyage from 
Stamford to Fairfield, about procuring a min- 
ister,'' and allowed himi the munificent sum of 
nine shillings for expenses. Mr. Meade's jour- 
ney and outlay were, however, in vain. In 1660 
the church secured the Rev. Jonas Fordham, 
who remained for some years, and met with 
such favor im the eyes of his parishioners that 
the town voted to him allotments the same as 
made to other inhabitants, and, in addition, gave 
him a three-hundred-acre estate. 

Jeremiah Hobart became pasto.r in 1683, and 
was allowed, so long as he served as pastor, a 
house and three-acre lot, fifty acres of woodland 
and pasturage privileges for his cattle. He 
was also to be paid the same salary as was paid 
to his predecessor, £20^ but tlie amount was not 
easily obtainable, and in 1696 he appealed to 
the law to make payment a certainty. It would 
appear, reading between the lineSi that non-pay- 
ment was, in the case of some of the subscribers, 

due to dissatisfaction; Quakers, and probably 
others, resenting the idea of contributing to the 
maintenance of a religion with which they were 
not in sympathy. In 1696 Mr. Hobart removed 
to Jamaica, where he preached for a time, then 
going to Haddam, Connecticut, where he min- 
istered for seventeen years. He must have been 
a man o-f wonderful vitality, for he was eighty- 
seven years of age when he died, expiring on a 
Sunday afternoon; shortly after preaching a 
powerful discourse. 

It would appear that about this time the 
church property came into possession of those 
who favored the Church of England, and con- 
ducted worship after its naanner. The Presby- 
terian congregation! (as it is regarded to have 
been) lost a large pairt. of its membership, but 
those who held to the faith assembled for worship 
in various houses in the village until about 1722, 
when they built another church edifice, near the 
site oif the original one. In 1762 a fourth house 
of worship was erected, and this, as nearly as can 
be ascertained, stood upon the site of the present 

In 1772 the Rev. Joshua Hart became the 
settled minister. He came in troublous times, 
and his disquietude was increased on account of 
his unswerving patriotism, his utterances being 
frequently against those of the people who were 
not pronounced against British arroganee. It is 
related of Air. Hart that, while holding serv- 
ices some little distance from the village, short- 
ly after the breaking out of the Revolutionary 
war, a British captain stationed a band in front 
of the building in order to. interrupt the min- 
ister. Mr. Hart asked his congregation to re- 
main seated and listen to the music, and, after 
the band had gone away, he resumed and com- 
pleted his discourse. 

'The village church was greatly injured dur- 
ing the British occupation, being used by the 
soldiers as a statble. After peace was restored, 
it was repaired, and, when it came to be re- 
opened, for the first time in eight years, the 
people were so afifected that they set to work 
to build another edifice. This was totally de- 
stroyed by fire, in March, 1803. A new build- 

Built, 1733. Opened, April 22, 1735, by Gov. Cosby, 
Taken Down, 1821. New Edifice ErectjEd, 1822. 



ing was erected, which was used until 1846, when 
the present ho'Use of worship was built, at a 
cost of $7,000, under the pastorate of the Rev. 
Sylvester Woodbridge, Jr. The old church was 
reconstructed as a parsonage at an expense of 
something more than $2,000. The present 
church membership is about 300, and the Sun- 
day-school has a like membership. A chapel was 
erected in 1855. In 1891 albout $2,500 was ex- 
pended in an extension to the church buildiijig, 
and in the purchase and placing of a fine organ. 
In answer to the averment by some that tlie 
Hempstead church has not had a continuous ex- 
istence, Mr. Kerr said, in his historical address 
on the anniversary occasion heretofore referred 
to, speaking of the period during- which the 
Ghurch of England people were in possession : 

But that does not necessarily mean that the 
church lost its existence. Tliey were poor, 
few and confronted by a strong and eloquent 
Episcopal ministry ; and had to get what sup- 
plies they could. That they kept together at 
all and managed to perpetuate the name and 
histories of the church, indeed, is a miracle. 
At the present time we do not say that a church 
ceases to exist because there is no pastor or 
church had ever been reorganized, but on the 
has perished in the flames; but the congrega- 
tion has not ceased to exist, and will not, un- 
til they agree to disband and go as they indi- 
vidually desire. Woodbridge, in a letter writ- 
ten from San Francisco, September g, 1876, to 
Rev. Franklin 'Noble, then pastor, says that 
he could not learn from any of the old people 
of his day, whose memory went back to a per- 
iod preceding- the Revolutionary war, that this 
church had ever been reorganized, but on the 
contrary had always been here. 

The subjoined list of pastors and supplies, 
which has been prepared after careful search, 
shows that there was little time when the church 
was without the ministrations of the Go'spel. The 
list is as follows : 

Richard Denton, i644-'59; Jonas Fordham, 
1659-1681; Jeremiah Hobart, 1682-1696; Jo- 
seph Lamb, 1717-1725; Benjamin Woosey, 
1736-1756; Abraham Kettletas, 1760-1765, 
stated supply; 'Hotchkiss, 1770-71, supply; 
Joshua Hart, 1772-76, supply; and again 

1787-90, supply; Samuel Sturges, 1791-3, supply; 
Davenport, i794-'98, supply; Joshua Hart, 
again, 1798-1803, supply; William P. Kupors, 
i8o5-'ii, pastor; Josiah Andrews, i8i2-'i6, sup- 
ply; Samuel Robertson, i8i6-'i8, supply; 
Charles Webster, March '16, i8i8-'37, pastor; 
Sylvester Woodbridge, February, 1838-^49, pas- 
tor; Charles M. Shields, 1849-^50, pastor; N. 
C. Locke, i85o-'6o, pastor; J. J. A. Morgan, 
i86o-'67, pastor; James B. Finch, i867-'75, pas- 
tor; Franklin Noble,, i875-'8o, pastor; F. E, 
Hopkins, i88i-'82, supply; F. E. Hopkins, 
1882-84, pastor; Charles E. Dunn, July 21. 
1884-88; Joihn A. Davis, January, 1890-Septem- 
ber '03 ; and Frank Alelville Kerr, April 25th, 
1894, present pastor. 

St. George's Church, Protestant Episcopal, 
not as ancient as the church before written of, 
is fully as interesting to the antiquarian. In 
1702 the Rev. George Keith and others pro- 
cured, through the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, of London, the 
appointment of the Rev. Jo'hn Thomas, of Phila- 
delphia, as a mdssioner to Hempstead. He came, 
armed with a letter oir commission from Gov- 
ernor Cornbury, but, although there were influ- 
ential people to greet him, he had difihcdlty in 
organizing a parish, on account of the small 
number of English speaking residents, the 
Dutch largely predominating. Mr. Thomas 'held 
services in a building which was also used for 
town purposes, and made his abode in another 
house, also belonging to the town. He had 
strong prejudices to overcome, and was obliged 
to submit at times to disrespect, but he was of a 
kindly disposition, and he finally won his way 
into the regard of the people. He served in 
the ministry for a period of twenty years and 
until his death. He wa& grandfather of Major- 
General Thomas, of the Continental 

Two years after the death of Mr. Thomas, 
his place was supplied by the Rev. Robert Jen- 
ney, who proved toi be a worthy successor. He 
obtained from the town a grant of the church 
building and residence, and this tran&fer was 
confirmed to the parish by a charter from the 
crown in 1735. The title of this ran to "The In- 
ha'bitants of Hempstead in Communion with the 



Church of England/' and this foini has been 
retained to the present time. This fact remains 
unique in the history of religious bodies, inas- 
much as mo'st (probably all) others obtained a 
change oi charter wihen the American govern- 
ment was firmdy established. Under Mr. Jenney 
a new house of worship was erected, and it was 
opened on St. George's Day, April 22, 1735, 
with imposing ceremonies and the attendance of 
the militia of the county, and the presence 
of Governor Cosby and many of the principal 
men of the province. After a rectorate of sev- 
enteen years Mr. Jenney removed to Philadel- 
phia to become rector of Christ Church, and 
v/as succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Seabury. 

Mr. Seabury was a descendant of John Alden, 
of Puritan -meuiiory. He had left Yale College, 
dissatisfied with the defection of its president 
and other leading men to EpiscO'palianism, but 
he afterward experienced a change and was or- 
dained by the Bishop of London. He was for 
a time' minister at New London, Connecticut, 
whence he came to Hempstead. Mr. Seabury 
officiated also at Oyster Bay and in other vil- 
lages, some of them twenty miles apart. After 
a time he was obliged, in order to maintain him- 
self, to open a classical school, and in this were 
educated some who became distinguished men. 
Mr. Seabury died in 1764, after a pastorate of 
thirty-eight years. When he came to Hemp- 
stead, his son Samuel was a boy thirteen years 
of age, and this lad wasi he who became the 
first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal church 
in the United States. Bishop Seabury's mitre, 
it will not be amiss to note in passing, is pre- 
served in the library oi Trinit)- College, at Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, and it was this emblem oi 
ecclesiastical authority, borne by one who had 
been a Hempstead lad, which inspired Bishop 
Coxe to write his verses on ''The First Mitre of 
the West:" 

"This mitre with its crown of thorn, 

Its cross upon the front, 
Not for a proud adorning worn, 

But for the battle's brunt. 
Type of the Lord's commission given 

To this our western shore, 
The rod of Christ — the key of heaven 

Through one to thousands more: — 

" 'Tis better than a diadem, 

The crown that Bishop wore, 
Whose hand the rod of David's stem 
The further westward bore." 

Two }'ears after the death of Mr. Seabury, 
came to the rectorate the Rev. Leonard Cutting, 
the progenitor of the family of that name in the 
State of New York. He was of English birth, 
was a graduate of Cambridge, came to Amer- 
ica and became a classical tutor in Kings (now 
Columbia) College, New York. He was or- 
dained in 1763 by the Bishop of London, and 
in 1764 went as a missionary to New Bruns- 
wick, New Jersey. Two years later he came 
to Hempstead. His career was peaceful, pleas- 
ant and useful until the outbreak of the Revolu- 
tionary war. A Tory himself, and with a congre- 
gation most of whom entertained similar views 
with himself, he did not escape annoyance at 
the hands of the British, and even his church 
was desecrated. When the independence of the 
colonies was established, his embarrassments be- 
came so annoying that he left his parish with- 
out the formality of resignation, and went to 
Maryland. He subsequently returned to New 
York City, where he died. 

The Rev. Thomas Lambert Moore was called 
to the vacant rectorate about the time of the 
restoration of peace. He had been ordained in 
England, had served as chaplain on board a 
British man-of-war, and on coming to America 
was engaged as a missionary at Islip, Suffolk 
county, whence he was called to Hampton. Here 
his service was particularly useful. He was 
one of the thirteen persons who took the initia- 
tive for the institution of the Pi^otestant Episco- 
pal Church in the United States, the change be- 
ing necessary on account of the new political 
conditions which had separated America from 
the Church of England. For his service pur- 
poses he continued to use the old desk prayer- 
book, which, with a silver comimunion set, had 
been presented to the church by Queen Anne, 
in 171 1, but he adapted it to the necessities of 
the times by writing out and pasting in prayers 
for the President and the Congress of the Uni- 
ted States in place of those for the Monarch and 
the Parliament. 



In this church, m 1785, the first ordina- 
tion in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the 
United States took place, when John Lowe was 
admitted to holy orders. Lowe was a native of 
Scotland, a man of many fine qualities, and, hav- 
ing received a university training, was for a time 
employed as tutor in the family of a wealthy, 
landed proprietor in Galloway, not far from the 
English border. He fell in love with one of the 
young ladies of the family, and it is said she 
reciprocated his affection, but somehow the in- 
tended JTiarriage never took place. While the 
billing and cooing was going on, one of the 
sisters of the young lady dreamed that she saw 
her sweetheart, a ship surgeon, and that the 
wraith had told her that the ship with all on 
board had gone down, and urged her not to weep 
for him, as she would soon join him in the other 
world. After many months it was learned that 
the lover had actually been drowned at sea. On 
hearing the dream related, Lowe went to his 
room and wrote the following pathetic lines : 

"The moon had climbed the highest hill 

Which rises o'er the source of Dee, 
And from the eastern summit s-hed 

Her silver light o'er tower and tree, 
When Mary laid her down to sleep, 

Her thoughts on Sandy far at sea; 
When, soft and low, a voice was heard, 

Sayin-g, 'Atary, weep no more for me!' 

"She from her pillow gently raised 

Her head, to ask who there might be, 
And saw young Sandy shivering stand. 

With visage pale and hollow e'e; 
'O -Mary, dear! cold is my clay — 

5t lies beneath a stormy sea; 
Far, far from thee I sleep in death — 

So, Alary, weep no ,more for mc ! 

" 'Three stormy nights and stormy days 

We tossed upon the raging main, 
And long we strove our bark to save, 

But all our striving was in vain. 
Even then, when horror chilled my blood, 

My heart was filled with love for thee; 
The storm is past, and I at rest. 

So, Mary, weep no more for me! 

" 'Oh, maiden dear, thyself prepare, 
We soon shall meet upon that shore 
Where love is free from dotibt and care, 

And thO'U and I shall part no more.' 
Loud crowed the cock, the shadow fled, 

No more of Sandy could she see; 
But soft the passing spirit said, 

Sweet Mary, weep no more for me !' " 

This song, the only piece of poetry Lowe 
wrote that is worth reading, has won for him an 
honored place among the minor poets of his 
native land. When his love passage ended, 
Lowe came to this country and studied for holy 
orders, which resulted in his ordination in St. 
George's Churc'h. He afterward went to Vir- 
ginia, made an unfortunate marriage, fell into 
dissipated liabits, and died at Fredericksburg in 


In 1799 Air. Aloore passed away, and was 
succeeded by the Rev. J. H. Hobart, who re- 
mained but a short time, being called to a posi- 
tion with Trinity Church, New York City, from 
which he was elevated to the bishopric. His 
successor, the Rev. Seth Hart, a native of Con- 
necticut, occupied the rectorate for a period of 
more than twenty-eight years, during which 
time the old church edifice was (in 1823) re- 
placed hy a new one. After him, the church was 
favored with the ministry of a line of talented 
divines ; several of them became prominent in 
the affairs of the church at large. 

It is to be noted that from this old St. 
George's Church sprang Christ Church, Man- 
hasset ; Christ Church, U3-stcr Bay ; Grace 
Church, South Oyster Bay; St. Paul's- Church, 
Glen Cove ; Trinity Church, Rockaway ; Trinity 
Church, Roslyn, and the Garden City Cathedral, 
all O'f these being contained within the territory 
which was designated in 1693 as the Parish of 
St. George. 

The Alethodist Episcopal Church had its re- 
mote beginning in the ministrations of the Rev. 
John Wilson, a preacher on the Jam'aica cir- 
cuit. He came into Hempstead one Sunday 
morning in 1800, immediately after the close of 
the Episcopal services, and, mounting a wagon, 
he sang a hymn and then delivered a fervent 
exhortation. It does not appear that 'he made 
any atteni/pt to organize a congregation. Dur- 
ing the succeeding twelve years occasional serv- 
ices were held by preachers of the Jamaica cir- 
cuit — Thomas Ware, David Buck, "Billy" Hib- 
bard and others. In 1S12 William Thatcher was 
appointed to the circuit, and he held services 
once a month. He died at the age of eighty- 



nine years, after devoting- sixty years of his life 
to the work of the ministry. In 1816 a house 
was rented for meeting purposes, and in the fol- 
lowing year a school building was purchased 
and fitted with pews and a pulpit. In 1820 a 
church building was erected on the site of the 
present edifice, at a cost of $1,500, and the dedi- 
catiion took place December 31, 1822. Trustees 
were elected the same year — James Cooper, 
Isaac Wri'ght, Stephen H. Skidmore, Richard 
Carman and Stephen C. Bedell. This work was 
accomplished during the ministry of Samuel 
Coohran, who labored as a preacher and pastor 
through a tenn of thirty-eight years. In 1834 
a lot was purchased and a parsonage erected at a 
cost O/f $1,400. In the next year $1,700 was ex- 
pended in enlarginig the church. Instrumental 
music was introduced in 1852, and in 1872 Mr. 
P. J. A. Harper presented to the church an ex- 
cellent organ. In 1866 was celebrated the cen- 
tennial of Methodism in America, and the fiftieth 
anniversary of the Hempstead Church, upon 
which occasion $10,000 was subscribed for cen- 
tenary and church extension purposes, and out 
ai this amount was built the Sunday-school edi- 
fice, at a cost of nearly $7,000. In 1854 a new 
church building was erected at a cost of $14,651, 
and in 1856 a parsonage costing nearly $4,000 
was built. Various important improvements 
have since been made. 

Various interesting reminiscences pertaining * 
to the village are narrated on other pages of 
this work — in the chapter on Revolutionary his- 
tory and others. H^ere it may be stated that 
after the war President George Washington 
stopped for some days at the ancient Sammis 
tavern. This ancient hostelry was first opened 
by Nehemiah Sammis, son of the first Sammis 
who came from England in 1650. Seven genera- 
tions of the Sammis family were here born, and 
it is still in the possession of one of itfs members. 
Morton Lodge,- No. 6;^, F. & A. M.,w'as chartered 
June 23, 1797. The first officers were David R. 
F. Jones, Master ; Jacob S. Jackson, Senior 
Warden; and Thomas Carman, Junior Warden. 
The Lodge preserves a Bible, which was saved 
when the lodge room' was burned about 1832, 

in which is inscribed the following: "Presented 
to the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Breth- 
ren of M'orton Lodge, No. 62,, by their affection- 
ate brother, Jacob Morton, Deputy Grand Master 
of Masons of the State of New York, Jan. 8, 
1798." The first newspaper printed in the vil- 
lage was 'The Schoolmaster," in 1850, by Tim- 
othy Clowes, but it did not long endure. 

With the beginning of the past century, the 
village of Hempstead commenced slowly to 
grow, for it became noted as a place of summer 
residence, and many people from New York 
began spending a season there, and, as a result, 
quite a number of attractive homes were added 
to it year after year. Communication with 
Brooklyn was maintained by means of stages, 
and, until the advent of the railroad, Hempstead 
had a regular service of three stages in each 
week. The streets are lined with trees, and are 
well and cleanly kept, and, down to the pres- 
ent day, when it is credited with a population of 
nearly 4,000, the toAvn retains many of the rural 
features which made it so attractive in the 
past, and which half a century ago enabled it 
to start upon its modern era of prosperity. It 
is a residential town, its manufactures amount- 
ing to little in a business way, and it depends 
to a great extent on the trade which comes to 
it from the needs of the villa residents and its 
summer population. It has all modern improve- 
ments in the way of gas, electricity, macadamized 
I'oads and social features of the highest class. 
Near it the ^Meadow Brook Farm and Kennel 
Clubs have their headquarters, and attract to it 
year after year many hundreds of people repre- 
sentative of what are called the foremost classes 
in the aristocratic circles of New York City. 

On the outbreak of the late war with Spain, 
I-Iempstead came prominently before the people 
of the State, for near to the north of it was lo- 
cated Camp Black, where for many months sev- 
eral thousand volunteers were housied and drilled 
in readiness to be sent to the front or into other 
active service according to the requirem^ents of the 
War Department. Had the war lasted any length 
of time, there is no doubt that Camp Black would 
have been retained as a military depot, but the 



rapid victories of the American forces on land 
and sea brought hostilities to a more speedy- 
conclusion tlian had been anticipated, and the 
camp was abandoned and has since been ''a 
waste of furze and brush." 

In point of historic antiquity the settlement in 
the township which dates closest to that of Hemp- 
stead village is that of Jerus'alem, now a hamlet- 
which has lost all its former prestige and pre- 
eminence, and has apparently been forgotten. It 
is on the border line of Oyster Bay township, 
the creek known as Jerusalem river separating it 
from that territory. When the exodu& from 
Stamford,- Connecticut, which peopled Hemp- 
stead, took place, in 1644, two of the immigrants, 
Captain John Seaman and Robert Jackson, pur- 
chased on their own account 1,500 acres of land 
from the Indians and settled upon it with their 
families. Their houses, as usual, were placed 
almost side by side; and after a time the dwell- 
ings O'f their children (Captain Seaman had eight 
sons and eight daughters, it is said, while Jack- 
son had two sons and two daughters) made up 
quite a village a few hundred feet east of the 
Jerusalem river. Additions to the real estate 
holdings were made from time to time, until the 
village territory included some 6,000 acres — some 
of it the most fertile land on Long Island. 

Captain John Seaman came from England 
about the year 1635. Not much is known of 
his early life. The family from which he came 
claimed descent from Danish stock which set- 
tled in England after the defeat of the Danes 
by King Alfred. Their Danish origin seems to 
find confirmation in the old famdy coat-of-arms 
— the sea-horse as a crest, and the motto '*We 
make our name known by our deeds" — which 
is similar in nature to those borne by others O'f 
that seafaring people.. But the achievements 
of Captain Seaman were worthy of any ancestry, 
or would ennoble him were he ancestorless, He 
was a man of masterly ability, and he conducted 
himself as a true colony founder and leader 
should, exercising a paternal care for his peo- 
ple. It would appear that a very large" part 
of his time during more than a third of a cen- 
tury was given to conducting the affairs of the 

Hempstead colony, a task abounding in diffi- 
culties and requiring constant watchfulness and 
rare sagacity. As one of the largest land pro- 
prietors in the town, through his purchase from 
the Indians, he was v^ell known to Governors 
Kieft, Nicolls and Dongan, each of whom ex- 
ecuted patents to him or confirmed patents, and 
he was almost constantly employed in some pub- 
lic capacity, occupying positions of trust and ex- 
ecuting missions between the royal authorities 
and the people, and between them and the In- 
dians. His eminent fitness for the latter task 
was abundantly demonstrated on many occasions. 
His strong sense of justice and fair-dealing 
found no limitation ; he was invariably as fair to 
the untutored savage as he was to those of his 
own race, and the Indians never once accused' 
him of wronging them, and held him in regard 
as a friend, where, in sO' many instances, the 
vv'hite man had oppressed and mistreated them. 
Upon one occasion, when the Indians, exasper- 
ated by some wrong done them by some of the 
colonists, had planned a geneial massacre of 
the whites, one of their number gave warning 
to Captain Seaman, and the calamity was 

So largely occupied as he was in^ colony af- 
fairs, Captain Seaman had little time to give 
to his plantation, and he committed its care to 
four of his sons, and, with the two others, re- 
moved to the village of Hempstead. In 1694, 
when his will was executed, he appears to 
have been living on what he calls "the 
hom_e lot, adjoining the land of James 
Pine." His descendants are legion, num- 
bering more than two thousand in the United 
States and Canada, and many of them have held 
positions on the bench, in the learned profes- 
sions, and in the civil and military service. To 
trace the family through its multitudinous rami- 
fications were a vast task in itself, and the men- 
tion' must be brief. 

From Jonathan, son of Captain Seaman, de- 
scended a goodly company : Isaac, an officer in 
the colonial forces, who served under Wolfe at 
the capture of Quebec; Zebnlon, a very promi- 
nent member of the colonial legislature for many 



years ; Zebulon's son Zebulon, a lieutenant of 
the Jerusalem militia, whO' joined the patriot 
army at the outbreak of the Revolution; the first 
Zehulon's second son, John W., who' commanded 
the Oyster Bay militia and also served through- 
out the Revolutionary war^ and was afterwards 
for many years surrogate of Queens county; 
and the igrandson of John W., John A. Searing, 
who was a congressman from the First New 
York District. Benjamin, the third son 
of Captain Seaman, was the ancestor of 
Benjamin, who was chairmjan of the New 
York committee of correspondence in the 
early Revolutionary days, and whose re- 
port "that all attempts of single States must 
prove futile; that the efforts and organization 
should be made continental," presumably gave 
origin to the title "Continental Congress." From 
him was also descended Hefnry I., of Staten Isl- 
and, who became a congressman from the First 
New York District. From other sons of Cap- 
tain Seaman, Jonathan and Richard, descended 
Jordan Seaman, an unflinching patriot during 
the Revolutionary period, who was afterwards 
a judge of Queens county, and became the father 
of Henry Onderdonk Seaman, who was for 
many years a justice of Hempstead, a county 
judge, a member oi the assembly, and held other 
important offices. From Thomas, sixth son of 
Captain Seaman, descended James M. Seaman, 
of Ridgewood, who was for many years a jus- 
tice of the peace for Hempstead, and subse- 
quently became an associate justice upon the su- 
preme bench. 

The daughters of Captain John Seaman were 
also the ancestors of many notable men. Eliza- 
beth became the wife of John Jackson, son of 
Robert Jackson, Captain Seaman's fellow pro- 
prietor. From this pair descended the greater 
number of the Jacksons of Long Ilsland and 
New York, and the numerous descendants of 
William and Phoebe Jones, of West Neck, Oyster 
Bay. Of these were iSamuel Jones, who became 
an eminent jurist, and his sons Chancellor Sam- 
uel, Judge David S., jNIajor William and vari- 
ous of their descendants — a long line of dis- 
tinguished men who held 'high public and social 

positions for more than a hundred years. Sarah, 
another daughter of Captain Seaman, married 
a Mott, and from this union descended numer- 
ous men of high character and some of notable 
ability. Another daughter of Captain Seaman, 
Martha, became the wife of Nathaniel Pearsall, 
and from them sprang an excellent family, of 
which General James B. Pearsall of a recent gen- 
eration was a conspicuous representative. De- 
borah, another daug^hter of Captain Seaman, 
married a Kirk, and from them was directly de- 
scended Benjamin C. Kirk, of Glen Cove. Han- 
nah and another daughter of Captain Seaman 
became the wives of the Carmian brothers, Caleb 
and Joshua, and numerous respected and useful 
descendants came of these marriages. Mary, yet 
another daughter of Captain Seaman, became 
the wife of Thomas Pearsall, and from them 
descended Gilbert Pearsall, late of Flushing. 

Of the grandsons of Captain Seaman, John 
remained in Plempstead; Joseph founded a nu- 
merous family at Little Egg Harbor, New Jer- 
sey; of Jonathan's descendants, mjany settled 
along the Hudson river and thence dispersed 
into Virginia, while others were the progenitors 
of the Jericho, Jamaica and New York branches 
of the family. The elder branch of Benjamin's 
family settled on Staten Island, and the others 
remained at Jerusalem. Solomon's sons settled 
near the village of Hempstead, except two who 
went to Maryland. The greater numlber of 
Samuel's descendants settled in Suffolk county, 
Long Island, and in 1800 the most of Thomas' 
descendants were residing abotit Jerusalem. Of 
Nathaniel's descendants, one branch remained at 
Hempstead, and another settled at Westbury. 
The children of Richard settled near Success, 
Hempstead Harbor and Jericho, in Oyster Bay. 

The farm known as Chenjwood was the 
first seat of Captain Seantan, and here was build- 
ed his. first home. It descended from him to his 
sixth son, Thomas, and from him to his eldest 
son, John, to his third son, Thomas, and from 
him to his son-in-law, Zebulon Seaman, and 
daughter, Mary; from them to their son, Ardon, 
and from him to his son, Edward H. Seaman. 
Upon this old homestead stood what had been 



known through many successive generations as 
"the old apple tree." It bore fruit as late as 
1870, when it had become so badly decayed that it 
was cut down. It was then known to be two 
hundred and eight years old. The venerable 
old tree was removed by Albert \Y. Seaman, of 
New York City, a son of Edward H. Seaman, 
the then owner, and a portion of the wood taken 
from it was made into a beautiful frame which 
now 'encloses a copy of John Du rand's fine en- 
graving of William Cullen Bryant, with a stanza 
from his poem "Planting the Apple Tree," and 
an autograph of the genial poet, with the date, 
April, 1872. 

The Seaman famfily, in the earlier generations 
of tho;se remaining at home, were in greater 
number buried on the farms belonging to the 
descendants of Benjamin and Thomas. These 
primitive cemetery spots long ago passed into 
the hands of strangers, and nearly every vestige 
of the graves of long ago have been obliterated 
for many years. 

Of 'Robert Jackson, who was Captain Sea- 
man's associate at the founding of the tlemp- 
stead colony, very little is known. He was one 
of the original settlers at Stamford, Connecticut, 
in 1640-41, and the records preserved by his de- 
scendants set forth: " A portion of the settlers 
of Stamford, becoming dissatisfied, sent a com- 
mittee over to Long Island in 1643, who suc- 
ceeded in making a purchase of the Indians ; and 
in April, 1644, the company crossed the sound 
to Hempstead Har^bor, and began the settlement 
on the present site of Hempstead village. Rob- 
ert Jackson and his wife were of this company." 

Robert Jackson was for many years active 
in community affairs. His "vvill, dated May 
26, 1683, mentions his sons John and Samuel, 
and his daughters Sarah and Martha, who, re- 
spectively, became the wives of Nathaniel Moore 
and Nathaniel Coles. His son John, Who was 
also a patentee of the town under Governors 
Kieft and Dongan, was a man of great promi- 
nence. He was high sheriff of Queens county 
from 1691 to 1695 ; a m-ember of the assembly 
from 1693 to 1709 and from 1710 to 1716; jus- 
tice of the peace in 1707; a county judge from 

1710 to 1723, and occupied other positions until 
his death in 1725. In 1685 he married Elizabeth, 
the eldest daughter o-f Captain Seaman. From 
them descended their son John, before m^en- 
tioned ; their grandson, also named John ; and 
in a far later generation, Thor.ias S. Jackson, 
of Newtown, who was for many years a justice 
of the peace, a county judge and a member of 
congress, and his brother James, who was also a 
justice and a county judge. 

Robert Jackson builded his home about eight 
hundred feet distant fromi that of Captain Sea- 
man. So remotely were they situated as to 
neighbors, that it was eight miles westward to 
the Hempstead settlement, and sixty miles of al- 
most impassable wilderness lay between them 
and their nearest ..settlement to the eastward. 
The Seaman and Jackson families grew up al- 
most side by side. Captain Seaman's sons, John, 
Jonathan, Benjamin, Solomon and Samuel, as 
they arrived at manhood, there made their 
homes, and not far from them were the younger 
Jacksons. Of the last named were John and 
Samuel, whose descendants extended southward 
until they reached the shore. 

The Jackson family have maintained and 
carefully protected a family burying ground since 
1744, and the earliest burial therein was Phebe, 
daughter of the second John Jackson, who be- 
came the wife of Wil'liami Jones, of West Neck, 
Oyster Bay. 

The Seamans and Jacksons and their col- 
lateral branches devoted themselves to agricul- 
ture, and the settlement would have passed on 
without attracting much attention but for the 
fact that it became one of the gathering places 
of the Long Island Quakers The Seaman 
family, or many of them, early adopted the ten- 
ets held by these "peculiar people," as they were 
then described by those who regarded them most 
tenderly, and for nearly a century, from 1793, 
regular meetings for worship were held in one 
or other of the Seaman homes at more or less 
regular intervals. A regular meeting house was 
built in 1827, and there Ardon Seaman preached 
and labored until his death, in 1875. By that 
time, however,, the Society of Friends had lost 



its hold in the vicinity, many oi the old settlers 
moved away, the land through a long series of 
years of mismanagement had lost its fertility^ 
and the new settlers who came in belonged to 
other ccmmimions. So the meeting place was 
abandoned, and with its passing Jernsalem be- 
gan to fade. Early in the nineteenth century, 
whei:! it was seen that the land was losing its 
original fertility, an effort was made to introduce 
n-^anufactures ; a grist mill and a paper mill 
were built, and long afterward a tannery and 
wood mill were introduced; but none of them 
made much headway. It iseems a pity that a 
place so full of treasured memories should pass 
into oblivion, but such seems to be the fate in 
store for Jerusalem unless a change speedily sets 
i% and of that .there is yet no sign. 

The crowning glory of Hempstead is Gar- 
den City, which was founded in 1869 by Alex- 
ander Turney Stewart, long the most noted of 
the merchant princes o'f the great metropolis. 
A shrewd, far-,seeing and wonderfully success- 
ful man in his business, Stewart, when wealth 
came to him, engaged in schemes which he 
deem.ed philanthropic, and .which at the same 
time were likely to return to him the money act- 
ually expendedon them. He gave several large 
donations to charity, but as a general rule he 
had no conception of giving away money in the 
fashion of more modern millionaires. Hie was 
ready to help pubHc enterprises with his means, 
willing to inaugurate an undertaking which was 
to benefit the people, but he wanted some return 
for the money expended. For instance, one of 
his schemes was the erection ol a hotel ,solely 
for women in New York, by which he thought he 
could benefit the hundreds of professional wo- 
men in the great city and the hundreds of wo- 
m(en who visited it from day to day, and at the 
same time gain five or six per cent, on the 
money he should invest in it. The hotel was 
built, but its. restrictions were 5uch that no one 
was satisfied, and it was soon abandoned. 

So, too, he conceived the idea of erecting a 
town which would in its way be a model com- 
munity, a little republic, a revival in nineteenth 

century days of the old theocratic settlements. 
It would be far enough away from New York 
to keep away excursion parties, its land should 
be common property and should not be sold out- 
right, and even the houses would be built by the 
corporation and only leased to the settlers. It 
would be a complete community within itself; 
it would make and enact its own laws, have a 
large hotel capable of accommodating the most 
refined travelers, wide streets, superb schools, 
and all manner of modern improvements and 
equipments. Everything would be hedged about 
with restrictions, the place would be exclusive 
and refined, and the entire community should so 
commend itself that it would be regarded as a 
garden spot — a veritable Eden. With these no- 
tions of town building, Mr. Stewart looked 
about for a site and in 1869 he selected a plot 
of 7,170 acres on the historic Plempstead Plain, 
not far from the old village, for which he paid 
to the township $394,350. By an act of legisla- 
ture this money was to be invested and the pro- 
ceeds devoted to educational purposes in the 
town he proposed to establish, and for the sup- 
port of its poor, should it have any poor. 

■So the place received t^e name of Garden 
City. It was surveyed, cut up into streets and 
avenues, the hotel was built and houses erected, 
but the people did not flock in. Americans do 
not like to be hampered by restrictions, and the 
class of people he aimed at securing preferred 
to ov/n their country homes outright, and it 
seemed as though Garden City would end in be- 
ing regarded as a merchant's folly. For two 
or three years its main purpose was to advance 
the price of Hempstead real estate, and to afford 
the land boomers a chaiice to throw into the 
market other tracts of the great plain. Stewart 
died in 1876, before he had time to fully mature 
his plans for the success of the new town, but 
it is difficult to understand how the policy he 
had outlined, and which he would have clung to 
with all the dogged pertinacity of his nature, 
would have ended in anything but failure. 

But with his death a change came over Gar- 
den City. Maiiy of his objectionable restrictions 
were quietly thrown aside, and the town was 



permitted to .grow on the reg;ular lines of sup- 
ply and demand. But the deniand would have 
been slow had not his widow designed to make 
the town a m-emorial of her husiband. She de- 
termined to build in it a grand cathedral, rival- 
ling in size and beauty some of the great Europ- 
ean religious shrines, and to associate with it 
a school whose educational advantages should be 
unsurpassed. Some have averred that the ca- 
thedral and school were but a part of A. T. 
Stewart's original scheme, but that is merely sur- 
mise. The millionaire left the bulk of his vast 
estate to his wife, untrammeled by obligations, 


and the cathedral, the school and the bishop's 
palace were her free offering, and all she asked 
in return was that the group of buildings should 
become the seat of the Bishop of Long Island, 


and that the crypt of the cathedral should be the 
last resting place of her own body and that of 
her hus'band, whose memory she thus desired 
to honor. Mrs. Stewart's purposes were heartily 
approved by Bishop Littlejohn and his clergy, 
architects were set to work and plans prepared, 
arid on June 28, 1877, the corner stone of the 
cathedral was laid by the Bishop with imiposing 

The plan of the edifice is cruciform, with 
tower and spire, baptistery, organ apse, crypt 
and mausoleum. The style employed is decorated 
gothic of the thirteenth century, but the architect 
has given freshness and independence 
to the treatment by adopting the foli- 
age and flowers of this country and 
following nature rather than the old 
and stiff conventional forms. Un- 
usual beauty and grace are attained 
in this manner in all the carved work 
of the triforium, capitals, bosses and 
corbels, 'which furnish everywhere 
varied and pleasing subj ects for 
study. The exterior is constructed of 
Bellville (New Jersey) stone, and the 
interior of Berea (Ohio) stone, with 
the use of native and foreign marbles 
in the pavement, chancel steps, bap- 
tistery and mausoleum. The pro- 
portions of the building are admir- 
able, the extreme length measuring 
190 feet, width of the transept in- 
cluding the porches 109 feet, of the 
nave and aisles 52 feet. The choir 
and chancel are 60 feet deep, sepa- 
rated by mart)le steps, with the bish- 
op's throne on the north side and the 
dean's on. the south. The tower, 
which is monumental in character, 
w^ith bold buttresses, ornate gables 
and pinnacles, is 124 feet high; and 
the delicately tapering spire, crock- 
eted and surmounted by a large illuminated cross 
of colored gems, is 97 feet, making the whole 
height 221 feet. In the upper stage of the tower 
is hung the chime of bells, thirteen, in number, 



exhibited at the Centennial exhibition in Phila- 
delphia, from the noted McShane foundry in 
Baltimore. The spire of the baptistery is beau- 
tiful in design and workmanship, with its flying 
buttresses and pierced belfry; and from the aisle 
walls also spring flying buttresses to the nave, 
giving lightness and elegance to the general ef- 
fect of the exterior, while the cornices are en- 
riched with gargoyles and pinnacles. The roof 
is islated, and finished at the apex with a bronze 
crest, bearing a crown at the junction of the 
nave and the transepts, and a cross over the 

In the interior the work is equally elaborate 
and carefully finished. The baptistery is con- 
nected with the choir and transept by large 
arches, filled with elegant stone tracery, and is 
finished with columns' of variegated foreign 
marbles, with capitals of statuary marble ex- 
quisitely carved, supporting the gothic groin- 
ing of the dome above. Around the walls runs a 
wainscoting of statuary marble with panels of vert 
antique. In the center of the inlaid marble pave- 
ment stands the white marble font, adorned with 
appropriate symbols and figures, and covered by 
a rich canopy. The seats of the bishop and 
dean as well as the stalls of the clergy in the 
ante-chancel are of mahogany, with elaborately 
carved canopies; and in the sanctuary the stalls 
and canopies are of carved stone, as well as the 
piscina and credence. On a platform of raised 
steps stands the altar, constructed of the purest 
statuary marble, with panels presenting in bold 
relief the chief events of our Lord's incarnate 
life, with their prophetical types in the old dis- 
pensation. The pavement of this portion ol the 
edifice is a rich mosaic of colored marbles. In 
the choir and transepts are. large niches for ap- 
propriate figures, executed in marble. 

The crypt is connected with the choir and 
nave pby staircases, and contains a large chapel, 
with a spacious hall and vestibules of carved 
oak filled with panels of stained glass. At the 
west end under the choir is another smaller 
chapel, and adjoining it the mausoleum, which 
is po'lygonal, having fourteen bays, wrought 
in the most elegant manner in statuary marble, 

with clustered columns of the costliest Euro- 
pean marbles at eadh angle of the walls, sup- 
porting the vaulting and its pendent crown. The 
symmetry and variety of the columnar treatment, 
the exquisite finish of the floriated capitals, cor- 
bels and muUions, all of which are separate 
studies, the stained glass presenting the story of 
our Lord's passion, death and resurrection, the 
graceful statuary and the massive sarcophagus, 
all combine to render this mortuary temple a tri- 
umph of architectural genius. 

The architect was Henry G. Harrison, of 
New York, and the contractor James H. L'Hom- 
medieu, of Great Neck, Long? Island. The 
stained glass of the crypt was from the manu- 
factory of Colgate, New York; and that of the 
mjausoleum and the cathedral itself from the 
celebrated London firms of Heaton, Butler & 
Bayne, and Clayton & Bell. The cost of the 
edifice was $1,000,000. 

The organ, built by H. L. Roosevelt, of 
New York, ranks among the largest, and in 
several respects is one of the most remarkable 
in the world. It has four manual keyboards 
and one pedal keyboard, and comprises one hun- 
dred and twenty speaking stops and about eight 
thousand pipes. Though placed in different parts 
of the cathedral, it is all played from one key 
box, situated in the choir, the remote portions 
being connected by cables of electric wire, over 
twenty miles of which are used for this purpose. 
The main body of the instrument is in an oc- 
tagonal chamber built on the north side of the 
choir for this purpose. The next largest por- 
tion is at the other end of the building, in the 
stage of the tower immediately below the chimes 
and separated from the church by a stained glass 
window, which is opened and shut from one of 
the swell pedals in the choir by means of elec- 
tricity. A third part is in the chapel under the 
nave, and can be played there from its own key- 
board for chapel services. A fourth, above the 
ceiling, is called the Echo organ, and is played 
also from the choir. Two other portions are on 
either side of the choir. The chimes are also 
played from the .solo manual by electricity, or 
from a separate keyboard in the tower. The 



oombiniation pedals are so arranged that the 
organist can change any combination to suit 
himself, small knohs being placed above the 
drawstops for this purpose. Three steam en- 
gines, located in different parts of the building, 
are employed to work the bellows. The cost 
of the instrument was over $60,000, and the 
ornately carved m^ahogany cases cost about $30,- 
000 additional. 

The Cathedral School of St. Paul's occupies 
a sightly position about a quarter of a mile 
northwest of the cathedral. It is in style an 
adaptation of English gothic, and is massively 
constructed of brick, made at the brick works of 
the estate, with brown stone and Dorchester yel- 
low stone for windows, doorways, porches and 
other ornamental features. 

The edifice consists of an imposing facade, 
which with the port-cochere is 290 feet long, 
and three wfings 170 feet deep, forming a ground 
plan something like the letter E; and is four 
stories in height, with additional stories in the 
center and at the angles, which have high man- 
sard roofs. Besides these projections the exterior 
is diversified with ornate porches of carved 
stone, a clock and bell tower and a broach spire 
in copper for the ventilation of the laboratory. 
Over the main entrance is inscribed: "In Me- 
MORiAM Alex. Turney Stewart/' with the 
name of the school beneath, and over the east 
and west doorways, "Historia et Scientia," and 
'*Ars et Philosophia." 

The interior arrangements have been care- 
fully planned, and appear to successfully com- 
bine the best features of modern collegiate edi- 
fices, whether in this country or abroad. The 
whole building is fire^proof, admirably ventilat- 
ed, and supplied with gas and hot and cold water 
in every room, with abundant bathing facilities, 
and steam heating apparatus after the Holly 
system. The different stories are connected by 
two elevators, and several commodious stair- 
ways, constructed of iron and stone. The first 
floor comprises the main hall, 270 feet long and 
10 wide, and lateral corridors 170 feet long, 
wainscoted with tiles and marble, and paved 
with Minton tiles of beautiful designs; reception 

rooms on either side of the central entrance, con- 
necting with a library and parlor, each 21 by 50 
feet, the headmaster's and the matron's apart- 
ments, dormitories in the east wing; the dining 
hall in the central wing, 43 by 62 feet, with serv- 
ing rooms ; and the two assembly rooms in the 
west wing for the higher and lower school, 
about 50 feet square, with several recitation 
and lecture rooms, each 20 by 24 feet. The sec- 
ond story is devoted to teachers' and pupils' 
rooms, varying in size from 9 by 20 feet to 18 
by 25 feet; and in the center, occupying two 
stories, is the chapel, 42 by 65 feet, which is ar- 
ranged with longiitudinal sittings for some four 
or five hundred pupils, and has at the north end a 
chancel, organ and sacristy. On the third floor 
are situated in front of the music rooms, the art 
gallery, 25 by 62 feet; the infirmary, 25 by 40 
feet, with apartments for nurses, and in the cor- 
ridors a large number of dormitoiries. The 
fourth story contains, besides dormitories, the 
laboratory, 20 by 44 feet, studios for art pupils, 
and the gymnasium, 37 by 62 feet, with dressing 
rooms, in the central mansard. In the basement 
are play room's in the school wing, the armory, 
the laundry and 'drying rooms, the steward's 
room and the servant's hall, the store room, 
butcher's shop, refrigerators, dairy, engine room, 
ovens, kitchen, scullery, eac. ; and in the east 
wing the servants' dormitories. Throughout the 
building the wood work is of ash, black walnut, 
oak and mahogany, finished in the most elegant 
and substantial manner, with solid and appropri- 
ate furniture specially manufactured for the 
school after the most approved designs. 

In the early days of the Diocese of Long Isl- 
and, the [Rev. Beverley Betts designed an epis- 
copal arms therefor, which is the basis of the 
corporation seal of the Cathedral. This is at 
once strikingly emblematic, and richly aristic. 
The heraldic terms are obscure tO' the ordinary 
reader, but the significance of 'the entire display 
cannot but be of interest. The technical descrip- 
tion as. given by the designer is as follows : 

''Or, a chevron barry-wavy, argent and 
azure between three crosses, crosslet fitchy 



gules. The shield is of gold and with the 
crosses is a part of the arms of the MacDon- 
aids, ancestors of William Alexander, Earl of 
Sterling, first Lord Proprietor of Long Island. 
The chevron, with harry-wavy gules, blue on 
silver, is also part of his arms. These tinctures 
are the well-known Stewart colors, and con- 
tain a graceful allusion to the benefactions of 
Mrs. A. T. Stewart, by whom the cathedral at 
Garden City was founded and endowed. The 
arrangement of "barry-wavy" is the conven- 
tional symbol of "waters" and with the Bibli- 
cal motto below, 'T will set his dominion in 
the sea," indicates the insular "jurisdiction." 
The 'Crosses, customary emblems of the Chris- 
tian religion, are red. The rnitre is of gold 
with lining and bands in red, indicating the 
episcopal character of the corporation. 

JMuch ^significance attaches to the jewels 
of the mitre. Of these the five rubies repre- 
sent the five wounds of Christ, the three sap- 
phires have reference to the Trinity, and the 
two emeralds are symbols of the dual nature 
of Christ, the human land divine. These pre- 
cious stones were chosen as being especially 
significant and appropriate from the allusions 
made to them in the Scriptures: — the ruby 
suggesting charity, dignity, divine power ; the 
sapphire constancy, truth and virtue; the 
emerald, immortality. 

The 'Right Rev. A. N. Littlejohn, D. D., the 
first Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Long Is- 
land, entered upon his residence at Garden City 
as soon as a home was prepared for him, and 
from there managed the affairs of the diocese 
until his death on August 3, 1901. The sad event 
took place at Williianistown, Massachusetts, 
where the venerable prelate was spending a brief 
vacation from his many and exacting duties. 
His sudden death created a profound sentiment 
of regret, not alone on- Long Island, but through- 
out the Church of which he was so long recog- 
nized as a leader. 

Dr. Littlejohn was born December 13, 1824, 
at Elorida, Montgomery county, New York. 
Entering Union College, Schenectady, when 
seventeen years oM, he was graduated with hon- 
ors in 1845, and, after a course of three years in 
theological studies, he was ordained a Deacon 
by Bishop Williami H. DeLancey, in 1848. His 
first church position was that of assistant in St. 

Anne's, Amsterdam, New York, whence he went 
not long afterward to accept a corresponding 
place in St. Andrew's, Meriden, Connecticut. 

In 11850 he was called to Springfield, Mas- 
sachusetts, ias rector of Christ Church, but he 
remained there only a year, leaving to take 
charge of the important parish of St. Paul's, in 
New Haven, Connecticut. It was while in this 
church that he began to be w^ell known through- 
out this country and Europe, his writings on ec- 
clesiastical and literary subjects attracting favor- 
able attention generally. 

After ten years at New -Haven, Dr. Little- 
john, who in the meantime had been honored 
with the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the 
University of Pennsylvania, came to Brooklyn 
to be rector of the Holy Trinity Church, at Clin- 
ton and Montague streets. Before this he had 
been offered the Presidency of Geneva College, 
now called Hobart Gollege, but had declined the 
position. He had also been a lecturer on pas- 
toral theology in the Berkley Divinity School, 
Middletown, Connecticut, for seven years. He 
was the second rector of Holy Trinity Church in 
Brooklyn, succeeding the Rev. Dr. William H. 

During the nine years Dr. Littlejohn stayed 
there the debts of the church were paid off, and 
the steepile, which had been unbuilt for lack of 
funds, was reared to its full height. 

Dr. Littlejohn's career was distinguished by 
an occurrence that is said to be unique in the 
records of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
this country. When the Diocese of Central New 
York and Long Island were formed he was 
elected Bishop for both of them, almost simul- 
taneously. His acceptance of the latter territory 
was made on the ground' that he was more fa- 
miliar with the needs of the diocese where he had 
been working than with those of the one up the 
State. He was consecrated on January 27, 1869, 
Bishop Henry C. Potter officiating, with the as- 
sistance of eight other Bishops. 

In 1874 Bishop Littlejohn was appointed to 
take charge of churches established in Europe 
by the Protestant Episcopalians of America, and 
he consecrated the Church of St. Paul's- Within- 



the-Walls, in Rome, and opened the American 
Church in Paris. Later, however, he was forced 
to transfer his foreign duties to the Bishop of 
North Carolina, church affairs in Long Island 
demanding his entire attention. 

The University of Cambridge, England, 
made Bishop Littlejohn a Doctor of Laws in 
1880, and he received the degree of Doctor of 
Civil Laws from the University of the South, 
at Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1897. From the time 
of his residence in New Haven he continued to 
write regularly. Among his ipublished works 
are "The Philosophy of Religion," "The Meta- 
physics of 'Cousin,'' ''The Life and W ritings of 
Coleridge," "The Poetry of George Herbert," 
"The Bible and Common Sense," ''The Out- 
wardness of Popular Religion," "Human Pro- 
gress," "The Alt-Catholic Movement," "Con- 
ciones ad Clerum," "Stephen's Lectures on the 
History of France," "Roger's Eclipse of Faith," 
and "The Christian Ministry at the Close of the 
Nineteenth Century." 

In February, 1899, services commemorative 
of the Bishop's thirty years of service were held 
in the Cathedral of the Incarnation. The last 
public service of unusual importance that Bishop 
Littlejohn attended was that which celebrated 
the fiftieth anniversary of the organization of 
the Church Charity Foundation, in which he had 
always been interested. It was -noticeable at this 
service that he was very feeble, and since then 
there was frequent talk of his having a coadju- 
tor. He persistently refused this offer, even 
taking occasion to say at a meeting of the 
clergyman and laymen of the diocese that he was 
well able to take care of the affairs of the diocese. 

Dr. Littlejohn was a strict Churchman, and 
was heard to express himself emphatically more 
than once about certain innovations in the wor- 
ship of his church that he regarded as altogether 
wrong. Although his reputation as a writer and 
scholar was the greater, he achieved no small 
note as an orator, and there were those who 
ranked him among the best pulpit preachers. 

Bishop Littlejohn was succeeded by the Rev. 
Dr. Frederick Burgess. He was born in 1853, 

in Providence, Rhode Island, a son of Frederick 
Burgess, of that city. His family is one of dis- 
tinction in the annals of the Church. His uncle, 
George Burgess, was the first Bishop of Maine, 
a diocese founded in 1820, and another uncle, 
Alexander Burgess, was first Bishop of the dio- 
cese of Quincy, which was organized in 1878. 
Dr. Burgess received his early education in his 
native city, and was graduated from Brown's 
University there in 1873. He then studied two 
year's at the General Theological Seminary in 
New York, and afterwards for a year at Oxford, 
On his return in 1876 he was ordained deacon by 
Bishop Niles in Grace Church_, Providence, hav- 
ing been presented for ordination by Dr. Greer, 
then rector of that parish. In Grace Church, 
also, he was ordained priest in 1878 by Bishop 
Clark, having served in the meantime at Mend- 
ham, New Jersey. After his ordination to the 
priesthood he was for five years in charge of 
Grace Church_, Amherst, Massachusetts, and then 
for six years at Christ Church, Pomfret, Con- 
necticut. In the summer of 1879, while on his 
way to Great Neck, Long Island, he suffered 
shipwreck on the ' ' Sea wanhaka," which was 
burned off Ward's Island , near Hell Gate. 
Twenty-four lives were lost in this disaster, and 
the terrible experience deepened the natural 
seriousness of the future bishop's character. Dr. 
Burgess remained at Bala for seven years ; then 
he went to Christ Church, Detroit, where he re- 
mained until 1898, when he was called to Brook- 
lyn to the rectorate of Grace Church on the 
Heights, as successor to the Rt. Rev. Chauncey 
B. Brewister, D. D. His rectorates have been 
signalized by successful work among men, and 
his power to draw them to the Church. His 
genius for preaching without notes has added 
greatly to his influence over m|en. Clergymen 
of all parties join in commendation of his ad- 
ministrative ability, and feel assured of a united 
forward movement under his guidance in every 
department of diocesan work. 

Bishop Burgess was married in 'Mendham, 
New Jersey, in 188 1, to Miss Caroline G. Bar- 
tow, daughter of Edgar J. Bartow, who provided 



the funds for the erection of Holy Trinity 
Church, Brooklyn. Mrs. Burgess died in 1894, 
leaving four sons. 

Even with all its advantages, the popu- 
lation of Garden City has crept up but slowly. 
In 1891 it had something like 600, in 1896 it had 
increased' to 700, and in 1900 it had added about 
fifty more, and there it remains. But time is on 
its side, and it will undoubtedly grow in import- 
ance and influence as the years speed on. It is 
now recognized as a splendid centre of church 
and educational work; the beauty of its streets 
and of its situation is yearly becoming more 
widely known ; its hotel has even now become a 
resort, and' in many respects it is the pride of 
Nassau county. 'Mrs. Stewart has been lying at 
rest in the cathedral crypt for several years, and 
it is presumed that the body of her husband is 
there also, although nothing on that point is 
known. The Stewart millions have been dissipat- 
edj some of themi in a fashion that would have 
roused his indignation. But the haste which his 
widow made in erecting this great architectural 
pile and in sO' lavishly providing endowments 
have been amply justified by the story of the dis- 
posal of these milions, and prove that her native 
shrewdness had almost forecasted the end of it 
all. 'So Garden City's cathedral has become the 
merchant's enduring monument, and still keeps 
by its healthful agencies part, at least, of his own 
great fortune engaged in useful and beneficent 

There has for. some time been talk, more or 
less vague, of a municipal union between Hemp- 
istead village and Garden City, and while the 
time for it seems hardly ripe, there appears no 
reason to doubt its taking place ultimately, unless 
the Greater New York takes another leap and 
adds Nassau ■ county to its domain. Even that 
has already been mooted, and certainly as un- 
likely things have happened in the history of the 
great city. 

Rockville Centre, which now claims a popula- 
tion of some 2,500, was settled mlainly in 1854, 
but its Methodist Church has an existence dating 
back to 1790, when a small hamlet sprang up 

around it. The first church was torn down in 
1817 and a new edifice was built on its site, which 
served until 1874, when the present structure 
was erected. As usual, the first church was 
erected as a meeting house for the use of any 
body of worshippers, and its surrounding ceme- 
tery was for the reception of the fathers of the 
little hamlet, as, one by one, they fell into that 
sleep which knows no waking. But after a while 
it appears that there were no residents of the 
vicinity who belonged to other than the Metho- 
dist body, and so they seem to have, entered into 
full possession. In 1870 the Methodist Episcopal 
Church of St. Mark's erected a temporary church, 
which in the following year gave way to the now 
existing building. Rockville Centr-e remains a 
residential village. Its high school is a most at- 
tractive edifice, and as a spot for home building 
the town possesses many peculiar attractions. 

As much may be said of Pearsalls, which also 
dates practically from the mliddle of last century, 
but without any old church to bind it to the re- 
mote past. From a religious point of view Pear- 
sails may be regarded as the sister of Rockville 
Centre, for the religious work and influence of 
the one is always shared by the other. In 1841 
the old 'Methodist Church at Rockville Centre 
helped to found a church at Pearsalls, and St. 
James' Church in the last named village was the 
result of a division of the work of St. Mark's. 
A school house was one of the first buildings 
erected at Persalls after it was laid out, and the 
construction of the water-works for Brooklyn 
made it a busy place in 1857. After that com- 
motion passed, it assumed its proper place as a 
residential point, which it has since retained. Its 
present population is estimated at 1,400. The 
town derives its name from the Pearsall family, 
which has been established here for considerably 
miore than a century past. ' 

Freeport (otherwise known as Hempstead 
South or Raynorville) , twenty-three miles dis- 
tant from- New York, is a town of comfortable 
arid attractive homes, handsome churches -and 
excellent isociety. Its streets lead down to the 
Great South Bay, where oyster culture is carried 
on upon a large scale. 



New Bridge is the name given to the little 
settlement upon both sides of the brook separat- 
ing what was formerly known as Whale Neck 
from Little Neck. The ground is known to have 
been a favorite resort of the Merikoke Indians, 
and relics of their occupation are yet found by 
farmers while upturning the soil. During the 
revolutionary war, General Jacob S. J. Jones was 
stationed here with a brigade to protect the peo- 
ple against the depredations of sailors from the 
British fleet which made the point a favorite 

Seaford, Bellmore, Valley Stream,, Ridge- 
wood, iWantagh, Baldwin's and Norwood are all 
pleasant villages, some of them ■ beautifully 
located, and all presenting attractions for quiet 

One of the most lovely of these smaller vil- 
lages is Merrick, twenty-four miles from New 
York. The name is of Indian origin, that of 
a tribe of Indians, and has appeared in the va- 
rious forms or Meric, Meroks, Merikoke, Me- 
rock, Meroque. The history of the town was 
written in the year 1900 by Mr. Charles N. Kent, 
and was published in a pamphlet, which is made 
in large part the basis of our account. 

The first actual settler was John Smith, who 
came to be known as John Rock Smith and John 
Smith Rock — the appellation being bestowed up- 
on him in recognition of his ingenuity in build- 
ing his house at Stamiford, Connecticut, over a 
rock which was too large to be removed, and 
which was thus utilized as a part of the wall and 
also as a back to his fireplace. The Carman 
family sent representatives from the isettlement 
on Hempstead Plains to Merrick at a very early 
day. The first white child born in the Merrick 
settlement was Caleb, a son of John Carman, 
January 9, 1645. The Carman and Smith families 
intermarried, and appear to have held land in 
common, westward from' the eastern line* of what 
is now the property of H. H. Cammann, on Mer- 
rick Avenue. These two families pre-empted 
the entire territory from Merrick river east to 
Cove Spring Landing, Merrick Cove, and from 
the bay north to Hempstead Plains. 

John Rock Smith settled west of the present 

lakes on either side of Merrick road — his house 
on the north and barn on the south side. Jon- 
athan Smith Black laid out his farm east of Mer- 
rick path, which afterward became the Hemp- 
stead turnpike, and Jonathan Smith Rock settled 
to the west, there being between themi a wedge 
of land known as the Hewlett farm. It is re- 
ported that this wedge was contributed equally 
by the two Smiths to induce the Hewletts to set- 
tle thereon. 

From carefully preserved records now in the 
possession of Mr. George T. Hewlett and Mr. 
George M. Hewlett it appears that the first of 
their family to reach America was one of the 
judges who passed sentence of death upon King 
Charles (1648). The signature of this Hewlett 
in the King's death warrant is differently spelled 
and it is supposed to- have been purposely chang- 
ed afterward to avoid pursuit and detection. 

The Hewlett coat-of-arms represents two 
owls upon a shield, with the mottoes : "To stake 
one's life for the truth," and "By courage, not 
by craft." The name was sometimes spelt Hulit, 
and also "Owlett," the latter probably derived 
from the Yorkshire dialect and the representa- 
tive owls. 

The first Hewlett settlement (about 1649) 
was on Riker's Island, near Hell Gate. The 
house was destroyed by Indians, although the 
family being warned, escaped, and we next hear 
of them in Hempstead, whither they probably, 
migrated. There were then three brothers, 
George, John and Lewis, and one sister. George 
and John both died unmarried, the former at 
Hempstead, the latter at Cow Neck. Of the 
others there is no record. The first George Hew- 
lett to come to Merrick settled "between Whale 
Neck and New Bridge road," including what is 
now known as Cedar Swamp. There is also 
record of an early Hewlett settlement upon the 
farm of Mr. George M. Hewlett, which has al- 
ways remained in the family. The original house 
has been incorporated in the more modern resi- 
dence occupied at the present time. An old 
clothes press brought from England is still in its 
garret, as well as portraits of Colonel Hewlett 
and his wife. The Hewletts were among the 



leaders oi the Royalist party, and at times were 
in imniiinent danger, but finally a declaration of 
submission to the Continental Congress was 
drawn up, and among its signers were John Car- 
man, John Smith Rock, Williaml Smith Black, 
Benjamin Hewlett, Benjamin Hewlett (2d), Jo- 
seph Hewlett, George Hewlett and John Hew- 

The Hewlett family were continuously in the 
eyes of the /people, known as enterprising and 
successful folk. Thus, the following copied 
from an old newspaper dated February 28, 1800, 
will serve as an example: "The curious are in- 
vited to a sight of one of the most astonishing 
productions in nature, a large ox, raised by Mr. 
George Hewlett. He is to he seen at Mrs. 
Deloaif's Flymarket. Admittance, one .shilling. 
To give an idea of this o!x, it need only be men- 
tioned that he is nineteen hands high, seventeen 
and a half feet in length, and nine feet in girth, 
forming a tremendous mass of animation. Not 
to view him as he now stands argues that want 
of curiosity which tends to enlarge the mind." 
And again, in 1S31, we read: "George Hew- 
lett, of Merrick, has a cornstalk on which 
grew thirteen' perfect ears." 

On one occasion, George Hewlett was in 
command of a militia detachment in pursuit of 
some whale-boat robbers. Not long afterwards, 
while ihe was with two friends, gunning on the 
marsh, a whale-boat rowed up, took his gun, 
silver sleeve buttons, and som^e money, and con- 
sulted whether they should take their hats and 

In the last generation of our first George 
Hewlett's descendants there were twelve brothers 
and sisters. Of these, Mr. George T. Hewlett 
and Mrs. Mary Willetts were in 1900 the sole 

Richard Valentine had land, undescribed, in 
Merrick as early as 1657, He was. a town mar- 
shal and a man of some parts. 

The old Merrick Path, beginning near the 
present Hempstead turnpike and passing east of 
the house of Mr. Benjamin Seaman, in a north- 
erly direction to the plains, was probably the first 
road in this part of the new township. It is said 

that one with sharp eyes can still discern its out- 
lines. It Avas simply "brushed out," and indi- 
cated more distinctly by "blazed trees." This 
path later on was known as the "Hempstead 
Road," and then as the turnpike. About 1850 a 
company was organized for the construction of 
the South Oyster Bay Turnpike, including the 
Merrick Road from Babylon to the Old Hemp- 
stead Turnpike in Merrick, and thence north to 
Hempstead Plains. The work seems to have been 
accomplished with but little delay and resulted in 
pretty general satisfaction to all but stockholders. 
Later, there were regular lines of stages on the 
new -turnpike from Ba-bylon to Hempstead — 
thence to Jamaica ancj Brooklyn. South Oyster 
Bay had a postoffice^ and one was soon after 
established for Merrick in the old hotel and 
store combined on the Hempstead Turnpike, 
north of the present railroad crossing. 

Merrick avenue, extending from th^ Bay 
north to the railroad and thence to and beyond 
the camp grounds, is perhaps as fine a road 
with its surroundings as can be found' on Long 
Island. It is, the greater part, beautifully shad- 
ed, and has a macadam foundation. Previous 
to 1850, however, it was but a cow path, more 
particularly designated as "Whale Neck Road," 
from the stranding of a whale at Whale Neck 
Point, which whale was later subdivided and 
transferred in carts over the cow path to settle- 
ments further north. A pair of bars then closed 
Merrick avenue to the public at its junction 
with the Merrick road. The necessity for mak- 
ing the path a highway soon became apparent, 
and it was accordingly set apart for that purpose 
and reconstructed. Freight from the Merrick 
dock, at the foot of this avenue, before the days 
of a railroad, was then received from vessels and 
conveyed in wagons to all parts of the surround- 
ing country. Indeed, at this period, nearly all 
freight t6 and from Hempstead and New York 
was so transferred. The good ship "Native of 
America/' commafided by Captain Thomas Ray- 
nor, made regular trips between the two ports. 

Some of the early enterprises were founded 
out of funds procured by lottery, and this agency 
was at times resorted to in aid of schools and 



even churches. Thus, in 1763, the Reverend 
Samuel Seabury recorded in his diary : '*The 
ticket No. 5866 in the Light House, drew in my 
favor, by the blessing of God, isoo, for which 
I now record to my posterity my thanks, and 
praise to Almighty God, the Giver of all good 
gifts. Amen." 

"In Merrick," writes Thompson, ''the Meth- 
odists have a meeting house, erected in 1830, and 
■ another east in 1840." This first meeting house 
referred to has ibeen identified as one which 
stood near Hempstead Turnpike in Freeport, 
about one mile north of the Merrick Road ; it 
was formerly known as the Sand Hill Church. 
The graveyard, with its headstones, is yet to be 
seen in the still kept inclosure where the building 
formerly stood. The edifice east^ to which 
Thompson refers, was probably the Alerrick 
school house, where ^services were occasionally 
held and a regular Sunday-school maintained. 

The first building erected within Merrick 
precincts for religious services was undoubt- 
edly the Union Chapel, commenced in the fall 
of 1875, completed in the summer of 1876, and 
dedicated Sunday, August 27th, of that year, by 
Methodist Elder Graves. 

The first school house in Merrick was built 
early in the last century. It was of rough boards 
and timbers hewn from logs — from its size evi- 
dently not intended for a large number of pupils. 
The remnants of this building may still be seen 
in rear of Mr. William E. Hewlett's residence, 
where until fallen into decay they did duty for 
m|any years as a chicken house. The old boards 
and logs bear indications that the boys then, as 
well as now, had jack knives and knew how 
to use them; they record, cut deep in the wood, 
initials of many a girl and boy, long since passed 
away, and of whom there is probably no other 
memorial extant. 

The second school house, on the Merrick 
Road, east of Mr. Hewlett's, was erected in 
1644, and used until the modern building 
further east was completed in 1892. In this .sec- 
ond edifice many of the present residents of Mer- 
rick received their education ; and for years this 
school produced the best scholars and gave the 

most thorough instruction of any on Long Isl- 
and. The early teacher lived on the premises, 
sleeping over the school room, and cooking his 
frugal meals upon the rough apology of a box 
stove. It is said of one that his chief nutri- 
ment was derived from buckwheat cakes in their 
season, and other kinds of cakes during the rest 
of the year. An "old boy" remembers that his 
teacher was famous for his skill in cooking, 
''and when the process was about to comimence 
the scholars gathered around to watch him flop 
the cakes on top of the hot iron." 

The Merrick of to-day is a delightful resi- 
dential city, affording all the advantages of the 
day.' The principal church is the Church of 
the Redeemer, Protestant Episcopal. Its prop- 
erty was originally the old Union Church before 
referred to, upon which was erected a new edi- 
fice, which was consecrated by Bishop Littk- 
john, July 26, 1887. In the following year a 
rectory was built. 

The villagers feel a just pride in the Mer- 
rick Free Circulating Library. This had its 
beginning through the instrumentality of the 
proprietors of "The Messenger," a parish jour- 
nal, and at first consisted of about fifty con- 
tributed volumes kept upon improvised shelves in 
the hay loft of a vacant stable. Mr. Edward 
C. Cammann gave to the library his untiring 
interest, and used his means liberally, and the 
Merrick Library (now incorporated) occupies a 
neat building of its own, a goodly collection of 
books, and a valuable museum of Long Isl- 
and relics and curios which is receiving constant 

About one mile from the village, on the 
Whale Neck Road, are the grounds of the Long 
Island Camp Meeting Association, comprising 
nearly sixty acres, upon which are nearly sixty 
residences. The first cOiSt of grounds and build- 
ings was about $26,000. The Association was 
formed in 1864, and was a moving body until 
1869, when it located permanently at Merrick. 
During the summer months the cottages are 
well filled, making a little community of three 
hundred people, and this number is largely in- 
creased during the regular camp meeting sea- 



son. The superintendent has known as many 
as ten thousand people present at one time, but 
there was a touch of regret in his accompanying 
statement that this was before Coney Island and 
Long Beach had become so attractive. 

Probably the most widely known portion of 
the town of Hempstead, the portion which at- 
tracts the greatest number of visitors each re- 
turning year, and has done so for nearly half a 
century, is the great sand bar which practically 
stretches along the entire south front of Long 
Island, forming a succession of inland seas — 
Hempstead iBay, Jamaica Bay and South Bay — 
and which is now knowni by various names. The 
part included in Hempstead township, and now 
called Long Beach — virtually a continuation of 


Rockaway Beach — has become famous as Far 
Rockaway, now incorporated in the Greater New 

According to Mr. William S. Pettit's "History 
of the Rockaways," from which our information 
is in part derived, the land was purchased from 
the Indian occupants in 1685 by Captain John 
Palmer, and comprised nearly all upon which 
stand the villages of Far Rockaway, Edgemere, 
Arverne and Rockaway Beach. For this tract, 
now worth many millions of dollars, the pur- 

chaser paid a trifle more than £25. in money, 
spme liquor, fire arms and wampum: With the 
surrender of their lands went the name of their 
tribe, Re-kan-a-wa-ha-ha, signifying "we live 
near laughing waters/' which by corruption be- 
came Rockaway. 

About 1687 Palmer sold his possessions to 
Richard Cornwall, at a considerable advance over 
his investment, the purchase being for £200. The 
entire tract was held in the Cornwall family as 
late as 1809, and portions of it are yet held by its 
descendants, who are legion, and extend through- 
out the entire United States. The old family 
homestead was erected about 1690, near the site 
of the Dickerson mansion in the village of Wave 
Crest, and stood until 1833, when it was de- 
stroyed by fire. The old family 
burying ground is yet to be seen-. 
In '1720 a school was estabhshed, 
its founding growing out of a letter 
addressed by Mr. Thomas to "The 
Venerable Society of the Town," 
in which he requests a money grant 
wherewith to employ a catechisf, 
setting forth that "the children 
hereof, for want of letters and ed- 
ucation, are as Avild, uncultivated 
and- unimproved as the soil was 
when their fathers first had it.'' 
At a later 'day a school-mistress 
was employed,, and, 'according to 
the records, the vestry allowed her 
forty shillings, "to be dealt out to 
her a little at a time so as to last 
her all winter." In 1735 Colonel 
Cornwall entertained Governor 
Cosby and his family, Who were greatly 
pleased with their reception and with the place. 
In 1748 the widow of John Cornell (a corruption 
of Cornwall) manumitted her slaves, eight in 
number. During the Revolutionary period the 
inhabitants took no active part in war, the great 
majority of them being Quakers. 

This portion of Long Island was a fashion- 
able resort for pleasure seekers from the metrop- 
olis as long ago as two-thirds of a century. The 
"New York Mirror" said in 1833 : 



"For a number of years the Rockaway 
beac'h has attracted numbers of our to"wnsmeu 
with their famiHes to that healthful and agreea- 
ble part of Long Island. The -atmosphere 
there is fresh, cool and delightful ; invalids soon 
find themselves invigorated by the constant 
sea breeze ; and the tired denizen of the town, 
whose scorching pavements have long blistered 
his feet, and whose heterogeneous and fanciful 
odors from gutters, sewers, piles of filth, dust 
and smoke, have regaled his olfactory organ, 
finds a plunge (5r two in the Atlantic a truly 
delicious luxury. They have a real pleasure 
in prospective, who have never iridden do^wn 
to that broad, white, endless, magnificent 
beach, where the heavy swell of the ocean rolls 
so superbly to the snowy and silvery sand. 
One after another forever the waves come 
heaving, swelling, breaking, tumbling, flashing, 
foaming and roaring in. Hither the stranger 
delights to resort when the fervor of the long 
summer day begins to abate. For miles and 
miles around ithe eye wanders over the dead 
level. Fearless of interruption, he loves to 
feel the grateful, wet, velvet sand crushed be- 
neath his feet as he wanders into the f^eani- 
ing tide, for the next billow. Soon it comes ; 
he takes his place so as to stand exactly within 
its green, transparent curve, when it lifts its 
head just in the act of breaking. The emerald 
wall rises suddenly before him, and, with a 
skillful spring, he plunges headlong into the 
liquid 'mass, which bursts above him with 
stately and measured sweep, while, with a few 
well timed strokes, or, with an attitude braced 
with more than ordinary care, he stems the 
swift current of the returning flood, rejoicing 
in this exercise of his amphibio'us abilities, till 
some crab, perhaps as large as his thumb nail, 
seizes him by the foot, as if the ocean were 
not big enough for them both, and warns him 
that he is but a timid intruder in the empire 
of Neptune." 

