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3tl|ata, Mem Jork 







Date Dae 


3 1924 083 761 936 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

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From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time 





New Vork and Chicago 




N the following pages an effort has been made to present the history of the 
whole of Long Island in such a way as to combine all the salient facts of the 
long and interesting story in a manner that might be acceptable to the general 
reader and at the same time include much of that purely antiquarian lore which is 
to many the most delightful feature of local history. Long Island has played a most 
important part in the history of the State of New York and, through New York, in 
the annals of the Nation. It was one of the first places in the Colonies to give 
formal utterance to the doctrine that taxation without representation is unjust and 
should not be borne by men claiming to be free — the doctrine that gradually went 
deep into the hearts and consciences of men and led to discussion, opposition and 
war; to the declaration of independence, the achievement of liberty and the founding of 
a new nation. It took an active part in all that glorious movement, the most signifi- 
cant movement in modern history, and though handicapped by the merciless occupa- 
tion of the British troops after the disaster of August, 1776, it continued to do what 
it could to help along the cause to which so many of its citizens had devoted their 
fortunes, their lives. 

On Long Island, too, the old theory of government by town meeting found full 
scope, even in those sections where the Dutch rule was closest and the story of these 
little republics with their laws and limitations is worthy of careful study at the 
present day. They present us, as in the case of Southold, with specimens of pure 
theocracies flourishing and progressing in spite of the watchful and pre-eminent rule 
of the local church directorate, or possibly rather as a consequence of it, and they 
also present us, as in Jamaica, with townships founded on somewhat less religious 
lines but in which the edict of the church authorities was a matter that commanded 
primal respect. But, one and all, these communities showed that the view of the 
people as expressed in town meeting was the supreme local law, the origin of all 
local power, even though a fussy Director General now and again made his authority 
and dignity known by interference, or a Proprietary or Colonial Governor attempted 
to tax the people or impose a minister or a religious system without other warrant 
than his own sweet will and his own imperious necessities, or the wishes of his 
superiors — in London. 


In compiling this history all previous works relating to the story of Long Island 
have been laid under contribution, notably such volumes as those of Wood, Thomson, 
Onderdonk, Furman and Spooner. The invaluable labors of Dr. Henry R- Stiles, 
whose ' ' History of Brooklyn '•' and other works are storehouses of local history, have 
been drawn upon freely, for no story of Brooklyn could now be written that would 
not be under the deepest obligation to the patient and learned writings of that 
most painstaking of antiquarians and local historians. The chapter on "Dentists in 
Brooklyn" was written for this volume by Dr. William Jarvie, and is the result 
of many years' research. The chapter on medical history by Dr. William Schroder 
froms another valuable feature. 

Of local histories nearly all those accessible have been consulted. From the 
published writings of Mr. William S. Pelletreau, the erudite historian of Suffolk 
County, and the author of several valuable works illustrating the long, eventful, and 
highly honorable story in peace and war of that grand section of Long Island, many 
details have been gathered. From the writings of Dr. W. Wallace Tooker. of Sag 
Harbor, the indefatigable student of Indian lore on Long Island, much that is deeply 
interesting concerning the red man and his remains has been gleaned, and thanks are 
due both these gentlemen for their freely given permission to make their studies avail- 
able for this volume. The cordial manner in which the Flatbush Trust Company 
permitted the use of several illustrations from its interesting work on ' ' Flatbush, 
Past and Present," also demands an expression of thanks. 

The files of the Brooklyn Eagle have been freely consulted and proved a most 
invaluable storehouse; in fact almost since its origin, in l^il, the Eagle has been, as 
every local newspaper should be, the best possible historian of Brooklyn, and indeed 
of Long Island. It has the happy art in these modern days of knowing how to 
combine those personal details which we look for in a local paper with the wide 
reaching world-news which is the feature of a metropolitan daih'. From the col- 
umns of the ' ' Standard-Union ' ' and the ' ' The Brooklyn Times ' ' much has also been 

The author desires also to thank the numerous correspondents to whom he 

is much indebted for details of considerable interest in the various to\\nship histories. 

In following the windings of family history, to which considerable space has been 

devoted, much curious matter would have been overlooked but from details received 

as the result of correspondence with the modern representatives of many of these 

old families. Thanks are given for all this in its proper place, and indeed an 

effort has been made throughout the work to quote every authority and give full 

credit to previous writers and to all who have in anyway, directly or indirectly, 

rendered assistance. 



Proem 1 

Topography of the Island — Natural History — Botany — Geology 3 

Indians and Their Lands 17 

The Decadence of the Aborigines , 30 

Discovery — Early White Settlements and Political and Financial Relations — The Importance of the 

Wampum Industry 43 

The Dutch — Some Early Governors — Peter Stuyvesant Xi 

The British Government 03 

Some Early Families and Their Descendants — Some Pioneer Settlers — The Stirling Ownership and 
Colonizing Schemes — Lion Gardiner and His Purchase — A Long Island "Queen of the White 
House'' — The Blue Smiths and Other Smiths, The Tangier Smiths and Other Branches of the 
Smith Family — The Floyds 77 

Some Old Families in Queens and Kings — The Lloyds — The J.ones Family — The Record of a Bit of 
Brooklyn Real Estate — The Rapalyes — The Livingstons — The Pierrepont, Lefferts and Other 
Holdings 80 

Some Primitive Characteristics — Early Laws — The Administration of Justice 10."i 

Slavery on Long Island 110 

Early Congregational and Presbyterian Churches 134 

Religious Progress in Kings County 


Persecutions— Religious— The Troubles of the Early Quakers— Trials For Witchcraft 105 


Captain Kidd and Other Navigators ^"^^ 

The Ante-Revolution Struggle ..... 182 

The Battle of Brooklyn 199 

The Retreat From Long Island — A Strategic Triumph 209 

The British Occupation 214 


Some Long Island Loyalists — Richard Hewlett — John Rapalye — Mayor Mathews — Governor Colden — 

Colonel Axtell — Liadley Murray and Others 22G 

A Few Revolutionary Heroes — General V/oodhuU— Colonel Tallraadge — General Parsons — Colonel Meigs^ 2.37 

The War of 1813— Naval Operations Around Long Island 2.")0 


The Chain of Forts — Military Activity in Kings County — The Katydids and Other Heroes — The Popular 

Uprising ■>M) 

The Story of Educational Progress 206 

Internal Communications — Roads and Railroads — The Magnificent Outlook For The Future 279 

Kings County '. 3Q7 



New Utrecht 

Bushwick— -V\^illiamsburg— Greenpoint— The Adventurous Life of Neziah Bliss 


Gravesend-The English Town of Kings County-Lady Moody— Early Settlers and Laws— A Religious 
Community with a Sad Closing Record 







Coney Island— Rise of the Famous Resort— The Democratic Watering Place o£ New York— A Revolution- 
ary Reminiscence — Piracy and Plunder ',y"i 

The Story of Brooklyn Village to The Beginning of the Revolutionary Movement 381 


Brooklyn — From the Close of the Revolution to the Incorporation of the Village— Pre-Eminence of the 

Ferry — The Beginning of the Navy Yard ,'!9.") 

The Village of Brooklyn '. 399 


The First City — Mayors Hall, Trotter, Johnson, Smith, Murphy and Others — Disastrous Fires — Business 

Extension — The Grand City Hall — Literature and the Press 409 


Church Development — Loughlin— Dr. Bethune — St. Ann's— Holy Trinity — Dr. Storrs — Henry Ward 
Beecher — Land Operations — Greenwood and Other Cemeteries — The Ferries — Work at the Navy 
Yard 426 


The Era of the Civil War — 1865-1870 — A Succession of Capable Executives -The- Metropolitan Police — 
J. S. T. Stranahan — Prospect Park — Street Railways — Libraries — Rapid Extension of the City — 
Cholera : 442 


Intellectual and Spiritual Life — Literature — Brooklyn Public Library — Rev. Dr. Cuyler— Rev.' Dr. 

Talmage— Father Malone 453 


The Civil War — The Troops in' the Field — The Enthusiasm in Brooklyn — Brooklyn's Contributions to the 

Navy 403 


The Death Grapple of the Struggle— Brooklyn's Meetings and Contributions — The Sanitary Fair — The 

War Fund Committee —Repairing the Losses — The Grand Army of the Republic 470 


The Splendid Closing Record — Mayors Low, Whitney, Chapin, Boody, Schieren and Wurster — The 

Bridge — Some Interesting Statistics 483 


The End of an Auld Sang —Literature and the Drama — Higher Education — National Guard — The Navy 

Yard— Architectural Progress— Wallabout— Public Statues— The Passing of Brooklyn City 498 


Queens — Development from Rural to Urban Life — The Future of the Borough — Horse Racing — An 

Interesting Story of the Consolidation 521 



Flushing— The Patentees of 1645— Freeholders in 1683— The Lawrences— The Churches— Modern 

Changes and Developments '^~'° 


Newtown — The Step-Child of the Metropolitan Area — Mespath and Mr. Doughty — Middleburg— DeWitt 

Clinton — Middle Village and Other Settlements 538 


Jamaica— The Little Republic of Rusdorp— Ministerial Troubles— Mr. Foyer's Trials— The Revolution- 
Educational and Business Progress 5-18 


Long Island City— A Loose Aggregation— Anneke Jans— Captain Praa— Long Island Railroad's Terminus 

— Astoria and Its Namesake — Grant Thorburn — Hell Gate — A Picturesque Mayor 567 


Summer Resorts — A Cosmopolitan Pleasure Resort — Health, Excitement, Society and Solitude— Modern 

Baronial Estates — Patchogue— Peconic Bay — The Land Boomers and the Railway 577 


The Medical Profession on Long Island — Early Medical Legislation — A Southampton Doctor and His 

Fees — Noted Physicians of the Olden Times — Brooklyn's Pioneer Doctors 585 


The Medical Society of the County of Kings — Brooklyn's City Hospital and Similar Institutions —A Long 

Roll' of Honorable Professional Names 594 

■Various Medical Societies — Brooklyn Hospitals — Dispensaries 607 

Dentists in Brooklyn 617 


The Bench and Bar — The Old Courts and Judges — Alden T. Spooner, Judge Furman — The Tilton-Beecher 

Case — Judge Neilson, Judge Beach — A Group of Modern Judges and Jurists 634 


Freemasonry on Long Island— Social — Tiny Beginnings of a Great Institution — Sketches of Representative 

Early Lodges — Some Distinguished Long Island Craftsmen 647 


The Social World of Long Island— A Grand Array of Associations of all Sorts — Assessment Insurance — 

Fashionable Clubs — Sporting and Hunting Organizatioiis 672 

Old Country Families - Family History and Story — Pioneers, Heroes, Merchants and Their Descendants. 696 


Notes and Illustrations — The Long Island Campaign — Dutch Names of Places and Persons — Historical 

Gleanings and Documents — Early Nineteenth Century Descriptions 73g 


Abbott — Ex-Surrogate, 641. 

Abbott, Dr. Lyman.— 434. 

Academy of MusiCr Brooklyn. — 460. 

Agriculture. — Indian, 25; in the days of the occupa- 
tion, 221 (see also under various towns and vil- 
lages); land and soil, 792; fish as fertilizers, 793; 
small versus large farms, 793. 

Ainslee, James. — Justice in Williamsburg, 349. 

Alberti, Caesar. - 18. 

Albertson, Albert (Terhune)— Early settlers at New- 
Utrecht, 329. 

Alexander, Rev. Dr. S. D.— quoted, 138. 

Allefonsce, Jean of Saintonge, sails through Long Is- 
land Sound in 1642. — 44. 

Alsop, Rev. B. F.— 427. 

Alsop family— 709. 

Amersfort, or Amersfoort (Flatlands) — 311. 

Andrews, Samuel. — 89. 

Andriese, David of Bushwick. — 337. 

Andros, Governor. — 68; 70; 83. 

Antonides, Rev. Vincentius. — 150. 

Apprentices' Library, Brooklyn. — 402; 505. 

Aquebogue — Prehistoric remains found at, 34; 580. 

Architectural features — Early, 107; in Gravesend, 364; 
in modern Brooklyn, 510; 680. 

Arden, Dr. Charles.— 196. 

Arts and Sciences — Institute of, 505. 

Astor, John Jacob. — 569. 

Astoria— 538; 568; sketch of, 569. 

Athenaeum, Brooklyn.- 422. 

Atlantic Docks, the.— 418. 

Aurora Grata Club. — 659. 

Axtel, Colonel.— 196; 232; 323. 

Babylon.— In War of 1812, 252. 

Backer, Jacobs — New Utrecht, 330. 

Bacon, Col. A. S., Brooklyn.— 371. 

Bader, F., of Gravesend.— 3?1. 

Baird, Colonel A. D.-485. 

Baldwin, David. -314. 

Baldwin, Rev. J. A.— 313. 

Baldwin, W. H., Jr.— Pres. Long Island Railroad, 303. 

Barburin, Captain. — 256. 

Barker, John G. — 668. 

Barren Island. — Deed surrendering, 27. 

Bartlett, Justice WiUard.— 643. 

Bartow, Edgar J.— Sketch of, 427. 

Basset, Rev. [ohn.-260. 

Bath.— 328; 335. 

Baxter, George 'of Bushwick). — 337. 

Baxter, George (of Gravesend).— 60; 61; 362. 

Baxter, John.— teacher, 314. 

Bay Ridge.— 328; ferry to Staten Island, 334; 335. 

Bayside.— 535. 

Beaifie, Rev. John.— 333. 

Beatty, A. Chester.— 83. 

Beatty, Robert C— 83. 

Beatty, W. Gedney.-83. 

Bedford. — Beginning of village of, 390. 

Bedford Corners. School at, 270. 

Beecher, Henry Ward.— 410; sketch of, 431; trial of 

case of Tilton vs. Beecher, 633. 
Beeckman, Cornells.— New Utrecht, 330. 
Beekman, Cornells. — 62. 
Beekman, (ierardus. — 73. 
Beekman, Col. Gerardus. — 151. 
Beekman, William.— 60; 385. 
Bell, James A. H.— 500. 
Bell, Oliver Bunce.— 424; 453. 
Bellomont,Governor. — 72 ; relations with Captain K idd, 

Bench and Bar.— 625. 
Bennett, Arien Willemsen. — 332. 
Bennett, William Adriaense.— 54; 381. 
Benson, Judge Egbert.— 626. 
Bensonhurst.— Village, 334; 335. 
Bentyn, Jacques. 54; 58; 381. 
Bergen Beach. — 316. 
Bergen, Hans Hansen. — 58; 280. 
Bergen, Captain J. T.— 335. 
Bergen, Teunis G.— 54; 58; 266; sketch, 727. 
Bergen, Tunis G. — 643. 

Berry, Abraham J., Mayor of Williamsburg. — 350. 
Berry, Ed. 314. 

Bescher (or Beets), Thomas. — 58. 
Bethune, Rev. Dr.— 426. 
Betts, Captain Richard — 709. 
Billeting of British troops.— 222; 223. 
Bishop, Rev. Alexander H.— 572. 
Blackwell, Captain Jacob. — 570. 
Bliss, Neziah.— Sketch of, 352; 568. 
Blissville.— 568. 
Block, Adriaen. — 45. 
Bliick Island discovered. — 43. 
Blue Laws of Connecticut. — 115. 
Blues, the Dirty.— 340. 
Blythebourne.— 328. 
Boerum, Willem Jacobse Van. — 321. 
Bogardus, Rev. Everardus. — 146; 568. 
Boody, Mayor. — 485. 

Books, Dutch. — Used in Divine service, 149. 
Booth, Edwin. — Last appearance on any stage, 508. 
Booth, Samuel, Mayor of Brooklyn. — 445. 
Boston Tra Party. -187.' 
Bostwick, Arthur E.— 455. 
Bout, Jan Evertsen, founder of Brooklyn. — Sketch of. 



383; 385; Stuyvesant's ultimatum, 390. 

Bout, Jan Eversen. — 59. 

Bownas, Samuel, Quaker Missionary. — 172. 

Bredenblut, William.— 62. 

Bresser, Henry. — 58. 

Bridge, The Brooklyn.— 487. 

Brighton Beach, Coney Island.— 374. 

Brighton Beach Racing Association.— 369. 

BrockhoUes, Lieutenant Governor.— 69. 

Brookhaven Artillery Company in War of 1812.-254. 

Brooklyn.— Battle of, 199; fortifications, 202; landing 
of the British, 203; the leaders of the Continent- 
als, 203; Putnam in command, 204; Grant 
plays with Stirling, 205; capture of Flatbush, 
205; Howe's strategic night march, 206; defeat 
all along the line, 207; the gallant Maryland- 
ers, 207; Sullivan and Stirling captured, 208; 
rush for the inner fortifications, 208. 

Notes and Illustrations.— Elias Bayles, 746; How- 
ard House, 746; Thompson's story of the battle, 

Retreat. — Washington's memorable movement a 

military triumph, 209. 

Results o'f the battle— 213. 

British Occupation. — 214; Silas Wood on, 221; Long 

Island famed for its misfortunes, 221; Onder- 
donk quoted on, 223; billeting the troops, 223; 
Flatbush, 324; New Utrecht, 334; Bushwick, 

Fortifications in War ot 1812, 257; plan, 259; work 

begun, 259; peace celebrations, 263. 

Origin of Brooklyn, 58^; Carl De Bevoise, first 

schoolmaster, 268; population, 3; slaves and 
their owners, 122; church squabbles with Flat- 
bush, 157; first church, 1.59; early preachers, 160. 

Early history, 381; the annexation fever covers its 

whole story, 381; original districts, 381; Gov- 
ernor Kieft's proclamation, 382; Harrington 
Putnam on "Origin of Breuckelen," 383; ap- 
pointment of Schoutj 384; first preacher, 387; 
palisade around village, 384; Governor Nicolls' 
charter, fac simile, 386; administration, 390; 
charter from Dongan, 390; taxation of the five 
Dutch towns, road making,, beginning of Ful- 
ton street, 391; description of village in Moore's 
Gazetteer, 392; the ferry, 392. 

History from the Revolution to incorporation, 395; 

recognized as a town, 395; fire department or- 
ganized, 395; first newspaper, 395; other jour- 
nalistic ventures, 395; shipping and shipbuild- 
ing, 396; trades in 1796, 396; yellow fever, 396; 
the medical profession, 396; shifting center of 
trade, 397; navy yard established, 397; results 
of the war of 1812, 398; the territory covered by 
the village act ot incorporation, 398. 

Story of "the Village," 399; first trustees, 398; 

meetings, 401; population statistics, 399; Board 
of Health, 400; a prosperous era, 400; Long 
Island Bank, 401; almshouse, 401; great men 
who visited Brooklyn, 402; Guy's snow scene, 
403; schools, 404; temperance society, 404; the 
Heights, 404; real estate development, 405; city 
charter, nine wards, 406. 

The First City. — Manifestations of civic pride 

409; first board of aldermen, 408; a succession 
of Mayors, 409; City Hall project, 417; Atlantic 
Docks, 418; street stages, 419; water supply, 
419; the great fire of 1848,419; cholera epidemic, 
420; Know-Nothingism, 420; police, 422; statis- 
tics of progress, 422; city of homes, 423; news- 
papers, 423; Walt Whitman, 426; Gabriel Fur- 

man 425; church development, 426; the city of 
churches, 428; annexation of Bushwirk and 
Williamsburgh, 440; Mayor Hall's report of 
progress, 440. 

• The Consolidated City, 443; Mayors Hall, Powell, 

Kalbfleisch (the " War Mayor "), Wood, Booth, 
444 ; The Metropolitan Police act, 446; Mr. 
Stranahan's service, 447; Prospect Park, 447: 
growth of the city, 450; Erie Basin, 451; Gow- 
anus Canal, 451; Some statistics, 452; Gabriel 
Harrison, 453. 

-^-Public Libraries, 454; Rev. Dr. Cuyler, 455; Rev 
Dr. Talmage, 458; Rev. Father Malone, 459 
The Civil War, Patriotism of the city, 464 
Splendid service of Brooklyn troops, 466; Ship- 
building, 468 ; Navy Yard Scare, 466 ; The 
Death grapple of the Struggle, 471; draft 
riots, 471; generosity of the citizens, 471; help- 
ful organizations, 472; the Sanitary fair, 472; 
United States Christian Commission, 478; war 
fund committee, 479; the close of the struggle, 
479; honoring the heroes, 480. 

-■ — The Splendid Closing Record, 483; Mayor Low, 
483; Mayor Whitney, 485; Mayor Chapin, 485; 
Mayor Boody, 486; Mayor Schieren, 486; Mayor 
Wurster, 487; opening of the Brooklyn bridge, 
487; elevated roads and other means of transit, 
488; statistics of all sorts, 489; valuation, 490; 
mechanical and manufacturing industries, 493; 
educational matters, 603; the drama, b&l; archi- 
tectural development, 510; Wallabout market, 
511; statues and memorials, 612; honoring Mr. 
Stranahan, 612; annexation of Kings county 
towns, 517; consolidation with Manhattan, 617; 
the end of an auld sang, 618. 

Early school regulations, 268; School at Bedford 

corners, 270; John Clark's school at Ferry, 270; 
Punderson Ansten's school at Ferry, 270 ; first 
school at Wallabout, 270; early schools, 270; 
care of roads, 280. 

City Hospital and similar institutions, 595; Patho- 
logical Society, 609 ; Dispensaries, 612; Dent- 
ists, 617. 

^Social Clubs — Architectural Features, 680; Ham- 
ilton Club, 681 ; Brooklyn Club, 681 ; Union 
League, 684; Lincoln, 684; Hanover, 685; Mon- 
tauk, 686; other social cIuIds, 686. 

The Future Of, 518. 

Brooklyn Masonic Veterans.— 659. 

Brotherton.— 36. 

Brouwer, Jan. — 314. 

Brown, Edward, of Gravesend. — 362. 

Bruce, Hon. Wallace.— 499. 

Brush, Rev. Alfred.— 333. 

Brush, Conklin.— Mayor of Brooklyn, 411, 412. 

Buel, Rev. Samuel. -2171. 

Building and Loan Associations, Brooklyn. — 492. 

Bull, Ralph.— 276. 

Bunce, Joel.— First postmaster, 610. 

Burnet, Governor. — 74. 

Burns, John. — 314. 

Burr, Colonel Aaron.— 627. 

Burroughs Family.— 709. 

Burton, Mary, and her "confessions."— 120. 

Bushwick. — Case of sedition, 116; women assault a cap- 
tain of militia, 116; slaves, 121; resolutions in 
War of 1812, 260; first school, 268; general 
sketch, 387; early settlers, 337; petition for a 
schoolmaster, 338; trouble with Governor Nic- 
olls over minister, 338; charter, 339; Dongan's 
charter, 339; Revolutionary War, 339;. peace 



rejoicings and toasts, 340; modern changes, 341. 
Buys, Peter.— Early settler of New Utrecht, 329. 

Calvary cemetery. — 7. 

Campbell, Rev. William H.— 274. 

Canarsie.— 316, 317. 

Canarsie Indians.— Deed to Flatbush settlers, 318. 

Canoe Place. — 31. 

Carleton, Will.— 499. 

Carstensen, Claes, of Bushwick. — 337. 

Catlin, Gen. J. S.— 638. 

Cemeteries, Various.— 438. 

Chain of forts. — 254. 

Chapin, Mayor. — 485. 

Charitable organizations. — 483. 

Charlick, Oliver.— Sketch of, 288. 

Chauncey, Capt. Isaac. — 397; 400. 

Cherry Point (Greenpoint).^341; 352. 

Cholera.— Visits of, 420; 452. 

Christiaensen, Hendrick. — 45. 

Church, James C. — 641. 

Churches, early. — 134. 

Clapp, Hawley D.— Of the Hamilton House, 328. 

Clark, Rev. F. G.— 572. 

Clark, John "Philomath."— 270. 

Clarke, George. — Lieutenant-Governor, 74. 

Clarkson, David.— 322. 

Clinton, DeWitt. — 257, 262; statue in Greenwood cem- 
etery, 435; home in Maspeth. — 547. 

Clinton, Gov. George. — 74. 

Clocq, Pilgrom. — 267. 

Clowes, Rev. Timothy. — 274. 

Cock, William.— 648. 

Coe, Robert.— 60; 540. 

Cohen, B , of Gravesend.— 371. 

Colden, Cadwallader, Lieutenant Governor. — Sketch 
of, 75; family, 229. 

Colden, Cadwallader, IWayor. — 262. • 

Cold Sprmg Harbor. — United States Fish Hatchery, 9. 

Coles, Jordan. — Distiller, Williamsburgh, 344. 

Colgan, Rev. Thomas. — 531; letters from, 558. 

Colman, John. — Killed by natives, 44. 

Colve, Governor. — Regains New Netherlands for the 
Dutch, 68. 

Coney Island. — 56, Op Dyck's purchase, 365; a salt 
monopoly, 366; instance of popular power, 366; 
part of Gravesend according to Lovelace's 
charter, 366; the Labadist Fathers' visit, 366; 
early names, 373; modern history, 373; pioneer 
hotels, 373: description as a popular resort, 374; 
Jockey Club, 369; horseracing, 369; stories of 
piracy, 375; Captain Hevler, patriot or pirate, 
376; the tragedy of the' "Vineyard" brig, 376. 

Coney Island House. — 372. 

Congress, Provincial. — Long Island delegates, 189; 

Conselyea, William, Bushwick. — 340. 

Cooper, James B. — Quoted, 252. 

Cooper, J. Fenimore. — "Water Witch," 574. 

Cooper, Joab, 273. 

Copeland, Edward. — Mayor of Brooklyn, 411, 412. 

Copp, John. — Teacher, 270. 

Corbin, Austin. — sketch of, 299. 

Corlear, Jacob, New Utrecht. — 330. 

Cornbury, Lord, Governor. — 151; 161; 553. 

Cornelise, Peter. — 267. 

Cornell family.'- 699. 

Corona, village.— 537. 

Corsa, Isaac. — 232. 

Cortelyou, Jacques. — Colonizing scheme, 24; 329. 

Cortelyou, Peter.— 280. 

County Judges — list, 625. 

Court of Common Pleas.— Judges, 624. 

Courts reorganized under Dongan. — 70. 

Cowenhoven, Nicholas— Uncertain loyalty of, 191; 323. 

Cowenhoven, Peter. — 257. 

Craig, Andrew.— 273. 

Creiger, Martin. — 60. 

Crematory. — Fresh Pond, Queens, 438. 

Crimmin, Rev. Father. — Hunter's Point, 567. 

Cripplebush road. — 405. 

Cruikshank, Rev. William.— 313. 

Cuffee, Paul, Indian preacher, sketch of, 37. 

Cuffee, James, 41. 

Cuffee, Nathan J., 41. 

Cullen, Justice E. M.— 642. 

Currie, Rev. Robert Ormiston.— 333. 

Cutchogue. — village of, 581. 

Cutler, Rev. Ur. B. C— 427. 

Cutting, R. Fulton.— 427. 

Cutting, William— 83; Ferry lessee, 407. 

Cuyler.— Rev. Dr. Theodore L.— 457; 472. 

Cypress Hills Cemetery. — 437. 

Dankers and Sluyter (Missionaries) Description of In- 
dian home. — 24. 

Dartmouth College. — Origin of, 35. 

Davenport, Rev. James. — 137. 

Davenport, W. B.— 646. 

Davie, Rev. T. M.— 314. 

De Bevoise, Carl. — Schoolmaster, Brooklyn, 268. 

De Bevoise, Jacobus. — 99. 

De Hart, Mayor.— 193. 

De Lanoy, Abraham. — 314. 

Dentists in Brooklyn. — 617. 

Denton, Daniel. — "Brief Description" quoted, 524. 

Denton's Pond. — Lawsuit over, 117. 

Denton, Rev. Richard. — 144. 

Denyse, Captain William. — 257. 

Denyse's Ferry. — Landing place of British, 334. 

De Peyster, Abraham. — 73. 

Dering family. — 723. 

Derry, Valentine.— 273. 

De Sille, Nicasius.— 821 ; 329; sketch of, 330. 

Dewey, Rev. H. P.-421. 

De Witt, Peter Janse.— 338. 

De Witt, William C— 645. 

Dikeman, Judge.— 628. 

Dirksen, Cornells. — 96; ferryman, 393. 

Ditmas family. — 704. 

Ditmas, Dan.— 276. 

Dominie's Hook. — 568. 

Dongan, Governor. — 69; 84; patent to Flatbush, 319; 
Long Island Courts, 323. 

Donop, Colonel— .Battle of Flatbush, 323. 

Dosoris.— 8; 9; 137. 

Doughty, Rev. Francis.— 529; 539. 

Drama in Brooklyn. — 454; 507. 

Du Bois, Rev. Dr. Anson.— 314. 

Duke's Laws, the. — 33; 66; 116. 

Dunbar — Early postman, 281. 

Duncan, John D.— 480. 

Dunham, David. — Merchant and land speculator, 344. 

Du Pre, Nicholas.— New Utrecht, 332. 

Dutch church in Jamaica. — 561. 

Dutch homes and socia l customs. — 108. 


Dyker Meadow.- village, 335. 

Eagle, Brooklyn Daily — 416; record of, 424; 455; 499. 



Early families and their descendants. — 76. 
East Hampton — 31; Sunday laws, 116; Clinton Acad- 
emy, <!71. 
East Neck.— 10. 
East New York. — 514. 
Economic Geology of Long Island. — 15. 
Educational Progress— story of, 266. 
Eigenbrodt, Dr. L. E. A.— 275. 
Elbertson, Elbert.— 60; 62; 267; 310. 
Eliot, Rev. John.— 143. 
Elmhurst Village.— 536. 
Elwell, Elijah.— 314. 
Emans, Jacobus, — Gravesend, 368. 
Erasmus Hall Academy,— Flatbush, 272. 
Erie Basin, The. 451. 
Errenpeutch, Rev. William. — 276. 
Evans, Joseph D. — Sketch, 665. 
Evans, Capt. Samuel. — 397. 
Evergreens Cemetery. — 437. 

Faithoute, Rev. George. — 275. 
Fanning, Colonel Edmund. — 219. 
Farret, James — Agent tor Lord Stirling, 79. 
Far Rockaway — Railroad, 292. 
Feeks, Tobias. — 60. 
Fenner, James H. — 276. 
Ferguson, James. — 274. 

Ferry. — First ferry, Fulton street to Peck Slip, 
381; Cornells Dircksen (Hoogland), ferryman, 
392: Van Borsum appointed, 392, the ferry a 
New York municipal asset, 393; the case of 
Hendrick Remsen, 393; Samuel Waldron be- 
comes lessee, 393; Catharine ferry, 397; manners 
and customs of the ferry and ferrymen, 407; 
steam service, 407; South Ferry, 405; a horse 
boat, 408; New York and Brooklyn Ferry Com- 
pany, 408; Hamilton terry, 438; Wall Street 
ferry, 438; Union Ferry Company organized, 
438; fares reduced, 438; new company formed, 
Field, Thomas W.— 499. 
Fielding, Lemuel. — 41. 
First settlers. — A forgotten race, 34. 
Fish and Fish Culture. — 5; see Menhaden and local 

Fish as fertilizers. — 793. 

Fiske, John. — on Wampum, 49; on Quakers, 107. 
Flatbush. — Slaves and their owners, 122; first church 
in Kings county, 146 ; ministers of, 154 ; 
166; in War of 1812, 260; general sketch, 317; 
Friends' school, 270; John Copp's grammar 
school, 270; passing of iis legal glory, 624. 

P'irst patent issued, 317; name changed, 317; legal 

struggle with Flatlandsand Newtown, 319; Don- 
gan's patent, S19; signatures of earlv settlers, 

Rustenberg, 320; quit rent, 320; squabble with Stuy- 

vesant, 321; courts, 322; delegates to Continental 
Congress, 322; Revolutionary record, 323; bat- 
tle at, 323; occupation, 324; modern develop- 
ment began, 325; first newspaper, 326; churches, 
326; town hall, 326; annexed, 328; the passing 
of the old homesteads, 328. 
Flatlands. — Slave population and owners, 123; pio- 
neer land owners, 810 ; residents in 1687, 
311; census of 1698, 312; census of 1738, 312; 
church, 312; church members, 1762; ministers, 
313; schoolhouse, 315. 
Fleet, Samuel.— 276. 

Fletcher, Governor. — 72. 

Floyd, Richard. — Family of, 86. 

Floyd, Nicolls —86. 

Floyd, William.— signer of Declaration of Independ- 
ence, 87; family of, 87; 271. 

Floyd.Judge Richard. — 87. 

Floyd-Jones family. — 88. 

Flushing.— Railroad communication, 290; 295; paten- 
tees of 1645, 528; Rev. Francis Doughty, 529; 
Quakers, 530; Denominational troubles, 531: 
St. George's church, 532; agriculture, etc., 532; 
Washington visits, 532; village charter, 5-33; 
story of progress, 533. 

Folk, J. S.— Chief of police, 422. 

Forbus, Jan, — of Boshwick, 337. 

Ford, Gordon, Leicester. — 499. 

Ford, W. C— 500. 

Ford, Paul L.- 500. 

Fordham. Rev. Robert.— 141; 142. 

Forest Park, Brooklyn. — 449. 

Forrester, Captain. — 47. 

Fort Diamond. — 335. 

Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn. — 449. 

Fort Hamilton — 328; 335; modern works, 335; fortifi- 
cations, 254. 

Fortitude Masonic Lodge, Brooklyn. — 651. 

Fort Neck.— battle of, 21. 

Fort Pond Bay. — railroad extended to, 303. 

Fossils found on Long Island. — 13. 

Foster, Howell.— 83. 

Fowler, Col. E. B.— 465. 

Fowler, David. — 35. 

Fowler, Rev. Andrew. — 934. 

Fox, George. — 163; arrives at Gravesend, 362; visits- 
Flushing, 530. 

Franklin, Benjamin. — Postmaster General, 281. 

Franklinville Village. — 581. 

Freedman, Rev. Bernard us. — 150; 339. 

Freeman, Rev. James B. — 139. 

Freemasons in War of 1812,262; History of on Long' 
Island, 647; pioneer lodges, 648; Suffolk Lodge, 
story of, 648; Suffolk Lodge, No. 60, 650; Morton 
Lodge, 650; Fortitude Lodge, 651; Rev. John 
Ireland, 653; Rev E. M. Johnson, 653; the craft 
in Sag Harbor, 654; some early lodges, 657: 
lists of lodges, 657 ; Masonic Veterans, 659 ; 
Joseph D. Evans, 664; John G. Barker, 668. 

French's Gazetteer quoted. — 569. 

Friends, Society of. — Beginnings of in Long Island, 
163; persecutions, 165; Stuyvesant's bitterness, 
166; list of Quakers at Flushing, 167; Bownes' 
victory over Stuyvesant, 169; the case of John 
Tilton, 169; Lady Moody, 169; 362; trial and 
acquittal of Samuel Bownas, 172. 

Fulton, Robert. — steamboat inventor, 407. 

Fulton Ferry. — 58. 

Funeral customs. — 112. 

Furgueson, Cornelius. — politician, 336. 

Furman, Gabriel. — sketch of, 425; list of ancient place 
names, 759 

Furman, Garret andGrover C, Williamsburgh. — land 
speculators, 345. 

Furman, William.— 628. 

Gallatin, Albert. — Secretary of the Treasury, 572. 

Gambling, statute against. — 115. 

Garden City.— Beginning of, 294; railroad, 294- 295- 




Gardiner's Bay .^t9; 251; 252. 

Gardiner's Island. — 15. 
•Gardiner, Elizabeth. — 80. 

Gardiner, Lion. — 20; 27; sketch of, 28; 49; acquires 
Gardiner's Island, 80; sketch of, 80; family, 80. 

Gaynor, Judge William J.— 371; 638. 

Gelston, Rev. Maltby.— 275. 

Gelston, Rev. Samuel. — 142. 

George, Henry. — 499. 

Gildersleeve, Richard. — 540. 

Giles, Colonel Aquilla.— 234; 273. 

Gleason, Mayor Patrick Jerome. — sketch of, 575. 

Glen Covb. — 8; railroad communication, 289. 

Godwin, Colonel Abraham, — 257. 

Goetschius, Rev. J. H.— 561. 

Golfing links on Long Island. — 577. 

Gomez, Estevan, voyage of 1525. — 43. 

Goodrich, Justice, — 640. 

Goodyear, Stephen. — 79. 

Gordon, Rev. Patrick.— 161; 531. 

Governor Tompkins, privateer. — 251. 

Gowanus. — 56; 382. 

Gowanus canal. — 451. 

Graham, Augustus, Brooklyn. — Endows City Hospital, 
422; 505. 

Graham, John B., Brooklyn. — Endows Old Ladies' 
Home, 422. 

Graham, John L., Williamsburgh. — 847. 

Grand Army of the Republic.-^81; 677. 

Grant, U. S.— statute of, 680. 

Gravesend.— 32; 59; slaves, 124; in War of 1812,261; 
General history, 354; origin of the name, 354; 
discovery, 355; early land patents, 355; arrival 
of Lady Moody, 355;; Kieft's patent, 357; lay- 
ing out the little town, 359; plan, 360; trouble 
with Indians, 361; municipal rulers and laws, 
362; religious tolerance, 362; first meeting house, 
363; Reformed Church ministers, 363; gift of a 
burying ground, 364; early dwellings and roads, 
364; slow and peaceful progress, 365; The Rev- 
olution, 366; visit of General Washington, 365; 
Modern history, 366; church extension, 367; 
first school house, 367; Ocean parkway and 
other modern roads, 368; horse racing, 369; 
annexation — the sad story of John Y. McKane 
and his associates, 370; punishments for the 
" crime of Gravesend," 371. 

Green, Zachariah. — 228. 

Greenfield (Parkville) village.— 326. 

Greenpoint. — 341; modern beginning, 352; Neziah 
Bliss' enterprise, 352; first house, 352; Eckford 
Webb's shipyard, 352; ferry, 353; annexation, 
353; ship and monitor building, 468. 

Greenwood cemetery. — 54; history of, 435; Prime's 
description, 436. 

Griffin, Edward.— Buys land at Midwout, 317. 

Grout, Edward M.— 642. 

Guisbert's Island.— 373. 

Gulliams, William. — 62. 

Gunnison, Dr., Flatbush.— 275. 

Guy, Francis, artist.— Sketch of, 402. 

Guysbertz, Jan, New Utrecht. — 332. 

Hagaman, Joseph. — 280. 

Hainelle, Michil, of Brooklyn.— 321. 

Hall, Rev. Dr. Charles H.^28. 

Hall, George.— First mayor of Brooklyn; sketch of, 

410- speech on beginning second term, 440. 
Hallet, William.— 568. 
Hallet Family.— 707. 

Hallet's Cove.— 570. 

Halsey, Stephen A. — 569. 

Hammond, Selah. — 276. 

Hand, Colonel, of Pennsylvania Rifles.— 323. 

Hanna, John. — First interment in Greenwood, 436. 

Hansen (or Jansen) Hans. — 310. 

Hanson, Rev. M. G.— 363. 

Harper Family (publishers).— 547. 

Harriman, Rev. John. — 141. 

Harrison, Gabriel. — 453. 

Hart, J. M.— 502. 

Hart, Rev. Joshua. — 145. 

Hart, Thomas.— 89. 

Hartford, treaty of.— 730. 

Hartt family.— 724. 

Hasbrouck, Jared. — 275. 

Hastings, Hugh, state historian. — Quoted, 254. 

Hazard, Thomas. — 540. 

Hazzard, Rev. Joseph. — 139. 

Hazzard, Thomas. — 60. 

Heard, Colonel —192. 

Hegeman, Adrien.— Schoolmaster, Flatbush, 266, 267; 
letter from, 268; 320, 321; 331; 338, 385. 

Hegeman, Joseph. — 319. 

Hell Gate. — Blown up by United States authorities, 

Hempstead. — Meeting of delegates at, 60; slaves, 124; 
first church, 142; ministers of, 145; railroad ex- 
tended to, 287; Morton lodge of Freemasons, 
650; celebrates its centennial, 650; list of com- 
mittees, 651. 

Hempstead and Rockaway railroad. — 292. 

Hendrick's Reef.— .335. 

Herbert, Capt. Joseph. — 256. 

Het Dorp.— 341. 

Het Kivis Padt, village.— 341. 

Het Strand, village.— 341. 

Hewlett, Capt. Richard.— 194, 196, 227. 

Heyeman, Evert. — Builds first house in Bushwick, 338. 

Heyler and Marriner, patriots and pirates. — 376. 

Hicks, Elias.— 697. 

Hicks, John. — 60. 

Hicks Family.— 697. 

Hicksville. — Railroad opened to, 286. 

Hillis, Rev. N. D., Plymouth church.— 434. 

Hinchman, Mrs., Jamaica. — 275. 

Historical Geology of Long Island. — 12. 

Hobart, Rev. Jeremiah. — 114. 

Hobart, Rev. Peter.— l.'J6. 

Holy Trinity church, Brooklyn. — 427. 

Homewood, New Utrecht.— 328. 

Hoock Huybert, of New Utrecht.— 329. 

Hoogland, Cornells Dirckson. — 58. 

Horse-racing. — At Gravesend, 369; at Hempstead, 524; 
at Union course, 525. . 

Horton, Rev. Azariah. — Diary and labors, 742. 

Horton, Rev. Simeon. — 544. 

Houldsworth, Jonas, teacher, Huntington. — 267. 

Howard, Rev. W. W.— 275. 

Howe, General. — 200. 

Hubbard, Rev. John.— 161. 

Hubbard, James. — 60, 61; elected schout of Gravesend, 

Hudde (or Hudden), Andries.— 54; 58; 310. 

Hudson, Hendrick. — 18; discovery of the Hudson, the 
voyage of the " Half Moon," 44. 

Hunt, Adison L.— 276. 

Hunter, Captain George. — 568. 

Hunter, Governor. — 73; foretells the Revolution, 73. 

Hunter's Point.— 538. 



Huntington flatly refuses to be taxed without consent. — 

67; slaves, 128; excitement in war of 1812, 253; 

Masonic lodge at, 648. 
Huntington, Jonas Houldsworth. — Agreement with to 

teach school, 267; Academy, 276. 
Huntting, Lieut. E. F. — Rev. Dr. Whitaker's sermon 

on death of, 716. 
Huntting, Rev. Joseph. — 139. 
Huntting family. — 715. 

Indians on Long Island. — 17; list of tribes, folklore, 
etc., 18; eloquence of, 32; drunkenness, 33; laws 
against sale of liquor to, 33; decadence, 33; 
names of places, antiquities, 39; modern land 
claims, 41; trails, 317; deed to Flatbush, 318. 

Industries of Brooklyn. — Census returns, 493. 

Ingoldsby, Richard, Governor. — 151. 

Institutions of learning, arts and sciences. — 503. 

Ireland, Rev. John. — 653. 

Ironsides, William.— 273. 

Irving, Washington. — Bust of, 448. 

Jackson, General. — 263; visits Brooklyn, 402. 

Jacobs, William. — 320. 

Jacobson, Jan. — New Utrecht, 330. 

Jans, Aneke. — 568. 

Jamaica. — sketch of, 548; some early names, 548; pio- 
neers, 549; importance of town meeting, 549 
ministers, 551; denominational wrangles, 552 
petition to Golden, 560; Grace church, 561 
Dutch church, 561; other churches, 562; early 
trades, 562; first school, 563; Union hall, 563- 
stone church, 563; revolution, 564; newspapers 
564; manufacturing, 565; Governor R C. Mc 
Cormick, 565; 583; early Masonic lodge at, 648. 

Resolution against taxation and of sympathy with 

New England.— 183. 

Jameson, A. S. — Gravesend, 371. 

Janse, Derrick. — 310. 

Jansen, Anthony (Salee).— 57; 329. 

Jenks, Almet F.— 640. 

Jenks, Grenville T. — 640. 

Jeunissen, Guisbert. — 62. 

Jochemsen, David. — 62. 

John, Peter, Indian preacher. — 37. 

Johnson, Rev. Evan. — 428; 653. 

Johnson, Rev. E. A. — 41. 

Johnson, E. S. — 314. 

Johnson, Gen. Jeremiah. — 263; sketch of by Dr. Stiles, 
263; purchases land in Bushwick, 343; Mayor of 
Brooklyn, 411. 

Johnson, Dr. W. H.— 41. 

Johnston, Prof. Alexander. — Quoted, 46. 

Johnston, Rev. John Barent. — 160. 

Johnston, Sir William. — 34. 

Johnston. — A group of families, 701. 

Jones, Captain, pirate. — 181. 

Jones, David W.— 95. 

Jones, Israel C. — 276. 

Jones, Samuel, comptroller of New York. — 92. 

Jones, Thomas. — 90; family, 91. 

Jones, Thomas, Royal Recorder of New York. — 92. 

Jogues, Rev. Isaac, Jesuit Missionary. — Murdered, 22. 

Judah, Moses. — Williamsburgh steam ferry, 344. 

June meeting and religious services. — 38. 

Kalbfleisch, Martin. — Mayor of Brooklyn, 443; sketch 
of, 444; re-elected mayor, 445. 

Keikout, The.— 337. 

Keith. Rev. George.— 161; sketch of, 171. 

Kellis, David. — Shinnecock, 41. 

Kellogg, Jonathan, 273. 

Kelly, J. A. F.— 547. 

Keteltas, Rev. Abraham.— 145; 185. . 

Kidd, Captain William.— 176; career, ITS; stories of 
buried treasure, 180; Kidd's Rock, 181. 

Kieft, Governor.— 22; 47; sketch of, 54; 55; 146; patent 
for New Utrecht lands, 328; patent for Grave- 
send, 355; 568. 

King, Horatio C— Quoted, 464; sketch, 644. 

King, John Alsop, 700. 

King, Rufus.— 561; 699. 

King Family of Jamaica. — 699. 

Kings County.— Slaves and their owners, 122; relig- 
ious progress, 146; in War of 1812, 256; military 
companies, 257; general history and descrip- 
tion, 308; consolidation commissioners, 327; 
Medical Society, 594; courts, 624; Thompson's 
account of, 767. 

Kinsella, Thomas, of the Eagle.— 424. 

Kirk, Thomas.— Issues first Brooklyn newspaper, 395. 
.Kissam, Daniel Whitehead, Whig, protests against 
Sears's methods. — 194. 

Kissam Family of North Hempstead. — 711. 

Kniphausen, Col.— Regiment quartered at Flatlands, 

Korten, Mvndert, New Utrecht.— 332. 

Kupors, Rev. W. P.— 145. 

Labadist Fathers.— Visit New Utrecht, 109; 280. 

Labagh, Rev. Abram I.— 363. 

Labagh, Rev. I. P.— 363. 

Labagh, Peter.— 314. 

Lafayette's visit. — 402. 

Lambert, Edward A., mayor of Brooklyn. — 411, 412. 

Lambertson, Adrian. — 318. 

Lambertson, Cornelius. — 58. 

Land boomers, a paradise for. — 583. 

Lane, John, ferryman. — 384. 

Laws, some curious. — 116. 

Leake, John W.— 276. 

Lee, Gen. Charles. — 193. 

Lee, Gen. Robert E.— 335. 

Lefferts Family.— 102; 320. 

Lefferts, John.— 322; 323. 

Lefferts, Judge.— 103. 

Lefferts' Park, village.— 335. 

Lefferts, Peter— 273; 320. 

Leisler, Jacob. — 71; Long Island towns except Hunt- 
ington, oppose him, 71; hanged for treason, 72. 

Lent Family.— 709. 

Leverich, Rev. William.— Sketch of, 34. 

Lewis, Elias, Jr. — Quoted, 8. 

Lewis, Francis, signer of Declaration of Independ- 
ence. — 535. 

Lewis, Rev. Dr. W. H.-^27. 

Lewis, Gov. Morgan.— 277; 335; 535. 

Lewis, Commodore. — 251. 

Libraries, Brooklyn. — 455. 

Lincoln, President. — Reception of news of assassina- 
tion of, 479. 

Literature.- 499; 543. 

Littlejohn, Bishop.— 428, 429. 

Little Neck.— 536. 

Livingston, Rev. Dr. J. H.— 160; 272. 

Livingston, Philip. — 99. 

Livingston, Robert.— recommends Captain Kidd, 177. 

Livingston, Chancellor.— 648. 

Lloyd Family, The.— 89. 

Lloyd, Rev. W. H.— 139. 

Locke, Richard A.— author of "The Moon Hoax," 



Long Beach. — railroad to, 302. 

Long Inland Historical Society. — 455; SOL 

Long Island. — position of in history of the United 
States,!; population, 3; physical features, to- 
pography, 4; game and game laws, 5; botany, 
arborculture, 6; geology and natural history, 7; 
discovery and early white settlement, 42; and 
Connecticut, 46; an early Dutch description, 47; 
divided between Dutch and English, 61; passes 
under English rule, 63; becomes part of York- 
shire, 63; Dutch place names changed, 63 ; divided 
into three counties, 70; some primitive character- 
istics, 104; early laws, administration of justice, 
104; the Ante-Revolutionary struggle, 18^ ; 
changes under Gov. NicoUs, 322; quick succes- 
sion of governments, 331; troops in War of 1812, 
253; 257 ; public school system, 277 ; roads, 279; 
Prime's description, 282; Furman's description, 
284; Long Island railroad; history of, by Judge 
Hinsdale, 285; latest development plans, 303; 

Long Island City. — History of, 567; 574; court house, 
575; mayors, 575. 

Long Island College Hospital. — 593; 615. 

Long Island Sporting Clubs. — 688. 

Loot (Lot) Bartel and Peter, early Flatbush settlers. — 
317; 320. 

Lott, Abraham.— 327. 

Lott, Johannes. — 322. 

Lott, J. A.— 327; 414; 628. 

Loughlin, Bishop, — 427. 

Louise [Block] Island. — 43. 

Louisian -School, The. — 404. 

Lovelace, Governor.— 66; 73; 151; 183; 318; 859; 390; 

Low, A. A.— 472. 

Low, Seth,— 480; 483. 

Lowe, Rev. Peter.— 153; 160; 273; 313. 

Loyalists m Kings and Queens counties. — 191; hunted 
down under orders from Lee; Field quoted 
concerning cruelties, 195. 

Lubbertse, (iarret. — 320. 

Lubbertsen, Frederick.— 58; 60; 385. 

Lupardus, Rev. Casparus. — 148. 

Luqueer, Abraham, Bushwick. — 340. 

Macaulay, Lord, and the story of Captain Kidd. — 177. 

Maclnnes, Duncan. — Story of consolidation, 626; 679. 

Mack, Rev. E. E.— 275. 

MacMonnies, Frederick, sculptor.— 480. 

Madison, President. — 250. 

Makins, Thomas, teacher, of Flushing.— 270. 

Malone, Rev. Dr. Sylvester. — 459. 

Manhasset. — 8 

Manhattan Beach, Coney Island.— 374. 

Manhattan Island. — Fortifications in war of 1812, 258; 

influence exerted against Brooklyn, 406. 
Manout, Boudewyn, schoolmaster and clerk. — 338. 
Mareckawieck.— 382. 
Marsh, William B.— 424. 
Martense, Gerrit L. — 325. 
Martense, J. V. B.— 327. 
Martense, Roelof.— 310. 

Marrying among the early Dutch families. — 111. 
Mason, Rev. E. — 160. 
Maspeth.— 539; 546. 
Mather, Rev. Cotton.— Quoted, 144. 
Matthews, A. D.— Sketch of, 510. 
Matthews, David, Mayor.— 196; 230; 823. 
Mattituck Village.— 581. 

Maujer, Daniel, of Williamsburgh. — 850. 

Maxwell, James H., Bushwick speculator. — 342; 343. 

Mayo, Samuel.— 89. 

McCloskev, Henry, of The Eagle. — 424. 

McConnel'l, Rev. S. D.— 428. 

McCormick, Governor R. C— 522; 565. 

McCue, -Alexander.- 688. 

McGarron, Hugh.— 814. 

McKane, John Y.— Sketch of, 870; death, 371. 

McKelway, St. Clair, of The Eagle.— 424. 

McKibben, John S.— Williamsburgh, 347. 

McMaster, Prof. J. B.— On causes of War of 1812, 250 

McNish, Rev. George.— 553. 

Medical Profession, The. — 585. 

Megapolensis, Rev. Johannes.— 147; 157; 317; 862. 

Meigs, Return Jonathan. — 248. • 

Memorial Arch, Prospect Park Plaza.— 480. 

Menhaden Fishery. — 5. 

Merrill, F. J. H., on Geology of Long Island— 6 et. 

Meserole, Jean, of Bushwick. — 837. 

Meserole, John A.— 840; 341. 

Meserole, Abraham.— 340; secretary of village of Wil- 
liamsburgh, 345. 

Meserole, Col. J. V. — 466. 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. — 162. 

Metropolitan Police Act.— 446. 

Mexican War.— Veterans of, in Brooklyn, 764. 

Mey, Cornelissen. — 45. 

Michelius, Dominie. — 146. 

Middleton, Thomas. — 79. 

Middle Village.— 547. 

Military lorce on Long Island in 1776.-215. 

Miller, Charles Henry.- 502. 

Miller, David, of Bushwick.— 840. 

Mills, Rev. Lawrence H.— 427. 

Minister's Salary— How paid, 142. 

Minto, Dr. Walter.— 278. 

Minuit, Peter.— 53. 

Moll, Lambert, of Bushwick.— 337. 

Mongotucksee, Indian hero. — 31. 

Monroe, President.— In Brooklyn, 402. 

Montauk Point.— 26; Indians of, 30; 583. 

Montgomery, John, Governor. — 74. 

Moody, Lady (Deborah).— 22; arrives at Gravesend, 
355; sketch of, 856; supposed grave of, 364. 

Moody, Sir Henry. 355; Library of, 357. 

Moors Indian charity school.— 35. 

Moore, Benjamin. — 710. 

Moore, Sir Henry, Governor.— 74. 

Moore, Judge Henry A. — 638. 

Moore, John, of Newtown.— 709; family, 710. 

Moore, Rev. John, second minister of Hempstead.— 

Morrell, Thomas, of Newtown.— 343. 

Morris, Judge S. D.— 638. 

Morton, General Jacob. — 262. 

Mowatt, Mrs.— 234. 

Mulford, Captain, and his troubles.— An early patriot, 

Mulligan, Rev. John.— 273; 276. 
Municipalities. — Forty-eight merged into Greater 

New York, 526. 
Murphy Henry C— 24; Mayor of Brooklyn, 411; sketch 

of, 413; list of works, 416; 422. 
Murray Lindley.— 234; mother entertains Howe while 

Putnam's troops retreat, 235; Walter Barrett's 

story of the Murray family, 235. 



Nassau Water Company. — 443. 

National Banks.— Brooklyn, 490. 

National Guard. — See War of 1812; early Brooklyn 
companies, 422; the Fourteenth and Thirteenth 
Regiments, 422; 462; other regiments, 462; first 
call for troops, 464; the gallant Twenty-eighth, 
465; the Red-legged Devils, 466; enlistments 
from Brooklyn, 467; all Brooklyn regiments at 
the front save one, 471; honoring the veterans, 
480; Grand Army of the Republic, 481; U. S. 
Grant Post, 481; after the war, 508. 

Navy Yard. — Established, 397; in operation, 400; dry 
dock, 439; list of ships, 439; 469; 508. 

Neilson, Judge Joseph. — 633; on Justice Coke, 634. 

New Lots.— 318; 513. 

Newspapers, Brooklyn. — The Courier and Long Isl- 
and Advertiser, 395; The Long Island Weekly 
Intelligencer, 395; The Long Island Star, 395,- 
423; The Long Island Patriot, 423; The Brook- 
lyn Advocate, 423; the Brooklyn Evening Star, 
423; a group of short-lived organs, 424; another 
group, 455; Standard, Standard-Union, 499; 
Brooklyn Citizen, 499; other newspapers, 499. 

Newton, R. V. B., Gravesend.— 371. 

Newtown. — Slaves, 126; the step-child of the metropol- 
itan era, 538; cemeteries, 539; first settlers, 539; 
story of the village, 540; first house of worship, 
540; punishment of a ne'er-do-well, 540; local 
government, 541; in the Revolution, 542; Rev. 
Mr. Leverich and other ministers, 543; means 
of travel, 545. 

Newtown creek.— 341; 538. 

New Utrecht. — Slaves, 124; general history, 328; first 
bathing resort on Long Island, 329; land boom- 
ers, 329; land grants issued by Stuyvesant, 329; 
list of patentees, 330; descendants of patentees, 
330; visit of Capt. Scott, 331; Dongan's patent, 
332; church, 332; ministers, 333; old grave- 
yard, 333; Revolutionary memories, 334; de- 
fense in War of 1812, 335; churches, 335; an- 
nexed, 336. 

Nichols, Charles.— 276. 

Nicholson, Francis, Lieutenant-Governor. — 70. 

Nicolls, Matthias. — Sketch of, 65; author of The 
Duke's Laws, 65; appointed speaker, 69. 

Nicolls, Sir Richard. — Captures New Amsterdam and 
assumes government of New Netherland, 63; 
letter to Magistrates, 64; treaty of capitulation, 
728; address of deputies, 64; patent to Flatbush, 
317; 321; fac simile of Brooklyn charter, 386; 

Ninnecraft, Sachem. — 26. 

Noka, John. — 41. 

Noka, Joshua. — 41. 

Nostrand Family.— 703. 

Nott, Dr. Eliphalet.— 352. 

Nyack {Fort Hamilton).— 335. 

Oakdale, a baronial estate. — 579. 
Oblenis, Albert.— 273. 
Occom, Rev. Samson. — 23; sketch of, 36. 
Oceanic Hotel, Coney Island. — 372. 
Olympia, village of. — Boomed, 98; 395. 
Onderdont, Henry, Jr.— Sketch of, 276; 563. 
Orient Point.— 14. 
Orient, village.— 582. 
Overbaugh, Voorhies. — 315. 

Oyster Bay.— Slaves, 123; academv, 277; railroad ex- 
tended to, 302; early Masonic lodge at, 648. 

Packer, William F.— 503. 

Packer Institute for Girls.— 422. 

Paine, Elijah Freeman, patriot and schoolmaster, iW. 

Parker, George.— 314. 

Parker, Rev. W. H.— 39. 

Parsons, Col. S. H.— 248. 

Parsons, Samuel. — 533. 

Patchen, Andrew.— 270. 

Patchogue as a summer resort.— 580. 

Patterson, Charles J.— 641. 

Payne, John Howard, author of " Home, Sweet Home " 

-271- bust in Prospect park, 448; sketch of, 711. 
Payne, William.— 271. 
Payne family.— 712. 
Pearsall, Thomas E. — 639. 
Pticonic Bay.— 580. 
Pelletreau family. — 721. 
Penewit, Thomas. — 60. 
Penny, Rev. Joseph.— 273, 274. 
Perry, J. A. — Comptroller of Greenwood. — 336. 
Pierrepont, H. B.— 99; family, 100; 404. 
Pierson, Rev. Abraham, of Southampton. — 140. 
Pietersen, Jacob, New Utrecht. — 330. 
Pitkin, John R.— 513. 
Plank Road Craze, The.— 282. 
Piatt, Isaac— 68. 
Piatt, Epenetus.— 68. 
Polhamus, Daniel Mr.— 320. 

Polhemus, Rev. Mr.— Buys a slave, 119; 148, 157, 159. 
Polhemus, Theodorus, of Bushwick. — 339. 
Poppenhausen, Conrad.— 297. 
Port Jefferson. — Railroad communication, 291; 580; 

Suffolk lodge No. 60, 650. 
Port Washington — 8; railroad to, 303. 
Potter, Cornelis de. — 96. 
Powell, Samuel S., Mayor of Brooklyn. — 443. 
Powers, William P. — Williamsburgh, 347. 
Poyer, Rev. Thomas. — 531; letters from, 553. 
Praa (Pratt), Peter.— 568. 
Pratt, Calvin E.— 638. 
Pratt, Charles.— 505. 
Pratt Institute.— 504. 
Prime, Dr. — Account of Queens and Suffolk counties, 

Prince, William.— 532. 

Prison ship martyrs. — 450; 756; story of survivors, 756. 
Privateers in War of 1812.— 251; 252. 
Prospect Park laid out. — 447. 

Provoost, David Schout, in Breuckelen. — 320; 386. 
Provost, John. — patriot, 340. 
Prudden, Rev. John. — 561. 
Public Parks, Brooklyn. — 449; driveways, 460. 
Putnam, General. — Defense of, 754. 
Putnam, Harrington. — quoted, 383. 

Queen, Montgomery. — city stages, 419. 

Queens, Borough of. — population, 3; 521; progress 
since consolidation, 522 ; a place for home- 
building, 523; Revolutionary story, 526; inner 
story of consolidation, 626. 

Queens County. — Slaves, 126; boundaries, 521; Dr. 
Prime on, 790. 

Queens. — village, 565. 

•' Rain Water Doctor," 396. 

Rapalye, Jacob Joris, grant of land at Wallabout.— 46; 

65; 58; family, 96; 381. 
Rapalye, Jan.- 280. 
Rapalye, John.— 103; 229. 
Rapalje, Mrs. — Scheme to block the retreat from 

Long Island, 229, 



Ravenswood.— 538; 568; charity establishments at, 
burned by mob, 569. 

Raymond, Rossiter W.— 499. 

Red Hook. — value of real estate at, 405. 

Remsen, Abraham.— pioneer dry-goods man, 397. 

Remsen, Mrs. Anthony. — reminiscences, 19. 

Remsen, Derick. — 814. 

Remsen, Joris. — 99. 

Remsen, Henry, — 99. 

Remsen, Peter.— 99. 

Remsen, Philip. — 99. 

Revolution.— The story prior to 1776, 182; review of 
events, 185. 

Richards, Daniel. — 418. 

Richardson, J. L. and Lemuel, Bushwick. — land specu- 
lators, 345. 

Richbill, John.— 89. 

Roads and Railroads. — 279. 

Roberts' " History of New York."— quoted, 69. 

Rockaway Beach.— blockhouse on, 253; railroad, 292- 

Rockaways, Indian tribe. — 318. 

Roeloffse, Peter, New Utrecht.— 330. 

Rogers, Major Robert.— 220. 

Rogers, John.— 276. 

Roman Catholic church in Kings county. — 163. 

Ronkonkoma, Lake. — 11; 83. 

Rose, Judge A. T.— sketch of by Judge Hedges, 725. 

Ross, Charley. — supposed abductors killed at Bay 
Ridge, 385. 

Ross, Dr. John D.— 499. 

Rouse, Thomas. — 79. 

Rowland, A. J.— shipbuilder. 469. 

Royal arms defaced in 1697.-183. 

Ryan, M. P., of Gravesend.— 371. 

St. Alban's Masonic lodge, Brooklyn.— 651. 

St. Ann's church.— 427. 

St. John's Episcopal church. — 427. 

Sabbath, laws relating to. — 115, 117. 

Sabring, Cornelius, tries to break ferry monopoly. — 

Sackley, R. B.— 83. 
Sag Harbor. — 31; Col. Meigs's expedition, 249; Col. 

Hardy's expedition, 251; in war of 1812, 254; 

railroad communication, 291. 
Sands, Col. Benjamin. — 194. 
Sands, Comfort.- 97, 273. 
Sands, Joshua. — 97. 
Sands Brothers.— 895. 
Sanford, Louis, treasurer of Williamsburgh village. — 

Sanitary fair, the. — 472. 

Saunders, Frederick, "Salad for the Social." — 458. 
Savings Banks, Brooklyn. — 493. 
Saxe, John G. — 453. 
Schenck, Martin. — 314. 
Schenck, Rev. Dr. Noah H.— 427. 
Schieren, Mayor, 486. 

School, early regulations in Brooklyn. — 268. 
Schoonmaker, Rev. Dr. Jacob. — 262; 545. 
Schoonmaker, Rev. Martinus.— 158; 154; 273; 36.3. 
Schroeder, William, M. D.— 5:^5. 

Settlement of Homes, A. — 528. 
Shad, enormous catch of, in 1749. — 334. 
Sharp, Thomas R.— 298. 
Shearman, Thomas G. — 188. 
Sheepshead Bay, 369. 
Shelter Island,— Geology, 8; 11; 79. 
Shepard, Edward M.— 642. 

Ships and Shipbuilding. — Monitors at Greenpoint, 

Siggelon, Johannes.— 314. 

Silliman, Benjamin D. — 635. 

Skinner, Abraham, Jamaica. — 275. 

Slavery on Long Island. — 119; laws of 1683, 119; negro 
plots, 120; value and number of, 121, 129; manu- 
missions, list of, 129; last auction sale in Brook- 
lyn, 138. 

Sloughter, Governor. — 32; 72. 

Slover, Isaac. — 314. 

Smallpox in Brooklyn. — 891. 

Smith, Claes Claessen, New Utrecht. — 380. 

Smith, Cyrus P., mayor of Brooklyn. — 411. 

S'mith, Rev. Ralph.— 139. 

Smith, Richard (Bull).— 28; 82; sketch of, 83; family 
of, 88. 

Smith, .Samuel, mayor of Brooklyn. — 411; 412. 

Smith, William (Tangier). — 83; sketch of, 84; family 
of, 85^ 

Smith, William (2d), of Mastic— 85. 

Smith, William (3d), member of First Provincial Con- 
gress. — 85. 

Smith. — Various popular family designations. — 82, 

Smitbtown. — Slaves, 128; railroad opened, 291. 

Snedecor, Jan., tavern keeper in New Amsterdam, 317. 

Snediker, Jan.— 267; 702; family, 702. 

Social World of Long Island. — 672; Royal Arcanum, 
678; Odd Fellows, 674; Knights of Pythias, 676; 
P'oresters of America, 676; smaller bodies, 679. 

Solyns (or Selwyn), Rev. Henry — 148; 159. 

Sons of Liberty. — 188. 

Southampton. — First purchase of, 26; 59; church at, 
185; 140; some ministers of, 142. 

Southold. — 59; punishment for tattlers, 116; church at, 
184; in War of 1812,254. 

Spanish American War. — 693. 

Spicer, Captain Elihu. — 503. 

Spicer, Thomas. — 60. 

Spooner, Alden J. — Sketch, 630. 

Sprague, Joseph, mayor of Brooklyn. — 411. 

Stanton, Henry, Catharine street fetry — 344. 

State Banks, Brooklyn.— 491. 

Statues in Brooklyn. — 512. 

Stearns, John M., historian of Williamsburgh. — 342. 

Steers, Henrv, shipbuilder. — 469. 

Steinway Village. — 569. 

Stelman, Jan, of Bushwick. — S'AH. 

Stevens, Gen. Ebenezer. — •''i70; 671. 

Stevens family. — W'hittemore's record, 570. 

Stevensen, Coert. — 62. 

Stewart, Commodore. — 268. 

Stewart, Rev. W. H.— 39. 

Stiles, Dr. Henry R.— 499. 

StiUe, Cornelius Jacobse. — 337. 

Stillman Jan Hendricksen. — 96. 



Stockwell, Rev. A. P.^Quoted, 369; 363. 

Storrs, Rev, John. — 139. 

Storrs, Rev. Dr. R. S.— 139; sketch of, 430; 477. 

Stranahan, J. S. T. — 368; defeated for mayor, 412; some 
public services, 447. 

Street, Charles R.— Quoted, 276. 

Strong, George U., Williamsburgh speculator. — 347. 

Strong, Rev. T. C— 545. 

Strong, Rev. Robert G.— 275. 

Strong, Dr., of Flatbush.— 148; 266; 317. 

Strycker, Jan.— 60; 62; 267. 

Stryker, Captain Burdett, of the Katydids. — 256. 

Stryker, Francis B., mayor of Brooklyn. — 411; 412. 

Stuyvesant, Governor.— 20; 47; sketch of, 59; 147; 157; 
163; reprimanded by home government, 170; De 
Bevoise a protege of, 268; farm at Flatlands, 
310; issues patent to Midwout, 317; to New 
Utrecht, 331; surveys the site of Boswijck (Bush- 
wick), 328; regard for Lady Moody, 357; angry 
with Brooklyn dwellers, 384; 385; his rule on 
Long Island, 390; hfs lien on the ferry earn- 
ings, 392. 

Sudam, Yan.— 314. 

Sueberingh, Jan. — 321. 

Suffolk county.— Population, 8; military in 1776, 216; 
early Masonic lodge, 648; in war of 1812,251; 
Dr. Prime's account of, 790. 

Summer resorts. — 577. 

Supreme court justices, list of. — 626. 

Sutherland, Kenneth F., Gravesend, 371. 

Sutphen, Rev. David S. — 333. 

Suydam, Capt. Lambert. — 224. 

Swearing, statute against. — 115. 

Swedenborgians on Long Island. — 164. 

Sylvester, Constant. — 79. 

Sylvester, Grizzel, married James Floyd, Boston. — 89. 

Sylvester, Nathaniel.— 79; 89. 

Syosset.— 7; railroad to, 288. 

Talleyrand, a resident of Brooklyn. — 402. 

Tallmadge, Col. Benjamin. — 244; his brilliant services 
in the Revolution, 245; the Tallmadge family, 

Talmadge, Thomas G., mayor of Brooklyn. — 411. 

Talmage, Rev. T. DeWitt.— 458. 

Tammany Society in War of 1812. — 262. 

Tanner, Corporal James. — 481; 678. 

Tariff duties, early. — 69. 

Taxation without representation condemned at early 
town meetings. — 67. 

Taylor, Rev. John — 141. 

Temperance society in Brooklyn. — 404. 

Tenney, Asa W.— 638. 

Teunissen, Guisbert, of Bushwick. — 388. 

Teunissen, Jan. — 59; 320; appointed schout of Breuck- 
elen, 884, 

Thayre, William.— 273. 

Theaters in Brooklyn. — 507. 

Thomas, Rev. John.— 144; 162. 

Thompson, Col. Benjamin (Count Rumford). — 222. 

Thompson, B. F. — Sketch of Kings county, 767. 

Thompson Richard Whyte.— 273. 

Thorburn, Grant. — 569; sketch of, 572. 

Thorn, Lieut. Jonathan. — 397. 

Throop, Rev. William.— 139. 

Tilje, Jan, of Bushwick. — 338. 

Tilton, John, pioneer settler of Gravesend. — 362; be- 
queaths a plot for burying ground, 364. 

Tilton, Theodore. — 455. 

Titus, Charles, Bushwick. — 342. 

Titus, Francis J. — estate, 342. 

Titus, Major Francis.— 257. 

Titus, Samuel.— 68. 

Tompkins, Gov. Daniel D.— 253; ^bS. 

Tonneman, Pieter, Schout in Breuckelen— 386. 

Tooker, Dr. W. Wallace. -39; quoted; Indian place 
names in Brooklyn, 40; on Rev. Robert Ford- 
ham, 142. 

Tracy, Gen. Benjamin F. — 682. 

Tredwell, Daniel M.— 500. 

Trotter, Jonathan, Mayor of Brooklyn.^11. 

Tryon, Governor.— 190; 323. 

Tull, Pieter.— 814. 

Turnpike, Brooklyn and Jamaica.— 281. 

Tyler, President, married to Julia Gardiner.— 80. 

Underjiill, Capt. John, defeats Indians at Fort Neck, 

21; Schout of Flushing, 529. 
Underbill, J. S., shipbuilder.— 469. 
Union Hall, Jamaica. — 275. 
Urquhart, Rev. W.— 161; 631; 663. 

Van Anden, Isaac, of the Eagle. — 424. 

Van Boerum, William Jacobse. — 267. 

Van Borsum, Egbert, ferryman. — 392. 

Yaa Brunt, Major Albert C— 257. 

Van Brunt, Rutgert Joosten. — 380. 

Van Brunt family.— 330. 

Van Buskirk, Rev. P. V.— 368. 

Van Cleef, Jan.— 62. 

Van Corlaer, Jacob. — 46, 

Van Couwenhoven, Wolfert Gerritsen. — 54; 95; 811; 

VanderBoek, Paulus.— 54; 60; 885. 

Vanderbilt, Aries Jansen. — 319. 

Vanderbilt, Mrs. Gertrude L.— 146. 

Vanderbilt, Jansen. — 819. 

Vanderbilt, Hon. John.— 164; 165; 278; 323. 

Vanderbilt, John J.— 273; S27. 

Vanderveer, Dr. Adrian. — 326. 

Vanderveer, Cornelius. — 320. 

Vandervoort, John, schoolmaster. — 270. 

Vandewater, Benjamin. — 280. 

Vanderwyck, Cornelius. — 3L9. 

Van Duyn, John.— 323. 

Van Dycke, Johann Tomasse. — 330. 

Van Eckelen, Johannes, schoolmaster. — 268 

Van Giesen, Reynier. — 267. 

Van Hatten, Arent.— 60. 

Van Kleeck, Rev. Richard D.— 274. 

Van Nest, Rev. Reynier.— 275; 561. 

Van Nostrand, Jan Hansen. — 883. 

Van Pelt, Magdalena.— 332. 

Van Pelt, Gysbert T., New Utrecht.— 382. 

Van Pelt, Manor.— 329. 

Van Sickelen, Ftrnandus. — 58. 

Van Sinderen, Dominie. — 152. 

Van Tienhoven, Cornelius. — 49. 

Van Twiller, Governor. — 46; 63; 119; erects first church 
in New Netherland, 134; secures lands at Flat- 
lands, 311; lands at Red Hook, 382. 

Van Wyck, Abraham H.— 518. 

Van Zuren, Rev. Casparus. — 148; 332, 

Verazzano, John, voyage of 1624. — 43. 

Von Rossem, Huyck Aertsen. — 69. 

Voorhees, Abram. — 314. 

Voorhees, Adrian. — 322. 

Voorhees, Isaac. — 314. 

Voorhees, Luykas. — 314. 

Wading River. — 7; railroad extended to, 302. 



Walker, Rev. Zachariah. — 550. 

Wall, William, last mayor of Williamsburgh. — 351. 

Wallabout, The.— 382; 397; market, 511. 

Wampum.— 25, 49. 

Wantenaer, Albert Cornelis. — 62. 

Ward, Richard, chief of the Poosepatucks. — 39. 

Waring. Nathaniel F. — 653. 

War of 1812.-250; defenses at New Utrecht, 335. 

Warren, Gen. G. K. — Statue of, 448. 

Washburn, William. — 60. 

Washington, George. — Address from Provincial Con- 
gress, 190; arrives in New York and assumes 
command of forces there, 197; Loyalist plot, 196; 
address from Bushwick, 340; visits Flushing, 
582; visits Jamaica, 563. See also local refer- 

Water Supply, Brooklyn. — 450. 

Waterbury, Noah, "Father of Williamsburgh." — 344; 
first president of village, 345. 

Webb, Capt. Thomas.— 162. 

Webb, W. S.— 314. 

Wells, John.— 626. 

Werckhoven, Cornelius Van. — 24; 329. 

West Brooklyn, New Utrecht.— 328. 

West End Coney Island. — 374. 

Westervelt, Abram.— 315. 

West India Trading Company.— 45. 

Whalefishing, early. — 90. 

Whaley, Alexander, of the Boston Tea Party. — 340. 

Wheelock, Rev. F21eazar. — 35. 

White (railroad) Line.— 295. 

White, Rev. Sylvanus.— 142. 

Whitehead, Daniel.— 89. 

Whitestone.— .=-34. 

Whiting, Rev. Joseph. — 142. 

Whitlock, Thomas.— 314. 

Whitman, Walt.^24; sketch of, 425. 

Whitney, Mayor. — 485. 

Whittaker, Rev. Epher, D. D.— 139; sketch of, 140. 

Wicks, Thomas. — 68. 

Wilkms, William, of Gravesend.— 362. 

Williamsburgh.— 341; Woodhull's first speculation,342; 
Morrell's opposition, 343; early road to Brook- 
lyn, 342; the ferry, 342;- first church, 343; the 
father of Williamsburgh, 344; village organiza- 
tion, 345; rapid progress, 346; wild land specu- 
lation, 346; the crash, 347; healthful recoveiy, 
348; churches, newspapers, literary societies 
and banks, 348; a city charter, 348; history in 
street names, 349; the first mayor, 350; the curse 
of politics, 350; annexation, 351. 

Williamsburgh and Brooklyn.— Story of consolidation, 

Williamsburgh Democrat, The, started. — 348. 

Wills. — Cornelis Van Catts, 114; Benjamin Conkling, 
114; Pelletreau's volume of "Abstracts" re- 
ferred to, 114; William Ludlam, of Southamp- 
ton, 114; John Foster, of Rustdorp, 114; John 
Hart, of Maspeth Hills, 114; Ralph Hunt, of 
Newtown, 114. 

Wilmot, Rev. Walter.— 553. 

Wilson, Capt. John.— 257. 

Wilson, Dr., Flatbush.— 273. 

Windsor Terrace, village. — 326. 

Witchcraft.— Trial of Mary Wright, 173; trial of Ralph 
Hull and wife, 174; trial of Goody Garlicke, 174. 

Withers, Reuben, of Houston street ferry. — 349. 

Woertman, Dirch Janssen. — 99. 

Wood, Col. Alfred M., mayor of Brooklyn. — 444; 465. 

Wood, Fernando, niavor of New York. — 445. 

Wood, George M.— 628. 

Wood, Jonas.— 68. 

Wood, Silas, quoted. — 25. 

Wood, William, of The Eagle.— 424. 

WoodhuU, Gen. Nathaniel, 180; sketch of, 237; vari- 
ous stories of details of capture, 240; the death 
of a patriot and a Christian, 242; thoughts on 
his career and services, 243; the long talked of 
monument still talked of, 244; the De Sille 
house, where he died, 330. 

WoodhuU, Richard M., founder of Williamsburgh,342. 

Woodhull, Rev. Selah S.— 160. 

Woodruff, Horace.— 276. 

Woodruff, Rev. William.— 550. 

Woodworth, H. D.— 314. 

Woodworth, Samuel, poem "The Patriotic Diggers.' 

Woolsev, Rev. Benjamin. — 137; 145. 

Wright,' Peter.— 89. 

Writers' Club, The.— 502. 

Wurster, Mayor.— 487. 

Wyandanch— Tragedy of, 20; 30; 31; 89. 

Wyckoff, Peter, Gov. Stuyvesant's farmer. — 311. 

Wykoff's Hotel, Coney Island.— 372. 

Yellow fever epidemics. — 405; 452. 
York, G. D.— 276. 
Yorktown, projected town. — 343. 
Youngs, Rev. John, of Southold. — 134. 
Youngs, Capt. John. — 136. 
Youngs, John, sheriff. — 69. 

Zeeaw, Jan Cornelise, of Bushwick. — 338. 

Zeelen, Johann, early settler at New Utrecht. — 329. 





S A PART of the state of New York, 
Long Island can hardly be said to have 
now any separate political interest or 
to have at any time in the past done any 
more than a like share with the other sections of 
the Empire State in building up in Congress, 
in the tented field, or in the realms of liter- 
ature, science or art, the country of whose 
present greatness, of whose rank among the 
nations of the earth we are all so proud. 
The island has fully met every claim made 
upon her ; in the Revolution she suffered much 
and deeply, and the name of WoodhuU and 
many another gallant hero ranks high on the 
honored roll of those who sacrificed home and 
property and life that political and religious 
freedom might live; in the war of 1812 she 
was ready to meet any invading force, and 
her ships helped to win the victory and to 
wrest from Britain, for a time, at least, that 
country's old claim to invincibility on the sea ; 
in the Civil war she liberally contributed men 
and treasure to preserve intact what the found- 
ers of the Republic had fought for, and in 
the war with Spain she freely responded to 
the call of the General Government. But, 

then, other sections of the state acted equally 
as nobly, according to the measure of their 

Still, Long Island did exert, indirectly, it 
is true, but none the less clearly traceable and 
unmistakable, a degree of influence upon the 
general history of the country, especially in 
the early stages — the stages when history was 
being made and precedents established. It has 
always been obedient to established authority, 
but when the rights of the individual or the 
community were assailed or trampled on — be 
the government Dutch or English — it has led 
the way in defending those rights, and even 
Peter Stuyvesant found the farmers of Long 
Island more troublesome and determined, at 
times, than the burghers of New Amsterdam. 
The keynote of liberty resounded over the 
island long before the call to arms was made, 
and one of her sons was among the immortals 
who signed the Declaration of Independence, 
while another presided over the discussions 
of the first patriot assembly of the state of 
New York. The position it held in the mo- 
mentous affairs of the latter half of 1776, when 
it was regarded by the veteran Generals of 


King George as the key by which the continent 
was to be opened up again to British au- 
thority, was alone sufficient to exalt it to a 
position among the shrines of the nation, one 
of the spots on which the struggle for liberty 
was most strenuously waged, and where, 
though defeated, it was shown that in military 
skill and finesse the Continentals were the 
equal of their adversaries, the veterans of 
many wars. It was there, too, that Washing- 
ton first earned his right to be regarded as one 
of the greatest captains of his time, of an}' time. 
But besides this Long Island showed, even 
before the Revolution, that the people were 
perfectly fit to rule themselves and the various 
town governments were models of local au- 
thority for the rest of the country. Even un- 
der the Dutch the townships enjoyed a gen- 
erous measure of local rule, and what was not 
allowed by the authorities in the fort on Man- 
hattan they took themselves. In fact th^ whole 
course of the history of Long Island shows 
that the less the general government inter- 
fered with loc^l affairs the better the result 
all round. The Dutch paternal rule in the 
western section, the English town rule in the 
•eastern, and the happy way in which in Queens 

count)' both Dutch and English could pool 
their issues, could respect each other's religious 
views and notions of statecraft, could live to- 
gether in peace and harmony, formed three 
significant conditions which were not lost upon 
the statesmen who were engaged in the work 
of bridging this country safely across the 
chasm which separated the disjointed and 
jealous colonies into a strong and united 

Long Island since the echoes of the Revo- 
lutionary war have died away has always been 
found ranged on the side of liberty and tolera- 
tion, her representatives in Congress and in 
the assembly have been men who by their 
talents commanded respect and by their efforts 
added largely to the progress the nation has 
made in all the arts that render men happy 
and ensure the prosperity of the country. She 
has been to a certain extent a community in 
herself, she so remains in a great measure to 
the passing day, and presents, in fact, in her 
own career an epitome of all that makes the 
country really great, thrift, honesty and re- 
ligion leavening the whole, while progressive- 
ness, energy and a Vvratchfulness for oppor- 
tunities add year by year to the general wealth. 

Presented to Sarah Jansen De Rapelje, by her husband. 



ONG ISLAND lies between 40 de- 
grees, 34 minutes, and 41 degrees, 10 
minutes, north latitude, and between 
71 degrees, 51 minutes, and 74 de- 
grees, 4 minutes, west longitude from Green- 
wich, England. It is bounded south and east 
by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by Long 
Island Sound and on the west by New York 
Bay and the East River, which latter divides it 
from Manhattan Island. Its length is about 
one hundred and twenty-five miles, its average 
width about fourteen miles, and its total area 
927,900 acres. It is divided into the counties 

*The population according to wards and townships 
is given as follows: 





Wds. Pop. 


1 ... 




. . 57,. 309 

823. .30 





.. 25,133 






. . 37,645 






. . 25,446 





21 . 

. . .58,957 


(i . .. 




. . 66,575 






.. 61,813 






. . 31,767 





25 . 

. . 48,328 






. . 66,086 

*5, 690.00 

11 ... 



27 . 

. . 43,691 






. . 77,912 






.. 27,188 






. . 24,700 





31 . 

. . 14,609 










*Includes swamp 

lands and 

unattached island 






' Acres. 








of Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk; but 
all of Kings and part of Queens are now under 
the general government of the greater New 
York, although still retaining their countj' or- 
ganization. The population of these divisions 
according to the census of 1900 was as follows: 

Kings .... 1,166,582 
Nassau. . . 55,448 

Queens 152,999 

Suffolk 55,5H2 

Being a total for Long Island of 1,452,611.* 
In 1880 the total was 743,957, and in 1890, 
1,029,097, so that a considerable advance has 
been made. The advance has been greatest 

Wards. Population. Acres. 

4 30,761 36,600.00 

5 7,193 4,9.33.00 

Total 152,999 82,883.00 


Hempstead Township 27,067 

North Hempstead Township 12,048 

Oyster Bay Township 16,333 

Total 55,448 


Babylon Township 7,112 

Brookhaven Township 14,596 

Easthampton Township 3,746 

Huntington Township 9,488 

*Islip Township 12,545 

Riverhead Township 4,503 

Shelter Island Township 1,066 

tSmithtown Township 5,863 

Southampton Township 10, .371 

Southold Township 8,301 

Total 77,582 

*Includes 1,349 people on the premises of the Manhattan 

State Hospital for the Insane, 
flncludes 3,177 people on the premises of the Long 

Island State Hospital. 


in Kings county, but all the divisions show 
substantial increases. 

The island as a whole is flat and low-lying. 
Through the centre is a range of small hills 
from New Utrecht northeasterly to Roslyn, 
and from there extending to Montauk Point, 
the best known being West, Dix, Comae, Bald 
and Shinnecock Hills. The average height of 
this chain is about 250 feet, but Harbor Hill 
at Roslyn rises to a height of 384 feet, Janes 
Hill to 383 feet, Reuland's Hill to 340 feet 
and Wheatley Hill to 369 feet. Along the 
north shore from Astoria to Orient Point a 
bluff follows the outline of the coast, rising 
sometimes to a height of 200 feet. From the 
central chain of hills to the south shore the 
land slopes gently down to the sea, and much 
of the land, being pure sand, was long ni- 
capable of cultivation, although it is yielding 
to modern methods and appliances. Between 
these hills and the bluff which overhangs the 
north shore is a level elevated plain, broken 
in many places by rocks and glacial debris, 
but on the whole capable of being brought to- 
a high state of cultivation. The physica)l ap- 
pearance of the entire island bears witness to 
the foirce of the movements of nature in the 
glacial period, and nowhere in America can 
that wonderful epoch be more closely or un- 
derstandingly studied. In a general way it 
may be said that the south shore is level, while 
the north is full of bits of rugged nature, 
rocks, dells, splendid marine and land views 
and an ever changing vista of hills, forests, 
cultivated fields and rich pasture lands. 

The entire coast line is indented with bays 
and inlets, some forming even in their rugged- 
ness beautiful landscapes, and many of them 
affording splendid harbors and anchorages. 
On the south side of the island is the Great 
South Bay as it is called (although local 
names have been given to several sections), 
nearly one hundred miles long and from two 
to five miles broad, and it is separated from 
the Atlantic by a sandy bar from a fourth of a 
mile to a mile in width, changing its dimen- 
sions in every direction with every winter's 

storm. To the west end of the island are 
Jamaica, Hempstead, Oyster and Huntington 
Bays, and at the east end Gardiner's, Little 
Peconic and Great Peconic Bays ; and the Pe- 
conic River, the only stream of water of any 
size on the island, ends its course of some 
fifteen miles at Riverhead. Gardiner's, Fish- 
er's and Plumb Islands are politically incor- 
porated with Long Island. 

There are scattered throughout the island, 
especially throughout its eastern half, many 
small sheets of inland water, none worthy of 
mention in a summary such as this except one, 
the largest of them all — Lake Ronkonkoma. 
This beautiful lake, about three miles in cir- 
cumference, has a maximum depth of eighty- 
three feet ; its waters are ever pmre and cool, 
and it has no visible outlet or inlet. The lat- 
ter peculiarities are common to man}' much 
smaller lakes on the island. Ronkonkoma lies 
in the midst of a beautiful landscape, into 
which it fits naturally, becoming the centre of 
one of the most delightful bits of scenery on 
Long Island. It was famous for its beauty 
even in the prehistoric Indian days, when the 
red man reigned and roamed over the soil, and 
many quaint and pathetic legends are yet as- 
sociated with it, although it has now received 
the tinsel adornments common to a popular 

The ocean bottom to the south of Long 
Island has a slope of about six feet to the 
mile, but intersected in what appears to have 
been the old valley of the Hudson by a series 
of deep depressions. In that distant time the 
shores of Long Island were much higher than 
now. It is impossible to tell when the age of 
retrogression set in, but it seems clear that the 
process is still going on, although so slowly 
as hardly to make any change visible to the 
casual eye in any single generation. 

The animal life on Long Island presented 
nothing unusual. We have plenty of evidence 
that deer once had the freedom of the whole 
island and were hunted by the red nien and 
the earliar settlers ; but they have long been 
reduced to limited numbers in spite of the most 


stringent game laws. It has been thought that 
the moose and elk once roamed through the 
forests, and in 1712 we read of an attempt 
being made to ship a pair of moose from 
Fisher's Island to England as a gift to Queen 
Anne, but this pair seems to have been the 
last of the race. Wolves which so often played 
havoc with the lives and stock of the pioneer 
settlers have long since disappeared. Foxes, 
too, which were plentiful at one time, are now 
imported, or the aniseed trail is made to do 
duty in their stead for hunting purposes, and 
the old-time presence of wild cats, beavers, 
bears, opossum, raCcoons and many others is 
forgotten. It may be said that all the animals 
common to New York and Connecticut were 
common to Long Island, and are so still, al- 
though the increasing march of population 
and culture renders their numbers smaller year 
after year. Bird life was and is plentiful, 
and grouse in the earlier days especially so. 
It has been said that some 320 species have 
been found on the island, specimens of most of 
them being in the museum of the Long Island 
Historical Society. The island was a resting 
place for many migratory species of birds on 
their semi-annual journeys north and south or 
vice versa, and at such seasons it was a verit- 
able sportman's paradise. Indeed hunting 
was long, with agriculture, one of the arts by 
which the pioneers added to their store of 
wealth, while in the hands of an Indian a skin 
was a facile medium of exchange. The people, 
however, were early aroused to a consciousness 
that indiscriminate slaughter of animals or 
birds was a thing to be guarded against, and 
as early as 1786 the slaughter of deer and 
grouse was prohibited in Brookhaven except 
to actual citizens of the town. Since then 
the successive restrictions upon hunting have 
been numerous enough to form a theme for 
separate study, but stringent as they are Long 
Island is yearly becoming less and less a happy 
hunting ground for the man who goes out 
with a gun anxious to shoot something. 

But in spite of the restrictions, the man 

with the gun keeps steadily in evidence. On 
Nov. 6, 1901, when the season for killing deer 
opened, it was estimated that 2,000 "hunters" 
armed with rifles were on Long Island, ready 
for the "sport." It was then estimated that 
about 2,000 deer were on Long Island, the bulk 
being, roughly, in the central portion extend- 
ing from Islip and Setauket to Riverhead. The 
center of the hunting area is in the neighbor- 
hood of the South Side Sportsmen's Club at 
Oakdale in whose preserves the deer are not 
permitted to be killed, even by its own mem- 
bers. It is possible that it is to this organiza- 
tion, and to the rigid way in which it guards 
its grounds and protects the game from slaugh- 
ter that the deer on Long Island have not been 
exterminated long ago. It is one of the dis- 
puted points on the island whether or not the 
deer really should be preserved. The farmers 
would vote for their extermination, while the 
hotel-keepers and the summer visitors would 
like their numbers increased. The grovrth of 
large private estates within recent years would 
indicate a careful preservation of all sorts of 
game and a consequent increase in numbers, 
especially of deer — the most picturesque of all 
game in civilized and {xspulated communities. 
As early as 1679 we find the oyster industry 
in the Great South Ba}' a marked feature, — ■ 
so marked that even then there was considered 
a possibility that the .supply would be ex- 
hausted and orders were issued restricting the 
annual catch; but the bay from then to now 
has yearly extended its output, and the oyster 
industry of Long Island has brought to it 
more material wealth than any other. The 
inexhaustible supply of clams has also proved 
a profitable industry and over $1,000,000 of 
capital is employed in the Menhaden fishery 
alone. The factories where the oil is ex- 
tracted from these fish have never been popu- 
lar in Long Island for various reasons, but 
they still give employment to several thousand 
workers every year in one way or another, 
and have contributed their share to the com- 



mercial upbuilding of the section. Cod, bass 
and blue fish and other species — some 200 
in all, it has been estimated — are common to 
the shores of Long Island, and generally are 
to be found, in their season, in immense quan- 
tities. The fisheries form quite a feature of 
the industrial life of the island, but the finan- 
cial result, great as it is, is but a fraction of 
what it should be were the wealth of the sea 
worked as zealously and as scientifically as 
that which lies beneath the soil. However, 
Long Island has long been a delight to the 
amateur angler, and the many successful sport- 
ing clubs of which it now can boast all include 
angling, either with the seine or "with an 
angle," after the gentle manner of old Izaak 

Although from a botanical point of view 
the plant life of Long Island is not as varied 
or interesting as might be expected, still, if 
we accept the estimate made by Elias Lewis 
in 1883 that there were then eighty-three 
species of forest trees within its boundaries, 
there is not much cause for complaint. The 
most prolific of these trees was the locust, 
which was first planted at Sand's Point about 
1700 by Captain John Smith, who brought 
the pioneer specimens from Virginia. It 
spread with great rapidity and the quality of 
its lumber was regarded as better than that 
in the trees it left behind in its parent state. 
Nowhere else on the Atlantic coast does the 
locust flourish as on Long Island. Oaks, 
chestnut and walnut trees are to be found all 
over the island in great variety. 

"Long Island," writes Mr. Elias Lewis, 
"is fairly well wooded. Its forests are of oak, 
hickory, chestnut, locust, with many other 
species of deciduous trees. The evergreens 
indigenous to the soil are almost entirely of 
the yellow or pitch pine, Finns rigida. At an 
early period of its history the forest growth 
of the island was doubtless heavier than now. 
There were oaks, chestnuts, tulip trees, and 
others of great age and of immense size: a 
few of these survive. The fox oaks at Flush- 

ing, no longer existing, were historic trees 
and justly celebrated. A white oak at Green- 
vale, near Glen Cove, is twenty-one feet in 
girth, and is probably five hundred years old ; 
another nearly as old is at Manhassett, in the 
Friends' meeting-house yard; others similar 
are at Smithtown and vicinity. A tulip tree 
at Lakeville, on the elevated grounds of S. B. 
M. Cornell, impaired by age and storms, is 
twenty-six feet in girth near the ground, and 
was a landmark from the ocean more than a 
century ago. The famous black walnut at 
Roslyn, on grounds of the late W. C. Bryant, 
is probably the largest tree on Long Island ; it 
measures twenty-nine feet in girth at the 
ground, and twenty-one feet at the smallest 
part of the trunk below the spread of its enor- 
mous branches. Chestnut trees in the neigh- 
borhood of Brookville and Norwich, in the 
town of Oystdr Bay, are sixteen, eighteen and 
twenty-two feet in girth. 

"The growth of hard-wood trees on Long 
Island is rapid. A few large trees stand- 
ing indicate what they may have been, or what 
they might be if undisturbed. The evergreens 
grow with equal luxuriousness. A century 
and a half ago pitch pines were abundant from 
twenty inches to thirty-six inches in diam- 

Of the physical history of Long Island, 
however, the most interesting feature has been 
its geology, and this has been so thoroughly 
recognized that most of the local historians, 
including Thompson and Prime, have devoted 
to the subject considerable space in their re- 
spective works. It is well to follow their ex- 
ample, but in this case an improvement will 
be effected by presenting the subject as handled 
by a specialist, — for no one but a devoted and 
constant student of geology can write under- 
standingly and with authority upon the young- 
est and most exhaustive of all the sciences, as 
some one has called it. So here is given part 
of a paper on the geology of Long Island 
which was prepared by F. J. H. Merrill, the 
learned and studious State Geologist of New 


York, and which has been buried in the trans- 
actions of one of our scientific societies for 
several years: 

The lithology of Long Island is compara- 
tively simple, the crystalline rocks being con- 
fined to quite a limited area. The greater part 
of the region consists of gravel, sand and 
clay, overlaid along the north shore and for 
some distance southward by glacial drift. 
This material forms an important element of 
the surface formation, and though it has been 
already described by Mather and Upham, I 
shall devote a short space ■ to its discussion. 
For the sake of clearness, we may describe 
the drift as of two kinds : ist, the till or drift 
proper, a heterogeneous mixture of gravel, 
sand and .clay, with boulders, and 2d, the 
gravel drift, a deposit of coarse yellow gravel 
and sand, brought to its present place by 
glacial and alluvial action, but existing near 
by in a stratified condition, before the arrival 
of the glacier. This yellow gravel drift, which 
in a comparatively unaltered condition forms 
the soil of the pine barrens of southern and 
eastern Long Island, and is exposed in section 
at Grossman's brickyard in Huntington, is 
equivalent to and indeed identical with the 
yellow drift or preglacial drift of New Jersey, 
a formation of very great extent in that state, 
and of which the origin and source have not 
yet been fully explained, though it is always 
overlaid by the glacial drift proper where these 
formations occur together. 

In the hills near Brooklyn the till attains 
its maximum depth. This has never been 
definitdy ascertained, but is probably between 
150 and 200 feet. The only information we 
have on the subject is from a boring in Calvary 
Cemetery, where the drift was 139 feet deep, 
and this point is nearly five miles north of 
Mount Prospect, which is 194 feet high and 
probably consists for the most part of till. 
The occurrence of this till is quite local and 
very limited along the north shore between 
Roslyu and Horton's Point. From the former 
locality eastward the hills are mainly composed 
of stratified gravel and sand, probably under- 
laid by clay. On the railroad between Syosset 
and Setauket is an abundance of coarse gravel 
with but slight stratification. East of Setauket 
for some distance the drift is a fine yellowish 
sand, which washes white on the surface, and 
at Wading River the drift with cobble-stones 
was only eighteen inches thick where exposed, 
being underlaid with fine yellow sand. Along 

the remainder of the north shore to Orient 
Point, six feet was the maximum depth of drift 
observed. Under this were stratified sands, 
gravels and clays, usually dipping slightly 
from the shore. On Brown's Hills, north of 
Orient, the drift is overlaid by three feet of 
fine micaceous sand, which has probably been 
carried to its present position by the wind. 
The drift at this locality is a clayey till, and 
its surface is strewn with an abundance of 
boulders of coarse red gneiss. On Shelter 
Island are high ridges of gravel overlaid by 
a few feet of till. The hills from Sag Harbor 
eastward are also composed partially of un- 
modified drift, but the most extensive deposit 
on the east end of Long Island is between 
Nepeague Bay and Montauk Point. Here the 
drift is disposed in rounded hillocks from 80 
to 200 ifeet above the sea, with bowl and 
trough-shaped depressions between. The 
bluffs along the south shore, which are rapidly 
yielding to the action of the waves, consist 
for the most part of boulder clay and hard- 
pan of considerable depth, covered by a shal- 
lower layer of till. At a few places, however, 
on the south shore, west of the point, laminated 
blue clay streaked with limonite occurs, inter- 
calated with the till. At the end of the point 
a similar bed of clay is exposed, overlaid by 
stratified sand. From the extremely limited 
character of the exposures I am unable to de- 
termine whether the clay underlies the whole 
of the point or is merely local in its occur- 
rence. In character and position, however, it 
is analogous to beds occurring on Block Island. 
The boulders of Long Island attract the at- 
tention of the geologist by their size and 
variety. They represent almost every geolog- 
ical age, fossiliferous rocks of the Helderberg, 
Oriskany and Cauda Galli, Hamilton, Che- 
mung and Eocene periods having been found 
in the drift. Examples of these are in the col- 
lection of the Long Island Historical Society. 
There are also various members of the Arch- 
aean series, viz., gneiss, granite, syenite, horn- 
blende, chlorite, talcose and mica schist, lime- 
stone, dolomite, and serpentine; and the 
Palaeozoic and Mesozoic ages are represented 
by Potsdam sandstone, Hudson River slate, 
Oneida conglomerate or SJiawangunk grit, 
Catskill sandstone, and Triassic sandstone and 
trap. As the lithology of the boulders has 
been described in detail by Mather (Geol. ist 
Dist. N. Y., pp. 165-177), it would be super- 
fluous for me to undertake a similar descrip- 



In addition to the rocks mentioned above, a 
ferruginous sandstone and conglomerate occur 
abundantly in fragments along the east shore 
of Hempstead Harbor, and in the drift be- 
tween Glen Cove and Oyster Bay. Many of 
these fragments contain vegetable impres- 
sions, but in only two localities have any leaf 
prints been found. These were West Island, 
Dosoris, and the well of the Williamsburg Gas 
Co. The prints are supposed to belong to 
Cretaceous plants, but the evidence is incom- 

Many of the erratic blocks are of immense 
size, one in particular, of gneiss, on Shelter 
Island, near Jennings' Point, contained as a 
solid mass over 9,000 cubic feet. It has split 
in three pieces since it was deposited. Mather 
(Geol. 1st Dist., p. 174) mentions a mass of 
granite near Plandome, which was estimated 
to contain 8,000 cubic yards above the surface 
of the ground. 

Having thus briefly reviewed the characters 
of the surface drift, we will now consider in 
detail the strata which underlie it. The crys- 
talline rocks outcrop along the shore at Hell- 
gate and over a limited area in the vicinity of 
Astoria. They consist of finely laminated 
gneiss and schists, tilted at a high angle, and 
belong to the same formation as the rocks of 
Manhattan Island. I am informed by Mr. 
Elias Lewis, Jr., that in boring an artesian 
well in Calvary Cemetery, near Brooklyn, a 
bed of gneiss was encountered at a depth of 
182 feet. Further than this we know nothing 
of the extent of the crystalline rocks on Long 
Island. The section obtained in the boring 
mentioned was as follows: 


Surface loam and drift 139 

Greenish earth 39 

White clay with red streaks 4 

Gneiss . 400 

Total 582 

The greenish earth referred to lost its color 
on being treated with hydrochloric acid, and 
the white residue examined under the micro- 
scope appeared to consist of minute fragments 
of kaolinized feldspar, with occasional grains 
of quartz sand. The acid solution gave a 
strong reaction for iron, indicating a probable 
admixture of glauconite with the material. It 
is stated in Cozzens' Geological History of 
New York Island that a shell of Exogyra 
costata, with green-sand adhering, was found 

between Brooklyn and Flatlands, at a depth o 
sixty feet. This locality is about five mile 
south of the well just mentioned, and wouL 
indicate the presence of Cretaceous strata nea 

The following data, also furnished by Mr 
Lewis, of a well dug by the Nassau Gai 
Light Co., in Williamsburg, will give an idei 
of the formation at that locality: 



Surface loam 3 

Quick-sand (so called) 2 

Boulder clay, somewhat sandy 70 

Blue clay with pebbles .:.... 27 

Oyster shells 

Total 102 

The shell-bed was underlaid by quicksand 
bearing water. 

In the vicinity of Manhasset, on the road 
to Port Washington, are extensive exposures 
of stratified sand, more or less inclined from 
the horizontal. About 200 yards south of the 
postoffice, on the west side of the road, is a 
bank about 40 feet high, composed of a white, 
coarse, laminated sand, streaked with hydrous 
peroxide of iron, the layers dipping S. E. 13 
degrees. A little northeast of the postofifice, 
along the road, there are banks of ired sand 
cemented together in places by sesquioxide 
of iron and resembling the Cretaceous red sand 
bed of New Jersey. 

On the shore of Manhasset Bay, near Port 
Washington, are high banks of coarse yellow 
stratified sand and gravel. This deposit is 
very irregular in its stratification, as it shows 
in many places the "flow and plunge" structure 
described by Dana, and which is evidently pro- 
duced by swift currents. The depth of this 
formation cannot be determined ; it is probably 
not less than 150 feet, and possibly is much 
greater. These beds dip about 15 degrees W. ; 
the strike is nearlv due north and south. 
Along the shore of Manhasset Bay, from Port 
Washington to Barker's Point, are extensive 
banks of stratified sand and gravel, much 
stained with iron and dipping westward. At 
Prospect Point and Mott's Point the banks are 
composed of coarse gravel similar to that at 
Port Washington. 

Between Roslyn and Glen Cove there are 
high bands of red and flesh-colored sands, 
while at Carpenter's clay pits a most interest- 
ing section is presented. The greatest height 



of this section is seventy-three feet, the strilte 
of the beds being N. 80 degrees W. and the dip 
about 37 degrees northerly, the layers here 
apparently consisting of quartz, but susceptible 
of being easily crushed in the hand. The peb- 
bles are traversed by innumerable cracks, and 
are composed of coarse white gravel and sand, 
and appear to have been subjected to the action 
of an alkaline solution. Interstratified with the 
gravel are layers of fine white clay, from six 
inches to one foot in thickness, stained pink in 
some places, and containing occasional frag- 
ments of a soft hematite or red ochre. Besides 
these beds there is a deposit of kaolin farther 
south, but its stratigraphical relations to the 
layer exposed could not be determined. This 
kaolin is a soft, white, granular, clayey sub- 
stance, consisting chiefly of hydrous silicate of 
alumina from the decomposition of feldspar. 
In fact the whole deposit would seem to be the 
■decomposition product of a granulite rock such 
as occurs abundantly in Westchester county. 
New York, and in southwestern Connecticut. 
In the north end of the bank is an unconform- 
ability, the gravel beds, which dip 37 degrees, 
being overlaid by stratified sand dipping 15 
■degrees in the same direction. The layers 
shown in this section form the north slope of 
an anticlinal flexure, the lowest beds being, I 
am informed by Mr. Coles Carpenter, one of 
the proprietors, almost vertical. An excava- 
tion made about 100 yards W. S. W. of the 
main pit, for the purpose of obtaining some 
leaf-prints, expwsed the following section : 


Gravelly drift 6 

White sand 18 

Coarse sand 6 

Reddish clay 2 

"Grey, sandy carbonaceous clay 
with leaf-prints 4 


These beds dipped about 15 degrees S. W., 
the locality being on the south slope of the 
anticlinal. Owing to the sandy nature of the 
clay, and the dryness of the season, no satis- 
factory specimens could be obtained. The 
prints retain no carbon, but simply show the 
venation of the leaves. 

North of Sea Clifif, along the shore of 
Hempstead Harbor, to the Glen Cove steam- 
boat landing, is a series of clay beds outcrop- 
ping on the beach and dipping N. by E. about 

10 degrees; these beds are of various colors, 
blue, yellow, reddish, white and black. The 
reddish clays contain fragments of a soft 
hematite, and one of the blue layers is over- 
laid by about two inches of lignite in small 
fragments. Other layers contain pyritized 
lignite and nodular pyrites, but it is impossible 
to determine the nature and order of these 
beds accurately, without extensive excavations. 
Dark clays, with pyrites, are also reported to 
occur in Carpenter's pits at a considerable 
depth. In the beds of decomposed gravel al- 
ready mentioned are many geodes of sand ce- 
mented together by hydrous and anhydrous 
sesquioxide of iron, containing a dark granular 
mass which analysis shows to consist chiefly 
of decomposed pyrites. The conclusion is 
therefore justifiable that the nodules of mar- 
casite which once existed in the gravel beds 
have decomposed by oxidation, and the result- 
ing ferric oxide has cemented the sand about 
them into a hard crust, while the nodules in 
the clay beds which were protected from oxi- 
dation have remained unaltered. 

North of Glen Cove clays of various kinds 
occur at East and West Islands, Dosoris' and 
at Matinnecock Village. At the East WiUis- 
ton brickyard, near Mineola, there is a local 
deposit of grey micaceous clay. The depth of 
this, where excavated, varies from seven to 
eighteen feet. The clay overlies white lami- 
nated sands, stained with limonite, the upper 
surface of the sand being cemented together 
for the depth of an inch by the yellow oxide. 
Over the clay is about six inches of black 
alluvial earth. 

At the brickyard on Centre Island, in Oys- 
ter Bay, there is a deposit of brown sandy 
clay over a bed of more homogeneous and 
tougher clay. These beds undulate in an east 
and west direction or away from the shore, 
and the lower stratum contains shaly concre- 
tions or claystones. About a mile north of the 
brickyard it is said that a bed of white fire 
clay has been found at a depth of twenty-five 
feet under the drift and sand. A little west 
from the U. S. Fish Hatchery, at the head of 
Cold Spring Harbor, is a bank of stratified 
gravel seventy feet high. About forty feet be- 
low the top of this bank is an exposure of 
laminated sand and sandy clay stained red, 
brown and yellow with oxide of iron, and a 
short distance below a chalybeate spring issues 
from the bank. The clay deposit at Stewart's 
brickyard, at Bethpage, is about sixty feet in 
depth. The surface stratum is a vellowish 



micaceous clay, the lower part being mottled 
blue and yellow. It probably was originally 
a gray or blue clay, its present yellow color be- 
ing due to the peroxidation and hydration of 
the iron contained. Of this stratum there is 
about thirty-five feet ; below is about five feet 
of reddish sandy clay, and beneath this a blue- 
black sandy clay containing nodules of white 
pyrites. This stratum is about twenty-five feet 
deep and is underlaid by white sand. The 
beds are somewhat disturbed and folded, the 
uppermost being slightly undulating, while the 
two lower appear to be raised in a fold trend- 
ing nearly east and west. 