Howe, in a history written in 1841, said "Far 
Rockaway, about twenty-nine miles from New 
York (by the old road), has grown into import- 
ance as a fashionable watering place. The Marine 
Pavilion, a splendid hotel, was erected here in 
1834, near the beach, seventy rods from the 
ocean." This celebrated caravansary stood near 
the Cheever m|ansion in Wave Crest, and was 
erected by an association of New York men of 
wealth and leisure at a cost of $43,000. 

Of this Thompson wrote: "It is a large 
and splendid edifice standing upon the margin 
of the Atlantic, and has hitherto been kept in a 
style not excelled by any hotel in the Union. 
The main building is two hundred and thirty 
feet front, with wings, one of which is seventy- 
five, and the other forty-five feet long. The 
peristyles are of the Ionic order, the piazza be- 
ing two hundred and thirty-five feet in length by 
twenty in width. The dining room i& eighty feet 
long, and the drawing room fifty. The sleeping 
apartments number one hundred and sixty." 
This splendid old hotel, miemorable for its old- 
time hospitality and the distinguished persons 
who patronized it, among whom were conspicu- 
ousi — ^Longfellow, N. P. Willis, Washington Irv- 
ing, Trumbull, the artist, and General George 
P. Morris, and Herbert — was destroyed by fire, 
June 25, 1864. 

Other celebrities of their day made their sum- 
mer homes in this region, among them the Frank- 
lins, of Philadelphia ; the Blennerhassets, of 
Blennerhasset, on the Mississippi; the Livings- 1 
tons, of Livingston Manor ; the Van Rensselaers, 
descendants of the famous patroon ; Admiral 
Wilkes; the Bleeckers, the Hoffmans, the As- 
pinwalls, and the famous Mme. Jumel, widow of 
Aaron Burr. 

Until 1832, when the Long Island Railroad 
built its line from Brooklyn to Jamaica, all travel 
to the region was by carriage and stage coach, 
driving hy way of Hempstead. Before the bar 
wasi formed opposite Far Rockaway, the beach 
at low tide stretched out many rods and was 
known as The Strand. Here, as told by Mr. 
Pettit, in his brig'ht little monograph, "during 
the height of the season it was custom(ary to see 
the white sand dotted with portable tents, under 
whose shelter were groups of gay young folk 
from the city and adjoining towns. Bathing 
was then carried on in a peculiar fashion. The 
bath houses were on wheels and driven directly 
into the surf. The bath chair was also in vogue. 
The scene resembled that of Brighton, in Eng- 

During the latter part of the nineteenth cen- 
tury various delightful little villages sprang up. 



Lawrence received its name from Mr. John Law- 
rence. He had desired to here found a "New 
Venice," but the natural obstacles were insuper- 
able, and he learned with Byron that "man's 
control stops with the shore." Lawrence is a 
beautiful residential spot, charming in its scen- 
ery, and possesses all the advantages desirable to 
a cultured community. Cedarhurst takes its 
name from the exuberant primeval trees which 


surround it. It fronts upon Hempstead Bay, 
and commands every .advantage of siea and shore. 
Here an ultra-fashionable set Have erected their 
beautiful summer cottages, and here is the lav- 
ishly appointed home of the Rockaway Hunt 
Club, an organization which has added greatly 
to the popularity of polo throughout the neigh- 
borhood. In 1880 Mr. R. Vernon found a bleak 
expanse of sand where now stands the pleasant 
village "Arverne," its name coined from its own, 
or, more properly, a counterfeit thereof. Edge- 
mere has become a fashionable summer resort 
through the establishment of the magnificent 
hotel bearing its name, which is one of the most 
aristocratic houses of entertainment on the en- 
tire Atlantic coast. 

Far Rockaway, known by its prefix to dis- 
tinguish it from Rockaway, taking the shire 
town, Hempstead, as the view point, is, par ex- 
cellence, the most attractive home spot upon 
Long Island for the business man of the metrop- 

olis. A veritable city by the sea, it enjoys all the 
advantages of proximity to and distance from 
the great mart of finance and trade. It is readily 
accessible, but, when reached, all the hurly-burly, 
whether of business or the extremes of amuse- 
ment, disappears. The residences are of all ar- 
chitectural styles, and all are pleasing to the 
eye. The streets are well mlade and abundantly 
shaded, and the driveways into the surround- 
ing country are unsurpassed. The 
various religious bodies occupy 
beautiful houses of worship. The 
educational facilities are exception- 
ally excellent. The high school 
and grammar school, with their 
efficient corps of teachers, stand 
second to none in educational ad- 
vantages. The attractive, con- 
venient and imposing high school 
'building was erected in 1894. Since 
that time the school has grown to 
a surprising extent. In 1896 it was 
necessary to add two wings on the 
north and south ends, thus nearly 
doubling the size of the original 
building. In 1900 a well equipped 
was added, together with a new 
several hundred volumes. Dur- 
ing the early part of last year the Board of 
Education set up a physical laboratory and busi- 
ness department, which is a new and admirable 
feature of public school education. As this work 
ia nearing completion, it is about to begin the 
work of building a $20,000 library building, pro- 
vided for under the library establishment benevo- 
lence of Mr, Andrew Carnegie, the great steel 

West of Far Rockaway lies beautiful Jamaica 
Bay, on the shore of which nestle many unique 
and handsome cottages. The Bayswater Yacht 
Club, incorporated in 1892, lies situated some 
four hundred feet from the shore, surrounded 
by water. This is the m,eeting place for those 
who are fond of yachting and social pleasures. 
On its roll of membership are to be found the 
names of Judge Edmund J. Healy, John M. 
Frucks, S. B. Althause, Thomas Henderson, 

librar}'- of 



Watkiii W. Jones, Edgar iNIott, Richard Mott, 
.F. L. Richmond, Daniel Whitford, John Rene- 
han, John Dohse, David N. Carvalho, Charles 

E. Pretz, Rev. Henry Alesier, E. A. Brinker- 
hoff, Sr., Frederick 'Hawley, Hubert Cillis, John 
Guilfoyle, John W F. Nicols, P. F. Griffin, 
Frank jNI. Cronise, Franklin B. Lord, Louis J. 
Bosaert, John F. Schumann, Edward Roche, An- 
drew McTig'ue, E. N. Dickerson, Hermann 
Miller, ^Malcolm R- Lawrence, Harold Werner, 
John N. ~\Ioser, John W. Masury, H. G. Heyson, 

F. J. Heney, S. N. Decker, C. R. Betts. A. C. 
Haynes, J. A. North. D. L. Starks, William J. 
Buckley, R. W. Buckle, Otto L. Roche, Andrew 
L. Sullivan, Frank Jenkins, Philip R. Simmonds, 


Houghton Wheeler, James Lynch, Henry Friel- 
man and others-. 

The property designated as Wave Crest (so 
named by -Mr. John H. Cheever) on the west 
boundary of Far Rockaway, includes the land 
form,erly owned by the Marine Pavilion Associa- 
tion, and what was known as the Clark estate. 
Until a recent date the grounds were enclosed 
as a private park, with lodges at the entrances. 

To-day the gates of Wave Crest are open 
to the public and it is the delight of all to drive 
through the picturesque park, with its meander- 
ing roads and beautiful lake. Among the resi- 
dents .are': Messrs. A. W. Nicholson, E. A. 
Brinkerhoif, John Cowdin, Murray, Benjamin 
F. lEinstein, L A. Bach, M. Foster, Louis Auer- 
bach, Lowenstein and A. J. 'Bach, Mrs. E. N. 
Dickson and Mrs. J. Cheever. 

Perhaps before closing this sketch it would 
be appropriate to tell what finally became of the 

Rockaway tribe of Indians. Alas! They met 
the same sad fate as the Mohicans. 

To the whites these aborigines were jus't, 
generous and hospitable, and less warlike than 
m'any other tribes of North America. Their ad- 
mirable qualities were esteemed by our Quaker 
forefathers, and, from the time of the treaty of 
1657, there never was an actual breach of friend- 
ship between the English and the Rockaway In- 

After the natives sold their property at Far 
Rockaway, for a few cents an acre, they moved 
eastward to Cedarhurst and lived for nearly a 
century in that vicinity, thence removing in a 
body to Barnum's Island, at East Rockaway, and 
there, with the aid of the white 
man's firewater, they went, one by 
one, to the happy hunting grounds. 
For them the beau'tiful waters 
laugh no more, for the J)ale-faces 
are masters of the earth, and the 
time of the red man has gone, 
never to returm. 

One of their number, however, 
survives in memory, and his name 
will endure long after many who 
aided in thrusting his people from 
off the face of the earth shall have 
been forgotten. This one was 
Culluloo Telawana, the last of the sachems of 
the Rockaway tribe, and, there is every reason 
to believe, a lineal descendant of Takapousha. 
He was personally known to Mr. Abraham^ Hew- 
lett, when he was a boy and the chief was an 
aged man. And over the grave of the last rep- 
resentative of an ancient people, stands a beauti- 
ful monument bearing the following inscription : 

Here lived and died 

Culluloo Telawana 

A. D. 1818, 

The last of the Rockaway 

Iroquois Indians, 

Who was personally known to me 

in my boyhood. 

I, owning the land, have 

erected this monument 

to him and his tribe. 

Abraham' Hewlett. 1 



HE present town of North Hempstead 
was taken from the original Hempstead 
township in 1784. It hes upon Long 
Island Sound between Hempstead Har- 
bor and I^ittle Neck Bay, while to the south it ex- 
tends to the center of Hempstead Plains. It. was 
computed to contain 34,470 acres. A range of 
hills extend east and west near the center, and 
from them spurs extend to the Sound, giving to 
the northern part of the township a ipeculiarly 
hilly character. The coast line is rocky and rugged 
and is indented with several deep and irregular 
has — Hempstead Harbor, Manhasset Bay, and 
with several "points/' Hewlett's, Sand's, Baker's 
- — while immediately off the coast are a great 
number of half sunken rocks — such as the Exe- 
cution Rock — and the whole coast line, as may 
readily be conceived, is dangerous to navigation. 
The soil, as a general rule, is light and sandy, 
but in the northern section is a stretch of loai^' 
which is markedly adapted to farming purposes. 
Harbor Hill is the highest point on Long 
Island — 380 feet above tide water. This has long 
been a favorite observation poitit, commanding 
an unsurpassable view of sea and land. From 
its summit may be had a comprehensive birdV 
eye view of Long Island, of Connecticut and the 
Atlantic ocean. On a clear day— when the air 
is not laden with the foul smoke from soft coal, 
as during the recent tie-up of the anthracite 
fields — the Brooklyn Bridge and many of the 
great sky-scraper buildings of New York City 
are visible to the naked eye. 

While, however, the coast is dangerous, it is 
very beautiful, sometimes beautiful even in its 
ruggedness and desolation, somfetimes in its 
stretches of sand, its coves and eddies, and many 
charming villas have been erected in these open 
places, notably on Great Neck, and quite a num- 
ber of private residences have sprung up in its vi- 
cinity. Communication with New York by rail 
is ample, while from Boston, Glen Cove, Sea 
Cliff and other placets there are abundant facilities 
for water commlunication with the great city. 

At the northern extremity of Cow 'Neck, 
where it projects itself well out into the Sound, 
the national government in 1809 erected the fa- 
mous Sands Point light-house, upon a five-acre 
tract of land purchased from 'Benjamin Hewlett. 
The light-house was built by Captain Noah Ma- 
son, who was its first keeper and had charge 
of it until his death, which occurred in 1841. 
Forty yearsj later a light-house was erected about 
a half-mile northward from the Sands Point 
light, on what has been long known as "Execu- 
tion Rock," a dangerous stretch of reef directly 
in the course of vessels passing into or out from 
the metropolis. During the war with Great 
Britain this point was (September 10, 1814) the 
scene of an engagement between the British 
frigate "Acosta" and a flotilla of thirty Amer- 
ican gunboats. 

The earliest settlement of Which we have 
record was in 1640, when a party of adventurers 
from Lynn, Massachusetts, armed with a per- 
mit from! Lord Stirling's agent, .landed on the 



west side of Cow's Neck, tore down the arms of 
the Netherlands, which they saw nailed to a 
tree, so that all the world might know their 
"High Mightinesses" held sway there, and carved 
a fool's face on the tree in its 'stead. Then they 
took possession of the land, erected dwellings 
and entered into negotiations with the Indians 
for the sale of a generous slice of the soil. The 
aborigines, however, carried information of these 
wayward doings to Governor Kieft, and the 
blood of that peppery little man boiled with in- 
dignation at the recital. The settlement, un- 
• authorized as it was, might be forgiven and 
arranged, but the insult to the arms of the Fa- 
therland could not be condoned. So he sient 
twenty-five picked" soldiers to Cow Bay and made 
short work with the settlers. They took most 
of them captives, demolished their houses and 
effectually quenched their aspirations. Many of 
those thus summarily dispossessed aided in the 
settlement of Southampton. The more method- 
ical settlemlent under Fordham and Carman in 
1644 (referred to in another chapter) 'was 
arranged peacefully enough, and settlements 
gradually spread north as well as south from 
Hempstead village. In 1676 Great Neck was 
fairly well settled and the records tell of other 
early colonies. 

North Hempstead has always been pre-em- 
inently an agricultural town. A few grist mills 
and other small manufactories were scattered 
about in favorable locations, but the 'principal 
occupation of the inhabitants was the tillage of 
the soil. The location of the township upon Long 
Island Sound, with its shores indented by deep 
and safe harbors, offered peculiar facilities for 
the cheap and easy carriage of its products to 
market, and before the construction of railways 
regular lines of market boats made frequent 
trips to New York and convenient landings upon 
the shore. Both the products of the soil and 
the manner of obtaining them have varied great- 
ly since the first settlement of the country. The 
early farmers cultivated a great variety of crops, 
some of which, such as tobacco and flax, have 
long since been abandoned. The proximity and 
rapid growth of the great cities of New York 

and Brooklyn constantly modified the conditions 
tmder which profitable farming could be con- 
ducted on Long Island. 

Among the early settlers was the family of 
Sands, who figure elsewhere in this work. They 
were very large landowners and held a large 
tract about Sands Point, which took its name 
from them. This family is now ah but extinct 
in the region to which their ancestors first camie. 
Other early families dating back to colonial 
times, of whom there are many descendants, 
were as follows: Allen, Brinkerhoft', Bogart, 
Burtis, Cornwall, Cox, Cock, Denton, Dodge, 
Hewlett, Hegeman, Hicks, Hoagland, Kissam, 
Mitchell, Morrell, Mott, Onderdonk, Piatt, Pear- 
sail, Post, Powell, Robbins, Remsen, Rapelyea, 
Schenck, Smith, Sands, Titus, Treadwell, 
Thorne, Underbill, Valentine, Willets, Willis, 
Williams and Woolley. There were alsoi those 
of the following names, many of whom have 
now no recognizable posterity: Appleby, Adri- 
ance, Albertson, Baker, Burr, Burt, Bedell, Ben- 
nett, Baldwin, Baxter, Craft, Covert. Crooker, 
Carpenter, Cheeseman, Cornell, Duryea, Down- 
ing, Demilt, Ellison, Frost, Foster, Fowler, 
Hutchings, Haines, Haviland, Hawkshurst, 
Hagner, Ketcham, Kirk, Kirby, Jackson, Jarvis, 
Lewis, Losee, Layton, -Mudge, Nostrand, Peters, 
Poole, 'Sell, Seaman, Sealy, Townsend, Toffey, 
Van Nostrand, Van Wyck, Vandewater, Van 
Dyne, Whitson, Wood and Wiggins. The most 
prominent of these are named in connection with 
important events of their time. 

Adam Mott was a resident of the village of 
Hempstead, but he also owned large tracts of 
land in what is now the town of North Hemlp- 
stead, to which the family subsequently removed. 
His will is of peculiar interest, affording us some 
knowledge of the particularity of the prudent, 
methodical man of his day: 

"I, Adam J\[ott, lying now very weak, do 
now declare this to be my last will and testa- 
ment from this day, I being through God's 
mercy in my right senses. I do humbly sur- 
render and give my soul and spirit to God 
which gave it me, and my body to the earth, 
to be buried in decent manner; that all just 



debts that shall be made appear shall be paid 
justly to the creditors so applying. I do give 
to my eldest son, Adam Mott, fifty acres of 
land that he is to take up and five shillings in 
money ; to my son Jeames I give two cows and 
a hollow lying by the Harbor parth and my 
Kersey westcoat and my Searsy drawers and 
my new Hatt ; to my daughter Grace I give 
four great pewter platters, and those Hollows 
lying between the Great Rim and Tanner's 
Hook, those two hollows which lyeth on the 
left hand of the parth going to the Town from 
Madnan's Neck, and three Hollows lying on 
next to the other side of the parth by the great 
Run, the said land to remain to her and her 
heirs forever ; to my son John I do give m.y 
Lott of Meadow lying at the Wheat Neck 
and my Hollow: lying by the Harbor parth, 
to my son Joseph I give a hundred acres of 
land where he shall see good to take up for his 
use 'which is yet untaken up, and a Hollow 
lying by the West Hollow in the Sandy Hol- 
lo.w. To my Gershom I do give five cows ; to 
my son Henry's three children I do give one 
two years old Heifer. To my dear wife Eliza- 
beth Mott and all the children I have by her 
I do give and bequeath my house and lott upon 
Madman's Neck, and with all the rest of my 
said Estate except mentioned in my will afore- 
said, Moveables and Immoveables, with all 
and every part thereof, to stand and remain to 
my wife and children, only my House and Or- 
chard and home Lott at Hempstead and the 
Mill Hollow in particular I do give to my 
younger son Adam. But in case my wife Eliza- 
beth should see cause to marry, that then the 
Estate which I have given to my wife and 
children shall be Equally divided into four 
parts, and my wife Elizabeth to have and en- 
joy the one part and those children which I 
have had by ber shall have the other three 
parts, to be Equally divided between them. 
And I do give unto my wife Elizabeth for her 
life time, If she shall \see Cause, my House 
and Land on Madnan's Neck and a Lott of 
Meado'W ; and If my Wife doth Remain a Wid- 
ow^ that [there should be none of the children 
to enjoy any of the said Estate until they mar- 
ry. Except that my wife shall see cause to the 
Contrary. As to four proprietyships which 
I have in the bounds of Hempstead I do give 
untO' my wife Elizabeth and her children, first 
to take her choice of two of the said propriety- 
ships and the Other two to be Equally divided 
amongst my four Eldest Sons in Equall pro- 
portions; and with all and Every Part of this 

my will and Testament I do heartily desire 
may be performed in all particulars, as wit- 
ness my hand and seal, this 12th day of March 
Anno Dom. 1681." 

The history of the town is closely inter- 
woven with that of Hempstead, from which it 
was separated. Cow Neck, containing about 
6,000 acres of land, was at the earliest settlement 
of the original town of Hempstead used prin- 
cipally for pasturing cattle by the inhabitants of 
other portions of the town. Great Neck, con- 
taining about 4,000 acres of land and formerly 
known as Madnan's Neck, was earliest per- 
manently settled, religious services being estab- 
lished there as "early as 1676. For a long period 
and up to about 1676 Cow Neck continued to 
be used by residents in distant parts of the town. 

The majority of the settlers in this township 
were opposed to the separation from the mother 
country^ but the narrative of these events is 
contained elsewhere, and we pass over the Revo- 
lutionary period. It need only be said that the 
British occupation unsettled all order and author- 
ity except that upheld by the rigors of martial 
law, and all classes of the people suffered from 
its continuance. 

The real history of North Hempstead, as re- 
lated to the present, began in 1784, when the 
conflict was well over, and "King George 
reigned no more." At that time the supervisor 
(the first) was Adrian Onderdonk, grandfather 
of Henry Onderdonk, Jr., of Jamaica, the well 
known industrious historian. But there re- 
mained some traces of the recent unpleasantness. 
Under a trespass law enacted by the legislature, 
now composed almost entirely of men who had 
waged war upon the British, either as soldiers or 
helpful non-comibatants, suits were brought 
against all who were reachable who had rendered 
themselves obnoxious by impressing property un- 
der the British authority, and many farmers re- 
covered damages for animals, feed-stuffs and 
other property taken. Two farms were confis- 
cated to the State — one at Flower Hill, compris- 
ing 330 acres, belonging to Daniel Kissam, and 
which was bid in by his- widow for £2,000, and 
one belonging to a -Ludlow. About the same 



time the Whigs of North Hempstead, in order 
to separate themselves from the LoyaHsts of 
South Hempstead, procured a legislative act di- 
viding the town "by the line of the county road." 

From the very first, North Hempstead has 
been a religious comlmunity, and it became a 
stronghold of Quakerism and Methodism. At 
the close of the Revolutionary war, the town 
contained four houses of worship — the Reformed 
Church near Success Lake (now Lakeville), 
erected in 1732; the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Searington ; a Friends' meeting house at West- 
bury and another at Manhasset. 

The Reformed Church was organized April 
II, 1730, out of the Hollanders m the vicinity — 
the Schenck, Onderdonk, R.apelyea, Bogart, Rem- 
sen, Rhodes, Van Nostrand, Brinkerhoff, Cor- 
nell and other families. A huilding site was pur- 
chased at a cost of twenty-five shillings, and a 
building fund amounting to £173 i6s was se- 
cured by subscription, with which a house of 
worship was erected, as appears fromi the date on 
the corner stone, in 1732. 'It was an octagonal 
structure, about fifty by sixty feet, the largest 
church edifice in Queens county at the time, with 
a steep pyramidal roof. The seats were let at 
twenty-five shillings for men, and twenty shill- 

of the churches at Newton and Jamaica, and 
services were held but once a month. The first 
minister was Johannes Henricus Goetschius, who 
came from Holland at their call in 1741. Sol- 
omon Froeleigh became pastor in 1775. His was 
a troublous experience. Being an ardent Whig, 
the British forced him' to flee, and in a later 
year he withdrew from the denomination. There 
were no services from^ 1775 to 1785, when Rynier 
Van Nest became the mi'inister. In 1813 the peo- 
ple living in the northern part of the parish with- 
drew to form a church at Manhasset, and this so 
weakened the parent congregation that it dis- 
b'anded, and the old church was sold and razed 
to the .ground. 

When Philip Cox, the first Methodist cir- 
cuit preacher on Long Island, came in 1784, he 
found a miserable condition of afifairs. The so- 
ciety at Jamaica had become extinct, and the two 


remaining societies at Newtown and Comae num- 
bered but twenty-four members in the aggre- 
gate. Mr. Cox preached in Searington, in the 
house of Hannah Searing, an aged widow 
woman, "and very many attended until an alarm 
was sounded that the false prophets foretold in 
Scripture had come. The word of truth, how- 
ever, did ■ not fall to the ground. Souls were 
awakened, and a society formed which remains 
to this day." Among the persons known to have 
united in forming this first class was Albert Van 
Nostrand, who afterward became a useful and 
honored minister of the gospel, and died in 1797. 

The Friends, or Quakers, were numerous 
and influential from an early period, but, as their 
principal seat was in Oyster Bay, extended men- 
tion of theml is deferred until we reach that point. 
All the other denominations represented are of 
modern date. The Episcopalians did not erect 
a house of worship until 1803, when Christ 
Church was huilt at Manhasset, and the first 
meetings of the Presbyterian body were held at 
Roslyn in 1849, ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ Roman Catholic 
place of worship was that of St. Bridget's, West- 
bury Station, which was dedicated in 1856 — the 
second Roman Catholic church erected east of 
Brooklyn. The history of none of these bodies 
Q„ n the scope of this narrative. 

A few salient points in the educational his- 
tory of the town are to be briefly stated. The 
early schools were of the primitive character such 
as has been described in a previous chapter. For 
nearly a half century, and until the establish- 
ment of the public school system in 1829, Christ 
Church Academly was the only school of any 
note in Manhasset. The famous Friends' school 
at Westbury is written of in connection with that 

From the first, the township has been oc- 
cupied by an agricultural community, and their 
farms have been justly famed for many years 
for the abundance and excellence of their prod- 
ucts, both of the field, of the herd and of the 
flock. In 1832 oyster culture vvas- added to the 
industrial field of the town through the efforts 
of 'Henry Cock and John Mackey. Since then 
that business has grown to wonderful propor- 



tions, and the oysters of Cow Bay, in particular, 
are in high repute; the clams with which that 
shore abound have also given rise to a most ex- 
tensive industry. But still the main feature of 
North Hempstead is agriculture and floriculture- 
— ^the products of the soil — varied within the past 
two decades with the "summer boarder busi- 
ness/' which, however, lasts only about two 
months in each year. 

The principal villages in this township, with 
their present population, are as follows : Great 
Neck, 1, 600; Port Washington, 1,250; Manhas- 
set, 800; Mineola, 900; Rodyn, 1,300; West- 
bury Station, 400; Thomaston, 350; New Hyde 
Park, 500; Old Westbury, 375; Herricks, 125;. 
Searington, 150; Alberson, 240. Some of these 
may now be considered in detail. 

ProbaJbly the best known of them' all is Ros- 
lyn, not so much on account of its own inherent 
beauty, but because it is associated with the name 
and fame of William CuUen Bryant, one of the 
greatest American poets. Independent, how- 
ever, of this it has considerable historical data 
connected with it to invest it with interest to 
the antiquary. Down to the middle of the nine- 
teenth century it bore the name of Hempstead 
Harbor, and hesides being the leading village of 
the township was known as a manufacturing cen- 
ter. The first paper mill in the Province of New 
York was established here in 1773 by Hendrick 
Onderdonck, grandfather of the two bishops of 
that name, along with Hugh Gaine, a well known 
New York printer of that time, and Henry Rem- 
sen. There were also several grist mills at an 
early date, one at least dating from prior to 1700. 
General Washington, who visited Hempstead 
Harbor in April, 1790, when, while President, 
he drove through the country in his quaint old 
coach, drawn by four white horses, and visited 
and commended such local industries in pleasant 
terms. Indeed, it is said that the great man 
watched so closely, from^ start to finish, the mak- 
ing of a sheet of paper in a paper mill, that it 
was carefully preserved and exhibited as his own 
work. Several paper mills were established at 
later dates, but did not seem to prosper, and in 
1880 -a silk mill was added to the industries of 

the village. It is a prosperous community, with 
savings bank, public library and other accessories 
demanded by modern culture and requirements, 
and although its industries are still important 
it has developed of late years more and more as 
a settlement of refined homes. . In this there is 
no doubt William C. Bryant led the way. 

The life story of this brilliant man of let- 
ters is part of the literary history of the United 
States and need not be dwelt upon here at any 
great length. He was born at Cummington, 
Massachusetts, November 3, 1794, and was ed- 
ucated at Williams College, and when in his 
twenty-first year was admitted to the bar. He 
entered upon the practice of the legal profes- 
sion at Plainfield, and after a while he removed 
to Great Barrington, where, it is said, he won 
considerable prominence in the local courts. But 
his success was not substantial. The law, as 
Sir Walter Scott used to say, is a jealous mis- 
tress, and Bryant, even before he had assumed 
the dignity, of a full-fledged lawyer, had been 
coquetting with literature, so much so that he 
was recognized as a man of letters even ere he 
had attained his majority. When thirteen years 
of age he was a recognized contributor of poetry 
to the country papers, and had written a long ef- 
fusion in the nature of a political squib, which 
was justly considered an extraordinary produc- 
tion by those interested in the lad and the ar- 
gument, but is now, happily, forgotten. When 
nineteen years of age he wrote his remarkable 
poem, "Thanatopsis," which at once assumed a 
foremost place in American poetic literature, and 
still remains the most popular and most widely 
read of all his works. The poem first appeared 
in the ''North American Review," and at once at- 
tracted wide attention, and as soon as the author- 
ship became known gave him a place in the high- 
est literary circles of his time. He also contrib- 
uted several prose articles to the "Review," and 
so demonstrated that he wielded a facile pen in 
prose and was a graceful, clear and cogent writer 
on whatever theme he concentrated his thought. 
Lender these circumstances it was easy to foresee 
that with law on one side and literature on the 
other, each claim'ing his attention and each de- 



manding all his powers, that one would have 
to be abandoned, and, happily, he turned away 
from law and made literature his sole com- 

In 1825 Mr. Bryant settled in New York and 
became one of the editors of "The 'New York 
Review." A year later he became associated 
with the "Evening Post/' and a 'few years later 
assum'cd the duties of editor-in-chiejf and main- 
taining his connection with it until the end of his 
long career. But while engrossed in the editorial 
cares of a newspaper, which became in his hands 

that all the world was really akin, and where- 
ever he went he was a ceaseless student of lan- 
guage, art, manner and customs, thoughts and 
aspirations. All that became reflected in his 
poems, his orations and even in his editorial and 
critical articles in the "Post." Before settling 
in New York he had published at Cambridge 
a small volum'e of poetry. In 1832 he again 
printed that work, with additions, and several 
editions followed. In i'866 he issued a volume 
entitled "Thirty Poems/' which has since been 
incorporated in his collected writings. He was 


one of the most powerful in the country and 
one that exercised a most marked influence upon 
the political, economic and literary history of its 
time, he did not neglect his own literary work. 
PTis frequent visits to Europe had made him per- 
sonally acquainted in all the literary centers 
there, and had broadened and widened his own 
views of men and matters, had made him see 

an indefatigable worker and after he had at- 
tained his seventieth year he began the transla- 
tion in blank verse of Homer's "Iliad," and fol- 
lowed it up with a version of the "Odyssy," and 
his work as a translator was conceded by many 
of the most competent critics and scholars to be 
the best English dress which had been given to 
the marvelous writings of "the first of 



poets." Literally Mr. Bryant was busied with 
his pen alm'ost to the very moment when came 
his summons to join the innumerable caravan 
which ever moves to the mysterious realms of 

The greater part of his time m his later years 
was spent at Roslyn, and he took a most active 
part not only in promoting the beauty and amen- 
ity of the village, but in enhancing its material 
prosperity. His own home, to which he gave 
the name of Cedarmere, he loved almost as pas- 
sionately as Scott loved Abbotsford. The house 
was originally built in 1787 by Richard Kirk, a 
zealous Quaker, who seemed to have taken a 
considerable interest in laying out the house and 
its land, about forty acres. Then it passed into 
the possession of Joseph White Moulton, the 
historian and antiquary, joint author with T. V. 
N. Yates of a history of New York, and was 
sold by him to Bryant in 1846. Bryant remod- 
eled the house, enlarged it on all sides and intro- 
duced many peculiar architectural features and 
added to its surrounding grounds until they 
measured two hundred acres. It was his king- 
dom, his hobby, his pride, even more than his 
literary triumphs ; every field had for him a story 
and some peculiar feature greeted the visitor 
at almost every step^, and visitors to Cedarmere 
came in plenty, for Bryant was never happier 
than when acting as host and surrounded by his 
literary and artistic friend's. It was amid these 
scenes that the genial poet penned one of his 
sweetest poems, which may be regarded as an 
apostrophe to his home and its surroundings : 

"Is this a time to be cloudy and sad, 

When our mother Nature laughs around ; 

When even the deep blue heavens look glad, 

And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground? 

"There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren, 
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky; 

The ground-squirrel gayly chirps by his den, 
And the wilding bee hums merrily by. 

"The clouds are at play in the azure space 

And their shadows at play on the bright green vale, 

And here they stretch to the frolic chase, 
And there they roll on the easy gale. 

"There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower, 
There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree. 

There's a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower, 
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea. 

"And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles 
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray, 

On the leaping waters and gay young isles; 
Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away. 

Mr. Bryant died June 12, 1878, and his re- 
mains were laid away in the beautiful Roslyn 
cemetery, by the side of those of his wife, and 
over them was reared a stately monument bear- 
ing the following inscription : 


Born in Cummington, Mass., Nov. 3, 1794, 
Died in New York, June 12, 1878. 


■the beloved wife of William Cullen Bryant, an 
humble disciple of Christ, exemplary in every re- 
lation of life, affectionate, sympathetic, sincere, 
and ever occupied with the welfare of others. 

The poet's grandchildren, children of Parke 
Godwin, are buried in the same plot. Some of 
the names of others buried in this cemetery are 
Abercrombie, Bogart, Brown, Cahart, Cham- 
berlaiUj Clapham, Denton, Dickenson, Ely, 
Francis, Hegeman, Ketcham, ,Kilpatrick, Kirby, 
Losee, McNally, Mott, Moulton, Oakley, Rogers, 
Smith, Snedeker, Strong', Underbill, Vickers, 
Wanser, Wiggins and Wilson. 

As these pages were passing into the hands 
of the printer, all of that portion of the famous 
old house above the first story was burned. This 
disaster occurred on the afternoon of Novenuber 
15, 1902. The furniture and library of the poet 
were removed when the building was leased to 
Mr. \y. Butler Duncan. The property yet belongs 
to the descendants of Mr. Bryant, who are pro- 
hibited from selling it while one of the family 
line is living. Cedarmere is now the property of 
the poet's grandson, Harold Godwin. 

But while the Bryant home is net as it was, 
there are constant reminders of the genial poet. 
A fitting memorial exists in the Bryant Circu- 
lating Library, named in his honor, housed in a 
beautiful building, which, with its grounds, was 
presented to the village by his daughter, Miss 
Julia S. Bryant, in accordance with an expressed 
wish of the venerable poet shortly before his 

/ fc^CCc^-^t^ c-^t.f^c^-vt^ 



The library still continues to be the main 
feature of the village Hfe. Within the past year 
or so it has been the object of much kindly in- 
terest on the part of Mrs. Clarence jMackay, 
wife of one of the owners of one of the modern 
baronial estates on Long Island, whose palatial 
home, as will be seen, is in the immediate vi- 
cinity of Roslyn village. Shortly after settling 
there Mrs. Mackay asked permission from the 
trustees to take possession of the library and 
furnish it, and stipulated that no one was to 
make any suggestions, as she wished to be free 
to do as she liked. Her desire was granted, and 
she secured Miss Maud Johnson and Miss Susan 
Clendenning, graduates of Pratt Institute, 
Brooklyn, both trained librarians. After inspect- 
ing the books then on the shelves four hundred 
were retained and fo-ur hundred and fifty new 
ones added, and all arranged after modern meth- 
ods. Miss Johnson, who is an ardent book lover, 
and who has assisted in classifying and cata- 
loguing many rare and valuable collections, was 
interested deeply in the discovery of the old 
books. The books were such as the general pub- 
lic does not care for and therefore were allowed 
to drop oiit of sight. Their neglect seems to in 
a way justify the criticisms of Mr. Bryant by 
his friends and neighbors at the time he gave 
the library for bestowing such works upon so 
small an institution. 

Outsiders have often come to the rescue of 
the librar}^ The Bryant family, the Godwin 
family, and George A. Thayer preceded Mrs. 
Mackay in aiding it. Besides adding to the num- 
ber of books and rcbinding the old ones, Mrs. 
Mackay has redecorated and recarpeted the 

There is as usual an inharmonious note heard, 
due to the removal of the portraits, fine litho- 
graphs of Bryant and Longfellow, and some 
engravings given by the Godwin and Bryant 
families. These no longer appear on the walls 
and some of the old residents who are not in 
sympathy with the radical changes and who re- 
tain a loyal affection and gratitude for the poet 
founder, think this is a mistake. 

But with this passing of William Cullen 

Bryant, Roslyn did not lose its literary celebrity, 
for his place was at once taken by his son-in- 
law, Parke Godwin, who was long associated 
with him on the ''Evening Post" and had v^on a 
measure of success as a man of letters even when 
he married the poet's eldest daughter, and for 
many years his home, Clover Croft, was a gath- 
ering place of famous men, just as Roslyn had 
been. Nowadays Mr. Godwin has no home, in 
one sense, in Roslyn. He gifted over Clover 
Croft to his daughter, Mrs. F. N. Goddard, when 
he began to feel the need of husbanding his 
strength to complete his literary work; but no 
man is better known in Roslyn than he, and his 
frequent visits, spent either at Clover Croft or 
Cedarmere, keep up his connection with the vil- 
lage which has now continued over m'any, many 

Writing of Clover Croft and Mr. Godwin, a 
recent visitor says : 

"The great attic of Clover Croft, which is 
the length and breadth of the house, has a 
big storage of theater flies and stage details, 
which in the past were often called into requi- 
sition for impromptu entertainments, when 
the neighbors were hastily bidden to meet 
some prominent actor or singer. The dra- 
matic strain in Mr. Godwin's many sided na- 
ture has always been in evidence, whether 
as an enthusiastic and appreciative frequenter 
of his box at the opera or during the win- 
ter's series of plays, or w^hen as a brown haired 
man he took part in the amateur theatricals 
at Clover Croft, when Roslyn was but a little 
hamlet and the summer home of Charles A. 
Dana, Bryant, Richard Storrs Willis and the 
brilliant friends they entertained. The wit and 
humor of Mr. Godwin's character songs, his 
strong, rich voice, natural grace and intense 
magnetism, made him the life of all gatherings 
which he shared. 

"There has been a wide range of experi- 
ence, in his eighty-seven years, and his mar- 
velous memory recalls this to the happy lis- 
tener, when Mr. Godwin is in the mood to talk. 
Had he been less the dreamer, poet, philos- 
opher and student, with ambition equal to his 
abilities, these would have kept him contin- 
ually before the public eye and ear. He has, 
however, responded reluctantly to appeals, 
especially when desired as a speaker, but his 



addresses are notable- as fine mosaics of terse 
phrases, graceful imagery, sound sense land 
a wide range of knowledge. Memorable ad- 
dresses are, one delivered in the Century Club 
on its fiftieth anniversary, his eulogy on 
George W. Curtis, at the same place, and at 
Paterson when that city celebrated its cei\- 
tennial and he stood before a great audience 
as the oldest living representative of the first 
w^hite settler, Abraham Godwin, when Pater- 
- son was Tatwana. His latest addresses, the 
one at the memorial service of Edwin Booth, 
and at Cummington, when the one hundredth 
anniversary of Bryant's birth was celebrated, 
were made when his plenitude of years might 
have caused a weakening lof the old forces, 
but his magnetic earnestness, rich, clear and 
sonorous tones made him, as in the past, the 
chief attraction. 

"A marked feature of the Booth commem- 
oration ceremonies was the volume of cheers 
the newspaper men gave the great journalist 
when he came forward on the stage, one of a 
group comprising Henry Irving, Tomasa Sal- 
vini and Joseph Jefferson, and the next day 
they reported that 'Mr. Godwin's delivery was 
even finer and more impressive than that of 
any of the three professional actors who spoke 
from the stage,' and 'we think that any per- 
son in the audience who did not know the 
men on the stage would, in judging by ap- 
pearance, have picked out the seventy-seven- 
year-old Parke Godwin as the greatest trage- 
dian of the lot.' 

"Mr. Godwin is an art critic of intelligence 
and discrimination, and his lectures on 'art 
given at Princeton, his alma mater, are held 
up to the students as models in diction and 
kn'owledge. In his personal relations as 
friend and neig^hbor, he is delightful, and 
when the ball of thought is sent rolling into 
the past it is a great privilege to be a listen- 
er. iHe likes to tell how strangely the cur- 
rent of his life was changed, when as a young 
lawyer he tried to wait patiently for the cases 
so slow in appearing. At this time his Sun- 
day afternoons were spent with a young mar- 
ried cousin, of whom' he was very fond, and 
to whom he went for advice and sympathy. 
On one of these occasions he inquired if in 
her neighborhood he could find a boarding 
place where accommodations were pleasant 
and prices reasonable, and was referred to 
*a house across the way, lately changed from 
a school to a select boarding place.' This 
soon became a popular resort- for clever men, 

and not long after Mr. Godwin's establish- 
ment there he noticed a finely intellectual 
looking man, always grave, silent and thought- 
ful and alone. 

"There was something so distinguished 
about his personality that Mr. Godwin asked 
of one of the attendants the stranger's name. 
The answer was so carelessly given that the 
next day Mr. Godwin again made inquiries 
and was told that the man was William CuUen 
Bryant, who was a transient boarder dur- 
ing the absence of his family from the city, 
and that he had sought this unpretentious 
place because of its quiet and nearness to the 
office O'f the "Evening Post." The interest was 
mutual, however, and ordinarily shy and 
reticent as Mr. Bryant was, he one day, find- 
ing himself seated near Mr. Godwin, and the 
two the only occupants of the room, inter- 
rogated him in a friendly way as to his occu- 
pation, which Mr. Godwin frankly acknowl- 
edged was only in embryo. 'Then,' said the 
elder man, 'as you are not busy, Why can you 
not take the place of my assistant, who is ill.* 
Godwin tells with, much hu,mor that he as- 
sured Mr. Bryant he could be of no earthly use 
to him, as he had never been in a newspaper 
office. But he accepted the offer, and the reg- 
ular assistant dying soon after, he continued 
to serve with Mr. Bryant the interests of the 
"Evening Post" from 1837 to 1853, and after a 
long interval resuming editorship in 1865 for 
another period of years. The business rela- 
tions with Mr. Bryant led to a friendly in- 
timacy, resulting in the marriage of Mr. God- 
win to Mr. Bryant's eldest daughter. An epi- 
sode of his journalistic life which was always 
of interest to him was when as editor of "Put- 
nam's Magazine" Miss Bacon presented to him 
her appeal to the public to dethrone Shakes- 
peare and substitute Bacon as the author of 
the immortal plays and sonnets. Mr. Godwin 
has always been an ardent student of Shakes- 
peare, and he published the article only as a 
literary curiosity, the mental disorder of the 
writer being quite apparent, and it was a 
satire of iate that Miss Bacon should offer her 
uncanny imaginings to a man who had studied 
his Shakespeare as devoutly as he loved and 
believed in his personality. 

"In the early years of Mr. Godwin's mar- 
ried life he occupied in the summer an old- 
fashioned home on the southern part of Mr. 
Bryan's estate at Roslyn. It was simple 
in construction, but quaintly attractive and 
stood midway between the waters of Hemp- 



stead Harbor and the winding lake from 
which the place takes its name. It was here, 
on the grassy slope just above the salt waters, 
where Margaret Fuller, a frequent and be- 
loved guest, would throw herself after a swim 
in the harbor and talk breezily to her friends 
with that captivating magnetism w:hich made 
her a 'beloved companion at Brook Farm). 

"When the Godwins were living at Roslyn 
occurred the frightful storm which ship- 
wrecked on Long Island Sound the vessel on 
which ]\Iargaret Fuller Ossoli, her husband 
and child were passengers, and it was a curious 
psychological fact that Mrs. Godwin was so 
much under the influences of the night of 
disaster that she could not sleep, but rest- 
lessly walked her room until morning, insist- 
ing that some one they knew and loved was 
in danger. The first person Mr. Godwin met 
the next morning near the "Evening 'Post" 
building was Bayard Taylor, who told him 
of the sad news which was a mutual sorrow. 

"In the gradual developing 'of ^the Cedar- 
mere grounds the low "brown house was torn 
down, and some time later on its site was 
built an attractive cottage, known as Golden 
Rod. It has of recent years been rented for 
the summer, one of its tenants having been 
Albert Sterner, who used the west balcony for 
a studio. Among the changes Mr. Godwin 
deplores is the shutting out of the Sound view 
from Clover Croft piazzas by the magnificent 
trees of Willow Mere. When these were 
planted by the direction of the mother of Mrs. 
Richard Storrs Willis, Mr. Godwin foretold 
they would prove a future barricade to his 
view; but his neighbor assured him that they 
would not be likely to give him trouble, as 
• years would come and go before they would 
attain such proportions as to change the land- 
scape. To-day Mr. Godwin is the only one 
left to bear witness to the truth of his pre- 

"For a man who has in his nature the es- 
sentials of a dreamer and a poet, Mr. Godwin 
has had a keen and practical interest in poli- 
tics, and at one time was deputy collector- of 
the New York Custom House. Many of the 
reforms he advocated in the "Democratic Re- 
view" were afterward embodied in the consti- 
tution and code of New York. Mr. Godwin's 
years of Shakespearean research have culmi- 
nated, since his retirement from newspaper 
work, in an analytical arrangement of the 
sonnets of Shakespeare. He began by careful 
and continuous reading, determined to find 

the author's meaning, which he believed the 
sonnets were written to convey, at last group- 
ing them, adding marginal notes, after 
thoughtful readings, and now he declares that 
the key to their various moods is that they 
tell the history of the author. Mr. Godwin, 
with this loving tribute to the great master, 
closes his literary work. He believes that his 
vigorous physical and mental vitality is due 
not only to the inheritance of a sound mind 
and body, but to his restful summers at 
the Roslyn countr}^ home and the exercise 
of horseback riding. Friendly guests at both 
homes of whom Mr. Godwin often speaks are 
Bayard Taylor, Hawthorne, Fitz-Greene Hal- 
leek and Richard Storrs Willis, Edwin Booth, 
Salvini, Lord Houghton, Sir Henry Irving, 
Justin McCarthy. Orville Dewey, Robert Coll- 
yer, Edwin Forest, Horatio Greenough, Samuel 
J. Tilden and scores of others, of whom many 
v/ere women prominent as singers, writers and 


It has been said that Bryant brought fame 
to Roslyn and made its beauties known to thou- 
sands, inducing many to build homes within its 
boundaries or to select it as a place in which to 
recuperate mind and body in a summer rest each 
year. Byrant, and later, Parke Godwin, used to 
declare that they owed much of their triumlph 
over the wear and tear of years by the splendid 
health-giving qualities of Roslyn's pure air and 
its restfulness. Perhaps the most advanced 
form of this spirit of home building has been the 
palace on Harbor Hill, which has 'been erected 



for Clarence Mackay, son of one of the Cali- 
fornia millionaires. By it Harbor Hill is now 
closed to the public, and the palace rises on the 
apex where for many years the United States 
Government maintained an observatory by the 
undignified right of "squatter" 'sovereignty. 
When he selected the site for his sumlmer resi- 
dence, Mr. Mackey boug'ht up as much of the 
surrounding farmland as he deemed was neces- 
sary for his purpose and the proper seclusion of 
his home and of its appendages in -the way of 
barns, stables, cottages for work people, etc., and 
now, it is said, is in possession of some 650 acres 
all enclosed and all in process of development, 
for at the date of this writing neither the house 
nor the "improvements" on the property have 
been com'pleted. The whole "scheme" of the 
estate is being worked out according to carefully 
thought-out plans, covering the most minute 
details, and everything has had to give way to 
these from Uncle Sam's observatory and public 
roads to a humble negro burying ground, which 
had been in use for a century or more. The fol- 
lowing newspaper account of the details of the 
work is fairly correct and it is worth preserving : 

The estate itself v/as, and to a great extent 
is iyet, simply a wild waste of hill and dale, 
covered with a tangled mass of undergrowth, 
so thickly intertwined that in most places it 
is impossible to force a way through it without 
an* ax and a bush hook. Stately oaks, massive 
hickories, groves of mammoth chestnuts, pine, 
cedar and maple, undisturbed by the wood- 
man's ax, abound. It is a wilderness which 
for hundreds of years has been invaded only 
by the hunter. Two roads only intersect the 
property; one, the primitive road cut through 
from the village to the site of the old United 
States observatory ; the other a mere bridle 
path running diagonally across the estate, 
the closing of which a month or so ago aroused 
the animosity of a few of the villagers. The 
daily papers had the stories of how the Ros- 
lyn residents purposed to invoke the law to 
uphold their alleged prescriptive rights to pass 
through the property over this road. When, 
a week ago, I made inquiries about Roslyn in 
reference to the alleged unlawful closing of 
the old road, I was unable to find a resident 
of the place who v^ould admit that he had any 

grievance against Mr. Mackay on account of 
his action in the matter. They all said that 
it was simply a path through the jungle, which, 
although it had been used for many years, 
never was a road, and consequently had not 
become a right of way by prescription. 

Early in the course of the preparation of 
plans Mr. Mackay made known his preference 
for the natural wilderness of the estate and of 
his desire to preserve this feature as much as 

It was decided that the house should be 
built on the very apex of the hill, with a tower 
which should extend even higher than the old 
United States observatory, which formerly oc- 
cupied the space, so that an even better gen- 
eral view of the surrounding country could be 
obtained. To' reach this spot, high above the 
surroundings, a long road was necessary. The 
point nearest the road station, only about 
three .minutes' ride by carriage from it, was 
chosen for the site of the lodge, the entrance 
to the estate. Here it was decided to build 
a gate, modeled after the old English style. 
The lodge, the foundation of which has already 
been ;completed, is to be of solid granite. It 
will 'consist of two houses or structures, with a 
bridge containing other rooms, connecting the 
two, over the roadway leading into the estate. 

The problem w^hich was submitted to the 
civil engineers connected with the huge staff 
engaged in the work of laying out the estate 
was, how to run the road to the summiit of the 
hill so that the grade might be uniform 
throughout the whole distance, without abrupt 
rises, or too many short turns. That they have 
solved the problem is a feather in their caps, 
wthich all engineers who have looked over the 
work are willing to recognize. A topographical 
map of the entire estate was first made, and 
from it the route was laid out. It winds in 
and out like a snake, through cuts. in the hills, 
over seemingly natural bridges, through defiles 
and over filled-in ravines, keeping the same 
relative rise for its entire distance, of from a 
mile to a mile and a half, all within the Mackay 
domain, until it finally ends at the terrace lead- 
ing to the house. This road is nearly com- 
pleted. There is no portion of it less than six- 
ty feet wide, and in many places it broadens 
out to 100 feet. Throughout its entire length 
it is to be macadamized, under a guarantee 
that it will be as lasting as the best macadam 
road in the city. 

In its windings it meets hills, through which 
it is necessary to bore. This has been done, 



and in one instance the cut is between thirty 
and forty feet deep. Then it meets ravines, 
which ihave been filled in, some of them to the 
depth of from twenty to thirty feet. In one 
instance it was necessary to skirt a hill with 
a sheer almost perpendicular descent of a hun- 
dred or more feet, A portion of the side of 
the hill had to be excavated, but as in a short 
time, if left in that condition, the weather 
would have washed the new road entirely away, 
it was necessary to build a stone stay or abut- 
ment on the precipitate side. This was done 
with unhewn rocks dug from other portions 
of the road. The retaining wall at its deepest 
point is about fifty feet, and extends from one 
side of the gully to the other, something over 
500 feet. 

This retaining wall at the bottom is twenty 
feet thick, tapering up to a nine-foot thickness 
at the level of the roadbed. Just before reach- 
ing the apex of the hill, where the castle is 
to be situated, a valley is met, which has taxed 
the ingenuity of the engineers. After trying 
all sorts of plans, it was finally decided to fill 
it in for a roadway, and this is now being 
done. ' 

Mr. Mackay has kept careful count of 
everything that has transpired in the effort to 
transform the howling wilderness into a lux- 
urious abode, and has personally conducted 
many of the plans. He is jealous of his wild 
woodland effect, and is spending tens of thou- 
sands of dollars in -saving the trees. One in- 
stance of this was shown when he ordered a 
change from the original lines of the road, be- 
cause if the work .were continued on the origin- 
al plan it would cut through a noble grove of 
old chestnuts and naturally destroy many of 
them. It cost him between $4,000 and $5,000 
to change the route, but he seemed to consider 
the money well spent w^hen it -saved his be- 
loved grove of chestnuts from destruction. 
Strict orders were given by him that no tree 
or shrub, hov/ever insignificant, should be de- 
stroyed if money could save it. 

In complying with these orders, thousands 
of trees which grew in valleys along the site 
of the road, and which would have to be buried 
or half buried in filling in the ravines for the 
road, were encased in boxes from the roots to 
a height above the level of the filling, with air 
space between the trunk of the tree and the 
boxing. One noble oak which I noticed, stand- 
ing just on the edge of the surveyor's line, 
in the bottom of a valley, would have been 
buried to its lower branches in the filling in 

earth, and would have eventually died had it 
not been boxed in from the roots to the lower , 
branches, fully twenty-five feet. The tree meas- 
ured fully four feet in diameter at the bottom. 
To encase it for twenty-five feet took a square 
box four by four by twenty-five feet, allowing 
for the necessary air space. The timber used 
was spruce — worth five (cents a foot. The 
saving of this one tree cost twenty dollars, for 
material alone, not counting the extra labor. 
One little maple sapling, which the owner in- 
sisted upon saving and whidh the ordinary 
mortal walking through the woods would smash 
with his cane, without a second thought, cost 
him eight dollars for boxing, so that it should 
not die ! 

■His love for nature at her wildest, together 
with his fear lest some portion of his magnifi- 
cent domain should be marred by the ruth- 
less hand of the contractor and his employes, 
has led Mr. Mackay into extravagance which 
he scarcely could have contemplated in the 
beginning. The original contract for cutting 
through the mile or so of road to the site of 
the residence was moderate. His exactions 
since then, in respect to the saving of trees, 
shrubbery, etc., which was not contemplated 
in the original agreement, will probably aug- 
ment the total cost to at least three times the 
original contract price. 

The approach to the mansion alone will 
cost close to $150,000, and this is only the 
actual approach and does not include the ap- 
propriation for the landscape' engineer. Every 
cut through a hill will have to be sodded, 
seeded, planted and set out so as to carry out 
the general scheme of native wilderness. All 
of the ravines which have been filled* in will 
have to be mossed over and made to look 
natural. Every portion of the approach will 
have to be so treated hy the gardeners and 
architects in order that it may be a complete 
contrast to the surrounding estates. So much 
for the approach to the house' alone. 

Then will come the fencing in. A portion 
of the vast estate will be inclosed by heavy, 
substantial stone walls. Another portion will 
have a high and closely woven wire fence as 
a protection, and still another section will be 
inclosed by a thick thorn hedge. It will depend 
entirely upon the topography of the ground. 
And this, also, is but the beginning. 

The house, which Mr. Mackay has said 
would be "his little summer place," will, as a 
matter of fact, probably be the most magnifi- 
cent summer home in America. It is i\Ir. 



Mackay's ambition to eclipse all others. The 
homes of the Vanderbilts, Astors, Whitneys 
and Goulds are to be nothing in comparison 
to the splendid place planned by Mr, Mackay. 

The approach to the house is to be a marvel 
of beauty, built on the old Roman order 'of ar- 
chitecture. Just in front of the house will be 
an oblong plaza, nearly as large as the main 
front of the 'house. In the center of this will 
be a fountain, capable of presenting prismatic 
effects in the evening. Around this will be 
rare plants, and on the outside a marble walk, 
surrounded by solid marble balustrades. At 
the side opposite the house three steps will 
lead down to another marble plaza, with an- 
tique lamp posts at either end. Three more 
steps will lead down to a third level like the 
second, and so on until the final circle is 
reached, where the carriages stop. ■ For )Use 
on rainy days, when the owner may not wish 
to ascend the graduated plazas, a road will 
be built from the carriage circle to the left, 
and through a tunnel under the main plaza 
into the cellar of the house, where an elevator 
will take the occupants to the rooms above. 

It is proposed by Mr. Mackay to keep the 
property as far as possible in its present state 
of wilderness, and it will be stocked with 
game of various kinds. 

It is estimated by those who are conversant 
with Mr. Mackay's plans that it will cost all 
of $5,000,000 to carry them out, and that the 
place will be one of the most magnificent, if 
not the most magnificent, of America's sum- 
mer residences. 

Great Neck has risen in importance and in- 
creased ip population since the opening of the 
railroad through it, but although it has been 
settled since aboiit 1670, there is little about 
it to call for notice beyond -saying that it is a 
prosperous agricultural community. Here the 
country begins to reach a greater height, and 
the 'scene becomes picturesque. The splendid 
estate of ex-Mayor William R. Grace, of New 
York, which bears the name of Graceland, is one 
of many attractive properties which wealth and 
taste combined have created out of what was in- 
deed a wilderness. 

Port Washington is the terminus of one 
branch of the Long Island Railroad, and from 
the opening of that bit of railroad line in 1898 
its story as a modern resort will in the future 

date. But at present its story is mainly of the 
past. Up to 1875 it was known as Cow Bay, and 
its oystering business gave emiployment to the 
bulk of its adult population, and it could rejoice 
in its antiquity, as it was the scene of the sur- 
render of the English to the Dutch, already nar- 
rated in this chapter. In the early part of the 
eighteenth century two tidewater grist-mills 
were erected at Cow Bay, and with them the vil- 
lage may be said to have begun. It is delight- 
fully situated, commands a beautiful view of the 
Sound, and possesses all the advantages of an 
ideal residential village. The roads are of mac- 
adam, and that to the Sands 'Point Lighthouse 
is a most enjoyable drive. The 'Manhasset Yacht 
Club has its club house and anchorage grounds 

^/-^Manhasset looms up a little more prominently 
than its two neighbors we have just been writing 
a'bout, from the historian's point of view. It was 
formerly called Cow Neck by its white inhabit- 
ants, and 'Sint Sink by the red men, but Manhas- 
set has been its legal designation since 1850. 
Since the opening up of the railroad it has added 
greatly to its population, and it promises ere 
long to be one of the most popular resort towns 
on the north shore. In most of the guide books 
a traditionary story is printed which connects 
Manhasset with the redoubtable Miles Standish, 
but this is told in another chapter. At Manhas- 
set was printed the first newspaper in the town- 
ship, the "North Hempstead Gazette." This was 
established December 3, 1846, by William H. 
Onderdonk, then a young lawyer, who subse- 
quently rose to eminence in his profession. In 
1848 the paper was removed to Roslyn, and in 
1852 the material was taken to West Farns, in 
Westchester county. 

Turning to another section of the town, we 
find the rifle ranges of Creedmoor, where year 
after year the State militia compete for marks- 
men's badges and where the famous series of in- 
ternational rifle matches for the "Palma" trophy 
were held in the seventies. At that time he 
rifle butts of Creedmoor were as well known as 
those of Wimbledon, but in recent years its 
competitions have been local and humdrum. 






Not far distant is a spot faroous for one of 
the most delightful of the arts of peace, that of 
floriculture — Floral Park, known throughout 
the whole land for the flowers and seeds that go 
out from it. John Lewis Childs performed a 
monumental work, one of magnificent beauty as 
well as utility, for the nurseries form one of the 
most handsome scenes human eye ever rested 

So successful has been the raising of seeds 
that the business has spread over the town to the 
exclusion of nearly all other enterprises. Every 
condition of soil and climate favors, and there 
seems to be no good reason why the raising of 
flowerSj as well as seeds, cannot be carried on 
to the point where the city's great demand can 
be almost wholly supplied. The little park 
whence the town gets its name, reached just be- 
fore the station, is a thing of beauty when all 
abloom during the summer. From an observa- 
tory in it one can look over this great seed and 
flower farm, for such it is, and see the pretty 
houses and cottages that dot it. The village 
itself, of but recent date, numbers a population 
of about 400. 

Hyde Park was formerly a horse-racing cen- 
ter, and at one time bore the name of New- 
market. Hyde Park was formerly the residence 
of Judge George D. Ludlow, and his mansion 
was for many years the most xiotable dwelling 
in the neighborhood. Judge Ludlow was an in- 
tense Tory during the Revolution, and his 
brother Gabriel was colonel of a regiment of 
American loyalists during the same p-eriod. As 
a result of this, when peace was declared, their 
estates were forfeited and the two brothers set- 
tled in New Brunswick, Canada, and Hyde Park 
saw them no more. In 1816 William Gobbett, 
the English political reformer and agitator, was 
compelled to leave London on account of hav- 
ing excited the ire of the Government of that 
day, and coming to this country until the storm 
should blow over, leased a farm at Hyde Park. 
He resided in the old Ludlow mansion, and it 
was while in his occupancy, in 181 7, that it was 
destroyed by fire. Cobbett did not remain long 

in America, for in 1819 he was again in England 
and earning his livelihood by his pen. 

Mineola has sprung into new prominence 
since 1898, when was formed the new county of 
Nassau, of which it is the judicial seat. Since 
1866 however, the exhibitions of the Queens- 
Nassau County Agricultural Society have been 
held there, and these have steadily increased in 
attractiveness until the annual fair has become 
one of the most fashionable functions of not only 
the people in the immlediate neighborhood but of 
the entire borough of Queens. At these fairs 
there is always an 'excellent showing of the rich 
bounties of the Nassau County and Queens 
Borough farnis and their finest blooded stock. 
It is the country supporting this fair that long 
ago gave to Long Island its great reputation for 
farm and garden products of unsurpassable ex- 
cellence. The history of the Agricultural So- 
ciety is given at length in a previous chapter. 


The village of .'Mineola is of comparatively 
recent founding. In French's "Gazetteer" of 
i860 it is described as a "scattered village at the 
junction of the Long Island and Hempstead 
Branch Railroads." In 1892 the population was 
600, and this nuriiber had increased to some 900 
in 1902. 

Westbury derives its name from Westbury, 
Wiltshire, England, that being the birthplace of 
Henry Willis, who, with Edward Titus, first set- 
tled within the present precincts of the village in 



1670 and applied the name to it. A\[illis was a 
Quaker, and had suffered much persecution be- 
fore crossing the Atlantic. Westbury was long 
noted as one of the centers of Quakerism on 
Long Island, and most of its old families still be- 
long to that body. Among these were the 
Hickses, Posts, Seamans, Rushmores, Town- 
sends, Treadwells and Willetts. 

For many years the Quakers (Friends) 
maintained an academical school which was 'fa- 
mous upon Long Island, and known to the sect 
throughout the United States. This was known 
as the Friends' School. For thirty years after 
the division of the Friends into two bodies 
through the Hicksite movement, each branch 
conducted a school under the mianagement of a 
committee. About 1852 the Hicksites lost their 
school property by iire, after which the two so- 
cieties united in the formation of the Westbury 
Educational Association, which was charged 
with the conduct of one school; Nominally it 
was undenominational, and so it was, practically, 
in fact, albeit it was dominated by Quaker in- 
fluences. For many years it enjoyed a prosperous 
career, and it commanded the presence of such 
accomplished men and famous lecturers as Pro- 
fessor Edward Livingston Youmans, George W. 
Curtis, Theodore Tilton, William Lloyd Gar- 
rison, and others of similar repute. Something 
like a quarter of. century ago the school was 
closed, and the building came to be used for dis- 
trict purposes, as it is at the present 'time. 

But the quaintness and simplicity of the days 
agone have disappeared, giving way before the 
spirit of a new age. The town 'has moved stead- 
ily into those industrial pursuits which necessi- 
tate the whirr of machinery and the incoming of 
a new population — some factory operatives, and 
others, men of means and comparative leisure, 
with whom the automobile has become a neces- 
sity. The ground, too, has become a golfing 
ground since the craze for that ancient and royal 
Scottish game has assumed its present American 
popularity, and quite a number of handsome 
homes and large -and well appointed club- 
houses have in recent years been added to its old 

Before leaving this catalogue of the more 
important villages of North Hempstead, some 
brief mention should be made of one which 
seems in recent years to be retrograding, 
but which had a bit of history attaching to it that 
is worth remembering. That is the village of 
Lakeville, almost on the old border line of Flush- 
ing. Indeed, it is to its closeness to Flushing that 
is due its historical interest. It' contained a 
country seat belonging to Governor Dongan, and 
part of the six hundred acres or sO' ,which he re- 
ceived when Flushing and Hempstead received 
their charters, and which, while not exactly a 
bribe, was at least a diplomlatic gift. Lakeville 
was formerly called Success from a pond in its 
neighborhood which bore that name. 









HE township of Oyster Bay, which is 
the largest in Nassau County, as it 
was the largest in the old County of 
Queens, extends across the entire island 
from the Sound to the ocean. The north shore 
is deeply indented, and on the south it is separated 
from the ocean by the Great South Bay, with 
Jones or Seaford Beach in front. The bay en- 
closes several small islands which are included 
in the township, but for the most part they are of 
very little value. 

The earliest deed for the disposal of land in 
Oyster Bay Township was unearthed some 
years ago by Mr. W. S. Pelletreau. It was 
issued in 1639 by the agent of the Earl of Ster- 
ling, and, althoug-h Mariner Sinderland does not 
seem to have profited by the deed, it may be 
inserted here as it shows the value of the land, 
and also proves that even in spite of the grant 
of the "Royal King'' the Indians had to be 
reckoned with : 

Know all men whom this p'snt writeing 
may concearne that I, James ffarrett, gent., 
Deputy to the right Honorable, the Earle of 
Starelinge, doe by these p'sents, in the name 
and behalfe of the said Earle, and in my own 
name as his deputy as it doth or may any way 
concerne myselfe, give and graunt free leave 
and liberty unto Mathew Sinderland Seaman 
at Boston in New England, to possesse and 
ymprove and enjoy two little necks of Land, 
the one uppon the East side of Oyster Bay 
Harbour, and the other uppon the west side of 
the said Harbour, w'ch two necks, and every 

part of them, and all belonging thereunto or 
that the aforesaid two necks may afford, to 
remain unto the said Mathew Sinderland, his 
heires and assignes for now and ever, with full 
pO'wer to the said Mathew to dispose thereof 
at his own pleasure. But forasmuch as it 
hath pleased our Royall King to grant a patent 
of Long Island to the said Earle, in considera- 
tion thereof it is agreed upon that the said 
Mathew Sinderland shall pay or cause to be 
paid yearely to the said Earle or his deputy 
tenn shillings lawfull money of England, and 
the first payment to bee and beginn at our 
Lady day next ensuinge, in the year of God 
one thusand six hundred and fforty yeares, and 
so to continue. And it shall bee lawfull for 
the said fMathew to compound and agree with 
the Indians that now^ have the possession of 
the said necks for theire consent and good will. 

In witness I have sett my hand and seale 
this day, beinge i8th of June 1639. 

James Farrett. 

Robert Turner. 

Whereas Mathew Sinderland, seaman, hath 
apporcon of Land at Oyster Bay on Long 
Island from one James Farrett, in the name 
and behalfe of the Earle of Starelinge, and the 
said iMathew is to pay for the said proportion 
tenn shillings a year to the said Earle or his 
deputy, Know you that I James ffarrett to 
have received from the said. Mathew twenty 
shillings, and for the rent of the said land for 
the first yeare of his possession, beinge from 
thirty-nine unto the fortieth, w'ch I reseaved 
and graunt the receipt thereof. 

Witness my hand the 4th of September 
1639. James Farrett, 

Recorded the ist of March 1660, by me. 
Will: Wells^ Recorder. 



In 1667 the first patent issued .by Governor 
Nicolls was confirmed by Governor Andros, 
whose patent reads as follows : 

Edmond Andres Esqr., Seigneur of Saus- 
mares, Lieu't. and Governor General under his 
Rbyal Highness James Duke of York and Al- 
bany &c. of all his Territories in America, To 
all to whom these Presents shall come sendeth 

Whereas there is a certain Town in the 
North Riding of Yorkshire on Long Island 
commonly called and known by the name of 
"Oyster Bay, situated, lying and being on the 
north side of the Island, toward the Sound, 
having a certain Tract of land thereunto be- 
longing; the East bounds whereof begin at the 
head of the Cold Spring, and so to range upon 
a Southward line from the Sound or North 
Sea to the South Sea, across the Island to the 
South East bounds of their South meadows at 
a certain River called by the Indians Narras- 
ketuck; thence running along the said coast 
westerly to another certain river called Arras- 
quaung; then northerly to the Eastermost ex- 
tent of the Great Plains where the line divides 
Hempstead and Robert Williams' bounds; 
from thence stretching westerly along the mid- 
dle of the said Plains till it bears South from 
the said Robert Williams' marked Tree at the 
point of Trees called Cantiagge; thence on a 
north line to the said marked tree, and then 
on a north west line somewhat westerly to the 
head of Hempstead Harbor on the East side, 
so to the Sound ; and from thence Easterly 
along the sound to the aforementioned North 
and South line which runs across the Island 
by the Cold Spring aforesaid : Bounded, on 
the North by the Sound, on the East by Hunt- 
ington limmitts, on the South part by the Sea 
and part by Hempstead limmitts, and on West 
by the bounds of Hempstead aforesaid, includ- 
ing all the Necks of Land and Islands within 
the aforedescribed bounds and limmitts. 

Know ye that by virtue of His Majesty's 
Letters Patent and the commission and au- 
thority unto me given by his Royal Highness 
I have Ratified, Confirmed and Granted, and 
by these presents do hereby rattify, Confirm 
and grant unto Henry Townsend senr., Nich- 
olas Wright, Thomas Townsend, Gideon 
Wright, Richard Harcker, Joseph Carpenter, 
and Josias Latting, as patentees for and on be- 
half of themselves and of their associates the 
Freeholders and Inhabitants of 'the said Town 

their Heirs, Successors and Assigns, all the 
afore mentioned Tract of Land within the said 
bounds, with the Islands and Necks of Land 
aforesaid, together with all the Wood lands, 
Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Quarries, Marshes, 
Waters, Lakes, Rivers, Fishing, Hawking, 
Hunting and Fowling, and all of the profits, 
commodities, emoluments, Hereditiments to 
the said Town Tract of Land and premises 
within the limmitts and bounds aforemen- 
tioned described belonging or in any wise ap- 
pertaining; To have and To hold all and sin- 
gular the said lands, Hereditiments and prem- 
ises, with their and every of their appurte- 
nances and part and parcel thereof, to the said 
Patentees and their Associates, their Heirs, 
Successors and Assigns, to the proper use and 
behoof of them the said Patentees and their As- 
sociates, their Successors and Assigns forever. 
The Tenure of the said lands and premises to 
be according to the custom of the Manour of 
East Greenwich in the County of Kent in Eng- 
land, in free and Common Soccage and by 
Fealty only. Provided allways notwithstand- 
ing that the extent of the bounds afore recited 
in no way prejudiced or infringed the particu- 
lar propriety of any person or persons who 
have right by labour or any other lawfuU claim 
to any part or parcell of Land or Tenement 
within the limmitts aforesaid, only that all the 
lands and Plantations within the said limmitts 
or bounds shall have relation to the Tow^n in 
general for the well Government thereof; and 
if it shall so happen that any part or parcell of 
the said land within the bounds and limmitts 
afore described be not all ready purchased of 
the Indians it may be purchased (as occasion) 
according' to Law. 

I do hereby likewise confirm and grant unto 
Ihe said Pattentees and their associates, their 
Heirs, successors and assigns, all the privi- 
leges and immunities belonging to a Township 
within this Government, and that the place of 
their present habitation and abode shall con- 
tinue and retain the name of Oyster Bay, by 
which name and Stile it shall be distinguished 
and known in all bargains and Sales, Deeds, 
Records and writings, they making improve- 
ments thereon according to Law, and yielding 
and paying therefor yearly and every year 
unto his Royal Highness' use as a Quit Rent 
one good fat Lamb on the 25th day of March 
unto such Officer or Officers as shall, be em- 
powered to receive the same. 

Given under my hand and sealed with the 
seal of the Province in New York this 29th day 



of September in the 29th year of his Alajesty's 
Reign, Anno Domini 1677. Andros 

Examined by me, AIathew Xiciiols, Sec. 

This is a true Record of the original patent 
of Oyster Bay. written and examined by me, 
John Xewmax, Recorder. 

On the back side of the before written pat- 
ent is the following endorsement: 

New York^ Xovember ist, 1684. 

Alemorandum. — That it is agreed and con- 
sented unto by us whose names are underwrit- 
ten, deputed from the town of Oyster Bay to 
adjust and ascertain the bounds and limmits 
between the towns of Oyster Bay and Hemp- 
stead before the governor and council at Fort 
James in New York, that the bounds and lim- 
mits between Oyster Bay and Hempstead be- 
gin at the Barrow Beach, according to an 
agreement made the 25th day of October 1677. 
Witness our hands — Thos. Tow^nsend, Na- 
thaniel Coles, John Weeks, Isaac Horner. 

Signed in the presence of John Spraguc, 
George Farewell, George Brewerton. 

Governor Andres's patent was needed, for 
the vagueness of the boundary lines had given 
trouble. The Indians had not been promptly 
paid in the first place and that involved con- 
siderable negotiations, and the precise limits of 
the western boundary involved another dispute 
with the red men, while a similar trouble was 
started in 1663 with Huntington 'over the eastern 
boundary, but that dispute lasted for over a 
century and its details are too wearisom^e to be 
followed, especially as the matter has long ago 
lost its living interest — if it ever really had any 
except to a handful of people. 

This, however, is anticipating. The history 
of the township begins much earlier than the 
documents last mentioned would imply, and in 
that history was one of the sorrows af old Peter 
Sruyvesant. It was neither English nor Dutch. 
The English held it; the Dutch claimed it; so it 
was a sort of no-man's land, caring little for the 
Dutch laws and looking to Connecticut for pro- 
tection, although nominally under Dutch jurisdic- 
tion. Sovereignty was claimed for a time by the 

colony of New Haven, but Stuyvesant never 
formally admitted that claim, although there is 
iittle doubt that it was a just and lawful one, as 
jUst and lawful as a treaty could accomplish. But 
the accession of Governor. Nicolls settled all 
such disputes, overthrew the Dutch rule, made 
Long Island an integral part of the Province 
of New York, and, except for the brief interval 
of the Colve opera bouffe supremacy, crushed 
for ever its hopes of being part of the New Eng- 
land Confederacy. But all this has already been 
told in an earlier part of this work, and treaties 
and the like may be passed by here and the story 
of actual settlement be dwelt upon. ^ 

The first real settlement was begun in 16^, 
when land was bought from the Matinecock 
Indians by Peter Wright, Samuel Alayo and 
William Leverich, and the purchase included the 
present bounds of Oyster Bay Village. The price 
paid was on a much more liberal scale than 
usual and included "six Indian coats, six kettles, 
six fathom of wampum, six hoes, six hatchets, 
three pair of stockings ; thirty awl blades or 
muxes, twenty knives, three shirts, and as much 
peague (wampum shells) as will amount to four 
pounds sterling." The others included in the 
purchase were William Washburne, Thoir^as 
Armitage, Daniel Whitehead, Anthony Wright, 
Robert Williams, John Washburne and Richard 
Holbrook, and these men may justly be regarded 
as the pioneers of the township. Several others 
joined immediately after the agreement was 
made, if^thc}^ were not even then on the exact 
spot.\Twcnty lots were laid out at first, of six 
acres each.^N^ot much is known of the personal 
history of any of the settlers. ATr. Leverich we 
have already met in our story of Newtown. 
In Oyster Bay he does not appear to have been 
recognized as a leader, although he was the ac- 
cepted minister of the settlement until 1657. His 
great aim in settling on Long Island seems- to 
have been to work among the Indian tribes, and 
he certainly found many opportunities. Samuel 
Mayo was a remarkably enterprising fellow. He 
owned the good ship "Desire," of Barnstable, 
and in it carried the adventurers and their goods 
and possessions tO' Oyster Ba}-. He seems to 



have been the busmess man of the enterprise and 
looked after the affairs of the colony, apportion- 
ing its plantations or farms to those new-comers 
who proved agreeable to the town m,eeting. But 
he had not always smooth sailing in the carrying 
on of his enterprises. Being engaged to convey 
the goods of Mr, Leverich to Oyster Bay, his 
vessel was seized in Hempstead Harbor, by one 
Thomas Baxter, under the pretense of au- 
thority from those in charge of affairs in Rhode 
Island. Thompson says that "this Baxter was 
beyond all question a turbulent and unprincipled 
fello'w/' and the general court at Hartford cen- 
sured him' "for his reproachful speeches against 
that jurisdiction," and imposed a fine upon him. 
He was also obliged to reimburse 'Mayo for seiz- 
ing his vessel under false pretenses. Mayo 
died at Oyster Bay in 1670. 

Peter Wright is regarded as the founder of 
Oyster Bay. He was one of three brothers who 
came from England to Massachusetts, probably 
about 1636. He 'was the only one of the original 
three purchasers who made a permanent settle- 
ment, and it would appear that he was regarded 
as the leading 'man in the little community. 
Richard Holbrook built the first house in what 
is now Oyster Bay village. Robert Williams is 
described as having been a near relative of the 
celebrated Roger Williams, and was the first 
purchaser of the property which afterward be- 
came known as Dosoris. Daniel Whitehead soon 
removed to Jamaica, Anthony Wright prospered 
in Oyster Bay until his death in 1680, and the 
Washburnes moved to Hempstead. Most of them 
were natives of England, and while the settle- 
ment they formed was not a religious one, it was 
a imoral community in every way. They seem 
to have freely admitted new-comers to share in 
the privileges of settlement, and Governor An- 
dros's pateijt presents us with several new 

It would seem that at first the land was to 
be held in common, except the six-acre home 
lots. That theory, however, was soon departed 
from, and in practice all sorts of notions pre- 
vailed. Privileges were granted to one and with- 
held from another. Some lots carried rights to 

privileges in the meadows, pastures and wood- 
lands, others did not ; sometimes lots were given 
to people with the proviso that they should build 
houses on them; others received lots without 
any proviso at all. It was the rule that the town 
meeting should pass upon the merits or demerits 
of intending settlers, but, after a while, lots 
were transferred without asking the leave of the 
meeting. All this in the long run led to con- 
fusion and bickering, recrimination and law- 
suits. The fathers seemed to have had some 
ideas of settling the land question, but appeared 
unable to carry them out and the result was 
trouble all around. So burdensome did all be- 
come that a town meeting was held in 1677, when 
there was confirmed, by name, ''every freeholder 
which hath a free vote for giving and granting 
of common rights, and not otherwise; and that 
from henceforward no' grant of township or com- 
mon rights shall be confirmed, or hold legal 
grants, without every freeholder hath legal 
warning that such a meeting is to be appointed, 
or that there are land& to be given out ; and, after 
legal warning given them by the officer appoint- 
ed, it shall be held legal, to all intents and pur- 
poses, all gifts or grants by common rights to 
either man or men, given by the majority of free- 
holders that doth appear at the time and place ap- 
pointed. And it is further agreed that for every 
town right that any freeholder doth possess he 
shall have so niany votes in the giving and grant- 
ing land and common rights, and not otherwise 
to be understood, but to grant and divide, as they 
shall see cause.'' 

The freeholders named were : Henry 
Townsend, Joseph Dickin:son, Edmund Wright, 
Anthony Wright, Joseph Ludlum, Samuel 
Weeks, Nicholas Simpkins, John Jones, Francis 
Weeks, William Frost, John Rogers, John Dick- 
,inson, William Buckler, Nicholas Wright, Job 
Wright, Elizabeth Townsend, John Townsend, 
Josiah Latting, Nathaniel Coles, Richard Har- 
cott, Adam Wright, Latamore Sampson, (Simon 
Cooper), Daniel Coles, John Wright, John 
Townsend, Caleb Wright, Isaac Doutty, James 
Townsend, John Weeks, Samuel Andrews, Mat- 
thias Harvey Fyde, Samuel Furman, AHce 



Crabb, Henry Townsend, Jr., Gideon Wright, 
Richard Crabb, George Dennis, Thomas Town- 
send, Joseph Weeks, John Weeks, of Warwick, 
Thomas Weeks, Moses Furman, James Weeks. 

Only freeholders could vote in town nueet- 
ing, but all lot owners were not freeholders, and 
thereby arose another complication. In fact the 
early land question in Oyster Bay is about as 
interesting a puzzle as a legal antiquary would 
find to study. 

From the first the settlers looked to New 
Haven as their suzerain, so to speak, and it 
would seem that New Haven accepted the 
charge, and in 1662 named John Richbill as 
constable of Oyster Bay. The colonists seemed 
to have thought this hardly in keeping with their 
ideas of municipal liberty and in 1664 they joined 
with Hempstead, Newton, Jamaica and Flushing 
to make up a sort of federation and manage their 
own affairs without crossing the Sound. How 
this federation would have panned out is hard to 
say. Certainly Connecticut would have opposed 
it, and just as certainly Stuyvesant would not 
have tolerated it so far as such places as Flusihing 
and Newtown and Jamaica were concerned. But 
the advent of Richard NicoUs settled all such 
matters, as has already been said. It is said that 
Richbill became so unpopular in Oyster Bay vil- 
lage owing to his willingness to accept Connec- 
ticut's nomination, that he was glad to sell his 
property and wander away. 

Richbill is described by some as the pioneer 
merchant of Oyster Bay and Newtown. The sec- 
ond was a George Dennis, who, however, if he 
was the second merchant was the first bankrupt, 
for we are told that he had to make his goods 
over to his creditors. 

As early as 1668 a grant of land was made 
for the construction of a wharf on Oyster Bay, 
at the point called Ship Point, but this scheme 
was not carried into effect. In 1661 the first grist 
mill was erected by Henry Townsend. The mil- 
ler' engaged to operate it, Richard Harcutt, was 
not a very polished or a very politic gentle- 
man and seemed to offend several of the 
customers of the mill, and much grumb- 
ling ensued. The matter, as was certain, was 

discussed at a town meeting in 1672 with the 
following result: *'That if any person or per- 
sons do not like their usage at the mill they are 
to give notice of it to the miller and attend him- 
self, or his wife if he have one, and see their 
corn grinding if they will; but if they will not 
attend the grinding * ^ =i^ they are at lib- 
erty to grind in another place and the miller is 
at his liberty whether he will grind again for 
any such person or persons.'' It is computed 
that in 1699 one-third of the goods imported into 
the colony of 'New York come into the Long 
Island ports of Setauket, Mosquito Cove, South- 
old and Oyster Bay, and' a half century later the 
Oyster Bay merchants had an extensive trade 
with the various Sound ports, and even with 
the West Indies. The outbreak of the Revolu- 
tionary war, however, dissipated all that pros- 
perity and (blighted even the work of the fields 
for many years. 

But we are not to forget one of the old mer- 
chants of Oyster Bay — no less a personage than 
the famous William Bradford, who was the first 
printer in New York. For several years prior 
to 1703 he executed deeds in which he described 
himself as "merchant of Oyster Bay and 
printer of New York." It is well enough known 
that Oyster Bay was an important commercial 
point; indeed, it was largely with a view to that 
end that it came to be settled ; and it is curious- 
ly interesting to read the following — the first 
known newspaper advertisement referring to 
Long Island — which appeared in the "Boston 
News Letter" of May 8, 1704: 

"At Oyster Bay on Long Island in the 
Province of New York There is a very good 
Fulling Mill to be Let or Sold, as also a Plan- 
tation, having on it a large new Brick house, 
and another good house by it for a Kitchen & 
wash house, with a Barn, Stable &c., a young 
orchard and 20 Acres of Cleared land. The 
Mill is to be Let with or without the Planta- 
tion. Enquire of Mr. Wilham' Bradford Printer 
in New York and know further." 

Probably the people of Oyster Bay, whether 
Whig or Tory, felt relieved when the Revolu- 
tionary war ceased and the horrors of martial 



law became a thing of the past. When peace 
was proclaimed, industry was resumed, but the 
township had been so seriously drained of its 
resources, its fields had been sO' trampled on 
and destroyed, its granaries, when spared, had 
been so emptied, and its financial resources so 
reduced, that it took a long time to regain what 
had been lost during the few years of conflict. 
Agriculture was at that time the main industry, 
for the war had shattered the shipping trade 
which had been promising so much prior to 1776. 
But the soil, not the sea, was, after all, the 
mainstay of the people, and so until the nine- 
teenth century had pretty well advanced, the 
story of the township might be a record of im- 
provements in crops, in farm stock, in extension 
of the farm land by a steady clearance of the 
brush and wildwood, and in the development of 
the breed of horses, horses for pleasure as well 
as for work. The apple seems to have been the 
principal fruit cultivated, and Oyster Bay be- 
came noted for its cider. 

We may now turn our attention to the re- 
ligious life of Oyster Bay, a subject which is 
of equal interest and importance with its civil 
history. It has already been said that the first 
community was not a theocracy, although the 
Rev. Mr. Leverich was among the pioneers and 
was regarded as their minister. In the internal 
government of the township Ihe town meeting 
ruled in everything — so far as is known no cler- 
gyman waS' appointed in i\Ir. Leverich's place 
when he left, and it was many years before a 
meeting house was erected. In 1693 the town 
meeting "met together in order tO' a late act 
of Assembly for settling two ministers in the 
county, but nothing done about it; but made re- 
turn that it was against their judgment, there- 
fore could act nothing about it." Now it is im- 
possible to believe that these people were with- 
out public worship from the time Mr. Leverich 
left in 1656 or thereabouts, and the probability 
is that the Quaker doctrines had made headway 
among them. 

It is lield that in 1659 a regular meeting of 
the Society of Friends was established at Oyster 
Bay, in the residence of Anthony Wright, and 

a marriage was solemnized there between Sam- 
uel Andrews and 2^Iary Wright, August 8, 1663. 
There are some signs also that some of Mrs. 
Hutchinson's converts visited Oyster Bay and 
held religious meetings, so that in one way or 
another the place was not without its spiritual 
leaders, and Oyster Bay became the religious 
center for a wide district. In 1672 George Fox 
paid it a visit and preached in the woods, with 
a rock for a pulpit, because there was no house 
in the place large enough to accommodate the 
number of his auditors, and it was in that year 
that Anthony Wright gave land, part of his house 
lot, to the Society of Friends, on which to erect 
a meeting house and lay out a burial plot. The 
house was finished early in the following year 
and seems tO' have been a comfortable little struc- 
ture, with double doors, eight windows and 
plain benches. The Society waxed strong, and 
large congregations were formed in Matinicock 
in 1671, Jericho in 1676, and in Bethpage in 
1698, while on the lonely farms the simple faith 
of the Society was that held by possibly nine- 
tenths of the people. For a time it would seem 
that next to Flushing, Oyster Bay was the most 
important center of the Society on Long Isl- 
and. So the burly and blusterous Keith reported, 
in 1701, as the result of his personal observa- 
tion. But even then a change had taken place, 
and the adherents of the Society gradually fell 
off in the village. The first meeting house was 
taken down in 1693, and a second was not built 
until 1749. In 1797 the number of Friends had 
dwindled down until little more than "a rem- 

This, however, was not caused by any fall- 
ing off in the religious spirit of the town, but 
because other influences had been at work and 
had weakened the hold of the Society. The 
Baptists had been zealously at woidc even when 
the Society seemed supreme, and had gradually 
won converts to their views. About the year 
1700 William Rhodes settled in Oyster Ba\- vil- 
lage from Rhode Island, and at once began to 
hold regular meetings, and so organized a con- 
gregation — a congregation that was made up 
mainly, if not wholly, of persons who had been 



numbered among the Quakers. It has been held 
that he was not an ordained minister^ that he 
was without denominational authority, but in the 
early history O'f either the Quakers or the Bap- 
tists such matters were not deemed of prime 
importance in the face of results. In 1724 a 
Baptist meeting house was erected, but the con- 
gregation lost its up-builder, for J\Ir. Rhodes 
in that year was called to his reward. He was 
succeeded, Prime tells us, by ''an individual by 
the name of Robert Feeks, the son of a Quaker 
preacher," who had been his assistant. "He was 
ordained," says Prime, *'in 1724 by elders from 
Rhode Island. He was what was called a Free- 
will Baptist, and as nO' other quaHfication was 
considered necessary in a candidate for bap- 
tism than a desire to be saved, his church was. 
of course, numerous. * * ^ He labored 
man} years, and died [1773] in the 89th year of 
his age.'' But he was not without his troubles. 
In 1745 the Rev. Thomas Davis was appointed 
his colleague, and, being a stern unyielding Cal- 
vinist, his sentiments were on many points ut- 
terly opposed to thoise of his senior. This led 
to bickerings and confusion and might have 
caused the creation of another congregation had 
not Davis, after some three years of agitation, 
retired from the vineyard on account of ill 
health. The people then held together, each sec- 
tion certain of ultimate triumph. Caleb Wright, 
a grandson of the pioneer Rhodes, had been ed- 
ucated for the ministry and was to be ordained 
and installed as Mr. Feeks's colleague. The peo- 
ple listened to his preaching for over a year, 
and there was a strong hope that he would lead ■ 
the people into quiet waters, that he would heal 
the past differences. But the day appointed for 
his ordination turned out to be that of his burial, 
and the Rev. Isaac Still, of New Jersey, who 
had been appointed to ordain, preached his fun- 
eral sermon. After that contention broke out 
worse than ever. Mr. Davis returned for a brief 
visit in the hope of restoring peace, but seems 
to have made the confusion worse than ever, and 
if we read Prime's story of the trouble aright, 
he and the now venerable Pastor Feeks had a 
regular set-to in the pulpit one Sunday, and 

Davis proved the victor, put Feeks out and 
preached the sermon ! 

In 1759 David Sutton was called to the pas- 
torate, and for a short time peace prevailed, but 
the result was a schism aiid the formation of 
a new congregation, calling themselves the "New 
Lights.'' The pastor of this body, or its spokes- 
man and preacher, was Peter Underbill (a 
grandson of the famous Captain John. Under- 
bill), but its real leader was his mother-in-law, 
I\Irs. Sarah Townsend, who, having in her early 
years been a schoolmistress, was generally 
known as Aladame Townsend ; a woman of much 
ability, evidently, and one who had certainly 
studied the Scriptures closely and believed in ex- 
pounding them according to her lights. She 
refused to believe in denominational restraints, 
believed in the indiscriminate outpouring of the 
Spirit, and believed that all would, at one time 
or other, be converted. When the new body at- 
tempted, after a little experience, to draw up 
a set of rules to maintain order and decorum, 
she shouted '^Babylon!" and withdrew. How- 
ever, she seems to have soon returned, and the 
little community lasted for ,some thirty years, 
when she and Undei-hill and the others gave up 
the struggle and became associated again with 
the regular Baptist Church. By that time that 
body had been reduced to nine members, and 
even six years later it was only blessed with a 
membership of forty. In 1801 the Rev. Mar- 
maduke Earle, having settled in Oyster Bay to 
assume charge of the academy, also agreed to 
supply the pulpit of the Baptist Church, and un- 
der his ministry, which continued until his death, 
in 1856, the Baptist body has had a history in 
Oyster Bay in every way worthy of its aspira- 
tions and its high position as a body of earnest, 
devoted Christian workers. 

Along with the Baptist body the Episcopalians 
aided in the disintegration of the Quaker su- 
prem^acy. Keith, the renegade Quaker, mentions 
that he bad considerable success in his proselytiz- 
ing efforts in Oyster Bay, among other places 
on Long Island, in 170 1. A church building was 
erected in 1707, but for many years the congre- 
gation was under the pastoral charge of the 



clergyman at Hempstead. After the Revolu- 
tion services were conducted irregularly, but the 
congregation remained intact and the church 
authorities in New York in 1787 appointed An- 
drew Fowler as "reader" to the people at Islip, 
Brookhaven and Oyster Bay. Mr. Fowler after- 
ward became rector at Oyster Bay. He did not 
remain long with the people after being or- 
dained a priest. It is doubtful if the church 
building was much used after the Revolution for 
Divine servite, as the Hessian troops had used 
its timber for their own and destroyed 
much of the internal fittings. In 1804, how- 
ever, the structure was blown down and the 
material of which it was- composed was then sold 
for ^6^, which sum, however, the local church 
authorities did not receive until 1845. Its site 
was used for the Oyster Bay Academy. With 
the removal of Mr. Fowler in 1791, the congre- 
gation seems to have again passed under the care 
of a reader, with occasional visits from the rec- 
tors at Huntington and North Hempstead. 
When the Academy was completed the people 
worshipped in one of its rooms. In 1835 it was 
made a missionary station under the Rev. Isaac 
Sher^voo'd. In 1844 Oyster Bay again became 
a district charge, a new church building was 
erected in 1845, and the modern history of the 
congregation may be said to have then begun. 
The present, beautiful .structure in which the con- 
gregation now worships was erected in 1878, 
when the corner stone was laid by the then rec- 
tor, the Rev. George R. Van de Water, now of 
New York. 

A Methodist Society was formed in 1833, 
and the little congregation was first ministered to 
by the Rev. A. Hulin and the Rev. R. Wymond, 
of the Huntington circuit. In the autumn of 
the same year, a quarterly conference was held, 
and a class of nineteen members received Joseph 
Latting as leader. For several years meetings 
were held in the old academy building. In Au- 
gust, 1856, a building fund was secured, and a 
house of worship was erected, which was dedi- 
cated by the Rev. Mr. Milburn, in 1859. The 
first settled pastor was the Rev. Abraham S. 
Emmons, who came in 1870. The Sunday-school 

was organized in the year following the dedica- 
tion of the church edifice. 

The Presbyterian Church was organized De- 
cember 18, 1845, by the Presbytery of Long 
Island. The congregation was .served by visit- 
ing clergymen, most prominent among whom 
was the Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge, Jr., of 
Hempstead, until late in 1846, when the Rev. 
John T. Clark became the first installed pastor. 
Meetings were at first held in the old academy 
building. In 1848 a church edifice was erected 
at a of $3,000, and in 1873 the congrega- 
tion had so increased in numbers and wealth 
that it was enabled to erect a more substantial 
and commodious building at a cost of $16,000. 

Of the early educational conditions we have 
little account. There was a schoolmaster in 
1677, for it is> of record that Thomas Webb, 
who served as such, was appointed town clerk. 
In a later day, a school was maintained in con- 
nection with the Episcopal Church, and there 
were private schools from that time until the 
establishment of the public school .system. 

The present village of Oyster Bay has a pop- 
ulation of 2,320. In 1846, in a moment of irre- 
sponsibility, it was decided to change its name 
to Syosset, but the change only lasted, fortunate- 
ly, for about a week. Besides its important 
oystering and shipping trade it is the center of 
a colony of summer homes of the very highest 
clas,s. Its importance has steadily increased since 
the railroad gave it easy access to the outer 
world. Its cottages are most picturesque and 
reach out from it in all directions, and it is well 
supplied with hotels and boarding houses. As 
the home of the Seawanhaka Yacht Club it is a 
center for that class of sport, and the club house 
of that organization, a most imposing structure 
at the entrance of the bay, with more or less of its 
"fleet" in front and its dock always a busy, bust- 
ling place during the season, is itself a prime 
attraction to visitors. Oyster Bay, in fact, has 
become quite a fashionable center, and its dig- 
nity in this respect seems certain to steadily in- 
crease. Of recent years it has come into especial 
prominence as the residence of Theodore Roose- 
velt, ex-Governor of New York and President of 




the United States. His splendid cottage has been 
the scene of many an important gathering .since 
his return from Cuba, where, as Colonel of the 
famous "Rough Riders/' he won a national pre- 
eminence and became one of the foremost figures 
in American public life. Inasmuch as the name 
of this distinguished man will ever be associated 
with that of this, his home village, it -is entirely 
proper that the story oi his eventful life should 
be here told. 

The eyes of the nation never turned with 
more anxious questioning to one man than to 
Theodore Roosevelt ; they came to rest upon 
him with good will, confidence and trust. Un- 
der the administration of President McKinley 
the country had enjoyed over four years of 
marked growth, advancement and progress. 
Through his kindly nature, his great diplomacy 
and powers of statescraft he had done more than 


any other individual to bring the whole country 
into harmony and unity, and had given it prestige 
among the great world powers. The marvelous 
hold which he had upon the affections of the 
people, east and west, north and south, was mani- 
fested in the universal grief which reached its 
culmination in the five minutes of absolute si- 
lence which prevailed throughout the land in 
every avenue of life as the hour for his burial 

And the people turned to their new ruler 
anxiously and yet with faith in their hearts, 
for he had proved his bravery on the San Juan 
hills, had manifested the purity and strength 
of his purpose in public office and in his earn- 
est and purposeful way had shown himself to 
be the peer of some of the most gifted men of 
the nation. He is, however, the youngest chief 
executive that has presided over the destinies 
of the United States, but since he has handled 
the reins of government he has shown a won- 
derful insight into public affairs of every de- 
scription. The man of war has become^ the 
man of peace ; the man of action has become 
the man of thought; hi& diplomacy has elicited 
the highest commendation ; and while his great 
strength of purpose has in no wise diminished, 
he has directed it in different channels, having 
marked influence upon the public good.' 

President Roosevelt springs from one of the 
old a.nd distinguished families of Dutch orig- 
in. This family was one of considerable import- 
ance in Holland, as shown by the coat of armor, 
indicating the origin of the family. Arms, ar- 
gent on a mount vert, a rose bush with three 
roses ppr. ; crest, three ostrich feathers per 
pale, gules and argent ; motto, Qui plantavit 
curabit (the one who planted it will take care 
of it). This is the same in substance as that 
borne on the arms of the State of Connecti- 
cut, viz.: Qui transtulit sustinet (he who trans- 
planted sustains). 

Claes Martinzen Van Roosevelt, meaning 
Nicholas the son of Martin, of the Rosefield, 
who emigrated to America from Holland in 1654, 
was the first of the name in this country. His 
descendants intermarried with the Schuylers, 
Bogaerts, Provosts, Van Schaicks, DePeysters, 
Latrobes, Hoffmans, Barclays, Van Courtlandts, 
Lispenards, etc. The family early obtained an ex- 
tensive tract of land in New York City, extend- 
ing from Chatham! street to the East river, lying 
between Pearl, Roosevelt and Catharine streets, 
or, as it was originally called, Ruger's old farm. 
Hence in this way and by its commercial en- 
terprises it has become affluent. The family has 
been represented in Colonial and State affairs 



through every generation down to the present 
period, and owing to the achievements of the 
present representative of the family the name 
is as famihar to every schoolboy throughout the 
country as is that of Washington or Grant. 

The wife of Claes Martinzen Van Roosevelt 
was Jannetje Samuels or Thomas, probably the 

Nicholas Roosevelt, fourth child O'f Claes and 
Jannetje Roosevelt, was baptized October 2, 1658. 
and married December 26, 1682, Heytje Jans, 
who was an alderman. of New York, 1698 to 
1 701, He removed to Esopus, and died July 30, 

Johannes Roosevelt, eldest cliild of Nicholas 
and Fleytje (Jans) Roosevelt, was baptized Feb- 
ruary 27, 1689. He was assistant alderman of 
New York from 1717 till 1727 and alderman 
from 1730 until 1733. He married Heltje 
Sjverts. This name is also spelled Hyla Suerts 
in the Dutch records of New York. She was 
the daughter of Olphert Suerts, who married 
Margrieji Cloppers, born May 30, 1708, a daugh- 
ter of Cornelius Jansen Cloppers. 

Jacobus Roosevelt, fifth child of Johannes, 
was born August 14, 1724. He married An- 
netj e Bogart, and his second wife was Ele- 
nora Thompson. The sixth of their seven chil- 
dren was Jacobus Roosevelt, who was born Oc- 
tober 25, 1759, and died August 13, 1840. He 
was known as JameS' I. Roosevelt, and was com- 
missary during the war of the Revolution, giving 
his services gratuitously. "Getting supplies" for 
the Continental army became so impressed on his 
mind as to enter into his every-day transactions, 
and long after the war, whenever he went to 
market, as was the custom of the head of the 
family in those days, taking a servant along to 
carry the basket, he always referred to it as go- 
ing for "supplies." He married Mary Van 

Cornelius Van Schaick Roosevelt, youngest 
child of Jacobus (2), was born January 30, 
1794. From his father and grandfather he in- 
herited a large fortune, and this he augmented 
by various successful financial ventures, becom- 
ing one of the richest men in New York. For 

many years he was engaged in the importation 
of hardware and plate glass. He was one of 
those who founded the Chemical Bank on the 
single principle of honesty, and that institution 
has never failed to pay its obligations in gold, 
and during the Civil war redeemed its notes at 
one time at $280 in greenbacks. He introduced 
in business the principle of giving no notes. Mn 
Roosevelt married Margaret Barnhill, of Penn- 
sylvania, and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Hei' 
grandfather was Thomas Potts, a member of 
the Continental Congress. The issue of this 
marriage was: Weir, C. V. S., Jr., James A., 
Robert and Theodore (ist). 

Theodore Roosevelt (i), youngest child of 
Cornelius Van Schaick Roosevelt and Margaret 
(Barnhill) Roosevelt, his wife, was born in New 
York City, September 29, 183 1, and died there 
February 9, 1878. He joined the firm of Roose- 
velt & Company, glass importers, then located 
at No. 2 Maiden Lane, and continued in that 
business till 1876, when he established a bank- 
ing house in partnership with his son at No. 32 
Pine street. Mr. Roosevelt was among the pio- 
neers in the development of what was known 
as the up-town district of ^Manhattan Island. 
He built an elegant residence on West Fifty-sev- 
enth street, and there he passed the last hours of 
his life. 

At the time of his death Mr. Roosevelt was 
one of the three state commissioners of public 
charities, a position for which he was admirably 
fitted by his experience and his peculiar devotion 
to philanthropic enterprises. He was vice-presi- 
dent of the Union League Club and a member 
of the Century, St. Nicholas and various kindred 
organizations. When C. A. Arthur was supposed 
to bo on the point of giving up the position of 
collector of the port of New York, attention 
was turned upon Mr. Roosevelt as a gentleman 
conspicuously fitted for it, and one who, it was 
thought, would discharge its functions to the 
advantage of the community and his own honor. 
At first an opposition was made on account of 
his participation in an importing business, from 
which some believed he had not entirely alienated 
himself. He was tendered the position by Presi- 




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ident Hayes, but the senate, for the above named 
reasons, failed to confirm the appointment. 

Mr. Roosevelt's charitable enterprises were 
so numerous and varied in character that it is 
difficult to refer to them all, but perhaps no more 
useful institution owes to him a share of its 
paternity than the Orthopaedic Hospital in Fifty- 
ninth street, near Ninth avenue, New York. 
Knowing that prompt and skilled treatment 
would in many instances spare the victims of ac- 
cident or disease from becoming deformed, he 
had lent his best exertions to establish an insti- 
tution where such permanent treatment would 
be readily accessible. The Newsboys' Lodging 
House is also deeply indebted to him for its 
success. From its inception he paid special at- 
tention to the development of its resources and 
the perfection of its management. The up-town 
branch of the establishment devolved entirely 
upon him for a support which was liberally ac- 
corded. He also greatly enlisted himself in the 
Young Men's Christian Association, and aided 
by his counsel and his pur.;e in developing its 
usefulness. In fact, during a business career 
which absorbed a great part of his time and 
thought for the amelioration of his fellow crea- 
tures' conditions, he was evolving plans for hav- 
ing charity more widely distributed and turned 
to the best advantage. When the scheme of unit- 
ing all benevolent organizations for the purpose 
of mutual assistance .and general co-operation 
was proposed, Mr. Roosevelt warmly encouraged 
the movement. He took part in organizing the 
Bureau of United Charities, which he believed 
would subserve a great object, but was forced 
with his . associates to give over his design by 
the disinclination of some charitable institutions 
to make their methods and resources public. 

He married Martha, daughter of James and 
Martha Oswald Bulloch, of Roswell, Georgia. 
Her maternal great-grandfather was Daniel 
Stewart, who joined the Revolutionary army 
when a boy and was captured by the British, 
but escaped from a prison ship and afterward 
served as captain under Sumter and Marion. 
Martha Bulloch's paternal grandfather was 
James Bulloch, who was a captain of the Georgia 

troops in the Revolution and an original member 
of the Society of the Cincinnati. James Bul- 
loch's father .was Archibald Bulloch, first Revo- 
lutionary Governor of Georgia, who married 
Alary de Vaux, whose paternal grandfather, a 
Huguenot, fled from France after the Revoca- 
tion of the Edict oi Nantes. Her maternal 
grandfather was Edward Bellinger, one of the 
Carolina landgraves. Archibald Bulloch's father 
was James Bulloch, who came from Scotland 
about 171 5 and settled in Georgia, was a mem- 
ber of the Provincial Congress, and held posi- 
tions of honor and trust. He was a blood rela- 
tive of the Douglasses, Bartons and other promi- 
nent families. Their children were Anna, wife 
of Captain W. S. Cowles, of the United States 
Navy; Theodore; Elliott; and Corinne, the wife 
of Douglas Robinson, Jr. Airs. Roosevelt died 
February 15, 1884. She was a member of the 
Rev. Dr. Hall's church, and took a deep interest 
in many charities, including the Orthopaedic 
Hospital, of which her husband was one of the 

Theodore. Roosevelt, the leading subject of 
this sketch, was born in New York City, Octo- 
ber 27, 1858, and was graduated at Harvard with 
the class of 1880. Among the early New York 
families to establish a summer home at Oyster 
Bay, Long Island, was that of Cornelius Van 
Schaick Roosevelt, the grandfather of the Presi- 
dent. The place where he resided was known 
as Tranquility, and to him it was all that the 
name implied — rest, peace and quietness. His 
son, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., became very much 
attached to the place and spent the long sum- 
mer and autumn months at this most delightful 
resort. Thus it happened that the early child- 
hood of young Theodore was spent amid these 
surroundings. It was said that "he was a mere 
wisp of a boy, pale, puny, without health or 
strength; but he had a will, and determined to 
overcome his lack of physical vigor." The boys 
in the neighborhood knew him as the wiry, earn- 
est, determined little fellow, perfectly fearless 
and ready to encounter any difficulty or danger 
that would add to ihis bodily health and strength. 
He "rode and swam and climbed and jumped;" 



his "yacht" was a rowboat in which he could ex- 
ercise his muscles and toughen every Hmb, and 
this ''toughening" process was continued years 
after on his western ranch. 

Memories of his childhood days at Oyster 
Bay clung to him long after he left home to 
prepare for his great life work, and not long after 
his graduation in 1880 he purchased one hundred 
acres, mostly woodland, to which he gave the 
name of "Sagamore 'HiH"--a name at the time 
having no .particular significance — ^but, associ- 
ated with his subsequent achievements, it is fitly 

Politics seemed to have a fascination for Col- 

it," said Hutchinson; "there's an opening for 
young men of independent fortune and good ed- 
ucation in public life. You ought to make the 
experiment." Young Roosevelt "made the ex- 
periment" and succeeded, as he has in every sub- 
sequent "experiment" of his life. The word 
"fail" is not a part of :his vocabulary. He liter- 
ally "batters down" all opposition as he did on 
the famous field of San Juan, and then quietly 
surveys the situation and sums up the cost pre- 
paratory to a second onslaught if necessary. 

Young Roosevelt was elected to the Assem- 
bly as a Republican. He led the minority dur- 
ing the session of 1882, was active in reform 


onel Roosevelt from an early age, but before en- 
tering the field he called on his Uncle Robert and 
said, "Uncle Bob, I want your advice. Shall I 
run for the Assembly?" "I can't say," replied 
his uncle. "Here is Colonel Charles Hutchinson, 
of Utica, who may answer the question." "Take 

measures, and on his re-election in 1883 was 
largely instrumental in carrying out the State 
civil-'service-reform law and an act for regulat- 
ing primary elections. As chairman of the com- 
mittee on cities in 1884 he succeeded in abolish- 
ing the fees of the county clerk and register and 



in providing for their payment by salaries; cur- 
tailing abuses in the sheriff's and surrogate's of- 
fices ; and securing the passage of a bill that de- 
prived aldermen cf the power to confirm ap- 
pointments to office, and centered in the mayor 
the responsibility of administering municipal af- 
fairs. He was chairman of the New York dele- 
gation to the National Republican Convention in 
1884, and an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor 
of New York in 1886. He was nominated as an 
independent but was indorsed by -the Re- 
publicans. In May, 1889, President Harrison 
appointed him Civil Service Commissioner, and 
he served as President of the board until May, 
1895. He succeeded in changing the whole sys- 
tem of public appointments and in establishing 
important reforms. He resigned in -May, 1895, 
to accept the position of president of the New 
York Board of Police Commissioners, and with 
characteristic energy and vigor he began, the 
work of reform by the application of civil-service 
principles in the appointments to and promo- 
tions on the force. He rigidly enforced the ex- 
cise law and succeeded in closing the saloons on 
Sunday, and in purifying the city of many cor- 
rupting influences which then existed. 

Colonel Roosevelt's life on his ranch on the 
borders of the Little Missouri river in the far 
west, with all of its exciting adventures, 'has heeh 
given in his "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman." 
He went out as a "tenderfoot," but he was soon 
able to give the cowboy and the ranchman points 
that they little dreamed of. 

Colonel Roosevelt is as modest as he is brave, 
and his most intimate friends could never suc- 
ceed in drawing from' him any incident of his 
life the description of which necessitated any 
reference to himself as the 'hero. The following 
incident would probably never have found its 
way into print but for the fact that the local ed- 
itor considered the joke on the "profession" too 
good to be suppressed. It appears that the Col- 
onel, while stopping at a 'hotel in a border town, 
was approached by a typical western "tough," 
who with accustomed western politeness invited 
the "tenderfoot" to take a drink. The invitation 
was politely declined with thanks. It was re- 

peated, and this time pressed by the "tough" 
with his finger on the trigger of his gun. Sud- 
denly he felt something between his eyes, and 
the ball struck wide of the mark and entered 
the ceiling above. He fell backward and went 
to sleep. iWhen he awoke he was not certain 
whether he had been struck with a cannon ball 
or 'thiC heels of a mule; he concluded, however, 
that it was not always safe to meddle with a 

Colonel Roosevelt first became known to the 
general public outside of his own State when 
he accepted the position of Assistant Secretary 
of the Navy in 1897. Shortly after he assumed 
the duties of office he asked for an appropriation 
of eight hundred thousand dollars for ammuni- 
tion for practical target-shooting in the navy, 
and a few months later for another appropriation 
of five hundred thousand dollars for the same 
purpose. The results at Manila and Santiago 
justified what was considered at the time reck- 
less extravagance. His connection with the 
Spanish war which followed is best told in the 
language of Colonel Watterson in his "History 
of the Spanish-American War." He says : 

"It is the nature of Americans to welcome 
bold experiments and to applaud success. There 
was no volunteer body of the war that received 
as much attention and invited as much interest 
as the regiment of cavalry known as Roosevelt's 
Rough Riders. That was its popular name, al- 
though Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt was but 
second in command. His was the resolute spirit 
that prom.pted its organization and fixed pubHc 
interest upon it. 

"The Hon. Theodore Roosevelt was Assist- 
ant Secretary of the Navy at the opening of the 
war, one of those 'characteristics personalities 
in the public and private life of the United States 
that represent the vigor of democracy without 
regard to difference of opinion. Of the old 
Dutch stock of New York's oldest settlers, he 
was born to great wealth and with determined 
character. Carefully educated in universities, he 
made his entrance into politics early, with vigor- 
ous ideals and practical methods. Greeted with 
the epithet of the *dude poHtician,' he received 
the epithet with the good nature that an athletic, 
courageous and good natured man would nat- 
urally exhibit. He v/as soon a representative in 



national conventions, was the forlorn hope of his 
party for the ma3^oralty of Xew York, was 
appointed President of the Civil Service Com- 
mission, was Police Commissioner of New York, 
and became Assistant Secretary of the Navv in 
1897. Recognizing then the probaTDilities of the 
war with Spain, he began to encourage the sys- 
tem of State naval reserves, and made many ad- 
dresses in which he upheld the manful necessity 
of war to compel peace and secure justice. The 
good condition of the navy at the outbreak of 
war was largely due to his labor and enthusiasm. 
When the war was inevitable he resigned his po- 
sition as Assistant Secretary and asked for a 
commission to organize a regiment of cavalry of 
which Dr. Wood was to be commissioned Col- 
onel. 'Great was the public surprise. His 
friends remonstrated with him and urged 
that he was jeopardizing his career. The author- 
ities suggested that he would be invaluable in 
the Navy Department. 'The Navy Department;' 
he answered, 'is in good order. I have done all 
I can here. There are other men who can carry 
it on as well as I ; but I should be false to my 
ideals, false to the views I have openly expressed, 
if I were to remain here while fighting is going 
on after urging other men to risk their lives for 
their country.' He declined a colonel's commis- 
sion and asked it for 'his friend Dr. Wood. 
There was his answer in this self-reliant courage 
of American manhood. Air. Roosevelt had writ- 
ten admirable historical works, exciting stories 
of adventure in 'hunting 'big game' while he was 
leading the life of a ranchman in the far west, 
He was at once at the beginning and the end 
of the American type, rich, intelligent, thought- 
ful, cultured, and had 'sand.' " 

Referring to Colonel Roosevelt's participa- 
tion in the battle of San Juan, Plon. Henry B. 
Russell in "The Story of the Two Wars" said : 

"A little before 4 o'clock occurred the second 
thrilling episode of the day. Under the brow 
of the little hill a council of war was held, the 
question being whether they should push on and 
take the main hill where the Spanish block- 
bouses were. Colonel Roosevelt volunteered tb 
head the charge. It seemed a mad rush. A 
foreign officer standing near the position when 
the men started out to make the charge was heard 
to say: /Men, for heaven's sake don't ^o up 
that hill. It will he impossible for human beings 
to take that position. You can't stand the fire.' 
But with a terrific yell they rushed up to the 
enemy's works, and the Spanish, whose courage 

had fled after the first charge, retired, and when 
night came thev had been driven back upon the 

Colonel Watterson, in describing the charge, 

After a moment's pause for formation, the 
volunteers, with Lieutenant-Colonel Roo'sevelt 
marching in front of the line, made a dash 
for the blockhouse, the men raising the terrible 
yell of the western Indians as they went. A 
murderous fire poured from the block-house. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt turned, and, waving 
his sword, called on his command to follow him 
up the hill. Tlie Spaniards poured a steady fire 
and for a second the volunteer fighters hesitated 
under the shock of it. At that critical moment 
the Tenth Cavalry on the valley road to our 
left and the First Cavalry in the rear that had 
been ordered against the wings of the eneniy 
had made their attacks and charged up the slopes 
with the intrepidity O'f disciplined veterans. The 
sound of the guns was echoed by cheers from 
the Rough Riders, who dashed against the block- 
house with cyclonic force. At the sight of such 
impetuous daring the enemy burst from the fort 
and ran to the cover of the woods behind, leaving 
seventeen dead on the ground as they fled. Then 
they gave way on both wings and three thousand 
Spaniards were in full flight before nine hun- 
dred and fifty Americans that had fought against 
enormous odds and disadvantages. No pursuit 
was possible, and our victorious troops camped 
on the ground and held it." 

The most authentic as well as the most 
graphic account of the famous charge of Colonel 
Roosevelt is that given by himself in his volume 
on "The Rough Riders." He says: 

"The infantry got nearer and nearer the 
crest of the hill. At last we could see the 
Spaniards running from the rifle pits as the 
Americans came on in their final rush, then 
1 stopped my men for fear they would injure 
their comrades, and called to them to charge 
the next line of trenches on the hills in our 
front, from which we had been undergoing a 
good deal of punishment. Thinking that the 
men would all come, I jumped over the wire 
fence in front of us and started at the double- 
quick; but, as a matter of fact, the troopers were 
so excited, both with shooting and being shot, 
and shouting and cheering, that they did not 
hear, or did not heed me, and after running 
about a hundred yards I found that I had only 



five men along with me. Bullets were ripping 
the grass all around us and one of the men, 
Clay Green, was mortally wounded ; another, 
Winslow Clark, a Harvard man, was shot first 
in the leg and then through the body. * '^ ''' 
There was no use going with the remaining 
three men, and I bade them stay where they 
were while I went back and brought up the 
rest of the brigade. This was a decidedly cool 
request, for there was really no possible point 
in letting them stay there while I went back; 
but at the moment it seemed perfectly natur- 
al to m.e^ and apparently so to them, for they 
cheerfully nodded and sat down on the grass, 
firing back at the line of trenches from which 
the Spaniards were shooting at them. Alean- 
while I ran back, jumped over the wire fence 
and went over the crest of the hill, filled with 
anger against the troopers, and especially those 
of my own regiment, for not having accom- 
panied me. They, of course, were quite inno- 
cent of wrong doing; and even while I taunted 
theni bitterly for not having followed me, it 
was all I could do not to smile at the look of 
injury and 'Surprise that catne over their faces. 


while they cried out, 'We didn't hear you; we 
didn't see you go. Colonel ; lead on now, we'll 
sure follow you.' I wanted the other regiments 
to come, too, so I ran down to where General 

Sumner was and asked him if I might make the 
charge, and he told me to gO' and that he would 
see that the men followed. By this time every- 
body had 'his attention attracted, and when I 
leaped over the fence again, with Major Jenkins 
beside me, the men of the various regiments 
Which were already on the hill came with a rush 
and wc started across the wide valley which lay 
between us and the Spanish intrenchments. 

* "^ "^ Long before we got near them the 
Spaniards ran, save a few here and there, who 
either surrendered or were shot down. * ^ * 
Lieut. Davis' first sergeant, Clarence Gould, 
killed a Spanish soldier with 'his revolver just as 
the Spaniard was aiming at one of my Rough 
Riders. At about the same time I also shot one. 
I was with Henry Bardshar, running up at the 
double-quick, and two Spaniards leaped from the 
trenches and fired at us, not ten yards away. As 
they turned to run I closed in and fired twice, 
missing the first and killing the second. My 
revolver was from the sunken battle-ship Maine, 
and had been given me by my 'brother-in-law, 
Capt. W. S. Cowles, of the Navy. At the time I 
did not know of Gould's exploit, and supposed 
niy feat to be unique ; and although Gould had 
killed his Spaniard in the trenches not very far 
from me, I never learned of it until weeks after. 

"There was a very great confusion at the 
time, the different regiments being 'completely 
intermingled — white regulars, colored regulars 
and Rough Riders. General Sumner had kept 
a considerable force in reserve on Kettle Hill, 
under Major Jackson of the Third Cavalry. We 
were still imder a heavy fire, and I got together 
a mixed lot of men and pushed on from the 
trenches and ranche houses which we had just 
taken, driving the Spaniards through a line of 
palm-trees and over the crest of a chain of hills. 
When we reached these crests we found ourselves 
overlooking Santiago. 

"While I was re-forming the troops on the 
chain of bills, one of General Sherman's aides, 
Captain Robert Howze — as dashing and gallant 
an officer as there was in the whole gallant cav- 
alry division, bv the wa}' — came up with orders 
to me to halt where I was, not advancing further, 
but to hold the hill at all hazards. 

'T now had under me all the fragments .of 
the six cavalry regiments which were at the ex- 
treme front, being the highest officer left there, 
and T was in immediate command of them for 
the remainder of the afternoon and that night. 

* * '*' The Spaniards who ihad been hold- 
ing the trenches and the line of hills, had fallen 
back upon their supports and we were under very 



heavy fire both from rifles and great guns. Our 
artillery made one or two efforts to come into 
action on the firing line of the infantry, hut the 
black powder rendered each attempt fruitless. 
The Spanish guns used smokeLess powder, so that 
it was difficult to place them. As night came on 
the firing gradually died away. Before this hap- 
pened, however, Captains Morton and Bough- 
ton, of the Third Cavalry, came over to tell m',e 
that a rumor had reached them to the effect that 
there had been some talk of retiring, and that 
they wished to protest in the strongest manner. 
1 had been watching them both, as they handled 
their troops with the cool confidence of the vet- 
eran regular officer, and had been congratulating 
myself that they were off toward the right flank; 
for as long as they were there I knew I was 
perfectly safe in that direction. I had heard no 
ninior about retiring, and I cordially agreed with 
them that it would be far worse than a blunder 
to abandon our position. 

''Soon after dark General Wheeler, who in the 
afternoon had resumed command of the cavalry 
division, came to the front. A very few words 
with General Wheeler reassured us about retir- 
ing. He had been through too much heavy fight- 
mg in the Civil War to regard the present fight 
as very serious, and he told us not to be under 
any apprehension, for he had sent word that there 
was no need whatever of retiring, and was sure 
we would stay where we were until the chance 
came to advance. He was second in command, 
and to him more than to any other one man was 
due the prompt albandonment of t^he proposal to 
fall back — a proposal, which, if adopted, would 
have meant shame and disaster. Shortly after- 
ward General Wheeler sent us orders to intrench. 
■K ^ * We finished digging the trench soon 
after midnight, and then the worn-out 'men lay 
down in rows on their rifles and dropped heavily 
to sleep. * * * Before any one had time to 
awake from the cold, however, we were all 
awakened by the Spaniards, whose skirmishers 
suddenly opened fire upon us. ^^ ^ ^ j\± the 
alarm everybody jumped to his feet, and the stiff, 
shivering, haggard men, their eyes only half 
opened, all clutched their rifles and ran forward 
to the trench on the crest of the hill. 

'The sputtering shots died away and we went 
to sleep again. But in another hour dawn broke 
and the Spaniards opened fire in good earnest. 
* * * In this fight our regiment had num- 
bered four hundred and ninety men, &s, in ad- 
dition to the killed and wounded of the first fight, 
some had to go to the hospital for 'siclcness and 
some had been left behind with the baggage or 

were detailed on other duty. Eighty-nine we 
killed and wounded, the heaviest loss suffered 1 
any regiment in the cavalry division. The Spa: 
iards made a stiff fight, standing firm until v 
charged home. They fought much more stu' 
bornly than at Las Guashnas. We ought to hai 
expected this, for they have always done well : 
holding entrenchments. On this day they show€ 
themselves to be brave foes worthy of honor f< 
their gallantry. 

'Tn the attack on the San Juan hills ot 
forces numbered about 6,6oo. There were aboi 
4,500 'Spaniards against us. Our total loss i 
killed and wounded was 1,071. Of the cavalr 
division there were all told, some 2,300 officei 
and men, of whom 375 were killed and wounde( 
Li the division over a fourth of the officers wer 
killed or wounded, their loss being relatively ha] 
as great again as that of the enlisted mien, — whic 
was as it should be. I think we suffered mor 
heavily than the Spaniards did in killed an^ 
wounded, though we also captured some score 
of prisoners. It would have been very extraor 
dinai-y if the reverse was the case, for we dv 
the charging ; and to carry earthworks on foe 
wdth dismounted cavalry, when the earthwork 
are held by imbroken infantr)'-, armed with th 
best modern rifles, is a serious task." 

The city surrendered on the 17th of July, an( 
soon after this the men, being relieved from thi 
constant strain and 'excitement, began' to feel thi 
effects of the climate. Colonel Roosevelt says 

''Every officer other than myself except on( 
was down with sickness at one time or another 
Very few of the men, indeed, retained theii 
strength and energy, and though the percentage 
actually on the sick list never got over twenty 
there were less than fifty per cent, who were fi' 
for any kind of work- Yellow fever also broke 
out in the rear, chiefly among the Cubans. I1 
never became epidemic, but it caused a perfecl 
panic among some of our own doctors and es- 
pecially in the minds 'of one or two generals and 
of the home authorities. * * * jihe Wash- 
ington authorities seemed detemiined that we 
should stay in Cuba. They unfortunately knew 
nothing of the country nor the circumstances oi 
the arm.y. Several suggestions were made and 
among others it was proposed that we should 
go up the mountains and make our camps 
there. ^ ^ ^ The soil alon^ the sides of the 
mountains was deep and soft, while the rains 
were heavy. W^e could, with much difficulty, 
have got our regiments up the mountains; but 



not half the men would have got up there with 
iheir belongings ; and once there it would have 
been an "impossibility to feed them. About the last 
of July, General Shafter called a conference dn the 
palace of all the division and brigade command- 
ers. * * =k: ii- ^y^g deemed best to- make some 
record of our opinion in the 'shape of a letter or 
report which wonld show that to keep the army 
in Santiago meant its absolute and objectless 
ruin, and that it should at once be recalled. At 
first there was naturally some hesitation on the 
part of the regular officers to take the initiative, 
for their entire future career might be sacrificed ; 
so I wrote a letter to General Shafter, reading 
over the rought draft to the various generals 
and adopting their corrections. Before I had 
finished making these corrections, it was de- 
termined that we should send a circular letter 
on behalf of all of us to General Shafter, and 
when I returned from presenting him mine I 
found this circular letter already prepared and 
we all of us signed it. Bath letters were made 
public. The result was immediate. Within three 
days the army was ordered to be ready to sail 
for home. This letter v/as known as the famous 
'Round Robin/ " 

Colonel Roosevelt with his Rough Riders 
was encamped at iMontauk Point, Long Island, 
and in the following autumn, peace having been 
formally declared, he bade farewell to his men, 
every one of whom was devoted to him, and re- 
turned to his home at Oyster Bay. 

On September 27, 1898, Colonel Roosevelt 
was nominated for Governor of New York State. 
He conducted his own cam^paign, visiting every 
important town in- the State. His brilliant mili- 
tary record gave him great prestige, and he was 
enthusiastically received wherever he went. He 
carried the State by a plurality of 18,079. -^s 
Governor he encouraged honest legislation and 
carried through every reform measure to which 
he had pledged himself. He carefully scrutin- 
ized every bill and withheld his signature from 
all that had the least taint of irregularity, re- 
gardless of party obligations. No man ever had 
a more difficult task to carry forward the work 
of reform which he had planned than did Gov- 
ernor Roosevelt at this time. The political pres- 
sure brought to bear upon him by the leading 
m'en in his own party was very great, but he re- 
mained firm and true to his own convictions, even 

at the risk of losing the influence of those on 
whom he relied for support. Above all, he put 
in office as high-minded and able a set of public 
officials as the State has ever had since its founda- 
tion. It was his wish -to be elected for a sec- 
ond term^ that he might complete the work he 
had begun, but circumstances beyond his control 
and that of his friends changed all his future 

Governor Roosevelt was a delegate to the 
Republican convention held at Philadelphia in 
the summer 'of 1900. The renomination of 
President McKinley was a foregone conclusion. 
Two or three candidates were brought forward 
for the vice-presidency, but from the very be- 
ginning a pressure was brought to bear by those 
who sought to defeat his aspirations for a sec- 
ond term as Governor to force on him the nom- 
ination for Vice-President. They failed, how- 
ever, to accomplish their object, and Governor 
Roosevelt compelled the New York delegation to 
definitely abandon its efforts to put him for- 
ward, and at the same time he introduced the 
name of Lieutenant-Governor Woodruff, hoping 
thereby to secure his nomination, but the dele- 
gates simply refused to consider any other can- 
didate and insisted on the Governor's nomina- 
tion in order to save the electoral votes of half 
a dozen western .States and thereby assure a ma- 
jority in Congress. Under these circumstances 
Governor Roosevelt felt that he was in duty 
bound to accept, and he was nominated for Vice- 
President, amid the greatest excitement and en- 
thusiasm, the East and the West, the North 
and the South, rallying around him and pledging 
him their earnest support. 

The presidential campaign of 1900 was the 
most remarkable of all ever held in this coun- 
try, and from the beginning to the end Gov- 
ernor Roosevelt fought the battle almost single- 
handed and alone. He represented honest 
money, honest principles and a defense of Presi- 
dent McKinley's administration; while his op- 
ponent, William J. Bryan, clung to his ''16 to i" 
silver policy, on which he had been defeated four 
years previously, and exposed the "expansion'* 
policy of the administration. Colonel Roosevelt 



traveled from one end of tlie country to the other, 
even invading the home territory of his opponent, 
speaking several times a day from the train 
platform, in the open air on ni:iprovised plat- 
forms and in public halls, and wherever the peo- 
ple could gather to hear him. With one or two 
exceptions he met with a hearty reception where 
ever he went, — even in ''the enemy's country." 
The result was one of the grandest victories ever 
achieved by the Republican party, and Governor 
Roosevelt was duly inaugurated Vice-President 
of the United States on the 4th of March, 1901. 
In his inaugural address he said : 

"The history O'f free government is in a large 
part the history of those representing legislative 
bodies in which, from the earliest times, free 
government has found its loftiest expression. 
They must ever hold a peculiar and exalted posi- 
tion in the record which tells how the great na- 
tions of the world have endeavored to achieve 
and preserve orderly freedom. No man can ren- 
der to his fellows greater service than is rendered 
by him who with fearlessness and honesty, with 
sanity and disinterestedness, does his life work 
as a member of such a body. Especially is this 
the case when the Legislature in which the ser- 
vice is rendered is a vital part in the govern- 
mental machinery of one of those world powers 
to whose hands, in the course of the ages, is en- 
trusted a leading part in shaping the destinies of 
mankind. For weal or for woe, for good or for 
evil, this is true of our own mighty nation. Great 
privileges and great powers are ours, and heavy 
are the responsibilities that go with these privi- 
leges and these powers. Accordingly as we do 
well or ill, so shall mankind in the future be 
raised or cast down. 

;!j :|; :}; ^ ^ :sK ^ 

"A great work lies ready to the hand of this 
generation ; it should count itself happy, indeed, 
that to it is given the privilege of doing such a 
work. A leading part iherein must be taken by 
this, the august and powerful legislative body 
over which I have been called to preside. Most 
deeply I appreciate the privilege of my position, 
for high, indeed, is the honor of presiding over 
the American senate at the outset of the twen- 
tieth century." 

On Friday, September 6, 1901, the startling 
news was flashed over the wire that President 
AIcKinley, while visiting the Pan-American Ex- 
position, had been shot by a Polish anarchist 
named Czolgosz. Vice-President Roosevelt has- 

tened to Buffalo as quickly as possible, reaching 
there the following day. He was completely 
overwhelmed by the news, but on arriving at the 
house of Dr. Milburn, where the President had 
been taken and where he had been stopping with 
his family for some days' previously, he was 
overjoyed to learn from the attending surgeons 
that the wound was not necessarily fatal and 
that there were hopes of his recovery. He re- 
mained in Buffalo for a few days, until the 
danger point seemed past. He then went on a 
hunting trip in the Adirondacks'. Soon after 
this a change for the worse took place in the 
President's condition, and as soon as it was found 
that death was inevitable, messengers were sent 
to the Vice-President, who traveled day and 
night, reaching Buffalo some hours after the 
President's death. He was driven at once to the 
house of his friend, Mr. Ansley Wilcox. As 
soon as he entered Mr. Roosevelt was told that 
it had been planned for him to take the oath of 
office at once. This agreement had been reached 
at a meeting of the cabinet held during the 
forenoon at the Alilburn residence. The new 
President refused to recognize it as an agree- 
ment, and he declared he was not ready to take 
the oath yet. He was here more for the purpose 
of paying hl^ respects to William McKinley than 
of qualifying as William ^McKinley's successor. 

"But, Mr. President," he was expostulated 
with, "everything is in readiness. Don't you 
think it would be far better to do as the cabinet 
has decided?" 

"No," retorted the President; "it would be 
far worse. I intend to pay my respects at Will- 
iam AIcKinley's bier as a private citizen and 
offer my condolence to the members of the fam- 
ily as such. Then I will return and take the 

In the face of such an emphatic stand by the 
new chief executive, all arguments availed noth- 
ing and President Roosevelt had his own way. 
He left the Alilburn house about half past two 
o'clock and entered his carriage alone. When 
he found that he was being escorted by a squad 
of mounted policemen he stood up and shouted: 
"Get back! I want no escort. I will have no 



escort. I am now on a mission as a private citi- 
zen." He then drove swiftly to the Milburn 
house and after paying his respects to the dead 
President returned to the Wilcox house to take 
the oath, reaching there .shortly after three 
o'clock. All the members of the cabinet and a 
number of others were assembled there. Among 
these was Judge Hazel, who was to administer 
the oath. 

"President Roosevelt," said Mr. Root, "I 
have been requested by all the members of the 
cabinet of the late President who are here in the 
city of Buffalo, being all except two, to request 
that for reasons oi weight affecting the adminis- 
tration of government, you should proceed with- 
out delay to take the Constitutional oath of of- 

A silence fell upon the group. It lasted but 
a minute and then Mr. Roosevelt spoke: "Mr. 
Secretary, I shall take the oath at once, agree- 
able to the request of the members of the cabinet, 
and in this hour of trouble and national bereave- 
ment I wish to state that it shall be my aim to 
continue absolutely unbroken the policy of Presi- 
dent McKinley, for the peace and prosperity and 
honor of our beloved country." He then took 
the oath, and Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt 
became the twenty-sixth President of the Uni- 
ted States. During the one year incumbency 
of his high office, he has discharged his duties 
with a degree of sagacity, independence and un- 
alloyed patriotism which has challenged the ad- 
miration of those who were not in sympathy with 
his views. Attestation of this was touchingly 
displayed when, late in 1902, he experienced 
painful injuries from the accident in which .he 
was thrown from Oiis carriage, and when the na- 
tion held its breath, fearful of a fatal termination. 

It is difficult to conceive how any one so thor- 
oughly absorbed in public affairs could find time 
to devote to literary work, and yet Colonel 
Roosevelt has achieved a world-wide reputation 
as an author, and his works have become stand- 
ard on the subjects he has treated. Among the 
best known are : "History of the Naval War 
of 1S12" (1882) and "Hunting Trips of a 
Ranchman" (1883). As a biographer he has 

won fame as the author of the "Life of Thomas 
Benton" (1886) ; and "Life of Gouverneur Mor- 
ris" (1888). He has also published "History 
of the City of New York" (1890) ; "Essays on 
Practical Politics" (1898) ; and has collaborated 
with Captain A. S. Mahan in writing the "Im- 
perial History of the British Navy;" he is also 
joint author with Henry Cabot Lodge of "Hero 
Tales from • American History." The most im- 
portant of his works, however, are the volumes 
bearing the collective title "The Winning of 
the iWest." These have for their subject the 
acquisition by the United States of the ter- 
ritory west of the Alleghanies, and in their 
intrinsic merit and their importance as 
contributions to history they rank with the 
works of Parkman. His books have been char- 
acterized as "marked by felicity, vigor and clear- 
ness of expression, with descriptive power." 

As a man of letters it may be said as more 
■ completely true of Mr. Roosevelt than any 
other writer whose books are as numerous and 
widely read as his are, that he has merely adopt- 
ed literary expression with the aim of placing 
before the public facts and ideas which he sin- 
cerely believes to be worthy of consideration and 
preservation. His presentation of facts, how- 
ever, is useful and stimulating rather than merely 
entertaining, while his ideas represent an elo- 
quent appeal for a general and wholesome ex- 
amination of the truths which he so fervently 
believes and so ardently advocates. In other 
words, Mr. Roosevelt is in no sense a profes- 
sional author. The books he has written simply 
represent one phase of a very active career. On 
the title page of "Ranch Life and Hunting 
Trail" we find cited that passage from Brown- 
ing ending with the words — 

"How good is man's life, the mere living," 

which speaks more eloquently and is more 
characteristic of Mr. Roosevelt as a man, and, 
therefore, necessarily as an author, than all 
that literateurs have written and all that poets 
have sung about the beauties of rhetoric and 
the philosophy of style. 

Mr. Roosevelt's first published work was 



his history of 'The Naval War of 1812/' which 
bears the date of 1882, and it is a singular co- 
incidence that his most recent production, writ- 
ten just as his term as Vice President of the 
United States was to be brought to a fateful 
close, should be a contribution to an English 
work on the same subject, — "The Royal Navy," 
Vol. VI, by Laird Clowes. A comparison of 
these works offers an excellent opportunity to 
observe the mental development of the man in 
a most important field of historical study and ob- 
servation. One was written at the age of 
twenty-three ; the other at forty-two. It is not 

terprise and courage. Moreover, it is not singu- 
lar that his historical works, particularly 'The 
Winning of the West," should have a vitality 
which few histories possess. It is because he has 
lived with and knows' intimately the trapper, the 
hunter, the frontiersman of to-day, that he has 
been enabled to reproduce the distant predecessors 
of these men and their surroundings with mar- 
velous intimacy. 

In the last nineteen years, Mr. Roosevelt has 
written over a dozen books, which are included 
in many departments — history, biography, travel^ 
observation and politico-ethical discussion. At 


from the fact that we find the patriotism less in- 
tense, or the presence of any taint of Anglomania 
in the latter work, but because the man has 
learned to think for himself, has freed himself 
entirely from the anti-British prejudices which 
for years have inspired the makers of many 
American school books; and he has from a fuller 
knowledge been able to appreciate the merits of 
the enemy and to point out the reasons for his 
misfortunes in a clear, almost scientific manner 
and without undue laudation of American en- 

the same tim'e he has occupied successively va- 
rious positions in public life upon which' he has 
left the stamp of his individuality and the results 
of his tireless energy. What these offices were 
and what he did in them have taken their place 
in our State, municipal and national history, and 
are now more or less familiar to every one. But 
the more one becomes familiar with Mr, Roose- 
velt's public achievements the more must one 
marvel that he could have produced the books 
that he did, which, from the point of view of 



mere mechanical and ni-ental labor, would have 
been considered more than adequate to establish 
the literary reputation of a professional writer. 

To attempt a character sketch of Colonel 
Roosevelt is a more difficult undertaking. He 
can be judged only by his acts. 'His motive is 
always apparent, for he is incapable of duplicity. 
His utterances, both public and private, are clear, 
distinct and unequivocal. Whether his opinions 
are right or wrong they are honestly held and 
stated with simplicity and directness. He is em- 
phatically a man of action, and his writings deal 
with matters of observation rather than thought ; 
he is no theorist but intensely practical. With 
determination and undaunted courage he com- 
bines tenacity of purpose. If he ever experienced 
the sensation of fear it is known only to himself. 
He has the instinct of a soldier, and in emerg- 
encies does not stop to consider whether or not 
the odds are against him, but obeys orders with 
decision and accepts the consequences. He is as 
generous as he is brave; bears no malice; and 
after inflicting punis'hment on an adversary he 
would instantly seek to alleviate the pain he has 
caused. With the heart of a lion in, danger, he is 
moved to pity at the sight of suffering, and with- 
out a moment's hesitation would befriend a 
fallen adversary. His qualities and achieve- 
ments have made him a popular hero, and in a 
democratic society like ours there is no distinc- 
tion which he may not hope to attain. 

Colonel Roosevelt married, first, Miss Alice 
Hathaway Lee; second. Miss Edith Kermit 
Caron, and his children are Alice, Theodore, Jr., 
Kermit, Ethel, Archibald and Quentin. The 
children rough it at their country home, Saga- 
more Hill, as did their father, enjoying the ut- 
most freedom, apparently unconscious of the 
honors that have been showered upon the father 
by a grateful and appreciative constituency. The 
veteran war horse "Texas" that carried him 
through the Santiago campaign munches his 
oats and hay in the stable in peace and quietness, 
glad no doubt that his campaigning days are over 
and that for the remainder of his life he can en- 
joy the cool breezes of Oyster Bay in summer 
and a warm, comfortable stall in winter. 

The entrance to Sagamore Hill is up a wind- 
ing road through a thickly wooded country for 
some distance until a "private road" leads up to 
the homje of the President. The view on 
reaching the crest of the hill is a most beautiful 
one, although partly obscured on the west &nd 
south sides of the house by the de^se growth of 
forest trees. From the east and south sides a 
fine view of the bay is presented. A lawn of sev- 
eral acres slopes down to the wall of forest trees, 
and the other side, which is nearly level, is de- 
voted to farming purposes. The character of the 
exterior of the dwelling is known as the Queen 
Anne style of architecture. It is a substantial 
edifice, the first story being of brick, the second 
and third stories of frame. A wide piazza ex- 
tends around two sides, from which a beautiful 
view of the 'surrounding country is obtained. 
The entrance to the house is through a vine- 
covered port-cochere. The wide hall, simply 
furnished, contains numerous trophies of the 
Colonel's life in the far West. The large library 
looks like the .workshop of an active brain 
worker. A portrait of the father which hangs 
on the wall looks benignly down on the son, who, 
with unceasing energy and tireless industry, 
works out the great problems of life, stimjulating 
in others a desire to be something and do some- 
thing for their fellow men. 

]\Iatinecock is now better known to the out- 
side world from the fact that its "point" has be- 
come a "mark" in the local yachting competi- 
tions. Yet, in spite of that and in spite of the 
fact that its population increases but slowly (125 
at last reckoning), it 'has a most interesting his- 
tory. For a long time it was claimed by Hemp- 
stead as part of its territory, as is attested by the 
fact than on July 4, 1661, tlie town of Hempstead 
granted to Thomas Terry and Samuel Deering 
the right to settle upon lands, at 'Matinecock and 
hold the same. This grant bore a singular re- 
striction, the tenants being obligated "not to 
trespass against the town of Hempstead by let- 
ting any of fheir calff trespass on any great 
playne and spoil thire com or doe like harmi; 
and if they shall to make satisfaction to ani per- 



son or persons soe ronged ;" and the following: 
"alsoe 'fhe above sayd planters doe ingage them- 
selves or ani that they shall bring or thire suc- 
cessors not to bring in any Quakers or such like 

May 26, 1663, the Indians sold a part of Mat- 
inecock to Captain John L^nderbill, John 'FiX)st 
and William Frost ; and the following document, 
which is preserved in the Frost' family, shows the 
syle of conveyance : 

""This instrument of writing or deed of sale 
witnesseth to all Christian people to whom it may 
come or any ways concern. Know ye that for us 
we underwritten, Susconaman alias Runasuck, 
Samouse And Querripin, all three Indians, be- 
ing empowered by ye rest of ye Indians and 
proprietors of Cheaf ye lands called by ye Eng- 
lish Matinecock, situate, lying and being within 
ye patent of Oys-ter Bay wth'n Queens county 
upon Long Island, And by Virtue whereof And 
for ye ffull of twenty pounds silver or equiva- 
lent to silver money in goods, to us paid before 
ye signing and sealing thereof, have bargained 
and sold and by present possession deliver unto 
John Underbill, John Ffeexes, and William 
Ffrost, all three inhabitants of Matinecock, and 
all our Comons, or individual lands unsold, 
lying and being to ye northward of ye now high- 
way between ye iBeaver Swamp so called and 
Mosquito Cove, lands being to be understood ye 
the highway from Oyster Bay to Mosquito Cove 
to ye sound or North Sea, be it more or less; ex- 
cepting twenty acres to be laid out to John Pryor 
at ye rere of his lands bought of Joseph Eastland 
fforman, by grantal. * * * It is to be un- 
derstood that every inhabitant below the path 
settled are to have equal privileges, provided they 
pay ye above three persons nominated their equal 
proportions in money according to agreement." 

April 20, 1669, the Indians made a further 
conveyance to Richard Latting; another on the 
1st of December, 1683, to Thomas Townsend; 
and on the 9th of January, 1685, the chiefs, 
namely: Susconaman, alias Runasuck, Chec- 
hagen, alias Quaropin, and Samose, son of Tack- 
apousha, conveyed the residue of Matinecock, 
with somie other lands, for the price of sixty 
pounds current merchantable pay, to James 
Cock, Joseph Dickerson, Robert Townsend, 
Samuel Dickerson, Stephen Birdsall, James 

Townsend, Daniel Weeks, Isaac Doughty^ John 
AVood, Edmund Wright, Caleb Wright, John 
Wright, William Frost andl John Newman, and 
the grantees accepted as joint purchasers with 
themselves the following inhabitants and free- 
holders of the town — comprising the most com- 
plete list of names which the records present at 
that period : George 'Downing, John Townsend^ 
Sr., Richard Harcutt, Daniel Tov^nsend, Nathan- 
iel Coles, Jr., John Dewsbury, John Cock, Will- 
iam Crooker, John Weeks^ John Applegate, Hen- 
ry Franklin, Thomas Youngs, John Townsend, 
Jr., John Rogers of Lusum, 'Hannah Forman for 
her son Moses, Henry Bell, Richard Willett, John 
Robbins, Meriam Harker, Thomas Townsend, 
Hope Williams of Lusum, Samuel Birdsall, Jo- 
sias Carpenter, Lawrence Mott, Sampson Hawx- 
hurst, "William Buckler, Adam* Wright, Josias 
Latting, Thomas Weeks, Thomas Cock, John 
Pratt, William Flawxhurst, Thomas Willets, 
Elizabeth Dickson, Samuel Weeks, James Bleven, 
Joseph Weeks, Daniel Whitehead, Peter Wright, 
Samuel Tiller. 