I am indebted to Mr. Lewis for the follow- 
ing section obtained in digging a well at 
Jericho in 1878, on the premises of Mr. Jules 
Kunz : 


Surface loam 15 

Drift 36 

Yellow gravel 81 

Sand ., 15 

Sandy clay with a carbonized 

branch 4 

Yellow clay 3 

Blue and gray sandy clay with 

pyrites 30 

Micaceous sand 14 6 

Total 198 6 

From the same authority I have the follow- 
ing section of a well on Barnum's Island: 


Sand and gravel, stratified 70 

Clay and clayey sand with lignite 56 

Gravel and fine sand with clayey sand. . 44 
Blue clay, clayey sand and silt, with lig- 
nite and pyrites 168 

Total 338 

In the third stratum, at a depth of 168 
feet, a fragment of the stem of a crinoid was 
found, which, together with a complete set 
of specimens from the well, is in the collection 
of the Long Island Historical Society. The 
fossil fragment is probably from some Pal- 
aeozoic formation, and has no special imjxirt- 

At Grossman's brickyard in Huntington, 
on the east shore of Gold Spring Harbor, we 
have an intersected section trending a little 
east of north, which is as follows : 


Till and stratified drift lO 

Quartz gravel 45 

Red and blue "loam" or sandy clay 20 

Diatomaceous earth 3 

Yellow and red stratified sand 20 

Red plastic clay 20 

Brown plastic clay 25 

Total 143 

The bed of diatomaceous earth is of unde- 
termined extent, and appears to be replaced a 
little to the east by a blue clay, which, how- 
ever, contains some diatoms. It is undoubt- 
edly equivalent to the bed of ochre which over- 
lies the sand throughout the remainder of the 
section. At Jones' brickyard, adjoining Gross- 
man's, there is a similar fold nearly at right 
angles to the first, but the upper portion has 
been removed by ice or water down to the 
sand. This stratum, which is yellow and 
brown in the north part of Grossman's yard, 
is dark red in the south end and at Jones'. It 
appears to be mixed with a fine red clayey 
matter which separates on washing. 

The formation on Lloyd's Neck is similar 
to that at Grossman's, with regard to the com- 
position of the strata. On the north side of 
East Neck, at Eckerson's brickyard, is a de- 
posit of reddish clay underlaid by brown clay 
very similar to that at Grossman's. To the 
west of this is a bank of white quartz gravel, 
while on the east is an extensive deposit of 
fine, white quartz sand, laminated with red, 
yellow and brown waved streaks. The exact 
relations of these strata I was unable to de- 
termine, but from their analogies to other de- 
posits I am inclined to consider the laminated 
sand as the more recent. 

On the north end of Little Neck there is 
another large deposit of these laminated sands. 
At this point they dip S. E. about 15 degrees. 
The following section is given in Mather's Re- 
port Geol. of 1st Dist., p. 254: 


1 . Loose surface sand i ^ 

2. Dark-colored loamy sand and clay. 3 

3. Yellowish and reddish sand, waved 

laminae 4/4 

4. White sand tinged with yellow 4 

5. Sand similar but dififering in color 

and direction of laminae 4 

6. Sand red, waVed laminae 3° 

7. White clay 4 




8. White sand ^tinged with red or 

yellow 4 

9. Clay, white like No. 7 3 

10. Sand, white like No. 8 3 

11. White clay like No. 7 5 

12. White sand like No. 8 5 

Total 70 

South of this deposit, about half a mile, is 
a clay-pit which is worked by Captain Sam- 
mis, of Northport. Here the stiratification is 
as follows : 


Surface loam and drift 3 or 4 

Sandy kaolin 10 

Yellowish clay 4 

Dark blue sandy clay 15 

Dip, 5 degrees W. 

The lowest stratum is separated into thin 
laminae by equally thin layers of sand, in 
which are numerous impressions of fragments 
of vegetable matter, but only one leaf-print 
has been found; this is in the museum of the 
Long Island Historical Society. It is a small, 
broadly elliptical leaf, about three-fourths of an 
inch long. In this same bed was found several 
years ago a shark's tooth which has been 
identified as Carcharodon angustidens or 
megalodon. It is difficult to determine the re- 
lation of this stratum to the other layers in 
the vicinity, but it is probably of the same 
period as the laminated sands, and seems to 
be identical with a bed which Mather describes 
as occurring on Eaton's Neck. (Geol. ist 
Dist., p. 228.) 

At the brickyard near West Deer Park, be- 
neath the gravel and drift, is a stratum of 
flesh-colored clay, underlaid by dark blue clay 
containing pyrites. I was informed by the 
owner, Mr. Conklin, that in the centre of the 
hill of gravel the clay rises up in a fold. Be- 
tween Bethpage and West Deer Park is a de- 
posit of ferruginous conglomerate and sand- 
stone formed by the solidification of the strati- 
fied gravel and sand or yellow drift. This rock 
is very similar in composition and appearance 
to one which occurs in fragments in the glacial 
drift and contains vegetaljle impressions. At 
Provost's yard, near Fresh Ponds, are quite 
extensive beds of brown sandy clay, reddish 
clay, and chocolate-brown clay, dipping from 

the shore. The red and chocolate clays are 
probably identical with the similar beds at 
Grossman's in Huntington. 

Lake Ronkonkoma is in a basin of which 
the bottom is about 210 feet below the high 
ground on the south. Its southern bank is 
composed of laminated sand streaked with 
oxide of iron, and the rest of the shore ap- 
pears to be formed of the same material. At 
Crane Neck Point are bluffs, 60 feet high, 
of sand and gravel containing masses of fer- 
ruginous sandstone of recent date. At 
Herod's Point the bluffs consist of fine yellow 
sand and gravel, slightly stratified, and dip- 
ping a few degrees south. Limonite concre- 
tions are here abundant. The bluffs at Friar's 
Head are about 120 feet high, and consist of 
yellow stratified sand with pebbles. Over these 
is a dune of yellowish drifted sand 90 feet 
high, making the total height of the peak 210 
feet. On the west side of Robbin's Island is 
an exposure of blue clay overlaid by laminated 
ferruginous sand. The depth of this clay-bed 
has not been determined, but it is similar in 
appearance and quality to some of the clays 
near Huntington, especially at Grossman's 
brick-yard. A chalybeate spring issues from 
the laminated sand on the shore, a little to 
the south of the clay-pit. The clay bed ap- 
pears to dip southward about 10 degrees 
throug'hout the whole extent of the island. 
Near the railroad between Southold and 
Greenport are two brickyards. At the more 
easterly of the two there are various deposits 
of stratified sand and clay very much folded 
and tilted. At this place the section exposed 
shows two parallel folds, the axes of which 
trend a little north of east. The upper stratum 
of brown clay contains angular fragments of 
mica schist. At the other yard they are work- 
ing a bed precisely similar to that just men- 
tioned and also containing angular fragments 
of rock. 

On Shelter Island are high hills of gravel 
with a thin covering of till ; the highest point 
is about 180 feet above tide. West of the vil- 
lage of Orient is a narrow isthmus of sand 
beach and salt meadow, about a mile and a half 
long and not more than ten feet above tide. 
East of this, on the north side of the peninsula, 
Brown's Hills extend along the shore for a 
mile and a half, the highest point being 128 
feet above Long Island Sound. The struc- 
ture of these hills is difficult to determine, as 
extensive land slides have occurred, and the 



slopes are covered with grass and bushes. One 
■exposure gave the following section: 


Drift 3 

Fine yellow sand ° 

Micaceous clay i 

Micaceous sand ^5 

Total 37 

The micaceous sand occurs at the foot of 
the bluffs along the shore in this vicinity. 
It may also be seen half a mile west of Orient, 
in a bank by the road-side. 

On Gardiner's Island a very complete sec- 
tion is exposed on the southeast shore, which 
•exhibits the strata to the depth of about 250 
feet. Here stratified sands and clays of va- 
rious . kinds and colors are raised up in two 
parallel anticlinal folds. In the southerly fold 
the stratum is a light red, fine, plastic clay, 
very similar to that at Grossman's in Hunting- 
ton ; it is here exposed to a depth of about 100 
feet and is upheaved at a high angle, its outer 
slopes dipping about 45 degrees, while along 
the axis of the fold the laminae are vertical. 
The northern anticlinal has about 15 degrees 
dip on either side, and in its north slope is a 
stratum of yellowish clayey sand containing a 
bed of post-pliocene shells, at an average 
height of 15 feet above the sea. The formation 
which is here brought to view probably un- 
derlies the whole of the island, as it is ex- 
posed at various other points. On the north 
and southeast shores the beds are very much 
disturbed and folded, and the surface of the 
island is raised in a series of parallel ridges 
■corresponding in position to the folds and hav- 
ing a general trend of N. 65 degrees E. The 
highest point on the island is 128 feet above 
the sea ; the bluffs along the shore being from 
twenty-iive to seventy feet high. The fossil- 
iferous stratum is about 20 feet long and four 
feet thick, containing an abundance of shells, 
most of which appear to have been crushed 
by superincumbent pressure. The locality was 
visited in 1863 by Prof. Sanderson Smith, who 
describes the bed as 150 to 200 feet long. 

i[i yfi ^ i^ 

Napeague Beach, east of Amagansett, is 
three miles long and one-quarter of a mile 
broad, consisting entirely of white quartz sand. 
Along the shore on the north and south are 
dunes of drifted sand 20 or 30 feet high, but 
the main- portion of the beach probably aver- 
.ages less than 10 feet above the sea. East 

of the beach the country for twelve miles to 
the end of Montauk Point is chiefly a terminal 
moraine, and as such I have already briefly 
described it. 


Having thus reviewed in detail the various 
strata underlying the drift, we come now to 
consider their age and history. Without at- 
tempting to decide the geological equivalence 
of the crystalline rocks at Astoria, we will dis- 
cuss the unsolidified deposits which have just 
been described. 

From the position and strike of the Creta- 
ceous strata in New Jersey and Staten Island, 
it has been surmised by geologists that they 
underlie Long Island throughout the whole or 
a portion of its extent. The locality at which 
the strata most resemble the Gretaceous beds 
of New Jersey is Glen Gove, where the clays 
already described are probably of this age. If 
the Gretaceous formation extends under the 
whole of Long Island it must occur at a very 
great depth, since deep sections at points east 
of Glen Gove do not reveal its presence. 

In regard to this formation and the follow- 
ing, it should be understood that sufficient data 
have not yet been obtained to warrant an at- 
tempt to map out their extent. The only ex- 
posures are in vertical sections along the shore 
and in various clay-pits or similar excava- 
tions ; and there being an immense amount of 
quaternary material overlying them, no satis- 
factory degree of accuracy can be as yet at- 
tained in this regard. 

The Tertiary strata of Long Island cannot 
as yet be identified with much more certainty 
than the Gretaceous. From their character and 
position we may surmise that the brown and 
red plastic clays of Huntington, Gardiner's 
Island and elsewhere belong to the age in ques- 
tion, but we have no palseontological evidence 
except from the shark's tooth found on Little 
Neck, which would identify the bed in wljich 
it occurred as Eocene or Miocene. The strati- 
fied sands and gravels, however, which overlie 
the supposed Cretaceous and Tertiary beds, 
and in turn are overlaid unconformably by 
surface drift and till, we may accept as Post- 
pliocene, from the analogy of their composi- 
tion, structure and position to the deposits of 
Gardiner's Island and Sankaty Head, of which 
the fossils detei-mine the age beyond question ; 
unfortunately, however, there is no unconform- 



ability to show where the Tertiary ends and 
the Quaternary begins. 

At various times and places fossil shells 
and lignite have been found on Long Island. 
I append a synopsis of a list of these compiled 
by Elias Lewis, Jr., from Mather's Report and 
from other sources : 

presumed Cretaceous and Tertiary beds were 
deposited we know nothing; though it is rea- 
sonable to conclude that they consist of the 
debris of New York and New England rocks- 
carried down from the highlands and deposited 
along the coast by rivers or by other agencies 
of transfMDrtation. The overlying deposits of 

Nature of Fossil 

Locality and Date 




Recent shells. 

Fort Lafayette. 

23-;53 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 


Pyrula, clam, oyster. 

New Utrecht. 

43-67 feet. 

Thompson's Hist, of L. T. 


Clam and oyster shells. 

Well in Prospect Park. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 


Clam and oyster shells. 

Well at Flatbush Almshouse. 

40-50 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 


2 Petrified clams. 


100 feet. 

j W. J. Furnam, Antiquities 
( of Long Island. 


Oxogyra Gostata, with 
grain sand. 

Bet. Brooklyn and Flatlands. 

60 feet. 

i Dr. J. C, Jay, Ann, of Lye. 
■j Nat. Hist., 1842. 


Oyster shells. 

High grounds in Brooklyn. 

73 feet. 

Furman's Antiquities. 


Clam shells. 

Fort Greene, 1814. 

70 feet. 

Furman's Antiquities. 


AiKimiii ephippium. 

Cor. Jay & Front St., Brooklyn 

15 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 


Oyster shells. 

Nassau Gas Light Co., Wil- 

127 ft. 6 in. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 


Log of wood. 

Bush wick. 

40 feet. 

Thompson's History. 




70 feet. 

Thompson's History. 


Clam, shells. 

East New York. 

80 feet. 

Thompson's History. 



Three miles west of Jamaica. 

25 feet. 

Thompson's History. 


Clam and oyster shells. 


j 85 ft. above tide. 
{ 140 to 160 feet. 

Henry Onderdonk, Jr. 


Clam, oyster and scallop 


J 200 ft. above tide. 
\ 47 feet. 

J. H. L'Hommedieu. 



Great Neck, 1813. 

50 feet. 

Thompson's History. 


Oyster shells. 

Manhasset, 1813. 

78 feet. 

Thompson's History. 



Bet. Manhasset and Roslyn. 

140 fefet. 

Thompson's History. 


Stem of Crinoid. 

Barnum's Island. 

168 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. i 



Barnum's Island. 

100-383 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. ! 



Near Westbury. 

Great depths. 

Thompson's History. 



Hempstead Plains, 1804. 

100-108 feet. 

Dwight's Travels. 


Carbonized wood. 

Sea Cliff, 18-4.5. 

94 feet. 

Isaac Coles. 



Glen Cove, 1864. 

40 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 



Jericho, 1878. 

96 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 



Cold Spring. 

110 feet. 

Thompson's History. 


Carcharndon angustidens 

Little Neck. 

P. B. Sills. 


Log of wood. 

Strong's Neck. 

40 feet. 

Thompson's History. 


Clam shells. 

Shelter Island, 1898. 

57 feet. 

Thompson's History. 



Wells at Amagansett. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 


Bones of mastodon. 

Jamaica Pond, 1846. 


Vtnus mercenariu . 


I 100 ft. above tide. 
} 20 feet. 

E. Lewis, Jr. 


Oatrea Virginiana. 

Sag Harbor, 1804. 

180 ft. above tide 

Dr. Cook. 

In view of the fact that we have nowhere 
else any good evidence of a change of sea level 
amounting to 200 feet in the vicinity of New 
York during the Glacial epoch, we can only 
account for the high elevation of some of these 
fossils by supposing that they, with their con- 
taining beds, have been raised to their present 
position by glacial action in the manner I shall 

Of the physical conditions under which the 

stratified gravel, sand and clay, part of which, 
as before stated, are equivalent to the "yellow 
drift" of New Jersey, are also difficult to ac- 
count for. They consist largely of transported 
material from older beds, and by their struc- 
ture indicate that they have been^ formed by 
swift currents which carried along and de- 
posited coarse and fine material mingled to- 
gether. Their fossils, so far as we know, ex- 
clude them from the Tertiary, and they under- 



lie the drift unconformably, although by defini- 
tion the Glacial period begins the Quaternary 

If, however, we assume in the Quaternary 
a succession of glacial epochs, or alternate 
periods of advance and retreat of the ice-sheet, 
as suggested by Croll's theory, we can explain 
the origin of the beds in question by supposing 
that during the epoch of glaciation imme- 
diately preceding their deposition the ice- 
sheet did not reach so far south, while the 
floods of the succeeding warmer epnach modi- 
fied and spread over the sea-bottom the drift 
thus formed. 

In order to appreciate more exactly the re- 
lations of these Post-pliocene beds to the 
glacial drift, it will be necessary to consider 
some very interesting phenomena. Along the 
north shore of Long Island from Flushing to 
Orient Point are exhibited most striking evi- 
dences of glacial action. We find the stratified 
gravels, sands and clays upheaved by the lat- 
eral pressure of the ice-sheet and thrown into 
a series of marked folds at right angles to the 
line of glacial advance, which, judging from 
the grooves and strise on the rocks of New 
York and Connecticut, was about S. 30 de- 
grees E. The glacier having thus crumpled 
and folded the underlying strata, it evidently 
rode over them and continued its course south- 
ward, pushing before it an immense mass of 
sand and gravel, together with debris from 
the rocks of New York and New England. 

The theory that Long Island Sound was a 
body of water previous to the arrival of the 
ice-sheet would seem to be sustained by the 
character of the detritus deposited by the ice 
on Long Island. From Brooklyn to White- 
stone, where the sound is narrow, the till or 
drift proper is quite conspicuous; east of this 
it becomes less noticeable, and beyond Roslyn, 
as before stated, it does not again occur in 
abundance until we reach the vicinity of Green- 
port, where the Sound again grows narrow. 
This seems to be due to the fact that the finer 
debris of the northern rocks was carried along 
imbedded in the lower part of the glacier. 
The channel of the East River, owing to its 
narrowness, was filled up and passed over, the 
till being deposited to form the range of hills 
near Brooklyn; but in crossing the broader 
part of the Sound the ice probably lost the 
greater portion of its load of till, and only 
carried over the boulders which were on the 
suface or in the upper part of the glacier. On 
reaching the north shore of the island the 

alluvial gravel and sands were scooped up and 
pushed forward in front of the ice-sheet, to 
form the "moraine," and the boulders, when 
the ice melted, were deposited on the surface. 
The map shows that the principal bays on the 
north shore penetrate the land in a direction 
identical with that of the advance of the 
glacier. We may reasonably infer from this 
fact that these indentations were ploughed out 
by projecting spurs of ice, and the inference 
is supported by the fact that the bays are 
walled in by high ridges which have been 
formed largely through the upheaval of the 
beds by lateral thrust. The best example of 
this displacement in the formation of a ba.y is 
shown in the section at Grossman's clay-pit in 
Huntington, which I have previously de- 
scribed. Harbor Hill, which stands at the head 
of Hempstead Harbor, is 384 feet high and 
chiefly consists of gravel and sand more or less 
stratified. Jane's Hill, four miles S. S. E. of 
the head of Cold Spring Harbor, is 383 feet 
high, and is composed of the same materials. 
In the vicinity of each of these hills, moreover, 
there are other ridges and elevations averaging 
about 300 feet in height. Southeasterly from 
Huntington Bay we have the Dix Hills and 
Comae Hills rising about 250 feet. Southeast 
of Smithtown Harbor, we have Mt. Pleasant, 
.-200 feet in height; in a like direction from 
Stony Brook Harbor are the Bald Hills, also 
200 feet high. Again we have Reulands Hill, 
which is 340 feet in height, and has the same 
general bearing from Port Jefferson Harbor. 
About South 30 degrees East from Wading 
River, where there is quite a deep valley, we 
find Terry's Hill, 175 feet high. South of 
Great Peconic Bay rise the Shinnecock Hills, 
140 feet, and southeasterly from Little Peconic 
Bay are the Pine Hills, about 200 feet high. 
From these instances it will be seen that the 
areas of high elevation bear a very marked 
geographical relation to the deep indentations 
of the coast. That this relation is due to 
glacial action, seems more than probable, as it 
can scarcely be an accidental coincidence that 
the highest hills on the island should be in a 
line with the deepest bays on the northern 
coast, and that the course of these bays should 
coincide with that of the glacier. 

At every point along the north shore where 
a section of the strata is exposed, the flexed 
structure of the beds under the drift may be 
observed. On Gardiner's Island these folds 
are remarkably prominent, the surface of the 
island being broken with numerous parallel 



ridges having a general trend N. 65 degrees E. 
These ridges correspond to folds in the strati- 
fied beds, which the surface drift overlies un- 
conformably, and as they are at right angles 
to the line of glacial advance it is difficult to 
conceive any agency which could have pro- 
duced them except the lateral thrust of the 
ice-sheet. Unless these phenomena can be re- 
ferred satisfactorily to some other cause, and 
of this I very much doubt the possibility, we 
have in these folds a strong argument against 
the iceberg theory, as it seems evident that a 
mere drifting berg could not develop sufficient 
progressive force to do the work here shown. 
A similar origin may be attributed to the 
ranges of hills which form the so-called "back- 
bone" of the island, as their structure indicates 
that they have been formed partly of gravel 
and sand transported from the north shore and 
partly through the upheaval of the stratified 
beds by the friction of the moving mass of ice. 
As the downward pressure of the glacier was 
about 450 lbs. per square inch for 1,000 
feet of thickness, and its progressive force was 
only limited by the resistance of the ice, it is 
quite reasonable to assume it capable of pro- 
ducing such a result. At one locality. West 
Deer Park, this is manifestly the case, and I 
have no doubt that in time it will be found 
generally true. The numerous springs that 
issue from the hillsides along the north shore 
also lead one to infer that the substratum of 
clay has been raised up in the center of the 
hills. The occurrence of the springs might be 
accounted for hypothetically by supposing that 
morainal hills, distributed on the plain, 
eroded horizontal strata of sand underlaid by 
clay: but this we know is not the case. 

Air. Upham, in his discussion of the mo- 
raines, attributes all the stratified deposits to 
diluvial and alluvial action in the Champlain 
period, to which the Gardiner's Island deposit 
has been erroneously referred. He also con- 
cludes that the more southern drift hills, which 
are from 200 to 250 feet high, were formed 
in ice-walled river-channels formed upon the 
surface of the glacial sheet when rapidly melt- 
ing. That this process has taken place in some 
cases is quite probable, as there are undisputed 
kames in certain places ; but from the analogy 
of the deposits in question to the others de- 
scribed, I am inclined to refer them generally 
to the same causes. 

The changes which have occurred on Long 
Island since the retreat of the glacier have 
been mainly topographical, and unquestionably 

very extensive. The streams of the Cham- 
plain epoch carried down the drift from the 
morainal hills and distributed it on the plain 
to the south, forming in many places local beds 
of clay. In the vicinity of Bethpage and else- 
where are hillocks of stratified sand similar 
in appearance to the New England kames. 
The valleys mentioned above, which have been 
examined by Elias Lewis, Jr., are unquestion- 
ably the channels of streams resulting from 
the melting of the glacier. 

The coast line of the island is rapidly 
changing on account of the action of the swift 
westerly currents, which are wearing away the 
east end and depositing the sediment along the 
north and south shores. By this means the 
bays which open into the Sound are rapidly 
becoming shallow. The Great South Beach is 
also an evidence of the action of the waves and 
currents in changing the outline of Long 
Island. We have, moreover, abundant evi- 
dence that the south shore has been gradually 
sinking. This subsidence probably began in 
the later Quaternary and may be still contin- 


Alagnetite is the only metallic ore found on 
Long Island, and occurs almost everywhere on 
the beaches in the form of sand. It is not, 
however, sufficiently abundant in any one 
locality to render its collection profitable. A 
company was started some time since for the 
purpose of separating the ore, in the vicinity 
of Quogue, from its associated quartz and gar- 
net sand by means of powerful electro-mag- 
nets ; but the enterprise proved unsuccessful. 
Iron pj'rites in its white variety, or marcasite, 
is common in the lower clay beds, but does not 
occur in sufficient abundance to pay for utiliz- 
ing it. Lignite occurs only in small quantities 
and usually at great depths. Peat of an in- 
ferior kind, composed of the matted roots of 
grasses and other plants, occurs at the heads 
of most of the bays on the south shore, but is 
not used to any extent. 

Although not productive of any of the val- 
uable minerals. Long Island may be considered 
peculiarly rich, .from the fact that almost the 
whole of the island can be utilized in the arts 
and trades. Its sands and gravels are of every 
kind in use, and its clays are suited for the 
manufacture of fine grades of brick and pot- 
ter}-. The former materials are largely 



The most extensive deposit of fine pottery 
clay occurs at Glen Cove, on the premises of 
the Messrs. Carpenter. This clay is very plas- 
tic and burns a light cream color. The friable 
quartz pebbles described above produce, when 
shipped from Port Washington and the vicin- 
ity for building purposes. 
Aground, the finest quality of white sand for 
glass and pottery. The deposit of kaolin is 
also unsurpassed. In addition to these ma- 
terials, this locality furnishes fire-sand for pot- 
tery, gray and blue pottery clays and an ex- 
cellent fire-clay. 

The next locality of note is Huntington. 
In this town is an immense deposit of the finest 
ba-ick clay, upheaved to such an elevation that 
it is easily accessible. The beds are worked at 
Crossman's and Jones' brick-yards, and ex- 
tend throughout Lloyds' Neck.' Between 

Huntington and Cold Spring a large deposit of 
white pottery-clay has been worked for many 
years. The brick-clay extends east over ten 
miles, and is worked at Eckerson's yard on 
East Neck, and Provost's at Fresh Ponds. At 
Eckerson's and at Sammis' pits, on Little 
Neck, are immense deposits of fire-sand, which 
extend over Eaton's and Lloyd's Necks. 

A little west of Greenport are two brick- 
yards at which a bed of glacial clay is being 
worked. Between these two yards is a bed of 
mottled blue clay, used for making flower 
pots. The most extensive deposit of all, how- 
ever, is that on Gardiner's Island. This clay 
is unsurpassed for the manufacture of bricks, 
and from the abundant supply of molding- 
sand and the easy accessibility of the locality 
by water, must in time prove an important 
source of revenue. 



j|HE story of the red man on Long 
Island is an epitome of that of his 
race all over the American conti- 
nent. When we first meet him he 
is rich as riches went among Indians, power- 
ful, living in regular communities under a rec- 
ognized head, waging war, engaging in the 
chase, his daily life hallowed by traditions, cir- 
cumscribed by superstition, and' rounded out 
by a blind religion which taught him that there 
was a hereafter, but a hereafter in its features 
very much like those he regarded as brightest 
and best in the present. Still, it was a relig- 
ion, and if it did not elevate him sufficiently to 
make him an enthusiast, it at least made him 
a stoic. Then, when the time came for him to 
be measured with the white man^ he imitated 
the latter's vices, not his virtues, — or but few 
of them — and gradually but surely he became 
beaten in the struggle for existence, cheated, 
wronged and cozened at every turn, sometimes 
under the guise of the requirements of civili- 
zation, the authority of religion, or the inflex- 
ible demands of modern progress. Originally 
strong and numerous, the aborigines steadily 
dwindled under the influence of the resources 
of civilization until their representatives are 
now but a handful, and these are facing the 
inevitable end, of total annihilation, not very 
far distant. It is a sad story, a painful story, 
that of the undoing of an ancient race, but it 
must be told. The white man was not alto- 
gether to blame, for he was but the factor in 
the carrying out of an inexorable law — the 
survival of the fittest. One comfort is that 
on Long Island the story is more gentle, less 


accompanied by blood and rapine and tragedy, 
than in most of the other sections of the coun- 
try where the Indians were at all powerful. 

As is the case with all efforts at solving 
early Indian history, there exists much doubt 
as to the identity of those occupying Long 
Island when it was first discovered by the 
white adventurers, and the effort at solution 
has involved considerable controversy and still 
left much that is vague and obscure. Into that 
controversy we cannot enter here, for contro- 
versy is not history; but it may safely be said 
that the- consensus of opinion, the drift of all 
the evidence produced, is that the aborigines 
of Long Island were a part of the great family 
of Algonquins and belonged to the group 
designated by the Dutch pioneers as the Mo- 
hegan nation. The language spoken over the 
island is described as being that of the Algon- 
quins, the same which prevailed all over the 
seaboard and throughout the northeastern part 
of the present United States, but doubtless was 
diversified by as many dialects as there were 
tribes or clans. John Eliot used it in his trans- 
lation of the New Testament and other books, 
biblical and theological, which nowadays formi 
the best record of a language which has for- 
ever passed from the lips of living men. 

The tribes or clans of the Mohegans on 
Long Island were as follows :* 

*The proper spelling of Indian names has never 
been reduced to an exact science, but throughout this 
chapter we give the most generally accepted form first, 
followed, where need be, by one or more accepted 



I. Canarsies (Canarsee, Canarsie) : Oc- 
■cupied Kings county and part of the old county 
of Queens as far as Jamaica. 

Subordinate tribes : ( i ) Marechawicks, 
Brooklyn. (2) Nyacks, New Utrecht; seem 
to have settled on Long Island about 1646. 
(3) Jamecos, Jamaica. 

II. Rockaways : Occupied Hempstead, 
Rockaway and parts of Jamaica and Newtown. 

III. Matineco.cks : Occupied lands from 
Flushing to Fresh Pond, Glen Cove, Cold 
Spring, Huntington, Cow Harbor. 

IV. Nesaquakes (Missaquogue, Nisse- 
^uah) : Occupied lands from Fresh Pond to 
Stony Brook. 

V. Setaukets (Setalcats) : From Stony 
Brook to the Wading River, including Strong's 

VI. Corchaugs : Claimed the territory 
•east of the Wading River, including the entire 
-townships of Riverhead and Southold and also 
JRobin's Island. 

VII. Merokes (Morrick Merikoke) : 
Claimed land between Near Rockaway and 
Oyster Bay, through the middle of the island. 
Part of Hempstead was purchased from this 

VIII. Marsapeagues (Marsapequa) : 
From Fort Neck to Islip and north of about 
the center of Suffolk county. The Merokes 
are believed to have been a branch of this tribe. 
The battle of 1653, at which Capt. Underbill 
was victorious, was mainly fought against the 

IX. Secatogues (Secatague) : In and 
around Islip township. "The farm owned by 
the Wallets family at Islip is called Secatogue 
Neck, and was, it is supposed, the chief set- 
tlement and residence of the Sachem." — 

X. Patchogues : Patchogue to Canoe 
Place. A Sag Harbor newspaper in 1830 

-mentions the death on Jan. 5, of that year, at 
Patchogue, of "Elizabeth Job, relict of Ben 
Job and Queen of the Indians in that place, 
leaving but two females of her tribe, both well- 
stricken in years." 

XI. Shinnecocks: Ranged from Canoe 
Place to Easthampton, including Sag Harbor 
and Peconic Bay. At Shinnecock Neck is the 
reservation of about 400 acres on which yet 
linger the survivors of this once flourishing 
tribe, now numbering about 100. They have 
lost their ancient tongue and most of their 
ancient customs and ideas, and are reported to 
be a practical, hard-working and fairly pros- 
perous body, a body which has adopted the 
customs and ways of the now dominant race, 
but is steadily decreasing decade after decade. 

XII. Montauks: The Montauk Penin- 
sula and Gardiner's Island. "About the year 
1819, Stephen, the King or Sachem of the 
j\Iontauk Indians, died, and was buried by a 
contribution. This Indian King was only dis- 
tinguished from others of his tribe by wear- 
ing a hat with a yellow ribbon on it." 

XIII. Manhassets : Shelter Island and 
Hog Island. Tradition says they could at one 
time place 500 warriors on the warpath. 

There are legendary traces of the existence 
of several other tribes on the island, but all 
actual record of them has passed away. 

For several decades following 1609, when 
Hendrick Hudson anchored in Gravesend Bay 
and commenced that intercourse of white men 
with red which marked the beginning of 
the extermination of the latter, we get but few 
glimpses of the aborigines, and these glimpses 
are by no means altogether favorable to the 
whites. It must be remembered that the lat- 
ter were intruders ; that their main object was 
to acquire wealth; that they did not under- 
stand, or seek to understand, the natives, and 
that trouble necessarily arose between them 
from the first. The stories of the primitive 
transactions between the two are now, in a 
measure, lost to us, and the early writings we 
have, of course, all show the white man's idea 
of his American burden ; but it should be re- 
membered that the white man himself was a 
burden upon the native and proved in the end 
a burden that crushed him back into the earth 
from whence he came. 

Writing about 1832, Gabriel Furman, the 



most eminent and painstaking of the early an- 
tiquaries of Long Island-, said : 

The old Dutch inhabitants of Kings county 
have a tradition that the Canarsie tribe were 
subject to the Mohawks, as all the Iroquois 
were formerly called, and paid them an annual 
tribute of dried clams and wampum. When 
the Dutch settled in this country they per- 
suaded the Canarsies to keep back the tribute, 
in consequence of which a party of the Mo- 
hawks came down and killed their tributaries 
whenever they met them. The Canarsie In- 
dians are at this time totally extinct; not a 
single member of that ill-fated race is now in 

We have still preserved in the records of 
the Dutch government of this colony historical 
evidence of the truth of this tradition and 
some account of this extraordinary incursion 
of the Iroquois, or the Five Nations of In- 
dians, upon Long Island. They seem to have 
regarded all the Indians of the great Mohegan 
family, in the southern part of this colony, 
as their tributaries, and they probably were so 
long anterior to the Dutch settlement of this 
country. After the Dutch colonization the 
Indians on Long Island appear to have dis- 
continued the payment of the usual tribute to 
the Iroquois, or to the Mohawks, as they were 
generally called, that being the Iroquois tribe 
most contiguous to the European settlements, 
being located then a little south of Albany, 
upon the west side of the Hudson River, and 
thus for a long time with the European col- 
onists the name of Mohawks was used to 
designate the whole Iroquois Confederacy, and 
the Long Island Indians did this probably from 
the belief that the Iroquois would not dare 
'come down and Eltack them among the Euro- 
pean settlements. But in this they were 
greatly mistaken, for in the year 1655, with 
the view of chastising all their former tribu- 
taries in the southern part of the colony, a 
large body of these northern Indians de- 
scended upon the Hudson River and made a 
landing upon Staten Island, where they mas- 
sacred sixty-seven persons. * * * After this 
the Indian army crossed to Long Island and in- 
vested the town of Gravesend, which they 
threatened to destroy, but which was relieved 
by a detachment of Dutch soldiers sent from 
New Amsterdam. Upon their abandoning the 
siege of Gravesend the Dutch records give' no 
further account of them than to mention that 
all this was done when those northern Indians 

were on their way to wage war against the 
Indians upon the east end of Long Island. It 
was undoubtedly directly after leaving Grave- 
send that they fell upon and destroyed the 
Canarsie tribe and afterward proceeded down 
through the island with that terrible foray' of 
murder, the account of which has been pre- 
served in tradition to this day, and to prevent 
a repetition of which the Consistory of the 
Dutch Church at Albany undertook to be the 
agent to see that the required tribute was 
yearly paid by the Long Island Indians to the 
Five Nations. So great was the dread of the 
Iroquois among the Indians of this island, 
arising from the tradition preserved of this 
terrible incursion, that a very aged lady, who 
was a small girl of eight or nine years before 
the commencement of the Revolutionary war, 
tells us that five or six Indians of the Iroquois 
nation were for some offence brought to New 
York and sent to Jamaica upon Long Island ; 
and that, although they were prisoners, not one 
of the Long Island Indians could be induced 
to look, with person exposed, upon any of these 
terrible "Mohawks," as they called them ; but 
very many of them would be continually peep- 
ing around corners and from behind other peo- 
ple to get a sight at those northern Indians, 
and at the same time expressing the utmost 
fear and dread of them. 

Mrs. Remsen, the widow of Anthony Rem- 
sen, formerly of Brooklyn, says that soon after 
she was married they moved to Canarsie, now 
[1832] about forty years since, where she 
made the shroud in which to bury the last in- 
dividual of the remnant of the Canarsie tribe 
of Indians. This last iremnant of that tribe 
also told her of the tradition, before men- 
tioned, of the destruction of the greater por- 
tion of the Canarsie tribe by the Mohawks. '' 
This Indian told her that three or four fam- 
ilies of them, having become alarmed by the 
shrieks and groans of their murdered friends, 
lied for the shore of the bay, got into their 
canoes and paddled off to Barren Island, form- 
ing part of the Great South Beach, whither 
the Mohawks could not, or did not, follow 
them. They returned late in the following 
day, and soon ascertained that they, consti- 
tuted the only living representatives of their 
entire tribe, who had the night previous lain 
down to rest in apparent security ; and that no 
trace was to be discovered of their barbarous 
enemies. It was some days, however, before 
they ventured to return permanently to their 
old residences, and not before they became en- 



tirely satisfied that the Mohawks had returned 
to their homes. 

This Indian incursion caused the Dutch 
Government to feel much apprehension on the 
subject of Indian attacks upon the towns of 
the western part of this island for a long time 
subsequent. The inhabitants of Flatbush were 
ordered by Gov. Stuyvesant, in 1656, a shoTt 
time after that foray, to enclose their village 
with palisades to protect them from the In- 

And again, to prevent the incursions of 
Indians, the Governor, in 1660, ordered the 
inhabitants of Brooklyn to put their town in 
a state of defense and also commanded the 
farmers to remove within the fortifications un- 
der the penalty of forfeiting their estates. 

The Dutch colonists appeared to have lived 
in almost continued apprehension of the Iro- 
quois. On the 26th of June, 1663, Gov. Stuy- 
vesant informed the church of Brooklyn that 
the Esopus [Ulster county] Indians, who were 
then in league with the Iroquois, had on the 
7th of that month attacked and burnt the 
town of Esopus [Kingston], killing and 
wounding a number of the inhabitants and 
taking many prisoners, burning the new town 
and desolating the place. July 4, 1663, was 
observed as a day of thanksgiving on account 
of a treaty of peace with the Indians, the re- 
lease of prisoners and the defeat of the English 
attempt to take the whole of Long Island. 

But the northern Indians were not the only 
ones who rendered life miserable to the abor- 
igines on Long Island. Dr. Prime, in his 
"History" (1845), gives the following addi- 
tional details of events which happened shortly 
after the ]V[ohawks' raid, in which the Narra- 
gansett (Rhode Island) Indians played havoc 
with the IMontauks, against whom they car- 
ried on war for several years : 

In one of these assaults, led on by Nini- 
craft, the chief of the Narragansetts, Wyan- 
danch (Grand Sachem) was surprised in the 
midst of a marriage feast while he, with his 
braves, was celebrating the nuptials of his only 
daughter. Their wigwams were fired, their 
granaries rifled or destroyed, their principal 
warriors slain, and, to complete the triumph 
of the enemy and the misery of the unfortu- 
nate chief, the youthful bride was carried away 
captive, leaving the bridegroom, who had just 

plighted his troth, weltering in his own blood. 
It was for procuring the ransom of this be- 
loved daughter that Wyandanch, in the last 
year of his life, gave to Lion Gardiner a con- 
veyance of the territory now constituting the 
principal part of Smithtown. [The deed is 
now in the possession of the Long Island His- 
torical Society.] 

The conduct of the Long Island Indians 
towards the whites is without a parallel in the 
history of this country. It was to be ex- 
pected that individual acts of aggression 
should occur on the part of a barbarous people, 
for real or supposed injuries. But even these 
were rare, and the Indians always showed 
themselves willing to submit to an impartial 
investigation and just decision of alleged 
wrongs. ~ 

One of the first occurrences of this kind 
was the murder of a woman at Southampton 
in 1649, which instantly spread fearful appre- 
hension of a general insurrection against the 
white settlements. The magistrates of that 
town immediately sent a messenger to IVIon- 
tauk and summoned Wyandanch to appear be- 
fore them. His councillors, fearing that he 
would be summarily condemned to death by 
way of retaliation, advised him not to obey 
the summons. Before he expressed his own 
opinion he submitted the case to IVlr. Gardi- 
ner, who happened to be lodging in his wig- 
wam that same night. By his advice he set 
out immediately for Southampton, IVEr. Gardi- 
ner agreeing to remain as hostage to the tribe 
for the safety of their beloved chief. With 
amazing celerity he not only accomplished the 
journey of twenty-five miles, but actually ap- 
prehended on his way and delivered to the 
magistrates the murderers of the woman, who, 
instead of being his own subjects, proved to 
be two Pequot Indians from the main [Con- 
necticut], some of whom were generally lurk- 
ing on the island for the purpose of promoting 
disturbances between the natives and the new 
settlers. These men, being sent to Hartford, 
were tried, convicted and executed. 

It is a remarkable fact which should be re- 
corded to the eternal honor of the Long Island 
Indians that they never formed a general con- 
spiracy, even of a single tribe, against the 
whites. The only apparent exception. to this 
remark, it being the only instance in which the 
natives stood upon their arms against their 
new neighbors, was the ever-to-be-lamented 
battle of Fort Neck ; and although the origin 
of this unfortunate rencounter is veiled in ob- 



scurity, there were circumstances connected 
with the event which induce the belief that 
if the whole truth could be developed,' instead 
of implicating the poor natives in the guilt of 
that transaction they would appear entitled to 
the universal respect and gratitude of the set- 
tlers. It was generally believed at the time 
that the dissatisfaction and aggression in 
which this affair originated were instigated by 
the Dutch Government with a view to expel 
the English from Long Island and Connecti- 
cut. The fact is on record that some of the 
Long Island chiefs sent a messenger to Con- 
necticut with the information that the Dutch 
Fiscal had offered them arms and ammunition 
and clothing on condition of their joining in 
the destruction of the English ; and it is added 
that strong efforts were made to induce the 
western tribes to renounce their allegiance to 
the Montauk chief, who was known to be the 
stanch friend of the English settlers. These 
statements were, indeed, indignantly denied 
by the Dutch Governor and an examination 
invited, for which commissioners were ap- 
pointed. But they broke up without accom- 
plishing their object or allaying the suspicions 
which had been previously excited. 

These threatening rumors spread fearful 
apprehension to the extreme end of the island, 
and every town adopted measures of defense. 
An application was made to the commissioners 
of the United Colonies of New England for 
aid, and, although it was defeated by the op- 
position of Massachussetts, the Legislature of 
Rhode Island, alone, resolved to send help to 
their brethren in this emergency. They ac- 
cordingly commissioned their officers to pro- 
ceed to Long Island, with twenty volunteers 
and some pieces of ordnance, and it is not the 
least deplorable circumstance in this expedi- 
tion that the chief command was committed to 
Capt. John Underbill, of Massachusetts noto- 
riety, who, to say nothing of his moral char- 
acter, had learned the made of dealing with 
Indians in New England, and not on Long 

When matters came to the worst it appears 
that only a part of the Marsapeague tribe, 
with a few dissatisfied individuals from other 
tribes, whose hostility the Dutch had aroused 
and could not now control, assembled in hos- 
tile array. They entrenched themselves in the 
town of Oyster Bay, on the south side, in a 
redoubt or fort in extent about fifty by thirty 
yards, the remains of which are still visible 
and have ever since borne the name of Fort 

Neck. Here, without having made any ag- 
gression on the surrounding country, they 
were attacked by the English, who, after slay- 
ing a considerable number, completely dis- 
persed the residue. [Hubbard says that Un- 
derbill, "having 120 men, killed 150 Indians on 
Long Island and 300 on the main land."] 
This action, which constitutes the first and the 
last battle between the Long Island Indians 
and the white settlers, took place in the sum- 
mer of 1653, and under all the circumstances 
of the case there is much reason to question 
whether there was any real necessity for the 
chastisement inflicted. 

From this time forward the Long Island 
Indians gave the whites no cause for alarm; 
and though in 1675 the Governor of New 
York, under the apprehension that they might 
be seduced or compelled by the Narragansetts 
to engage with them in King Philip's war, 
ordered all their canoes from Hurlgate f Hell- 
gate] to Montauk to be seized and guarded, 
they tamely submitted without the smallest act 
of resistance or aggression. 

What has been written above is supple- 
mented by the following, written by Samuel 
Jones, of Oyster Bay, a:nd printed in Vol. 3 of 
the collections of the New York Historical 
Society : 

After the battle of Fort Neck, the weather 
being very cold and the wind northwest, Capt. 
Underbill and his men collected the bodies of 
the Indians and threw them in a heap on the 
brow of the hill, and then sat down on the 
leeward side of the heap to eat their break- 
fast. When this part of the county came to 
be settled the highway across the neck passed 
directly over the spot where, it was said, the 
heap of Indians lay, and the earth in that spot 
was remarkably different from the ground 
about it, being str ngly tinged with a reddish 
cast, which the old people said was occasioned 
by the blood of the Indians. 

This appearance formerly was very con- 
spicuous. Having heard the story above sixty 
years ago, that is, before the year 1752, I fre- 
quently viewed and marked the spot with 
astonishment. But by digging down the hill 
for repairing the highway, the appearance is 
now entirely gone. 

Notwithstanding Dr. Prime's pacific de- 
scription of the Indians, there is little differ- 



ence between the story of their relations with 
the white intruders upon Long Island and the 
story as told of other localities. The Dutch 
seem to have regarded them with contempt as 
natural enemies from the very first, and so 
brought down upon themselves their hatred. 
The English met the Indian question with more 
diplomacy. The story of their treatment of 
the red men in Massachusetts and Connecticut 
is sickening, even revolting in its details, but 
on the English settlements on Long Island, 
west of Oyster Bay, they used more diplomacy 
and honesty, probably because they saw that 
in the friendship of the aborigines lay one of 
their best protections against the Dutch. The 
Long Island Indians took up arms with so 
many thousands of their race against Governor 
Kieft, one of the most unprincipled scoundrels 
who ever disgraced a colonial outpost's author- 
ity, but they soon made peace. "In 1643," we 
read in Winthrop's "History of New Eng- 
land," "the Indians of Long Island took part 
with their neighbors on the main, and as the 
Dutch took away their corn, so they took to 
burning the Dutch houses, but these, by the 
mediation of Mr. [Roger] Williams, were paci- 
fied and peace re-established between them and 
the Dutch; at length they came to an accord 
with the rest of the Indians. These Indians 
having cleared away all the English upon the 
main as far as Stamford, they passed on to 
Long Island and there assaulted the Lady 
Moody in her house divers times, for there 
were forty gathered there to defend it; they 
also set upon the Dutch with implacable fury 
and killed all they could come by ; burnt their 
houses and killed their cattle without restraint, 
so as the Governor (Kieft) and such as 
escaped betook themselves to their fort at Man- 
hattan, and there lived and eat up their cattle." 
The Rev. Isaac Jogues, the Jesuit mission- 
ary who was treacherously murdered by In- 
dians at Caughnawaga in 1646, has left an in- 
teresting document describing the new Neth- 
erlands in 1644, which is printed in "Docu- 
mentary History of New York," Vol. IV, and 
contains many interesting data drawn from 

personal observation during his pilgrimage 
here. In the course of it he mentions a cam- 
paign against the Indians in 1644, in which he 
says : 

Some (Indian) nations near the sea having 
murdered some Hollanders' of the most distant 
settlement, the Hollanders killed 150 Indians, 
men, women and children; the latter having 
killed at divers intervals forty Dutchmen, 
burnt several houses and committed ravages 
estimated at the time I was there at 200,000 
lives. Troops were raised in New England 
and in the beginning of winter, the grass being 
low and some snow on the ground, they pur- 
sued them with 600 men, keeping 200 always 
on the move and constantly relieving each 
pther, so that the Indians, pent up in a large 
island and finding it impossible to escape on 
account of the women and children, were cut 
to pieces to the number of 1,600, women and 
children included. This obliged the rest of 
the Indians to make peace, which still con- 

Thus it will be seen, as has already been 
declared, that there was really no difference 
but in degree in the relations between the white 
man and the red man on Long Island and the 
relations which existed in other parts of the 
country. At the east end of the island the in- 
fluence of the Gardiner family over the Mon- 
tauks prevented many of the abuses which the 
English settlers in New England perpetrated 
on the people whose lands they took, and as- 
sisted in preserving some sort of decency and 
order in the relations between the races. In 
the middle and western sections, however, the 
Indian was regarded as little better than a nat- 
ural enemy with all that such regard implies. 

Nor do we think that the claim put forth 
by Prime and others that the Long Island 
Indians were a quiet and gentle and affection- 
ate people has been made good. They were 
in fact pretty much like the rest of their race. 
The Rev. Samson Occom, one of the earliest 
of the native converts and preachers, said of 
them (and he knew them intimately by long 
residence among them) : "They believe in a 
plurality of gods and one Great and Good 



Being who controls all the rest. They like- 
wise believe in an evil spirit." The writer 
of a description of New Netherland published 
in a work on the New World at Amsterdam 
in 1 67 1, and which is translated and printed 
in, "Documentary History of New York/' 
Vol. IV, says on the same subject: 

No trace of divine worship can hardly be 
discovered here. Only they ascribe great in- 
fluence to the moon over the crops. The sun, 
as all-seeing, is taken to witness as often as 
they take an oath. They pay great reverence 
to the devil, because they fear great trouble 
from him when hunting and fishing; where- 
fore the fiirst fruits of the chase are burned 
in his honor, so that they may not receive 
injury. They fully acknowledge that a God 
dwells beyond the stars, who, however, gives 
Himself no concern about the doings of devils 
on earth because he is constantly occupied 
with a beautiful goddess whose origin is un- 
known. * * * Regarding the souls of 
the' dead, they believe that those who have 
done good enjoy every sort of pleasure in 
a temperate country to the south, while the 
bad wander about in misery. They believe 
the loud wailing which wild animals make at 
nights to be the wailings of the ghosts of 
wicked bodies. 

From the same description we get several 
other points of information anent the Indians 
in New Netherland which may safely be re- 
garded as applying to those on Long Island. 
As to the dwellings of the Indians we are 
told : 

Their houses are for the most part built 
after one plan ; they differ only in the greater 
or smaher length; the breadth is invariably 
twenty feet. The following is the mode of 
construction : They set various hickory poles 
in the ground according to the size of the 
building. The tops are bent together above 
in the form of a gallery, and throughout the 
length of these bent poles laths are fastened. 
The walls and roof are then covered with the 
bark of ash, elm and chestnut trees. The 
pieces of bark are lapped over each other as 
a protection against a change of weather, and 
the smooth side is turned inward. The houses 
lodge fifteen families, more or less, according 
to the dimensions. 

Their forts stand mostly on steep moun- 
tains beside a stream of water. The entrance 
is only on one side. They are built in this, 
wise : They set heavy timbers in the ground 
with oak palisades on both sides planted cross- 
wise one with another. They join timbers 
again between th^ cross-trees to strengthen 
the work. Within the enclosure they common- 
ly build twenty or thirty houses, some of which 
are 180 feet long, some less. All are crammed 
full of people. In the summer they set up 
huts along the river in order to pursue fishing. 
In the winter they remove into the woods to 
be convenient to the hunting and to a supply 
of firewood. 

Regarding the character of the Indian the 
same writer tells us': 

Great faults as well as virtues are remarked 
in the inhabitants, for, besides being slovenly 
and slothful, they are also found to be thiev- 
ish, headstrong, greedy and vindictive. In 
other respects they are grave, chary of speech^ 
which after mature consideration is slowly 
uttered and long, remembered. The under- 
standing being somewhat sharpened by the 
Hollanders, they evince sufficient ability to 
distinguish carefully good from evil. They 
will not suffer any imposition. Nowise dis- 
posed to gluttony, they are able patiently to 
endure cold, heat, hunger and thirst. 

So much for Dutch evidence. From a New 
England source, Hubbard's "General History 
of New England," we get the following : 

The Indians on Long Island were more 
fierce and barbarous, for our Captain Howe, 
about this time, going with eight or ten men 
to a wigwam there to demand an Indian that 
had killed one Hammond, an Englishman, the 
Indian ran violently out (with knife in his 
hand wherewith he wounded one of the com- 
pany), thinking to escape from them; so they 
were forced to kill him upon the place, which 
so discouraged the rest that they did not at- 
tempt any revenge. If they had been always 
so handled they would not have dared to have 
rebelled as they did afterward. 

There are many such citations as to the 
treachery of the Long Island Indian in Gov- 
ernor Winthrop's (1637) Journal, but there is 
hardly need to produce the details here. Some 



interesting passages regarding the Indians is 
Danker's and Sluyter's "Journal of a Voyage 
to New York," etc., which was translated and 
edited for the memoirs of the Long Island 
Historical Society by the late Henry C. Mur- 
phy in 1867. Under date of Saturday, Sep- 
tember 30, 1679, the Journal says: 

We went a part of the way through a 
woods and fine, new-made land, and so along 
the shore to the west end of the island called 
Najack [Fort Hamilton, then probably sur- 
rounded by water and marsh]. Continuing 
onward, we came to the plantation of the Na- 
jack Indians, which was planted with maize, 
or Turkish wheat. We soon heard a noise 
of pounding, like threshing, and went to the 
place whence it proceeded and found there an 
old Indian woman busily employed beating 
Turkish beans out of the pods by means of a 
shell, which she did with astonishing force 
and dextrity. Gerrit inquired of her, in 
the Indian language, which he spoke perfectly 
well, how old she was, and she answered eighty 
years ; at which we were still more astonished 
that so old a woman should still have so much 
strength and courage to work as she did. 

We then went from thence to her habita- 
tion, where we found the whole troop together, 
consisting of seven or eight families and twen- 
ty or twenty-two persons, I should think. Their 
house was low and long, about sixty feet long 
and fourteen or fifteen feet wide. The bottom 
was earth, the sides and roof were made of 
reeds and the bark of chestnut trees ; the posts 
or columns were limbs of trees stuck in the 
ground and all fastened together. The top, 
or ridge, of the roof was open about half a 
foot wide from one end to the other, in order 
to let the smoke escape in place of a chimney. 
On the sides or walls of the house the roof 
was so low that you could hardly stand under 
it. The entrances, or doors, which were at 
both ends, were so small and low that they had 
to stoop and squeeze themselves to get through 
them. The doors were made of reed or flat 
bark. In the whole building there was no 
lime-stone, iron or lead. They build their 
fire in the middle of the floor, according to 
the number of families which live in it, so 
that from one end to the other each of them 
boils its own pot. and eats when it likes, not 
only the families by themselves, but each In- 
dian alone, according as he is hungry, at all 
hours, morning, noon and night. By each 

fire are the cooking utensils, consisting of a 
pot, a bowl or calabash, and a spoon, also 
made of a calabash. These are all that relate 
to cooking. 

They lie upon mats with their feet toward 
the fire, on each side of it. They do not sit 
much upon anything raised up, but, for the 
most part, sit on the ground or squat upon 
their ankles. Their other household articles 
consist of a calabash of water out of which 
they drink, a small basket in which to carry 
and keep their maize and small beans, and a 
knife. Their implements are, for tillage a 
small sharp stone and nothing more ; for fish- 
ing, a canoe without mast or sail and without 
a nail in any part of it, though it is some- 
times full forty feet in length ; fish hooks and 
lines, and scoops to paddle with in place of 
oars. I do not know whether there are not 
some others of a trifling nature. 

All who live in one house are generally 
of one stock or descent, as father and mother, 
with their offspring. Their bread is maize, 
pounded in a block by a stone, but not fine. 
This is mixed with water and made into .a 
cake, which they bake under the hot ashes. 
* * * These Indians live on the land of 
Jacques Cortelyou, brother-in-law of Gerrit, 
He bought the land from them in the first in- 
stance and then let them have a small corner 
for which they pay him twenty bushels of 
maize yearly, that is, ten bags. Jacques had 
first bought the whole of Najack from these 
Indians, who were the lords thereof, and lived 
upon the land and afterward bought it again 
in parcels. He was unwilling to drive the 
Indians from the land, and has therefore left 
them a corner, keeping the best of it himself. 
We arrived there upon this land, which is all 
good and yields large crops of wheat and 
other grain. 

In a note on this passage the editor of the 
Long Island Historical Society's volume, the 
late Henry C. Murphy, said: 

Jacques Cortelyou came from Utrecht to 
this country in 1562 in the quality of tutor to 
the children of Cornelius Van Werckhoven, 
of that city (who that year also came to 
America), first patentee direct from the West 
India Company, of Nyack, or Fort Hamilton. 
He married Neeltje Van Duyne, and died 
about 1693. The Indians received six coats, 
six kettles, six axes, six chisels, six small 
looking-glasses, twelve knives and twelve 



combs from the West India Company for all 
the land extending along the bay from Go- 
wanus to Coney Island, embracing the present 
town of New Utrecht. Van Werckhoven 
went to Holland, after attempting a settle- 
ment at Nyack, but with the intention of re- 
turning. He died there, however, in 1655, 
and Cortelyou, who remained in possession of 
Nyack as his agent, obtained permission, in 
1657, from the Director and Council to lay out 
on the tract the town of New Utrecht, so 
named in compliment to the birthplace of Van 

The journalist mistakes in supposing the 
first purchase of Nyack from the Indians to 
have been by Cortelyou; but is probably cor- 
rect in stating a second purchase by him, 
which might have been made for the purpose 
of aiding him with a title by possession against 
the heirs of Van Werckhoven, who actually 
did subsequently claim this inheritance. 

Long Island seems to have afforded the 
Indians plenty of hunting, and its waters 
abounded with fish, so that the red man had 
little occasion to cultivate the soil except to 
scratch its surface here and there to raise 
enough grain to make bread. He was an adept 
fisherman, and a canoe formed a striking part 
of his individual or family wealth. 

One feature of the resources of Long Isl- 
and which, while it made it popular with the 
aborigines, invited trouble with outside tribes, 
and caused more wars, misery and havoc than 
we have any adequate knowledge of, was the 
abundance of the shells which passed current 
among them for money. To this subject ref- 
•erence is made at length in another chapter of 
"this history. 

One of the most curious passages in the 
■early European-Indian history, if we may use 
such an expression to describe events which 
took place in the Indian story when the white 
men first began to make their homes on this 
side of the sea, is the manner in which the 
land passed from the aborigines to the in- 
truders. All such transactions were held to 
te strictly regular, to have been carried on in 
accordance with the exact requirements of 
law; and yet to us it seems strange to read, 
as in the passage just quoted, of the Fort 

Hamilton Indians dispossessing themselves of 
their lands to Cornelius Van Werckhoven for 
a few tools and trinkets, and then being glad 
as a matter of charity to he permitted to live 
on and cultivate a few of the poorest acres; 
for the passage referred to informs us that 
Van Werckhoven's agent retained the best for 
himself, and informs us also that the same 
agent even kept the whole ultimately for his 
own use to the exclusion of the heirs of his 
master, the first European "proprietor.'' 

The keynote of the common talk of the 
just and equitable treatment of the Indians is 
found in Silas Wood's "Sketch of First Set- 
tlement of Long Island" (1828): 

Both the English and Dutch respected the 
rights of the Indians and no land was taken 
up by the several towns, or by individuals, 
until it had been fairly purchased of the chief 
of the tribe who claimed it. Thus the Dutch 
on the west and the English on the east end 
maintained a constant friendship with the In- 
dian tribes in their respective neighborhood; 
and while they were friendly with each other, 
the Indians from one end of the island to the 
other were friendly with both. It may have 
been partly in consequence of the destruction 
of their warriors in their recent wars and of 
their military spirit being broken by their sub- 
mission to successive conquerors, but it was 
principally by cultivating the friendship of the 
chiefs, particularly the sachem of the whole, 
by uniform justice and kindness, by preventing 
excitement by artificial means, and by render- 
ing success hopeless by withholding the means 
necessary to insure it, that the whites were ex- 
empted from any hostile combination of the 
Long Island Indians. There is no reason to 
believe that this exception from Indian hos- 
tilities was owing to a better disposition or 
milder character of the natives of the island. 

Commenting sagely on this. Dr. Prime 
observed : 

If the rights of the aborigines in every part 
of the country had been as sacredly respected 
and the same means had been used to secure 
and preserve their friendship, the horrors of 
Indian aggressions and the bloody measures 
of retaliation which disgrace the early annals 
of our country would have been greatly dimin- 
ished, if not entirely prevented. 



With this Pecksniffian testimony as to the 
treatment of the Indians in our minds, we will 
examine a few instances of the rights so sa- 
credly respected, keeping in view the fact that 
the land and the sea were the sources whence 
the Indians derived their sustenance, and ob- 
tained it thence directly. All men, of course, 
derive their sustenance from the land or sea, 
biit the farmer, the hunter and the fisherman 
do so directly, while the engineer, the carpen- 
ter, the trader, the lawyer, the physician and 
the like do not. 

In 1649 what is now the town of East- 
hampton was settled by some thirty families 
from Massachusetts, under the direction, it 
would seem, of the Connecticut government, 
and the settlement was located in the western 
part of what is now the township. The new- 
comers took up their abode and entered into 
possession of a tract of 30,000 acres of land 
as a result of a bargain effected in the pre- 
vious year with the Indian owners. The 
agreement read as follows : 

April the 29th, 1648. This present wright- 
ing testyfieth an agreement betwixt the Wor- 
shipful Theophilus Eaton, Esq., Governor of 
the Colony of New Haven, the Worshipful 
Edward Hopkins, Esq., Governor of the Col- 
ony of Connecticut, their associates on the one 
parte; Poygratasuck, Sachem of Manhasset; 
Wyandanch, Sachem of Mountacutt, Momo- 
metou, Sachem of Chorchake; and Nowedo- 
nah, Sachem of Shinecock, and their associ- 
ates, the other party. 

The said Sachems having sould into the 
aforesaid Th. Eaton and Ed. Hopkins, with 
their associates all the land lying within the 
bounds of the inhabitants of Southampton 
unto the east side of Mountacutt high land, 
with the whole breadth from sea to sea, not 
intrenching upon any in length or breadth 
which the inhabitants of Southampton have 
and does possess, as they by lawful right shall 
make appeare for a consideration of 

Twenty coates, 
twenty-four hatchets, 
twenty-four knives, 
twenty looking-glasses, 
one hundred muxes, 

already received by us, the aforesaid sachems- 
for ourselves and our associates; and in con- 
sideration thereof we give upp unto the said 
purchasers all our right and interest in said 
land, to them and their heirs, whether our 
or other nation whatsoever that doe or may 
hereafter challenge interest therein. Alsoe we, 
the said Sachems, have covenanted to have 
libertie for ourselves to ffish in any or all of 
the creeks and ponds, and hunting upp and 
downe in the woods, without molestation;, 
they giving to the English inhabytants noe 
just offence or injurie to their goods and chat- 
tels. Alsoe, they are to have the ffynnes and 
tayles of all such whales as shall be cast upp, 
as to their proper right, and desire they may 
be friendly dealt with in the other parte. 
Alsoe they reserve libertie to ffish in conven- 
ient places fifor shells to make wampum. 
Alsoe, Indyans hunting any deare they should 
chase into the water, and the English should 
kill them, the English shall have the body 
and the Sachems the skin. And in testymony 
of our well performance hereof we have set 
our hands the day and year above written. 

Signed: In presence of Richard Wood- 
hull, Thomas Stanton, Robert Bond, and Job 
Sayre. Poygratasuck, x. 

Wyandanch, x. 

Momometou, x. 

Nowedonah, x. 

The value of the goods given the Indians 
in this transaction amounted to £30 4s. 8d. It 
was not long before the natives were so har- 
assed by the incursions of the Narragansetts 
that they were obliged to move from the lands- 
they held east to Montauk Point and seek the 
aid and protection of the English settlers. As 
an acknowledgment of this assistance they 
made over to their protectors the remaining 
lands of the Montauk territory, saying in the 
conveyances, drawn up, of course, by the 
beneficiaries : 

Whereas of late years there has been sore 
distresses and calamities befallen us by reason 
of the cruel opposition and violence of our 
deadly enemy Ninnecraft, Sachem of Narra- 
gansett, whose cruelty hath proceeded so far 
as to take away the lives of many of our dear 
friends and relations, so that we were forced 
to fly from Montaukett for shelter to our be- 
loved friends and neighbors of Easthampton, 



whom we found to be friendly in our dis- 
tresses, and whom we must ever own and ac- 
knowledge, under God, for the preservation of 
our lives, and the lives of our wives and chil- 
dren to this day, and of the lands of Montau- 
kett from the hands of our enemies ; and since 
our coming among them the relieving us in 
our extremities from time to time. 

For all this the Indians in the rest of the 
document make over to the white men their 
lands — their entire earthly possessions in fact 
— reserving only the right of using such por- 
tions of the soil as might be necessary to en- 
able them to live. In commenting on this 
transaction Benjamin F. Thompson said: 

In the preamble to this conveyance, allu- 
sion is made to the cruel and perfidious mas- 
sacre of the Sachem and many of his best war- 
riors a few years before at Block Island, for 
being there on some important occasion they 
were surprised in the night by a party of the 
Narragansett Indians ;, but were promised their 
lives should be spared upon laying down their 
arms, which they had no sooner done than 
they were set upon and murdered in a most 
barbarous manner, only one of the whole num- 
ber escaping to relate the horrid deed. The 
Sachem himself was reserved for further cru- 
elty, and being conveyed to the Narragansett 
country was there tortured to death by being 
compelled to walk naked over flat rocks heated 
to the utmost by fires built upon them. Nini- 
gret, the chief of that powerful tribe, had a 
violent hatred of the Montauks for not only 
refusing on a former occasion to unite with 
him in destroying the white people, but for 
having discovered the plot to the English, by 
which his design was frustrated and the in- 
habitanti saved from destruction. The words 
of Captain Gardiner are: "Wyandanch, the 
Long Island Sachem, told me that as all the 
plots of the Narragansetts had been discov- 
ered, they now concluded to let the English 
alone until they had destroyed Uncas, the Mo- 
hegan chief, and himself; then, with the as- 
sistance of the Mohawks and Indians beyond 
the Dutch, they could easily destroy us, every 
man and mother's son." Indeed, it seems sus- 
picions were generally entertained that the 
Dutch not only countenanced the Indians in 
their hostility to the English, but had also se- 
cretly supplied them with arms. Several In- 

dian Sagamores residing near the Dutch re- 
ported that the Dutch Governor had urge4 
them to cut off the English, and it was well 
known that Ninigret had spent the winter of 
1652-3 among the Dutch. In consequence a 
special meeting of the Commissioners was con- 
vened at Boston in April, 1653, but several In- 
dian Sachems, who were examined, denied any 
agreement with the Dutch to make war upon 
the English. Ninigret declared that he went 
to New Amsterdam to be cured of some dis- 
ease by a French physician; that he carried 
thirty fathoms of wampum, of which he gave 
the doctor ten and the governor fifteen, in ex- 
change for which the Governor gave him some 
coats with sleeves, but not one gun. On the- 
first day of August, 1660, and after the death 
of Sachem Wyandanch, his widow, called the 
Squa-Sachem, and her son united in a deed 
of confirmation to the original purchasers for 
the lands of Moptauk and described by them 
as extending from sea to sea and from the 
easternmost parts thereof to the bounds of 

Finally a patent confirming those Indian 
grants to the inhabitants was signed by Gov- 
ernor Nicolls March 13, 1666. 

To take another instance, we extract an. 
Indian deed for the surrender of Barren Island, 
in 1664 from Stiles's "History of Kings 
County :" 

Know all men, etc., that we, Wawmatt 
Tappa and Kackawashke, the right and true 
proprietors of a certain island called by the 
Indians Equendito, and by the English Broken 
Lands, in consideration of two coats, one ket- 
tel, one gun, one new trooper-coat, ten fath- 
oms of wampum prage, three shirts, six pounds 
of powder, six barrs of lead and a quantity 
of Brandie wine, already paid unto us by John 
Tilton, sen., and Samuel Spicer, of Gravesend, 
L. I., Do, &c., sell, &c., the said Island called 
Equendito, &c., with all our right * * * 
both of upland and marshes any way belonging 
thereto, as the Straun Beach or IBeaches, as 
namely that running out more westerly, with 
the Island adjoining, and is at the same time 
by the ocean sea wholly inclosed, called Hoop- 
aninak and Shanscomacocke and macutteris,. 
as also all the harbors, &c., to the said John 
Tilton and Samuel Spicer * =i= * except- 
ing only to ourselves the one-half of all such 



whale-fish that shall by wind and storms be 
cast upon the said Island. In witness whereof 
we have set our hands this 13 day of the 3 
month, called May, Anno, 1664. 

A much better-known instance, and one 
with which we will close our investigation here 
into this branch of our subject, is the manner 
in which the Gardiner family acquired its ex- 
tensive lands on Long Island. The founder 
of the family in this county. Lion Gardiner, 
was a native of England, a military engineer 
by profession. He crossed the Atlantic in 
1635, arriving at Boston November 28 in that 
year, and was employed by a land company 
to lay out a tract of land at the mouth of the 
Connecticut River, of which the town of Say- 


brook, so named by him, is still a pleasant 
reminder. He remained in the service of the 
company some four years, and, it is said, at 
first intended to return to England when his 
employment ended. Still his family was with 
him, he saw many brilliant opportunities await- 
ing him in the New Land, and he seemed to 
possess from the beginning the happy art of 
winning and retaining the good graces of the 
Indians, so that he probably changed his 
mind about returning to the old land as soon 
as he saw enough of the country to become 
aware of its possibilities. 

While at Saybrook a son was born to him, 
April 29, 1636, the first white child born in 

Connecticut, and a daughter, Elizabeth, after- 
ward born at what is now known as Gardi- 
ner's Island, is said to have been the first 
white child born in Sufifolk county. 

In 1639 Gardiner purchased from the In- 
dians the island known to them as Mancho- 
nock, or Manchonat, and by the English as 
the Isle of Wight. The island is about nine 
miles long and a mile and a half wide, and 
contains about 3,300 acres of land, including 
the beaches and fish-ponds. The soil was and 
is generally of good quality. The price paid 
to the Indians for this piece of property was, 
we are told by tradition, which generally ex- 
aggerates rather than underestimates, a large 
black dog, a gun with some ammunition, a 
quantity of Tum, and several Dutch blankets. 
To make his title more secure Gardiner re- 
ceived a conveyance of the island from James 
Farret, agent for the Earl of Stirling, in which 
he agreed to pay a yearly "acknowledgment" 
of fs "(if demanded) of lawfull money of 
England or such commoditys as shall at that 
time pass for money in that country, the first 
payment to begin on the last of October, 1643, 
the three former years being advanced for the 
use of said James Farret." 

Reference has already been made to the 
gift of most of the land now comprised in the 
town of Smithtown to Lion Gardiner by Wy- 
andanch. Sachem of the Montauks, in grati- 
tude for the former's regaining the Indian 
chief's daughter from captivity among the 
Narragansetts in 1659. Gardiner, to make his 
gift the more secure, had his deed confirmed 
or indorsed in 1662 by the Nesaquake tribe, 
who occupied the lands in question and had 
the whole made thoroughly legal and binding 
from a white man's point of view, obtaining 
a patent for the land from Governor Nicolls. 
Having thus perfected his title in every possi- 
ble way, Gardiner in 1663 sold the property 
in question to Richard Smith, the common an- 
cestor of the Sufifolk county Smiths, who at 
once added to it by a further purchase of 
Indian lands and the procurance of a fresh pat- 
ent from Governor Nicolls in 1663. A vague- 



ness in the wording of this patent led to a 
legal controversy with the town of Hunting- 
ton, the knotty points in which were won by 
Smith, and in 1675 his ownership was con- 
firmed in a new patent, issued by Governor 
Andros, the "acknowledgment or quit rent" 
being "one good fatt lamb unto such office or 
officers as shall be empowered to receive the 

These instances of the manner in which the 
Indians parted with their lands must suffice 
for this place. Several others will come before 
us in recording the story of the townships. 
The transferences we have recorded were all, 
in the eyes of writers like Prime and Thomp- 
son, honest, generous and just, yet they were, 
each of them, simply a modern version of the 
Biblical story of Esau and the mess of pottage. 
Of course in all these cases something was 
paid, or given in exchange, enough appar- 
ently to satisfy the rebukes of conscience. 
But, judging them by what took place else- 
where, it is to be admitted that the early Long 
Island settlers deserve credit for even observ- 
ing to the extent they did the proprieties of 
civilized life in these land-grabbing transac- 
tions, for most of such transfers from the 
aborigines were made in keeping with 

"The good old rule, — the simple plan 
That they should take who have the power. 
And they should keep who can." 

The most objectionable feature to readers 
nowadays is the sanctimonious manner in 
which the transactions were sweetly glossed 
over by the historians of the island and held 
up for our admiration. The natives, as it 
were, received sugar-coated pills, and we are 
asked to consider the sugar and forget the 
gall and wormwood, the acritude, the bitter- 
ness, of the stuff within. The Indians, being 
a weaker race, had to go when the white man 
determined to settle on his lands. The transi- 
tion, as has been said, was in accordance with 
the inexorable doctrine of the survival of the 
fittest, and in fulfillment of its cruel but nec- 
essary requirements the aborigine had to be 
crushed; but why, in this twentieth century, 
continue to treat the matter hypocritically, 
shed crocodile tears over the various incidents 
of the change, and assert that a few beads, a 
gun or two, some cheap, often cast-off, cloth- 
ing and tools— to say nothing of, now and 
then, a modicum of rum — sanctified the pro- 
ceedings attendant upon the despoliation of 
the Indian? , 




F THE government, manners and cus- 
toms of the Long Island Indians we 
know little that is authentic, although 
surmises and suppositions have been 
plentiful, and these surmises and suppositions 
have often been made to appear as veritable 
history. Within recent years, however, the 
patient industry and thoughtful and intelligent 
investigation of Dr. W. Wallace Tooker, of 
Sag Harbor, has added greatly to our knowl- 
edge of the Long Island Indians and brought 
to light many details which enable us to gain 
some knowledge of their importance, their 
ideas, their language and their habits. 

The Montauk Indians seem to have been 
by far the most numerous, and next to them 
in point of members the Shinnecocks have 
been placed. But the strength of the Mon- 
tauks was such that their Sachem was gen- 
erally if not always acknowledged as the 
Grand Sachem of Paumanacke (Long Island). 
Prime says that the tribes "under their re- 
spective Sagamores or chiefs, as if an em- 
blem of the future government of the whole 
country, were once united in a grand con- 
federacy tinder one great and powerful chief ;" 
but so far as we have been able to learn there 
is no exact authority for this statement. Dr. 
Prime also tells us: 

The Manhasset and the Montauk tribes, 
though occupying the smallest and most re- 
mote territorial limits, were the depositories 
of supreme power. Montauk was,' in fact, the 
royal tribe, and Wyandanch, its .powerful 
<:hief, was the Grand Sachem of whom the 

whites purchased their lands throughout near- 
ly the whole extent of the island. While his 
elder brother, Poggatacut, the Sachem of 
Manhasset, lived, he was indeed regarded as 
the supreme chief, but probably from his age 
and not from any superior claim of the tribe 
over which he presided. When he paid the 
debt of nature Wyandanch was regarded as 
the Grand Sachem, without a rival, Nowe- 
dinah, the chief of the Shinnecock tribe, was 
also a brother of Wyandanch. 

Besides, Montauk bore evident marks, 
many of which are not yet obliterated, of being 
the seat of royal authority and the citadel of 
power. Here were the largest and best forti- 
fications, of purely Indian construction, that 
can be found in any part of our extended 
country. The fort in the north side of Fort 
Pond, erected on what is now called Fort 
Hill, was about one hundred feet square, and 
its remains are still visible. 

The rampart and parapet (say the "Chron- 
icles of Easthampton") were of earth with a 
ditch at the foot of the glacis and probably 
palisadoed with the trunks of fallen trees. 
At each angle there was apparently a round 
tower of earth and stone, and the whole 
would probably have held from three hundred 
to five hundred men. The pond on the south 
afforded a safe and convenient harbor for 
canoes, under the immediate protection of the 
fort. Its contiguity to the pond yielded also 
an abundant supply of fresh water, on a side 
where communication was easily kept up by 
the facility of protection. The location was 
one of decided advantage for protection and 
defense, and must have been sufficient against 
any attack which Indian tactics could have 
brought to bear upon it. 

This territory [to quote again from Prime] 
,was also remarkable as the depository of the 
dead. Here are several of the largest bury- 



ing places Iciown on the island, where hun- 
dreds and perhaps thousands of these poor be- 
nighted pagans were committed to their 
mother earth, amid the lamentations and howl- 
ings of their surviving friends. The remains 
of Poggatacut were brought (1651) from 
Shelter Island, the great part of the way on 
men's shoulders, to be deposited with the royal 
family at the citadel of the empire. 

In speaking of the removal of the body of 
Poggatacut the "Chronicles of Easthampton" 
relates a curious bit of information : 

In removing the body the bearers rested 
their bier by the side of the road leading from 
Sag Harbor to Easthampton near the third 
(fourth) milestone, where a small excavation 
was made to designate the spot. From that 
time to the present, more than one hundred 
and ninety years, this memorial has remained, 
as fresh, seemingly, as if but lately made. 
Neither leaf nor any other thing has been suf- 
fered to remain in it. The Montaukett tribe, 
although reduced to a beggarly number of 
some ten or fifteen drunken and degraded 
beings, have retained to this day the memory 
"of the events, and no one individual of them 
now passes the spot in his wanderings without 
removing -yvhatever may have fallen into it. 
The place is to them holy ground, and the 
exhibition of this pious act does honor to the 
finest feelings of the human heart. The ex- 
cavation is about twelve inches in depth and 
•eighteen inches in diameter, in the form of a 

To this Prime adds his testimony, saying: 

The reader may be assured this is no 
humbug. The writer has been acquainted 
with the fact for nearly forty years, and he 
has examined the hole within the present year 
[1845] and found it in its original form and 
freshness, as above*described. 

Gabriel Furman tells us of another chief 
■ of the Montauks : 

Canoe Place (Shinnecock Bay) on the 
south side of Ix)ng Island derives its name 
from the fact that more than two centuries 

-ago a canal was made there by the Indians 
for the purpose of passing their canoes from 
one bay to the other, that is, across the island 

irom Mecox Bay to Peconic Bay. Although 

the trench has been in a great measure filled 
up, yet its remains are still visible and partly 
overflowed at high water. It was constructed 
by Mongotucksee (or Long Knife), who then 
reigned over the nation of Montauk. Al- 
though that nation has now (1827) dwindled 
to a few miserable remnants of a powerful 
race, who still linger on the lands which were 
once the seat of their proud dominion, yet 
their traditional history is replete with all 
those tragical incidents which usually accom- 
pany the fall of power. It informs us that 
their chief was of gigantic form, proud and 
despotic in peace, and terrible in war. But 
though a tyrant of his people, yet he pro- 
tected them from their enemies and com- 
manded their respect for his savage virtues. 
The praises of Mongotucksee are still chanted 
in aboriginal verse to the winds that howl 
around the eastern extremity of this island. 
The Narragansetts and the Mohawks yielded 
to his prowess and the ancestors of the last 
of the Mohicans trembled at the expression 
of his anger. He sustained his power not 
less by the resources of his mind than by the 
vigor of his arm. An ever watchful policy 
guided his counsels. Prepared for every ex- 
igency, not even aboriginal sagacity could sur- 
prise his caution. To facilitate communication 
around the seat of his dominion for the pur- 
pose not only of defense but of annoyance, he 
constructed this canal, which remains a monu- 
ment of his genius, while other traces of his 
skill and prowess are lost in oblivion, and 
even the nation whose valor he led may soon 
furnish for our country a topic in contemplat- 
ing the fallen greatness of the last of the 
Montauks. After his death the Montauks 
were subjugated by the Iroquois or Five Na- 
tions and became their ' tributaries, as did all 
the tribes on the island. 

The passages quoted relating to this hero 
and to Wyandanch may give us an idea of the 
importance of the Montauk tribe in pre- 
European times, and leave no doubt as to the 
truth of the legend that their Sachem was, 
at intervals at least, when a worthy and war- 
like chief appeared, recognized as the leader 
of all the tribes on the island, and that the 
house of Montauk was indeed in a sense en- 
titled to the appellation of "royal," which so 
many writers have bestowed upon it. What 
has been held as legal confirmatory evidence 



of this claim to supremacy is found in the 
fact that on July 4, 1647, when a deed con- 
firming a title to land at Hempstead was given 
by the Indians to the white settlers, it was 
mentioned that the Montauk Sachem was pres- 
ent. In 1658 another Hempstead deed, after 
the signature of the local chiefs, was also sub- 
scribed by Wacombound, the (1660) Montauk 

It would be frivolous and unnecessary to 
gather up in this place all the legends which 
have come down to us concerning Indian his- 
tory prior to the arrival of the white man on 
Long Island. Enough has been presented to 
show that they were, as Indian economy went, 
well governed, happy, prosperous and numer- 
ous; that they were of a higher degree of in- 
telligence than many of those on the main 
land; that they were brave and wariike and 
accepted victory or defeat with the sublime 
stoicism of their race; and one is even in- 
clined to believe they would have lived on 
amicable terms with the white man had that 
been possible. Probably this desire the white 
pioneer to a certain extent reciprocated, al- 
though it never entered his brain to treat the 
redskin as a man and brother. But no matter 
how well intentioned both races were, there 
could be no deep or lasting love between 
them, for the possession of the land was the 
real, the ever present issue between them. The 
white man wanted the land, the Indian needed 
the land, and in the struggle for possession 
one or the other had to be crushed. 

From the very beginning almost of the 
white man's settlement, then, the Indian race 
began to fade away. The following passage, 
which I quote from Gabriel Furman's "An- 
tiquities," shows that the Indians themselves 
were thoroughly aware of this : 

The Long Island Indians possessed all that 
peculiar eloquence which has so long dis- 
tinguished the aborigines of the west; and it 
was mainly from them that the Europeans first 
obtained their ideas of Indian oratory and of 
the story and bold imagery which characterize 
the Indian speeches. The aborigines of this 

island have all that singular tact which still 
marks the Indian of discovering at once, in 
their intercourse with white men, who are 
really the men of power and who are not; 
and to the former they pay their respects, 
taking no notice of the others. The follow- 
ing official report of an interview which took 
place at Flatlands, between Grovemor Slough- 
ter and a Long Island Indian Sachem and his 
sons, will afford an instance of their eloquence 
and their sagacity. They saw that Leisler, 
however powerful he might have been a few 
weeks previous, was then a fallen man, with- 
out power and at the mercy of his inveterate 
enemies. This extraordinary interview took 
place on the 2d of April, 1691, between the 
Governor of New York and a Sachem of Long 
Island, attended by two of his sons and twenty 
other Indians. 

The Sachem, on being introduced, con- 
gratulated Governor Sloughter in an eloquent 
manner on his arrival, and solicited his 
friendship and protection for himself and his 
people, olDserving that he had in his own mind 
fancied his Excellency was a mighty tall tree, 
with wide-spreading branches, and therefore 
he prayed leave to stoop under the shadow 
thereof. Of old, said he, the Indians were 
a great and mighty people, but now they were 
reduced to a mere handful. He .concluded his 
visit by presenting the Governor with thirty 
fathoms of wampum, which he graciously ac- 
cepted, and desired the Sachem to visit him 
again in the afternoon. On taking their leave 
the youngest son of the Sachem handed a 
bundle of brooms to the officer in attendance, 
saying at the same time that "as Leisler and 
his party had left the house very foul, he 
brought the brooms with him for the purpose 
of making it clean again." In the afternoon 
the Sachem and his party again visited the 
Governor, who made a speech to them, and on 
receiving a few presents they departed. 

The main weapon which led to the de- 
struction of the aborigines, more deadly, more 
certain, more widespread than the ruin caused 
by musket, by disease or by persecution, was 
rum. In 1788, long after the power of the 
white man was established, an Indian chief 
at Fort Stanwix put the whole matter in a 
most comprehensive yet succinct form when 
he said: "The avidity of the white people 
for land and the thirst of the Indians for 


spirituous liquors were equally insatiable; the 
white men had seen and fixed their eyes upon 
the Indian's good land, and the Indians had 
seen and fixed their eyes upon the white men's 
keg of rum; and nothing could divert either 
of them from their desired object, and there- 
fore there was no remedy; but the white man 
must have the land and the Indians the keg of 
. rum." 

So" far as can be learned the Dutch au- 
thorities did nothing to curtail the appetite 
for rum or to inculcate any notion of tem- 
perance among the Indians. The very op- 
posite seems to have been the case, for the 
sturdy Hollander found a measure of rum 
one of the most convenient and most promptly 
prized objects with which he could trade with 
the Indian for land or pelt. Knowing nothing 
of the havoc of drunkenness himself, he had 
no conception of visiting any wrong upon the 
red men by placing it before him. He only 
saw a means to an end — the means and the 
end so graphically sketched by the Fort Stan- 
wix Indian — and he made full use of it. The 
English, however, even in that early day were 
fully aware, by their own natural experience, 
of the evils of intemperance and attempted 
to prevent its spread. They rightly traced 
the source of many of the Indian cruelties and 
uprisings and treacheries to the use of "fire- 
water," and took the best means they could, 
if not to stop its traffic, to minimize its extent 
and render it less of a disturbing factor. In 
1656 the inhabitants of Gravesend passed a 
, law dealing with this matter, as follows : 

"Att an assemblie of ye Inhabitants uppon 
a lawful warning being given, it is inacted, or- 
dered and agreed that hee, she, or they what- 
soever that should tapp, draw out, sell or lett 
any Indian or Indians in this corporation have 
any brandie, wine, strong liquor or strong 
drink should, if so detected, pay the sum of 
fifty gilders, and for the next default the sum 
of one hundred gilders according to the law 
of the country." 

In "The Duke's Laws" (1665) selling 
liquor to Indians was expressly forbidden un- 

der a penalty of "forty shillings for one pint 
and in proportion for any greater or lesser 
quality." In cases of "sudden extremity," 
however, it was declared permissible to pre- 
scribe liquor, but even in the worst of cases 
this remedy was not to exceed two drams." 

Such laws against selling liquor to these 
hapless tribes were adopted directly or in- 
directly by almost, every community and ef- 
fort apparently was made to honestly enforce 
them. But the craze for rum was strong, and 
as the white population increased it became 
easy for the laws to be successfully evaded, 
especially in Kings and Queens counties, 
where the settlements were closest and where 
the population, in Kings especially, was of a- 
more mixed character than in the eastern, or 
Suffolk, end of the island; and there seems 
little doubt that the Indian who wanted fire- 
water was able to supply his want so long as- 
he had something — land, pelts, movable prop- 
erty or service — to give in exchange. 

The passing of the Indian was rapid, espe- 
cially after he gave up his primeval occupa- 
tion of a hunter and tried to settle down as a. 
trader or to follow one of the simple trades he- 
learned from the white man. In 1761 there- 
were left only one hundred and ninety-two> 
souls belonging to the Montauks ; in 1827 they 
had dwindled down to five families, possibly 
twenty persons, and in 1843 the number was- 
reduced to three families, about ten individ- 
uals, and even these it was asserted were not 
of pure Montauk blood. Now all are gone 
and the royal race of Wyandanch is but a 
memory. The Indian population of the island 
at the present day is estimated at something 
like two hundred, and of even these few, if 
any, are of pure blood. They are at best but 
a melancholy survival, although they have 
forsaken jiearly the whole of their ancestral 
ways, adopted the white man's religion, and 
most of his manners and customs. The time 
is not far distant when the race will have en- 
tirely disappeared. 

Some writers see in this a certain historic 
fitness and completeness inasmttch as the In- 



dians themselves are said to have wiped out 
a still earlier race who owned the soil. In 1879 
a remarkable archaeological discovery was 
made at Aquebogue. Many graves were 
found some three feet below the soil, and in a 
position, judging from the geological changes, 
which showed that the bodies, or remains, 
there resting, had been deposited thousands of 
years before. The remains indicated a more 
powerful race than the Indians. The frag- 
ments of a temple — or large structure of some 
kind — were also discovered near the bodies, 
and proved to be utterly unlike any specimens 
of Indian construction of which we know. 
The walls were of clay and it measured about 
ten feet in length, with a dividing wall in the 
centre, making two narrow chambers, each 
about four and one-half feet. 

In the face of this discovery surmises and 
fancy must halt. Is this a trace of another 
race, or of a lost civilization? The evidence 
certainly points in that direction. But one 
thing is certain : the Indians must have been 
in possession for almost countless ages, and 
who can now tell what evolution took place 
■during that time in the mind and brain and 
product and civilization of that wonderful 
people — wonderful even in their decay. 

But important a factor as rum was in the 
later history of the Indian race on Long Island 
as elsewhere, we must not forget that outside 
of it the most notable feature of their story 
was the religious element which controlled it. 
The Indian, so far as we can trace his mental 
development, has always been a devout man, 
believing in a Supreme Being, a Creator of 
the World, a Great Spirit, and also in a future 
life. Whatever he worshipped, he worshipped 
with all his heart. Sometimes, in reading the 
stories of his domestic life, his wars, his 
■cruelties and his superstitions, we are apt to 
think that his idea of theological relationship 
was like that of the old darkey who said, "I 
have been wallowing in sin, I have broken all 
the commandments; but, thank God, I have 
not lost my religion !" 

Between the years 1653 and 1658 the Soci- 

ety for Propagating the Gospel in New Eng- 
land voted small sums of money to the Rev. 
William Leverich for his service among the In- 
dians, and he was specially desired to devote 
as much attention as possible to the Montauks 
and the Corchaugs. Of the nature of what he 
accomplished nothing is known to us; but as 
he seems to have been a zealous minister of 
the Gospel it is but fair to assume that he did 
his full duty according to his opportunities. 
He was a native of England and settled at 
Salem in 1633, and for many years was en- 
gaged in missionary work throughout Massa- 
chusetts with quite a recognized measure of 
success. In 1653 he purchased some land at 
Oyster Bay and there a year or two later, pos- 
sibly in 1656 or 1657, he erected his home. 
In 1658 he was installed minister of Hunting- 
ton and so continued until 1670, when he re- 
moved to Newtown, of which he was the first 
minister, and there he remained until his death, 
in or about 1694. From 1741 until 1752 
Azariah Morton was employed by the Pres- 
byterians of New York as a missionary among 
the Long Island Indians. He was a native of 
Southold and a zealous worker for the min- 
istry. His journals show how incessantly he 
labored from Montauk to Rockaway, in the 
fields, in the huts, and by the wayside, among 
the four hundred souls which were then com- 
puted to be that remained of the once owners 
of the soil. In 1752 he settled down as pastor 
of a church at South Hanover, New Jersey, 
in a settlement formed mainly by Long Island 
people, and there labored until his death, 
March 27, 1777. 

One of the earliest and most influential of 
the real friends of the Indian in New York 
was Sir William Johnston, who in 1738 set- 
tled on a tract of land on the south side of the 
Mohawk River. He won the confidence of 
the Indians around him to a greater extent, 
possibly, than any man of his day, studied 
their manners, customs, rites and beliefs, be- 
came an expert in their language; wore, at 
times, their dress ; was chosen a Sachem of the 
Mohawks, and given the chief-like title of 



•'Wariaghejaghe," — one who is in charge. He 
took a deep interest in the educational and 
intellectual advancement of the aborigines, and 
perhaps was able to exert a greater influence 
over them in these directions because he was 
not too straight-laced in his own personal 
morals or made any pretentions to having 
deep religious convictions, or close denomina- 
tional affiliations, although he was not insensi- 
ble to the value of religious influence in mak- 
ing the Indians amenable to law and order. 

Sir William took a warm and direct in- 
terest in the life-long labors, on behalf of the 
Indian, of the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, one of 
the most noteworthy of the early Protestant 
missionaries who engaged in such work; and 
the correspondence between them proves how 
heartily and zealously Sir William entered 
into all the missionary's plans and hopes. 
Eleazar Wheelock does not seem to have ever 
visited Long Island, yet there is no doubt that 
Tie exerted a great influence for good over 
its latter Indian history, and his self-denying 
labors ought to keep his memory green among 
those of the real benefactors of the old king- 
dom of the Montauks. He was born at Wind- 
ham, Connecticut, April 22, 171 1, the grand- 
son of a nonconformist minister who left Eng- 
land in 1637 and founded a church in Ded- 
ham, Massachusetts. Eleazar studied for the 
ministry, was ordained in 1735 as pastor of a 
•church at New Lebanon, Connecticut, and 
there remained some thirty-five years. His 
salary being insufficient for his support, he 
augmented it by receiving pupils in his house, 
and this gradually developed in his mind the 
project of establishing an Indian missionary 
school. This was duly founded, under the 
designation of Moor's Indian Charity School, 
■a farmer named Joshua Moor having given to 
it, in 1754, a house and two acres of land in 
New Lebanon. In 1766 some 10,000 pounds 
was obtained in Great Britain on behalf of the 
school, the money being placed in the hands 
of a board of trustees, of which the Earl of 
Dartmouth was president. Soon after it was 
■determined to remove the institution to a new 

location, and in 1770 Wheelock secured land 
at what is now Hanover, New Hampshire, re- 
moved there, and established the institution 
which has since become famous under its title 
of Dartmouth College, of which institution he 
was the first president. He died at Hanover, 
April 24, 1779. 

In one way or another we learn a good deal 
about Wheelock's pupils. David Fowler, a 
Montauk Indian youth, entered the school at 
Lebanon about 1759, and early showed an 
aptitude for agricultural pursuits. He com- 
pleted his studies in a most satisfactory man- 
ner, and in March, 1765, he was licensed as 
an Indian teacher and was assigned to the 
Oneida Nation, for whose territory he at once 
set out. Early in June of the same year he 
opened a school and on the isth of that month 
he wrote his old teacher from Canajoharie as 
follows : 

This is the twelfth day since I begun my 
school, and eight of my scholars are now in 
the third page of their spelling book. I never 
saw children exceed these in learning. The 
number of my scholars is twenty-six, but it 
is difficult to keep them together; they are 
often roving from place to place to get some- 
thing to live upon. I am well contented to 
live here so long as I am in such great busi- 
ness. I believe I shall persuade the men in 
this castle, at least the most of them, to labour 
next year. They begin now to see that they 
could live better if they cultivated their lands 
than they do now by hunting, and fishing. 

I print this letter because it gives the key 
to the principle underlying Wheelock's method 
— that of civilizing the Indians by religion and 
work. Fowler's school was broken up in about 
a year by a famine in western New York, 
which drove the Indians for a time out of that 
quarter, and then the desolation and excite- 
ment of war probably stopped for several 
years any further effort. Of that, however, 
nothing is known ; but Fowler himself proved 
a living example of the benefit of education 
among the Indians; and in 181 1, when he dis- 
appears from our view, he was an industrious 



and prosperous farmer at Oneida, and held in 
esteem as a useful member of the community. 

The most famous, however, of all Whee- 
lock's Indian pupils was the first he received, 
— Samson Occom. He was born at Mohegan, 
Norwich, Connecticut, in 1723, and when nine- 
teen years of age was received under Whee- 
lock's tuition. In the capacity of a pupil he 
remained in Wheelock's house for four years. 
In 1748 he became a teacher in New London. 
In 1755 he went to Montauk, where he opened 
a school among the Indians, and on August 
29, 1759. he was ordained by the Suffolk 
Presbytery. For ten years he continued to 
teach and preach among the Mohawks and 
Shinnecocks, and then he went on a mission 
to the Oneidas. We next find him in Great 
Britain, engaged in raising the fund which 
led to the establishment of Dartmouth Col- 
lege, and he is said to have been the first In- 
dian preacher who ever visited England. His 
services there were invariably crowded, and 
there is no doubt he was the most important 
factor in bringing about the ultimate success 
of the mission. On his return he remained at 
his native place in Connecticut for a time, but 
in 17S6 he went to Brotherton, Oneida 
county, where he died, in 1792. 

Brotherton, located in what is now Mar- 
shall and Kirkland townships, Oneida coun- 
ty, was a purely Indian community, formed 
before the Revolution; Ltit after it was over 
many returned and in 1783, under the direc- 
tion of Occom, founded a new commonwealth. 
They included many Montauks, Pequots, Nar- 
ragansetts and other Indians, numbering in 
all at one time, it is said, four hundred souls. 
Coming from many different tribes, they were 
compelled to learn English as a common lan- 
guage, and tried to adapt themselves to a 
settled mode of living. For a time they re- 
ceived aid from the state, but their numbers 
steadily detreased, many having adopted all 
the vices of the white man with his tongue. 
Not a few developed iiito thrifty farmers, but 
it would seem succeeded only for a time. Bit 
by bit they sold their Brotherton lands to 

white settlers, and in 1850 the last of them 
migrated to the west It is sad to think that 
even Occom once fell a victim, for a time, to 
the Indian passion for rum. On June 9, 1764, 
in a letter to the Presbytery, he confessed "to 
have been shamefully overtaken by strong 
drink, by which I have greatly wounded the 
cause of God, blemished the pure religion of 
Jesus Christ, blackened my own character and 
hurt my own soul." Over this weakness he 
finally completely triumphed, and was prob- 
ably a better man through having passed 
through that slough of despond. 

As a preacher he seemed to possess many 
splendid qualifications, although possibly his 
eloquence was more of the sort to enthuse the 
Indian heart than to arouse the attention of 
his white brother. Dr. Samuel Buell said of 
him : "As a preacher of the Gospel he seems 
always to have in view the end of the min- 
istry, the glory of God and the salvation of 
men. His manner of expression when he 
preaches to the Indians is vastly more natural, 
free, clear and eloquent, quick and powerful, 
than when he preaches to others. He is the 
glory of the Indian nation." 

Occom wrote considerable verse, some of 
it rather crude and unpolished, but full of 
graceful fancies and quaint conceits. It is 
mostly of a religious description and breathes 
throughout a simple, earnest piety, a profound 
belief in the wisdom and goodness of God, 
but at the same time a keen realization of the 
awful punishment prepared for those whtf 
wander from His footstool or who refuse to 
hearken to His voice. The following hymn, 
which is still printed in some of the church 
collections, will give an idea not alone of Oc- 
com's ability as a weaver of verse, but of his 
entire system of theology: 

Awaked by Sinai's awful sound, 
My soul in bonds of guilt I found, 

And knew not where to go ; 
One solemn truth increased my pain, — 
"The sinner must be born again" 

Or sink to endless woe. 



I heard the law its thunders roll, 
"While guilt lay heavy on my soul — 

A vast oppressive load; 
All creature's aid I saw was vain: 
■"The sinner must be born again" 

Or drink the wrath of God. 

But while I thus in anguish lay 

The bleeding Saviour passed that way, 

My bondage to remove; 
The sinner once by Justice slain, 
Now by his grace is born again, 

And sings redeeming love. 

The next Indian preacher who exerted 
much influence over his race was a member of 
the Shinnecock tribe, whose English cogno- 
men was Peter John. Prime says regarding 

He was born at the Hay Ground, in the 
Parish of Bridgehampton, somewhere about 
the years 1712-15. He was hopefully con- 
verted in the great awakening of 1 741-4 un- 
der the preaching of the Rev. Mr. Davenport.* 
By what ecclesiastical authority he was com- 
missioned is not known, though it is sup- 
posed be was ordained by the Separatists of 
Connecticut. He afterward took up his resi- 
dence at St. George's Manor, where he owned 
property, on which one of his descendants 
still lives. Though not learned and eloquent, 
yet by his zeal, piety and perseverance he 
gathered small churches at Wading River, 
Poosepatuck and Islip, to which, with that of 
Canoe Place, he ministered until after his 
grandson and successor was brought into the 
ministry. He lived to the advanced age of 
eighty-eight, and died near the commence- 
ment of the present century, though the pre- 
cise date has not been ascertained. His re- 
mains lie buried at Poosepatuck. 

The grandson referred to above, Paul Cuf- 
fee, was the last, and in many respects the 
greatest, of the native preachers. He was 

*The Rev. James Davenport, minister of Southold, 
■whom Whitefield described as "a sweet, pious soul." 
Soon after his installation at Southold the great awaken- 
ing occured which is memorable in the religious annals 
■of New England. His zeal for religion seems to have 
unbalanced his mind and in 1742 his pastoral relations 
with Southold were severed by the Presbytery. He con- 
tinued active in the ministry, however, until his death, 
at Hopewell, N. J., in 1757. In 1754 he was moderator 
of the Synod of New York. 

born in Brookhaven township, March 4, 1747. 
His mother, a daughter of Peter John, was a 
woman of eminent piety, and for many years 
was one of the most active workers in the 
little church at Wading River. Her son, Paul, 
started in life as a servant on the farm at 
'Wading River belonging to Major Fred. Hud- 
son, where he continued until he was twenty- 
one years of age. He was a wild, thoughtless 
youth, fond of pleasure and revelry, but about 
the time he attained his twenty-first year he 
became converted at one of the "seasons of 
refreshing" so influential and frequent in the 
religious story of Long Island, and the result 
was that after a time of wrestling with the 
Evil One to throw off the burden of his own 
sins, he consecrated his own life to showing 
those of his own race the way of salvation and 
the lightening of the load. After a brief 
period. of preparation he seems to^have been 
licensed as a preacher, by whi^^'authority has 
never been discovered: possibly he was just 
sent out with the good wishes and approba- 
tion of the people at Wading River. He then 
went to Moriches, where he labored among 
his own race for two years, and thence to 
Poosepatuck, where he was formally ordained 
by a delegation of ministers from the Con- 
necticut Convention. Two years later he be- 
came a member of the "Strict Congregational 
Convention on Long Island," a development 
of the body of the same name as renowned in 
Connecticut religious story. In 1798 he was 
employed by the New York Missionary So- 
ciety to work among the Indians, and in that 
employment he faithfully and patiently and 
fruitfully continued until his death, March 7, 
1812. He worked mainly at Montauk and 
Canoe Place, but visited at intervals Poose- 
patuck, Islip and other spots, where the rem- 
nants of his people still lingered. The Rev. 
Dr. Prime, who knew him, speaks of him in 
the following kindly manner in his "History 
of Long Island:" 

Having enjoyed a personal acquaintance 
with Paul for a few years, and had the priv- 



ilege, in two or three instances, of hearing 
his public performances, he (Prime) can bear 
ivitness that he was an interesting and affec- 
tionate preacher. Though he aimed at no 
elegance of diction and frequently committed 
grammatical inaccuracies, these were soon lost 
sight of in the ardor of his piety and the 
pathos of his appeals. But the most amiable 
and distinguishing trait of Paul's character 
both in the pulpit and out of it was the un- 
affected humility of his heart. Not only was 
his spirit imbued with it but he appeared at 
all times clothed therewith, as with a gar- 
ment. Naturally modest and graciously lowly 
in heart, he never aspired to high things, but 
always condescended to men of low estate, 
contented, nay gratified, to be the humble in- 
strument of promoting the glory of God and 
the salvation of his fellow men. He died, as 
he lived, under the smiles of his Saviour. 
Gradually, though rapidly, wasted away by 
consumption, he enjoyed his reason and the 
light of God's countenance to the end. Hav- 
ing given direction about the manner and place 
of his interment, he selected a text (II Tim- 
othy, IV, 7, 8) for his funeral discourse, and 
having taken a fond adieu of his family and 
friends, exhorting them all to "make Christ 
their friend," he calmly fell asleep. 

Cuffee was buried in a little God's-acre 
near Canoe Place, where an Indian church still 
stands, in which he once preached. His grave 
is still pointed out and is distinguished by a 
plain stone erected by the society whose agent 
he was during the last thirteen years of his 
useful life. 

When Cuffee passed away the religious re- 
generation of the Indians seems to have been 
left to the local preachers of Long Island, and 
doubtless they all did their duty. But the In- 
dian gradually "weded" away, as we have al- 
ready pointed out. Possibly to-day there is 
not a full-blooded Indian to be found on Long 
Island, even those who pass for such at Shin- 
necock having, like Paul Cuffee himself, a 
dash of African blood in their veins. Still, 
some of the old customs are kept up and many 
of the people display on occasion the inherent 
fervor of the Indian and African for matters 
of religion. In the New York World of Mon- 
day, June II, 1900, appeared the following 

account of a celebration at the old church at 
Poosepatuck, so often referred to : 

The annual June meeting on the Poose- 
patuck Indian Reservation was held yesterday 
in the little church on the hill overlookmg 
Ford's River, two miles from Mastic, Long 
Island. It was in commemoration of the two 
hundredth anniversary of the deed by Colonel 
William Tangier Smith, a British subject, of 
the reservation to the survivors of Sachem 
Tobaguss, of the Uncachogue tribe. This 
deed was given on July 2, 1700, and ever 
since then the Indians have lived on the land. 

For many years the June meeting has been 
the greatest event of the year with the In- 
dians of the eastern end of Long Island. The 
celebration to-day was not without its pathos, 
for the statement was made that during the 
last year three leaders of the little band had 
crossed over to the "happy hunting grounds," 
leaving but one full-blooded Indian in the 

June Meeting Day, like the annual hunt- 
ers' and trappers' spring garden fetes, is pe- 
culiar to the east end of Long Island. Nom- 
inally it is a religious gathering, but many per- 
sons go out of curiosity. Services lasting all 
day are held in the little church, which seats 



only sixty persons. Sixty more can stand in 
the narrow aisles, and the rest of the crowd 
sit in wagons and buggies near the doors and 
windows, where they can hear the preaching 
and join in the singing of hymns and the pe- 
culiar songs or worship handed down through 
generations from the Indians. 

Usually some neighboring white minister 
presides over the June meeting,, and yester- 
day the Rev. W. H. Stewart, of Middle Island, 
was in attendance. The other preachers were 
the Rev. "Deacon" Carl, of the reservation ; 
the Rev. W. H. Parker, of Centre Moriches, 
and Richard Ward, chief of the Poosepatuck 

The morning was devoted to a praise serv- 
ice. This consisted of prayers, songs and the 
telling of rehgious "experiences." Occasion- 
ally some of the half-breeds became so en- 
thusiastic that they would "shout" like old- 
time Southern darkies. In the old days many 
Indian families became linked by marriage 
with negro families brought over from Africa. 

The "shouting" which remotely suggested 
the camp dances of the original Indians, was 
first occasioned by the singing of a song, part 
of which ran: 

Ole Satan went down to the bottom of the well. 

(Don't you grieve after me when I'm gone.) 
He missed his mark and slipped down to hell. 

(Don't you' grieve after me when I'm gone.) 

This song was rendered with plenty of 
foot patting, and rocking from side to side. 

Mace Bradley, the only surviving full- 
blooded Poosepatuck Indian on Long Island, 
said he felt that the days of the Indians on the 
reservation were numbered. The old Indian's 
frame shook with emotion as he went on to 
exhort his fellows to lead pure lives and "look 
upward." Not infrequently the women 
moaned aloud, and the men shouted "Amen !" 

Richard Ward, the chief of the reservation, 
led in singing: 

I've got my breast-kit, sword and shield : 

No man a-work-a like Him. 
I'm marchin' boldly through the field — 

No man a-work-a like Him. 

Then in a thundering chorus all joined in 
the refrain, those sitting in vehicles outside 
taking up the air: 

He's King of Kings and Lord of Lords, — 
Jesus Christ, the first and last: 
No man a-work-a like Him. 

Suddenly a woman half-breed, shaking 
from head to foot with fervor, pointed toward 
the roof and sang: 

Jes look over yonder what I see: 

No man a-work-a like Him. 
See two angels callin' at me : 

No . man a-work-a like Him. 

Verse after verse of this hymn was sung 
by volunteers. 

The afternoon and night services were 
much like those of the forenoon 

The Indians referred to in this article are 
remnants of the old Patchogue or Setanket 

In the old lands of Europe it is common to 
trace departed tribes and nations by the names 
of places, which names have proved more en- 
during monuments, more popularly under- 
stood monuments, than could any structure 
in stone or "enduring brass.'' Thus in Scot- 
land the language, manners and customs of 
the ancient Picts have vanished into the un- 
known; but the evidences of their existence, 
of their might and of their territorial greatness 
is retained in the names of places which are 
still in popular use. Similar examples could 
be culled from the history of Germany, of 
Italy and other countries. So, too, in Long 
Island. It may be said that the red man has 
forever disappeared from the places which 
were once his own, but all over its extent he 
has left behind him memorials of his language 
and his occupancy in the names he gave to 
many localities and which still cling to them. 

Gemeco, or Jameco, is still remembered by 
the old town of Jamaica, although William 
W. Tooker, the greatest of all authorities on 
Long Island Indian lore, seems to think it de- 
rived from Tamaqua, the beaver. Arshamom- 
aque, or Hashamomuk, near Southold, still re- 
tains its old Indian name, meaning "where 
wild flax grows;" and Quogue (Quaquanan- 
tuck), Setauket, Sagg, Peconic, Potunk, 
Syosset, Aquebogue, Quantuck, Tuckahoe, 
Nissaquag, Watchogue, Ponquogue, Speonk, 
Seapoose, Manhasset, Rockaway, Noyack, Ne- 



guntapoque, Montauk, Commac and a hundred 
other places still represent the red man's as- 
cendancy and story throughout the island. 
Even in Brooklyn, built over and over again 
and changed and transformed as it has been 
since the red man had his village of Merech- 
kawikingh (near Red Hook) in what is now 
the twelfth ward, Indian names confront us. 
Merechkawikingh, it is true, has passed away 
and been generally forgotten except by the 
Antiquaries, but we sometimes think of Black- 
well's Island by its Indian name of Minna- 
hannock, Gowanus is still the name of a lo- 
cality, and Ipetonga survives in the name of 
a fashionable club. 

The Navy Yard, writes, Dr. Tooker, 
where the Marine Hospital stands and there- 
about was known at a very early period as 
Rinnegackonck. According to traditions it 
is supposed to have been the locality where 
began the first settlement of Long Island; 
but in the light of recent investigation it must 
yield that honor to P^latlands. The Indian 
deed is dated July i6, 1637, when "Kakapot- 
eyno and Pewichaasf as owners of this dis- 
trict by special order of the rulers and with 
consent of the community * * * con- 
veyed to George Rapalje a certain piece of 
land called Rinnegackonck, situated upon 
Long Island, south of the island of Mana- 
hatasj ¥ * * reaching from a kill to the 
woods, south and east to a certain copse where 
the water runs over the stones, etc" The rec- 
ords give us : "The plantation of George 
Rapalje (called Rinnegackonck), i638;Rinne- 
gaconck, 1640; Renegakonc, Rinneakonc and 
Rinnegconck, 1641 ; Runnegackonck, 1647. 
Have rented a certain bowery (farm) * * * 
called in Indian Rinnegackonck," 1651. Stiles' 
History of Kings county gives it as Renne- 
gackonck, with the statement that it was some- 
times spelt with an i or u in the first syllable. 
It will be notited that the name belonged en- 
tirely to the plantation of George Rapalje, 

*The crow: this name is onomatopoetic. 

tPenawitz = " the stranger," Sachem of Massa- 

jManahan-otan =" Island town," or "town on the 
Island;" any other interpretation for this name is inad- 

and not to a creek as supposed by some. It 
was probably bestowed upon that fertile and 
well watered farm by the Indians after Rapalje 
had entered upon the land and improved it, 
for the Indian titles were almost invariably 
obtained after the land had been taken posses- 
sion of by the settlers. 

The name gives us an instance occasionally 
occurring where the r is used in place of w 
as it should be, according to the English nota- 
tion. Although the Dutch w has not the same 
primary sound or derivation as the English, 
Heckewelder wrote : "There are in the Dela- 
ware language, no such consonants as the Ger- 
man w or the English v, f, r. Where the w 
in this language is placed before a vowel it 
sounds as in English; before a consonant it 
represents a whistled sound." Eliot found 
the same difficulty in the Natick dialect, for 
he says in his grammar, we call w wee, be- 
cause our name giveth no power of its sound. 
Many Indian names in the townships west of 
Southampton, Long Island, show how diffi- 
cult it was for our early pioneers to catch the 
true sound of the Indian names of persons and 
places ; as Heckewelder has said, they had not 
acquired an Indian ear. For instance, we find' 
Rioncom for Weoncombone, Ratiocan or 
Raseokan for Ashawoken, Ra or Ronkon- 
kumake for Wonkonkooamang, and many 
others. Besides we find some of the familiar 
Indian n;mies of the eastern townships so ef- 
fectually disguised under the softening influ- 
ence of the Dutch language as to render it dif- 
ficult to believe they are the same. But in" 
giving them the Dutch values in pronunciation 
we discover their identity. Again in the short 
vocabulary taken down by Thomas Jefferson 
in 1794 from the lips of an old squaw at 
Pusspa'tok, in the town of Brookhaven, we 
find the r appearing in many words, showing 
by comparison that she or her kindred, by mar- 
riage or otherwise, were originally from the 
tribes of western Connecticut. All of which 
open up very interesting historical questions 
regarding Indian migrations that we at pres- 
ent cannot dwell upon. 

But the study of Indian names belongs 
more to the field of the local antiquary than 
to that of the general historian, and with this 
reference the subject must here rest. But 
those who wish to pursue the study — and a 
delightful study it is — will find in the writings 
of Dr. Tooker, now collected in a series of 



volumes, an able introduction and a most sat- 
isfying and thoroughgoing guide. He has de- 
voted his life to the subject and his patient and 
intelligent labor has been fruitful of endur- 
ing results. 

While writing the closing paragraphs of 
this chapter a curious meeting has .been held 
in New York, which shows that the few sur- 
vivors of the old Montauks, Shinnecocks and 
other tribes are not without some hope of 
wresting from the white squatters the land 
•owned by their forefathers. The meeting was 
held by members of the United States Senate's 
•committee on Indian affairs, and its purpose 
was to listen to appeals by the representatives 
of the old tribes for legislation which would 
-enable them to institute court proceedings for 
the recovery of their lands. At the meeting, 
which was held on September 22, 1900, ten In- 
■dians represented the once mighty race. They 
were the Rev. E. A. Johnson, Dr. W. H. John- 
son, Nathan J. Cuffee and James Cuffee, of 
the Montauk Council, John Noka, Joshua 
Noka and Donald Seeter, of the Narragansett 
Council, David KeUis, of the Shinnecock 
•Council, and Lemuel Fielding, of the Mohegan 
Council. From a newspaper report of the 
-proceedings the following is culled as being 
-of a degree of interest well worthy of being 
preserved as a part of the Indian story : 

The Montauks and Shinnecocks have a 
joint claim to 11,000 acres of land at Mon- 
tauk Point. The Narragansetts demand a 
tract of land eight miles square half a 
mile back from Narragansett Bay, and the 
Mohegans claim the reservation four miles 
from Montville, near Norwich, Connecticut, 
and including about sixteen acres in Norwich. 

The Montauk Indians many years ago oc- 
-cupied Montauk Point. About twenty-five 
years ago, as the story of the members of the . 
tribe ran, the Montauks found they could no 
longer make a living off their reservation. So 
they decided to rent it out to be used for pas- 
turage by a syndicate known as the Proprie- 
tors' Company. The members of the company 
all took grazing allotments, and paid the tribe 
an annuity. About twenty years ago the mem- 
bers of the company disagreed, some wanting 

a land reapportionment, and litigation fol- 
lowed. The court, it is asserted, completely 
ignored the rights of the Indians and ordered 
property sold at public auction, and the pro- 
ceeds divided equally among the white occu- 
pants of the land, who, the Indians claim, were 
merely lessees. The property was sold to 
Arthur W. Benson, of Brooklyn, who bought 
in the 11,000 acres for $151,000. The Indians 
did not receive a cent of this. It was testified 
to that Mr. Benson afterward sold 5,000 acres 
of the reservation to the Long Island Railroad 
Company for $600,000. 

Some of the Indians were still on the reser- 
vation. Mr. Benson hired Nathaniel Dominey, 
of Easthampton, to negotiate for their re- 
moval to Eastiiampton. Mr. Dominey made 
a good bargain for Mr. Benson., "The old 
man — he is now .nearly eighty — ^was at the 
hearing as the chosen friend of the Indians, 
and he gave the details of the arrangements he 
made for the removal of the remaining mem- 
bers of the tribe from the lands of their fore- 

"How many members of the tribe were on 
the reservation when you opened negotiations 
with them for their removal?" asked one of 
the senators. 

"There were eight, sir. There were the 
Queen, her son, Wyandank Pharaoh, who is 
now the rightful King of the tribe ; the Queen's 
two brothers and four others." 

"What arrangements did you make with 

"I agreed with the Queen that she should 
be paid $100 semi-annually, and that she 
should have two houses to live in^ which at 
her death were to revert to Mr. Benson. I 
agreed to give her brothers $80 each." 

"And how about Wyandank Pharaoh, who 
you say is now the rightful King; what ar- 
rangements did you make with him to forfeit 
his rights?" 

"He signed them away for $10." 

Among the Montauk Indians present were 
the Rev. Eugene A. Johnson, a Presbyterian 
minister, who has a church in Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania, and his brother. Dr. William 
H. Johnson, of 103 West Twenty-ninth street, 
who is a graduate of the University of Penn- 
sylvania. It was the former who started the 
movement to restore their rights to the Mon- 

"There are about three hundred members 
of the Montauk tribe living," said the Rev. 
Mr. Johnson. "They are scattered through- 



out the United States, but still keep up their 
tribal relations. We have a tribal council, of 
which Nathan J. Cufifee is president, and we 
meet annually. We have tried to obtain our 
rights in the state courts and before the state 
legislature, but have been denied a hearing on 
the strange ground that we are not 'persons.' 
We occupy a unique position, being wards 
both of the state of New York and of the 
United States. Being wards, we could not 
rightfully dispose of our property without the 
consent of the state and the General Govern- 
ment. That consent was never secured. On 
the contrary, our property was taken from us 
by shameful bribery and fraud. The property 
we now claim is valued at about $3,000,000." 
David Kellis told the committee of the 
claims of the Shinnecocks. The town of 
Southampton is situated on the Shinnecock 
Hills. The trustees for the Indians went be- 
fore the legislature in 1859 for authority to 
acquire the property. The petition which they 

presented to the legislature, he said, was fraud- 
ulent, many of the names having been forged. 
Nevertheless the authority was granted, and 
the land obtained for a small portion of what 
it was worth. 

James Lewis Cufifee, who is a representa- 
tive of the family of Paul Cufifee, the Indian 
missionary, gave the committee a history of the 
reservation since the reign of Punkamchise, 
King of the Shinnecocks, in 1703. He told 
of the gradual shoving back and disposses- 
sion of the Indians until there was nothing 
left to them. 

One who watched the proceedings closely 
said that the committee seemed satisfied that 
the Indians had made out a good prima-facie 
case, and there was every possibility that the 
subject would be permitted to reach the courts. 
Such at least would simply be a measure of 






N 1497 England sent out an expedition 
under the direction of the Cabots to try 
and discover a northwest passage to the 
West Indies. As we all know, the quest 
proved a failure; but the expedition sailed along 
the coast of the North American continent from 
Newfoundland to Florida. Did it stay for a 
while in New York harbor? That is a ques- 
tion which we fear can never be answered. 
All we know of that voyage seems to indicate 
that the adventurers simply sailed as close to 
the coast line as possible and seldom sent 
landing parties on shore. The meagre details 
we have simply represent the discovery of a 
coast line, although that was enough, it would 
seem, when the time came, to give England a 
foundation for a claim to the whole of the 
continent by right of discovery ! Almost as 
shadowy is the story of John Verazzano, v/ho 
in 1524 sailed along the American coast on a 
voyage of discovery. It seems more than 
likely that he spent some time in New York 
harbor and landed on some of its shores. His 
description is well worth remembering, for it 
is the first glimpse we get of a scene which 
was soon to undergo remarkable changes. 

"After proceeding one hundred leagues we 
found a very pleasant situation among some 
steep hills, through which a large river, deep 
at the mouth, forced its way into the sea. 
From the sea to the estuary of the river any 
ship heavily laden might pass with the help 
of the tide, which rises eight feet. But as we 

were riding at anchor in a good berth we 
would not venture up in our vessel without 
a knowledge of the mouth. Therefore we took 
the boat and entering the river we found the 
country on the banks well peopled, the inhab- 
itants not differing- much from the others, be- 
ing dressed out with the feathers of birds of 
various colors. They came towards us with, 
evident delight, raising loud shouts of admira- 
tion and showing us where we could most 
securely land our boat. We passed up this 
river about half a league, where we found 
it formed a most beautiful lake, upon which 
they were rowing thirty or more of their small 
boats filled with multitudes whb came to see 
us." He did not stay long in this beautiful 
scene, but passed northward. He saw natives 
gathering wampum on what is now Rockaway 
Beach as he passed out, and on his way to 
Nantucket discovered Block Island, to which 
he gave the name of Louise, the mother of 
King Francis of France. 

We have vague and shadowy records of 
other voyageurs who looked in more or less 
through the Narrows from the Lower Bay, 
but what has reached us about their move- 
ments and their discoveries is so vague and un- 
satisfactory that the details belong rather to 
the antiquary than to the historian. Estevan 
Gomez, a Spanish adventurer, began a voyage 
across the Atlantic in 1525 and looked in at 
the Hudson, so it is claimed; but if he did 
that much he did no more.- About 1540 we- 



read of French skippers ascending the "River 
of the Steep Hills" as far as what is now Al- 
bany in search of furs, and there is some evi- 
dence of their having there built a fort to pro- 
tect themselves and their possessions. In 1542 
Jean Allefonsce, of Saintonge, passed through 
Long Island Sound and so reached New York 
Tiarbor, being the first it is supposed to have 
managed that bit of seamanship. Up to that 
time little was known of the Hudson, although 
if we agree with Mr. A. J. Weise ("The Dis- 
coveries of America") that it is the Norambega 
River laid down upon some early maps, it was 
the subject of much conjecture and even geo- 
graphical romance. The knowledge of Long 
Island Sound was even less scanty, — and too 
scanty, in fact, even for romance to weave 
around it a story; and some seventy years 
were to elapse before much more was to be 

It was early in September, 1609, that the 
""Half Moon" — sixty tons' burden — under com- 
mand of Hendrick, or rather Henry, Hudson, 
dropped anchor in the Lower Bay, somewhere 
between Sandy Hook and Coney Island, rest- 
ing there, as it were, in the course of a voy- 
age of discovery up the coast from Chesapeake 
Bay. He was sent here by the East India 
Company of Amsterdam, and hoped, with the 
experience gained in two previous voyages, to 
discover that ignis fatuus of seamanship even 
tj a recent day — a northwest passage to India. 
When he entered the river which now bears his 
name he fondly imagined that he had at last 
solved the great problem. He spent a few 
days exploring the shores of the bay and ques- 
tioning the natives as to the water which led 
inland. Sad to say, he also had trouble with 
these seemingly inoffensive people, and they 
Icilled one of his men ; but whether that tragedy 
was enacted on Coney Island or on Sandy 
Hook is a point on which the antiquaries have 
not yet made up their minds. They all agree, 
however, that the man — ^John Colman — was 
killed, and we call it a tragedy because it was 
the beginning of a warfare which, whether 
carried on by firearms, steel, rum or the dis- 

eases of civilization, exterminated in time the 
native population whose gentle, inoffensive 
qualities Verazzano so clearly describes. Hav- 
ing learned all he could, he passed up the river 
almost to Albany, and then, having seen 
enough to show him that he had not yet dis- 
covered the long-sought passage, he made his 
way back to the open sea. 

In one respect the story of his journey 
along the river which has preserved his name 
and is his most enduring memorial is not 
pleasant reading. His treatment of the na- 
tives was the reverse of kindly, and it has been 
computed that two hundred were killed by 
Hudson and his crew during the trip up and 
down the river. They seem to have been gen- 
erally friendly and inoffensive, over-curious in 
many respects, and off Stony Point one was 
caught, so it is said, in the act of stealing from 
the ship. To this malefactor was at once ap- 
plied the law of the white man, and he was shot 
while trying to escape with his plunder. This 
led to a rupture of friendly relations in that 
neighborhood, and when the upper end of 
Manhattan Island was reached there was a 
sort of naval battle, Indians, canoes and arrows, 
on the one side and the "Half Moon and fire- 
arms on the other, and the "Half Moon" won. 
We read of another naval battle a little way, 
further down, but with the same result: The, 
natives could not withstand gunpowder. So 
Hudson reached the open sea in safety, but left 
behind him memories which in after years 
were to help, with later stories of cruelty and 
wrong, to make the red man, as occasion of- 
fered and as long as opportunities remained, 
wreak a terrible vengeance. But Hudson did 
even more than this; wherever he lainded 
and the Indians proved friendly, or whenever 
a party of them on kindly service bent visited 
the "Half Moon," the fire-water was produced 
to bring about a revel, and of the orgies and 
excesses which followed each production of 
that agent of civilization the Indian tradi- 
tions told in graphic vividness for many a 

His report to his employers in Amsterdam 



was in one sense a disappointment. It did 
not imveil the desired northwest passage, and 
so was a failure; but its account of the re- 
sources of the country he had seen and its 
opportunities for trade were not lost in a com- 
munity whose merchants were then the most 
far-reaching and enterprising in the world. He 
told of the rich trade in peltries that awaited 
a gatherer, and it was not long before some 
enterprising merchants chartered a ship to 
cross the ocean and bring back a load of furs. 
That venture proved a signal success, and the 
trade of the old Netherlands with the New 
Netherland may thus be said to have com- 
menced. In 1612 Holland merchants syndi- 
cated and sent out the Fortune, under com- 
mand of Hendrick Christiaensen, and the 
Tiger, under command of Adriaen Block, and 
in the following year three more vessels were 
despatched to the Mauritius River, as for a 
time the Hudson was called. 

Of these expeditions our interest here cen- 
ters mainly in that of Block. His ship per- 
formed her mission successfully and was load- 
ed ready for the return journey when she was 
destroyed by fire. He and his crew at once 
got sufficient timber to build another ship; 
' but as it was too small to attempt to cross the 
ocean. Block determined to spend the time until 
a fresh ship could come from Holland in ex- 
ploration. In his new boat — the Restless — ^^he 
explored the waters of Long Island, both on 
the sound and the ocean front, discovered it 
to be an island, and then passing along the 
mainland he explored the Connecticut River, 
the Narragansett, rounded Cape Cod and en- 
tered Massachusetts Bay. Every day seemed 
to bring a new discovery, and his imagination 
was kept on the stretch inventing names for 
the rivers, points, islands and bays which he 
passed. His own name survives to us in Block 
Island, and to him also is due the name of 
Hellegat — now Hellgate — simply after a 
branch of the Scheld in his native land, al- 
though the name has long been a theme for 
wrangling among the etymologists. While still 
exploring he met in with his old cruising 

ship, the Fortune, returning with a second 
cargo to Holland, and, leaving the Restless in 
charge of Cornelius Hendricksen, he boarded 
the Fortune and returned to Holland. America 
saw him no more, and he passed seemingly 
into the shadows, for nothing appears to be 
known of his after life. He was certainly a 
faithful, as he was one of the first of the ser- 
vants of the East India Company (which was 
chartered in 1614, the charter of the West 
India Company dating from 1621), and he is 
also entitled to remembrance as having been 
the first ship-builder in America, for we take 
it that the watergoing craft of the Indians 
never got beyond the canoe stage. 

Hendrick Christiaensen, who in 1612 was 
sent out in command of the Fortune, the con- 
sort of Block's ill-fated Tiger, was appointed 
agent of the home authorities with instruc- 
tions to open a trading station on Manhattan 
Island. This he did in 1661, when he con- 
structed a little fort and four log houses on 
the site now occupied by 39 Broadway. This 
was the beginning of New York — or rather, 
to put it more cotrectly, of the present part 
of New York known as the Borough of Man- 
hattan. No doubt his agents soon crossed the 
East River and established business relations 
' with the Indians there. The first white set- 
tlement on Long Island, however, was not 
made until 1636, so far as has been determined, 
and that story is told in another chapter. The 
credit of the early discovery of Long Island 
must be given to Adriaen Block, for although 
Verazzano and Hudson both saw it before him 
and John Colman very possibly yielded up his 
life there rather unwillingly, there seems no 
doubt that Block first determined its true char- 
acter as an island by his own explorations, 
aided by those of Cornelissen Mey, another 
doughty Dutch sailor. 

The Dutch certainly had a high apprecia- 
tion of the value of Long Island, or at least 
of the little portion of it of which they had 
practical knowledge — for even in the most 
powerful of their days the agents of the West 
India Trading Company never exercised any 



real or lasting authority over any part east of 
an imaginary straight line drawn from Oyster 
Bay to the south shore. In 1640 a Dutch trav- 
eler spoke of Long Island as "the crown of the 
Netherlands," and to the Dutch must be 
awarded the palm of premier settlement. In 
June, 1636, one of Governor Van Twiller's sub- 
ordinates, Jacob Van Corlaer, bought from the 
Indians a piece of land called Castuteauw on 
Seawan-hackey, or Long Island, between the 
bay of the North River and the East River. 
He was an enterprising man, held the office 
of commissary of cargoes and taught school ; 
but he probably bought this premier piece of 
property as a speculation. He obtained after- 
ward patents for other "parcels" and became 
magistrate in New Utrecht, but, like most 
speculators, he seems to have over-reached 
himself, for in 1672 he became a bankrupt. 
In 1636, too, several other purchases of Long 
Island lands were made; and although it was 
not long after that much of the land was made 
ready for agricultural purposes, yet we must 
confess that all our inquiries lead to the belief 
that the first actual settler to make his home 
on Long Island was Joris Jansen Rapalje, who 
on June 16, 1637, obtained a grant of land at 
Wallabout. On this subject reference is made 
at greater length in a subsequent chapter of 
this history. 

Lying as it (did between the Dutch settle- 
ment of New Amsterdam and the English 
colony in Connecticut, both made up of in- 
trepid pioneers eagerly engaged in the war of 
wealth and hungry for jurisdiction over fresh 
soil with all its advantages, the facilities of 
the times made most of the northern shore and 
all of the eastern end of Long Island much 
nearer Connecticut than New Amsterdam, and 
a struggle for possession and rule became im- 
minent soon after 1639, when Lion Gardiner 
acquired the island which now bears his name. 
Not many months afterward Sbuthold and 
Southampton were settled by English colo- 
nists. The enterprise of these men carried 
them as near to New Amsterdam as Hemp- 
stead, but that was too much for the Dutch, 

and they drove the unauthorized intruders 
back to the eastern end. Still the Dutch were 
not afraid to welcome settlers who placed 
themselves under their rule and protection in 
orderly fashion, for even in 1640 they per- 
mitted Gravesend to be founded by Lady 
Moody and her associates, and in 1643 they 
allowed a settlement of English people from 
New England to be founded at Hempstead. 
But such settlements obtained patents from the 
Dutch Governors and were amenable to the 
laws imposed by "their High Mightinesses." 
In the eastern end the communities would have 
none of this and looked to New England for 
protection and law. New England, too, claimed 
jurisdiction over the entire island by virtue of 
the terms of the charter of 1620 given to the 
Plymouth Colony, and the Earl of Stirling 
claimed possession by virtue of the grant given 
to him in 1635. We will have more to say of 
this nobleman and his claims in another chap- 
ter, and it must suffice here to state that the 
rights of himself and his heirs were fully ac- 
knowledged in the earlier land transactions in 
the eastern end of the island by the English 
settlers. The eastern towns each formed an in- 
dependent community in itself and all seem to 
have made treaties on their own account with 
the authorities at New Haven or of Connecti- 
cut, before and after September 15, 1650, 
when the dividing line between the Dutch and 
English sphere of influence was fixed at Oyster 
Bay between the high contracting parties. The 
English system was illustrated even in this 
little transaction, for there was some doubt 
as to whether Oyster Bay itself was in the 
Dutch or English "sphere." But the English 
claimed it and the result of a long and windy 
exchange of missives was that they retained it. 
In Professor Alexander Johnston's inter- 
esting monograph on the History of Connecti- 
cut (in "American Commonwealths" series) 
we read (page 138) : 

Long Island had never been more than 
nominally under the jurisdiction of the Dutch. 
They had planted a few farms at its western 
end, but the rest was a wilderness. Among 



the multitude of conflicting and unintelligible 
grants made by the Council of Plymouth was 
one to the Earl of Stirling, covering Long 
Island. The grantee seems to have claimed 
ownership only, not jurisdiction. Practically, 
therefore, when his agent sold a piece of ter- 
ritory, the new owners became an independent 
political community, with some claims against 
them, but no direct control. The island was 
thus in much the same position as the Con- 
necticut territory before the first irruption of 
settlers, and offered much the same attractions 
as a place of refuge for persons or communi- 
ties who had found the connection between 
church and state grievous. A company from 
Lynn, Massachusetts, bought the township of 
Southampton from Stirling's agent, April 17, 
1640. There were at first but sixteen persons 
in the company, Abraham Pierson being their 
minister. This was the church which, first re- 
moving to Branford in 1644, when Southamp- 
ton became a Connecticut town, finally settled 
at Newark, New Jersey. Easthampton was 
settled about 1648 by another Lynn party, and 
was received as a Connecticut town November 
7, 1649. The town of Huntington, though part 
of it was bought from the Indians by Governor 
Eaton, of New Haven, in 1646, really dates 
from about 1653. May 17, 1660, it was re- 
ceived as a Connecticut town. There were 
thus three Connecticut towns on Long Island, 
in addition to Southold, the New Haven town- 
ship. Between these and the really Dutch set- 
tlements at the western end of the island there 
were English settlements at Hempstead; but- 
those acknowledged a much closer dependence 
on the Dutch authorities. 

To all these claims the Dutch were fully 
cognizant. In a "Description of New Nether- 
land," written in 1649, and which was trans- 
lated and printed by the New -York Histori- 
cal Society in 1849, we read : 

Long Island, which by its fine situation, 
noble bays and havens, as well as by its fine 
lands, may be called the crown of the prov- 
ince, is also entirely invaded by them [New 
England settlers] except at the western ex- 
tremity, where are two Dutch villages, Breuk- 
elin and Amersfoort, which are not of much 
consequence, and a few English villages, as 
Gravesant, Greenwyck, Mespat — where dur- 
ing the war the inhabitants were expelled and 
since confiscated by Director Kieft. But the 
owners having appealed, it is yet in statu quo. 

There are not many inhabitants now. Also 
Vlissingen, a fine viUage, well stocked with cat- 
tle; and fourthly and last, Heemsted, better 
than the others and very rich in cattle. 

But as we are now on Long Island we will 
(as it seems the British are craving this in 
particular) say a little more about it. From 
the beginning of our settling here, this island 
has been inhabited by the Dutch. In 1640 
a Scotchman came to Director Kieft, having an 
EngHsh commission, and claimed the island, 
but his pretence was not much regarded and 
he departed again without effecting anything 
except to rouse a little of the mob. Afterward 
the Director Kieft subdued and destroyed the 
British who wished to trade in Oyster Bay; 
and thus it remained for some time. Another 
Scotchman came in 1647, named Captain For- 
ester, and claimed this island in the name of 
the dowager Van Sterling, whose Governor 
he pretended to be. He had a commission 
dated the i8th year of King James' reign; but 
it was not signed by the King noT by any- 
body else. His commission covered the whole 
of Long Island, with five surrounding islands, 
as well as the main land. He also had a power 
of attorney from Maria, dowager Van Ster- 
ling. Nevertheless the man valued these pa- 
pers much, and said on his arrival he would 
examine the commission of Governor Stuyve- 
sant. If it was better than his, he would give 
it up; if not, Stuyvesant must. In short, the 
Director took copies of these papers and sent 
the man over in the Valkemer ; but the vessel 
touching in England he did not arrive in Hol- 

Under the terms of its charter Connecticut 
claimed Long Island as an integral part of its 
territory and was exercising full territorial 
rights over it when, in 1664, the Dutch colony 
suddenly passed under English rule. Then 
Connecticut fondly imagined it had come into 
its own, but the influence of Manhattan Island 
proved too strong, and although the negotia- 
tions on the point were long drawn out and 
keenly contested, it was finally .determined that 
the whole of the island was to be a part of the 
New York colony, while Connecticut had its 
jurisdiction extended along the opposite shore 
of the sound. Probably it was the best arrange- 
ment which could have been made for Con- 
necticut, but it was hardly agreeable to the 




"English" towns on the island. When the 
Dutch regained possession of New Amsterdam 
all the towns on Long Island, except South- 
old, Southampton and Easthampton, submitted 
to the representatives of the States General. 
But these three held out, asked for aid from 
Connecticut, and a war between that colony 
and New York was imminent when the news 
came that the Dutch regime had again passed 
and England was once more in possession. 
Even then an effort was made to have the 
eastern end of the island declared under the 
rule of Connecticut, but this request was em- 
phatically denied and the idea was abandoned. 
But even to this day the people in the eastern 
part of Long Island look upon Connecticut 
folk as their neighbors rather than those who 
dwell west of the old historic dividing line. 
While the possession of the land for specu- 
lative, agricultural or hunting purposes made 
Long Island seem a jewel to the Dutch and 
the English, settlers gladly availed themselves 
of it as an extended place of refuge for politi- 
cal and religious freedom. There is no doubt 
from the references, sometimes half implied 
and sometimes openly expressed in the earlier 
documents on which we base our histories, 
that Its possession was desired for another 
cause. It was in wampum that the red man 
transacted most of his dealings and measured 
values, and wampum was the real treasure of 
Long Island, as gold was the treasure of Cali- 
fornia in the eyes of the 'forty-niners. Cor- 
nelius Van Tienhoven, Secretary of the New 
Netherland, wrote on this point very clearly 
in a tractate written in 1650 and containing 
"Information relative to taking up land," in- 
tended for the guidance of intending immi- 
grants from the Netherlands : "I begin then," 
he said, "at the most easterly corner of Long 
Island, being a point situate on the main ocean, 
inclosing within, westward, a large inland sea 
(Gardiner's Bay) adorned with divers fair ha- 
vens and bays fit for all sorts of craft; this 
point is entirely covered with trees without 
any flatts, and is somewhat hilly and stoney; 
very convenient for cod-fishing, which is most 

successfully followed by the natives during the 
season. This point is also well adapted to se- 
cure the trade of the natives in wampum (the 
mine of New Netherland), since in and about 
the above mentioned sea and the islands therein 
situate lie the cockles whereof wampum is 
made, from which great profit could be real- 
ized by those who would plant a colonic or 
hamlet on the aforesaid hook for the cultiva- 
tion of the land, for raising all sorts of cattle,, 
for fishing and the wampum trade." A docu- 
ment like this is evidence that the Dutch au- 
thorities were thoroughly acquainted with the 
entire resources of Long Island ; that they were 
anxious to invite settlers even to its most in- 
accessible parts (from New Amsterdam), and 
that they knew and appreciated most thorough- 
ly the site of the most valuable deposits of 
the most popular medium of exchange. It 
shows also that they entirely ignored the set- 
tlements from New England and ar;y claim 
which Connecticut or New Haven might make 
to the island, and prompts us to think that. 
Lion Gardiner had other purposes in view than 
merely agricultural when he obtained by pur- 
chase from the Indians and by grant from the 
heirs of Lord Stirling the island which has 
perpetuated his name and which continues to 
be the home of his descendants. 

On the value of their wampum trade pt 
Long Island a modern writer (John Fiske in. 
his "Quaker and Dutch Colonies," Vol. I, page 
174) graphically summarized the subject as 
follows : 

Those shores were a kind of primitive 
American mint. For ages untold the currency 
of the red men had been wampum or strings, 
of beads made from sea-shells. There were 
two sorts, the white beads made from a kind 
of periwinkle and the black beads made from 
the clam. It had some of the features of a. 
double standard, inasmuch as the black wam- 
pum was worth about twice as much as the 
white; but as no legal-tender act obliged any- 
body to take the poorer coin for more than its. 
intrinsic value, no confusion resulted. It was 
good currency, for it had an intrinsic value 
that was well understood and remarkably 



steady as long as Indians continued to form 
an important portion of the trading world. For 
any material to be fit to serve as a currency 
three conditions are indispensable: i. It must 
be an object of desire for its own sake apart 
from its use as currency. 2. It must be diffi- 
cult to obtain. 3. Its value must not be sub- 
ject to fluctuations. Wampum satisfied these 
conditions. It was used for a number of pur- 
poses, and in particular was highly prized for 
personal adornment. In order to find it one 
must go to its native coasts and gather the 
shells and prepare them, and the areas in which 
these shells occurred were limited. Since warh- 
pum thus cost labor, it could easily serve as a 
measure of other labor. The amount of labor 
involved in getting a beaver skin could read- 
ily be estimated in terms of the effort involved 
in getting a fathom of beads. * * * j^- j^^s 
been well said, "Wampum was the magnet 
that drew the beaver out of interior forests," 
or in other words, it was for th_ white men 
a currency redeemable in those peltries which 
were wanted throughout the civilized world.' 
Now the shores of Long Island abounded 
in the shells of which wampum is made, and 
the Indians upon those shores were the chief 
manufacturers of wampum on the whole At- 
lantic coast. 

Wampum seems to have been found all 
along the coasts of Long Island, and that fact 
gave to the place one of its earliest European 
names, Seawanhacky, or "Island of Seawan," 
seawan being the Indian name for the money. 
Wampum, or white money, was made of the 
stock of the periwinkle, suckauhock, or black 
money, from the purple inside of the shell of 
the quahaug or clam, a shellfish that buried 
itself in the sand and was generally found in 
deep water. The black money was equal in 
value to twice that of the wampum or white 
money. The crude material was transformed 
into cylinders, highly polished, about an eighth 
of an inch in diameter and a quarter of an 
inch long and strung upon hempen or skin 
cords. The unit of value was a "fathom," 
a string measuring from the end of the little 
finger to the elbow and equivalent to five shill- 
ings in English colonial money and four guil- 

ders in Dutch. It used to be averred among 
the Dutch colonists that the Indians always 
sent an agent with a very long forearm or a 
very short forearm according to the circum- 
stances in which the measuring was to be done ! 

It is curious that as even as early as 1641 
there was talk of depreciated currency in wam- 
pum transactions. The Indians presented oys- 
ter shells which had no intrinsic value among 
themselves, but were accepted implicitly by 
the unsophisticated white colonists ; but a later 
generation of the latter got even with the red 
man by handing him wampum made in French 
factories. While the shells which produced the 
white and black currency were found all along 
the coast line the richest deposits were those 
of Gardiner's Bay, and there the Montauks 
and Manhassets had established a sort of prim- 
itive mint, which they zealously guarded from 
outside interference. It is said that the posses- 
sions of this wealth made the Long Island In- 
dians more amenable to the influence of civili- 
zation than their brethren inland, which means 
that, having the wherewithal, they more read- 
ily secured the white man's guns and rum. 
Certainly they offered, on the whole, a less 
ferocious opposition to the white settlers than 
did the aborigines in New England and north- 
ern and western New York. 

But the possession of this wealth brought 
its cares and anxieties and its dangers. A 
recent writer, summarizing the information 
presented by Weeden, the historian of wam- 
pum, says: 

Dutch settlers early recognized the value of 
a monopoly in handling this wampum; hence 
their persistent opposition to immigration and 
the settlement of Lord Stirling's colonists, — 
a persistency practiced by the Indians in turn, 
when Montauk's Sachem repelled incursions 
upon the minting ground made by interior 
tribes to secure both wampum and shells in 
primitive form. But the demand for wampum 
so increased that more powerful tribes, headed 
by Narrigansetts, Pequots and Mohawks, 
united to compel annual payment from the 



Great South and Shinnecock Bay dans of 
tribute money, expressed in wampum for a 
protection and service never rendered. The 
demands were complied with, however, from 
sheer inability to resist, and so constant fear 
kept the clans toiling to manufacture and pay 
tribute, their mint thus becoming a source of 
untold misery. Governor Kieft, from New 
York, tried a similar experiment, but met with 
utter failure. He levied a tax, payable in 
wampum, for the rebuilding of Fort Amster- 
dam. But the wily red man sent back his col- 
lector with a message that they did not want 
the fort. It was no protection to them, ninety 
miles away, and they failed to see any reason 
for giving up valuables at the Governor's re- 
quest when they were to receive from him 
nothing in return. Stuyvesant,too,"the valiant, 
weatherbeaten, mettlesome, obstinate, leathern- 
sided, lion-hearted, generous-spirited old Gov- 
ernor," as he is called by Father. Knicker- 
bocker, had his eyes turned toward the Long- 
Island minting grounds, but never seems to 
have realized anything therefrom. 

In 1628 the Bradford papers record "no 
inconsiderate profit in the trade with wampum 
peake," and from the same source comes this 
statement: "The Kennebec colony bought 
fifty pounds of it. At first it stuck, and it was 
two years before they could put of this small 
quantity, till ye inland people knew of it, and 
afterward they could scarce ever gett enough 
for them, for many years together." In 1629 
wampum is referred to as being in a manner 
the currency of the cquntry. In 1642 good 
wampum passed at four and loose beads at 
six for a stiver. It is a;lso reported that same 
year to the Lords of Trade as being the cur- 
rency used in the Unitjed Netherlands — eight 
white and four black ; beads passing for a 

Wampum was received in payment of 
taxes, judgments and all court fees, and, as 
Weeden says, was the magnet which drew 
beaver out of interior forests. It passed cur- 
rent in contribution boxes on Sunday and 
served all purposes for which tobacco was legal 
tender in Virginia. In 1683 the Flatbush 
schoolmaster received his salary in wheat at 
wampum value, and in 1693 the ferriage of 
each passenger iDetween New York and Brook- 
lyn was eight stivers of wampum. Kieft, after 
a quarrel with the Raritans, offered a bounty 
of ten fathoms of wampum to every one who 
was sixty pence. 

For purposes of personal adornment wam- 
pum seems to have remained an object of value 
among the Long Island Indians until they had 
fallen so low that all ideas of personal adorn- 
ment were abandoned. Belts of wampum, 
necklaces of wampum and ornaments of all 
sorts were the most undisputable evidences of 
personal wealth. A wampum belt was -among 
the chiefs an emblem. "A belt," Says Thomp- 
son, "was sent with all public messages and 
preserved as a record between nations. If a 
message was sent without the belt it was con- 
sidered an empty word unworthy of remem- 
brance. If the belt was returned, it was a re- 
jection of the offer or proffer accompanying it. 
If accepted it was a confirmation and strength- 
ened friendships or effaced injuries. The belt 
with appropriate emblems worked in it was 
also the record of domestic transactions. The 
confederation of the Five Nations was thus 
recorded. The cockle-shells had indeed more 
virtue among Indians than pearls, gold and 
silver had among Europeans. Seawan was the 
seal of a contract — the oath of fidelity. It 
satisfied murders and all other injuries, pur- 
chased peace and entered into the religioue as 
well as civil ceremonies of the natives. A 
string of seawan was delivered by the orator 
in public council at the close of every distinct 
proposition to others as a ratification of the 
truth and sincerity of what he said; and the 
white and black strings of seawan were tied 
by the pagan priest around the neck of the 
-white dog, suspended-to a pole and offered as a 
sacrifice to T'halonghyawaagon, the Upholder 
of the Skies, the God of the Five Nations." 

In all the great seals of the province of 
New York from 1691 to the Revolution a roll 
of wampum is held in the hands of one of the 
two Indians represented as offering tribute to 
the British sovereigns. As many as ten thou- 
sand shells were often woven into a single belt 
four inches wide. Wampum continued to be 
gathered on Long Island until the nineteenth 
century was pretty well advanced, for Gabriel 
Furman in his notes on "Long Island An- 



tiquities," written about 1834, records that 
even then "wampum is manufactured on this 
island to be sent to the Indians in the Western 
States and Territories for the purpose both of 
a circulating medium and of conventions and 
treaties. In the summer of 1831 several 

bushels of wampum were brought from Baby- 
lon, on this island, and the person who had 
them stated that he had procured them for 
an Indian trader, and that he was in the habit 
of supplying them. This wampum was bored, 
but not strung." 







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T is questionable if Adraien Joris, or 
Cornelius Jacobzen Mey or (May), 
or William Ver Hulst, who were 
the authorized directors of the 
New Netherland colony between 1623 and 
1626, ever saw anything of Long Island 
except perhaps the stretch of sand which faced 
the ocean and which is now given over to 
pleasure resorts, or the smoke from the wig- 
wams of Merechkawikingh. Peter Minuit, 
who took the reins of government May 4, 1626, 
as Director General of New Netherland and 
found in his dominion a population of two 
hundred souls, exclusive, of course, of the 
aborigines, possibly had just as little personal 
acquaintance with the island, although he 
doubtless often looked at its coast line as he 
journeyed around his citadel in the fort at the 
Battery. He was an honest man, bought 
Manhattan Island from the Indians for some- 
thing like $25 and probably would have given 
half as much for Long Island had he felt he 
wanted it, and could he have managed to 

find a Sachem who was powerful enough 
to give him a clear title. But it does not 
appear that he cast longing eyes in that direc- 
tion. His thoughts and hopes were more 
concentrated on the rich finds in pelts which 
were sent to him from Fort Orange ; and then, 
too, he) had enough territory on hand to 
defend, for the English Plymouth settlers were 
always encroaching on his territory on the 
"Conighticate" River and the Pequod In- 
dians worried him a good deal. 

Nor is there existing any evidence of the 
presence of Governor Wouter Van Twiller 
on the island during his eventful tenure of the 
office from April, 1633, until March, 1638; 
but in his time the existence of Long Island 
began to assert itself. Van Twiller seems to 
have been an able man, and like many a mod- 
ern statesman zealously attempted to build 
up his own fortunes and those of the state 
at the same time. He bought for his own 
profit large tracts of land, including what we 
now call Blackwell's and Governor's Islands, 



until he became one of the richest land owners east was bought by Van Twiller. In all, 
in the colony. Under him the colony "pros- some 15,000 acres were thus bought and at. 
pered, although the English to the east cpn- once brought into cultivation or adapted for 
tinued troublesome, and the fur trade reach|i,^^^tockraising ; and on this property afterward 
greater proportions than ever before.. 4iP''*''J'ose the village of New Amersfort, or, as it 
envious people regarded his growing person^' was later called, Flatlands, which was possibly 

w ' 

wealth with jealousy and he was relieved of 
his power by their "High Mightinesses", in 
Holland who sent William Kieft to rule in. his 
stead. In estimating the value of Van Twill- 
er's character and work in New Netherland, 
modern historians invariably color their v.iews, 
sometimes unconsciously, from the,'f)ages of 
Washington Irving's "Knickerbocker," wtiere 
the doughty Governor is handed down to pos- 
terity in a full-length picture, as it were, as 
"Walter the Doubter." But while the genius 
of Irving has thus, as it were, forced his view 
of Van Twiller^ intended only as a caricature, 
into the pages of history, it should not be ac- 
cepted above its historic worth, the worth of 
any piece of caricature — written or pictorial. 
There seems no doubt that Van Twilier was 
an able administrator, a man of considerable 
energy and firmness and that his administra- 
tion greatly added to the extent and value of 
the West Indian Company's property in New 
Netherland, while his own investments, how- 
ever brought about, showed that he fully be- 
lieved in its continued prosperity. It was 
during his reign that Long Island may be 
said to have been opened up for settlement; 
and, indeed, after his own authority had 
passed, he appears to have had supreme faith 
in Long Island, for Teunis G. Bergen ("Early 
Settlers of Kings County," page 363) tells 
us that in 1643 he obtained a patent for lands 
at Red Hook and a patent July 16, 1638, for 
one of the flats (prairies) in Flatlands loiown 
as Kaskutensuhane. In June, 1636, Jacob 
Van Corlaer purchased from tlie Indians a 
plat of ground to which was given the name 
"Castateauw," "between the bay of the North 
River and the East River." Some lands lying 
to the west of Corlaer's purchase were brought 
the same day by Andries Hudde and Wolfert 
Gerritsen Van Couwenhoven, and a tract to the 

the first part of Ldng Island to be settled 
by white men. In the course of the same 
year Jacques Bentyn and William Adriaense 
Bennet bought from the Indians, or from 
their Sachem, a piece of ground of 
about 930 acres, extending from near the 
present Twenty-eighth stteet, along Gowanus 
Cove and the bay, to the old New Utrecht 
line and including what is known as Ocean 
. Hill in Greenwood Cemetfery. Bennet was an 
Englishman and a cooper by trade. Bentyn 
was also an Englishman, and when he bought 
the land with Bennet he was Schout Fiscal 
of New Amsterdam, the leading municipal 
legal adviser of the place — sheriff and cor- 
poration counsel in one. He soon tired of 
his Long Island property, for in 1639 he sold 
his interest in it to Bennet for 350 guilders. 
He continued to be an influential member 
of the New Amsterdam community for many 
years, was one of the twelve Representative^ 
in 1641 and a member of the Council. In 
1648 he' left the country and went to Europe, 
probably having acquired a moderate com- 
petence and disappears from our view. Ben- 
net remained on the land, and built a dwelling 
upon it, the first house so far as we know 
ever erected in Brooklyn. He had married 
a widow just prior to acquiring the Gowanus 
property and very probably it was she who 
induced him to build a house. He died early 
in the year 1644 or at the close of 1643, leaving 
her with four children, Adriaen, William, Sara 
and Christian, while another, Mary or Maria, 
was born in May, 1644, after her father's 

The widow lost no time in securing a new 
helpmeet, and on Oct. 9, of the same year 
(1644), married Paulus Vanderbeek, and by 
him had two sons and three daughters. With 
her third husband she resided in New Arri- 



sterdam, but afterward returned to Long Isl- 
and, of which, in 1661, Vanderbeek became 
farmer of the excise, and in 1662 he was 
ferry-master. He bought a plantation in 
Gravesend in 1673 and figures in several 
other real-estate deals. He stands out in local 
history as the founder of the Vanderbeek 
family, his wife presenting him with four 
sons and two daughters. Many of his de- 
scendants are now to be found in New Jer- 
sey. All of Bennet's family were successful 
in life. His eldest son engaged in farming 
and had a property of 150 acres at Bay 
Ridge, which in 1681 he sold to the ancestor 
of the Denyse family. Later he bought from 
his mother a farm at Gowanus, paying her 
12,000 guilders for it in produce, and was 
regarded as a man of means. He died at 
Gowanus about 1700. His brother William 
also owned a farm at Gowanus, and like all 
others in the family was a stanch member 
of the Dutch Church. In fact the family 
was more Dutch than English and the found- 
er seems to have accepted the situation with 
phlegmatic equanimity. 

It was under Van Twiller's administration, 
too, that what we now call the Wallabout was 
settled. On June 16, 1637, George Rapalie 
(Joris Jansen) obtained a patent for some 325 
acres which he- had purchased of the Indians, 
now occupied, in part, by the United States 
Marine Hospital. The property, as we have 
seen in the chapter devoted to the Indians, was 
called Rinnegackonck, and it was afterward 
described as "lying on Long Island in the bend 
of Marechkawieck, as the Indians once called 
the Wallabout. It does not seem, however, 
that Rapalie took up his residence on this prop- 
erty until 1654, when he set up his house there. 
From 1655 to 1660 he was one of the Magis- 
trates of Breuckelen and he was the founder 
of a family which from that time to the pres- 
ent day has been prominent in the City of 
Churches and which will often be referred to 
in these pages. 

Under Van Twiller's successor, William 
Kieft, who held the reins of government from 

March 28, 1638, until May 11, 1647, the set- 
tlement of the western section of Long Island 
went en with what would in our days be termed 
a "rush." Kieft seems to have been an irasci- 
ble, domineering individual, with a limited 
amount of brains and an unlimited allowance 
of self-assurance — a sort of pepper-box 
dressed up in the clothes of authority. It is, 
of course, possible that our notions of his per- 
sonality have been twisted by Washington 
Irving's caricature; but a study of Kieft's 
oificial acts prompts the belief that Irving did 
not depart very far from historic truth when 
he wrote in his veracious history the following 
lines regarding this product of the Dutch 
Colonial Service — ^"William the Testy:" 

He was a brisk, waspish, little old gentle- 
man, who had dried and withered away, partly 
through the natural process of years and partly 
from being parched and burnt up by his fiery 
soul, which blazed like a vehement rushlight 
in his bosom, constantly inciting him to most 
valorous broils, altercations and misadventures. 
* * * His visage was broad and his features 
sharp, his nose turned up with the most petu- 
lant curl ; his cheeks were scorched into a 
dusky red' — doubtless in consequence of the 
neighborhood of two fierce little gray eyes, 
throug'h which his torrid soul beamed with 
tropical fervor. The corners of his mouth 
were curiously modeled into a kind of fret- 
work, not a little resembling the wrinkled pro- 
boscis of an irritable pug dog; in a word, he 
was one of the most positive, restless, ugly 
little men that ever put himself in a passion 
about nothing. 

Such, rightly or wrongly, is the ideal 
of William Kieft, which we are forced by 
the genius of Diedrich Knickerbocker, backed 
up by all the veritable history and evidence 
which have come down to us, to accept 
as a true presentment of the successor of 
"Walter the Doubter." At best, what we do 
know of veritable history brings before 
use as a sort of opera-bouffe hero with 
a touch of villainy running through all his 
actions. Before coming to America his career 
was clouded by scoundrelism, — so much so 



that he was hanged in effigy in his native Hol- 
land. His ill-fame had preceded him to the 
New Netherland, and when he landed at New 
Amsterdam on March 28, 1638, after his voy- 
age across the Atlantic on board "The Her- 
ring," he was received, with marked coldness. 
Possibly that did not worry him' very much. 
His purpose was to make a fortune rather than 
to make friends. He was a believer in gov- 
■ernment by proclamation, and soon after his 
■arrival had the trees and fences in and around 
New Amsterdam covered with proclamation 
placards ordaining all sorts of regulations, even 
regulating the hour when people should go to 
bed and when they should arise to pursue their 
usual vocations. However, he turned his au- 
thority to some use, for he built a stone church 
inside the fort, laid out Pearl street for sub- 
urban residences of a high class, interested 
himself in the cultivation of orchards and gar- 
dens, instituted two grand county fairs and by 
the liberal land policy — not only offering free 
passage from Holland but giving an emigrant 
practically free of cost a patent for as much 
land as he and his family could cultivate, and 
requiring only an oath of fidelity to the States 
General to enable foreigners to hold land and 
acquire the status of citizenship — he rapidly 
promoted new settlements, singly or in groups, 
in his domains. Still, his first thought was to 
make money for himself. He established a 
■distillery or brewery on Staten Island ; owned 
and conducted, by deputy, a stone tavern on 
the shore of the East River at the corner of 
Pearl street and Coenties Slip, and lost no 
opportunity of adding to his private fortune. 
He was quite a fussy tyrant, too, and inter- 
fered in all sorts of ways with the private 
affairs and arrangements of his subjects. His 
conduct more than once called down the de- 
nunciation of Dominie Bogardus in the pulpit, 
and he retaliated by causing his soldiers to 
beat their drums and play all sorts of noisy 
pranks outside the church, so that the good 
clergyman had to confine himself to moderate 
language for the sake of being permitted to 
preach in peace. In fact, for a. long time there 

was open warfare between the Dominie and 
the Governor. When Kieft, as a result of a 
petition from the colonists denouncing his 
venality, his arrogance, his tyranny and his 
needless Indian wars, was summoned to re-- 
turn to Holland, he carried with him on the 
ship, among his personal property, something 
like $100,000, the practical results of his states- 
manship. The vessel, "The Princess," was 
hailed with ironical salutes as she weighed 
anchor and started on her voyage with this 
precious personage on board, and the people 
did not even try to conceal their joy over his 
departure. The ship was wrecked on the 
English coast, however, and Kieft and his 
money went to the bottom! Dominie Bo- 
gardus, who was on the same vessel, was also 
among the eighty persons who perished in the 

While there is no clear evidence on the 
point, it seems likely that Kieft visited Long 
Island several times and had something of a 
clear idea of its advantages as a place for colo- 
nization. So far as we can learn he never per- 
sonally owned any of its acres: probably he 
believed Staten Island a more eligible field for 
his operations, being nearer the direct way by 
which shipping passed in and more in line with 
the commerce of the Hudson. But for pur- 
poses of settlement he bought from the Indians, 
in 1639, practically all the land comprised in 
the old county of Queens, and in the following 
year, by purchase from Penhawitz, the chief of 
the Canarsies, he added to the territory at the 
disposal of the West India Company all the 
land it had not up to that time acquired in 
what afterward became the county of Kings, 
with the exception of a tract between Coney 
Island and Gowanus (New Utrecht), which 
was added in 1645. By a charter promul- 
gated in 1640, trade and commerce restrictions 
were removed so that any reputable person 
could so engage. What is equally important 
in Long Island history was that liberal pro- 
vision was made for the founding of towns and 
villages, and the magistrates of such com- 
munities were to be named by the people, sub- 


ject, of course, to the approval of the Gover- 
nor and his Council. The Governor was the 
court of last resort in all disputes, even the 
most trifling; religion, was restricted to that 
of the Reformed Church, and while the com- 
pany bound itself to maintain preachers, teach- 
ers and spiritual visitors, as well as to protect 
the secular interest of the colonists, it expected 
that the necessary means would be furnished 
out of the revenues of the Colony. The taxes 
were exorbitant, the customs tariff was onerous 
and outside trade was restricted to the mother 
country in the first place — that is, all goods 
exported had to be sent first to Holland. But 
the latter restriction did not cause much 
trouble, and in spite of the imposts people man- 
aged to thrive. 

So newcomers poured in in a steady stream, 
and as much as possible Kieft and his Council 
directed their attention to the beautiful shore 
lying across the arm of the sea which flowed 

to the east of New Amsterdam. In August, 
1639, Anthony Jansen, from Salee, secured a 
patent for 100 morgens (200 acres) of land 
lying within the territory afterward occupied 
by the towns of Gravesend and New Utrecht, 
of which territory he was the pioneer. He 
was a citizen of rather dubious character, 
seems to have been locally known as "the 
Turk," and very probably Kieft awarded him 
that out-of-the-way piece of property to satisfy 
any claim he might have for service rendered, 
and, in short, to get rid of him. Anthony re- 
sided in New Amsterdam for six or seven 
years prior to 1639, and there owned a bouw- 
ery. His wife, Grietje Reiniers, rejoiced in 
a character and temperament and reputation 
pretty much in keeping with his own, and in 
April, 1639, both were ordered banished from 
New Amsterdam for being slanderous and 
troublesome persons. They at once moved to 
their Long Island possessions and there "the 



Turk" built himself a home and settled down 
to farming. Of this house the remains were 
long afterward found, as told by Teunis G. 
Bergen in his "Early Settlers of Kings 
County" (page 155) : 

In 1879, in leveling the sand dunes on the 
I upland on the edge of the (Gravesend) Bay 
a little southeast of the buildings of Mr. Gun-, 
ther at Locust Grove, which dunes had^been 
blown up by the beach" and; which had been 
gradually extending back with the abrasion of 
the shore or coast, the remains of two separate 
pieces of stone wall, about two feet high and 
one foot wide, made mainly of unbroken field 
stones laid in clay rriortar, with a clear floor 
between them, were exhumed. These remains 
were covered with from four to ten feet of 
sand, and are probably those of the barn or 
other farm buildings of Anthony Jansen, it 
being customary in the early settlement of this 
country to construct their threshing floors of 
clay, of which specimens existed and were in 
use in, the younger days of the author, then- 
roofs being made of thatched straw instead of 
shingles, as at present. 

In 1660 Anthony sold his patent to Nich- 
olas Stillwell, the English ancestor of the noted 
Brooklyn family, and in 1669, on the death of 
his wife, he disposed of his plantation lot in 
Gravesend to his son-in-law, Fernandus Van 
Sickelen, and returned to New Amsterdam. 
In 1670 he married again, and died some six 
years l^ter. 

On November 8, 1639, Thomas Bescher, or 
Beets, an Englishman, received a patent for 
land at Gowanus, on which he intended to-have 
a tobacco plantation ; but he did not succeed in 
following out his intentions, apparently, and 
he seems to have sold his patent without de- 
lay to Cornelius Lambe'tson (Cool), who set- 
tled on the land, removing there from New 

Frederick Lubbertsen on May 23, 1640, ob- 
tained a patent for a large tract covering most 
of South Brooklyn, and in 1645 added to the 
extent of his lands by another patent also 
within the limits of modern Brooklyn. Cor- 
nelius Dirckson Hoogland, who in 1642 kept 

an inn at Peck Slip, eked out its earnings by 
running a boat between that place and a point 
on the Long Island shore just a little to the 
south of the present Fulton Ferry house, of • 
which this service was the beginning. He was 
not appointed ferry-master until 1652. His 
son Dirck, who seemed to aid him in his ardu- 
ous labors, secured a patent Dec. 22, 1645, for 

.twelve rriorgens of land in Brooklyn, and on 
June 24, 1647, be received another patent con- ; 
veying to him additional seventeen morgeus,. ; 
besides the ferry. These two were the first 
ferry-masters, and appeared to have a tavera ' 
at each terminus of the then perilous journey ! 
across the East River. Andries Hudden, in 
1636, when a member of Van Twiller's Coun- ' 
cil, bought considerable property in what after- • 
ward formed parts of Flatbush and Flatlands,. , 
and on Sept. 12, 1645, received a patent for 
thirty-seven morgens next to the property of I 
Lubbertsen. In quick succession land patents- ■ 
were granted to Claes Cornelisse (Mentelaer) i 

, Van Schlouw, Henry Bresser, Jacob Wolpher- 
sen (Van Couwenhoven), Ed'ward Fiskock,, i 
William Cornelisen, Peter and Jan Montfort, 
Hans Hansen Bergen (Hans the Boore), Jan 
Evertsen Bout, Huyck Aertsen Van Rossem,. 
Joris Jansen Rapelie, and to Caesar Albertr 
(ancestor of the Albertus family), until, stand- 
ing on the east shore of New Amsterdam and 
looking across the river, the coast of Long 
Island as far as the eye could see was dotted 
with farms when Kieft's administration came- 
to a close. These settlers do not seem to have 
been cut oflf from the New Amsterdam com- 
munity: they were rather regarded as part of 
it and deemed not the least influential of its 
component parts. At least, so we judge from 
the fact that when, in answer to a popular 
demand, "twelve select men" were chosen to- 
advise with Kieft upon his foolish Indian, 
policy, three of them were more or less identi- 
fied with Long Island — ^Jacques Benton, Fred- 
erick Lubbertsen and Joris Jansen Rapelie. 

One of the last of Governor Kieft's officials 
acts of any importance was the formal organi- 
zation of the town of Breuckelen. The tract 

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of territory called by the Indians Merech- 
kawikingh, extending, roughly, from the 
Wallabout to Gowanus, contained some of the 
most fertile lands on the western end of the 
island. On this tract, about a mile and a half 
from the ferry, just about what is now the 
junction of Smith and Hoyt streets and a little 
southeast from where the City Hall and Court 
House now stand, and on either side of the 
road leading to the ferry, Bout Van Rossem 
and other patentees had built their dwellings 
so as to be close together for mutual protec- 
tion. They took advantage of the opportunity 
afforded by the charter of 1640 and asked per- 
mission "to found a town at their own ex- 
pense." Kieft graciously responded and is- 
sued a formal recognition of the new town, to 
which the name of Breuckelen (after the town 
in Holland) was given, in June, 1646. The 
people had elected, on May 21 that year, Jan 
Eversen Bout and Huyck Aertsen Von Ros- 
sem as Schepens, and Kieft confirmed the elec- 
tion. A few months later the Governor ap- 
pointed Jan Teunissen as Schout, or constable, 
and so before the close of 1646 the municipal 
organization of the young town was complete. 

Teunissen appears to have been a carpen- 
ter as well as a constable, for in 1646 he con- 
tracted to build a house at the ferry. In 1647 
he was sued for debt, so that his varied em- 
ployments did not turn out very remunerative. 

During Kieft's term there were other towns 
besides Breuckelen established on Long Island. 
Gravesend was the subject of a patent issued 
Dec. 19, 1645. Southold and Southampton 
were also founded while Kieft held office, but 
they never acknowledged his authority, and 
looked for protection to New England. On 
the other hand, the claim which Connecticut 
and Massachusetts made over Long Island the 
Dutch Governors never fully acknowledged, 
nor did they regard Lord Stirling's claim as 
worthy of a moment's consideration. 

On May 11, 1647, Peter (Petrus) Stuy- 
vesant landed in New Amsterdam and assumed 
the reins of Government vice Kieft, then 
crossing the high sea with his boodle and dis- 

grace. Like that of his predecessor, we find 
it difficult to estimate this man's character cor- 
rectly, for at the very mention of his name 
there arises before us Irving's masterpiece of 
caricature — Peter the Headstrong. Stuyve- 
sant's notions as to the Divine authority of 
rulers', his contempt for the people generally, 
his arrogance, his irascibility, his tyrannical 
spirit, his interfering, contentious disposition, 
his narrow-mindedness and his cocksuredness 
sioon made him as unpopular as ever Kieft had 
been ; and it was not long before he had quar- 
rels of all sorts on his hands, both with the 
church and the State, v/ith the patroons as well 
as with the citizens who dwelt within the shad- 
ow of the Stadt Huys; He was even sum- 
moned to Holland to give an account of his 
policy, but he declined to go. In 1653 New 
Amsterdam got a new charter, giving it a 
large measure of self-government, but Stuy- 
vesant would have none of it ; and although it 
became the law, it remained practically in abey- 
ance for many years. By and by, when the 
people began to understand his character 
rightly, to appreciate his honesty, his courage, 
his solicitude for the welfare of the popula- 
tion, his profound respect for authority, his- 
clear judgment and s-.mplicity of heart, they 
got along better with him, and fought his 
peculiarities without in the least forgetting the 
respect due to an honest gentleman of mediae- 
val notions, who meant well toward them all 
in his heart of hearts, and who, in spite of his 
notions as to the source of government, was in 
many ways a stanch supporter of liberty and 
progress. Under him New Netherland pros- 
pered exceedingly, and if in his dealings with 
the English he threw in a principality in a 
boundary dispute, he fairly preserved peace, 
cultivated as carefully as he could and as cir- 
cumstances permitted the good graces of the 
aborigines and the British, and proved a strong 
and fairly progressive executive. 

Long Island fully shared in that prosperity 
which is the most marked feature of Stuyve- 
sant's long tenure of the Governorship. He 
was much better acquainted with the island 



than any of his predecessors, and in fact 
owned a bouwery at Flatlands,, which he 
leased to. a countryman, Jacobus Van Dalem. 
He was, one would think from his grants 
of land, deeply interested in its progress; 
but he had no patience with the attempt of 
the people there to underrate his authority. 
It was during his administration that the 
town system of Kings and Queens may be 
said to have developed, and Flatbush, Flat- 
lands, Newtown, Flushing, and Hempstead 
arose under his signature, but he would not 
permit them to exercise self-government or 
permit their Schepens to be more than figure- 
heads. In short, while the law permitted 
these municipalities to be formed, he made 
it his business to see to it that his wishes 
and views were paramount to those of Schep- 
•€ns or people. This the Long Island com- 
munities fought against, and on December 
II. 1653, delegates from each of the towns 
met and drew up a protest against Stuyve- 
sant's methods which they addressed to the 
Governor and Council and "to the Council 
of the High and Mighty Lords the States 
•General of the United Provinces." In the 
course of it they said : 

We acknowledge a paternal government 
which God and nature has established in the 
world for the maintenance and preservation 
■of peace and the welfare of men, not only 
principally in conformity to the laws of na- 
ture, but according to the law and precepts 
of God, to which we consider ourselves ob- 
liged by word and therefore submit to it. 
The Lord ouir God having invested their 
High Mightinesses the States General, as his 
■ministers, with the power to promote the wel- 
fare of their subjects, as well of those re- 
siding within the United Provinces as those 
on this side of the sea, which we gratefully 
acknowledge ; and having commissioned in the 
same view some subaltern magistrates and 
■clothed them with authority to promote the 
same end, as are the Lords Directors of the 
privileged West India Company, whom we 
acknowledged as Lords and patroons of this 
place, next to your Lordships, as being their 

After further homage of this sort the repre- 
sentatives of the village or towns then set 
forth their complaints. They refer to the 
arbitrary government set up by Stuyvesant, 
to the appointment of local officers without 
an expression of the will of the people, to the 
putting in force as occasion arose obsolete 
laws, so that good citizens hardly knew when 
they were not violating some ordinance or 
proclamation, to the length of time in which 
honest applications for land patents were kept 
pending, and to the prompt and easy manner 
in which large tracts of valuable land were 
awarded to those favored individuals who had 
some sort of a "pull," as modern politicians 
would call it, with the authorities. Therefore, 
trusting to their High Mightinesses to "heal 
our sickness and pain,", the delegates signed 
the document as follows : 

New York: Arent Van Hatten, Martin 
Creiger, P. L. Vander Girst. 

Brooklyn: Frederick Lubberson, Paulus 
Vander Beek, William Beekman. 

Flushing : John Hicks, Tobias Peeks. 

Newtown : Robert Coe, Thomas Hazzard. 

Hempstead: William Washburn, John 

Flatlands : Peter Wolverton, Jan. Stryck- 
er, Thomas Penewit. 

Flatbush: Elbert Elbertson, Thomas 

Gravesend: George Baxter, James Hub- 

Peter the Headstrong had no toleration with 
such documents, would hardly manage to be 
civil to the Deputies who presented the paper, 
and denied that Brooklyn, Flatbush and Flat- 
lands, at any rate, had any right to elect 
delegates to such meetings. He believed it 
was an evidence of incipient rebellion and 
treason, and blamed the English residents 
as the cause of the whole trouble, playing 
thus the last card — race jealousy — of the petty 

Another meeting was held which threaten- 
ed a fresh appeal to Holland, and this resulted 



in Stuyvesant ordering the delegates to dis- 
perse and "not to assemble again on such a 
business." Peter piit his foot down emphat- 
ically and the citizens meekly obeyed. He 
went so far in the following year as to refuse' 
to confirm the election of the Gravesend dele- 
gates, Baxter and Hubbard, as magistrates of 
that town, and went there in person to allay 
the excitement which that arbitrary proceeding 
occasioned. In this stand, however, he would 
have been unsuccessful but for the influence 
of Lady Moody. 

Stuyvesant's greatest trouble in his later 
years was with the English, who were then 
pressing closely and incessantly upon the 
Dutch preserve of New Netherland. Long 
Icland, as has been shown, was one of the 
disputed sections and it was generally held 
that his agreement at Hartford in 1650 to 
divide the jurisdiction of the island by the 
imaginary line at Oyster Bay was the weak- 
est point in his career as an international 
statesman. I't was thought, and rightly 
thought, that the English had got the best 
of that arrangement. But could Stuyvesant, 
in view of all the circumstances, have done 
better? That can hardly be conceded. 

So half of Long Island passed from the 
control of the States General, much to the 
disgust of the enemies of Peter the Head- 
strong, and they were very numerous about 
that time; but for the people on the island 
it was a most satisfactory arrangement, for 
from then on until 1663 peace was the rule 
on Long Island so far as the Dutch and 
English were concerned. But in that year 
Connecticut, having obtained a new charter 
in 1662, was reaching out to consolidate her 
territory and much to Stuyvesant's amaze- 
ment and chagrin claimed jurisdiction over 
the whole of Long Island and actually sent 
commissioners there to arrange and collect 
rates, customs and taxes. Commissioners 
were appointed March 10, 1863, "to go to 
Long Island and settle the government on 
the west end," and in November of that year 
we find that the people of Jamaica held a 

public meeting (to protest against Stuyve- 
sant's misgpvernment and oppression. In. 
Long Island the people as a whole would 
have welcomed any relief at that time from' 
the Governor and his Council; and although 
Peter foamed and waxed indignant, sent re- 
monstrances and appeals to Holland, and 
threatened to build a fort at Oyster Bay to- 
overcome the English, he did nothing very 
effective. In fact to his sorrow he found 
he was receiving no adequate support from 
the United Provinces or even much in the 
way of practical aid from his subjects in 
New Netherland. Long Island had virtually 
passed from his grasp and into that of Con- 
necticut, when by a charter on March 12,. 
1663, King Charles II conveyed to his brother,. 
the Duke of York, all of New Netherland, 
and the question of the possession of Long 
Island assumed a new phase. The charter 
gave to the Duke or his appointees all legis- 
lative and judicial power over the vast terri- 
tory, subject only to appeal to the crown. 
When the grant was made it looked on the 
face of it like a worthless compliment; but 
the Duke and his advisers and associates 
seemed fully to understand the current train 
of events and to appreciate the importance of 
the gift, and they at once set to work to realize 
on it as a valuable asset. In January, 1664, 
Captain John Scott of Gravesend, who had 
formerly been an officer under Charles I but 
had left England in the Cromwellian time 
(banished, some said, for cutting the girths- 
of several of the Protector's horses), and 
who probably inspired the grant by speaking- 
of its probabilities, returned to Long Island 
from a visit to England. He had evidently- 
been intrusted with very high powers by the 
Duke of York and his advisers, but, desiring 
to fortify himself in all possible ways before 
proceeding to put his mission into effect, he 
managed somehow to secure his appointment as 
a Magistrate over Long Island from Governor 
Winthrop of Connecticut. Armed with this 
document, Scott crossed the Sound to Long- 
Island and with 150 followers boldly pro- 



■claimed Charles II as King. He raised the 
English flag in Breuckelen, and thrashed a 
boy for refusing to doff his hat to the em- 
blem. That was on Jan. ii. Then he passed 
in quick succession through Midwout and 
Amersfort and New Utrecht. 

By that time Stuyvesant had recovered from 
■his astonishment at the doings in Brooklyn 
and sent a commission to interview Scott 
and learn what the trouble was. On Jan. 14 
they met at Jamaica and Scott plainly told 
them that Stuyvesant had no standing in 
the case; that the entire New Netherland 
territory belonged to the Duke of York, and 
he meant to hold it. A truce was, however, 
patched up and on March 3 Stuyvesant unbent 
in the stress of circumstances so much that 
he proceeded in solemn state to Jamaica and 
there in a personal interview discussed the 
whole matter with the wild and victorious 
Scott. It was arranged that the English 
towns were to remain under the flag unfolded 
by Scott without any interference for twelve 
months until the respective home Govern- 
ments had time to settle the destiny of the 
provinces. Stuyvesant could really force no 
better terms. His treasury was empty, the 
Government from which he got his warrant 
paid a deaf ear to his remonstrances and 
appeals for aid, the people were restless and 
discontented, and even the Dutch seemed ready 
to revolt, while the English settlers openly 
defied him, and defied with impunity. In his 
despair Stuyvesant, as many a greater tyrant 
"before and since has done, bethought of ask- 
ing the advice and counsel of the people, 
a proceeding he would never have tolerated 
for a moment earlier in his career. So he 
■called a General Assembly of delegates from 
the different towns to consider the condition 
of affairs, and it met on April 10, 1664, in the 
City Hall of New Amsterdam. The Long 
Island representatives were : 

Brooklyn: William Bredenbent, Albert 
'Cornells Wantenaer. 

Flatlands: Jan Strycker, William Guil- 

Flatlands: Elbert Elbertsen, Coert Stev- 

New Utrecht : David Jochemsen, Cornelis 

Boswyck: Jan Van Cleef, Guisbert Jeu- 

This diet started right in as soon as it 
elected Jermias Van Rensselaer chairman, by 
discussing the condition of affairs, and in an 
underhanded sort of way by finding fault with 
Stuyvesant and his Government for the state 
into which New Netherland had fallen. Stuy- 
vesant found his ancient spirit arise within 
him at the course the discussions took and 
coldly informed the delegates that they were 
to consult, and their main"business was to find 
money and men to maintain the integrity of 
the territory. Nothing practical came of the 
■meeting, however. 

In June Stuyvesant met Governor Win- 
throp, of Connecticut, which had again actively 
asserted its jurisdiction over Long Island, 
but was bluntly told that the English title 
was to be maintained. So things drifted 
along, the English steadily advancing on the 
Dutch territory not only on Long Island but 
on the Hudson, until at the end of August, 
1664, an English fleet under Col. Richard 
Nicolls passed in through the Narrows and 
took possession of the harbor; and on Sept. 
8 Stuyvesant was forced to sign the capitu- 
lation by which his authority passed into the 
hands of the English, and Long Island, with 
the rest of New Netherland, was transferred 
into the possession of the Duke of York. In 
the face of the royal warrant, John Winthrop, 
on behalf of Connecticut, withdrew all claim 
of jurisdiction, and so the destiny of Long 
Island was irrevocably associated with the 
province and State of New York, for by that 
name New Netherland became known very 
soon after Sept. 8, 1664, when Peter Stuyve- 
sant retired to his bouwerie and the rule 
of the Dutch for a time passed away. 

At the corner of Pipe and Rock and Oyster Bay Roads. Said to be the oldest house standing in Long Island 



IR Richard Nicolls, by virtue of the 
authority of the Duke of York, be- 
came Deputy Governor of the New 
Netherland and was one of the rulers 
so common in British colonial history, who 
ruled firmly and intelligently, who brought 
to the front all that was best in the 
colony, caused or permitted it to prosper, 
and knew how to conceal the iron hand be- 
neath the velvet glove. Nicolls did not reign 
long, for he welcomed his own successor 
Aug. 17, 1668; but in that brief interval of 
nearly four years was included much of his- 
torical moment to the province in general and 
to Long Island in particular. Nicolls started 
in by changing some of the names of his 
vast bailiwick. The old name of New Nether- 
land, as has been stated, was changed by 
him to New York, in honor of one title of 
his royal patron, and Fort Orange became 

Albany in honor of another, while, to still 
further accentuate the Duke's titles, West- 
chester and Long Island were joined legally 
under the name of Yorkshire. About the 
same time the names of several of the Long 
Island towns were changed so that Rustdorp 
became Jamaica ; Midwout, Flatbush ; Amer's- 
fort, Flatlands; Breuckland, Brookland; Mid- 
dleburg, Newtown ; and VHssengen, Flushing. 
Like Yorkshire in England, its American 
namesake was divided with "ridings" (an old 
Anglo-Saxon division of territory into three 
sections from the Saxon word "trithing" — a 
third part) as follows : 

West Riding: Kings County, Newtown, 
Staten Island. 

North Riding: Remainder of Queens 
County, Westchester. 

East Riding : Suffolk County. 

When he had established himself firmly 



enough to make the people imagine they were 
to have a full share in the government, al- 
though his rule was and remained arbitrary, 
Nicolls called a meeting of delegates from 
each town in the new Yorkshire to assemble 
at Hempstead on the closing day of February, 
1665. In calling this assembly. Gov. Nicolls 
said to "the Ma£;istrates of the several towns 
upon Long Island," in a letter dated Feb- 
ruary 8 : 

In discharge, therefore, of my trust and 
duty, to settle good and known laws within 
this Government for the future and receive 
your best adviCe and information in a general 
meeting, I have thought it best to publish 
unto you that upon the last day of this present 
February, at Hempstead, upon Long Island, 
shall be a general meeting which is to con- 
sist of deputies chosen by the major part of 
the freemen only; which is to be understood 
of all persons rated according to their estates, 
whether English or Dutch, within your several 
towns and precincts, whereof you are to make 
publication to the inhabitants four days before 
you proceed to an election, appointing a cer- 
tain day for the purpose. 

You are further to impart to the inhabitants 
from me that I do heartily recommend to 
them the choice of the most sober, able and 
discreet persons, without partiality or faction, 
the fruit and benefit whereof will return to 
themselves in a full and perfect composure 
of all controversies and the propagation of 
true religion amongst us. They are also re- 
quired to' bring with them a draught of each 
town limits, or such writings as are necessary 
to evidence the bounds and limits, as well as 
the right by which they challenge such bounds 
and limits, by grants or purchase or both, as 
also to give notice of their meeting to the 
Sachems of the Indians whose presence may 
in some cases be necessary. 

Lastly, I do require you to assemble your 
inhabitants and read this letter to them, and 
then and there to nominate a day for the 
election of two deputies from your town who 
are to bring a certificate of their election, 
with full power to conclude any cause or 
matter relating to their several towns, to me 
at Hempstead upon the last day of February, 
when, God willing, I shall expect tbem. 

The chosen representatives of the people 
were so pleased with their new dignity that 
they made it their first business to draw up 
a flattering address to the Duke of York as 
follows : 

We, the Deputies duly elected from the 
several towns upon Long Island, being as- 
sembled at Hempstead, in general meeting by 
authority derived from your Royal Highness 
under the Honorable Colonel Nicolls as 
Deputy Governor, do most humbly and thank- 
fully acknowledge to your Royal Highness 
the great honor and satisfaction we receive 
in our dependence upon your Royal Highness 
according to the tenor of his Sacred Majesty's 
patent, granted the 12th day of March, 1664; 
wherein we acknowledge ourselves, our heirs 
and successors for ever to be comprised to 
all intents and purposes, as therein is more 
at large expressed. 

And we do publicly and unanimously de- 
clare our cheerful submission to all such laws, 
statutes and ordinances which are or shall be 
made by virtue of authority from your Royal 
Highness, your heirs and successors for ever. 

And also that we will maintain, uphold, and 
defend to the utmost of our power, and peril 
to us, our heirs and successors for ever, all 
the rights, title, and interest granted by his 
Sacred ilajesty to your Royal Highness, 
against all pretensions or invasions, foreign 
and domestic ; we being already well assumed 
that in so doing we perform our dtibf^cif 
allegiance to his Majesty as freeborn shbje'cts 
of the Kingdom of England, inhabiting in 
these his Majesty's dominions. 

We do farther beseech your Royal Highness 
to accept of this address as the first fruits 
in this general meeting, for a memorial and 
record against us, our heirs and successors, 
when we, or any of them, shall fail in our 

Lastly, we beseech your Royal Highness to- 
take our poverties and necessities in this wild- 
erness country into speedy consideration; that 
by constant supplies of trade, and your Royal 
Highness's more particular countenance of 
grace to us, and protection of us^^ we may 
daily more and more be encouraged to bestow 
our labors to the improvement of these his- 
Majesty's western dominions, under your 
Royal Highness, for whose health, long life 



and eternal happiness we shall ever pray, as in 
duty bound. Signed. For : 

New Utrecht : Jacques Cortelyou, Young- 
er Hope. 

Gravesend: James Hubbard, John Bowne. 
Flatlands : Elbert Elbertsen, Roeloffe Mar- 

Flatbush: John Striker, Hendrick Guck- 

Bushwick: John Stealman, Gisbert Tunis. 

Brooklyn : Hendrick Lubbertsen, John 

Newtown : Richard Betts, John Coe. 

Flushing: Elias Doughty, Richard Corn- 

Jamaica : Daniel Denton, Thomas Benedict. 

Hempstead : John Hicks, Robt. Jackson. 

Oyster Bay: John Underbill, Matthias 

Huntington: Jonas Wood, John Ketcham. 

Brookhaven : Daniel Lane, Roger Barton. 

Southold : William Wells, John Youngs. 

Southampton,: Thomas Topping, John 

Easthampton : Thomas Baker, John Strat- 

Westchester: Edward Jessup, John Quin- 

Gabriel Furman ( "Notes Relating the Town 
of Brooklyn," 1824), referring to this address, 
says : 

The people of Long Island considered 
the language of this address as too servile 
for freemen and were exasperated against the 
makers of it to such a degree that the Court 
of Assizes, in order to save the deputies from 
abuse, if not from personal violence, thought 
it expedient at their meeting in October, 1666, 
to declare that whosoever hereafter shall any 
way detract ior speak against any of the 
Deputies signing the address of his Royal 
Highness at the General Meeting at Hemp- 
stead, they shall be presented at the next 
Court of Sessions ; and if the Justices shall see 
cause, they shall from thence be bound over 
to the Assizes, there to answer for the slander 
upon plaint or information. 

The deputies, subsequently to the address 
made to the Duke of York, made one to the 
people, in which they set forth their reasons 

for agreeing to the code styled "The Duke's 

There seems no doubt that the real author 
of this address which, fulsome as it may appear 
to modern readers, was not so extravagant in 
that respect as most documents of the time 
of a similar nature, was the Governor's neph- 
ew, Matthias Nicolls. He was a lawyer by 
profession and received the appointment of 
secretary to that warrior- diplomat, with the 
military rank of Captain, when the expedition: 
was organized which resulted in the capture 
of New Netherland. When Nicolls entered 
into possession Matthias was appointed Sec- 
retary of the Province, a position, it would 
seem, which had been promised him before 
leaving England : indeed he had his commis-. 
sion in his possession when he first saw New 
Amsterdam. By virtue of his secretaryship 
he became a member of the Governor's Coun- 
cil. He was the presiding Judge in the Court 
of Assizes on its establishment, and in 1672 
was chosen Mayor of New York, holding that 
otfice ior one year. In connection with the: 
Court of Common Pleas he was the Presiding; 
Judge, and in 1683 became one of the Judges, 
of the Supreme Court. He made, in later 
years of his life, extensive purchases of land, 
on Little Neck and seems to have spent quite 
a considerable portion of his time on that 
property. He died at Cow Neck, Dec. 22,, 
1687, leaving that estate to his son, William,, 
and so may be regarded as the founder of one 
of the most famous of the old families of 
Long Island. 

There is no question that Matthias Nicolls. 
also drew up the code popularly styled "The 
Duke's Lavv^s," which after being submitted to- 
the Duke of York and his advisers was 
accepted by them, printed and ordered en- 
forced. It was to introduce those laws with 
the apparent concurrence of the people most 
directly interested in them that the assembly 
at Hemp,stead was called. These laws are a. 
remarkable body of regulations and stamp, 
their author as a lawyer of no ordinary de- 
gree of acumen, and possessing not only a 



thorough knowledge of the world and of hu- 
man nature, but a broad and tolerant spirit. 
They stand out in marked relief to the "blue 
laws" which prevailed over most of New Eng- 

The laws, in every particular except one, 
were just and equitable. The Indians were 
protected so far as a sale of their lands re- 
quired the consent of the Governor. The ut- 
most toleration was allowed in religious 
matters. Its legal administration, with a town 
court, a court of sessions and a court of 
assizes, seemed adequate for the needs of the 
province. There was a sheriff for the shire, 
and a deputy sheriff for each riding. Each 
town was to elect a Constable, and eight 
{afterward reduced to four) Overseers, who 
were entrusted with the maintenance of good 
•order. They made up the town court, which 
took notice of all cases of debt or trespass 
lunder £5, and at which a Justice of the Peace 
{appointed by the Governor) was to preside 
■when present. The Court of Sessions was 
•composed of the Justices of the Peace in each 
itown in each riding and had jurisdiction over 
all criminal cases and over civil cases where 
the amount was above £5. It was a jury 
•court, seven jurymen being the number fixed 
for all cases not capital, and for such twelve 
were required, and a unanimous verdict was 
necessary to convict. The death penalty was 
the fate decreed for those who denied God or 
His attributes, who were found guilty of treas- 
on, or willful murder, or taking life by false 
testimony, or engaged in man-stealing and 
-several other crimes. Under suits for less 
than £20 the judgment of the court was to 
be final, over that sum there was the right 
■of appeal to the Court of Assizes. 

That body met once a year in New York 
and was composed of the Governor and his 
•Council, and the Magistrates of the townships. 
It was a court of equity as well as of common 
law. In some respects it seems to have as- 
■sumed legislative functions, and even made 
from time to time amendments to the Duke's 
laws. It was, however, never popular, and 

the number of those who attended its sessions 
in the capacity of Judges made it become a 
burden on the people, and its abolition in 1684 
was generally welcomed. The exception to 
the acceptance of the code to which reference 
has been made is the fact that it placed little 
or no authority in the bands of the people. 
The Governor had all the prerogatives of an 
autocrat, executive, legislative and judicial. 
His will was supreme in every department. 
He appointed all Judges and public officials 
and could remove them at pleasure. He could 
make what laws he pleased and could repeal 
any which did not suit his views or his pur- 
poses. It is true he wielded his authority by 
and with the advice of his Council, but he ap- 
pointed the members of his Council himself and 
could relegate any of them to private life who 
failed to register his wishes. In spite of all 
this, however, there can be no doubt that Gov. 
Nicolls' administration of bis high office was 
fairly satisfactory to the people generally and 
a genuine feeling of regret was aroused when 
it became known that his resignation was in 
the hands of the Duke of York and that he 
only awaited the coming of his successor to 
return to England. When that came to pass 
the people gave him a public dinner and es- 
corted him down New York Bay, thereby 
setting a precedent which has often been fol- 
lowed since among local "statesmen." It may 
here be said that Nicolls lost his life in the 
battle at Solebay, May 28, 1672, with Admiral 
De Ruyter. 

Under Francis Lovelace the personal rule 
permissible under the Duke's laws was still 
further emphasized, for he was a politician 
rather than a statesman. He followed in 
many ways in the politic footsteps of his prede- 
cessor, and he had the wise counsel of Mat- 
thias Nicolls always at hand to aid him in 
any intricate point which might arise. He 
tried hard to cultivate the most amicable asso- 
ciation with the Dutch, assisted the Lutherans 
to bring a minister from Holland, fully pro- 
tected the Reformed Church and gave the 
Presbyterians a free field, so that even they 



might secure a foothold in- the Province. Re- 
ligious freedom prevailed all around, and it is 
one of the conundrums of history that under 
the rule of a man so thoroughly devoted to the 
Church of Rome, as perfect an example of 
religious toleration should be found in a terri- 
tory where his will was after all the only law. 
It was this arbitrary rule which led to the 
failure of Lovelace's administration. The 
omission of the Duke's code of laws to provide 
for any real measures of self-government on 
the part of the colonists had, ever since its 
promulgation, been the subject of much ad- 
verse criticism and complaint, especially on the 
eastern division of Long Island and among 
the English towns generally. In 1667 some 
of the towns petitioned for a system of local 
government, but Nicolls, then retiring, left 
the question as a legacy to his successor. 
That dignitary's response simply advised the 
petitioners to render submission and obedience 
to the laws then existing and all would be 
well. That of course satisfied nobody, but 
things drifted along, the sentiment for local 
■self-government naturally becoming stronger 
with time. On October 9, 1669, the towns of 
Gravesend, Hempstead, Jamaica, Flushing, 
Newtown, Oyster Bay, as well as Westchester 
.and East Chester, severally presented petitions 
to the Governor, the result evidently of a pre- 
concerted movement, in which among other 
things they asked to be put on an equal foot- 
ing with his Majesty's other subjects in Amer- 
ica to the extent of being permitted to par- 
ticipate in making the laws by which they 
"are governed, by such deputies as shall yearly 
be chosen by the freeholders of every town 
and parish." They had at first been promised 
that much when Nicolls took over the Gov- 
ernment ; but a promise it still remained. No 
real response was made to these petitions, and 
in 1670 the Governor gave an instance of his 
arbitrary power by declaring the patents to 
the land of Southampton invalid unless a new 
•one was obtained within a specified time. 
'This was done at a meeting of the Court of 

Assizes and in a manner strictly in accordance 
with the existing law. 

In 1665 it was decreed that all towns should 
take out new patents, so, as it was said, to in- 
troduce uniformity in these documents and 
bring them more in accordance with English 
law, but the purpose, in reality, was to bring 
money to the gubernatorial treasury. South- 
ampton complied finally with this command, 
but it was urged that, having obtained its pat- 
ents from an English source, — the agents of 
Lord Stirling, — there was no necessity for the 
expense and trouble involved. 

In 1670 the Governor, who had the legal 
right, according to the patent of his appoint- 
ment, to impose customs duties and other in- 
direct taxes agreeably to his own pleasure, 
ordered a direct tax to be levied for improve- 
ments on the fort at New York. When the 
effort to enforce this impost was commenced 
the freeholders were aroused and the tax was 
denounced as being a dangerous precedent, if 
allowed, and a direct contravention of the un- 
disputed rights of British subjects. The op- 
posdtion was, in reality, the first move in the 
struggle against taxation without representa- 
tion which was destined to go on far a cen- 
tury and to end in the loss of the Colonies 
to Great Britain. Meetings were held all over 
Long Island to consider the situation. Ja- 
maica declared that any law which compelled 
the people to pay money without their con- 
sent was a direct violation of the British con- 
stitution, forgetting, however, the important 
fact that they were not living under the Brit- 
ish constitution but in a private territory which, 
by the Duke's charter, was held under the same 
laws as the "manor of East Greenwich in the 
County of Kent." This fine point, however, 
was not apparent to the freeholders of Long 
Island, although it was not forgotten by Love- 
lace and his immediate circle of advisers. The 
people of Huntington flatly refused to pay be- 
cause they were "deprived of the liberties of 
Englishmen." The towns of Southold, South- 
ampton and Easthampton held a joint meeting 



and decided against the tax, and so did town 
meetings at Hempstead, Flushing and others. 
Some of the resolutions adopted at the town 
meetings were laid before the Court of Ses- 
sions of the West Riding, at Gravesend, Dec. 
21, 1670, when Matthias Nicolls, who presided, 
declared them "scandalous, illegal and sedi- 
tious," and in his turn, fortified by this legal 
opinion, the Governor ordered the official cop- 
ies of the resolutions to be burned. He had a 
peculiar theory that the best way to keep people 
from grumbling over taxes was to make the 
amount so large that there was no time to spare 
for any thought but how to pay them. 

The sudden capture of the Province by the 
Dutch in August, 1673, summarily ended the 
authority of Lovelace, suspended "The Duke's 
Laws" and introduced practically a condition 
of governmental anarchy. On Long Island, 
Governor Colve attempted to reform every- 
thing on a Dutch basis exactly as in the time 
of Stuyvesant. The eastern towns declined to 
accept the new Government, declaring they had 
never been subject to the Dutch, and when 
Colve's commissioners reached Southold they 
found the people not only in arms but decid- 
edly ready to use them against any attempt to 
impose Dutch rule. In this they were backed 
up by Connecticut, which renewed its old claim 
of jurisdiction over the eastern half of the 
island, and on Nov. 26, 1673, in support of that 
claim, it boldly declared war on the Dutch. 
It seems very likely the island would have had 
a few battle-fields added to its historic treas- 
ures had not the trend of affairs in Europe 
again restored New Netherland to English 

When the news of the treaty of Feb. 19, 
1674, reached America, the people of the En- 
glish towns were in a quandary. They did not 
wish a return of the Duke's government, and 
in the eastern half of Long Island a petition 
was prepared to the King, asking that the ter- 
ritory be declared under the jurisdiction of 
Connecticut. It was too late, however, for 
any such change being made, even had the 
home authorities so desired, which is doubtful. 

The Duke of York, on June 27, 1674, had for- 
tified his title by securing a fresh patent and 
had appointed Sir Edmund Andros as his Dep- 
uty Governor. Soon after he arrived in New 
York, Oct. 31, 1674, Andros re-established the 
Duke's laws and bluntly ordered the eastern 
Long Island towns to return to the rule of his 
Royal Highness. For a time they held out. 
Southold, on Nov. 17, by the vote of a town 
meeting, formally declared that it still adhered 
to Connecticut, and the others followed suit; 
but such opposition, as might be expected, 
proved without avail, and before the year was 
out the rule of the Duke was again supreme. 

Andros continued in power until 1683 and 
seemed to have brought the iron hand into con- 
stant operation without any effort at assuming 
the velvet disguise. He enforced the laws 
zealously and arbitrarily, suspended of his own 
volition meetings of courts and at times even 
caused citizens to be imprisoned without trial 
and without offense being charged. Isaac 
Piatt, Epenetus Piatt, Samuel Titus, Jonas 
Wood and Thomas Wicks, all of Huntington, 
were among those thus deprived of liberty, 
their only offence being attendance at a meet- 
ing to consider how to obtain redress for pub- 
lic grievances. It is to the honor of Hunting- 
ton that another meeting decreed that their 
law costs and living expenses should be paid 
while their imprisonment went on. These 
meetings seem to have been very numerous 
and to have increased in intensity and in the 
scope of their demands; but the records of 
all which have come down to us show that the 
main grievance was the question of taxation — 
taxation of the people without their consent. 

But no redress could be obtained from An- 
dros, and the appointment of Thomas Don- 
gan as his successor was hailed with a feeling 
of relief. That official was neither a strong 
nor a capable executive, and simply kept within 
easy touch of the leading strings which con- 
nected him with the home authorities, and con- 
tinued Matthias Nicolls as his chief local ad- 
viser. Yet, under Dongan the colonists were 
destined to make more definite progress on the 



way to self-government than they had hitherto 
been permitted. The longer the "Duke's 
laws" continued to be enforced with tlie op- 
portunities for tyranny and favoritism they 
afforded such men as Andros, the more bitterly 
were they resented by the colonists, and effort 
after effort, by appeal or otherwise, was made 
for a new code, while the existing laws or their 
results were more or less roundly denounced 
at many town meetings. The murmurs against 
Andros had led to a commissioner being sent 
out to investigate, and although the result was 
a coat of official whitewash for that official, 
the fact that such an enquiry was made, was, 
in the circumstances, a gain for the complain- 
ants. It was during the absence of Andros, 
and while Brockholles, his commander-in- 
chief, was in executive charge, that the great- 
est advance was made. Roberts, in his "His- 
tory of New York," says : 

Trouble befell Brockholles at once because 
the customs duties had expired by limitation 
i-nd had not been renewed. The merchants 
on this ground refused to pay any duties on 
imports. The Council advised Brockholles 
that he had no authority to collect them with- 
out orders from the Duke. Dyer, collector of 
the port, was exercising "regal power and au- 
thority" because he tried to hold goods to en- 
force payment. He appealed to the courts at 
home, but without trial finally received prac- 
tical approval of his course by appointment as 
Surveyor General of Customs in America. 
The jury, on the other hand, declared to the 
Court of Assizes that a Provincial Assembly 
was needed. Sheriff John Youngs, of Long 
Island, was designated to draft a petition to 
the Duke of York for "an assembly to be duly 
elected by the freeholders as is usual within 
the realm of England and other of his Maj- 
esty's plantations." The demand was urgent, 
because the inhabitants "were groaning under 
inexpressible burdens of an arbitrary and ab- 
solute power" by which "revenue had been 
exacted, their trade crippled and their liber- 
ties enthralled." Disaffection was open and 
pronounced, especially on Long Island. Lieut. 
Gov. Brockholles laid the case before the Duke 
and was censured for not promptly renewing 

the order for the duties and enforcing their 

The pressure for money led the Duke to 
intimate that he would condescend to the de- 
sires of the colony in granting them equal 
privileges in choosing an Assembly and so 
for.lh, as the other English plantations in 
America have, but this was on the supposition 
that the inhabitants will agree to raise money 
to discharge the public debts and to settle such 
a fund for the future as may be sufficient for 
the maintenance of the garrison and govern- 
ment! James had previously disapproved of 
any movement for an Assembly as fraught 
with dangerous consequences, while he 
pointed to the Court of Assizes as adequate 
to hear and remedy any grievances. Now he 
declared, March 28, 1682, that he "sought the 
common good and protection of the colony and 
the increase of its trade" before any advan- 
tages to himself, and he promised that what- 
ever revenues the people would provide should 
be applied to the public uses suggested. 

But he was in no hurry over the gathering 
of the Assembly. Brockholles received no in- 
structions, and although Dongan, who arrived 
Aug. 27, 1683, was instructed to summon the 
Assembly, he did not issue the proclamation 
until Sept. 13, and it was almost a month later, 
Oct. 17, before it met in New York, in the old 
fort in the Battery. Matthias Nicolls, prob- 
ably at the instigation of the Governor, was 
appointed Speaker. The acts of that assembly 
were of the utmost importance. By the char- 
ter of liberties it was declared that under the 
King and the Duke the supreme legislative 
authority shall forever be and reside in "the 
Governor, Council, and the people met in a 
General Assembly ;" and it expressly provided 
that no tax should be imposed without the con- 
sent of the Governor, Council and Assembly. 
Many of the details of the Duke's laws were 
repealed. Entire freedom in religion was de- 
clared, and free elections were provided for. 
Duties were regulated as follows : 

Imports : Rum, brandy and distilled liq- 
uor, 4d a gallon. Sherry and all sweet wines, 
40s a pipe. Lead, 6s a cwt. Guns or gun bar- 
rels, with lock, 6s each. General merchandise 



not otherwise stated, 2 per cent, ad valorem. 
Merchandise intended for India trade, 10 per 

Exports: Beaver skins, gd each. All 
other skins exported were liable to duty. 

Excise : Beer and cider sold in less quan- 
tities than five gallons, 6d a gallon. All other 
liquors, I2d a gallon. 

The courts were thoroughly reorganized. 
For every town a court was designated to meet 
once a month and try cases of debt and tres- 
pass under forty shillings and without a jury 
unless one was demanded. A Court of Ses- 
sions was to be held yearly in each county to 
meet for three days and try all sorts of causes 
with a jury of twelve men. A court of gen- 
eral jurisdiction, called the Court of Oyer and 
Terminer and jail delivery, was also estab- 
lished, and the Governor and Council were ap- 
pointed a Court of Chancery, from whose de- 
cisions an appeal could only be made to the 
sovereign. By act of a later session (Oct., 
1684) the Court of Assizes was abolished. 
From a histo|i-ical point of view, this assem- 
bly is memorable as that which divided the 
Province of Colony into counties and abol- 
ished the old ridings with the first mix-up of 
Long Island with Westchester and Staten 
Island. The act was passed Nov. 29, 1683, 
and apportioned Long Island as follows: 

Queens County — to conteyne the severall 
towns of Newtown, Jamaica, Flushing, Hemp- 
stead and Oyster Bay, with the severall out- 
farms, settlements and plantacons adjacent. 

Kings County — to conteyne the severall 
towns of Boshwyck, Bedford, Brooklyn, Flat- 
bush, Flatlands, New Utrecht and Gravesend, 
with the severall settlements and plantacons 

Suffolk County — to conteyne the severall 
towns of Huntington, Southfield, Brookhaven, 
Southampton, Southold, Easthampton to Mon- 
tauk Point, Shelter Island, the Isle of Wight, 
Fisher's Island and Plum Island, with the sev- 
eral out- farms and plantacons adjacent. . 

Dongan summoned a fresh assembly to 
meet in September, 1685, but it accomplished 

little. By the time it met the Duke of York 
had become James II, and as soon as possible 
thereafter the new sovereign withdrew the in- 
structions by which the Royal Governor had 
called the Assemblies and determined that his 
appointees should alone rule, with the aid of 
his instructions and the rules of his Privy 
Council. Amid all these changes the discon- 
tent of the people seemed to increase, and 
after James became King and the Assembly 
had become, a dead letter murmurs reached the 
royal representative from every side. Tax- 
ation steadily increased all round, and especi- 
ally in Suffolk County, the furthest removed 
from the center of Government, there was- 
found the greatest difficulty in the collection 
of the revenue. Indeed, Dongan on one oc- 
casion wrote that "the people of Long Island, 
especially toward the east end, are of the same 
stamp with those of New England, refractory 
and very loath to have any commerce with 
this place (New York), to the great detriment 
of his Majesty's revenue and the ruin of our 
merchants." Smuggling was common from 
Connecticut and New England, the laws were 
violated in many ways, and though the Gov- 
ernment zealously applied itself to remedy mat- 
ters, it failed of accomplishment. Indeed, the 
only result of the rigid attempts to enforce 
obnoxious laws was the stoppage of immigra- 
tion. The Governor indeed admitted that for 
seven years not over twenty families from Eng- 
land had moved into the Province of New 
York, while from Long Island a constant 
stream of good people was moving over into 
Connecticut. On Aug. 11, 1688, Andros again 
became Governor, in addition to his charge in 
New England, and personally held the execu- 
tive chair until Oct. 9 following, when he ap- 
pointed Francis Nicholson his Lieutenant 
Governor and returned to Boston. Two 
months later King James himself was a 
fugitive, bereft of throne and country, and 
William of Orange resigned in his stead. 

There is no doubt that the accession to 
power of King William was hailed with joy in 
New Netherland. The Dutch citizens natur- 



ally regarded him as one of themselves and 
anticipated much from what they considered 
would be but a natural partiality, while the 
EngHsh, heartily tired of James and his domi- 
neering and greedy representatives, looked for- 
ward to a promulgation of a constitution for 
the territory, worthy of freemen. It was not 
until the middle of April, 1689, that the 
news of the "Glorious Revolution" reached 
this side of the Atlantic and the first result 
was the capture of Fort James by Jacob Leis- 
ler. This man was a native of Germany, a 
Protestant, and had acquired considerable 
wealth in trading with the Indians. While a 
resident of Albany he had incurred the dis- 
pleasure of Andros by his opposition to the 
spread of Roman Catholicism, but under Don- 
gan he became one of the Commissioners of 
the Court of Admiralty in New YoTk and soon 
acquired a large measure of popularity among 
the citizens. He became captain of one of 
the five companies of militia of the city. When 
the news of the Revolution reached New York 
it was understood that the office-holders of the 
fallen regime would be summarily turned out, 
and on a report that those who adhered to the 
deposed monarch were preparing to establish 
themselves in the fort and to massacre the 
Protestants, a popular demand arose that Leis- 
ler and his troops should take action to estab- 
lish the authority of the new sovereign. He 
took possession of the fort, which contained 
all the funds and archives of the local govern- 
ment, and announced his intention to hold it 
"for the present Protestant power that reigns 
in England." 

Then, in answer to requests from Leisler, 
a Committee of Safety of ten citizens, includ- 
ing one representative from Kings and one 
from Queens, assumed the role of a Provis- 
ional Government, elected Leisler its execu- 
tive chief and authorized him to act as "Cap- 
tain of the fort." Suffolk County declined to 
take any share in the committee, basing its 
hopes upon being reunited to Connecticut. 
Fearing for his own safety, Lieut. Gov. Nichol- 
son, when the trouble began, went aboard a 

ship lying in the harbor and set out for Eng- 
land, and most of his prominent adherents- 
then retired to Albany, leaving Leisler in full 
control. He strengthened the fort and as- 
sumed entire charge of local affairs. 

In December a letter was received from 
the new authority in London directed to "Fran- 
cis Nicholson, or, in his absence, to such as for 
the time being take care for preserving the 
peace and administering the laws in their 
Majestie's Province of New York in Amer- 
ica," authorizing him to take chief command 
and to appoint to the various offices such free- 
holders and inhabitants as he should see fit. 
Leisler, in the absence of Nicholson, consid- 
ered all this as his own appointment as Lieu- 
tenant Governor. So he summarily dismissed 
the Committee of Safety, swore in a new Coun- 
cil and assumed all the prerogatives of the high 
office in which he had placed himself. He 
summoned a General Assembly, which met in 
New York, but accomplished nothing. Long 
Island was not represented and, indeed, Hun- 
tington was the only town which for a time 
seems to have fully recognized his authority 
and aided him with troops. In fact, the island, 
it may be said, was in a condition of actual re- 
bellion against him, and on Feb. 15, 1690, he 
brought about the arrest of ex-Gov. Dongan 
and ordered Col. Thomas Willett, Capt. 
Thomas Hicks, Daniel Whitehead and Edward 
Antill to be brought before his Council. A 
few days later he ordered Dongan and others 
to be carried as prisoners to New York. The 
struggle continued all, through the island, and 
in October Leisler sent hlis son-in-law, Major 
Millbourne, to suppress the disaffected and 
suspended the meeting of the Kings County 
Court of Oyer and Terminer. But the dis- 
affection continued and grew daily more open 
and pronounced, so much so that on Oct. 30 
he formally declared Long Island in a state of 
rebellion. On Nov. 7 the freeholders of 
Hempstead, Jamaica, Flushing and Newtown 
met and drew up a paper, which was sent to 
the Secretary of State in London, in which 
they told of their oppressed condition and en- 



larged at length and in minute detail on Leis- 
ler's tyrannical and cruel acts. 

So matters passed along, the whole prov- 
ince drifting in a perilous condition in spite of 
Leisler's able management of afifairs gener- 
ally until, in January, 1691, Major Richard 
Ingoldsby arrived in New York with some 
troops, announced that Henry Sloughter had 
been appointed Governor and himself Lieu- 
tenant Governor, and demanded in the name of 
his chief possession of the fort. This Leisler 
peremptorily refused. When Sloughter ar- 
rived, March 19, 1691, Leisler continued to 
hold out until Gov. Sloughter had sworn in 
his Council, when he accepted the inevitable, 
gave up the stronghold and resigned his com- 
mands. Sloughter at once placed Leisler and 
nine of his adherents under arrest. All of 
these were soon liberated excepting Leisler 
and Millbourne, who were tried for high trea- 
son and murder, found guilty, and, on May 16, 
1 69 1, both were hanged near what is now the 
New York entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. 

As regards the merits of this dispute, or the 
story of the parties of Leislerites and Anti- 
Leislerites in which New Yolrk long revelled, 
we do not propose to enter. The passing of 
Leisler on the gallows virtually ended the 
trouble so far as Long Island was concerned. 
We are rather concerned with the commission 
of Henry Sloughter, for, as Thompson says, 
"it constituted the foundation of the Colonial 
Government after the Revolution in England, 
and continued as it was then settled, with few 
innovations, until the American Revolution.'' 
Practically it was the same as that under which 
Gov. Dongan acted, with the difference that it 
was honestly enforced and the Assembly ac- 
quired a full measure of power as an integral 
part of the Government. It is not likely that 
Sloughter's administration would have been 
marked by any extraordinary performance, for 
he was one of the weakest of all the royal Gov- 
ernors, addicted to many vices, and a drunkard 
to wit. But his advent in New York was a 
relief, for the people everywhere in the prov- 
ince felt that he represented a stable govern- 

ment. He died suddenly July 23, 1691, and 
Major Ingoldsby filled his office until Aug. 
30, 1692, when Governor Benjamin Fletcher 
arrived and assumed the executive chair, being 
welcomed with a "treat costing 20 pounds." 

Fletcher was a soldier, a stanch supporter 
of the Established Church in England and a 
brave as well as a capable man. He estab- 
lished annual agricultural fairs in the three 
Long Island counties, and it was under his 
regime that an act was passed by the Assembly, 
April ID, 1693, changing the name of the 
island to "Island of Nassau," which, however, 
never passed into current use, and soon be- 
came obsolete. The courts were again re- 
organized, and practically two new tribunals 
were instituted — the Court of Common Pleas 
and the Court of Sessions ; an act for settling a 
ministry and raising a fund for the main- 
tenance of the clergy gave rise to general dis- 
satisfaction, especially when it was discovered 
that its main object was the setting up in the 
Province of a State Church, and that the 
Episcopalian, which had then very few ad- 
herents outside of New York City. Still 
Fletcher seems to have determined it should 
be enacted and become effective, with the re- 
sult of raising up a standing grievance in the 
community for some time to come. He had, 
in fact, as it was, a good deal of trouble with 
contumacious and unsympathetic assemblies. 
In spite of his devotion to clerical interests, 
Fletcher was obliged to retire from his post in 
April, 1698, in disgrace, under charges of 
malfeasance and of being in partnership with 
pirates ; but such charges remained unproved. 
It was to put down the pirates who infested 
the seas that the Earl of Bellomont was ap- 
pointed to the Governorship in succession to 
Fletcher, and entered upon his duties April 
13, 1698. In another chapter we will refer 
more particularly to his work in that line, 
and practically with that story his connection 
with Long Island began and ended. His 
successor as Governor, the notorious Lord 
Cornbury, was equally a cipher although he 
contributed a disgraceful chapter to the clerical 



history of- the village of Jamaica. He was 
recalled in 1708 and Lord Lovelace became 
Governor for a few months. During the in- 
terregnum caused by the arrivals and de- 
parture of these nonentities the executive 
chair was often filled for brief intervals by 
local men, such as Col. William Smith, Col. 
Abraham de Peyster, Gerardus Beekman and 
Peter Schuyler. 

Gov. Hunter, a scion of an old Scottish 
family, entered upon the duties of the Gov- 
ernorship June 14, 1710. Like all of his pred- 
ecessors, he had accepted the office with a 
view of adding to his private fortune, but un- 
like most of them he had a conscience that 
prevented him from seeking to increase his 
wealth by means which were in direct variance 
to the welfare of the community over which 
he was appointed to rule. After about a year's 
experience in the Province he saw that the 
development of the territory could only be 
hastened by adding to its population through 
encouraging and facilitating immigration, and 
having conceived a scheme about the manu- 
facture of naval stores by which he might 
enrich himself and afford employment to many 
workers he proceeded to develop the re- 
sources of the country and increase his own 
wealth by the introduction of some 3,000 Ger- 
man laborers from the Palatinate. These peo- 
ple were settled in five villages on the banks 
of th-e Hudson River, and were to produce tar 
and turpentine. Their passage money was to 
be repaid out of their earnings and on the 
same terms they were to be supplied at first 
with the necessaries of life. As might be 
■expected the scheme was a failure. The immi- 
_grants were virtually contract slaves and were 
soon so dissatisfied with their lot that they 
refused to work ; and when at length he washed 
his hands of the whole scheme and left the 
immigrants to shift for themselves "but not 
outside of the province," the Governor was 
very seriously crippled financially. His great- 
est claim to remembrance is his establishing 
of a complete Court of Chancery in the colony ; 
and although he doubtless saw in such a court 

a rich harvest of fees and opportunities for 
patronage, the good accomplished by a tribunal 
of that description, especially in a developing 
colony where new and intricate questions were 
daily demanding decisions, decisions, which, 
were for all time to rank as precedents, should 
not be ignored. In many ways Governor 
Hunter was a model ruler. In questions of 
religion he was extremely tolerant and he be- 
lieved in every man being permitted to wor- 
ship as he thought best. He indulged in no 
wild-cat schemes unless his importation of 
workers from the Palatinate be so regarded, 
and encouraged no extravagant outlay of pub- 
lic money. He understood the art of manag- 
ing men, and was on equally good terms with 
all the parties in the colony. Very popular 
he was not and never could be, for he repre- 
sented a sovereign power in the person of the 
King, while all around him in New York was 
slowly but surely developing the theory that 
the source of all power, even the power to 
name Governors and Judges, should be the 
people concerned ; still he preserved intact the 
supremacy of his royal master and maintained 
peace or the appearance of harmony in the 
province, although he foresaw very clearly 
that a struggle between Britain and the Amer- 
ican Colonies was certain sooner or later. 
"The Colonies were then infants at their 
mother's breast," he wrote in 171 1 to Lord 
Bolingbroke, then British Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs ; "but such as would wean 
themselves when they came of age." 