Perhaps the most conspicuous of the early set- 
tlers was Captain John Undefhill, whose mili- 
tary exploits have been elsewhere narrated. He 
was of English birth, and had served as an offi- 
cer in 'the British forces in the Netherlands, in 
Ireland and in Spain. Coming to America he 
engaged in the Pequot war, and afterv/ard set- 
tled at Stamford, Connecticut, whence he came 
to Long Island, settling at Flushing. In 1665 he 
was a delegate from, Oyster Bay to the Hemp- ' 
stead Assembly, and was the under-sheriff of 
the North Riding of Yorkshire, or Queens coun- 
ty, under commission issued by Governor Nic- 
olls. In 1667 he received from^ the Matinecock 
Indians a deed to 150 acres of land, and to this 
tract he gave the nam-e of Cillingworth or Kenil- 
worth. His remains repose in a grave upon this 
ancient farm, which to this day remains in the 
possession of his descendants. It i« gratifying 
to record, as these pages are pa&sing into the 
hands of the printers, that the unmarked grave 
of the sturdy old pioneer is at last to he properly 
marked. The site of the monumait which is to 
be erected has not been definitely settled', but a 



piece of ground has been donated by Miss 
Maria F. Townsend and Charles DeKay Town- 
send, who are direct descendants of Captain Un- 
derhill, consisting- of a triangle near the office of 
the town clerk at the intersection of Audrey ave- 
nue and Spring street, at Oyster Bay. Mrs R. 
Ogden Doremus, wile of the noted chemist, is 
president oi the Underbill Society of America, 
and it is mainly through her efforts 'that a suffi- 
cient sum ($10,000) has been raised to erect the 

With reference to fbe actual settlement we 
find that people from Matinecock attended serv- 
ices of the Society of Friends at Oyster Bay in 
1659. About the time Captain Underhill ac- 
quired his land, his brother-in-law, John Feeks, 
a Quaker preacher, bought an adjoining tract, 
and the dwellings of these two worthies were 
erected close together. The only son of John 
Feeks became the pastor of the first Baptist 
Church in Oyster Bay. In 1682 a stated meet- 
ing of the Society of Friends was inaugurated 
here, and the same year a meeting house was 
erected, which was followed by the erection of 
a larger structure in 1725. From the first Matine- 
cock has been a farming community and so re- 
mains. 1 I 

Jjocust Valley (formerly known as Buck- 
ram), with its population of 625, is a pleasant 
little village, and is famed for its early enter- 
prise in educational affairs. The Cock family 
have been foremiost in such works, and one of 
its members some years ago made a donation of 
$5,000 toward the erection of a school edifice. 

Other villages taken out of the former terri- 
tory of Matinecock are Bay^nlle (population 
400), which is the ,site of the Downing Vaca- 
tion House, an establishment for the benefit of 
working women — an eloquent expression of the 
humanitarianism of a public-spirited people; and 
Lattington, with a population of 200. 

Dosoris dates from 1668, when Robert Will- 
iams bought 1,000 acres there from the Matine- 
cock Indians, including two islands known by 
the prosaic of East and West, the former 
containing about seventy-five acres and the lat- 
ter fifty acres. The same year, Governor Nicolls 

executed a confirmatory grant. In 1670 Will- 
iams sold the property to Lewis Morris, o-f Bar- 
badoes. After several changes it came into pos- 
session of Daniel Whitehead, of Jannaica, who 
bequeathed it to bis daughter, the wife of John 
Taylor. It was inherited by the only offspring 
of that marriage, a daughter, Abigail, who be- 
came the wife of the Rev. Benjamm Woolsey, 
of Southold. He it was who gave it its name — 
a contraction or adaptation of the 'Latin Dos 
Uxoris—B. wife's dower. 

Dosoris is beautifully situated and presents 
many features of interest to the antiquarian. Nu- 
merous skeletons and implements of tlie chase 
attest the former Indian occupation. Nearby 
the village are the burial grounds where )rest 
the remains of the earlier Woolseys, ancestors 
of the famous presidents of Yale College. The 
old Woolsey mansion, which has been somewhat 
modernized, is yet reminiscent of the historic 
past. Among its treasures are fine specimens of 
colonial furniture, a beautiful portrait of Wash- 
ington by Rembrandt Pearl — his first copy of the 
original painting made from fife — and, of a later 
day, two columns once in the palace of the 
Caesars, which were brought from Egypt at the 
same time when the obelisk from the same far- 
off land was transported bither by Captain Gor- 
ringe, U. S. A., and set up in Central Park, New 
York. For many years Charles A. Dana, of the 
"New York Sun," occupied West 'Island, and 
Townsend Cox, a long and leading politician in 
Ne w York, had his home on West Island. 

Glen Cove has a peculiarly interesting his- 
tory. It was formerly known 'as Musceata Coufe, 
and afterward as Pembroke, receiving its present 
name by vote of the people in 1834. It is a beau- 
tiful and progressive little village, with well 
maintained churches, excellent educational insti- 
tutions, and all that makes up the life of a cul- 
tured community. 

In 1668 Joseph Carpenter, a resident of 
Rhode Island, after a short &tay at Oyster Bay, 
bought some land from the Indians at Mosquito 
Cove for Nathaniel Coles, , At)ra Carpenter, 
Thomas Townsend and Robert Cole. That pur- 
chase was taken to mark the beginning of Glen 



Cove by the local antiquaries. The Httle colony 
was soon enlarged, and in 1786 the settlement 
had no fewer than 32 taxpayers. They were: 
Caleb Coles, 125; Benjamin Coles, 100; Ja- 
cob Valentine, 277; Colts Mudge, 80; Jordan 
Coles, 19; James Bennett, 3; Henry Mott, 26; 

Joseph Carpenter, the first purchaser, appears 
to have resided for some time with his father, 
William, at Providence, Rhode Island; from 
there he moved to Oyster Bay early in the year 
1667, and thence to -Mosquito Cove. 

Nathaniel ColeS was the son of Robert Coles, 


(By Permission of Long Island Railway Company.) 

Charles Thorne, 19; Thomas Kipp's estate, 6; 
Joseph Wood, 120; Benjamin Craft, 73; Joseph 
Craft, 147; Solomon Craft, 60; Morris Carpen- 
ter, 15 ; William Hyde, 11 ; Coles Carpenter, 200; 
Albert Coles, 75; Derich Coles, 62; William 
Coles, 48; Benjamin Coles, Jr., 100; I&aac Coles, 
19; Daniel Coles, 120; Ananias Downing, 156; 
W^illiam Hopkins, So; Thomas Hopkins, 140; 
Silas Downing, 20; Jeromas Bennett, 80; George 
Bennett, 80; Thomas Pe'arsall, 185; Charles 
Frost, 3; John Frost, 3: William Bennett, 6. 

one of the associates of Governor Winthrop in 
the settlement of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Hfe 
came to Long Island in 1654, in company with 
Robert Williams, and settled at Oyster Bay. 
]^vlany of the descendants of these t\\^ men are 
still living in the village and vicinity. 

The first indlustry outside of agriculture 
was that of milling. Joseph Carpenter erected 
the first sawmill and in 1677 added a grist mill, 
in connection with which he entered into the fol- 
lowing agreement with his neighbors : 




Agreed yt whareas I, Joseph Carpenter, have- 
ing Built A grist-mill joyneing to oure new saw- 
mill, and upon ye stream which belongeth to us 
five purchasers — Nathanell Colles, Daniel Colles. 
Robert Colles, Nickolas Simkins and my selfe — 
and in consideration of three parts in ye streme 
and timbar I Joseph Carpenter doe pledge my 
selfe, my heyres, Exsexetors, Administrators, 
and Asignes, soe long as my selfe, my heyres, 
"Exsexetors, Administrators, or Asignes shall 
keep or maintaine ye said mill, itto grind ye afore- 
said proprietors' corne and grayne for each of 
their famylies well and Tolle-free for ever ; and 
iff my selfe, my heyres, Exsexetors, Administra- 
tors, or Asignes for ye futar shall 'see case 'to 
Lett ye sayde grist-m'ill fall, and not to keep it 
in Tepayre for ye fulfilling of ye conditions as 
aliove inserted, that then and after, forever, ye 
aforesayde streme to remaine tO' us five pro- 
prietors and our heyres and Asignes for ever, 
to order and disipose of as we shall see Case — to 
which I have sett my hand and seale ye 14th of 
Janewry T677. Joseph Carpenter. 

Signed, sealed and delivered in ye presence 
of us — Tho. Townsend, Samuel Pell. 

These mills appear to have done quite a large 

business, and indeed prosperity seems to have 
been the characteristic of life at Mjosquito Cove 
until the crisis of 1776. Its people then were 
mainly found on the side of the patriots, and 
quite a number of its youth — a company indeed 
— marched away to the scene o'f hattle and gave 
up their lives under the leadership of the gallant 
Woodhull, whose own life was also sacrificed 
for the cause of liberty. 

It has been held that a Methodist congrega- 
tion was formed in Glen Cove as early as 1785 
under Jesse Coles as class leader. The services 
were held in private residences until 1827, when 
provision was made for them in the school huild- 
ing, and a Sab'bath school was organized. In. 1844 
a church building was erected, which gave way 
in 1861 to a much more commodious structure. 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church was founded here 
in 1833, and was at first close'ly associated with 
the church at Manhassett, and a Presbyterian 
Church was organized in 1868 with fifteen mem- 

P'roni the declaration of peace, Glen Cove 



seems to have been forgotten by the world, until 
about 1828, when a joint stock company was or- 
g-anized to run a steamer between it and New 
York and intermediate ports. A steamer, the 
"Linneus," had for some time 'been run between 
Glen Cove and New Rochelle by Captain Peck. 
The stock company built a splendid new dock 
and the adventure proved quite a success. It is 
still continued, even although many thought that 
the railroad would force its cessation. Some of 
the most su'bstantial boats that ever plied on 
I^ng Island Sound 'have been on this route, the 
""Flushing," "American Eagle," "Mayflower," 
"General Sedgwick/' among them. Two of the 
beats, the ''Glen Cove" and the "Long Island," 
were sent south during the Civil war and were 
there burned. The saddest incident of the line's 


story was that of the burning of the "Seawan- 
haka/' on June 28, 1880. She 'bad left her pier 
in New York on that date with some 300 pas- 
sengers on board. When passing Ward's Island, 
the vessel seemed suddenly to become a mass 
of flames and the captain hastil}- determined to 
run it on to a marsli known as the Sunken Mead- 

ows. By this action the lives of most of those 
on board were saved, but between deaths by 
burning and drowning the casualties reached 61. 
It was the establishment of the Glen Cove 
Manufacturing Comipany— for the making of 
starch— in 1855 that has given to the village its 
position as a manufacturing place and made its 
name to be known almost all over the civilized 
world. The product was perfect from the start 
and speedily won its way; while the awards it 
received at the great London Exhibition of 1862 
gave it a position which it has since maintained, 
that of making a starch which is not surpassed 
for purity by any in the world. The subsequent 
'^world's exhibitions" at Paris, Philadelphia, Chi- 
cago and elsewhere, emphasized the praise be- 
stowed on it by the London experts when it first 
entered into open comspetition with all 
other makes. Its first factory, erected 
m 1856, was deistroyed by fire in Febru- 
ary, 1858, but a new establishment was 
erected at once. Nowadays the com- 
pany operates an immense establishment, 
and to it, more than to any other single 
agency, Glen Cove owes its eminence as 
the most richly populated village in 
Oyster Bay township, the latest returns 
placing it at 4,700. 

An old and well estafblished insti- 
tution is the Glen Cove Mutual In-sur- 
ance Company, which grew out of the 
great fire in the city O'f New York, which 
wrecked nearly all the insurance com- 
panies in that city in. the winter of 
1^35-6- The company Avas organized 
principally through the efforts of Will- 
iam M. Weeks, a merchant of Glen 

In September, 1868, Glen Cove cele- 
brated its biennial, and there was a pro- 
cession, music, oratory — mainly an ora- 
tion by Mr. H. T. Scud'der — and a feast of 
clams, sandwiches, coflfee, etc. It was a good 
old fashioned jollification, and was open to all 
who chose to listen or partake, and when the 
day was over the good folks of the village were 
ready to affirm that Glen Cove had not its equal 
in all Lono- Island. 



Adjacent to the village is the Pratt property, 
an estate of eight hundred acres^ magnificently 
located, with a frontage on Long Island Sound. 
On the Pratt estate is the tomb of the late Charles 
Pratt, in his lifetime the most promiinent person- 
age identified with Glen Cove. He located his 
country home upon the estate above referred to, 
and established a model educational school build- 
ing for the town, which he designed to stand as 
his most enduring monument. He died before 
the realization of his hopes, but ihis sons carried 
out as a sacred injunction the favorite design 
of his lifetimie, and the building was dedicated 
with due solemnity on May 24, 1893. The insti- 
tution ma'intains an agricultural department 
which is operated upon a portion of the estate, 
and here tlie students are initiated into the best 
and latest researches of modem farming. 

Contiguous to the Pratt estate the veteran edi- 
tor of the "New York Sun," recently deceased, 
laid out bis magnificent possessions, known as 
"Dana Island." This beautiful property is known 
far and wide, and the late Chades A. Dana lav- 
ished upon it a constant and unremitting care. 
It is as celebrated in the records of horticulture 
as the famous Shaw's Garden of St. Louis, and 
contains trees, plants and shrubs collected from 
every portion of the globe. Dull care and busi- 
ness was never allowed to enter this ideal spot. 
To Mr. Dana it was a happy valley of Rasselas. 
His last hours were spent here, and the estate 
is to be maintained in its integrity and beauty 
with the same reverent care as was lavished 
upon it by its lamented owner. 1 

Sea ClilT, which might be called a suburb of 
Glen Cove, was founded in 1871 as a religious 
settlement by a corporation 'having its headquar- 
ters in New York. It was to be a place for the 
summer residence of Christian families of mod- 
erate means, where they might lease a small plot 
of ground, erect modest cottages and enjoy 
fresh air and rest, with such spiritual enjoyments 
as camp meetings and other form's\ of public 
worship. The ground was at first intended to 
be leased, not sold, and an annual rent of ten 
dollars on each lot was to be devoted to paymg 
the interest on the money invested and in im- 

proving the grounds, opening uip and grading 
the streets, policing, etc. The lands of the as- 
sociation emjbraced a total purchase of 240 acres. 
The original cost of the land, together Avith the 
buildings and furniture, the tents, docks and 
piers, the water works, the cost of laying out and 
mapping the grounds, building of streets and av- 
enues, aggregated the sum of $270,000. Add to 
this the Sinn since expended in repairs, interest, 
taxes and improvements, and the total was sev- 
eral hundred thousand dollars greater. The as- 
sociation purchase embraced about a mile of 
water front. 

r»ut the beauty of the place soon overturned 
these primitive calculations. There was too much 
in the site and its surroundings to attract a pleas- 
ure seeking population. Occupying a command-- 
ing situation, "like a sentinel against the 'sky," 
it commands an expansive view of bay and shore. 
And so, after a while, the early restrictionjs' were 
abandoned, the streets were widened, the size 
of the lots increased, and palatial villas began to 
arise beside the modest cottages. The system 
of leasing gave way to selling outright, and Sea 
Cliff is now one of the most popular of Long Isl- 
and's "summer" cities, and has a population es- 
timated at 1,475. It ^^^ good 'hotels, splendid 
bathing accommodations, and in many respects is 
a model settlement. 

East Norwich was named after their father's 
birthplace in England by James and George 
Townsend, sons of John Townsend, of Oyster 
Bay. They secured a tract of land in 1680, about 
two miles south of Oyster Bay village, and 
around their farms a small village gradually 
sprang up. It was never very populous, and now 
only claim's 425, but at an early period in its 
history it became a center of 'Methodism, and the 
light started there in 1784 is still burning. The 
history of East Norwich really centers round its 
little M'ethodist Church, and as it is curious in 
many ways, the following story of its career by 
Mr. H. IL Frost may not be without interest to 
the general reader : 

''The Rev. Philip Cox, a Methodist minister 
belonging to the Jamaica circuit, preached in this 
place in 1784. Services were beld at private 



houses. From 1784 to 1822 traveling ministers 
of the Jamaica circuit officiated here. In 1822 
the Rev, Joshua Burch was located 'here, and 
held services at the residence of Thomas Che- 
shire. During the summer of 1833 a grove meet- 
ing was held at Muttontown, then called Chris- 
tian Hill. This grove meeting was a memorable 
one ; out of it grew a well organized and efficient 
working Methodist society in this place, and the 
erection of a suitable building. About forty 
persons were converted upon this occasion, and 
among them we find the name of James Vernon. 
The first thought of-this good man after his con- 
version was to devise plans for a suitable place 
of worship. He aroused enthusiasm among a 
few neighbors. They held a meeting in a barn 
now standing, drew up a paper stating their ob- 
ject, and 'Mr. Vernon started the list of subscrib- 
ers with $40, a very large sum in those days. At- 
tached to this paper are seventy-four names, with 
the amount promised. George iPeters, Thomias 
Qieshire, Henry Cheshire, John Nostrand, Abra- 
ham Rem'sen, Catherine, Mary and 'Sally Peters 
and Andrew C Hegeman gave $25 each ; Thomas 
Cheshire and William Duryea^ $20 each; John 
Van Cott, $15 ; Jackson Vernon, George Remsen, 
John Jackson, John Layton, John Cheshire, 
Charles Cheshire, Josejph White, C. & J. Stores, 
Samuel Mott, Gideon Wright and Townsend W. 
Burtis, $10 each; and others from five dollars 
down to one as they were able. The members 
of the Society of Friends also' contributed liber- 

"The church was built in 1834, and it has 
been of great use and benefit to the entire neigh- 
borhood. It is 31 by 37 feet, located just south of 
the village, and is worth, with the ground at- 
tached, about $2,500. 'The -site was a gift from 
James Vernon. The parsonage situated a short 
distance north of the village is a two-story 
structure built in 1866 or 1867, and with the plot 
of ground, worth perhaps $1,500. 

Bethpage is another commtmity which for 
long was a religious center. Tliomas Powell,, a 
Quaker, from Huntington, bought a large tract 
of land in 1695, and in 1698 a Friends' meeting 
was established, which was maintained until a 
year or two ago, when it seems to- have died out. 
The population at present is given as 150, and 
brickmaking is the only industiy, except farm- 

A much more important religious center was 
Jericho, a pleasant village near the center of the 

town. It was settled first about 1650, and the 
present population of 325 is mainly descended 
from the first settlers, such as Seamans, Willets, 
Underbill, Williams. In early times Jericho was 
known as "The Farms,'' or Springfield, and the 
Indians called it Lusum. Most of tlie early set- 
tlers were of the Society of Friends, and meet- 
ings for worship were held in the 'homes of the 
people with more or less frequency, from 1676 
to 1787, when a regular meeting house was built. 
In that tabernacle some wonderful reunions have 
been held, and Elias Hicks preached in it for 
several years. It is still a place of worship, but 
the old palmy days have gone, although the sixty 
members on its roll mtake up a congregation as 
earnest and devoted as any that ever assembled 
within its walls. 

The mention of the venerated name of Elias 
Hicks recalls to us the town named in his mem- 
ory and which, although it ,&eemed for a long 
time incapable of growth, now has a population 
of 1,300, a number of factories and industries, 
and appears des'tined to grow steadily in import- 
ance as a manufacturing center, even if it fails 
to become a resort. It was founded in 1836, 
when Hicks and other members of the Society of 
Friends bought part of the land on whic'h it is 
situated, and laid out a few streets on a map and 
gave it the name of Hicksville. But the popula- 
tion expected did not appear, and the place 
seemed dead. In 1842 the Long Island Railway 
reached it and built a station, an engine house 
and some storage places, and ori the strength of 
all that the original projectors took heart and 
erected a hotel and a dozen cottages. But the 
venture even then seemed a failure. For some 
reason or other the Rev. Dr. Prime, the historian, 
was bitterly opposed to Hicksville, mainly be- 
cause he was opposed to the doctrines of Elias 
Hicks. He wrote in 1845 '• 

'Tt (Hicksville) is a village of recent origin 
situated on the western line of the town about 
midway O'f the great plain. It originally con- 
sisted^ of a large depot and Avorkshops, a hotel 
with its outhouses and five or six small private 
dwellings. The railroad having been extended 
to Greenport in 1844, the depot being burned 



down about the same time, and no additions 
Whatever being made to the private dwellings, 
the 'village' bids fair to remain ;in statu quo. Its 
business, however, is undiminished, as it is a 
point at whch several stages and private con- 
veyances arrive daily with passengers from the 
adjoining villages, and after remaining an ihour 
or two depart with their return cargoes. Of 
course, its principal trade consists of hay and oats 
for horses, and cakes and pies and Icoffee, or 
whisky, for men, all of which are articles of 
foreign production, as there is no land under 
cultivation. Indeed, all the houses stand 'out of 
doors' without any enclosure except a small 
garden attached to the hotel. And although the 
whole territory is as level as a barn floor and 
building lots can be purchased far cheaper than 
in New York, the public seems determined not 
to buy them. * "^ * It does not seem likely 
to be selected as a place of residence of any man 
in his senses. East New York and Jamesport are 

Dr. Prime may have been a very good preacher, 
he is without honor as a prophet; for, in 1849, 
Frederick H.eyne purchased 1,000 acres of land, 
and several others, Germans, like him'self, also 
purchased land in the vicinity. In 1850 the idea 
was broached of making Hicksville a German 
settlement, and the idea was quickly put into 
practice. Streets were again surveyed and lots 
staked out, and in 1852 a school house was erec- 
ted. The people, mostly Germans, b'Cgan to buy 
up the lots and build, and long before Dr. Prime 
died, in 1856. he could have seen a thriving vil- 
lage rising on the spot concerning which he ut- 
tered his sarcasms and his lamentations. 

Farmingdale is a thriving village of some 
1,600 inhabitants, and with its church, edoacatioiial 
advantages, its School of Technology, its one or 


privileged spots compared with Hicksville. The 
name may live, but the Village' is a miserable 

All of which only goes to show that while 

two factories, and its beautiful situation, it is 
one of the pLeasantest little towns to be met with, 
even in Long Island. It lies at the foot of the 
Comae Hiills and is really one' of the healthiest 



places to be found within a wide circle of New 
York. In olden times it rejoiced in the name of 
Hardscrabble, but how or when such a cognomen 
was first applied has not come down to us in any 
satisfactory shape. 

Among the other villages in Oyster Bay 
township mention might be made of Glen Head, 

"a sumni'er city," with a population of 500; 
Plainview, 230; South Oyster Bay, 475; Syos- 
set, 638; Wheatly, 175; Laurelton, 125; Green- 
vale, 192; Central Park, 375; Glenwood Land- 
ing, 268; Mill Neck, 200; New Cassell, 225; 
Woodbury, 350; and Plain Edge, 137. 



UFFOLK county includes all of Long 
Island tO' the east of the township of 
Oyster Bay, and comprises about 
two-thirds of its area. Its greatest 
length is about ninety miles, and its greatest 
breadth, irom Eaton's Neck to the Great 
South Bay, is twenty miles, and its area measures 
about 1,200 square miles. The eastern extrem- 
ity of the county is divided by Great and Little 
Peconic liays and Gardiner's Bay, with two nar- 
row, unequal branches, between which are Gar- 
diner's Island, Shelter Island and Robin's Island, 
which, with a number of smaller islands, form a 
part of the territory of the county. 

The natural conditions of the region are else^ 
where narrated. There are countless remin- 
scences of the original occupants of the soil. . 
Many Indian legends concerning Suffolk county 
have been unearthed by Dr. William Wallace 
Tooker, of Sag Harbor, and concerning the abor- 
iginal inhabitants of his home town and the me- 
morials they left behind in the way of place 
names, he writes as follows : 

In a former time, under primitive conditions, 
on the roUing ground and plain, to the northward 
of the range of hills that extend west and east 
across the eastern portion of the present village 
of Sag Harbor, were located the picturesque 
wigwams, corn fields and other accessories of the 
village of Wegwagonock. A large portion of the 
elevation, on the southern slopes of which the 
most compact part of the village had been sit- 
uated, was leveled about fifty years ago and its 
contents distributed over the adjoining meadow 
in order to increase the area and stability of the 

ship and oil yards of Mulford and Sleight. The 
writer was informed by the - late William R. 
Sleig'ht that human bones, supposed to have been 
those of Indians, very friable and decayed, were 
unearthed during the excavating; but, if any 
objects aboriginal were deposited with them at 
the time of burial, they were overlooked in the 
haste and carelessness of the digging. 

The situation of this summer dwelling place 
of the red men, Which it must undoubtedly have 
been, for in the winter they lived back in the for- 
ests where it was less exposed and more shel- 
tered, was highly favored naturally for their pur- 
poses and their primitive mode of living. From 
evidences, surface or otherwise, that have been 
discovered from time to time, this village ex- 
tended, with the wigwams in .scattered iorder, 
along the edge of the meadows where the late E. 
M. Cooper and Charles L. Phillips' houses stand, 
skirting the base of the hills as far as the Fahys 
Watch Case Factory. At the present day a large 
portion of this area has been obliterated of its 
aboriginal marks by the march of improvements 
until but a small part of the site indicates what 
it must have been at the period of which I write ; 
that portion in close proximity to the depression 
which has been known from my childhood as the 
"Frog Pond" is about the only part remaining 
that may still be studied by the student of prehis- 
toric anthropology with much interest and sat- 

The conditions Avhich gave rise to this vil- 
lage in aboriginal times were these : First, its 
nearness to the tidal waters in front made their 
food quest an easy one, for fish abounded here. 
Second, the sand-flats, bare at low water, bor- 
dering the shore in every direction, undoubted- 
ly teemed, as it does to-day, with shell-fish of 
various kinds. The abundance of the univalve, 
commonly called the periwinkle, in the various 
coves and bays hereabouts, gave the name 'Meh- 



tanawack, "country of the ear-shell/' to this part 
of Long Island., thus making it a place of note 
to the natives on the neighboring main. There 
can be no doubt whatever but that the manu- 
facture of wamipum was carried on to a great 
extent at this Indian village, and that it was fre- 
quently visited by the Dutch for the purposes of 
trading in this commodity. All the facts dis- 
closed by excavating on this village site proves 
it; the numerous columella or stock of periwinkle 
scattered about this village site bears mute testi- 
mony of this manufacture. . The writer, in dig- 
ging here, discovered a cache of these shells 
which had evidently been stored for future use. 
He has discovered like deposits in other places 
which bears out Roger Williams' observation in 
1643, viz. ; "Most on the sea-side make Money, 
and store up shells in Summer against Winter 
whereof to make their money." Again, at the 
mouths of the tidal creeks could be found in 
aibundance the round clam which Roger Williams 
said "the Indians wade deepe and dive for, and 
after they have eaten the meat ithere (in those 
which are good) they break out of the shell, 
about halfe an inch of a blacke part of it, of 
which they make their suckau hock, or black 
money, which is to them precious." It is very 
rare we find a whole valve of the round clam 
{venus nicrcenaria) , but fragments exist in great 
quantity, showing breakage of the shell in order 
to obtain the "blue eye" so ihighly desired for 
beads. The debris which marks the -settlement 
is composed of shells, ashes, charcoal, burnt 
stones which were probably the 'hearths of the 
wigwams, pottery sherds, both ornamented and 
plain, arrow points, hammer stones, celts, stone 
axes and other objects that carry the age of the 
village back to a past, previous to the dawn of 
settlement by the English, and the layers of 
which prove that the occupation of the site by 
the Indians was not continuous but was revisited 
time and time again. Again in the top layer has 
been found a few gun flints, glass beads, and 
brass buttons, indicating occupation within his- 
toric times. On the surface it was the writer's 
fortune to find a brass arrow-point identical with 
that figured by Dr. Abbott on ipiage 421 of his 
"Primitive Industry," which also 'belongs to the 
writer. There is something peculiar about these 
two points in tlie fact that when placed one on 
the other it is indicated seemingly that they Tvere 
both cut by a die, for the perforations and out- 
lines are exact in both specimens. There is no 
question but what careful examination on the 
site of this village would bring to light many ob- 
jects of aboriginal use and workmanship. It is 

only a few years ago that my friend, Dr. C. S. 
Stilwell, who owns the hill and land adjoining, 
was digging to reset a post on the lowest part 
of this village site, when he drew out at the 
depth of about three feet, a perfect grooved stone 
axe. It was quite lare^e and very nicely finished, 
and its accidental discovery indicates to some ex- 
tent what may lie buried underneath the soil in 
this vicinity. 

The neighboring meadows and the marshy 
pools of water where the rushes grew and 
where the cat-tails flourished in abundance, 
were frequent places of resort in order to 
gather flags for making mats, baskets and cov- 
erings for their wigwams. The adjoining 
hills, then all wooded, were roamed over in 
search of game, and the occasional arrow-point 
picked up on the surface or overturned by the 
plow is a reminder of the arrow's flight either 
in time oi war or peaceful pursuits. The notch- 
ed or grooved sinker is also a token of the foot- 
steps of the Indian fisherman and indicates 
where his nets sometimes were left to dry on 
the upland bordering the shore. Thus on every 
hand hereabouts may be met some token of the 
dweller in the villaee of Wegwagonock. Across 
the bay could be seen the island of Ahaquatu- 
wamuck, "the sheltered fishing-place," now 
known as Shelter Island, of which its southern 
end directly opposite Wegwagonock still re- 
tains its aboriginal appellation of Meshomack, 
a term' denoting "where there is going by boat," 
indicating the ferry between that point and Three 
Mile Harbor or to Wegwagonock. Further 
northward, also within sight where now we see 
the residence of Dr. S. B. Nicoll, was the wig- 
wam qf the Sachem Ambusco in the seventeenth 
century, which gives the name, "Sachem's Neck" 
to the locality. The trail or path" froni Weg-- 
wagonock led to Ashawagh at Three Mile Har- 
bor, to Weckatuck at the north side, with 
branches in various directions wherever the 
footsteps of the Indian might lead him. 

The name Wegwagonock or Wigwagonock, 
as designating the locality, was retained in the 
early records of East Hampton and probably in 
the speech of our first settlers until the year 1731, 
when it disappears from the written page and 
from' the memory of our oldest inhabitant until 
it was brought again to light by the publishing 
of the records. Among other notices we find one 
dated April 30th , 1718-, when "It was agreed 
"^'^ " * that all the land lying to the westward 
of Joseph Stretton's meadow at Wigwagonock 
shall lie ^ * ^ ,33 common land forever 
* * =*^ all the land lying between the bound 



line and the north side to the utmost limits of 
East Hampton bounds." This record identifies 
the locality 'beyond a shadow of doubt, for the 
"bound line," "north side," "utmost limits of the 
bounds of East Hampton," could not have ap- 
plied to any other locality than that north of the 
site of where I place the village of Wegwago- 
nock. By the inroads of the sea and other causes 
mJuch of the meadow hereabouts has disappeared 
and it is impossible to locate any of the tracts of 
meadow first allotted to the inhabitants of East 
Hampton; although in 1728 Ananias Conkling, 
Jr., entereth his land joining his land .at Weg- 
wagonock — near the bound line, which was 
probably what is now the residence of Mrs. Will- 
iam R. Sleight and of the others in the rear, ex- 
tending back to the bay, including the site of 
Wegwagonock and meadow to the eastward, and 
terminating in Conkling's Point, so named after 
its first owner. 

Indian place names are invariably descriptive 
of the place to which they are applied, and were 
therefore topographical, and not mere marks to 
distinguish one place from the other like all our 
names. Wegwagonock belongs to the same 
class and denotes "land or place at the end of 
the hill," which fully describes the location at 
the foot of what has been known for many 
years as "Sleig^it's Hill." John Eliot, the emi- 
nent Indian Missionary, would probably have 
written it in the 'IMassachusetts dialect as We- 
quae-adn-ohke, from Wequae, "at the end of," 
"as far as," limit, etc., and "a hill," used in com- 
pound words only, — ock, "land or place." The 
name being descriptive is found in varying 
forms in other parts of New England. It was 
also the name of an Indian village in Sharon, 
Conn., as written by the Moravian missionaries, 
Wequadn'ach. Once I asked a Chippeway In- 
dian what Wegwagonock meant, giving the 
sounds as represented here ; he was unable, how- 
ever, to translate it, but just as soon as I told him 
that it was the same as Waiekwadnach in his own 
language, he recognized its identity and translat- 
ed it as given above without my assistance. The 
same name is found in Columbia and Dutchess 
Counties, New York, applied to a tribe of In- 
dians who were called the Wayaughtanocks or 
Wawyachtonocks, from the fact that they dwelt 
"at the end of a hill or mountain." 

By such people as those of Gravesend and 
Hempstead, and after sim'ilar fashion and with 
similar institutions, as has been previously nar- 
rated, were settled the historic old points in Suf- 

folk county — Gardiner's Island in 1639; South- 
ampton and Southold in 1640; Easthampton in 
1648; Shelter Island in 1652; Huntington in 
1653; ai^d Sm'ithtown about 1663. With the 
exception of Smithtown and Shelter Island, 
which did not immediately set up as independ- 
encies, these towns formed alliances with the 
New England colonies — Southampton with Con- 
necticut in 1644, Southold with New. Haven in 
1648, and the others with Connecticut: East- 
hampton in 1657, Brookhaven in 1659 and Hunt- 
ington in 1660. These associations were entered 
into and maintained for miutual assistance and 
protection against the Indians and the Dutch, 
and the nidependence of the towns and their 
mode of self-government were in no manner to 
be infringed upon. 

Shortly after the establishment of the towns 
named, plans were laid for the union of South- 
old, Southampton and Easthampton, whose peo- 
ple appointed committees to confer with the gen- 
eral court at Hartford, with a view to such an 
agreement and the establishment of a general 
seat of government in their midst, presumably 
after the fashion of the New Haven community. 
For some reason the scheme did not materialize, 
but in .T662 the Connecticut Colony laid claim to 
Long Island, asserting right under that clause 
of its charter, granted in that year, which gave 
it jurisdiction over "the islands adjacent," and 
two years later it sent a commission tO' the isl- 
and to enforce its pretensions. But these plans 
were nipped in the bud on the instant. In the 
same year Governor Richard Nicolls cam|e as 
deputy under the Duke of York, to wliom the 
lands had been granted by the King, and he be- 
came at once landlord and ruler. In the former 
capacity he was a law to himself and he exer- 
cised a wide discretion. Where the Indian 
claims had been satisfied he was content with a 
royalty of a penny per acre, but when the pur- 
chaser assumed the responsibility of dealing with 
the aboriginal owner or occupant, he placed his 
price as low as two shillings and sixpence for 
one hundred acres. 

The political history of Suffolk county begins 
with the famous "Hempstead Convention" of 



1665. Prior to the assembling of this body, Col- 
onel Nicolls had exhibited to Governor Winthrop, 
of Connecticut, the royal grant conveying Nev^ 
York and its adjacent territory to the Duke of 
York, and the Governor had informed the Eng- 
lish on I-ong Island that Connecticut had no 
longer any claim upon thems — -"that what they 
had done for them was for the welfare, peace and 
quiet settlement of his Majesty's 'subjects, they 
being the nearest organized government to them 
under his 'Majesty; but now that his 'Majesty's 
pleasure was fully signified by his letters patent, 
their jurisdiction had ceased and become null/' 
The calling of the Hempstead Convention by 
Coltine'l Nicolls, its personnel and its transactions 
■ — all this has been narrated in the previous vol- 
ume. It is 9nly to be repeated here that Long 
Island and 'Staten Island were erected into a 
shire, called Yorkshire, after that in England, 
and of this the towns now included in Suffolk 
county constituted the East Riding. It is pre- 
sumable that in this convention the original 
names of some of the towns were changed to 
those which they now bear. At this time was 
created the court of sessions, to meet twice a 
year, and to consist of the justices of the peace 
of the county. Three commissioners were ap- 
pointed in each town to constitute a local court, 
with power to decide cases not exceeding £5 
value. This Assembly also provided for a rev- 
enue to the government from duties on imports 
as follows : Rum, brandy and distilled liquors, 
4 pence a gallon; Madeira, Malaga, sherry and 
all sweet wines, 40 shillings per pipe ; powder, 
12 shillings a barrel; lead, 6 shillings per hun- 
dred weight ; every gun or gun barrel with lock, 
6 shillings ; general merchandise not otherwise 
specified, an ad valorem, duty of 2 per cent. ; all 
merchandise intended for the Indian trade, lo 
per cent. The following merchandise was ex- 
empt : Salt, brick, pan-tiles, coal, fish, sugar, 
molasses, cotton, wool, ginger, logwt)od, "brasa- 
lette," fustic, West India hides, tobacco, bullion 
and plate. An excise was also placed upon all 
liquors sold in less quantities than five gallons. 
of 12 pence a gallon, except beer and cider, 
which were rated at 6 shillings a barrel. An ex- 

port duty was also laid upon all skins of animals 
sent away. In computing the value of skins and 
the duty thereon a whole beaver skin was taken 
as the standard or unit of value, and other skins 
were reckoned by it. The duty on a whole beav- 
er was nine pence, and the same on its equiva- 
lent in any other skins, as follows : Two half- 
beavers, four "lapps,'' three ''drillings," ten "ra- 
toons," four foxes, four "fishers," five cats, twen- 
ty-four '*mees-catts," ten "mailers," twenty-four 
pounds of deer skin and the same weight of 
moose skin. 

In 1683 the first Colonial Assembly was con- 
vened under a call made by Governor Dongan, 
and this body abolished the "ridings" and erected 
the three counties of Kings, Queens and Suffolk. 
Under the various administrations of Governor 
Leisler, the following county officers were com- 
missioned : John Howell, Richard Smith, Sam- 
uel Mulford, Thomas Mapes and Ebenezer Platt^ 
justices; and Matthew Howell, High Sheriff, 
and at a council meeting on December 17, 1689^ 
Captain Ebenezer Piatt, of Huntington, was com- 
missioned to administer the o^^h to the other 
Justices. The Governor also commissioned offi- 
cers of a militia company. In 1690 he made a 
call for an assembly, two from each county. Suf- 
folk county refused to send assemblymen, and 
the Governor sent Samuel Edsall, a member of 
his Council, to secure acknowledgment of his 
autltority and compliance with his demand, but 
his success was meager. 

After the overthrow of Leisler, the original 
government was re-established and remained 
stable until the revolutionary period. Land titles 
were quieted by confirmation of former grants, 
and the Assembly was again established and was 
never afterward abolished. Courts were cre- 
ated — the county court, or court of common 
pleas, composed of a Judge and the Justices, ap- 
pointed by the Governor. This court had cog- 
nizance of civil actions except where the title 
of land was concerned, and final power in cases 
of value less than £20 \ the court of sessions, 
composed of the justices of the county; and the 
justices' courts, wherein a single justice had 
power to decide a controversy to the amount of 



forty shillings. The justices were appointed by 
the Governor. Surveyors oi highways, collec- 
tors, assessors and constables were elected by the 
people. In 1693 Isaac Arnold was judge of the 
common pleas, Josiah Hobart was sheriff, and 
the justices were Jdhn Howell, Samiuel Mulford, 
Richard Smith, William- Barker, Matthew Hjow- 
ell, Ebenetus (Epenetus?) Piatt and Thomas 
Mapes. Their names appear frequently in the 
annals of their times, and they were evidently 
men of importance. ^ 

While agriculture was the principal pursuit 
of the people, many were engaged in more stir- 
ring occupations, as shipbuilding and whaling, 
as written of elsewhere. Gradually other indus- 
tries were introduced. About 1700 fh'e manu- 
facture of woolen cloth was begun, and this en- 
terprise, insignificant as it was, at once occa- 
sioned alarm to the crown officials. Governor 
Cornbury was particularly disquieted, and wrote 
(in 1705) to the home government as follows: 

'T am wel'l informed that upon Long Island 
and Connecticut they are setting up a woolen 
manufacture, and I myself have seen serge made 
upon Long Island that any man may wear. 
Now, if they begin to make serge, they will in 
time make coarse cloth and then fine. =k * * 
I hope I may be pardoned if I declare my opin- 
ion to be that all these colonies, which are but 
twigs belonging to the main tree (England), 
ought to be kept entirely dependent upon and 
subservient to England ; and that can never be if 
they are suffered to go ion ini (the notions they 
have, that as they are Englishmen iso they may set 
up the same manufactures! here as people may do 
in England; for the consiequence will be that if 
once they can see they can clothe themselves, not 
only comfortably but handsomely, too, without 
the help of England, they, who are not very fond 
of. submitting to government, would soon think 
of putting in execution designs they had long 
'harbored in their brea&ts. TMs will not seem 
strange when, you consider what sort of people 
this country is inhabited by." 

Three years later (in 1708) Caleb Heathcote, 
a member of the council, wrote to England: 
"They are already sol far advanced in their 
Manufacoryes that ^ of ye linen and Wollen 
they use is made amongst them, especially the 

Courser sort; & if some speedy and effectual 
ways are not found to putt a stop to it they will 
carry it on a great deal further, & pei^haps in 
time very much to the prejudice of our manu- 
factor3^s at home." 

These alarming opinions were not held by all, 
however. In 1732 Governor Cosby wrote to the 
Board of Trade that "the inhabitants here are 
more lazy and inactive than the world generally 
supposes, and their manufacture extends no far- 
ther than what is consumed in their own fam- 
ilies — a few coarse woolseys for clothing, and 
linen for their own wear.'' And Governor Moore 
wrote, in i "j^"] : 

'Tt does not appear that there is any estab- 
lished fabric or -broadcloth here; and some poor 
weavers from Yorkshire, who came over lately 
in expectation of being engaged to make broad- 
cloths, could find no employm'ent. But there is 
a general m'anufactory o'f woolen carried on here, 
and consist of two sorts, the first a coarse cloth 
entirely woolen, % of a yard wide; and another 
stuff, which they call linsey woolsey. The warp 
of this is linen and the woof woolen, and a very 
small quantity of it is ever sent to market. 
* * * The custom of making these coarse 
cloths in private families prevails throughout 
the 'whole province, and almost in every house a 
sufficient quantity is manufactured for the use of 
the family, without the least desien of sending 
any of it to market. This I had an opportunity 
of seeing in the late itour I made, and had the 
same accounts given me by all those persons of 
whom I made any inquiry; for levery house 
swarms with children, who are set to work as 
soon as they are able to spin and card, and as 
every family is furnished with a loom the itiner- 
ant weavers who travel about the country put 
the finishing 'hand to the work." 

In the latter part of the seventeenth century 
tanning came into vogue, but the product, as 
leather, was very inferior. About 1715 beaver 
fur was used in hat making — an industry which 
became so important, being carried on in shops 
in many of the villages in the county, that Par- 
liament enacted a law forbidding the exportation 
of hats. In 171 5 was also begun the manufacture 
of linseed oil. Shortly before the revolution, pa- 
per mills were established, and in 1791 the first 



newspaper in the county was printed — the "Long 
Island Herald/' at Sag Harbor, May loth, by 
David Frothingham. 

After the Revolutionary war^ the county was 
visited by General Washington, then President, 
and it is pleasant to record the notes which "he 
made in his diary concerning it : 

''April 21, 1790 — We dined at Captain Zebu- 
Ion Ketchani's, Huntington South, which had 
been a public house, but now a private one; 
that is, receives pay for what is furnished. This 
house was about 14 tmiles from South Hemp- 
stead, and ,a very neat and decent one. After 
dinner 'we proceeded to a 'Squire Thompson's, 
such a house as the last ; that is, one that is not 
public, but will receive pay for everything it 
furnishes in the same manner as if it was. The 
road on which I passed to-day and the country 
here is more mixed with sand than yesterday, 
and the soil {is \oi inferior quality; yet with 
manure, which all the corn ground receives, the 
land yields on an average 30 bushels tO' the 
acre, often more. Of wheat they do not grow 
much on account of the fly, but the crops of rye 
are good. 

"April 22. — About 8 o'clock we left Mr. 
Thompson's, halted awhile at one Green's, dis- 
tance II miles, and dined at Hart's tavern, in 
Brookhaven township, five miles farther. To 
this place ,we traveled on what is called the South 
road, but the country through which it passed 
grew more and more sandy and barren as we 
traveled eastward, so as to become very poor in- 
deed ; a few miles further eastward the land took 
a different complexion, as were informed. From 
Hart's we struck across the island for the north 
iside, passing the east end of bushy plains and 
Coram, 8 miles ; thence to -Setauket, seven miles 
more to the house of Captain Roe, which is tol- 
erably decent, with obhging people in it. The 
first five miles of the road is too poor to -admit 
inhabitants or cultivation, being a low, scrubby 
oak, not more than two feet high, intermixed 
with small and ill-thriving pines. Witliin two 
miles of Coram there are farms, but the land is 
of indifferent qualii" miuch mixed with 'sand. 
Coram contains but few houses. From thence to 
Setauket the soil improves, especially as you ap- 
proach the sound, but it is far from being of the 
first quality, still a good deal being mixed with 
sand. The road across from the south to the 
north side is level except a small part south of 
Coram, but the hills are trifling." 

The first churches were independent, and 
congregational in government, Presbyterian- 
ism obtained a substantial foothold within the 
first half century of the settlement of the county. 
The Presb3^tery of Long Island was organized 
at Southampton, April 17, 1717, and belonged 
to the Synod of Philadelphia. As the denomina- 
tion grew, there came necessity for another 
Presbytery, that of Suffolk, which was formed 
April 9, 1747. A reorganization was effected in 
October, i/Qo, under the title of the Presbytery 
of Long Island, and this name has been pre- 
served, although the territorial limits have been 
changed from time to time. 

While the earliest churches were congrega- 
tional in form, those belonging to the denomina- 
tion known by that name came far later. In 
1791, at Riverhead, was organized the strict Con- 
gregational Convention of Long Island, which 
comprised a few churches., principally within the 
county. This body was dissolved in April, 1845, 
and, in time, other Congregational Associations 
were form.ed. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church had its be- 
ginning shortly before the Revolutionary war 
period. It made rapid growth, and at the pres- 
ent time numbers a larger membership and more 
church edifices in the county than does any other 

The Protestant Episcopal Church had its 
founding about 1730, and was of slow growth. 
In 1704 a communicant complained that "in Suf- 
folk county, in the east end of Long Island, there 
is neither a Church of England minister nor any 
provision made for one by law, the people gen- 
erally being Independents, and upheld in their 
separation by the New England emissaries." 

The Baptist Church was established some- 
what later than was the Church of England, and 
the Roman Catholic Church came long afterward, 
about 1837. 

Religious influences have been at various 
times greatly strengthened by the aid of organi- 
zations having for their purpose moral advance- 
ment and primary religious instruction. Short- 
ly before the Civil war, the Suffolk County Sab- 
bath School Association was oragnized, and it 



performed a useful work for many years. Dur- 
ing a large part of its early period a journal was 
published, the "Suffolk County Sabbath School 
Journal," under the management of the secre- 
tary of the Association. In this connection it is 
of interest to note that Mrs. Phoebe^ Wickham, 
a sister of John Ledyard, the famous traveler, 
at her home near Mattituck, established the 
first Sunday school in Suffolk county, in 1793, 
only eleven years after such schools were opened 

Of course education had its beginning in such 
primitive schools as have been previously de- 
scribed in this work. In the early part of the 
last century the towns were divided into school 
districts. The educational system' was in its 
crude state, but fhere were earnest and capable 
men who put it in a constant condition of pro- 
gression. In 1830 was organized the Teachers' 
Association of the Town of Islip, with Amos 
Doxsee, Henry Brewster, Wil'Iianii Brewster^ 


in London, England, by Robert Raikes, known 
the world over as the "Father of the Sunday 

The Suffolk County Bible Society was organ- 
ized October 3, 1815, with the Rev. Zachariah 
Green as president. For many years it accom- 
plished much good in supplying the Scriptures 
to destitute families before the era of extrava- 
gantly cheap printing, and in securing means 
wherewith to supply missionaries in foreign 
lands. Later it was merged into the Long Isl- 
and Bible Society, which is elsewhere mentioned. 
The Suffolk County Temperance Society was or- 
ganized in 1850, and exerted a salutary influence 
for very many years. 

Henry Doxsee and Jonas Jarvis as its moving 
spirits, and it performed a useful work for sev- 
eral years. In 1842 Samuel A. Smith, who was 
then county superintendent of schools, suggested 
the organization of a similar body at Hunting- 
ton, and it held profitable monthly meetings dur- 
ing a period of about twelve years. Occasional 
me^etings were also held to further educational 
interests, among which was one called by Selah 
B. Strong, at South Haven, in 1837, and one 
held in 1844, ,at Riverhead, which was iad- 
dressed by some of the foremost men of the 

The foundations of the present Teachers' As- 
sociation were laid by the Suffolk County Teach- 



ers* Association, which was organized at River- 
head in June, 1852, with an original membership 
consisting of Jamies H. Tuthill, H. H. Skinner, 
L. IL De Loss Crane, B. IHl Saxton, J. Andrew 
Hallock, 'M. D. Loper, A. M. Young, S. Orlando 
Lee, G. O. Wells and W. C. Booth. This Asso- 
ciation at first met iquarterly, in various villages 
in turn, on invitatiom of those of their people 
interested in its objects. As towns developed and 
schools multiplied, auxiliary associations were 

formed in various portions of th'e ^county, while 
the parent organization maintained its existenjce, 
and covered the larger field. In 1842 the <^ce 
of county superintendent of schools was created, 
and from that day the cause of education has 
shown constant progre'S'sion, and! the schools of 
Suffolk county to-day stand among the foremost 
in efficiency, personnel bf teachers and equip- 
ment. In 1900 the public school statistics for 
the county were as f olloiw's : 






ers Em- 
for Legal 

Number of 




School Year 



Amount of 




from State 

Amount of 

Raised by 
Local Tax 

Value of 

and Sites 





East Hampton 














$ 1,851,955 

$ 1,237.14 





$ 8,245.80 




$ 18,250 






Shelter Island. 
















ers Em- 
for Legal 

Number of 




School Year 



Amount of 




from State 

Amount of 

Raised by 
Local Tax 

Value of 

and Sites 














$ 2,239,722 

$ 2,990.03 





$ 20.920.17 





$ 54,790 


















^ 20,584 

The above exhibit as to the school libraries 
Speaks volumes for the usefulness of the school's 
and the liberality with whidh they are mainitained. 
Something, also, is deserving to be said of the 
o^bservance of Arbor Day, which in this county 
is entered into with genuine enthusiasm. Its in- 
fluence can not be too highly estimated, not alone 
on the material side, in educating the children to 

the value of the grand oM trees which here rise 
to such noble proportions, but in opening their 
minds to the beauties of nature. Great effort has 
been made in the fourteen years during which 
the Arbor Day law has been in effect, to stimu- 
late the children to a hearty participation in the 
exercises of the occasion. 

Included in the public scho</l establishment of 





' ^?^W?^' &*'■■■ -'■•■J ''Ak' ■- " ■ ' . ^aT-*' ■-'■j-- " 

>|gaa»- ■■Ijg .■ ■ ^V*-. ""*'■ '"^V." 





Suffolk county are two schools for the children 
of the few remaining Shinnecock Indians — one 
at Poospatuck and one at Shinnecock. ' The for- 
mer is reported as progressing satisfactorily 
with good attendance and reasonable attention, to 
study. At Shinnecock, however, the conditions 
are different, and the teacher reports some ob- 
stacles. The teacher, who is also a preacher, 
"will do better when 'he has learned the ways of 
the pupils." .But the 'worst trouble is the golf 
players, who hire the boys out of school to act 
as caddies. 

A splendid adjunct to tbe excellent educa- 
tional institutions of the county is found in the 
numerous well selected and liberally maintained 
libraries, which are accessible to students as well 
as to the general public. These are as follows : 
The Hampton Library, at Bridgehampton, 5,254 
volumes; the .Free Library, at Eastham-ptoii, 
1,526 volumes ; the Association Library, at IsHp, 
1,000; the Lloyd Jones Library, at Massapequa, 
1,050 volumes; the Public Library, at Northville, 
62,7 volumes; the Circulating Library, at Pat- 
chogue, 1500 volumes; the Free Library, at 
Riverhead, 800 volumes ; the Library Association 
at Sag Harbor, 1,893 volumes; the Public Li- 
brary, at Sea Cliff, >i,o62 volumes; the Emma 
Clark Library at Setauket, 2.304 volumes ; the 
Rogers Memorial Library, at Southampton, 4,- 
000 volumes ; the Free Library, at Westhampton, 
1,200 volumes; and the Circulating Library, at 
Yaphank, 650 volumes. In addition to these 
public school libraries are maintained in the prin- 
cipal towns. 

One of the former great industries of Suffolk 
county, whaling, has practically' disappeared. 
Another, shipbuilding, presents but a shadow 
of its formier great proportions, although many 
small vessels are yet run off the stocks up the 
principal harbors. 

Oystering is profitable in many localities 
along the shore, as is also fishing. In and near 
many of the towns are various manufactories of 
the smaller kind — for carriage building, harne'ss 
making, brick and pottery works, and the like, 
which are a source of considerable revalue, and 
do not materially detract from the beauty of the 

locality or from its desirability for residential 
purposes. But the occupation of the larger por- 
tion of the population is farming, dairying and 
stock breeding, and in these lines the Suffolk 
county farmer enjoys a high distinction. His soil 
is fertile, his animals and implements are of the 
best, and his products are unsurpassable in quan- 
tity and quality, while his immediate surround- 
ings are those of the ideal ■Country farm house. 
Largely contributing to these magnificent re- 
sults has been that really excellent body, the Suf- 
folk County Agricultural Society, a narrative of 
which appears elsewhere in this work. 

Up to 1872 Suffolk county was divided into 
nine townships. In that year the present town of 
Babylon was formed, making the entire number 
ten, as follows : 

Is lip. 


Shelter Island. 

Change ever begets change^ and where a 
long-existing order of things is once broken, al- 
most inevitably follows other innovations, or, at 
least, a feeling of restlessness which provokes at- 
tempt at such. And so, for some years, there 
have been influential men who have sought to 
dism'em.ber the ancient co'unty, and make of it 
two. The advocates of this plan argue that the 
western portion of the county is too remote from 
the shire town, Riverhead, and that a considera- 
ble portion of the western population, in order 
to reach the county seat, are obliged to make long 
and circuitous journeys. 

The advocates 'of the new scheme propose 
to form the townships of Islip, Babylon, Smith- 
town, Huntington and Brookhaven intb a new 
county. But, in all probability, it. will be a long 
time before this plan, or any looking to division, 
is consummated, if for no other reason than the 
antagonisms which will arise between rival vil- 
lages seeking the honor of being made the coun- 
ty seat. But, som.e day, when the population be- 
comes more dense, there will undbubtedly be a 



The courts •of Suffolk county were held in 
Southold (with an occasional term in Southamp- 
ton) umtil T729, when Riverhead was made and 
yet continues to be the seat of justice. In 1728 
a court house was there erected, in the center of 
the business portion of the town. In 1854-5 a 
new edifice was erected in what was then the 
northwestern suburb of the village, at a cost 
of $17,800. The building stands upon a stone 
basement and is of brick, two stories in height. 
It is said that on one occasion Chancellor Kent 
came to hold a term- of oyer and terminer, but he 
found neither lawyers or prisoners, and he de- 
parted without bearing a single case. An old 
jail, dating back to almost time immemorial, af- 
ter being condemned annually by the grand jury 
for many years, was replaced in 1881 by a sub- 
stantial octagonal stone structure. 

Until 1870 each town cared for its own poor 
— so far as they were cared for — for in absence 
of a system there were many abuses, not the least 
of which was the "farming out" of the homeless 
to such as would maintain thetti at least expense 
to the county. But in the year designated, a coun- 
ty farm' was agreed upon, and one suitable, at 
Yaphank, was purchased, upon which buildings 
were erected at a total outlay of almost $70,000. 
Additional buildings were subsequently erected 
as necessity demanded. This property is official- 
ly known as the Suffolk County Almshouse and 
Children's Home. In a recent year the alms- 
house report showed that 157 pers'ons were cared 
for — chargeable to Huntington, 17; Babylon, 
14; Isliip, 19; Smithtown, 9; Brookhaven, 20; 
Riverhead, 10; Southampton, 13; Easthampton, 
4; Southold, 9; Shelter Island, 3; boarders, 5; 
Suffolk county, 34. The report of the Children's 
Home showed the receipts for the year to have 
been $5,039.06, with expenditures amounting to 
$6,572.41. The cost of food and clothing was 
$2,682.32. The number of children remaining 
in the home was 49 ; received during the year, 56 ; 
discharged, 68; remaining September 30, 1899, 
37. Chargeable to Huntington, 4; Is'lip, 4; Baby- 
lon, I; Smithtown, i; Brookhaven, 11; River- 
head , I ; Southampton, i ; Easthampton, 2 ; 
Southold, 5. 

Among the other charitable institutions are, 
at Amityville, the Long Island Home for the 
Insane, founded in 1881, and the Louden Hall 
for Aged, Decrepit and Mentally Enfeebled; at 
Central Is'lip, the Manhattan State Hospital, 
with its splendid buildings affording accommo- 
dations for 1,500 inmates; and at King's Park, 
the Long Island State Hospital. 

In addition to these is to be noted the hbmes 
maintained by the Society of St. Johnland, at 
King's Park. There is no more useful or more 
truly charitable work carried on anywhere than 
in these institutions, where aged men are en- 
abled to await the close of life's generally disas- 
trous and poverty-stricken journey in comfort 
and peace, and where children are received, 
clothed, fed and educated in a manner calculated 
to develop them into 'strong, active and intelligent 
citizens whose labors in years to come will add 
to the general welfare of whatever section where 
their lots may be cast. During the year ending 
December i, 1901, the Society had miaintained 
in these institutions 51 aged men, 83 boys and 
60 girls', at a per cajpita cost of about $175, and 
had received legacies during the s'ame period 
amounting to $27,761, which had been added to 
its general fund — the fund which insures the 
permanence of the work. Truly in this case the 
perpetual power of good is clearly illustrated. 
Dr. Miihlenburg, the founder of the institution, 
has long rested from his labors, leaving behind 
a sainted memory, y^t his example and his work 
still bring forth good fruit and daily render 
grand service to the cause of humanity — ^the 
cause of 'Christianity. At the annual meeting 
of the Society of St. Johnland held in the clos- 
ing week of 'I901, the following officers were 
elected : 

Tlie Rev. Dr. Henry Mottet, President; Will- 
iam Alexander Smith, Vice-President; Dr. Fred- 
erick D. Hyde, Secretary; 'Francis M. Bacon, 
Treasurer. Trustees — W. Alexander Smith, 
Bishop Htenry C. Potter, A. W. Hard, George 
Blagden, the Rev. Dr. Mottet, John A. McKim, 
Joseph" Park, J. H. Hewson, James McLean, F. 
M. Bacon, Theodore Thomas, Roswell Eldridge, 
Dr. F. E. Hyde, the Rev. Dr. W. M. Grosvenor, 
John H. Cole, George E. Chisholm, John Seely 



Ward, Jr., the Rev. Jannes E. Freeman, Avery 
D. Andrews, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, S. Nicholson 
Kane, William N. Wilmer, James K. Gracie, and 
William G. Davies. Superintendent — Rev. N. 
C. Halsted. 

At King's Park is located the splendidly 
equipped Long Island State Hospital for the In- 
sane, occupying property valued at $3,700,000. 
In T901 the inmates numbered 2,783. The cost 
of maintenance was $464,329, and $180,609 was 
expended for improvements. 

It is estimated that in 1650 the population of 
Suffolk county was 500, one-fifth of the total ac- 
credited to the [province of New York. In 1731 
the&e figures had increased to 7,675 for the 
county (including 715 Indians) ,and 50,289 in 
the province. In 1771 the county numbered 
13,128 people, but the number in the province had 
increased to 168,007. ^^ ^79^ the population of 
Suffolk county was 16,640, and it had very near- 
ly doubled in 1840, when it was 32,469. In 1875 
the population was 51,873, of which but little 
more than eleven per cent, were of foreign birth^ 
and fully seventy-one per cent, were born within 
the county. In 1 900 the population had in- 
creased to 77,582, of which nearly twenty per 
cent, (t^-1,757) were of foreign birth. 

In 1903 the civil list of Suffdlk county was 
as follows :* 

State Senator, Edwin Bailey, Jr. ; Assembly- 
men, Willis A. Reeve, Orlando' Hubbs ; County 
Judge, Walter H. Jaycox; Sheriff, Henry How- 
ard 'Preston ; County Clerk, Sollomon Ketcham ; 
Supervisor, William R. Fanning ; pCounty Treas- 
urer, Henry S. Brush ; District Attorney, Living- 
ston Smith; Superintendent of Poor, John J. 
Kirkpatrick ; School Commissioners, Charles H. 
Howell, Millard H. Packer. 

Suffolk county is in the First Congressional 
District, and is represented by Hon. Townsend 
Scudder, elected in 1902 to succeed' Hon. Fred- 
erick Stone. 

Early in this work, brief quotations were 
made from a paper of real historical value — 
"Fifty Years of Suffolk County," read in Febru- 
ary, 1900, at Riverhead, at the annual meeting 

of the Suffolk County Historical Society, by the 
Pev. Epher Whittaker, of that body. Some fur- 
ther quotations from this excellent paper will 
better serve the readers of these pages than would 
aught else, and we quote freely, by permission of 
the talented author: 

Men are greatly affected by the climate in 
which they live. ^It may be cold, hot, dry, moist, 
rare or dense. In many places, as in our own 
county, the climate depends more or less upon 
the presence or absence of forests. In many 
parts of our county the half century has seen 
forest land converted into fruitful fields. But 
this advantage has produced no' want of balance 
in our healthful climate. Tens of thousands of 
trees for (fruit, shade and beauty, with shrubs 
and vines for ornament and use, have well sup- 
plied the absence of comm.on trees. Villages that 
fifty years ago were in, the summer season scorch- 
ing in the glowing sun now resemible pleasant 
parks adorned with good trees of resplendent 
variety and attractiveness. The desert has be- 
come paradise. Furthermore, many of these 
well-adorned vil'lages have doubled their size 
since 1850. The people of the county have 
changed far more than the soil they occupy or 
the healthful and genial air which they breathe. 

For two hundred years young people had 
swarmed from the teeming hive. Few persons 
from abroad had made their homes within its 
bounds. Now and then a young man, who, for 
trade or toil, had gone forth and foimd the treas.- 
ure of his life elsewhere, returned v^ith his bridie. 
But cases of this kind were rare. For Suffolk 
county girls were then, as they are now, good 
enough for any man. When this uncommonness 
of our condition terminated, the population of 
our county was about 37,000. In these fifty years 
!t has nearly doubled its resident citizens. Dur- 
ing the summer, including visitors and cottages, 
it is above 100,000. 

The rate of increase in wea'lth has been far 
greater than in population. An indication of 
this fact is seen in the establishment of banks. 
The county, it is supposed, had no bank in it fifty 
years ago. It certainly had no savings bank. 
It now has two national banks in Greenport, one 
in^ Sag Harbor, one in Southampton, one in 
Riverhead, one in Patchogue, one in Babylon, 
one m Port Jefiferson, and one or more elsewhere. 
There is a private bank in Easthamipton, one in^ 
Sag Harbor, one in Riverhead, and others, it 
may be, in different places. 



The Southold Savings Bank was organized 
in 1858. This 'has been followed by the organ- 
ization of those of Riverhead, Sag 'HJarbor and 
Patchogue. These savings banks now 'have six 
millions of dollars deposited in them. It is believed 
that the Suffolk county depositors in savings 
banks equal in number one-tenth of its whole 
population, as many as balf the men 'who voted 
last 3^ear at the eliection for county officers. 
Furthermore, our citizens have millions of dol- 
lars invested in life insurance. It is needless to 
conjecture how many millions they have in 
Government bonds and in other bonds and stocks. 

The' coasting trade and the fisheries contin- 
ued to be available ; and our vessel-builders made 
the best of these important and valuable re- 


mainders. In the 'harbors along ihe 'Sound, and 
at Greenport and other places, the enterprise of 
our shipwrights — no other workers are more en- 
terprising than they — rose to t!he height of the 
demand miade upon their genius and diligence. 

But unhappily they had in those days to fig^ht 
another battle, which soon became a somewhat 
unequal contest. It was the defensive battle of 
the wind against the invading power of steam. 
It was essentially the same kind of a combat 
which steam is now compelled to wage against 
the encroaching power of magnetism. It is said 
that when Edison crossed the ocean he could not 
sleep during the voyage. This was not due to 
the ceaseless tossing of the s(hip whicb conveyed 
him, but to his inability to see how he could har- 

ness the forces of the waves — old Neptune's 
steeds — and make them work rfor mlan under hu- 
man control and direction on the land. Well, he 
ned not be too much cast down; for doubtless 
the whole globe is a magnet, and Edison, Bell 
and Marconi and others are following Henry 
and Morse and showing how it can be put into 
harness on both land and sea. 

The Hon. Lewis A. Edward's, of Orient, one 
of our society's in memoriam members, was a 
man whose s'oul was com'mensurate with the 
stateliness of his physical frame and with the dig- 
nity and winsomeness of his bearing and m'an- 
ners. Not a small part of bis well-earned and 
comfortable fortune was at one time invested in 
sailing vessels. I remember distinctly how he 
said to me: "I formerly believed that steam 
would never master wind upon the 
high and open sea for the convey- 
ance of freight. I believed that the 
inexpensiveness of the one would be 
more than a match for the greater 
constancy and certainty of the other. 
But. I have changed my mind. The 
last two years have decided the bat- 
tle, and the steamers have won the 
victory." That was perhaps twenty- 
five years ago, and 'Our Suffolk 
county shipwrights were building 
sailing vessels. 

Furthermore, this was not the 
only battle fought and lost which 
affected the shipbuilders of the coun- 
ty. 'Another contest was that of iron 
and steel against wood, and the 
triumph of the former, while our 
shipwrights were generally workers 
in wood. To maintain their business 
and make it profitable they had to 
unite in themselves the daring of 
the mariner, the courage of the soldier, the 
venturesomeness of the merchant and the 
genius and skill of the engineer. One fact 
shows their eminent ability ; they have at 
no time ceased to build seafaring vessels — crafts 
of nearly every kind, rowboats, fishing smacks, 
pleasure yachts, scollopers, sloops, schooners, 
barks, brigs. The trader has given employment 
to hundreds of men; and they have matched in 
the excellence of the fruits of their toil that of 
the worthy architects, builders and mechanics 
who have erected houses, barns, mills, bridges 
and other structures whiA ihave 'within the last 
fifty years utterly changed the face of the county 
for the better so far as this can -depend on the 
work of men's hands. For the period in review 



has made nearly all things new in the villages 
not only, but also on the farms. Advance and 
improvement in size style and surroundings are 
seen everywhere. Increase in wealth has made the 
delightful change not more than the growth and 
progress of intelligence and the elevation and re- 
finement of taste. • ) 

The builders of houses have perhaps made 
no more remarkable advancement tlhan men in 
other employments 'have manifested. In. every 
department of mechanic arts are seen the grati- 
fying improvements of the half-century. 

In other directions may be seen noteworthy 
changes in the employments and conditions of 
our industrious and thrifty fellow citizens. 

Within the last decades many poultry farms 
have been established. From some of these sev- 
erally three or four thousand ducks are sent to 
market every year. Others yield one or two 
thousand each. Changes for the better in the 
incubators and other apparatus as well a& in the 
buildings, and the business generally, have been 
made and continue. 

The schools of the county have become less 
numerous than formerly, and have lost in some 
measure their individual traits of character. They 
have generally approximated an uninteresting 
and typical sameness of manner and quality. 

The public schools having become a part of 
the machinery of the political parties, with ex- 
treme power of taxation, and millions of money 
m the hands oif a few central operators, to be 
used for their purposes every year, these schools 
have a character distinctly unlike those of earlier 
days. They have been effective in gradually clos- 
ing the academies that were formerly sources of 
intellectual life in tihe several villages of East- 
hampton^ Remsenberg, Bellport, Southampton, 
Franklinville, Riverhead, Miller's Place and else- 

These academies were generally taught by 
able and ambitious young men of liberail educa- 
tion, whose instruction, impulse, example and in- 
spiration animated and impelled their bright pu- 
pils to aim at excellence and noble ends. These 
teachers sometimes entered upon othe'r pursuits 
and won eminence, distinction and honor in 
walks of professional usefulness. Thus they led 
onward an attractive and aspiring procession of 
worthy followers. Their day is past. 

The schools of the county are now far less 
individually distinctive and far more mechanical. 
They work with magnetic energy to bring all 
their pupils to the same level in their respective 
classes. All the public schools were made free 
about thirty years ago. 'More recently the attend- 

ance at schools of children within certain ages 
has been made compulsory, and by these means 
the likelihood of deplorable illiteraicy has been di- 

The churches within the past half century 
have more than doubled in number, and increased 
more rapidly than the whole population of the 
county. This is not twice as numerous as it was 
fifty years ago. These churches combined are 
now served by as mlany as 140 clergym'cn. The 
full pastoral service of a minister does not prob- 
ably exceed, on the average, twenty years. To 
maintain the supply requires an accession of seven 
each year. At this rate three hundred and more 
come and, go in half a century. Doubtless, 200 
have passed away since 1850. 

Jn the various towns of the county, from their 
origin, 250 years ago, there has always been a 
Christian ministry of high character in morals 
and religion, of eminent ability, and of' liberal 
education. There has been' no lowering of the 
standard during the period under review. 

Among those who have passed away in this 
period may be mentioned: Baptist — Charles J. 
Hopkins, Alvin Ackley. Congregational — 
Charles J. Kno'wles, Henry T. Cheever, Christo- 
pher Youngs, Thomas N. Benedict, Charles 
Hoover, Aaron Snow, Henry Woodruff, Eusebius 
Hale. Methodist Episcopal — Thomas G. Os- 
born, Seymour Landon, Marvin R. Lent, George 
W. Woodruff, Edward Warriner, George Hollis, 
Stephen Rushmore, Samuel A. Seaman. Presby- 
terian — Enoch C. Wines, Ed-ward Hopper, Hugh 
N. Wilson, William B. Reeve, M. D., Augustus 
T. Dobson, William H. Cooper, Daniel N. Lord, 
Carson W. Adams, Daniel Beers, James T. Ham- 
lin, Phineas Robinson, Abraham. Luce, George 
F. Wiswell, Zachariah Green, Ezra King, James 
S. Evans, James McDougalL Protestant Episco- 
pal— D. V. M. Johnson, J. M', Noll. Roman 
Catholic— John McKenna. Universalist— Dr. 

The flood of years has borne away from the 
legal profession some of the ablest judges, coun- 
sellors and advocates of justice who have at any 
time given dignity and worth to the judicial office 
of the county. 

Selah B. Strong was a judge who had few 
peers in the highest court of the Empire State- 
upright, imjpartial, recondite, diligent, consider- 
ate, and pure and -spotless as the snowy ermine, 
the precious emblem of his proud and conspicu- 
ous office. 

^ Worthy to be associated with him were the 
judges of our county who have passed away 
within the period in band : Hugh Halsey, Abra- 



ham T. Rose, William P. Buffet, George Miller, 
J. Lawrence Smith. The successors of these 
men are their peers. There has been no abate- 
ment of the lofty judicial standard. 

The surrogates, James H. Tuthill and others, 
when not the same as the judges of the county, 
have not been inferior to them in legal knowl- 
edge, elevation of character and soundness of 
judgment. Their decisions have not been often 
contested — rareiy overruled by higher courts. 

Of the clerks of the county, George S. Phil- 
lip, Samuel A. Smith, Joseph Wickham Case, 
like the judges of the county who have died with- 
in the 'half century, have been known tO' me. 
What a splendid list of courteous and capable 
gentlemen they 'and their successors present to 
grace the annals of our county for the last fifty 


It has been my good fortune to be free from 
all unpleasant grips of the sheriffs of oid Suf- 
folk. But I have been the guest of these faith- 
ful and courageous officers who have joined the 
great majority, namely: Richard W. Smith, 
Silas Horton, John Clark, Samuel Phillips, John 

The attorneys and counsellors who have been 
officers of the courts of the county include a 
goodly array of legal gentlemen, eminent for 
honor, learning and eloquence. One calls to 
mind among the departed, Samuel S. Gardiner, 
SelaJh B. Strong, William H. Gleason, James H. 

Tuthill, Abraham T. Rose, J. Lawrence Smith, 
Henry J. Scudder, Everett A. Carpenter and 

Among the physicians and surgeons who have 
adorned their benevolent profession and conferred 
priceless benefits upon their fellow men were 
Doctors Ebenezer Sage, Frederick W. Lord, 
Henry Cook, Levi D. Wright, Ezekiel D. Skin- 
ner, Franklin Tuthill, Abraham B. Luce, Rich- 
ard H. Benjamin, John E. Hartranft, James' L 
Baker, Nathaniel Miller, Abraham G. Thom^pfion, 
and a score of their compeers. 