When Robert Hunter retired from the 'Col- 
ony, in 1719,. the Assembly gave him an ad- 
dress in which they lauded his administration 
of affairs and expressed the opinion that he 
had "governed well and wisely, like a prudent 
magistrate, like an affectionate parent." This 
praise seems to have been thoroughly well 
deserved, and even American writers acknowl- 
edge that his official record was not only an 
able but a clean one. He was possessed of 
more than ordinary talent, was a warm friend 
of such men as Addison, St. John, Steele, 
Shaftesbury, and especially of Dean Swift, 



who appears to have entertained for him as 
undoubted sentiments of respect and friend- 
ship as he entertained for any man. "Hunter," 
wrote John Forster in his uncompleted life 
of the Dean of St. Patrick's, "was among the 
most scholarly and entertaining of his 
(Swift's) correspondents; some of Swift's 
own best letters were written to this friend, 
and the judgment he had formed of him may 
be taken from the fact that when all the 
world were giving to himself the authorship 
of Shaftesbury's (anonymously printed) 'Let- 
ter of Enthusiasm,' Swift believed Hunter to 
have written it." General Hunter died at 
Jamaica in 1734, while holding the office of 
Governor of that island. 

Governor Hunter's successor in New York 
was also a Scotchman — William Burnet. This 
amiable man was the son of the famous Bishop 
Burnet, whose "History of Our Own Times" 
is one of the classics of English literature. 
William Burnet was educated at Cambridge 
and admitted to the practice of the law. He 
appears to have been fairly successful in that 
profession, but lost all his means in the South 
Sea bubble, and, finding himself ruined, looked 
around so that he might use his great family 
influence to secure for him a colonial appoint- 
ment, a most natural and common proceeding 
at that time. His success was quick and 
brilliant, and in September, 1720, he found 
himself in New York as its Governor. His 
administration was as able and as honest as 
that of his predecessor, and he made himself 
immensely popular by his prohibition of trade 
between the Indians of the colony and the 
merchants in Canada, and he even built a fort 
at his personal expense to help in protecting 
the trade of the colony over which he ruled. 
The home government, however, refused to en- 
dorse Burnet's course in this instance, but 
that set-back only added to his personal popu- 
larity. He lost it all, however, by the policy 
he adopted toward the Court of Chancery. 
Briefly stated, he wanted to make that body 
independent of public sentiment and above 

public interference, while Colonial opinion wa.s 
that all judges and all courts should be subject 
to the control of the people directly qr 
through their elected' i-epresentatives. Things 
reached such a pass that the Assembly threat- 
ened to declare all acts and decrees of the 
Court, of Chancery as null and void, and re- 
duced all its fees as a preliminary step in that 
direction. The crisis between the Governor 
and the people was ended, greatly to the 
former's relief, in- 1728, when he was trans- 
ferred to the Governorship of Massachusetts. 
He had not much time to ma_ke a name for 
himself in the old Bay State, for he died at 
Boston in 1729. 

John Montgomery, the next Governor, was^ 
a soldier of brilliant parts and many amiable 
qualities, but he only held the office for some 
three months, dying July i, 1731. Rip Van; 
Dam, the oldest member of the Council, acted 
as Governor until the arrival of William Cos- 
by on Aug. I, 1732. This rniserable charlatan 
drew his salary, quarrelled with the Assembly, 
aired his self-conceit, and gabbled about pre- 
rogatives until he became the most hated man 
in the province. He died in office March 7,. 
1736, and George Clarke, his Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor, administered affairs until the arrival of 
Governor George Clinton, Nov. 23, 1743. It 
is said that Clarke during his American career 
amassed a fortune of £100,000, while Clinton, 
when he retired in 1753 took back with him' 
to England £80,006, all gathered in during; 
his ten years' tenure, a tenure that was marked, 
by constant bickering with the Assembly and 
many leading Colonists; for the trend of af- 
fairs was even then, unconsciously to all, most 
certainly approaching a crisis. It became con- 
scious, however, to a great many in 1765,- 
when, Sir Henry Moore being Governor, an 
attempt was made to introduce stamp duties. 
But from Clinton to Tryon the Governors- 
were either mere figure-heads, or at all events- 
passing creatures on the stage who accom- 
plished nothing worth even the recalling of 
their names in these pages. Tryon was the 



ablest of the lot, but his story belongs to the 
pages of our history which recount the events 
of the Revolution. 

If, however, these titular rulers are un- 
worthy of a place in this history there is no 
doubt that the actual ruler of New York for 
fifteen years prior to the advent of Tryon, 
Cadwallader Colden, deserves more than pass- 
ing notice. Colden was born at Dunse (now 
unfortunately called Duns), Scotland, in 1688, 
the year of the "Glorious Revolution" which 
placed William and Mary on the British 

throne. His father was a clergyman and Cad- 
wallader was educated at Edinburgh Univer- 
sity with the view of entering the ministry. 
His own inclination, however, led him to study 
medicine and he appears to have practiced 
that profession in London. In 1710 he crossed 
the seas to Philadelphia. His stay there was 
comparatively short, for we find him in 171 5 
again in London, where he moved in the high- 
est intellectual and literary circles. In 1716 
he returned to Scotland and married a country 
girl, the daughter of a minister, and soon 
after left Ijis native land again for America. 
After practicing medicine for a time in Phila- 

delphia he visited New York and won the 
friendship of Governor Hunter, who invited 
him to settle in the territory under his author- 
ity. This he agreed to, mainly because 
Hunter backed up his. profession of friendship 
by the more tangible offer of the position of 
Surveyor General of the Colony. Two years 
later Colden had so fortified his position with 
the ruling powers that he obtained a grant of 
2,000 acres of land i • Orange county, and 
there built a country home for himself and 
founded a village to which he gave the name 
of Coldenham, which it still retains. His in- 
fluence was increased after he was appointed, 
in 1722, a member of his Majesty's Provincial 
Council, when Governor Burnet had com- 
menced his rule, and he became that person- 
age's most trusted counsellor. After Burnet 
went to Boston, Colden retired to Coldenham 
and there interested himself in those literary 
and scientific pursuits which gave him a prom- 
inent position in contemporary learned circles^ 
He had a wide correspondence with scientists 
on both sides of the Atlantic, and to a sugges- 
tion in one of his letters was due the formation 
of the American Philosophical Society of 
Philadelphia. As a member of Council, how- 
ever, Colden still continued to be active in 
the politics of the Province and as usual came 
in for a full share of popular and official 
criticism and abuse. In 1760 a second time 
as senior member of Council, he was called 
upon to administer the government on the 
sudden death of Governor De Lancey, and 
he soon after was commissioned Lieutenant 
Governor. Thereafter, with "few interrup- 
tions," he served as Lieutenant Governor until 
June 25, 177s, when the progress of the Revo- 
lution laid him on the shelf by wiping out 
the royal office. Had Colden thrown in his 
lot with the Revolutionists he might have 
attained a high place in the affection of the 
leaders of the successful side, but he remained 
steadfast in his loyalty and to the official 
oaths he had taken to be faithful to the home 
Government, and while his sympathies were 
always with the people and his views were 



most decided against unwarranted State inter- 
ference and against taxation without repre- 
sentation, he was too old to change his flag. 
Besides, he was of the opinion that all the 
evils which led to the Revolution could be 
amended by united and firm representation to 
the sovereign and his immediate advisers, and 
that therefore open rebellion was needless. 
So, when the crash finally came and his pro- 
testations, tears, promises, explanations, diplo- 
macy and entreaties proved unavailing, the 
old Governor retired to a farm near Flushing, 
Long Island, and died of a broken heart a few 
months later, in September, 1776, when in the 
eighty-eighth year of his age. 

After the bitterness of the contemporary 
struggle had passed away the public services 
.and brilliant talents of this most accomplished 

of all New York royal representatives was 
more apparent than at the time when he was 
an actor in the drama of history, and his loyal 
devotion to the duties of his high office was 
fully acknowledged on all sides. "Posterity," 
wrote Dr. O'Callaghan in his "Documentary 
History of the State of New York," "will not 
fail to accord justice to the character and mem- 
ory of a man to whom this country is most 
deeply indebted for much of its science and'for 
many of the most important institutions, and 
of whom the State of New York may well be 
proud:" and G. C. Verplonck said: "For the 
great variety and extent of his learning, his 
unwearied research, his talents, and the public 
sphere which he filled, Cadwallader Golden ■ 
may justly be placed in a high rank among the 
most distinguished men of his time." 



Some Pioneer Settlers — The Stirling Ownership and Colonizing Schemes — 
Lion Gardiner and his Purchase — A Long Island "Queen of the White 
House" — The Blue Smiths and other Smiths, the Tangier Smiths and other 
Branches of the Smith Family — The Floyds. 

E'propose in this chapter to select 
a few of the early and other repre- 
sentative families of Long Island, 
to tell how they acquired a settle- 
ment, what they did in the way of developing 
its resources, trace, when possible, and at more 
or less extent, their descendants to the present 
day, referring briefly to the doings of the 
most prominent in each generation and in a 
general way try to show the influence which 
each family selected has had upon the fortunes 
of the island. Scattered throughout the course 
of this work much information of the descrip- 
tion thus indicated will be found, but the selec- 
tion here made will group together representa- 
tive examples of the various classes of "found- 
ers" whose names are to-day as familiar in 
Long Island as household words, and will en- 
able the reader readily to understand the 
quality of hearts and hands which have led 
the way in the building up of the local his- 
tory. Long Island is justly proud of its old 
families, and while it heartily welcomes new- 
comers to its soil it is wont, to recall with 

pleasure the names of the pioneers who in. 
other times and under very different circum- 
stances from those which prevail to-day,, 
cleared the land of its virgin forests, made 
fruitful fields take the place of hunting 
grounds, introduced civilization and com- 
merce, and won for Long Island a definite and 
honored position in the annals of the State and 
the Nation. 

Outside of corporations, or companies, or 
sovereigns, the first owner of Long Island 
was William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, in 
many ways one of the most extraordinary men 
of his time ; a man who was restless in his 
activity, who won fame in various walks of 
life, who was one of the most extensive land- 
owners of which the world has any knowledge, 
yet who died poor — a bankrupt, in fact. Will- 
iam Alexander was born at Menstrie, Stirling- 
shire, in 1567. Through the influence of the 
Argyle family he obtained a position at the 
Scottish Court and became tutor to Prince 
Henry, eldest son of James VI. He soon won. 
the good graces of the sovereign himself — 


the British Solomon — by his learning, his 
shrewdness, and his poetical ability, and when 
the crowns of Scotland and England were uni- 
ted, in 1603, Alexander followed King James 
to London. That Alexander enjoyed much 
popular favor and high reputation as a poet 
during his lifetime is undoubted, although few 
except students of literature venture to read 
his productions now. They are heavy, dis- 
cursive, and, with the exception of a few of 
his sonnets and his "Paraenesis to Prince 
Henry," rather monotonous. He was a slave 
to the literary mannerisms and affectations of 
the age, but a knowledge of that cannot blind 
us to the fact that he was really possessed of 
a rich share of poetic ability. With his poeti- 
cal writings ot his merits as a poet, however, 
we have nothing to do in this place; nor do 
we need discuss the question as to whether 
or not he wrote King James's "Psalms," or 
even discuss the nature of his statesmanship 
^s employed in his official relations with his 
native country. We have to deal with him 
simply as a colonizer, one of the first to colo- 
nize America. His career at Court may be 
summed up by mentioning that he was knight- 
ed in 1609, created Lord Alexander of Tulli- 
body and Viscount Stirling in 1630, Earl of 
-Stirling and Viscount Canada in 1633, and 
Earl of Dovan in 1639. ^ Y^^r later he died. 

Lord Stirling found that the English were 
-Striving to establish colonies on the American 
seaboard and thought, like the patriot that he 
undoubtedly was, that his countrymen should 
have a share in the rich lands across the sea. 
Early in 1621 he sent a petition to King James 
for a grant of territory in America on which 
he hoped to induce Scotchmen to settle. "A 
great number of Scotch families," he told his 
sovereign, "had lately emigrated to Poland, 
Sweden and Russia," and he pointed out that 
"it would be equally beneficial to the interests 
of the kingdom, and to the individuals them- 
selves, if they were permitted to settle this 
valuable and fertile portion of his Majesty's 

The petition was granted by the King — 

probably that was satisfactorily arranged be- 
fore it had been committed to paper — and en- 
dorsed by the Privy Council. When these 
formalities had been gone through Lord Stir- 
ling entered on formal possession of what is 
now incorporated in Nova Scotia, New Bruns- 
wick, Prince Edward Island, a goodly portion 
of the State of Maine and of the Province of 
Quebec. This territory was to be known as 
New Scotland, — Nova Scotia, the charter dig- 
nifiadly called it, — and over it the new owner 
and those acting for him in it were supreme 
even to the establishment of churches and of 
courts of law. For some reason, not now ex- 
actly known. Lord Stirling at once handed over 
a part of his new dominion to Sir Robert 
Gordon of Lochinvar. That part is known as 
Cape Breton, but it was then given the more 
national name of New Galloway. 

Sir William Alexander, to give Lord Stir- 
ling the name by which he is probably best 
remembered, sent out his first expedition to 
colonize New Scotland in March, 1622. These 
pioneers, with the exception of an adventurous 
clergyman, were of the humblest class of agri- 
cultural laborers, and only a single artisan, a 
blacksmith, was among them. The voyage 
was a rough one, and, after sighting the coast 
of Cape Breton, the emigrants were glad to 
shape their course back to Newfoundland, 
where they spent the winter. Next spring Sir 
William, who had been advised of the failure 
of the first expedition, sent out another ship 
with colonists and provisions. The early re- 
ports of the land on which the new colony 
was to settle were communicated to him by 
some of his people soon after they managed 
to get landed, which they did in the guise of 
an exploring party. These reports were sub- 
mitted by him to the world, with all the at- 
tractiveness of a modern advertising agent, in 
his work entitled an "Encouragement to Colo- 
nies." The explorers described the country 
they visited (mainly the coast of Cape Breton) 
as "presenting very delecate meadowes, having 
roses white and red growing therein, with a 
kind of wild Lily, which hath a daintie smell." 



The ground "was without wood, and very 
good, fat earth, having several sort of berries 
growing thereon, as gooseberries, strawber- 
ries, hindbelrries, raspberries and a kind of wine 
berrie, as also some sorts of grain, as pease, 
some eares of wheat, barly and rie growing 
there wild. * * * They likewise found 
in every river abundance of lobsters, cockles, 
and all other shell fishes, and also, not only 
in the rivers, but all the coasts alongst, num- 
bers of several sorts of wilde foule, as wild 
goose, black Ducke, woodcock, orane, heron, 
pidgeon, and many other sorts of Foul which 
they knew not. They did kill as they sayled 
alongst the coast, great shore of cod, with 
several other sorts of great fishes. The coun- 
try is full of woods, not very thick, and the 
most part Oake, the rest Firre, Spruce, Birch 
and some Sicamores and Ashes and many 
other sorts of Wood which they had not seen 
before." All this information, so cunningly 
and attractively set forth by Sir William in his 
book of "Encouragement," which by the way 
had a map of the territory in which Scottish 
names are given to every point and section 
and river, failed to attract settlers and the "pro- 
jector" found himself some £6,000 out of pock- 
et by his patriotism. To reimburse him, and 
at the same time add a little to the royal treas- 
ury, the order of Baronets of Nova Scotia was 
founded, on the pattern of the order of Ulster ; 
even this move was not substantially success- 
ful, although the terms were reasonable and 
the lands accompanying the honor were 
"three myles long upon the coast and ten miles 
into the country." 

We need not follow the details of Sir Will- 
iam's colonizing schemes any further. They 
belong really to the history of Canada. Each 
failure seemed to be compensated for by a 
fresh grant of territory, and, if we may be- 
lieve a map issued long after by one of the 
many claimants for his hereditary titles and 
"land rights," the Alexander family held by 
right of charters, the sort of documents which 
the late Duke of Argyle believed to he the 
most sacred-on earth, not only about the whole 

of Canada, but what are now the States of 
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and an unde- 
fined territory two or three times as large as 
all that has been named put together. 

Sir William never saw his possessions on 
this side of the Atlantic. He appointed as 
his agent and administrator on Long Island 
James Farret, and by way of recompense, 
or partly so, for his services' the latter received 
as a starter a grant from his knightly employer 
of twelve thousand acres of land on Long 
Island, or "the islands adjacent." Farret af- 
terward selected Shelter Island and Robin's 
Island under this clause in the agreement, but 
in 1 641 he conveyed both these islands to 
Stephen Goodyear, of New Haven. That in- 
dividual seems never to have made any use 
of either of them, probably held them only as 
a speculation, and in 165 1 he sold both to 
Thomas Middleton, Thomas Rouse, Constant 
Sylvester and Nathaniel Sylvester, for 16 cwt. 
of raw sugar. These buyers, however, took 
the additional precaution of getting a confirma- 
tion of their title from the chief of the Man- 
hansett Indians. By 1666 the two Sylvesters 
and Thomas Middleton were the owners of 
Shelter Island and had the original patent 
from Lord Stirling's agent confirmed by Gov- 
ernor Nicolls. Governor Colve, when the 
Dutch regained sovereignty of the Province, 
confiscated the property of Middleton and Con- 
stant Sylvester and sold their holdings on the 
island to Nathaniel for £500. He had a good 
deal of trouble in collecting the amount before 
the regime under which he acted came to an 
end forever: in fact, he had to send a detach- 
ment of fifty soldiers to the island before Na- 
thaniel would part with the money. He did 
part with it, however, and remained in peace- 
ful possession until his death, when he willed 
the property in equal parts to his five sons. 
Its further story will be traced in another 
section of this work. 

On March 10, 1639, Farret, on behalf of 
Lord Stirling, made a conveyance to Lion 



Gardiner of what is now known as Gardiner's 
Island, but was formerly known among the 
Indians as Manchonat and among the En- 
glish as the Isle qf Wight. The details of this 
purchase, both of the Stirling conveyance and 
the sale by the Indians, as well as some ac- 
count of the career of Lion Gardiner, have 
already been given in a previous chapter 
(Chapter V). But reference is made again 
to the purchase and the family, because the 
island has remained in the hands of the Gar- 
diner family until the present day, and it gives 
us, as has been said, "the only illustration of 
the practical working of the law of primo- 
geniture in this country covering so long a 
period." Lion Gardiner died at Easthampton 
in 1663, in or about the sixty-fourth year of 
his age. He had taken up his abode at East- 
hampton about the year 1649, probably with 
the view of the enjoyment of more frequent 
social intercourse with his fellows than he 
could command on his little island kingdom, 
on which in 1641 one of his daughters, Eliza- 
beth, was born. At Easthampton he seems to 
have lived the simple life of a cultured coun- 
try gentleman, and was held in the highest 
esteem by the people. He filled the office of 
magistrate and in all respects was regarded 
as the representative citizen of that section of 
the island, wielding an influence that was 
equally potent among the Indians as among 
those of his own race. A recumbent statue 
placed beside his grave in 1886 is testimony 
that his memory is still cherished. His son 
David came into possession of the property 
when the pioneer rested from his labors. He 
seemed to inherit much of his father's talents, 
took up the role of country gentleman and 
represented Easthampton and the other east- 
ern towns on several occasions before the 
General Assembly at Hartford. He died in 
the last named town July lo^ i68g^ and his 
tomb set forth that he was "well, sick, dead, 
in one hour's time." His estate was divided 
between his sons, John getting Gardiner's 
Island and Lion the lands at Easthampton. 
With the latter's descendants we have no in- 

terest at present, although for several genera- 
tions they upheld the family name. Gardi- 
ner's Island continued in the possession of 
John Gardiner until he died, in 1764, when 
it passed to his eldest son, David. Another 
son acquired property at Eaton's Neck and 
founded a family. David soon after entering 
into ownership of the island married Jerusha, 
daughter of the Rev. Samuel Buell, and had 
two sons, — ^John Lion and David. The lat- 
ter settled at Flushing and left a family there. 
John Lion married the daughter of the Hon. 
Roger Griswold, and at his death, November 
22, 1816, the island became the property of 
his son, David Johnston, who died in 1829, 
and was the last to hold the island under the 
original deed of entail which extended to first 
heirs male only. His brother, John Griswold 
Gardiner, succeeded to the possession of the 
island, but died unmarried in 1861, whei) a 
third brother, Samuel Buell Gardiner, pur- 
chased the interest of a sister (Mrs. Sarah 
Diodati Thompson) in the property and be- 
came sole owner of the ancestral domain. He 
died in 1882, leaving it to his eldest son, 
David Johnston. It is at present held by the 
latter's brother, John Lion, the 12th lord of the 
property, and with a clearer and more direct 
descent from the original owner than that 
which gives title to many a lordly manor in 
the old land from which the family sprung. 
By the marriage of one of the ladies of the 
Gardiner family with President John Tyler, 
GardSners Island gave to the nation one of the 
"Queens of the White House," as the wives 
of the Presidents have been named. The facts 
in the case have recently been unearthed by 
Mr. Samuel Barber, and his interesting story 
is here reproduced: 

That Mrs. John Tyler, widow of President 
Tyler, was once a resident of Brooklyn makes 
it interesting to give a number of historical 
extracts, viz. : In Appleton's Biography we 
read, "John Tyler, ■ tenth President of the 
United States, 'born at Greenway, Charles 
City County, Virginia, March 29, 1790, died at 
Richmond, Va., January 18, 1862. On March 



29, 1812, he married Letitia, daughter of 
Robert Christian." It will thus be seen that 
his first marriage took place on his twenty- 
third birthday. 

"Letitia Christian, born at Cedar Grove, 
New Kent County, Va., Nov. 12, 1790, and 
died in Washington, D. C, Sept. 9, 1842, was 
the daughter of Robert Christian, a planter 
in New Kent County, Va. She married Mr. 
Tyler March 29, 1813, and removed with him 
to his home in Charles City County. When 
he became President she accompanied him to 
Washington, but her health was delicate and 
she died shortly afterward. Mrs. Tyler was 
unable to assume any social cares, and the 
duties of mistress of the White House de- 
volved upon her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Robert 
Tyler. She possessed great beauty of person 
and of character, and before the failure of her 
health was specially fitted for a social life." 
Again it says : "Their son Robert, born in 
New Kent County, Va., in 1818, and died in 
Montgomery, Ala., December 3, 1877, was 
educated at William and Mary and adopted 
the profession of the law. He married Pris- 
cilla, a daughter of Thomas Apthorpe Cooker, 
the tragedian, in 1839," of whom we find the 
following account in Brown's American Stage, 
page 81, viz.: "Priscilla E. Cooker, daughter 
of T. A. Cooker, made her debut February 
14, 1834, as Virginia at the Bowery Theater, 
New York. First appearance in Philadelphia 
Feb. 28, 1834, at the Arch Street Theater as 

"Again," adds Stapleton, "when his father 
became President his wife assumed the duties 
of mistress of the White House till after Mrs. 
John Tyler's death, when they devolved upon 
her daughter, Mrs. Letitia Sample." Of Presi- 
dent Tyler's second marriage we copy the fol- 
lowing from Appleton's Biography, T., p. 199: 
"President Tyler's second wife, Julia Gardiner, 
born on Gardiner's Island, near Easthampton, 
N. Y., May 4, 1820; died in Richmond, Va., 
July ID, 1889; was a descendant of the Gar- 
diners of Gardiner's Island. She was edu- 
cated zt the Chegary Institute, New York City, 
spent several months in Europe and in the 
winter of 1844 accompanied her father to 
Washington, D. C. A few weeks afterward 
he was killed by the explosion of a gun on 
the war steamer Princeton, which occurred 
during a pleasure excursion in which he and 
his daughter were of the Presidential party. 
His body was taken to the White House and 

Miss Gardiner, being thrown in the society 
of the President under these peculiar circum- 
stances, became the object of his marked at- 
tention, which resulted in their marriage in 
New York, June 26, 1844." 

The Brooklyn Eagle of June 27, 1844, 
speaks of the wedding thus : "Arrival of the 
President at New York — Marriage — Fete — 
Departure. Somehow or other, but most un- 
accountably, we forgot to mention yesterday 
that President Tyler arrived at New York for 
the purpose of marriage with Miss Julia Gar- 
diner, daughter of the late David Gardiner, 
who came to his death aboard the Princeton, 
last winter. Such, however, was the fact. 
The ceremony took place at the Church of the 
Ascension, on Fifth avenue, and the treaty 
between the high contracting parties was rati- 
fied by the Right Reverend Bishop Onderdonk. 
and the Rev. Dr. Bedell, rector of the church. - 
A few persons only — such as the relatives and 
one or two intimate friends of the parties — 
were present. In the afternoon they took the 
steamlDoat Essex and after navigating about 
the harbor and receiving salutes from the dif- 
ferent vessels lying at anchor, proceeded to 
Jersey City, where they took the cars for Phila- 
delphia. The bride is said to be accomplished, 
beautiful, interesting, an heiress and 22. The 
President, on the other hand, is known to be 
as homely as a brush fence and 55 years of 
age, being a difference of thirty-three. Some 
of his children, therefore, are probably many 
years older than their stepmother. Taste is, 
of course, supreme in matters of this kind, 
but if we had an accomplished and beautiful 
daughter of 22 (as we have not, and proba- 
bly never shall have), and if an amorous youth 
of 55 with gray hair and wrinkled face were 
to propose for her we should request, and, if 
necessary, assist him to move on; but, mercy 
on us! what are we talking about?" 

Again continues Appleton : "For the suc- 
ceeding eight months she presided over the 
White House with dignity and grace, her resi- 
dence there terminating with a birthnight ball 
on February 22, 1845. Mrs. Tyler retired with 
her husband to Sherwood Forest, in Virginia, 
at the conclusion of his term, and after the 
Civil War resided for several years at her 
mother's residence, on Castleton Hill, S. I., 
and subsequently at Richmond, Va. She was 
a convert to Roman Catholicism and devoted 
to charities of that church." 

Again, it says : "Their son, Lyon Gardiner, 



was born in Charles City County, Virginia, in 
August, 1853, was graduated at the University 
of Virginia in 1875, and then studied law." 

It will thus be seen that President Tyler 
had one child by each wife. "The remainder 
of his days," we read in "Abbott's Lives of 
the Presidents," "Mr. Tyler passed mainly in 
retirement at his beautiful house, "Sherwood 
Forest," Charles City, Va., a polished gentle- 
man in manners, richly furnished with infor- 
mation from books' and experience in the world 
and possessing brilliant powers of conversa- 
tion. His family circle was the scene of un- 
usual attractions. 

Mrs. Tyler, after her husband's death, was 
for several years a resident of Brooklyn. She 
lived in a three-story brick house, still stand- 
ing, on Gold street, a little north of Wil- 
loughby, on the west side. 

A much more numerous, and in some re- 
spects a more generally influential family on 
Long Island was, and is, that of Smith. In 
most sections of the English-speaking world 
the name is generally regarded with the famil- 
iarity which is induced by its commonness 
and recalls no territorial or other distinction. 
In Long Island it is different; and to trace 
descent from one of the old families bearing 
that name is held as equal in dignity with the 
blue blood of Massachusetts which can begin 
a genealogical tree with an Endicott, or a 
Bradford, or a Standish. With 'reference to 
this family we find the following interesting 
data in Gabriel Furman's "Antiquities of Long 
Island," written about the year 1830: "Upon 
this island, and especially in the central por- 
tion of it, are very many families of the name 
of Smith, and so numerous did they become 
at an early period of the settlement that it 
was thought necessary to distinguish the vari- 
ous original families by some peculiar name. 
Thus we have the Rock Smiths, the Blue 
Smiths, the Bull Smiths, the Weight Smiths 
and the Tangier Smiths. 

Of the Rock Smiths there are two dis- 
tinct families, one originally settled between 
Rockaway and Hempstead some ten or fifteen 
years before the settlement of the first white 
inhabitants in Setauket, who derived their 

name from their contiguity to Rockaway ; and 
the other located in Brookhaven, and obtained 
their appellation from their ancestor erecting 
his dwelling against a large rock which still 
remains in the highway of that town. 

The Blue Smiths were settled in Queens 
county and obtained their peculiar designation 
from a blue cloth coat worn by their ancestor; 
whether because such cloth coat was then an 
uncommon thing in the neighborhood, or that 

he always dressed in a coat of that color, does 
not appear. 

The Bull Smiths of Sufifolk county are the 
most numerous of all the families of the name 
of Smith upon this island. It is said there 
are now at least one thousand males of that 
branch on this island. The ancestors of this 
branch of the Smith family was Major Rich- 
ard Smith, who came from England to New 
England with his father, Richard, in the early 
part of the seventeenth century, and afterward 
came to this island and became the patentee 
of Smithtown. The sobriquet of this class of 



Smiths is said to have arisen from the circum- 
stance of the ancestor having trained and used 
a bull in place of a horse for riding. 

The Weight Smiths derived their name 
from being possessed of the only set of scales 
and weights in the neighborhood of their resi- 
dence, to which all the farmers of the country 
around repaired for the purpose of weighing 
anything they wished to isell or buy; at least 
so says the tradition. 

The Tangier Smiths owe their origin to 
Colonel William Smith, who had been the En- 
glish Governor of Tangier in the reign of 
Charles II, and emigrated to this colony in the 
summer of 1686, where he settled in the town 
of Brookhaven, on the neck known as Little 
Neck, and afterward as Strong's Neck, which, 
together with his many other purchases, was 
erected into a manor by the name of Saint 
George's Manor by a patent granted him in 
1693 by Governor Fletcher. Most of the Tan- 
gier Smiths are now in that town, scattered 
through it from the north to the south side 
of the island. 

These different appellations became as 
firmly settled as if they were regular family 
names, so that when any inquiry was made 
of any person on the road, man, woman or 
child, for any particular Smith they would at 
once ask whether he was of the Rock breed, 
or the Bull breed, etc. ; and if the person de- 
siring the information could say which breed, 
he was at once told of his residence." 

Richard Smith, the first of the name to hold 
land in Long Island, left England and arrived 
in 1650 at Boston, where he remained until 
1665, when he became one of a colony which 
moved to Long Island and established the town 
of Brookhaven. His home was near the pres- 
ent village of Setauket. He was a man of 
means, bought as much land in the vicinity of 
his home as he could, held the office of magis- 
trate, and proved himself a public-spirited 
citizen generally. In 1663 he purchased a tract 
of land westward from Setauket and had his 
title strengthened by an Indian deed. Not 
long afterward he purchased another tract 

direct from the Indians, including a section of 
the shore of Lake Ronkonkoma, and got a 
new English patent from Governor Nicolls in 
1667. Owing to some trouble with the people 
of Huntington over the western boundary of 
his domain, Smith submitted the question to 
the courts of New York and was sustained on 
all points for which he contended. By this 
decision he extended his holdings so as to in- 
clude both banks of the Nesaquake River, and, 
to make assurance doubly sure, got a new 
patent from Governor Andros, in 1677, cover- 
ing all the territory lately in dispute. By this 
patent his property covered ten square miles 
and is contained in the present town in Suffolk 
county bearing his name. Of the personal his- 
tory of this noteworthy Smith little has come 
down to us excepting the remains of local 
gossip, such as that which makes him ride 
around the country on a bull instead of a horse 
and so win a sobriquet for his family. It is 
said he fought in the Narragansett War under 
the banner of Connecticut, and held the rank 
of major, but the details we have of his cam- 
paigning are very brief. He died about the 
year 1700, leaving a family of six sons — Rich- 
.ard, Jonathan, Job, Adam, Samuel and Daniel 
— and one daughter — Deborah. In 1707 the 
real estate of the pioneer was divided among 

In the records of the Society of Colonial 
Wars the following find a place among the 
members on account of their descent from 
Richard Smith (Bull Smith) : 

A. Chester Beatty, New York. 

Robert C. Beatty, New York. 

W. Gedney Beatty, New York. 

Howell Foster, Brooklyn. 

Robert Cutting, Lawrence, N. Y. 

R. B. Sackley, Rhinecliff. 

The "Bull" Smiths, it will be readily under- 
stood, while they have given many reputable 
citizens to the island and taken a full and 
active part in its development, have added but 
little to its history or to its prominence in the 
general affairs of the State. They have been 
mostly notable for the qualities which made 



up the true country gentleman, a life among 
their ancestral fields, a disregard for public 
office outside of their own vicinity, and devot- 
ing themselves closely to the upbuilding of the 
sections of the island in which they had set up 
their homes. Proud of their descent, they 
seemed satisfied with the eminence it afforded 
them and stood aside, as it were, while others 
pressed forward to win renown by work and 

The other pioneer family of Smiths, the 
"Tangier Smiths," on the other hand, for sev- 
eral generations bring us in close touch with 
the history of the island and the nation. The 
founder of the family in America, Colonel 
William Smith, was born at Newton, near 
Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, England, 
February 2, 1655. In 1675 he received the 
appointment from Charles II of Governor of 
Tangier, where it was proposed to establish 
a trading colony, and he married Maria, a 
daughter of Henry Tunstall, of Putney, No- 
vember 6, 167s, and set out for his domin- 
ion with the title of colonel. Great sums of 
money were spent on this then new posses- 
sion of the British crown, and it was hoped 
that it would soon take a place among the 
most important trading stations of the world; 
but the expectations were not realized, and in 
a comparatively short time the station was 
abandoned, its costly fortifications left to go 
to ruin, and the. little army there stationed 
returned to England. 

Colonel Smith for a time seems to have 
carried on business as a general merchant in 
London. In 1686 he crossed the Atlantic and 
engaged in trade for several years. He was 
induced to throw in his lot with the New 
World probably on account of his friendship 
for Governor Dongan. Soon after his arrival 
he "went prospecting" and selected some land 
a.t Little Neck, Brookhaven, buying up the 
holdings of the original proprietors. There 
seems to have been some trouble over this 
p.urchase with some of the holders, but the 
influence of Dongan was exerted on his 
friend's behalf, and on October 2, 1687, Smith 

formally completed his first purchase of Long, 
Island lands. This purchase was afterward 
added to until the property won recognition 
as a manor. Smith during this time seems 
to have been busily engaged in mercantile pur- 
suits, and on the records of Brookhaven, ac- 
cording to Thompson, is an entry showing 
that the "merchant," as Smith is described, 
held a bill against Governor Dongan for goods 
to the amount of £993. Probably it was 
rather for "services rendered" in the devious 
ways known in those days and probably not 
altogether unknown in these passing superior 
days of ours. It would seem that almost as 
soon as he was comfortably settled at Little 
Neck, Colonel Smith began the acquisition of 
fresh lands and had them erected into Saint 
George's Manor 'by patent issued by Governor 
Fletcher in 1693. Soon after he made further 
great accessions pressing toward the bound- 
aries of Southampton, and these were included 
in the manorial title by a fresh patent issued 
in 1697. This manorial holding gave Colonel 
Smith many privileges and made his influence 
paramount over the extent of territory — larger 
than many a European principality — which it 
described. It gave him a right to hold court, 
to invite immigrants, to demand as by right 
a recognized share in their labor, and to a 
seat in the General Assembly of the province. 
But long before the manorial patent was issued 
Colonel Smith had acquired a commanding 
position in the affairs of the province. 

In 1 69 1 Governor Sloughter appointed him 
a member of Council and one of the Commis- 
sioners of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. 
When the Supreme Court was inaugurated, in 
that same year, Smith was appointed to one 
of the Judgeships, an office to which no sal- 
ary was attached. This arrangement was rec- 
tified, however, a year later, when Governor 
Fletcher (November 11, 1692) appointed him 
Chief Justice with a salary of £130. He proved 
an upright, dignified and impartial judge, al- 
though he appears to have been outspoken and 
determined in his opposition to Leisler in the 
troubles which that individual's policy and 



ambition brought upon the colony. As might 
be expected, when Governor BellomOnt, on his 
arrival in New York April 2, 1698, announced 
himself as a friend of the Leisler party and 
an avowed enemy of all who had shown 
themselves opposed thereto, the position of 
Chief Justice Smith became a most unenviable 
one. The Leislerites felt that their hour of 
triumph had come, the hour when the hang- 
ing of the self-appointed Governor would be 
legally branded as a crime, and restitution 
made in some way for the wrongs and indigni- 
ties which had been heaped uf>on those who 
had championed his cause and honored his 
memory. They felt that with such a Chief 
Justice as Smith on the bench nothing prac- 
tical could be accomplished, and with the ar- 
rival of the new Governor they began their 
schemes looking to that end. Bellomont or- 
ganized his Council so as to make it more 
amenable to his views and policy; but he per- 
mitted Smith to retain his seat, as his loyalty 
was well known and he seems to have had 
some attached friends in England who would 
have resented his removal from a position 
which the Governor could reduce, and had re- 
duced, to simply one of honor. But the Chief 
Justiceship was another matter, and after wait- 
ing a decent time Bellomont removed him from 
that office, October 30, 1700. 

When Governor Bellomont died Smith, 
then senior member of the Council, claimed 
and exercised the functions of the executive 
until the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor Nan- 
fan, who was hurriedly summoned from Bar- 
bados. Smith's claim to the office aroused 
party feeling to the utmost, a majority of the 
assembly refused to recognize his title, said 
majority being of the Leislerite persuasion: 
and it is hard to say to what condition the 
prevailing confusion and bitterness might have 
developed had not a stop to the tumult been 
put by the appearance of Nanfan upon the 
scene, much sooner than had been anticipated. 
Nanfan, however, ranged himself on the side 
of the Leislerites and they ruled things with 
a pretty rough hand, almost paralleling the 

case of Nicholas Bayard, a former Mayor of 
New York, the crime which had made the name 
of Leisler become a party ci-y, until the anrival, 
in 1702, of Lord Cornbury. He at once took 
sides with the Anti-Leislerites, and re-appoint- 
ed Smith to the office of Chief Justice, and by 
his distribution of patronage, mainly, brought 
about the almost complete disappearance of the 
shibboleth of Leislerism as a potent factor in 
local politics. Smith retained his judicial office 
until April, 1703, when he -resigned, but he 
continued to hold his seat in the Council until 
his death, at Little Neck, February 18, 1705. 

Colonel Smith had three sons, one of 
whom, the youngest, Charles Jeffrey, died 
when a youth. Both of the surviving members 
of the family inherited many of the sterling 
qualities of the father. The eldest son, Henry, 
held the office of Clerk of Suffolk County from 
1710 to 1716 and was for many years one of 
the county judges. 

His son. Colonel William Smith, was Clerk 
of Suffolk County from 1730 to 1750 and a 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for sev- 
eral years prior to the Revolution. He mar- 
ried Margaret, daughter of Henry Lloyd, of 
Lloyd Neck, and had a family of several chil- 

His only daughter, Anna, became the wife 
of Judge Selah Strong, of Setauket. 

The family of Colonel Smith's second son, 
William, also fully sustained the honorable 
name of that great pioneer. William received 
as part of his share of Colonel Smith's estate 
some lands at Mastic, and he settled down 
there, rose to the dignity of a major in some 
local militia squad, and lived the life of a quiet 
country gentleman. His son William was for 
many years a Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas, and was a member of the first Pro- 
vincial Congress. In 1777 he was chosen one 
of the State Senators, and he retained that 
dignified office until the close of the Revolu- 
tionary War. His son John was possibly the 
most widely known member of the family, 
after its founder. We refer more particularly 
to his career in our notice of General Wood- 



hull (Chapter XX), whose daughter he mar- 
ried. His brother William settled down as a 
farmer in Brookhaven, and died at Longwood, 
near Manorville, leaving his farm to his son, 
William Sidney Smith. 

Probably no family on Long Island has 
contributed such a succession in each genera- 
tion of men eminent in the community as that 
of the Floyds. In one respect they stand 
ahead of all the others in numbering among 
them a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence; but even without this member of a 
group of statesmen — whose memory is being 
enshrined in the national heart more rever- 
ently as the years pass on — the family story 
contains enough to inspire pride in those en- 
titled to wear the name and warrant the re- 
spect in which it is held all over Long Island. 

The name of the founder of the family, 
Richard Floyd, appeairs on the list of those 
who in 1655 bought land at Setauket from the 
Indians and set up a communiy which see.iis 
to have been intended to be governed after 
Presbytorian rules. Floyd was born at Breck- 
nockshire, Wales, about 1620, and, it is 
thought on religious grounds, left his native 
land for New England in the fall of 1653. 
He landed in Boston early in the following 
year, but probably did not find that true tolera- 
tion among the Puritans which he expected, 
and so was induced to throw in his lot with 
a new colony which appears to have been or- 
ganized by men of his own persuasion. He 
seems to have soon become recognized as one 
of the leaders of the little settlement, bought 
up lands as fast as he could, prospered in all 
his worldly affairs, was a local magistrate and 
a colonel of militia. He died about 1690. 
His wife died in 1706, at the age of eighty 

His eldest son, Richard, closely followed in 
his footsteps when the family honors fell to 
him. Richard was born at Setauket May 12, 
1661, married Margaret Nicolls, eldest daugh- 
ter of Matthias Nicolls, secretary of the Duke 
of York's commissioner who captured New 
York from the Dutch and became the first 

Governor of the English Province of New 
York. Richard Floyd was one of the Judges 
of the Court of Common Pleas and held the 
office of colonel of militia until his death in 


We must here leave the direct line of prim- 
ogeniture and speak of the second son of Rich- 
ard Floyd and Margaret Nicolls. He received 
the baptismal name of Nicolls, and was settled 
on a farm at Mastic. He did not grow rich in 
this world's goods, but raised a family of eight 
children — five daughters and three sons — Will- 
iam, Nicol and Charles. William is the only 
one of the family whose career we propose 
to follow here. He was born at Mastic De- 
cember 17, 1734, and received the usual edu- 
cation given in those times to farmers' sons; 
but his strong common sense, natural shrewd- 
ness and close observation supplemented his 
education and safely carried him through the 
many important roles he was destined to play 
in life's journey, while at the beginning of his 
career the influence of his family name gave 
him of itself a degree of standing in the com- 
munity which had only to be rightly guided 
to become of great personal advantage. He 
early developed many admirable traits, became 
an adept at farming and a prudent man in 
worldly affairs. Of strong religious convic- 
tions, hs took a deep interest in the spiritual 
welfare of the people among whom he lived, 
and he implicitly believed that the practice of 
the Congregational Church formed the only 
true model upon which upright and honored 
civil government could be founded. He was 
a close student of public affairs, a keen and 
logical observer of the trend of the events of 
the day, and was outspoken and pronounced 
in his advocacy of the people's rights when 
the crisis with the mother country was ap- 
proaching. Early in life he was chosen as an 
officer in the Suffolk county mihtia; he was 
Colonel of the First Suflfolk Regiment in 1775, 
and after the war was over he was commis- 
sioned a Major General, but his, mihtary ca- 
reer, to put it mildly, was a most evenly un- 
interesting one, its most startling incident be- 





ing a hurried call to prevent a small boat land- 
ing on Long Island early in the conflict with 
Britain. His talents were better fitted for the 
halls of legislation than for the tented field. 
After a short service in the Provincial Assem- 
bly he was sent as a delegate, in 1774, to the 
first Continental Congress, and was one of 
those who from the beginning were in favor 
of the independence of the colonies. He voted 
for the adoption of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and signed that document — his great 
claim to immortality. "He continued," writes 
Edward F. De Lancey, "by successive re-ap- 
pointments a member of every Continental 
Congress up to 1782, inclusive. At the same 
time, from 1777 till 1783, he was State Sena- 
tor under the first Constitution of New York, 
being regularly appointed by that body for the 
Southern District, then wholly within the Brit- 
ish lines, so that no election could be held. 
From 1784 till 1788 he was duly elected to the 
same office from the same district. In 1787 
and 1789 he was chosen a member of the 
Council of Appointment. In the Presidential 
elections of 1792, 1800 and 1804 he was cho- 
sen one of the Presidental Electors, and in 
1801 he sat for Suflfolk County in the Consti- 
tutional Convention of that year. He was an 
early and warm supporter of Jefferson. His 
education being only that of the country 
schools of his youth, he was not a speaker, nor 
orator, nor an accomplished writer ; but in the 
work of the different bodies in which he served 
he was noted for his assiduity, sound advice, 
unflagging labor and thorough knowledge of 
the business before them. He was eminently 
a practical man, and his firmness and resolu- 
tion were very great. Although somewhat 
unpolished in manner, he at the same time pos- 
sessed a natural gravity and dignity which 
made itself felt." 

During the British occupation of Long Isl- 
and General Floyd's farm was seized by the 
British and his family sought refuge in Con- 
necticut. The property was stripped by sol- 
diers of all its attractiveness, fields were deso- 
lated, trees uprooted and fences burned, and 

the house itself plundered and rendered un- 
inhabitable. He was absent from the island 
for some six years, and was amazed, on his 
return, at the havoc which was wrought and 
which was everywhere apparent. In 1784 he 
purchased a tract of land at Delta, Western 
township, Oneida county, where he removed 
with his family in 1803, and he continued to 
reside there in fairly affluent circumstances 
until his death, August 4, 1821. Floyd town- 
ship in Oneida county was named in his 

General Floyd was twice married. By his 
first wife, a daughter of William Jones, of 
Southampton, he had three children,- — Nicol, 
Mary and Catharine. The son took possession 
of the property at Mastic, became active in 
local affairs and was chosen a representative 
from Suffolk county in the New York Assem- 
bly in 1779, 1800 and 1801 ; Mary married 
Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, one of tjie he- 
roes of the Revolution ; and Catharine became 
the wife of Dr. Samuel Clarkson, of Phila- 
delphia. His second wife was a daughter of 
Benejah Strong, of Setauket, and by her he 
had two daughters, — Anna and Eliza. The 
first named married George Clinton, a son of 
Vice President Clinton, and after his death 
became the wife of Abraham Varick, mer- 
chant, New York; Eliza married James Piatt, 
of U-tica. 

Having thus traced the career of the most 
eminent member of the Floyd family, the one 
who secured by his patriotism an undying 
place in the general history of the country, we 
may now revert to the original family and 
trace its descent to our own times. The eldest 
son of the second Richard also bore that name. 
He was born December 29, 1703, and, like his 
father, became colonel of the Suffolk militia 
and a Judge of the Common Pleas. He mar- 
ried a daughter of Colonel Samuel Hutchin- 
son, of Southold. On his death, April 21, 
1771, he was succeeded in his estate by his son 
Richard (fourth of the name), who was born 
in 1736. Richard also succeeded to the colo- 
nelcy and the Judgeship so long held in the 


family, and soon acquired a reputation for 
his lavish hospitality, while his kindly, affable 
manner and many fine social qualities won him 
devoted friends among all classes. He enter- 
tained Governor Tryon and his staff as if they 
were princes, on at least one occasion; his 
doors were always open to the red-coated mili- 
tary, and unfortunately for himself he threw in 
his lot with the British when the crisis broke, 
without any attempt to hide his sentiments or 
disguise his position. He was too honest a 
man to do either. As a result his estate was 
declared confiscated and after the peace of 
1783, when the Continentals could enforce 
their act of attainder, he was compelled to 
leave the country and removed to Canada. He 
settled at Maujerville, New Brunswick, and 
there resided until his death, June 30, 1791. 
He had married September 26, 1758, Arabella, 
daughter of David Jones, of Fort Neck, 
Queens county. Judge of the Supreme Court 
of New York and author of a "History of 
New York During the Revolutionary War." 
By her he had a family of two daughters, — 
Elizabeth and Ann, — and a son, — David Rich- 
ard. Judge Jones entailed his estate at Fort 
Neck to his son, and failing him or his heirs 
to the heirs of his daughter Arabella, Mrs. 
Floyd, on condition that the latter should as- 
sume the name of Jones. In due time David 
Richard Floyd succeeded to the property; In 
terms of the succession David Richard as- 
sumed the surname of Floyd- Jones, by which 
the descendants of the senior branch of the 
Floyd family have since been known, the legis- 
lature having confirmed the change in 1788. 
David Richard married Sarah, daughter of 
Henry Onderdonck, and died February 10, 
1826, leaving two sons, — Thomas Floyd- Jones 
and Henry Floyd-Jones. Thomas was borA 
in 1788. 

He died in 1851. His eldest son, David 

Richard Floyd-Jones, born in 1813, was a 
member of the New York Assembly in 1841, 
1842 and 1843, ^"d served in the State Senate 
from 1844 to 1847. In 1861 he was elected 
Secretary of State, and Lieutenant-Governor 
in 1863-4. He was in every way an estima- 
ble and useful citizen, and his death, January 
8, 1871, called forth expressions of regret 
from all classes in the community. His brother, 
William Floyd- Jones, was born at Fort Neck 
March 10, 1815. Preferring a commercial ca- 
reer, he entered the establishment of Tredwell, 
Kissarn & Co., New York, in which he became 
a partner in 1837. In 185 1 he retired from 
business life, having acquired a large share 
of the property held by his father, and devoted 
himself to agriculture, hunting and fishing. 
He married in 1847 Caroline A., daughter of 
Robert Blackwell, merchant, New York, and 
granddaughter of James Blackwell, owner of 
Blackwell's Island. By her he had a family 
of five sons and three daughters. Another 
brother, Elbert Floyd-Jones, represented 
Queens for several years in the State Assem- 
bly. Henry Floyd- Jones, an uncle of the three 
last named, and second son of Thomas Floyd- 
Jones, was born in 1792, and served in the 
Assembly in 1829. He was a State Senator 
and a member for years of the old Court of 
Errors. He was also, like his brother, a Brig- 
adier-General of mihtia. The family of Rich- 
ard Floyd is found all over Long Island, hon- 
ored, respected and beloved by all the people. 
These three names, — Gardiner, Smith and 
Floyd, — must suffice as fairly representative of 
the old families of Suffolk county, and- we 
may now seek some representative in the 
ancient county of Queens, Queens before it 
lost so much of its identity in metropolitan 
greatness or divested itself of much of its ter- 
ritory in the creation of the modern county of 



The Lloyds — The Jones Family — The Record of a Bit of Brooklyn Real Estate 

— The Rapalyes — The Livingstons — Pierrepont, Lefferts 

and Other Holdings. 

NOTHER capital illustration of the 
manner in which lands were ac- 
quired in the earliest days of Euro- 
pean settlements is presented to us 
in the history of the Lloyd family, whose 
name is geographically preserved by Lloyd's 
Neck (called by the Indians Caumsett) a 
point of land projecting into the Sound be- 
tween Cold Spring and Huntington. The 
Neck, comprising about 3,000 acres, was 
bought September 20, 1654, from Ratiocan, 
then Sagamore of Cow Harbor, by Samuel * 
Mayo, Daniel Whitehead and Peter Wright, 
all Oyster Bay settlers. The price paid was 
three coats, three shirts, two cuttoes, three 
hatchets, three hoes, two fathoms of wam- 
pum, six knives, two pairs of stockings and 
two pairs of shoes, worth possibly about $50. 
In 1658 the three Oyster Bay speculators 
sold the land to Samuel Andrews, who took 
the precaution of getting his deed endorsed or 
confirmed by Wyandanch, the Chief of the 
Montauks. Two years later Andrews died, 
and the property was sold to John Richbill, 
who in turn sold it for £450, October 16, 
1666, to Nathaniel Sylvester, Thomas Hart 
and Latimer Sampson, who further strength- 
ened their title by getting a patent from Gov- 
ernor Nicolls in the following year. In 1668 
Sylvester gave up his share to his partners, 
although why or for what consideration is not 
clear. Sampson bequeathed his share to Griz- 

zell Sylvester, who married James Floyd, of 
Boston. In 1679 Floyd bought Hart's share 
from that pioneer's executors and so acquired 
possession of the entire property. He retained 
it, probably • for purely speculative purposes, 
hoping to benefit by a "rise," until his death, 
in 1693, when he bequeathed it to his sons. 
One of these, Henry, took up his residence on 
the property in 171 1, and gradually bought up 
the interest of his co-heirs until the whole 
estate passed into his hands, and he may be 
regarded as the founder of the family in Long 
Island. In 1685 the property had been erected 
into a manor and given the name of Queens 
Village, and that title it retained until 1790, 
when the New York Legislature wisely re- 
fused to continue the manorial privilege, or, 
for very evident reasons, to sanction its mon- 
archical name. Henry Lloyd was born at 
Boston November 28, 1685, and died March 
ID, 1763. In 1708 he married Rebecca, daugh- 
ter of John Nelson, of Boston, by whom he 
had a family of ten children. He bequeathed 
the Lloyd's Neck property to his four surviv- 
ing sons, — Henry, John, James and Joseph. 
The eldest, Henry, was a Tory in the Revolu- 
tionary struggle, and his share in the property 
was forfeited by the act of attainder. It was 
afterward purchased from the Commissioners 
by his brother John, who then became the head 
of the Long Island family. His other brother, 
James, threw in his lot with New England, 



becoming a physician in Boston, where he died 
in 1809, leaving, among other children, a son, 
James, who became a United States Senator 
from Massachusetts. The youngest son of the 
founder of the family, Joseph, died at Hart- 
ford in 1780. 

John Lloyd, who may be regarded as the 
successor to his father at the head of the family 
having bought the forfeited share of his elder 
brother, was born February 19, 171 1, and mar- 
ried Sarah, daughter of the Rev. Benjamin 
Woolsey, of Dos Oris. They had three daugh- 
ters and two sons. Of the former, Abigail be- 
came the wife of Dr. James Cogswell, a well 
known New York physician and philanthro- 
pist, while Sarah married the Hon. James Hill- 
house, United States Senator from Connecti- 
cut, and became the mother of James Hill- 
house, whose name is a brilliant one in the 
literary history of the Nutmeg State as the 
author of "Percy's Masque" and other dramas 
and poems. Zachary Macaulay, the father of 
the British historian and essayist, spoke of him 
as "the most accomplished young man" with 
whom he was acquainted. 

John Lloyd threw in his lot with the Con- 
tinental forces during the Revolution, and as 
a result his property was sadly molested all 
through the occupation of Long Island by the 
British. They erected a fort on it, cut down 
its many beautiful trees, destroyed its buildings 
and carried away their contents. The pres- 
ence of the fort introduced more than once 
into the erstwhile prosperous and smiling 
acres the miseries of actual war. In 1781 an 
attempt was made to capture it by a small 
force under the command of the Baron De 
Angley, but the effort failed mainly on ac- 
count of the poorly equipped condition of the 
attacking party. It was also constantly 
menaced by the whale-boat rovers. Of the 
sons of John Lloyd and Sarah Woolsey, 
Henry, the eldest, died unmarried. John, who 
succeeded to the family honors and estates, 
served as a Commissariat in the Patriot army 
with fidelity and distinction. When peace was 
declared he settled down at Lloyd's Neck and 

began the task of obliterating the damages and 
savings of war, to which he successfully de- 
voted the remainder of his life. He was of- 
fered by Governor Jay the office of Judge of 
Queens County, but declined, preferring the 
freedom and privacy of his fields. He mar- 
ried Amelia, daughter of the Rev. Ebenezer 
White, of Danbury, Connecticut, and died in 
1792, at the early age of forty-seven years, 
leaving one son, John Nelson Lloyd, and a 
daughter, Angelina, to whom he bequeathed 
most of his property. John continued to re- 
side on the Neck, as it is popularly called lo- 
cally, until his death in 1849. Angelina mar- 
ried George W. Strong, a well known New 
York lawyer. 

None of the name of Lloyd now occupies 
the Neck, and all traces of its manorial great- 
ness has disappeared in the smaller farms into 
which it is divided. But around are hundreds 
of the descendants of the old family, and many 
of the residents, though bearing different 
names on account of their descent through 
some "daughter of the house," can trace their 
pedigree right back to the original of the fam- 
ily — Henry Lloyd. 

So far as mingling in public affairs was 
concerned the Jones family, of Oyster Bay, 
occupy a much more prominent place in the 
story of Long Island than their one-time 
neighbors, the Lloyds. 

The founder of the family, so far as Long 
Island is concerned, was Thomas Jones, who 
is generally held to have been born in Stra- 
bane, Ulster county, Ireland, in 1665. The 
name is a purely Welsh one, and if Thomas 
was not born in that country he could hardly 
have been more than one degree removed from 
its soil ; so the family ought to be regarded as 
a Welsh, rather than an Irish one, as is com- 
monly the way in which it is described by 
local historians. Thomas Jones, unlike most 
Ulstermen, ranged himself on the side of 
the Catholic King, James II, of Great Britain, 
fought under that monarch's flag at the battle 
of the Boyne in 1690, at the desperate battle 
at Aghrim in 1691, and took part in the de- 



fence of Limerick in the same year under the 
heroic Sarsfield. Soon after Limerick capit- 
ulated he escaped to France, and seems to 
have become a seaman, for Edward F. De 
Lancy tella us "he embarked early in 1692 un- 
der one of the numerous letters of marque to 
participate in the Revolution, and was present 
at the great earthquake of Jamaica July 7, 
1692, and in that year came to Long Island." 
Thompson says : "Coming to America, he 
brought with him a commission from the King 
to cruise against Spanish property, the two 
nations being then at war, which he doubtless 
did not fail to apply to his own advantage as 
opportunity offered." Thompson is hardly- to 
be even compared with De Lancey as an au- 
thority, but it will be seen that both speak 
rather vaguely, neither presenting the same 
closeness of statement we would expect in a 
genealogical reference. The truth is, the whole 
story of Jones' Irish career is unreliable and 
untrustworthy, very possibly because its real 
details were purposely hidden from us by him- 
self or others. 

He settled first in Rhode Island, where he 
married Freelove, daughter of Henry Town- 
send, and received with her as a marriage gift 
from her father a tract of land at Fort Neck, 
at "the confluence of the Massapeaqua River 
with what is now called South Oyster Bay, on 
the south side of Long Island." Thompson 
also says : "After his settlement here he en- 
gaged largely in boat whaling along shore, 
which at that period and before was practiced 
extensively upon the whole south coast of the 
island. For this purpose he gave employment 
to a great number of natives, whose services 
were procured at a very cheap rate." What- 
ever his occupation, he certainly prospered, for 
he steadily increased his lands by purchase, 
from the natives mainly, until he held some 
6,000 acres. On March 2, 1699, he was ad- 
mitted one of the freeholders under the Oyster 
Bay patent, and during the same year erected 
for his dwelling the first brick house seen in 
that section. Many honors came to him. He 
was appointed High Sheriff of Queens County 

October 14, 1704, and received a commission- 
as major in the local militia. Governor Hun- 
ter, in 1710, gave him the appointment of 
"Ranger General of Nassau [Long] Island," 
and that office gave him a practical monopoly 
of the fishing industry of the shores of the 
island except the water front of the county of 
Kings, and also to the use of all land within 
the same limits which had not then been sold 
or deeded away. Such a man was indeed a 
potentate, but his sway appears to have been 
a gentle and honorable one, and he certainly 
did what he could to advance the interests of 
the great territory committed to his care. He 
died at Fort Neck December 13, 1713, and in 
accordance with his often expressed wish his 
remains were interred amid the ruins of an 
old Indian fort on his property. He left three 
sons and four daughters. Of the latter, Mar- 
garet married Ezekiel Smith, Sarah became- 
the wife of Gerardus Clowes, Elizabeth wed- 
ded John Mitchell, and the youngest. Free- 
love, married Jacob Smith. Of the sons, 
David succeeded to the paternal estate, by 
virtue of an entail, which settled the greater 
portion on heirs male, Thomas died, unmar- 
ried, and of William we will speak again. 

David Jones was born at Little Neck Sep- 
tember 16, 1699, and was educated for the 
legal profession. He practiced law in New 
York City for some years, and in 1734 was- 
appointed Judge for Queens County. In 1737 
he was elected a member of the Colonial As- 
sembly and so continued until 1758, having 
been Speaker of that body for thirteen years. 
He left the Assembly when he was appointed 
to the bench of the Supreme Court, from 
which he retired in 1773. The remainder of 
his quiet but useful life was spent at Fort 
Neck, and he died there October 11, 1775. He 
was a man of considerable force of character. 
"On one occasion," says Thompson, "he had 
the firmness to order the doors of the Assembly 
closed against the Governor until a bill, then 
under disciission, could be passed and wJiich 
his Excellency had determined to prevent by 
an immediate prorogation. During his whole 



life, and in every situation, Judge David Jones 
was tlie unyielding advocate of the rights of 
the people against every species of royal en- 
croachment, and no man participated more 
largely of the public confidence and respect." 
He managed to change the entail by which he 
held the estate and deeded it to his son, 
Thomas, with the succession to his daughter 
Arabella, and so the property ultimately passed 
to her eldest son. 

Thomas Jones was born at Fort Neck, 
April 30, 1 73 1, was graduated at Yale in 1750, 
studied law and was admitted to practice in 
New York in 1755. For many years he was 
attorney for King's College. He married Anna 
De Lancey, daughter of Chief Justice James 
De Lancey, Lieutenant Governor of New 
York, and it. was probably the influences 
thrown around him by this marriage which led 
to his becoming so openly identified with Tory- 
ism in the Revolution! In 1776 he became 
Royal Recorder of New York, and continued 
to hold that office until 1773, when he suc- 
ceeded to the seat on the supreme court then 
resigned by his father. On June 27, 1776, 
when the Patriots were in control of New 
York, Jones was arrested under a warrant 
issued by Congress and was liberated on pa- 
role, but on August 11 he was again arrested 
and taken_to Connecticut. He was again pa- 
roled and went to his home at Fort Neck. On 
November 6, 1779, a party of Continentals 
made a dash at his house and robbed it of 
much of its contents, carrying him off as a 
prisoner to Connecticut. In April, the follow- 
ing year, he was exchanged for General Silli- 
man. He then sold off as much of his prop- 
erty as he could and went to England. When 
peace was proclaimed he found himself under 
the ban of the Act of Attainder and so he 
remained in England, living in quiet retire- 
ment at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, until his 
death, July 25, 1792. He left no children, 
and thus ended the senior branch of the family 
of the founder. 

William, the third son of founder Thomas, 
was born April 25, 1708. Although destined 

for the legal profession, he engaged in farm- 
ing on a piece of property bequeathed him by 
his father, and passed through life in a quiet 
and unassuming mann"'", taking no part in the 
exciting events of his times and wrestling suc- 
cessfully with the problem of winning a liv- 
ing for himself and those dependent upon him 
from the soil until his death, in 1779. He 
married Phoebe, daughter of Captain John 
Jackson, of an old Hempstead family, and by 
her had a family of sixteen children, fourteen 
of whom — David, Samuel,' William, Thomas, 
Gilbert, John, Walter, Richard, Hallet, Free- 
love, Elizabeth, Margaret, Phoebe and Sarah- 
grew up, married and had families ; so that to 
pursue this genealogy in detail would of itself 
occupy a volume. W^e must therefore refer 
to those mainly who won additional honors for 
the family name. 

First among these was Samuel, son of 
William, who was born July 26, 1734. His 
first purpose in life was to become a sailor, and 
he made several voyages to Europe in mer- 
chant vessels. But he became tired of the 
drudgery, and, more in keeping with the wish- 
es of his family, was educated for the legal pro- 
fession, studying law in the office of Chief Jus- 
tice William Smith, the historian, who after- 
ward went to Canada, refusing to recognize 
the new order of things after the Revolution, 
and there became again Chief Justice. Sam- 
uel Jones, his legal pupil, did not, fortunately, 
imbibe any of his political views, but his posi- 
tion compelled him to walk discreetly during 
those troublesome times. His sympathies, how- 
ever, were all on the side of the Revolution, 
and when the time came for him to declare 
himself he showed no half-heartedness. He 
threw himself into the politics of the young 
Republic and became an ardent Federalist. He 
soon built up a lucrative practice and his of- 
fice developed many noteworthy pupils. His 
legal reputation continued to increase as the 
years passed on, until he was recognized as the 
leader of the New York bar, and held many 
positions of honor in the community, serving 
in the State Assembly several times. He was 



a member of the Convention at Poughkeepsie 
which in 1788 adopted the Constitution of the 
United States. In the following year he was 
appointed Recorder of New York, and held 
that office until 1797, when he was succeeded 
by Chancellor Kent. In 1796 he drew up the 
bill creating the office of Comptroller of the 
city of New York, and when the office was 
created he was appointed to it and so 
continued for three years, when he retired 
to his seat at West Neck, Long Island, 
where he lived a life of pleasant retire- 
ment, devoting himself mainly to his library 
and to literary pursuits. He died there No- 
vember 21, 1819. 

He left five sons, William, Samuel, Elbert, 
Thomas and David. The first named resided 
at Cold Springs and held the rank of major 
in the local militia. He had a son, Samuel 
William, who studied law in the office of his 
uncle Samuel, and settled in Schenectady, of 
which city he was mayor for many years be- 
fore his death, in 1855. Samuel Jones' second 
son, named after him, fully maintained the 
family honors in the legal profession in New 
York. He was born May 26, 1769, and after 
he was graduated at Columbia College entered 
the law office of his father, where he had as a 
fellow student De Witt Clinton. As soon as 
he was admitted to practice he threw himself 
into the political arena, and this, coupled with 
his own brilliant attainments as a lawyer, soon 
won for him a recognized place among the 
leaders of the local bar. In 1812, 1813 and 
1814 he was a member of the Assembly, and 
in 1823 was appointed to the office once so 
worthily held by his father, of Recorder of 
New York City. In 1826 he was made Chan- 
cellor of the State, and two years later became 
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New 
York City, retaining that dignified office until 
1847, when he occupied a seat in the State 
Supreme Court. In 1849 he retired from the 
bench and resumed practice at the bar, and so 
continued until within a few weeks of his 
death at Cold Spring, August 9, 1853, in the 
eighty-fourth year of his age. 

His younger brother, David, born at West 
Neck, November 3, 1777, after he was grad- 
uated at Columbia College, also entered the 
legal profession. For several years he was 
secretary to Governor Jay, and for some half 
a century was one of the most conspicuous and . 
influential members of the New York bar. He 
was for the greater part of his professional life 
one of the trustees and the legal ■ adviser of 
Columbia, and took the deepest interest in the 
progress of that seat of learning. Like most 
of his family, he was a devoted adherent of 
the Protestant Episcopal church, and was par- 
ticularly active in furthering the development 
of its General Theological Seminary. He 
never cared about holding elective office, and 
although often solicited to enter the public 
service he declined, except in orie instance 
when, more on account of family sentiment 
than anything else, he accepted the Judgeship 
of Queens county. A capital sketch of his 
career was written (1849) by his son, Will- 
iam Alfred Jones, who was born at New York 
June 26, 181 7. Although educated for the 
bar, William A. Jones never entered into 
practice and devoted his life to literature. 
From 1 85 1 until 1867 he was librarian of Co- 
lumbia College, and soon after retiring from 
that position he removed to Norwich, Con- 
necticut. He was the author of "Literary 
Studies," two volumes (1847), "Essays on 
Books and Authors" (1849), "Characters and 
Criticisms," two volumes (1857), and several 
other works. In 1863 he delivered an address 
on "Long Island" before the Long Island His- 
torical Society. 

We may now take up another branch of the 
numerous family of William Jones and Phoebe 
Jackson, that of their sixth son, John. He 
was born on his father's farm June 27, 1755. 
In 1779 he married Hannah, daughter of John 
Hewlett, of Cold Spring, and settled on a 
farm which he bought from his father-in- 
law. There he prospered and had a family of 
ten children: 

Williarri H., born October 14, 1780, mar- 
ried Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Hewlett. 



Walter, born in 1783, was killed accident- 
ally when six years of age. 

John H., born May 18, 1785, married Lor- 
retta, daughter of Divine Hewlett. 

Sarah, born July 22, 1787, not married. 

Mary T., born June 4, 1790, not married. 

Walter Restored, born April 15, 1793, not 

Phoebe J., born December 13, 1795, married 
Charles Hewlett. 

Elizabeth H., born December 9, 1798, mar- 
ried Jacob Hewlett. 

Joshua T., born July 10, 1801, not mar- 

Charles H., born November 6, 1804, mar- 
ried Eliza G. Gardiner. 

With the exception of young Walter these 
sons contributed largely to the industrial prog- 
ress of Queens county. In 1816 John H. 
Jones, in company with William M. Hewlett, 
built a woolen factory at Cold Spring; and in 
1820 John H. built another one, this time in 
partnership with his brothers, William H. and 
Walter R., at a cost of $12,500. They soon 
acquired possession of the first and managed 
both with marked success. Walter R. was a 
man of superior business qualities. He en- 
gaged in many business enterprises and was 
uniformly successful in them all. His greatest 
achievement, possibly, was in connection with 
the Atlantic Mutual Marine Insurance Com- 
pany, which he built up into a most influential 
and wealthy corporation, and of which he was 
president for many years. On his death, April 
5, 1855, he was succeeded in that oiSce by his 
nephew, John Divine Jones, son of John H. 
Jones, and who was born at Cold Spring Au- 
gust 15, 1814. Mr. John D. Jones has proved 
a liberal patron of many of New York's public 
institutions, such as the Historical Society, 
while to the Protestant Episcopal church his 
gifts have been generous and unostentatious. 
He married, June 9, 1852, Josephine Kath- 
arine Floyd- Jones, daughter of General Henry 

Charles H. Jones, the youngest of the fam- 

ily of John and Hannah Jones, married Eliza 
G., a granddaughter of John Gardiner of 
Gardiner's Island, July 12, 1838. He made 
his home on the old family farm. For a time 
he had the management of considerable brick- 
yard property, in which his brother, Joshua T., 
was interested at the time of his death. In 
all his business relations he was most for- 
tunate, but his domestic life was clouded by a 
succession of bereavements. Of his four chil- 
dren only the youngest, Mary Elizabeth, sur- 
vived him. She married, in 1873, Dr. Oliver 
Livingston Jones, son of Oliver H. Jones and 
grandson of her father's eldest brother, Will- 
iam H. Jones. They have a family of three 
children : Louise E., born September 18, 1875 ; 
Charles Herbert, born December 18, 1877; and 
Oliver Livingston, Jr., bom April i, 1880. 
Dr. Jones in 1871 succeeded to his father's 
property at Laurelton, on the west side of Cold 
Spring Harbor, and quickly developed it into 
a prosperous resort. The last years of Charles 
H. Jones' life were spent in a magnificent man- 
sion, built by his brother, Walter Restored. 
In it he preserved many portraits and relics 
of the family and no scion of Knighthood 
days was more proud of his ancient pedigree 
and its associated heirlooms. He died Jan- 
uary 23, 1882. 

William, the second son of William Jones 
and Phoebe Jackson, may also be referred to 
here as having founded a family which is still 
prominent in and around Oyster Bay. He 
was born October 4, 1771, and became a farmer 
at Cold Spring Harbor. By his wife, Kezia, 
daughter of Captain Daniel Youngs, of Oyster 
Bay, he had a family of nine children: Sam- 
uel W., David W., Cornelia Haring, Susan 
Maria, Elbert W., Eleanor, Hannah, Amelia 
and Daniel. All of these except Elbert W., 
who died in his twenty-first year, married and 
had families. From the rank he held in a 
local militia company William Jones was 
known generally by his title of major. In 1816 
he was elected a member of the State Legis- 
lature and was re-elected with one exception 



each succeeding term until 1825, when he de- 
clined further service. He died September 16, 


His second son, David W., was the literary 
man of the family. He succeeded to a por- 
tion, of his father's property and acquired . a 
more than usual measure of success as a 
farmer. Under the nom de plume of "Long 
Island" he wrote largely for the "Spirit of the 
Times," once the leading American country 
newspaper, and he contributed to Henry W. 
Herbert's (Frank Forester's) work on "The 
Horse and Horsemanship in the United 
States," etc. He was born May 3, 1793, mar- 
ried Dorothy Adams, a native of England, July 
4, 1822, and died July 6, 1877, in his eighty- 
seventh year. He left a family of five sons : 
Edmund (unmarried), Robert (died 1868), 
Charles, Elbert and David The latter 
married, in 1870, Julia W. Nelson, a grand- 
daughter of General Nathaniel Coles, and re- 
sided at the homestead erected by his father. 

By way of change we may now be justi- 
fied, instead of following the fortunes of a 
family, in taking up the story of a piece o£ 
land and tracing the fortunes of its owners 
for nearly two centuries, by this method not 
only illustrating the fortunes of/ a number of 
old families but keeping in front the story of 
the land, the possession of which in the main 
gave these same families the power in the 
community which they successively wielded. 
We begin our present study with the text, so 
to speak, of a piece of land lying beside Brook- 
lyn Ferry and extending for a distance toward 
the Wallabout. We begin at the time when 
from the Manhattan shore all that was seen 
on the Long Island shore was a few scattered 
farms, while behind these stretched an un- 
known wilderness crowded with game, and 
from which emerged at times only the red 
men bent on murder or trade, to barter with 
the farmer, or- complain about his encroach- 
ments and double dealing. 

In 1630 Wolfert Gerretse ( Kouwenhbven, 
Couwenhoven, or Cowenhoven) emigrated to 
America from Amersfoort, Utrecht Province, 

Netherlands, with his family, and seems to 
have at once entered the employment of the 
then Patroon of Rensselaerswick as superin- 
tendent of farihs. He afterward worked a 
farm on Manhattan island, and in 1637 pur- 
chased a tract of land from the Indians in Flat- 
bush and Flatlands. He subsequently con- 
siderably increased his holdings and was evi- 
dently a thrifty, peaceable citizen. He died 
about 1660, leaving three sons, — Gerret (the 
ancestor of the Flatlands Cowenhovens), 
Jacob and Peter. The latter was a brewer on 
High [Pearl] street. New York, and in 1665 
was appointed Surveyor General of the Col- 
ony. He was also a man of war, and in 1663 
as a lieutenant took part in the Indian cam- 
paign at Esopus [Kingston]. From him are 
descended the Cowenhovens of Gloucester 
county, New Jersey. 

We are more interested here with the sec- 
ond son, Jacob, Jacob Wolfertse, as he was 
generally called in the old Dutch style, who 
was born in Holland and came to this country 
with his father. He. was in business in New 
Amsterdam as a brewer, and also did business 
as a trader with Albany, owning a sloop which 
plied between that town and New Amsterdam, 
but does not seem to have made money, for on 
one occasion a bouwerie he owned in Graves- 
end was ordered sold to pay his debts. Still 
he appears to have been a man of considerable 
public spirit, well regarded by his fellows, and 
a stanch member of the Dutch church. He 
died in 1670. On July 6, 1643, Jacob re- 
ceived a grant from Governor Kieft of a piece 
of land on the East River shore of Long 
Island. It was described as : "Bounded north 
by west by Cornelius Dircksen, ferryman's 
land, stretching from said ferryman's land east 
by south along the river 56 rods, and along 
ditto into the woods, south by east, 132 rods; 
in breadth iij rear in the woods 40 rods, and 
on the east side, north by east till to the river 
120 rods, amounting to 10 morgen and 48 

As near as may be determined for prac- 
tical purposes, this property commenced at the 



present site of Fulton Ferry and stretched 
along between the present Front and Water 
streets (the shore line in the olden time) and 
extended up the Jamaica Road (Fulton street) 
from the shore until the present junction of 
Front and Fulton streets. The ferry at that 
time was in itself a little settlement. Cornelis 
Dircksen, the ferryman, seems to have had a 
tavern near Peck Slip in New Amsterdam and 
ran the ferry as an adjunct to his trade. He 
received in 1643 a grant of a triangular piece 
of land, measuring about two morgans, from 
the Director General. Dircksen was a sort of 
land speculator and seems to have bought what 
land he could get near the ferry and subdi- 
vided it, when he could not resell in a lump, 
in small parcels suitable for a dwelling and a 
garden. In 1643 he bought from William 
Thomassen a farm of seventeen morgens at the 
fsrry, paying therefor 2,300 guilders, and so 
secured the ferriage rights, such as they then 
were. In 1652 he sold two morgens and sixty- 
seven and one-half rods to Cornelis de Potter. 
In 1654 Egbert Borsum obtained a grant of 
two lots at the ferry, and was lessee of the 
river transportation business in the same year. 
We will return to this subject more fully 
when telling the story of the ferry system, but 
enough has been presented here to show how 
easily and frequently larger and small parcels 
of land changed hands even in those primitive 
times. The home seeking population was then 
in the minority on the west end of the island 
and people went there with the primal inten- 
tion of making money, not of founding fam- 
ilies. Jacob Wolfertse did not long retain his 
valuable piece of property, — it seemed the most 
valuable on Long Island even at that time, — 
for in 1645 it was in possession of Henry 
Breser, who seems to have been a merchant 
and land speculator. In 165 1 he rented the 
property to Jan Hendrickson Stillman and 
Thomas Stephense, and the same year he sold 
it to Cornelius de Potter, for 1,125 guilders. 
De Potter, who was a magistrate at Flatlands, 
died about 1660, and left the property in ques- 
tion to his daughter, Adriaentye, who married 

Jan Aardz Middagh, by which time it had 
extended to some two hundred acres "lying 
east of Fulton Ferry and Fulton street." Jan 
seems to have remained in possession until his 
death, about 1710. From that time until the 
property came into the possession of John 
Rapalye several years prior to the Revolution, 
it seems impossible to trace its transmission. 
The Rapalye family is descended from Joris 
Jansen, who came to this country from Hol- 
land in 1623. He resided first at Albany, with 
his wife Catalyntje. There was born their first 
child, Sarah, on June 9, 1623, who has often 
been described as the first white child born in 
Brooklyn. On June 16, 1637, he obtained a 
patent for 167 morgens of land at the Walla- 
bout and there settled and became a man of 
much local importance. In 1641 he was one 
of the twelve Select Men chosen to sit in Coun- 
cil with Governor Kieft, and restrained for a 
time that doughty representative of their High 
Mightinesses from proceeding to extremities 
with the Indians. For over a decade he was 
a magistrate of Brooklyn and died in 1665 full 
of years and honor. His family consisted of: 

1. Sarah, married (first) Hans Hansen 
Bergen, (second) Tunis Gysbertse Bogart. 

2. Alarretje, born March 16, 1627, mar- 
ried Michael Paulus Vandervoort. 

3. Jannetje, born August 18, 1629, mar- 
ried Ren Jansen Vanderbeeck. 

4. Judith, born July 5, 1635, married 
Peter Pietersen Van Nest. 

5. Jan, born August 28, 1637, died Jan- 
uary 25, 1663. 

6. Jacob, born May 28, 1639, killed by 

7. Catelyntje, born March 28, 1641, mar- 
ried Jeremias Jansen Van Westerhout. 

8. Jeronemus, born June 27, 1643, mar- 
ried Anna, daughter of Tunis Nyssen or 
Denyse, succeeded to his father's property at 
the VVallabout and resided there until his 
death, about 1695. He bequeathed his estate 
to his son Jeronimus, who in turn devised it 
to his daughter, Antie, wife of Martin M. 
Schenck, of Flatlands. 



9. Annetje, bom February 8, 1646, mar- 
ried (first) Martin Ryerse, (second) Joost 

10. Elizabeth, born March 26, 1648, mar- 
ried ]Dick Comelise Hoogland. 

11. Daniel, born December 29, 1650, mar- 
ried Sarah, daughter of Abraham Klock, and 
resided in Brooklyn probably on farm land 
set off from the paternal estate. He was an 
ensign in the Brooklyn militia company in 
1673 and lieutenant in 1700. 

of this family, and his wealth made him its 
most noted member so long as he resided in 
Brooklyn. In another place we will speak 
more fully of the personal fortunes of John 
Rapalye, and it may here suffice to say briefly 
that the land passed from his hands after the 
Revolution, and by the operation of the law 
of attainder became vested in the Commis- 
sioners duly appointed to take charge of such 
forfeiteed estates when the British flag, as the' 
flag of an enemy, was hauled down and our 

(1) The Ferry Tavern. i2) The Rapalye Homestaad. (3) Tho old Stone Tavern. 

The father of this family, which by its in- 
ter-marriages finds a place in every ancient 
genealogical tree in Brooklyn, was not an ac- 
complished penman, whatever his other educa- 
tional qualifications may have been. He signed 
his mark "R" to all documents. His sons were 
more elaborate in the presentation of the fam- 
ily name, signing it "Rapalje," "Rappalie" and 

The owner of the tract at the ferry we 
have taken for our text was a representative 

beloved Stars and Stripes run up on every 
stafl^ from which it had floated. 

The property, comprising one hundred and 
sixty acres in all, was bought from the Com- 
missioners in 1784 by Comfort and Joshua 
Sands, and thus brought to the front in Brook- 
lyn another old Long Island family — but then 
new in that community — whose name is now 
held in peculiar veneration. 

The Sands family hailed from Cow Neck 
or Manhasset, at which place Sands' Point still 


marks the location of the pioneer settler of the 
name — the great-grandfather of the brothers 
in whose fortunes we are immediately con- 
cerned. Both were born on the ancestral prop- 
erty, — Comfort in 1748, and Joshua in 1757. 
Comfort entered into business on his own ac- 
count in Peck Slip, New York, and by the 
time the Revolutionary war broke out had 
managed to save a considerable amount of 
money. As an instance of values in those days 
we may mention that Comfort in 1781 rented 
a house at 307 Queen (Pearl) street, for 
$32.50 a year. His business career was mainly 
confined to Manhattan. In 1776 he was a 
member of the New York Provincial Congress 
and held the office of Auditor General of the 
State. He also represented the city several 
times in the Assembly and acquired for those 
•days considerable wealth, for every interest he 
touched seemed to flourish. He died at Ho- 
boken September 22, 1834. 

Joshua was much more closely connected 
with Brooklyn and Long Island. In 1776 he 
secured a position, through the influence of 
■Governor Trumbull, of Connecticut, in the 
-commissariat department of the army. This 
position he held for a short time, but during 
it he took part in the battle of Brooklyn, and 
-was of considerable service in the memorable 
retreat of Washington's troops from Long 
Island. In 1777, in -company with his broth- 
ers. Comfort and Richardson, he formed a 
company for supplying clothing and provisions 
to the Continentals. Their proposals were ac- 
cepted and they set about supplying the goods, 
but it was many years afterward before they 
received payment, for the condition of the pub- 
lic treasury long after peace was inaugurated 
was the reverse of prosperous, and Uncle 
Sam, somehow, even when his treasury was 
full, has never been a very prompt paymaster. 
The brothers, however, had other interests 
which paid them better and their partnership 
was continued after the war was over. The 
Rapelye property seems to have been their first 
large speculation after peace was proclaimed, 

and it is said that the money used in the pur- 
chase represented the profit on their dealings 
in soldiers' pay certificates which they had 
bought up at a steep rate of discount. How- 
ever that may be, it made Joshua become a 
resident of Brooklyn, for he at once built a 
home for himself on the estate, on Front street, 
and remained identified with the place and its 
interests until his death. He established in it 
a new industry, that of the manufacture of 
cordage and rigging, and laid out extensive 
rope-walks, importing the necessary machinery 
and skilled labor from England. He held 
many public offices, was a State Senator from 
1792 to 1798, Collector of Customs at the Port 
of New York between 1797 and 1801, and a 
member of Congress in 1803-5, and again in 
1825-7. In 1824 he was chosen president of 
the Village of Brooklyn Trustees and seems 
to have been a most active man in the social, 
political, religious and industrial affairs of the 
community. He died in 1835. 

With its possession by the Sands brothers 
the history of the Rapalye property as a single 
factor ceases. While Joshua retained enough 
of the land for a house and an extensive gar- 
den, the brothers had no idea of holding on to 
an estate which they had simply bought for 
speculative purposes. So, in 1788, it was sur- 
veyed, streets laid out, and in conjunction with 
the adjoining Remsen property of Jolin Jack- 
son, buyers were invited for lots in the tract, 
which was boomed as a new village — the "vil- 
lage of Olympia." It was pictured as a village 
of homes with city and country advantages 
combined, and as the lots were cheap they 
readily sold. Some doubt was cast upon the 
legality of the title by which the brothers held 
the property, for Rapalye had carried off all 
the title deeds ; but the Sands brothers deemed 
the voucher of Uncle Sam good enough for 
all practical purposes and most of those with 
whom they had dealings fully agreed with 
them. This opening up of Olympia was the 
beginning of the distribution of many an old 
Kings county estate into building lots — the 



starting point of a series of "booms" of various 
sections which is still going on even at the 
present day. 

When the Rapalye property was subdivided 
by the Sands brothers, one of the arguments 
used to support the theory of tlie future rise in 
value of the lots was that Brooklyn was cer- 
tain to extend along its section of the water 
front, as on the other side of the main road 
from the ferry was a series of inaccessible hills 
which rendered the ground utterly unsuitable 
for building purposes. The arguments were 
specious enough, but time showed how utterly 
fallacious they were. 

In 1647 Dirck Janssen Woertman settled in 
Brooklyn frorri Amsterdam, and successively 
bought up several patents on lands south of 
Brooklyn Ferry, covering, roughly speaking, 
that section now known as the Heights. In 
1706 he disposed of that property to Joris 
Remsen, who had married his daughter, Fem- 
metje. When the deed was completed Joris 
' removed with his family from Flatbush, where 
be had previously resided. With the death 
of Joris, about 1720, commenced the subdi- 
vision of the property into smaller holdings. 
He had previously sold fourteen acres to his 
son-in-law. Jacobus De Bevoise, a tract long 
afterward known as the De Bevoise farm. 
Stiles says : "The remainder of Joris Rem- 
sen's land was inherited by his son Rem, who 
■died in or about 1724 [the only authority for 
this is that his will was dated that year], 
leaving among other children a son, George 
(or Joris), who fell heir to the paternal es- 
tate, married Jane, daughter of Philip Nagle 
(Nagel), and died between 1735 and 1743, 
leaving issue Rem, Phillip and Aletta. On 
the 19th of June, 1753 (Kings County Rec- 
ords, liber 6, page 174), Philip Remsen, de- 
scribed there as of Bucks county, Pennsyl- 
vania, together 'with Philip Mease, Esq., of 
Flatbush, only surviving executor of his fa- 
ther's estate,' conveyed to Henry and Peter 
Remsen, merchants of New York, for the sum 
of £1,060, one-half (estimated at fifty-seven 
.acres) of the original property purchased by 

his great-grandfather, Joris Remsen, from 
Woertman. * * * The above named 
brothers, Henry and Peter Remsen, at some 
time prior to 1764 sold to Philip Livingston, 
Esq., of New York, that portion of the es- 
tate lying between the present Joralemon and 
Atlantic streets and extending from the East 
River to Red Hook Lane. On the 1st of Au- 
gust, 1768, the Remsen brothers divided be- 
tween them the remainder of the property, 
Henry taking the northerly half, adjoining 
the De Bevoise farm, and Peter taking the 
southerly portion next to the Livingston farm, 
from which it was separated by a lane since 
known as Joralemon street." 

. Part of the Livingston property, with a dis- 
tillery erected upon it and which had been in 
successful operation for several years, was 
sold, in 1802 to Hezekiah Beers Pierrepont, 
afterward owner of the De Bevoise and Ben- 
son's farms of the Heights, and thus was in- 
trodiiced into Brooklyn history the name of a 
family which has done more for its sterling 
development than any other that could be 
named outside of the descendants of the orig- 
inal settlers. H. B. Pierrepont was the grand- 
son of the Rev. James Pierrepont, the first 
minister settled in New Haven and one of the 
founders of Yale College. For a time Heze- 
kiah was a clerk in the New York custom- 
house, but was previously thoroughly trained 
for a business career by his uncle, Isaac Beers, 
of New Haven. His opportunity in life came 
with his appointment as agent for Watson & 
Greenleaf, who were engaged in the purchase 
of the national debt, and he was fully equal 
to it, acqu/iring a moderate fortune. He then 
founded the firm of Leffingwell & Pierrepont 
and engaged in shipping provisions to Europe, 
residing for a time in Paris to look after the 
interests of the firm there. This trade was 
interrupted by the course of the war between 
Great Britain and France; so he chartered a 
vessel, "The Confederacy," and, filling it up 
with merchandise, accompanied it to China in 
1795. The speculation proved a profitable 
one, but in 1797, while on the voyage home 



from China, "The Confederacy" was seized 
by a French privateer and sold, in defiance of 
American treaty rights and stipulations. In 
1800 Pierrepont returned to New York and 
two years later married Anna, daughter of 
William Constable, a merchant of New York 
who had been interested with Alexander 
Macomb in the purchase, in 1787, of over a 
million acres of land in the northern part of 
the State of New York. By his bride, Pierre- 
pont came into possession of some 500,000 
acres of these lands, mainly in Jefferson, 
Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. 


In prospecting for some business enter- 
prise in which to engage he saw a prospect 
of success in the manufacture of gin, and it 
was with that business, in view that he bought, 
in 1802, the Livingston distillery at the foot 
of Joralemon street, Brooklyn, and so com- 
menced a connection with the future "City of 
Churches" which was of the utmost conse- 
quence to both. He was not long in Brook- 
lyn before he fully realized the bright pros- 
pects of its future, and soon made up his mind 
that in aiding in its development lay a certain 
and substaritial return for his own means and 

his business energy. So he purchased the tract 
of land on the Heights known as the Remsen 
farm, part of the old Remsen property, and 
gradually extended his holdings as opportunity- 
offered, his last great purchase being the De 
Bevois farm, for which in 1816 he paid $28,- 
000. A year later he abandoned the distillery 
and thereafter devoted himself solely to the de- 
velopment of his real estate. In 1815 he had 
been one of a committee which succeeded in 
getting from the legislature a village charter 
for Brooklyn, and he had the bulk of his prop- 
erty graded, and laid out in streets and squares' 
and finally placed on the market. He be- 
lieved in wide streets and fully sxemplified 
his ideal in the care he bestowed on Pierre- 
pont street, which was laid out with a width, 
of eighty feet, while Montague street and 
Remsen street were each scheduled at seventy- 
five feet. 

Stiles, in his "History of Kings County," 
page 130, says : 

As chairman of the street committee ht 
exerted himself to secure an open promenade 
for the public, on the Heights, from Fulton 
Ferry to Joralemon street. He had a map and 
plan drawn for the improvement by Mr. Silas 
Ludlam, and procured the consent of the pro- 
prietors for a cession of the property, except 
from his neighbor and friend. Judge Radcliff, 
who opposed the scheme so violently that Mr. 
Pierrepont, rather than have a contest with a 
friend, withdrew from the attempt, and him- 
self paid the expense incurred for the survey 
and plan, though he had ordered it officially. 
He lived and died in the belief and desire that 
the Heights would some day be made a puMic 
promenade, on some similar plan. Before his 
estate was divided and sold his executors gave 
the opportunity to the city to take the prop- 
erty between Love Lane and Remsen street and 
Willow street, the only part of the Heights 
that remained unoccupied, for such a public 
place, and a petition was signed by a few pub- 
lic-spirited men for the object. But it was 
defeated before the city authorities by over- 
whelming remonstrances, very generally- 
signed in the large district of assessment that 
was proposed. 

It appears from his diary that as early as 



the year 1818 he made inquiry as to the cost 
of stone wharves. He reluctantly improved 
his water-front with timber, only when he 
found, from the depth of water, the cost of 
stone structures was too great to be war- 
ranted by the small income derived by wharf- 
owners under our present port laws. He per- 
sistently declined to sell his lots, except where 
good private dwellings of brick or stone were 
engaged to be erected, suited to the future 
character of his finely-situated property. Time 
has now proved the soundness of his judg- 
ment. His property is now covered by elegant 
mansions, besides five fine churches, the City 
Hall, Academy of Music, Mercantile Library, 
and other public buildings, while the front on 
the bay is occupied by extensive wharves and 
warehouses. Mr. Pierrepont possessed great 
energy of character and a sound judgment; 
was domestic in his habits and had no ambi- 
tion for public office, or relish for political life. 
Yet he gave his services freely to his fellow 
citizens in aid of their local afifairs. 

His property in the northern part of the 
State occupied his attention along with that in 
BrookljTi, and for years he and his sons, Will- 
iam and Henry, paid annual visits there and 
steadily effected improvements and induced 
settlements. But it was slow work, although 
sufficient to demonstrate that with time it 
would blossom as a garden as much of it since 
then has done. 

Mr. Pierrepont died in Brooklyn in 1838, 
and his widow survived him until 1859. They 
had a family of two sons and eight daughters : 
William Constable, Henry Evelyn, Anna Con- 
stable (deceased, wife of Hubert Van Wag- 
enen), Emily Constable (married Joseph A. 
Perry), Frances Matilda (married Rev. Fred- 
erick S. .Wiley), Mary Montague (died in 
1859, unmarried), Harriet Constable (mar- 
ried Edgar J. Bartow, died in 1855), Maria 
Theresa (married Joseph J. Bicknell), Julia 
Evelyn (married John Constable, of Constable- 
ville), and Ellen Isaphine (married Dr. James 
M. Minor). 

William C, the eldest son, devoted him- 
self mainly to the State properties left in his 
charge by his father's will and made his home 
at Pierrepont Manor, Jefferson county. He 

was an accomplished scholar and a profound 
mathematician, and carried on an extensive 
correspondence with many of the leading 
scientists of Europe. He was elected a mem- 
ber of the State Legislature in 1840, but only 
served a single term. Under his management 
the estate prospered and he was noted for his 
beneficence as well as many other grand qual- 
ities of mind and heart. He established 
scholarships in the General Theological Sem- 
inary, New York, and also at Hobart College, 
from which institution he received the degree 
of LL. D. At Canaseraga, New York, he en- 
dowed a church as a memorial to a deceased 
son, and several other schemes of practical 
good were stopped by his death, at Pierre- 
pont Manor, December 20, 1885. His brother, 
Henry E., confined his life work to Brooklyn. 
While in Europe in 1833 that village was 
raised to the dignity of a city, and in his ab- 
sence he was named one of the Commissioners 
for laying out public grounds and streets. On 
receiving notification of his appointment he 
made a practical study of most of the large 
cities in Europe and drew up plans which were 
adopted, in a large measure, by the legislature 
of 1835. He also submitted plans for laying 
out a large plot of ground among the Gowanus 
Hills for a rural cemetery, and in 1838 ob- 
tained a charter from the legislature for the 
formation of the Green- Wood Cemetery cor- 
poration. With that enterprise we will deal 
at length in a subsequent chapter of this his- 
tory. Under his father's will he took charge 
of all the family real estate in Brooklyn as 
well as the State lands in Franklin, Lewis and 
St. Lawrence counties. In Brooklyn he laid 
out Furman street, and by the erection of a 
new bulkhead on the water front added five 
acres of wharf property to the estate. In the 
financial and social life of the city he was 
prominent for many years, and was justly re- 
garded as the finest type of a high-spirited 
and representative citizen. He died in the city 
in which he was born and passed his life and 
which he loved so well, March 28, i 
the eighty-sixth year of his age. 




We will now revert to a genealogical study, 
selecting for that purpose the Lefferts family 
so well known in Brooklyn. So far as can 
be ascertained its American ancestor was 
Pieter Janse, who seems to have crossed the 
Atlantic, with his wife, Femmentje Hermans, 
in 1660. There is some doubt as to his sur- 
name ; ■ Pieter Janse is simply Peter, John's 
son, and Haughwout or Hauwert, which is 
sometimes given as the surname, is merely the 
name of a village in Holland, whence the fam- 
ily emigrated. Some of the family, however, 
used Haughwout with several variations in 
spelling as a surname. Pieter, whatever his 
family name was, did not long survive after 
coming to America, for by October 15, 1662, 
we find that Femmentje was again married 
and on that date had two guardians appointed 
at Flatbush for her children by -her previous 
union, — Leffert Pieterse and Pieter Pieterse. 
What became of the last named seems un- 

Leffert Pieterse was probably about seven 
years of age when he landed in the N-ew 
World with his parents. He was brought up 
in Flatbush, and in 1775 settled on a piece of 
land (seventeen morgens) in that place. He 
married the same year Abigail, a daughter of 
Anke Janse Van Nuyse, and seems to have 
prospered in the world, for in 1700 he was 
able to buy an additional farm, at Bedford, 
for one of his sons. 

He died July 19, 1748. His children were: 

1. Altien, born June 22, 1676, died single. 

2. Anke, born April 4, 1678. He mairried 
Marytje Ten Eyck. of New York, and prior 
to 1709 removed to Monmouth county, New 
Jersey. His descendants still reside there and 
generally write their family name Leffertson. 

3. Pieter, born May 18, 1680, succeeded 
to his father's farm, and was a supervisor of 
Flatbush in 1726 and 1727. Signed his name 
Pieter Leffertsz. Married Ida, daughter of 
Hendrick Suydam, of Flatbush, and had a son 
Leffert, who founded the Pennsylvania (Berks 
County) branch of the family; two sons, John 

and Jacob, who died young; and five daugh- 

4. Rachel, born January 17, 1682, married 
Jan Waldron. 

5. Jan, born January, 1684, who grew to 
manhood and married, but all trace of whom 
has been lost. 

6. Jacobus : see below. 

7. Isaac, born June 15, 1688, died October 
18, 1746, resided all his life in Flatbush, of 
which town, in 1726 and 1727, he was Con- 
stable. One of his sons, Leffert, resided dur- 
ing his life in Flatbush. Two others, Hendrick 
and Isaac, removed to Jamaica. His only 
daughter, Harmpje (named after her mother, 
whose surname is not on record), married 
Hendrick Suydam, of Hallet's Cove. 

8. Abraham, born September i, 1692. 
Married Sarah Hoogland. Family settled in 
New York (where he engaged in business) 
except one daughter, Catherine, who married 
Peter Luysten, of Oyster Bay. 

9. Madalina, born August 20, 1694, mar- 
ried Garret Martense. 

10. Ann, born March i, 1696, died single. 

11. Abagail, born August 14, 1698, died 

12. Leffert, born May 22, 1701, married 
Catryntje Borland and died September 27, 

13. Benjamin, born May 2, 1704, died 
November 17, 1707. 

Jacobus (6), born June 9, 1686, settled 
on the farm which his father had bought at 
Bedford Corners. He married, in 1716, Fan- 
net je, daughter of Claes (or Nicholas) 
Barentse Blom. In the local records his name 
is given sometimes as Isaac Hagewoutt, but he 
signed himself Jacobus Leffert. He seems to 
have prospered fairly well in life, for he added 
pretty extensively to the size of his farm and 
appears to have owned and rented one or two 
small farms in the neighborhood. He died 
September 3, 1768. His family consisted of: 

I. Abagail, born October i, 1717, married 
Lambert Suydam, who was captain of a troop 



of horse in 1749 and died in 1767. Abagail 
was again married, to Nicholas Vechte, in 

2. Nicholas, born April 6, 1719, died 
1780, leaving two daughters. 

3. Elizabeth or Eliza, born March 8, 1721, 
married Hendrick Fine, of Bedford. 

4. Neltye, born November 3, 1723, mar- 
ried Jacobus Vanderbilt. 

5. Lefifert, bom March 14, 1727. (See 

6. Jannetje, born June 25, 1729, married 
Jeronemus Rapalje. 

7. Jacobus, born November 26, 1731, be- 
came a merchant in New York, and died July 
20, 1792, leaving several children. 

8. Barent, born November 2, 1736, mar- 
ried Femmetje, daughter of Rem Remsen, and 
lived at Bedford Corners. He owned before 
his death, June 21, 1819, much land on Jamaica 
and Cripplebush Roads. 

Lefifert, through whom the family name 
was handed down to another generation, mar- 
ried, August 5, 1756, Dorothy, daughter of 
John Cowenhoven. As County Clerk he had 
charge of the county and the town records 
which v/ere afterward taken from his house 
by his assistant, John Rapalye, and the house 
itself was tenanted by General Gray during 
the British occupation. He left a large family, 
but it is needless to follow their fortunes with 
the minuteness given to the earlier branches. 
We must need refer to two, however. Of these 
Catryna, born in 1759, was killed accidentally 
April 17, 1783, in a curious manner. A local 
paper said that "having observed to her mother 
that a loaded pistol left by a drover, who had 
been watching his cattle with it the preceding 
night, upon a chest of drawers, was rather 
dangerously placed and that some of the chil- 
dren might get hurt by it, proceeded to re- 
move and put it in a holster that hung close 
by; but in the operation the pistol was dis- 
charged, the shot went through her body and 
she expired immediately." Having told the 
story, thus succinctly, the paper then prints 

an elaborate "Elegy," of which the following, 
are the closing lines: 

"Then pray descend, fair Catharina's shade,- 
Into my dreams and visions of the night; 
Put rapturous illusions in my head 
That sad realties may have respite. 

Too much an angel for a world of woe. 
Eternal Wisdom hath conceived it best 

On her a crown of glory to bestow. 

Among the saints in her Redeemer's rest." 

One of the brothers of this young lady, 
Judge Lefifert Lefiferts, deserves more than a 
mere passing notice. He was born April 12, 
1774. On May 7, 1794, he was graduated 
from Columbia College, and then studied law 
in the ofiSce of Judge Egbert Benson. In 1798 
he was admitted to the bar and in the following 
year was appointed Clerk of Kings County, an 
appointment which had been held by his father. 
On February 10, 1823, he was appointed Judge 
of Kings County in succession to Judge Will- 
iam Furman, but he held the office only a 
short time. His recognized probity and busi- 
ness aptitude had opened up other avenues of 
usefulness. In 1822, recognizing the great 
need in Brooklyn of a banking institution, in- 
stituted on the firmest basis, and which should 
be directed so as to aid very materially in the 
development of the place, he was the leader in 
the movement which resulted in a charter be- 
ing obtained for the Long Island Bank in 
1824, and he was elected its first president. 
This office he continued to hold until 1846, 
when the infirmities of age impelled him to re- 
sign. The success of the bank and the great 
influence it exerted upon the prosperity of 
Brooklyn were due in great measure to his 
progressive yet conservative methods, while 
his courtesy, shrewd common sense and unerr- 
ing judgment made him personally popular 
with all those f.ssociated with it in any way. 
He died March 22, 1847. On April 21, 1823, 
he had married Maria, daughter of Robert 



Benson. Their only child, Elizabeth, mar- 
ried J. Carson Brevort (born in New York 
City, 1818, died in Brooklyn, December 7, 
18S7), afterward superintendent of the Astor 
Library, New York, president of the Long 
Island Historical Society, and a Regent of the 
University of New York. 

Another scion of the family, one whose 
fame extended far beyond the confines of Long 
Island, was Marshall Lefferts. He was born 
at Bedford Corners January 15, 1821, and after 
-various experiences as a civil engineer became 
a partner in the firm of Morewood & Co., im- 
porters. New York. In 1849 he became presi- 
dent of the New York, New England, and 
New York State Telegraph Companies, and 
left that office in i860 to perfect some tele- 
graphic improvements which were afterward 
patented and put into successful operation. 
His electrical researches were, however, in- 
terrupted by the outbreak of the Civil war. 
In 1851 he had joined the Seventh Regiment, 
National Guard, New York, as a private, and 
hecame its lieutenant colonel the following 
year and colonel in 1859. In 1861 the regi- 
ment, under his corrimand, left for the front. 
It volunteered again in 1862 and 1863. In the 
latter year it was stationed in Maryland, and 
returned to New York for duty in the draft 
riots of July in that year. Lefferts became 
connected with the Western Union Telegraph 
Company, which had purchased most of his 
patents and put them in full operation. In 1867 
he organized its commercial news department, 
and in 1869 became president of the Gold and 
Stock Telegraph Company. He died suddenly 
July 3, 1876, on a railway train while en route 
with the veteran corps of the Seventh Regi- 
ment, of which he was commander, to attend 
the Centennial Fourth of July parade in Phil- 

His son. Dr. George Morewood Lefiferts, 
who was born in Brooklyn February 24, 1846, 
was educated for the medical profession, grad- 

uating from the New York College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons in 1870, and thereafter 
studying in Vienna. In 1873 he settled in 
practice in New York, making a specialty of 
diseases of the throat and chest. He became 
Professor of Laryngoscopy in the New York 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, and in 
1875 president of the New York Laryngolog- 
ical Society. In his own branch he stands at 
the head of American specialists, while his 
many contributions to medical literature have 
won for him a widespread recognition in med- 
ical circles all over the world. 

We must here bring these notes regarding 
the old families of Long Island to a close. 
They could easily be continued almost indef- 
ini'tely, for the study of genealogy, rightly fol- 
lowed, is a most interesting one, and the suc- 
cession of such families as those bearing the 
names of Hewlett, Remsen, Van Brunt; 
Strycker, Cowenhoven, Ten Eyck, Sulphen, 
Polhemus, Middaugh, Lawrence, Cortelyou, 
Hegeman, Duryea, De Bevoise, Denyse, Sea- 
man, Halleth, Riker, Youngs, Horton and a 
score of others present us, with many and 
varied features of interest in the story of 
Long Island. We will refer to many of these 
in the course of this work, to all in fact more 
or less particularly; but the study itself is 
hardly one which can be fully carried out in a 
general history such as this. We have, how- 
ever, presented sufficient of the subject to dem- 
onstrate what an interesting field awaits the 
genealogical student who devotes himself to 
it. Genealogy as a general rule, except in 
dealing with princely families, is generally 
voted an uninteresting study; but in tracing 
the descent of the famous names of Long 
Island we are constantly brought to the con- 
sideration of historical details, showing, if the 
study shows anything clearly, that under our 
republican form of government the history of 
the township, city or nation is made by the 



HETHER English or Dutch, the 
early sellers on Long Island car- 
ried there with them the manners 
and customs of their respective 
mother lands, and in their daily lives and in 
their homes endeavored to reproduce what 
they had been accustomed to before crossing 
the Atlantic. The line of separation which 
for long politically divided the island kept 
the two pioneer races from mingling and 
adopting each other's ways and habits even 
to the extent noticeable on Manhattan Island; 
and the fact that Long Island was so thor- 
oughly cut off from the main land that even 
a trip across the East River was an event so 
full of delay and danger that men often put 
their affairs in order and made their wills be- 
fore attempting it, led to a maintenance of 
primitive customs and the primitive order of 
things long after the pioneers had passed from 
the cares and troubles and toils of life and 
their sons and grandsons reigned in their 

But, unlike as they were in most things, 
and different as were their habits of thought 
and their notions of domestic comfort, the 
pioneers, both Dutch and English, were alike 
in at least one respect — they were essentially 
religious communities. The first thing done 
in any settlement, whether Southold or Flat- 
bush, was to provide for a place of worship — 
a house in which they might unite in the praise 
of God and meditate on His goodness and His 
commands, and around which their bones 
mig'ht be laid while waiting for the resurrection 

and the final judgment. They were each a relig- 
ious people, and though differing very widely, 
very radically, on their views as to church 
government and on many non-essentials, they 
imited in a complete acceptance of the Bible 
as the sole Book of the Law, as the guide for 
this life and the only sure guide to the life 
that is to come. They interpreted the Bible 
and its promises literally, had no worriment 
over doubt, no conception of the perplexities 
of the higher criticism. The Dutch version 
was an inspired Book to the Dutch; the Eng- 
lish version was equally regarded as inspired 
by the English. Verbal criticism they never 
paltered over ; translators' errors, if they could 
have conceived them, they would have deemed 
an impossibility. The Bible said so, and so 
it was; and this implicit faith, this firm re- 
liance, this complete subservience of their daily 
lives and inmost thought to the Book of the 
Law made them even in their own day stand 
out in bold relief as honest, God-fearing men 
and women, — people whose word could be im- 
plicitly relied upon, people who would have 
willingly wironged no man; and while they 
strove hard to acquire a share, perhaps more 
than a share, of this world's goods, while they 
treated the Indians as irresponsible children 
and gave them sugar plums for land, they at 
least treated them in accordance with the spirit 
of the age. Each community was a moral 
one ; the laws were implicitly obeyed and as a 
result the history of Long Island as a whole 
presents, so far as its own land-owning settlers 
were concerned, a much more peaceful pic- 



ture than is furnished by most of the early 
settlements of Europeans in America. 

In another respect both the Dutch and 
English settlers were alike — in their love and 
reverence for their home land. This is seen 
most conclusively in the names they gave their 
settlements. Thus, in the section over which 
the Dutch predominated there was Breukelen 


From "Flatbush. Past and Present." By permission of 

the Flatbush Trust Company. 

and Amersforte and Vlissingen and Midwout, 
after places bearing the same name in Holland, 
and New Utrecht, like New Amsterdam, dif- 
fered only in the prefix from the original 
Dutch towns. On the eastern division there 
is no room for argument as to the originals 
of Southampton, or Huntington, or "The 
Island of Patmos," or Smithtown, or Oyster 
Bay. But in one important respect there was 

a wide diflference between the two national- 
ities. While the Dutch at least professed the 
deepest awe at the power and influence of the 
States General and revered the very name of 
"their High Mightinesses," permitting the 
Governors set over them almost unlimited sway 
and accepting, — although not without grum- 
bling, — the laws made and provided far them, 
each English community aspired to be an in- 
dependent government, to make and enact its 
own laws, to assess and collect its own taxes, 
and to say who should and who should not be 
accepted into citizenship. Both talked of re- 
ligious freedom, but the religious freedom of 
the Dutch was bounded by the spectacles of 
the local classis and in matters of extraor- 
dinary difficulty by the classis of New Am- 
sterdam; and Governor Stuyvesant, among 
his other prerogatives, assumed that of Defend- 
er of the Faith. The English were as pro- 
nouncedly in favor of freedom and toleration, 
but they judged the boundary line by their 
own views, and whatever turned up that did 
not square with those views was deemed 
unworthy of freedom and toleration. But 
both had, to a certain extent at least, a sym- 
pathy with the churches each set up and both 
harassed and persecuted the Quakers and other 
malcontents with equal zeal. Still there is 
no doubt that even in such excesses as made 
martyrs of the early Quakeirs and Baptists, 
they acted conscientiously. Different as they 
were in so many things pertaining to religion, 
they were alike in the rigidness of their ac- 
ceptance of Calvinism, and the authority of 
the company in Holland over religious as well 
as over secular matters was not one whit 
stronger than that wielded in the eastern 
settlements by the local church authorities and 
the town meeting. They both hated dissenters 
as much as did the most obdurate high church- 
man in old England, had an equal hatred of 
unauthorized religious meetings — meetings 
which they contemptuously called "conven- 
ticles" ; and such gatherings were ruthlessly 
broken up and the attendants punished by fine 
and imprisonment, or whipping or by the 



easier process of ordering their instant removal 
from the neighborhood. As an instance, take 
the following from Fiske'si "Quaker and Dutch 
Colonies" (vol. i, page 232) : 

The heavy hand of the law was also laid 
upon a few humble Baptists at Flushing. 
William Hallett, the sheriff, had the audacity 
to hold conventicles in his own house and 
there "to permit one William Wickendam to 
explain and comment on God's Holy Word, 
and to administer sacraments though not 
called thereto by any civil or clerical author- 
ity." For this heinous offence Hallet was 
removed from office and fined 500 guilders, 
while Wickendam, "who maintained that he 
was commissioned by Christ and dipped peo- 
ple in the river," was fined 1,000 guilders 
and ordered to quit the country. On inquiry 
it appeared that he was "a poor cobbler from 
*Rhode Island," without a stiver in the world ; 
so the 'fine was perforce remitted; but the 
Baptist was not allowed to stay in New 


The wealth of the people consisted prin- 
cipally of land and live stock, since these things 
naturally were the most convenient and im- 
portant to a pioneer people. To be a land- 
holder was of course a great attraction and in- 
centive to the average citizen of the old coun- 
try, like Holland and other densely populated 
portions of Europe, where no hopes of being 
the possessor of land and a "landlord" could 
be entertained by the masses ; and the most of 
them, having been brought up to agricultural 
and horticultural pursuits, were well versed 
in the faithful tilling of the soil and also in 
the care of live stock, especially cattle. 

The residences were necessarily simple 
and the furnishing of the same was meager, 
since it was altogether too expensive to 
import furniture across the great Atlantic 
in sailing vessels. The home of the Dutch 
settler, was a square, biiilt with a high, slop- 
ing roof, with overhanging eaves that 
formed a shade from the sun and a shelter 
from the rain. The first settlers probably 
were content with a dug-out, but not for 
long, for as soon as timber could be cut 

and saplings gathered a more pretentious 
dwelling would arise over the cellar, a dwelling 
w'hich could easily be added to as the family 
increased in numbers or wealth. In the eastern 
end of Long Island, which was settled prin- 
cipally by people from New England and old 
England, the dwelling-houses were simply 
huge wooden boxes, so to speak, divided off 
into rooms at regular intervals by partitions 
or windows or, both. Many of them were 
similar to the primitive structures of the early 
English settlers in Australia, — first a "shack" 
or rough-board shanty, such as are common to 
camps in the wilds, and afterward something 
more elaborate, from time to time, as the 
owner .had means and time for improve- 
ment and expansion. Whatever architectural 
beauty existed was at first bestowed on the 
church, and after its adornment was completed 
then something was attempted in the way of 
adding to the attractiveness of the homes of 
the' people, a weathercock being a mark of 
gentility in Flatlands, while a garden was 
deemed a token of advancing civilization and 
comifort in Southampton. A stone house, 
however, was the height of perfection, after 
which most of the well-to-do strived; and as 
early as 1690 we read of dwellings built of 
brick, but by that time people had begun to 
wax wealthy and the importation of brick was 
a luxury. Stone was more easily made useful, 
as the pioneer farmers could have told with a 
sigh. It was a rare thing to see a house 
more than a single story high in the Dutch 
settlements; and even in the English end a 
story and a half or two stories, though more 
common, was at first regarded as wonderful 
work. The real pioneers, or first settlers in a 
country, are generally so well behaved as to 
need little or no law ; they are temperate, hon- 
est, social, neighborly, and such a period of 
simplicity generally endures until burglars and 
dishonest people begin to infest the country. 
Therefore, east or west, locks were unknown, 
until after civilization had considerably ad- 
vanced, and in summer the Dutch family was 
sure to gather outside of the house, beneath 



the shade of the eaves, and there exchange 
greetmgs or discuss the events of the day; 
while the Enghsh settlers vi^ere wont to gather 
in the town square and the women gossiped 
in the gardens and the children played in the 
little bit of lawn, a feature as inseparable from 
an Englishrrian's notion of dohiestic comfort 
as was the long pipe of the Dutchman. 

In the interior of the house the general 
sitting-room and the kitchen were the im- 
portant features. Bed-rooms were small, and 
sleeping bunks W'cre common where the family 
was large ; but improvements in this respect 
came with the extension - of the dwelling. 
Saniliary arrangements there' were none, east 
or west, but cleanliness and: good order were 
everyw'here apparent. The Dutch housewife 
scrubbed everything that would bear scrubbing 
and polished her treasures of pewter or brass 
with unfailing regularity. Carpets were un- 
known, a sanded floor was deemed the per- 
fection of cleanliness and comfort and the 
ashes from the wood fires were zealously swept 
up with feather brushes and carefully gath- 
ered.' In a Dutch farm-house the fireplace in 
the sitting-room was the family higb- altar. 
■ It was almost a compartment in itself ; and its 
imported tiles, with their scriptural or his- 
torical pictures, formed a basis for a post- 
graduate educational course following the in- 
structions of the schoolmaster and were re- 
garded as works of art of the highest order. 

The furniture at first naturally was of the 
most primitive kind; and as each house was 
a little community of its own, making its own 
bread, curing its own meats, preparing its own 
cloth and manufacturing its own furnishings 
and house'hold utensils, the aim was strength 
and usefulness rather than beauty. After a 
while this' primitive simplicity gave way to 
more ornate effort. Furniture was imported 
from Holland and the Dutch artificers in New 
Amsterdam found a ready market for their 
wares in the farm-houses on Long Island. 
Very possibly, too, the pioneer families 
brought with them from Holland many house- 
hold articles which they deemed especially 

valuable or beautiful, and tbese were accorded 
a place of honor among the lares et penates 
of the new home. There was much more of 
old-world furniture to be found among the 
pioneer homes on the western end of the island 
than among those of the eastern; if we may 
judge by the old inventories still extant and 
the pieces which have survived to his day; 
but then we must remember that the eastern 
settlements were not people directly from 
old England but from New England; and 
that two or three removals from one strange 
land to another were not conducive to the 
life of "family relics or even of articles of do- 
mestic usefulness which could be reproduced 
by hammer, saw and chisel. 

Such of these old structures as are still 
remaining serve as mementoes of a simple life, 
and the memories of the time become more and 
more sacred with the lapse of years. Even 
poetry of an inspiring^ kind seems to gather 
around the scenes and experiences of that pio- 
neer age, while only "prose'' is connected with 
the present-day changes and customs. Hence 
relics of that pioneer time, including even the 
domiciles themselves, are often the most in- 
teresting exhibits at fairs and museums, and 
still serve as centers of eloquence in fervid 

Even in 1679, after several years of pros- 
perity and thrift, the Labadist fathers who 
visited Long Island in that year found very 
little in the way of interior decoration or 
domestic elegance in the homes they visited 
as honored guests. Of their reception at the 
home of Simon de Hart, which stood close 
to the present ferry house of the Thirty- 
ninth street ferry and was only removed a 
few years ago, to make way for that structure, 
they wrote : 

We proceeded on to Gouanes, a place so 
called, where we arrived in the evening at one 
of the best friends of Gerret named Symon 
[de Hart]. He was very glad to see us, and so 
was his wife. They took us into the house 
and entertained us exceedingly well. We 



found a good fire, half way up the. chimney, 
of clean oak and hickory, of which they made 
not the least scruple of burning profusely. 
We let it penetrate us thoroughly. There 
had been already thrown upon it, to be roasted, 
a pail full of Gowanus oysters, which are the 
best in the country. They are fully as good, 
as those of England, and better than those we 
eat at Falmouth. I had to try some of them 
raw. They are large and full, some of them 
not less than a foot long, and they grow 

key, which was also fat and of a good flavor, 
and a wild goose, but that was rather dry. 
Every thing we had was the natural pro- 
duction of the country. We saw here, lying 
in a heap, a whole hill of watermelons, which 
were as large as pumpkins, and which Simon 
was going to take to the city to sell. They 
were very good, though there is a difiference 
between them and those of the Carribby. 
isfands ; but this may be due to lateness in the 
season : these were the last pulling. 


sometimes ten, twelve and sixteen together, 
and are then like a piece of rock. Others 
afe young and small. In consequence of the 
great quantities of them, everybody keeps the 
shells for the purpose of burning them into 
lime. They pickle the oysters in small casks, 
and send them to Barbadoes and the other 
islands. W^e had for supper a roasted haunch 
of venison, which he had bought of the Indians 
for three guilders and a half of "seewant," 
that is, fifteen stivers of Dutch money (15 
cents), and which weighed thirty pounds. 
The meat was exceedingly tender and good, 
and also quite fat. It had a slight aromatic 
flavor. We were also served with wild tur- 

It was very late at night when we went to 
rest in a Kermis bed, as it is called, in the 
corner of the hearth, alongside of a good fire. 

In New Utrecht the Labadists met with an 
equally hearty reception at the home of 
Jacques Cortelyou, about which they wrote : 

This village [New Utrecht] was burned 
down some time ago, with everything about 
it, including the house of this man [Jacques] , 
which was about half an hour distant from 
it. Many persons were impoverished by the 
fire. It was now about all rebuilt and many 
good stone houses were erected of which 



Jacques's was one, where we returned by an- 
other road to spend the night. After supper 
we went to sleep in the barn upon some 
straw spread with sheepskins, in the midst 
of the continuous grunting of hogs, squeaHng 
of pigs, bleating and coughing of sheep, bark- 
ing of dogs, crowing of cocks, cackhng of 
hens, and especially a goodly quantity of fleas 
and vermin, of no small portion of which we 
were participants, and all with an open barn- 
door, through which a fresh north wind was 
blowing. * * * 'vye could not complain, 
since we had the same quarters and kind of 
bed that their own son usually had, who now, 
on our arrival, crept in the straw behind us. 

In his History of Brooklyn, Dr. Stiles wrote 
so fully and so graphically of the early home 
of the Dutch settlers that I cannot forbear 
making use of his words, even although the 
quotation is a lengthy one: 

Before the English conquest of the Nether- 
lands, the domestic habits and customs of 
the Dutch were simple and democratic in their 
character. All had come hither in search of 
fortune, and had brought little with them in 
the beginning. Some, indeed, through in- 
dustry or peculiar sagacity, had attained posi- 
tions of wealth, and of increased influence, 
yet it might justly be said of the Dutch, that 
their social circles were open to all of good 
character, without regard to business pur- 
suits, or any factitious considerations. Rich 
and poor mingled together with a freedom 
and a heartiness o,f enjoyment which can 
hardly be expected to exist, except in the form- 
ative stage of society. The advent of the 
English, many of whom had high social con- 
nections at home, and corresponding habits, 
etc., brought change into the social life of the 
colony, and necessarily developed an aristo- 
cratic state of society previously unknown. 

In the "best room" of every house, whether 
of the wealthy or humbler class, the high- 
posted, corded, and unwieldly bedstead SVas a 
principal object, and, with its furniture and 
hangings, formed the index of the social 
standing of its owner. Upon it, according to 
the old Dutch fashion, were two feather beds — 
one for the sleeper to lie upon, and another, 
of a lighter weight, to be used as a covering. 
The pillow-cases were generally of check pat- ^ 
terns ; and the curtains and valance were of as 
expensive materials as its owner could afford ; 
while in front of the bed a rug was laid, for 
carpets were not then in common use. Among 

the Dutch, the only article of that sort, even 
up to the time of the Revolution, was a 
drugget cloth, which was spread under the 
table during meal-time, when, upon "extra 
occasions," the table was set in the parlor. 
But even these were unknown among the in- 
habitants of the neighboring Long Island 
towns. The uniform practice, after scrub- 
bing the floor well on certain days, was to 
place upon the damp boards the fine white 
beach sand (of which every family kept a 
supply on hand, renewing it by trips to the 
seashore twice a year), arranged in small 
heaps, which the members of the family were 
careful not to disturb by treading upon ; and, 
on the following day, when it had become dry, 
it was swept, by the light and skillful touch 
of the housewive's broom, into waves or other 
fanciful figures. Rag carpets were unknown 
in Kings county until about the middle of the 
present century. 

The capacious chest, brought from Holland, 
occupied a prominent place in the house, for 
several generations; as was also the trundle 
(or "kermis") bed concealed under the bed 
by day, to be drawn out for the children's 
couch at night. Chairs, straight and high 
backed, were mostly of wood, sometimes cov- 
ered with leather and studded with brass 
nails, but more frequently seated simply with 
matted rushes. Tables, except for kitchen 
use, were unknown to the earlier Dutch, and 
for many years to their successors. In the 
principal room, which held the fine bed, and 
was, also, tea and dining room on special 
occasions, was generally a round tea-table, 
with a leaf which could be dtppped perpen- 
dicularly when not in use, and a large square 
table, with leaves, for use at tea-parties. 
Looking-glasses, in the early days, were gen- 
erally small, with narrow, black frames; and 
window-curtains were of the simplest and 
cheapest description, being no better in the 
best apartments than a strip of ordinary cloth 
run upon a string. Clocks were rare, and 
most families marked their time by the hour- 
glass, the great eight-day clock, which we 
sometimes see as heir-looms in our oldest 
families, being first introduced in this country 
about 1720. Earthenware, until about 1700, 
was but little used in ordinary table service, 
wooden and pewter being then universally in 
use by all classes and preferred because it 
did not dull the knives. The few articles of 
china, kept by some for display upon the cup- 
board, were rarely used ; and, though earthen- 
ware came into partial use about 1680, pewter 



was still the most common up to the period 
of the Revolution. Among the wealthy, blue 
and white china and porcelain, curiously orna- 
mented with Chinese pictures, were used "for 
company." The teacups were very diminutive 
in size, for tea was then an article of the 
highest luxury, and was sipped in small quan- 
tities, alternately with a bite from the lump 
of loaf-sugar, which was laid beside each 
guest's plate. Sometimes china plates were 
used as wall-ornaments, suspended by a strong 
ribbon passed through a hole drilled in their 
edges. Silverware, in the form of tankards, 
beakers, porringers, spoons, snuffers, candle- 
sticks, etc., was a favorite form of display 
among the Dutch, inasmuch as it served as 
an index of the owner's wealth, and was the 
safest and most convenient form of investment 
for any surplus funds. 

Of books our ancestors had but few, and 
these were mostly Bibles, Testaments and 
psalm-books. These Bibles were quaint speci- 
mens of early Du-tch printing, with thick 
covers, massive brass and sometimes silver 
corner-pieces and clasps. The psalm-books 
were also adorned with silver edgings and 
clasps, and on Sabbaths, hung by chains of 
the same material to the girdle of matrons 
and maidens. Merchants who kept school- 
books, psalm-books, etc., as a part of their 
stock, about the middle of the last century, 
were provided with an equal number of books 
in the Dutch and English language; showing 
that, even at that late period after the ter- 
mination of the Dutch power, the greater 
part of the children of Dutch descent con- 
tinued to be educated in the language of the 
Fatherland. Spinning-wheels were to be 
found in every family, many having four or 
five — some for spinning flax and others for 
wool. A Dutch matron, indeed, took great 
pride in her large stock of household linen 
(then cheaper than cotton) ; and it was the 
ambition of every maiden ,to take Ito her 
husband's house a full and complete stock of 
domestic articles. Light was furnished only 
by home-made tallow "dips." 

Marrying and giving in marriage were the 
■occasion of many merry-makings and cere- 
monies and seemed to engage the attention of 
wide circles in the western end, although prob- 
ably the Puritan influence divested such occa- 
sions in the eastern settlements of everything 
■except their religious character. In the west- 

ern section all the marriages were first sanc- 
tioned oir licensed by the Governor, and that 
department of the government was managed 
by an official styled the First Commissary of 
Marriage Affairs. Whether the marriage was 
a civil or a religious one it could not be re- 
garded as legal without this formality, and in 
the Calendar of Historical Manuscripts (Al- 
bany, 1865) we read that on April 3, 1648, 
"William Harck, sheriff of Flushing, was fined 
600 Carolus guilders and deprived of his of- 
fice- for solemnizing the marriage of Thomas 
Nuton, widower, and Joan, the daughter of 
Richard Smith, without the consent of the 
bride's parents and contrary to the law of the 
Province." The parties thus married had to 
go through a legal ceremonial shortly after. 
In the English settlements people intending 
to get married had to have their names read 
in public on three successive Sundays in the 
church of the town in which they resided, and 
so secure an official license (which in these 
circumstances cost little or nothing), and then 
the marriage could legally be performed as a 
civil or religious service. But the law indeed 
seems to have called for the publication of 
the banns three times all over the island; 
but in the western section, under the early 
Dutch rule, it was not corns idered among the 
fashionables as "correct form," and the Gov- 
ernor's license was held to be all that was 
necessary. The law seems to have provided 
for this and doubtless the Governors en- 
couraged it as it swelled their revenues. But 
in 'the eastern settlements, such marriages 
were at a discount, the banns were cried, and 
the minister was the necessary official at the 
solemnization. At the same time he did so 
under heavy penalties should he fail to ob- 
serve the law, for one record tells in that 
"any minister or justice who married any 
daughter, maid, or servant without the con- 
sent of her father, master or dame, or without 
publishing the banns, was subject to a penalty 
of £20 and a forfeiture of his office." That 
this was borne out in actual life and no mere 
ornament on the statute book, is abundantly 



borne out by the various town records. Thus 
we find that in Huntington, June. 19, 1690, 
a court was held to listen to the complaint of 
her father that Sarah Ketcham had teen 
wooed by Joseph Whitman "contrary to her 
mother's mind." Evidence was led in the 
case, and Sarah was ordered to appear and 
tell her story. How the case terminated does 
not appear: very likely the marriage was not 
permitted, for no record of its having taken 
place remains, but the fact that such an action 
was begun and carried out shows that the 
statute was enforced and held .in general 

We are in the habit of decrying the present 
age as too entirely a practical one, too ob- 
livious to sentiment, and speak of money as 
one of the main factors in matrimony. But 
there were the same elements of dollars and 
cents in the matrimonial market even in the 
Arcadian days of Long Island. Thus on June 
9, 1760, the following ante-nuptial contract 
was fiTed on record at Huntington : 

The conditions of this obligation between 
me, Rueben Arter, and Sarah Jarvis is such 
that if we marry, I, Rueben Arter, do quit 
her estate of all but five and twenty pounds; 
I, Sarah Jarvis, do allow out of the rent of 
the farme for the child's bringing up, and if I, 
Sarah Jarvis, don't have no other Darter, 
Ruth Jarvis shall have my wearing cloaths ; 
but if I have other Darters then the cloaths 
to be Divided between them — the wearing 
cloaths, and I, Rueben Arter, do hereby bind 
myself in the sum of fifty pounds current 
money to stand to these Articles by my hand 
and seal before these witnesses I have chosen. 

Reuben Arthur. 
John Bunce. 

In some cases the bride had an inventory 
made of the goods she brought with her to 
her new home, and for some reason it was at 
times deemed necessary, or in keeping with 
the fitness of things, to have such inventory 
recorded. Here is one recorded in Kings 
County in 1691, which is printed in Gabriel 
Furman's "Notes on the Town of Brooklyn" : 

"A half worn bed, pillow, 2 cushions of tick- 
ing with feathers, one rug, 4 sheets, 4 cushion 
covers, 2 iron pots, 3 pewter dishes, i pewter 
basin, i iron roaster, i schuryn spoon, 2 
cowes about 5 years old, i case or cupboard, i 

Furman also notes that in the Dutch 
churches the fees paid the officiating clergy- 
man on such occasions were not his personal 
perquisites but had to be handed over to the 
classis ; and Mrs. Vanderbilt, in her "Social 
History of Flatbush," notes that in 1660 mar- 
riage fees amounting to 43 guilders were ap- 
plied to the building fund of the church. In 
the east, such fees were part of the Dominie's 

Funerals, however, were the occasions on 
which the Dutch settlers spread themselves. 
It was made an occasion for solemn rejoicing 
— so to speak — and the quantity of liquor 
consumed on the occasion of the funeral of a 
well known and wealthy farmer was extra- 
ordinary. Mrs. Vanderbilt preserves in print 
the following bill of expenses at the funeral 
in 1789 of a citizen of Flatbush: 

20 gallons good wine. 

2 gallons spirits. 

I large loaf of lump sugar. 

1/2 doz. nutmegs. 

J/ gross long pipes. 

4 lbs. tobacco. 

1 14 dozen black silk handkerchiefs. 

6 loaves of bread. 

Furman tells us that "formerly the funerals 
upon this island were of a very expensive 
character, and it was a custom in the old 
families to lay up a stock of superior wine 
to be used on such occasions; and frequently 
at those funerals you would meet with wine 
so choice and excellent that it could scarcely 
be equalled by any in the land, although our 
( ountry has always been celebrated throughout 
the world for its excellent Madeira wine. 
Christopher Smith of Jamaica, on this island, 
who died about half a century since [about 
1780], had stored away a large quantity of 



the most superior wines in the country which 
were used at his funeral." The funeral ser- 
vices were conducted at the house, not in the 
church, and the body was generally carried 
to the grave, which in most cases, any dis- 
tance from the church, was in a corner of the 
private grounds of the family.' 

The Rev. P. Van Pelt thus describes a Dutch 
funeral conducted in the olden style in 1819 
by the Rev. W. Schoonmaker, then in his 
own eighty-second year: 


It was in 1819 that I last heard, or recollect 
to have seen, the venerable old dominie. It 
was at the funeral of one of his old friends 
and associates. A custom had very generally 
prevailed, which, though then very rarely ob- 
served, yet in this instance was literally ad- 
hered to. The deceased had, many years be- 
fore, provided and laid away the materials 
for his own coffin. This was one of the best 
seasoned and smoothest boards, and beautifully 
grained. Other customs and ceremonies then 
existed, now almost forgotten. As I entered 
the room I observed the coffin elevated on 
a table in one corner. The dominie, abstracted 
and grave, was seated at the upper end; and 


around, in solemn silence, the venerable and 
hoary-headed friends of the deceased. All 
was still and serious. A simple recognition 
or a half-audible inquiry, as one after another 
arrived, was all that passed. Directly, the 
sexton, followed by a servant, made his ap- 
pearance, with glasses and decanters. Wine 
was handed to each. Some declined; others 
drank a sohtary glass. This ended, and again 
the sexton presented himself with pipes and 
tobacco. The dominie smoked his pipe, and 
a few followed his example. The custom has 
become obsolete, and it is well that it has. 
When the whiffs of smoke had ceased to curl 
around the head of the dominie, he arose with 
evident feeling, and in a quiet, subdued tone,, 
made a short but apparently impressive ad- 
dress. I judged solely by his appearance and 
manner ; for, although boasting a Holland de- 
scent, it was to me speaking in an unknown 
tongue. A short prayer concluded the service ; 
and then the sexton, taking the lead, was fol- 
lowed by the dominie, the doctor, and the pall- 
bearers, with white scarfs and black gloves. 
The corpse, and a long procession of friends 
and neighbors, proceeded to the churchyard, 
where all that was mortal was committed to 
the earth till the last trump shall sound and 
the graves shall give up the dead. No bustle, 
no confusion, no noise nor indecent haste, at- 
tended that funeral. 

The Dutch seemed to have carefully en- 
closed their burial grounds, whether public or 
private, and, in the earlier times especially, to 
have raised no commemorative stones, the 
grave being often simply marked by an unlet- 
tered headstone. In the eastern end, however, 
whether in private ground or in the God's- 
acre surrounding the meeting house, a stone 
was invariably set up, even although the sacred 
grounds were unenclosed. In 1640 and again 
in 1684 the Governor and Council ordered all 
interments in private burial grounds to cease ; 
but the orders were not obeyed, and Furman 
mentions that private burial grounds were used 
even in his own day "to a considerable ex- 

From funerals to wills is an easy and nat- 
ural transition, and by studying some of the 
old "testaments" left by the early dwellers on 
Long Island we get many a glimpse into mat- 



ters illustrative of their characteristics which 
could not otherwise be had. 

Thus we find the Dutch were no believers 
in widows "throwing off their caps" and en- 
tering upon a second matrimonial experiment, 
for we have frequent instances in the wills 
still extant of property bequeathed to widows 
only so long as they remain in that condition. 
Thus in 1726 Cornells Van Catts left the bulk 
of his estate to his wife; "but if she happen 
to marry then I geff her nothing of my es- 
tate, neither real or personal. I geff to my 
well beloved son, Cornelius, the best horse that 
I have, or else £7 los., for his good as my 
eldest son. And then my two children, Cor- 
nelius Catts and David Catts, all heef of my 
whole effects, land and movables, that is to 
say, Cornelius Catts heef of all, and David 
Catts heeff of all. But my wife can be master 
of all, for bringing up to good learning my 
two children (offetten) school to learn." 

But in this respect the English residents 
were equally prohibitive, for in the will of Ben- 
jamin Conkling, of Huntington, 1758, he gave 
his wife "one equal half of all my household 
goods and ye 3d third of my estate as long 
as she remains my widow." Perhaps the best 
authority on the wills made by Long Islanders 
is Mr. William S. Pelletreau, whose "Abstract 
of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office, City 
of New York, 1695, 1707," published in 1901, 
is a mine of information on the subject. From 
that invaluable volume we glean as follows : 

The first will printed in the work is that of 
William Ludlam, of Southampton, 1665. 
Among his legacies he leaves to his son An- 
thony "all my housing and lands at 'the old 
ground," and a £50 right of communage in the 
town of Southampton. In a note appended to 
this will Mr. Pelletreau writes that William 
Ludlam came from Matlock, in Derbyshire, 
England, and was in Southampton as early as 
1653. All through the volume, notes of this 
■character give information of the greatest in- 
terest. The use of the word "alias" is fre- 
quent, but not in the sense of to-day. For in- 
stance, Daniel Denton is an executor. He lives 

at Rustdorp, "alias Jamaica, Long Island." 
Alice Goodspeede is declared to be the next 
heir of John Layton, "late of Middleborough, 
alias New Towne, upon Long Island." David 
Carwith (Corwith to-day) in 1665, "being 
weake in body, but in perfect memory," leaves 
to his son Caleb "my best suit of clothes and a 
bed blanket." Mary, his daughter, becomes 
possessed of a scythe and a Bible. John Mars- 
ton, of Flushing, leaves to one daughter a 
gold ring, and to another a silver thimble. 
Thomas Sayre, of Southampton, whose will is 
dated September, 1669, leaves many acres of 
land, and besides much pewter. His son is 
to receive "a Pewter flagon, a Pewter bowl, 
and a Great Pewter Platter." Here is a curi- 
ous bequest to another son: £10 a year, "to 
begin five years after my decease, to be paid 
in good merchantable shoes, or other pay that 
will procure hides toward his setting up a 

Mr. Pelletreau informs the reader that the 
Thomas Sayres house is still standing at 
Southampton, "and is now the oldest dwelling 
in the State." 

John Foster, of Rustdorp, L. I., whose will 
was made in 1663, is anxious as to the educa- 
tion of his children. So he orders, "My Chil- 
dren .are to be tought to read English well, and 
my son to write, when they come of age." 

John Hart, of Maspeth Kills, gives one of 
his sons a shilling, and to another "one Hog." 
John Hart discriminated, for to his other two 
sons he left his plantation. Thomas Terry, of 
Southold, does not forget his wife. She is to 
have "15 bushels of corn yearly during her 

Ralph Hunt, of Newtown, had not a great 
deal to give. To his daughter Mary he leaves 
"two cows, six sheep, and the feather bed I 
now lye on." To Ann, she "now having my 
red coat in her possession, she is to have it 
valued, and one-half of the proceeds in money 
is to be given to my daughter Mary." Thomas 
Halsey, of Southampton, whose will is of 1677, 
is possessed of a fair landed property. An in- 
ventory shows that the estate was worth £672, 



a great deal of money in those days. Among 
the bequests of Thomas Halsey is one to his 
wife of "one woolen wheele, my little Iron 
Pott, and a Yellow Rugg, and one Dutch 
blanket, and four bushels of wheate to be paid 
yarly, as long as she liveth, and 4 sheep." In 
the will of Balthazar De Hart slaves appear. 
De Hart leaves "a negro woman with her 3 
children." The date is 1672. Mary Jansen, 
in a codicil to her will (1677), leaves her son 
Cornelius a negro boy. Among Mary Jansen's 
other legacies there are golden earrings and a 
diamond rose ring, "the Great Bible," a silver 
spoon, a silver bodkin, and a silver chain with 

Until the promulgation of "The Duke's 
Laws," in 1665, it cannot be said that Long 
Island was governed by any general code of 
regulations. The Dutch system, as interpreted 
by the Director or Governor and his generally 
complaisant Council, was the authority west 
of Oyster Bay, and to the east was the town 
/governments, making their own laws, but in a 
general way basing their legislation upon the 
code which regulated affairs in Connecticut. 
These laws are worthy of a little study, as^ they 
show that for many of what were deemed their 
extravagances, the Puritan settlers on Long 
Island had full legislative authority and were 
simply following established' and confirmed 

In a now rare volume printed at New Lon- 
don in 1750 and entitled "Acts and Laws 
Passed by the General Court or Assembly of 
His Majesty's English Colony of Connecticut 
in New England in America," we get a thor- 
ough knowledge of what these laws were. The 
statute covering the Sabbath is entitled "An act 
for the due observance and keeping the Sab- 
bath, the Lord's Day, and for preventing and 
punishing disorders and prophaneness on the 

The act provides that all persons on 
the Lord's Day must apply themselves to the 
duties of religion, both in public and in private, 
imposing a fine of 3s. on any one who neglects 
to attend public worship. Any one who assem- 

bles in a meeting house and has a meeting 
without first getting leave from the minister 
is subject to a fine of ids. No person shall 
neglect the public worship of God in some 
lawful congregation and assemble in separate 
companies in private houses under penalty of 
a fine of los. Any one who has worked or 
played on the Sabbath was subject to a fine of 
IDS., and the penalty for rude or profane con- 
duct was 40s., and it cost 20s. to travel on Sun- 
day. Drinking was not allowed on Sunday, 
and a ship could not sail out of the harbor, 
fines being the penalty for violations. In the 
event that the person fined refused to pay, he 
was to be "publickly whipt," and no appeal 
was allowed. 

Concerning swearing, which was prohib- 
ited every day in the week, the law reads : "Be 
it enacted by the Governor, Council, and Rep- 
resentatives in General Court assembled, and 
by the authority of the same, that if any per- 
son within this colony shall swear rashly, vain- 
ly, or profanely, either by the Holy Name of 
God or any other oath, or shall sinfully and 
wickedly curse any person, or persons, such 
person so oflending, shall upon conviction 
thereof, before any one, assistant, or Justice 
of the Peace, forfeit and pay for every such 
offense the sum of 6s. 

"And if such person, or persons so con- 
victed, shall not be able or shall refuse to pay 
the aforesaid fine, he, or they, shall be set in 
the stocks, not exceeding three hours, and not 
less than one hour for one offense and pay 
cost of prosecution." 

Gambling, or "gaming" as it was known 
then, was prohibited, the act saying that no 
tavern keeper, ale-house keeper, or victualler 
"shall have, or keep in, or about their houses, 
outhouses, yards, back yards, gardens, or 
other places to them belonging, any dice, cards, 
tables, bowls, shuffleboard, billiard, coytes, 
keils, logets, or any other implements used in 
gaming, nor shall suffer any person to exercise 
any of the said games within their said houses, 
on pain of forfeiting the sum of 40s.'' People 
convicted of playing any of the games were to 



be fined los. The head of a family who per- 
mitted gaming in his house was subject to a 
fine of 20S. 

Concerninig the jails, they were to be 
kept in good repair, tlie prisoners were to bear 
their own charges and allowed to use their own 
bedding and send for their own food. The 
keepers who injured their prisoners were to be 
fined, a poor prisoner was to be allowed tO' take 
the oath and the creditor notified and required 
to pay for his weekly maintenance if he insisted 
on keeping the prisoner in jail. 

The offenses against society were liberally 
provided for, the punishments being fines and 
imprisonment, and there were all' sorts of laws 
the same as now, some being more stringent 
and somewhat peculiar, viewed from the stand- 
point of the present century. 

It is not our purpose here to review the 
Dutch laws or the town laws, but sim- 
ply to present a few specimens of the working 
of these regulations with the view of throwing 
some additional light upon the manners of the 

In Bushwick there seems to have been more 
of a fighting disposition among the people 
than its old Dutch name should have war- 
ranted. Witness the following, mentioned by 
Dr. Stiles: 

On the 20th of August, 1693, Jurian Na- 
gell, of Bushwick, together with two others of 
Brooklyn, endeavored to stir up sedition among 
the crowd, who had assembled at a general 
training of the Kings County militia, on Flat- 
land plains. Captain James Cortelyou deposed 
before the Court of Sessions that, "being in 
arms at the head of his company," he heard ' 
Nagell say to the people then in arms on said 
plains, in Dutch, these mutinous, factious and 
seditious words, following, viz. : "Slaen wij- 
der onder, wij seijn drie & egen een;" in Eng- 
lish : "Let us knock them down, we are three 
to their one." Nagell subsequently confessed 
his error, and was released with a fine. 

The women, also, participated in the disor- 
ders of the times, for on the 8th of May, 1694, 
Rachel, the wife of John Luquer, and the wid- 
ow of jonica Schamp, both of Bushwick, were 
presented before the Court of Sessions for hav- 

ing, on the 24th of January previous, assaulted 
Captain Peter Praa, and "teare him by the hair 
as he stood at the head of his company, at Bos- 
wyck." They, too, were heavily fined, and re- 
leased after making due confession of their 

In 1648 the town of Southold agreed to- 
conform faithfully to the New Haven law of 
1643 that "none shall be admitted to be free 
burgesses in any of the pltntations within thils 
jurisdiction for the future, but such planters 
as are members of some or other of the ap- 
proved churches in New England; nor shall 
any but such free burgesses have any vote in 
any election. * * * JvJqj- shall any power 
or trust in the ordering of any Civil Affayres 
be att any time put into the hands of any other 
than such church members." An appropriate 
oath, binding the subject to the faithful observ- 
ance of all regulations made under this rule 
was required of everyone. Southold also or- 
dained that "it was moreover then also or- 
dered, that everie such person as inhabiteth 
amongst us as shall bee found to bee a comon 
tale carriere, tatler or busie bodie in idle mat- 
ter, forger or coyner of reports, untruths, or 
leys, or frequently provokeinge rude unsa- 
vorie words, tendeinge to disturbe the peace, 
shall forfeite and pay for everie default los." 

The town of Easthampton in 1656 ordered 
that "whoever shall raise up a false witness 
against any man, to testifythat which is wrong- 
it shall be done unto him as he had thought to 
have done unto his neighbor, whatever it be, 
even unto the taking away of life, limb or 
member. And whosoever shall slander an- 
other, shall be liable to pay a fine of five 
pounds." In 165 1 the same town enacted that 
"Noe Indian shall travel up and down, or carry 
any burthen in or through our town on the 
Sabbath day, and whosoever is found soe do- 
ing shall be liable to corporal! punishment." 
In 1656 a woman was sentenced to pay a fine 
of £3, or stand one hour with a cleft stick upon 
her tongue, for saying that her husband had 
brought her to a place where there was neither 
gospel nor magistracy." 



The Sunday laws were rigorously enforced. 
Daniel Baker of Easthampton in 1682 lost an 
ox, found it on a Sabbath morning and drove 
it to his barn. For this desecration of the Sab- 
bath he was brought before the Court of Ses- 
sions, which was held at Southold in June, 
and by that tribunal was fined forty shillings 
and costs of court, which all amounted to nine 
pounds, three shillings and three pence. In ad- 
dition to this he was obliged to give bonds in 
the penal sum of twenty pounds sterling, for 
his good behaviour until the following March ! 

The early records of Flatbush contain the 
following entry, dated 1659: Schout vs. Jan 
Klaesen, in Scheppens Court. Schout com- 
plained against the defendant for carting in 
buckwheat with his wagon and oxen on Sun- 
day, contrary to the placards. Condemned to 
pay costs. 

The town of Hempstead in 1650 passed an 
order imposing a fine upon every person who, 
"without just and necessary cause," should 
neglect to attend "public meetings on the 
Lord's Day, and public days of fasting, and 
thanksgiving, both forenoon and afternoon." 

In 1674 it was enacted in Brookhaven "that 
Whereals, there have been mudh abuse pro- 
faning of the Lord's Day by the younger sort 
of people in discoursing of vain things and 
running races ; therefore we make an order that 
whosoever shall do the like again, notice shall 
be taken of them and be presented to the next 
court, there to answer for their faults and to 
receive such punishment as they deserve ; 
whereas, it have been too common in this town 
for young men and maids to be out of their 
father's and mother's house at unseasonable 
times of night;, it is therefore ordered that 
whosoever of the younger sort shall be out of 
their father's or mother's house past nine of 
the clock at night shall be summonsed into the 
next court and there to pay court charges, with 
what punishment the court shall see cause to 
lay upon them except they can give sufRcient 
reason for their being out late." 

About 1699 the town of Brooklyn decreed 
"that no people shall pass on the Sabbath day. 

unless it be to or from church, or other urgent 
and lawful occasions according to act of assem- 
bly, upon penalty aforesaid of fine and impris- 
onment." In the town of Flatlands the civil 
magistrates were required to be of the Re- 
formed religion, and officers of the church were 
ex officio officers of the town. 

In 1654 at Southampton, according to 
Prime, it was ordered that "if any person abov^ 
the age of fourteen shall be convicted of lying, 
by two sufficient witnesses, such person soe 
offending shall pay 5s. for every such default ; 
and if hee have not to paye hee shall cit in the 
stox 5 hours." That the stocks were already 
provided is evidenced by an entry in 1648, as 
follows: "The 14th daye of November, or- 
dered that there shall hereby be provided a 
sufficient payre of Stokes, John White having 
undertaken to make them." In 165 1 a woman 
in that town was "sentenced by the magistrates 
for exorbitant words of imprecation to stand 
with her tongue in a cleft stick so long as the 
offense committed is read and declared. "In 
the system of alarms for calling the militia to- 
gether in case of invasion in that town, it was 
ordered -in 1667, that "if any pson soever shall 
psume to make any flalse alarum shall for his 
or there Default pay twenty shillings or be 
severely whipt, and noe person pretend ignor- 

One of the most humorous outcomes of the 
Dutch laws is to be found in the following ex- 
tract from Dr. Stiles. Denton's pond, it may 
be premised, has long been obliterated in 

Denton's pond was the subject of a curi- 
ous contract about 1709, between its original 
proprietors, Abram and Nicholas Brower, and 
Nicholas Vechte, the builder and occupant of 
the old 1699, or Cortelyou, house. With the 
strong predilection of his race for canals and 
dikes and water-communications, old Vechte 
added the traits of eccentricity and independ- 
ence. His house stood on a bank a few feet 
above the salt-meadow, at a distance of a hun- 
dred yards from the navigable waters of the 
creek. To secure access to. them, from his 
kitchen door, Vechte dug a narrow, canal to the 



creek, but the ebb-tide often left his boat firmly 
sunk in the mud, when he wished to reach the 
city market with the produce of his farm. He 
therefore contracted with the Browers to sup- 
ply him with water from their pond; and a 
channel was dug, in furtherance of his scheme, 
to a water gate, through which his canal was 
to be flooded. The old Dutch farmer was ac- 
customed to seat himself in his loaded boat, 
while it was resting in the mud of the empty 
channel, and hoist his paddle as a signal to his 
negro servant to raise the gate. The flood soon 
floated his boat, and bore him out to the creek, 
exulting with great glee over his neighbors, 
whose stranded boats must await the next 
flood. The contract for this privilege, as well 
as another, by which Vechte leased the right 
to plant the ponds with oysters, are in posses- 
sion of Mr. Arthur Benson. 

In 1661 Easthampton passed a curious law 
that "No man shall sell his accommodation to 
another without consent of the town, and if 
any purchase he made Without such consent 
he shall not enjoy the same." This seems to 
have been intended to prevent unwelcome 
strangers from getting even a night's lodging. 
On this question of the settlement of strangers 
all the eastern towns were decidedly careful 
and conservative. In 1648 Southampton de- 
creed that "Thomas Robinson shall be ac- 
cepted as an inhabitant and have a £50 lot 

granted unto him; provided the said Thomas 
be not under any scandalous crime, which may 
be laid to his change, within six months, and 
that he carry himself and behave as becometh 
an honest man." Again, Samuel Dayton was 
given similar consideration provided "that the 
said Samuel (being a stranger to us) were of 
good approbation in the colony he last lived in, 
and do demean himself well here for the time 
of approbation, namely, six months." 

But these wanderings among these ancient 
by-paths of the laws of the island must cease. 
We may smile at some of them, and feel in- 
clined to ridicule most of them ; but they were 
all the honest outcome of a people's desire to 
so frame their daily lives as to win the most 
exact justice, man to man, and to bring about 
peace, order and the greatest amount of hap- 
piness and prosperity to each community. 
Early Dutchmen .and pioneer Englishmen 
were alike in this, that they believed in law 
and order, that they loved God and kept His 
commandments, and they tried to shape their 
legislation by the Book which was a light unto 
their feet and a guide unto their path, and 
which was a much more potent and active fac- 
tor in the daily life and thought and purpose 
of each community than it is in these passing 
days of ours. 



HE^ffl is no doubt that the "insti- 
Jtunon ," as they used to call it in 
the old ante-bellum days of negro 
slavery, was introduced into the 
New Netherland by the Dutch. Among 
the "freedoms and exemptions" granted 
by the West India Company in 1629 
to whoever- planted colonies in New Neth- 
erland was a clause stipulating that "the 
company will use their endeavors to sup- 
ply the colonists with as many blacks as they 
conveniently can." Negro slaves were em- 
ployed on the construction of Fort Amster- 
dam by Wouter Van Twiller, and in an ap- 
praisal of the company's property in 1639 the 
value of a negro slave was placed at 40 guild- 
ers, or about $16 in modern currency. In 
1650 it was decreed "that the inhabitants of 
New Netherland shall be at liberty to purchase 
negroes wheresoever they may think necessary, 
except on the' coast of Guinea, and bring them 
to work on their bouweries," paying a small 
duty on each importation. In 1651 the average 
value of a negro slave was about $100, and 
that price was paid at public auction in New 
Amsterdam. The Rev. Mr. Polhemus paid 
$176 for a negro slave at an auction in 1664. 
So far as can be seen the slaves held by 
the Dutch were humanely treated, although 
now and again we come across evidences of 
the existence of cruelty. Even as early as 
1644 we read of laws being passed for the 
emancipation of negroes who by long service 
and good behavior had earned some mitigation 
of their terrible lot. 

Under the English domination slavery not 
only flourished, but the laws against the ne- 
groes were made more stringent than ever. 
In 1683 it was enacted that "No servant or 
slave, either Male or Female shall either give, 
sell or trust any Commodity whatsoever dur- 
ing the time of their Service under the pen- 
alty of such Corporal Punishment as shall be 
ordered to be inflicted by warrant under the 
Hands of two Justices of the Peace of the 
County where the said Servant or Slave doth 
reside. And if any Person whatsoever shall 
buy of, receive from or trust with any Ser- 
vant or Slave contrary to this Law, they shall 
be compelled by Warrant, as aforesaid, to re- 
store the said commodity so bought, received 
or trusted for to the Master of such Servant 
or Slave and forfeit for every such offence 
the sum of £5. And if any Person whatsoever 
shall credit or trust any Servant or Slave for 
Clothes, Drink or any other Commodity what- 
soever the said Person shall lose his Debt & 
be forever debarred from maintaining any 
writ at Law against the said Servant or Slave 
for any matter or thing so trusted as afore- 
said. If any Servant or Slave shall run away 
from their Master or Dame, every Justice of 
Peace in this Province is hereby authorized 
& impowered to grant Hue & Cry after the 
said Servant or Slave, the Master or Dame 
having first given in Security for the payment 
of the Charges that shall thereby attend. And 
all Constables & inferior Officers are hereby 
strictly required & commanded authorized and 
empowered to press Men, Horses, Boats or 



Pinnaces to pursue such persons by Sea or 
Land, and to make diligent Hue and Cry as 
by the Law required." 

In 1730 another law concerning slavery 
was passed, which made the lot of the blacks 
peculiarly hard, their punishment for trivial 
offenses exceptionally severe, and even put 
•obstacles in the way of their emancipation by 
kind-hearted owners. This law was one of the 
results of the so-called plot of 1712, — it is 
not certain that any plot really existed, — which 
■developed a race riot wherein several whites 
were killed and the subsequent trial and exe- 
cution of nineteen unfortunate negroes. 

But that plot was as nothing compared to 
that of 1741, which has been classed as among 
the most noted of the popular delusions of 
America. On the 14th of March in that year 
some goods were stolen from the house of 
a merchant. Mary Burton, a girl of loose char- 
acter, or rather of no character at all, an in- 
dentured servant of John Hughson, keeper 
of a tavern of poor repuite on the East River 
opposite Brooklyn, told some one confidentially 
that the stolen goods were hidden in her em- 
ployer's house. The news was soon carried 
to the authorities, and Mary was at once ar- 
rested and offered her complete liberty if she 
would confess all. She certainly confessed, 
and the prospect of liberty inspired her poor 
imagination to great efforts. Some at least 
of the stolen property was recovered, and 
Hughson and several others, black and white, 
were fully charged with the robbery. So far 
Mary's confessions did good service to the 
community. On March i8th, however, the 
Governor's house was found to be on fire, and 
then followed a series of conflagrations, each 
petty in itself, but with such steady recur- 
rence that the fears of a negro plot, slumber- 
ing since 1712, became again aroused, and as 
usual vague and wild rumors soon fanned fear 
into desperation, and once this gained posses- 
sion of the people all sense of justice was 
thrown to the winds. So it always has been 
in the history of the world. Mary Burton 
became a prime agent in the persecution of the 

negroes which at once set in, and her out- 
rageous stories were blindly accepted as evi- 
dence. The wild confessions of some of the 
white refuse of New York, and of negroes 
crazed by fear, added strength to her stories, 
and with the aid of the law a blind and cruel 
race war set in the details of which form one 
of the most revolting passages in the history 
of New York. Fortunately the story belongs 
to the annals of that borough and need no1! 
be gone into here. Suffice it to say that while 
the delusion lasted, from May to the end of 
August, 154 negroes were sent to prison, and 
of these 14 were burned, 18 hanged and 71 
transported. In the same period 24 white 
people were arrested, four of whom were exe- 
cuted. For all this Mary received her free- 
dom and £100 and was sent adrift on the 
world, so disappearing from our ken; and the 
good citizens, when they considered the work 
done, set apart the 24th of September as a 
day of thanksgiving for their escape from de- 
struction. The result of all this was that the 
laws anent slavery were more rigorously en- 
forced than ever and severe measures were 
adopted restraining still further the personal 
liberty of those unfortunate victims of col- 
ored skin and ignorant credulity. 

Writing on the subject of "Slavery in New 
York," in the American Magazine of History, 
Mr. F. G. Martin said: 

As colonists the English did not to any 
great extent follow in the lead of Sir John 
Hawkins, the great negro importer of the six- 
teenth century. Still we find many allusions 
to the traffic in the manuscript records of the 
Province of New York. Complaint was made 
by the Royal African Company, in 1687, that 
their charter had been infringed upon by the 
importing of negroes and elephants' teeth from 
Africa. It was announced, in 1720, that Cap- 
tain Van Burgh had arrived from Barbadoes 
with four negroes; but that "Simon the Jew 
don't expect his ship from Guinea before late 
in the fall." "Negroes are scarce," says an- 
other informant, "but Captain Hopkins will 
sell one for £50, cash." Between 1701 and 
1725 an annual average of less than 100 ne- 
groes was imported. The total number was 



2,395, of which 1,573 were from the West 
Indies and 822 from the coast of Africa. In 
1712 the list for Kings county showed 1,699 
"Christians" and 298 slaves; Orange county, 
439 whites and 4I salves ; Albany, 2,879 whites 
and 450 slaves; New York, 4,846 whites and 
970 slaves. In 1723 here were 6,171 slaves in 
the Province in a total population of 40,564; 
in 1746, slaves 9,717, total 61,589; in 1774, 
slaves 21,149, total 182,247. Virginia, at this 
time, had about 250,000 slaves, or forty, per 
cent, of the whole number in the colonies. 

During the Revolutionary conflict slavery 
as an institution gave rise to considerable 
trouble on both sides. Both recognized the 
""institution," but the negroes seemed to see 
in the condition of affairs a chance for a 
■change of masters, if not for entire freedom. 
As a result the newspapers of the time pre- 
sent us with many advertisements concerning 
runaway negroes both from the service of 
British officers and from civilians, and a num- 
ber of these will be found in Onderdonk's 
"Revolutionary Incidents." Almost as soon as 
independence was accomplished a movement 
for abolition set in, and it was with reluctance 
that New York agreed to the continuance of 
the slave traffic until 1808. In 1794 the abo- 
lition societies of many of the States sent dele- 
gates to a convention in Philadelphia, and one 
of its results was the passage of an act in 1799 
by the New York Legislature for the gradual 
abolition of the "black curse." It provided 
that any child born in the State after July 4 
■of that year should be free; but, if a boy, 
should remain in the service of his mother's 
owner until he was twenty-eight years old; if 
a girl, she was to remain in servitude until 
she was twenty-five. If the mother's owner 
did not care for this arrangement the child 
could be handed over to the Overseer of the 
Poor and treated by them in the same way as 
pauper children. It was also declared "law- 
ful for the owner of any slaves immediately 
after the passing of this act to manumit such 
slave by a certificate to that purpose under his 
hand and seal." This was the beginning of 
the end, and by slow stages and various en- 

actments the institution was steadily legislated 
against in New York until in 1827 it had no 
legal standing in the Empire State at all, and 
within her boundaries negro slavery was wiped 

So far as Long Island is concerned, it is im 
possible to discover accurately the extent to 
which, in its beginning, the institution pre- 
vailed. On broad lines it may be asserted that 
each owner of the soil, as soon as he was 
wealthy enough, in early times bought at least 
one slave to aid in its cultivation, and that as 
wealth increased it became quite fashionable 
to have one or more negroes as domestic ser- 
vants as well as farm hands. But we read at 
no time of entire dependence being placed, 
either for domestic or farm services, on slave 
labor ; nor do we meet with the slightest signs 
of the existence of any of the great aggrega- 
tions of slaves on the lands of individual land- 
owners which marked the institution further 
to the south. An idea of this is given in the 
following list of slaves in Long Island, from 
a census of the State, which was taken in 


A list taken by Captain Francis Titus, of 
Bushwyck in Kings County, of the Slaves be- 
longing to the Inhabitants of his District, viz. : 

Males. Females. 

Owners' Names. 

John Misroll 

John Liequare 

George Durje 

Abraham Liequare 

Folkert Folkertsen 

William Bramebosch 

John Rcs5veldt 

Jacob Misroll 

Nicholas Lefferts 

Catherine Lefferts 

Abraham Miller 

Marritje Woertman 

David Van Cots 

Theodorus Polhemus 

Daniel Burdett 

Jacob Durye 

Peter Lot 

Abraham Schenck 

Evert Van Ge'der 

Neclos Folkertsen 

Andris Stu6holm 

Peter Conselye 

Capt. Francis Titus 


Capt Frans Titus. 




A list taken from the Negro's belonging to 
the Inhabitance, under the Command of Saml 
Hopson Captn of the West Company of Brook- 
land in Kings County : 

Negroes' Names. 
One Negro Man cald Francis . . . 
Do Sambo. . . . 

One Do Wench Judy 

One Negro Man Cald Roger .... 
Do Harry .... 

Do Peter 

Do Josey .... 

Do Esquire . . 

One Negro Wench cald Mary . . . 

Do pegg 

One Negro Man cald Will 

Do Cezer 

One Negro Man cald prince 

One Negro Man cald Ceser 

One Negro Man cald Dick 

Do Prince 

One Do Wench Dine 

One Negro Man cald Robin 

One Negro Man cald Tight 

One Do Wench Dine 

One Negro Man cald Thorn 

Do Jack 

Do Wench Bett 

One Negro Man cald Toney 

Do Wench cald Mary. . . 

Do Tracey.. 
One Negro Man cald Tobey 

Do Wench cald Flora . . . 
One Negro Man cald Ceaser .... 

Do Wench Jane 

One Negro Man cald James 

Do Wench Bett 

One Negro Man cald Sam 

Do Thom 

Do Wench Jane 

One Negro Man cald Clos 

One Negro Man cald Chalsey. . . 
One Negro Man cald Thom 

Do Wench Jane 

One Negro Man cald Harry 

Do Wench Libe 

One Negro Man cald Frank 

Do Thom 

Do Wench Anne 

One Negro Man cald Harry 

Do Wench Phillis 

One Negro Man cald Coffe 

Do Wench Judy 

One Negro Man cald Tight 

One Negro Man cald Willing. . . . 
One Negro Man cald France. . . . 

Do Wench Elizabeth . . . 
One Negro Man cald Sam 

Do Wench Dine 

Do Deyon . . . . 

One Negro Man cald Prime 

One Negro Man cald Ceaser. . . . 

Do Wench Lil 

One Negro Man cald Isaac 

To whom Belonging 

Isaac Sebring 

John Bargay 

Derk Bargay 

Simon Booram 
Cornel Sebring 

Saml Hopson 

Peter Van Pelt 
Micael Bargan 

Chrispr Seehar 

John Carpenter 

j- Whitead Cornwell 
John Middagh 
John Vandike 

1- Clos Vanvaughty 

John Griggs 

Israel Hosfield Junr 

,- Peter Stots 

r Sam: De Bevoice 

r Mr Van Donne 

r Jacob Sebring 

[ Abrm Brewer 

Israel Hosfield 
Jacob De Bevoice 

c Jacob Bennett 

r Jery Bruer 

George De Bevoice 
C Jury Bloue 
Winant Bennet 

Negroes Names. To Whom Belonging. 

One Negro Man cald Jo } ^^^ Vandike 

Do Wench Jane ) 

One Negro Wench cald Jane Earsh Middagh 

One Negro Man cald Harry 1 

Do Nease | 

Do Dick j- Jacob Bruington 

Do Charles ... | 

Do Wench Peg J 

43 Negro Men 
24 Do Women 

Total, 66 
The above is a just account of Neg:ro3s to the Best of 
my knowledge belonging to the Inhabitants of the West 
Company of Brookland Saml Hopson. 

The list of the Negroes both male and fe- 
male Who Reside In the District of Capt. 
John Lott In Kings County in brucklen To- 
Every Person belonging by name as foloingt 

Christopher Codwise 2 male. ... 2 female 

John Cowenhoven 4 male. ... 1 female 

Martin Reyerse 1 male 

Jeremias Remse 2 male. ... 2 female 

Lammert Sudam 1 male .... 1 female 

John Lott 2 female 

Jacobus Degraew 1 male. ... 1 feriiale 

Barent Jansen 1 male .... 1 female 

Jan Ryerse 1 male 

Rem Remsen 1 male 

Hendrik Sudam 1 female 

Abram Remsen 1 male .... 

Tuenes Bogaert 1 male 

DW Sara Rapelie 1 male 

Benjamin Waldron 1 male 

Joost Debavois 1 male. ... 1 female 

Jakes Durje 2 male .... 2 female 

Jan Noorstrant 1 male 

Gerritt Noorstrant 1 male. ... 1 female 

Jeronemus Rapelie 2 male. ... 1 female 

Jacobus Lefferse 1 male. ... 2 female 

Jacob bergen 1 male .... 1 female 

Pieter V D Voort 1 female- 

Karel Debavois 1 male .... 2 female 

Johanis Debavois 1 female 

Jacobus Debavois 1 male. ... 1 female 

Cornelis V D hoef 2 male 

Arsus Remsen 1 male. ... 2 female 

Adriaen Hegeman 1 male 

DW Dina Rapalje 1 male 1 female 

John Rapalje 3 male .... 2 female 

A true Leist of the negroes male and female by me 
17.").^ April 11. Capt John Lott. 


A true List of all the Slaves Both male- 
and female of fourteen years old and above in 
the township of flatbush in Kings County on 
Nassaw Island in the Province of Kew Yorke 
this Eighteenth Day of April, anog Dom 1755- 



Owners Names Males 

Dominie Van Sindere — 

Peter Stryker 1 

John Stryker 2 

Johannes V: Sickelen 1 

John Waldron — 

Doctor V : beuren — 

Barent V: Defenter 3 

Barent Andriese — 

Widdow Clarkson 3 

hendrick Suydam — ■ 

David Sprong — 

henry Cruger 3 

Engelbart Lett 2 

Jacobus Lett ^ 2 

Cornelis Van D : Veer 1 

Johannes Ditmarss 2 

Laurens Ditmars 1 

Adriaen Voorhees — 

Rem Martense 2 

Phillip Nagel 1 

Phillip Nagel Junr 1 

Seytje V: D Bilt 1 

Leffert Martense 1 

Rem Hegeman 3 

Evert hegeman 1 

Peter Lefferts 1 

John Lefferts 1 

Jeremyes V : D ; bilt 1 

Adrian Martense 2 

Antje Ver Kerck 3 

Cornelis V; Duyn — 

John V: Der Veer ' 1 

Gerret Cozyn 1 

Jeromus V : D ; Veer — 

Steven Williamse 1 

Johannes Lott Junr 1 

Isaac Snediker — 

Jacob Snediker 1 

Gerret boerem 1 

Cornelis Wykhoff 1 

Abraham Bloom 1 

Jan boerem 1 

Karel boerem — 

Maurits Lott 1 

Douwe Ditmarss 1 

Johannes Elderts — 

thomas Batts 1 

hendrick Lott 1 

Joseph hou ward — 

harmpje Lefferts 1 

Rem V: D; bilt 1 

their names females their names 

1 Isabel 

Tack ' 1 Syne 

Minck & torn • 1 Dyne 

Sambo — 

1 Lies 

1 Roos 

Jack: hence & Ben 1 Saar 

• •. 1 Graes 

Jafta Jacob & herry 2 Bass, and Saar 

1 Isabel 

1 Mary 

Isack: John & hammell 1 Calleen 

Jan and Batt 2 Syne & Bett 

Sam & Jafta . . . . ' 1 Wyne 

Roos 2 fiUis & Saar 

frank and f rans 1 Syne 

Claes ■. . . . 3 Eva: Bett & Wyntje 

1 Dyane 

Sam & herry 2 Eihme & Susan 

Doll — 

Libb 1 Bett 

Sam 1 Bett 

Sam 1 Pagg 

Dick & herry 1 Syne 

Sesor — 

Ben 2 Dyne & Isabel 

herry — 

Minck 1 Kea 

Nienus & Lans 1 Isabel 

Adam: Jack & Jafta 4 Jane: Kouba; Mare & Diane- 

1 Bett 

herry 1 Isabel 

herry — 

1 Jude 

1 Sale 

Andrew 1 Bett 

1 Mary 

toon — 

Coramenie 1 Lybe 

Sesor 1 Dyane 

Claes 1 Bett 

Will — 

1 Susan 

Minck 1 Bett 

Primus 1 Dyne 

1 fiUes 

Yorke 2 Moryn & Lill 

tom 1 Eva 

1 Isabel 

Prins 1 Rachel 

Julus 1 Jane 


the total number 108 


A true list of all the Slaves both male and 
female from fourteen Years and upwards ac- 
cording to an act of assembly : 

Male. Female. 

John Schenck Captain of the said town. ... 1 1 

John V. Der Bilt 1 1 

Wilhelmus Stoothof Jur 1 1 

harmanis hooglant 1 

Roelif Van Voorhees Esqr 1 

Wilhelmus Stoothof 1 

Abraham Vcorhees 1 1 

Cornelius Voorhees 1 1 

Peter Stryker Captn of flatbush. 

Male. Female.. 

Steve Schenck 1 

John Ditmars 1 

Willem Kouwenhoven Esqr 1 1 

Gerrit Kouwenhoven 1 

John Amerman 2 1 

Gerrit Wykof 1 1 

Marten M. Schenck 1 

Johannis Lott 2 2 

Derrick Remsen 1 

Johannis W. Wykof 2 1 

Pieter Wykof 1 1 

Joost Vannuis _0 1 

17 18 

Jan Schenck, Capt., 




A List of the Negroes In the township 
•of Gravesend Male and Female from the age 
•of fourteen years and upward May i, 1755 : 

Males. Females. 

Richard Stillwell 2 2 

John Grigg 2 1 

Joha Voahears 2 1 

Nicholas Stillwell 1 2 

Roeliff terhunen 1 1 

Isaac Denyce 1 2 

;Samuel Garritson 1 

Neeltye Voorhears 1 

Farnandus Van Sicklen 1 1 

Nicholas Williamsen 1 1 

James Hubbard 1 

Daniel Lake 2 1 

Cornelious Stryker 1 

-Fernandus van Sicklen 1 

William Johnson 1 

Peter Williamson 1 

Bengaman Steimets 1 

'Cort Johnson 1 

I 1 t 

The totle Number of Males Seuenteen 
The totle Number of Females Seuenteen 


A true list of all the Slaves of the Town- 
■ship of Newuytreght in Kings County: 

The No. Fe- 

of each Male male 

Names of Masters. Man. Sex. Sex. 

Petrus Van Pelt -3 2 1 

Jacobus Van Nuys 2 1 1 

Hendrick Johnsen 1 1 

Heart Van foerhees 3 2 1 

Jaques Cortelyou 2 1 1 

Jaques Cortelyou Junior 2 1 1 

Pieter Cortelyou -t 2 2 

Deneys Deneys 8 4 4 

Saartje Barkeloo 2 1 1 

Thomas Van Dyck 1 1 

JohnLaan 110 

Casper Crapster 2 1 1 

Gerrit Kounover^ 2 1 1 

Gerrit Van Duyn 2 1 1 

Willem Van Nuys -3 2 1 

Willem Van Nuys Junr 1 1 

Rutgert Van Brunt Junior 10 6 4 

Evert Suydam 1 1 

John Johnson 1 1 

Rutgert Van Brunt .3 1 2 

Andries Emans 2 1 1 

Wilhelmis Van Brunt 1 1 

Thomas Pollock 3 2 1 

Roelof Van Brunt 1 1 

Joris Lot 4 2 2 

Neeltye Pietersen. . . ." 1 ' 1 

Rebecca Emans 1 2 

67 37 30 
the whole 

Petrus Van Pelt Captn. 


Hempsted in Queens County on Nissaw Island and in the province of New Yorck; accompt of the slaves brought in 
to George Everit Capt. within his Districts. April ye 28 — anno. 1755. 

•Georg Rierson 

Cornelius Rierson 

Beniamin Dvsenbere 

William Cornell 

Hendrick Hendricksen 

Thomas hendricksen 

John ffoster 

John : Montonye 

Jacob Vollintine 

Beniaman Downing 

William Lines 

Thomas Seamons 

Jonathan Vollintine 

Sanvel Searing'. '. 

Daniel Searing 

Jacob Searing 

Jeams Smith 

Timothy Smith 

Ellixander Davorsbn 

John Cornell ^ 

David AUgoe 

Sarah Seamons 

Robbard Marvil 

John Smith 

peter titvs 

John Combs 

beniamin Smith Jeams } 
Smith and Richard Smith f 

JRichard Titvs 

Vriah plat 

3 mals Seasor adorn, Jack 1 

— 1 

1 male — mike 2 

3 mals been, Charls, Sam 1 

1 male savl 1 

— 1 

1 male Jack. 

famale, Diannah 
famale — bet 
famals, bess, pen 
famale — nan 
famale — Gin 
famale — Jvde 
famale — Gin 

famale Greech 
famale EUy 
famale peg 

famale Sarah 
famale Cate 


— 1 

3 mals Dick, prince Eliiah 1 

1 male — Jack 

— 1 

1 male f ranck 1 

1 male tie 

2 males — Stephen — Lew 

1 male Yorck 

1 male Robbin 1 

2 mals — torn — robbin 

1 male Lew 2 

3 mals, David, pero Jack _. . 2 

2 mals Jack — peter 2 

3 mals Ciah lonnon, hithro 1 

— 1 

3 mals will Jefroy — bob 2 

— 1 

3 males Corso oxfprd John 1 famale pendor 

1 male Jeffre 1 famale— bet 

1 male waterf ord 1 famale Gin 

famale — nan 

famals, hannah, Diannah 
famals J anna nanot 
famals — Dinah post 
famale Dosh 
famale mander 
famals sib pendor 
famale — nan 



John Townsand ; 2 

Richard townsand 1 

phebe mot 1 

John Petors • 1 

Epenetos plat 1 

Ambros fish 2 

Samvel willis 2 

Richard Williams 1 

John Williams 1 

William Titvs 1 

mary titvs 1 

Stephen titvs 1 

Josiah Martin 3 

George hvlit 1 

John Smith , 2 

John Searing — 

Samvel Rowland 1 

John hicks 1 

Jacob Smith 3 

Isaac Smith 1 

Ephraim Vollingtine 1 

Elisabath titvs 1 

Charls petors 2 

mals Jack ned 1 famale Gin 

male Lew 

male Ciah 1 famale pendor 

male York 

male Lve 

mals Jack — bendo 1 famale — ame 

male tie 1 famale — hagor 

male sam 1 famale 

male savl 

male Jeams 1 famale — f rancis 

male Cato 1 famale Nancy 

male — ben 1 famale Gin 

mals — papav Jack sackoe above 60 3 famals present, Jemina and 

years old nab 

male Jacob 1 famale Jvdc 

mals Dick — Stephen 1 famale — hannah 

- • 1 famale Chat 

male harre 

male Charls . . . : 1 famale — Gin 

males — will — tom 2 famals, biblor — bet 

male seasor 1 famale — peg 

male petor 

male Gem 1 famale — Sarah 

mals petor — tie 1 famale — rose 

A List of the Negro Indian and Mullatta 
Slaves within the District whereof Benjamin 
Smith is Captain at Hempstead in Queens 
County taken the first Day of April 1755 : 

Male." Female. 

Jacob Hicks Esqr 1 2 

Jacob Hicks Junr 1 1 

Thomas Hicks .' — 1 

Phebe Hicks ~ I 

James Mott — 1 

Daniel Hewlet Junr 1 1 

John Cornell 2 2 

Joseph Scidmore — 1 

Thos Cornell Esqr 1 2 

Capt Brown 6 1 

Richard Cornell 1 1 

Benja Lewes — 1 

Henry Mott 1 — 

Vail : Hewlet peters 1 1 

Elias Durlum 1 1 

Eldard Lucas 1 1 

Jacobus Lawrence — 1 

Elias Durlum ye 8d — 1 

Abraham Bond — 1 

17 21 
P : Benjamin Smith Capt 

A List of the Slaves Male and Female 
above 14 years of Age An Account of which 
has been brol in to Capt. John Birdsall, for 
his District in the Township of Hempstead 
in Queens County, according to the late Act 
of Assembly: 

Owners Names. Males. Females. 

The Revd Mr Seabury 1 1 

Benjn Lester 2 

Jerm Bedell 1 1 

Owners Names. Males. 

Benjn Hewlett 1 

Josh : Birdsall 1 

Solu Seaman 2 

James Pine 1 

Benjn Smith ". 3 

Leffurt Haugewout. . '. 1 

Wid ; Lininton 1 

Elias Durland Junr 1 

Richard Jackson 3 

Joseph Petit Junr 1 

Thos Tredwell 2 

Jno Carman 1 

Saml Jackson 3 

John Rowland 1 

Thos Seaman 

Thos Seaman Junr 

James Smith 1 

Jacob Seaman Esqr 2 

Cornell Smith 1 

Patrick Mott 1 

Danl Hewlett 

Thos Carman ' 2 

Jno Jackson .'....,.... 1 

James Seaman 1 

Jno Hall 1 

James Smith Junr 1 

Danl Smith 1 

Daniel Smith , 1 

John Grissman 1 

Anthony Semans 1 

Daniel Pine 1 

Benj : Carmon 

Richard Suthard 1 

Males 43 

Females 36 











May it please yr Hour 

This is a true account of what has been brout. in 
to me 

Sr yr most humble & obedient Servt 

Hempstead | John Birdsall. 

April .5th 17.5.5 i 




Newtown, May ist, 1755. 
A List of Negroes Male and Female Ac- 
>cording to the Act of Assembly of the Prov- 
ince of New York taken by me 

Jeromes Rapelye. 

Males. Females. 

Jeromes Rapelye 1 

■Cornelius Rapelye Esqr 1 1 

Jacobus Lent 1 1 

John Rapelye 1 1 

John De Bevoyce 1 3 

Jacob Rapelye 1 1 

Daniel Rapelye Senr 1 1 

Joseph Moore Esqr 1 

Bernardis Bloom 1 

Daniel Rapelye Junr 1 1 

Nathaniel Fish 2 1 

John Levirich 1 

William Furman 1 1 

Samuel Waldron 1 1 

Philip Edsal 2 3 

Elizabeth Pumroy 2 1 

Robert Coo 1 1 

Robert Field Senr 1 

Abraham Brinkerhoff 2 1 

Hendrick Brinkerhoff 1 

Samuel Fish Junr 2 1 

Dow Sidam 1 

Joseph Morrel 1 

Edward Titus 1 

Nathaniel Baily 1 

Abraham Rapelye 1 2 

Samuel Fish Senr 2 4 

Abraham Polhemus 1 

Gabriel Furman 1 

Revd Simon Horton 2 1 

John White 2 1 

Widow Titus 1 

William Sackett Esqr 1 1 

Joseph Woodard 2 

Samuel Moore Esqr 1 1 

Samuel Moore Lieut 1 

John Moore 1 

Samuel Moore son of Joseph Moore Esqr. . 1 

Benjamin Waters 1 2 

Sarah Burrows 1 1 

Cornelius Berrian Esqr 2 

Jeromes Ramsen 1 1 

Rem Ramsen 1 1 

Total 44 43 

Males 44 Total 
Females 43 — 

26th May 1755. 
List of Negroes in Queens County sent by 
Jacob Blackwell. 

Jacob Blackwell 2 Male 1 female 

Joseph Sacket 3 Det 2 Det 

Samwell Hallett 2 Det 1 Det 

George Vannolst 1 Deto 

Nathon More 1 Det 

Samwell More 1 Det 1 Det 

Richard Hallett 1 Det 

Richard Hallett Jen 1 Det 

Jacob Hallett 1 Det 1 Det 

Robort Hallett 1 Det 

Necolos parsel 3 Det 1 Det 

John parsel 1 Det 

Samwell Hallett Jen 1 Det 

Tunus Brinkkerhouf 1 Det 

Georg Brinkkerhouf 1 Det 

Samwell Hallett minor 1 Det 

Peter Borgow 1 Det 

Isack Borgow 1 Det 3 Det 

Isack Borgow jen 2 Det 1 Det 

Richard Alsup 3 Det 3 Det 

Beniamin Skillman 1 Det 

Abraham Skillman 1 Det 

Isack Lott 1 Det 1 Det 

Samwell AUburtes 1 Det 

Samwell Goslen 1 Det 

Dannel Bets 1 Det 

Richard penfold 2 Det 

Jacob Bennet 1 Det 

Samwell Sender 1 Det 

Johnnathon Hont 1 Det 1 Det 

Whillem Bets 1 Det 1 Det 

Samwell Way 1 Det 2 Det 

Tunus Skank 1 Det 2 Det 

Richard Bets 2 Det 3 Det 

Jeams Way 2 Det 1 Det 

Joseph Bets 2 Det 

Andros Reiker 2 Det 1 Dt 


A List of ye Slaves Delivered unto me, of 
the Eastern District of Oisterbay, Pursuant to 
the'Direction of an act of his Honour the Lieu- 
tenant Governour the Council and General 
Assembly of the Colony of New York. 
Oisterbay April 24th, 1755. 

Jacob Townsend. 

Masters & Mistresses Names Nom 


George Townsend 1 

Obediah Seaman — 

Thomas Seaman 1 

John Powell 1 

James Tillott 1 

Melanthon Taylor Woolsey 1 

Benjamin Birdsall 1 

Metice Lane 1 

George Weekes 1 

Samuel MacCoune 1 

William Hawxhurst — 

Simon Cooper 2 

Henry Whitson 1 

John Cock — 

Cornelius Hogland 1 

Daniel Duryea — 

Joseph Cooper 3 

George Youngs 1 

John Woatman — 

Thomas Smith 3 

Sarah Ludlam 1 

Ezekel Shadbolt — 

John Townsend 1 

Samuel Townsend 1 

Silas Carman 1 





Masters & Mistresses Names _ °-i^ 


Thomas Youngs 3 

Daniel Birdsall 1 

John Schank — 

William Jones 2 

Isaac Powell 1 

Isaac Doty — 

Nathaniel Townsend Estate 1 

Richard Willits — 

Samuel Waters — 

Samuel Willis 2 

Minard Vansyckley 1 

Wright Coles 1 

Charles Ludlam — 

Richard Alsop 1 

Zuroiah Wright 1 

William Moyles 2 

Henry Townsend 1 

Sarah Wright 1 

John Robbins 1 

David Jones Esqr 6 

Henry Lloyd Esqr of Queens Village 5 

Total 53 









Capt. Wright Frost's List of Slaves in 
Oyster Bay: 

Wright Frost 1 male 1 

Micajah Townsend 2 males 3 

Amos Underhill 1 

Henry Cock 1 Male 1 

Thomas Rushmore 1 Male 2 

Daniel Underhill 2 males 1 

James Sands 3 Males 1 

Thomas Bound 1 Male 

Jacob Bound 1 

Thoms Kirbe 1 male 

George Townsend 1 Male 

Silvenus Townsend 1 Male 

Hezekias Cock 1 male 

Adrian Hagaman 1 Male 1 

Willm Frost / 1 Male 1 

Meribah Townsend 1 Male 1 

John Semicon 1 

Willm Larence 1 Male 

Benjamin Wolsey 3 Males 2 

Daniel Cock 2 males 

Jacob' Frost 2 males 1 

Joseph Frost 1 Male 1 

Deborah Cock 1 Male 1 

Derick Alderson 1 male 

John Striker 1 Male 

Joseph Hagaman 1 Male 1 

Joseph Coles 1 

Joseph Lattin 1 male 

Willm Walton 5 Males 3 

Peter Hagaman '. . 1 Male 

Abraham Underhill 1 male 1 

Samll Underhill 1 male. 1 

Thoms Underhill 1 male 1 

Henry Dickenson 1 male 1 

Townsend Dickensen 1 male 1 

Jacob Volingtine 1 male 1 

Thoms Parsall 2 Malesl 

Joseph Wood 1 Male 

Benjamin Wolsey Junr 3 Males 1 

Jein Caverly 1 male 









1 Female 








William Kerby 1 Female 

Daniel Coles 1 Male 

John Anderson 1 Female 

Timothy Townsend 2 Males 1 Female 

Hannah Frost 1 Male 

may it please your Honnourin Compliance with an 
act of the Generall Assembly & in obedience to your 
Honnours Command I transmit an accompt of ye ne- 
groes in that part of ye Town that is Aderest to me I 
wait your Honnours further Commands and shall with 
the utmost pleasure obey & I remain your Honnours 
most Humble and obedient servant 

Wright Frost 

Oysterbay April 29 

A List of the Slaves Delivered in unto me 
by Virtue of An Act of ye Legislature of the 
Province of New York By the persons here- 
after named (viz. :) 

Male. male. 
David Seaman at Jericho within ye Township 

of Oyster bay : . — 2 

Obediah Vallentine at ye North Side' In ye 

Township of Hempsted 2 — 

Samuel Seaman at Westbury in Oyster Bay. — 1 

William Crooker at Wheatly in Oyster bay. . 1 — 

William Willis at Cederswamp In Oyster Bay 2 — 

Jonathan Seaman at Jericho in Oyster Bay. . — 1 

Sarah Titus at Wheatly in Oyster Bay 1 — 

Phebe Townsend at Jericho in Oyster Bay. . . — 1 

James Townsend at Jericho in Oyster bay. . . 2 — 

Jacob Titus at Wheatly in Oyster Bay 1 1 

Silas Rushmore near Jericho in Oyster Bay. . 1 — 

Daniel Youngs near Oysterbay 1 — 

Thomas Vallentine Junr at ye East Woods In 

Oyster Bay — 1 

Robert Seaman at Jericho In Oyster bay. ... 1 1 
Zebulun Seaman at Jericho in Oyster bay. . . 1 1 
William Seaman at Jericho in Oyster bay. . . 1 1 
Thomas Jackson at Jericho in Oyster Bay. . . 1 — 
John Hagewout at Jericho in Oyster Bay. ... 1 — 
Jown Hewlet at ye East Woods in Oysterbay — 1 
John Hewlet Jur at ye East Woods in Oyster- 
bay — 1 

Robert Crooker at Wheatly in Oysterbay. ... — 1 

Jericho in Oysterbay April ye 25th 1755. 

To the Honorable James Delancee Esqr his Majesties 
Lievtenant Governour and Commander in Chief In 
and Over ye province of New York and Teritorys 
Thereon Depending In America &c: 

May it please Your Honor 

Whereas there is Sundry free Negroes Melattoes and 
Mustees Residing within ye Township of Oysterbay that 
may probably Be Likely In case of Insurrections To be 
as Mischievous as ye Slaves, Therefore I Thought it my 
Duty to Acquaint Your Honor Therewith; The following 
is a List of them Resideing in and about ye Village of 
Jericho, and I Do Expect that ye Other Captains in Oys- 
terbay will acquaint your Honour of Those Resideing in 
ye Other parts of ye Township; from Your Very Hum- 
ble Servant 

Zebulun Seaman. 
April ye 25th 1755. 



A List of ye Free Negroes Mustees &c: 
Residing at ye Severall places hereafter Dis- 
cribed (viz.:) 

Males. Females. 

David Seaman at Jericho In Oyster Bay. . . 1 — 
Obediah Vallentine at ye North Side in 

Hempsted 1 1 

John Willis Junr at Westbury in Hempsted. 1 — 

Elizabeth Titus at Westbury in Hempsted. 1 — 

John Williams at North Side in Hempsted. — 1 

Richard Willets at Jericho in Oyster bay. . 1 — 

Jeremiah Robbins at Jericho in Oyster bay. 1 — 

Total G 3 


April! the 12th 1755 Negroes Belonging 
to Huntington male & Female: 

Capt Isaac Piatt one female 

Capt Piatt Conklin one male and one female 

Doctor Zopher Piatt four males and two females 

Mr Ebenezer Prime two males and one female 

Justice Eliphilet Wickes. . . two males and two females 
Just Jonas Williams. .;.... 

Lievt thomas Jervis one female 

Nathan Volentine one female 

Solomon Ketcham one male 

Thomas Brush one male and one female 

David Rogers one male 

Widow hanah Wood one female 

Nathaniel Ketcham one male 

Philip Ketcham one male 

Samuel Brush one male 

Joseph Ridgeway. one male and one female 

Denis Right one male and two females 

Benijah Jervis one male and one female 

Doctor Gilbert Potter one male 

Nathll Williams one male and one female 

azariah Wickes one male and one female 

thomas Bunce one male 

Joseph Freland one male 

Benjamin Right one male 

Philip Vdle one male 

Josiah Smith one female 

Just Moses Scudder one female 

John Samis one female 

Israel Wood one female 

Robert Brush one male 

Epenetus Conklin one male and one female 

John Wood Levth one male 

Capt Alexander Br one male 

Epeneius Piatt one female 

Timothy Scudder one male and one female 

Joseph Smith one male and one female 

Isaac Ketcham one male 

James Smith two males 

Philip Wickes one male and one female 

Alexander Smith one male 

timothy Carl Jr one female 

Daniel Blackly one male 

Jesse Carl two males and one female 

thomas Rogers one male and one female 

Bridget Scudder one male 

Timothy Carle Sen one male & one female 

Zopher Rogers one male 

Augustin Bryan one male 

Macy Lewis one female 

Mary Piatt two females 

Simon fleet one male 

William Hawxhurst one male one female 

Cap John Davis one male 

Livt Joseph Luis one male one female 

Thomas Denis one female 

A True List &c. Isaac Platt 

Platt Concklin 
Alexr Bryant. 


A List of Slaves Within the District of 
Captain Job Smith or In the Townships of 
Smith Town and Islip: 

Males. Females. 

George Norton one 1 

John Mobrey one 1 

Charles Floyd : five 4 1 

Obadiah Smith Junr one 1 

Edmund Smith six 4 2 

Richard Smith seven 4 

Obadiah Smith sener three 

Lemuel Smith one 

Richard Smith Stonebrook one 

Otheniel Smith one 

Isaac Mills one 

Jonas Platt one 

Zephaniah Platt four 

Jonas Mills one 

William Sexton one 

Sofomon Smith five 

Floyd Smith three 

Mary Tredwell six 

Robert Arter one 

Richard- Blidenburge two 

Stephen Smith one 

George Phillips , .... 

Job Smith six 

Joseph Vondel two 

Andrew Tid , ■ ■ ■ • one 

Thomas Smith three 

Anna Willis two 

Rebeckah Willis two 

Richard Willis two 

Obadiah Smith two 

Daniel Smith Juner one 

Daniel Smith four 

Epenetus Smith one 

David Bruester one 

Wiliam Nicols six 

Elnathan Wicks one 

Caleb Smith one 

Jonathan Mills two 




The aboue Account Is a true List of all the Slaves as 
Came to my knowledge. 

Job Smith Captain. 

In 1698, according to returns then made^ 
there were 113 negro slaves in Flushing, 83. 
in Southampton and 41 in Southold; in 1723. 
there were 444 slaves in Kings county, 1,123 
in Queens and 975 in Suffolk. In 1727 the- 



numbers were: Kings, 563; Queens, 1,311; 
Suffolk, 1,090. In 1771 a return issued by 
Governor Tryon shows the following: Kings, 
1,162 blacks; Queens, 2,236; Suffolk, 1,452. 
These figures are very likely only approxi- 
mately correct, and are more likely to be under 
rather than over estimates. They are near 
enough to absolute correctness to enable us to 
see that the "institution" was steadily increas- 
ing in number ; but the proportion to the white 
population remained about the same all 

It would appear that from the passage of. 
the act of 1799 the manumission of slaves on 
Long Island became a matter of comparatively 
common occurrence. The following is copied 
from the Corporation Manual of 1864: 

From the manner in which manumission 
was effected, it would seem that precautions 
were taken by the local authorities against the 
slaves liberated under the act from becoming 
paupers and chargeable upon the public, be- 
yond any prescribed in the act itself. Thus 
the manumission of any slave must be ap- 
proved by the Overseers of the Poor, who 
specified in their certificate that the slave was 
under fifty years of age, and was likely to be 
self-supporting. It is to be inferred, therefore, 
that the manumission of slaves over that age, 
or such as were .decrepid or incapable of pro- 
viding for themselves, wals not permitted. The 
following instrument, whereby the well-known 
brothers John and Jacob Hicks (after whom 
Hicks street has been designated), manumit 
a female negro, is nearly identical in form 
with all the deeds of manumission which were 
executed by the citizens of Brooklyn, and the 
originals of which are still on file in the offi- 
cial archives of the City Hall: — 

Be it remembered, this twentieth day of 
May, one thousand eight hundred and eleveii, 
I, Jacob M. Hicks, of Brooklyn, in Kings 
County and State of New York, owner of a 
female slave named Gin or Jane, do in con- 
formity to the benevolent act of the Legisla- 
ture of this State, passed the twenty-ninth 
day of March, one thousand seven hundred and 
ninety-nine, manumit and set free the said 
female slave named Gin or Jane, and do hereby 
relinquish all right, title, claim and demand 
to her person and her services. In witness 

whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and 
seal the day and date first written. 

Jacob M. Hicks, [L. S.] 
John M. Hicks, [L. S.J 

In the presence of 
John Cole, 
VyiLLiAM Foster. 

We, the subscribers, overseers of the poor 
for the town of Brooklyn, in the County of 
Kings, have examined the said Jane or Gin, 
and find her under fifty years of age and of 
sufficient ability to gain a livelihood, and we 
do approve of said manumission, and do allow 
the same to be recorded. 

Brooklyn, 28 May, 1811. 

Andrew Mercein, 
William Henry. 

Subjoined is a list of some of the persons 
who liberated slaves owned by them, in com- 
pliance with the law above quoted, with the 
date and the witnesses who attested the act. 
It by no means includes all who had been 
held and who then manumitted slaves, but it 
will be found to contain very many representa- 
tives of the leading families of the city, and 
some of the signers of these grants of Eman- 
cipation are yet living among us. Under the 
provisions of the act, as carried out without 
any apparent reluctance on the part of the 
citizens interested, the institution gradually 
and almost imperceptibly disappeared. The 
following is the list: 

On the 4th of September, 1820, Anna Van- 
derbilt manumits and sets free her female slave 
named Margaret, aged about 16 years. Wit- 
nesses, John Spader, John Sutphine. 

On the 24th of March, 1821, John Ryerson, 
Jun'r., Tunis Johnson and Isaac Cornell, Jun'r, 
Ex'rs. of Leffert Ryerson, deceased, manumits 
and sets free a colored male slave of the late 
Leffert Ryerson named Samuel, aged about 
25 years. 

On the loth of May, 1821, Agnes Rap- 
pelyea manumits and sets free her colored male 
slave named Anthony, aged about 30 years. 
Witness, Chas. F. Rappelyea. 

On the 28th of May, 1821, Leffert Lefferts 
manumits and sets free his colored male slave 
Henry, aged 33 years. Witness, Marie 

On the 7th of July, 1821, Adriance Van 
Brunt manumits and sets free his female slave 



named Sude, aged about 35 years. Wit- 
nesses, Teunis S. Barkelow, Gabriel Leverich. 

On the 7th of July, 182 1, Adriance Van 
Brunt also manumits and sets free his male 
slave named Jack, aged about 44 years. Wit- 
nesses, Teunis S. Barkeloo, Gabriel Leverich. 

On the i2th of September, 1821, Jacob 
Ryerson manumits and sets free his male slave 
named William, aged about 33 years. Wit- 
nesses, James Degraw, Teunis S. Barkeloo. 

On the 22d of March, 1820, John Ryerson, 
Jun'r., manumits and sets free his slave Fran- 
cis Thompson, aged under fifty years. Wit- 
ness, Clarence Sackett. 

On the 30th of June, 1820, Jeremiah Rem- 
sen manumits and sets free his female slave 
named Nancy, aged about 31 years. Wit- 
nesses, Wm. R. Dean, Fulkert Bennet. 

On the 1st of August, 1820, Selah S. 
Woodhull manumits and sets free his female 
slave named Fanny, aged about 28 years. Wit- 
nesses, Sarah Maria Van Brunt, Mary Herry. 

On the 29th of August, 1820, Garreta Pol- 
hemus, single woman, manumits and sets free 
her female slave named Betsey, aged about 24 
years. Witnesses, Joseph Dean, Henry Dean. 

On the 9th of August, 182U, Theodorus 
Polhemus manumits and sets free his female 
slave named Hannah, aged about 40 years. 
Witnesses, William R. Dean, Henry Dean. 

On the 14th of May, 1820, Jacob M. Hicks 
manumits and sets free his female slave named 
Hannah, aged about 23 years. Witnesses, 
Henrietta Hicks, John Dean. 

On the 30th day of June, 1820, Jeremiah 
Remsen manumits and sets free his colored 
female slave named Nancy, aged about 31 
years. Witnesses, Wm. R. Dean, Fulkert 

On the 1st of May, 1818, Jeremiah A. 
Remsen manumits and sets free his slave 
named Susan Dean, agd about 24 years. Wit- 
nesses, Clarence D. Sacket, Grenville A. 

On the 13th of April, 1819, Richard Berry 
manumits and sets free his slave named Peter 
Cornelison, under forty-five years of age. Wit- 
ness, Clarence D. Sacket. 

On the 30th of April, 1819, Margaretta 
DufSeld manumits and sets free a slave named 
Hamilton Smith, aged under 40 years. Wit- 
ness, William Wager. 

On the 2d of July, 18 19, Thorne Carpen-. 
ter manumits and sets free his slave Phillis 
Shnmons, aged under 45 years. Witness, F. C. 

On the i6tli of May, 1820, Cornelia Cornell 
manumits and sets free her slave named Harry, 
aged about 36 years. Witnesses, Catherin A. 
Cluser, Samuel P. Dunbar. 

On the i6th of Msiy, 1820, John C. Freeke 
manumits and sets free his slave named Titus, 
aged about 21 years. Witnesses, William R. 
Dean, John Dean. 

On the 2ist of May, 1819, George Towers 
Junior manumits and sets free his female slave 
named Abigail Porter, aged under 45 years. 
Witnesses, John Lawrence, Grenvilld A. 

On the 22d of September, 1817, Jacob Cow- 
enhoven manumits and sets free his female 
slave Elizabeth Anderson, aged abcut 28 years. 
Witnesses, Clarence D. Sacket, Grenville A. 

On the 20th of December, 181 7, Leffert 
Lefferts manumits and sets free his female 
slave named Mary McDennis, aged under 45 
years. Witnesses, James Foster, Jacob Smith. 

On the 13th of January, 1818, Hezekiah B. 
Pierpont manumits and sets free his slave 
named John Lubin, aged about 21 years. Wit- 
ness, Richard Lyon. 

On the i6th of April, 1818, Jacob M. Hicks 
manumits and sets free his slave named Harry, 
aged 21 years. Witness, Alexd'r. Birkbeck. 

On the i8th of April, 1818, John Doughty 
manumits and sets free his slave named James, 
aged about 25 years. Witness, Thomas J. 

On the 1st of May, 1818, Selah Strong 
manumits and sets free his slave named Su- 
sannah, aged about 31 years, and her daugh- 
ters Susan, about 4 years old, and Louisa, one 
and one-half years old. Witness, James 

On the 1st of February, 1817, John Bedell 
manumits and sets free his negro man slave 
named Harry, aged about 21 years. Witness, 
Wm. W. Barre. 

On the 24th of March, 1817, Nicholas Lu- 
queer manumits and sets free his female slave 
named Mary, aged about 22 years. Witness, 
Wm. W. Barre. 

On the 9th of April, 1817, Christopher 
Codwise manumits and sets free his negro man 
named John Moore, aged about 38 years. Wit- 
nesses, James B. Clarke, Aimi J. Barbarin. 

On the 6th of May, 1817, William Berry 
manumits and sets free his negro man named 
Anthony, aged about 23 years. Witness, Clar- 
ence D. Sackett. 

On the 17th of July, 1817, John Cowen- 



hoven manumits and sets free his male slave 
Fortune, aged about 25 years. Witness, Clar- 
ence D. Sackett. 

On the 15th of July, 1817, Teunis J. John- 
son manumits and sets free his negro slave 
named Andrew Hicks, aged about 34 years. 
Witness, Clarence D. Sackett. 

On the 9th of September, 1817, Phebe Fox 
manumits and sets free her female slave named 
Betsey Phillips, about 18 years old. Witnesses, 
Stephen S. Voris and Erastus Washington. 

On the 20th of May, 1814, James Thomp- 
son manumits and sets free his slave named 
Betsey, about 35 years old. Witness, P. H. 

On the 2d day of July, 1814, Phebe Fox 
manumits and sets free her slave George Ben- 
son, aged about 20 years. 

On the 15th. of December, 1815, Theod's. 
Polhemus, Ex'r., manumits and sets free a 
black slave of John B. Johnson, deceased, 
about 40 years of age, named Harry. Witness, 
Charles J. Doughty. 

On the 3d of September, 1816, John M. 
Hicks manumits and sets free his black slave 
named Phillis, aged about 26 years. Witness, 
John Duer. 

On the 1st of February, 1817, Nich's. Lu- 
queer manumits and sets free his black slave 
named Samuel, aged about 30 years. Wit- 
ness, J. Harmer. 

On the 4th of March, 1817, Garret Bergen 
manumits and sets free his black man named 
Briss, aged about 40 years. Witness, William 
R. Dean. 

On the loth of February, 181 7, Jacob 
Hicks manumits and sets free his male slave 
named Benjamin Mott, aged about 27 years. 
Witness, William R. Dean. 

On the loth of September, 1813, Gideon 
Kemberly manumits and sets free his slave 
named Hannah Davis, aged about 25 years. 
Witness, John Garrison. 

On the 20th of October, 1813, Phoebe Fox 
manumits and sets fre? her slave named Abra- 
ham Benson, aged about 21 years. Witnesses, 
Itheill Imrad, James B. V. Winkle. 

On the 2d of April, 1814, Nehemiah Den- 
ton manumits and sets free his male slave 
named Townsend Cornelison, aged about 26 
years. Witness, Elizabeth H. Sackett. 

On the 13th of April, 1814, Teunis Tiebout 
manumits and sets free his slave named Han- 
ah Bristoll, aged about 44 years. Witnesses, 
Teunis T. Johnson, Maria Cowenhoven. 

On the 23d of April, 1814, Elizabeth Field 

manumits and sets free her slave named Simon 
Hicks, aged 29 years. Witness, Ann Osborn. 
On the 25th of April, 1814, John Jackson 
manumits and sets free his slave named Joseph 
Smith, aged about 34 years. Witness, James 
B. Clarke. 

On the 27th of April, 1814, John Jackson 
manumits and sets free his slave named Sarah 
Miller, aged about 30 years. Witness, James 
B. Clarke. 

On the 25th of May, 1812, Jacob Cowen- 
hoven manumits and sets free his slave named 
Hager Hendrickson. Witness, Peter Coven- 

On the 6th of June, 1812, Nicholas Luqueer 
manumits and sets free his slave named Han- 
nah Titus. Witnesses, R. Barber, G. A. 

On the loth of May, 1812, Margaret Els- 
worth manumits and sets free her slave named 
Betsey, aged 24 years. Witness, John 

On the 6th of August, 1812, Henry Hew- 
lett manumits and sets free his slave named 
Jarvis Jackson, aged about 24 years. Wit- 
ness, John Doughty. 

On the nth of July, 1812, Joseph Fox 
manumits and sets free his slave named Phittis 
Benson, aged about 39 years. Witness, Ste- 
phen S. Voris. 

On the I2th of April, 1813, Nich's. Boerum 
manumits and sets free his slave named Diann"* 
Orange, aged about 40 years. Witness, Will- 
iam Furman. 

On the 13th of April, 1813, Andrew Mer- 
cier m.anumits and sets free his slave named 
Cornelia Brown, aged about 30 years. Wit- 
ness, John Cole. 

On the 30th of June, 1806, Benj'n. Bird- 
sail also liberates and sets free his female 
slaves named Cornelia and Jane. Witness, 
Robert Rhoads. 

On the 14th of April, 1807, John Middagh 
manumits and sets free his male slave named 
Harry. Witness, John Doughty. 

On the 29th of .October, , James B. 

Clarke manumits and sets free his female 
slave named Bett. Witness, Daniel Rhoads. 

On the 27th of January, 1810, Nicholas R. 
Cowenhoven manumits and sets free his negro 
man named Nero, his negro woman named 
Susannah, his negro boys Harry and James, 
and his negro girl named Sarah. Witness, 
Mathew Wendell. 

On the 9th of October, 1809, Peter Clarke 
manumits and sets free his servant woman 



named Hannah, ten years thereafter, on con- 
dition of her faithful services to himself and 
family during that time. 

On the 20th of May, 1811, Jacob M. Hicks 
manumits and sets free his female slave named 
Gin or Jane. Witnesses, John Cole, William 

On the 20th of July, 1802, Joseph Fox 
manumits -and sets free his negro man named 
Jack. Witnesses, John Harmer, John Hicks. 

On the 20th of March, 1806, John Wilson 
manumits and sets free his negro girl Hannah, 
aged 12 years, at the expiration of 14 years 
from the ist of May next. Witness, John 

On the 22d of July, 1805, Samuel Bouton 
manumits and sets free his slave named Sam- 
uel Estell. Witness, John Doughty. 

On the 27th of July, 1805, George Bennett 
manumits and sets free his slave named Jacob 
Lucas. Witness, John Doughty. 

On the 3d of May, 1806, Cornelius Van- 
brunt manumits and sets free his slave named 
Henry Hendrickson. Witnesses, Nichl's Lu- 
queer, Wm. Cornwell. 

On the 13th of June, 1806, Benj'n Birdsall 
manumits and sets free his female slave named 
Sarah. Witnesses, Adrian Van Brunt, John 

On the 1st of August, 1799, Charles 
Doughty manumits and sets free his man slave 
named Nicholas Doughty. Witness, John 
Doughty, Clerk. 

On the same day Charles Doughty also 
liberates and sets free his female slave named 
Lucrecia Doughty. Witness, John Doughty, 

On the i8th of April, 1808, Joshua Sands 
manumits and sets free his servant girl called 
Bet, aged 18 years. 

On the 28th of September, 1808, Benjamin 
Carpenter manumits and sets free his negro 
woman named Isabella Dimand. Witness, 
John Doughty. 

On the 20th of October, 1808, John Lef- 
ferts manumits and sets free his negro man 
EsoD. Witness, John Doughty, Clerk. 

On the 5th of December, 1808, Levsris 
Sands manumits and sets free his negro man 
named Ceasar. Witness, John Doughty. 

On the 1st of January, 1802, Gilbert Van 
Mater manumits and sets free his negro wo- 
man named Dinah. Witness, John Van D. 

On the 4th of March, 1797, John Doughty 

m pntimit s,and sets fr^e-his colored slave named 
Ceasar Foster, aged about 23 years. 

On the 9th of January, 1798, Robert Hodge 
manumits and sets free his negro boy named 
Robert Hodge, aged about 16 years. 

On the 3d of March, 1798, Jacob Hicks 
manumits and sets free his negro man named 
William, aged about 37 years. 

On the 28th of February, 1799, Major John 
Cowenhoven manumits and sets free his negro 
man named Jacob, aged about 40 years. 

On the loth of April, 1799, John Van Nos- 
trand manumits his negro woman named Syl- 
via, aged about 27 years. 

On the 30th of September, 1799, John 
Jackson manumits and sets free forever his 
slave Titus. 

On the same day John Jackson also lib- 
erates and sets free forever his slave Rachell. 

On the 27th of July, 1882, Jacob W. Ben- 
net manumits and sets free his colored male 
slave named Sharpe Miller, aged about 44 
years. Witnesses, George Carpenter and 
David Carpenter. 

On the 26th dav of April, 1822, Ann Smith 
Robert Groman, aged 38 years. Witnesses, 
John J. Albirt, Teunis Barkeloo. 

On the 2 1st of September, 1822, Jeremiah 
Johnson manumits and sets free his colored 
female slave Betty, aged 26 years. Witnesses, 
Peter Stockholm, Teunis Barkeloo. 

On the nth of April, 1822, Peter Wyckoff 
manumits and sets free his colored man named 
Henry Hendrickson, aged about 28 years. Wit- 
nesses, Burdet Stryker, Teunis Barkeloo. 

On the 1st of February, 1817, John Bedell 
manumits and sets free his negro man named 
Harry, now aged about 21 years. Witness, 
William W. Barre. 

On the 4th day of September, 1823, Martin 
Schenck, Jr., manumits and sets free his col- 
ored man Amos Thompson, who was thirty- 
one years of age. The witnesses to the inden- 
ture of manumission are John Garrison and 
George Smith, Jun'r. 

On the 15th of May, 1824, Henry Pope 
manumits and sets free his colored female slave 
Isabella Dennis, aged about 30 years. Wit- 
ness, Richard Cornwell. 

On the 19th of September, 1823, Samuel 
Ellis manumits and sets free his colored male 
slave Peter Franklin, aged about 30 years. 
Witnesses, A. B. Sclover, Mary Brower. 

On the 31st of August, 1822, Richard V. 
W. Thorne manumits and sets free his colored 



female slave Hannah, aged about 34 years. 
Witnesses, John Van Dyke, Teunis Barkeloo. 

On the 28th day of December, 182 1, John 
Ryerson, Jr., manumits and sets free his col- 
ored female slave named Bet, aged about 33 
years. Witnesses, Teunis Barkeloo, Peter 

On the I2th of September, 1821, Jacob 
Ryerson also manumits and sets free his male 
slave named Thomas, aged about 36 years. 
Witnesses, James DeGraw, Teunis S. Bar- 

On the 22d of September, 182 1, Jacobus 
Lott manumits and sets free his male slave 
named Sam Johnson, aged about 32 years. 
Witnesses, Stephen S. Vooris, Teunis S. Bar- 

On the 28th of July, 1821, Jacob Cowen- 
hoven manumits and sets free his female slave 
Mary Hendricksen, aged about 29 years. Wit- 
nesses, Peter Conover, W. W. Jackson. 

On the 28th of December, 1821, John Ryer- 
son manumits and sets free his female slave 
named Bet, aged about 33 years. Witnesses, 
Teunis Barkeloo, Peter Stockholm. 

On the 30th of January, 1822, Abraham 
D. Bevois manumits and sets free his colored 
female slave named Nell, aged about 30 years. 
Witnesses, Jeromus R. Cropey, Joshua Tal- 

The foregoing manumissions — and there 
were no doubt many others, the records of 
which are lost — removed the last traces of the 
institution from the City of Brooklyn. 

While there is no doubt that slaves were 
bought and sold in the open market in Brook- 
lyn in the early times, in the eighteenth cen- 

tury the traffic in human chattels was so gen- 
erally transacted in private that public sales, 
and especially sales at auction, became of such 
seldom occurrence as to be matters of com- 
ment. The last of these auction sales, so far 
as known, was that of four negroes belong- 
ing to the estate of the widow Haltje" Rap- 
pel je of the Wallabout. The first of the re- 
corded manumissions, before the paissage of 
the act of 1799, was that of Caesar Foster, a 
slave belonging to John Doughty. The deed 
was signed March 4, 1797, when Caesar was 
twenty-eight years of age. Doughty was a 
member of the Society of Friends and in early 
life was associated with his father as a butcher 
in the Fly Market. In 1785 he helped to or- 
ganize a fire company in Brooklyn and through 
that, like so many local "statesmen" after- 
ward, seems to have made his entree into 
local politics. In 1790 he was one of the as- 
sessors of the town and six years later be- 
came town clerk, retaining that position for 
thirty-four years. In 1816, when the village 
of Brooklyn was incorporated. Doughty was 
named one of the trustees, and he continued to 
hold public office of one sort or another up to 
his death, May 16, 1832. He was a faithful 
and honest public servant, and it is said that 
while he was town clerk he recorded more 
manumissions than any other official. He 
lived to see the nefarious institution become 
completely a thing of the past in his home 

^^ ^y* ^JyT4 ^^ 



HE early Dutch colonists may be said 
to have brought their church with 
them when they settled in New Neth- 
erland. To these good, pious wan- 
derers a place of worship was as necessary as 
a house; and we never find any settlement 
without also discovering some arrangemeiit 
there for divine services, either the setting 
aside of a sufficient amount for a clergyman's 
ministrations or for the employment of a teach- 
er and reader, or at least for securing the 
services of an authorized visitor to the sick, 
whose duty it also was to read the Scriptures 
to the people on Sundays. 

The first church in the New Netherland 
was built in the fort at New Amsterdam by 
Governor Van Twiller in 1633. The credit of 
building the first church and also the second 
church on Long Island, however, belongs not 
to the Dutch but to the English settlers: not 
to the west end but to the east. 

It is difficult with the evidence before us 
to determine beyond question whether the 
honor of building the first structure on the 
island for the worship of God belongs to 
Southold or Southampton. In a measure both 
these congregations were actually formed be- 
fore their members left New England, and in 
their migration they simply brought with them 
their church organization and set it up, with 
their homes, as soon as they found an abiding 
place. Both towns were settled in 1640, both 
had a clergyman as a leader, both church 
buildings were authorized to be built in the 
same year. Southampton seems to have had 
its edifice completed first. But the organiza- 

tion of the congregation at Southold can be 
dated a little further back and was apparently 
maintained intact during the migration. As 
the late Dr. John Hall, of New York, used to 
declare, a Presbyterian (or Congregational) 
church could meet equally in a garret as in a 
cathedral, could conduct its services with equal 
solemnity at the roadside or in a kitchen as 
in the grandest house made with human hand. 
This being true, the credit of primacy might 
be given to Southold. But it is a delicate 
question at the best, one which has exhausted 
the research, acumen and ingenuity of the 
local antiquaries and historians; and we may 
be pardoned from indicating any decided pref- 
erence in this place. The subject will again 
be referred to in more detail in treating of the 
local story of these two ancient settlements. 
The ventilation of such knotty points in a 
general history is never conclusive, or satis- 
fying, or profitable, and had best always be 
left as a pleasant theme for local discussion. 
On October 21, 1640, the Rev. John 
Youngs organized a congregation at New 
Haven and at once with his flock passed over 
to Long Island, settling in Southold. Very 
likely Mr. Youngs had previously visited Long 
Island and made a selection of the territory 
on which his little colony was to locate. It 
was to be a patriarchial community, a little 
State ruled by the Church, for the voice of 
the Church was to be pre-eminent in all things 
and the Bible was to rule over civil as over 
spiritual affairs. No one was to be admitted 
to full citizenship, if admitted even to resi- 
dential privileges, who was not a member "of 


some one or other of the approved churches 
in New England." It was also thus decided 
at a General Court in 1643: "Nor shall any 
power or trust in the ordering of any civil 
affairs be at any time put into the hands of 
any other than such church members, though 
as free planters all have right to their in- 
heritance and to commerce according to such 
grants, orders and laws as shall be made con- 
cerning same." 

The first church was built upon a corner 
of an acre lot in the north end of the present 
Southold cemetery. We have no description 
of it, and doubtless it was a plain frame struc- 
ture, with seats on either side of a central 
aisle for men and women, with cross seats at 
the rear for those who might wander that way, 
for those, in short, who had not attained the 
dignity of membership. The floor would be 
the natural soil, and the pulpit a box-like ar- 
rangement placed at the further end in the 
centre. The clerk or precentor had his seat 
at the bottom of the pulpit structure and in 
front was a long table around which sat the 
elders and from which the communion was 
dispensed. The building was not heated, even 
in the dead of winter, — at first, at all events; 
and from the nature of the town's constitution 
it was at once a town hall, and possibly a 
school-house, as well as sanctuary. There 
was apparently nothing fanciful or pretty 
about the architecture, or the internal ar- 
rangements, nothing in the way of interior or 
exterior decoration ; but everything about it 
was substantial and honest as befitted its pur- 
pose, and the settlers put into it the very best 
material they had. We read that its four 
windows were made of cedar, an expensive 
and highly prized wood in those days, and 
which, when in course of time they were to 
be removed, were sold for no less than £3. 
In 1684 the primitive meeting-house was aban- 
doned and a structure erected close by. The 
old church was not torn down, but at an ap- 
praised valuation of £30 (minus the cedar- 
wood windows) was turned over to the town 
and altered to the extent of having a sub- 

terranean cell dug out in its centre. Very 
likely the entire internal fittings of the old 
meeting-house were transferred to the new. 
In 1699 the population of the town had so 
increased that it was necessary to furnish more 
seating capacity in the church, and the internal 
arrangements were altered somewhat so as to 
permit the erection of a gallery which would 
be devoted mainly to the occupancy of hired 
help, negro servants and children. The erec- 
tion of this gallery cost the good people £17 
IDS 9d. As an evidence of the method and 
economy of those days it may be stated that 
when the work was completed the church au- 
thorities received from Samuel Clark, the con- 
tractor, four shillings for nails and lumber 
provided for him and which he had not found 
it necessary to use ! 

The second church was pulled down in 
1761, and a larger and more commodious 
structure was erected on its site and fitted up 
in such a way internally that the various social, 
distinctions of wealth and official position 
might be fully preserved in the arrangement 
of its pews, — rather a queer proceeding ac- 
cording to our modern notions for a church 
organization founded on Christian and demo- 
cratic lines, but perfectly in keeping with the 
practice of all churches at the time, not only 
in old communities, but in those which had 
survived the first struggle with the wilderness 
and were introducing into their dwellings and 
their surroundings some of the features of 
"modern civilization." The fourth church was 
erected in 1803. 