There are not many features in the face of 
the county where its life has made a more charm- 
ing and notable change than in its live stock. 
Herein the Suffolk County Agricultural Society 
has been efficient, and among die chief who have 
made this improvement may be named Richard 
B. Conklin, the breeder of Rarus; Henry L. 
Fleet, the owner of Black Eagle ; Carll Burr, Da- 
vid Carll and Edward Dayton, whose oxen in 
strength and beauty were admirable types of 
their kind ; and when the did Greek poets, the 
most tasteful and artistic of mfankind, wished to 
put the finishing touch to their description of 
the Queen of Heaven, they called her ox-eyed. 

It is not in the lower forms^ of life only that 
improvement is seen. The people of the county 
have advanced to a higher degree of intelligence, 
culture, refinemient and manifold traits of Chris- 
tian excellence. 



HIS township, as originally constituted, 
extended its territory and authority from 
Smithtown, on the east, to Oyster Bay 
on the west, and had for its northern 
boundary Long Island Sound, and for its south- 
ern boundiary the Atlantic Ocean, .giving it a 
length of twenty miles between the waters and a 
breadth of ten miles. In the period of boundary 
controversies, by act of the colonial legislature, 
October i, 1691, it was declared to be a part of 
Queens county, and it became attached to the 
town of Oyster Bay. It was subsequently attach- 
ed to the territory of Huntington, of which it was 
always a part geographically, and from which it 
should never have been 'd'etached politically. 

Huntington Bay, the splendid inlet which sep- 
arates Lloyd's Neck from Eaton's Neck, early 
attracted the attention of adventurous sailors. 
Adrian Van der Donck visted it in 1649,, and it 
was particularly, reported upon to the States Gen- 
eral by Secretary Van Tienhoven, in the follow- 
ing, written March 4, 1650: 

"This bay is much deeper and wider than 
Oyster Bay and runs westward in, divides into 
three rivers, two of which are navigable; the 
smallest stream runs up in front of the Indian 
village called Martinne-houck, where they have 
their plantations. This tribe is not strong, and 
consists of about 30 families. There was former- 
ly in and about this hay great numbers of Indian 
plantations, which now lie waste and vacant. 
This land is mostly level and of good quality, 
well adapted for grain and all 'Sorts of cattle; 

on the rivers are numerous valleys of sweet and 
salt meadows. AH sorts of fish are caught there." 

The Indian name of the region was; Ketewo- 
moke, for which the English substituted that of 
Huntington, which some writers have taken to 
be a corruption of Huntingtown, the latter be- 
ing significant of the abundance of wild game 
when settlement began. On the other hand, it has 
been held that the name was given it in its pres- 
ent form after that of the home of Oliver Crom- 
well, in England, whence came (presumiafbly) 
some of the colonists. 

The Indians were few in number, and gave 
little trouble. They were but remnants, in lact, 
of the Matinecock, Marsapeague and Seucatogue 
tribes, and the advent of the whiitc man com- 
pleted the process of extinction which had been 
begun by the evil fortunes of war with the tribes 
on the mainland. 

As ha's been shown in a previous chapter, 
the settlement of Suffolk county was made by 
distinctively English colonists, and their man- 
ners of doing were somewhat different from those 
which were in vogue farther to tlie west- 
ward, where the Dutch influence was thoroughly 
felt. Just when and where the first settlements 
in Huntington were made is not altogether clear. 
But the newcomers were careful as to one thing 
—they made their first dealings with the Indians. 
Their first deed was from Raseocon, the chief of 
one portion of the Matineoock tribe, then num- 






bering nearly two score heads of families, and 
was as fdlo'ws: 

Articles of agreement betwixt 'Rasokan, Sag- 
amore of Mattinicoke, of the one part, and Rich- 
ard Houlbrock, Robert WilMams, Danial White- 
head, of the other party, witnesseth as followeth : 

Know all men whom these present writings 
may in any way concern that I Raseokan do sell 
and make over unto the aforesaid parties — Rich- 
ard Houlbrock, Robert Williams and Danial 
Whitehead, their heirs, executors or assigns- — a 
certain quantity of land lying and being upon 
Long Island, bounded upon the west side with 
a river commonly called by the Indians Nacha- 
quetack, and the North side with the sea^ and 
going eastward to a river called Opcatkontvcke, 
on the south side to the utmost part of my bounds ; 
promising and by virtue hereof I do promise to 
free the above said lands from all title ofiE and 
claim that shall be made unto it by reason of any 
former act ; in consideration of which land the 
aforesaid Richard Houlbrock, Robert William's 
and Danial Whitehead doth promise unto the said 
Raseokan as followetli : 6 coats, 6 kettles, 6 hatch- 
ets, 6 howes, 6 shirts, lo knives, 6 fathoms of 
wampum, 3 muxes, 30 needles. Further the said 
sachem doth promise to go or send some one in 
twenty days to show and, mark out the bounds, 
and in case it prove not according to expecta- 
tion, then this writing to be void and of no ef- 
fect ;. but in case it be, tben this writing to stand 
in full force, power and virtue. Witness our 
hands the second day of April 1653. 


Richard (R) Houlbrock^ 


Robert Williams, 
Danial Whitehead. 
Raseokan, Sagamore. 

The above described tract covered an area of 
somewhat more than six miles -square, and had 
for its boundaries Long Island Sound (not in- 
cluding Eaton's Neck, nor, as was afterward 
settled, Lloyd's Neck) on its north, the head of 
Northport Harbor on the east. Cold Spring Har- 
bor on the west, and the line of what was after- 
ward known as the Old 'Country Road on the 
south. The purchasers of this tract were resi- 
dents of Oyster Bay, and, on the same day on 
which they made their purchase, they assigned 
it in its entirety to the people of Huntington. 

In 1656 Asharoken, who had succeeded to the 
leadership of the Matinecock tribe, with his as- 

sociate tribe members, made deed to the eastern 
portion of this territory, lying between the stream 
at the 'head of Northport Harbor and Smithtown 
Harbor, southward to the great plains, and north- 
ward to the sound, including Eaton's Neck. This 
deed was as follows : 

This indenture, made in the year 1656, on or 
about the last day of July, betwixt Asharoken, 
Matinnioock Sachem^, and the rest of the Indian 
owners witb him, on the one part, and Jonas 
Wood, William Roggrs, Thomas Wickes, for 
themselves and the rest of their associates, on 
the other part, witnesseth that I Asharoken have 
sold unto Jonas Wood, William's Roggrs, Thom- 
as Wickes, all the meadows, fresih and salt, lying 
and being upon the north side of Long Island 
from our former bounds. Cow Harbor brook, to 
Neesaquocke river ; all the meadow within these 
bounds. West and East, and to the North side to 
as far as Asharoken's bounds goeth, southward 
as far as the neck called Eaton's Neck, Crab 
meadows, and all the rest of the meadows within 
ihe aforesaid bounds ; with all the arbige that is 
or shaH be hereafter upon the iwood lands within 
the aforesaid bounds, to be the aforesaid Jonas's, 
William/s and Thomas's, to them and their asso- 
ciates, heirs and executors forever; reserving to 
the Indians liberty to plant and hunt within these 
aforesaid bounds ; and that for and in considera- 
tion of 2 coats, 4 s'hirts, 7 qts. licker, 11 oz, pow- 
der, in witness hereof we have sot to our hands : 

Jonas Wood. 
WiLiAM Roggrs. 
Thomas Wickes. 








The claim- of the above named grantees, so 
far as it relates to Eaton's Neck and ad'jacent 
territory, was 'subsequently resisted by those who 
claimed under Theophilus Eaton, former gov- 
ernor of the New Haven colony, who held title 
under a claimed gift made to him by the Chief 
Kaseocon, in 1646, long prior to these transac- 
tions. And notwithstanding the clearness of de- 



scription in the deed made to Jonas Wood and his 
associates by Asharoken and his tribal brethren, 
the Eaton Neck claim of Eaton was held good 
(the ''adjoining territory excluded") and the 
property ran from him direct to the present own- 

The Indian title was now in course of rapid 
extinguishment and among the records of the 
times are the following : i 

Jonas Wood of Huntington for himself and 
his neighbors of Huntington bought five necks 
of meadow lying next adjoining to Messapeagus 
Sachems land, and agreed to pay to the Sachem of 
Meantauhett .12 coats, 20 hoes, 20 'hatchets, 20 
knives, 10 pounds of powder, 10 pounds of lead 
and I great kettle and i hatt. The Sachem 
Wyandance agrees to the same. June i, 1657. 

Kecoseacock, Sachem of Secowtoke, reisigns 
all claim to the same. 

Wyandance, Sachem of Pawmmacke, or by 
ye English called Long Is'land, sells to Henry 
Whitnee of Huntington (August 17, 1658) for 
the use of the whole town of Huntington, three 
whole necks of meadow lying on the southward 
side of their towne, and westerly from the six 
necks which we bought before these three necks 
of Mashapeahe land. And 'he sent his agent 
Checanoe to deliver it on condition of the pay- 
ment of 12 coats, each coat being two yards of 
trucking cloth, and 20 pounds ot powder, 20 
Dutch hatchetts, 20 Dutch hoes, 20 Dutch knives, 
TO shirts, 200 muxes, four paire of handsome 
stockings, i good Dutch hatt, and a Great faire 
Looking Glasse. And Checanoe for his wage 
and going to mark out the land is to have i coat, 
4 pounds of powder, 6 pounds of lead, i Dutch 
Hatchett and 16 shillings in Wampum'. 

Ambrose Sutton. 

Richard Brush 

The various purchases were made on cheap 
enough terms. The Indians were well pleased 
to accept all sorts of gew-gaws — discarded mili- 
tary uniforms, glass beads, mirrors, liquor and 
the like. There was one notable exception to the 
rule, in the person of Takapousha, the chief of 
the Marsapeague tribe, who refused to join in 
bartering away his birthright for so miserable a 
mess of pottage, and stood inflexible on the as- 
sertion of his patrimonial right so long as he 

But the Indians, while guileless in one re- 
spect, antedated Bret Harte's "Heathen Chinee'' 
in the practice of "ways that are dark and tricks 
that are vain." They had no respect for a bar- 
gain, but would barter away their lands a second 
time, if opportunity offered, as when> Raseocon 
resold the Hbrse Neck tract, as shown by the 
following deed, which bore the isignatures 
(marks) of fourteen Indians : 

September the 20 1654. 
This writing witnesseth that I Ratiocan, sag- 
amore of Cow Harbor, have sold unto Samuel 
Miayo, Daniel Whitehead, and Peter Wright my 
necks of land which m-akes the east side of Oys- 
ter Bay and the west side of Cow Harbor, on the 
north side bounded with the sound, called by 
Indians Caumsett. For and in consideration of 
which neck of land we the aforesaid Samuel 
Mayo, Daniel Whitehead, and Peter Wrig^ht do 
promise to pay to the aforesaid Ratiocon, saga- 
more, three coats, three shirts, three hatchets, 
three hoes, two fathom of wampum, six knives, 
two pair of stockings, two pair shoes. 

This is an example of the tangled web of 
grants and counter-grants and conflicting claims 
in which the early landlords became involved. 
To dispose of the instance in point : Mayo, 
Whitehead and Wright sold tbeir interests to 
Samuel Andrews, a London merchant, who for- 
tified his purchase by making some presents to 
Wyau'dance, an Indian chief who was supposed 
to possess some paramount authority, and se- 
cured his ratification of the transaction. After 
the death of Andrews, the Horse (Lloyd's) 
Neck tract came into pO'Ssession of John Rich- 
hill, of Oyster Bay. A dispute as to title be- 
tween him and John Conklin, of Huntington, 
was decided in bis favor, and he was put in pos- 
session under a mandate of Governor Nicolls. 
This settlement, however, did not close the inci- 
dent, and the dispute became a veritable cause 
celehre. Richbill was so • distiirbed in his pos- 
session that he brought an action against the 
people of Hunting^ton, alleging "unjust molesta- 
tion." In 1665 the cause was heard in the general 
court in New York, composed of die Governor 
and his Council and the Trustees of the Peace, 
and was tried by the following jury: Richard 



Gilder&leeve, foreman, and William Hallet, Henry 
Pierson, John Barrows, John Symonds', Edward 
Titus and Thomas Smith, and the lawyers had 
their innings, too — John Rider appearing for 
Richbill, and the Rev. William Leverich for the 
people of Hun'tington. The case presented some 
notable features, involving not only consideration 
of all the various written deeds, but of the evi- 
dence of White'head and his associates, who 
testified that when the Indian c'hief executed the 
deed conveying the Horse Neck region, Horse 
Neck itself 'was reserved to his tribe by a verbal 
provision, and the two days trial rdstilted in a 
verdict in favor of Huntington, and it was de- 
creed that the plaintiff should be mulcted in 
costs. In a subsequent rehearing before the 
Governor and .Council, the following decision 
was rendered: 

The court, having heard the case in difference 
between the plaintiff and defendants debated at 
large concerning their title to a certain pSLVtel of 
knd commonly called Horse Neck, and having 
also seen and perused their -several writings and 
evidences concerning the same, it was committed 
to a jury, who brought in their verdict for the de- 
fendant; upon w-hich the court, demurring, did 
examine further into the equity of the cause, and 
upon mature and serious consideration do find 
the said parcel of land called Horse Neck doth of 
right belong to the plaintiff, it being purchased 
by said plaintiff for a valuable consideration, and 
by the testimony of the first purchasers, under 
whom the defendants claim, was not conveyed 
or assigned by them to the defendants with their 
other lands ; upon which and divers other weighty 
considerations the court doth: decree that the said 
parcel of land called Horse NecK doth belong and 
appertain unto the plaintiff and his heirs, and it 
is hereby ordered that the high sheriff or under 
sheriff of the North Riding of Yorkshire upon 
Long Island do forthwith put the said plaintiff 
or his assigns in possession thereof ; and alll per- 
sons are hereby requested to forbear the giving 
the said plaintiff or his assigns any molestation 
in the peaceable and quiet enjoyment of the prem- 

So Richbill finally came into possession, 
Huntington prosecuting its claim no further. 
The tract in question afterward passed to James 
Lloyd, of Boston, w'ho received from Governor 

Dongan a patent constituting it an individual 
local body, called Queen's Village, but usually 
known as Lloyd's Manor. This manorial au- 
tonomy was extinguished by the revolution. 

After thus tracing the derivation of land titles 
from the Indians, and considering the most not- 
able of the litigation arising therefrom^, we turn 
to the governmental relations of the early colo- 

In 1664 the following patent- was granted by 
Governor Nicolls : 

Ordered, that the town of Huntington shall 
possess and enjoy three necks of meadow land in 
controversie between them and Oyster Bay, as 
of right belonging to them, they having the more 
ancient grant for them. And as it is pretended 
that Checanoe marked out four necks of land 
for Huntington instead of three, if upon a 
joynt view of them it shall appear to be so, then 
Huntington shall mjake over the outmost neck, 
next to Oyster Bay, to the Inhabitants thereof. 


In 1665 at the Hempstead Convention, so 
called, the deputies from the various towns were 
required to bring for examination, by the 
agents of the governor, their evidences of title, 
•and to receive new grants. That for Hunting- 
ton was as follows : 

A Patent granted unto the Inhabitants of Hunt- 

Richard Nicolls Esqr., Governor General un- 
der his Royal Highness the Duke of Yorke and 
Albany, etc., of all his territories in America, to 
all to whome these pr'ts shall come sendeth 
greeting. 1 

Whereas there is a certain Tofwne within this 
Government commonly called and known by the 
name of Huntington, situate and being in Long 
Island, now in the tenure or occupation of sev- 
eral Freeholders and inhabitants there residing, 
who, having heretofore made lawful purchase of 
the lands thereunto belonging, have likewise 
manured and improved a considerable part 
thereof and settled a competent number of fam- 
ilyes there upon, and for a confirmation of the 
said Free'holders and Inhabitants in their enjoy- 
ment and possession of the premises, know ye 
that, by virtue of ye commission and authority 
unto me given by "his Royal Highness, I have rat- 



ified, confirmed and granted and by these pr'sts 
do hereby ratify, confirm and grant unto Jonas 
Wood, WiUiam Leveredge, Robert Seely, John 
Ketcham, Thomas Scu'dmore, Isaac Piatt, Thom- 
as Joanes and Thomas Weeks, in the behalfe of 
themselves and their associates the Freeholders 
and inhabitants of the s'd Towne, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns, all y't lands that already have 
beene or hereafter shall bee purchased for and in 
the behalfe of the Towne of Huntington, either 
from the natives, proprietors or others within 
the limitts and bounds herein exprest : (vizt) 
That is to say, from a certaine river or creeke 
on the West com'only called by the Indyans by 
the name of Nackaquatok and by the English the 
Coldspring, to stretch eastward to Xasaquack 
River; on the north to bee boimded by the Sound 
running betwixt Long Island and the ]\Iaine; 
and on ye South by ye sea, including there nine 
several necks of Aleadow Ground; all of which 
tract of land, together with the s'd necks there- 
unto belonging, within the bounds, limitts afore- 
said, and all or any plantacon thereupon, are to 
belong to the said Towne of Huntington ; as also 
all Havens, Harbors, Creekes, Quarryes, Wood- 
land, Meadows. Pastures, Marshes, Lakes, Fish- 
ing, Hawking, Hunting and Fowling, and all 
other profitts, commodityes, Emolum'ts and He- 
riditam'ts to the said land and premises within 
limitts and bounds aforementioned described, 
belongmg or in anv wise appertaining, to have 
and to hold the said Lands and necks of lands, 
Hereditam'ts and premises, with their and every 
of their appurtenances, and of every part, part 
and parcel thereof, to the said patentees and their 
associates, to the proper use and behoofs of the 
said patentees and their associates, their Heirs, 
Successors, and assigns forever ; and I do like- 
wise hereby confirme and Grant unto the said 
Patentees and their associates, their Heires, suc- 
cessors and assigns all the privileges belonging 
to a Towne within this Governm't, and that the 
place of their present Habitacon shall continue 
and retaine the name of Huntington, by which 
name it shall be distinguist and knowne in all 
Bargains and sales, deeds, records 'and writings. 
Ihey, the said patentees, and their associates, 
their Heirs, successors and assigns rendering and 
paving such dutyes and acknowledgem'ts as now 
or hereafter shall be constituted and establist by 
the Laws of this Colony under the obedience of 
his Royal Highness, his heirs and successors. 

Given under my hand and scale at Fort James 
m Xew York, the 30th day of November, in the 
i8th year of his Majesties reign and in the year 
of our Lord 1666. Richard Nicolls. 


On June 25. 1685, John Palmer, John Royse 
and Richard Cornhill obtained from Governor 
Dongan a license permitting them to purchase 
the lands between Cow Harbor (Northport) and 
P'resh Pond, bounded on the south by the Smith- 
town town, and called Crab Meadow by the 
whites and "Katawamac" bv the Indians. Octo- 
ber loth following, a deed covering this tract was 
made to the parties named, by two Indians, and 
December 23rd of the same year Governor Don- 
gan issued a patent conveying the same bound- 
aries. This territory was within the Huntington 
limits, and' occasioned great disquietude among 
the inhabitants of that town, whoi soon sought to 
reconcile difficulties by admitting Palmer as one 
of themselves, but almost immediately reconsid- 
ered this and left him out in the cold, where he 
appears to have remained, for his claim seems to 
have been extinguished when was executed the 
next patent, now to be considered. 

August 2, 1688, Governor Dongan made a 
confirmatory grant w'hich was remarkable for its 
verboseness and repetitions, written after the 
manner of an embryo legal penny-a-liner. It 
made no boundary alterations, and the confirma- 
tory clause was as follows : 

And by these presents do give> grant, ratify 
and confirm unto Thomas Fleet senior, Epenetus 
Piatt, Jonas Wood senior, James Chichester, 
senior, Joseph Bailey, Thomas Powell senior, 

John Sammis, Isaac Piatt and Thomas , 

Freeholders and Inhabitants of Huntington, here- 
in erected and made one Body Corporate and pub- 
lique and willed and determined to be called by 
ye name of ye Trustees of ye Freeholders and 
Comonalty of ye Towne of. Huntington, and their 
successors, all ye above recited Tracts of Land 
within ye Limitts and Bounds aforesaid, together 
with all and singular ye Houses, Messuages, 
Tenements, Buildings, M^ills, Milldames, fenc- 
ing, enclosures. Gardens, Orchards, fields, pas- 
tures, woods, underwoods, trees, timbers, feed- 
ings and Common of pasture, meadows, marshes, 
swamps, plaines, Rivers, Rivoletts, waters, Lakes, 
Ponds, Brooks, Streams, Beaches, Quarries, 
Creekes, Plarbours, Highways and Easements, 
fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, mines, 
minerals (silver and gold mines excepted), and 
all franchises, profits, commodityes and Herid- 
itaments whatsoever to ye said Tracts of Lands 



and premises belonging or in anywise appertain- 
ing, etc. 

But this unique documient went farther, and 
conferred corporate powers in .such ampUtude 
that no modern "trust" would ask for auglit more 
ail-comprehending. It was to act through trus- 
tees to be elected out of the body of its member- 
ship, and it was empowered to acquire, hold, 
manage and dispose of real and personal property 
and maintain and defend suits at law. It was 
aibo authorized to use a "seale," which was ac- 
cordingly made and has been perpetuated in use 
to the present day — circular, about three-quarters 
of an inch in diameter, bearing in its center the 
town mark, a capital letter ''E," and in the mar- 
gin the letters '*H V N," an abbreviation of 
''Huntington," the second letter being the old 
Roman letter for which *'U" is the present Eng- 
lish equivalent. 

Benjamin Fletcher, wlio became governor on 
December i, 1693, evidently found it necessary 
to do something to disiplay his authority, and he 
began following the example of hr& predecessor 
in requiring the land grantees to make applica- 
tion for new patents. This demand was ac- 
quiesced in by the inhabitants, and Governor 
Fletcher, on October 5, 1694, received from the 
inhabitants his fees of £58, and issued a patent 
covering twenty-six folios, by its terms consti- 
tuting Joseph Bayley, Thomas Wicks, Thomas 
Brush, Jonas Wood, John Wood, John Wicks 
and John Adams "trustees of the freeholders and 
commonalty of our said town of Huntington," 
declaring them to be "the first modern trustees 
and freeholders'," and giving to them and their 
successors, 'forever, "sole license of purchasing 
from ithre natives any land or meadow within the 
limits and bounds next aforementioned." The 
boundaries, however, were not coincident with 
those designated in the former patent, and Hunt- 
ington was bereft of a large strip of its territory 
by the substitution of Fresh Pond for the Nesa- 
quake River as its eastern boundary. The people 
of Huntington "were subjected to considerable 
annoyance, being solicited to protect from rival 
towns the territory of which they had been de- 

prived. They held aloof from all entanglements, 
however, and the people of the disputed tract 
eventually found a place for themselves, as else- 
where narrated. 

September 10, 1708, there, was granted to 
Joihn Johnson, Sr., and John Johnson, Jr, "All 
that tract of land or meadow land on the south 
side of Long Island, bounded east by Huntington 
line, west by Hempstead line, south by the sea 
on the south side of the beach at low water mark, 
north by the bay that parts the beach from the 
meadow." [This is ,south of Oyster Bay, in 
Queen County.] 

April II, 1706, a patent was granted to Isaac 
De Reimer, John Evertse, William Creed, Ben- 
jamin Ashe, Samuel Staats, Peter Fawconier 
and Barent Christianse, for "A tract of land in 
Suffolk County. Beginning at a white oak tree 

near a little called by the Indians Mene- 

copinonup, from thence northward by a path 
called Jeremiah Smith's path, two miles south- 
ward, from thenee westward three miles, and 
from, thence northward two miles and from 
thence eastward three miles upon a square." 
This description seems to be defective, but 
is copied exactly as the original Patent reads. 
The Patent was in thirteen shares oi which Isaac 
De Reimer, Benjamin Ashe and Peter Fawconier 
each owned three shares, the others owned one 
share each. They were all prominent citizens of 
New York, and the tract was popularly known as 
the "Yorkers' Patent." 

It is well at this point, not only with reference 
to the township in which we arc now interested, 
but in order to avoid repetition when considering 
the remaining towns, to point out the manner 
in which individual titles to land were made and 
transferred. As has already appeared, defensible 
legal title was based upon the crown grants, 
whidh were made to individuals named, who were 
made a body corporate. Individual titles were 
long deferred. The expenses attending the pro- 
curement of the patent were met by the parties 
in interest — usually those who had united in 
purchasing from the Indians — and individual in- 
terests were apportioned in proportion to their 
individual contributions to the purchasing and 



patent funds, and these interests were made a 
matter of record. The deeds — the earliest docu- 
ments of their kind — He at the foundation of all 
modern method of conferring title, and, for this 
reason^ the form most frequentlly used is here 
given : 

"To all Christian people, greeting. Know yee 
that we ye under written, having this yeare re- 
ceived a Patent from Sr Edmond Andross, 
Knight, Governor for his Royall Highness the 
Duke of York and Albany, and dated at New 
York in ye 31 day of October in ye yeare 1676, 
in ye behalfe, of our selves and of all the free- 
bdlders Inhabitants of this Towne, who are there 
in called Associates, wherein is contained a con- 
firmation of all ye Lands pertaining to and now 
in the possession of the respective freeholders of 
sd towne of Southold, with all such rights, lib- 
erties, and properties, as are more at large in sd 
patent contained, all which ffreeholders wee doe 
fully own, admit and declare to be our onely as- 
sociates in sd Patent, and no others ; to whom we 
do hereby give full power to, To have and to 
Hold, possess and enjoy, to themselves, their 
heirs and assigns for ever, all such common rights 
as are contained in sd Patent, and all such par- 
ticular shares and allotments which are now in 
their possession, as fully, amply and freely as if 
they and every of them had been therein named. 
And in further confirmation of all their proper- 
ties and shares in the premises, to such our Asso- 
ciates, their heirs forever, we have caused to be 
recorded in the page next following all such par- 
ticular rights, tracts' and parcells of Land as doe 
of right appertain and belong unto them, their 
heirs and assigns in said patent and Township. 
In testimony whereof we the patentees have here- 
unto afiixed our hands and seals, in Southold 
ye 27 day of December in the 28 yeare of the 
reigne of our Sovereign Lord Charles the 2nd of 
England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, 
defender of the faith &c., and in ye yeare of our 
Lord 1676." 

Under the patent of 1694, were created trus- 
tees who, acting for the original [proprietors, 
made division from time to time, and the lands 
so divided were recorded descriptively in the 
town book. When subsequent sales were made, 
seller and buyer went upon the ground, and, in 
token of transfer O'f title, the one gave to the 
other a twig broken from a tree and a fragment 

of turf taken from the soil, thus giving ex- 
planation to the phrase which frequently occurs 
m ancient deeds : "Sold by ye turf and twig." 
And, referring to these primitive customs, Mr. 
Charles R. Street, who has written of the fore- 
going, makes mention of the fact that 'ancient 
deeds, and especially those written on parchment, 
had irregular or scalloped edges, which was due 
to the custom of writing the deeds in duplicate 
on one sheet, and then dividing them by a curved 
line, each party to the transaction taking one of 
these portions. This, in case of the genuineness of 
the deed being questioned, made possible abso- 
lute identification by the perfect fitting together 
of the two sheets, and this gave rise to the for- 
mula used in the outset of legal documents, 
"this indenture," which is perpetuated to the 
present day, albeit the custom to which it re- 
lates no longer exists. It is to be observed that 
the inhabitants of Huntington claimed no patent 
right upon this process — it was a method which 
they had brought with them from their home 
across the sea. 

Leaving this subject, our return is to a time 
in which both writer and reader can take greater 
interest — ^the personality of the early colonists, 
and the manner in which they laid the founda- 
tions of civil order. 

^ Where the pioneer white settlers came fram 
seems most uncertain. Mr. C. S. Street says: 
"I incline to the belief that the first and oldest 
company came across the Sound, perhaps und'er 
the leadership of the Rev. William Leverich 
from the vicinity of New Haven and IBranford, 
landing at Huntington Harbor and locating prin- 
cipally along the valley where the eastern part of 
Huntington village now is, this having been al- 
ways caliled "the town spot" or "old toiwn spot;" 
that the second immigration was an offshoot 
from the Hempstead colony, led thither by the 
Rev. Richard Denton soon after 1640, originally 
from Wethersfield, Massaditi'setts, and for a time 
at Stamford, Connecticut; and the third influx 
came from the vicinity of Salem, Massachusetts, 
after stopping a 'short time in Southold and 
Southampton, principally in the former town." 



However this may be, the various companies of 
settlers came so nearly together that the ques- 
tion of priority is of comparatively little conse- 
quence. They were all English, ■and nearly all, 
if not quite all, were of that class of noncon- 
formists which had been outraged 'by the 
persecution of the crown authorities, and fied 
to America, there to lind a more congenial moral 
and political atmosphere. The greater number of 
them iwere presumably in the very prime of life, 
and were self-respecting, self-relying and enter- 
prising. Many were known as "Master" or 
''Goodmian/' indicating that they were men rec- 
ognized for their worth and as leaders. Perhaps 
the most conspicuous among them was Thomas 
Fleet, for whom it is claimed that he was de- 
scended from Admiral Fleetwood (the original 
form of the family name), who was a man of 
note lin England. He cam'e in 1660, and 
engaged in trading operations witli New York 
and West Indian ports, and was assessed on the 
rate list of the town as the owner of forty vessels, 
besides much land and other pro'perty. He was 
a freeholder, and was one of the proprietors un- 
der the Dongan patent. The Rev. William 
Leverich, whom we have already met in our 
studies, was one of the pioneers and we shall 
meet with him again. Joseph Bayle was town 
clerk for several years, and a captain of the train 
band. Thomas Benedict was deacon, town clerk 
and representative. John ' Budd was at New 
Haven in 1639, engaged in the settlement of 
Southold, and is supposed to have returned to 
England and taken part in the revolution under 
Cromwell. John Conklin was influential in the 
affairs of the town and church ; his son Timothy 
was probably the ancestor of the Conklin family 
of Hdnitington of recent times. Jeffrey Estey 
was the father of Tonsfield Estey, who'se wife 
was (so says Savage) executed as a witch, Sep- 
tember 26, 1692. Richard Latten (or Latting) 
came to Hempstead in 1653, and in 1660 to Hunt- 
ington, whence he was expelled (in 1663) for 
refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of the 
New Haven authorities, and he returned to 
Oyster Bay. His son Josiah became a prominent 
citizen of Oyster Bay, and a daughter married 

John Davis, one of the original proprietors of 
Brookhaven. Jonas Mathews was a ship owner 
and carried on a large trade with the West In- 
dies. Mark Meggs was owner of the old mill, 
which he sold, "having grown ancient and desir- 
ing peace and quiet." Richard Ogden was a part- 
ner with his brother in building a church in New 
Amsterdam, under a bargain made with Gov- 
ernor Kieft. Thomas Powell was a Quaker, and 
at various times held nearly every town office. 
Isaac and Epenetus Piatt were patentees of the 
town and large landowners, and both held many 
important public positions. The Scudder brothers 
— Thomas, Henry and John — were all men of 
prominence and left numerous descendants. 
Thomas Scidmore was probably the first town 
clerk of Huntington. Robert Seeley, after hold- 
ing numerous public positions, was killed in bat- 
tle with the Indians. John Strickland was an 
early justice of the peace. The Titus brothers — 
Abial, John, Samuel, Henry, Content and Ed- 
ward — were all large landholders, and the first 
named was for many years paid for beating the 
drum to call the people to religious services on 
Sunday. Joseph Whitman, from whom de- 
scended the poet, Walt Whitman, was 'sued by 
Henry Whitney for marrying his daughter 
Sarah, "against her -mother's mind," but the case 
was not sustained. This Henry Whitney buik 
the first mill for Mr. Leverich, under contract. 
He was a man of violent temper, and 'became in- 
volved in manv law suits against Leverich and 
others. Jonas Wood of Oram (so called to dis- 
tinguish him from another of the same name) 
was a justice oi the peace under the New Haven 
government and also under the Duke of York; 
he w'as deputy to the Hempstead Convention in 
1665, and held many official positions. 

'Tn the first years of the settlement," says Mr. 
C. R. Street in his "Town Records," Vol. I, p. 
13. "the pioneers built their ruddy constructed 
dwellings around and near the *town spot,' where 
they had a fort and watch houses and where the 
'train hands' were drilled. Their animals were 
daily driven out and herd'ed under guard, some 
in the 'east field,' now Old Fields, and some in 
the 'west field,' now West Neck, and at night 



the cattle were driven back and carailled near the 
watch house. Gradually, however, the more ad- 
venturous pushed out in all directions and made 
themselves homes where they found the richest 
soil and most attractive 'Surrounding^s, and at 
their meetings grants of 'home lots' were made. 
At first the woniien pounded their corn in mortars, 
and the men wroug'ht logs and clapboards for 
building wifh axes and cleavers, but isoon dams 
were constructed across the streams, small mills 
were bui'lt for grinding grain and sawing lum- 
ber, rude tanneries were constructed for tanning 
leather, and spindles or looms were made or pro- 
cured for the manufacture of coarse flaxen or 
woolen fabrics for clothing. The ox-cart was 
their only vehicle for travel and cart-paths their 
only highways. They used wooden ploughshares 
tipped ^^■ith iron. Their match-lock guns were 
even more clumsy than the old flint-locks, but 
some of their swords were wrought by Spanish 
artisans and were tempered with a skill that is 
among the lost arts/' 

Perhaps t'lie most active and prominent per- 
son in that primitive community was W^illiam 
Leverich, who preached to the people, but he was 
necessarily absent from among tbem frequently, 
and, besides, his worldly occupations must have 
occupied quite a part of his time. He built and 
operated the first mill in the town, and seems to 
have been a general merchant, selling cloth and 
other articles. He was an 'able minister, and 
something of a lawyer, for 'he attended to his 
own litigation, which was considerable, and fre- 
quently appeared as attorney for parties in suits. 
His was certainly a strenuous life, as appears 
in part from a narrative of his missionary ca- 
reer, in the preceding volume, and from what is 
to follow. 

When Air. Leverich came to the town, he en- 
gaged Henry Whitney to build a mill for him. 
Whitney was a man of ability and influence, but 
he was of ungovernable temper and possessed 
that unruly member which liias made trouble for 
its owner and those about ihim, In all the days of 
the world. Business disputes arose between the 
two men, and these were presumably intensified 
through Whitney regarding Leverich as an in- 

terloper, for he (Whitney) had been prominent 
in dhurdi affairs 'before the coming of Leverich, 
and he was wont to assert with his caustic tongue 
thiat the town had prospered more greatly before 
the arrival of the newcomer. At any rate, Whit- 
ney entered suit for debt against Leverich, and 
a few days later 'he broiig'ht another action for 
slander. Leverich brought a counter siiit, alleg- 
ing sJander, breach of contract and defamation, 
as well as debt. The evidence was voluminous, 
and s'hows that Leverich had complained bitterly 
that the people ihad not paid him according to 
contract, and that he had threatened to preac^h 
no more in Huntington. Whitney was charged 
wiith saying that Leverich "lived among a com- 
pany of hypocrites and dissemblers," and with de- 
claring that Leverich was guilty of "a breach of 
the Sabbath and profained it." As to the ques- 
tion of 'debt, both recovered a part of what they 
respectively claimed. In the matter of slander, - 
both parties were required to make public ac- 
knowledgment of wrong doing, or pay a fine of 
£5. Mr. Leverich must have emerged from the 
ordeal practically unhurt, for he continued to 
serve the people as minister for ten years after- 

The town as a settled and self-goveniing 
community dates before the Nicolls patent, for 
the town meeting was in operation as early as 
1659. and one would judge from one entry in the 
records that the brethren had advanced so far in 
the art of governing that by 1660 the stocks had 
been built wherewith to detain and punish of- 
fenders. Nor was the- town a theocracy. Its 
early magistrates were elected by the people, and 
if the confirmation of the General Court at Hart- 
ford was asked, it was more in the nature of a 
formality than anything else. The town meet- 
mg at once rose into power. It divided and 
awarded lands, voted allegiance to Connecticut, 
elected deputies to the General Court at Hart- 
ford, made and repaired highways, fixed 'legal 
fees, administered justice in criminal as well as 
in civil cases (thirty trials being recorded up to 
1664) , apparently according to the pioneers' 
ideas of justice until the Duke's laws were forced 
upon them ; elected constables ; ordered fences 



built to keep cattle and hogs from wandering; 
and lined without niercy. The town meeting 
even banished a man, — Richard Latting, — agree- 
ing "that ould Laten shalle take away his cattel 
out of this town bounds wathin a fortnight, or 
14 days, or pay to the town 10 shillings a head." 
His imputed offense was, according to Mr. 
Street, 'his refusal to recognize the 'sovereignty 
of Connecticut, but he must have been a bad man 
clear throug'h, for he was afterward expelled 
from the imm;ediate jurisdiction of Hartford, 
where he had taken refuge, for his "turbulent 
conduct." He then apparently wanted to settle 
in Huntington once more, but the town meeting 
would have none of him, and resolved that if any 
person "shall either by way of gift or paye do 
give or selle entartanement tO' Richard Laten for 
more than the spase of one week every person so 
offending shall pay forty shillings fine for every 
time he shall offend in brakeing this order made 
for the pease of the Town." 

But the most significent evidence of inde- 
pendence was, — as in all of the town meetings 
in the Island towns, — that the meeting was the 
sole arbiter as to who -shoidd settle within their 
domain, and in 1662 the Rev. Mr. Leverich, Will 
Smith, Thoma's Weekes, John Lum, Goodman 
Jones, James Chichester and Jonas Wood were 
(appointed as a committee to pass upon the char- 
acter and credentials of every applicant for ad- 
mission into the little community. No one inter- 
fered with the town meeting's edicts ; it was a 
law unto itself; its verdict was supreme, and 
there does not seem to have been any idea of an 
appeal from its decision to a hig'her court. With 
Governor Nicolls and the Duke's laws tbat state 
of independence pas:sed away. 

The independent spirit of the people is dis- 
cerned at various stages. They assemhled and 
denounced the arbitrary rule of Governor An- 
dros. Nor were they to be deterred, even when 
visited with the condign displeasure of the great 
magnate over at New Amsterdam. Thus, in 
1681, Isaac Piatt. Epenetus Piatt, Samuel Titus, 
Jonas Wood and Thomas Wicks were arrested on 
the order of the Governor, who had them con- 
veyed to New York, where they were committed 

to prison, solely upon his authority and without 
an}^ form of trial ; charged with no offense save 
that of attending meetings of their people called 
to take measures looking to a loyal and humble 
request for a redress of grievances. At a later 
date, the town meeting made an appropriation 
to defray the expenses of their incarcerated rep- 
resentatives and to reimburse them for their loss 
of time. 

But the rights asserted by the people, as ex- 
pressed through their town meeting, finds most 
curious and abundant exemplification when, in 
1689, they became aroused in sympathy for 
Governor Leisler, of unhappy memory, and 
"voted and consented" that one of their number. 
Captain Epenetus Piatt, "shall have by virtue of 
the town's choice, full power to act as civil and 
military head officer of this town" — a virtual de- 
claration of martial law. The first court of which 
we find record was holden on January 10, 1659, 
with Jonas Wood as the magistrate, and he seems 
to have made his residence the seat from which 
justice was dispensed. In the following year 
the justices were John Strickland and Thomas 
Benedict ; Jonas Holsworth was clerk, and Jo- 
seph Jenning was marshal. In the greater num- 
ber, the earlier causes were for debt, but there 
were graver cases which were lieard by the mag- 
istrates. Thus, Jonas M''ood hroug^ht an action 
against Thomas Brush for slander, setting forth 
that the accused had slandered him "in that he 
goeth about to make him pay money twice, and 
also charged him with keeping a false book." And 
the court having heard the evidence "find for the 
plaintiff, and whereas the defendant has sland- 
ered him with that he cannot prove, the defend- 
ant is to give satisfaction in the open court or 
pay five poimcls, with all the costs and charges 
of the court." The record closes with the entry 
"Thomas Brush has given satisfaction," and the 
presumption is that he made due apology and 
saved his money. 

Through the painstaking labor of the early 
annalists there is preserved to us- knowledge of 
the institution of slavery in this region. In 1655 
the Dutch had brought to New York in the ship 
"White Horse." a cargo of black slaves, and this 



was followed by later importations. A number 
of these slaves were brought to Huntington, and 
in 1755 they and their descendants numbered 
eighty-one persons or "head," who were dis- 
tributed among 53 families. Under acts of the 
legislature passed in 1799 and subsequently, 
these slaves were gradually manumitted. 

The history of the town during the later 
colonial days was so prolific of events which 
found their conclusion in the revolutionary war, 
that it is relegated to the diapter upon that sub- 
ject. When hostilities ceased the population was 
only a little over 1,000, and the township's losses 
by the occupation were figured at about £75,000. 
Civil law v^^s quickly restored ; the town meet- 
ing again held its supireme position as the arbiter 
of local afi""airs, and farm and mill combined -to 
make Huntington once more a prosperous as 
well as a peaceful commiunity. By 1790 the 
township had doubled its population, but it would 
seem that some of the newcomers had not proved 
either well-doing or prosperous, or perhaps de- 
serving of neither, for that year the overseers of 
the poor found it necessary to 'buy a building in 
the village for the purposes of a poor-house. 
This house was continued to be used for that 
purpose until 1868, when a poor farm was bought 
at Long Swamp. In 1872 the paupers belonging 
to the township were removed to -the county in- 
stitution at Yaphank, Brookhaven township. In 
the same year the township was divided by the 
general consent of the people, the southern part 
becoming an independent township under the 
name of Babylon. It was said at the time that 
the ireason for this cliange was simply a lack of 
sympathy or coherence between the people on the 
northern side of the township and those on the 
south, but possibly the real re^ason was that the 
Long Island Railroad, when it had completed its 
road from Hicks ville to Greenpoint in 1844, 
practically divided the township into two sections, 
and in 1868 the northern half got a railroad of 
its own by the extension of the branch from 

The seat of all public concerns was what be- 
came known as the village of Huntington. The 

principal interest of the early times clusters 
about the church. Tlie people were Puritans in 
sentiment and Congregationalists in method, and, 
at the same time, intolerant of all religious ex- 
cept their own, and Quakers were particularly 
obnoxious to them. Mr. Leverich was installed 
as pastor in 1657 (but it is probable that he oc- 
casionally officiated for a year or twO' prior to 
that time) and he remained until 1670. For sev- 
eral years the services were held in private 
houses. In 1662 the town ordered the procuring 
of a house for the minister, and it was secured 
the following year and was occupied until 1672, 
when it feM into decay and was converted into 
a public house. The first churc'h edifice was 
built in 1665, on Meeting-House Brook. It was 
a small frame structure and was not heated. The 
church was supported and its buildings^ were 
erected and maintained by a tax levied upon all 
the inhabitants. One of their number, Thomas 
Powell, a Quaker, was bitterly disinclined to aid 
in supporting a religion to which he was in con- 
science opposed, and he stubbornly refused to 
pay his stipend. After six years, however^ he 
was given the alternative of paying or leaving 
the town, and he rehictantly chose the former 

Mr. Leverich was succeeded in the pastorate 
by the Rev. Eliphalet Jones, hut he was chosen 
by the representatives of the town mieeting, and 
as a result of a vote at a town meeting, and not 
so far as we can see on the initiative of the 
dhitrch session and congregation; as such ]\lr. 
Jones ministered in the town until his death, in 
1 73 1. He had then attained the patriarchal 
age of ninety-three years, and his pastorate ex- 
tended over a period of fifty-nine years. It was 
in his time (in 1715) that a new church building 
was erected, and its "bell was probably the first 
ever heard in Huntington. Mr. Jones was fol- 
lowed by the Rev. Ebenezer Prime, who had been 
an assistant to Mr. Jones. During Mr. Prime's 
ministry, the famous' revivalist, Whitefield, 
came to Long Island, and he preached in Hunt- 
ington on several occasions, and left a marked 
influence for good. As Mr. Prime becam'e over- 
taken by the infirmities of age, the Rev. John 



Clo'se (in 1766) became .associate pastor with 
him, and served in that capacity tinti'l 1773, when 
he was dismissed. Services were suspended Avith 
the entry of the British, who. first used the church 
building- as a store house and then destroyed it. 
Mr. Prime, an outspoken and detested ''rebel/' 
was obhged to hastily seek 3, -refuge elsewhere. 

It is said that Mr. Prime was the last min- 
ister settled by the town, and this is doubtless a 
fact, inasmuch as on April 26, 1785, the con- 
gregation organized as "the Corporation of the 
Presbyterian Church in Hun'tington," and elected 
trustees. The first pastor under the Presbyterian 
form' was the Rev. Nathan WoodhuU. In 1863 
the Second Presbyterian Church was organized, 
taking its membership from the parent body. 

In 1746 St. John's Episcopal Church was 
constituted under the name of Trinity Church. 
It was ministered to by the Rev. Samuel Sea- 
bury, rector at Hemip'Stead. In 1749 the first 
church building was erected, and in 1773 the 
Rev. James Greatoai, oi Boston, was called as 
the first sole rector. His widow, an accomplished 
lady, lived for some time in the rectory, and sub- 
sequently married Dr. Benjamin. Y. Prime, 
whom she survived for about fifty years. The old 
church, with its high-backed, old-fashioned 
pews and its antiquated sO'Un ding-board, was re- 
placed in 1 861 with a more modern structure. 

The Methodist Church was erected about 
1830, although a society had held meetings for 
some years previously, and a notable camp meet- 
ing was held near 'the cove at East Neck as early 
as 1814. In 1836 a Universalist society was 
formed, and a church building was erected the 
following year. A Baptist Church was organized 
prior to 1842, and a Cathollic Church was built in 
1870, although services had been held many vears 
prior to that date. 

The first school dates as far back as 1657, 
four years after the first settlement Avas made, 
and this is notable as having been established 
upon the public school system which claims to be 
among the comparatively modern improvements. 
The first schoolmiaster was Jonas Holdsworth or 
Houldsworth, — the same, in all probability, who 
sailed from England to Virginia in 1635, when 

he was twenty years of age, and subsequently 
came to Southo'ld, whence he removed, as early 
as 1657, to Huntington, where he was town clerk 
in 1661, The minute care with which was made 
his agreement to teach, would lead us to conclude 
that the undertaking was regarded as a moist mo- 
mentous one, and it may be inferred that it was 
so much of an innovation that the schoolmaster 
elect was not overly sanguine -as to proper com- 
pensation unless his contract was made in all- 
binding terms. This curiosity of literature and of 
self-protection was as follows : 

*'A covenant and agreement made the eleventh 
day of February 1657 at a Corte or Town meet- 
ing, betwixt 'the Inhabitants of ye Towne of 
Hunttington, of the one partie. And Jonas 
Houldsworth, of the other partie, whereby the 
said Jonas Houldsworth doth engage himself 
to the saide Inhabitants during ye terme of foure 
years, to be expired from the 13 day of April next 
ensueing the day of the date hereof, For to 
s'choole such persons or children as shall be put 
to him for that end by ye said Inhabitants. And 
likewise the said Inhabitants doth alsoe engage 
themiselves to the said Jonas Houldsworth for to 
build him a sufficient house, and to give liira with 
ye said house a percell of grounde adjoining to 
it for accommodation thereunto. And further- 
m.ore the said inhabitants doth likewise engage 
themselves to pay unto said Jonas Houldsworth, 
and in consideration of his said schooling, twenty- 
five pounds (English accompt) and "his diet the 
first year, and also tO' allow him what more may 
come in by }'e schooling of an}- that come from 
other parts. The said twenty-five pounds is to 
be paid ye said Jonas as followeth : Three pounds 
twelve shillings in butter at six pence ye pound, 
and seven pounds two shillings in good well 
sized merchantable ^vampum, that is well strung 
or strand, or in such comodityes as will suite him 
for clothing. These to be paid him by ye first of 
October, and three pound twelve shillings in 
corne, one-half in wheat and ye other in Indian, 
at three and five shillings ye bushel (provided it 
be good and merchantable), to be paid by ye first 
of Alarch. Also ten pounds fourteen shillings in 
well thriving young cattle, that shall then be be- 
twixt two and four years old, the one half being 
in the steare kind, — these to be delivered him 
when the yeare is expired. And also the two 
next ensuing yeares To pay the said Jonas 
Houldsworth Thirty-five pounds ye yeare, with 
ye foresaid alowance of what may come in by 



such as come from other parts. The said Thirty- 
five pounds is to be paid as followeth, viz. : five 
pounds in butter at six pence ye pound, and ten 
pounds in such wampum as is above mentioned, 
or in such comodityes as will suit him, — these all 
to be paid by ye first of October ; and five pounds 
in come by ye first of March, the half in wheat 
the other in Indian, at five and three shillings per 
bushel (so that it be good and merchantable) ; 
and fifteen pounds in well thriving cattle betwixt 
two and four years old, the half being in ye steare 
kind, — these are to be delivered when ye yeare 
is expired (being valued by indiferent men). 
And the fourth or last yeare to pay the said Jonas 
Houldsworth forty pounds in such pay as is 
above mentioned, according to tlie nature and time 
proportionately, and at the foresaid times of pay- 
ment. Also it is agreed of that firewood be got- 
ten and brought for the schoole when ve season 
shall require it, by such as send their children to 
school ; and that the said Jonas Houldsworth 
shall have liberty yearly for to choose foure men 
that shall be bound to him for the true perform- 
ance of the foresaid engagement." 

But the people seem to have been intent upon 
the establishment of their school, for a building 
was soon erected. 

A splendid efl^ort in aid of education was 

Western view of Huntington Village, 

made about -1793, when some fifty of the leading 
citizens of Huntington built a two-story building 
with a belfry — a most imposing edifice for the 
times — and instituted "the Academy." The school 
was designed to afford such instruction as would 

fit the }'outh to enter colleges, and it fulfilled its 
mission most successfully for about half a cen- 
tury, numbering among its teachers some of the 
most capable educators of their day. The hon- 
ored old building was razed to the ground about 
1857 to make way for a modern union school 
building, and the old bell was transferred to the 
engine house of the Huntington Fire Company. 
Among the benefactors of old Huntington was 
Nathaniel Potter, a man of great excellence of 
character and a genuine humanitarian. Dying 
in T841, his will gave $10,000 to the Presbvterian 
Church and a like amount to be expended in the 
education of poor children in the town. A por- 
tion of this educational bequest was applied to 
the support of the Academy, so long as it existed, 
and afterward to the support of the union school. 
It was subsequently transferred to the public 
school fund. 

Huntington has been notable for its early 
journals. In 1821 Samuel A. Seabury estab- 
lished the "American Eagle," which in 1825 
came into the hands of Samuel Fleet, and was 
transmogrified into the much-titled "Long Isl- 
and Journal of Philosophy 
and Cabinet of Variety." Thi.^ 
name, perhaps, was a handi- 
cap, for in 1827 it was 
changed to "The Portico," 
and two years later it lapsed. 
In 1838 appeared "The Long 
Islander,*' with one for editor 
who was afterward destined 
to be numbered aniong the 
poets of America — A\'alt 
Whitman, a native of West 
Hills, in the town of Hunt- 

The modern village of 
Huntington is more properly 
a city, and a thriving one, 
proud of its past and more than hopeful as to its 
future — one of the most important towns on the 
Long Island Railroad. With a population of 
4,000, it has eight churches, exceptional educa- 
tional advantages, including a well-equipped 



academy, two newspapers, a bank, and numerous 
well sustained benevolent and fraternal associa- 
tions. Handsome private cottages abound, and 
beautiful 'homes have been built up by prominent 
New Yorkers and Brooklynites. There are spa- 
cious and well managed hotels and a number of 
pleasant homes, open to the summer sojourner. 
Well supplied stores of various descriptions sup- 
ply all wants from those of necessary to tho;se 
of luxury. 

Among, the adornments of which the people 

men of Huntington who gave their lives for their 
country during the Civil war. 

Huntington Bay is about a mile from the vil- 
lage, and is one of the most delightful "bits/' as 
a landscape painter might say, along the coast 
of Long Island Sound. *'As a whole/' to quote 
a graphic writer (Scribner's Magazine, May, 
1881), "it resembles the track of a bird. The 
rear claw is the narro'w. entrance from the sound; 
the center of the foot is the main body of water, 
and three or fo-tir claws are spread from this 

(By Permission of Long Island Railroad Company.) 

of Huntington are proud, is a massive boulder 
of their procuring, appropriately carved, com- 
memorating the youthful patriot, Nathan Hale, 
whose tragic fate is known by every schoolboy 
in the land, and is told in our Revolutionary war 
chapter. This eloquent appeal to patriotic sen- 
timent finds a fitting counterpart in a fine public 
library raised to the memory of the gallant young 

w-estward, southward and eastward. Each long, 
narrow harbor is diversified with many points 
and coves that surprise you as you explore it. 
You pass farther and farther inland, among the 
wooded hills and along thQ clean sand beaches. 
A. slopijng field here and there, an orchard cov- 
ering a low farm-house or a villa on a command- 
ing knoll, are minor points in the changing pano- 













rama of the shores. In-and-out, in-and-out, is 
the course of land' and water; and in ;their de- 
vious way they play many tricks at hide-and-seek, 
and draw you on from nook to nook by the most 
attractive pictures. At last you reach the head 
of the harbor, with its 'sa'lt meadow of waving 
grass, its old tide mlill, its pond, and the shady 
village sheltered antong the encircling hills. You 
can explore still farther with pleasure by follow- 
ing the roads and lanes through scen'es of unusual 
beauty. The road may skirt the beach of a sand- 
locked bay bordered with forest ; it may lead 
past old farm houses, orchards and typical barn- 
yards ; or it may mount the hills of a b-eadland 
or neck commanding extensive views of tortu- 
ous harbors, rounded headlands, long tongues of 
white sand dividing the blue water, the wide 'hor- 
izon of the continent, and the sound stretched 
eastward to the Atlantic." 

Northport, formerly Great Cow Harbor, has 
a Presbyterian Church with a record dating from 
1794, although it was not always located in the 
village. The most famous 'of its ministers was 
the Rev. Joshua Hartt, w'ho held forth to its 
people from about 1780 until 1809, by which time 
the congregation bad dwindled down until only 
a 'handful remained. The Rev. N. S. Prime, the 
historian of Long Island, then becam^e pastor 
and succeeding in reviving it so that at the con- 
clusion of his stay of eighteen months it 'had a 
membership of forty. The Rev. Mr. Hartt con- 
tinued to act as "pulpit supply" until his death, 
in 1825. He was a great "marrying minister," 
for some reason or other, and probably mated 
more couples in Huntington than any other cler- 
gyman, one record placing the number as high 
as 500. The town is beautifully situated upon a 
body of water which formis a portion of Hunting- 
ton Bay, and is ^ place of considerable import- 
ance with numerous manufactories. One of its 
chief industries is the Edward Thompson Pub- 

lishing Company, one of the largest law publish^ 
ing houses in the United States, employing sev- 
eral hundred people. 

Cold Spring Harbor is a quaint and attrac- 
tive village, situated' upon a lovely bay of the 
same name, which is one of the noblest estuaries 
of the sound. The surroundings are as charming 
as those of the Lake of Como. The shores at 
times are wide lawns of velvet, sloping gradually 
back into broad parks of green to an elevation 
overlooking the waters for many miles. At Cold 
Harbor the BrooMyn Biological Laboratory has 
established a sumfmer course of study, and many 
eminent scholars lecture here upon topics per- 
taining to biological science. Students from the 
best families of the State attend in large num- 
bers, making of this antique village a modem 
college tO'wn. Like many of the old seaports 
of Long Island, Cold Spring Harbor was once 
tlie seat of an extensive oil industry. Scores of 
arctic whalers were fitted out at 'this, point for 
their perilous voyages to the north, and among 
the inhabitants of the village are yet to be found 
numbers of old salts, those rugged and hardy 
characters of the Eastern' shipping population 
which made the American seaman typical tlie 
world over. Near the village are three large 
fresh water lakes, and here the State has estab- 
lished one of its principal fish hatcheries, the 
product of which reaches many millions a year 
and serves to bountifully replenish the waters 
of the sound and vicinity with a constantly in- 
creasing store of the finny tribes. 

There are several other smaller settlements 
all through the township. It possesses many 
splendid agricultural sections, but its glory lies 
in the part lying between the railroad and the 
coast, and in that portion of the township there 
is little doubt that rapid and wonderful devel- 
opments are certain in the immediate future. 




TRICTLY speal^ing, the history of 
Babylon township only commences 
with ]\Iarch 13, 1872, when she was 
constituted to the dignity of a sej)- 
arate community with the following as her 
boundary lines, according to the act oi the Leg- 
islature : 

On the north by a line commencing at the 
boundary line between the towns of Hunting- 
ton and Oyster Bay, one mile north of the 
line of the Long Island Railway, and running 
thence easterly and parallel with said Long 
Island Railway until it reaches a point on the 
boundary line between the towns of Hunting- 
ton and Islip one mile north of the Long Island 
Railroad; on the east by the town of Islip; on 
the south by the 'Atlantic Ocean ; on the west 
by the town of Oyster Bay; the eastern and 
western boundaries being the lines now estab- 
lished and recognized as the town divisions of 
the said several towns respectively. 

The land surface is remarkably level except- 
ing along the ocean front, which is 'bordered 
with sand dunes, and an inland ridge known as 
the Halfway Hollow Hills. The central portion 
was covered with a heavy pine 'forest until the 
railroad era, w^hen numierous ifires occurred, 
mostly kindled by sparks from locomotives, caus- 
ing great destruction to the pine timber, and there 
are now only found thick, tangled scrub oaks 
and stunted pines. Only a small portion of this 
kind of land is under a good state of cultivation. 
The soil is mostly a sand loam. The land is 

easily cleared, and is adapted to the growing 
of grain and root crops, and probably in a few 
years large tracts will be cleared and' cultivated. 
The marsh land portion of the town adjoins the 
northern and southern sides of the Great South 
Bay. The tract on- the south side of the bay ad- 
joins the beach, and extends the entire length of 
the town ; it is but about a half -mile in width, 
and the land is overflowed at 'high tide. 

Down to the time of the enactment of the 
law separating it from Huntington, as before re- 
lated, the general history of Babylon is contained 
in that of the parent town. It had its revolution- 
ary experiences and heroes, it had its little ex- 
citements in 1812, and it contributed its full pro- 
portionate share to the heroes who went to the 
front in the Civil war, yet these are part of the 
history of Huntington and only belong to Baby- 
lon in a sort of reflected light as the glory of 
Shakespeare and j\[ilton belongs to the literature 
of America. And yet it had and has an identity 
of its own, and is not to be treated lightly simply 
'because it hoasts no antiquity as a political di- 
vision. The ancient land titles are in large part 
covered by the early transactions which have 
been told of in connection with Huntington, but 
some of these are to be referred to herein tO' pre- 
serve the symmetry of 'the local narrative, and 
to avoid turning to other pages, and certainly 
the Babylon tract figured as extensiveh^ as a 
land dealing region as any upon Long Island. 

A number of-tjhe original deeds given' by In- 



dian chiefs for land in this town are emong the 
town records of Huntington. One dated June 
5, -^657, between Jonas Wood, of Huntington, 
and "Meantaquit [Montauk] sachem," witnesses 
that Wood, for himlself and his neighbors oi 
Huntington, "bought five necks of land lying 
next adjoining to Massapaugs sachem's land," 
giving for it ''twenty coats, twenty howes, twen- 
ty hatohet'S, twenty knives, ten pounds of pow- 
der, ten pounds of l-ead, and one great settell, 
and one hat, present in hand; and doth furtiher 
promi's to give the above said sachem' every year 
a coat for six years next ensuing," 

A deed dated July 23, 1657, m;ade between 
Jonas Wood and Wyandanch, "the sachem of 
Secotaughe," conveyed to Wood for himself one- 
half neck of a meadow lying "betwixt a river 
that bounds the necks bought by the inhabitance 
of Huntington eastward and so to trees that are 
marked, being next going to Masisapeqs sachem's 
land," "for and in consideration oif one new gun 
and one pistol and two pounds of powder." Tliis 
deed was "signed in ^the presence of John Strick- 
line, John Lion." 

May 12, 1659, Wyandanch confirmed the sale 
last mentioned, speaking of the land as "that half 
neck from the water along the creek into the 
highway that headeth it." The deed of confirma- 
tion was signed, sealed and delivered in the pres- 
ence of David Gardiner, Jeremiah Conklin and 
Lion Gardiner. 

Ey deed dated August 17, 1658, the same 
sachem "sold to Plenry Whitney, of Huntington, 
for the use of the whole town of 'Huntington 
three wOiole necks of meadow land lying on the 
southward side of this town, and westerly by 
the six necks which were bought before;" and 
sent his "agent Oheoanoe to deliver upon condi- 
tions as followeth: first they shall pay or cause 
to be paid to me or my assigns these following 
goods punctually, that is — first, twelve coats, each 
coat being two yards of tucking cloth, twenty 
pounds of powder, twenty dutch hatchetts, twen- 
ty dutch howes, twenty dutch knives, ten shirts, 
two hundred of muxes [awl blades], five pairs of 
handsome stockens, one good dutch hat, and a 

great fine looking glass; and for Checanoe for 
his wages and going to mark out the land shall 
have for himself one coat, seven pounds of pow- 
der, six pounds of lead, one dutch- hatchet, as 
also seventeen shillings in wampum." 

A most unique document, and one which 
might well arouse a query as to tihe real under- 
standing of the Indians of the papers which they 
.subscribed, is a deed of July 12, 1689, whereby 
Jeffery, Will Chepie and Whawacem, Secatouge 
Indians and proprietors of a neck of land lying 
on the south side of the island commonly callled 
Santepauge, with the consent of Pamequa and 
Wampas, and the rest of the owners of that neck 
of upland, "for the kindness and great love" 
they had unto Captain (Epenetus) Piatt, Thom- 
as Wicks, Jonathan Rogers, Sr., Nathaniel Fos- 
ter and the rest of 'fhe owners of the meadow 
line of that neck aforesaid," conveyed to them all 
that "tract or parcel of land aforesaid from 
the edge of the fresh meadow southward unto 
the Indian path, northward as now it is, and 
from the river eastward that parts Guscomgi- 
raram from the said Sautapague and unto 
the river westward that parts Sautapague 
and OSfaguntepague;" stipulating "that the up- 
land aforesaid may be equally divided with every 
English owner of mieadow and upland ans*wer- 
able to their proportion of meadow, to the end 
that the English and Indians may not be tres- 
passers one to the other but that there may be 
neighborly love continued between English and 
Indians. * * * Whereas it is said in the 17 
line the upland to be divided according to the 
proportion of meadow, it was a mistake — the 
upland is to every man alike according to the 
intent of the Indians." 

A deed dated July 13, 1689 "witnesseth that 
Jeffrey, the Indian living at Secotauke — ^that be- 
ing the name that it is commonly called by" — 
had sold to Robert Kellum' of Huntington "eight 
acres of land at Neguntatagu-e, he having a right 
there whensoever the Indians see cause to sell 
it. And the said Jeffrey doth engage that the 
said Robert Kellum' s'halil have this eight acres 
of upland at the south end of the neck above 


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mentioned where the said Robert Kellum' shall 
see cause to take it in." This was witnessed by 
Jonathan Harnott and Elizabet3i Whitte. 

On November 5, 1689, Waudias, Pamequa, 
Chippas, Will Cheepye, Wamerweeram and 
Peetawas, chief heads of the Sequatogue In- 
dians, "sold to Jonas Ward, Sr., Thomas Fleet, 
Isaac Piatt and Captain Piatt, oi Huntington, 
**a certain neck of meadow land lying and being 
on t'he south side of this island eastermO'St of 
all the purc'hased necks, comimonly called or 
known by the name of Sampawams [Sumpa- 
wans] bounded on the south side with the sound 
[here meaning the Great South Bay], the east 
■with a river or creek, and north witb the Indian 
path that now is the west with a river or creek. 
We ma}' say all tlie aforesaid neck of meadow 
land, both fresh and salt, with its upland within 
the bounds, and wood 'for sellars, gards and 
firings above the Indian path, unto the said Jonas 
Wood sen. and others, their heirs & assigns ; and 
the use of the town of Huntington, for and in 
consideration of the sum of fower score and ten 
pounds, in silver or goods at silver prices, all in 
hand secured before the selling and delivery 
hereof." This was the neck of land now 'occu- 
' pied by that part of the village of Babylon lying 
south of Prospect street. 

Alarch 7, 1691, subsequent Indian convey- 
ances to land now in Babylon township were 
made to Robert Kellum; to Epenetus Piatt, Rich- 
ard 'Brush, Jonas Wood and Thomas Brush ; to 
John AA'ood ; to Jonas Wood ; to John Ketcham 
and Jonas Piatt; to John Ketcham, James Chi- 
chester and Timothy Conklin, Sr. ; to Thomas 
Fleet and Nathaniel Foster; and toothers. One 
of the most important sales took place as late as 
April T4, 1702, when the town trustees bought 
the Sampaunes .Creek tract, north of Pro'spect 
street, in the village of Babylon, and south of the 
Long Island Railroad, and subsequent purchases 
from the Indians were made as late as 1705, 
when (November 20) the native 'proprietors con- 
veyed to the town of Huntington a tract on the 
south side of the 'island upon a neck called 
Naguntatogtie ; "bounded on the south side by 
land lying above the meadows purchased by the 

town of Huntington aforesaid; bounded on the 
north by the heads of the two swamps and the 
last land purchased by the town of Huntington; 
bounded on the east by the river that parteth 
this said neck and the little neck ; to them as 
tenants in comm/on, without any pretense of joint 
tenancy or survivorship ; always providing * 
* * that it shall be lawful for the said Indians 
to hunt on ye said land." 

Mr. James M. Cooper, the local historian, 
has remarked that it is doubtless true few if 
any dwellings or other buildings were erected 
in this portion of Huntington previous to the 
year 1700. The land first purchased on the south 
side was bought by the settlers on the north shore. 
They bought the marshy necks of land on the 
South Bay, which were then and are now cov- 
ered with an abundant growth of salt sedge 
and black grass. These lands at that period ap- 
pear to have been more highly prized by the in- 
habitants of the town than the uplands. The 
farmers were in great need of hay with which 
to feed their domestic animals, and English 
grasses were but little cultivated on Long Isl- 
and until about 1800. The early yeomen spent 
the early portion of the fall months in cutting, 
curing and carting the hay from these marshes 
to their north side homes, ]\Ir. Cooper also said 
that it is rather a singular fact, although more 
than two centuries have elapsed since the town 
has been settled by the white race, and its west- 
em limits are only about thirtv* miles from New 
York City, more than three-quarters of the land 
in the town remains in an uncultivated state, 
that portion which is cultivated being on the 
eastern and northwestern parts and along the 
southern or post road. This was said three dec- 
ades ago, nor has there been a marked change 
since then, much of the land yet lying idle. The 
population has increased, however, from 4,739 
in 1880, to 7,1 T2 in 1900, the advance being fully 
apace with the remainder of the county, except- 
ing those villages which have attracted an un- 
usual number of newcomers through their su- 
perior residential advantages. 

The principal interest attaches to the village 



of Babylon, situated in the southern portion oi 
the town, on Sum/pawams Neck, and now having 
a population of 2,157. ^^ would appear that tihe 
village was given its name in the form of New 
Babylon, in 1803, by Mrs. Conklin, the mother 
of Nathaniel Conklin, but its prefix "New" has 
been discarded. 


The first house erected on the site of the vil- 
lage was probably the Heartte residence, about 
1760. In the following ten years a number of 
others had been built, but they were so few that 
the settlement was not regarded as worthy of 
the designation of hamlet, let alone village. The 
Heartte family were owners of large tracts at 
and in the vicinity of Babylon, and Nehemiah 
Heartte resided on the home place during the 
Revolutionary war. One of his sons, Philip, re- 
moved to Troy, New York, and Jonas, son of 
the latter named, became mayor of that city. 

But, insignificant as it was in these far^back 
days, the village preserves some interesting rem- 
iniscences of old-time worthies who were upon 
its ground. The -old Conklin house, the oldest 
in the place, and, perhaps, in the county, was 
built by Captain Jacob Conklin, about whose 
name is a glamour of romance as before related. 
Conklin purchased a large tract of land from the 
natives, of which the farm late the property of 


Colonel James F. Casey is part, and upon wh'ch 
the venerable mansion above alluded to is sit- 
uated. The house was probably erected about 
1710, and every part of it bears evidence of its 
antiquity. The high hill behind the dwelling 
commands a splendid though distant view of the 
ocean and bay. Near by are several fine springta 
of water, one of which is said to be of 
medicinal character. 

Captain Conklin married Hannah 
Piatt, of Huntington, by whom he 
had several children, among them Col- 
onel Piatt Conklin, who was an ardent 
patriot during the Revolution. The 
latter had only one child, Nathaniel, 
who was sheriff of the county. He 
was the third owner of the premises 
above described. This property de- 
scended to the grandchildren of 
Sheriff Conklin, thus having been 
owned by four successive genera- 
tions of the family. It has since 
been owned by Dr. Bartlett, formerly 
editor of the "Albion," Colonel 
James F. Casey, and Ulysses S. 
Grant, Jr. 
Babylon was also the home of one of the 
most distinguished patriot soldiers of Long Isl- 
and — Colonel Abraham. Skinner. When the 
revolutionary struggle began, he was a young 
lawyer in New York City, his birthplace. He 
was of excellent family, related to the Van 
Cortlandts, De Peysters and De Lanceys. 
When twenty years of age (in 1773) he mar- 
ried Miss Catherine Foster, of Jamaica. He 
was an ardent Whig, and gave his hearty 
support to the patriot cause. He was on terms 
of personal friendship with Washington, Gen- 
eral Nathaniel Greene and other worthies of 
those stirring times. Washington made him a. 
commissary of prisoners, and he represented bis 
government in all relating to the exchange of and 
treatment of the unhappy men incarcerated in 
the prisons of New York and on board the prison 
ships in the harbor. He subsequently acted as 
quartermaster and an account book kept by him 
while he was acting in that capacity shows a 



marked resemblance of handwriting to that of 
Washington. This book is now in the posses- 
sion of Mr. James B. Cooper, of Babylon. Dur- 
ing the New Jersey campc^ign, Skinner held the 
rank of captain, and^ for a time, served as secre- 
tary in the. field to the illustrious commlander-in- 

After the close of the war Colonel Skinner 
took up his residence in Jamaica, whence he re- 
moved about 1808, to Babylon. He represented 
Queens county in the state assembly in 1784 and 
1785, and about three years later he was ap- 
pointed clerk of that county, serving until 1796, 
and he also served as master in chancery. He 
was a successful lawyer, and an orator of high 
ability. He was a stanch Federalist, and, in com- ' 
mon with the great majority in that party, he 
was strongly opposed to the second war with 
Englanid. While that war was at its height the 
Rev. Joshua Hart, of Smithtown, a famous 
preacher of his day, came here and filled the 
pulpit of the old Presbyterian Church, now occu- 
pied as a dwelling by the Misses Sammis. 
"Priest" Hart, as he was termed, in his sermon 
made a strong plea for the vigorous prosecution 
of the war, defending every act of President 
Madison. Colonel Skinner was present and was 
much displeased at the sermon. At its close he 
took the Rev. Mr. Hart to task for it, but the 
venerable divine would not retract anything he 
had said, and the argument that ensued was quite 
spirited. The clergyman and the old soldier 
were friend's of long standing, however, and the 
dispute on that occasion did not disrupt their 

Colonel Skinner's promotion to a colonelcy 
at the close of the Revolutionary war did not 
carry increase of pay, and it was not until twenty 
years after the war closed that tlie first pension 
act was passed, and Skinner had become desper- 
ately poor. The first pen'sion law provided only 
for the compensation of such officers as were 
known to be in need, and to take advantage of 
it a very humihating declaration was required. 
Skinner avoided asking for a pension as- long as 
possible, but was finally obliged to do so, and 
when it was awarded him he lived in comparative 

comfort, although the amount was small. The 
pension ceased with his death and his widow 
was left in almost destitute circumstances. His 
death occurred in 1825 and his remains were in- 
terred in the cemetery adjoining Grace Church, 
in Jamaica. No stone was ever placed over his 
last resting place and it is doubtful if the exact 
location of his grave is known. He left no chil- 
dren, his only child' — a son — ^^having died' in his 

Another worthy of the same day was Cap- 
tain Joel Cook, who died in the village on De- 
cember 8, 1851. He was a native of Connecticut, 
and was sixteen years of age when the Revolu- 
tionary war began. He sought to enter the arriiy, 
but was rejected on account of his undersize and 
youth, but managed to gain the favor of a conti- 
nental officer, whom he accompanied as a body 
servant. A year later he entered the ranks and 
bore arms during the continuance of the war. 
In 1 81 2 he formed a company in New Haven, 
Connecticut, and was commissioned captain. He 
fought in several engagements, including the 
battle of Tippecanoe, in which Tecumseh, the fa- 
mous Indian warrior, was killed. He was of the 
garrison at Detroit, and was among the troops 
surrendered by General Hull. He was held pris- 
oner in Canada for a time, was exchanged, and 
returned to service, Ini 1814 he was inspector 
of customs at Hartford, Connecticut. In .1840, 
while a resident of Yonkers, New York, he was 
the guest of honor at a Fourth of July banquet, 
and upon that occasion Hon. W. W. Schrugan, 
afterward a judge of the supreme court, acting 
on behalf of the citizens, presented to the veteran 
a gold medal, which bore the following inscrip- 
tion : 

"Presented to Capt. Joel Cook, by the citizens 
of Yonkers, in honor of his patriotic services in 
defense of libertv. July 4, 1840. 

"At the Battles of Danbury, White Plains, 
Trenton, Stony Point, Springfield and Tippe- 

The activity of the modem village was coin- 
cident with the opening of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. In 1 80 1 Nathaniel Conklin built a tannery, 



and a cloth mill was set in operation about 1810 
by Timothy Carll. About the same time Abra- 
ham S. Thompson kept the principal store; he 
subsequently became a prominent merchant in 
New York City. It was also near this time that 
an inn was opened by Jesse Smith, and the busi- 
ness then established is still known as the Amer- 
ican House. It has, perhaps, from the historian's 
point of view, a more interesting- record than any 
existing house of entertainment on Long Island, 
It was one of the stopping places in the days 
prior to 1841 of the coaches carrying the mails, 
and was then a popular place of "refreshment for 
mian and beast." Among its many distinguished 
guests mention is made of Prince Joseph Bona- 
parte, ex-King of Spain and a brother of Na- 
poleon the Great, who in the course of a tour 
through Long Island in 1816 put up at the hos- 
telry for -several days — longer than he intended 
to — but he was overtaken^ by a sudden illness. 
This distinguished individual traveled around 
with a good deal of style, and his illness was 
doubtless a most fortunate source of increase to 
the week's financial returns. An Italian gentle- 
man was his traveling companion, and in his 
train he had several carriages. The vehicle in 
which he rode was drawn by four splendid 
horses ; another carriage carried' his cooks and 
other servants, and the third was loaded with sil- 
verware, wines and cooking utensils. The Prince 
was in search of a piece of property on which 
he might settle, but apparently was unable to 
find what he wanted and continued the search 
elsewhere, finally locating at Bordentown, New 
Jersey. In 1840 a much greater man than this 
kmg, who had retired from business, was a guest 
for a night at the American House — the immor- 
tal Daniel Webster — who rested at Babylon- "Wfhile 
on his way to arouse the Patchogue Whigs into 
a proper condition of enthusiasm. This he did, 
for on such an expedition failure with him was 
an impossibility. 

The Presbyterian Church of Babylon claims 
an existence since 1797. That was when the 
Presbyterian Church government was effected by 
the election of a session and trustees, and the 
charge of the congregation was formally as- 

sumed by the Presbytery of Long Island, April 
II, 1797. It seems to have been an offshoot 
from a congregation which in 1730 built a church 
in Is'lip township. Its first house of worship was 
demolished by the British soldiers during the 
Revolutionary war, the miaterial being taken to 
Hempstead and used in the erection of barracks. 
A new edifice was built about 1783. In 1797 the 
congregation was ministered to by the Rev. Mr. 
Gleason, who also conducted services at Smith- 
town. Of but limited education, he was a pleas- 
ing speaker and a companionable man, and his 
popularity was increased by his service as a chap- 
lain in the Continental army. In 1804 he was 
brought to trial for intemperance, and on confes- 
sion of his faults and promise of reforrnation he 
was continued in the pastoral office. Two years 
later more grave charges were preferred against 
him, and the trial, which continued for fiy& days, 
created much feeling in the community. Being 
found guilty and put under sentence of suspen- 
sion he was again charged with iflagrant of- 
fenses, whereupon he refused to stand trial and 
was deposed. A portion of the congregation re- 
sented this action and sought his reinstatem'ent, 
and this failing, a division of the church took 
place, and the differences were not reconciled un- 
til several years later. 

The Methodist congregation dates from 1840, 
and Trinity Episcopal Church from 1862, „ but 
that parish was afterward merged into that of 
Christ Church, "West Islip. The Baptists founded 
their church in 1872, and St. Joseph's Roman 
Catholic -Church dates from 1878. 

The first pO'Stoffice was establis'hed in the early 
part of the last century, and was known for a 
score of years as Huntington South. The first 
postmaster was Major Timothy Carll. The first 
newspaper was the "Suffolk Democrat," founded 
in 1859 by Hon. John R. Reid, who removed the 
material from Huntington, where the paper had 
been previously published. Various manufac- 
tures are carried on and oystering and clamming 
are important industries. 

The Babylon of the present day is a beautiful 
spot, located directly upon the Great South Bay, 
enjoying the uninterrupted and unoontaminated 



breezes from' off the ocean. The village is much 
sought by ipermanent residents and summer so- 
journers of the most desirable classes. Vast ho- 
tels have sprung up, some of them' among the 
most perfectly fitted up and most beautifully at- 
tractive of any near the metropolis, golf links 
have been laid out .and sporting clubs of all sorts 
have been organizied, notable among the latter be- 
ing the Westminster Kennel Club. The vicinity 
has also its attractions, and even the sandy wastes 
of Oak Island and M'uncie Island have been 
adapted to the uses of man, transformied into 
health or pleasure resorts. At Muncie Island is 
the famous 'Muncie Surf Sanitarium. Steamers 
ply between Babylon and Fire Island and Oak Isl- 
and, and near by are the elegantly appointed 
buildings of the Wawayanda and Short Beach 
Clubs, and made up in greater part of New York 
and Brooklyn men of affairs. 

Amitwille, which was once known as West 


Neck, seems also to have had its origin in a grist 
and saw mill, and dates back to about 1780. It 
had an inn as early as the date of Washington's 
tour through Long Island, for we read in Onder- 
donk's ''Annals" that the Father of his Country 
''dined at Zebulon Ketcham's Huntington South 

and begged the landlord to take no trouble about 
the fare, and on leaving gave a half Joe and a 
kiss to his (Ketcham's) daughter." The present 
village must be classed as a modern town. Its 
oyster business is large and prosperous, its hotels 
are modem and well appointed, and its health 
sanitarmms are famous all over the country. It 
has all modern improvements in the way of splen- 
did roads, electric lights and boating and fishing 
appliances for pleasure seekers, and attracts a 
yearly increasing colony of summer residents of 
the highest social class. 

One of the famous institutions of Long Isl- 
and is located at Amityville — the Long Island 
Hotel, designed for the treatment of those dis- 
ordered mentally. Its founder was John Lou- 
den, a native of 'Maine. His early years were 
given to mercantile pursuits in his native town. 
During the Civil war he served with a Maine reg- 
iment. His was a varied career for some rears 
afterward. He was an advance 
agent for Cooper Brothers' cir- 
cus, and he was a deputy mar- 
shal and aided in the capture of 
the notorious St. Alban's bank 
robbers. In 1869 he took up his 
residence in Babylon, Long Isl- 
and. For six years he was su- 
perintendent of the Suffolk 
County Alms House in Yap- 
hank, and in the management 
of that institution he introduced 
numerous important innovations, 
conducting it with rare intelli- 
gence and himianity. He em- 
ployed the inmates in labor on 
the county farm, to the improve- 
ment of their health and morals,, 
and to the financial advantage of 
the taxpayers by reducing the 
expense of maintaining the pau- 
pers. His success in this field led to 
his appointment as deputy superintendent 
and afterward as superintendent of the work 
house at Blackwell's Island, and he was 
subsequently general inspector of the charita- 
ble and correctional institutions of the city 



of New York. In 1881 he became superintend- 
ent of the hong Island Home Hotel at Amityville, 
an establishment which primarily grew out of his 
efforts. It was a calling for which he was emi- 
nently well fitted. While superintendent of the 
alms house at Yaphank he had the care of many 
demented persons, and his experience with them 
led him into new methods of treatment. Realiz- 
ing their helplessness, his humane feelings were 
touched, and he devoted his attention to ame- 
liorating their condition, banishing the straight 
jacket and other scientific modes of torture, and 
substituting kindly treatment, and finding his 
reward in evident improvement in many cases. 
In his new establishment, entirely under his own 
control, he continued the same manner of treat- 
ment, with greater opportunity of observing par- 
ticular cases and caring for them in the light of 
their individual necessity. It need only be fur- 
ther said that his work has been a real boon to 
a class of afflicted humianity which is absolutely 
unable to minister to itself. 

Two miles north of Amityville the Roman 
Catholic sisterhood of St. Dominick founded a 
community upon a sixty-acre tract of land, and 

upon which were erected a massive building 
costing $256,000, including the Church of the 
Rosary, the convent, the novitiate, the orphanage 
and the apartments for the aged. The corner 
stone was laid May 8, 1878, and the dedication 
took place March 3, 1879, the Rev. M. May, 
vicar general, officiating. 

Lindenhurst, formerly Breslau, only dates 
back to 1869, when it was founded as a German 
colony, with manufacturing as its feature, and 
that feature it still retains. It now has a popu- 
lation estimated at 1,080, an increase of only 
about 100 in a decade. It is, however, a thriv- 
ing place, and well adapted as a manufacturing 

South Oyster Bay, under its modern name of 
Massapequa, has within the past few years as- 
sumed considerable importance as a summer res- 
idential village, with its fine hotel and many beau- 
tiful and attractive villas. It has an estimated 
population of about 500. Deer Park, with an 
estimated population of 275, West Deer Park, 
with 200, North Babylon, with 257, and May- 
wood, with 60, are among the other settlements 
in this township. 










(By favor of W. L, Mathieson, Esq.) 




N the town records of SoutharnptoiT, 
und>er date of October 26, 1643, occurs, 
the following: 

"It is ordered that Thomas Hyldrefli 
shall satisfy unto Mr. Smith to the value of three 
pounds and twelve shilings and four pence, to bee 
payd unto him in English w'heate after the rate of 
foure shillings by the bushell betwixt this and the 
first of March, and that this order shall bee a 
finall ende of all matters of Controversie what 
soever betwixt them." 

Such is the first mention made of a man who 
was destined to act an important part in the 

history of Long Island. Of his previous history 
we know absolutely nothing, and the most care- 
ful ;ah-d painstaking investigation has failed to 
throw any light on the subject. He is said by 
some historians to have come from a certain vil- 
lage in Yorkshire, England, but the evidence is 
not sufficient to warrant us in stating it as a 
fact. How long he had been in Southampton 
before the above date is not known, but he had 
time enough to become involved in a contro- 
versy with one of its inhabitants. On March 7, 
1644, the men of Southampton were divided into 
four "Wards" for the purpose of cutting up 



whales cast upon the shore. Richard Smith 
was in the "fourth Ward/' and in 1653, when 
they were divided into four ''Squadrons," for 
the same purpose, he was leader of the first 

From the very first he seems to have been a 
leader in the settlement. His home lot was one 
of the most eligible in the town. The fact that 
he owned a full proprietor's right shows that 
he was a man of means, and the title of ''Mr." 
(then much more than an unmeaning compli- 
ment) is sufficient indication of his social posi- 
tion. In 'March, 1647, he was one of the "five 
men" appointed to lay out land, and on October 
7, 1648, he was chosen freeman of the town, and 
thus became a member of the General Court and 
eligible to any office. On December 17, 1651, 
he was prosecuted by Mark Meggs "in an ac- 
tion of slander and defamation," but the judge 
decided in his favor. In November, 1648, he 
was one of the general committee to regulate the 
laying out of land on the "Gre^t Playn^s/''and 
in 1649 he held the same position. 

January 11, 1650, Deborah Raynor entered a 
suit for breach of promise of^inarriage (the first 
probably that ever occurred '^'in Long Island) 
against "John Kelly, carpenter," who assured her 
that his fonner wife was dead, but, wheri, brought 
before the Court, and it was proved that she was 
still living," he^"atterripted to exclase bimself by 
saying that he meant shee was deade in tres- 
passes and sinnes," a plea which did not save 
him from well merited punishment. Mr. Smith 
was one of the arbitrators who levied upon him a 
very substantial fine to be paid to Deborah for 
her injured feelings. 

On October 7, 1650, by vote of the General 
Court, he was chosen constable, an office at 
that time of great dignity and honor. Shortly 
afterwards he had a suit against Thomas Doxy, 
and won the case, which must have been of some 
importance, as he gained £15 6 shillings and 2 
pence damages. On May 3, 1654, he was grant- 
ed an addition to his home lot. His entire ca- 
reer in Southampton shows him to have been a 
man of active enterprise, foremost among his 
equals, and of the same rank as Edward Howell, 

Lion Gardiner and Richard Woodhull, the three 
famed leaders of Long Islafid settlements. Fin- 
ally, on September 17, 1656, occurs the follow- 

"It is ordered by ye General Court that Rich- 
ard Smith for his irreverent carriage towards the 
Magistrates, contrary to the order, was adjudged 
to bee banished out of the Towne, and hee is to 
have a weeke's liberty to prepare himiself to de- 
parte, and if at any time hee bee found after 
that limited weeke within the Towne or the 
bounds thereof, hee shall forfeit twenty shillings." 

It seems, however, that the magistrates 
thoug'ht better of it, and did not insist upon his 
leaving within the specified time, for some weeks' 
later he was still in the town, and engaged in a 
controversy with Henry Pierson. What was the 
real nature of his offense we do not know. It 
is very evident, however, that there was noth- 
ing of a criminal nature connected with it. His 
offense Avas simply what would now be called 
a very aggravated case of contempt of court. His' 
whole career shows him to have been a man 
of most determined will and great persistency of 
purpose, and it is quite possible thJat he mav 
have disobeyed some order which he cor 
unreasonable, and may have used la 
toward the court that was more emphal 

Upon leaving Southampton he seems 
sold his house, lot and meadows to Maj( 
Howell, and they remained in the posse; 
his descendants for many years' after. P 
place of residence was Setauket, where, 
for a tieighbor Richard Woodhull, who t 
\nously lived in Southampton. His dwelling 
place 'was' on the west side of the street, and no 
doubt the exact spot could be identified With a 
little antiquarian efi'ort. The great aspiration of 
his. life seems to have been a desire tO' be an ex- 
tensive landholder, and to possess a domain of 
which he was to be the sole owner and free from 
the domination of other jurisdictions. 

It is proper to remark here that Richard 
Smith has be,en wnitten of by some historians as 
two entirely different persons. The first is Rich- 
ard' Smith, who was an early owner of a wide 



lot on the north side of Pearl street, in New 
York, near Hanover Square. He and his son 
of the same name went to Rhode Island, and are 
frequently mentioned in the records of that col- 
ony. The other Richard Smith was a Quaker, 
who, it seems, had lived in Southampton and had 
gone to Massachusetts, whence he had been de- 
ported to Long Island, as an ''emissary of Sa- 
tan/' -He is known in Southampton as "Richard 
Smith, of North Sea,'' and is mentioned in the 
East Hampton records. As he was an illiterate 
man who signed his name with a mark, it is need- 
less to say that he was not the patentee of Smith- 
town. The history of Smithtown begins at a 
period somewhat later than the other eastern 
towns on Long Island. 

At the time of the settlement by the whites 
in 1650 it was inhabited by the Nesaquake or 
Nissequogue tribe, who dwelt on bofh sides of 
the Nissequogue River, from its mouth to its 
head in the southern part of Hauppauge; as far 
east as Stony Brook and as far west as Fresh 
Pond and Gomac, The tribe and the river de- 
rived their name from Nesaquake, an Indian 
sagamore, the father of Nasseconset, the latter 
being the sagamore at the tinne of the convey- 
ances to the whites hereinafter referred to. 

The first conveyance of these lands found on 
record was made by Nasseconset in 1650. In that 
year he and his councilors madfe the following 
first Indian deed : 

Articles of agreement between Nasseconseke, 
Sachem of Nesequake, of the one part, and Ed- 
mond Wood, Jonas Wood, Jeremy Wood, Tim- 
othy Wood and Daniel Whitehead of the other, 
and Stephen Hudson. 

This writing witnesseth that I Nasseconsack, 
Sachem of Long Island, do sell and make over to 
the aforesaid partyes, Edmond Wood, Jonas 
Wood, Jeremy Wood, Timothy Wood, Stephen 
Hudson and Daniel Whitehead, a certaine quanti- 
ty of land, beginning at a River called and com- 
monly knowne by the name of Nesaquake River, 
and from that River Eastward to a River called 
Memanusack, lying on the iNorth side of Long 
Island, and on the South side from Conecticott 
foure Necks westward ; promising, and by vertue 
of this writing do promise, that the aforesaid 
partyes shall quietly possess and enjoy the said 

quantityes of Land without any trouble or dis- 
turbance from any other Indyans whatsoever. 
In consideration of which land, we the aforesaid 
Partyes do promise to pay unto the aforesaid 
Naseconsake, Six Coatts, Six flathom of Wam- 
pone, Six Howes, Six Hatchetts, Six knives. 
Six kettles, one hundred Muxes, to be paid on 
or before the 29th of September 1650. 

Attached to the above deed is the following: 

I Jonas Wood do hereby testifie, that I and 
Jeremy Wood and Daniel Whitehead went to 
view the foure Necks of meadow, lying west- 
ward from Conecticutt River, mentioned in the 
bill of Nessaquake purchase, and there lived an 
old Homes and his sonne whose name was 
Wanequaheag, who owned those Necks and we 
told them that Naseconsake had undertaken to 
sell us those four necks, and they seemed 
very willing. Jonas Wood. 

May 2S, 1663. 

This deed covers the territory between Nis- 
sequogue River and Stony Brook. The grantees 
sold parts of their purchase to other parties, as 
will be hereafter seen. At that time Wyan- 
danch, the great sachem of Montauk, was the 
acknowledged ruler of all the other sachems on 
the east end of Long Island. All the smaller tribes 
paid tribute to him, and it was generally under- 
stood that no conveyance of land was vaHd with- 
out his concurrence. In many instances he held 
the title to the lands by gift or purchase from the 
subordinate chief, and conveyed those lands to 
the whites in his own name; and in others he 
joined with the lesser sachems or sagamores of 
the tribes in conveying the lands within his jur- 
isdiction. Wyandanch and his tribe were in con- 
stant dread oif the Pequots and Narragansetts, 
warlike tribes of Indians on the Connecticut 
shore, between' whom and the Montauks was 
waged a continuous warfare, by reason of which 
the Montauks were so much reduced in numbers 
as to be in danger of annihilation, and were 
obliged to leave their possessions at Montauk 
and seek refuge and protection among the whites 
at East Ham'pton. In one of the incursions of 
the Narragansetts across^ the sound they seized 
and carried off into captivity the daughter of 



Wyandanch on the evening of her wedding. 
Lion Gardiner, patentee of Gardiner's Island, the 
first white man Who settled on the east end of 
Long Island, had been on intimate terms with 
and -commanded the respect of the Connecticut 
Indians while commander of the fort at Say- 
hrook. After his purchase of Gardiner's Island 
he acquired the confidence and respect of the 
Montauks, and was their friend and counsellor 
in all their troubles. By his interposition the fair 
Indian miaiden was surrendered by her captx)rs 
and restored to her grief-stricken father. In re- 
turn for this' kindness Wyandanch gave to his 
benefactor a deed for the Nesaquake lands. The 
original deed was discovered by the late Caleb 
Smith, of Comae, among his father's papers. He 
presented it to the Long Island Historical Soci- 
ety, and it hangs in the society's building in 
Brooklyn. It is as follows r 

East -Hampton, July 14th, 1659. 
Be it known unto all men both English and 
Indians, especially the inhabitants of Long Isl- 
and, that 'I, Wyandance, sachem of Paumanack, 
with my wife and son Wyandanbone, my only 
son and heir, having deliberately considered how 
this twenty-four years we have been not only ac- 
quainted with Lyon Gardiner, but from time to 
time and from much kindness of him by coun- 
cell and advice in our prosperity, but in our great 
extremity, when we were almost swallowed up of 
our enemies — then, we say, he appeared to us not 
only as a friend, but as a father in giving us his 
mbney and goods, whereby we defended our- 
selves, and ransomed my daughter ; and we say 
and know that by this means we had great com- 
fort and relief from the most honorable of the 
English nation here about us ; so that, seeing we 
yet live, and both of us being now old, and not 
that we at any time have given him anything to 
gratify his love and care and charge, we 
having nothing left that is worth his accept- 
ance but a small tract of land left us, we desire 
him to accept for himself, his heirs;, executors 
and assigns forever. Now that it may be known 
how and where this land lyeth on Long Island, 
we say it lyeth between Huntington and Se- 
tauket, the western bound being Cow Harbor, 
easterly Acatamunk, and southerly crosse the 
island to the end (of the great hollow or valley, 
or more than 'half way through the island 
southerly; and that this is our free gift and 

deed doth appear by our band mark under 
written. Signed, sealed and delivered in the 
presence of 

Richard Smythe. 
Thomas Chatfield. 
Thomas Tat.mage. 

Wyandance F M his mark. 
Wyandbone III, his mark. 

The sachem's wife S. M., her mark. 

It seems that Lion Gardiner sold this tract 
to Richard, as is mentioned in a deed from the 
Sachem Nesatesconsett (the same sachem named 
as Nasseconseke in the deed to Edmond Wood 
and others) as will be seen. It will be noticed 
that Richard Smith was one of the witnesses 
of the deed given to Lion Gardiner, and there 
can be little doubt but that the whole affair had 
been prearranged between Gardiner and Smith. 
Richard Smith lost no time in applying for a 
patent for bis lands from Governor Richard 
Nioolls and received the following : 

A confirmation of a tract of land called 
Nesequauke granted unto Richard Smith of 
Long Island. 

Ricb'ard Nicholls, Esq., Governor, under his 
Royall highness James Duke of Yorke &c of 
all his Territories in America ; To all to whome 
these presents shall come isendeth greeting. 
Whereas there is a certain parcel or tract of 
land situate, lying and being in the East Rid- 
ing of Yorkshire upon Long Island, commonly 
called or known by the name of Nesaquake 
Land, Bounded Eastward with the Lyne lately 
runne by the Inhabitants of Seatalcott as the 
bounds of their town ; bearing Southward to a 
certaine ffresh Pond- tailed Raconkamuck, 
from whence Southwestward to the Head of 
Nesaquauke River so ffar as it is this present in 
ye possession of Richard Smith 'as his proper 
right and not any wayes claymed or in con- 
troversy betweene any other persons; which 
said parcell or tract of land (ambngst others) 
was heretofore given and granted by the 
Sachems or Indyan proprietors to Lyon Gardi- 
ner of Gardiner's Island, deceased, and his 
heirs, whose interest and estate therein hath 
beene sold and conveyed unto Richard Smith 
and his Heires, by vertue of which hee claymes 
his property; and whereas the commissioners 
authorized by a Genall Court held at Hertford 
in his Maties Colony of Connecticot did here- 



tofore — That is to say in ye month of June 
1664 — make an agreement with the said Rich- 
ard Smith; That upon the conditions therein 
exprest hee the said Richard Smith should 
-place Twenty ff amilyes upon the said land ; 
Now know yee that by vertue of the commis- 
sion and authority given unto mee by his 
Royall Highness the Duke of Yorke, I do rat- 
ify and confirme the said agreement, and do 
likewise hereby give, confirme and graunt 
unto the said Richard Smith, his heirs 
and ^ assignes the said Parcell or Tract 
of land called or knowne by the name 
of Nesaquauke Lands, bounded as aforesaid, 
together with all the lands, wood's, meadows, 
Pastures, Marshes, Waters, Lakes, fhshings. 
Hunting and Ifowling, and all other profHtts, 
commiodityes and iEmoluments to the said parcel 
or tract of Land and Premisses belone:ing, with 
their and every of thdr appurtenances and of 
every part and parcell thereof. To have and to 
hold the said Parcell or Tract or Land, with all 
and singular the appurtenances, unto the said 
•Richard Smith, his Heirss and Assignes, to the 
proper use and behoof e of the said Richard 
Smith, his Heires and assign's for ever, upon the 
condition & Termes hereafter exprest. That is to 
say : That in Regard there hath arisen some dis- 
pute and controversy between the Inhabitants of 
the Towne of Huntington and Captaine Robert 
Ceely of the same place concerning that Parcell 
of land lying to ye westward of Nesaquauke 
River, which for the consideracon vertue of the 
aforementionied Ao;reement was to enjoy, But 
now is molested and hindered in the quiet Pos- 
session thereof. The said Rich'd Smith shall 
bee oblieged to' Settle onely tenne ffamilyes on 
the land's before mentioned withini the space of 
three years after the date hereof. But if it shall 
hereafter hapjpen that the said Richard Smith 
shall cleere his Title and bee lawfully possest of 
the premises as; aforesaid, that then hee the 
said Richard Smith shall settle the full number 
of Twenty familyes within Five yeares after such 
Clearing of his Title, and being lawfully Possest 
as aforesaid, and shall fulfill whatsoever in the 
said Asrreem't is required. And for an encour- 
agement to the said Richard Smith in his settling 
the ffaniilyes aforementioned the Plantations 
upon the said Nassaquauke Lands shall, from the 
first settlement untill the expiration of the Terme 
or Termes of years, bee free from all Rates or 
Taxes, and shall have no dependence upon any 
other place; fcut in all respects have like and 
equall priviledges with any Town within this 
Governm't, Provided always That the said Rich- 
ard Smith, his Heires and Assignes shall render 

and pay such other acknowledgements and 
dutyes as are or shall be Constituted and Or- 
dained by his Royall Highness the Duke of 
Yorke and 'his Heires, or such Governor or Gov- 
ernors as shall from time to time be appointed 
and Sett over them. 

Given under my hand and Seale at ffort 
Tames in New Yorke this 3d day of March in 
the Eighteenth yeare of the Rayne of our Sov- 
ereign Lord Charles the Second by the Grace of 
God King- of England, Scotland, ffrance and 
Ireland, Defender of the ifaith &c., and in the 
year of our Lord God 1665. 


The next thing Smith did was to perfect his 
Indian title. A reservation which was claimed 
was extinguished by the following : 

This writing witnesseth, that v/hen Nasses- 
conset sould that part oi land on the est siede of 
Nessequage River unto Jonas, Jerime, Timothy 
wood, and daniell whitehead, and others, that 
then my sayed unkle did Resarve half the sayed 
Neck, called and Knowne by the name of Nese- 
quage neck, to himselve and Nesequage 
Indiens, to live and to plant on. I Nas- 
sekege, being sole ihaire to all " Nassesconset's 
land on the Est siede of Nesequage River, doe 
by these pressents for me and n 
make over all our interest in the sayed 1 
unto Richard Smith, of Nessequag, S' 
same to; have and to hould, to him and 
forever; and Nassekege doth further i 
my knowledge that Nineponi share was 
apoyntel Nesaconnopp and myse 
apoynted by young Nassescorisett Tny 
Joynt haires to them both, to mark tl 
of Neseequag land ifor Richard Smitt 
did doe it acotding to the saels which 
formerly made unto Raoonkumake, a f 
aboute the midle of long Island, aoordmg to 
the order that they 'both did give to us, being 
acompanied with John Catchem and Samuel- 
Adams and Mawhew, to mark the trees— aperell 
6th 1664. I Nassakeag, doe owne that the above 
saied was wittnessed by Richard Odell, and Rich- 
ard Harnett doth promis to own the above saied 
before the governor or any else, Nasskeag X 
mark having Reserved full satisfacktion for the 
premisees to his content. 

witnes MassetuseX his mark. 

the wrieting above was owned by Nase- 
keage and IMassetuse to be true in my presens. 

Richard Woodhull. 
Dorothy Woodhull. 



Nasseconset, the Nesaquake' sagamore, 
claimed that in his deed to Wyandanch of the 
Nesaquake lands he had reserved to himself a 
strip of land at the west side of and adjoining 
the river, indicated byniarked trees, and made 
complaint to the commissioners of Hartford, then 
sitting as a court at Setauket, that Richard 
Smythe had taken from him his land. The com- 
missioners did not decide the controversy, but 
recommended Smythe to buy up the Indian claim. 
Beitig a shrewd and careful business man, Smythe 
was unwilling to buy and pay for what the saga- 
more might be unable to deliver to him — a clear 
title; so he hurried off to the Montauks to in- 
vestigate the sagamore's claimi. The Montauk 
Indians had removed from Montauk to the "calf 
pasture" at the south end of East Hampton vil- 
lage, where they had been scourged and greatly 
reduced in numbers by th'e smallpox, and Wyan- 
danch's widow and the young chief Wyancom- 
bone were two of the victims. The tribe then re- 
moved to a place then and now known as the 
Indian highway, at the west side of the 'head of 
Three-mile Harbor. Here Smythe 'found the 
young squaw at whose restoration he had assist- 
ed ; after sharply cross-examining her in the pres- 
ence of several Ea^t Hampton people he became 
satisfied tjiat Nasseconset's claim was meritorious 
and he hastened home-arid settled 'with him for 
a gun, a kettle, te'h coats, a blanket and three 
handfuls of powder and. shot. Before the deed 
was executed another , claimant^ . enjoying the 
euphonious xame of Catawumps; appeared. But 
he was quickly silenced by throwing in two more 
coats, and Smythe received the following deed : 

Whereas Richard Smith of Smithfield hath 
bought. all the land between Huntington Harbour 
and Nesaquauke River of Lyon Gardiner, as may 
appear by a deed bearing date '63, Nasettecon- 
sett, Sagamore of Nesaquauke, complaint to ye 
commissioners of Hertford at a court held at 
Seatalcott in- '64 that Richard Smith had taken 
away his land. And did then owne that he had 
given Catawaunuck [Crab Meadow] to Wyan- 
daunce, for the said Lyon Gardiner's use, which 
was by Mr. Odiell and others Bounded as may by 
marked trees appear. But Nassetconsett .said 
that the Land betweene those marked trees and 

Nesaquauke River was his. The Court advised 
me to buy the Land of him, in case he had not 
sold it before ; whereupon I Rich'd Smith went to 
sipeake with ye Sauck Squaw. ■ She did before 
many of East Hampton owne that Nesaquauke, 
Sagamore, did give Catawamuck to her ffather 
Longe ago; and that hee Nassetconsett did give 
the other part, unto Nesaquauke River, to her 
Brother Wogancombone ; But finding nothing 
under his hand to show, and shee owning him to 
be the true Proprietor at first, I thought good to 
buy the sSid Land of Nessateconsett, and have 
agreed with him for one Gunn, one Kettle, tenn 
Coates, one Blankett, three hands of powder, and 
three handfulls of Lead. 

These are to certify that I Xessetsconsett, 
Sagamore of Nesaquauk, have for me and my 
heires sold all of my land on the West side of 
Nesaquauk River with all the Benefits and Priv- 
ileges of Land and water, unto Richard Smith 
of Smithfield and his Heirs or assigns forever, 
and have rec'd pay for the same to my content: 
Whereas Catawump doth lay clayme to half the 
aforesaid Land, It is agreed that he is to have two 
Coates more, and so doth joyne wth Nassetconsett 
in the Sale. And do both agree for us and Our 
Heires, to maintaine the right of Richard 
Smith and his heires, for ever, in all the land^ 
aforesaid, reserving the liberty of Matts, 
Canooes, and Eagles and Deare Skinns Catcht in 
the water; by canooes is meant Indyan Built, that 
is to say, rack; this 'to my selfe and heires. 
Witness' our hands and Scales 'May 4th, 1665. 
The mark ^of Nesatesconsett, 
CatawumpSj his mark.' 
Tanatingo_, his mark. 
Witness: — Richard ^^''ooDHULL. 
Daniell Lane, 
Quarter X Sachem, 
' marke. 
Mcinorand: — That ye Land afore mentioned 
was bought and part of the Pay delivered neare a 
yeare before the Signing hereof. 

This deed is recorded in the office of the Sec- 
retary of State, Liber 2 of Records, page 121. 

Lion Gardiner died in 1663, and the follow- 
ing is endorsed upon the original deed fronl 
Wyandance to Lion Gardiner : 

Memorandum, That I David Gardiner of 
Gardiner's Island, do acknowledge to have re- 
ceived satisfaction of Richard Smythe of-Nisr 
saquake for what concerns me in the within 



written deed. In witness whereof I have set my 
hand this 15th day of October 1664. 

David Gardiner. 

The following extract from the records of 
East Hiampton throws mtiich light upon the pur- 
chase from Lion Gardiner : 

Jeremyah ConkHnge, Deposed Testifyeth, 
that Mr. Richard Smith of Nessaquauk, came to 
my mother Gardiner's house and fell into dis- 
course with her about a parsell of land which 
he had bought of Mr. Lyon iGardiner, lying be- 
yond Nessaquauk. Mr. Smith said he thought 
he should meete with a great dele of trouble 
about the land. Mrs. Gardiner made answer of 
this, rather than shee would have any trouble 
about it she would let thie bargain bee voide, or 
to that purpose. Whereupon Mr. 'Smith said 
that he would have the bargain stand and he 
would paie according to the agreement with her 
husband, and he would take all the trouble on 
himself. Which agreement was that Mr. Gardi- 
ner sould to Mr. Smith all his right in that ipar- 
sell of land. This testimony was taken at East 
Hampton this 21 day of March 1670-1, before 

John Mulford. 
Justice of the Peace. 

The date of the above conversation is not 
given, but it was probably before tbe release 
from David Gardiner, and seems to indicate that 
no formal deed had been given by Lion Gard- 

The controversy between Richard Smith and 
the town of Huntington was of long continuance. 
In 1656 "on or about the last day of July," Asha- 
roken, the Matinecock sachem, sold to Jonas 
Wood and others, for themselves and the rest of 
their associates, "all the meadows, fresh and salt, 
lying and being upon the north side of Long Isl- 
and, from all former bound's. Cow Harbor ito 
Nesaquake River." The patent given to Hunt- 
ington by Governor Nicolls, 'November 30, 1666, 
describes that their boundaries "were to stretch 
east to Nesaquake River.'' Ricbard Smith, rely- 
ing upon his title obtained from Lion Gardiner, 
brought suits for trespass against persons who, 
under the claim of Huntington, were occupying 
lands at Fresh Pond. Some of these suits were 

tried at Southampton, and finally, about 1670, 
came to the court of assizes. The claim of Hunt- 
ington was sustained as far easitward as Nese- 
quake River, upon condition that Huntington 
settle families there within three years, and a 
systematic effort was made to comply with these 

In 1674 the Dutch recaptured New York and 
Richard Smith appealed to the Dutch govern- 
ment for a new trial. In this Smjith claimed 
that Huntington had produced a false' bill of sale 
in Assepokin's name, and several false witnesses. 
The principal claim, however, was that the land 
"did not belong to Assepokin, ye Matinecock Sa- 
chem, but to Nasetconset, the Sachem of Nese- 
quake," who sold the land to Smith "by order 
of Mr. Winthrop and Hartford Commissioners," 
and that under this "he had possessed it peace- 
ably for 7 or 8 years." The land in controversy 
was bounded west by Whitman's Hollow & 
ye Fresh Pond." The summons was doubtless 
written in the Dutch language and was served 
upon 'the inhabitants of Huntington. They re- 
turned it with this reply : 

Neighbour Smith of Nesaquag: by this ye 
may understand that you left a paper, for, as you 
say, the towne, in the hands of Joseph Whitman, 
written in an imknown tongue to us; 'from 
whence it came or what it is we know not, 
neither what you intend bv it we know not, but 
this we know — yt we shall take no notice of it, 
neither can do; and if you would have us to 
know your mind you must speak and write in a 
known tongue to us. Likewise take notice yt 
we have and intend to know more fully shortly yt 
you and yours have acted the part of the cur- 
rish nabour by usurping with impudence and 
shameless^ bouldness, to come upon our ground 
and to seize upon our grass for your own use, 
an unheard of practice, andi never practiced by 
honest men; therefore we doe by these protest 
against your course, and we are resolved first to 
defend ourselves and our estates from the hands 
of violent aggressors, which is no more than the 
law of nature and nations allowes. Secondly, 
when the season comes you may expect to have 
and reap the due defeat of such demerits. 

from Huntington July 17:74 

It is not to be supposed that his neighbors of 



Huntington were as ignorant of t'he contents of 
this summons as they professed to be. The 
Dutch governor and council appointed "Mr. 
Jan Lawrence, merchant oi this city, Mr. Rich- 
ard Cornwell of Flushing, Mr. Richard Odell 
and Mr. Thomas Townsend, magistrates of Oys- 
ter Bay and Setalcot," as commissioners to ex- 
amine the case and report. 

Before this was done New York was restored 
to the English. A new trial "was granted to 
Richard Smith in October, 1675, and the court 
decided that the lands in question belonged in 
equity to Richard Smith, 'and he was to be put 
in possession if they were not otherwise deliv- 
ered up. The present inhabitants were to have 
leave to stay till the first day of May, and to have 
all their crops. "However, the said land to bee 
within the jurisdiction of iHuntington as within 
their patent, though the property is adjudged to 
the plaintiff." Accordingly, the land was laid 
out by Thomas Wickes in obedience to the order 
of the court of assizes, the west bounds to be 
**from the west most part oi Joseph Whitman's 
Hollow and the west side of the leading hollow 
to the Fresh Pond Unthemamuck, and the west 
side of the pond at high water mark." Some 
years before this a new individual had appeared 
on the scene. This was the notorious Captain 
John Scott, whose numerous escapades had kept 
the various towns on Long Island in hot water. 
His favorite scheme was to pretend ownersfhip 
of lands and then sell them to unwary people 
who found others in possession with a better 
title. It was not strange that he should profess 
some claim to the lands purchased by Richard 
Smith, who, to quiet matters, executed the fol- 
lowing : 

This writing Witnesseth an Agreement Be- 
tween Capt. John S'cott of Ashford, and Rich- 
ard Smith sen. ejusdem. That all that (tract) of 
land once in the possession of Lion Gardiner, 
and lying Between Cow Harbour and Neesa- 
quak River, shall be equally divided between 
Captain Scott and ye said Richard Smith, ye 
said Captain John Scott being to pay to Rich- 
ard Smith ye sume of twenty five pounds, sterl- 
ing upon Demand, next after this date Nov. 22, 
1663. further ye said Captain Scott is to enjoy 

ye said tract of land to him and his heirs for- 
ever, and wee doe bind ourselves to doe anything 
that may tend to ye Strengthening of our right 
in ye premises. Witness our hands ye date afore 

Richard Smith. 

John Scott 
Witness : Thomas James, Henry Pierson. 

Know all men by these presents that Whereas 
I Richard Smith of Asbford alias Setauket on 
Long Island, bave by writing bearing date No- 
vember 22 1663, made a full and firme Covenant 
with Caplain John Scott of ye said Town, Es- 
quire, Concerning ye lands I bought of Lieuten- 
ant Lion Gardiner, which said lands are a cer- 
tain tract lying and being Bounded between ye 
river Neesequauk and ye head of ye Cow Har- 
bour, ye next river south or south east from 
H.unttington, and distant about three miles from 
ye said Hunttington, and ye said Captain John 
Scott being by ye said agreement to have halfe 
ye said land upon a just Division for which he 
is to pay me Twenty five pounds, and whereas 
hee ye said Captn: Scott did lay Claime to all 
ye said tract of land I purchased aforesaid, by 
vertue of Bargaine with ye said Lieutenant Gar- 
diner formerly. By meanes whereof hee ye said 
Captin John Scott became debtor unto him^ ye 
said Lyon Gardiner. I say I ye forenamed Rich- 
ard Smith doe hereby bind tny selfe, my heirs 
&c. that neither ye said Lyon Gardiner nor any 
in his right or name sball molest him ye said 
Captain Scott or his heirs &c. in Respecte of ye 
said Bargain or Covenant between them concern- 
ing ye said lands, and I further bind my selfe my 
heirs &c never to make any claim' of interest in 
3''e said proportion of lands made over as afore 
said, by ye said Covenants. Witness my hand 
this 22d November anno Domini, 1663. 

Richard Smith. ' 

Witness: Henry Pierson, Richard Howell, 
John Yungs. 

Captain John Scott afterward reached the 
limit of his power to make trouble, and abscond- 
ed and left the country. He had married De- 
borah, daughter o'f Thurston Raynor, of South- 
ampton (the same Deborah Raynor who had the 
suit against John Kelly, as stated before), and had 
abandoned her. The governor and council ap- 
pointed her brother, Joseph Raynor, and Rich- 
ard Howell "to gather in the estate of Captain 
John Scott for the use of his wife and children." 
They sold to Richard Smith all "the rigbt that 



Scott ever had to the land on the west side of 
Neesequage River for £25 S'terling, November 29, 
1667, and this ended the episode. 

In 1676 a claim .was made to these lands on 
the strength of the deed given by the Indian 
sachem to Edmiond Wood and others. These 
parties had sold an equal share of th€ lands to 
"Mr. Thomas Willett and Mr. Padie, merchants 
of Plymouth," September 4, 1650. In 1676 John 
Saffin, as administrator of the estate of Captain 
Thomas Willett, "appeared in the secretary's 
office on August i6th and entered claim to two- 
eighths parts of all the land called Nessaquage." 
As no further mention is made it is presumed 
that Richard Smith obtained their interests. 
Thomas Willett released all his cl'aims to the 
heirs of Richard Smith. Daniel Whitehead and 
John Wood, son of Timothy Wood, sold all 
their rights to Richard Smith March 3, 1684-5. 

Among the various papers connected with the 
case is tJhe "declaration of Pauquaitown, form- 
erly Chiefe Counselor to the Old Sachem^ Wyan- 
dance," that to his knowledge Cattawamnuck 
I'and did belong to the forefathers of the Old 
Sachem Wyandance, and "that the grandmother 
of the forenamed Sachem lived on that land 
formerly, and that those Indians that lived on. 
said land owned the Sachem as Chiefe owner, 
and such Indians as lived on the land did give 
him the tribute skin of all drowned deer when he 
demanded it/' The Sunk Squaw of Mbntauket 
also declared "that the fforesaid land was her 
father's own laaid, and that those Indians if he 
were living dttrst not deny it." ',Tauquatown 
since testifieth that the old Sachem Wyandance 
appointed Sakkatakka and Chekanno to marke 
out the said Rattaconeck lands, and after that ye 
said Pauquatown saw the trees marked all along 
the bounds, and the Sachem being with him he 
heard him the said Sachem say it was marked 
right. And that there is a fresh pond called Ash- 
amaumuk which is at the parting of the bounds 
of the foresaid lands from where the trees were 
marked to ye pathway." This was signed Oc- 
tober 18, 1667, in presence of John Mulford. 

The western bounds of the town as then fixed 
have remained unchanged. The natural land- 

marks, of course, still remain. "Whitman's Hol- 
low," which looks like the bed of a dried up lake, 
is at' the south end of the line at the northwest 
corner of the Winnecomac patent. We may re- 
mark here that "Chekanno," who was one of the 
Indians who marked out the lines, was very 
noted in those days and is said to have assisted 
the saintly- Eliot in translating the Bible into the 
Indian language. An extremely interesting book 
concerning him.i has been written by Dr. William 
\^^allace Tooker, of Sag Harbor, who is a well 
recognized authority on Indian affairs. 

After more than ten years of dispute the 
title of Richard Smith was at length fully estab- 
lished, and to make assurance doubly sure, he 
obtained a new patent from Governor Andres, 
March 25, 1677. 

A depression in the ground on the farm of 
Edmund T. Smith at Nissequogue, at the corner 
of the Horse-race lane, marks the spot where 
stood the patentee's dwelling. A .stately pear 
tree standing near it is said to have been planted 
by his hand. He broug-'ht with him his wife 
Sarah (who is supposed to have been Sarah Fol- 
ger of Newburyport) and nine childr 
than, Obadiah, Richard, Job, 'Danie 
Samuel, Elizabeth and Deborah. With 
he had very little difficulty in peoplir 
main with the ten families required b 

His sons were located near him. 
occupied a part of the homestead. ] 
was about midway between his father 
Misses Harries', on the spot where the 
house formerly stood. It was demoli&..v,v. ^^w... 
T 8-1-5 ^y Edmund T. Smith, whose handsome res- 
idence was erected on the commanding eminence 
above. Daniel located on "]\Iud Island," former- 
ly the residence of Hon. Edward Henry Smith. 
"Richard was located on the hill afterward occu- 
pied by the Misses Harries. He was one of the 
first justices of the peace in the county. His son 
of the samie name was the person frequently al- 
luded to in the records as Lieutenant Richard 
Smith ; and his grandson Richard Smith, v/ho re- 
sided on and owned the place was called "Shell 
Dick," from the fact that on bis farm were great 



Indian shell banks^ which he utilized to enrich 
his farm and sold for use as a fertilizer. Joh 
was located at the next house eastward, after- 
ward the residence of Mrs. Abigail Rogers. 
?Ierc was born and raised th.e beautiful and ac- 
complished Sally Rogers, afterward the cele- 
brated Mrs. Richard K. Haight, for many years 
a leader of fashionable society in New York. 
Adam settled at Sherewog, Avhere formerly lived 
successively three Nathaniel Smiths. The home 
lot of Samuel Snuith was on the east side of Nis- 
sequogue River, and is now the north part of 
the homestead fam:i of the late Caleb T. Smith. 
The highway, called Horse Race, is the eastern 
boundar\\ Obadiah, the second son of the pat- 
entee, was drowned at the inlet of Smithtown 
Harbor. His grave is in the old family burying 
ground at Nissequogue. The inscription on his 
tomb, almost obliterated by time, is as follows : 

''Here lies hurried ye body of Obadiah Smith, 
son of Richard and Sarah Smith, aged about 
20 vears, drowned on the 7th day oi August 

This was the first man buried in Smithtown. 
The patentee's grave is near his, but is not 
marked by any stone. 

Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, married' Col- 
onel William Lawrence, one of the patentees of 
Flushing. She was his second wife, and by her 
he had several children. Her marriage license 
was granted by Governor Nicolls. Her husband 
died in 1680, and in 1681 she married Philip 
Carteret, governor of New Jersey; she removed 
to that province and there brought up her seven 
young children by her first husband. The town 
of Elizabeth was named after her. She was an 
intelligent and attractive lady, but always had a 
keen eye to business. In contracting marriage 
with Carteret she took care to preserve her own 
separate estate, and her ante-nuptial contract is 
recorded in the Queens county clerk's office. 
Carteret died, and by his will gave all his prop- 
erty in this country to his wife. She afterward 
married Colonel Richard Townley, her third hus- 
band, who came over in the suite of Lord Effing- 
ham Howard, governor of Virginia, in 1683, 

and settled in Elizabethtown. The encomium 
passed on this lady by Thompson probably be- 
longed in part to Lady Carteret, wife of Sir 
George Carteret. 

Deborah, th.e youngest daughter of the pat- 
entee, married WilHam Lawrence 2d, the son of 
her eldest sister Elizabeth's husband, of Flush- 
ing, and from her is descended the numerous 
Lawrence family in and around Flushing, 

The six sons of the patentee all had families, 
and appear on the Smithtown tax roll in 1683. 

During his life Smith conveyed to his sons 
tracts of land in various parts oi the town. He 
died at Nissequogue, March 7, 1692, and was bur- 
ied in the family burying ground there. He left 
a will dated March 5, 1692, in which, after mak- 
ing some bequests and devises, he gives all his 
real estate with almost exact equality among his 
children, except Elizabeth. The following is a 
copy : 

March ye 5th 1693^. In ye naine of God, 
Amen. I Richard Smith Senr. of Smithtown in 
ye County of Suffolk on Long Island, in ye prov- 
ince of New York, being sicke & weake in body 
but of sound and perfect memory thanks be to 
God, calling to mind ye uncertain state of this life 
and that we must submit to God's Will when it 
shall please him to call us out of this life, doe 
make, constitute and ordain this our last will & 
testament, hereby revoking & annulling any form- 
er or other Will or Testament made by us either 
by word or writing. 

''Impriums We give our soules to God who 
gave t'hem & ourbodyes, being dead, to be decent- 
ly buried in such place and manner as to our 
Executors hereafter named shall seem conven- 
ient, and as for ye lands, goods & chattels where- 
with it has pleased God to endue us withall, our 
Just Debts & Legacyes being first paid, we order 
and dispose In manner and forme following: 

"Ifju. To Jonathan Smlith our oldest son we 
give & bequeath our house, barn & orchard joyn- 
ing to his home lot, and ye homestead as far as 
ye old fence Northward and halfe way from ye 
said house to Samuell's house and thence to ye 
West end of ye barne, and ye wood close on ye 
East side of ye little brooke over against ye 
house, and forty acres of land more than his 
equall share in division with ye rest of our chil- 
dren, and that lot of meadow over against ye 
hill on ye West side of ye River. 



"If in. To our son Richard we give & be- 
queath our negro Harry and an equall share of 
land in division with ye rest of our children. 

'^It'jii. To our son Job we give & bequeath 
our negro Robin for ye terms of twelve yeares and 
an equall share of land in division with ye rest 
of our children, and at ye end of sd twelve yeares 
the said Robin shall be free. 

"If in. To our son Adam we give an equal! 
share of Land in division with ye rest of our chil- 

"/f 7H. To our son Samuel Smith we give & 
bequeath ye orchard Southward of the house, & 
half ye pasture bounded by ye httle Creek, ye 
Eastward parte thereof, & ye lower or northward 
most fresh island on ye East side of ye river, with 
an equall share of land in division with ye rest 
of our children, and the swamp called ye North 
swamp," with ye land on ye East side which is 

'^Ifm. To our son Daniell we give and be- 
queath ye other halfe of ye pasture Southward 
of his house, ye westward part of it, and an 
equall share of land in division with ye rest of 
our children; & our will is that James Necke 
sball be and remaine for ye use & improvement 
of my six sons above sd & their heires forever. 

^'It'ni. To our daughter Elizabeth Townley 
we give & confirme that land & meadow at a 
place called Sunk Meadow as it is mentioned in 
a deed made by us, & also ye one haife of my 

"It'm. To our daughter Lawrence we e^ive & 
bequeath an equall parte & share of land in diwte 
ye rest of our children whei^e it shall be most 
suitable & convenient; also ye other halfe of my 

Lastly we do hereby nominate and appoint 
our beloved sons Jonathan & Richard Smith Ex- 
ecutors of this our last Will & Testament, to 
pay all our just debts and to make an equall par- 
tition amongst all our children of all ye goods & 
chattels & what moveable estate shall be left. 

In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our 
hands and seales the day & year above named. 
Richard Smythe [Seal]. 
Sarah Smythe [Seal]. 

This will appears tO' have been proven May 
2, 1693, but for many years the book containing 
it could not be found. Hence it was supposed 
by Thompson that the will recorded in Boston 
was the will of this Richard, and others that he 
left no will. By the research of that industrious 
and indefatigable antiquarian Charles B. Moore, 

O'f New York, the book was found among the 
papers of Eleazer Latham, of Southold, who de- 
posited it in the county clerk's office, accompanied 
by the following letter : 

"To the County Clerk or Surrogate of Suffolk 

"Sir: I am informed that Colonel William 
Smith was appointed judge of the prerogative 
court for Suffolk county on 15th May 1691, and 
was succeeded by Giles Sylvester on 13th June 

"I understand that the clerk of the court of 
sessions or county clerk was the clerk of this 
court, and that Thomas Helme was such clerk 
in 1 69 1 or 1692 and for about ten years after- 
ward. William Smith (of the judge's family) 
was clerk from 1730 until 1739. 

"After the Revolutionary war the Hon. Ezra 
L'Hommedieu was county clerk under the new 
State government from 1784 to 1810, and again 
in 181 1. He died 27th September 181 1. My 
father, Thomas S. Lester, was an executor of 
Mr. LTIommedieu's will, and had charge of some 
of his books and papers. My father died 13th 
September 1817, when 1 was only six years of 
age. After I came of age some of my father's 
papers came to my hands, and among them this 
book of wills, &-C. It has been carefully pre- 
served. I have no doubt it is a genuine and orig- 
inal record book; the last page 'entered April 
2.5' ^733' in the handwriting of the then clerk, 
William Smith, and the other entries embracing 
the dates from 2Sth May 1691 to ist April 1703, 
doubtless in the handwriting of Thomas Helme. 
The parchment cover is of later date, 1762, and 
may be supposed to have come from the old 
county clerk's office. Where the book belongs I 
do not know, but I conclude that it should be re- 
turned and deposited in the county clerk's office, 
or else in the surrogate's office, and I accordingly 
send it herewith; wishing your receipt, stating 
that you will place it among the records of your 
office for preservation. 


Thomas S. Lester.'" 

It appears to have been the custom in those 
days for the wife to join in her husband's will. 
Sarah, his wife, executed the will with him. She 
appears to have claimled a joint interest with him 
in the property and the right to dispose of it by 
will. She resided in the old family mansion and 
died there, having first miade her will, as follows: 



In the name of God, Amen. I Sarah Smith, 
rehct of Richard Smith Sen., deceased, of Saiiith- 
town in ve County of Suffolk & in ye province 
of New Yorke, Doe make my last Will and Tes- 
tament in manner following: First. I commit 
my soul into ye hands of God whch gave it, and 
my body to a decent buriaU at ye discresion of 
my Executor hereafter named, in comfoi'table 
hopes of a happy and glorious resurection thro 
the power & merits of my Lord & Saviour Jesus 
Christ. And as for my outward estate, after 
debts and my funerall charges are paid I give 
and bequeath' as foUoweth : Imp. I give and be- 
queathe to my son Richard Smith his eldest son 
Richard all the houses, orchards, and all my lands 
that my husband left me in ye possession oi, & 
that I am at this present in possession' of, he 
yielding and paying me ten pounds a y^ar & 
yearly as long as I shall live, & at my death to 
liave above mentioned premises, & his heirs for- 
ever, with all the priviledges and accommodations 
thereunto belonging. I also give to my daugh- 
ter Elizabeth one trunk, with all my linen & 
wearing clothes. I give to my son Richard's 
two daughters my silk whod & scarfe. I give a 
Necke called James Necke to be equally divided 
amongst my six sons, Jonathan, Richard, Job, 
Adam, Samuel and Daniell. I give my son Rich- 
ard's eldest Sonne my blunderbus. I give my son 
Richard's wife my cloaks; I give all ye hous- 
hold stuff not here bequeathed to be equally di- 
vided amongst my six sons above mentioned. I 
give ni. George Phillips a Cow ; & all ye rest 
of my stock to be equally divided amongst my 
six sons above mentioned ; it must be understood 
that what I have given my son Richard is to 
oblige him to quitt and null alil debts yt he pre- 
tends is owing to him by my husband or myselfe, 
s'o it may prevent future differences among my 
children ; and also all ye rest o£ my children to 
null & void all debts from' husband or myselfe & 
to acebt of what I have given them in full satis- 
faction. I desire also what I gave to Mary Pet- 
reche she may have it, & to be maintained equally 
amongst my children. 

I hereby null & revoke all former wills & in- 
struments whatsoever, & constitute & aptpoint my 
well beloved son Richard Smith tO' be my execu- 
tor 8<c to take & see that this will be to the true 
intent of it performed. 

In testimony hereof that this is my last will 
^ testament I have hereunto affixed my hand 
and seale this twentieth dav of Jan'y 1707-8. 

Sarah (X) Smith. [Seal.] 


Signed, sealed and declared to be her last 
Will ik Testamt. in presence of us Witnesses. 

George Phillips, 
Elias Nodine. 

Recorded in the Suffolk county clerk's office, 
Liber B, page 25'''- 

The sons of the patentee made numerous ex- 
changes and conveyances between themselves, and 
in 1735 his grandchildren entered into an agree- 
ment appointing three coanmissioners to divide 
the unappropriated lands, as follows : ' 

"Articles of Agreement made this 13th day of 
March Annoq. Doni. 1735 by the Inhabitants, 
freeholders and commoners of the land in Smith- 
town, att a meting apointed have agreed to 
nominate and appoint Richard Woodbull, Esq., 
and John Hallock of Brookhaven, James Dick- 
inson and Richard Willitts of Smithtown, George 
Townssen. surveyor, to lay out and judge of & 
equelise all the free holders and copmmoners in 
ye undivided lands and thatchbeds according to 
their just rights therein, wee further agree that 
QY^ry person having a right in ye said lands shall 
keep his just, lawful and reasonable improve- 
ment, now wee also agree that any person hav- 
ing ouer or above his just Right, so that all ye 
owners or free holders cannot be equallised in 
land, then and in such cases it is agreed on that 
the persons so chosen and improved for the equal- 
lising and deviding the above sd land and thatch- 
beds shall judge and determine whether such per- 
sons haveing such lands shall turn out the lands 
or pay the valey of itt in money within six 
months after ye judgment of the said men to the 
persons to whom dtt is Due. wee also agree that 
good and lawful deeds made by our grandfather 
Richard Smith shall stand good, which said men 
are to have all Deeds to lay out by ; & Whereas 
their is ocqupaticn Deeds by our grandfather 
Richard Smith granted to his sons, wee alow 
them, to be good as far as evidence and circum- 
stances shall prove was in each persons pos- 
session &■ improvement att the time when given 
& granted; & also our grandfather's will and our 
agreement made in the year 1725 to be good. We 
also agree that ye six hundred acres which is 
upon the record should be the whole of Willetts' 
Right. We also agree that any three of the men 
above said shall be chosen by the major part of 

*Under date of August 31st, 1705, Willets released 
the claim under the first Indian deed to Jonathan, Rich- 
ard, Job, Adam, Samuel and Daniel Smith. 



us subscribers from time to time till ye whole ^ 
division -be accomplished; which said men so' 
chosen & improved as aforesaid shall have full 
power to survey, Lay out, Judge of & equelise 
all the commons Lands and thach beds to every 
person according to their just Right, and ye same 
equalising and deviding to be given under their 
hands in' writing to whome itt doth conce'rn. & 
itt is further agreed on that in case of sickness, 
Death or refusall of either of ye fore said per- 
sons, then and in such cases wee the major part 
may chuse and improve other men for ye same 
service, they having* the same power to servey, 
indge of and equalise as aforesaid, itt is also 
■agreed by us that such men so chosen and im- 
ployed as aforesaid shall judge of and Determine 
all Diference and controversies, Disputes which 
may or shall hereafter arise, conserning Laying 
out and equalising ye above said Land and thach- 
beds. itt is hereby covenanted & agreed and con- 
cluded by all and every of us the subscribers to 
these presents that wee and every of us doe hereby 
covenant, grant and agree to and with each other 
for ourselves our heirs Exr. & Admr. & each of 
us separately doth covenant and agree to and 
with ye other of the subscribers, their heirs, ex- 
ecutors and Administrators, to pay our full pro- 
portion of the charges of Laying out, Deviding 
& equalising ye land & thach beds according to 
our rights ; & if any person or persons concerned 
will not agree to a division in manner aforesaid 
that wee or ye major part of us will use such 
methods by Law, equity, or other wise to comi- 
pell them to a Division of the aforesaid land and 
thachbeds. for all which every person hereto 
subscribing shall and will pay to such person pr 
persons as by the major part of us shall be nom- 
inated and appointed to Demand and Receiv the 
same our respective equal and proportionate part 
of all such charges, costs, expenses & Disburse- 
ments as shall be occasioned by the premises from 
time to time until ye same shall be accomplished, 
and compleated ; and for the true performance 
of all & every part of ye ahove written articles, 
covenants, agreements and conditions all and 
every of us the subscribers, each for himself and 
for his heirs, Executors and Adtn.inistrators, 
Doth covenant, grant and agree to and with all 
and every of us the subscribers, our heirs, execu- 
tors, administrators of all and every of them, 
and .Doth bind himself and themselves each to the 
other Respectively on the forfeiture of three 
hundred pounds good money of 'New York, to 
be paid by the party failing to observe & comply 
with all & every part of the above said covenants, 
articles, conditions and agreements to ye party 

or partys performing or willing to performe. in 
Witness whereof wee ye subscribers have put to 
our seals the day & year above written. 

'*Daniet. Smith. Joxatj-ian Smith. 

''Edmund Smitii. Job S^rrn-i. 

"Ebengzer Smith. Richard Smith. 

"Richard Smith. Aaron S>jith. 

"Zephaniah Pi-att. Obadiah Smith. 

"Joseph Smith. Dancel Lawrence. 

"TiMOTPiY Smith. 

"Sealed in presence of 

"Shubeale ]\Lvrchant. 
"Christopher Crosgrove. 
"Nathan Curren. 
"Ruth S:\riTH."" 

The rights of the several signers to this agree- 
ment are set out in a document found in the pos- 
session of Nathaniel Smith, endorsed on a copy 
of the agreemeiit, as follows : ' 

"Children of old Richd. Smith, each to have 
T-7 part of Smithtown. 

"Jonathan Smith. — Had a son Jonathan ye 2d 
(the signer), who by deed gave part of his share 
to his son Piatt Smith ; who died intestate, where- 
by his part descends upon his two daughters 
Elizabeth and Abigail, infants, as coparceners. 
Jonathan Smith by will gave the rest to his two 
daughters, viz. Tabitha, now the wife of Nicoll 
Floyd, and to Ruth, now the widow of Henry 
Smith. Note — that Ruth since her being a widow 
has sold to Nicoll Floyd, so that Jonathan the ist 
his share now belongs to Elizabeth and Abigail, 
the daughters of Piatt, and to Nicoll Floyd in 
his own right, and to him and his wife in his said 
wife Tabitha's right. 

"Job Smith. — Gave his share to his six sons, 
viz. Job the 2d, Joseph, Richard, Aaron, Timothy 
and James (now James sold to Job the 2d), so 
that this share belongs to the other 5 sons, who 
have all signed the articles. 

"Saml Smith.— Had Obadiah the signer, who 
has his share. 

"Daniel Smith. — Had Daniel the signer, who 
has his share. 

*'Adam Smith. — Had Edmund, deed., who 
gave it to his 4 sons Edmimd, Floyd. Thomas 
and Adam. Edmund the 2d has signed and Floyd 
is now of age. Thomas and Adam are infants. 

"Richd. Smith.— Had Ricd. the 3d and Ebe- 
nezer, who are both signers and have his share. 

Deborah Smith.— Sold to her son Daniel 



Three of the persons named in this agree- 
mient were designated to carry it into effect, as 
follows : "Att a Town m-eeting of the propria- 
tors of Smithtown on ye first day of March 
1736 then chose and Imploued RidTard Wood- 
hull, John Hallock and George Townsend, to Lay 
out and divide all the proprietors land & thach 
beds in Smithtown agreeable to our articles bare- 
ing d'ate ]\Iarch the thirteenth 1735." 

Pursuant to the agreement the cornmissioners 
divided a large part of the land. In August, 
1751, Townsend withdrew from the commission, 
and William Nicoll was appointed in his place. 
By the commission the greater part of the lands 
and meadows were divided and alloted. In the 
descriptions of these divisions the houses of 
Mary Liscom, Shubal Merchant, James Dickin- 
son and Aloses Ackerly are often mentioned as 
landmarks. Mary Lisooaii's house was on the 
east of the river. It was afterward occupied and 
owned by Nicholas Smithy then by 'his son Fred- 
crick Halsey Smith, and is now by the son of 
1he latter, Samuel O. Smith. ' 

Shubal jNIerchant lived at the first house on 
the south side of the road in entering Nisse- 
quogue from the east, adjoining the woods. The 
old house was demolished and the present house 
erected about sixty years ago. 

Captain James Dickinson owned a tract 
bounded west by the land of Frederick Lenhart, 
and extending to the road to Hauppauge. 

Moses Ackerly was at Fresh Pond, oh the 
corner lately occupied by Albert G. Mulford, and 
now by Scudder Smith. 

''Wheeler's" was at Hauppauge, at or near 
the house of the late Thomas W. Conkling at 
the fork of the roads opposite Wallace Donalds 
son's store. 

At the time when the title of Richard Smith 
was confirmed there were a few families living 
on the tract west of Nissequoge River who held 
their land under grants from Huntington, The 
patentee seems to have d'ealt fairly with them and 
gave them deeds for farms. Among these fam- 
ilies were Edward Ketcham, John Jones, Benja- 
min Jones, William Brotherton and Robert Ar- 
thur and David Scudder. The patentee and his 

wife also gave various tracts of land to their sons. 
He also gave to his son-in-law, William Law- 
rence, 500 acres O'f land on the west side of the 
river. This land (or a part of it) had been form- 
erly in possession of Benjamin Jones. The south 
line seems to have been a small stream, called 
Pesapunk Brook, and extended north to where 
was formerly the poor house land. Many papers 
connected with this are in the town clerk's office. 
The following is the" deed for the landing on 
the river. 

"These presents witnesseth that I Richard 
Smith Senr. of Smithtown in the County of Suf- 
folk, upon Long Island Gent, for ye wellfare & 
benefit of the Inhabitants of Smithtown, afore- 
said for their landing and spreading of creek 
thatch. Hath given and granted & doth by these 
(presents) give and grant unto Jonathan Smith, 
Richard Sanith & their associates the Inhabitants 
aforesaid, Five acres of upland adjoining to the 
east side of Nissequogue river on the fittest place 
for landing to the south side of William Law- 
rence his meadow. To Have and To Hold the said 
five acres of upland to the said Jonathan Smith 
and Richard Smith and their associates afore- 
said, their heirs and successors forever. To the 
only proper use benefit and behoofe of them the 
said Jonathan Smith Richard Smith and their as- 
sociates, their heirs and successors forever. 

"In witness whereof the said Richard Smith 
hath hereunto sett his hand & seale the 30th day 
of August in the fourth year of his majestys 
Reigne, Annoque Dom. 1688. 


"John (X) Mosier, 


This is now called "Blydeniburg's Landing.'* 
The deed has been lately recorded in the Suffolk 
county clerk's ofhce. 

The only original document in the handwrit- 
ing of Richard Smith is a deed to Daniel White- 
head, dated March 3, 1684-5. This was the same 
day that Daniel Whitehead conveyed to Richard 
Smith all his right to the land sold by the In- 
dian Sachem^, Nasseconsehe, to Edmond Wood 
and others ; and "my hand been given in consider- 
ation of that conveyance." A fac-simile and com- 
plete copy are given on the page following : 





The following is a transcript of the forego- 
ing document : 

"Know all men by these presents that I Rich- 
ard Smythe senior, of Smythtown, doe promise to 
deliver into the possession of Daniell Whitehead 
a lott of land adjoining to the lott of mv sonn 
Jobe and as large as his lott, with liberty of Com- 
monidge h this to bee done uooon demand for 
to halv ^ hold tO' the said Daniell bis beires or 
assignes for ever, and for the reall performance 
thereof I binde me my beires exenuitors admin- 
istrators & assignes, my sonn Jobes lott contains 

at least 14 or 16 ackres witnes my hand & seal 
halveing receaved satisfaction to mv content. 

"March 3 1684-5. 

"Richard Smythe 

"Witness : William Creed, Samuel Ruscoe." 

The original deed, of which the above is an 
exact copy, was lately in possession of Richard 
B. Smith, Esq. It is the only document known 
to be in existence written by the patentee of 
Smithtown. The land is on the west side of 
Stony Brook Harbor. 



Major Daniel Whitehead, named above, was 
th-e son of Daniel Whitehead, of Newtown, 
where he died in 1669. Major Daniel White- 
head married Abigail, daughter of Thomas Ste- 
venson. He died in 1704, leaving children, Jon- 
athan (who died in 1735), Benjamin, Susannah, 
wife of Benjamin Hewlett, and Thomas. 

Richard Smith made the following' deed to 
his sons: 

"This Indenture made the thirtyeth day of 
August in the fourth years of the Reigne of our 
-Sovereign Lord, James the Second, by the Grace 
of God King of England, 'Scotland, ffrance and 
Ireland, Defencder of the ffaith &c. Between 
Richard Smith Senr. of Smithtown, in the Coun- 
ty of Suffolk u|X)n Long Island in the Province 
of New York, within the Territoryes of New Eng- 
land, Gent, of the one part, & Job Smith of the 
same place of the other part Witnesseth. That 
the sd Richard Smith by and with the consent of 
Sarah his wife, Testifyed her being a party by 
her sealing and delivering of these pesents, for 
and in consideration of the naturall affection hee 

the said Richard Smith in & to the premises & in 
8z to every part and parcel! thereof. To Have 
and Hold the said tract of land & premises to 
him the said Job Smith to the only proper use 
benefit and bohoof of him the said Job Smith, 
during his naturall Life, and after his decease to 
the use benefit and behoof of the four sons of the 
sd Job Smith, viz. : Job, Richard, Joseph and 
Timothy their heirs and assigns forever, to be 
equally divided 'betv/een them, the said Job, Rich- 
ard, Joseph and Timothy their heirs and assigns. 
In Testimony whereof the parties have hereunto 
sett their hands and seales 'at Smithtown the 
day and yeare first above written," 

As stated previously, Richard Smith, the 
Patentee, died March 7, 1692. His wife survived 
him several years. Their dhildren were : 

1st. Jonathan, who died about 1718. He mar- 
ried Sarah Brewster, and left two children, Jona- 
than (2nd) and Deborah, wife of Joseph Blyd^n- 
burgh. Jonathan Smith (2nd)) was born No- 
vember 9, 1676, and died in 1744. He married 
Elizabeth, daugihter of Epenetus Piatt, and had 
three children, Piatt Smith, born October i, 1706, 

<^M^^ 'Wj-^^.-.a^ 

beareth unto the caid Job Smith his well beloved 
Sonne, and Job, Richard, Joseph and Timothy 
the sonnes of the said Job Smith, and other good 
causes & considerations him thereunto moving. 
Hath given, granted, enfeofed Released & con- 
firmed, and doth by these presents fully clearly & 
absolutely give, grant enfeof Release & confinn 
unto the said Job Smith All that twenty acres of 
land situate lying and being to the east ward of 
the land in the occupation of the said Job Smith 
— upon the North neck together with all & sin- 
gular the privileges appurtenances & meriddta- 
tnents to the said twenty acres of land belonging 
or in any ways appertaining, and all the estate 
right title interest claims and Demands of him 

and died August 24, 1743; Tabitha, born Febru- 
ary 18, 1704, and died January 17, 1755 (she 
married Nicoll Floyd and they were the parents 
of a large and distinguished family; Ruth, 
wife of Colonel Henry Smith, grandson of Colo- 
nel William Smith, the head of the "Tangiers" 
Smith family. 

2nd. Richard, born about 1647, ^"-^ died in 
1720. He married Hannah, daughter of John 
Tooker, who 'survived him and died in 1730. 
Their children were Richard, Nathaniel, Sarah 
(wife of General Nathaniel WoodhuU), Hannah 
(wife of James Fanning), and Ebenezer. Rich- 
ard Smith was the owner of the patentship of 



3d. Samuel, who was born in 1654 and died 
April 2, 1717. He married Hannah Longbotham. 
Their children were Obadiah, Richard (who was 
called Quaker Richard), Mary, Phebe (wife of 
Nathaniel Brewster), and Hannah, wife of John 

4th. Daniel, who probably died before 1715. 
He married (ist) Ruth Tooker and (2nd) Mary 
Holton. His children were Daniel, Solomon, 
Deborah (wife of Colonel Rudyard), Irene, 
Sarah (wife of Jacob Rogers), and Mary, 'wife 
of Zebulon Bunce. He is also said to have had 
a daughter, Lorinda, who married Thomas Skid- 

5th. Obadiah, who was drowned in Nisse- 
quogue river, August 7, 1680. 