The Rev. John Youngs, the founder of this 
religious community, and during the last thirty 
years of his life its real head and most influ- 
ential member, was a native of England. He 
was born about 1602 and is believed to have 
been a native of Norfolkshire and to have been 
engaged as a preacher in Hingham, in that 
county, where he married and six of his eight 
children were born. Being a noncomformist, 
he felt the effects of the religious intolerance 
of his time and made up his mind to emigrate 
to the shores of New England, then the hope 



of the English Puritan. According to a pas- 
sage in Drake's "Founders of New England," 
Youngs, with "Joan, his wife,_ aged thirty- 
four years, with six children, — John, Thomas, 
Anne, Rachel, Mary and Joseph," — applied to 
the proper ecclesiastical authorities for per- 
mission to proceed to Salem "to inhabitt." 
The request was refused. This was in May, 
1637 ; but about a year later we find him safely 
located with wife and children at New Haven 
and engaged in "preaching the Word." 

Of the personal history of Youngs little 
has come down to us. He seems to have com- 
bined in his make-up many of the qualities of 
the statesman with those of a minister. He 
was a Calvinist of the strictest school, and had 
no toleration for the doctrine that the church 
should be separated from the state; nay, he 
believed that the church was the state, that 
the two could not be separated without the 
church failing in its mission and the state be- 
coming a Godless and an unwholesome thing. 
He believed in the acquisition of wealth, be 
bought as largely as he could of real estate 
in the township, and in all his policy and con- 
duct he was in every way a pattern to his 
neighbors, an exemplary friend, a loyal mem- 
ber of a compact commonwealth, and a zealous 
and hard-working clergyman. He was a man 
of considerable learning and possessed a fair 
working library (valued after his death at £5), 
only one of the treasures of which is now 
extant, — "the Writings of William Perkins, 
of Cambridge," the leading English exponent 
of Calvinism of his time — which is now pre- 
served in the stores of the New Haven Colony 
Historical Society. He continued in the pas- 
torate of the Southold church until his death, 
in 1672, and on the stone over his grave was 
engraved the following: 

"Here lies the man whose doctrine life well 

Did show he sought Christ's honour, not his 

owen ; 
In weakness sown, in power raised shall be 
By Christ from death to life eternally." 

Mr. Youngs' descendants continue to the 
present day to loom up prominently in Suf- 
folk county history. 

The death of Mr. Youngs occurred in the 
depth of winter (February 24) and it was im- 
possible to begin in that season a hunt for a 
suitable successor. On the succeeding April 
I, however, the people held a meeting at which 
it was "agreed that the inhabitants would 
provide themselves of an honest, godly man to 
perform the office of minister amongst them, 
and that they would allow and pay to the said 
minister sixty pounds sterling by the year." 

Captain John Youngs, son of the deceased 
minister, was intrusted with the task of cross- 
ing over to New England "and use his best 
endeavor for the obtaining of such a man 
above mentioned to live amongst us," and for 
his trouble was to receive £5. His journey 
was not immediately successful, but in the fol- 
lowing year he brought to Southold the Rev. 
Joshua Hobart, son of the Rev. Peter Hobart, 
of Hingham, Massachusetts, the first minister 
of that town and by whom it was named in 
honor of the Norfolk town from whence he 
came. Very likely the Youngs and Hobart fam 
ilies were neighbors in the old land. Joshua 
Hobart was born in England in 1629 and came 
to this side of the Atlantic with his parents in 
1635. He was graduated at Harvard in 1650. 
After several years in Barbadoes he settled in 
London, England, until 1669, when he re- 
turned to America. At first he seems to have 
simply acted as "supply," possibly with the 
conscientious desire of making sure that his 
ministrations would be acceptable to the peo- 
ple before finally casting his lot in their midst. 
Changes of ministers were not then made as 
easily or as heartlessly and heedlessly as now, 
and an aged pastor was not expected to bow 
gracefully to the inevitable and make way for 
a younger man. In October, 1674, however, 
the period of trial was over, and Mr. Hobart 
was ordained to the charge. His salary was 
fixed at £80 a year, and four years later it 
was advanced to £100, and in addition he re- 


ceived a gift of thirty acres of land "toward 
the North Sea" and some other pieces of real 
estate. He was also lodged in a dwelling 
which cost £ioo, so that altogether the good 
man's lot must be regarded as having fallen in 
pleasant places. So far as we may judge he 
took up most of the work and wielded much 
of the political influence of Mr. Youngs, but 
not by any means to the same extent, for he 
was not the pioneer patriarch, the father of 
the colony. His ministry was a successful 
one, however, and continued until the end of 
his life-long journey, February 28, 1716, and 
then his people summed up his virtues on his 
tombstone by saying "He was a faithful min- 
ister, a skillful physician, a general scholar, a 
courageous patriot, and, to crown all, an emi- 
nent Christian." 

It was not until 1720 that the pastorate 
was again filled, when the Rev. Benjamin 
Woolsey was installed. He was a native of 
Jamaica, Long Island, and a graduate of Yale. 
For sixteen years he continued to hold forth 
at Southold and then he resigned and took 
up his abode on an estate which had been be- 
queathed to his wife by her father, John Tay- 
lor, at Glen Cove in Queens county. Woolsey 
renamed the property Dos-Oris (Dos Uxoris, 
a wife's gift), and Dosoris it has been called 
•ever since. Notwithstanding his wealth, he 
•did not abandon entirely his work as a min- 
ister, but continued to officiate in vacant pul- • 
pits as general pulpit supply wherever his 
services were needed until the end. He seems 
to have been a most lovable man, and his 
■death, in 1756, was deeply regretted over a 
"wide section of Long Island. Mr. Woolsey 
left Southold in 1736 and it was nearly two 
years later ere his successor, the Rev. John 
Davenport, was installed. The story of this 
man, which has been held to "form an im- 
portant element in the history of the Long 
Island Churches," may be briefly summed up 
by saying that he was born at Stamford in 
1710, was graduated from Yale in 1732, or- 
dained minister of Southold in 1738, dismissed 

in 1746, and afterward settled at Hopewell, 
New Jersey, where he died in i7S5- 

Regarding his ministry and the features 
that made it famous, we cannot do better than 
copy the details which are given in Prime's 
"History of Long Island:" 

About two years after his settlement at 
Southold, Davenport became satisfied that God 
had revealed to him that his kingdom was com' 
ing with great power, and that he had an ex- 
traordinary call to labor for its advancement. 
He assembled his people on one occasion and 
addressed them continuously for nearly twen- 
ty-four hours, until he became quite wild. 

After continuing for some time in exerting 
labors in his own neighborhood, he passed 
over into Connecticut, where the same spirit 
has been developed and was producing dis- 
astrous results in many of the churches. "He 
soon became animated by a famous zeal," says 
Dr. Miller, in his Hfe of Edwards, "and im- 
agining that he was called to take a special 
lead in the work, he began to set at naught 
all the rules of Christian prudence and order, 
and to give the most unrestrained liberty to 
his fanatical feelings. He raised his voice to 
the highest pitch in public services, and ac- 
coiiipanied his unnatural vehemence and can- 
tatory bawling with the most vehement agita- 
tions of body. He encouraged his hearers to 
give vent, without restraint, both to their dis- 
tress and their joy, by violent outcries in the 
midst of public assemblies. When these things 
prevailed among the people, accompanied with 
bodily agitations, he pronounced them tokens 
of the presence of God. Those who passed 
immediately from great distress to great joy, 
he declared, after asking them a few questions, 
to be converts; though numbers of such con- 
verts, in a short time, returned to their old 
ways of living, and were as carnal, wicked and 
void of experience as ever they were. He 
openly encouraged his new converts to speak 
in public, and brought forward many ignorant 
and unqualified persons, young and old, to 
address large assemblies in his own vehement 
and magisterial manner. He led his followers 
through the streets singing psalms and hymns. 
He was a great favorite of visions, trances, 
imaginations and powerful impressions, and 
made such impulses and inward feelings the 
rule of duty for himself and others. He 
claimed a kind of prescriptive right to sit in 



judgment on the characters of ministers, and, 
after examining them as to their spiritual 
right in private, would often pronounce them 
in his public prayers to be unconverted. Those 
who refused to be examined were sure to 
suffer the same fate. He made his prayers the 
medium of harsh and often indecent attacks 
on ministers and others, whom he felt dis- 
posed, on any account, to censure; and in his 
harangues he would inform the people that 
their ministers were unconverted, and tell them 
that they had as good eat ratsbane as hear an 
unconverted minister. On more than one oc- 
casion he publicly refused to receive the sacra- 
mental symbols, because he doubted the piety 
of the pastors. Congregations were exhorted 
to eject their ministers, and dissatisfied mi- 
norities were encouraged to break off and form 
new churches, and in this a number of con- 
gregations were greatly weakened and others 
nearly destroyed.'' 

It is stated on good authority that he de- 
claimed much against pride of dress, which 
he styled idolatry ; and on one occasion, at New 
London, he kindled a large fire at a place pre- 
viously designated, and calling upon his fol- 
lowers to come forward and. destroy their 
idols, and not only many useless ornaments 
but numerous garments and other valuable 
articles were committed to the flames ! In a 
like manner, under the guise of rooting out 
heresy, many books, and some of them of 
sterling excellence, such as Beveridge's and 
Flavel's works, were cast into the hre. Of 
his manner of preaching and the extravagant 
measures he pursued the following description 
is given by Dr. Bacon : 

"He would work upon the fancy until they 
saw, as with their eyes, and heard, as with 
their ears, the groans of Calvary, and felt as 
the Popish enthusiast feels when, under the 
spell of music, he looks upon the canvas 
alive with the agony of Jesus. He would so 
describe the surprise, consternation and despair 
of the damned, with looks and screams of hor- 
ror, that those who were capable of being 
moved by such representations seemed to see 
the gates of hell set open and felt as it were 
the hot and stifling breath, and the hell-flames 
flashing in their faces. And if by such means 
he would cause any to scream out he consid- 
ered that as a sign of the special presence of 
the Holy Spirit, and redoubled his own exer- 
tion till shriek after shriek, bursting from one 
quarter and another in hideous discord, swelled 
the horrors of the scene." 

"Although this deluded man," adds Prime, 
"did not enact his wildest extravagances in the 
churches on this (Long) island, yet even here 
his labors were productive of many unhappy 
results. Dissensions and divisions were pro- 
duced in. many congregations, the effects of 
which are visible at the present day (1845), 
and although much good was done and souls 
were hopefully converted, yet many prejudices 
against the work of grace were exerted and 
the enemies of the cross emboldened to blas- 
pheme. It is due to the memory of Mr. 
Davenport to add that, after pursuing this 
disorderly course for a few years, he became 
deeply sensible of the error of his ways and 
published to the world an ingenuous confes- 
sion in which he acknowledges that he 'had 
been influenced by a false spirit in judging 
ministers, in exhorting their people to forsake 
their ministry; in making impulses a rule of 
conduct ; in encouraging lay exhorters, and in 
disorderly singing in the streets.' " 

It is not likely that in the present day the 
conduct of Mr. Davenport would be regarded 
as being so fully liable to the censure whick 
Dr. Prime and others have passed upon it.. 
The Rev. Dr. S. D. Alexander, of New York, 
in a recent work describes him as "the bril- 
liant and eccentric pastor of Long Island." 
While guilty of a few extravagances, due to- 
the time and circumstances, his course was 
hardly different from that of many of our 
modern evangelists; and it is easy to recall 
conduct very similar to his which has been ap- 
plauded in these modern days, and by 110 
class more heartily than by the clergy — the 
modern clergy — ^themselves. It is no longer 
the fashion to sneer at lay exhorters ; and while 
we seldom hear of ministers sitting in judg- 
ment on their fellows the records of almost 
each presbytery furnish evidence that the prac- 
tice has not altogether fallen into disuse. At 
the same time, in a settled community, in a 
deeply religious community like Southold, a 
community anchored to the cool and merciless 
logic of Calvinism, we are not surprised to 
find that Davenport's sensational methods were- 



not congenial, and to find that most of his 
wild work was done elsewhere. But even in 
Southold his performances caused trouble, and 
we learn that its effects hampered the useful- 
ness and disturbed the equanimity of his suc- 
cessor, the Rev. William Throop, who was 
installed September 21, 1748, and ministered 
in Southold until his death, September 29, 
1756. A still shorter career was that of 
Smith Stratton, who took up the work which 
Mr. Throop laid down. He was ordained to 
preach in 1755 and died March 10, 1758. He 
acted as pulpit supply, probably the state of 
his health preventing his assuming the full 
duties of the pastorate. It was while he oc- 
cupied the pulpit that a case of church dis- 
cipline arose which occasioned considerable 
comment then and after. In the records of 
the Suffolk County Presbytery it is stated as 
follows : 

A member of this church married the sister 
of his deceased wife, who was likewise a mem- 
ber of said church, which affair occasioned an 
uneasiness and grievance in the church. The 
deacons of the church did (in behalf of the 
church) relate the case to this Presbytery, and 
desire the opinion of the Presbytery relating 
to the case, both as to their present duty and 
to the lawfulness of the marriage. The Pres- 
bytery, after considering and conversing upon 
the case, gave it as their opinion and judg- 
ment that the aforementioned marriage is un- 
lawful and sinful; and that consequently the 
married couple should be set aside from the 
sacrament, when it is administered, till satis- 
faction be made. 

In the line of pastorates the sixth occupant 
of the office was the Rev. John Storrs, who 
when he was inducted August 15, 1763, was the 
first to introduce into the ecclesiastical history 
of Long Island a name that has since been 
held with peculiar reverence by the people of 
every class and creed. He was born at Mans- 
field, Connecticut, December i, 1735, and de- 
scended from the old Nottinghamshire family 
of Storrs of Sutton. He was graduated from 
Yale in 1756. He had married, soon after his 

graduation, Eunice Conant, widow of Dr> 
Howe, of Mansfield. She died on March 27,. 
1767, and was buried in the churchyard at 
Southold, and in December of the same year 
Mr. Storrs married one of his parishioners,. 
Hannah Moore. In 1776 the British troops 
compelled him to leave his church and Long 
Island, as his sympathies with the Patriot 
cause were too outspoken to be ignored; "but 
he continued his clerical work as a chaplain 
in the Continental army. He was gazetted to 
that office in the Second Battalion of Wads- 
worth's Connecticut brigade in 1776, and in 
1781 was attached to Colonel Waterbury's 
Connecticut brigade. On the close of hos- 
tilities he returned to Southold and took up^ 
his old work there, and so continued until 
1787, when he was dismissed at his own re- 
quest. He then removed to Mansfield, where 
he died, October 9, 1799. 

One of his sons, Richard Salter Storrs, 
was for a time a teacher at Clinton Academy,. 
Easthampton. He was licensed to preach by 
the Presbytery of Suffolk and took charge of 
the parishes of Islip and Smithtown, but after- 
ward became minister of the Congregational 
church at Braintree, Massachusetts. He died 
there, August 11, 1873. His son, the Rev. 
Dr. Richard S. Storrs, was the famous pastor 
of the Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, 
whose death in 1900 was regarded as a loss 
not only to the ecclesiastical life of Long 
Island but to all its best interests. 

Since the resignation of the Rev. John 
Storrs the pulpit of the old church at Southold 
has been filled by the following: 

Rev. Joseph Hazzard from June 7, 1797, 
to April, 1806; Rev. Joseph Huntting, from 
June, 1806, to August, 1828; Rev. Ralph 
Smith, from July 15, 1836, to December, 1840; 
Rev. H. F. Wiswall, June 18, 1845, to No- 
vember 12, 1850; Rev. Epher Whittaker, D. 
D., from 1856 to 1892, since which time he 
has been pastor emeritus, the active work of 
the pastorate having been since carried on by 
the Rev. James B. Freeman and by the present 
pastor, the Rev. W. H. Lloyd. 



In addition to these, many brilliant men 
served the church from time to time as pulpit 
supply, and their memories are yet precious 
inheritances in a community which still ad- 
heres to many of the lovable characteristics 
and to much of the devout and practical faith 
of the fathers. Some of those ministers and 
supplies will be found spoken of at length in 
other parts of this work. 

The pastor emeritus of the church, Dr. 
Whitaker, was born at Fairfield, New Jersey, 
March 27, 1820. He was educated with a 
view to the ministry and after his graduation 
from Delaware College, in 1847, he continued 
his studies in the Union Theological Seminary, 
New York, taking the full theological course. 
On leaving there he was licensed to preach 
by the Presbytery of New York, April 9, 185 1. 
He was ordained the eleventh minister of 
Southold September 10, in the same year, and 
now after almost half a century of work con- 
tinues the duties of his sacred office as zeal- 
ously as ever. Far beyond the confines of 
Southold, however, the name of Dr. Whitaker 
has been known as a writer, historian and 
antiquary. In 1865 he published "New Fruits 
from an Old Field," a volume of essays and 
discourses; and his later work, "History of 
Southold: Its First Century, 1640 to 1740," 
is pre-eminently the local authority on facts, 
dates and family history. It was published in 
1 88 1, and in the following year he issued a 
work of much interest to the local student, 
"Old Town Records." He has been a con- 
tributor to magazine literature for over half 
a century and his work is invariably char- 
acterized by clearness and force. He never 
writes without having a story to tell or a 
point to illustrate or drive home, and he pre- 
sents it to his readers in plain, nervous Eng- 
lish and in simple yet captivating and con- 
vincing fashion. Some of his pulpit dis- 
couirses are models of tlieir kind. In 1877 he 
received the degree of D. D. from Delaware 

The first settlers of Southampton also had 
a clergyman as their leader, a good man, a 

man, so far as we can learn, of many brilliant 
parts, but not so gifted by any means as was 
the pioneer statesman-preacher, John Youngs, 
of Southold. The Rev. Abraham Pierson was 
a native of England, a graduate of CambridgCj 
and is said to have preached the Word in his 
home land before he cast in his lot with Amer- 
ica. He was ordained in Lynn, Massachusetts, 
in 1640, as minister of the church colony then 
about to proceed to Long Island and so became 
the first pastor of Southampton. He was one 
of those who witnessed the Indian deed in 
December, 1640. It is supposed that the 
church structure was by that time erected and 


in use, and of course could this be proved be- 
yond question the honor in that matter would 
rest with Southampton and the claims of 
Southold be completely shut out ; yet we fear 
the matter will ever remain one of the mooted 
points of local history, one of those little co- 
nundrums which are so useful in the way of 
developing an interest in historical and anti- 
quarian study. At best, however, the church 
edifice at Southampton, standing in 1640, was 
a flimsy afifair, probably only a structure of 
logs, hurriedly put together. We judge so 
from the fact that in March, 1651, a new meet- 
ing-house was erected, and the contracts called 
for a structure thirty feet long and twenty- four 
feet wide, the laborers receiving two shillings 
in wampum for each day's work. The con- 



tractors were "Ellis Cook and Richard Post. 
The fate of the pioneer building seems strange. 
At a town meeting held in April, 1651, it was 
agreed "that Richard Mills shall have the old 
meeting-house with the appurtenances to help 
to enlarge his house, for which gift the said 
Richard Mills doth engage himself to keep an 
'ordinary' for strangers for diet and lodging. 
Long before this new sanctuary had been erect- 
ed, or probably before it was even thought of, 
Abraham Pierson had resigned the pastorate, 
having a difficulty with the people on a ques- 
tion of church prerogative in local affairs, and, 
with a number of his congregation, removed 
to Branford, Connecticut, in 1647. Mr. Pier- 
son moved to Newark, New Jersey, in 1662, 
or soon after that year, and there set up an- 
other tabernacle, the supremacy of the church 
over all secular affairs being to him a burning 
question; and the progress of events in Con- 
necticut made such a claim no longer possible 
there. He continued his ministry at Newark 
until his death, in 1678. It is said that when 
be quitted Branford he left the town without 
an inhabitant, all the people going with him 
to New Jersey, and he carried away all the 
local church records and papers. For some 
twenty-three years he exerted a great amount 
of political influence in Connecticut. Gover- 
nor Winthrop, one of his warmest friends, 
spoke of him as "a godly man" and he won 
the approval of the Rev. Cotton Mather. In 
the question of the evangelization of the red 
men he took a deep interest. He studied their 
language and prepared (1660) a catechism for 
their use. In the campaign against the Dutch 
in 1654 he served as chaplain to the forces. 
Mr. Pierson was succeeded in the charge 
of Southampton by the Rev. Robert Fordham, 
minister at Hempstead, who took up the bur- 
den in 1648, at a salary of £60 for the first 
year and £80 a year thereafter. Mr. Fordham 
continued to hold the pastorate until his death, 
in 1674. Of his personal career more par- 
ticular mention will be made later on in this 
chapter. Some time before his decease he was 
incapacitated from active work by bodily in- 

firmity, and in 1674 the Rev. John Harriman, 
was installed as his colleague and successor, 
As salary, it was arranged Mr. Harriman 
should receive from Mr. Fordham £40 a year 
— ore-half the regular salary — and £20 from 
the people, besides the use of thirty acres of 
land and of "a good house of two stories with 
a brick chimnie and two chamber chimnies.'' 
A provision was also made that if Mr. Ford- 
ham could take no part in the work the salary 
of his young colleague was to be made up to 

Mr. Harriman seems to have been a gentle- 
man with an eye constantly open to improving 
his own worldly prospects and appears to have 
been absent from Southampton very frequent- 
ly, turning up as a candidate in vacant 
churches where the stipend was more liberal 
and the prospects brighter than in South- 
ampton. As a result the honest folks there 
were not over-particular in seeing to it that 
his salary was promptly forthcoming. This 
apparently led to squabbles, and when he 
iinally resigned, in 1679, he claimed that half 
a year's stipend was due. This the people, 
after due consideration, finally and peremptor- 
ily refused to pay. 

Harriman was succeeded, in 1680, by the 
Rev. John Taylor, a graduate of Harvard and 
a preacher at New Haven. In way of re- 
muneration he was most liberally dealt with,, 
probably to remove any ill reputation which 
may have come to the place through the bick- 
erings with the departed Harriman. The 
people promised him "a salary of £100 and 
the sole use of the house and land formerly 
built and laid out for the ministry, together 
with another end to be built to the said house, 
and 100 acres of commonage." In addition 
they gave "to him and his heirs forever 100 
acres in the woods or commons," and another 
small parcel of four acres. It was further 
stipulated that the salary of £100 should be 
paid in this manner: 

In winter wheat at 5s the bushel. 
In summer wheat at 4s 6d bushel. 



In Indian corn at 2s 6d bushel. ' 

In beef at 40s per cwt. 
In pork at ids per cwt. 
In tallow at 3d per lb. 
In green hides at 3d per lb. 
In dry hides at 6d per lb. 
In whalebones at 8d per lb. 
In oil at 30s per bbl. 
All good and merchantable. To be col- 
lected by the Constable. 

Mr. Taylor did not live long to enjoy his 
worldly prosperity, for he passed away in 1682. 
It was during the ministry of his successor, 
the Rev. Joseph Whiting, who seems to have 
entered upon the charge in 1683, that the sec- 
ond church was abandoned, in 1707, for a 
new edifice, which was completed in 1709, :it 
a cost of £55 7s 5d. It was furbished up and 
a steeple added in 175 1 ; improved, almost re- 
built, in 1820, and continued to serve the con- 
gregation until 1845, when the now existing 
church was erected. It is singular that each 
of these four churches occupied a different 
site, thus departing from the general usage. 

The Rev. Mr. Whiting continued as pastor 
of the old church until his death, in 1723, 
when he had attained the patriarchial age of 
eighty-two years. His successor, the Rev. 
Samuel Gelston, was associated with him as 
colleague from 171 7 and remained in charge 
of the congregation until 1727, when he re- 
moved to Pennsylvania, where his career was 
by no means a creditable one. On Gelston's 
retirement the Rev. Sylvanus White became 
pastor and so continued until his death, in 
1782, a period of service of fifty-five years. 
His successors have been Revs. Joshua Will- 
iam, Herman Daggett, David S. Bogart, John 
M. Babbitt, Peter H. Shaw, Daniel Beers, 
Hugh N. Wilson, John A. Morgan, Frederick 
Shearer, Andrew Shiland, Walton Condict 
and R. S. Campbell. 

The oldest congregation in Queens county 
is that now known as "Christ's First Church" 
in Hempstead. It was organized, it is claimed, 
in 1643, the same year in which the town had 
been settled by a colony from Stamford, Con- 

necticut, made up mainly of people who had 
emigrated from England a few years before. 
The leader of this colony was the Rev. Robert 
Fordham. It has been the custom to give the 
honor of founding this colony to Richard 
Denton, but a saries of patient investigations 
undertaken by Dr. William Wallace Tooker, 
of Sag Harbor, seems to prove that that 
preacher was the third and not the first re- 
ligious leader of the Hempstead colony. From 
a manuscript essay by Dr. Tooker the fol- 
lowing facts are gleaned : 

Robert Fordham was the son of Phillip 
Fordham, of Sacombe, Hertfordshire, Eng- 
land. He came to America with his wife 
Elizabeth and family in the year 1640. After 
his arrival in America he spent brief periods 
at Cambridge and Sudbury, Massachusetts. 
From Sudbury he probably went to Stamford, 
Connecticut, and organized the migration to 
the Hempstead Plains in 1643. 

The Journal of New Netherland [says Dr. 
Tooker], written previous to 1646, translated 
from Holland documents (Documentary His- 
tory of New York, Vol. 4, page 15), declares 
that there was an English colony at Hempstead 
dependent on the Dutch before the hostilities 
of 1643-4. Underbill's attack upon the Mas- 
sapeag Indians did not take place in 1653, as 
some of our historians have placed the date, 
but it was actually in the winter of 1643-4. 
The question now arises. Was there an Eng- 
lish colony there previous to that winter as 
claimed by the Dutch ? According to circum- 
stantial evidence there certainly was one. 
* * * The Indian deed to Hempstead is 
dated November 13, 1643, ^"d conveys to 
"Robert Fordham and John Carman, on Long 
Island, Inglishmen, the halfe moiety or equal 
part of the great plain lying toward the south 
side of Long Island," etc. This deed surely 
locates Fordham and Carman there in the fall 
of 1643, a date previous to the hostilities 
against the Long Island Indians, and being 
named first proves that Fordham was the lead- 
er in the enterprise as well as in the purchase, 
whatever else he might have been. 

In the Dutch work called "Breeden Raedt," 
printed at Antwerp in 1649, 't is stated that 


"in April of the year 1644 seven savages wrere 
arrested at Hempstead, where an EngHsh 
clergyman, Mr. Fordham, was Governor. 
* * *" This proves that in April, 1644, 
Robert Fordham, an English clergyman, was 
the head of the Hempstead colony, and the 
record would surely indicate he had been there 
some time. After quoting several other au- 
thorities which show conclusively that Ford- 
ham was the head of the Hempstead colony. 
Dr. Tooker proceeds to prove that he was the 
first minister of the colony just as Mr. Youngs 
was at Southold. • He says, "Edward Johnson, 
a New England contemporary and historian, 
in his 'Wonder- Working Providence' (Mass. 
His. Col., Vol. 7, page 22), says, 'Chap. 
XVIj, of the Planting of Long Island:' 
'This people [Southampton] gathered into a 
church and called to office Mr. Pierson, who 
continued with them seven or eight years, and 
then with the greatest number of his people 
removed farther into the island ; the other part 
that remained invited Mr. Fordham and a peo- 
ple that were with him to come and joyne 
with them, who accordingly did, being wan- 
dered as far as the Dutch plantation and 
there unsettled, although he came into the 
country before them.' There are some errors 
in this story, but the lines relating to Mr. 
Fordham are to all intents true, for many of 
his people did follow him to Southampton and 
became citizens of that town, which even at 
that early day possessed many advantages over 
Hempstead. The lines also demonstrate that 
he had been up to that time the minister of 
Hempstead and the people coming with him 
were his parishioners." 
Dr. Tooker also says : 

We have still another witness whose testi- 
mony cannot be questioned, and although it 
lias been printed for nearly fifty years we can- 
not understand why it has been ignored or 
overlooked. This testimony is by none other 
that Peter Stuyvesant, who writes in his own 
hand to the people of Hempstead under date 
of July 17, 1657, nine years after Fordham 
and his people had abandoned the Hempstead 

plantation and Dutch rule : "You all do know 
that Mr. Robert fordim sum tyme.s minister of 
the town off Hempstead, du leave that pleic 
and alsoo the exercise, of the ministery without 
our wish or knuwledge and for no or littel rea- 
sons, therefore we ken not ad mitt him in such 
a mennor of comminge againe." This Stuy- 
vesant letter is a harmonizing sequence to the 
earlier Dutch record as before quoted and 
taken altogether they form a' connecting nar- 
rative authentic and undisputable, confirming 
as they do beyond question the historical fact 
that the Rev. Robert Fordham's ministry ante- 
dated that of the Rev. Richard Denton some 
years, and from Stuyvesant's remarks it is evi- 
dent that at the time of his visit to Hempstead 
some of the people had expressed a desire for 
Mr. Fordham's return, a desire perhaps un- 
known to, and not approved, by Mr. Fordham 
himself, who was then firmly established and 
prosperous at Southampton, as the records of 
that period bear witness. Mr. Fordham and 
his followers undoubtedly had good and suf- 
ficient reasons for leaving Hempstead, and 
with it the rigorous government of the Dutch, 
which was oppressive in his day and later. 

Rev. John Eliot, the well known apostle to 
the Indians, in a letter of May, 1650, describ- 
ing New England and speaking of Long Is- 
land, says : "50 myles to the southwest end is 
Hempstead, wHere Mr. Moore preacheth." 
This is confirmed in a complaint against the 
Indians dated September 25, 1651, by the in- 
habitants of Hempstead to the Directors at 
Amsterdam, which is attested as a true copy 
by "John Moore, the minister of the church of 
Hempstead." With the Hempstead people, 
among whom were Robert Coe and Richard 
Gildersleeve, he migrated to Middleburg 
(Newtown) in 1652 and became pastor there." 

In view of this there seems no doubt that 
the first minister of Hempstead was Mr. Ford- 
ham, who labored from 1643 to 1649, that the 
second was Mr. Moore, who held the office un- 
til 1652, and that the third minister was the 
Rev. Richard Denton, who became minister 
in that year, probably by appointment of Gov- 
ernor Stuyvesant. If we accept Woodbridge's 
statement that a church building was erected 
at Hempstead in 1648, it would seem that the 
honor of being its builder should be given to 
Mr. Fordham, which would deprive its present 
day representative of its claims to be "the first 
Presbyterian church in America," for Mr. 
Fordham and Mr. Moore would assuredly 



rank as Congregationalists rather than Pres- 

Richard Denton was a native of Yorkshire, 
England. He was graduated at Cambridge '.n 
1602 and for sortie years was minister of 
Coley Chapel, Halifax, England. In 1630 the 
famous Act of Uniformity forced him to re- 
linquish his church and in search of religious 
liberty he crossed the Atlantic, settling first 
at Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1650 he was 
engaged in preaching in New Amsterdam to 
the English people and seems to have won the 
good will and friendship of Stuyvesant. The 
Rev. Cotton Mather, who apparently knew 
Denton well, gives him the character of being 
an excellent man and an able preacher and 
mentions that he wrote a voluminous work, a 
system of divinity, under the title of "Sol- 
iloquia Sacra;" but all trace of it has appar- 
ently been lost.* It may be said in passing that 
a son of this clergyman, Daniel^ Denton, wrote 
a work entitled "A Brief Description of New 
York, with the Customs of the Indians," in 
1670 (London), which is said to have been 
the first description in print of New York and 
New Jersey. An edition of this work (100 
copies) was printed in 1845 by Gabriel Fur- 
man, with some valuable notes. 

It has been doubted whe'ther even Denton 
was a Presbyterian, and the matter has fre- 

*Cotton Mather' s reference was as follows : ' ' Among 
these clouds (meaning the ministers who early came to 
New England) was one pious and learned Mr. Richard 
Denton, a Yorkshire man, who, having watered Halifax, 
in England, where, first at Weathersfield, and then at 
Stamford, his doctrine dropped as the rain, his speech 
distilled as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender 
herb, and as the showers upon the grass. Though he 
were a little man, yet he had a great soul; his well accom- 
plished mind, in his lesser body, was an Iliad in a nut 
shell. I think he was blind of an eye, yet he was not 
the least among the Seers of Israel; he saw a very con- 
siderable portion of those things which eye hath not seen. 
He was far from cloudy in his conceptions and principles 
of divinity, whereof he wrote a system entitled ' Soliliquia 
Sacra,' so accurately, considering' the four-fold state of 
man, in his created purity, contracted deformity, restored 
beauty, and celestial glory, that judicious persons, who 
have seen it, very much lament the churches being so 
much deprived of it. At length he got into heaven 
beyond the clouds, and so beyond storms, waiting the 
return of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the clouds of heaven, 
when he will have his reward among the saints." 

quently been argued at considerable length, 
many holding that he was simply an English 
"nonconformist" and what would be termed 
nowadays a Congregational minister. Still the 
Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge, who was pastor 
of the Hempstead church from 1838 to 1848, 
and wrote its history, claims Denton to have 
been a Presbyterian ; and as he is as good an 
authority as any other we may be content to 
take our stand on that matter with him; for 
if Denton be deposed from the honor of be- 
ing the first minister of Hempstead the de- 
nominational point at issue is lost. Wood- 
bridge is also our authority for much of what 
follows concerning the story of the church. 
"It was not until 1648," he tells us, "that the 
congregation was able to move into its own 
meetinj^-house. It stood near the pond, in the 
northwest part of the village (northwest cor- 
ner of Fulton and Franklin streets), and was 
surrounded by, or at least connected with, a 
fort or stockade. It may be proper to observe 
that at this time the most intimate connection 
existed between church and state in all Chris- 
tian countries. In towns which, like Hemp- 
stead, were Presbyterian (that is, which choie 
their own officers) this was particularly the 
case. The same persons constituted 'the 
church' and 'the town' and elected the two 
boards of magistrates and elders who were 
often the same individuals." 

The Rev. Mr. Denton continued to officiate 
as minister, evidently after rather a stormy 
pastorate, until 1659, when he returned to 
England. He died at Essex in 1662. In 1660 
the Rev. Jonas Fordham became the pastor, 
but how long he remained is not clear ; but we 
do know that the Rev. Jeremiah Hobart was 
installed to the pastorate in 1683 and remained . 
until 1696, although he seems to have had 
some trouble in receiving his salary with due 
punctuality. The .authorities to whom he ap- 
pealed ordered a tax to be levied to meet the 
amount, and this naturally rendered him very 
unpopular. The next minister was the Rev. 
John Thomas, who died in 1724, and after 
him came a period of struggle during which 


the congregation dwindled down to a few fam- 
ilies, lost their church property to the Episco- 
palians and became "a remnant," meeting in 
each other's houses. Their devotion, however, 
ultimately found its reward, and in 1762 they 
again worshipped in a church, a small build- 
ing which they erected near the site of the 
congregation's present meeting place. 

The Rev. Benjamin Woolsey and the Rev. 
Abraham Keteltas acted as pulpit supply, if 
not as regular pastoHs, and kept the people to- 
gether. The Rev. Joshua Hart was minister 
during the continuance of the Revolutionary 
War, but his labors were sadly interferred with 
by the military operations. The church build- 
ing was used by the British as a stable and 
received pretty rough usage. The congrega- 
tion again dwindled down to a remnant of 
some fifteen or twenty members, and it seemed 
as though it would soon become extinct. Still 
the brethren held together. 

On June 5, 1805, the Rev. William P- 
Xupors was installed. The roll of communi- 

cants showed but twenty-three names when he 
retired in 1811. For some four years the pas- 
torate was filled by the Rev. Samuel Robert- 
son as a "side issue" in connection with his 
own church at Huntington, but he did little 
more than keep the people together. With 
the installation of the Rev. Charles Webster in 
1818 a better state of things began to set in. 
A new house of worship was erected and the 
members began slowly, but steadily, to in- 
crease. He remained in charge until 1837, 
and when he retired he had the satisfaction of; 
announcing that the congregation numbered! 
one hundred and twenty-fiye. His successor 
was the Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge, Jr., who> 
remained with the people until 1849, Then^ 
followed in succession Revs. Charles W.. 
Shields, 1849-50; N. C. Locke, 1851-60; J. I.. 
A. Morgan, 1860-7; James B. Finch, 1867-75;. 
Franklin Noble, 1875-80; F. E. Hopkins^. 
1881-4; Charles E. Dunn, 1884-8; John A.. 
Davis, 1890-3; and from 1894 the present pas- 
tor, the Rev. F. M. Kerr. 

W yht W 



HE first church in Kings county, the 
Reformed Church, Flatbush, has a 
most complete and interesting history 
from its inception in 1654 to the pres- 
ent day. Its annals have been fully and ably 
detailed in a most interesting little brochure 
written by Mrs. Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt, 
so well known as an entertaining and pains- 
taking writer on old and new Flatbush, and 
we herein reproduce her study of the history 
of the old church, with but trifling changes, 
feeling that so interesting a contribution to 
local history should be preserved in a more 
permanent form than that in which it orig- 
inally appeared: 

The West India Company, then the ruling 
power in the New Netherland, recognized the 
authority of the Church of Holland over their 
colonial possessions, and the care of the trans- 
atlantic churches here was extended by the 
Synod of Holland to the Classis of Amster- 
dam. The first provision made for the spirit- 
ual comfort and edification of the colonists 
was the sending of pious men whose duty it 
was to officiate at religious meetings, to read 
a sermon on the Sabbath day and to lead the 
devotions of the people. These were not or- 
dained ministers ; from their particular duties 
they were called "Krank-besoeckers" or 
"Zeikentroasters" — comforters of the sick. In 
1626 two of these godly men were sent over 
with Governor Minuit. They conducted re- 
ligious service in the colony of New York un- 
til 1628, when Domine Michaelius was sent by 
the North Synod of Holland. He formed the 
first regular church organization in the colony, 
and had about fifty communicants at the first 
communion administered there. 

In 1633 he was succeeded by Domine 
Everardus Bogardus. In that year the first 
church used exclusively as a place of public 
worship was erected ; previously they had wor- 
shipped in the upper story of a mill. This 
church was a plain wooden structure, standing 
near the East river, on what is now Pearl 

The increase in number, as well as the wish 
of the people to have a more imposing and 
commodious structure, led them, in 1642, to 
build a church of stone, seventy-two feet long 
and fifty-two feet broad, at a cost of $1,000. 
The worshippers seem to have taken pride in 
their new edifice, for they placed a marble slab 
on the front of it with this inscription : "Anno 
1642: William Kieft Directeur General; Heeft 
de Gemente Desen Temple doen bouwen." 
This church was erected by the people in 1642, 
William Kieft being Directeur General. 

It is probable that at this period the people 
from all the surrounding Dutch towns and the 
small scattered settlements gathered from time 
to time to worship in this church. We must 
admit that this could not be done without en- 
countering many obstacles, for, pleasant as it 
may have been to join in worship with their 
old friends, yet the journey to the Fort at that 
day was not an easy one. In a report upon the 
state of religion in the Province, written to 
the Classis of Amsterdam in 1657, we read 
that the "people living in the three villages of 
Breukelen, Medwout and Amersfort [Brook- 
lyn, Flatbush and Flatlands] come with great 
difficulty to the preaching here" [New Yorkl. 
Again we read, "It was some three hours' work 
for some of them ere they could reach here.'' 
The ferry established about this time had no 
better accommodations than could be offered 
by a small boat rowed by a farmer who came 
at the blowing of a horn hung upon a neigh- 
boring tree. Somewhere about 1697 there was 



a ferry from what is now the foot of Joralemon 
street, Brooklyn, to the Breede Graft, now 
Broad street. New York; through the centre 
of this street ran a creek which the boats 
could ascend to the ferry house there. As it 
was not until 1704 that the main road to the 
ferry, known as the King's Highway, was 
opened, we do not wonder that the journey 
from the various settlements in. Kings county 
was a toilsome one, and that the people resi- 
dent there began to petition for a more ac- 
cessible place of worship. To the real ob- 
stacles there may have been added those which, 
in the absence of reliable information, were 
supplied by fancy ; for in a letter written from 
Amsterdam in 1671 an imaginative traveller 
describes some remarkable animals supjxDsed 
to roam through the woodlands. They are 
unknown to the naturalists of the present day 
and are of a type chiefly found among the 
unicorns and griffins of heraldic devices. 

Under these circumstances we do not won- 
der that the attendance upon public worship 
in the sanctuary, erected by the "gemente" of 
New York in 1642, was not so constant as 
might be desired, and that Governor Stuy- 
vesant recognized the necessity of having a 
church on Long Island. It seems to have been 
genarally conceded that Midwout, now the 
little town of Flatbush, was most central as 
to position and most accessible. This spot 
was, therefore, honored in being selected for 
the site of the first church in Kings county. 
Here, in 1654, was erected a place of worship 
upon a spot where for nearly two and a half 
centuries those who have held to the doctrines 
of the Church of Holland have assembled Sun- 
day after Sunday for worship. 

It appears upon the records that the first 
church in Kings county cost $1,800; as a con- 
scientious historian I am bound to admit that 
the whole of this sum was not raised in this 
county. It seems to have been collected 
throughout the whole colony. Governor Stuy- 
vesant himself contributing toward the liqui- 
dation of the debt left upon the building. 

In after years, however, this indebtedness 
was returned in kind, for there is a petition 
still to be found among the church records 
bearing date January 19, 1784, in which New 
York appeals to the country churches for help. 
In response to it the sum of £20 6s 8d was 
raised, and is acknowledged as coming from 
Kings county. But an examination of the 
names on this paper will show that all the 
contributors were residents of Flatbush ex- 

cept two, and from these two the amount col- 
lected was very small. 

The farms in the village of Flatbush were 
originally laid out in long, narrow tracts on 
each side of the Indian path which at the 
present time forms the main street. Central 
among these was a long strip of land set 
aside for the church. It was not a poor, bar- 
ren tract, but as fertile and as pleasantly sit- 
uated as the land reserved for their own farms. 
They gave of the best they had for the service 
of the Lord's house. They made ample pro- 
vision for the continuance and maintenance 
of the ordinances of the sanctuary for gen- 
erations to come. They planned wisely and 
well, and the church to this day holds a large 
portion of this goodly tract. 

The first church was in the form of a cross. 
It was sixty-five feet long, twenty-eight feet 
broad, and about twelve or fourteen feet high. 
The rear was reserved for the minister's 

Like a mote in the otherwise pure amber, 
the dignified ecclesiastical records of this 
period have preserved an incident which in- 
dicates that readiness to find fault which some- 
times accompanies our best works. We are 
told that the people of Flatbush sent a com- 
plaint to Governor Stuyvesant, to the effect 
that, while they did all the work in building 
the church, the other towns stood idly looking 
on. The Governor came to the rescue with 
an order to the other towns to "assist in 
cutting and hauling wood;" The other towns 
determined to draw a line somewhere, and did 
so at the minister's house. They agreed to 
help build the house of the Lord, but as for 
the house of the minister they replied that 
the "Medwoud folks were able to do it them- 
selves." As in 1656 the minister complained 
that his house was not yet completed, the 
"Medwoud folks" do not seem to have been 
as prompt in fulfilling their share of the con- 
tract as they should have been. 

The clergymen, sent to the colony were men 
of thorough theological training; "for," says 
Brodhead, "the people, who at Leyden pre- 
ferred a University to a Fair, insisted upon 
an educated ministry." 

In New York Rev. Everardus Bogardus 
was succeeded by Rev. Johannes Megapolen- 
sis ; his singular name was in its original form 
of a family name, Jan Van Mecklenburg. He 
seems to have been a man of liberal views and 
kindly feelings. He saved the life of a Jesuit 
missionary, Father Jogues, who was captured 



by the Mohawks and kept for torture. After 
this he showed a similar kindness to another 
priest. Father Poncet. In 1658 a friendship 
grew up between himself and Father Le 
Moyne, a priest who spent that winter in New 
Netherland. He was settled over the church 
in New York, but seems to have had the over- 
sight of the congregations in Kings county, 
and was expected to see that their spiritual 
wants were supplied, although not to officiate 
regularly as the pastor of the church at Flat- 

Rev. Johannes Theodoras Polhemus was 
the first regular ordained minister in the coun- 
ty towns worshipping here. He had for a 
time joint charge of the churches of Breuck- 
elen, Midwout and Amersfort. He was quite 
an aged man and required an assistant. 

The first church at Amersfort (Flatlands) 
was erected in 1662 ; the first church in Brook- 
lyn in 1666. The morning service for Brook- 
lyn, Flatbush and Flatlands was held at Flat- 
bush; the afternoon service alternately at 
Brooklyn and Flatlands. 

The Rev. Henry Solyns, or Selwyn, was 
called from Holland in 1660, and the Rev. 
Casparus Van Zuren in 1677. After Domine 
Selwyn was installed in Brooklyn Domine Pol- 
hemus confined his services to Flatbush and 
Flatlands; when Selwyn returned to Holland 
in 16^64, then the associated towns were again 
in care of Domine Polhemus. Carel De Beau- 
voise, the schoolmaster, was directed to read 
prayers and some sermon from an approved 
author every Sunday until another minister 
was called. 

it is probable that about 'this time the 
church at New Utrecht was organized and 
added to the pastoral care of the minister 
preaching in the churches already established, 
for Rev. Mr. Van Zuren in 1677 states that 
two elders and two deacons were chosen for 
the church in New Utrecht. 

In 1681 the consistory of the church at 
Flatbush was enlarged by the addition of one 
elder and one deacon chosen from among the 
members living in New Lots. For many years 
after this none of the churches on Long Island 
had more than two elders and two deacons, 
with the exception of the Flatbush church. 

Rev. Casparus Van Zuren 'returned to Hol- 
land in 1685, and was succeeded by Rev. Ru- 
dolphus Varick. 

The last minister who officiated in this sec- 
end church edifice was Rev. W. Lupardus. 

He preached here until his death, which oc- 
curred in 1 701. 

Arrangements were made in 1698 to build 
a new church. It seems probable that the old 
building was too small to accommodate all who 
by this time assembled together for worship, 
as the inhabitants of Brooklyn, Flatbush, Flat- 
lands, Gravesend, New Utrecht and Bush- 
wick all united in the service. Brooklyn, Flat- 
bush and Bushwick communed together, and 
P'latlands, Gravesend and New Utrecht. 

These people gladly contributed to the 
erection of a larger house of worship, rejoic- 
ing that such was needed. They may have 
talked over the matter as did their fathers in 
1642, when they built the church in New York. 
"It is a shame," said they at that time, "that 
the English should see when they pass nothing 
but a mean barn in which public worship is 
performed. The first thing they did in New 
England when they raised some dwellings was 
to build a fine church; we ought to.40 the 

As, according to the old proverb, actions 
speak louder than words, we may certainly 
credit them with an alacrity in collecting funds 
for the new church, which speaks well for 
their interest in the matter. A subscription 
was taken up, amounting to what would be in 
our money about $6,291.20. This is certainly 
a large sum in view of the few from whom 
it was collected, for there is no record this 
time of calling for outside help to liquidate 
the debts left upon the church, and there is no 
appeal made to other settlements for assist- 
ance. The people who worshipped there built 
the church and paid for it. 

We copy from Rev. Dr. Strong's History 
the following description of this building: 
"It was located on the spot on which the first 
church stood. It was a stone edifice, fronting 
the east, with a large arched double door in 
the centre. It had a steep, four-sided roof, 
coming nearly together at the top, on which 
was erected a small steeple. The building was 
wider in front than in depth, being about sixty- 
five feet north and south and about fifty feet 
east and west. The roof rested on the walls 
and was partly supported by them and partly 
by two large oak columns standing in a line 
within the building in a northerly and souther- 
ly direction. The two columns supported a 
plate in the centre of a lofty arched, planked 
ceiling, the north and south ends of which 
rested on the wall. In consequence of this, the 



north and south walls of the building were con- 
siderably higher than those of the east and 
west. There were two large and broad braces 
extending from each column to the plate. The 
roof appeared to be badly constructed, for its 
pressure on the walls wais so great that in 
process of time the upper part of the northerly 
wall was pressed out more than a foot over 
the foundation, and the four braces attached 
to the columns within the building were con- 
siderably bent from the weight and pressure 
above. The pulpit was placed in the center of 
the west side of the building, having the elders' 
bench on the right and the deacons' bench 
on the left. The male part of the congregation 
were seated in a continuous pew, all along the 
wall, which was divided into twenty compart- 
ments with a sufficient number of doors for en- 
trance ; each family ha.d one or more seats here. 
The rest of the interior of the building was for 
the accommodation of the females of the con- 
gregation, who were seated on chairs; these 
were arranged in seven .different rows or 
blocks, and each family had one or more chairs 
in some one of these blocks. Each chair was 
marked on the back by a number, or by the 
name of the person or the family to whom it 
belonged. The windows of this church were 
formed of small panes of glass ; those on either 
side of the pulpit were painted or ornamented 
and set in lead." 

As the minister's family had previously 
lived in the extension of the first church, it is 
probable that, when it was pulled down, a par- 
sonage was built south of and adjoining the 
new church, upon the property on which the 
present parsonage stands. 

There is no record of changes made in this 
building from 1698 until 1775. Then the seats 
were remodeled and pews were substituted for 
chairs. With the consent of the congregation 
sixty-four pews, to hold six persons each, were 
placed in the church. Two short galleries di- 
vided by the door were built on the easterly 
side ; one was occupied, probably, by those who 
were too poor to pay for seats in the body of 
the church ; the other was given for the uge of 
the colored people, there being at this time a 
large colored populatioti in this town. There 
were two seats more conspicuous than the rest, 
the one for the minister's wife and family, the 
other for any notable person who happened to 
be present. (The wife of the minister was al- 
ways called the Yeffrouw; the minister was 
known as the Dominie.) 

A board, on which were placed the num- 
bers of the Psalms to be sung during service, 
was hung in a conspicuous position, for all the 
members of the congregation were expected to 
take part in the singing. These curious old 
Psalm books had silver corners and clasps. 
There were also small silver rings on them; 
through these were cords or long silver chains, 
by means of which they were hung on the 
backs of the chairs when chairs were used in- 
stead of pews. We look with interest at the 
quaint, four-sided notes printed on the bars, 
for each Psalm was set to music, and we won- 
der how they sang in those days; slowly, of 
course, for there are no short notes. The New 
Testament and Psalms were bound together, 
and these were carried to church every Sun- 

It is probable that all the Dutch families 
own one or more of these books still. Some 
of them were published at Dordrecht, 1758, 
others in Amsterdam, 1728 ; there may be oth- 
ers of a still earlier date. The title page is^as 
follows : 

Hat NiEUWE Testament 

ofte alle Boeken 

Des Nieuwen Verbondts 

ouzes Heeren Jesu Christi 

door last 

van de H. M. Heeren 

Staten General 

der Vereenigde Nederlangen 

en volgens het besluit von de 

Sinode Nationale gehoudin in 

de Jaren 1618 en de 1619 tot 

Dordrecht 1758. 

Below the date of the copy from which the 
above was taken there is a lion holding a 
sword, encircled with the motto "Een dracht 
maakt macht." A picture of a city facing the 
North Sea finishes the page. Most of the 
books which have been preserved in the fam- 
ilies of the Dutch are of a religious character, 
and we cannot but feel that they were a relig- 
ious people. Although the Psalms only were 
sung in the churches, they were fond of sacred 
poetry. In a time-stained book entitled "Find- 
ing the Way to Heaven," published at Nyme- 
gen, 1752, which seems to have kept its place 
beside the Dutch Bible, we find an old hymn 
to which the well-worn volume opens at once, 
as if to some favorite page : 



Den Hemel zelf, 
Dat schoon gewelf, 
Daar 't dag is zonder'nachten : 
Is 't hoog vertrek daar 't Engelen choor, 
Al zingend ous verwachten. 
O zalig ! zalig Zinken ! 
O zalig te verdrinken ! 
In 't eenwig zalig ligt. 

We infer from this that the Dutch people 
were not lacking in that religious fervor which 
finds expression in hymns of love and faith. 

The church, erected in 1698, was still stand- 
ing at the time of the American Revolution. 
As the steeple rose from the centre of the build- 
ing, the bell rope, by which the bell in the 
tower was tolled, was easy of access as it hung 
to the floor in the middle of the church. For 
that reason it was used to give alarm in case of 
attack. When the British landed, while they 
were yet some distance from the village, this 
bell gave the first warning note of their ap- 
proach. Long and loud the bell resounded 
over the quiet village. It did not this time 
ring out a call to assemble and hear the mes- 
sage of peace on earth, good will to men. It 
was now an alarm, the clangor of war and the 
announcement of carnage and bloodshed soon 
to come. 

After the battle of Long Island, the wound- 
ed soldiers were carried into this church, and 
it was temporarily used as a hospital. After- 
ward, when other provision was made for the 
sick and wounded, it was taken possession of 
by the British troops, who thoroughly ran- 
sacked it; some artillery men even stabled 
their horses in the pews and fed them there. 
It outlasted this desecration, however, and was 
in use as a place of worship until near the 
close of the century. 

At this period the school and the Dutch 
church were united in one common interest. 
The doctrines which were taught in the church 
were also taught in the village school. The 
Town Clerk was both schoolmaster during 
the week and the minister's assistant on Sun- 
day. He stood up in front of the pulpit and 
read the Commandments before the morning 
service and the Apostles' Creed in the ?fter- 
noon. Until 1790 this was in the Dutch lan- 
guage. He also led the congregation in sing- 
ing. To these duties he added the work of sex- 
ton, for he rang the bell and kept the church 
in order. He had not the care of heating the 
church, like the sexton of the present day, for 

tliat was not required. We can only wonder 
how they could sit all through a freezing win- 
ter's morning in a stone church and not take 

After the death of the Rev. Wilhelmus Lu- 
pardus in 1701, the Rev. Bernardus Freeman 
was called to succeed him, and was installed 
in the Church of New Utrecht in 1705. This 
was the beginning of a long and serious dis- 
turbance in the churches of the colony. Those 
who were opposed to Domine Freeman made 
appHcation to the Classis of Amsterdam, and 
in response the Rev. Vincentius Antonides was 
sent from the Fatherland and was installed 
in the Church of Flatbush. A long and bitter 
controversy followed, which continued to agi- 
tate the church until 17 14. 

Two parties sprung up, one of which seems 
to have held the opinion that the English Gov- 
ernor of the Provinces should be consulted in 
the matter ; the other party asserted that they 
had the right within themselves to choose their 
own pastor. To use their own words, they "do- 
reject this Position That all the Ecclesiasticall 
Jurisdiccon of the Dutch Churches in this 
Province is wholly in the Power of the Gov- 
ernor according to his will & pleasure." The 
Dutch love of law and order seems, however, 
to assert itself; "that yet nevertheless all 
parties do firmly own that the Dutch churches 
in this Province are accountable to the Gov't 
for their peaceable & good behaviour in their 
Doctrin, Disciplin and Church Government.'' 
Once more the independent spirit of these old 
fathers shows that willing as they are to sub- 
mit to law, it must be consistent with their 
religious rights, for these were descendants- 
of the old Hollanders who drove out the Duke 
of Alva and worshipped God according to 
their own faith even in sight of the Inquisition. 
Thus they continue : "that is to say as f arr as 
it does consist with the Rules and Constitucons 
of their own national Church always enjoyed 
at New York, as well as they have the right 
and privilege to be protected by the Civill 
Gov't in the free exercise of their rehgion- 
according to their own Constitution." 

The first party alluded to favored calling 
the Rev. Bernardus Freeman, of Schenectady; 
the latter desired to send to Holland for the 
Rev. Vincentius Antonides. The congrega- 
tion at Schenectady seem a little vexed at this 
interference with their minister, but they re- 
gard it rather as a matter of pecuniary loss- 
than of personal regret, for they say in a 
petition on the subject to her Majesty's Gov- 



eriior, that for the expenses of his passage 
and other charges they have disbursed the 
"valiable summe of near upon eighty pounds." 
On account of this "valiable summe," they 
seem unwilling to part with Mr. Freeman, who 
does not, however, seem equally unwilling to 
part with them. As we know that no Dutch- 
man can consistently give up what he con- 
siders to be his rights, so in this case neither 
party being disposed to yield, both ministers 
were called, and the consequent disturbance 
agitated the whole country. 

His Excellency, Viscount Cornbury, Cap- 
tain General and Governor in Chief of Her 
Majesty's Provinces of New York and New 
Jersey, and Vice Admiral of the same, was 
not silent for want of information on the sub- 
ject, for each party besieged him alternately 
with petitions. We are sorry to say, for the 
literary credit of Domine Freeman's party, 
that their first petition was returned to them 
by Col. Beekman, who, they say, "writt us a 
letter that said petition was not well penned, 
and that there was some ffaults therein." The 
Viscount finally issues a warrant appointing 
Bernardus Freeman as minister, ordering Mr. 
Antonides, the "pretended minister," as he 
calls him, with his "pretended" elders and 
deacons, to give up all possession of house, 
land^ stock and books in their possession or 
answer the contrary at their peril. 

On January 21st, 1709, the friends of Mr. 
Antonides petition his excellency. Lord Love- 
lace, Baron of Hurley, the next Governor in 
chief. The Baron of Hurley calls a meeting 
to inquire into the difficulties of "ye Dutch 
Reformed Protestant churches of ye Towns 
of fflatbush, fflatlands, Brookland, New 
Utrecht and Bushwick." Of course Domine 
Freeman's friends again send in another peti- 
tion, in which they again express themselves 
to the effect that they are "humbly of oppinion 
that all Ecclesiastical affairs And the Deter- 
mination of all things relating thereto in 
this Province lie solely before your Lord- 
ship." The result was that in order to put an 
end to "ye dispute," these ministers were ap- 
pointed to act in concert, alternately preaching 
in the churches, each one to choose his own 
consistory. But "ye dispute" cannot be easily 
settled: we are a people who cling to our 
opinions with wonderful tenacity, particularly 
upon church matters. The friends of Domine 
Antonides would not look with complacency 
upon the admirers of Domine Freeman, and 
vice versa, — and no fiat of a Baron of Hurley 

could remove the difficulty. There are more 
meetings and petitions, and minority reports, 
and majority reports, and petitions again. 
We can imagine the hum it occasioned through 
the towns, the discussions in front of the 
church at the gathering of the congregation 
and the excitement of the younger people. 
Yet we must feel that this bit of human nature 
brings us nearer to these old worthies who 
seem more real to us than when their names 
only appear in old deeds and wills and dry 

Next the Hon. Richard Ingoldsby, Gov- 
ernor and' Commander-in-Chief of her Maj- 
esty's Province, is vigorously petitioned by 
both sides; and he finally orders that Mr. 
Freeman and Mr. Antonides shall "preach at 
all ye sd churches in Kings Co., alternately, 
and divide all ye profits equally, share 
and share alike, and to avoid all farther dis- 
puets between the said ministers, Mr. ffree- 
man shall preach ye next Sunday at fflatbush, 
& ye Sunday following Mr. Antonides shall 
preach at fflatbush; if either of them refuses 
to comply with this order, to be dismissed." 

Domine Antonides, notwithstanding the 
threat, refuses to comply with the order, and 
again resorts to a petition, but Lord Lovelace 
has had enough of petitioning, and curtly says 
that he "has already determined the matter; 
he will hear nothing further thereon." 

On one occasion. Col. Girardus Beekman, 
President of her Majesty's Council in "ye 
City of New York," met one of the elders of 
the church at the ferryboat. Crossing the 
river was probably in those days a work of 
time, and on landing they went into the ferry 
house together. Of course, during all this 
time, they had been discussing the engrossing 
subject as to who was the rightful minister, 
and the good elder so far forgot himself as to 
get angry in the dispute, and as he owns, he 
told Col. Beekman he had a good' mind to 
knock him off his horse, both at that time 
getting upon their horses to go home. But 
like a warm hearted man, quick to speak, he 
is equally quick to admit his error, for he 
says : "1 could wish that these last words had 
been kept in." 

We cited this as showing how generally 
this matter interested the whole communty and 
was the subject of discussion among those 
who met even on ordinary business. The 
trouble was finally settled in 1714, by having 
both ministers preach alternately in the dif- 
ferent Dutch towns. They certainly had 



ample space to discharge their several duties 
without interfering with each other. Both of 
these ministers resided in Flatbush. In re- 
gard to the communion, it was arranged that 
Bushwick, Brooklyn and Flatbush should com- 
mune together, and that Flatlands, Gravesend 
and New Utrecht should join together in the 
■same service. A new church which had at 
this time been formed at Jamaica, had separate 

The rotation in preaching was as follows: 
one minister preached on one Sabbath in 
Bushwick, and the other at New Utrecht; on 
the next Sabbath, one in Brooklyn and the 
other in Flatlands; on the third Sabbath, one 
in Flatbush and the other in Jamaica. 

Domine Freeman died soon after 1741. He 
was succeeded by the Rev. J. Arondeus, who 
until the death of Domine Antonides in 1744 
remained his colleague; but he was subse- 
quently deposed. Rev. Ulpianus Von Sinder- 
en was called to take the place made vacant 
and he entered upon his duties in 1746. 

The Classis of Amsterdam speak of Rev. 
Vincentius Antonides as "a man of great 
learning and fine talents," and the Rev. Bern- 
ardus Freeman was said to be "a very learned 

Levity of any kind was very rare in the 
pulpit of the Dutch church. The ministers 
were men of learning, ability and dignity of 

However, while Domine Van Sinderen was 
a very learned and excellent man, he was 
also very eccentric ; this was a drawback to 
his usefulness. It is said that he would in- 
troduce the occurrences of the week in ' his 
discourse on the Sabbath, which was some- 
thing more unusual then than it is now. On 
one occasion, upon being checked by one of 
his consistory for this, he became indignant, 
and invited the elder who had interfered to 
come up in the pulpit and try if he could 
preach any better! On another occasion he 
attempted to draw the outlines of the Ark, in 
order to illustrate a sermon on the subject; 
it is needless to say that this did not meet 
the approval of his consistory. The old people 
used to say that he did not hesitate to call 
the attention of the whole congregation to 
a!ny member who, being dilatory, entered after 
the service had been opened. 

In a letter on the state of religion from 
Domine Megapolensis to the Classis of Am- 
sterdam dated August 5, 1657, he reflects very 
severely upon a "parson," fortunately not a 

minister of the Reformed Dutch church, of 
whom he says : "He is a man of godless and 
scandalous life, a rolling, rollicking unseemly 
carl, who is more inclined to look in the 
wine-can than to pore over the Bible and 
would rather drink a can of brandy for two 
hours than preach one, and when the sap is 
in the wood then his hands itch and he be- 
comes excessively inclined to fight whomso- 
ever he meets," which shows us that even 
from the earliest days of the settlement when 
a rude state of things prevailed the Dutch 
were very quick to observe and condemn any- 
thing in the behavior of the minister which 
might bring reproach to the church. 

Upon the deposition from office of Mr. 
Arondeus, the Rev. Antonius Curtenius was 
called to be the colleague of Mr. Van Sinderen, 
but he died within the year. 

Rev. Johannes Casparus Rubel was ap- 
pointed to fill this place, and these two min- 
isters officiated during the war of the Revolu- 
tion. Rubel had not only strong Tory pro- 
clivities, but his character and actions were 
inconsistent with the office he held and he was 

Domine Van Sinderen and Domine Rubel 
were the last ministers called from Holland. 

The writer has in possession an English 
translation of Domine Rubel's call. The 
coarse yellow paper upon which it is written 
and the antiquated penmanship attests its gen- 
uineness, had proof been needed, but the value 
of the papers among which it was found, like 
the company which a man keeps, is a testi- 
monial to its accuracy. It was addressed to 
the Reverend and Pious Do. Job's Caparus 
Rubel at present High Dutch Minister in the 
Church of J. C. in the Camp and Rhinebeck, 
from the Elders and Deputies of the five united 
townships of Kings Co., on Long Island, viz. : 
Flatbush, Brooklyn, Bushwick, Flatlands and 
New Utrecht for a second Low Dutch Min- 
ister with Do. Ulpianus Van Sinderen, at their 
meeting held in the church at Flatbush, the 
20th of June, 1759. 

As it is God who out of the riches of his 
all-sufficiency fulfills the wants of his Crea- 
tures, So he does such in a particular manner 
to his pieople and chosen ones, 'whom he 
blesses above all earthly blessing with the 
Revelation of his precious Will, by the means 
of which to assemble his Elect, to confirm and 
to strengthen them, and that by the services 
of them who bear the Riches of God's Secrets 



in their Earthly Vessels, to the Glory of God 
and to the Salvation of his Elect. In full con- 
fidence of which, we have thro' the Grace of 
God been enabled to bring matters so far as 
to have fallen upon ways and means, by the 
union of Love again to join and thus be in a 
condition to make up a sufficient Support for 
two Ministers. Our choice is then fallen upon 
you, Reverend Sir, as on one of whose good 
report in the services of the Gospel, both in 
your present and former congregations, there 
is full evidence ;, So are we in expectation that 
thro' the grace and goodness of God your 
services amongst us we must have. That 
which we shall expect from you generally is 
that you should do and perform all the Duties 
incumbent on a faithful Servant of the Gospel 
and worthy of God's approbation in the pro- 
mulgation of the Gospel doctrines, the Ad- 
ministration of the Sacraments; making use 
of the Discipline of the Church, together with 
the other Church officers according to the 
Word of God and the Constitution of the 
Church of Netherland, established in the 
Synod of Dort in the years 1618 and 1619; 
in particular, that you shall preach twice on 
each Lord's Day, as also on each Fast or 
Thanksgiving Day; on the usual holidays of 
Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide ; a sermon 
shall be preached on the second day, as also 
on New Year's and Ascension days ; as also 
■3. proof of Preparation sermon at the place 
where the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is 
to be administered, which shall be celebrated 
four times a year, with necessary visitation 
of the Communicants ; the taking on of mem- 
bers, and Instructing the Congregation by 
Catechising in the foundation of the pure re- 
formed Religion. 

On our parts. Reverend Sir, we promise to 
pay you for your yearly salary the sum of 
•One hundred and Seven pounds, New York 
money. N. B. — The sum of 107 pounds is 
thus to be divided: 

Flatbush shall give . . £29 

Brooklyn 29 

Flatlands 16.10.0 

New Utrecht 16 . 10. o 

Bushwick 16.10.0 

1st. Each half year punctually to pay the 
Just one half part thereof. 

2d. A free and proper dwelling in the 
Town of Flatbush, with an orchard, some pas- 

ture land with pasturage for one cow and horse 
and other conveniences thereto annexed. 

3d. Free Firewood is to be delivered at 
the Dwelling House of the Minister. 

4th. It has been the custom when the Min- 
ister preached out of Flatbush that he was 
fetched and brought back and at such place 
was provided with Victuals, Drink and Lodg- 
ing, which having proved very inconvenient 
both for the Minister and the Congregation, 
it is therefore determined upon, as you keep 
your own horse and carriage, to pay you yearly 
for making use of your own carriage. But you 
are to be provided with house room and vic- 
tuals and drink gratis. 

We, underwritten, the Deputies of our 
Congregations, Sign this Call as our own act 
in order faithfully to fulfill all that is herein 
expressed and mentioned; and so shall our 
Successors who may from time to time be 
chosen in our stead also do. 

Gerret Van Duyn, Jan Couenhoven, Jac. 
Sebring, Willem Van Nuys, Rutgert Van 
Brunt, Jan Lott, Roulof Voorhees, Jan Van 
der Bilt, Laurenz Ditmars, Abraham Bloom, 
Barent Andriese, Jeremias Van der Bilt, Cor- 
neli's Coerte, Stephen Schenk, Johannes Lott, 
Joost de Bevois, Jeremias Remsen, Andreas 
Stockholm, Daniel Bodet, Jacobus Coljer, Fol- 
kert Folkertson, Abrm. Schenk. 

Thus done and concluded in our presence 

on the 20th and 2Sth of June, 1759. 

Johannes Ritzema V. D. M. 

in New York. 

Ulpianus Van Sinderin. V. D. M. 

in K. County. 

The congregation of Gravesend was form- 
ally added to the combination of Kings County 
churches in 1785. In that year a call had been 
made upon the Rev. Martinus Schoonmaker, 
and in .1787 Rev. Peter Lowe was ordained 
as his colleague. These two niinisters preach- 
ed alternately in the church at Flatbush until 
the second building was taken down in 1794. 

About the year 1750 the church was great- 
ly agitated in reference to certain difficulties 
in the church between two parties known as 
the Coetus and Conferentie. The difference 
between these lay chiefly in the exercise of 
church authority and the right of ordination. 

The Coetus party contended that there 
should be regular organization of the churches 
into Classes and Synods, and that these should 
have all the rights and privileges belonging 



to. such ecclesiastical bodies in Holland. The 
Conferentie party maintained that all minis- 
ters should be ordained in Holland and sent 
to the churches here by the Classis of Am- 
sterdam. This controversy caused trouble in 
the church until 1772. 

The landed estate and general financial in- 
terests of the Flatbush church had from the 
time of its organization been entrusted to the 
management of church masters according to 
the usage of the Reformed churches in Hol- 
land. An annual statement of the receipts 
and expenditures was certified on the church 
books. For a period of one 'hundred and 
seventy years the church property was pru- 
dently and judiciously managed by these 
church masters; then the church became in- 
corporated under an Act passed by the Legis- 
lature in 1784, authorizing the incorporation 
of religious societies ; some years after this a 
special Act provided for the incorporation of 
the Reformed Dutch churches by which the 
ministers, elders and deacons become the Trus- 
tees. This is the oldest religious corporation 
in this country. 

The church erected in 1698 was pulled 
down in 1793, and the church at present 
standing was finished in 1796. It is, there- 
fore, the third upon the same spot and is still 
in an excellent state of preservation, as it was 
substantially built and has always been kept 
in good repair. The stones of the former 
churches were all placed in the foundation of 
this, the foundation wall being six feet broad. 

The small Dutch bricks around the doors 
and windows were brought from Holland as 
ballast in one of the ships belonging to the 
Hon. John Vanderbilt. The stones for the 
wall were quarried at Hurlgate, N. Y., and 
the brown stone used in the construction of 
the courses above the foundation were broken 
from the rocky ridge of hills dividing Flat- 
bush from Brooklyn. The cost of this church 
was £4873, 7, 7, a sum equal to $12,183.44. 
This is exclusive of a great amount of labor 
and cartage gratuitously given by the mem- 
bers of the congregation; in that age the 
people were not ashamed to do their share of 
the manual labor. We were told years ago 
by an aged person who was living at the time 
this church was built that it was esteemed 
a privilege to assist in building the house 
of the Lord. 

The consecration sermon of this church, in 
Januan^, 1797, was in the Dutch language,' by 
Dominie Schoonmaker. That being almost ex- 

clusively the language of the family, it was 
taught in the schools and used in the church 
services entirely until 1792. After that date 
the English came gradually into use. The 
regular and public preaching in the Dutch 
language ceased altogether upon the death of 
old Domine Schoonmaker, which occurred in 
1824. Until 1818 sermons were preached in 
the towns of Flatbush, New Utrecht, Graves- 
end and Bushwick by Domine Schoonmaker 
in Dutch and by Domine Lowe in English. 
Domine Schoonmaker preached until he was 
nearly ninety years of age. He was the last 
connecting link of the chain which had bound 
the churches together from 1654. The six 
collegiate congregations of Kings County were 
those of Brooklyn, Bushwick, Flatbush, New 
Utrecht, Flatlands and Gravesend. In 1805 
Rev. Selah S. Woodhull was called as pastor 
of the church of Brooklyn. In 181 1 Dr. Bas- 
sett was called to Bushwick. In 1809 Dr. 
Beattie was called to New Utrecht. Dr. Bas- 
sett supplied also the church at Gravesend 
when Domine Schoonmaker preached in Dutch 
at Bushwick. Flatlands and Flatbush were 
the last churches to separate. In 1818 they 
extended a pastoral call to Rev. Walter Mon- 
tieth. He resigned from these churches in 
1820. In 1822 Rev. Dr. Thomas M. Strong 
was installed as pastor of the church at Flat- 
bush. He was the first minister who had sole 
charge of this church. 

All the ministers who died after 1701 were 
interred under the church. This practice was 
continued until 1794. All persons belonging 
to the church who could afford it were also- 
allowed this privilege. This accounts for the 
fact that there are not more old tombstones 
in the burying ground attached to the church. 
In that portion of this graveyard which has 
apparently no graves in it, the bodies of those 
who died in the battle of Flatbush are buried. 
They were gathered from the woods and hills 
in the route of the invading army. As they 
were hastily interred, without coffin or tomb- 
stone, that part of this old graveyard was 
not used afterwards. 

At this present time, in order to have room 
for church extension, a small portion of the 
ground immediately adjoining the church has 
been disturbed, but very few bones have been 
found; they have nearly all mingled with the 
dust during the century and more that they 
have lain there. 

For some twenty years interment in this 
graveyard has been forbidden. A plot was 



purchased in Greenwood for the church in 
1873, so that the ministers preaching here 
should, at their death, be interred there, and 
not in the old churchyard. 

There is a significance in this, as being 
part of the constant change which the old 
church has undergone. There are no more 
burials here; no more Dutch tombstones; 
Dutch speaking and Dutch preaching are no 
more to be heard. The binding link of the six 
collegiate congregations was long ago broken. 
We approach so close to other churches that 
everything distinctively Dutch is lost. 

Since its completion in 1796, the Flatbush 
church has been several times changed as 
to its interior arrangements. Until 1836 the 
back and front of the pews were very high, 
having resemblance to pens. The wood was 
grained; there were no blinds on the windows 
and the walls were white. A mahogany pulpit 
was some five or six feet above the floor, 
supported on columns and reached by means 
of spiral stairs. The pews were lowered in 
1836, and blinds were placed in the windows 
to soften the light. Two cast-iron stoves, 
known as Dr. Nott's patent, supplied the heat. 
The woodwork was painted white, and for the 
first time the aisles and the pulpit were car- 

In 1862 the church was again renovated. 
The high mahogany pulpit was removed, and 
a reading desk on a broader platform took its 
place. Two large heaters made the church 
more comfortable than the cast-iron stoves 
had done. An organ was built in the east 
gallery of the church, and a clock was placed 
in the steeple. The clock strikes upon the old 
bell which was presented to the church in 
1796 by Hon, John Vanderbilt, who imported 
it for this purpose from Holland in one of 
his merchant ships. It is said that this bell 
was injured by being captured by the British 
and carried into Halifax in the belief that 
it was the property of a Holland merchant. 
It was released and returned when the fact 
was proved that the owner of the bell was a 
citizen of the United States. Since that first 
strife over its possession it has not been called 
to give the alarm of war, as did its predecessor 
in the little bell tower in 1776. Only the call 
to worship or the solemn announcement of a 
funeral has awakened its voice. It formerly 
gave warning of fires, but of later years even 
that duty has not been required, and now we 
hear its sound only for church services. 

In 1887 the building was once mdre remod- 

eled. An entrance for the minister in the rear 
of the church and a robing-room added accom- 
modations which had been much needed, for 
the example of the Holland clergy and long, 
custom in this country favors the black Geneva- 
gown in the pulpits of the Reformed Church. 
The interior of the building was stencilled in 
quiet colors. With the new upholstering and 
dark carpets a subdued effect was produced, 
and the pervading tone is rich and unob- 
trusive. A steam heater adds to the comfort 
of the church, and by, the contrast suggests 
the accounts given of days when the church 
was not warmed even in midwinter. Some- 
of us may recall the two tall stoves in the rear 
of the church, which heated it so unequally 
that it was necessary for comfort to supply 
small foot stoves for every pew; these were 
carried into the church by the colored ser- 
vants before the opening of the morning ser- 

The addition built in the rear of the pulpit 
at the west end of the church, however, was- 
chiefly for the new organ which was placed 
there at this time (1887) and for the conven- 
ience of the choir. The organ is a large one 
and of good tone, and the choir has been in- 
creased in numbers. The music forms an im- 
portant part of the worship, and great pains 
has been taken by those who love church music 
to interest the young people in the service 
of song. 

In the more primitive days the "voorzang- 
er," or precentor, stood' in front of the pulpit 
to lead in the singing of the hymns. The 
next step was to have the young people of 
the congregation serve as a choir in the gallery 
opposite the pulpit. The first organ was pur- 
chased in i860. This latest arrangement of 
a larger organ and the choir facing the con- 
gregation has been made in accordance with 
the requirements of the age in regard tO' 
church music, and in the desire on the part 
of the consistory that nothing should be left 
undone which should tend to a devotional 
spirit in the church worship. 

The latest change made in the interior of 
the church has been in regard to the windows. 
The light was found to be at times too strong 
without blinds ; the church too dark with closed 
blinds. In the winter of the present year 
(1890) the advisability of inserting stained 
glass windows was suggested. After some 
consideration, the consistory agreed to give 
those desiring it an opportunity to replace with 
memorial windows the coarse glass in the 



sashes. Most of these memorial windows 
have been made for families rather than for 
individuals. By adding dates, something of 
an historical character is included in this 
change, for it tends to perpetuate the names 
•of families who have supplied its membership 
through the two hundred years and more cf 
its organization, who have upheld its ordin- 
ances, and have worshipped here on this spot 
through successive generations. 

The following are the ministers who have 
had charge over the church since its organiza- 
tion in 1654: 

1. Johannes Megapolensis, born 1603. 
Sent to America by the Classis of Amsterdam 
in 1842. He was settled in New York with 
oversight over the congregations worshipping 
■on Long Island. Died about 1668. 

2. Johannes Theodorus Polhemus. First 
pastor of the collegiate churches on Long 
Island. Born in Holland 1598. Died in 1676. 

3. Henricus Selwyn or Selyns, born in 
Holland in 1636; had charge chiefly of church 
in Brooklyn, although he preached occasion- 
ally in the church at Flatbush. Died about 

4. Casparus Von Zuren. Returned to Hol- 
land 1685. 

5. Rudolphus Varick. Preached in the 
Long Island collegiate churches until 1694. 

6. Wilhelmus Lupardus. Preached 1695. 
Died about 1702. 

7. Bernardus Freeman came to America 
in 1700. Entered upon his ministry here in 
1705. Emeritus 1791. Died soon after. 

8. Vincentius Antonides. Born 1670. 
Preached in the Long Island churches. Died 

9. Johannes Arondeus came from Hol- 
land 1742; preached in the Long Island 
churches. He was suspended in 1751, and 
died about 1754. 

ID. Antonius Curtenius. Born in Hol- 
land 1698; came from Holland 1730. Preached 
in Hackensack and Schraalenburgh first, after- 
wards preached in the Long Island churches. 
Died in 1756. 

11. Ulpianus Von Sinderen. Preached in 
the Long Island churches. He was declared 
■emeritus in 1784. He died July 23, 1796. 

12. Johannes Casparus Rubel. De- 

13. Martinus Schoonmaker. Born in 
Ulster Co., New York, 1737. He was the last 
minister who preached in the Dutch language 
in this county. He died in 1824. 

14. Peter Lowe, born at Kingston 1764. 
Died 1818. 

15. Walter Monteith accepted a call in 
Schenectady in 1820. Died 1834. 

16. Thomas M. Strong, born at Coopers- 
town, N. Y., 1797. Preached in Flatbush 
from 1822 to 1861, at which time he died. 

17. Cornelius L. Wells, present pastor, 
born at New Brunswick, N. J., 1833. Called 
to the ministry of this church 1863. 

With the exception of the Rev. Dr. Strong 
and Rev. Dr. Wells, all these were collegiate 
ministers preaching in the churches and pre- 
siding over the six congregations in this 

In the early days of settlement the various 
ministers do not seem to have remained long 
in charge over the churches, but this century 
shows the reverse and presents a remarkable 
record in this respect. 

Rev. Dr. Strong remained for nearly forty 
years in charge of the church at Flatbush. He 
was removed by death in 1861. He was great- 
ly beloved by his people ; the younger members 
of his congregation looked up to him as a fa- 
ther. He was a man of great learning, with 
great fluency as a speaker and ease of manner 
in the pulpit. He was genial and affable in 
social life, and by his daily conduct exempli- 
fied the beauty of the precepts he held up to 
his people. 

Dr. Strong was succeeded by Rev. Dr. C. 
L. Wells, who was called to the ministry of 
this church in 1863. The twenty-fifth anni- 
versary of this call was the occasion of a very 
pleasant celebration given to Dr. Wells by his 
people, in recognition of their love and esteem 
for him as their pastor and personal friend. 
His pastorate has been a very successful one. 
The church has flourished under his care and 
the utmost good feeling prevails. The mem- 
bership has increased, and that, to a great ex- 
tent, from among the young people. Surely 
nothing can be more gratifying to the heart 
of a faithful pastor than this. May he be long 
continued in his place, with the same encour- 
aging results that have blest his labors in past 

This church was formerly known as the 
Reformed Dutch Church. In 1867 the word 
Dutch was dropped and the distinctive title 
became "The Reformed Church in America." 

In this country the "patrial adjectives" 
have been retained in many of the Reformed 
churches to indicate their origin. 

The name with us had lost much of its 



significance owing to the various nationalities 
in church membership ; because a false impres- 
sion was created as to the language used in 
the church service, the change was thought by 
many to be desirable, and it was accordingly 

We do not, however, wish to have the fact 
lost to history that the churches of this de- 
nomination were those established by the Hol- 
land settlers in America. The doctrines taught 
are the articles of faith formulated by the 
reformers in the Netherlands. They had gone 
through the most terrible struggle recorded on 
the pages of history, maintaining for some 
.forty years a most unequal combat against big- 
otry and despotism of Spain, at that time the 
most formidable power in Europe. 

The church at Flatbush was designed, as 
we have seen in the preceding extract, to sup- 
ply the needs in the way of public worship of 
the people in Flatbush, in Flatlands and in 
Breuckelen. The Rev. Mr. Polhemus, how- 
ever, seems never to have been able to win 
the favor of the people of the last named place. 
He was a man pretty well advanced in years 
when he took hold of his charge at Flatbush, 
and while no complaints were ever made as 
to his neglecting his sacred work, yet from 
the first the Brooklyn settlers and he did not 
get along well together. They were quite 
willing to help the Midwout (Flatbush) folks 
to build their church as by the Governor's or- 
der, but they strenuously objected to help in 
the work of building a house for the dominie, 
and it required some of the usual Stuy- 
vesant persuasion, a big oath, or a violent 
stamp of the silver-mounted wooden leg, to 
make them bear a helping hand. It was quite 
a distance from Breuckelen to the church at 
Flatbush and possibly it was more fashionable 
for the former people now and again, when 
the weather was fine and the water smooth, 
to cross over into Manhattan Island and listen 
to the words of the Rev. Johannes Megapo- 
lensis, one of the most gifted preachers of his 
time, in the handsome stone church in the 
fort. At all events they gave Polhemus the 
cold shoulder. In 1656 the people of Flatbush 
(Midwout) and Flatlands (Amersfort) asked 

their brethren in Breuckelen to help in paying: 
the salary of Brother Polhemus, but this met 
with polite refusal, as they replied they did not 
feel disposed to pay for the upkeep of a min- 
ister who was of no use to them. They sug- 
gested that if Polhemus would agree to preach 
in their midst on alternate Sundays they would 
be willing to aid in his support. Possibly they 
thought this beyond the dominie's physical 
ability. Stuyvesant and his Council settled 
the matter by declaring that Polhemus should 
preach in Breuckelen when the weather per- 
mitted. The dominie at first apparently did 
his best to visit Brooklyn on alternate Sun- 
days, and while the Flatbush folk were satis- 
fied with this the people of Flatlands and the 
other towns began to complain. So to end 
the matter Stuyvesant decreed that the dominie 
was to preach each Sunday forenoon in the 
church at Flatbush and on alternate Sunday 
afternoons at Brooklyn and Flatlands. The 
two towns last named were assessed each 
300 guilders and Flatbush 400 guilders on be- 
half of the dominie's annual salary. 

But the Brooklyn people were even then 
by no means satisfied. They did not care for 
Mr. Polhemus, did not want him for a pastor,, 
and it looks as though all their agreements 
were but subterfuges, hoping that the other 
communities woitld not live up to them and 
that thereby the ire of the peppery old Gov- 
ernor would be directed against the other 
parties to the agreements rather than against 
themselves. But in 1657 they could bear it 
no longer and co came out openly in an appeal 
to Stuyvesant and the Council to be forever 
rid of the good man. Through their chosen, 
town officials they said, under date January 
I, 1657: 

The Magistrates of Breuckelen find them- 
selves obliged to communicate to your Hon- 
ors that to them it seems impossible that they 
should be able to collect annually 300 guilders 
from such a poor congregation, as there are 
many among them who suffered immense 
losses during the late wars; and principally 
at the invasion of the savages, by which they 
have been disabled, so -that many, who would 



-otherwise be willing, have not the power to 
contribute their share. We must be further 
permitted to say that we never gave a call to 
the aforesaid Reverend Polhemus, and never 
accepted him as our minister; but he intruded 
himself upon us against our will, and volun- 
tarily preached in the open street, under the 
blue sky ; when, to avoid offense, the house of 
Joris Dircksen was temporarily offered him 
here in Breuckelen. It is the general opinion 
and saying of the citizens and inhabitants of 
Breuckelen generally, with those living in their 
neighborhood, that they could not resolve, even 
when it was in their power to collect the 
money, to contribute anything for such a poor 
and meagre service as that with which they 
.have thus far been regaled. Every fortnight, 
on Sundays, he comes here only in the after- 
noon for a quarter of an hour, when he only 
gives us a prayer in lieu of a sermon, by 
which we can receive very little instruction ; 
while often, while one supposes the prayer or 
sermon (which ever name might be preferred 
for it) is beginning, then it is actually at an 
end, by which he contributes very little to the 
edification of his congregation. This we ex- 
perienj^ed on the Sunday preceding Christmas, 
on the 24th of Decemher last, when we, ex- 
pecting a sermon, heard nothing but a prayer, 
and that so short that it was finished before 
we expected. Now, it is true, it was nearly 
evening before Polhemus arrived, so that he 
had not much time to spare, and was com- 
pelled to march off and finish so much sooner, 
to reach his home. This is all the satisfac- 
tion — little enough, indeed — which we had 
during Christmas ; wherefore, it is our opinion 
"that we shall enjoy as much and more edifica- 
tion by appointing one among ourselves, who 
may read to us on Sundays a sermon from the 
"Apostille Book," as we ever have until now, 
from any of the prayers or sermons of the 
Reverend Polhemus. We do not, however, 
intend to offend the Reverend Polhemus, or 
assert anything to bring him into bad repute. 
We mean only to say that his greatly ad- 
vanced age occasions all this, and that his 
talents do not accompany him as steadily as in 
the days of yore ; yea, we discover it clearly, 
that it is not the want of good-will in Polhe- 
mus ; but as we never did give him a call, we 
■cannot resolve to contribute to his mainten- 

Their pathetic appeal, however, had no ef- 
fect on the Governor. He held that the ar- 

rangement in force should continue, and then 
the Brooklyn folk neglected to pay their share 
of the dominie's salary, to the temporal con- 
. fusion and discomfort of the poor old man. 
The others, too, seemed to become laggard in 
their payments. Stuyvesant, however, was 
equal to the emergency and on July 6, 1658, 
ordered that no grain should be removed from 
the fields until all arrearages in the minister's 
salary had been paid — and paid they at once 
were. So the dominie was supreme for a year 
or so longer, encountering roads the poorer 
and weather the more wretched as his age 
and infirmities increased. 

Then the people of Brooklyn adopted fresh 
tactics to get rid of his ministrations, by ask- 
ing permission to call a minister to dwell 
among themselves and so relieve Polhemus of 
his tiresome journey. This was agreed to. 
The Classis in Amsterdam was communicated 
with, and in September, 1660, the Rev. Hcn- 
ricus Selyns, sometimes described as Henry 
Solinus and Henricus Selwyn, wate installed 
as minister of Brooklyn, the first of a long 
line of gifted men who have made the name 
of the old town famous over the Christian 

Selyns was born in Amsterdam in 1636, 
and was descended from a family which for 
a century previous had furnished a succession 
of Protestant ministers to the Church in Hol- 
land, and his own ability as a preacher had 
won him high commendation in his native 
town. He was installed into his pastorate with 
considerable pomp, the Governor being rep- 
resented by two of his officials. Stuyvesant 
seems to have taken kindly to the young min- 
ister from the first, and to help him to earn an 
increased salary he engaged him to spend his 
Sunday afternoons on his country residence 
in New York, his famous Bouwerie, and there 
preach and teach the servants and poor neigh- 
bors, black and white. For this Stuyvesant 
agreed to pay 250 guilders each year, thus 
bringing up the minister's salary to 600 guil- 
ders. Selyns was a man c' many accomplish- 
ments, a poet, lisping in sacred numbers, and 








now and again in Latin, and he possessed con- 
siderable historical acumen and diligence, for 
he transcribed all the records of the Dutch 
Church in New YoTk down to his own time, 
and his transcription, still preserved, has kept 
alive much of the history of that body which 
but for his patient labor would long ago have 
been lost. Cotton Mather valued him highly 
and said that "he had so nimble a fancy for 
putting his devout thoughts into verses that 
upon this, as well as upon greater accounts, 
he was a David unto the flocks in the wil- 

Although ushered into his charge with be- 
coming ceremony, Selyns had neither a church 
nor a congregation. So far as church mem- 
bership went his flock was enrolled on the 
books of the Flatbush organization, but in 
answer to a letter the Rev. Mr. Polhemus sent 
him a list of those on his roll who resided in 
Brooklyn (at the Ferry, the Wallabout and 
Gowanus) including one elder, two deacons 
and twenty-four others. This epistle probably 
acted as a letter of dismissal and doubtless the 
good old dominie was heartily glad to be rid 
of a people that had proved so rebellious and 
contumacious. A church building seems to 
have been erected under Selyns' ministry, or 
else the services were held in some building 
set aside for his use, for we find that the peo- 
ple in 1661 petitioned the home authorities 
for a bell which would not only call the people 
to worship but would be of service in all time 
of danger. If a church was there built all 
trace of it even on paper has disappeared. It 
seems that the people after a time were not 
quite satisfied with Selyns' ministrations, their 
main grievance being that he did not make his 
home among them, but preferred to reside on 
Manhattan Island. The congregation had 
strengthened slowly: in 1661 it had over fifty 
communicants, but latterly he had some dif- 
ficulty in collecting his salary, and, probably 
feeling that the field was not a promising one 
and experiencing some of the plain speaking 
which had been used to Polhemus, he tendered 
his resignation in 1664, giving as his reason 

a desire to comply with the request of his 
aged father that he return to Holland. There 
he went, returning to America in 1682 to be- 
come pastor of the Dutch Church in New 
Amsterdam, in which service he continued un- 
til his death, in 1701. 

The spiritual welfare of Brooklyn was thus 
again placed under the pastoral care of Dom- 
inie Polhemus, Schoolmaster Debevoise ap- 
parently doing the active work and reading a 
discourse from an "approved author" each 
Sabbath. Apparently the people desired a 
pastor as soon as possible, and probably in the 
hope of being the better able to induce a de- 
sirable one to settle in their midst they de- 
cided to erect a substantial church and have 
it ready for his ministrations when he did 
come. Accordingly they erected in 1666 on 
what is now Fulton street, near Lawrence 
street, about a mile from the Ferry, on the 
site of a fort, some of the stones of which 
were used in its walls, what is generally held 
to be the first church in Brooklyn. It re- 
mained in active use for exactly a century, 
when it was pulled down and a new edifice 
erected on its site. Stiles describes this, the 
structure of 1766, as "a large, square edifice, 
with solid and very thick walls, plastered and 
whitewashed on every side up to the eaves ; 
the roof as usual ascending to a peak in the 
centre, capped with an open belfry in which 
hung a small, sharp-toned bell brought from 
Holland shortly after its erection, and after- 
ward (1840) hung in the belfry of the dis- 
trict school-house in Middagh street. The 
interior was plain, dark and very gloomy, so 
that in summer one could not see to read in 
it after four o'clock in the afternoon, by rea- 
son of its small windows. They were six or 
eight feet above the floor and filled with 
stained-glass lights from Holland, represent- 
ing vines loaded with flowers. The old town 
of Breuckelen, it will be remembered, com- 
prised at this time several divisions or settle- 
ments, each possessing local names — squares 
and avenues of the new city — Gowanus, Red 
Hook, Bedford, Cripplegate, Wallabout — and 



for all these the old church occupied a very 
central position." It was pulled down in 1810 
and a new building for the congregation 
erected on what is now Joralemon street. 

Although the Rev. Mr. Selyns was un- 
doubtedly the first minister called to Brook- 
lyn, he seems to have been regarded as a part 
of the establishment of the church at Flat- 
bush, a collegiate pastor, and as such appears 
to have frequently filled its pulpit. For many 
years after he left the pastors of the senior 
Brooklyn church were identical with those of 
Flatbush. This arrangement fell through — 
how, it is not exactly clear, probably by a 
process of evolution — about the beginning of 
the century, for in 1802, when the Rev. John 
Barent Johnson was called to the pastorate 
of the Brooklyn church, his ministrations 
were to be confined to it. His death took 
place August 29, 1803, about eleven months 
after his installation. The congregation re- 
rnained without a pastor, Flatbush filling the 
pulpit as regularly as possible, until 1806, 
when the Rev. Selah Strong Woodhull was 
installed to the charge. It was under him 
that the erection of what is known as the 
third church was brought about. The cor- 
ner-stone was laid May 15, 1807, by the Rev. 
Peter Lowe, then one of the ministers of the 
parent church at Flatbush. It was completed 
at a cost of $13,745-53, and dedicated on 
December 23 of the same year, when the 
sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. John 
H. Livingston. 

Mr. Woodhull in 1825 resigned the pastor- 
ship on becoming Professor of Ecclesiastical 
History, etc., in Rutgers College, and the ' 
Rev. Ebenezer Mason, son of the famous Dr. 
John Mason, of New York, became pastor. 
Two years later another change was made, 
and the Rev. Peter J. Rouse was installed, 
October 13, 1828. He was succeeded in 1833 
by the Rev. M. W. Dwight, and within a 
month the congregation began taking- steps 
to erect their present building — the fourth — 
which was completed and dedicated in May, 
1835. The succeeding pastors have been 

Revs. A. P. Low Giesen, 1855-59 ; A. A. Wil- 
lets, 1860-5; Joseph Kimball, 1865-74; H. 
Dickson, 1875-1877; Dr. D. N. Vanderveer, 
1878-1896; and J. M. Farrar, 1896—. 

This survey practically completes the story 
of the pioneer churches on the island in its 
different divisions, and the history of the 
others calling for particular mention on ac- 
count of their historical or other interest will 
be found treated in the local sections of this 
work. We have taken up these churches in 
their order, just as their respective histories 
told us they were formed without any heed 
to their denominational affiliations, and we 
may now enter on a somewhat wider field 
of survey by speaking of the introduction, on 
the island, of the various great divisions of the 
Christian fold. 

The churches at Southold and Southamp- 
ton were, properly speaking. Congregational^ 
and as such their story might be held to marjc 
the date of the advent of that body, while if 
we could accept the church at Hempstead, of 
which we have spoken as Presbyterian, then 
the advent of that body is also determined. 
Such affiliations, however, would be strenu- 
ously objected to. The institution of the 
church at Flatbush in 1654 gives that date 
beyond question as that on which the Re- 
formed Dutch church began its labors. For 
a time the island was given over to these 
two bodies (if we may be permitted to class 
the early Congregationalists or Presbyterians 
as one body, which they practically were), in 
which the Dutch church showed the union 
of Church and State, with the authority of 
the latter paramount, while the other was 
purely democratic — church and state com- 
bined, with the church as the ruling influ- 

But they were not permitted very long to 
retain their undisputed sway over the spiritual 
destinies of Long Island, for in 1702 we find, 
that the Episcopalian body began with the^ 
advent to the island of the Rev. George Keith,, 
whom we have already met in a previous- 
chapter. He was accompanied by the Rev.- 



Peter (or Patrick, the names there being in- 
terchangeable) Gordon, who, it seems, had 
been sent out to America as a missionary by 
the English "Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts." His work on 
Long Island was assigned for him before his 
departure, and so was his title of "Rector of 
Queens County." His acquaintance with his 
rectorial field was, however, very brief. He 
was suffering from fever when he reached 
Jamaica, which was to be his headquarters, 
and about a week later, July 25, 1702, he was 
dead. He was buried beneath the stone 
church or meeting-house which had been 
erected about 1700 by the trustees of Jamaica 
by means of a tax levied on the inhabitants, 
after a plan of voluntary subscription had 
fallen through. On that fact was based one 
of the most noted conflicts between Church 
and State which the history of the island 

When the church and its adjoining min- 
ister's house were completed they were given 
over to the Presbyterian minister by vote of 
a town meeting, although there was some un- 
derstanding that other Protestant denomina- 
tions were to be permitted to use the church 
for their services when occasion required. In 
this way Keith seems to have preached from 
its pulpit. When Lord Cornbury became 
Governor in 1702 he ordered the English law 
of uniformity in religion to be enforced 
throughout the province and ordained that all 
meeting-houses and parsonages erected out 
of public moneys, by tax or otherwise, should 
belong to the Episcopal body, which he de- 
clared to be the established church. The mis- 
sionaries of that body, thanks to this viceregal 
patronage, were then very active, and the ad- 
herents to the Church of England in Jamaica 
were console^ by frequent visits from them. 
Emboldened by Lord Coriibury's order, they 
not only held services in the stone church, 
but claimed its possession as a right. The 
crisis came on July 25, 1703, when the Rev. 
John Bartow visited Jamaica. On the day 
before he announced that he would hold serv- 

ice in the stone church, but the Presbyterian 
minister got into the building on the follow- 
ing morning' ahead of him and so held the 
fort. Bartow walked into the sacred edifice 
and ordered John Hubbard, the Presbyterian 
divine, to stop his service. This the latter re- 
fused. In the afternoon the tables were 
turned, for the Episcopalian got into the build- 
ing before the Presbyterian arrived. The 
latter announced that he would preach under 
a tree and so drew away the bulk of Mr.. 
Bartow's auditors. Not only that : those who 
went out carried with them benches and re- 
turned for more, so as to make Mr. Hub- 
bard's hearers comfortable, and the noise and 
confusion that ensued forced the "estab- 
lished" divine to stop for a time. He finished, 
however, locked the door of the church, and 
handed the key to the sheriff as the repre- 
sentative of law and order. The iDther body 
soon afterward broke a window in the church 
wall, helped a boy through the aperture, and, 
on his opening the door from the inside, en- 
tered the church and put back the benches. 
They, however, took away the pulpit cushion, 
which they would not permit any to use but 
the Presbyterian minister. 

Cornbury, when the matter was reported 
to him, summoned Mr. Hubbard and the 
heads of his congregation before him, laid 
down the law and threatened them with its 
penalties. He also. defined the statute as to 
the church building itself and forbade Mr. 
Hubbard from preaching in it. As it was 
either submission or prosecution, they sub- 
mitted, and the stone church passed from their 
hands. But their humiliation was not yet 

In 1704 the Rev. William Urquhart was 
appointed "Rector of Queens County," and 
when he arrived at Jamaica and viewed his 
domain over he claimed the house and lands 
on which the Rev. Mr. Hubbard dwelt as a 
parsonage, they having been set aside for the 
use of the preacher in the stone church by 
the same process of taxation. This view was 
indorsed by Cornbury, and on July 4, 1704, 



the sheriff ordered Hubbard to vacate, which 
he did, and the triumph of the EpiscopaHan 
church in Jamaica was complete. The further 
history of the stone church Htigation really 
belongs to the local story of Jamaica. 

There is a good deal of similarity between 
the early histoiry of the Episcopalian Church 
in Hempstead and in Jamaica except in the 
way of disturbance and legal conflict. In 
the former place work was begun about 1701, 
by the Rev. John Thomas, who was sent out 
from England as a missionary and given 
charge of Hempstead by Lord Cornbury. He 
also took possession of the old Presbyterian 
church building and minisiter's house, but the 
Presbyterians at the time had no minister and 
had dwindled down in numbers, so that Mr. 
Thomas, who appears -to have been a soft- 
mannered and agreeable sort of man, a verit- 
able peacemaker, not only induced them to 
acquiesce in the charge without much grum- 
bling, but persuaded many of the weak-kneed 
brethren among them to become regular at- 
tendants at his service. So the "established 
church" continued slowly to spread, backed 
by the Gubernatorial authority, and in isome 
instances stiffened by royal gifts ; for we read 
that in 1706 Queen Anne "was pleased to 
allow the churches of Hempstead, Jamaica, 
Westchester, Rye and Staten Island each a 
large Bible, Common Prayer Book, Book of 
Homilies, a cloth for the pulpit, a communion 
table, a silver chalice and paten." Churches 
were established at Newtown in 1734 (the 
charge of the rector at Jamaica extended over 
Newtown and Flushing), at Flushing in 1746, 
at Huntington in 1750 and at Brookhaven in 
1752; but it was not until 1766 that one was 
established in Brooklyn. This date seems to 
have been fixed by tradition, for there is 
really no evidence to substantiate it. 

In 1774 a lottery was proposed for the 
erection of a church conformable to the doc- 
trines of the Church of England, but the mat- 
ter either was unsuccessful or was allowed 
to be dropped owing to the political exigencies 
of the times. During the British occupation 

there is no doubt Episcopalian services were 
regularly held and some of the discourses 
then preached by the Rev. James Sayre are 
still preserved. It was not until 1784, after 
the cloud of battle had passed away, that those 
who adhered to the Episcopalian Church set 
up a tabernacle of their own. Says Furman: 
"It scarcely took the form of a church: there 
were few, very few Episcopalians in this 
town or country at that period,^ — so few that 
they were not able to settle a minister among 
them and were supplied with occasional serv- 
ices from the clergymen of the city of New 
York, for which purpose they assembled in a 
room of the old one-and-a-half-story brick 
house known as No. 40 Fulton street, Brook- 
lyn, then called the Old Ferry Road, owned 
by Abiel Titus, Esq. There is no reason to 
believe that this little congregation was ever 
incorporated as^ a church or had any regular 
officers. The first regularly established Epis- 
copal church in this town or county was that 
formed in the year 1786. The congregation 
was at first very small, not having in it more 
than fifteen or sixteeen families, and they were 
not able to go to much expense about erect- 
ing a church. They therefore hired the old 
and long one-story house owned by Marvin 
Richardson on the northwesterly corner of 
Fulton and Middagh streets." The Rev. 
George Wright was chosen as the pastor of 
this little flock, and from this humble begin- 
ning sprang the now famous Church of St. 

The Methodist Episcopal church appar- 
ently antedated the Established Church of 
England on Long Island. The pioneer preach- 
er vvas Captain Thomas Webb,, of the British 
army, who held services in a house he rented 
in New York, and in 1766 frequently crossed 
over to Brooklyn and held forth there. He 
had some relatives in Jamaica and preached 
in that village regularly, building up. Dr. 
Prime tells us, a society of about twenty-four 
persons, — half of them negroes. The prog- 
ress made, however, was slow. In 1785 a 
congregation was formed in Sands street, in 



a cooper's shop, by Wollman Hickson, and 
from that beginning developed the once 
famous Methodist church in Sands street, now 
only a memory, although its name is still re- 
tained in another structure. In 1793 Joseph 
Totten and George Strebeck were appointed 
to take charge of the entire island, laboring 
alternately one month in Brooklyn and a 
month elsewhere. In 1794 the Brooklyn 
church was incorporated and in 1795 its peo- 
ple had completed the purchase of a site and 
erected a place of worship on Sands street, 
the site now being part of the territory oc- 
cupied by the big bridge. In 1795 its mem- 
bership was given as twenty-three whites and 
twelve negroes. In 1820 a church was estab- 
lished at Southold, and another ten years later 
at Riverhead. 

Although we read of the appearance of 
Baptists in America as early as 1662, it was 
not till long afterward that the denomina- 
tion really won a foothold on Long Island. 
A congregation was formed at Oyster Bay in 
1700, one at Brookhaven in 1747, and one at 
Newtown in 1809; but it was not until 1823 
that a church was organized at Brooklyn, — 
with ten members. 

In another chapter we tell of the early ex- 
periences of the Quakers in this country and 
their reception at the hands of the Dutch au- 
thorities and Governor Stuyvesant, and so 
need only remark that the earliest trace of a 
meeting-house is found in the story of Oyster 
Bay, where we are told one was set up in 
1659. The visit of George Fox to America 
in 1672 did much to strengthen the Friends, 
and we know that he made several visits to 
Gravesend where the doctrines of his people 
had been known and welcomed to a more or 
less extent since 1657. It was at Jericho, a 
few miles from Oyster Bay, that the first 
Long Island meeting-house of the society, of 
which we have record, was erected, in 1689, 
and in 1694 another was erected at Flushing. 
About the last named year small houses of 
worship were also erected by the Friends at 
Bethpage and Matinicock. A meeting-house 

was maintained at Brooklyn before 1730, and 
slow progress was made until in 1845 'th^Y had 
twelve meeting-houses in Kings and Queens 
counties and two in Suffolk. It can hardly 
be said that their numbers have much in- 
creased, compared, at least, with other re 
ligious bodies. 

Oyster Bay township was for many years 
the centre of Quaker activity on Long Island, 
owing to the zeal and work of Elias Hicks, a 
most remarkable man, of whose labors and 
life an account appears elsewhere in this work. 

The Roman Catholic Church had a late 
beginning. There were few of that faith on 
Long in early times, and it was not until 
after the Revolutionary War that we find 
traces of the visits of missionary priests to the 
island ; but the results of their labor appears to 
have amounted practically to nothing. Early 
in the present century quite a number of mem- 
bers of that church were domiciled in Brook- 
lyn, but they crossed the ferry and worshipped 
in old St. Peter's Church in Barclay street, 
New York. The late Cardinal McCloskey, in 
1868, when laying the corner-stone of the still 
unfinished cathedral on Lafayette avenue, re- 
ferred to this when he said : 

There are many here who hardly hoped 
to see this day. Of that number I can men- 
tion one, and it is he who now addresses you. 
He well remembers the day when there was 
neither Catholic church, nor chapel, nor 
priest, nor altar, in all these surroundings. 
He remembers when, as a youth, when Sun- 
day morning came, he, as one of a happy 
group, wended his way along the shore to 
what was then called Hick's Ferry to cross 
the river, not in elegant and graceful steamers 
as now, but in an old and dingy horse-boat; 
going, led by the hand of tender and loving 
parents, to assist at the sacrifice of mass in the 
old brick church of St. Peter's in Barclay 

In fact it seems that the rectors of St. 
Peter's looked upon Long Island as part of 
their parish, and for many years were in the 
habit of sending priests across the ferry to 
hold services and perform the various offices 



of the church. Mass was celebrated at times 
in private houses, and while smaller bodies 
would have rushed in and built a church un- 
der the circumstances, the Catholics were hin- 
dered from doing so by the scarcity of priests, 
their own poverty and the desire of the church 
authorities not to be burdened in their spirit- 
ual work by hopeless accumulations of debt. 
In the beginning of the second decade of the 
nineteenth century, however, the then exist- 
ing condition of things was really regarded 
as against the interests of Roman Catholicism, 
and on January 7, 1822, a meeting was 
held to consider the advisability of undertak- 
ing the erection of a church building. It 
was then found that only seventy of the pro- 
posed parishioners were able to contribute in 
money or in labor to the project, but it was 
finally determined to proceed. Cornelius 
Henry offered as a gift a piece of property 
at Court and Congress streets (afterward, 
1836, used as a site for St. Paul's church) ; 
but it was thought that the eight lots at Jay 
and Chapel streets would be much more con- 
venient and these were secured. The price 
paid was $700. The erection of the building 
was at once proceeded with, and on August 
28, 1823, St. James' church started in its 
history. From St. James' the church spread 
out all over the island. In 1835 a chapel 
was built in Flushing, in 1838 another at 
Jamaica. A preaching station was established 
at Islip in 1840, at Smithtown, at Sag Har- 
bor and so on. In 1845 there were ten Roman 
Catholic churches on Long Island : now there 
the eighty-eight in the borough of Brooklyn 
alone, and twenty-five in the borough of 

Of the other religious bodies we need give 
little more than the dates of their first being 
represented by actual church buildings erected 
by them. The Hebrews in Brooklyn in 1856, 
having previously crossed over to New York 
to worship, hired a room which they fitted up 
as a synagogue, and it was retained until the 
Synagogue Beth Israel was built and opened 
for service in 1862. The Unitarians date from 
1833, the Universalists from 1841, and the 
Lutherans from 1847. 