6th. Elizabeth, who married Colonel Will- 
iam Lawrence, of Flushing. They had seven 
children — Mary, Thomas, "Joseph, Ridhard, Sam- 
uel, Sarah and Jam-es. Colonel William Law- 
rence died in 1680, anid the following year his 
widow married Governor Philip Carteret of New 
Jersey. He died December, 1682, leaving no 
children. His widow married for her third hus- 
band, Colonel Richard Townley. They had two 
sons, Charles and EfHngham Townley. 

7th. Deborah, who married Mia j or William 
Lawrence (son of Colonel William Lawrence by 
a former wife). Their children were: William, 
Richard, Obadiah, Daniel, Samiuel, Joshua, 
Adam, Elizabeth (wife o£ John Willetts), Caleb 
and Stephen. 

8th. Adam Smith died in 1720. He married 
Eliza'beth Brown, of Boston, and left one son 
Edmund Smith. 

9th. Job Smith, died about 1719. He mar- 
ried Elizabeth, daughter of John Thompson, Esq., 
of Setauket. Their children .were Job 2nd, Rich- 
ard called "Saint Richard," Timothy, Aaron, 
James, Joseph and Elizabeth, who is said to have 
been the second wife of Rev. Daniel Taylor. 

All of these families, have a numerous off- 
spring, and it is believed that the living descend- 
ants of Richard Smith number more than 1,200 
persons. Within the last few years, a monument 
has been placed in the ancient burying ground 
at Nissequoge, to mark the grave of the pat- 
entee. No autograph of Daniel Smith is known 
to exist, but the autographs of the other sons of 
the Patentee are here given, as they appear upon 
a deed made by them in 1715 to the Rev. Daniel 
Taylor, who was the first minister of Smith- 

''Whereas the inhabitants and proprietors of 
Smithtown, by Articles of agreemJent bearing date 
the 13th of 'March, 1735, have appointed several 
persons to lay out and proportion their lands and 

<"<:/G^A^ ^//^ 

ail L01 


^^-iJU. i/?=7#^^^^f 

^ ^^^-^i^i^^M^ 

(^<^^zf :^:m/^ 



c/A^J /^/t 



meadows, and thatch, some of which are since 
dead and some others have refused. Now in pur- 
suance of said agreement all whose names are 
hereunder written do nominate and appoint Mr. 
Richard Wood'hull, John Hollock, and William 
Nicoll, Jr.. for the same purpose and with all t'he 
powers and authorities contained and specified 
in the said agreement. 
^'Witness our hands this I3'th oi August, 1753." 

Richard Smith, the first signer, was son of 
Job (ist) and was known as ''Saint Richard" 
and "Richard Smith of Stony 'BrooK." O'badiiah 
Smith was son of Samuel Smifh, son of the pat- 
entee. Daniel Smith was son of Daniel (rst.). 
The next signature which frequently occurs in 
old documents is that of Richard Smith (3'd), son 
of Richard (2nd). Edmund S-miith was son of 
Edmund (ist), son of Adam Smith. Job Smith 
was eldest son of Job (2nd), and was known as 
Captain Job. The next signature is that of Jo- 
seph Smith, son of Job (ist), and brother of 
"Saint Richard." Isaac, Jonathan and Samuel 
Mills were three 'of the sons of Timothy Mills, 
the ancestor of the family at 'Milk Pond. Floyd 
Smith was son of Ednlund Smith (ist), son of 
Adam Smith. 

How greatly the town had increased in num- 
bers may be seen by the following list of heads 
of families, made in 1776 : 

Epenetus Smith. 
Zophar Wheeler. 
Ruth Blydenburgh. 
Daniel Tillotson. 
James Payne. 
^Samuel Blydenburgh. 
Ruth Traves. 
William Phillips, 
John L'Hommedue. 
James L'Honmiedue. 
Shadrach Terry. 
Joshua Smith. 
Jacob Longbotton, 
Richard Smith. 
Samuel Mills. 
Nathan Wheeler. 
Abner Smith. 
Obadiah Smith, Jun. 
Isaac Gerard. 
William Ward. 
Alexander Mencil. 
Daniel Smith. 
Margaret Floyd. 
Margaret Smith. 
Job Smith, 

Joseph Piatt. 
Jonathan Sammis. 
Jesse Arthur. 
Jacob Balis. 
John Stratton. 
Zephaniah Piatt. 
Henry S'hadden. 
Elemuel Soper. 
' Solomon Smith. 
Obadiaih Smith, Sr. 
Aaron Smith. 
Jacob Smith. 
Mary Vargason. 
Zophar Scidmore. 
Samuel Phillips. 
Samuel Ketcham. 
Samuel Tillotson. 
Caleb Smith. 
Nath'l Gerrard. 
Zophar Mills. 
Joshua Hart. 
William Arthur. 

Epenetus Wood. " 
Xath'l Piatt. 
Reuben Arthur. 
Thomas Trediwell. 
Jeremiah Wheeler. 
Jeremiah Conkling. 
Gamaliel Conkling. 
Jonah Soper. 
Jeffrey Smith. 
Philetus Smith. 
Nathaniel Smith. 
Hamble Darling. 
William Thompson. 
Joseph Jane. 
Daniel Brush. 
James Jane. 
Elisha Jillit. 
Benjamin Nicoll. 
Stephen Smith. 
Ebenezer Smith. 
Joseph Gould, Sen. 
Joseph Gould, Jun. 

William Smith, Jun. 
Shubal Marchant. 
Nathaniel Taylor. 
William Smith, Sen. 
Micah Smith. 
Stephen Smith, Sen. 
Gilbert Smith. 
Joseph Smith. 
Gershom Smith. 
Edmond Smith, Jun. 
Floyd Smith. 
Elemuel Smith. 
Jonas Mills. 
Jacob Mills. 
Isaac ]^Iills. 
Jonathan Mills. 
Timothy Mills. 
Benjamin Gould. 
William Biggs. 
Jonathan L'Hommedue. 
Mary Biggs. 
Silas Biggs. 
Benjamin Newton. 
Merrit Smith. 

Abigail Ward. 
The total population was then 555. 

The first mill was at a place called the Old 
M'ill. This is the first streamlet on the east side 
of the Nissequogue river southward of the 
"town," and is now the site of a small trout pond 
on the line between the Ogilvie and Petty places. 
The mill 'here was of short duration. As pop- 
ulation increased the power was insufficient to 
do the work, and the mill was abandoned. 

The foillowing document gives the early his- 
tory of the present mill site on the river. It is 
not dated, but was probably written about 1775: 

"On the 25th dav of :^[arch, 1684. Ridhard 
Smith, Patentee of Smithtown, conveyed to his 
son-in-law William Lawrence, 500 acres of land 
at the common passage and the river Nisse- 
quogue. Bounded east by the river." 

In some after period A\'illiam Lawrence 
conveys the above five hundred acres of land to 
Isaiah Harrison. Isaiah Harrison conveys the 
five hundred acres to Amos Willetts, of Islip. 
Amos Willetts, while in possession of the above 
five hundred acres of land, about fifty years past, 
in conjunction with his brother, Richard Wil- 
letts, Daniel Smith and Richard Smith, built a 
dam across the river and erected a sawmill, each 



building and owning a quarter oi said mill. 
Daniel Smith and R'ichard Smith convey each 
their quarters to Daniel Bates, after two or three 
years, with their right to the pond, upon which 
Daniel Bates erects the first fulling mill, and 
Amos Willetts, afterward, the first grist mill, 
Daniel Bates conveys his title to the sawmill 
and fulling mill to James Chipman, and Amos 

to Isaiah Harrison April 20, 1702, for £400, and 
he and his wife Abigail sold it to Amos Willetts 
June 12, 1 721. In after years a new mill was 
built here by George Phillips, a son of the min- 
ister at Setauket and has ever since been in op- 

At a general town meeting January 27, 1698, 
it was "agreed by a major vote that Adam 


Willetts conveys his half of the sawmill and the 
grist mill to Richard Smith, surnamed "the 
Quaker. '^ December 28, 1730, James Chipman 
conveys to the above Richard Smith and his 
brother Obadiah his half of the sawmill and 
fulling mill, with half the privilege of stream 
and water and so much land as is needful for the 
pond to flow. August 21, 1735, the above Rich- 
ard Smith conveys the whole of his title to the 
said mill to his brother, Obadiah Smith, bound- 
ing him east by the eastermost part or side of 
,the stream at the run. From the document it 
is plain that the dam and the first mill were 
built as early as 1725, and probably some years 

William Lawrence sold the five hundred acres 

Smith shall have the town's right of the stream 
called Stony Brook, with two acres of land ad- 
joining thereto which may he most convenient, 
on condition that he erect and build a good .suffi- 
cient grist-mill and maintain the same, the towns- 
men first building the dam, which he the said 
Smith shall keep in repair himself, and that he 
do hereby obligate to grind for all the townsmen 
who shall in due portion assist in making the 
dam, at the rate of two quarts on each bushel 
of wheat and three of corn and rye." 

This agreement was modified May 8, 1699, 
Adam agreeing to malvc the dam himself, and to 
be allowed one-tenth toll on wheat and one- 
eighth on corn and rye. 

This stream was the boundary line between 



the two towns ; Adam own-ed half the stream 
and the Brookhaven grant carried the other half. 
The mill was erected and is still in operation. 
The pond flows back almost to the Stony Brook 
Hotel, and is both useful and ornamental to 
Stony Brook and its environs. 

In 1798 Caleb Smith, Isaac .Blydenburgth 
and Joshua Smflth, who owned larg^e tracts of 
land on either side of the Nissequo'gue river, 
erected a dam at a place ever isince called the 
New Mill, and flowed back the water on several 
hundred acres of forest land, where the trees 
had been cut and the stumps left standing. They 
have stood for nearly a century in. a perfect 
state of preservation, and -give to the pond the 
well known name of Stump Pond. There is a 
very fine water fall of eight feet, with authority 
and ability to increase it to ten feet ; a isawmill 
and gristmill make use of it. In 1827 Richard 
and' Isaac W. Blydenburgh erected here a 
cloth factory^ and for many years carried on an 
ex1;ensive business in mianufacturing woolen 
cloths. Isaac BIydenburgh's land was on the 
northeast side of the river. His grandson Ben- 
jamin B, Blydenburgh lately owned the mill 
and mill pond, while his other grandsons, Tim- 
othy and Theodore Blydenburgh, occupy large 
farms — part of the family domain. 

Caleb 'Smith, comlmonly remembered as 
'Squire Caleb, who owned land on the 'SOUth 
side of the river, embracing the western part 
of Hauppauge, then resided where the late Major 
Ebenezer Smith, his son-in-law, afterward re- 
sided and died. Caleb removed to Comae and 
erected the dwelling afterward occupied by his 
son Caleb and now b\' his grandson Robert 
Smith. The two Calebs, father and son, were 
influential in town affairs. 

At tjhe head of Stump Pond, near the head 
of this branch of the river, Timothy Wheeler 
and, after him, Samuel Brush, had a small tan- 
nery and shoe factory. Here Captain, Elijah 
Brush learned the trade of shoemaking. Here, 
at the head waters of the river, the town authori- 
ties laid out a public watering place. ' 

There was some dispute with Brookhaven 
about the eastern boundary of the town, which 

was submitted to the arbitrators (Theophilus 
Howell, Isaac Halsey, Elisha Halsey and David 
Pierson of Southampton, and Cornelius Conk- 
ling, John Hedges and Elipihalet Sitratton of East 
Hampton), who by their award, March 11, 1725, 
decided that the head of the middle branch of 
Stony Brook, where they put down a stake, 
should be "one of the bounds between ye said 
towns, and so running southward to Ronconca- 
muck Pond, to a certain tree marked with two 
notches, by ye pond side, the line running near 
Ben. Ackerly's barn, which is ye south end of 
Smithtown line, and then from the aforesaid 
stake at ye head of Stony Brook to run north- 
erly down ye beach into fhe harbor, and so into 
the sound; and that ye isaid be ye standing 
bounds between ye said towns.'" 

The changes in the Stony Brook stream and 
in the channel caused other disputes, and in 
1841 commissioners were appointed — ^on the 
part of Brookhaven, Selah B. Strong, Charles 
Phillips and Davis Norton, and on the part of 
Smithtown Joshua B. Smith, William Wickham 
Mills and Joseph R. Huntting — to settle the dis- 
pute, or, if they could not agree, to appoint an 
arbitrator. They appointed Hon. Charles H. 
Ruggles, of Poughkeepsie, the circuit judge, as 
arbitrator. He made his award February 14, 
1842, by whidh he decided "that the boundary 
line between the towns from the mill dam at 
Stony Brook to Long Island Sound begins in 
the middle of the main channel of the middle 
branch of the said Stony Brook at the said mill 
dam, and runs thence down the middle of the 
said main channel of said stream until it comies 
to the harbor, and so along the channel or deep- 
est part thereof into Long Island Sound ; and 
the middle oi the main channel of said stream 
until it comes to the harbor and thence the mid- 
dle of the channel of the harbor is adjudged 
to be the boundary line between the two towns 
from the mill dam to the Sound." 

There are several branches or heads of the 
Nissequogue river, and the exact point or spot 
of the head waters of the river mentioned in the 
Smithtown patent and the Winnecomac patent 
was claimed to be immediately in that neighbor- 



hood, but was for a long time in dispute between 
William Nicoll (son of the Islip patentee) and 
the Smi'thtown people; and in 1763 they sub- 
mitted the question of boundary to the arbi- 
tration of Samuel -Willis, Zebulon Seaman and 
Richard Willctts, of Jericho, who on the 31st 
day of May, 1763, m^ade the award in writing, 
deciding that the western branch of Nissequogue 
river, on which the northeast corner of the Win- 
necomac patent is bounded, "is and ought to be 
taken and deemed the head of Nissequogue 
river, and the place, at the head of said river, 
in the brook eastward from the present path 
or road that goes around the river, and two rods 
westward from! the old path or going over tlhe 
river, in the brook, is the present station which 
we fix as the head of isaid river ; and that a right 
line run from the old bound or near Ronkon- 
koma (that is already agreed upon by both par- 
ties) to the Ihead of the western branch of the 
Nissequogue river at the station before men- 
tioned shall be for the future taken and deemed 
and esteemed by the parties to be the partition 
or division between Soiithtown and Islip," etc. 

In the old records this spot is called the 
"Head of the River," and it must not be con- 
founded with the present village of that name, 
two miles or more further down the stream. 
From this watering place eastward on the line 
between the towns of Smithtown and Islip runs 
the village street of Hauppauge. 

At the south side of the town is the district 
or locality called Hauppauge. This is the In- 
dian name for the 'springs of water at the ex- 
treme head oi Nissequogue river, where it 
touches the Islip line. On March 9, 1762, Dan- 
iel Smith, son of Daniel (ist), gave to his son 
Joshua Smith, "for love and affection" the tract 
of land thus described : 

"The Farm or tract called Hauppauge Neck, 
bounded westerly by the middle of the river, 
northerly by the brook of the North East Branch, 
easterly by the middle of a Brook ^running out 
of the North East Branch, and southerly by Is- 
lip. Also mv right in the Thatch lot called Law- 
rence Lot, on the Long Beach Great Thatch Bed. 
Also a tract of land in Islip, purchased by Capt. 

Richard Smith ai messrs Thomas and William 
Gibbs, the equal half of which was released to 
me by said Richard Smith. Also a piece of land 
and meadow at the Common Landing, bounded 
east by the Landing Path, west by the river, south 
by Richard Blydenburgh's land, and the 'hig*h- 
way, as it is now fenced. Containing 20 acres 
more or less. Also a piece of meadow in Islip 
in Joseph Saxton's neck, formerly the property 
of Jeremiah Piatt, deceased, which I purchased 
of Zephaniah Piatt." 

"Witness-: Daniel Smith, Jr., Job Smith." 

"Daniel Smith." 

The above abstract was made from the orig- 
inal deed in possession of the late Edward Mow- 
bray. This estate was left to his son Joshua, 
who was a noted and leading man in the town. 
He represented Suffolk county in the Legisla- 
ture in 1794-7 and 1799, was a memlber of the 
Con.stitutional Convention in 1781, State Senator 
in 18127-9, and first judge of the county, from 
1823 to 1828. He was born in 1764, and died in 
1845. This large 'estate of Hauppauge Neck 
descended to his son Joshua B. Smith, who was 
member of Assembly 1839-1843, and 'State Sen- 
ator from 1844 to 1847, and in 1858-9. After 
a life of usefulness and honor he died, leaving 
an only daughter Ellen, who married Dr. James 
R. 'Mowbray, of Islip. She was the last to in- 
herit the ancestral mansion, which is now owned 
by the heirs of Charles A. Miller. The house 
still -stands, an interesting relic of the days that 
are passed. 

Major Ebenezer Smith (a brother of Joshua 
B.) was also prominent here. He married Sarah, 
daughter of Caleb Smith, and was the father 
of Ethelbert M., Caleb T. and Joshua Smdth, all 
well known citizens. His daughter Elizabeth H. 
married W. C. Lawrence, Esq., and the home- 
stead is now in possession of his descendants. 

The Methodist Church at Hauppauge was 
organized in 1806. The church was built in 
1812, and was the first of its denomination in the 
town. About 1830 several Irish families settled 
in the neighborhood, and in 1845 they erected 
a small Roman Catholic Church, which was suc- 
ceeded by a more commodious building in 1874. 
The first pastor was the Rev, John O'Donnell. 



The entire ,east side of Stony Brook Harbor 
was. originally called Sherrawog. Adam Smith, 
son of the patentee, setted here, on the farm 
afterwards occupied by Nathaniel Smith and his 
son Edmund N. Smitlh. Adam^ devised it to his 
only son Edmund, and he to his two sons Ed- 
mund and Floyd. Edmund took the homestead 

The southern part of Sherrawog, formerly 
(and sometimes at present) called the Head of 
the Harbor, is a village situated in a green val- 
ley running from the Moridhes road to the har- 
bor. Here were settled in early days Gershom 
Smith, Job Smith and Gilbert Smith, whose nu- 
merous descendants still people the village. 


and Floyd took the place afterward occupied 
by Henry Wells an'd more recently by the late 
Jona& Smith. Floyd was the father of Jesse 
Smith, commonly called "Scoggins," and the 
grandfather of the late Edwin A. Smith. This 
farm of Nathaniel Smith is one of the many 
farms of this town which have never been con- 
veyed. The place occupied by Nathaniel Smith 
was formerly occupied by Jonas Hawkins, the 
grandfather of ex-Mayor Wickham, of New 
York, who for m'any years owned and carried on 
a large distillery there, situated on the south side 
of the Hither Brook road and near the harbor.. 

Jonas Smith (not Captain Jonas) occupied the 
residence and farm of the late Samuel Carman, 
covering an extensive territory and some of the 
most commanding views along the sound. Car- 
man's barn, on the highest point, is a well known 
landmark to mariners passing through the 

Near this and on a part of Jonas Smith's 
farm is the country seat of the late Prescott H. 
Butler, a pleasant cottage of the early colonial 
style, on an eminence overlooking the sound and 
Stony Brook Harbor. 

About a mile east of the Head of the Harbor 



is Mills Pond, a hamlet near a small pond, from 
wlhich it derives its name. The first settler here 
was Timothy JMiUs, one of whose descendants, 
the late William Wickham Mills, owned and oc- 
cupied the old family mansion. He was for 
several years supervisor of the town, was one 
of the largest landholders and a man of much 
influence. William ]\Iills, another descendant of 
the original settler, occupied the farm now owned 
by William C. Powell. He was the father of 
the late Ethelbert S. Mills, Mrs: Josiah O. Low, 
of (Brooklyn, and James M. Mills, of New York. 
Another of the family, Gideon Mills, resided 
where Benjamin Mott now lives. 

Samuel Bailey, another early settler, lived on 
the east side of the pond, on the farm afterward 
occupied by his grandson, J. Henry Bailey. 

In 1853 the Episcopalians in the town who 
had worshiped at Caroline Churchy Setauket, and 
at the Episcopal churches in Islip. organized a 
society and erected an Episcopal church, called 
St. Jam'es church, in compliment to James Clinch, 
of New York, through whose instrumentality 
and liberality tihe church was organized and, 
in its infancy, mainly supiported. The first offi- 
cers of the corporation were : Wardens, Will- 
iam W, Mills, J. Lawrence Smifh ; vestrymen, 
Edward H. Smith, Charles S. Seabury, Edmund 
F. Smith, Joel L. G. Smith, Gideon Smith, Will- 
iam W. Ivlills, Jr., Charles Henry Wells and 
Henry Smith. 

A neat wooden building, designed by Mr. 
Upjohn, gothic in style, was erected, mainly by 
contributions. A plat of two acres was donated 
by Joel L. G. Smith. On thisare the church, 
a neat rectory with barn, etc., and a cemetery. 
The church has also a glebe of four acres. The 
chancel is adorned with a large stained glass 
window, a memorial of ]\lr. Mills, the senior 
warden, and his wife. A sm'aller window of 
stained glass, made by Lafarge, in memory of 
the patron, Mr. Clinch, and his wife, is near the 

The first rector was the Rev. Carlton Maples. 
He remained about two years, and after him 
came the Rev. C. S. Williams, who remained 
several years and rembved to Brooklyn. Then 

came the Rev. J. W. Buckmaster, who remained 
two years and was called to Greenport. After 
him Rev. Hemry Degen served two or three 
years. He was called to South Orange, New 
Jersey, and was succeeded by the Rev. James 
H. Lee, Who after a little while 1 eceived a call to 
a fine church at Canandaigua. After Mr. Lee 
came the Rev. I. W. N. Irvine, who remained 
three or four years. Rev. Mr. Archdeacon be- 
cam'e rector in 1880 and remained several years, 
and was succeeded by the present rector, Rev. 
Mr. Holden. 

Soon after this church was erected a post- 
office was established under the name of St. 
James, and from that time the locality has borne 
that nam'e. The late Joel L. G. Smith, one of the 
founders of the church, built the fine dwelling 
now occupied by Mrs. Milton G. Smith, and 
afterward removed to his late residence near 
Mills Pond. 

Near St. James churdh, and on an eminence 
overlooking the sound and the harbor, was erect- 
ed in 1873 a Methodist church. The society was 
organized under the name of 'Thompson Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church.'' 

The first trustees were J. B. Meeker, G. S. 
Hodgkinson, Thomas Hubbs, G. N. Pedrick and 
Ernest Myers, and the first minister was Rev. 
J. S. Brundage. He was pastor from' 1874 to 
1878; Rev. Samuel Thompson, 1878, 1879; Rev. 
S. A. Sands, 1879-81. 

Smitlitown Branch takes its name from the 
northeast branch of the Nissequogue river. On 
the north side of the street or main road, all the 
land from the farm lately owned by Frederick 
Lenhart, to the road to Hauppauge, was owned 
in the earliest times by Captain James Dickin- 
son, who came from Oyster Bay and bought 
land from Obadiah Smith March 30, 1732. He 
resold it to Obadiah Smith in 1741. The land 
of Frederick Lenhart, and the exten'sive tracts 
of the BIydenburgh family, form what was 
formerly known as Brushy Neck. 

On the south side of the street, east of the 
road to Nissequogue, is the ancient BIydenburgh 
nmnsion, probably the oldest in the town. The 

'I 'M^\ 

















land was given by Jonathan Smith to Joseph 
Blydenburgh, who married his daughter De- 
borah in 1690. The house, probably built at 
that time, 'has been handed down from father 
to son, and is now owned by Theodore Blyden- 
burgh. This family has always been important 
and influential in the town. 

In 1769 one of the prominent citizens of the 
town was Dr. John Howard. In that year he 
built the house whic^h now belongs to Mr, George 
W. Hallock. When it was rebuilt in i88i Dr. 
Howard's name and the date, 1769, were found 
written on one of the boards. Dr. Howard was 
a relative of Mrs. William' Payne, who was 
teacher of Clinton Academy in East Hampton. 
It was his custom, when going to or from New 
York, to stop over night with his relatives. On 
one occasion he remarked to him, ''Doctor, I 
had a son born the other day, what shall I name 
him?" The Doctor replied," Give him my name," 
and the boy was named "Jc^hn Howard Payne," 

"One of those few imm'ortal names, 
That were not born to die." 

It is of some interest to know that the famous 
poet received his name in this house and from 
its owner. Dr. Howard was the maternal grand- 
father of John H. Hunt, the well known editor 
of the "Sag Harbor Exipress." 

A large tract of land on the south side of 
the street, west of fhe road to Nissequogue, was 
in the early times owned by two generations of 
Epenetus Smith. Here a tavern was built, 
which was the regular stopping place for trav- 
elers through the island. Samuel Arden Smith, 
a grandson, in the days oi his prosperity built the 
elegant mansion now owned by the heirs of 
David J. Ely. Prosperous and wealthy in early 
life, his later years were passed in poverty and 

The first church in the town was erected at 
Nissequogue, on the land late of Caleb T. Smith 
and near his gate at the comer of the Horse- 
race lane. The inhabitants of Smithtown con- 
tributed toward the support of the Rev. George 
Phillips, of Setauket, and are said to have wor- 
shiped for a season at the Setauket church. It 

is not ascertained that ^Ir. Phillips ever preached 
at Nissequogue, or that there was any organized 
church there. The town voted Mr. Phillips a 
tract of land adjoining the Brookhaven line and 
the road from ]Mills Pond to Stony Brook, prob- 
' ably with the intention that he should settle there 
and be convenient to both parties ; but Air. Phil- 
lips continued to live in the old parsonage at 
Setauket, and died there. The patentee's widow 
gave him a cow in her will. He was one of the 
witnesses to the will. 

The first settled minister oi whomi we have 
any account was the Rev. Daniel Taylor, who 
preached at Nissequogue from 1712 to 1716. In 
the latter year the proprietors of Smithtown 
granted him fifty acres of land on the west side 
of the river, near the present Landing AI. E. 
church, in consideration of four years' faithful 
service to them as a minister. How long Mr. 
Taylor preached there is not ascertained. He 
was succeeded by the Rev. Abner Reeve, who 
prached there from twelve to fourteen years pre- 
vious to 1750. 

The church was removed to the Branch in 
1750. The paths between the then houses of 
Epenetus Smith and Richard Blydenburgh were, 
altered so as to accommodate the building, and 
Obadiah Smith, who then owned the triangular 
piece between the two paths, gave one-quarter 
of an acre of land for the site. The highway 
leading from Nissequogue to the Branch then 
ran west to the present church site. The build- 
ing was erected on the land then occupied by 
the hig'hway. It stooid about six feet in the rear 
of the present church. It was a mere shell, sim- 
ply a covered frame, having no plaster on its 
walls ; the open Tafters and the shingles of the 
roof formed the ceiling. The old building was 
removed in 1827 and used as a woolen factory 
at the New Mills, and the present substantial 
edifice was erected. 

The first minister was the Rev. Napthali 
Dagget, who remained five years ; and then 
came Thomas Lewis, from 1763 to 1769; then 
David Avery, who remained only a shore timt. 
Then Joshua Hart occupied the place fromi 1774. 
to 1787. After some temporary supplies the - 



Rev. Luther Gleason commenced his ministry in 
1797. He remained several years, and after him 
came the Rev. Bradford Marcy, from 181 1 to 
1814; then successively: Henry Fuller, 1816-21 ; 
Richard F. Nicoll, 1823-27; Ithamar Pillsbury, 
1827-32; James C. Edwards, 1835-52; Rutgers 
Van Brunt, until 1856, when he resigned and E. 
F. Munday was called. He was succeeded by 
S. H. McMuIlen in 1861, and he in 1865 by 
James Sinclair. Mr. Sinclair was succeeded by 
the Rev. Henry A. Porter, who remained six 
years. The next pastor was the Rev. Henry 
A. Lewis, who was succeeded by the Rev. J. O. 
Gray, the present incumbent. 

The parsonage was erected in 1835. The 
site was given by William BIydenburgh to be 
u&ed for a parsonage only, the deed only to be 
valid so long as the ground was used for that 
purpose. The first parsonage occupied by the 
Presbyterian minister after the removal of the 
church to the Branch was the residence formerly 
of Benjamin Mills, afterward of Samuel A. 
Smith and of Mr. Campbell, at the crossroads 
west of the railroad depot. This place was 
owned and occupied as a parsonage for many 
years. It was conveyed by the church in 1801 
to the Rev. Luther Gleason, then the minister. 
In January, 1823, William BIydenburgh, who 
then owned the house and four acres on the 
west side of the road near the brook, known 
as the Burnt house property, conveyed it to the 
church for a parsonage, and it was occupied as 
such until Rev. Mr. Pillsbury came here. He 
purchased the parsonage and occupied it dur- 
ing his ministry, and when he left he sold it and 
the church was without a parsonage until the 
lot now owned was purchased. 

In 1845 a Methodist Episcopal society was 
formed and the present church building erected 
on the lane north of the residence of J. Law- 
rence Smith. The first trustees were Richard 
Wheeler, Elijah Brush, George K. Hubbs, Sam- 
uel Gould and James Darling. The name of the 
corporation is "The Trustees of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church and Congregation of the 
Branch." This church was then and still is in 
the Smithtown circuit. Its 'first minister who 

officiated in the whole circuit (then composed 
of this church and the churches at Lake Grove, 
Hauppauge, Comae and Landing) was Rev. 
George Hollis, who continued here till 1848. 

On the 20th of May, 1862, an agreement was 
entered into between the five churches then form- 
ing the Smithtown circuit to the effect that the 
Methodist Episcopal parsonage at the Branch 
was purchased and repaired with their common 
funds, and that the deed for it should be taken 
in the nam'e of the Branch church, and held by 
it for therr common benefit and managed as the 
majority should direct. Under this agreement 
the parsonage was held and used for the equal 
benefit of all until the division of the circuit. 

In the spring of 1879 the circuit was di- 
vided, the churches at Comae, the Landing and 
the Branch forming the Smithtown circuit, and 
St. James, Lake Grove and Hauppauge form- 
ing a new circuit called the Lake Grove cir- 

The old school house was a private institu- 
tion, built by subscription, and a select school 
was taught until 181 6. In that year the village 
was organized as school district No. i, and on 
the 6th of November the inhabitants voted "that 
the trustees purchase the school house from its 
present owners for the use of the district for 
$500." Benjamin B. Blydenburgii was the first 
clerk of the district. He died in 1816,' but the 
organization has continued, and from the school 
many well educated men have gone forth. 

In 1867 Captain Jonas Smith, of Stony 
Brook, a native of St. James, devised to J. Law- 
rence Smith, Joel L. G. Smith and Lyman B. 
Smith in trust $8,000, to be appropriated to the 
cause of education in this district. A corpora- 
tion under the union free school law was 
formed, the school house lot was enlarged, and 
the present commodious and convenient building 
was erected in 1868. The school has since 
maintained a high standard. On the front of 
the building, under the roof of the porch, is a 
marble tablet, the inscription of which is as fol- 

*'To the memory of Jonas Smith, the found- 



er, and to his esteemed widow, Nancy SmitHj 
the patron, these halls are respectfully dedicated. 
Without opportunity for education, or assistance 
from friends in youth, he was the architect of his 
own fortune. Far seeing, clearly discerning, 
soundly judging, and promptly deciding, he 
marked whatever he touched, A ipattern of so- 
briety, integrity and industry, he wanted only 
the polish of education to make him the perfect 
man. He leaves this legacy to you pupils that 
you may here enjoy in early life the privileges 
which were denied to him." 

The Landing, or, as it is sometimes called 
"Blydenburgh's Landing," on the Nissequogue 
river, is a public landing and watering place laid 
out by the towm authorities. Here Richard Bly- 

farm'ers, for convenience in shipping their cord- 
wood and receiving fertilizers from the city. 
The first bridge across the river here was built 
about the years 1806 or 1807. In 1869 the more 
commodious and substantial structure was erect- 
ed which now spans the river. 

Beyond the bridge is the residence of Eben- 
ezer Jayne, an industrious and prosperous farm- 
er, and a short distance beyond is the Landing 
Methodist Episcopal church, w^hich he was chief- 
ly instrumental in constructing. A half acre of 
land was conveyed to the society by Adam- Dar- 
ling, July II, 1834. The society w^s incorpor- 
ated April 26, 1834, under the name of ''The 
Methodist Episcopal Church and Congregation 


den burgh and Henry Conkling kept a country 
store. In 1806 they erected a dock along the 
river for the convenience of scows and lighters 
going up and down. Hence it is called Blyden- 
burgh's Landing. Several other docks have been 

of Smithtown Landing." The first trustees w^ere 
Joseph B. Jayne, Fletcher E. Wheeler, John A. 
Darling, George K. Hubbs land Elkanah Wheel- 
er. This church is a part of the Smithtown cir- 

erected along the river in that vicinity by the April 26, 1823, the trustees of the Presby- 



terian church in Smithtown made a contract with 
George Curtiss to build the present church edi- 
fice. The trustees were to furnish all the ma- 
terial and Mr. Curtiss was to do all the work 
for $825. The house was to be 46 feet long 
and 34 feet wide, "with a cupola on the 
same." It was to be completed before Decem- 
ber 25th, except painting, .and the work was 
to be done "in all respects equal to the meeting" 
house at Patcho-gue," except that the galleries 
were to have twelve inches more pitch, and the 
aisles somewhat wider. 

On the west side of the river was the home- 
stead and farm of Elias Smith, a very extensive 
land owner. On this estate was "x\aron's Land- 
ing," much used in early days. For some years 
it was owned and occupied by his grandson, 
William* C. Lawrence, and by his daughter and 
son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hilton Brown. 


Mrs. Bro'wn has a more extensive collection of 
ancient documents relating to <the history of the 
Smith family than any other person, and her line 
of descent from the patentee oi Smithtown may 
be traced in nine or ten different ways. To her 

assistance the writer is most deeply indebted- in 
all 'his efforts to preserve the records and history 
of the town. 

The tract and institution known as St. John- 
land was founded by the late Rev. William 
Angus Muhlenberg, D. D. A farm was pur- 
chased in 1865 and additions made at a 
later date, the whole now embracing over 500 
acres. The institution was incorporated in 1870. 
It is in reality an industrial rural parish under 
the auspices of the Episcopal Church, with a 
plan for benevolence very far reaching in its 
effects, and its influence for good is universally 

To the west oi St. Johnland is a locaHty 
known as Sunk Meadow, whose appearance suf- 
ficiently explains the name. It has also given the 
name to a large tract of land aidjacent. The 
meadows were laid out in lots in 1735. In the 
early days they were valuable 
for the meadow^ grass that 
grew annually, but of late years 
considered of very little value. 
West of the Sunk Mead- 
owsi, and between them and the 
Huntington line, is the tract 
known as Treadwell's Neck, for- 
merly the property of Timothy 
Tread well. In 1784 it was sold 
by Thomas Treadwell to John 
Gardiner "of the Isle of Wight" 
for the large sum of £2,900. 

Near this was the extensive 
homestead of Joseph Buffett,. 
who purchased the land from 
the executors of Timothy 
Treadwell in 1778. It was in 
late years the residence of 
Judge William P. Buffett, who- 
died there in 1874. The man- 
sion was burned in 1893. 

West of the river and near 
the center of the town is a locality known 
as Willow Pond. This is a mill pond, raised 
on a brook that runs into the river. The 
ancient road known as "Willetts' Path," 
( long since discontinued ) crosses the stream 



a short distance above the mill. Here 
was, in pioneer days, the residence of Paul 
Smith and liis son Theodorus. Paul Smith built 
the dam and a saw and grist mill about the year 
1795. It has been known, from its different 
owners, as Seacord's, Oakley's, Horton's and 
Davis' mills. The recent owner was Captain 
Lewis W. Davis, who sold it to the Wyandanch 
Club for a price that would .have astounded his 
predecessors. The club house has taken the place 
of the residence of Paul Smith. The leading 
spirit of 'this club, which by lease controls a very 
lar^e part of Smithtown lands, is John L. Hill, 
Esq., a prominent New York lawyer, and under 
his skillful care and management it has become a 
very popular institution. 

Near this place was the residence of Aaron 
S. Vail, which is still standing, and known as 
"the Vail House," and is a relic of the old times. 
It was a place of resort for many noted men 
during the fishing season, and now belongs to 


the Wyan-danch Club. The Fresh Pond, called 
by the Indians Un-she-man-muck, which is the 
northwest corner of the town, is no longer a 
pond, but has grown up to meadow. 


About three miles southeast of Fresh Pond 
is a locality known as "Indian Head." It was 
so called from the head of an Indian carved in 
stone which was placed on a rock on the west 
side of a pond in the vicinity. A large Indian set- 
tlement wa>s around the pond. The Indians re- 
vered this head and believed that if removed from 
the rock by a sacrilegious hand it would surely 
return and resume its place. David W. Smith, 
an aged citizen, now deceased, remembered see- 
ing it in his youth, but the image and its wor- 
shipers have both long since disappeared. The 
descendants of Samuel Smith are still living 

Next to Smithtown Branch the most consid- 
erable village is the Head of the River, Here 
is situated the Smithtown postoffice. While the 
town business was always, in early times, trans- 
acted at the Branch, the postoffice, the only one 
in the town, was at the Head of the River. After 
the inauguration of President Harrison the 
Smithtown postoffice was re- 
moved to the Branch, creating 
great dissatisfaction among the 
residents at the Head of the 
River. The difficulty was fin- 
ally compromised by establish- 
ing a new office, called Smith- 
town Branch, in the new place, 
and carrying back the old post- 
office with its old name of 
Smithtown to the Head of the 
River. Here are the large grist- 
mill, sawmill, and fulling and 
cardingmills erected by George 
Phillips ; the tide flows back and 
forth to the foot of the mill dam. 
Here v/as the residence of Dr, 
Charles H. Havens, a noted 
physician and politician in his 
day, and one of the early clerks 
of the county. Here, too, was 
the residence of George S. Phil- 
lips, a lineal descendant of the Rev. George 
Phillips, of Setauket, and another of the early 
county clerks, and for a long time supervisor 
of the town. The first country store in the vil- 



lage was kept in the basement of George S, 
Phillips' house. It was then removed across 
the dam and kept by George Mills, in the build- 
ing now occupied by Justice Edmund Wheeler ; 
from there it was removed, about the year 1816, 
to its present site, and kept by Jesse Mills and his 
son Egbert S. Mills, who retired after acquiring 
a competency, and were succeeded by the present 
proprietors, M. R. Smith & Company. Here, 
too, is the residence of Hon. Edward H. Smith, 
a native and former resident of Mud Island at 
Nissequogue, and for many years supervisor of 
the town. He represented this congressional 
district in the thirty-seventh congress, and has 
always been a power in the politics of the county. 
The bridge across the river here was erected 

corporated under that name. The road was after 
miany years' use abandoned as a turnpike and 
became a public highway. 

The region west of Stony Brook Harbor 
was known as Rasapeage. A certain locality on 
the west side of the Harbor was called Old 
Rasapeage, and the part next the Sound was 
North Rasapeage. The original homestead of 
Ebenezer Smith (son of Richard 2nd) was a 
lot next east of the school house at Nissequogue, 
and the original map as laid out in 1736, is here 
given. The full description will be found in the 
printed records of Smithtown, page 444. 

Upon the high lands overlooking the Sound, 
between St. James and Stony Brook Harbor, 
are the elegant country seats of the late Pres- 


:^^-fJvi^ JJ3 pcK^oy 


r 'S N Tg'ST/ >V\ 


about the year 1805. Before that the river was 
fordable at low tide, but when the tide was high 
travelers to the village were obliged to go 
around on the hill by Blyndenburgh's and across 
the mill dam. Now a substantial bridge spans 
the river, of sufficient height to permit the pas- 
sage of loaded scows under it. This was the 
terminus of the Jericho and Smithtown turn- 
pike, which was constructed by a company in- 


cott Hall Butler, Stamford White and Mrs. 
Wetherell. For excellence of location and com- 
manding view these places are excelled by few in 
Suffolk county. 

Smithtown has more ancient maps and sur- 
veys of the early divisions of land than any town 
in the county, but the oldest map is that of the 
farm of Adam Smith, at Sherrewog. A large part 
of this farm is now owned by ]\Ir. and Mrs. 



Devereux Emmett, and their elegant mansion 
stands on the site of Adam Smith's house. 
Among the Tnany ancient m'aps is one of the land 
laid out to Daniel Smith (2nd) in 1736. It 
was given by him to his .son Obadiah Smith, and 
by him to his son Adam Smith, and, in turn, to 
Lyman Beecher Smith. A large part is still 
owned by his son, Coe D. Smith, Esq., who has 
the original map and many other documents of 
great value, and he also possesses a fund of in- 
formation concerning former days which is sur- 
passed by very few. 

others. The two small lakes called Mill Pond 
were called by fhe Indian name -Cuttscuns^uck, 
and are thus named in old wills and deeds. Tim- 
othy Mills, who came 'from Jamaica in 1705, was 
the ancestor of a very numerous, wealthy and 
influential family and extensive owners of real 
estate. The homestead of William Wickham 
Mills, one of the most promiinent of the name, 
is now the residence of his grandson, Dubois 
Smith, Esq. South of the country road, and 
extending to the town line, is a large tract called 
in the old surveys Ronconkomy Plains. The far 







'^^ /V-j'^p^ ^ 



On the north side of the country road, east 
of the village of Smithtown. Branch, were laid 
out a row of lots called the "50-acre lots," this 
being their original size, but they were very 
largely increased. They extend east nearly to 
the Brookhaven line, but between themi and the 
line was a tract owned by Nathaniel Smith and 

famed Lake Ronkonkoma is at the southeast cor- 
ner of the town, but is a part oi the Nicolls 
Patent in Islip. The west part of the town is a 
range of what was called the "Long Lots," and 
extended from the Huntington line east to the 
lotted land, on the west side of the river. 

The records of the town were printed in 1898 






and contain a vast fund of information concern- 
ing the laying out of lands and the early his- 
tory. This work was very carefully performed 
by Williaml S. Pelletreau, and was published by 
the town. In preparing this sketch the writer 
is greatly indebted to the labors and researches 
of the late Hon. J. Lawrence iSmith, to whose 
memory we accord all dtie honor. 

The Patent of Winnecomac is a large tract 
in the southwest corner of the town, and its 
history is entirely independent of that of the 
lands of Richard Smith, of which it formed no 
part. The following documents tell its early 
history : 

"This Indenture, Made ye first day of Novem- 
ber in ye Tenth yeare of the Raigne of our 
Soverne Lord William the third, King of Eng- 
land, Scotland, ffrance and Ireland, defender of 
the faith, Sz in the yeare of our Lord one thou- 
sand six hundred and ninety-eight, betweene 
A^^ameas & Tuskin & Charles Pamequa of Seca- 
tugu in the County of Suffolk on the Island of 
Nassau, in the Province of New York in Amer- 
ica of the one party, and John Scidmore and John 
AA'hitm-an of the other party of Hunttington, In 
the County ik. Province aforesaid, Witnesseth, ye 
said Wamous Sachem & Touskin & Charles 
Pamequa and all us hose names are underwrit- 
ten, doth for the consideration of a considerable 
sum of good and Lawful 'monev of the Province 
allready Received and — In hand at or before the 
ye Inseling- & delivering these presents, the Re- 
ceipt whereof we the said Wam^eas, Tuskin & 
Charles Pamequa doth hereby acknowledge, and 
themselves and each of them therewith to ibe fully 
Satisfied contented and paid, and of and there- 
from and of and from Every Part and Parcel! 
thereof Doth hereby acquitt, exonerate & Dis- 
charge ye said John Skidmore and John Whit- 
man there heirs and executors administrators, 
and hath given Granted Bargained and Sould 
enfeofed released and confirmed, and by these 
Presents doth hereby give grant Bargain sell en- 
feofe release and Confirme to the said John Skid- 
more and John Whitman their heirs and assignes, 
forever, a Sartin Tract of Land lying on the east 
side of Hunttington nattent bounds, Called and 
known by the name Wenycomimick 'bounded on 
the north side by Whitman's hollow. Running 
Eastward by the marked trees to the hed of the 
South west branch of Nesoquage River, upon 
the East side upon A south Lyne to the pine 
Plains, upon the South side by the southward 

Pints of trees to Hunttington patent, lying on the 
west side to Whitman's hollow. This above 
mentioned tract of Land with all and singular 
the hereditaments and Appurtenances thereunto 
belonging as or by Timbers or in any ways ap- 
pertaining, and all the rights title Interest Pos- 
session, property Claimes and demands whatso- 
ever of them the said Wameas, Tuskin, Charles 
Pamequa made in and ito the aforementioned 
Land and in and to all and every part and par- 
cell thereof TO 'HAVE AND TO HOLD ye 
said land with the appurtenances unto the said 
John Skidmore and John Whitman, their heirs 
executors and administrators, To the sole and 
only proper use and behoof of the said John Skid- 
more and John Whitman their heirs and assigns 
forever. And the said Wameas, Tuskin, Charles 
Pamequa, Doth for themselves, their heirs their 
executors and administrators promise covenant 
and agree to and with ye said John Skidlmore and 
John Whitman their 'heirs and assigns that they 
the said Wameas, Tuskin, Charles (Pamequa) 
now at ye Inseling and Delivering hereof, stand- 
eth and is soley only and Rightfully seized of ye 
said Premises, of good absolute and perfect title 
in fee simple to them their heires and assigns 
forever and that the Premises now are 'and for- 
ever after shall be and Remaine to the said John 
Skidmore and John Whitman their heirs and as- 
signes free and clearly acquitted released and 
Discouraged of and from all and all manner of 
other and former bargains, sales alienations, 
mortgages Judgments Executions Easements- and 
all charges and Incumbrances whatsoever, and 
moreover that the said AA'ameas, Tuskin, Charles 
and their heirs here in before granted and mien- 
tioned promise unto the said John Skidmore and 
John Whitman, their heirs and assigns shall and 
will at any Time or Times, upon Request made, 
shall give any further Security as they the said 
John Skidmore and John Whitman or their 
Larned Councell In the Law thinks fit. As wit- 
ness our hands and scales. Signed and delivered 
in the presence. 

"Chippose his mark X 
"Wameas his mark X 
"Pom PCS his mark X 
*'TusKTN his mark X 
"MKj\rsowoRRON his mark X 
"Charles Pame his mark X 
"Cattone his mark X 
"Napanick his mark X 
"Witnesses: "Perwineas his mark X" 

Edward Caush 
Nathaniel Ketcham 
ZRBur.oN Whitman"' 



"iNIemorandum, that on ye Sixth day of Feb- 
ruary annoque Domini 170^4 Appeared 'before 
me John Wood one of his majesties Justices of 
the Peace for the County of Suffolk Wamohas 
Sachem and Tooskins and Charles Pamoqua and 
Choopons and Sawam.os and Cottone, and doth 
acknowledge this within written Conveyance to 
be their free and voluntary act and deed. 

Test. John Wood. 
''Warrent for survey date Sept. 12 anno 1702, 
Dec. I. I. 

New York 21 Dec. 1702. Perused. 

"August Graham, Surveyor Gen' 
"Recorded in the Secretary's office, lin the 
booke of Indian Deeds &c beginning Anno 1691 
folio 102. Dan Honan, Secretary. 

"Received of Captain Thomas Higbie, John 
Skidmore and John Whitman the full satisfac- 
tion for a tract of land Comonly called Winna 
Comniack I say Received by us whose names 
are marked are underwritten, and by order of 
the Rest of our natives for the use, which said 
tract of lan'd lying being bounded on the High- 
way by Whitmans hollow, Stretching Easterly 
to the westermost branch of Nesequage River, 
and Southerly to the brushy plains to Huntting- 
ton Patent, and so up to the side of Whitmans 
Hollow northerly. I say Reed for us this 26 
day of May anno 1705. 

"Wameas X Ibis mark 
Chepous X his mark 
Nepownich X his mark 
Roaum X his mark 
Charles Pamoqua X his mark 
Sawatomas X his mark 
Chepous X his mark 
Joseph X his mark 
Hary X his mark 
Catow X his mlaxk 
Aroisheis X his mark 
CowAMUTHis X his mark 
PoMi^OTT X his mark.""' 
"Witness our hands 
Jo PIN Peaeody 
Samonka X his mark 
Jonas Wood 
Timothy Conklin." 

By a private agreement made' between the 
purchasers of this tract it was agreed that a 
patent should be taken for the same in the name 
of Charles Congreve, who was a prominent mer- 
chant in New York. In accordance with his pe- 
tition he received a patent from Governor Corn- 
bury, May 5, 1703. 

On November 22, 1703, Charles Congreve 
conveyed to "Rip Van Dam, merchant of New 
York," one-quarter of the tract, the deed ex- 
pressly stating that the said Van Dam' had paid 
one-fourth of the purchase money, and that the 
name of Charles Congreve was only used in the 
Settlers' Patent by agreement of Rip Van Dam 
and others. Charles Congreve conveyed to 
Thomas Higbie, John Skidmore and John Whit- 
man one-half of the said tract, and on May 6, 
1707, John Whitman sold to Rip Van Dami his 
one-third of the half. On February 23, 1713, 
Captain Thomas Higbie also sold his one-sixth 
of the same. The whole tract was laid out and 
divided on -March 26, 1726, by Robert Crooke, 
deputy surveyor. It contained 3,625 acres, of 
which Rip Van Dam owned 1,812 acres and his 
son Richard 150 acres. Johnson and Hig-- 
bie owned 720 acres and Captain Congreve 
owned 943 acres. 

In 1768 there was a law suit between Mary 
Tredwell and Elnathan Weekes and' the com- 
plaint and answer contain so many facts in rel-ar 
tion to the early history of this tract they are 
here given in extended abstracts : 

"'abstract of complaint of MARY TREDWELL 



''This complaint recites the original facts, 
and that Charles Congreve sold to Rip Van Dam 
1-4 of his Winnecomack Patent November 22, 
1703, and that he also sold 1-2. the Patent to 
Thomas Pligbee, John Skidmore and John Whit- 
man Nov. 22, 1703. Thomas Higbee sold his 
1-6 to Rip Van Dam Feb. 23, 1712. John Skid- 
more sold his right to Williami Johnson and Jo- 
siah Higbee. So Charles* Congreve had 3-12, 
Rip Van Dam, 7-12 and Jdhnson and Higbee 2-12. 
That in 1726 a division was made into 4 lots 
and a lot 57 chains wide at west end^ and 20 
chains wide at east end was laid out for Con- 
greve 3-12, A Jot 8 chains wide at west end and 
four chains at east end, was laid out for Rich- 
ard Van Dam, son of Rip Van Dam, as they be- 
lieved he had conveyed it to him, but Rip Van 
Dam afterwards purchased it back again. In 
1 73 1, one John Mott and others entered upon the 
lots of Rip Van Dam, under him, and built a small 
house on the lot marked for Richard Van Damv 



near the north 'division line between that lot and 
the lot of Charles Congreve, and lived in the 
same quietly for some years, and then left it, and 
then one Isaac Totten entered into said house 
under Rip Van Dam' and held the same some 7 
years, and afterwards Rip Van Dam by deed No- 
vember 2, 1745 sold the said lots to Timothy 
Tredwell for £1,200, the description being: Be- 
ginning at a stake standing in a line 97 chains 
distant from Whitman's Hollow, on: a course S. 
9 1-4 W., then running S. 75, E. 267 chains, then 
S 9 1-2 AV 44 chains, then W. o 1-2 N. to Hunt- 
ington Bounds, 268 chains, then along Hunting- 
ton bounds 11.'^ chains to beginning, containing 
2,076 acres. Some time before this Rip Van 
Dam employed one Ananias Carle, an ancient 
man, since deceased, as he was acquainted with 
the lands and knew the division made by Robert 
Crooke, to get the same remeasured. Whereupon 
in the beginning of 1745 Ananias Carle applied 
to one Samuel Willis, a surveyor, and went with 
him to survey the' Patent and division lines, and 
he found that by the Patent the north line was 
280 chains long (though Cooke had only made it 
250, though for what reason 'he knew not) and 
that laying it down that length would not inter- 
fere with any older Patent to the eastward. He 
accordingly laid it down as 280 chains and then 
laid out the lot of Johnson and Higbee 40 chains 
at the west end and 16 chains at the east end, 
as said Robert Crooke had done in his survey. 
And next to that he laid the lot of Charles Con- 
greve 57 chains at the west end, and 20 at the 
east end; as laid out in Crooke's survey. And at 
the end of 97 chains from the Hollow he struck 
a stake for the division 'between the lot of Con- 
greve and Rip Van Dam, and in running from 
thence to the east end of the Patent, the lines 
of marked trees, as marked by Crooke and Wil- 
lis, agreed as exactly as could be supposed that 
two lines, run by two different surveyors, at such 
a distance of time could agree. And he laid out 
the lot of Rip Van Dam T03 chains wide at the 
west end and 44 at the east end, as Crooke had 
done, although by that means, the whole west 
line was to chains longer than it oueht to be bv 
the Patent, it being stated to be only 200 chains, 
and found the lot of Rip Van X)am to contain 
2,076 acres as by original survey. And so Rip 
Van Dam in deed to Timothy Tredwell made the 
east and west lines longer than in the survey of 
Crooke. Soon after the purchase Timothy Tred- 
well entered into the same, and took possession 
of the same house, built by John Mott, near the 
north line between Congreve and Van Dam, and 
died siezed of the same Nov. 6, 1749. He by 

will, dated June 2. 1747, directed the remainder of 
his estate, of which the lands of Rap Van Dam 
are a part, to be sold, and after paying debts, 
the remainder was to go to his wife Mary and 
his children, except his son Elias, and made his 
wife and Benjamin Tredwell and Zophar Piatt 
executors. They found that Elnathan W^ickes 
had taken possession and claimed 4 chains in 
breadth of the stake set up by Willis, as the be- 
ginning of Rip Van Dam's lot, and 4 chains more' 
than the ^y in Crooke's survey, and that 
took in the house and about 200 acres of land. 
And on their complaining he agreed to give it up, 
if they would give him a watering place on said 
land, which for peace sake they agreed to do, 
and expected an end of all trouble, but no' agree- 
ment being agreed to by him, they began suit 
for ejectment. They admit that the original map 
of Robert Crooke is in their hands, and Zophar 
Piatt says that some time before the suit he 
showed it to him', and a copy was made b}' one 
Solomon Ketcham." 


Charles Congreve presented a petition for a 
Patent for lands at Winnecomack, and the Pat- 
ent was granted. Sir Jeffry Jeffrys, late Alder- 
man of Ton don, loaned to Charles Congreve £10, 
Nov. 30, r704. He afterwards loaned him £20 
and then £70, and about the year 1707, Charles 
Congreve removed from London to New York. 
About 3 years after Sir Jeffry Jeffrys died, and 
by his will made Edward Jeffrys his executor, 
who made xA.dolph Phillipse his attorney. To se- 
cure payment of the debt, Charles Congreve and 
his Avife Rebecca gave a mortgage for % of the 
land, and on August 17, 1737, he conveyed the 
said ^ in fee to Adolph Phillipse, who conveyed 
it to Edward Jeffrys April 28 in the nth year 
of King George H. Edward Jeffrys died in 
1740, and left the property to Jeffry Jeffrys who 
shortly after becaiTie a lunatic, and bis wife Mary 
was made a committee of his estate. She and his 
father. Nicholas' Jeffrys, by permission of Court 
made over to Isaac Levy, all claims against 
Charles Congreve, including the mortgage and 
release of equity, and he sold to Elnathan Wickes 
the % of lands in Winnecommack. Rip Van 
Dam, Wm. Johnson and Josiah Higbee were ten- 
ants in common with Charles Congreve, and on 
March 20, 1726, they by Robert Crook, surveyor, 
divided the Patent into 3 parts, and the share of 
Johnson and Higbee was to begin at a red oak 
tree standing in a place called Whitman's Hol- 
low, and from thence to run S. 10 W. to a wal- 




nut tree marked with 3 notches on the north, 
east and south sides. And from the said red oak 
tree to run S. 59 E. along ^marked trees to a tree 
at the east corner of the Patent, then S. 11. 15 
W. to a white oak tree at the east extremity of 
the Patent, and from said white oak tree N. 67 
W. to the walnut tree above mentioned. The 
part of Charles Congreve was tO' begin at the 
walnut tree, and from thence to run S. 10 W. 
to a white oak tree marked with three notches 
on the east, south and west sides, thence by a 
line of marked trees to a black oak, on the east 
bounds of the Patent, then N. 11. 15 E. to the 
southwest bounds of the lot of Johnson and 
Higbee. The remainder of the Patent was to 
belong to Rip Van Dam. The parties agreed to 
abide by this, and articles of agreement were in 
the hands of Thomas Moon .of Flushing, who 
upon demand, refused to let Elnathani Weekes 
see them. In 1750 he again demanded to see 
them and was told that he had given them to the 
executors of Timothy Tredwell. In 1755, the 
said Weekes .sent his son to demand sight of 
them and Moon said they were in the hands of 
Zopher Piatt, and 'he and Mary Tredwell also 
refused. And the title to Rip Van Dam's part 
was then claimed by Mary and Thomas Tred- 

The controversy was settled by a release from 
Elnathan Weekes to Mary Tredwell and others 
to the strip of land in controversy, leaving the 
lots as they 'were originally laid out. This was 
dated February 11, 1768. Timothy Tredwell by 
his will directed all his lands in Winnecomac to 

be sold, and his executors sold the same to 
Philetus Smith of Smithtown. He left it to his 
two sons, Tim;othy Tredwell Smith, of Kingston, 
and Elias Smith. They made a division May 27, 
1797, and Elias Smith had the eastern part, which 
was 165 chains long on the south side and 163^^ 
chains on the north side. On April 25, 1745, 
Samuel Willis, surveyor, made a survey of the 
lot of Rip Van Dam and computed the area to 
be 2,076 acres. 

In 1768, at the time of the law suit, an elab- 
orate survey and map of the whole patent was 
made by Samuel Willis and Solomon Ketcham. 
Frorri this we learn that the land in controversy 
was a strip on the north side of the Van Dam 
lot, 15 rods wide and 267 chains in length and 
containing about 100 acres. Elnathan Weekes 
had a house close to the north line, and his well 
and cider mill and press were on the disputed 
tract. The northeast corner of the Patent was 
the southwest branch of Nissequogue rivet, near 
a place of springs, called by the Indians "Hap- 
pogs." Here we have very plainly the origin 
of the name now spelled Hauppauge, and applied 
to a village and district some ways to the east 
of the original locality. The original map is 
now in possession of the heirs of Charles Ar- 
buckle, who in recent years purchased that part 
of the patent formerly owned by Elias Smith. 
A very accurate copy is in possession of William 
S. Pelletreau. 




F Babylon township be practically stripped 
of its ancient history, its neighbor, Islip, 
fully makes up for it in this regard, even 
lalthough its career as a township only 
dates from 1710 and the township records from 
1720. It has an area of about 72,000 acres, 
is about sixteen miles in length, and in breadth 
measures about eight miles, from the "backbone" 
of the island to the shores of the Great South 
Bay. It never was, it probably never wHl be, a 
fertile region, except in its southern portion, and 
it was a region of slow growth until it was dis- 
covered by the summer boarder. In 1880 its 
population was 6,490, in i8go, 11,073, and in 
1900, 12,545. In the latter decade it had not 
only been discovered by the summer boarder but 
had been taken up by society and had been made 

In his survey of the history of this township, 
Mr. Prime corn'mences with a plaint that is much 
better founded than most of his pessimistic ut- 
terances — and there are many. He said : ''Here 
we have a striking illustration of the pernicious 
influence on the interests of population resulting 
from the accumulation of land in the hands of 

a few owners ; especially where that accumu- 
lation is perpetuated by the old feudal law of 
entailment. Although a large portion of this 
town is naturally incapable of maintaining a large 
population, as it embraces extensive tracts of 
sterile plains and vast swamps, yet the necks 
and other tracts of land are good and capable 
of sustaining a much larger number of inhabi- 
tants than it now contains ; and as the law of 
entailment is now abrogated, it may be expected 
that the evil will be gradually remiedied, though 
time will 'be required to render the work ef- 
fectual." This was written in 1845, and the 
troublq complained of has been most effectually 
remedied, but it is to be questioned whether 
Islip's real popularity and prosperity were re- 
tarded even for a year by the arrangement com- 
plained of. The iron horse was the great clearer 
of feudal notions and Puritanical isolations on 
Long Island as elsewhere. 

Its coast, on the Great South Bay, is an ex- 
ceedingly beautiful one, while the waters of the 
bay itself afford aquatic sport of all kinds. Its 
shores are lined with pleasant cottages and huge 
hotels, summer boarding places of all descrip- 



tionSj while here and there rise veritable palaces, 
and now and again we encounter enclosures 
of private property almost rivaling in size 
baronial manors and certainly exceeding most 
of such old-time relics in the elegance of their ' 
equipment and the extent of their resources. 
Even Fire Island, that part of the great sand 
bar which separates the Great South Bay from 
the Atlantic, has been brought into requisition 
for the summer boarder trade, although it must 
be confessed, without the same degree of finan- 
cial success that has crowned the efforts of the 


c/f7 ^^^'^f^%i/M A/^^ 

upbuilders of such resorts on the mainland of 
the township. In the northeastern portion of 
the township is the famous Lake Ronkonkoma, 
which is more particularly told of on other 

The story of Islip, the story, that is, from 

the time when the white man generally took up 
its burden from the red man, introduces us in 
the first place to a single landgrabber rather, as 
in other townships, to an organization of men 
seeking to benefit their worldly prospects or to 
promote their religious freedom and fellowship, 
or to enjoy civil liberty according to their own 
ideas. Matthias Nicolls, the compiler, it is al- 
leged, of *'the Duke's Laws," and secretary of 
the Province, and connected in one way or an- 
other with it in an official capacity almost 
until his death, in 1687, was so fond of 
Long Island that he secured quite a large estate 
at Great Neck in the present township of North 

William Nicolls, son of Matthias Nicolls, fol^ 
lowed in the footsteps of his father, and becam-e 
famous as a lawyer, a local politician and a 
land getter. His name appears at times as Nicolls 
and again as NicolL In 1683 he purchased a 
large tract of land from the natives, of which 
more anon, and the same year he was appointed 
clerk of Queens county. In 1687 he was appoint- 
ed Provincial Attorney General. After his fa- 
ther's death he settled in New 
York and became a leader in 
politics and at the bar. He op- 
posed the little movement of 
Jacob Leisler, and was held by 
that serio-Gomic potentate as a 
prisoner. When that crisis was- 
over he got his reward in being 
made a member of Council, and 
in 1695 he was sent by the New 
Vork Assem-bly on a mission to 
the crown with the view of get- 
ting the^ther colonies to share 
in the cost of the defense of 
Britain's strip of coast against 
the inroads of the French, which 
fell almost wholly upon New 
from its geographical position. In 
in the course of the kaleidescopic 


change so frequent in the history of American 
politics, Nicoll was again among the outs. Gov- 
ernor Bellomont summarily dismissed him from 
the Council. However, he soon showed the ex- 



tent of his influence, for in 1701 he was elected a 
miember of the Assembly from Suffolk county, 
but was not permitted to take his seat on the 
ground that his election was illegal, he being a 
non-resident. He soon got over this by erecting 
a mansion — I slip Grange — ^on the Great South 
Bay, and in 1702 was again chosen to represent 
Suffolk and so continued for twenty-one years, 
and for sixteen years was Speaker of the As- 
sembly. He died at Islip Grange in 1723. 

The land which William Nicolls bought from 
the Indians wa-s confirmed to him by the follow- 
ing patent : 

Thomas Dongan, Lieut, and Governor Gen- 
eral and vice Admiral under hds R'oyal Highness, 
James, Duke of York, &c. of New York and its 
dependencys in America, To all to whom these 
presents shall come sendeth Greeting. Whereas 
by one indenture of bargain and sale bearing date 
the nine and twentieth day of November, in the 
year of our Lord 1683, and in the 35th year of 
the rcigne of cur Sovrcigne Lord, Charles the 
second, of England, &c King, &c., William Nic- 
olls of New York, gentlem^an, did make purchase 
of, and Winnequaheagh, Indian Sachem, of Con- 
etquot, bargained and sold unto the said William 
Nicolls, his 'heirs and assigns for ever, all that 
neck tract pr parcel of land scituate and being on 
the south side of Long Island, bounded on the 
east by a certain river called Conetquot, on the 
south by the Sound, on the west by a certain 
river called Cantasquntah, and on the north by 
a right line from the head of the said river called 
Conetquot, to the head of the said river called 
Cantasquntah, to have and to hold the said neck 
or parcel of land, with all and singular, unto the 
said William Nicolls his heirs and assigns for 

Now Know ye that by virtue of the Commis- 
sion and authority unto me given under his Royal 
Highness. * * 'and in consideration of Ithe 
Quit rents herein after reserved. * "^ I have 
given, granted .ratified and confirmed, unto the 
said William Nicolls. * "^ all the before re- 
cited neck tract and parcel of land, with all and 
singular, woods waters runns, stream, ponds, 
marshes, fishing 'hawking huntting and fowling 
* "*" unto said William Nicolls, his 'heirs and as- 
signs, in free and common soccage, according to 
the tenure of East Greenwich, in the County of 
Kent. ^= "^ yielding therefor yearly, in lieu 
and stead of all services and demands, as a quit 

rent for his Royal Highness use fivt bushells of 
good winter wheat, or 25 shillings good and law- 
ful money of this Province, on or before the 25th 
day of March yearly unto such officer as shall 
be appointed to receive the same. Given under 
my hand, and sealed with the seal of the Prov- 
ince, at Fort James in New York, the S day of 
December 1684. 

Thomas Dongan. 

In 1686 Nicolls added to his holdings by 
further purchases from the Indians and Gov- 
ernor Dongan issued a confirmatory patent, cov- 
ering the same territory. The following are 
self-explanatory : 


Recorded for William Nicoll. By his Excel- 
lency the Governor in Council the 17 June 1697. 

Whereas William Nicoll Esquire, by his at- 
torney hath prayed liberty and license to purchase 
from the native Indians, a certain tract of vacant 
land in S'uffolk County, bounded north by the 
Country road, east by a line to be drawn from 
the head of a river called Peatuck, south by the 
land of said William Nicoll and Andrew Gibb, 
and west by a Hne to be drawn from the head of 
a river called Orowake, to run northerly to the 
Country road, aforesaid ; together with the Pond 
called Raconckony for his improvemient. I have 
by and with the advice of the Council, granted 
and I do hereby grant unto the said William 
Nicoll free liberty and license to purchase the 
said land and lake or Pond in order to his ob- 
taining a patent for the same under the Seal of 
the Province. Given under my hand and seal 
at New York in Council the day and year above 

Ben. Fletcher. 

indian agreement to sell lands. 

Memorandum. That on this' day, the 14th 
of September, Anno Domini 1697, appeared be- 
fore me Nicholas Bayard, one of his majesties 
Council for the Province of New York Masaro- 
ken, an Indian woman, with Taschanes her hus- 
band, and Taanheesocks, Passaque and Miskas- 
sen, all Indian natives of Nassau Island, or Long 
Island, who declared that the above named Mas- 
carooken was the chief proprietresse and the said 
Taankeesocks, Passaque and Miskassen with 
some others not present,- were the right and 
lawful owners and proprietors of ttie lands herein 



after mcncioned, situate lying and being on said 
Island of Nassau in Suffolk County, bounded 
easterly by a brook or river called by the Indian 
name of Manacotasquet, lying to tlhe westward 
of a Point called Blue Point, containing four 
necks of land, being bounded eastwardly by the 
said river, westwardly by the Conetquot river, 
southwardly by the sound, and extending from 
the sound to the middle of the said Island, called 
the Island of Nassau; and did promise and en- 
gage that they the above named Indians, who 
declared that they were also interested for the 
rest of the Proprieters, and for several reasons 
would sell and dispose of the three eastermo^st 
necks of land to William Nicoll, of the city of 
New York Esquire, and to no other person or 
persons whatsoever, as soon as he the said N-ic- 
oll should return from England, and if i\Ir. Nic- 
oll should die before his return, that then they 
would sell it only to his widow and children, and 
that the last neck of land they would keep for 
their own planting, but whenever sold that j\Ir. 
Nicoll should have the preference. Dated in New 
York the day and year above said, acknowledged 
and promised before me 'by the interpretation of 
Mrs. Blandina Bayard. 

N, Bayard. 

In accordance with this the same Indians 
gave a deed to William Nicoll for the ^same 
lands February 17, 1702. 



William the Third by the Grace of God, King 
of England &c. To all to whom these Presents 
shall come sendeth Greeting. Whereas our lov- 
ing subject William Nicold Esq. one of the mem- 
bers of our Council, for our province of New 
York, by his humble petition presented untO' his 
Excellency Col. Benjamin Fletcher, and Captain 
General and Governor in Chief of our Province 
of New York, prayed our grant and confirma- 
tion of a certain parcel of vacant uniraiproved 
land in the County of Suffolk in the island of 
Nassau, adjoining to the land of our said lov- 
ing subject, and of Andrew Gibb, bounded east- 
erly by a brook or river to the westward of a 
point called the Blew Point, known by the In- 
dian name of Manowtassquott, and a north and 
by east line from the head of said river to the 
Country road, thence along the said road west- 
erly until it bears nortih and by east to the head 
of Orawake river, and thence by a south and 
west line to the head of the said river, and so 

running easterly along by the land of said Will- 
iam Nicolis and Andrew Gibb to the head of 
Conetquot, and down said river to the sound, 
and from thence along the sound easterly to the 
mouth of the Manowtassquott, aforesaid, together 
with a certain fresh pond called Raconckony 
Pond. Which reasonable request we bein? will- 
ing to grant Now Know ye that of our special 
Grace '■' * we have given and granted and 
confirmed unto the said William Nicoll, all that 
said certain tract of land, and Raconckony Pond, 
limited and bounded as aforesaid. Together with 
all and s<ingular &c. To have and to hold &:c. 
yielding yearly * unto us, and heirs and suc- 
cessors the annual rent of six shillings New York 
mony in lieu of all other rents &c. 

In testimony whereof we have caused the 
great seal of our said Province to be affixed. Wit- 
ness our said trusty and well beloved Col. Benja- 
min Pletcher and Capt. General and Governor '&c 
the 20 of September i6g7. 

Benjamin Fletcher. 

Thompson estimates the area of Nicolis' hold- 
ings at sixty square miles. Nicolis died March 
25, 1780, and it was found that he had disposed 
of his vast estate by the following Avill : 

I give and devise unto my son William Nic- 
oll, all my lands and hereditamients at Islip in 
the County Suffolk (not hereinafter^disposed of 
to my daughters) for and during his natural life, 
subject to the authority therein after p-iven to my 
executors, with remainder unto the Hon. George 
Duncan Ludlow Esq. and the Hon. Whitehead 
Hicks Esn. and their heirs during the life of ye 
said son Wiiiiam, to preserve the contingent re- 
mainders, hereinafter limited, with the remainder 
to the first son of mv said son William, to pre- 
serve the contingent remainders hereinafter lim- 
ited, to wit. with remainder to the first every 
other son and sons of the eldest son of my said 
son William, successively according to their se- 
niority. To hold the same in tale male '^ * 
And i think it pi-oper to declare that after con- 
sidering my estate and my family, I think it will 
be best not only to entail the estate but to pre- 
vent the hasty docking of it, and therefore it is 
m.y general intent to continue the estate at Is- 
lip, first in the male descendants of my son Will- 
iam, then in the male issue of his daughters, and 
then in the male issue of my son Samuel Ben- 
jamin Nicoll, and then in the male issue of my 
own three daughters and that it shall not be in 
'the power of any of my descendants before my 



great grand children, to cut off the entail. * * 
The lands at Islip are defined to be ''All the lands 
lying northward, westward and southward of 
the river Namke that runs by Blue Point, as they 
are described in the several Patents or grants 
thereof, made to my honored grand father Will- 
iam Nicoll of Islip, except such part thereof as 
is hereinafter given to my three daughters." 

I give and bequeath unto my said three daugh- 
ters Charity, Gloriana and Joanna Rachel, one of 
my rights to land at \\'est Neck on Shelter Isl- 
and, and all that neck of land adjoining to Blue 
Point, in Islip, aforesaid. 

I give to my three daughters, Charity^ Glori- 
ana and Joanna Rachel 42 poutids per year to 
each of tliem for twelve years, and 100 pounds 
per year for 12 years' to my son Samuel Benja- 
min NicoUs, which said sums I direct my son 
William to pay. Dated August 19, 1778. 

WilHam Nicolls, the heir to this great prop- 
erty, was greatly embarrassed by the terms of the 
will, and was practically a poor man. So great 
were the necessities of his case, that he sought re- 
lief at the hands of the legislature, and Samuel 
Benjamin Nicolls, Who had a contingent remain- 
der in the land, also by petition signified his de- 
sire that the relief prayed for by Wi^Uiam Nicolls 
should be afforded. 

Accordingly, on May 3, 1786, the legislature 
passed an act "for the relief of Wil'liam Nic- 
olls." This instrument quotes the terms of the 
will and then proceeds : 

And whereas the said WiUiam Nicoll, the 
son, hath presented his petition to the Legisla- 
ture setting forth that doubts have arisen 
whether the estate which he holds be an estate 
tail, or only for life, and that many of the farms 
in Islip were at the time of his father's decease 
leased at very low rents, and that he is charged 
by said will with the paymlent of annuities to 
the amount of £126 for ten years to his three sis- 
ters, and an annuity of iioo for twelve years to 
his brother, that, conceiving himself to be pos- 
sessed of an estate in tail, he had been induced 
to contract debts to a large amount, and that the 
doubts respecting his estate render it impractica- 
ble to sell any part of his lands to discharge his 
debts, and that a number of executions have been 
issued against him, and if they shall be levied 
on his estate, while the doubts respecting it re- 
mains, it would prove insufficient to pay 'his 

debts, and he must be turned out of possession 
and deprived not only of the means of suitably 
educating his children, but of subsisting his fam- 
ily, and the greater part of his creditors be 
ruined ; and that if Trustees were to be apoointed 
by the Legislature with authority to sell lands to 
the amount of £4,000 evils might be prevented, 
and he enabled by honest industry to discharge 
the remainder of his debts." 

The act then provided that William Nicoll 
should convey to Ezra L'Hommedieu, William 
Floyd and Selah Strong, Esquires, all his lands 
in Islip, in trust, to sell as much as would raise 
the sum of £4,000, and discharge the debts. The 
remainder they were to lease to the best advan- 
tage for the payment of the annuities, the resi- 
due to be paid to said William Nicoll during his 
life, and tben to the uses of the will. 

In accordance with the terms of the'act^ Will- 
iam' Nicoll conveyed all his lands to Ezra L'Hom- 
medieu, William Floyd and Selah Strong, No- 
vember 16, 1786, and they mad'e the following 
sales of large tracts of the lands : 

1st. To Cornelius Ray, February 2^, 1790, 
"A certain tract of land in Islip, Containing 960 
acres, bounded as follows: Beginning at the 
southwest corner of a lot of 960 acres sold by 
them to Alexander Macomb, and 80 chains west 
from the line that divides the town of Islip from 
Wlnthrops Patent, at the distance of one mile on 
the said line from the Country road, on the south 
side of Long Island, fromi thence running north 
240 chains, thence west 40 chains, thence south 
240 chains, thence east 40 chains to the place of 

2nd. To Willett Green, December 20, 1786, 
price £480, "A.11 the moiety or one equal half- 
part of a certain neck and tract of land in Islip, 
and bounded as follows : Beginning at the mid- 
dle of the brook westward of the house where 
James Morris formerty lived, on the road, from 
thence extending northward on a straight line, 
as the general course ^f the said brook runs, the 
distance of one mile; from thence running a due 
east course until it strikes the middle of the 
brook, and from thence along the middle of the 
brook last mentioned southward to the Bay, 
southward upon the bay, and westward by the 
middle of the brook that parts the said neck of 
land from Green's Neck, extending northward by 
the first mentioned brook to the place of begin- 
ning. The said V\^illett Green to have the wes- 



termost half of the said neck in quantity and 
quality, to be divided between him and John Ed- 
ward, who has purchased the east half of said 

3d. To Sampson Flemming, February 23, 
1790, "A certain tract of land in Islip contain- 
ing 960 acres, bounded as follows : Beginning 
at the distance of one mile north of the Country 
road, on the south side oi Long Island, on the 
line that divides the town of Islip from^ the Win- 
throp Patent, from thence extending north 240 
chains, from thence west 40 chains, thence south 
240 chains, thence east 40 chains to the place of 

4th. To Alexander Macomb, A tract of 960 
acres, one mile north of the Country road, 'bound- 
ed east by the line of Winthrop's Patent, west by 
the lot of 960 acres sold to Cornelius Ray. 

In 1836 a law suit occurred known as ''J^^ii^'S 
Jackson ex deni. William Nicoll and others ver- 
sus Francis Woodhull and others, heirs of Rich- 
ard Woodhull, deceased." This case was to de- 
cide whether a certain tract of land near Lake 
Ronkonkoma was in the Nicoll patent or in 
Brookhaven. The question was as to the loca- 
tion of the "Country Road," the plaintiffs assert- 
ing that it ran between Smithtown and IsHp, 
north of Lake Ronkonkoma, and the defendants 
declaring that it meant a road much farther south. 
The printed case (which is extremely rare, only 
two copies being known to exist) has preserved 
a great many facts in regard to process at law. 

Nicoll Floyd, for plaintiff testified that he 
was over seventy years old and had been surro- 
gate for thirty years and treasurer for the same 
period. That he knew the roads well ; that the 
country road was the one leading through 
Smithtown and Coram, easterly to Riverhead, 
and A^esterly to Jamaica, and was the road form- 
erly principally traveled, and until lately there 
was very little travel on the south road. He 
testified that a line north by east, starting at 
Blue Point, would strike the said country road 
not far from Coram. He Jmew a house called 
Titus Gould'^s Tavern, (formerly Horseblock 
Smith's). There was a road turning from 
the country road at his house southwest- 
erly towards the Pond, and when he first 
knew the place there -were old houses and set- 
tlements on this road, also on the north side of 
the pond. John Newton, Caleb Newton and one 
Smith had houses on the northeast side of the 
Pond. A road ran there nearly parallel with the 

country road between it and the Pond, and 
turning off to the southward some distance east 
of the Pond, going down towards Patchogue, 
This was called the Horseblock road. A road 
called Portion road ran east from the Pond be- 
ginning at Caleb Newton's house, which was 
upon the bank of the Pond. There was an old 
settlement at the junction of the Portion at 
Horseblock road. 

Charles T. Dering testified that he assisted 
in running out the Nicoll Patent about six years 
ago. They began at the head of the Namke and 
then ran dfue north. They came out about 
three miles east of Richard Woodhull's house, 
which was on the Portion road about a quar- 
ter of a mile east of the Pond; In survey- 
ing they stopped at the Portion road and ran 
west along it to the Pond at Caleb Newton's. 
They then began to survey the west side at a 
brook ca'lled the Winganhappagh, and now 
called Champlain creek, and then north to a 
road called the Happagh road, and then fol- 
lowed it east to the Pond, and then ran around 
on the north side of the Pond to the Portion 
road. They surveyed the patent as they could 
make it out. There was a small old house south 
of the Pond surrounded by an old clearing occu- 
pied by William Gould. 

The defendant claimed that the north bound 
of the Nicoll Patent was a road which crossed 
Conetiquot river (the western boundary of the 
Smith Patent) at or near Carmans, and ran west 
along the present south country road about a 
mile and a half until it came near a house form- 
erly of Jeffrey Brewster's and now Osborn's, 
then crossed Brewster's Swamp, Mud Creek, 
the head of Swan Creek, Patchogue Swamp 
about three miles north of Patchogue, Terry's 
Swamp, then running near the head of Coneti- 
quot river, then south of Wheeler's liill, near the 
Wheeler's village, and passing Conklin's (now 
Seaman's) and so to Hempstead. That the 
premises in dispute were north of this road and 
were covered by the Brookhaven Patents. That 
the Indians, by deeds prior to the Nicoll Patent, 
sold to Richard Woodhull, and he to the Trus- 
tees of Brookhaven, all that part of the Brook- 
haven Patent bounded north by Long Island 
Sound and south by the middle of the Island and 
they allotted all that all part west of the Coneti- 
quot river, east of the Smithtown line, south of 
the present middle country road and north of the 
middle of the island to different Proprietors, 
under whom the defendants claim. That the line 
called Hart's Line was nm in 1791, as the south 
line of that tract. 



It may be stated that the defendants claimed 
that the "middle of the Is^land" meant from the 
Sound to the ocean; the claim of the plaintiffs 
was that it meant from the north side of the 
Great South Bay, and this latter view was sus- 

Richard Udall, for defendant, testified that he 
was eighty years old last November, and was 
born in Islip, where he now lives on the present 
south country road, about six miles west of the 
Winganhappagh brook. When he first recol- 
lects a road passed his house to the east as far as 
the brook. The Quakers settled about there and 
made the road passable as far east as the brook, 
but could not pass the swamp there. The peo- 
ple of Islip made the swamp passable. This was 
seventy-three years ago. Before that, there was 
a road called NicoU's old road, leading from 
Nicoll's house north to the Conklin road, Whicli 
Lawyer Nicoll used to travel to New York. His 
father told him that the Conklin road was called 
the "Old Country road" and the "King's High- 
way." The house on the north edge of Racon- 
kony Pond was an old house when he first knew 
it, and was held by the Nicolls. Conklin's tav- 
ern was about ten miles west of the Branch in 

Daniel Smith, for defendant, testified that he 
was born in Coram, and will be sixty-six years 
old in October next. Ever since he was six 
months old he had lived on Swan Creek Neck, 
near Patchogue, and has never been absent from 
home three nights together since he was born. 
Before the south road was openel, there was an- 
other road, much used, known as the Old Fish- 
erman's road or highway. The road went across 
the head of Jeffrey Brewster's Swamp, then 
across the head of Swan Creek and the head of 
Patchogue stream, next across Jeremy Terry's 
S'wamp till you came about three miles west of 
Patchogue, then it ran smartly to the northwest 
till you croissed the Conetiquot river (passing 
an ox head which hung there many years) and 
then by the plains along Wheeler's hills and then 
west. He had heard old people call it the Fish- 
erman's Old Road and the King's Highway. 
His father was born in 1729. It was a very 
crooked road, owing to the different lengths of 
the streams. The Horse block road ran from 
near Fire Place to the west. 

Nathaniel Smith, for defendant, saxs he is 
seventy-four years old and was born in Coram, 
in a house about a mile from Richard Smith's. 
The old road called the Fish road is pretty much 
grown up. It was about three miles north of Pat- 
chogue. It was used iii carting fish from Quogue. 

The Coram road to Smithtown is the principal 
road. It is an old roadi. The villages are upon it. 
On the Fish road there was no house nor settle- 
ments. Titus Gould's house was about two miles 
northeast of the Pond. John 'Newton had a 
house a little northeast of the Pond. It was an 
old house with considerable land. Below it was 
Caleb Newton's. There was a good deal of 
cleared land on the south side of the Pond. On 
the south side of the road, pretty much north of 
the Pond, was an old house occupied) by old 'Mr. 
Hallock. There were houses along on the south 
side of the road down to the Portion road. John 
Ackerh''s was an old house with considerable 

Brewster Terry, for defendant, says he was 
sixty-two years old last March. 

Jedediah Williamson was seventy-six years 
old last ]\iarch. He knew a road called Conklin's 
road. David Willetts, John Mowbray (father of 
Anning ]\Iowbray, who would now be over 100 
years old if living), and other old people, called it 
the cauntry road. Air. Mowbray's possession un- 
der the Mowbray Patent extended north to this 
road, and the family claimed up to this road as 
their north line and no further. 

Jacob Hawkins was eighty-one years old last 
February, and had always lived near Setauket 
When a boy he used to go with his father to the 
south side of the island for hay. They crossed a 
road about three miles north of Patchogue. It 
was an old road seventy years ago. It went west 
to Conklin's road. It was the principal road the 
market men had. John Newton lived near the 
Pond; he was grandfather of Caleb Newton. 
Timothy Smith lived in a house on the northwest 
side of Raconkony Pond, and then Wilham 
Smith, and both 'held under the Nicolls. It was 
about eig'ht or ten rods west of the Pond. There 
were about forty or sixty acres of cleared land 
around it. The Portion road from John Acker- 
le)''s to the Pond was cut about seventy years 

John Newton says he was eighty-one last 
August, and had always lived at the northeast 
corner of Raconkony Pond. Flis father built 
the house, and informed him that there was an 
old house there previously. William Gould had 
a house south of the Pond; he remembers when 
it was built. There is a large swamp at the north 
end of the pond, and at the corner of this swamp 
there was a house built by Daniel Briggs, and 
James Smith lived there, 

Phillip Longbotham says he is sixty-three 
years old, and knows the old country road. 

Richard AA' Smith showed a deed from Will- 



iam Bohr to Isaac Smith, dated December 22, 
1780, for one-half of lot 30 in Winthrop's Patent, 
at the head of Swan Creek, beginning at the 
country road and running north to the middle 
of the Island. 

Moses Benjamin was thirty-seven years old, 
and about fifteen years ago an old man named 
Voorhees, of Plempstead, who was eighty-five 
years old, told him there was a direct road from 
Hempstead to Fire Place 'Called the King's High- 
way, when he was young and there was no other 
country road at that time. It came out at Conk- 
lin's formerly Seaman's tavern. 

Richard F. Blydenburgh testified that in j\Iay, 
1832, he was employed to run a line from a cer- 
tain cedar hassock in Stony Brook mill pond to 
the sound. Then they returned and measured due 
south from the cedar hassock to the Great 
South Bay, allowing four and one-half degrees 
for variation. They then calculated the distance 
in the same course across the bay and beach, and 
they thus ascertained the distance across the Isl- 
and, bay and beach, which they found to be 
nineteen miles and some chains over. They 
then ascertained one-half this distance, and it 
fell near the Bridge road, about twenty 
chains north of it. The distance across the 
bay was four miles and twenty rods, across 
the beach was twenty chains and seventy-five 
links, from the sound to the middle road (by 
Titus Gould's) was >four and one-half miles, 
from that road to the South Bay was nine miles 
and sixty rods. Half the distance 'across the 
Island from the Sound to the bay was full three- 
quarters of a mile south of Raconkony Pond. 
From the cedar hassock to the Sound was sixty- 
eight chains, seventy-three links, but he did not 
measure out as far north as Crane Neck Point. 
His line went south to an extreme point of land 
projecting into the South Bay. 

Daniel Saxton says that he was twenty-nine 
years old in 1790, when Joshua Hart made his 
survey which purported to be the premises de- 
scribed in the Brookhaven Patents. The survey 
was begun in the spring of 1790 and finished in 
the summer of 1791. They began at a cedar 
hassock which was the east bound of Smith- 
town Patent, and ran a due north line to the 
Sound at West Meadows on the east side of 
Smithtown bay. They then ran a due south 
course to the Great South Bay, which they struck 
at the end of Newton's Point. They calculated 
by trigonometry the distance across the bay. 
They also measured across the island on a due 
north and south course, on the east bounds of the 
Patent oif Brookhaven, and by dividing the line 


measurements they obtained a line which they 
then denominated the middle of the Island. The 
line was run at the expense of a number of the 
people. Their object was to get a definite line, 
as they claimed to the middle of the Island. 

William Tooker testifies that he is sixty-five, 
that in 1790 he lived near Mooney Pond, and 
helped make the Hart survey. He now lives at 
Star Neck ijust east of Winthrop Patent. He 
knows the road called Bridge road, also called 
the Ox-head road. He once traveled the Conk- 
lin road more than thirty-five years ago, with one 
Jolm Ackerly, who was a much older man than 
he. He heard aged people call the Conklin road 
the country road. The Wheeler road went from 
Star Neck across the bridge (over Conetiquot 
river) through the Hoppoghs, and so on to Conk- 
lin's near Commack. The Wheelers at the Hop- 
pogh had a life lease of one of the necks near 
Blue Point, and they cut the road to get their 
hay. This was called Wheeler's road. Daniel 
Wheeler, now dead, who would be, is living, over 
one hundred years old, told him his family cut 
the road. 

The deposition of Daniel Smith 3d (who was 
too infirm to attend court) says he is eighty-six 
years old, and was born at Coram where Rich- 
ard W. Smith now lives, and resided there with 
his father, who kept an inn, until he was thirteen. 
Remembers there was a controversy as to the 
middle of the Island. The middle Island peo- 
ple wished to measure from the ocean. The 
south people (the owners of Nicoll Patent) 
wished to measure from the bay. 

The "Furrows" was a strip of land cleared 
of trees, and plowed up, so as to prevent fires 
spreading to the north side of the island. These 
were claimed to be the middle island. 

William Tooker states that he lived on lots 
16-17-18 of the Brookhaven allotments. The 
lots began at the Pond and numbered eastward. 
The defendant's lots were a little west of this. He 
held them under John Ackerly for seventeen 
years. Lot No. 10 or 11 was owned by Robert 
Ackerly, who died during the Revolutionary 
war. it Avas an old settled farm and had an old 
house on it when he first knew it. Richard 
Woodhull (the defendant) and Brewster Wood- 
hull were the two children of John Woodhull. 
TJie premises in controversy were a part of six 
lots west of No. 10, which were. formerly Jona- 
than Smith's. [He seems to> have had sons, 
Isaac (known as "black Isaac''), James and 
Alexander] . 

Jesse W Conklin, twenty-five years old, was 
born at Commack, states that the road called by 



old people the old oouutry road, is about three 
miles south of Jeffrey Woodhull's. It appeared 
to be a very old road, but not much traveled at 

Joel Rutland, fifty-one years old, says he lived 
in Islip, four miles west of Patchogue. He heard 
Robert Jayne ( who if now living would be one 
hundred years O'ld) sa}- that he remembered 
when the present South r'oad was scarcely pass- 

Several witnesses testified that it was an old 
tradition originally, that the bay at Islip and east, 
was very shallow, and was meadows and swamps, 
and It was impossible to cross it on horseback, and 
that the opening of the Fire Island inlet had 
flooded land formerly dry land and meadow. 

Joshua Sniith says that he was seventy last 
July, and is Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas. The Wheeler settlement is about three- 
fourths of a mile southwest of his house and 
about seven miles east of Conkliri's. [Note, the 
Joshua Smith house is yet standing at Hoppogue, 
1902.] The Conklin road turned from the Coun- 
tr}' road at Smithtown Branch and ran south- 
west and then west to Conklin's. The Bridge 
road called W'heeler's road began at the Conk- 
lin road -about three-fourths of a mile west of 
Wheeler's settlement. It ran southeasterly and 
crossed Conetiquot river where there was' a 
bridge formerly ; it then proceeded till it crossed 
a road called Terry's road. After passing this 
there was an ox head fixed along side of it, and 
it was called the Ox Head road. He never heard 
it called the Country road. He knew the Wheel- 
er family from boyhood. There are three aged 
men living, Jacob Wheeler, if living, would now 
be about ninety years old. He told him that 
the Wheeler family owned a neck called Blue 
Point, and the Wicks family owned Pine Neck. 
They cut this road. He says the Orowahe river 
is west of the river called Champlin's, or Wing- 
anhappagh. The road from the Hoppaghs to 
Ranconkony Pond has been made since the Rev- 
olution. The Conklin road is about 200 yards 
south from bis door and in sight. The Wheeler 
road from the Coiiklin road to Patchogue is 
about fifteen miles, and not a house on the road 
in its whole extent. 

Nicoll Floyd testifies that he knew Benja- 
min Havens, a fish carter, during the Revolu- 
tion. His father asked him how he escaped the 
British. He said he had a new road through 
the plains called the Fish road, traveled mostly 
by fishermen, and used on account of the British 
l^lundering e\-ery one on the Country road. 

William Brown, seventv years old, has al- 

ways lived in Islip, about half a mile from the 
bay. Never heard the Wheeler road called the 
Country road. 

Abijah Ketcham, sixt3'-two years old. His 
fatehr if living would be ninety. Has heard his 
father say that the Wheeler road was cut within 
his remembrance. 

Jacob Morris, sixty-two years old, was born 
in Islip, where he now lives. He heard William 
Terry say (who if alive would be eighty) that 
the iW'heeler road was cut to cart logs to Wheel- 
er's and Wicks'. The Wicks owned Pine 

Ephraini Smith, sixty-seven years old, states 
that he is one of the persons against whom suits 
for ejectment under Nicoll title are pending. His 
father used to live on Smith's Neck, west of 
Patchogue. He knew the Fisherman's road, and 
heard it called the old Country road. 

One of the witnesses was James M. Fanning, 
a surveyor, who made a survey and measured 
"the distance between the Sound and the ocean. 
By his survc}^ the ''middle of the island," meas- 
uring north from the South Bay, was one mile 
north of Ra.nconkony Pond. Measuring from 
the ocean it was i mile, 26 chains, 46 links 
north of the Bridge road. 

The jury brought in a verdict for defendant. 
The judge charged that the term "middle of the 
Island" meant a line half way between the bay 
and the Sound. 

An interesting chapter of history this, the 
foregoing shedding light, as it does, upon the 
difficulties which attended the settlement of land 
titles where large tracts of land were ambigu- 
ously described and there was conflict as to 
boundary lines. 

Next west of the lands of William Nicoll 
comes a tract granted to Andrew Gibb, a^nd 
known as "the Gibbs Patent.'' Upon a petition 
presented to Governor Richard Ingoldsby a grant 
was made to Andrew Gibb for "All that certain 
tract of vacant land on Long Island commonly 
called and known by the name of Winganhop- 
poge Neck, bounded on the east by Winganhop- 
poge river, south by the ba)'. west by Orawahe 
river and north by a right line from the head of 
Winganhoppoge river to the head of Orawahe 
river, whereon he intendeth to make some set- 




tlement and improvement." The annual quit- 
rent was 4 shillings. This is dated March 26, 
in the fourth year of William and Mary, King 
and Queen, etc., 1692. 

Andrew Gibb mortgaged this tract to Will- 
iam Richardson, October 30, 1703. 

Andrew Gibb was a man of importance in 
his day, and held many high positions. He was 
county clerk of Queens county and town clerk 
of Brookhaven. What became of him' is a ques- 
tion that has not been answered. There is no 
will nor letters of administration to tell where 
and when he died. A man of the same name was 
living in Westchester, but there is reason to be- 
lieve that he was a different person. Nothing 
more is learned concerning this tract except that 
in 1773 it was owned by Amos Willetts. His 
widow, Rebecca, and his son, Joseph Willetts, 
sold the east half of the neck to Benajah Strong 
March 18, 1773. He died in 1796 and left it to 
his wife Elizabeth and his children Samuel, 
Benajah, William and Silas C. Strong. They 
sold it to John T. Champlin, May 10, 1814, and 
since then it has been divided among many dif- 
ferent owners. 

Next to the land of Andrew Gibb comes the 
Mowbray Patent. John Mowbray, the owner of 
this tract, was living in Southampton in 1685. 
There is on record there in the town books the 
contract made with him to teach school from 
May to November, 1694, at the the rate of twelve 
shillings for each scholar. His wife was Eliza- 
beth, daughter of John Anning, who was also 
Hving in Southampton. From that town John 
Mowbray went to Islip in 1695. Among the 
original documents now in existence the peti- 
tion of John Alowbray states that in 1695 Eben- 
ezer Willson, Esq., obtained from Governor 
Fletcher a license to purchase from the native 
proprietors ''a. certain tract of waste and unim- 
proved land." John [Mowbray purchased an 
assignment of this license in 1701, by virtue of 
which he purchased part of the lands from the 
Indians and part from Olaf Van Cortlandt, 
Philip Van Cortlandt and Stephen Van Cort- 
landt, in 1705. He therefore prays that a patent 
may be granted. This petition was duly ap- 

proved by the Governor and Council October 8, 
1708, and the following is an abstract: 

Anne by the Grace of God, Queen of Great 
Britain, France and Ireland, etc. Whereas our 
loving subject John Mowbray by his petition 
to our well beloved Cousin, Edward, Viscount 
Cornbury, Capt. General and Governor, etc., 
hath prayed our confirmation of a certain piece 
of land o nthe south side of Lcmg Island. Be- 
ginning from the South bay, up Orawack brook 
or river, to the Country road, northerly, and from 
thence along the said Country road westerly till 
it comes to the east brook of Apple Tree Neck, 
upon a south line, and from thence along the 
South bay to the mouth of Orawack brook or 

This grant is then made on the usual terms, 
upon condition of his * 'yielding and paying at 
or upon the feast day of the birth of our Lord 
God, commonly called Xmas, the rent of 10 
shillings." This is dated October 19, 1708. 

The lands he bought of the Van Cortlandts 
are described in the following deed : 

Olaf Van Cortlandt, Philip Van Cortlandt 
and Stephen Van Cortlandt, "of New York, 
Gentlemen," to sell tO' John Mowbray of Awixa, 
in the County of Suffolk, "All that certain neck 
of land on the south side of Long Island, called 
by the Indians by the name of Campawis, extend 
ing northwest from the Indian path 5 English 
miles. Bounded south by the sea, east by a neck 
called Aloxihtak, and west b}- a neck called 
Mispotuck ; also all the certain neck called by the 
Indians Mispotuche neck, bounded south by the 
sea, west adjoining to Apple Tree neck, north 
by Huntington farms, and east by other lands." 
Price £100, March 2, 1705. 

The whole tract patented to John Mowbray 
included seven necks, of which the above were 
the two westermO'St. By a deed dated May 30, 
1701, "Wayumpe alias Pashamish and other In- 
dian natives of Sequatogue, sell to John Mow- 
bray, of South Hampton, all that certain neck of 
land and meadow situated on the south side 
of Long Island, commonly called and known by 
the Indian name oi Aweeksa, bounded east by 
the land late in tenure of Samuel Haight and 
Charles Doughty, south by the sound or bay, 
westward bv the east side of the neck of land 



called by the Indians Watchogue, running north- 
ward from the heads of Cagaqunks and Penata- 
quit rivers to the bounds between the north and 
south Indians." This deed is signed by twenty 
or more Indians. 

John Mowbray soW the neck next east of 
Aweeksa (and extending east to the Gibb Pat- 
ent) to Daniel Saxton, and it was' known as 
Saxton's neck. John Mowbray's second wife 
was Ruth (Stratton), widow of James White, 
of Southampton. By deed dated July ii, 1702, 
John Mowbray gives "to his two sons-in-law 
(stepsons), Charles White and Stephen White, 
and to their heirs male," ''All that my neck of 
land commonly called Pannataquit neck, bounded 
south by Watcho'gue river or creek, west and 
north by the Brushy Plains, at the extent of 
said river at Panataquit river, which is the east 
bounds of said neck, and parts this neck from- 
John Mowbray's land." 

On January 18, 1708, John Mowbray gives 
a deed with the same description to his stepson, 
Stephen White, and it is probable that Charles 
White had died in the interval. This neck of land 
continued to be known by its ancient aborig- 
inal name of Panataquit, till about forty years 
since it was changed to Bay Shore. 

By a deed dated July 20, 1712, John Mowbray 
gave to his son, Anning Mowbray, the neck 
called Awixa, described as "beginning at the 
mouth of Awixa creek and running north of the 
east side of said river, by Daniel Saxton's land, 
to the head of the same, then along the north 
bounds of Saxton's land till it comes to Mr. 
NicoU's path or road that goes to New York, 
then along the path till the head of Watchogue 
river bears due south and by east, then upon the 
said south and by east line until it comes to 
the northwest corner of Stephen White's land, 
then east along the bounds oif the same 
until it comes to the head of the Panata- 
quit river, then along the west side of said 
river to the Sound or South Bay, then along the 
bay east to the east side of Awixa river. To- 
gether with the dwelling house, etc." 

By deed dated July 31, 1712, John Mowbray 
and Ruth, his wife, sell to Amos Willetts of 

Islip, "All that certain neck of land and meadow 
called by the Indians Compams, bounded east 
by a neck called by the Indians Manatek, on 
the south by ye bay, on ye west by a neck called 
by ye Indians Muscritux, at ye north at five 
miles northward of the Indian Path. With all, 
etc." The price paid was £200. 

On January 13, 1708, John Mowbray ''of 
Awixa" gave to Thomas Powell, Jr., of Beth- 
page, in Queens county, a perpetual lease of "All 
my right to a neck on the south side of Long 
Island, called by the Indian name of Watchogue, 
bounded west by the middle of Manetuck brook 
or river, to the head thereof, then north and by 
west to the north side of the Pines, then east and 
by north until the head of Watchogue river bears 
due south and by east, thence over the same 
course to the head of said river, thence along the 
west side of said river to the South bay, and 
along the same to the middle of Manetuck brook 
or creek." The yearly rent was to be one 
shilling six pence. 

It will be observed that the neck sold to 
Amos Willetts was the eastermost of the two 
necks bought of the Van Cortlandts, and the 
neck sold to Thomas Powell was next east of 
that. According to a deed dated "the 23d day 
of the 3d month called May, 1735," the title to 
this neck was in some dispute. That Thomas 
Powell and Thomas Willetts, Sr., had purchased 
it from the Indians, and that Thomas Willetts 
had released his claim to Thomas Powell by 
deed January 15, 1708, and that John Mowbray 
had sold his right by -the above deed. Thomas 
Powell died, and by his will he made his wife 
Mary and his sons, Thomas and Wright Powell, 
and his brother, Wright Powell, his executors, 
with power to sell. The will was dated "the 16- 
day of the 9th month, 1731." The executors 
sold the whole neck to Amos Powell of Islip 
May 23, 1735. He sold it to John Smiith of 
Stony Brook, June 23, .1740. 

John Mowbray by his will dated October 
28, 1779, and proved December 23, 1784, left 
all his lands to his son Anning Mowbray, and he 
was to pay i6o to his three sisters, Anne, Charity 
and Lucretia. On October 27, 1794, an agree- 



ment was made between William Nicoll and 
Anning Mowbray that "the head of Orowak river 
should be at a maple tree standing about one 
rod north of where an old road crosses the head 
of said brook and thence west and by south until 
the head of Cachinucack river bears south and 
by east, according to an old conveyance given 
by John Mowbray to Daniel Saxton." 

On June 3, 1814, the trustees of Hunting- 
ton sold to Anning Mowbray "the south half 
of the Pine Plains lying between Nicolls road 
(or Candlewood road) and the road commonly 
called the Middle Country road, or Conklin's 
road. To extend from a line running due north 
from a tree at the head of Orowack brook, 160 
chains, 5 links, and from thence due west to a 
line running due north from the east bank of 
Apple Tree neck." 

The river called above Cachinucack, is doubt- 
less the stream on the east side of Penataquit 

On April 15, 1786, "Zebulon Saxton and 
wife Phebe and Elizabeth Saxton^ the elder," sold 
to Gilbert Carl of Huntington "the west half of 
the neck of land and meadow called Arewock," 
with half of a sawmill. The price was i250. 

To the west of the Mowbray Patent comes a 
neck, the original Indian name of which was 
Saghtakoos. On September 26, 1692, a license 
was granted to Colonel Stephanus Van Cort- 
landt to purchase this neck from; the Indians. 
This purchase was acquired by a deed dated Oc- 
tober I, 1692, the .consideration being £45. 

On January 12, 1692-3, an order was made 
to Augustine Graham, Surveyor General of the 
Province, "to survey and return a platt of Saghte- 
koos," and pursuant to this a return was made, 
dated October 9, 1693. Thereupon a patent was 
granted to Colonel Stephanus Van Cortlandt for 
*'A neck of land on the south side of Huntington 
in Suffolk county, called by the Indian name of 
Sagtakoos, and by the Christians called Apple 
Tree neck, being bounded west by Oakenock 
creek to an Indian foot path, and north by the 
footpath to the Saghtakoos creek, and east by the 
east bank of Saghtakoos creek as it runs to the 
bay, and south by the bay to the said Oakenock 

creek. Containing 150 acres." The patent and 
Indian deed also include the west bank of Oake- 
nock creek, though this description was not con- 
tained in later deeds. The east bank of Saghta- 
koos creek still belongs to the neck, a fact of 
considerable importance at the present time. The 
annual quit rent was "one shilling current 

After the death of Colonel Van Cortlandt 
his widow, Gertrude, and his sons, Philip, Ste- 
phen and Olaf Van Cortlandt, sold the whole 
neck to Timothy Carle of Huntington, Septem- 
ber 27, 1706. From him it descended to his 
oldest son and heir, Ananias Carle, v/ho left it 
by will to his son, Silas Carle, who sold the whole 
to Jonathan Thompson of Brookhaven, May 4, 
1758, for the sum of ii,20o. The tract had 
been greatly increased in size, as rnay be seen by 
the following description : 

Bounded west l;)y the brook that divides this 
neck from the neck of Richard Wil'letts, Be- 
ginning at a peperidge tree on the south side of 
the road that runs east and west across the neck 
amd stands about four or five feet north of the 
old Indian path that used to cross the neck, and 
then north by the main branch as far as the brook 
runs, and thence by the middle of the swamp 
to the head, and thence a due east line 8 chains, 
15 links, to a marked tree, and thence north 3 
English miles on a straight line from said Indian 
path, and from the end of the said 3 miles a 
due east line about 20 chains, thence a due south 
line to a peperidge tree at the fork of the two 
branches of the swamp that separates this neck 
from the neck of John Scudder, then south along 
the middle of the brook unto the creek between 
the said necks, then along the east side of the 
creek to the bay or salt water, then west along 
the bay to the creek that runs up between this 
neck and Richard Wrlletts' neck, and up the 
middle of the creek and brook to the first men- 
tioned peperidge tree. With dwelling house, 

The addition was made by purchase from 
the Indians November 20, 1699. ^^^ original 
patent, Indian deed and other interesting relics 
of the past are now in the possession of Hon. 
Frederick Diodati Thompson, the present Lord 
of the manor of Sagdikos, as it is now called, 



who by purchase from other heirs became the 
sole owner in 1894. 

To the west of the manor of Sagdikos or 
Apple Tree neck are two necks, which extend to 
the old line of Huntington (now Babylon). The 
title is as follows: 

' Wameas, Sachem, and other Indian pro- 
prietors of the land at Sequatogue, sell to Thomas 
Willetts and Richard Willetts of Jericho, in the 
town of Oyster Bay, a certain parcel of meadow 
land known bv the name of Sequatogue meadow, 
containing two necks, that is to say, the caster- 
most neck, called Fort Neck meadow, and the 
wiestermost, known by the name of George's 
neck or meadow, which said necks lye together 
and adjoining. Bounded west by a neck of 
meadow within Huntington bounds called Sampo- 
wams, on the north by the upland, east by a river 
called Gheconneck, and south by the sea." This 
is dated September 19, 1692. 

Following this a patent was granted by Gov- 
ernor Fletcher to Thomas and Richard Willetts 
for ''Two necks of land and meadow on the 
south side of the Island of Nassau, called Fort 
neck and George's neck. Beginning at the east 
side of Fort neck at a. peperidge tree standing 
on the bank of Oakenecke creek, and from' thence 
running along said creek as it runs to the bay, 
39 chains, then by the bay as it runs to the creek 
parting the two necks, then north up the said 
creek as it runs, 40 chains, then crossing to 
George's neck runs southerly down the said 
creek as it runs to the bay, then by the bay to 
Sampwams creek, 22 chains, then by said creek 
to the head thereof, then on a due north line 
to the north side of Sampwams swamp, then a 
due east line running until it meets with a due 
north line running from the marked tree on the 
northwest bounds of Colonel Van Cortlandt's 
land, and thence to Oakeneck creek and the 
peperidge tree where it began." This is dated 
October 10, 1695. 

The same Indians named before gave a new 
deed on May 8, 1696, for George's neck, which 
was bounded on the east of Sequatogue river or 
brook, the deed to include all the brook. 

On October 31, 1701, the same Indians gave\ 
another deed for a tract of upland at Sequa- 

togue neck, "hounded east by a swamp lying to 
the west of the house late in occupation of said 
Richard Willetts, which is about one-half mile 
east of Sequatogue river, and extending north to 
the Indian Fence." 

These deeds show that the original name of 
Fort Neck was Sequatogue, and was the head- 
quarters of the Indian tribe. Richard Willetts 
sold all his right to the land and m'eadow in the 
patent to his brother, Thomas Willetts, for £300, 
April I, 1702. 

On October 25, 1705, Wameas and the other 
Indians sold to Richard and Thomas Willetts 
"All that tract of Pine Plains land, bounded 
east by the land of Thomas Willetts and so run- 
ning east by Colonel Van Cortlandt's land un- 
til it comes to Compawams brook or swamp, 
and so running north until it com-es dear of the 
pine trees, and then running west along the edge 
of the pines to Sampwams hollow, and south 
along the hollow to Thomas Wiletts' bounds." 

''Compowams brook'' is the eastern boundary 
cyi the neck called in the old deeds "Aluscritux," 
and is the westermost neck in the Mowbray 

In April 23, 1710, Thomas Willetts gave to 
his son, Thomas, a tract of land bounded east 
by Sequatogue river and extending west along 
the bay to a small creek called Soquams, 123 
rods, and running north one mile. 

He also gave to his oldest son, Richard Wil- 
letts, a tract bounded west by Sequatogue river 
and south by the bay. He also gives to his 
son Thomas a tract next east of Richard's land, 
extending "along the bay to Kemscommon 
creek." In these deeds the whole tract is men- 
tioned by the name of ''Hocum." 

The Indian nam'e of Okeconneck Was cor- 
rupted into "Oak Neck." 

On January i, 1710, the Indians gave a deed 
to Thomas and Richard Willetts for a tract of 
lajnd, "bounded east by Oaka river, where the 
old Indian fence began, and running west by 
the fence half way to Sequatogue river, then 
southerly to the west branch of Kemscommon 
swamp, and then south to the meadows, taking 
in all the island of upland that lyeth in the 




meadows, and along the bay to Oaka river, and 
along it to the place of beginning." 

George's neck, which is next to the town of 
Babylon, is a corruption of "Goorgo his neck,'J 
and is probably the name of some Indian sachem. 

On the west side of this neck in the early 
part of the last century was an extensive farm 
owned by William Conkling. In his old age he 
married ^lary, widow of Francis Pelletreau, and 
gave her the estate, which fell to her two chil- 
dren, Henry Pelletreau and Cornelia, wife of 
Rev. Ralph Smith. It is now known as ''Sutton 

Richard Willetts sold the east part of Oak 
neck (or Sequatogue neck) to Colonel Piatt 
Conkling in 1779. 

The Commissioners sold to Jeremiah Terry, 
of Islip, December 16, 1786, for ^415, "one-half 
of a certain neck of land on which Jeremiah 
Terry now lives. Bounded east by the middle of 
a creek that divides the said neck from the lands 
of Samuel Tobey, to the head of said creek, and 
from thence adjoining the land of said Samuel 
Tobey to the Country road ; northward upon the 
said Country road, being the South Country 
road; westerly by the middle of the river on 
which Jeremiah Terry's sawm'ill now stands, with 
the privilege of damming and raising a pond 
on the little neck commonly called the Forks; 
southerly by the Bay." This is the eastern half 
of said neck. 

In 1793, ^lay 2, Gershom Hawkins sold to 
Jeremiah Terry "All his right to the west half 
of a neck of land on which we now live, in Islip, 
except fifteen acres of salt meadow, on the west 
side of said neck, south of Joseph Young's 

The above named tracts are probably the vil- 
lage of Sayville. 

Among the few original deeds for lands in 
the Nicoll Patent is the following': 

This indenture made the nine and twentieth 
day of November in the year of our Lord 1683 
Between Wenequaheag, Indian Sachem and Pro- 
prietor of Coneticutt on ye one part, and William 
Nicolls now of ye city of New York, Gent, of 
the other part, Witnesseth that for and in con- 

sideration of a certain sum of money in hand 
paid by the said William Mcolls. The said 
Wenequaheag hath granted bargained and sold 
'^' '" All that neck tract or parcel of land situ- 
ate lying and being on ye south side of Long 
Island, Bounded on the east by a certain River 
called Connettcutt, On ye South by ye Sound- 
On ye west by a certain River called Contasquatt- 
ahab, and on ye North In' a right line froin ye 
head of said River called Conetticutt to ye head 
of the before mentioned River called Contas- 
quatah. To Have and to Hold etc." 

The mark of \A'exeouaheag, 
Witnesses : 

Tliomas Townsend, 

John W^icL's, Constable of Oyster Bay, 

AFunguagb X Sachem of Rokaway, 

Nathaniel Colles, 

William Creed, 

William White. 

Practically all of the present township of Islip 
was held by the proprietors named heretofore in 
this narrative excepting a small portion in the 
north which no one seemed to want. Mowbray 
seems to have gone into the business of selling 
portio'ns of his extensive real estate as soon as 
all the legal requirements which invested him 
with proprietorship had been complied with. The 
others, however, held on to theirs, probably as in. 
the case of Nicolls and his heirs, with the view 
of keeping intact a great estate, which would 
by its very extent confer .distinction. 

But under such circumstances the territory 
did not attract much additions to its population. 
William Nicolls did not spend much of his time 
for many years at Islip Grange, and there is a 
tradition that Andrew Gibb, in his anxiety to 
have a neighbor he could speak to, deeded a 
large share of his land to Amos Willetts, a 
Quaker, on condition that the latter should live 
near him, and the bargain was carried out. 
There is also a tradition that William Nicolls 
tried to mduce a settlement in or near the pres- 
ent village of Islip, but was not very successful. 
It was probably not until all of the original pat- 
.entees had been gathered to their fathers that 
the entrance gates were unbarred sufficiently to 
permit others to enter and "enjoy the land." The 
Nicolls estate descended to William Nicolls (6), 



who died in 1823; with him the entailment 
ceased, and it passed to his children, William 
(7) and Frances Louisa, who m'arried General 
William H. Ludlow. 

The other earl}^ proprietors remain to be 
mentioned. Thomas and Richard Willetts were 
Quakers from Rhode Island, and from them are 
. descended the widely dispersed memlbers of the 
family name. Stephen Van Cortlandt came from 
New Amsterdam, where he had been a merchant. 
He was also probably the most active oi the 
local statesmen of his time, filling every office of 
importance in the Province except that of Gov- 
ernor. He was- a soldier, a merchant. Mayor of 
New York, member of Council, Judge of the 
Common Pleas in Kings county, and it is hard to 
tell all what. Little is known of Andrew Gibb, 
and he does not appear to have left descendants 
upon Long Island. The Mowbray line was pre- 
served to local history beyond all other of the irn- 
migrant families, and has a direct descendant in 
Dr. Jai-vis R. Moubray, who died but recently. 

In 1720, when the records of the township, 
as such, commence, the freeholders were : 

Benjamin Nicolls (Supervisor) . 
Thomas Willetts C Assessor). 
John Mowbray (Assessor). 
Isaac Willets (Collector). 
James Saxton ( Constable) 

William Nicolls 
David Akerly, 
Joseph Dow, 
John M^oger, 
William Gi'hb, 
George Phillips 
John Arthur, 
Amos Powell, 
John Smith, 
Samuel Muncy, 
William Green, 
Eichard Willets 

Anning Mowbray, 
Joseph Saxton, 
James M^orris, 
Israel Howell, 
John Scudder, 
Jr. J Ananias Carll, 
Ste])hen White, 
Amos Willets, 
Daniel Phillips^ 
Joseph Udall, 
Samuel Tillotson. 

In 1757 the tax list of the town was as fol- 
lows : 

Jesse Willets, 
Eunice Conkhng,, 
Joseph Wells, 
Joseph Dow, 
Israel Smith, 

Isaac Smith, 
Joseph Foster, 
Israel Howell, 
John Mov^Hbray, 
Sarah Mowbray, 

Amos Willetts, 
John Rogers, 
Samuel Moncey, 
Joseph Udell, 
Amy Willetts, 
Margaret Willetts 
Richard Willetts, 
Alexander Smith, 
Daniel and Israel 
Daniel Willetts, 
Nathaniel Smith, 
Jonathan Smith, 
Jacob Willetts, 
Samuel Willetts, 
Joseph Willetts, 
Rebecca Willetts, 
William Smith, 
Wm. Nicoll, 
Zebulon Robins, 
Eleazer Hawkins, 
John Arthur, 
John Moger, 
Mowbray Smith, 
George Philhps, 
Samuel Phillips, 
William Phillips, 
Benjamin Gold, 
Eliphalet Piatt, 
Obadiah Green, 
James Morris, 

Joseph Saxton, 
Eunice Saxton, 
Mary Piatt, 
Timothy Carll, 
Thomas Wheeler, 
Timothy Wheeler, 
Joseph Blydenbureh, 
Joseph Blvdenburgh, Jr. 
Lewis, Timothy Smith, 
Mary Newton, 
Isaac Newton, 
Caleb Newton, 
Clement Bartow, 
Morris Bartow, 
Simon Haff, 
Nathaniel Ackerley, 
Philip Ackerley. 
Benjamin Nicoll, 
Nathaniel Davis, 
Alexander Hawkins,. 
William Smith, 
David Da^'ton, 
Samuel Hawkins, 
Jonas Mills, 
Phebe Powell, 
Sarah Willetts, 
Sarah Powell, 
Rachel D'Honeur, 
Anne Morris. 

The town meeting was a weakly affair until 
long after the nineteenth century had dawned. 
It could not be otherwise in the presence of the 
large landed interests which were on every side 
of "the precinct of Islip." In 1737 Ananias 
Carll, John Arthur and John Scudder were elect- 
ed Overseers of the Poor, which may be accepted 
as evidence of increasing population and advanc- 
ing civilization, but the principal work of the 
town meetings even up to 1820 was to attempt 
to restrict the harvest of the sea, or as much of 
it as lay before them, to the actual residents. 
Fishing was for long the main industry of the 
people, and clamming and oystering in time 
reached large proportions, and continued to af- 
ford employment to several thousands of people 
in one way or another. For many years the for- 
ests of pine and oak, which seemj to have in, 
primitive times covered the township, afforded 
a revenue for the patentees and much employ- 
ment to the people. But as the timber was cut 



down it was not -replaced, and as the supply of 
nature gave out the employment ceased, the mills 
which had been built to cut the wood into staves, 
etc., fell into decay, and the ground on which 
the ''monarchs of the forest" stood was given 
over to brushwood. Several mills were started 
from time to time, and no part of Long Island 
was better adapted for manufacturing purposes, 
but few had any pronounced success, few lasted 
over a decade in any one's hands. Stock raising, 
although extensively engaged in for some years, 
gradually became unprofitable, and in 1876 was 
abandoned altogether as a recognized industry. 
The population increased slowly; in 1820 it was 
figured as 1,150, in 1830 as 1,653, i^ 1^4^ ^s 
1,909, and in 1850 as 2,602. It was not until the 
land monopoly was abandoned and the railway 
crossed its territory that Islip began to assume 
its modern position and popularity. 

The village of Islip, as does the town, takes 
its name from the town of the same name in 
>sorthampton shire, England, the seat of the fam- 
ily of Nicolls. 

The early church record of Islip is an ex- 
tremely scanty one, as might easily be imagined 
from the way in which its territory was por- 
tioned off. Thompson gives the first church 
building as that of St. John's Episcopal, "a 
grotesque-looking edifice of small dimensions and 
singular shape, standing upon the Country road 
near the middle of Nicolls' patent. It was erect- 
ed in the year 1766, principally, if not entirely, 
at the expense of the then opulent proprietor 
of that immense estate." Prime places the erec- 
tion of the building three years later, saying : *Tn 
1769 a small church edifice was erected by the 
patentee near the middle of the town on the 
south road, designed for the celebration of divine 
worship according to the forms of the Episco- 
pal Church, and was occasionally used for "that 
purpose, though it long remained unblessed by 
prelatical hands. From 1814 the 'Rev. Charles 
Seabury, rector of Caroline church, at Setauket, 
acted as missionary to this congregation and de- 
voted a iportion of his time to its service. In 
1843 this church was repaired and enlarged, and 

on the 6th of July duly consecrated by the 
Bishop." Prime also mention-s an Indian con- 
gregation, but seems to doubt if it had a regular 
house of worship. 

-The Methodist Church dates from 18 10, al- 
though the first church was not erected until 
1828. It was a wooden structure measuring 
about 22 by 32, and was erected so as to be as 
convenient as possible to the brethren in Penata- 
quitj as Bay Shore was then cailled. It was not 
until 1850 that Methodism organized a separate 
society at Bay Shore, and about 1854 a small 
chapel was erected. The best of feeling during 
all the separation preceding seems to have pre- 
vailed between the brethren at Islip and those 
at Penataquit. Amos Doxsee, the leader of the 
class at the latter place, was, like all of his fam- 
ily, a stanch supporter of Methodism, a believer 
in the most literal interpretation of the Scrip- 
tures and in their verbal interpretation. It is 
told of him that at a meeting of the clergy and 
laity, to give expression of their views on danc- 
ing, which was beginning to creep into the early 
church, having held back and being appealed 
to by the pastor for his opinion, be stood up and, 
slowly raising his gaunt figure on tiptoe, said : 
"Now I'll tell you what I think about dancing. 
Let a man be filled with the Holy Ghost and if 
he wants to dance, let him dance." 

One of his brothers, Leonard, was class lead- 
er for over twenty years, and another brother, 
Benjamin, was a trustee for some forty years 
and was proud at being able, in spite of the 
weight of years, to work a little on the walls of 
the Tabernacle of 1892, the latest development 
of the home congregation which his family had 
been so prominent in founding. Many of the 
old members of the church even now recall the 
grand "seasons of refreshing" in 1877 and 1878, 
when the Rev. Stephen Rushmore led in a 
series of revivals which are said to have stirred 
Bay Shore to its depths. 

St. Mark's Episcopal Church at Islip was 
organized in 1847 under the Rev. William 
Everett. Its present building was erected in 
i88o by William H. Vanderbilt. This church 
has mission stations at Central Islip since i^ 



and at Brentwood since 1872. Emanuel Church 
at Great River was organized in 1862 by St. 
Mark's, but in 1878 it was erected into a sep- 
arate parish. Christ Church, West IsHp, dates 
from 1869, and St. Ann's, - at Sayville, from 
1866. The Presbyterian Church of Ishp had 
its beginning in 1854, and the Dutch Reformed 
Church dates its entrance into the township from 
1866, one year before its church at Sayville was 

During the Revolutionary period resided with 
Judge Isaac Thompson one whose name was 
better known two or three generations ago 
than it is to-day — Lindley 
Murray. He was born in Leb- 
anon county, Pennsylvania, 
and was educated for the bar, 
but abandoned all attempt to 
practice during the war. It is 
supposed that while in Islip 
he was occupied in writing 
his famous grammar, which 
was completed during his 
residence in England, whither 
he had gone for the benefit of 
his health and where he died 
in 1826. He was a Quaker, 
and royalist during the Revo- 
lution. His father Robert 
Murray him'self went to Eng- 
land with his family, but returned in 1775 
and engaged in mercantile pursuits with his 
son Lindley, under the firm nam-e O'f Mur- 
ray, Sansom & Company, London and New 
York. Although a Quaker, he kept his 
coach, which he called his ^'leathern vehicle for 
conveniency." Many deeds and wills written by 
Lindley iMurray are yet to be found in Suffolk 

The present Islip (population 1,956) is not 
only a pleasant home village, but it has become 
fashionable. Its splendid hotels and club houses, 
and the magnifkent estates of W. K. Vanderbilt, 
F. G. 'Bourne, W. K. Astor, the Cutting family, 
as well as the hundreds of palatial villas which 
have -been erected mainly by New Yorkers for 
their summer homes, have drawn to it people 

of the very highest class, people who, by their 
means and tastes, have made even much of 'its 
sandy wastes blossom into veritable gardens. 
There is an air of exclusiveness outside of the 
villages and hotels which seems to be especially 
pleasing to those who regard themiselves as the 
fashionable world, while such enterprises as the 
group of Moorish houses, erected by H. 0. 
Havemeyer at Bayberry Point, near Islip, is an 
experiment in the way of co-operation among 
the very rich which will be watched with curious 
interest. The Vanderbilt estate at Oakdale, with 
its new mansion costing, it is said, $1,600,000, 


and its thousand acres of farm and garden and 
wood land, and its iron fence, beautiful en- 
traces, lodges, farm buildings, game preserves, 
and it is hard to tell all what, is a veritable fairy- 
land and one of the wonders of Islip. It is a 
part of the old Nicolls patent, and when it first 
passed into the hands of the Vanderbilts was a 
mass of brush and shrub, half-starved fields 
and broken-down steadings. Now its gardens, 
its groves of oak and m)aple, its well kept lawns 
and smiling fields seem to speak eloquently of 
how man can triumph over nature with the aid 
of determination, taste, ambition and money. 
During late years trees have been planted liberal- 
ly all along the line of population, and Islip now 
boasts of her pine and other forests, while na- 
ture has also been at work replacing the damage 



done by the depletion of a generation, that has 
now passed, and it is safe to say that the value 
of such forests is now too highly appreciated 
to permit again of their wanton destruction for 
purposes of firewood. 

equal variety if not quantity of goods. Here 
are the spacious grounds of the Bay Shore Driv- 
ing Park Association and of the Olympic Club. 
Across the Great South Bay, reached by steamer, 
is the world-known Fire Island. 


Writing a score of years ago, an Islip an- 
nalist said that "so thickly are summer resi- 
dences scattered along the South Road through 
this town that it is almost a continuous village." 
For some years past that word ''almost" could 
be eliminated and the sentence would hold good 
to-day. All along the line of the railroad and 
the South Road is a continuous succession of 
villages, hamlpts, country seats and villas from 
Udall's Road to .Bayport. 

Babylon, after Islip, is the most ancient vil- 
lage in the township, but, like its neighbor, its 
chief characteristic is its modernity. It was once 
called Mechanicsvilk, and then Penataquit, from 
a small stream in its vicinity. It boasts a popu- 
lation of 3,135, and is a delightful home spot all 
the year round. The village contains a great 
number of the most elaborate residential estab- 
lishments to he found on Long Island, with ele- 
gant church and school buildings ^nd hotels, 
Shopping facilities are almost equal tO' those of 
the city, the wellkept stores presenting almost 

Sayville was meant to be known as Seville, 
after the famous city of that name in Spain, but 
the secretary of the organizing meeting blun- 
dered in his orthography, and the present form 
of the name was recorded upon the rolls of the 
Postoffice Department in Washington, and has 
been preserved to the present time. A Meth- 
odist class was organized here about 1838 by 
members of the church at Patchogue, but it was 
not until 1847 that a house of worship was erect- 
ed, and it continued to be associated with 
Patchogue until 1866, when it became a sep- 
arate charge. The village (population 3,369) 
has several modern hotels, and the private resi- 
dences are of the best cottage style, while some 
are more pretentious. Near by are the scientific 
trout ponds of 'Mr. R. B. Roosevelt. 

At Central Islip is located the Manhattan 
State Hospital, one of the finest institutions of 
its kind in the country. Other pleasant villages 
are Youngsport and Great River. 



ROOKHAVEN is the largest township 
on Long Island, and its geographical 
center is 57 miles from the city hall 
in New York. It extends the en- 
tire width of the island and has twenty 
mi'les of coast line on the Sound, 221 on the 
Great South Bay and about thirty on the At- 
lantic, facing Fire Island or Great South Beach. 
Its acreage has been figured at 152,500, its 
square mileage at 250. The land surface is di- 
versified. The north side is elevated, broken 
and rugged in the immediate vicinity of the 
above, but more level a few miles inland. 
Through the middle a range of hills extends 
from west to east, and in their neighborhood the 
land is rolling, and ponds, marshes, streams, clay 
beds and rich deposits of muck or peat abound. 
South O'f this range the land is fiat and low, 
having an almost imperceptible slope to the sea. 
Spots of rich, heavy loam may be found in dif- 
ferent parts of the town, but they are most com- 
mon upon the north side. The soil of the central 
and southern parts is considerably enlivened with 

The water inlets cover an area of 70 square 
miles, and are Conscience Bay, Setauket Harbor, 
Port Jefferson Bay and Mount Sinai Harbor 
upon the north side, and on the south side East 
Bay and a considerable part of the Great South 
Bay, sections of which are known as Brook- 
haven, Patchogi^e and Bellport Bays. 

The first purchase of land was made in 1655 
from the Setalcott Indians by a party of six 

pioneers, who were eviaently acting on behalf of 
others, prospecting, as it were, for a spot on 
which to establish a colony. Five of these were 
from Massachusetts — John Scudder, John 
Swezie, Jonathan Porter, Roger Chester and 
Thomas Charles, and one, Thomas Mabbs or 
Mapes, belonged to Southold and was one of 
the original settlers of that township. Probably 
he accompanied the others as being a man of ex- 
perience in dealing with the natives ; it could 
hardly be because he had any knowledge of the 
land. The party had with theml the usual col- 
lection of coats, hatchets, powder, knives and 
the like with which to do a land business with 
the Indians, and appear to have made a pretty 
good bargain. 

Pretty soon those for whom the prospectors 
were acting 'began to arrive; most of them were 
from New England, but several came from other 
portions of Long Island, from Soiithamlpton and 
even *from Jamaica. Within a few years the fol- 
lowing were found in the settlement according to 
a list in "Thompson's History:" 

Zachartah Hawkins, 
Peter Whitehaire, 
John Jenners, 
Henry Perring, 
Andrew Gibb, 
William Satterlv, 
Thomas Biggs, 
John Tooker, 
Henry Rogers, 
William Fancy, 
Jacob Longbotham. 

Richard Woodhull, 
John Roe, 
John Budd, 
Henry Brooks, 
William Williams, 
Robert Woolley, 
Samuel Akerly, 
Arthur Smith, 
John Combs, 
Richard Waring, 
Joseph Mapes, 



Daniel Lane, 
Richard Floyd, 
Francis Aluncy, 
Obed Seward, 
John Wade, 
William Salyer, 
Robert Smith, 

, Edward Avery, \/ 

^John Smithy 
Samuel Dayton, 
John Davis, 
William Frost, 
John Thomas, 
Elias Baylis, 
John Thomipson, 
Thomas AA^ard, 

Thomas Thorp, 
Richard Bryant, 
Samuel Eburne, 
Timothy Brewster, 
John Brewster^ 
William Poole, 
Daniel Brewster, 
Thomas Sharpe, 
George Phillips,, 
Thomas Smith, 
Moses Burnet, 
Richard Smith [Bull] 
Thomas Helme, 
Jcsliua Garlick, 
John Moger, 
Robert Akerlv. 

It was essentially a New England community 
and as usual the scheme of town government 
was at once set up. A town was fixed at what 
afterward became Setauket and aronnd it were 
the home lots, one of which was reserved for a 
meeting house and one for a minister, when he 
should come. Each of the original settlers had 
a home lot and a further allotment of meadow, 
or a lot on the beach, besides each settler was at 
liberty to buy what additional land he pleased, 
only the purchases should be confirmed by town 
meeting. The power was put in operation very 
early in the history of the colony; probably a 
town meeting decided the primal allotment of the 
lands. A town house was built upon the home 
lots, which served the purpose oi a place for 
town meetings and for divine worship until the 
first church was built in 1671. So far. as can 
be seen the colony was an independent body; 
its town meeting was the supreme dictator of 
all its affairs until 1661, when it voluntarily 
acknowledged itself as under the gO'vernraent of 
Connecticut and sent Richard Woodhull and 
Thomas Pierce to represent it in General Meet- 
ing. That connection, sentimental as it mainly 
was, did not last long, and Governor NicoUs 
made it clear, soon after he assumed control, 
that the Long Island colonies should look to 
New York and not to Hartford for protection 
and support. 

The town of Setauket had hardly been found- 
ed than additional tracts of land were secured 
by the colony from the Indians. In 1657 a large 

tract at M'astic was purchased ; in 1664 
their purchases gave them a vast tract from the 
Great South Bay to the middle of the Island, 
■and for a coat, a knife, a pair of stockings, two 
hoes, two hatchets and two shirts they secured 
practically the land along the shore from Old 
Man's Harbor to Wading River. In 1675 the 
purchase of all the land from Stony Brook to 
Wading River was confiimied by the Indian 
Sachem Gy, and bit by bit all the territory in- 
cluded in the present limits of the town'ship, and 
indeed much more, was given up to its repre- 
sentatives so far as the Indian power of disposal 
w^as concerned. In accomplishing all this quite 
a large variety of coats, stockings, penknives, 
powder and the like was doubtless expended, but 
the Indians were m'ade complaisant in another 
way, for in 1671 the buyers were told to "take 
some likers with them to the Indians," and 
charge the cost to the town. 

The principal negotiator in all these trans- 
actions, evidently the leading and mo'st repre- 
sentative citizen of the young town, was Rich- 
ard Woodhull, and his importance in early af- 
fairs, and as the progenitor of descendants who 
became distinguished in the State and Nation 
to the present generation, warrants sufficient di- 
gres'sion to here notice him at some length. 

Richard Woodhull was a man of superior 
attainm'ents, a practical surveyor, of undoubted 
personal courage, a born diplomat and an able 
executive, all the qualities in fact which were 
reproduced in the most famous of his descend- 
ats. General Nathaniel Woodhull, the Long Isl- 
and hero of the Revolution. He is said to have 
descended through an ancient lineage from a 
subject of William the Conqueror who came 
with him from Normlandy into England in 1066. 
He was born in Northamptonshire, England, 
September 13, 1620, and is supposed to have 
come to this country when a young man. His 
first appearance is at Southampton about 1644, 
and he may have come from Lynn with the orig- 
inal com'pany of settlers of Southampton. He 
appears to have manifested there the same un- 
tiring energy and active interest in the affairs 
of the town that made hitn afterward so con- 



spicuous in Brookhaven. He was frequently 
placed on juries, on committees and on many 
important missions. He seems to have left 
Southampton about 1655, and after a year or 
two appears among the early settlers of Brook- 
haven, where July 20, 1657, he purchased of 
Wyandanch two necks of meadow at Mastic 
for the town. He was appointed a magistrate 
for the town by the court at Hartford, May 16, 
1661, which position he held for many years. 
He was one of the patentees of 1666, and again 
of 1686, and wa's a surveyor and conveyancer 
of superior abilities. He was appointed to many 
offices and acted on many important commis- 
sions, one O'f the most conspicuous of which was 
that masterly stroke of diplomacy by which the 
title of the town to the whole northern territory 
was forever freed from the complication of In- 
dian claim's under which it was liable to fall. 
His was a character which for principles of 
honor and justice, unselfish motives, far-seeing 
discretion, kindliness of manners, and constant 
zeal in public service has few superiors among 
the honored names that grace the first pages of 
American history. 

Something may be said of some of Wood- 
hull's colleagues and of some who came im- 
m'ediately after the founding of the colony. Rob- 
ert Akerly was an inhabitant in 1664, and was a 
town trustee; in 1718; Samuel (presumably his 
son) was a herdsman for the people in 1672, and 
in 1695 was a fence viewer. Robert Arnold came 
in 1662, and, with John Jenners, and one Smith 
and another. Tucker, was appointed the same 
year to settle differences between contestants, 
having almost magi'sterial powers. Edward 
Avery was a blacksmith, and, as a highly useful 
member of the community, he was accorded 
special privileges. John Budd, whom we have 
met in the history of Huntington, was also 
among the early settlers, but did not remain 
long. John Dier was an early freeholder ; he did 
not remain long, but left hrs name to the point of 
land known as Dier's Neck, between Port Jeffer- 
son and Setauket. Ralph Dayton was fathe'r of 
Samuel Dayton, who figured as a commissioner 
to the Indians, and was presumably the pro- 

genitor of the numerous family of his name in 
the present day. Richard Floyd became a large 
land owner, and is supposed to have brought the 
first negro slave to the town. He held almost all 
the town offices, and numerous of his descendants 
became conspicuous in the county and State. 
Zachariah Hawkins was a man of influence, and 
his descendants are numerous. John Jenners 
was a juror in 1663, a patentee in 1666, and a 
delegate to convention in 1691. William Jayne, 
whose descendants are numerous, was one of the 
active men in community affairs. Daniel Lane 
was a man of large business capacity, and built a 
mill in 1667. Thomas Mapes-or (Mabbs), one 
of the six land buyers in 1655, was a justice of 
the peace in 1693, and removed to Southold, 
where he was a captain of militia. Andrew Mil- 
ler was founder of what came to be the beauti- 
ful hamlet, IMiller's Blace, where his descendants 
resided into the twentieth century. Nathaniel 
Norton was a carpenter, and was absolved from 
taxes for six years for his services in the building 
of the meeting-house; he is yet represented by 
a numerous posterity. William NicoUs, one of 
the proprietors, has been previously written^oi, 
in connection with the town of Islip. John_Rc>e 
was a shoemaker, and acquired various town 
offices ; his descendants are numerous. Richard 
Smith, who came in 1656, was a man of more 
than ordinary ability, and was elected to promi- 
nent positions ; he was founder of the town which 
bears his name, ^^^illiam Simson was an enter- 
prising man and sailed a mierchandise boat be- 
tween the settlement and the Connecticut shore. 
John Scott was a lawyer, and practiced in South- 
ampton three years before his coming to Brook- 
haven in 1663. Eben Salsberry, who came in 
1666, was high sheriff in 1670. John Tookcr, 
whose name is perpetuated in numerous de- 
scendants of the present day, was a highly use- 
ful man — he was an inn-keeper and held various 
offices, and in 1677 the town made him a land 
grant of fiftv acres for "writing the records to 

December 27, 1686, a grant was made to An- 
drew Gibb of a tract of land commonly called 
the Indian Ground, situate on a place called 



^linassoack, or the Little Xeck, bounded east by 
the Harbor^ south by the five acre lot late in ten- 
ure of Richard Smith of Smithtown, west by 
land now .or late in tenure of John J\Iunsey and 
Samuel Alunsey, at north by the Harbor. 

September 2g, 1677, a Patent was granted 
to Richard Woodhull and Nathaniel Wood- 
hull "for a certain parcell of land at the Wad- 
ing Creek to the east of Setalcott upon Long 
Island^ containing 120 acres of upland. That is 
to say, 40 acres lying in the N-eck of \'ekhies' 
wigwam. Bounded by a creek or fresh run on 
the east, and the long fresh brook on the west, 
the meadow and Wading Creek on the north 
and the Commons on the south. And 80 acres 
more lying westward from the aforesaid fresh 
brook near a mile, at a place commonly called 
the Long Chesnut Trees, being in length north 
and south 160 poles, and in breadth 80 poles. 
Bounded by the commons on all f^ur sides. 
Together with 40 acres of meadow, jinded on 
the north with the Wiading Creek, on the east 
by the same creek, which parts Southold 
bounds and Setalcott, on the south b\' the upland. 
As considered to be convenient for two farms." 
The land thus granted or a part of it, is, we be- 
lieve, still in the possession of the WoodhuU. 

Richard Smith, the Patentee of Smithtown, 
sells to Samuel Ebume, April. 5, 1686, "All his 
entire right and interest in all lands in the Town 
of Brookhaven." This includes a House Lot, 
bounded west by highway, north lot formerly 
of Samuel Terrill, south by land of widow 
Fancz, containing 5 acres. Also a 5 acre lot in 
Newtown, being No. 7, lying between Zachariah 
Hawkins and John Tooker. Also lot No. 24 in 
Xewtown, between the land of John Roe and 
John Jenners. Also "lands in the Old field, in a 
place called Cranes Neck." And 50 acres at the 
Old Mans, ''bounded north by the North Sea, and 
west by the path going down upon the beach." 
A large number of pieces of land and meadow 
are mentioned. The price mentioned is £90, 
which must have been a nominal consideration. 

Samuel Eburne also purchased from WiMiam 
Jane, John Thomas and others, various tracts of 

land, which must mave made him an extensive 
land owner. 

John Houlton and wife Sarah sell to Mr. 
Samuel Eburne 'A parcel of land that the town 
gave m'e, being about 8 acres, lying between Ar- 
thur Forthy's and John Tooker's, tailor." Dated 
February 17, 1685. 

John Tooker (or Tucker) tailor, sells to Mr. 
Samuel Eburne "A certain tract of land given 
to me by the Town, and situate between John 
Houlton's land given by the Town, and that 
which was apointed for a minister's lot." Feb. 
13, 1686. 

Mr, Eburne thus became the owner of three 
lots adjoining each other, and opposite the 

The following deeds are alsoi on record : 
"Whereas John Thompson by virtue of a grant 
from the freeholders and Inhabitants of Brook- 
haven, stands now possessed of one home lot 
of land situate lying at and being, in said Town, 
and aginst the Aleeting House, bounded to ye 
eest and southeest by the land of Anthony 
Thompson and Jacob Longbottom, to the west by 
the land of John Tooker, containing five acres, 
with all rights, etc. Also his share of meadow at 
Mattamummax bounded east by the meadow of 
Wm. Thompson, north by upland, west by mead- 
ow of Thomas Briggs, south by the Bay or 
Sound." He sells these and some other parcels of 
land to John Palmer, of New York, Gentleman, 
for iioo, March 2, 1685. 

The manner in which titles were derived will 
appear from the following deeds, grants and 
records, with reference to lands in the neigh- 
borhood of Setauket: 

"This Indenture made the 28 day of Novemi- 
ber 1685. Between Goodyer, Bombrash, alias 
Washassaquohague, and Robin, alias Cutcha- 
wahton, Indians oi Brookhaven, in Suffolk Coun- 
ty, of the one part and Andrew Gibb of the same 
place, merchant. Witnesseth that in considera- 
tion of £45 they sell to said Andrew Gibb All 
their farm or tract of land situate upon Minas- 
sonche or Little Neck in the township of Brook- 
haven, adjoining^ to the Five acre lot belonging 
to Richard Smith, southerly, and to the land in 
occupation of John and Samuel Muncey, wester- 



ly, being bounded as by the Records of Brook- 
haven Containing 70 acres." 

Based upon this, Andrew Gibb obtained the 
following Patent: 

Thomas Dongan, Capt. General and Governor 
iSrc. to all &c. Whereas Andrew Gi^bb of Brook- 
haven, Gentleman, by my lycense hath purchased 
from the Indian natives, a certain tract or par- 
cell of land, commonly called the Indian Ground, 
situate on a certain place called by the name of 
Minassonke or the Little Neck, in the town of 
Brookhaven. Bounded east ward by the Har- 
bour, southerly by the five acre lot late in the 
occupation of Richard Smith, of Smithtown, 
westerly by the land now or late in the tenure of 
John Muncy and Samuel Muncey, and northerly 
by the Harbor. Now Know you that by virtue 
of our commission We have given granted &c 
to the said Andrew Gibb all and singular the said 
tract of land * "^ He rendering and paying 
yearly and .every year the Quit Rent of one 
bushell of good winter wheate. In testimony &c. 
We have caused the Seal of the f*rovince to be 
afhxed Dec. 27 t686. 

Thomas Dongan. 

On 'May 8, 1687, Andrew Gibbs obtained a 
new deed from Catchegon Sachem, and Pame- 
quage, Cayoson, Wills, Quering, Trepe, Mon- 
sonce, Pumsham, John Mahue, Pisecataonse, 
Packham, Alassamihair, Petunkes, Amputinue, 
and Ambramcke, "Indians, Proprietors of a 
tract of land on Minassouke or Little Neck, 
commonly called the Indian Ground," confirm- 
ing the above deed and reciting the Patent. 

On June 17, 1697, a Patent was granted to 
Colonel William 'Smith, granting: 

"Sundry tracts of land and meadow on Long 
Island, comprising all the vacant lands lying be- 
tween the 'bounds of the towns O'f Brookhaven, 
Southold, Southampton and St. Georges Manor. 
The northermost bounds thereof being the Wad- 
ing river or Red Creek, 'being the east and west 
bounds of the towns of Brookhaven and South- 
old. From thence in a direct line to a creek or 
brook called the Red Creek, into which fresh 
M^ater runneth, called by the Indians To Youngs, 
which runneth with an arm of the sea or river 
lying between the lands of Southold and South- 
ampton, called Peconick river, being Southold 

Scuthermost bounds ; and from thence in a direct 
line to a marked tree at the head of a river or 
creek called Seatuck, being the utmost bounds of 
Southampton; and from thence in a due south 
line to the main sea, being the eastermjost bound- 
ary of the Manor of St. George. And the west- 
ward bounds being the eastermost line running 
north and south of the said town of Brookhaven, 
By all other ways or bounds adjoining to the 
said Manor of St. George. But excepting there- 
from so much of