A curious feature of the story of religion 
on Long Island is the long and patient strug- 
gle of the Swedenborgians. Dr. Prime in his 
history spoke of their first church as follows: 
"In 1813 or 1814 a member of the Congre- 
gational church at Baiting Hollow by the 
name of Horton imbibed the doctrines of 
Emanuel Swedenborg and in 1815 set up a 
separate place of worship. In 1831 a New 
Jerusalem church was organized, consisting 
of thirteen members. In 1839 a house of 
worship twenty-four by thirty-six feet was 
erected, but until recently Mr. Horton has 
been the principal conductor of their services. 
Since November, 1844, the Rev. Mr. Carll has 
been employed here a part of the time. From 
fifteen to twenty families attend. The present 
(1845) number of members is twenty-four." 

In 1839 one of the members of that church, 
Elijah Terry, organized a society in River- 
head, with ten members. They built a church 
and school-house combined and engaged part 
of the labors of Rev. Mr. Carll, but made no 
further progress in numerical strength. It was 
not until 1856 that a Swedenborgian church 
was organized in Brooklyn, and it now has 
three, with a united membership of 249. 




T is often stated by newspaper and 
other writers — sometimes even by 
reputable historical writers — that Long 
Island has been free from those per- 
secutions which form a blot on the history 
of some of the other sections of this continent. 
Certainly, they tell us, there were persecu- 
tions on Long Island' — there is no use deny- 
ing it — but they were not such as came from 
the malignant passions of the people, passions 
aroused by ignorance, or hysterical enthu- 
siasm, or prejudice, or popular caprice. Even 
those who admit the existence of such a blot 
assure us that what persecutions there were 
were official rather than popular. "It is true," 
says Dr. Prime (History, page 57), "that at 
an early period the Dutch Government of the 
New Netherland enacted severe laws against 
the Quakers and other sects whom they re- 
garded as heretics ; and in numerous other in- 
stances these laws were enforced with a de- 
gree of cruelty that was shocking to every feel- 
ing of humanity. But the people had no hand 
in the enactment of these laws and but few oi 
them could be induced to take any part in 
their execution." But we must remember that 
these were persecutions, and also that these 
persecutions were rendered possible in spite 
of (he arbitrary and paternal rule of the Dutch 
Governors only by the fact that the people 
either acquiesced in them or were indifferent 
to them. Obnoxious laws — that is, laws 
which were really obnoxious to the hearts 
and consciences of the people — could not 

easily be enforced in New Netherland even 
in the days of the Dutch regime, and a peo- 
ple who could defy Governor Stuyvesant and 
bring him to terms were not likely to be 
coerced into actively supporting any law of 
which they did not more or less heartily ap- 
prove. The Director was a powerful poten- 
tate in the days when old Governor Pietrus 
stumped about, but he needed the help of the 
people when action was necessary. 

There certainly were times of persecution 
on Long Island, as elsewhere; but they were 
never carried to the same extent as in many 
parts of New England; and indeed it seems 
to us that so long as a man behaved himself 
even in the western end of the island where 
the Dutch influence was most secure, his re- 
ligious or other sentiments were seldom, if 
ever, interfered with. When we went around 
proclaiming his differences with the ruling 
regime, or with the views held by the mass 
of the people, then trouble began. In the 
eastern end, where Puritan ideas held sway, 
each community passed judgment on each 
new-comer, and if he did not prove acceptable 
he was told to pass on. If he obeyed quietly, 
that was the end of the matter. But even 
among the Long Island Puritans a Quaker 
or other heretic was never persecuted for 
the sake of his belief unless he persisted in 
proclaiming that belief "from the housetops." 

That was the trouble with the Quakers at 
the beginning of their story in New Nether- 
land, and that really led to all that was done 



against them in the way of persecution on 
Long Island. The Friends at that time were 
an aggiessive body; and in the New World, 
where they expected that freedom of con- 
science would prevail, they never lost an op- 
portunity of preaching the Word and pro- 
claiming their doctrines. This aggressiveness 
led to their persecution in New England and 
to the severe penal laws there enacted against 
them.' But penal laws have never yet been 
able to kill religious sentiment. Even the 
scaffold did not crush out Quakerism in Bos- 
ton, and public whippings and banishments 
and confiscations only served to show that 
these people were perfectly willing to suffer 
and even to die for the sake of the dictates 
of their conscience. They aimed to bring 
about a universal religion, they had no respect 
for mere forms, and believed the spirit could 
and did find utterance even through the most 
ignorant voice, and they put women, as public 
exhorterij and in religious and all other mat- 
ters, on an equality with men. They scowled 
at form, at "isms," at lavishness in dress, and 
at mere human authority, whether manifested 
on a throne or in a pulpit. To them the 
theocratic notions of New England were as 
utterly unworthy of regard as the claims of 
the Church of Rome or that of England. It 
was a theocracy founded on work ; their 
theocracy was founded of the Spirit; it was a 
theocracy founded on worldly principles, on 
arms, on oaths, preserving social distinctions 
and upholding the authority of the civil mag- 
istrate, the representative of royalty, a com- 
bination at once of the cross and the sword; 
their theocracy was measured only by love. 
Their ideas of religious toleration were com- 
plete and thoroughgoing, the ideas of the Pu- 
ritans on that question were bounded by their 
meeting places and their church edicts. Cer- 
tainly these eairly Quakers were extravagant 
in many ways, even at times extravagant 
enough to shock all sense of decency and pro- 
priety; but they were terribly in earnest and 
openly and vigorously proceeded, as they de- 
clared the Spirit impelled them, to denounce 

what they regarded as the shortcomings of the 
Puritan system as practiced in New England 
as soon as they reached that favored land and 
surveyed its fleshpdts and extravagances. To 
the Puritan, regarding himself as the most 
perfect product of the religious spirit of the 
time, the representative of the chosen prophets 
of old, the highest development of religious 
thought and' toleration, the extravagances of 
the Quakers, and in particular the extrava- 
graces of the Quaker women, were all wrong 
and needed to be repressed with a strong 
harid; and the strong hand at once put forth 
all its strength. 

In August, 1675, a boat arrived in New 
York Bay from New England, having on 
board eleven Quakers who had been expelled 
from that colony. Two of them, women, as 
soon as they landed in New Amsterdam, began 
preaching on the streets to the astonishment 
and disgust of old Peter Stuyvesant, a 
straight-laced, single-minded supporter of the 
Dutch church. He did not understand the 
Quakers' theology, and as they seemed to him 
to mix questions of public policy along with 
their religion he soon pronounced their senti- 
ments and ongoings seditious, heretical and 
abominable. That settled the Quaker ques- 
tion and peace of mind in New Amsterdam 
foT the time being. 

The Quaker visitors soon scattered in pur- 
suance of their mission to disseminate their 
doctrines, but at least one of them, Robert 
Hodgson, went to Long Island and as he jour- 
neyed held conventicles by the way. He was 
arrested for this at Hempstead and promptly 
lodged in jail, along with two women who 
had entertained him in their home. Stuy- 
vesant at once ordered the three prisoners to 
be sent to New Amsterdam, where he seems 
to have released the women after giving them 
the supreme benefit of a piece of his mind. 
Hodgson, however, was to feel the full force 
of the ire of the doughty Governor. He was 
sentenced to two years' imprisonment at hard 
labor or pay a fine of 600 guilders. Such a 
fine was beyond his power to liquidate and he 



was quickly put to the alternative. Chained to 
a wheelbarrov/, he was ordered to work, but 
refused, and was thereupon lashed by a negro 
until he fainted. He remained in prison for 
some months, sdourged at frequent intervals 
until insensibility rendered the infliction of 
further pain unnecessary, and was humiliated 
in many ways. The cruelty practiced toward 
him was brutal in the extreme and its effects 
were threatening even his life. Then from 
sheer pity at his awful condition the Gover- 
nor's sister interposed on his behalf and he 
was released, under a new sentence of banish- 
ment from the province. 

The Governor seems never to have lost his 
enmity to the Quakers ; but it is p>ossible that 
his venom was aroused by his political notions 
and by reasons other than religious. He cer- 
tainly did not love their religious views, yet 
had they entertained these quietly it is pos- 
sible he would not have bothered his head 
about them. But he hated to see women 
preaching in public, and especially in the public 
streets, and he was opposed to conventicles 
or unauthorized religious meetings, because 
such gatherings, especially among people of 
English birth or New England associations, 
might be used to hatch conspiracies against 
the State or colony. So he determined to 
stamp out conventicles whenever he found 
them, paying particular attention to Long 
Island, which was peculiarly subject to infec- 
tion from Connecticut and Rhode Island. 
Prosecutions were accordingly directed from 
time to time against William and John Bowne, 
Henry Townsend, John Townsend, Samuel 
Spicer, John Tilton, William Noble, Edward 
Hart and Edward Feake, all of whom openly 
confessed their adherence to the doctrines of 
the Quakers. Most of these (including 
Spicer, Tilton and the Bowne family) were 
residents of Gravesend, and several, it is said, 
had accompanied Lady Moody from New 
England. In fact her ladyship's home was 
the headquarters of Quakerism, although she 
did not seem to have embraced all its teach- 
ings until a later period in her career. 

The Townsends belonged to Flushing and 
the story of their persecution was different 
from that of the others, inasmuch as it evoked 
a spirited protest from their fellow citizens. 
On September 15, 1657, Henry Townsend 
was adjudged guilty of calling conventicles 
and fined eight pounds (Flanders), with the 
alternative of leaving the province. On the 
news of this becoming public the people of 
Flushing and Jamaica held a public meeting 
and drew up a remonstrance to the Governor 
in which they admonished him that Scriptur- 
ally he was wrong in his policy of suppression, 
and that he was also acting in disregard of the 
laws of the Province, and against the tenor 
and the purport of the patent under which 
these two communities were prospering. This 
document was signed by Edward Hart, the 
clerk of the meeting, Tobias Feaks, the local 
Sheriff, and by William Noble, Nicholas Par- 
sell, William Thorne, Sr., Michael Milner, 
William Thorne, Jr., Henry Townsend, Nich- 
olas Blackford, George Wright, Edward Terk, 
John Foard, Mirabel Free, Henry Bamtell, 
John Stoar, N. Cole, Benjamin Hubbard, Ed- 
ward Hart, John Maidon, John Townsend, Ed- 
ward Farrington, Philip Ed, William Pidgion, 
George Blee, Elias Doughtre, Antonie Field, 
Richard Horton, Nathaniel Coe, Robert Field, 
Sr., and Robert Field, Jr. 

As will be seen by these names the Dutch 
population seemingly took no interest in this 
affair and it was left for those of British 
stock to take the initiative in this skirmish 
for religious liberty. Very likely all of those 
who signed the document were themselves 
Quakers, or had pronounced leanings toward 
Quakerism ; but be that as it may there is no 
reason to doubt that so far as the Dutch were 
concerned they were heartily in accord with 
the position assumed by Stuyvesant. Sheriff 
Feaks presented the remonstrance to the Gov- 
ernor and was promptly arrested. Farring- 
ton and Noble, two of the signers who held 
office as Magistrates, were arrested as soon 
as possible after the redoubtable Governor 
Peter had deciphered their names in the re- 



monstrance, or Nicasius De Sille, his Attorney 
General, had deciphered them for him. Clerk 
Hart was also called in question, admitted 
drawing up the remonstrance and was there- 
upon promptly arrested. Townsend was again 
fined. On January 8, 1658, the Magistrates 
of Jamaica (Rustdorp) turned informers and 
conveyed word to the irate Governor that 
Henry Townsend was still having conventicles 
in his house. So he was cited to appear be- 
fore Stuyvesant. His brother John was also 
cited, but as his connection with the whole 
matter was not clear he was held under only 
£12 bail to ensure his appearance when de- 
sired by the authorities. 

The position of Henry was more grave, 
and we quote from- Thompson: 

On the 15th of January Henry Townsend 
attended and was told by the Attorney General 
that as he had treated the placards of the Di- 
rector General and Council with contempt and 
persisted in lodging Quakers, he should be 
condemned in an amende of f 100 (Flanders) 
to be an example for other transgressors and 
contumelious offenders of the good order and 
placards of the Director General and Council 
in New Netherland, and so to remain ar- 
rested till the said amende be paid, besides 
the costs and mises of Justice. 

On the 28th Sheriff Peaks was brought 
from prison, and "though," says the record, 
"he confessed he had received an order of the 
Director General not to admit into the afore- 
said village (Jamaica) any of that heretical 
and abominable sect called Quakers, or pro- 
cure them lodgings, yet did so in the face of 
the placards, and, what was worse, was a 
leader in composing a seditious and detestable 
chartabel, delivered by him and signed by him, 
and his accomplices, wherein they justify the 
abominable sect of the Quakers, who treat with 
contempt all political and ecclesiastical author- 
ity and undermine the foundations of all gov- 
ernment and religion." He was therefore de- 
graded from his office and sentenced to be 
banished or pay an amende of 200 guilders. 

On the 26th of March, 1658, the Gover- 

nor, in order to prevent as much as possible 
the consequences of Quaker influence among 
the people, resolved to change the municipal 
government of the town of Flushing, and 
therefore, after formally pardoning the town 
for its mutinous orders and resolutions, an- 
nounced that "in future I shall appoint a 
sheriff, acquainted not only with the Dutch 
language but with Dutch practical law, and 
that in future there shall be chosen seven of 
the most reasonable and respectable of the in- 
habitants to be called tribunes or townsmen, 
and whom the sheriff and magistrates shall 
consult in ■ all cases ; and a tax of twelve 
stivers per morgan is laid on ithe inhabitants 
for the support of an orthodox minister, and 
such as do not sign a written submission to 
the same in six weeks may dispose of their 
property at their pleasure and leave the soil 
of this government." 

On the council records of January 8, r66i 
(says Thompson), it is stated that the Gov- 
ernor addressed the people of Jamaica, in- 
forming them that he had received their peti- 
tion for a minister to baptize some of their 
children, and their information that the Qua- 
kers and other sects held private conventicles. 
He tells them that he had dispatched his 
deputy sheriff, Resolve Waldron, and one of 
his clerks, Nicholas Bayard, to take notice 
thereof, and requiring the inhabitants to give 
exact information where and in what house 
such unlawful conventicles were kept, what 
men or women had been present who called 
the meeting, and of all the circumstances ap- 
pertaining thereto. In consequence of this 
inquisitorial espionage of the Governor's dep- 
uty, Henry Townsend was a third time 
dragged to the city and again incarcerated in 
the dungeons at Fort Amsterdam. On the 
day following he and Samuel Spicer, who had 
also given entertainment to a Quaker at his 
mother's house in Gravesend, were brought 
from their loathsome prison. It was proved 
by. witnesses procured for the occasion that 
Townsend had given lodging to a Quaker, 
and besides notifying his neighbors had even 
allowed him to preach at his house and in his 
presence, also that Spicer was present both at 
the meeting at Jamaica and Gravesend and 
procured lodging for the Quaker at his 



mother's house. They were accordingly con- 
demned in an amende of 600 guilders each, 
in conformity to the placard respecting con- 
venticles, and to be imprisoned until such 
amende be paid. And further, that Henry 
Townsend be banished out of the province, for 
an example to others. The widov^r Spicer, 
mother of Samuel, was also arrested, accused 
and condemned to an amende of £15 (Flan- 

The case of John Tilton and his wife, 
Mary, is also interesting. Tilton settled in 
Gravesend at the same time as Lady Moody 
and probably accompanied her from New Eng- 
land, where doubtless he got his first impres- 
sions of the doctrines of the Friends, the 
"abominable sect," according to Stuyvesant, 
"who vilify both the political magistrates and 
the ministers of God's holy Word." Tilton 
and his wife were arrested October 5, 1662, 
and lodged in the prison at Fort Amsterdam. 
They remained in durance vile for a few days, 
when they were brought before the Council, 
found guilty of entertaining Quakers and at- 
tending conventicles and ordered to leave the 
province before the 20th of November fol- 
lowing, under the alternative penalty of being 
publicly whipped. Their sentences seem to 
have been remitted, however, probably through 
the influence of Lady Moody, for Mary Tilton 
•continued to reside at Gravesend until her 
■death. May 23, 1683, and John Tilton also 
maintained his home there until he, too, passed 
away, in 1688. He was, we take it, a man 
of deep religious sentiment and so continued 
to the end, most probably becoming more and 
more devoted to Quakerism as the time went 
on, for by his will, which he had drawn up 
about a year before his death, he bequeathed 
a piece of land as a burial ground "for all 
persons in ye everlasting truthe of the Gos- 

In many ways the most notable of all 
Stuyvesant's experiences with Quakers lay 
around the case of John Bowne, of Flushing, 
not only because the extreme measure which 
he adopted showed the malignancy of his feel- 

ings toward these people, but because it 
brought down upon him, what he probably 
ielt more keenly than he could any other form 
of misfortune, a clear-cut rebuke from his 
home Government and the nullification of the 
sentence he imposed. 

On September i, 1662, Bowne was ar- 
rested, and on the 14th of that month the 
Governor and his Council considered his case 
and imposed a fine of £25 on his being found 
guilty of lodging Quakers and permitting 
conventicles to be held in his house. Being 
a man of substance, he was permitted at once 
to go at large ; but as he showed no intention 
of paying his fine he was again arrested. On 
Bowne peremptorily refusing to pay, the Gov- 
ernor determined to make a terrible example 
of him and ordered him to be deported to 
Holland and there be punished by the highest 
authorities and in a manner in keeping with 
the enormity of the case. Accompanying 
Bowne was a formal letter on his offense, 
drawn up by the Governor and Council and 
addressed to the Directors of the West India 
Company, "honorable, right respectable gentle- 
men," Stuyvesant called them. 

In the communication the authorities were 
told how the Governor's "placards" against 
Quakerism were treated with contempt, how 
the local authorities complained about the 
"unsufferable obstinacy" of these people^ and 
so forth. "Among others as one of their 
principal leaders, named John Bowne, who for 
his transgressions was, in conformity to the 
placards, condemned in an amende of 150 
guilders in seawant, who has been placed un- 
der arrest more than three' months for his 
unwillingness to pay, obstinately persisting 
in his refusal, in which he still continues, so 
that we at last resolved, or rather were com- 
pelled, to transport him in ship from this 
province in the hope that others might, by it, 
be discouraged. If, nevertheless, by these 
means no more salutary impression is' made 
upon others, we shall, though against our in- 
clinations, be compelled to prosecute such 
persons in a more severe manner, on which 



we previously solicit to be favored with your 
honors' wise and far-seeing judgment." 

Bowne's case was patiently investigated 
by the West India Company at Amsterdam, 
and he was finally set at liberty and declared 
free to return to his home across the sea 
whenever he so listed. Besides, the company 
sent the Governor a letter, dated Amster- 
dam, April 6, 1663, conveying a most severe 
and pointed rebuke for his entire policy 
against the Quakers, saying, "Although i't is 
our anxious desire that similar and other sec- 
tarians (Quakers, etc.) may not be found 
among us, yet we doubt extremely the policy 
of adopting rigorous measures against them. 
In the youth of your existence you ought 
rather to encourage than check the popula- 
tion of the colony. The consciences of men 
ought to be free and unshackeled as long 
as they continue moderate, peaceable, inof- 
fensive and not hostile to the Government. 
Such have been the maxims of prudence and 
toleration by which the Magistrates of this 
city have been governed, and the consequences 
have been that the oppressed and persecuted 
of every country have found among us an 
asylum from distress. Follow in the same 
steps and you will be blessed." 

The blood in Peter Stuyvesant's veins 
doubtless bounded with such vigor when he 
read this stinging but polite rebuke that he 
must have felt it circulate even in the silver 
ferrule of his wooden leg! We can imagine 
how he swore; but it was the beginning of 
the end; his reign was virtually over and his 
whims and prejudices and opinions were be- 
ginning to lose their authority. Unknown to 
him then, the enemy was almost at his gates, 
and by the time John Bowne reached New 
Amsterdam on his return from Europe the 
Province was in the hands of the British and 
Stuyvesant had retired to his Bouwerie, to 
nurse his wrath and moralize over his fallen 
greatness as best he could. It is said that he 
afterward acquired a measure of respect for 
Bowne and was impelled to regard him as a 
good, honest citizen. That we doubt. But 

the Governor was himself an honest man, a 
man of undoubted courage, and he probably 
could not help entertaining a feeling of ad- 
miration for the man who had worsted him 
in the height of his power and had drawn 
down upon him the frowns of those whom he 
duteously regarded as "the salt of the earth." 
But Governor Stuyvesant was not the only 
persecutor of the Quakers in Long Island. 
The same prejudice existed in the eastern di- 
vision of the island against these people that 
existed in the west where the Dutch ruled, 
possibly because the people in the east were 
in touch with the dwellers in New England, 
and the stories of the doings of, and against, 
these religious enthusiasts aroused the same 
sentiment of animosity east of Oyster Bay 
that existed in Boston and Rhode Island. We 
find a notable instance of this in the history 
of Southold. One of the most outspoken and 
troublesome of the New England Quakers, 
Humphrey Norton, made a name for himself 
there by the force of his denunciations against 
the Puritan preachers and by the assiduity 
with which he wrote insulting letters to the 
Magistrates wherever he sojourned. He had 
no sooner reached Southold on his travels than 
he went to its church, interrupted good old 
Dominie Youngs in his discourse, denounced 
the local authorities, and raised a disturbance 
all around. This was more than Southold 
could endure: so Norton was at once placed 
in confinement and as soon as possible sent 
to Connecticut for trial. That event took place 
in March, 1658, when he was duly convicted, 
after conducting himself in "an insolent and 
boisterous" way in the presence of the judges. 
After careful consideration these Solons de- 
clared that "the least they could do and dis- 
charge good conscience towards God" was to- 
order Norton to pay a fine of £20, to be 
severely whipped, to be branded with the letter 
H upon his hand, and then to be banished 
from the jurisdiction of the court. This was 
a pretty cumulative array of punishments; 
but certainly Norton's manner and methods 
were not such as to inspire much sympathy 



for his religious views; and in his case, at all 
events, he was probably punished as much for 
being a general disturber of the peace, and 
for his outspoken contempt for the lawful 
rulers of the people, as for his theological 
tenets. In the eastern end of the island the 
Quakers were regarded as malefactors and 
as people to be shuned, but this seems to 
have been the only instance when the law was 
invoked against . one of them and pushed to 
its limit. But it was not for nearly a century 
later that the animus against the Friends sub- 
sided, and by that time these people had them- 
selves thrown off much of the vehemence and 
angularities which had for a long time raised 
up enemies against them wherever they went. 

Under the British Government they found 
no more scope for their antics than they had 
experienced under doughty old Peter. In the 
opening of the eighteenth century we read of 
a case which created a great deal of interest 
in its day, and with a recapitulation of its in- 
cidents we may fittingly close this section of 
the present chapter. 

One of the strangest and most erratic of 
the early preachers in America was George 
Keith, who was born at Aberdeen, Scotland, in 
1645. tie Vv^as educated at Mareschal College, 
with the view of becoming a Presbyterian 
clergyman. Soon after he was graduated, 
Keith renounced Presbyterianism and joined 
the Society of Friends. He was then induced 
by the leading Quakers in his native city to 
emigrate to America, with the view not only 
of improving his own temporal position but 
also of helping to spread their doctrines in 
the New World. He arrived at New York 
in 1684, and for four years was Surveyor of 
New Jersey. In 1689 he removed to Phila- 
delphia, where he conducted a Friends' school, 
but that occupation was too quiet and monot- 
onous to suit his notions, and he soon gave it 
up. We next find him traveling through the 
country like a Quaker Don Quixote trying to 
win people over to the views of the Society. 
In New England he engaged in heated con- 
troversies with Increase Mather, Cotton 

Mather and others, and he made considerable 
commotion, but, so far" as can be made out, 
few converts. On his return to Philadelphia, 
being in a belligerent mood, he quarreled with 
the Quakers there, the quarrel being undoubt- 
edly caused by his own infirm temper, his own 
sense of the failure of his mission, and to 
some peculiar innovations he advocated and 
which none of the brethren seemed disposed 
to listen to. Then he went to England and 
laid his whole case before William Penn ; but 
that leader denounced him as an apostate and 
Keith was excommunicated from the Society, 
as completely as the gentle Quakers could 
excommunicate anybody. 

Then Keith founded a religious denomina- 
tion of his own, which he called the Christian 
or Baptist Quakers (properly called the 
Keithians), and in which he had a chance for 
ventilating some original views he held on 
the millennium and concerning the transmi- 
gration of souls. The Keithians, however, did 
not hold long together, and in 1701 its founder 
was a full-fledged and enthusiastic minister 
of the Church of England! Here, probably, 
because years had softened the natural con- 
tentiousness of his disposition, or the church 
itself allowed more latitude for individual 
views on various doctrinal matters, he found 
a secure foothold. Nay, more, he found an 
opportunity for repaying the Society of 
Friends for its rather summary treatment of 
him. He was sent as a missionary to Penn- 
sylvania and New Jersey, with the view of 
converting, or perverting, as many Quakers 
as possible, and he afterward was wont to 
boast that in that expedition some 700 Friends 
were by his instrumentality received into com- 
munion with the English Church. . It was then 
that he visited Long Island. Soon after his 
return to England he was appointed vicar of 
Edburton, in Essex, and in that beautiful 
parish his declining years were spent in tran- 

Keith was a man of a decidedly superior 
cast of intellect, an eloquent and attractive 
speaker and preacher, an able and ready con- 



troversialist, and, but for his choleric disposi- 
tion, would have livfed a life of more than 
■ordinary usefulness and might even have at- 
tained to real power and eminence. He was 
a voluminous writer, and in the fifty or more 
volumes, some in bulky quarto, or pamphlets 
which we know to have come from his pen, 
we can trace the current of his religious views 
through all their changes. He appears in 
them all to have been singularly honest, made 
no attempt to conceal or belittle his own de- 
nominational changes and even published re- 
tractions of his own published writings. His 
later works were mainly taken up with what 
he regarded as the fallaciousness of Quaker- 
ism, and he attacked the Society of Friends 
from every point of view and with the utmost 
savagery ! 

On March 24, 1702, Samuel Bownas left 
England, as a missionary from the Society of 
Friends, and landed at Baltimore. From there 
after a while he started out on a preaching ex- 
pedition, but wherever he went he was fol- 
lowed by Keith, who by that time had fairly 
entered upon his campaign agamst his former 
■co-religionists, and the two passed through 
Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Long Island, 
the one preaching the Gospel of love, the other 
virtually the "gospel" of hate. At Hempstead, 
on November 21, 1702, Bownas preached in 
the home of Thomas Pearsall. Then know- 
ing the despicable attitude of the reigning 
Governor, Lord Cornbury, toward all shades 
of sectarianism, Keith, finding he could silence 
Bownas in no other way, manipulated matters 
so that information of the meeting should be, 
laid before the magistracy. As a result Bow- 
nas was arrested on November 29, while en- 
gaged in a "conventicle" in a house at Flush- 
ing. He was taken to Jama'ica and given an 
examination before Justices Joseph Smith, 
Edward Burroughs, John Smith and Jonathan 
Whitehead; but the result of the hearing was 
never in doubt, although it is said that White- 
head not only sympathized with the prisoner 
but would have set him at liberty. He was 
ordered to give bail in £2,000 to answer, but 

he replied that he would give no bail, not even 
were it reduced to three-half pence. Justice 
Whitehead expressed his willingness to pro- 
vide the bail, but the prisoner remained ob- 
durate and was sent to prison for three 
months. He passed the days of his incarcera- 
tion in learning how to make shoes, in which 
he ultimately became so proficient that he was 
able to earn fifteen shillings a week and so 
support himself wherever he went. 

In February, 1703, Bownas was duly 
brought to trial at a special Oyer and Ter- 
miner Court held in Jamaica, with Chief Jus- 
tice Bridges and Justices Robert Miller, 
Thomas Willet, John Jackson and Edward 
Burroughs as associates. A grand jury was 
impanelled, consisting of Richard Cornell, 
Ephraim Goulding, John Clayer, Isaac Hicks, 
Robert Hubbs, Reginald Mott, Richard Val- 
entine, Nathaniel Coles, Joseph Dickerson, 
Isaac Douglity, Samuel Emery, John Smith, 
John Sering, John Oakley, Samuel Hallet, 
Richard Alsop, John Hunt, James Clement and 
William Bloodgood, men whose memory 
should ever he held in honor by all who value 
the blessings of religious liberty and tolera- 
tion. An indictment against Bownas was pre- 
scribed to this Grand Jury for consideration 
and approval, but it was returned to the 
bench indorsed "Ignoramus," the legal term 
formerly used on a bill of indictment when 
there was not deemed sufficient evidence to 
convict or sufficient ground to form an of- 
fense. The Judges appear to have stormed 
and threatened, but the members of the Grand 
Jury not only remained unmoved but even 
threatened the Judges in their turn. Bownas 
was re-committed to prison. Judge Bridges 
ordering him to be confined more closely than 
ever and threatening even to send him to Eng- 
land in chains. The little crisis created quite 
a commotion and Keith made it the excuse 
for issuing a pamphlet on the case full of the 
vituperation of which he was such a master 
and which so vilified Bownas that it defeated 
its purpose and added to the number of the 
Quaker's friends. One of the Grand Jurors, 



Thomas Hicks, visited Bownas in prison and 
comforted him to the best of his abihty, assur- 
ing him that the threat to send him to England 
could not be carried out, as it was in direct 
opposition to the laws of the province. De- 
spite his many friends, however, Bownas re- 
mained in close confinement until October, 
when he again faced a grand jury. It also 
considered his case, indorsed the word "Ignor- 
amus" across the indictment and he was ac- 
cordingly discharged from custody and legal 

The movement against witchcraft which is 
such a foul disgrace in the history of New 
England as well as of old England, may well 
be — as it often is — put down among the list of 
religious persecutions which, together or sin- 
gly, darken the story of the Christian religion. 
In the case of witchcraft there was added not 
only the horror of an alleged association with 
the Prince of Darkness and his cohorts, and 
the implied upsetting of all goodness and 
piety, but also a sense of personal danger which 
brought the resultant malignant horrors of 
witchcraft into the homes even of the humblest 
people, and so imposed on all the duty of 
suppressing it not alone by the meshes of the 
law but also by any means which might safely 
bring it about. The witch, unlike the Quaker, 
was not alone the enemy of the magistrate 
and the minister, but of all classes of the peo- 
ple, for the spells and cantrips of all those 
who had sold themselves to the Evil One were 
directed as freely against the babe in the 
cradle, the woman engaged in her household 
duties, the farmer in the field, against the live 
stock, the growing crop, the ship at sea, as 
against those who held high places, those who 
made and enacted the laws ; against the man- 
sion, the cottage. Therefore we can understand 
how, when the delusion against witchcraft 
once seized the popular mind, it aroused pas- 
sions and instigated cruelties to an extent at 
which in the present day we wonder and 

To the credit of Long Island be it said 

that while the people there seemed to fully 
realize all the imputations against witchcraft,, 
to believe in them, and to possess a fair share 
of the element of superstition which seems tO' 
enter into the human mental make-up in spite 
of education, of experience, of the dictates of 
science and common sense, they did not pro- 
ceed to any of the outrageous excesses which 
disfigure the annals, for instance, of Boston. 
We do not read of torturings and persecutions 
and indignities and wanton insults which 
throw such a hideous haze over the story of 
New England's greatness. Still the craze 
found root in what we now call the Empire 
State and its most noted local instances form^ 
part of the record of Long Island. The most 
curious of these took place in 1660, when 
Mary Wright was arrested in Oyster Bay 
charged with having sold herself to Satan 
and with practicing witchcraft. We know 
nothing of the details of her alleged crimes- 
and misdemeanors, but local gossip and in- 
herent fear doubtless called aloud for her con- 
viction. She was old, and poor, and ignorant, 
and apparently without any friends. The local 
Dogberrys sat in judgment on her case, but,, 
after due cogitation, concluded it was too in- 
volved to be understood by them or too dia- 
bolical in its nature for them to inflict a severe 
enough punishment. Possibly, too, they want- 
ed to get rid of a case which seemed to be 
full of trouble all around and in which any 
punishment they should inflict might by some- 
unseen agency result in their own spiritual 
and natural undoing. So they resolved to 
steer clear of it altogether and sent the poor 
woman for trial to the General Court of Mas- 
sachusetts, where all the most absolute and up- 
to-date methods of detecting witchcraft were 
employed with the most perfect results. There 
she was conducted and in due time tried ; but 
as no evidence could be found she was ac- 
quitted. Her evil fate, however, still pursued 
her, for she was no sooner cleared of the 
charge of being a witch than she was accused 
of being a Quaker, and on that grave indict- 



ment she was tried, found guilty, sentenced 
to banishment, and so passes from our view. 
Somewhat similar in several of its details 
was the case of Goody Garlicke of Easthamp- 
ton, who, in 1657, was arrested and hailed 
before the magistrates of that town charged 
with practicing witchcraft. The evidence 
■ against her was held to be remarkably clear 
and involved among other details the death 
of a child. Goody, before her marriage to 
John Garlicke, had been employed as a do- 
mestic in the house of Lion Gardiner. One of 
the other women servants employed about the 
place had taken an Indian child to nurse for 
the sake of some small remuneration therefor, 
and in doing so had starved her own child 
who pined away and died. To shield herself 
from the consequences of her own cruelty and 
neglect she ascribed the death of her child to 
witchcraft and in due time openly accused 
Goody of being the witch. From this, how- 
ever, she was ultimately cleared by the evi- 
dence of Lion Gardiner, who openly accused 
the mother of being a murderess. The mag- 
istrates of Easthampton, however, with the 
evidence before them, entertain no doubt of 
Goody's guilt, but, owing to the heinousness 
of the crime, ordered the case sent to the Gen- 
eral Court at Hartford for final adjudication. 
There the matter seemed to have somehow 
ended. It is indeed doubtful if Goody was 
really deported to Hartford, and probably the 
influence of Gardiner saved her from further 
legal persecution, if it did not restore her to the 
good opinion and confidence of her neighbors 
and gossips. 

Brookhaven furnishes us with a case which 
gives us a much clearer view than do either 
of the above of the manner in which such 
prosecutions were carried on. In 1665 Ralph 
Hall and his wife were suspected by their 
neighbors at Setauket with practicing witch- 
craft, and probably Dominie Brewster, a de- 
scendant of one of the Pilgrims and a Puritan 
of the strictest school, believed in their guilt 
or otherwise the case would never have reach- 
ed the stage of public trial. As in the other 

cases the local authorities declined the final 
adjudication of the matter and after a hearing 
the prisoners were sent to New York. There 
the trial came off Oct. 2, 1665, before a jury 
composed, as will be seen, of six men belong- 
ing to Long Island and six from the city of 
New York. We copy the account of the trial 
which appears in O'Callaghan's "Documentary 
History," vol. 4, page 133: 

At ye Court of Assizes held in New Yorke 
ye 2d day of October 1665 &c. 

The Tryall of Ralph Hall and Mary his 
wife, upon suspicion of Witchcraft. 

The names of the Persons who served on 
the Grand Jury : Thomas Baker, fiforeman of 
ye Jury, of East Hampton; Capt. John Sy- 
monds of Hempsteed; Mr. Hallet, Anthony 
Waters, Jamaica ; Thomas Wandall of Marsh- 
path Kills ; Mr. Nicolls of Stamford ; Balthazer 
de Haart, John Garland, Jacob Leisler, An- 
thonio de Mill, Alexander Munro, Thomas 
Searle, of New Yorke. 

The Prisoners being brought to the Barr 
by Allard Anthony, Sheriffe of New Yorke, 
This following Indict was read, first against 
Ralph Hall and then agst Mary his wife, vizt. 

The Constable and Overseers of the Towne 
of Seatallcott, in the East Riding of York- 
shire upon Long Island, Do Present for our 
soveraigne Lord the King, That Ralph Hall 
of Seatallcott aforesaid, upon ye 25th day of 
December; being Christmas day last, was 
Twelve Monthes, in the 15th yeare of the 
Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord, Charles ye 
Second, by the Grace of God, King of Eng- 
land, Scotland, ffrance and Ireland, Defender 
of the ffaith &c, and severall other dayes and 
times since that day, by some detestable and 
wicked Arts, commonly called Witchcraft and 
Sorcery, did (as is suspected) maliciously and 
feloniously, practice and Exercise at the said 
Towne of Seatalcott in the East Riding of 
Yorkshire on Long Island aforesaid, on the 
Person of George Wood, late of the same 
place by which wicked and detestable Arts, the 
said George Wood (as is suspected) most 
dangerously and mortally sickned and lan- 
guished. And not long after by the aforesaid 
wicked and detestable Arts, the said George 
Wood (as is likewise suspected) dyed. 

Moreover, The Constable and overseers of 
the said Towne of Seatalcott, in the East Rid- 
ing of Yorkshire upon Long Island aforesaid, 
do further Present for our Soveraigne Lord 



the King, That some while after the death of 
the aforesaid George Wood, The said Ralph 
Hall did (as is suspected) divers times by ye 
like wicked and detestable Arts, commonly 
called Witchcraft and Sorcery, Maliciously 
and feloniously practise and Exercise at the 
said Towne of Seatalcott, in the East Riding 
of Yorkshire upon Long Island aforesaid, on 
the Person of an Infant Childe of Ann Rogers, 
widdow of ye aforesaid George Wood deceas- 
ed, by wh wicked and detestable Arts, the said 
Infant Childe (as is suspected) most danger- 
ously & mortally sickned and languished, and 
not long after by the said Wicked and de- 
testable Arts (as is likewise suspected) dyed, 
And so ye said Constable and Overseers do 
Present, That the said George Wood, and the 
sd Infante sd Childe by the wayes and 
meanes aforesaid, most wickedly maliciously 
and feloniously were (as is suspected) mur- 
dered by the said Ralph Hall at the times 
and place aforesaid, agst ye Peace of Our 
Soveraigne Lord ye King and against the 
Laws of this Government in such Cases Pro- 

The like Indictmt was read, against Mary 
the wife of Ralph Hall. 

There upon, severall Depositions, accusing 
ye Prisonrs of ye fact for which they were 
endicted were read, but no witnesse appeared 
to give Testimony in Court vive voce. 

Then the Clarke calling upon Ralph Hall, 
bad him hold up his hand, and read as follows : 

Ralph Hall thou standest here indicted, 
for that having not ye feare of God before 
thine eyes. Thou did'st upon the 25th day of 
December, being Christmas day last was 12 
moneths, and at seu'all other times since, as 
is suspected, by some wicked and detestable 
Arts, commonly called witchcraft and Sorcery, 
maliciously and feloniously practice and Exer- 
cise, upon the Bodyes of George Wood, an 
Infant Childe of Ann Rogers, by which said 
Arts, the said George Wood and the Infant 
Childe (as is suspected) most dangerously 
and mortally fell sick, and languisht unto 
death. Ralph Hall, what dost thou say for 
thyself e, art thou guilty, or not guilty? 

Mary the wife of Ralph Hall was called 
upon in like manner. 

They both Pleaded not guilty and threw 
themselves to bee Tried by God and the Coun- 

Whereupon, their case was referr'd to ye 
Jury, who brought in to the Court, the follow- 
ing verdict vizt : 

Wee having seriously considered the Case 

committed to our Charge, against ye Prisoners 
at the Barr, and having well weighed ye Evi- 
dence, of what the woman is Charged with, 
but nothing considerable of value to take away 
her life. But in reference to the man wee 
finde nothing considerable to charge him with. 
The Court there upon gave this sentence. 
That the man should hee bound Body and 
Goods for his wive's Appearance, at the next 
Sessions, and so on from Sessions to Sessions 
as long as they stay within this Government, 
In the meanwhile to bee of ye good Behavior. 
So they were return'd into the Sheriffs Cus- 
tody and upon Entring into a Recognizance, 
according to the Sentence of the Court, they 
were released. 

The end of the case was reached some 
three years later, when Governor Nicolls per- 
emptorily removed it from further legal con- 
sideration by issuing the following order: 

A Release to Ralph Hall & Mary his wife 
from ye Recognizance they entered into at the 

These Are to Certify all whom it may 
Concerne That Ralph Hall & Mary his wife 
(at present living upon Great Minifords Isl- 
and) are hereby released acquitted from any 
& all Recognizances, bonds of appearance or 
other obligations — entred into by them or 
either of them for the peace or good behavior 
upon account of any accusation or Indictment 
upon suspition of Witch Craft brought into 
the Cort of Assizes against them in the year 
1665. There haueving beene no direct proofes 
nor furthr prosecucon of them or either of_ 
them since — Giuen undr my hand at Fort 
James in New Yorke this 21st day of Aug- 
ust, 1668. R. NICOLLS. 

There is no doubt that the influence of the 
Dutch preachers as well as the presence among 
the population of so much Dutch practical 
common sense not only prevented the spread 
of the witchcraft craze to the western end 
of the island but exerted a material influence 
in averting its wild development in the eastern 
section. Indeed the Dutch influence was 
everywhere sturdily set against it and it is 
to this factor more than to anything else that 
the State of New York is free from a re- 
proach which darkens the bright pages of the 
record of so many other places in the Old 
World and the New. 



MONG the curiosities which the his- 
tory of Long Island brings before- 
us, none is more interesting than the 
story of the noted pirate, Captain 
Kidd, whose name was and is more or less 
closely associated with every wild and dan- 
gerous-looking nook and eddy of its ex- 
tensive coast line north and south. The 
historians have not dealt kindly with the mem- 
ory of Capt. Kidd, and so far as our reading 
goes not one of them has found a single re- 
deeming feature in his character on which 
to base a word of praise or a sentiment of 
regret at the outcome of his strange career. 
He was a pirate, pure and simple, with all 
the usual attributes of his class, was captured 
and hanged and by his ignominious death sat- 
isfied the ends of justice: such is the popular 
. and historical summing up. The many vague 
stories afloat concerning him, most of which 
gives a human touch to his character, are 
cavalierly dismissed without a thought of in- 
vestigation, by a wave of the hand, as it were, 
while every attributed crime is rehearsed as 
solemn and unqualified truth. 

In his "History of the United States," 
Bancroft dismisses the case of Capt. Kidd in 
this wise : "In the attempt to suppress piracy, 
the prospect of infinite booty to be recovered 
from pirates or to be won from the 
enemies of England, gained from the King 
and Admiralty a commission for William 
Kidd and had deluded Bellomont into a part- 
nership in a private expedition. Failing in 
his hopes of obtaining opulence, Kidd found 

his way, as a pirate, to the gallows. In the 
House of Commons the transaction provoked 
inquiry and hardly escaped censure." 

Divested of all prejudice and unsubstan- 
tiated data, the actual life story of this man 
may be outlined as follows : 

William Kidd was born about 1650, it is 
thought, at Greenock, Scotland, at which place 
his father, was, it is said, a clergyman. The 
father was a man distinguished not only for 
his piety, but for his steadfast adherence to 
principle, for he "suffered," to use a favorite 
word of the old Scottisih Covenanters, for his 
views of Church and State Government. He 
was tortured, we are told, by "the boot," a 
hideous instrument, but remained stanch to his 
principles until his death, August 14, 1679. 
There is no evidence to support all this, but 
the literary effect is excellent. At air early 
age William was sent to sea and seems to 
have risen rapidly until he was given command 
of a merchant vessel. He won a reputation 
not only as a skillful mariner, but as one 
who was ready as well as able to defend his 
ship against all sorts of marauders. He had 
sailed a vessel between New York and- Lou- 
don for several years and was well known 
in the former city not only as a daring and 
able seaman but as a man of culture. 

According to Mrs. Lamb ("History of 
New York," vol. i, p. 425), he had "a com- 
fortable and pleasant home in Liberty street,. 
New York, and a wife beautiful, accomplished 
and of the highest respectability. She was 
Sarah Oort, the widow of one of his fellow- 



officers. They were married in 1691, and at 
the time of his departure for the Eastern 
Ocean they had one charming Httle daughter." 
He seems by that time to have, to a great 
extent, retired from the sea, and to have won 
not only a modest fortune, but a most en- 
viable reputation. He was personally ac- 
quainted with the leading men in the colony 
and held by all in the highest esteem, as an 
honest, law-abiding, respectable citizen, and 
one who had done the colony much service. 
The first mention of him in authentic Col- 
onial history occurs in 1 69 1, in which year 
the Journal of the New York Colonial Assem- 
bly tells us that on the i8th day of April 
much credit was allowed to be due to him 
"for the many and good services done for the 
Province, in attending with his vessels." But 
in what capacity or for what object he thus 
"attended with his vessels" does not appear. 
It was also declared that he ought to be 
suitably rewarded. Accordingly, on the 14th 
day of May following, it was ordered by the 
same Assembly "that the sum of £150 be paid 
to Capt. Kidd" as a "suitable acknowledgment 
for the important benefits which the colonies 
had received from his hands." The presump- 
tion is that these services were in some way 
connected with the protection of the Colonial 
merchant marine from the attacks of the 
pirates at that time hovering along the coasts 
of the northern colonies. Indeed the harbor 
of New York was no stranger to such piratical 
vessels, and the commerce between the out- 
laws and "the people of figure" in that city 
was not inconsiderable. In fact, it was no 
great secret that the coast pirates were fre- 
quently operating in the Sound, and were 
freely supplied with provisions by the inhab- 
itants of Long Island. Still further, it was 
well known in the year 1695 that the English 
freebooters had fitted out vessels in the very 
harbor of New York itself. On the arrival in 
New York harbor of the pirate vessels from 
their cruises their 'goods were openly sold in 
the city, and the conduct of the Colonial 
Government was such that collusion, if not 

direct partnerships, between the pirates and 
the public authorities was not doubted. 

In 1695 the Earl of Bellomont was ap- 
pointed Governor of New York and one of 
the most imperative of the instructions given 
him was to put down the piracy which was 
then so flauntingly carried on in the New 
World with New York as one of, its centres, a 
centre where much of the booty obtained by the 
sea robbers was easily disposed of, and where 
many of the pirate captains were living in 
opulent retirement. Macaulay tells us that be- 
fore Bellomont sailed for his post King Will- 
iam spoke to him sternly about the freebooting: 
which was the disgrace of the colonies. "I 
send you, my Lord, to New York," he said,, 
"because an honest and intrepid man is wanted! 
to put these abuses down and because I be- 
lieve you to be just such a man." As soon 
as Bellomont landed in New York he made 
known his purpose among such of the col- 
onists whose official or commercial position 
might render their advice and co-operation 
valuable. Robert Livingston (the founder of 
the famous New York family) entered heart- 
ily into the views of the new Governor and 
suggested that the task of exterminating the 
pirates should be given to Captain Kidd. 
Lord Macaulay, who has become the authority 
from whom most of the recent biographies 
of Kidd derive their data, says ("History of 
England, Chap. 25) : 

Kidd had passed most of his life on the 
waves, had distinguished himself by his sea- 
manship, had had opportunities of showing 
his valor in action with the French and bad- 
retired on a competence. No man knew the 
eastern seas better. He was perfectly ac- 
quainted with all the haunts of the pirates who 
prowled between the Cape of Good Hope and 
the Straits of Malacca and he would under- 
take, if he were entrusted with a single ship, 
of thirty or forty guns, to clear the Indian 
Ocean of the entire race. The brigantines of 
the rovers were numerous, no doubt, but none 
of them was large ; one man-of-war which in 
the Royal Navy would hardly rank as a fourth 
rate, would easily deal with them all in suc- 
cession and the lawful spoils of the enemies- 



of mankind would much more than defray the 
expenses of the expedition. 

Bellomont was charmed with this plan and 
recommended it to the King. The King re- 
ferred it to the Admiralty. The 'Admiralty 
raised difficulties, such as are perpetually 
raised when any deviation, whether for the 
better or for the worse, from the established 
order of proceeding is proposed. It then oc- 
curred to Bellomont that his favorite scheme 
might be carried into effect without any cost 
to the State. A few public-spirited men might 
easily fit out a privateer that would soon 
make the Arabian Gulf and the Bay of Bengal 
secure highways for trade. He wrote to his 
friends in England imploring, remonstrating, 
complaining of their want of public spirit. 
Six thousand pounds would be enough. That 
sum would be repaid, and repaid with large 
interest from the sale of prizes, and an es- 
timable benefit would be conferred on the 
Kingdom and the world. His urgency suc- 
ceeded. (Lord) Shrewsbury and (Lord) 
Romney contributed. Orford, though, as First 
Lord of the Admiralty he had been unwilling 
to send Kidd to the Indian Ocean with a 
King's ship, consented to subscribe a thou- 
sand pounds. Somers (Keeper of the Great 
Seal) subscribed another thousand. A ship 
•called the Adventure Galley was equipped in 
the Port of London and Kidd took the com- 
mand. He carried with him, besides the or- 
dinary letters of marque, a commission under 
the Great Seal empowering him to seize pirates 
and take them to some place where they could 
be dealt with according to law. Whatever 
right the King might have, to the goods found 
in the possession of these- malefactors he 
granted, by letters patent, to the persons who 
had been at the expense of fitting out the ex- 
pedition, reserving to himself only one-tenth 
-part of the gains of the adventure, which were 
•to be paid into the treasury. With the claim 
of merchants to have back the property of 
which they had been robbed, his Majesty, of 
course, did not interfere. He granted away, 
and could grant away, no rights but his own. 

The press for sailors to man the Royal 
Navy was at that time so hot that Kidd could 
not obtain his full complement of hands on 
the Thames. He crossed the Atlantic, visited 
New York and there found volunteers in 
-abundance. At length in February, 1697, he 
sailed' from the Hudson with a crew of more 
-than a hundred arid fifty men and in July 
reached the coast of Madagascar. 

Robert Livingston was one of the share- 
holders in this syndicate and Kidd himself 
seems to have invested some hard cash in it. 
On his way to New York he captured a French 
ship, which he carried to the Hudson with 
him. The date for the sailing of the expedi- 
tion is erroneously given by Macaulay and 
should have been September 6, 1696, for in 
January, 1697, Kidd was at work among the 
followers of the black flag off Madagascar;- 
During the interval between his arriving in 
the Hudson and finatly leaving it on his mem- 
orable expedition, he seems to have cleared 
the vicinity, and especially the shores of Long 
Island, from the horde of pirates who infested 
it. All writers seem to agree that when Kidd 
started out on the voyage which was to place 
his name on a pedestal of infamy along with 
that of Henry Morgan he had no idea of 
turning pirate on his own account. Macaulay 
sums up the general opinion by saying: 

It is possible that Kidd may at first have 
meant to act in accordance with his instruc- 
tions. But on the subject of piracy he held 
the notions which were then common in the 
North American Colonies, and most of his 
crew were of the same mind. He found him- 
self in a sea which was constantly traversed 
by rich and defenseless merchant ships, and 
he had to determine whether he would plun- 
der those ships or protect them. The rewards 
of protecting the lawful trade was likely to be 
comparatively small. Such as they were they 
would be got only by first fighting with des- 
perate ruffians who would rather be killed 
than taken, and by then instituting a proceed- 
ing and obtaining a judgment in a Court of 
Admiralty. The risk of being called to a 
severe reckoning might not unnaturally seem 
small to one who had seen many old bucca- 
neers living in comfort and credit at New 
York and Boston. 

Whatever was the process of reasoning 
or evolution, there is no doubt that the Ad- 
venture soon became a terror to all trading 
vessels in the Indian seas and that on Novem- 
ber 23, 1698, an order was sent to all the Gov- 
ernors of British colonies ordering the cap- 
ture of the ship and the arrest of Kidd and 



his crew. In the course of his "business" the 
Adventure was abandoned for another ship 
which he had captured, the San Antonio, and 
in that vessel he returned to America, anchor- 
ing in Gardiner's Bay ; but according to local 
report only for a short time, as he seems to 
have kept constantly on the move and entered 
every safe harbor on the shore of Long Island. 
During the time those movements were being 
executed he was negotiating for his personal 
safety with his employer. Lord Bellomont, 
the emissary being a Boston lawyer named 
James Emett. The matter might have been 
satisfactorily arranged to all concerned had 
not Kidd's notoriety made even his name a 
by-word of reproach and infamy on both sides 
of the Atlantic. Bellomont declined to com- 
mit himself to any terms, but his demeanor 
to the emissary was such that Kidd deter- 
mined to trust himself in Boston and to per- 
sonally interview his noble employer. There 
he was ordered to appear before the Council 
and his arrest followed. He was vaguely 
charged with piracy, massacre, wanton de- 
struction of property, brutality to his men and 
to all who fell into his clutches. The result 
was he was sent to England and was there 
tried for piracy and for the murder of Will- 
iam Moore, one of his crew, found guilty 
and, with nine of his sailors, was hanged May 
24, 1701. 

In reviewing all the evidence thus placed 
before us it seems impossible to arrive at any 
other conclusion than that Kidd made two 
grave mistakes, — the first in touching British 
ships, and the second in being found out. If 
ever a licensed pirate was sent adrift that 
pirate was William Kidd. Even the lines we 
have quoted from Macaulay show that he was 
sent forth with a commission under the Great 
Seal of England in his pocket to prey upon 
the high seas and to return as large a dividend 
as possible to those who invested in the en- 
terprise. It was a joint stock speculation, 
nothing more, and Kidd was induced by tht 
necessity, to use a modern phrase, "of making 
money for his stockholders," to capture any 

fat prize which came in his way. Money 
could not be made fighting pirates, as Ma- 
caulay admits, and it had to be made some- 
how. Financially Kidd was a success. He 
brought home on the San Antonio alone 
£14,000, more than enougti to recoup his 
stockholders, principal and interest, and there 
were besides vague stories of other treasure, 
fabulous in amount, which lay in the hold of 
the vessel when she first anchored in Gardi- 
ner's Bay. But the hue and cry had gone 
forth, Kidd had certainly passed over the 
boundary between right and wrong which his 
patrons had vaguely laid down, and the honest 
shipping interests of the world arose against 
him. Being the executive head of the en- 
terprise, he was made to furnish an example, 
with several of his sea companions accom- 
panying him as ballast. 

The matter was made the occasion of a 
memorable debate in Parliament in which 
Somers and the rest of the syndicate were 
held up as partners of the piratical Adventure, 
who gave the protection of the Great Seal to 
their own nefarious business enterprise, men 
who invested a thousand pounds each and 
expected to get back tens of thousands when 
the expedition should return "laden with the 
spoils of ruined merchants." It was made a 
question of the life or death of the Ministry 
of the day, but the friends of the syndicate 
prevailed, and the owners of the Adventure 
were indorsed by a vote of 189 votes in the 
House of Commons against an opposition of 
133. And so ended the Parliamentary story of 
the Adventure. When the vote was cast Kidd 
ceased forever to be a factor in politics and 
his memory is now popularly enrolled only 
in the long gallery of notorious enemies of 
society. His name became a synonym for mur- 
der and rapine, was used by mothers to 
frighten their children, and all sorts of evil 
deeds and wanton cruelties were fixed upon 
him by the ballad-mongers, who found in the 
legends of his career a rare field for their 
crude imaginations. 

Long Island is full of stories of Captain 



Kidd, very few of which contain much more 
than a bare modicum of truth. Mr. W. D. 
Stone, of the New York Commercial Adver- 
tiser, once wrote an article on the pirate, in 
which he told about all of the Long Island 
traditions which could readily be substan- 
tiated. He said : 

It is beyond doubt true that Long Island 
contairied several of his hiding places. "Kidd's 
Rock" is well known at Manhasset, up on 
Long Island, to this day. Here Kidd is sup- 
posed to have buried some of his treasures, 
and many have been the attempts of the cred- 
ulous in that section to find the hidden gold. 
There is also no doubt that he was wont to 
hide himself and his vessel among those 
curious rocks in Sachem's Head Harbor, called 
the "Thimble Islands." In addition to the 
"Pirates' Cavern," in this vicinity, there is 
upon one of these rocks, sheltered from the 
view of the Sound, a beautiful artificial exca- 
vation in an oval form holding, perhaps, the 
measure of a barrel still called "Kidd's Punch 
Bowl." It was here, according to the tra- 
ditions of the neighborhood, that he used to 
carouse with his crew. It is also a fact beyond 
controversy that he was accustomed to anchor 
his vessel in Gardiner's Bay. Upon one occa- 
sion in the night he landed upon Gardiner's 
island and requested Mrs. Gardiner to pro- 
vide a supper for himself and his attendants. 
Knowing his desperate character, she dared 
not refuse, and fearing his displeasure she 
took great pains, especially in roasting a pig. 
The pirate chief was so pleased with her cook- 
ing that on goin£- away he presented her with 
a cradle blanket of gold cloth. It was of 
velvet inwrought with gold and very rich. A 
piece of it yet remains in the possession of 
the Gardiner family, and a still smaller piece 
is in my possession, it having been given to 
my father, the late Col. William L. Stone, by 
one of the descendants of that family. 

On another occasion, when he landed upon 
the island, Kidd buried a small casket of gold 
containing articles of silver and precious 
stones in the presence of Mr. Gardiner, but 
under the most solemn injunction of secrecy. 
* * * He appears- to have disclosed the 
fact of having buried treasure on Gardiner's 
island, for it was demanded by the Earl of 
Bellomont and surrendered by Mr. Gardiner. 
I have seen the original receipts for the 
amount, with the different items of the de- 

posits. They were by no means large, and 
afford no evidence of such mighty "sweep- 
ings of the sea," as has been told of by tra- 
dition. Of gold, in coins, gold dust and bars, 
there was 750 ounces ; of 'Silver, 506 ounces,, 
and of precious stones, 16 ounces. 

The account mentioned by Mr. Stone as 
describing the jewels found in Captain Kidd's- 
treasure box buried on Gardiner's island reads 
as follows : 

A true account of all such gold, silver,, 
jewels and merchandise late in the possession 
of Captain William Kidd which have been 
seized and secured by us pursuant to an or- 
der from his Excellency, Richard, Earl of 
Bellomont, bearing date July 7, 1699: 

Received the 17th inst. of Mr. John Gardi- 
ner, viz. : 


No. I 
No. 2 

No. 3, 
No. 4 

No. 5 
No. 6 

No. 7, 

No. 8, 
No. 9, 
No. 10 
No. II 
No. 12 

One bag of gold dust 

One bag of coined gold 

And one in silver 

One bag gold dust 

One bag of silver rings and 

sundry precious stones. . . . 
One bag of unpolished stones . 
One piece of crystal, rings, 

two agates, two amethysts 
One bag silver buttons and 


One bag of broken silver .... 

One bag of gold bars 

One bag of gold bars 

One bag gold dust 

One bag silver bars 







Samuel Sewall, 
Nathaniel Byfield, 
Jeremiah Dummer, 
Andrew Belcher, 


H. G. Onderdonk, of Manhasset, speaking 
of Kidd's Rock, mentioned in the passage 
quoted from Mr. Stone, says: 

The celebrated "Kidd's Rock" just east of 
Sands' Point stands upon the shore of a small 
island at the northeasterly extremity of Cow 
Neck. This is a very large stone, equivalent 
to a cube of about 2,000 feet, and under it tra- 
dition says the notorious Captain Kidd con- 
cealed vast amounts of the treasures accunui- 



lated by his numerous piracies. The immense 
rock has been on all sides dug around, under- 
mined, excavated, blasted and wrought with 
various charms and incantations by super- 
stitious or visionary persons who havfe here 
repeatedly searched for Kidd's treasures, but 
all in vain. There is a similar large boulder, 
called Millstone Rock, at Manhasset, a quar- 
ter of a mile southeasterly from the Friends' 
meeting-house, which contains 24,000 cubic 
■ feet, as measured by Dr. Mitchell and Cap- 
tain Patridge, and there formerly was another 
of similar size, on the Haydock property near 
the head of Cow Bay. But this latter has 
disappeared, having been blasted and broken 
up into fencing stone. Boulders of so great 
a size are an anomaly on Long Island. 

East of these, other boulders seem to have 
popularly rejoiced at one time or another uti- 
der the name of "Kidd's Rock," and the one 
last referred to was recognized by B. F. 
Thompson, the historian of Long Island, as 
the one in his day best entitled to the desig- 
nation. But then, as we have said, almost 
every likely spot on Long Island, as well as 
on Gardiner's Island, Block Island and even 
the coast of New Jersey, has been reputed as 
the hiding place of Captain Kidd's mighty 
treasure. To recover them many a diligent 
search has been made, many an expedition or- 
ganized, many a divining rod manipulated ; but 
all to no purpose. If any treasure was hid- 
den it has been forever lost ; but the more 
likely solution of the matter is that none was 
hidden, and that all the wealth at Kidd's com- 
mand wasi actually recovered by Bellmont's 

Gabriel Furman gives us a vague account 

of another redoubtable pirate whose home was 
near Fort Neck and whom he called Captain 
Jones. Nothing is known apparently as to the 
career or the deeds of this marauder, but pop- 
ular tradition gave him a rather doubtful 
character and told how when he was dying 
a large black crow, a sure emissary of Satan, 
settled above his bed and watched until the 
vital spark fled, when it made its escape 
through a hole in the west end of the house 
and departed to realms unknown. The hole 
through which the bird passed could never af- 
ter be stopped up, according to popular tradi- 
tion, although Furman, who saw the house in 
1827, did not vouch for the truth of this by 
personal investigation. The building was then 
uninhabited and hastening to ruin, so the ex- 
periment would have annoyed nobody and its 
result would have been satisfactory to future 
historians whichever way it went. But prob- 
ably Furman was too good an antiquary to 
attempt to disturb an old legend, so he simply 
contented himself with "passing it on." How- 
ever, he visited the burial place of the pirate, 
a grave "about half a mile south of the house 
in a small piece of ground surrounded by an 
earth wall. The tombstone is of red free- 
stone. The ground also contains the graves 
of his wife, his son, and his son's wife. There 
are no other persons buried there but these 
four. It is quite a solitary spot." 

Surely pirate was never more honored! 
To die quietly in bed! An emissary of a 
prince to watch his passage, a grave among 
his own kin, and a red freestone tomb ! An 
honest mariner could hardly expect more! 



N a rough and ready way the position 
of Long Island regarding the senti- 
ment which culminated in 1776 in 
separation may be stated by saying 
that Suffolk county was Whig in its sympa- 
thies, while Queens and Kings were the op- 
posite. In other words, one might draw the 
old line on the map of the island from Oyster 
Bay to Great Island and find that to the east 
of that line the people were in favor of in- 
dependence, while to the west the loyalist 
spirit reigned. Of course, there were many 
exceptions. Kings and Queens held their 
Whig citizens, plenty of them, and Suffolk 
might have produced a small army of Tories ; 
but in a general" fashion the boundaries thus 
given hold good for the time, say about 1765, 
when the troubles with the home Govern- 
ment began to reach the acute point. In mak- 
ing this distinction I do not desire to intimate 
that the loyalists were blind to the faults of 
the system to which they were attached. That 
there were faults, and grievous faults, even 
the most devoted loyalist of the disinterested 
variety would confess ; and up to a certain 
point in the struggle they were as outspoken 
and imperative in their demands for redress 
as the most violent Whig could suggest. They 
only stopped short at separation, and although 
the hard logic of events has demonstrated that 
they were wrong and proved conclusively that 
separation was the only cure for the evils 
which then threatened the people in Britain 
as well as those in the colonies, it seems un- 
necessary to tax them with all the sins in the 
calendar of crime on that account. 

In fact Long Island, east and west, main- 
tained a constant struggle for political liberty 
long before. Several instances of this spirit 
will be found recorded elsewhere in this work, 
but one or two may be mentioned most fitting- 
ly here to demonstrate more clearly the views 
entertained by the people and the spirit which 
animated them. In 1669 the towns of Hemp- 
stead, Jamaica, Oyster Bay, Flushing, New- 
town, Gravesend, each presented petitions to 
Governor Lovelace when that dignitary sought 
by virtue of his own power to levy a special 
tax. In their petition the people deplored 
their exclusion from any share in legislation 
and asked to be permitted a voice in the mak- 
ing of the laws by which they were to be gov- 
erned, "by such deputies as shall be yearly 
chosen by the freeholders of each town and 
parish." The petitions practically produced 
nothing, but the fact that they were made, 
and gravely considered, are significant when 
we remember how summarily old Peter Stuy- 
vesant a few years previously had broken up 
a meeting of the lieges and told them not to 
let him hear any more of such business. Dr. 
Prime says ("History," page 78) : "The first 
assembly of deputies that the representation 
of royal power condescended to convoke for 
consultation, the year after the surrender of 
the province to British arms, was held at 
Hempstead March i, 1665, and (with the ex- 
ception of two) was composed entirely of rep- 
resentatives from the several towns of the 
island. The first legislative assembly, con- 
vened in 1683, was not only procured through 
the remonstrances and demands of Long 



Island, more than any other part of the col- 
ony, but was in a great measure made up of 
its representatives. The first speaker of that 
body was either then, or afterward, a resident 
of the island, and the same office was after- 
ward held by one of its representatives six- 
teen out of twenty-one years." 

A significant hint of the reverence of the 
people for royal authority in the abstract :s 
found in the following extract from Bergen's 
"Early Settlers of Kings County:" 

Joores Van Nestus (may be intended for 
Joris Van Ness), with John Rapalie, Joris 
Danielse Rapalie, Isaac Remsen, Jacob 
Reyerse, Aert Aersen (Middagh), Theunis 
Buys, Gerrit Cowenhoven, Gabriel Sprong, 
Urian Andriese, Jan Willemse Bennet, Jacob 
Bennet and John Messerole, Junr., were fined 
ten shillings each for defacing the King's 
arms in the County Court House on the 
evening of September 14, 1697, as per court 
record. From this it may be inferred that 
these residents of Brooklyn failed to have that 
respect for their "Dreade sovereign" which 
loyal subjects were expected to entertain. 

It is curious to read some of these names 
in the light of after events in connection with 
such a contemptuous disregard for the sacred- 
ness of royal insignia. 

It is generally agreed that the first direct 
move, although not then so intended, against 
the royal authority was made in the same 
tavern at Brushville, near Jamaica, where af- 
terward General Woodhull, the hero of Long 
Island, received the wounds which resulted in 
his death. It was kept by Increase Carpenter, 
who afterward figured prominently in the 
Tory ranks. The meeting held in his place 
seems to have been quite an informal gather- 
ing when the news was received of the action 
of the British Parliament in declaring the 
port of Boston closed in retaliation for the 
doings of the Boston Tea Party. The de- 
liberations in the tavern, however, resulted 
in the issuance of a notice to the freeholders 
of Jamaica urging them to meet in the old 
court-house in that village and consider the 

condition of affairs. That meeting was held' 
on December 7, 1774, and passed a series of 
resolutions as follows : 

I. To maintain the just dependence of the 
colonies upon the Crown of Great Britain, and 
to render true allegiance to King George. 

II. That it is our right to be taxed only 
by our own consent, and that taxes imposed 
on us by Parliament are an infringement of 
our rights. 

III. We glory to have been bom subject 
to the Crown and excellent Constitution of 
Great Britain; we are one people with our 
mother country, and lament the late unhappy 

IV. We sympathize with our brethren of 
Boston under their sufferings. 

V. We approve the measures of the late 
General Congress at Philadelphia. 

VI. We appoint for our committee of 
correspondence and observation Rev. Abra- 
ham Keteltas, Waters Smith, Captain Ephraim 
Baylis, Captain Joseph French, William Lud- 
1am, Captain Richard Betts, Dr. John Innes, 
Joseph Robinson, Elias Bailis. 

This was a most significant document, 
breathing profound loyalty to the mother cojm- 
try yet not yielding one iota of what the meet- 
ing regarded as among inalienable rights, and 
it failed not to go on record as in hearty sym- 
pathy with those of the colonists who, for 
upholding these rights, had fallen under the 
ban of the British authorities. Had the British 
Government weighed such expressions even 
then the crisis of 1776 might have been averted 
or at least postponed, although in reviewing 
the history of the world since then we can- 
not escape the conviction that it was well for 
the sake of popular liberty that pig-headed- 
ness rather than statesmanship ruled Great 
Britain for the moment. 

The men who organized and attended the 
meeting seem to have formed part of a colony 
of New England people, by birth or descent, 
who had settled in Jamaica. Those named in 
the Committee on Correspondence were after- 
ward more or less prominent in the move- 
ment for independence. Ephraim Bailey, in 



fact, became notorious as one of the most bit- 
ter and cruel of the persecutors of the local 
Tories. French was afterward elected to the 
Provincial Congress, btit declined to serve, be- 
cause he was convinced that the majority of 
the freeholders of Jamaica did not want to 
be represented in that body. Perhaps the 
most remarkable member of the committee was 
the Rev. Abraham Keteltas, of whom Dr. 
Prime writes: "He was born in New York, 
December 26, 1732, and graduated at Yale in 
1752. He was first settled at Elizabethtown, 
New Jersey, September 14, 1757, and dis- 
missed in 1759. He removed to Jamaica, 
where he occupied a farm and spent much of 


his time in preaching to the vacant congre- 
gations on the islarjd and elsewhere. He was 
a man of strong mind and extensive and 
varied learning. He often preached in three 
different languages — Dutch, French and Eng- 
lish. He was chosen a member of the con- 
vention of 1777 that formed the first Con- 
stitution of the State of New York. Being 
a zealous and devoted patriot, he was pe- 
culiarly obnoxious to British rage and was 
therefore obliged to leave the island during 
the war. His property was taken possession 
of, his mansion defaced, his timber destroyed 
and his slaves taken and enlisted as soldiers 
of the King. He was a man of strong feel- 
ings and independent spirit. From some dis- 

satisfaction, in 1764 or '1765 he withdrew 
from the presbytery of New York and de- 
clined the jurisdiction of the Presbyterian 
Church. He continued, however, to bestow 
his services where needed until the close of 
life, and he is still remembered (1845) by the 
surviving few in many of the churches of 
the island. He died September 30, 1798, at 
the age of sixty-five years." 

Before following the progress of the move- 
ment for freedom on Long Island, it may not 
be out of place to review, briefly, the progress 
of events in the country generally, which led 
to many meetings such as that we have just 
chronicled and finally ended in the complete 
independence of the Colonies. In 1763 the 
long war which had been waged between 
Britain and France for the possession of the 
North American Continent was settled by a 
formal treaty of peace in which France ceded 
all its territory north of the St. Lawrence to 
its "ancient enemy." It retained the peninsula 
of Florida, but soon after transferred it to 
Spain and the French empire in the New 
World came forever to an end. The colonists 
as we have seen took a loyal part against 
France in this memorable contest, and it is 
a pity that the patriotism aroused by sacrifice 
and blood did not meet with a better reward 
at the hands of those in authority in London 
than inspiring the notion that such devotion 
could be made a source of revenue. The 
withdrawal of the French from the scene left 
the colonists free to work out their own des- 
tiny, and it was not long before their mettle 
was put acutely to the test. 

From the beginning of the Colonial sys- 
tem in America the home Government had 
imposed taxation on the people, as was right 
and proper. They had to be defended against 
Indians and Spaniards and Frenchmen. At 
first there was nothing to tax except the 
products of the soil, but as the country ad- 
vanced in population and these products in- 
creased in value the navigation acts were 
steadily extended until they became oppres- 
sive. Almost from the time a colony was 



numerically strong enough to form a local leg- 
islature it appealed against the right of the 
Parliament in England to impose Colonial 
taxes without the Colonists' consent, against 
taxes levied by royal representatives for 
purposes in which they had no concern, and 
out of which it was impossible for them to 
get any benefit; and the long list of dissolute 
and incapable nonentities sent over to repre- 
sent the King's Sacred Majesty contains but 
few names of men who were likely either 
willing or fit to govern for the sake of the 
governed, or for any other purposes than their 
own personal profit and aggrandizement. 
Rulers like Bellomont and Cornbury were 
alone sufficient to incite and justify rebellion. 
But the question of taxation without rep- 
resentation, or ratlier of taxation without con- 
sent, was the question which vmderlay the en- 
tire struggle in America. Bit by bit as the 
country advanced the navigation laws became 
more and more oppressive. "The open door" 
was unheard of. No goods could be imported 
except in English vessels manned by English 
sailors ; all exports must go to England or to 
some port belonging to the Crown; tobacco, 
cotton, sugar, for instance, intended for France 
had to be sent to England and then reshipped ; 
free trade between the colonies was prohibited ; 
every advantage was given the British manu- 
facturer at the expense of his American 
cousin ; the American producer, at the mercy 
of the English merchant, could only receive 
what the latter was willing to pay ; the English 
claimed and exercised a full and crushing mo- 
nopoly over American commerce, and any ef- 
fort looking to its extension was met by new 
levy, a vexatious addition to the existing laws. 
Such were some of the restrictions imposed 
upon the colonies, and they were submitted 
to for several reasons. Great Britain was 
simply carrying out the recognized Colonial 
poHcy of the time ; the Colonies were too much 
scattered to resist, the imposts and annoyances 
were not felt by the majority of the Colonists 
directly, only one class felt the full force of 
the imposition ; and although the entire pop- 

ulation had to contribute to the taxation thus 
imposed, the contribution was made in an in- 
direct and therefore unnoticed way. Indirect 
taxation has ever been the favorite system for 
the levying of imposts, especially those likely 
to arouse discontent. It still prevails in Amer- 
ica, and is the cause of most of the municipal 
maladministration which is so pronounced a 
blot upon our system of local government. 

But the abuse got in time out of the stage 
of indirect taxation. In 1763 Lord Grenyille 
introduced in Parliament, and had passed, as 
an amendment to a sugar bill, a resolution that 
"It be proper to charge stamp duties on the 
colonies and plantations." Franklin, who was 
then agent of the Commonwealth of Pennsyl- 
vania in London, appealed against this new 
imposition, but the best that resulted from a 
series of conferences was that the Colonies 
must bear an increased share of the taxes, but 
were given a year in which to devise some 
way less obnoxious than the proposed stamp 
duties by which the increased revenue might 
be raised. In America the proposal at once 
excited hostile comment and protests were sent 
to London from the various Colonial assem- 
blies. But they proposed nothing to take the 
place and yield the expected revenue of the 
proposed stamps, and Grenville adhered to 
his determination. In 1765 he introduced the 
Stamp Act and it was passed by Parliament. 
It was deemed an equitable measure all round, 
and, with their clearer eyesight dimmed by the 
general sentiments of approbation they heard 
around, even the American agents, even 
FrankHn, did not seem to understand that 
their constituents across the sea would do 
aught but grumble and submit. So Great 
Britain prepared the stamps and appointed the 
stamp collectors, who were to begin business 
in October, 1765. 

The news raised a howl of disapproval 
throughout the Colonies, and nine Colonial 
assemblies sent delegates to New York to meet 
in a Continental Congress in the old City Hall 
in Wall street, to consider the situation. That 
Congress passed some clear-cut resolutions 



which fully expressed the views of the people. 
These held such doctrines as, "No taxes have 
been or can be constitutionally imposed upon 
the people of these Colonies but by their re- 
spective legislatures;" and, "All supplies to 
the Crown being free of the people it is un- 
reasonable and unconsistent with the spirit of 
the British Constitution for the people of 
Great Britain to grant to his Majesty the prop- 
erty of the Colonists." 

But the people did more than pass resolu- 
tions : they acted. In New York the Sons 
of Liberty inaugurated an active movement 
against the stamps, the citizens declined to use 
the stamped paper when it arrived, forced the 
agent to resign, hanged in efSgy the aged 
Lieutenant Governor, and determined to im- 
port no goods from Britain. In Boston they 
smashed the windows of the stamp agent's 
house and sacked the mansion of Governor 
Hutchinson. In Baltimore they burned the 
agent in effigy and forced him to fly to New 
York, where he was only permitted to reside 
on condition that he resign his hated office. 
So the story ran over the Colonies. The 
people seemed unanimous in their opposition 
to the impost, the sale of the stamps became 
an impossibility, and indeed it seems certain 
that not a single stamp of that issue was used 
in the colonies. 

The doings in America created a tumult in 
Parliament, "and never," says May, "was 
there a Parliament more indifferent to Con- 
stitutional principles and popular rights." An 
inquiry was appointed. Franklin, who was 
examined by the committee, frankly declared 
that the stamp duties could only be enforced 
by arms. The sentiment of the sheep-headed 
ministry was that arms should be used, but 
the sentiment expressed by Pitt and a few 
others in favor of the attitude of the Col- 
onists called a halt in that direction, and, as 
a result, after the usual winding and unwind- 
ing of red tape and a display of what has been 
called circumlocutionary extravagances, the 
stamp act was repealed. The news of this 
result was received with wild enthusiasm in 

the Colonies and the expressions of devotion 
and loyalty to the mother land and the Crown 
were marvelous for their intensity, and, we 
believe, for their honesty. New York ordered 
statues of George III and of Pitt. Virginia 
voted to erect a statue of the Sovereign, and 
Conway, Barre, Wilkes, Pitt and others be- 
came popular Colonial idols. 

But this state of things did not long con- 
tinue. The stamp tax was repealed, yet the 
Colonists soon learned that the act repealing 
it contained a rider which declared that Parlia- 
ment had full power over the government of 
all the Colonies. The sugar tax, a tax for 
revenue pure and simple, was not repealed. 
The Mutiny act was made more stringent than 
ever, and the provisions for the billeting of 
royal troops more and more oppressive. Sol- 
diers began to be sent out to America in 
greater numbers than before and this alone, 
especially in Massachtisetts, carried a profound 
feeling of distrust. The navigation acts were 
yearly becoming more obnoxious. The climax 
of this sort of "baiting the tiger" was reached 
in 1767, when Charles Townsend brought for- 
ward in Parliament his scheme for the pacifi- 
cation of the Colonies and the profit of the 
mother country. "Our right of taxation," he 
said, "is indubitable; yet to prevent mischief 
I was myself in favor of repealing the Stamp 
Act. But there can be no objection to port 
duties on wine, oil and fruits, if allowed to 
be carried to America directly from Spain and 
Portugal, on glass, paper, lead and colors and 
especially on tea. Owing to the high charges 
in England, America has supplied herself with 
tea by smuggling it from the Dutch posses- 
sions ; to remedy this duties hitherto levied 
upon it in England are to be given up and a 
specific duty collected in America itself." 

We need not follow up the details of these 
proposals. They were adopted by a large ma- 
jority vote and the trouble with the Colonies 
at once reached an acute stage. There is no 
doubt that even the most prominent American 
loyalist, outside of those in the direct service 
of the crown, felt that the Colonists were be- 



ing wronged ; but outside of the faint whisper- 
ings of a few zealots no voice had even then 
been raised for separation. But the-crisis was 
approaching and events were hurrying to it 
fast. The taxes, of course, were the feature 
that strengthened the undercurrent of anti- 
British sentiment, and taxation without the 
consent of the taxpayers, or in other words, 
taxation without 'representation, the exaction 
of an income which was not to be expended 
for local matters, were repudiated on every 

But the determining factor which devel- 
oped the Revolution was the presence in the 
country of the British soldiers. On March 5, 
1770, in a scrimmage with the populace, five 
citizens were killed and six wounded by a 
squad of soldiers at the Boston Custom House. 
In answer to the demands of the citizens the 
soldiers were then removed from the city to 
Castle William in Boston Harbor. On the 
previous January there was armed resistance 
to the British soldiery by a party of the Sons 
of Liberty in which a sailor was killed on 
the popular side and at least one soldier was 
wounded. This shedding of blood magnified 
what was really only a petty skirmish into a 
battle, and the historians of New York are 
proud to claim in the fight at Golden Hill the 
first battle of the Revolution. But the Revo- 
lution was even then some years off. Even 
on December 16, 1773, when the Boston Tea 
Party threw overboard the tea in the harbor 
and thus refused to honor the only remain- 
ing port tax, it was still in the distance. 

Such momentous events culminate very 
slowly, — much more slowly than most people 
imagine ; and the Revolution which gave the 
United States a place among the nations at- 
tained its headway frorn many contributing 
causes and sources. Each colony had from 
the time it was freely settled its own legis- 
lature, with varying degrees of atithority, and 
it was really -in these rather than in unpre- 
meditated outbursts on the part of scattered 
portions of the people that the spirit of opposi- 
tion, which led in time to the spirit of '^6, 

was really fomented and fostered and brought 
to fruition. We have not space here to refer 
to the magnificent service rendered to the 
cause of human liberty by the legislatures of 
such Colonies as Massachusetts or Virginia, 
and must confine our study to a brief review 
of what was done in New York. But that 
alone will be sufficient to enable a reader to 
follow the trend .of public sentiment until the 
sword was unsheathed and an appeal for jus- 
tice gave away to a stern demand for inde- 

From the beginning, almost, of the his- 
tory of its legislature, that of New York, as 
we have already seen, was a series of constant 
struggle against the incroachmenits, in one 
form or another, of the representative of the 
royal powers. Besides financial matters, a 
struggle between Episcopalians and Presby- 
terians, the right of free speech and a free 
printing press, one standing bone of conten- 
tion, was that of the independence of the 
judiciary. In 1761, fresh from the people, the 
Assembly tried to compel the appointment of 
Supreme Court Judges, with no limitation 
except as to good behavior, practically with 
life appointments; but Cadwallader Colden 
vetoed the measure and insisted that all judges 
should hold during the pleasure only of the 
appointing power. In this he was fully sus- 
tained by the home authorities ; but the senti- 
ments of the bar and the people can be un- 
derstood from the fact that when a Chief 
Justice had to be appointed it was necessary 
to seek in Boston an appointee who was will- 
ing to hold "during his Majesty's pleasure." 
The Assembly refused to vote the salaries of 
such judges. On December 11, 1762, the As- 
sembly memorialized the home Government 
asking for a royal hearing on the subject of 
the independence of the courts. But no at- 
tention was paid, and there followed a series 
of similar memorials, which if the British au- 
thorities had not been a squad of addlepates 
might have shown them in spite of fervent pro- 
testations of loyalty the direction in which 
the popular will was tending. The demands. 



■of the petitioners seemed to grow in boldness 
and clearness as they proceeded, and even 
Colden was fully persuaded of the justice of 
most of the demands. But he asked the peo- 
ple to trust the King and continued so to 
ask until it was only too evident that the 
King, or whoever from time to time controlled 
him, had not the slightest idea of granting, 
except in the way of a temporary subterfuge, 
any of the demands thus loyally and dutifully 

On July 9, 1771, William Tryon was trans- 
ferred to the Governorship of New York from 
that of North Carolina. Notwithstanding the 
somewhat ignoble role which he afterward 
played, when his chair of state was on the 
quarterdeck of the frigate "Asia," there is no 
■doubt that he was a man of rare executive 
•qualities and seemingly influenced at first by a 
desire to do some good to the colony over which 
he was sent to rule. He devoted the most 
marked attention to local affairs and effected 
many improvements. But the ghost of taxation 
continually hovered over the land and seemed 
to upset every good work suggested or begun. 
The tax on tea was persisted in by the British 
Government, and in the hope of breaking 
through the determination of the people not 
to use the taxed tea, cargoes were sent to 
Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston and New 
York. That movement proved a flat failure 
in each of the seaports named. In New York 
the Sons of Liberty, or "Mohawks'' as some 
•of them called thernselves, watched the ar- 
rival of the "Nancy," containing the offend- 
ing cargo, and forbade any pilot guiding such 
vessel past Sandy Hook, and means were put 
in readiness to throw the cargo overboard, as 
was done in Boston, should the ship sur- 
mount all obstacles and tie up at a dock. But 
the ship, expected late in Nftvember, did not 
make its appearance, being driven out of its 
■course by a storm. Governor Tryon deter- 
mined that the tea when it arrived should be 
delivered to the ■ consignees, "even," as he 
said, "if it was sprinkled with blood;" but the 
people held a public meeting, discussed the 

situation, and grimly adjourned "till the ar- 
rival of the tea ship." On April 7, 1774, 
Tryon sailed for England for consultation 
with the home Government, and before his 
departure was entertained at dinner, at a ball 
and at receptions, and received any number 
of loyal addresses, complimentary to himself 
and his administration, and ' full of expres- 
sions of devotion to the King. He reported 
to the home authorities that New York was 
at all events a loyal colony. For this we can- 
not blame him. There were no Atlantic cables 
in those days. But before he had reached 
England the Nancy had arrived (April 18) 
in New York harbor and lay in the lower bay. 
The Sons of Liberty went on board and ex- 
plained the situation so forcibly to the captain 
that he agreed to approach no nearer and 
turned his helm around en route for the 
mother land. On the following day another 
ship, the London, arrived with eighteen chests 
of tea, being a private venture .of its captain, 
on board. It was confiscated by the local 
"Mohawks" and the eighteen chests were 
dumped into the river. 

Tryon had not long returned to the Colony 
when a meeting was held in the Fields (New 
York City Hall Park) to protest against the 
act of Parliament which closed the port of 
Boston and a call for a Continental Congress 
was indorsed. That Congress met in Phila- 
delphia September 5, 1774, and from it ema- 
nated that declaration of rights which threw 
aside the gossamer veil of loyalty that had 
up till then covered the proceedings of the 
Colonial leaders. To the people of Great 
Britain it said: 

"If you are determined that your ministers 
shall wantonly sport with the rights of man- 
kind; if neither the voice of Justice, the dic- 
tates of Law, the principles of the Constitu- 
tion, nor the suggestions of Humanity can 
restrain your hands from shedding human 
blood in such an impious cause, we must 
then tell you that we will never submit to 
be hewers of wood or drawers of water for 
any ministry or nation in the world." 



There was no mistaking these words; but 
when they reached Britain the answer was 
principally an increase in the military forces 
and preparations for augmenting the military 
strength. The home Government seemed to 
hold to the belief that the storm centre was 
New England — Boston mainly — and that if 
any signs of rebellion were there crushed the 
submission of the other colonies would be 
easy. But, although neither side seemed to 
be fully aware of it, the die had been cast 
and the Colonies were arrayed against the 
old land. The Congress was weak, its rep- 
resentative quality was by no means of the 
best, its authority had no legal foundation, its 
edicts could not be sustained by force; but, 
weak and irresponsible as it was, it came from 
the people and it proved strong enough to 
carry the new cause— the now freely hailed 
cause of liberty and independence — over the 
initiatory stages of the struggle. 

In New York, as elsewhere, it was now 
felt that the die was fairly cast and the peo- 
ple ranged themselves into Patriots or Tories 
according to their bent. On Manhattan Island 
and throughout the State the former vastly 
outnumbered the latter. As usual the Tories 
found their supjjorters among the wealthier 
classes, the landed gentry in the country and 
the prosperous merchants in the towns. This 
was evident particularly in the New York 
Assembly, where, by a majority of one, it was 
decided not to consider the proceedings of 
Congress, and even so ordinary a piece of 
politeness as a vote of thanks to the provin- 
cial delegate, proposed by General Woodhull, 
was voted down. That Assembly adjourned 
on April 3, 1775, for a month, but it never 
met again. Events rushed on with irresistible 
force and the lines became more and more 
sharply drawn. After the skirmish of Lex- 
ington became known a Committee of Safety 
was organized at Albany and it sanctioned the 
formation of four companies of militia. In 
New York a Committee of One Hundred is- 
sued a call for a Provincial Congress and 
April 19 was afterward declared as the day 

on which Royal authority had ceased in the- 
Commonwealth of New York. That Pro- 
vincial Congress, which assembled May 22,. 
1775, assumed all the powers of a governing 
body, the old Tory Assembly was buried 
ignominiously by the sheer force of public 
sentiment, and under the presidency of Gen- 
eral Woodhull essayed the task of direct- 
ing the energies of the Patriots so as to win 
success for the new movement not only itr 
New York but over all the land. 

That Provincial Congress, in spite of the 
popular enthusiasm, ■ had a most difficult part 
to play. Its powers rested on no foundation- 
but the will of the people, expressed in what 
in ordinary times would be regarded as a. 
loose and illegal fashion. It apportioned its 
representatives over the commonwealth as it 
thought just, ordered the election or selection, 
of delegates in places not represented and 
filled vacancies as best it could for districts,, 
notably many on Long Island, where the 
majority of Tories was so great that no 
selection could be made in any fashion that 
might be called popular, or where the 
delegates selected actually refused to serve 
either because their convictions were not in- 
sympathy with those of the patriots, or be- 
cause they honestly believed they did not rep- 
resent the views of those supposed to be their 

The representatives of Long Island in the 
Provincial Congress were as follows : 

Suffolk county — Nathaniel Woodhull,. 
John Sloss Hobart, Thomas Treadwell, Johm 
Foster, Ezra L'Hommedieu, Thomas Wick- 
ham, Selah Strong. 

Kings county — Henry Williams, Nicholas- 

Queens county — Jacob Blackwell, Jonathan' 
Lawrence, Samuel Townsend, Joseph Rob- 

The Provincial Congress at once plunged 
into warlike measures. On May 29 a letter 
was received from John Hancock, president 
of the Continental Congress, at Philadelphia,, 
directing it to take all steps necessary to de- 



fend the "City and Plrovince," and on the fol- 
lowing day it indorsed the views submitted in 
the resolution of Congress which accompanied 
Hancock's letter and "resolved that it be rec- 
ommended to the inhabitants of this Colony 
in general immediately to furnish themselves 
with necessary arms and ammunition, to use 
all diligence to perfect themselves in the mil- 
itary art, and if necessary to form themselves 
into companies for that purpose." From that 
time on until the close of hostilities the Pro- 
vincial Congress was in more or less complete 
control of the popular government of New 

George Washington received an address 
from the Provincial body on June 25, 1775, 
as he passed through New York to take com- 
mand of the Continental force in Massachu- 
setts, but the same body, at the time it agreed 
to honor Washington, learned that Governor 
Tryon was at the Sandy Hook and showed an 
equal readiness to honor him ; so that the door 
of peace was not altogether fast. But events 
were hurrying to their logical conclusion with 
a rush which no signs of halting on the part 
of any body of men could stop for an instant. 

On June 30 Tryon again assumed the 
duties of the Governorship and old Governor 
Golden retired forever from official life, al- 
though his services to his King, such as they 
were, continued to the end of his career. In 
spite of the presence of the representative of 
royalty the Colony raised its quota of 3,000 
men, as called for by the Continental Con- 
gress, and had received as its share of mil- 
itary leaders four major generals and eight 
brigadier generals. On August 22 Captain 
Isaac Sears was ordered to take the guns from 
the Battery, but a broadside from the frigate 
"Asia" killed three of his men and for the time 
being put a stop to that proceeding. When 
the Provincial Congress adjourned, a Com- 
mittee of Safety carried on the Government, 
and the preparations for the approaching 
struggle were carried on with such force and 
made such headway that on October 19, 1775, 
Governor Tryon, for his personal safety, took 

refuge on the sloop of war "Halifax," and 
from then until after the battle of Long 
Island the gubernatorial headquarters contin- 
ued on the quarter deck of the "Duchess of 
Gordon," the "Asia" or some other of his 
Britannic Majesty's vessels in the harbor of 
New York. To give Tryon his due he had 
even then seen the futility of the struggle on 
the lines determined by Britain, and as early 
as July 4, 1775, wrote to Lord Dartmouth 
that "oceans of blood may be spilled, but in 
my opinion America will never receive Parlia- 
mentary taxation." The second Provincial 
Congress met December 6, of that year. 

The full list of delegates designated for 
the first Provincial Congress from each of the 
three counties of Long Island was as follows : 

Suffolk county — Nathaniel Woodhull, John 
Sloss Hobart, Ezra L'Hommedieu, William 
Smith, Thomas Wickham, Thomas Tredwell, 
David Gelston, John Foster, James Havens, 
Selah Strong, Thomas Deering. 

Queens county — Jacob Blackwell, Captain 
Jonathan Lawrence, Daniel Rapalje, Zebulon 
Williams, Joseph French, Joseph Robinson, 
Nathaniel Tom, Thomas Hicks, Richard 

Kings county — Johannis E. Lott, Henry 
Williams, J. Remsen, Richard Stillwell, Theo- 
dorus Polhemus, John Lefferts, Nicholas Cow- 
enhoven, John Vanderbilt. 

As will be seen from a comparison of these 
names with those given in the records of the 
Provincial Congress, only a few attended of 
those here presented. In fact, in spite of the 
undoubted influence of General Woodhull, 
Long Island continued to be a thorn in the 
side of the Provincial assembly. Several of 
those delegates named above absolutely re- 
fused to serve. Thomas Hicks, of Little Neck, 
a Quaker, declined to share in Congress, on 
the advice of "several leading men" who as- 
sured him that Hempstead wished to remain 
at peace with all men. Thomas French, the 
delegate from Jamaica, based his refusal on 
the ground of his conviction that the people 
in his bailiwick were opposed to the Congress 



and to being represented in it. Nicholas Cow- 
enhoven, who was, if anything, lukewarm in 
his devotion to the Patriot cause, publicly de- 
clared at the beginning that his constituency 
of Flatbusli desired to take no part in the 
Congress, and afterward narrowly escaped ex- 
ecution by order of Washington as a spy. He 
was one of the most pronounced "'trimmers" 
of his time. Theodorus Polhemus did not ap- 
pear at the Congress until three months after 
his election, and then was permitted to sit 

The Tory sympathies of the majority of 
the people in Kings and Queens and of a 
respectable minority in Suffolk had long 
caused uneasiness in the Patriot ranks, and 
the Continental Congress, the Provincial Con- 
gress, as well as the various Whig Commit- 
tees of Safety, dealt more or less hastily with 
it from time to time. General Lee attempted 
extreme measures, and even Washington at 
one time entertained the belief that it was nec- 
essary for .the success of his cause that the 


because no one else from Kings was on hand, 
and his sphere and powers as a delegate were 
circumscribed. Briefly, it may be said that 
Queens and Kings coilnties were at the best 
only slimly represented in 'the Patriot councils, 
while Suffolk county was, for a time at least, 
as prominent by the number and influence of 
its delegates as any of the political divisions 
of the Commonwealth. To the second Pro- 
vincial Congress Queens did not even name a 
delegate ; but neither for that matter did Rich- 
mond, although the reason for the latter's com' 
plete abandoniment of the Loyalists is evident 
to every reader of the history of the period. 

Long Island Loyalists should be exterminated 
by forcible removal from their homes. The 
Whigs, even in places in Kings and Queens 
where they were in a very decided minority, 
made up their lack of numbers by their ag- 
gressiveness and boldness, by the outspoken 
manner in which they upheld their principles 
and by the reckless use of derogatory ad- 
jectives and uproarious nouns in their de- 
scriptions of those whose views did not coin- 
cide with their own. Arrests began to be 
made by order of Congress more with the view 
of showing the Loyalists the power of that 
body than with any idea at first of inflicting 



serious punishment; but it was soon evident 
that harsher measures were required. 

On September i6, 1775, Congress passed 
a disarmament resolution, directing that "all 
arms as are fit for the use of troops in this 
Colony which shall be in the hands of any 
person who has not signed the General Asso- 
ciation," should be seized. Although general 
in its terms, it was in reality directed against 
the Loyalists of Long Island, who were 
known as having been recently well stocked 
with arms, and no time was lost in putting 
the resolution into effect. For several days 
the confiscators carried out their mission with- 
out encountering much opposition, but at the 
same time without accomplishing much in the 
way of results; then the opposition grew so 
strong that to persevere would have precipi- 
tated an actual conflict, and that, just at that 
juncture, the Patriots were anxious to avoid, 
as an open quarrel in the ranks of the Col- 
onists would have only added to the perplexi- 
ties of the Continental leaders, and might 
even have proved fatal to the cause they had 
at heart. So the disarming party was allowed 
to dissipate itself into a state of desuetude. 

Before the close of the year, however, the 
Provincial Congress formally declared Kings 
and Queens counties in a state of insurrection 
and asked the advice of the Continental Con- 
gress as to what measures should be taken in 
the premises. The sending of troops to the 
island was urged, and it is significant that the 
suggestion was made that if troops were em- 
ployed they should be selected from outside 
the State. Congress at once took up the mat- 
ter and ordered Colonel Heard with 600 
militia from New Jersey and two companies 
from Lord Stirling's regulars under Major 
De Hart to proceed to Long Island and sub- 
due or pacify the Tories there. The orders 
of Congress were imperative. Everyone was 
to be disarmed who had shown any opposi- 
tion to Whig rule, and whoever objected was 
to be arrested. Queens county was singled 
out as the scene of his operations, for it 
wa:; thought that, with it in line or quiescent, 

the patriotism of Suffolk would be strength- 
ened v.'hile that of Kings would have oppor- 
tunity to assert itself. Accordingly Colonel 
Heard was given a list of twenty-six citizens 
of Queens who were to be arrested anyhow, 
and a list of 788 citizens who had voted 
against sending deputies to the Provincial 
Congress was ordered to be published, so that 
they might be known as traitors. Says Field: 
"All who in the exercise of the natural and 
legal right of voting according to their own 
judgment and conscience had given their 
names against the -election of deputies were 
placed under the ban of the Revolutionary 
Government and deprived of every right and 
privilege which the laws could give them. 
Nearly 800 freeholders of Queens were thus 
put out of protection of the law. All per- 
sons were forbidden to trade or hold inter- 
course with them ; they were subject to ar- 
rest and imprisonment the moment they 
crossed the boundary of the county; no law- 
yer was to defend them when accused, or 
prosecute any claim for debt, or suit for pro- 
tection from outrage or robbery." 

According to Congress the troops in dis- 
arming and the population were to act with 
"dispatch, secrecy, order and humanity," and 
in no respect were these instructions obeyed. 
Indeed it is difficult to understand how they 
could be, considering the other instructions to 
the troops and the entire, purpose of the ex- 
pedition. On January 18, 1776, Colonel Heard 
with his militia left New York with Major 
De Hart's regulars and a gang of volunteers 
associated with the latter, made up it seems to 
us mainly of jail-birds, robbers and rascals. 
Colonel Heard was a man of prudence, for- 
bearance and excellent judgment. If Major 
William De Hart possessed any of those qual- 
ities, which we doubt, his volunteer associates 
gave him no opportunity to display them, and 
so this "eminent lawyer" of Morristown really 
comes before us as the associate and friend of 
a lot of blacklegs of whose conduct he after- 
ward confessed he was ashamed. The expedi- 
tion crossed the East River near Hellgate and 



marched to Jamaica, disarming the farmers 
en route, ransacking their houses and robbing 
right and left, and even worse crimes were 
committed, the blame of which was laid on 
De Hart's volunteers. Jamaica was for a few 
days the headquarters of the raiders and there 
large numbers of prisoners were taken, the re- 
quired oath administered and the examination 
of Tories conducted ; then Hempstead became 
the scene of operations, where the same for- 
malities, or whatever we may call them, were 
gone through, but there De Hart's volunteers 
became so thoroughly intolerable even to their 
allies that they were summarily ordered back 
to New York. Colonel Heard then sent out 
scouting parties in various directions, — Flush- 
ing, Oyster Bay and the like. His expedi- 
tion, although it elicited a formal vote of 
thanks from Congress, was not a complete 
success. He had gathered i,qoo arms, most 
of which were old and worthless, he had made 
many arrests, he had reduced the material 
wealth of many of the Tories, but the spirit 
of disaffection was as strong as ever, nay, 
was even more rampant, as hate in many 
breasts now took the place of apathy. Even 
the prisoners were soon released, so that no 
practical result really came of Heard's expedi- 
tion, unless we consider that the thieves 
profited any who accompanied it and revelled 
in their spoils. 

As soon as it became apparent that this 
raid had been a failure, another was proposed 
and an effort was made to force all the able- 
bodied Whigs which the island possessed into 
the four regiments of militia which had been 
designated as the military contribution of 
Long Island to the Continental forces. But 
the effort did not produce results as generous 
as had been hoped. The situation had really 
become a serious one. Washington had fore- 
seen that New York was likely to become 
the centre of the war after he had completed 
the mission at Boston on which he was en- 
gaged, and no one knew better than he that 
New York City was not by any means a unit 


for the Patriot cause. He anticipated, too, 
that Long Island might form a convenient 
passage for the royal troops to Manhattan 
Island and he wrote quite a number of let- 
ters on the subject to Congress and to in- 
dividuals. Congress seemed indisposed even 
then to proceed to extreme measures, and we 
find him writing January 23, 1776, to Gen- 
eral Charles Lee, who had been appointed 
military Governor of New York and Long 
Island: "1 * * * am exceedingly sorry 
to hear that Congress countermanded the em- 
barkation of the two regiments intended 
against the Tories of Long Island. They, I 
doubt not, had their reasons ; but to me it ap- 
pears that the period is arrived when nothing 
less than the most decisive measures should 
be pursued." General Lee from the beginning 
treated Long Island as though it was indeed 
a part of "the enemy's country." He planned 
the famous line of fortifications from Gowanus 
to Wallabout, and he made many a raid on 
the Long Island farmers for supplies while 
his troops were so engaged. Congress agreed 
to pay for such military necessities, but the 
agreement for patent reasons was not hon- 
ored except in a few cases. He strung a line 
of sentinels along the shore to prevent any 
communication with the British ships in the 
harbor and forbade any trading with them. 
He rode pretty rough-handed over the peo- 
ple, treated the orders of Congress with con- 
tempt and on the whole seems to have been 
animated by pretty much the same spirit 
which in modern days we associate with the 
last traces of Spanish rule in America. Un- 
der Lee commenced that grand hunt after 
Tories which withm a few months was to be 
repaid by the latter with terrible interest. He 
ordered several well known Tories to be ar- 
rested and removed from the island, not only 
without the sanction of Congress but even 
against its expressed wishes. For this he 
justified himself in the following impertinent 
letter to Congress — the letter of a braggadocio,, 
not of a hero: 



I agree, sir, entirely with you that the ap- 
prehension, trial and punishment of citizens 
is not my province, but that of the Provincial 
Congress. But, irregular as it was, I had 
the assurance of many respectable men that 
he (Gale, whose arrest had been made the 
basis of a specific complaint) was a most 
dangerous man and ought not to be suffered 
to remain in Long Island, where an enemy 
is perhaps more dangerous than in any part 
of America. However, their assurance and 
my opinion form no excuse, and I heartily re- 
pent that I did not refer him to you, his proper 
judges. I must inform you now. Sir, that in 
consequence of the last instructions from the 
Continental Congress to put this city (New 
York) and its environs in a state of defense, 
I have ordered Col. Ward as a previous 
measure to secure the whole body of professed 
Tories on Long Island. With the enemy at 
our door, forms must be dispensed with. My 
duty to you, to the Continental Congress, and 
to my own conscience have dictated the neces- 
sity of this measure. 

Then began the round-up, but the Tories 
had taken warning, and the leaders most 
-wanted, such as Capt. Hewlett, could not be 
iound. Isaac Sears, "Lieut. Col. and Deputy 
Adjutant General," was a most effective, 
iussy, and disagreeable factor in carrying out 
Lee's views, but even he captured few Loyal- 
ists and conducted his operations so that 
wherever he went he made friends for King 
-George. Even the Whig leaders murmured 
against him and his ways, and one, Daniel 
Whitehead Kissam, of the Great Neck Com- 
mittee of Safety, formally lodged a com- 
plaint with the Provincial Congress. By that 
time, however, all civil rule in New York had 
been reduced 'to a shadow. Congress felt pow- 
erless to assert itself against the military arm 
and Lee determined to answer the complaints 
by redoubling his efforts to crush out the 
Tories. So he wrote Sears : 

As I have received information from the 
'Commander in Chief that there is reason soon 
to expect a very considerable army of the en- 
>emy, I should be in the highest degree culpable, 
I should be responsible to God, to my own 
conscience, and the Continental Congress of 

America, in suffering, at so dangerous a crisis' 
a knot of professed foes to American liberty 
to remain any longer within our own bosom, 
either to turn openly against us in arms, in 
conjunction with the enemy, or covertly to 
furnish them with information, to carry on a 
correspondence to the ruin of their country. 
I most desire you will offer a copy of this 
test enclosed to the people of whom I send you 
a list. Their refusal will be considered an 
avowal of their hostile intentions. You are 
therefore to secure their persons and send 
them up, without loss of time, as irreclaimable 
enemies to their country, in close custody to 
Connecticut. Richard Hewlett is to have no 
conditions offered to him, but to be secured 
without ceremony. 

This letter was written on March 5, 1776. 
On the following day Lee was superseded in 
his command and Lord Stirling appointed in 
his place. It was hoped that gentler measures 
might now prevail, but Lee, Ward and Sears 
and the like had fanned the discontent into 
almost open revolt, certainly into unconcealed 
repugnance to the. Continental Congress, and 
while much of the capricious cruelty which 
had characterized Lee's methods was aban- 
doned the isolation of Long Island from Brit- 
ish influence was more stringently attempted 
than ever. Col. Ward sent an expedition 
against a notorious pirate named James, 
which sunk that hero's boat and captured four 
painted wooden guns, the sight of which were 
wont to inspire terror. The beach opposite 
Staten Island and from there to Rockaway 
was closely patrolled, the chain of forts was 
steadily strengthened, and Captains Bird- 
sail and Nostrand secured 186 bay boats which 
had been suspected of carrying produce to the 
hated fleet. This wholesale capture did not 
inspire any feelings of satisfaction with the 
Continental force and the fussy, Tory-baiting 
propensities of such hair-brained creatures as 
Colonel Benjamin Sands, intoxicated with the 
possession of a degree of power which threw 
them far beyond their mental bearings, helped 
to drive many a waverer into the ranks 
of the avowed Tories. The various Commit- 
tees of Safety again determined to do what 



Had hitherto been found impossible — disarm 
the LoyaUsts — and ordered all the men in 
the three counties capable of bearing arms 
to enroll in the militia. This was a most 
disastrous move, as events proved from the 
moment the British arrived. However, it 
served to show who were what were then 
called "Black Tories." The goods of those 
who refused to enroll, or neglected to enroll, 
or to attend the prescribed drills, were seized 
and heavy fines were inflicted, in addition to 

who enlisted from these counties were worse 
than useless when the crisis came. 

"The most stringent effor^ts," says Field, 
"were not put forth to force every man, Loy- 
alist and Whig alike, into the hands of the 
militia. The iron despotism of militairy dis- 
cipline, it was believed, would soon surround 
them all with its invisible yet impassable walls. 
Notwithstanding the sleepless vigilance of the 
Whig committee and of the partisan bands 
which patrolled the island, by far the largest 


the inevitable arrest as the last resource. The 
island was now aroused into a sort of hell, 
with hate as the distinguishing characteristic 
of both parties to each other. It was an awful 
time. Families were separated forever, broth- 
ers became avowed enemies, fathers cursed 
sons, and friends were friends no longer. 
The impotency of all that had been done was 
clearly seen in the returns which came to Con- 
gress of the enrollment into the militia it had 
ordered on May i, 1776. Suffolk was thor- 
oughly in line, but Kings and Queens were 
hopelessly delinquent. Half even of those 

part of the inhabitants of Kings and Queens 
counties sturdily refused to appear in arms 
against the royal cause. Squads of armed 
Whigs, constantly in active pursuit, arrested 
the disaffected and thrust them with entire 
indifference into the ranks or the common 
jail. The severities with which the Loyalists 
were now pursued afforded a fatal precedent 
for the British ; and the subsequent sufferings 
of Whig prisoners in the provost, the sugar 
houses and the prison ships, are attributable 
in some degree to the rigors inflicted by their 
own partisans at this time. The jails through- 



out the northern Colonies were soon crowded 
with the New York Loyalists, a large propor- 
tion of whom were from Long Island." 

There is no doubt that it was on Long 
Island that the plot was hatched which was 
to abduct Washington and so cause such con- 
fusion in the ranks of the Continentals as to 
end the war. Around the story of this plot 
much secrecy was thrown at the time and im- 
mediately after it was exposed, — why, we can 
only conjecture. We can also only guess at 
its extent, but it really seems to have been 
widespread over the Colony of New York at 
least, and to have had in view risings of the 
Tories at several points as soon as the ab- 
duction of Washington was accomplished, by 
means of which the Loyalists were to seize 
the reins of government. Of the lOO persons 
afterward alleged to have been engaged in it 
fifty-six were residents of Kings and Queens 
counties, and Richard Hewlett was distin- 
guished as the leader of them all. Mayor 
Matthews, Col. Axtel, Dr. Samuel Martin of 
Hempstead, Dr. Charles Arden of Jamaica, 
Capt. Archibald Hamilton of Flushing, and 
John Rapalye of Brooklyn were prominent 
among those for whom warrants were after- 
wards issued and there was also the usual 
modicum of the scum of civilization, such as 
Michael Lynch and Thomas Hickey, jail- 
birds and counterfeiters— Gilbert Forbes, a 
spy, and Mary Gibbons, a female in the "con- 
fidence" of Washington, whatever that may 
imply. Hickey and Lynch and Mary were to 
be the actual abductors of the Chief, Mary 
seemingly being designed to act the part of a 
modern Delilah. The best contemporary ac- 
count of the plot which we have seen is con- 
tained in a letter written by Surgeon William 
Eustis to a friend in Boston and which is 
printed in volume III of the "Memoirs of the 
Long Island Historical Society." The letter 
is dated at New York, June 28, 1776, and 
while extravagant in its language, and it seems 
to me ridiculous in its fears, is nevertheless 
an undoubtedly honest account of the aflfair, as 
it seemed to the writer and as doubtless it 

seemed to most of those actively engaged with 
the Continental army. 

Perhaps I may give you a better idea of it 
(the plot) than as yet you have obtained. 
The Mayor of New York, with a number of 
villains who were possessed of fortunes and 
who formerly ranked with Gentlemen, had im- 
piously dared an undertaking big with fatal 
consequence to the virtuous army in York and 
which in all probability would have given the 
enemy possession of the city with little loss. 
Their design was, tipon the first engagement 
which took place, to have murdered (with 
trembling I say it) the best man on earth. 
Gen. Washington was to have been the first 
subject of their unheard-of sacricide; our 
magazines which, as you know, are very 
capacious, were to have been blown up ; every 
general officer and every other who was ac- 
tive in serving his country in the field was 
to have been assassinated ; our cannon were 
to have been spiked up; and in short every 
the most accursed scheme was laid to give us 
into the hands of the enemy and to ruin us. 
They had plenty of money and gave large 
bounties and larger promises to those who 
were engaged to serve their hellish purposes. 
In order to execute their design upon our 
General they had enlisted into their service 
one or two from his Excellency's Life Guard 
who were to have assassinated him; knowing 
that no person could be admitted into the 
magazines or among the cannon but those 
who were of the artillery, they have found 
several in our regiment vile enough to be con- 
cerned in their diabolical designs : these were 
to have blown up the magazines and spiked 
the cannon. 

Their design was deep, long concerted 
and wicked to a great degree. But, happily 
for us, it has pleased God to discover it to us 
in season, and I think we are making a right 
improvement (as the good folks say). We 
are hanging them as fast as we find them 
out. I have just now returned from the ex- 
ecution of one of the General's Guard 
(Thomas Hickey). He was the first that has 
been tried ; yesterday at 1 1 o'clock he received 
sentence ; to-day at 1 1 he was hung in presence 
of the whole army. * * * The trial will go- 
on and I imagine they will be hung, gentle 
and simple, as fast as the fact is proved 
against them. That any set of men could be 
so lost to every virtuous principle, and so 
dead to the feelings of humanity as to con- 



spire against the person of so great and good 
a man as Gen. Washington, is surprising ; few 
of our countrymen (as you may well imagine) 
are concerned. They are in general foreign- 
ers ; upward of thirty were concerned ; and it 
is said Gov. Tryon is at the bottom. 

Of course the data contained in this letter 
are made up, much of it, most of it, indeed, of 
rumor with its usual exaggerations ; but there 
is no doubt of the existence of a plot and of 
some of the consequences of its discovery, 
such as the execution of the unfortunate Hick- 
ey; but the men who were supposed to be in- 
stigators, the leaders, aiders and abettors, the 
concocters, all seem to have escaped. Hewlett 
was already in hiding and so prepared for 
any such unpleasant consequences as arrest; 
Mayor Matthews was arrested and his home 
searched, but no incriminating evidence 
against him could be found. 

Washington arrived in New York from 
New England April 14 and took personal 
charge of the work of fortification and de- 
fense. On May 21 he went to Philadelphia to 
consult with the leaders of Congress and on 
June 14 he was again on the Hudson and in- 
specting the defense at King's Bridge. It 
seems to have been during his absence in 
Philadelphia that the plot was matured and its 
design, whatever it was, was to go into opera- 
tion on his return. 

He seems to have been at once informed of 
the conspiracy, and on June 20 its existence 
was known throughout the Continental army 
in and around New York. A waiter in a 
tavern is given as the informer, and it was 
alleged that on his statements the warrants 
were issued. The fact that Hickey and Lynch 
had by that time been arrested for issuing 
counterfeit notes and were in jail and anxious 
to save their own lives by turning informers, 
had possibly more to do with the "discovery" 
than "anything else. The legal and military 
proceedings taken against many of the accused 
certainly showed that the Continental army 
was full of spies ; that plans of the fortifica- 
tions and the like had been placed in the 

hands of the British commander on Staten 
Island; and that there were traitors in the 
American army; but so far as the abduction 
of Washington was concerned it dwindled 
down to the work of vengeance of a discarded 
mistress and two unprincipled scoundrels ; and 
was frustrated unconsciously so far as the 
Continental authorities were concerned by the 
imprisonment of the latter. Mary Gibbons 
disappeared forever . from the scene on the 
moment of discovery. 

The discovery of this plot and its accom- 
panying wild rumors did not improve matters 
on Long Island : on the contrary it served to 
make it be regarded more than ever as part 
of "the enemy's country." Capt. Marinus 
Willett was at once dispatched to Jamaica, 
wheire a party of those alleged to have been 
engaged in the conspiracy were reported to be 
in hiding, and after what seems to have been 
a regular old-fashioned Indian sort of fight, 
in which one of the Loyalists was killed and 
several wounded, made the party prisoners, 
but was not fortunate enough to capture any 
of those for whom the Continental authorities 
were most anxious. The coast was so thor- 
oughly patrolled by Continental troops that 
comimunication with the British vessels be- 
came almost impossible except to pirates like 
James and dare-devils like Hewlett, and the 
iron hand of the dominant power was felt 
in all directions in the two disaffected counties. 
But even threats and all sorts of coercive 
measures failed to make the delegates to the 
Provincial Congress attend its sessions and 
the incessant fussy and sometimes cruel pres- 
sure of the Whig Committees of Safety not 
only failed to stay the spirit of the spirit of 
Toryism but rather caused it to increase, re- 
solved, as it were, the spirit of loyalty from 
being merely a sentiment into a dogma. The 
fast gathering strength of the British force in 
the bay and on Staten Island could not be 
hidden from the Loyalists, and not only served 
to embolden them to defy the Continental 
powers, but the evident certainty of the island 
being soon again under British domination, 



a certainty that was zealously promulgated 
by their leaders, turned many a half-hearted 
Loyalist into a Tory of the Tories, ready even 
to make sacrifice for his cause, because he 
believed such sacrifice would only be tempor- 

But the Revolutionary authorities were 
vigilant to the last, because as developments 
unfolded themselves it became evident that 
Long Island was likely to become the key to 
the military situation. The forts were 
strengthenca in men and in resources, the line 
of defenses was duly made more formidable 
and the patrolling parties along the shore 
more numerous and vigilant. 

But the people in Kings and Queens re- 
mained callous to the slogan of Liberty. An 
election for delegates to the Provincial Con- 
gress was held on the 19th of August, but 
the delegates never had a chance to serve. 
Three days later Gravesend was in the hands 
of .the British and the campaign was on which 
ended in Long Island being for seven years 
in the hands of the British, and the Tories 
had a chance to repay their persecutors for 
the indignities and cruelties and wrongs which 
had been perpetrated upon them in the name 
of Liberty. They availed themselves of the 
opportunity and added interest in the way of 
new cruelties and prison horrors that robs 
the story of their loyalty of all sense of noble- 
ness, and has served to add only a new and 
sickening page to the historv of human op- 
pression and deviltry and persecution. 

It is difficult at this stage in the world's 
history to put ourselves into the places of 
the leaders of public opinion, the men of ac- 
tion, in this country, in 1776, and to know 
all their information, the rumors which reach- 
ed them, the various now generally hidden and 
forgotten data on which thev based the details 
of their policy; and so it is difficult to clearly 
and fully give judgment on their doings. At 
the same time, the passage of the years has 
made things clear to us which were not so to 
them, and we can weigh their policy in the 
light of its results more truly and unerringly 

than was possible to them. All we can read 
of the policy of the Continental leaders re- 
garding Long Island impels us to believe that 
their policy was wrong, that it only drove into 
practical rebellion a part of Long Island which 
otherwise would have remained neutral in its 
loyalty, which really did not care whether 
King or Congress reigneid, so long as it was 
left to pursue its way in peace. When the 
conflict opened, of course. Kings and Queens 
had their rabid Tories ; so also they had their 
violent Whigs ; but the bulk of the population 
really felt like saying "a plague on both your 
houses.'' As soon as they felt themselves sup- 
ported by Congress the Whigs by their vio- 
lence started in to make their own cause an 
instrument of oppression, and such measures 
as the enforcement of militia service and dis- 
armament were not only liable to turn the en- 
tire population against those who thus deemed 
coercion necessary to liberty, but created a 
feeling of false strength in their own ranks 
which had most inglorious results when the 
time for action came. The Provincial Con- 
gress, it is fair to say, seems to have had 
some sense of the unstatesrnanlike nature of 
the policy of force in this instance, but the 
hotheadedness of such fire-eaters as Charles 
Lee and the antics of such fanfarons as Col. 
John Sands, the men of action when the mili- 
tary crisis came, crushed out whatever states- 
manship then struggled in the brains of the 
delegates to Congress. Even Washington, 
usually so clear-headed and sagacious, fell in 
line with the reports of his military subordin- 
ates and treated the people of Kings and 
Queens as enemies to the cause to which he 
had with rare single-heartedness devoted his 
life, his all. But the effects of all this are 
clearly evident to us as we review the events 
of 1775 and 1776, and see how easily the 
British effected a landing and found hosts of 
friends in a spot which ought to have been 
one of the natural defenses of the country 
and on an island on which, had the people 
been loyal to the Whigs, even Howe's army 
could not have landed in triiu-nph. 

1. Scabrin^s Alill. 
2lJrou'\vcr's Mill. 
aVanDyck's ^AtH. 
4.Bro oldvn Church. 
5.3^6(1 Lion TavTEiTi 




HE Battle of Brooklyn, or of Long 
Island, as it is often called, was a 
marked disaster to the forces of 
the Revolution. It showed that in 
'point of strategy the Continental Generals, 
outside of their chief, were, hardly fitted 
to cope with the trained warriors of Britain. 
There is no doubt that the battle was lost 
mainly through a tactical blunder on the part 
of Gen. Putnam, or rather through the want 
of tactical knowledge on his part and a 
strange carelessness on the part of Gen. Sul- 
livan. A review of the battle, however, would 
almost seem to force the conviction that the 
American, army would have been defeated at 
any rate when an issue was made on that 
ground, for certainly it was a foregone con- 
clusion that from the time the British were 
permitted to land in force (some 20,000 vet- 
eran troops), with a fleet at their service, they 
were bound to become masters of the situation 
when opposed only by some 6,000 half trained 

At the same time the heroic resistance of- 
fered by the Continentals, their behavior un- 
der the most dispiriting circumstances, their 
stubborn defense, their willingness under a 
misconception of orders to resume the fray, 
and the masterly retreat from their position, 
not only saved the military reputation of the 
Patriot forces but proved that the men had 
in them that stuff of which heroes — victorious 
heroes — are made. The courage of Small- 
wood and the dash of Stirling were in them- 
selves lessons to the militia forces ; the stolid 

resistance of Sullivan was worthy of all praise, 
even although his inactivity at a critical mo- 
ment was among the primal causes of the de- 
feat; and up to a certain point the disposition 
of his forces by Putnam was masterly, while 
the tactical pre-eminence of Washington, aided 
by fog and the elements, turned the edge of 
what might have been an irrecoverable blow 
into merely a military mishap. 

Certainly the generalship of the British 
commander in putting his finger upon the 
weak point in the American line of defense 
and taking full advsfntage of it was a personal 
triumph which, at this day, need not be with- 
held from him. But he lost the fruits of his 
victory by his remarkable inactivity, an inac- 
tivity which it is said to his credit was 
prompted by a hope that his victory might 
lead to a cessation of hostilities and a stoppage 
of the shedding of blood. But the time for 
that had not yet come on either side, and 
Washington took advantage of the halt in 
affairs and of a generous fog to concentrate 
the Continental forces of the northern part 
of Manhattan Island. The principal result 
"of the battle to the British was that it gave 
them -the control of Long Island and Man- 
hattan Island, both of which they continued 
to hold until peace was declared and the new 
nation was formally recognized on every 

With the triumphant ending of the cam- 
paign at Boston and its occupation by Wash- 
ington, one chapter in the story of the Revo- 
lutionary struggle was closed, and closed in 



a manner that inspired the Patriots with 
high hopes for the ultimate success of their 
arms. It was felt that now they were in a 
better position, with the prestige of success 
behind them, and the experience gained in 
actual conflict, to meet the further onslaughts 
of the enemy. The result of the evacuation 
of Boston in fact left the country in the en- 
tire possession, in a military sense, of the 
Patriot force, and great naturally were the 

But Washington and the leaders of the 
Revolution well knew that only a chapter had 
been closed and that another would soon 
open. In fact, across the St.- Lawrence an- 
other chapter had even then been worked out, 
with disastrous results. Montgomery was 
killed at Quebec and that fortress with its 
rich stores of munitions of war defied the 
efforts of the American army. Montreal and 
other places were still in their hands, but 
sickness as well as the fortunes of war was 
decimating their ranks, and step by step the 
Patriots were forced to recross the St. Law- 
rence. That territory, therefore, was then 
more than a menace to the fortunes of the 
movement of Freedom: it was a storehouse 
for the common enemy, and its port of Hali- 
fax was a convenient gathering place, for fu- 
ture operations. 

Then General Howe had practically left 
Boston with his forces intact, with the honors 
of war, carrying with him his arms and his 
supplies, and his baggage; and although his 
destination was unknown for some time the 
existence of that force was a menace. Wash- 
ington naturally thought that New York, with 
its magnificent opportunities for naval and" 
military manoeuvres, would be the scene of 
its operations, and accordingly orders were 
issued for the immediate defence of that port. 
General Lee was at once dispatched to hurry 
on and superintend this work ; and the army, 
as rapidly as possible, was transferred to Man- 
hattan Island and its vicinity. It was felt, 
indeed, by many that the Continental army 
could not hold the island against a combined 

attack of the military and naval forces of the 
enemy, but the strategical importance of the 
place, its immense value to the British as an 
entreport, and its pre-eminence as an indus- 
trial centre^which it had even then assumed — 
made its retention in the hands of the Patriots 
a matter of prime importance. If it could 
not be held, it could at least be made de- 
batable ground, and unless a signal victory 
was gained by them at the outset this was 
the most that could be hoped for. All prep- 
arations were therefore made for defense, 
when it was learned that Howe had sailed to 
Halifax, determining to wait there for rein- 
forcements before entering upon a new cam- 

When he returned a significant change was 
taking place and the separate Colonies were 
formally united into one defensive govern- 
ment by the signing of the Declaration of In- 
dependence at Philadelphia July 4, 1776, by 
the irepresentatives of the thirteen original 

With the defenses of Manhattan Island, 
except in a general way, this history has 
nothing to do; but it may be said that quite 
an extensive chain of forts was constructed 
in what was then the city with a grand battery 
of twenty-three guns at the most southern 
point. Beside it was Fort George, and near 
Trinity church was another, and two more 
further along the water-front were intended 
to command the approach to the Hudson. 
The other .side of Manhattan Island, opposite 
the Long Island shore, was protected by an 
even more formidable chain, Coentie's battery 
of five guns, Waterbury's battery of seven 
guns, Badlam's battery of eight guns, on Rut- 
gers Hill near the old Jewish burying-ground ; 
Thompson's battery of nine guns at Hoorne's 
Hook, and a battery at what is now the 
junction of Grand and Centre streets. There 
were also breastworks covering other points, 
and sunken ships and chain lines were added 
to the means by which it was hoped to pre- 
vent the passage up either the North or East 
rivers and hamper the efforts of a fleet to 



aid any landing party. The main reliance of 
Washington, however, was the elaborate 
scheme of defense at Kingsbridge and the 
upper extremity of the island, knowing that 
so long as they remained in his hands the 
island itself would be practically useless to 
the invader, for by that term the British 
forces could then justly be called. 

Second in importance only to Harlem 
Heights in that it did not hold the key to 

close attention. The fort on Red Hook was 
strengthened, and, as Fort Defiance, was ex- 
pected to challenge any ship or landing party 
before the guns on the Grand Battery be- 
came available. Gen. Nathanael Greene took 
charge of the defense of the island and lost no 
time in completing his work. Brooklyn at 
that time lay between the Wallabout and Red 
Hook and was encircled by a chain of small 
hills, some of which are still to be seen in 

THE BATTLE PASS. (Sketched by G. L. Burdette in 1792.) 

"the continent but of equal importance to the 
defense of Manhattan Island itself, was the 
retention of Long Island to the Patriot forces. 
With that in the hands of the British Man- 
hattan Island was at their mercy practically, 
and so the campaign of the midsummer of 
1776 resolved itself into this: the defense of 
Long Island for the protection of New York 
City proper and the defense of the Heights 
around the Harlem and the southern part of 
Westchester county for the protection of the 
Hudson River and the northern States. 

Long Island was therefore the subject of 

Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery, 
although the landscape has been sadly changed 
by the march of modern improvement. Be- 
tween this stretch of hills and the water-front 
facing Staten island and Sandy Hook was a 
stretch of flat ground dotted with such villages 
as Gravesend, Flatlands and New Utrecht, an 
admirable landing ground for an offensive 
force. But the screen of hills formed a 
natural line of defense, and so long as these 
could be held New York was safe from that 
side. Gen. Greene took full advantage of this 
natural breastwork and covered the passes be- 



tween the hills through which an enemy must 

Behind these hills a series of forts ex- 
tended from theWallabout to the Red Hook. 

Fort Stirling commanded the water-front 
at what is now the junction of Hicks and 
Pierrepoint streets. 

Fort Putnam (now Fort Greene) . 

Fort Greene, near the present intersection 
of Nevins and Dean streets. 

Forts Putnam and Greene were connected 
by an oblong redoubt. 

Cork Screw Fort was on the space now 
lying between Atlantic, Pacific, Court and 
Clinton Streets. 

There was also a small redoubt eastward 
of Fort Putnam, near the Jamaica road. 

Fort Box, a redoubt (four guns) on the 
slope of Bergen Hill west of Smith street, 
not far from Hoyt and Carroll streets. 

No one can look at a map of early Brooklyn 
without seeing that these defenses were skill- 
fully planned so far as their situation goes to 
protect the town behind them ; but as has been 
said, the main purpose of Greene was to pre- 
vent any passage across the chain of hills 
which nature had placed ready to his hand for 
purposes of defense. Of course, could the 
landing of any force have been contested, an 
even better defense might have been insured; 
but his force was too small to guard an ex- 
tensive stretch of territory ; there was no way 
of telling which the enemy, if he did land 
at all, might select; and it was not an age 
when the telegraph could instantly give warn- 
ing of an approach, and when the means 
were at hand for quickly massing large forces 
of men at any given point. Besides, his 
troops were not numerous enough to do more 
than guard the defenses, and so he wisely 
determined to concentrate his attention on 
them and leave the landing to fate. 

Meanwhile General William Howe was not 
idle. He left Boston on March 17, landed 
with his forces at Halifax some ten days later 
and remained there until the middle of June. 
By that time communication had been entered 

into with the home Government, reinforce- 
ments promised and new plans for the sub- 
jugation or submission of the Colonies, war- 
like and pacific, duly considered and agreed 
to. In accordance with these General HoAve 
gathered up his army and again set sail, ar- 
riving on Staten Island on June 29. A land- 
ing was soon effected and the British troops 
went into camp. New York was naturally 
greatly excited by the appearance of the vis- 
itors, and the excitement deepened as time 
went on and no hostile demonstrations of any 
account were made, showing that re-inforce- 
ments were expected. The whole of Staten 
Island was at once under the control of Howe, 
even the local militia organization renewing 
its allegiance to the king, and, until the close 
of the conflict, it so remained. The posses- 
sion of the island naturally gave the British 
a commanding position in front of New York. 
By it they controlled a wide section of the 
water-front : they commanded, indeed, the en- 
trance to New York harbor, while it afforded 
many landing places for their troops safe 
from all interference or obstruction except in 
the remote and unlikely event of an attack 
from the. Jersey side, across the Kill von Kull. 
Reinforcements continued to arrive, but it was 
not until July 14 that, with the arrival of 
Admiral Lord Howe and his fleet, the Brit- 
ish felt strong enough to begin their plans 
for bringing about peace either by persuasion 
or compulsion. Into the story of the first of 
these we need not here enter : they belong to 
the general history of the country. It was 
perfectly understood, however, in the Contin- 
ental camps that there was no hope of peace 
as long as surrender was the basis of the 
British proposals, and so the work of defense 
wa-s carried forward with incessant zeal. 

The defense of Long Island was pushed 
on with especial haste, and as the position of 
the British indicated whence an attack on New 
York might possibly come the hills that en- 
circled Brooklyn were thoroughly covered by 
the Continental leader. He also, it is said, 
prepared for the eventuality that the enemy 



might land on Long Island, pass his chain of 
defenses and by making a detour endeavor to 
gain the narrow passages towards Hell Gate 
and so gain possession of the upper part of 
Manhattan Island. Much discussion had been 
created as to the military value of Greene's 
arrangements, but it must be remembered that 
his plan was fully approved by Washington, 
who visited the works several times while in 
course of formation, and, also, that before his 
arrangements were fully completed he was 
seized with fever and compelled to take to his 
bed, unable even to discuss his plans with 
peneral Sullivan, who was appointed tempor- 
arily to the military command of the island. 
We know the adage about the impropriety of 
swapping horses while crossing a stream, but 
the "swap" had to be made in this instance 
pud with the usual results. 

Sullivan was a brave man, but had the repu- 
tation of being careless at times, knew little of 
jStrategy, was a magnificent leader of an on- 
slaught, and ignorant of mathematical calcula- 
tions, which enter so largely into warfare. Ru- 
mors began to thicken that the descent on Long 
Island was about to be made, and reinforce- 
ments were sent over from the main army on 
Manhattan; and then, on Aug. 22, it was 
definitely learned that the British had actually 
crossed and had effected a landing at what is 
now the village of Bath between New Utrecht 
and Gravesend. As it was also known that 
they had only three days' provisions with them, 
there seemed no longer any doubt that they 
meant to attempt the capture of New York 
by the most direct land route possible, across 
the Gowanus range to Brooklyn. Still, al- 
though everything so indicated, so far as in- 
formation among the Patriots went, this move- 
ment might only be undertaken by one part 
of the army to detract attention from another 
movement, directed against King's Bridge, so 
that virtually the entire force at the command 
of Washington was called into requisition to 
guard quite a great extent of country against 
a foe which might throw an overwhelming 
force at a moment against whatever part was 

weakest. It should be remembered that a 
system of spies was carefully maintained by 
both sides. Every movement on Staten Island 
appeared to be known at once to Washington 
and doubtless the same espionage brought to 
a knowledge of the Howes the weak points 
in the long and tortuous line of defense. 

It did not take long for the mystery of 
the moment to clear away and the plan of 
campaign via Long Island to unfold itself,, 
although even after it was seen that the Brit- 
ish were landed in force at Bath the watchful- 
vigilance all along the shores of Manhattan 
and the approaches of. the Hudson. In fact 
one of the spies employed by Gen. William- 


Livingston of New Jersey brought in to that 
patriot such information that he wrote to 
Washington on the 21st that 20,000 men had 
already embarked to occupy Long Island and 
the entrance to the Hudson simultaneously 
while 15,000 were in readiness for other ser- 
vice touching New Jersey itself. Washington 
at once saw that Long Island was the crucial 
point in the new campaign and as soon as the 
news of the landing reached him dispatched 
six battalions of his troops to reinforce the 
defensive struggle. Five battalions more in 
New York were held in immediate readiness 
to cross the East River should their services 
be needed, but the defense of Manhattan Isl- 
and demanded their retention there except in 
case of a great emergency. The stories of 



the spies could not always be depended on. 
Washington afterward (Sept. 9) wrote to 
Congress : "Before the landing of the enemy 
on Long Island 'the point of attack could not 
be known, nor any satisfactory judgment 
formed of their intention. It might be on 
Long Island, on Bergen, or directed on the 

The landing of the British was conducted 
in a masterly manner and proceeded without 
much incident. The movement began in the 
early morning; by nine o'clock 9,000 troops 
had been landed and before noon the entire 
attacking force of 15,000 men with their arms 
and baggage, stood on Long Island. The 
movement was clearly seen from the Amer- 
ican line, but no serious attempt was made 
to interrupt it. Col. Reed, in a letter dated 
August 23, indeed wrote: "As there are so 
many landing places and the people of the 
island generally so treacherous, we never ex- 
pected to prevent the landing." For military 
purposes under all the existing circumstances 
no better landing point could have been 
selected. As soon as it was known that the 
British had landed, an alarm seized New York 
which the Patriots could hardly allay. On 
the 24th, Washington at once crossed to Long 
Island and gave personal instruction as to the 
■defense. He judged that, in accordance with 
news which had reached him, the first purpose 
•of the invaders was to win the lines held by 
Gen. Sullivan, either by a surprise after a 
forced march or an attack in force, and he 
strengthened that comimander's position with 
six regiments. Certainly Washington's judg- 
ment in this instance was in full accord with 
the dictates of military science, and had Sulli- 
van understood that science as well, or had 
he exhibited the watchfulness his position de- 
manded, he might have forced the fighting 
at his lines and so changed the entire aspect 
of the campaign. 

After issuing a stirring address to his 
troops Washington returned to New York 
and at once sent General Putnam to take 
•chief command on Long Island. Washington 

was not entirely confident of Sullivan's judg- 
ment, and it is said that the latter justified 
his commander's doubt by "sulking at being 
verbally superseded in the direction of affairs 
by the veteran." Putnam, we are told, had a 
fair knowledge of the campaigning ground 
and had the entire confidence of his chief. 
He at once began to strengthen the defense 
wherever he perceived the opportunity or 
necessity, but the time of his disposal was too 
limited to enable him to grasp the whole 
scheme of defense as laid down by Greene, 
and the absence of that skillful soldier was 
regretted more keenly by none more than the 
brave soldier who was thus suddenly called 
to assume his part. At the same time it should 
be remembered that the real commander in 
chief was Washington, and be it also said that 
he never shirked the responsibility of that po- 
sition. On the morning of the 26th he again 
crossed to Brooklyn, rode over in company 
with Putnam, Sullivan, and other ofificers 
much of the line of defense, visited and en- 
couraged the outposts and carefully exam- 
ined the position of the British forces, some 
of whom by that time were near Flatbush. 
The entire line of defense seemed a strong 
one, every avenue of approach, it appeared 
to the hurried investigators, was fully cov- 
ered, and such as under experienced troops 
would have formed an impassable barrier. 
Possibly Gen. Greene alone could have told its 
weak points, but his usefulness for this cam- 
paign was a thing of the past. 

On the night of the 26th Washington, with 
a heavy heart but not without strong hope, 
returned to New York, and it has been calcu- 
lated that while he was crossing the river 
the British forces began their forward move- 

From the moment of landing on the 22d 
the British troops had not been idle, but were 
engaged in a series of movements the precise 
nature of which was difficult to judge, al- 
though the Patriots adhered to the view that 
one of the passes, most likely that held by 
Sullivan, was to be the object of a concen- 









trated attack. The army was steadily ex- 
tending itself over the level country between 
the sea and the hills, gradually forcing the 
American outposts back to the latter and 
seizing the various roads. Many skirmishes 
took place between the outposts, but the pre- 
cise design of the enemy was cleverly con- 
cealed, and until the 26th the main purpose 
of the British was to wear out. the raw con- 
tinental levies by keeping them continually on 
|;he alert. On the 26th the Hessian troops 
under De Heister took possession of Flat- 
lush, while Sir Henry Clinton, the real com- 
mander of the forces, occupied Flatlands, and 
General Grant carried his column within 
light of General Stirling's division. Still the 
)recise purpose of all these movements was 
■oncealed, or rather nothing offered a better 
ixplanation than that one of the defensive 
)Osts was to be carried by force. General 
lowe's spies were better informed than those 
bf the Continentals and he knew and seized 
Upon the weakest spot in the whole line of 
defense. The Battle of Brooklyn was a 
battle of strategy and it is no disgrace to 
say that on that point the Patriots were 
worsted. Their strategist was lying hovering 
between life and death. He alone knew the 
full scope of the plan he had conceived and 
put into effect. 

Washington had not time to review the 
ground thoroughly, neither had Putnam, 
neither for that matter had Sullivan, the next 
in command, but he might have saved the day, 
or changed its entire aspect, had he been 
more watchful at the moment when watch- 
fulness was most needed. 

In the early hours of the morning of Au- 
gust 27th word was brought in by pickets' that 
a column of the enemy under General Grant 
had moved against the lines held by Stirling. 
The latter, in accordance with orders received 
from Putnam, advanced towaird Gowanus 
creek with Hazlet's Delaware regiment and 
Smallwood's Maryland regiment. At the 
creek they were joined by Col. Atlee's Penn- 
sylvania regiment, which had been stationed 

around there as an advanced outpost. The 
advance of the British was soon heard and 
Stirling ordered the Pennsylvanians to await 
the foe in an orchard on the left of the road, 
while he with his Delaware and Maryland 
men took possession of a ridge which over- 
looked the route the enemy must pass. Word 
was at once sent back to the main body 
urging reitiforcements, as it seemed that the 
expected battle was to open at that point. 
When the light began to dawn the approach 
of the enemy was clearly perceived and their 
strength in the wavering light was at once 
overestiniated. The Pennsylvanians fired sev- 
eral volleys at the approaching column and 
then retired to a position on the left of the 
ridge held by Stirling's troops. That force 
had already been strengthened by Kichline's 
regiment of riflemen which was scattered 
around the base of the ridge and well under 
shelter so as to retard any advance which 
might be made to storm the position by an 
attack in force. Xhat seemed likely when 
sOme of Grant's troops in advance of the col- 
umn took possession of an orchard about 150' 
yards away and commenced firing into the 
ranks of the Patriots. For two hours there- 
after, until long after the darkness had dis- 
appeared, a battle of musketry was kept up 
between the two forces, with the view of 
"drawing each other," or in other words in 
the hope of each gaining a clearer under- 
standing of the movements of the opposing 
side. On the part of the British Stirling's 
purpose was divined as to keep them in check 
until his forces were strengthened so that he 
could give them battle. Grant's purpose was 
to keep Stirling so employed until a certain 
crisis in the engagement was reached. Two 
field pieces were hurried to Stirling's aid and 
placed in position to sweep the roadway along 
which the British would advance, and Grant 
brought up some artillery and after much de- 
ploying took up a position about 600 yards 
from the Americans, occupying also a series 
of ridges. Thereafter there was a continuous 
firing by the artillery of the armies, but 



neither was inclined to attempt a general en- 
gagement. Grant was carrying out his part 
of the British leader's scheme by keeping 
Stirling in front, while Stirling, unaware of 
the strength of the enemy, could only with 
safety hold the invader in check until his 
request for reinforcements should be complied 
with or until General Putnam should appear 
to take command at the point with a strong 

Meanwhile another part of the British plan 
was put in operation and failed. It was to 
land a force on Manhattan Island, but con- 
trary winds defeated that purpose. The ships 
with the troops could not get through the Nar- 
rows and after several efforts landed their 
men at Bath, and one of the ships, the Roef- 
buck, bombarded Fort Defense on Red Hook 
and in that way added to the uncertainty of 
the Patriot leaders as to the exact nature of 
the entire movement. The four eighteen- 
pounders in the fort made a gallant response 
to the Roebuck's five and prevented any salient 
damage at that point, although it must be ad- 
mitted that the noise of these cannons aided 
the success of the British plans. 

Meanwhile another part of the British 
strategical movement was being played with 
marked success. De Heister's Hessians at 
Flatbush commenced an artillery attack on 
the fort held in the hills in front by Col. 
Hand of General Sullivan's division. Sulli- 
van himself at once repaired to the spot and 
was apparently convinced that the attack in 
force was to be made against his lines. But 
the British made no advance and contented 
themselves with a brisk fire, which was an- 
swered as briskly from the hills. 

On the part of the British all these move- 
ments were merely feints to engage the at- 
tention of the Continentals while the main 
movement was in progress. All through the 
night Sir Henry Clinton, with a force of some 
of the best and most experienced of the Brit- 
ish troops, had been marching by a most cir- 
cuitous route past the chain of defenses with 

the view of seizing what was reported to them 
as being a slimly guarded pass through the 
Bedford Hills, and so turn the flank of tli|e 
whole line of defense. Until Grant and the 
other commanders heard the guns announcing 
that the movement had been successfully car- 
ried out and that the Continentals were be- 
tween two fires, they simply held their oppo- 
nents in check. The British sped on from Flat- 
lands on their journey without noise 'and, with 
a British sympathizer belonging to the local- 
ity as a guide, came within a mile of their ob- 
jective point before daybreak. Then their ad- 
vance troops surrounded an American Patriot 
and discovered that the Bedford Pass, for 
which they were making, was practically un- 
guarded, and that no troops were around that 
important point except a few patrolling squads 
who had to guard quite an extensive section 
of that front. Clinton at once pushed forward 
sufficient light infantry to take possession of 
the pass and to hold it. This was easily done 
and the prime strategic move of the fight had 
been accomplished without even attracting the 
attention of the enemy. By daybreak the 
British army was in full possession of the pass 
and its surrounding heights, and the soldiers 
halted for breakfast and to enjoy a brief period 
of rest before entering upon the second stage 
of the movement. 

The army pursued its journey to Bedford 
village, on what was known as the Jamaica! 
ro'ad, and it was not until it had reached that 
spot that Col. Miles, the officer who seems 
to have been responsible for the patrolling 
of that section of the defensive works, was 
aware of the presence of the foe within the 
lines, and he arrived near enough to see them 
only to find that most of the force had passed 
him and he was virtually cut off from his own 
support. But firing was at once begun and 
the disjointed commands of Col. Wyllys, Col. 
Miles and Col. Brodhead did their best to 
oppose the advance. But that at best was of 
very small account: its main result as the 
noise of the guns reached the different points 



along the line of defense was to announce to 
the defending forces that they had actually 
been caught in a trap. 

The British movement was then directed 
against General Sullivan's position, and that 
soldier soon found himself between two fires, 
for the Hessians, hearing the guns, knew that 
Clinton had accomplished his purpose and was 
on the other side of that natural fortification. 
Count Donop's Hessian regiment made an 
ittack on the redoubt, with De Heister's en- 
ire remaining force supporting the advance 
,t short distance. Sullivan, seeing how hope- 
;ss was his position, gave orders for a re- 
reat to the main American lines, and the 
lessians were soon in full possession of the 
)ass. But Sullivan's order was given too 
ate, and his battalions were met by Clinton's 
nfantry and cavalry and the retreat turned 
nto a rout. The British in front and the 
lessians in the rear attacked the dispirited 
ind disheartened Continentals with the utmost 
leverity, and it is said the Hessians showed 
10 quarter. Commands were quickly broken 
Lip in this terrible ordeal, and all trace of 
discipline was lost. Some managed to cut 
itheir way through weak spots in the advancing 
column to the American lines, while others 
contrived to escape from the scene of carnage 
by accident or luck, whatever it may be called. 
^It is difficult to harmonize all the details 
which have come to us of that scene of cam- 
age or to clearly understand why the retreat 
should have turned out so disastrously that 
the pursuit was kept up even to within rifle- 
shot of the inner chain of forts, such as Greene 
jand Putnam. The Americans, wherever they 
had a chance, exhibited marked courage and 
made a gallant fight,^ — a fight in every way 
worthy of the splendid cause with which their 
lives were bound up; but individual or even 
battalion feats of heroism could not accom- 
[plish much when all around was confusion, 
all around was despair, and escape seemed cut 
off on every side. Sullivan, whose shortcom- 
ings as a commander brought about the 
rout, distinguished himself by his bravery 

while there was any hope and then tried to 
escape from the field. For a time he man- 
aged to conceal himself, but he was finally 
captured by three Hessian troopers and con- 
ducted within the British lines. 

In the meantime Stirling was rendering a 
a much more gallant and soldierly account of 
himself than Sullivan. He, too, found him- 
self caught between two fires. The sound 
of the guns on Sullivan's front gave him no- 
tice of the movement and it is said that Sul- 
livan sent him an order to retreat within the 
inner lines as sobn as he realized how the 
outer defenses had been turned. But that 
order never reached its destination. The 
sound of the approaching guns was heard by 
Grant quite as soon as Stirling, but the British 
general at once knew their full significance 
and prepared to carry out the remainder of 
the task allotted to him. His previous inac- 
tivity had been mistaken by some of the raw 
Continental troops for temerity; but that 
notion was soon dissipated. When the proper 
moment came, Grant's troops advanced and 
cut off the commands of Col. Atlee and Col. 
Parsons from the main body, and this sudden 
display of aggressiveness with the nearer and 
nearer noise of the guns in his rear warned 
Stirling that retreat had become a necessity. 
Leaving a part of his force to impede, at least, 
the British advance, he hoped to reach the 
inner line of fortification without interruption 
by leaving the beaten way, crossing a creek 
fordable at low water, and that plan he put 
into execution. He had not advanced far, 
however, when he was confronted by a force 
under Cornwallis. Nothing remained but 
fight or capitulation, and the Americans ac- 
cepted the former. It was a splendid con- 
flict, carried on on both sides with indomitable 
courage and infinite resource. The Maryland 
troops especially distinguished themselves, and 
for a brief interval it seemed as if Cornwallis 
would be compelled to withdraw his forces, 
leaving the Americans' passage clear; but re- 
inforcements, coming up, nearly surrounded 
the Patriots and they were in much the same 



sort of a trap which had enmeshed SulHvan's 
troops earlier in the day. Retreat was or- 
dered all along the line, but the enemy con- 
stantly increased in numbers. Some of Stir- 
ling's force managed to enter the American 
lines in form, early in the engagement, but lat- 
terly those who thus reached safety did so 
ii^ disjointed numbers. Sltirling himself 
fought throughout the conflict with the 
most devoted heroism, cheered and encouraged 
his men at all 'points, and it was only when 
further resistance teemed absolutely useless, 
when there was no doubt of the issue of the 
day, that he surrendered himself as a prisoner. 
With the collapse of Stirling's brigade 
the battle was past. Early in the afternoon 
Washington crossed over to Brooklyn and 
witnessed the defeat, unable, with the raw 
militia remaining in the forts^ to offer any 
resistance. He quickly made up his mind, as 
soon as he learned of the success of Clinton's 
movement, that the day was lost, and devoted 
himself to staying the victors at the lines 
guarded by the chain of forts. The battle of 
Stirling's troops was watched by him with 
particular solicitude, as it seemed impossible 
that any of that brave body of men could ever 
return to his lines. That so many did was 
the only relieving feature in a day that was 
undoubtedly one of disaster. General Wash- 
ington passed an anxious day and night, ex- 
pecting every moment that the enemy, flushed 
with success, would at once turn against the 
chain of forts, and he fully realized their 

weakness. This the British did not do, their 
commanders evidently thinking enough had 
been gained for one day; but in spite of this 
inaction no one knew better than Washing- 
ton that the main defense of Brooklyn had 
been wiped out, that Long Island was virtu- 
ally completely in the hands of the British 
and that the army of the defenders was in a 
most critical position. 

It is difficult to estimate the losses sus- 
tained by both armies during the day, not 
alone on account of the inaccuracy with which 
such details were then kept and the consequent 
unreliable nature of even official reports, but 
on account of the widely varying estimates 
made by those engaged in the fight and the re- 
markable figures deduced by many of the later 
historians of the battle. The British com- 
mander in chief estimated his loss in killed 
and wounded at 367. The Americans' loss 
has been placed at under 200, while some 800^ 
were held as prisoners. These figures of 
casualties bear out to a degree Washington's 
assertion that the British "suffered a loss in 
killed and wounded equal to that inflicted upon 
the Americans." But it is difficult to accept 
Washington's statement as being anything 
more than an off-hand calculation, made with- 
out being in full possession of the ■ facts or 
figures. Field in his sketch of the battle esti- 
mates that the American loss in killed and 
wounded and prisoners was not far from 
2,000, and probably that is as correct an esti- 
mate as can now be made. 




F in point of strategy the British proved 
themselves in the battle of August 
27th as the superiors of their op- 
ponents, the retreat of the American 
forces from Long Island on the night of the 
29th and morning of the 30th amply demon- 
strated the fact that there was certainly one 
man at the head of the Continentals who was 
at least their equal in that regard. While the 
battle of Brooklyn was a defeat, a disastrous 
defeat, the retreat was a masterly movement 
and a moral triumph. Of course, in its suc- 
cess General Washington vras aided by nature, 
inasmuch as a dense fog concealed his move- 
ments ; but many noted commanders meet us 
in the procession of history who did not un- 
derstand or appreciate the value of such aid 
when offered them. 

In all the story of the Revolutionary strug- 
gle there was not a more disheartening time 
than the twenty-four hours which followed 
the night of August 27th. Had the Briti^'.i 
plans been fully carried into effect the Con- 
tinental leaders would have been left without 
an army and the entire story of the struggle 
for liberty been more prolonged than it was, 
even supposing that it could then have sur- 
vived such a blow as the loss of the 9,000 or 
more troops ' which on the morning of the 
28th made up the inner line of defense around 
Brooklyn. There is no doubt that the capture 
of these patriots was the final point in the 
British movement, and had the latter pressed 
their advantage without cessation, as the 
troops themselves desired, there seems little 


doubt that the result would have been at- 
tained; but the fatuity which so often dis- 
tinguished the British Generals throughout 
the Revolutionary War in this instance aided 
the Patriots just as much as did the weather. 
Washington, who was now in direct com- 
mand and expected every moment an attack 
upon his lines, seems to have spent most of 
the night following the battle in passing over 
the works and personally inspecting every 
point. A call was sent out for reinforcements 
and in the early hours some of the troops 
which had been assigned to guard King's 
Bridge and the upper part of Manhattan ar- 
rived with General Mifflin, some 800 men in 
all. Then 1,300 Massachusetts soldiers, main- 
ly fishermen, arrived under Colonel Glover, 
and their appearance seems to have infused a 
new spirit of hope in the hearts of the 
Patriots. Troops in New Jersey under Gen- 
eral Mercer were ordered with all haste to 
march to New York, and there virtually to 
await further orders — orders which could 
only be formulated as events unfolded them- 
selves. Even with the reinforcements Wash- 
ington's position was a most critical one.l 
True, his lines were strong and well chosen, 
but in front of him lay a well disciplined, welli 
fed and well officered army of regular troops;, 
flushed with success, while the majority of. 
his force of 9,000 (or 9,500 as the highest! 
estimate gives it) was an untrained mass, 
poorly armed, officered by men of little ex- 
perience and disheartened by defeat. The 
weather on the 28th was wet and disagreeable 



and so it continued to be on the 29th, and 
the dull, cheerless sky seemed to add to the 
■depression of the troops and to emphasize the 
gloom of their position. 

Possibly the weather and an idea that the 
Continental position could be captured at any 
time led the British commanders .to delay the 
final part of their work. All through the 
28th there were skirmishes along the entire 
line. In the afternoon the British began dig- 
ging trenches and raising earthworks within 

a dense fog, and this continued all through 
the day. As a result, inactivity again pre- 
vailed in the British camp, while in the Amer- 
ican lines the vigilance was not withdrawn 
for a moment. That vigilance saved the army. 
In the forenoon General Mifflin, in company 
with General Reed, Adjutant General, visited 
the redoubt on Red Hook. While there the fog 
lifted a little over the harbor and the Amer- 
ican officers saw the British fleet at anchor, 
but noticed that an unusual degree of com- 


500 yards of the American position, evidently 
with a view of bringing up their entire force 
there and making a decisive attack on the de- 
fences. Nothing shows the weakness of 
Washington's forces clearer than the fact that 
he permitted this proceeding to go on un- 
molested, and when night fell the contending 
armies were thus brought close together with 
the apparent certainty that the next day would 
•develop important events. 

But the morning of the 29th found the 
island, or at least that portion of it which 
formed the scene of operations, covered with 

munication was passing between the vessels 
and the shore. It seemed as though some 
important movement was about to commence 
and they concluded it to be a descent upon 
New York by the East River, which could 
easily be accomplished as soon as the fog was 
dissipated, if the wind continued to hold as 
it then did. 

This was the movement regarding which 
Washington was most concerned from the 
beginning. Could the British vessels silence 
the paltry battery at Red Hook and, passing 
the fort at the Battery, sail into the East 



River and lie off the shore of Long Island, 
his entire force would be caught in a trap 
from which there seemed no possible hope of 
escape. In the afternoon the rain descended 
incessantly, and in places the Patriots had 
to "stand up to their middles in water." Cook- 
ing was out of , the question and the men were 
compelled to take up with the unaccustomed 
fare of hard biscuits and raw pork. "We 
had no tents to screen us from the pitiless pelt- 
ing, nor if we had them would it have com- 
ported with the incessant vigilance required 
to have availed ourselves of them." 

These extracts from letters vyritten by par- 
ticipants in the fight in the American lines 
show how illy prepared the latter would have 
been had the British engaged them in any de- 
termined assault. Indeed, although in many 
of the skirmishes the enemy were beaten back, 
it was quite plain to Washington that on the 
whole the British were steadily strengthening 
their position all along the line. Indeed, on the 
morning of the 29th they held, after hard 
fighting and several repulses, a breastwork 
only about 150 rods from Fort Putnam. 

This test of strength had forced Washing- 
ton to the conclusion that the line, even under 
the most favorable conditions possible, could 
not be held, and the news brought by General 
Mifflin showed him the immediate danger of 
the British fleet getting between him and his 
only avenue of escape, that by way of New 
York. At first it seems that Washington 
really thought he might hold the lines, but 
events had carried him to a different con- 
clusion and he hoped to use the fog as a 
means of aiding in the scheme he had now 
thought out of carrying his entire force away 
to a position whence they could carry on the 
war with greater chances of success. Hastily 
summoning a council of war to meet at the 
residence of Philip Livingston on Hicks street, 
near Joralamon street, he laid his plan before 
the assembled officers. These included Major 
Generals Putnam and Spencer, and Brigadier 
Generals Mififlin, McDougall, Parsons, Scott, 
Wadsworth and Fellows. The proposition to 

retreat was presented to the auditors by Gen- 
eral Mifflin, with the following array of rea- 

1. The defeat on the 27th. 

2. The loss in officers and men on that 
occasion had discouraged the troops. 

3. The rain had injured the arms and 
ammunition and the men were so worn out 
by privation that they could not do effective 
work on the defenses. 

4. The enemy were endeavoring to get 
control of the East River. 

5. ■ There were no obstructions sunk be- 
tween Long and Governor's Islands to pre- 
vent the passage of ships. 

6. The actual weakness of the lines. The 
redoubts were strong, but the general works 
were weak, being abattised with brush in most 

7. The divided state of the army made 
a defense precarious. 

8. Several British men of war had made 
their way iato Flushing Bay from the Sound 
and with their assistance the enemy could land 
a force in Westchester county and gain the 
American rear near King's Bridge. 

After a long discussion, in which the idea 
of retreat was at first apparently scouted by 
many of the Generals, the reasons above 
briefly stated were' fully considered, with the 
result that the decision was finally unanimous 
in favor of evacuating Long Island. 

The fact, however, seems to be that from 
the time he received General Mifflin's report 
of the seeming movement of the British fleet, 
Washington determined upon effecting a re- 
treat, deeming that the movement had became 
imperative. Even while the council was in 

*There is some uncertainty as to where this council 
was held. The authority for its taking place in the Liv- 
ingston house is a letter written by General John Morin 
Scott, who was present, to John Jay, dated Sept. 6, 1776. 
Some antiquaries have indicated the old Dutch Church 
as the scene of the meeting while others have asserted 
that the old Pierrepont mansion, which stood on what is 
now the line of Montague street. General Scott's evi- 
dence, however, seems to settle the question. 



session preparations for the movement had 
begun. Every boat possible was ordered to 
the lower portion of the East River and As- 
sistant Quartermaster Hughes at New York 
was instructed to "impress every kind of water 
craft from Hell Gate on the Sound to Spuyten 
Duyvil creek that could be kept afloat and 
that had either sails or oars, and have them 
all in the east harbor of the citv by dark." 
These orders were so well carried out that by 
nightfall quite a flotilla lay off the Brooklyn 
shore in readiness to approach it. An order 
was given about 6 o'clock for the troops to 
get in readiness for a night attack, as it was 
not deemed prudent to trust to anything that 
might cause word of the evacuation to reach 
the enemy, for there were, it was feared, many 
spies within the lines. The weary and be- 
draggled troopers were astonished, even dis- 
mayed, at the order, but all responded with 
a readiness that was worthy of veterans. This 
device enabled the commander to enjoin ab- 
solute silence on the part of the troops and 
to make it easy to transfer portions from one 
post seemingly to another, without question. 
Another ruse was that reinforcements were 
expected from New Jersey and that an equal 
number of those who had been fighting since 
Ihe landing of the British would be trans- 
ferred to New Jersey in their place. By 7 
o'clock all the troops were ordered to parade 
with arms and accoutrements in front of their 
encampments, leaving on active duty only 
those who were manning the forts and guard- 
ing the lines. When darkness fell the move- 
ment commenced, and as the night was par- 
ticularly gloomy everything favored the 
scheme and a splendid beginning was made. 
The militia and raw troops were the first 
to cross at what is now Fulton Ferry, and 
General McDougall superintended the de- 
parture. About 9 o'clock the rain fell in tor- 
rents and the wind changed, making it im- 
possible to use sails, and only row-boats could 
be utilized. At this rate it was only a mat- 
ter of calculation to know that the troops 

could not get away before daylight. Mc- 
Dougall dispatched an aide to find Washing- 
ton and inform him of the trouble, but was 
unable to locate him and returned without the 
chief. About 1 1 o'clock the wind took another 
change, a most fortunate one, and permitted 
every sort of craft to be pushed into the 
service. No time was now to be lost and 
some of the smaller boats were loaded down to 
within three inches of the water. But no 
accident occurred and each vessel delivered its 
human cargo safe in Manhattan. 

The most awkward blunder occurred on 
the forts. General Mifflin, at his own request, 
had been assigned to cover the retreat, and 
the troops in his division were accordingly 
to remain on the lines to the last. About 2 
o'clock in the morning one of Washington's 
aides mistakenly carried a message to Mifflin 
to withdraw, and, gathering his troops to- 
gether, that hero left the lines and marched 
his men down the main road to the ferry. 
On their way they were met by Washing- 
ton, who expressed the utmost dismay and 
declared unless the division marched back and 
remained on the lines the entire movement 
would fail. Without even a murmur of dis- 
sent the troops returned to their posts and 
awaited the call calmly, although they ex- 
pected that it would be daylight before their 
turn should come, and they well knew that as- 
soon as the enemy discovered the condition 
of things their position would be a most 
perilous one. The order for their retreat was- 
not given until the sound of shovel and pick- 
axe showed that the British were already at 
work on their entrenchments. Fortunately 
the fog was particularly dense at that time 
and enveloped the whole of the scene of op- 
erations, and so the gallant reserves silently 
left the lines and got down to the ferry in 
safety. Then they were joined by Washing- 
ton and one of the last boats carried across to- 
New York that intrepid hero, the Father of 
the Nation. 

One of the British patrols discovered the- 



empty lines not very long after Mifflin's 
troops had left, but the report was hardly 
credited at first, and by the time it was con- 
firmed most of the American force, with the ex- 
ception of four stragglers who were captured, 
as they deserved to be, was safe on Manhattan 
with the open country behind. Every detail 
was carried on in the most masterly manner 
and even many of the American troops on 
landing were unaware that they had taken 
part in a wholesale evacuation and imagined 
they were only part of a command that had 
been relieved. But all knew the danger of 
their position in Brooklyn and were glad to es- 
cape from its shores. 

Throughout the country itself this most 
successful and difficult movement did not 
•arouse the confidence in the courage of the 
troops and the ability of its officers which it 
deserved. It was simply regarded as the nat- 
ural conclusion to the defeat of the 27th, but 
military critics from then have been most 
unstinted in its praise, and now that we can 
review the situation calmly and correctly it is 
everywhere conceded to have been one of the 
noblest military achievements of him whose 
genius in the field made the Declaration of 

Independence a real, enduring and valid in- 

With the passage of the Continental troops 
across the East River the story of the Revo- 
lutionary 'campaign on Long Island neces- 
sarily closes. It is not in keeping with the 
scope of this work to follow the progress of 
the Continental troops, to describe the suc- 
ceeding battles around New York City, by the 
result of which Washington was compelled to 
abandon Manhattan Island, and finally, after 
fighting an indecisive battle at White Plains, 
to abandon Fort George and Harlem Heights 
and leave New York completely in the hands 
of the British. All that belongs to the gen- 
eral history of the Empire State, or rather of 
the country at large. 

The result of the battle of Brooklyn, so far 
as our history is concerned, was to leave the 
British in full control of Long Island, and so it 
remained along with Manhattan Island until 
the conclusion of hostilities in 1783, when the 
British army, by tarms of the treaty of peace, 
sailed out of New York harbor and the Stars 
and Stripes were hoisted on the historic Bat- 
tery, the scene of so many stirring and mem- 
orable events. 



S soon as the British realized that the 
Hnes had been evacuated no time was 
lost in taking possession, and but for 
a coolness, or lack of coherence, 
rather, between the different commanders, it 
is hard to say what damage might not have 
been done to the American troops, a few of 
whom even then were at the ferry and many 
on the water. As it was, some of the guns 
left unspiked on Fort Stirling were turned 
against the fugitives in the boats, but happily 
with no eiifect other than in some instances to 
add to the confusion always ready to spring 
up on such occasions. 

The British could not pursue. They had 
not the means momentarily at hand, and at 
that junction the question was one of minutes 
rather than hours. Then the movement was 
so complete that it was difficult for some time 
fully to recognize its extent. Fort Stirling 
was regarded in both armies as the key to 
the position, as from it the then city of New 
York could be cannonaded, and that movement 
was expected to take place as soon as guns 
could be brought into position. But the Brit- 
ish had no desire to destroy New York. 
They wished its possession, regarded it as 
the main point in the then campaign, and its 
retention as the best possible basis for all 
future operations. Bi;sides, there was even 
yet the chance of capturing the Continental 
army in a fresh trap equal to that from which 
such a miraculous escape had been made in 
Brooklyn. So the British contented them- 
selves with stretching their forces along the 

shore overlooking Manhattan and the Harlem, 
threatening every point at which a landing 
could be made or a defense officered. For 
several days General Washington was in a 
constant state of anxiety ; many of his raw 
troops had become disheartened and hun- 
dreds deserted, even entire companies return- 
ing to their homes. But his main trouble was 
the absence of information from the British 
lines. For once the prevalent spy system ut- 
terly failed, the strip of water could be so 
effectually guarded, and while counselling his 
Adjutant General of the necessity for keeping 
a close look all along the shore for any un- 
common movements, said: "I should much 
approve of small harassing parties stealing, 
as it were, over in the night, as they might 
keep the enemy alarmed, and more than prob- 
ably bring off a prisoner from whom some 
valuable information may be obtained." 

Washington claimed that he could hold 
New York against any- attack which might 
be made upon it provided "the men would do 
their duty;" but this he finally admitted was 
doubtful, and he decided to acquiesce in the 
desire of his associates and abandon the city. 
Many of the leaders were in favor of not 
only evacuation but destruction, and for this 
Nathanael Greene (who by this time had re- 
covered from his illness) and John Jay were 
particularly outspoken. Washington was op- 
posed to destruction, but referred the entire 
question to Congress, and that body decided 
against such a measure as "they had no doubt 
of being able to recover it even though the 



enemy should obtain possession of it for a 
time." On September 12th evacuation was 
finally decided upon, the stores and sick were 
at once moved to the Heights, across the 
Harlem River, and on the evening of the 14th 
Washington established his headquarters at 
the Morris Mansion, at what is now One 
Hundred and Sixty-first street on the main- 
land across the Harlem River. On the isth 
the British were in full possession of old New 
York City and in control of the whole of 
Manhattan Island, but not without meeting 
with a sturdy opposition, although many of 
the Continental levies retired in wild con- 
fusion. But the details of what happened in 
New York on that eventful day need not be 
recounted here. Our main concern is with 
the fact that on it the main force of the 
British army left Long Island, which was 
then turned over to the military rule of a de- 
tachment of some 5,000 men. 

We may now pause here for a while, in 
the course of this chapter, and attempt to 
estimate the active support which the Con- 
inental army had, up to this time, received 
from Long Island. As has doubtless already 
been gleaned from what has been written in 
these pages, both Kings and Queens counties 
were regarded by the leaders of the Conti- 
nentals as disaffected, as being mainly in- 
habited by Tories, while Suffolk county was 
deemed much more loyal, although its situa- 
tion interfered with the full development of 
its loyalty. At the same time the three coun- 
ties were represented all through the struggle 
on the forces which fought for the new na- 
tion. The Continental Congress made three 
calls upon New York for military assistance, 
the first in 1775, the second early in 1776, 
and the third in the summer of that memor- 
able year. Beyond the names of most of the 
officers little has been preserved of the ex- 
tent to which the first two calls were any- 
where answered, and on Long Island espe- 
cially the returns are exceedingly meagre. 
But enough remains to show that the spirit 
of liberty dwelt among the people, and that 

it found expression, even in Kings and Queens 
counties, by sending substantial additions tO' 
the fighting forces in answer to the Congres- 
sional calls. Suffolk was patriotic clear 
through, although the Tories there were nu- 
merous and demonstrative. In estimating the 
strength of the representation of Long 
Island in the Continental armies, its peculiar 
situation should be remembered, and espe- 
cially the fact that from the summer of 1776 
until the close of hostilities it was practically 
a British fortress. 

The officers of a regiment of Long Island 

militia were commissioned in Kings county 

March 11, 1776, presumably in answer to the 

- second call. They were at first as follows : 

Colonel, Richard Van Brunt. 

Lieutenant Colonel, Nicholas Covenhoven. 

First Major, Johannes Titus. 

Second Major, John Van Der Bilt. 

Adjutant, George Carpenter. 

Quartermaster, Nicholas Covenhoven. 

Companies : 

Light Horse — Captain, Adolph Waldron ; 
Lieutenants, William Boerum, Thomas Ev- 
erett ; Ensign, Jacob Sebring, Jr. ; Quarter- 
master, Isaac Sebring. 

Troop of Horse — Captain, Lambert Suy- 
dam; Lieutenants, Daniel Raplye and Jacob 
Bloom ; Ensign, Peter Van Der Voort ; Quar- 
termaster, Peter Wykoff. 

Flatlands — Captain, Jeremiah Van Der 
Bilt; Lieutenants, Albert Stothoff and Thom- 
as Ellsworth; Ensign, Peter Van Der Bilt. 

Gravesend — Captain, Rem. Williamson ; 
Lieutenants, Samuel Hubbard and Garret 
Williamson; Ensign, John Lane. 

Brooklyn — Captain, Barent Johnson ; Lieu- 
tenants, Barent Leffarts and Joost De Be- 
voise: Ensign, Martin Schenck. 

Brooklyn — Captain, F, Suydam ; Lieu- 
tenants, Simon Bergen and William Brower; 
Ensign, Jacob Stillenwert. 

Flatbush — Captain, Cornelius Van Der 
Veer; Lieutenants, Peter Lefferts and John 
Van Duyn ; Ensign, John Bennem. 

Bushwick — Captain, John Titus ; Lieu- 
tenants, Abraham Van Ranst and Peter Col- 
yer; Ensign, John Skillman. 

New Utrecht — Captain, Abraham Van 
Brunt ; Lieutentots, Ad'n Hegeman and Har- 
manus Barkulo; Ensign, William Barre. 



No roster exists as to the names of the 
non-commissioned officers and privates in this 
regiment; all such details seem to have been 
lost except that of the two cavalry troops. 
The record of thisi regiment, the infantry 
section of it at all events, does not seem to 
have been a very creditable one. Most of the 
men were really forced into the service and 
they seem to have left it as soon as possible. 
Its strength does not appear to have exceeded 
250 men, and even before the landing of the 
British some fifty of these had deserted. 
Henry P. Johnston estimates that the regiment, 
then under command of Colonel Jeronimus 
Remsen, paraded 200 strong on the morning 
of the battle of Brooklyn. 

They were mainly employed in fatigue 
duty after a brief experience in sterner de- 
tails, and on August 24 General Sullivan held 
them up to ridicule in an order then issued, 
in which he said, "The General is sorry to 
find that regiment flying from their posts, 
when timid women would have blushed to have 
betrayed any sign of fear at anything this regi- 
ment discovered at the time of their flight." 

After the battle of Long Island the total 
strength was still further reduced, mainly by 
desertion, to about 150. These took part in 
the evacuation of the city and crossed to Man- 
hattan under Captain (then Major) Barent 
Johnson of the Brooklyn Company, but soon 
after reaching Harlem most of them deserted 
and returned to Long Island. Major John- 
son, however, proved a gallant officer and 
took part in the battles of Harlem and White 
Plains. He remained with the Continental 
army until his health gave way, when he re- 
turned to Binooklyn. 

Of the Queens county troops still less is 
known, and the following list of officers of 
companies is all we have been able to trace. 
It is doubtful if these companies were ever, 
even temporarily, united into a regiment: 

Great Neck and Cow Neck Company — 
Captain, John Sands (appointed October 12, 
1775) ; First Lieutenant, Henry Allen (de- 

clined) ; Second Lieutenant, Thomas Mitchell 
(promoted First Lieutenant March 8, 1776, 
vice Allen) ; Ensign, Aspinwall Cornwell 
(Cornell) (promoted Second Lieutenant, vice 
Mitchell) ; Andrew Onderdonk, appointed 
April 15, 1776. 

New Town District, Southermost Beat 
—Captain, Abraham Remsen; First Lieuten- 
ant, Benjamin Coe (Captain June 17, 1776); 
Second Lieutenant, Robert Furman (First 
Lieutenant June 17, 1776) ; Ensign, Benjamin 
North (Second Lieutenant June 17, 1776); 
Jonah Hallett (June 18, 1776). 

New Town District, North Beat — Cap- 
tain, Jon'n Lawrence (promoted Brigadier 
Major) ; First Lieutenant, William Hackett; 
Second Lieutenant, William Lawrence (pro- 
moted Captain August 14, 1776) ; Ensign, 
Jesse Warner. 

Light Horse Company — Captain, Richard 
Lawrence (resigned on account of ill health) ; 
First Lieutenant, Daniel Lawrence (promoted 
Captain) ; Second Lieutenant, Samuel Riker 
(promoted First Lieutenant) ; Cornet, Jon'n 
Coe ' ( superseded by Jon'n Lawrence) ; Quar- 
termaster, Peter Rapalje. Original commis- 
sions issued May 10, 1776. 

Flushing Company — Captain, Nathaniel 
Tom; First Lieutenant, Matthias Van Dyck; 
Second Lieutenant, Jeffry Hicks; Ensign, 
Nich's Van Dyck. All commissioned June 8, 

Jamaica Company — Captain, Ephraim 
Baylies; First Lieutenant, Increase Carpen- 
ter ; Second Lieutenant, Abraham Vanausdale ; 
Ensign, Othniel Smith. All commissioned 
March 27, 1776. 

While some of these companies were rep- 
resented in the battle of Long Island and the 
movements preparatory thereto, there is no 
trace remaining as to what they did. It has 
been claimed that some of them did outpost 
duty at the passes, but the fair inference un- 
der all the circumstances is that they were by 
that time practically broken up and that 
Queens county was represented by only a few 
of the officers named, among them being Cap- 
tain Jonathan Lawrence, who was appointed 
Major of General Woodhull's (Long Island) 

Suffolk county showed a much better and 
certainly a much more agreeable and com- 



mendable record, though even in that section 
of the island there was a strong pro-British 
sentiment which rendered recruiting or con- 
scription difficult. The roster from this coun- 
ty, taken, as were the preceding lists, from 
"New York in the Revolution" by Berthold 
Fernow, is as follows : 


Colonel — William Floyd of St. George's 
Manor, vice Piatt Conkling (who declined). 

Lieutenant Colonel — Dr. Gilbert Potter, of 
I First Major — Nathan Woodhull, of Brook- 
■ haven. 

Second Major — Edmund Smith, Jr., of 

Adjutant — Philipp Roe, of Brookhaven. 

Quartermaster — James Roe, of Brook- 

Huntington and Smithtown Companies. — 
Captain John Wickes; First Lieutenant, 
Epenetus Conckling; Second Lieutenant, 
Jonah Wood ; Ensign, Ebenezer Prime Wood. 

Captain, Jesse Brush; First Lieutenant, 
Jon'n Titus; Second Lieutenant, Phillipp 
Conckling; Ensign, Joseph Titus. 

Captain, Timothy Carll; First Lieutenant, 
Gilbert Fleet; Second Lieutenant, Joel Scud- 
der; Ensign, Nath'l Buffet, Jr. 

First Brookhaven — Captain, Samuel 
Thompson; First Lieutenant, Ab'm Wood- 
hull ; Second Lieutenant, Isaac Davis ; Ensign, 
David Satterly. Commissioned September 13, 


Second Brookhaven — Captain, Eben'r Mil- 
ler; First Lieutenant, Caleb Woodhull; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, James Davis ; Ensign, Davis 
Davis. Commissioned September 13, 1775. 

Third Brookhaven — Captain, William 
Brewster ; First Lieutenant, Isaac Davis ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Uriah Smith; Ensign, Benj'm 
Woodhull. Commissioned September 13, 

Smithtown — ■ Captain, Philetus Smith ; 
First Lieutenant, Ednund Smith, Jr. ; Second 
Lieutenant, Daniel Tillotson ; Ensign, Richard 
Smith. Commissioned September 13, 1775. 

Islip (formed from east part of Smith- 
town and west part of Southampton) — Cap- 
tain, Benijah Strong; First Lieutenant, Jere- 
miah Terry ; Second Lieutenant, Samuel Oak- 

ley ; Ensign, Annen Mowbrey. Commissioned 
February 13, 1776. 

Southold — Captain, Nathan Rose; First 
Lieutenant, Hugh Smith; Second Lieutenant, 
David Fanning; Ensign, John Smith. Com- 
missioned September 13, 1775. 

Changes in the regiment: 

December 12, 1775, Jon'n Titus, Captain 
of the Second Company, vice Jesse Brush, pro- 
moted Major; Joshua Rogers, First Lieuten- 
ant, and Thomas Brush, Second Lieutenant. 

February 7 and 8, 1776, Piatt Neil (Vail), 
Captain Cow Harbour or Fifth Huntington 
Company: Michael Hart, First Lieutenant; 
Isaac Dennis, Second Lieutenant; Jacob 
Concklin, Ensign ; John Buffet, Captain. 
South or Fourth Huntington Company: Isaac 
Thompson, First Lieutenant; Zebulon Ketch- 
um. Second Lieutenant ; Joseph Ketchum, En- 

A return of this regiment, dated April 5, 
1776, gives the following changes: 

Majors Jesse Brush and Jeffry Smith; 
Quartermaster John Roe; Captain Samuel 
Tomson ; Capt. Eben'r Miller ; Capa. Nathan 
Rose, Capt. Wm. Brewster, Capt. Philetus 
Smith, Capt. Joshua Rogers, Capt. Epenetus 
Conckling, Capt. Joel Scudder, Capt. John 
Buffet, Capt. Piatt Vail, Capt. Gilbert Carle, 
Capt. Benijah Strong. 


This regiment was authorized to be raised 
early in 1776, and there seems to have been no 
difficulty in filling up its ranks. The official 
record gives the following details : 

Colonel, David Mulford. 

Lieutenant Colonel, Jon'n Hedges. 

First Major, Urial Rogers. 

Second Major, George Herrick. 

Adjutant, John Gelston. 

Quartermaster, Phinias Howell. 

Sergt. Major, Lemuel Peirson. 

Drum Major, Elias Mathews. 

These officers were so returned February 
10, 1776, 

A return of the names of the persons for 
the officers of the Second Battalion in Suffolk 
county taken according to the directions of 
the Provincial Congress by the Committee of 
Easthampton and Southampton: 



First Company — Captain, David Howell; 
First Lieutenant, Jeremiah Post ; Second Lieu- 
tenant, Paul Jones; Ensign, Zaphaniah Rog- 

Second Company — Captain, John Dayton; 
First Lieutenant, Isaac Mulford Hunting; 
Second Lieutenant, John Miller, Jr. ; Ensign, 
Wm. Heges. 

Third Company — Captain, David Pierson ; 
First Lieutenant, Daniel Heges ; Second Lieu- 
tenant, David Sayre; Ensign, Theophilus 

Fourth Company — Captain, David Fithen ; 
First Lieutenant, Samuel Conckling; Second 
Lieutenant, Thomas Baker; Ensign, Daniel 

Fifth Company — Captain Stephen Howell ; 
First Lieutenant, John White, Jr. ; Second 
Lieutenant, Lemuel Wick; Ensign, Isaiah 

Sixth Company — Captain, Wm. Rogers; 
First Lieutenant, Jesse Halsey : Second Lieu- 
tenant, Henry Halsey ; Ensign, Nath'l Rogers. 

Seventh Company — Captain, Josiah How- 
ell ; First Lieutenant, Nathaniel Howell ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Mathew Howell; Ensign, 
Wm. Stephens. 

Eighth Company — Captain, Samuel L'- 
Hommedieu; First Lieutenant, Silas Jessup; 
Second Lieutenant, Edward Conckling; En- 
sign, Daniel Fordham. 

Ninth Company — Captain, John Sandford ; 
First Lieutenant, Edward Topping; Second 
Lieutenant, Phillipp Howell ; Ensign, John 
Hildreth. Commissions issued September 13, 


A third regiment of Suffolk county is men- 
tioned and commissions were issued to of- 
ficers of the same, but no record of its roster 
has been found except the following: 

Captain, Israel Scudder; First Lieutenant, 
Nath'l Buffet; Second Lieutenant, Epenetus 
Smith ; Ensign, John Hart. Commissioned 
December 12, 1775, for Third Company, Third 

First Lieutenant, Ednund Howell; Second 
Lieutenant, Selah Reeve; Ensign, James 
Wells. Commissioned June 29, 1776, for Sec- 
ond Company, Third Regiment. 


Colonel, Josiah Smith ; Lieutenant Colonel' 
John Hulbert; First Major, Isaac Reeve; Sec- 

ond Major, Jon'n Baker; Adjutant, Ephraim 
Marvin (April 4, 1776, vice Isaac Overton, 
declined) ; Quartermaster, Eben'r Dayton. 

Easthampton Company — Captain, Ezekiel 
Mulford; First Lieutenant, John Miller; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Nath'l Hand ; Ensign, . 

Commissioned February 23, 1776. 

First Southampton Company — Captain 
Zephaniah Rogers; First Lieutenant, Nath'l 
Howell, Jr.; Second Lieutenant, Mathew 
Sayer; Ensign, . Commissioned Feb- 
ruary 23, 1776. 

Second Southampton Company — Captain, 
David Pierson ; First Lieutenant, John Foster, 
Jr.; Second Lieutenant, Abraham Rose; En- 
sign, Edward Topping. Commissioned Feb- 
ruary 23, 1776. 

First Southold Company — Captain, John 
Bayley; First Lieutenant, Joshua Youngs; 
Second Lieutenant, John Tuthill; Ensign, 
James Reeves. Commissioned May 3, 1776. 

Second Southold Company — Captain, Paul 
Reeves ; First Lieutenant, John Corwin ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, David Horton ; Ensign, 
Nath'l Hodson. Commissioned May 3, 1776. 

Brooli haven, Smithtown, Manor of St. 
George and Moriches Company — Captain, 
Selah Strong; First Lieutenant, Wm. Clark; 
Second Lieutenant, Caleb Brewster; Ensign, 
Nath'l Brewster. Commissioned April 4, 

Artillery Company — Captain, Wm. Rog- 
ers; Captain-Lieutenant, John Franks; First 
Lieutenant, Jeremiah Rogers ; Second Lieu- 
tenant, Thos. Baker; Lieutenant Fireworker, 
John Tuthill. Commissioned February 20, 

The return of this regiment of May 30, 
1776, gives: 

Isaac Overton, Second Major, vice Baker, 
and Captains Nath'l Piatt and Thos. Wicks, 
in addition to above. 

Benjamin Coe, Captain, mentioned Octo- 
ber 9, 1776. 

Capt. Wm. Ludlum and Second Lieuten- 
ant Ephraim Marston, mentioned December 2, 

None of the Suffolk county troops took 
part in the battle of Brooklyn with the ex- 
ception of Colonel Josiah Smith's regiment, 
which, to an estimated strength of 250 men, 
was massed in General Woodhull's brigade 
with Remsen's regiment. But there is plenty 
of evidence that many of them were employed 



on outpost or picket duty. One writer tells us, 
for instance, that Colonel Floyd's "military 
services were confined to heading a detach- 
ment of militia that was suddenly called to 
repel a boat invasion from a British ship at 
the outset of the war;" but the Suffolk 
Patriots were ready to do their duty when 
called upon and gave many evidences of that. 
In "New York in the Revolution," by 
Comptroller James A. Roberts, Albany, 1898, 
the roster of another Suffolk county regiment 
of minutemen (there called the Third) is 
given as follows: 

Colonel, Thomas Terry ; Captain, Jonathan 
Bailey; Lieutenants, John Tuthill, Joshua 
Young; Ensign, James Reeves. 


Beebe, Lester 
Booth, Prosper 
Brown, Daniel 
Brown, James 
Conkling, Nathaniel 
Demmon, Jonathan 
Dickerson, Nathaniel 
Drake, Richard 
Gardaner, James 
Glover, Ezekiel 
Goldsmith, John 
Griffing, Peter 
Havens, John 
Hemsted, Thomas 
Horton, Benjamin 
Horton, Calvin 
Horton, David 
Horton, James 
King, Benjamin 
King, Jeremiah 
King, John 
King, Jonathan 
Newbury, Samuel 
Overton, Aaron 
Pain, Benjamin 
Prince, Thomas 

Racket, Absalom K. 
Racket, Noah 
Rogers, William 
Roghers, William 
Salmon, Joshua 
Salmon, Jonathan 
Tabor, Ammon 
Tabor, Frederick 
Terry, David 
Terry, Elijah, Jr 
Terry, Thomas 
Truman, David 
Truman, Jonathan 
Tuthill, Christopher 
Tuthill, David 
Tuthill, James, Jr. 
Vail, Benjamin, Jr. 
Vail, Daniel 
Vail, Elisha 
Vail, Jonathan 
Vail, Thomas 
Wells, Jonathan 
Wiggins, David 
Wiggins, William 
Youngs, John 
Youngs, Joseph 

This, of course, can hardly be called a 
regiment and seems merely to have been, 
judging from the names of the officers, the 
First Southold Company in Colonel Josiah 
Smith's regiment. Why such a company 
should possess a colonel is hard to say. The 
records of the Revolutionary forces in this 

State even after the reverent care bestowed 
upon them during the past quarter of a cen- 
tury are still very imperfect. 

Before leaving the subject of the personnel' 
of the troops furnished by Long -Island to the 
war, we may here refer to a regiment which 
was raised for operation on the British side. 
While the Tories in Kings and Queens coun- 
ties were numerous enough to leaven the 
whole, it is questionable if any of the mass 
of the people would have cared to fight on- 
either side. There is ample evidence that 
this was so with those who trailed a musket or 
bumped in a saddle on behalf of the Con- 
gress, and the evidence is equally strong as 
to the unwillingness of those of them who were 
enrolled on the other side to display even 
the rudiments of heroism. 

The active military leader on the side of" 
the Tories vras the infamous Edmund Fan- 
ning, who for a time was Private Secretary 
to Governor Tryon, his father-in-law. He 
was born at Smithtown, Long Island, April 
24, 1739, his father being James Fanning, 
a Captain in the British service, and his 
mother, Mary, daughter of Colonel William 
Smith, of Smithtown. He was educated at 
Yale, and admitted to the bar in North Caro- 
lina in 1769. In that colony he had a some- 
what remarkable career, becoming one of the- 
Judges of its Supreme Court, and was dis- 
tinguished for the energetic measures he took 
against every movement tending toward pop- 
ular government. In New York his course 
was marked by crime, cruelty and bloodshed 
in the earlier stages of the Revolution, but 
it was not until he raised the corps which he- 
called "the Associated Refugees" or "King's 
American Regiment" that he found full scope 
for the innate fiendishness of his disposition. 
Many instances of this will be found scattered 
throughout these pages, and it is not neces- 
sary to refer to it here beyond this general' 
mention. At the same time it can be said with 
truth that he was a brave man and that after- 
ward, especially during the nineteen years he 
served as Governor of Prince Edward Island^ 



he won the admiration of the people over 
•whom he ruled, for his splendid executive 
ability, his sense of exact justice, and the 
possession of all the very qualities which we 
associate with the make-up of a wise, in- 
dulgent and beneficent ruler. He died at 
London, England, February 28, 18 18, with 
.the full rank of General in the army, and his 
last years were passed in the enjoyment of a 
generous measure of official and public es- 
teem and a liberal pension. 

Another active militia organizer on behalf 
of the Tories was Major Robert Rogers, who, 
in spite of the almost demonstrated theory 
that he attempted to play the part of a British 
spy, led a most stirring life and one that was 
full of all the elements of bravery, adventure, 
and zeal which made up the lives of all his- 
toric figures in our annals. So far as can 
be. judged from the facts before us, this man 
was to a certain extent a soldier of fortune 
and was not really very much concerned, so 
far as his personal sentiments went, as to 
which side he should cast in his lot. He 
chose that of King George, probably because 
he thought it was certain to win, a:nd thereby 
made the great strategical mistake of his life, 
for had fortune landed him among the Con- 
tinentals he would have achieved fame and 
honor, if not more substantial rewards, and 
his memory would have been held in venera- 
tion, as his many fine qualities would have 
■ amply justified. 

He was born in New Hampshire in 1727, 
and, early embracing a military career, took 
part in the French War of 1754-63 and as 
the head of "Rogers' Rangers" performed 
many heroic exploits and won considerable 
fame. When that war was over he visited 
England, but his career there was an unhappy 
one. In 1765 he was appointed Governor of 
Mackinaw, Michigan, but was accused, ap- 
parently on good grounds, of a design to 
surrender it to the French, and was sent, a 
prisoner in irons, to Montreal. How he got 
out of this disgraceful charge is not very 
clear. When the Revolutionary War broke 

out he tried to ingratiate himself with Wash- 
ington, but was suspected by that leader of 
being one of the spies then so plentiful, and 
was ordered sent under arrest to New Hamp- 
shire, to be dealt with by the authorities in his 
native State. While on parole he accepted a 
commission as Colonel in the British service 
and raised a corps called the Queen's Rangers. 
A large number of the members of this com- 
mand were recruited among the Loyalists of 
Long Island immediately after the battle of 
the 27th of August. 

When the Revolutionary War was over 
Rogers went to England and died there in 
obscurity, so much so that the date of his 
passing away is not known. He was a man 
of considerable literary ability, wrote at least 
one tragedy which is known to bibliographers, 
and his other works contain many brilliant 
descriptive passages. Altogether he deserved 
a better fate; and possibly, had he only dis- 
played some stability of moral character, that 
fate might have been his. The "Queen's 
Rangers" served little, if at all, on Long 
Island, and it is even doubtful whether Long 
Island was much represented in its ranks after 
the campaign around Harlem; but his leader- 
ship carried the command through many a 
daring exploit until the termination of hos- 

We read of several other Tory commands 
being raised on Long Island, — notably a corps 
of guides, or more properly spies, gathered 
together and officered by Colonel Macpher- 
son ; and, according to Field, "a company of 
more abandoned wretches, it is probable, was 
not created by the disorders of a period so 
prolific of inhuman and bloodthirsty men." 
Such commands always crop up along the 
edge as it were of regular armies and find 
their uses, ignoble though they be. They can 
hardly be regarded as combatants, however, 
and ought to be considered as land pirates, 
being quite as ready for the sake of plunder 
to turn against those along with whom they 
march as against the enemy in front or in 
rear. In a place like America, then ^ refuge 



place for men who had failed in their own 
native land, or who had fled from the majesty 
of their native laws, there were thousands on 
either side of the conflict whose purpose was 
simply personal adventure or opportunities 
for plunder or the chance of getting food 
and raiment, which necessities their own mis- 
fortune or misdoings denied their procuring 
in any other way. That is the story of everv 
war, — the scum which the reign of the sword 
brings to the front when the reign of jus- 
tice is interrupted. 

Having thus discussed in a general way 
the military array on both sides which the 
[ island furnished the combatants in that mem- 
orable conflict, — a conflict in which Wash- 
ington and his confreres were fighting for 
the cause of popular liberty in Great Britain 
just as much as in the United States, — we 
may now turn to see how the triumph of 
the British arms and the stay of British troops 
affected the residents of the island. To sum 
it up briefly, it might be said that the pre- 
vailing sentiment, outside of the enthusiastic 
on both sides, was that of "a plague on both 
your houses." In Suffolk county there was 
continued sullen opposition to British rule, in 
Queens and Kings the change was more vo- 
ciferously welcomed, but the entire island 
was under military rule, military law, and all 
classes felt the restraint and the irksomeness. 
Even those loyal, or disposed to be loyal, to 
the Crown had to submit to the officiousness, 
the bumptiousness, the dogmatism, the licen- 
tiousness, the oaths, the drinking, the total 
contempt, often, of all regard to public decency 
which so frequently disgraced the royal of- 
ficers, while the soldiers under these officers 
not only copied the vices of their superiors, 
but, as opportunity offered, plundered friend 
and foe with equal equanimity. Such con- 
duct was at times sternly repressed when the 
perpetrators were caught, and the officer in 
command was of finer clay than his fellows, 
but in proportion to the number of complaints 
such exhibitions of military justice were few 
and far between. 

But outside of the village of Brooklyn^ 
Long Island was the home of farmers, en- 
gaged in raising produce of some sort or 
other, and the presence of armed men on 
either side, the constant condition of excite- 
ment, the surprise parties which performed 
their daring feats for the Continentals, the 
constant surveillance of the military forces- 
of the Crown, all gradually became more irk- 
some as the years of the occupation passed 
on and the mihtary necessities of the situa- 
tion caused the grip, as it were, of the Crown 
on the island to remain unrelaxed, if not to 
become tighter as the prospects of Continental 
success became clearer and more pronounced. 
Even supposing that the majority of the 
islanders were enthusiastic Tories, which they 
certainly were not, they could hardly have 
been more severely used had they been pro- 
nounced Whigs. They were in fact neither 
regraded as King's men or Continentals. ; with- 
out the need of careful watching by the party 
in power. Their loyalty to Britain was 
praised in dispatches to London, but a sharp, 
watch was kept by the military leaders on 
all their doings. Possibly a sigh of relief 
went up when the war was declared over and 
the farmers were permitted to till their fields. 
in peace, although, in view of their losses and 
fn spite of the active part which so many of 
their best sons took in the conflict in the 
right side, it seemed like adding to the gen- 
eral misery for the Legislature of New York 
on May 6, 1784, after the British had re- 
tired forever, to impose a fine of £37,000 on 
Long Island "as a compensation to the other 
parts of the State for not having been in 
condition to take an active part in the war 
against the enemy." 

In describing the British occupation the 
Hon. Silas Wood wrote: "From 1776 to 1783 
the island was occupied by British troops. 
They traversed it from one end to the other 
and were stationed at different places during 
the war. The whole country within the Brit- 
ish lines was subject to martial law, the ad- 
ministration of justice was suspended, the 



army was' a sanctuary for crime and robbery, 
and the grossest offences were atoned by en- 
listment. =■• * * Those who remained at 
home were harassed and plundered of their 
property, and the inhabitants generally were 
subject to the orders, and their property to 
the disposal, of British officers. They com- 
pelled them to do all kinds of personal serv- 
ices, to work at their forts, to go with their 
teams in foraging parties and to transport 
their cannon, ammunition, provisions and 
baggage from place to place as they changed 
their quarters ; and to go and come on the 
order of every petty officer who had the 
charge of the most trifling business. 

"During the whole war the inhabitants of 
the island, especially those of Suffolk county, 
were perpetually exposed to the grossest in- 
sult and abuse. They had no property of a 
movable kind that they could, properly speak- 
ing, call their own; they were oftentimes de- 
prived of the stock necessary to the manage- 
ment of their farms ; and were deterred from 
producing more than a bare subsistence by the 
apprehension that a surplus would be wrested 
from them either by the military authority 
of the purveyor or the ruffian hand of the 
plunderer. The officers seized and occupied 
the best rooms in the houses of the inhab- 
itants; they compelled them to furnish blan- 
kets and fuel for the soldiers and hay and 
grain' for their horses ; they took away their 
cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry, and seized, 
without ceremony and without any compen- 
sation, whatever they desired to gratify their 
wants or wishes." 

After detailing some of the pecuniary 
losses suffered, the writer continues: "Be- 
sides these violations of the rights of person 
and property the British officers did many 
acts of barbarity for which there could be no 
apology. They made garrisons, storehouses 
or stables of places of public worship in sev- 
eral towns, and particularly of such as be- 
longed to the Presbyterians. * * * in 
the fall of 1782, about the time that the pro- 
visional articles of the treaty of peace were 

signed in Europe, Colonel Thompson (since 
Count Rumford), who commanded the troops 
then stationed at Huntington, without any 
assignable cause except that of filling his 
own pockets by furnishing him with a pre- 
tended claim on the British treasury, caused 
a fort to be erected; and, without any pos- 
sible motive except to gratify a malignant dis- 
position by vexing the people, he placed it in 
the centre of the public burying ground, in 
defiance of a remonstrance of the trustees of 
the town against the sacrilege of disturbing 
the ashes and destroying the monuments of 
the dead." 

Colonel Benjamin Thompson, so unpleas- 
antly pilloried in the above extract, was com- 
missioned Lieutenant Colonel of the King's 
Dragoons, which body of troops he raised 
February 24, 1782; and so far as actually 
known his warlike operations were confined 
to Long Island, with Huntington as his head- 
quarters. He was born in Woburn, Massachu- 
setts, March 26, 1753, and but for silly jeal- 
ousy on the part of some officers of the New 
Hampshire militia when he received his ap- 
pointment as Major, would have become one 
of the leaders of the Continental forces. That 
same opposition prevented Washington from 
giving him a commission, and, tired of in- 
activity and of being regarded with sus- 
picion as a Tory, he left the country. Re- 
turning in 1 78 1, he actively engaged in the 
military life of the time, and received his Brit- 
ish conmiission. Before hostilities closed 
he returned to England and henceforth his 
life was passed away from his native land. 
He died in France in 1814, with a deserved 
world-wide reputation as a scientist and phil- 
anthropist. It is one of the regrettable fea- 
tures of the Revolution that such men should 
by the necessity of things be forced into 

The greatest evil, morally as well as in 
all other respects, was that of billeting, al- 
though in that matter the Long Isanders were 
not one whit worse off than were people in 
any country where, even in time of peace, 




billeting was part of the military system. 
Even in England, in the days when the peo- 
ple — the masses — were regarded as mere 
hewers of wood and drawers of water, much 
more than they were even in 1776, the billet- 
ing of soldiers was an evil which elicited con- 
stant grumbling and sometimes even incited 
a riot. In Long Island, among the Tory sec- 
tion of the population, the practice was thor- 
oughly disliked, and where possible every 
effort was made to get rid of that special 
development of the fruits of victory excepting 
in the case of a few ultra Tories, who re- 
garded it with a feeling of awe and venera- 
tion, believing the troops were in their midst 
representing the highest of all earthly au- 
thority. But if the practice caused much dis- 
content among the ordinary classes of Tories 
it was received with detestation by the avowed 
Whigs, and with sullenness by that seemingly 
large part of the population which was 
neither Whig nor Tory, and only desired to 
be permitted to make their way through the 
world in peace. In connection with this 
phase of the occupation, Henry Ondendonk, 
Jr., wrote: 

During the summer British troops were 
off the island on active service ; or, if a few 
remained here, they abode under tents ; but in 
winter they were hutted on the sunny side 
of a hill, or else distributed in farmers' 
houses. A British officer, accompanied by a 
justice of the peace or some prominent Loyal- 
ist, as a guide, rode around the country, and 
from actual inspection decided how many sol- 
diers each house could receive, and this num- 
ber was chalked on the door. The only noti- 
fication was: "Madam, we have come to 
take a billet on your house." If a house had 
but one fireplace it was passed by, as the 
soldiers were not intended to form part of a 
family. A double house for the officers, or 
single house with a kitchen for privates, was 
just the thing. The soldiers were quartered 
in the kitchen, and the inner door nailed up 
so that the soldiers could not intrude on the 
household. They, however, often became in- 
timate with the family and sometimes inter- 
married. The Hessians were more sociable 

than the English soldiers, and often made 
little baskets and other toys for the children, 
taught them German and amused them in 
various ways ; sometimes corrupting them by 
their vile language and manners. Any mis- 
conduct of the soldiers might be reported to 
their commanding officers, who usually did 
justice; but some offenses could not be 
proven, such as night-stealing or damage 
done the house or to other property. As the 
soldiers received their pay in coin they were 
flush, and paid liberally for what they bought, 
such as vegetables, milk, or what they could 
not draw with their rations. These soldiers 
were a safeguard against robbers and whale- 
boat men. Spme had their wives with them, 
who acted as washerwomen, and sometimes 
in meaner capacities. 

From a. perusal of the orderly book of 
General Delancey, it appears that he used 
every means to protect the persons and prop- 
erty of the inhabitants of Long Island from 
the outrages of British soldiers. They were 
not allowed to go more than half a mile from 
camp at daytime (and for this purpose roll 
was called several times during the day), nor 
leave it under any pretex after sundown with- 
out a pass ; but now and then they would slip 
out and rob. On the nth of June, 1788, Mr. 
John Willett, of Flushing, was assaulted at 
his own house, at li o'clock at night, by per- 
sons unknown but supposed to be soldiers 
from having bayonets and red clothes, who 
threatened his life and to bum his house. 
The general offered a reward of $10 to the 
person who should first make the discovery 
to Major Waller; and a like reward for the 
discovery of the person who robbed Mr. Wil- 
lett on the 9th of June of two sheep, a calf 
and some poultry, as he was determined to 
inflict exemplary punishment and put a stop 
to practices so dishonorable to the King's 
service. Again, March 9, 1778, Mrs. Hazard, 
of Newtown, having complained that the sol- 
diers of the guard pulled down and burnt up 
her fence, that was near the guardhouse, the 
general at once issued an order to the of- 
ficer that he should hold him answerable there- 
after for any damage done the fences. So, 
too, if a soldier milked the farmers' cows, 
he should be punished without mercy; nor 
should he go in the hayfield and gather up 
new mown grass to make his bed of. Gen- 
erally the farmers were honestly paid for 
whatever they sold. For instance, April 23, 



1778, they were notified to call on Mr. Ochil- 
tree, deputy commissary of forage at Flush- 
ing, with proper certificates and get payment 
for their hay. 

To adduce one notable case. When Cap- 
tain Lambert Suydam was in hiding from the 
British, some time after the battle of Brook- 
lyn, and, having lost his troop, was seemingly 
employed as one of the Continental spies, 
he frequently visited, by stealth, his own 

mitted to return to his home on parole. Says 
T. W. Field, who evidently regarded Suy- 
dam as a sort of opera-bouffe hero: 

The dangers he had undergone had not, 
however, tamed his valiant spirit to that de- 
gree which permitted him to suffer without 
resentment the indignities and outrages daily 
perpetrated by British soldiers on his neigh- 
bors. One morning an unwonted clamor in 
his barnyard aroused the Captain from his 
slumbers, and, creeping to the window of his 


home at Bedford. A squad of soldiers was 
billeted in the house during that period and 
such visits were naturally enough attended 
by great danger. Indeed the redoubtable 
Captain had many narrow escapes from cap- 
ture, and, of course, an ignominoiis death; 
and on one notable occasion, but for the ap- 
peals of Mrs. Suydam and the tender-heart- 
edness of the Sergeant in command of the 
troops, his career would have had a tragic 
and a summary end. After a year of this 
sort of life Suydam made his peace with the 
British, took the required oath and was per- 

bedroom, he became assin-ed in a short time 
that the marauders were at some nefarious 
work among his cattle. The dim light of 
early morning was rendered still more ob- 
scure by a fog, which, however, did not pre- 
vent him from observing unusual objects mov- 
ing in the cattle yard. The irate trooper was 
not deterred from the protection of his prop- 
erty by the hazard of his own delicate po- 
sition as a prisoner on parole, for there was 
little disposition in his reckless soul to sub- 
mit to outrages upon his person or his goods. 
Reckless of the consequences, he seized hi!> 
musket, already loaded with a heavy charge 
of buckshot, and fired it in the direction of 



the sound which attracted his attention. The 
groans and screams of agony which ensued 
sufficiently indicated the effect of the shot; 
and when, a few minutes subsequently, the 
morning lig'ht broke through the mist, it was 
discovered that three British soldiers, who 
had slaughtered one of the Captain's cows 
and were then engaged in removing the skin, 
had all been wounded by the shot! As soon 
as information of the occurrence reached the 
adjacent camp a squad of soldiers was sent 
to carry away the wounded men, one of whom 
soon after died. No notice of the affair was 
ever taken by the British authorities, nor was 
Captain Suydam ever molested. There was 
always underlying in the character of most 
of the British officers, when its influence was 
not deadened by the paralyzing effect of what 
they deemed duty to the King, a great liking 
for fair play, which kept them silent to severe 
measures taken by the Whigs for the protec- 
tion of their property. 

In spite, however, of the hardships of 
billeting, the nefarious doings of marauders 
under the guise of Whigs or Tories, the 
necessary incidents inseparable from a state 
of war, the loose morals of the soldiery and 
the evils always and everywhere attendant 
upon military occupation, it must be said that 
Long Island in reality prospered in many ma- 
terial ways during the occupation. It was 
not the policy of the British authorities to 
stifle whatever loyal sentiments prevailed, and 
whenever a "rebel" wished to make his peace 
the matter was easily accomplished. Then 
it was from Long Island and Staten Island 


that the army calculated to draw their sup- 
plies, and as a natural result agriculture was 
sedulously protected in all cases except those 
where an ultra Whig farmer was concerned. 
The transit of produce from the island was 
placed under strict regulations, although it 
seems to us not more strict than was neces- 
sary under the circumstances. It may be said 
that the British strove to promote the wide- 
spread sentiment in favor of the Crown 
which certainly existed, and they succeededl 
to a marked degree in Kings and Queens, 
counties. Suffolk county, on the other hand, 
continued to be mainly Continental, although 
the farmers seemed to be as willing to raise 
corn for King George as for George Wash- 
ington. Even Suffolk county, had the occu- 
pation lasted long enough and had victory 
rewarded the invaiding forces, would have 
gradually settled down to view the situa- 
tion with equanimity. But the spirit of lib- 
erty was abroad. Its influence was win- 
ning its way even among the Tories of Long 
Island, and by the time the conflict was over 
they quietly accepted the changes, and it was 
not long after the close of hostilities before 
the entire island welcomed the results of the 
Revolution and took place with the rest of 
the State in the forward march of the new 
nation, recognizing, as has since been recog- 
nized by British historical writers and think- 
ers, that the ''ragged Continentals" were not 
alone fighting for liberty in America but also 
for its progress throughout the world. 






OW that the passage of over a cen- 
tury has softened many of the sen- 
timents inspired by the Revolution- 
ary 'Struggles and has put in the 
background the errors, mistakes, hairdships, 
■cruelties, sufferings, aanenities, estrange- 
ments, hates, lies, exaggerations and ex- 
travagances of thought, word, deed and 
-action which characterized the struggle, we 
see more clearly than aught else the sacri- 
fices made on both sides and the magnitude of 
the result attained — a grand star of liberty, 
: illuminating morning and evening, day after 
■day, the horizon of all the nations. The grass 
has long waved over the graves of those who 
took part in the contest on either side, and 
their children have followed them; the per- 
-sonal element in the struggle has long since 
disappeared and we can review the events of 
1776 and the years which followed until peace 
was proclaimed with the calmness and impar- 
tiality due to the consideration of an histori- 
cal epoch. The age of polemics, of person- 
.ality, of sophism, of simple assertion, has gone, 
and we must guide our study by the hard logic 
of facts; and that logic impels us to say that 
the Loyalists on Long Island were just as sin- 
cere in their convictions, as devoted in their 
loyalty, as willing to suffer for their senti- 
ments, as honest in their views, as were those 
who espoused the cause of the young nation. 
That they were wrong, that they were virtually 
trying to break a spoke in the wheel of human 

progress, does not militate against their loyalty, 
their honesty, their patriotism even. They took 
an erroneous view and suffered; went down 
with the wreck of that ship of state to whose 
stanchness they trusted their all; but we have 
no reason in this year of grace to think un- 
kindly of them, and, solely because of their 
views, to stigmatize them as "reptiles'' and 
■'thieves" and "traitors" and all manner of evil 
names such as were commonly applied to Tor- 
ies a century ago or so. 

Even British historians have come to look 
upon our glorious Revolution with different 
eyes than formerly. Bryce has said somewhere 
words to the effect that George Washington 
was in reality fighting the cause of liberty in 
Great Britain as much as in America ; and one 
has only to read the chapter in Green's "His- 
tory of the English People" (chapter II, vol. 
4), to see how that grand historic student re- 
joiced in the significances of the movement for 
liberty under Washington and understood the 
healthful influence its success exerted over the 
British Empire. In these circumstances it is 
but honest for us to devote a chapter in this 
work to recalling the lives and deeds of a few 
of those who were conspicuous in their oppo- 
sition on Long Island to the success of the new 
condition of things. 

In all such lists a prominent position must 
be given to Captain Richard Hewlett, one of 
the most singular characters which the story 
of the Revolution brings under our notice. 



He was recognized as a Tory of the Tories, 
and while the struggle lasted was probably 
more hated by the local Continentals, the 
Whigs, than any other one of their opponents. 
Certainly he gave them abundant cause for 
this, and as we read the story of his career from 
177s until 1783 we can fully understand the 
reasons for the order, once issued by General 
Chas. Lee, that Hewlett "should have no terms 
offered to him, but must be secured without 
ceremony." Richard Hewlett was born at 
Hempstead in 1712. He took part in the 
French War of 1757-9, ^^d was at the capture 
of Fort Frontenac in command of a company. 
To that campaign Queens county had fur- 
nished 290 men, and in the war Hewlett had 
famong his comrades such men as General 
Woodhull, and many other well-known Long 
Island men. But most of the veteran's of that 
"brave army remained loyal to Britain when the 
time came to make a declaration, and .they 
formed the main strength of the force which 
Hewlett gathered together to fight for King 
■George. He was an indefatigable plotter and 
as outspoken in his denunciation of the Whigs 
as the Whigs were of him. Like most of the 
Tories in the early days of the movement for 
independence, he affected to despise the pa- 
triots; probably he honestly did despise them, 
and when, before the battle of Brooklyn, the 
Provincial Congress tried to whip Long Isl- 
and into line for the new cause, he suffered 
many indignities at the hands of those on 
"whom he would have heaped indignity had cir- 
•cumstances been reversed. When the island 
was practically undeir martial law he defied the 
f)owers that inflicted it and stood out in open 
rebellion. He gathered arms and supplies, se- 
creting them in safe places for the conflict 
which he saw was surely approaching, and 
trained his men unceasingly. There was no 
hiding of sentiment on his part, and when he 
told his old comrade, Major Williams, who 
had espoused the Continental cause and had 
command of a battalion in the work of sup- 
pressing the local Tories, that had he met 
Ihat body "we should have warmed their 

sides," Williams believed it, and so far as we 
can see was devoutly thankful that the meet- 
ing did not take place. 

Into the details of these repressive meas- 
ures we need not here enter, having dwelt upon 
them in another chapter ; but from the Patriot 
standpoint they were amply justified by the 
attitude of the Long Island Loyalists,, and the 
dread of a conspiracy which existed, and which 
was seen to be well founded when the facts be- 
came known of a deep-laid plot among them 
to destroy the young nation by a grand coup. 
Into' this conspiracy, which had for its main 
object the capture of General Washington, 
Hewlett was a prime mover. He was in fact 
the leading medium of communication between 
the quarter deck of the frigate Asia, on which 
Governor Tryon often held his court, and the- 
Long Island Loyalists, and he was almost con- 
stantly passing between that vessel and the 
island. We have been unable to discover what 
part, if any, Hewlett took iri the battle of Long 
Island; but we may be sure he was not far 
away from its scene, at any rate ; and when the 
sun went down on that eventful day in August 
he found himself in the changed position he 
had for so many months desired, so far as his 
Whig neighbors were concerned. He became 
the hunter, they the hunted; behind him was 
power, behind them was the grim shadow of 
defeat, a cause that appeared hopeless, seem- 
ingly ruined lives and abandoned homesteads. 
Probably no one was more astounded than 
Hewlett at the pertinacity with which, even in 
the face of repeated defeat, the" Continentals 
carried on the struggle. 

He received a commission as lieutenant- 
colonel in De Lancey's corps of Loyalists. In 
August he was in command of a detachment 
and had turned the village church of which 
the Rev. Benjamin Tallmadge, father of Major 
Tallmadge, of Revolutionary fame, was then 
the pastor, into a fort and barracks, while the 
surrounding country was overrun by the usual 
gangs of ruthless marauders which generally 
accompanied such inferior commands of the 
Royalists. Hearing of this, General Parsons 



determihed to try and dispossess the enemy 
and sailed from Black Rock Harbor, Connecti- 
cut, with a considerable force and a six- 
pounder cannon, his flotilla including a sloop 
and six whaleboats. Landing at Crane Neck, 
he marched to Setauket, surrounded the church 
and demanded its surrender. The proposition 
was submitted by Hewlett to his men, but they 
were unanimous in their desire to fight it out. 
Then Hewlett said, in his usual impetuous 
way, "I will stick to you as long as there is a 
man left." Soon the assault was begun and 
continued for some three hours, much gallant- 
ry being displayed on both sides and the church 
steadily holding fast in spite of the musket 
shots and the balls from the brass six-pounder. 
Then word was brought to Parsons that some 
British ships were in the neighborhood, and 
fearing his retreat might be cut off, he re- 
treated to his boats, carrying away a few of 
Hewlett's horses, and reached Black Rock in 
safety. Hewlett was highly praised in the 
British reports for his share in the affray. It 
is noted by all who chronicle this fight that 
Zachariah Green, one of Parsons's soldiers, 
afterward, in 1797, became pastor @f the very 
church he had on this occasion so zealously 
tried to storm and destroy. 

Green was burn at Stanford, Conn., in 
1760, and appears to have been a regular dare- 
devil. He entered the Continental service at 
the outbreak of hostilities, was engaged on 
the fortifications of Dorchester Heights, fought 
at White Plains and in several other engage- 
ments. At White Marsh he was severely 
wounded in the shoulder. "This," quaintly 
observes the good Dr. Prime, "was probably 
the cause of his changing his ccurse of life." 
He studied at Dartmouth, was licensed to 
preach in 1785, and became minister of Setau- 
ket September 27, 1797. 

During the continuance of the British oc- 
cupation Hewlett seems to have been kept 
busy on Long Island in military work, and 
his treatrnent of the Whigs was often marked 
'by gross cruelty, while he certainly permitted 
his command at times, as in the raid on South- 

old in 1778, to degenerate into little better 
than an organized band of robbers. When 
the evacuation took place he was rewarded with 
a pension, and, settling in St. John, New 
Brunswick, began there a new and very dif- 
ferent career, becoming Mayor of that city. 
His son Thomas', as pronounced a Tory as 
himself, was killed in 1780 at Hanging Rock, 
North Carolina, by some Patriot skirmishers. 
Thomas was at that time a captain in the New 
York Loyal Volunteers. 

In John Rapalye we meet a Loyalist of an- 
other stamp, equally determined and outspoken, 
but less headstrong, a man of peace, but with 
all the courage of a hero. The name is the old- 
est in Brooklyn, and tradition long presented 
the name of Sarah de Rapalje as that of the 
first white child born on Long Island. The 
date given for that event was June 9, 1625, 
in which year her parents, Joris Jansen de 
Rapalye and Catalyntje Trico, resided in Al- 
bany, and there seems no doubt that her birth 
took place there. So the tradition has long 
been abandoned by the Brooklyn antiquaries. 

Joris Jansen de Rapalje came to America 
from Rochelle, in France, in 1623. He was a 
Huguenot, and crossed the Atlantic in com- 
pany with maniy other Rochelle Protestants to 
escape religious persecution, or rather to es- 
cape from its continuance. From him descend- 
ed all of that name on Long Island, a name 
that is virtually a part of the history of Brook- 
lyn. John Rapalje, the great-great-grandson of 
this pioneer, owned, when the Revolutionary 
War broke out, a valuable tract of land of 
some 160' acres. This property extended along 
the shore north from the ferry and some dis- 
tance up what is now Fulton street, his house 
being at the junction of the present lines of 
Fulton and Front streets with a garden run- 
ning back to the river. He was long recog- 
nized as one of the most influential men in 
the place, a,nd was chosen to a seat in the 
Provincial Assembly. He was a man of wide, 
liberal views, of unblemished character, and 
possessed of many grand qualities. All this is 
gathered from the wi'itings of the Whigs, to 



whom the name of Tory was a synonym for 
all that men generally hold unworthy. He 
adhered to the Loyalist cause steadfastly and 
outspokenly, and his influence was so dreaded 
by the Patriots that, in one of the raids made 
with a view of wheeling the British sympa- 
thizers into line with the Continental ideas, 
he was arrested and sent into exile in New 

It was while he was in this enforced seclu- 
sion, and because of it, that his wife nearly 
succeeded in bringing to an unhappy conclu- 
sion the cause of the struggling republic. 
: She had suffered much indignity and in- 
sult at the hands of the Whigs, and it 
is said that some of the soldiers in the 
' line of defenses, while practicing with artil- 
lery, aimed a cannon at her home and sent 
a bullet into its walls. Such things did not 
tend to improve her natural disposition, how- 
ever sweet and Christian-like it may have been, 
although as long as she could not help herself 
she was contented with nourishing a spirit of 
revenge. Finally her opportunity came, and 
she fully arose to it. After the battle of 
Brooklyn, her home being within the Conti- 
nental Hues, her property was in more jeopardy 
than ever, and so she continued to lie quiet 
and wait. From her windows, on the after- 
noon of the retreat, she could see by the hun- 
dreds of boats gathering around the ferry from 
all quarters that some important movement was 
on foot; but it was not until 8 o'clock, when 
the first detachment of the retreating forces 
marched past her house to the shore, that she 
grasped the situation and realized its full im- 
port. Now came her opportunity. Knowing 
the importance of the British being at once 
apprised of the retreat, and aware that she 
would be detected and arrested if seen out of 
doors, she told the circumstances to a negro 
slave and sent him out to, reach the British 
camp and impart the information to the first 
British officer he should meet. The negro 
made his way in safety out of the American 
lines; but, as fortune would have it, he entered 
the British lines at a point held by Hessian 

troops. These worthies, of course, could not 
understand his talk, and,- thinking him merely 
a petty thief, retained him all night under 
guard instead of haling him before some one 
who could understand his jargon. In the morn- 
ing, when matters were cleared up, it was too 
late for his information to be of any use. The 
retreat had passed into history. On what a 
slight thread do the histories and fortunes of 
nations often hang! 

During the British occupation of Long 
Island Rapalye returned to Brooklyn, and 
probably heard with equanimity that on Octo- 
ber 2y, 1779, a decree of attainder and con- 
fiscation was passed against him by Congress. 
In October, 1783, when the end of the conflict 
iwas in sight, knowing that there was little 
use in his trying, Ijke so many others, to make 
an arrangement with the victors, he went to 
England and settled in the old town of Nor- 
wich. The British government seems to have 
recompensed him, to a certain extent, for the 
loss he sustained by his loyalty, and he died 
at Kensington, London, January 12, 1802. 
When he left Long Island he carried with him 
the deeds of his estate and a large number of 
public papers, including, it is said, the early 
town records of Brooklyn. In course of time 
these papers came into possession of his grand- 
daughter, Mrs. Weldon, of Norwich. In 1810, 
accompanied by her husband, that lady came to 
this country, bringing with her the old papers 
with the view of instituting proceedings for 
the recovery of her grandfather's property, 
which, on July 13, 1784, had been sold by the 
Commissioners of Forfeited Estates to Com- 
fort and Joshua Sands for $12,430 in state 
scrip. Mrs. Weldon placed her case in the 
hands of Aaron Burr and B. D. Ogd'en, but 
after a thorough inquiry they advised her 
against pressing the matter, as the Act of At- 
tainder barred all chance of success. So she 
gathered up her papers and departed, and the 
Brooklyn records once more passed over the 
sea. Many eminent lawyers have regretted 
that a writ of replevin had not been secured, 
by which the municipality could have claimed 



and won possession of documents belonging 
to if which should never have become private 
property, but around 1810 people were not so 
thoroughly appreciative of the value of such 

David Mathews, Mayor of New York City 
during the troublesome years between 1776 
and 1784, was a noted and prominent figure 
in the ranks of the confirmed Tories. He 
was the grandson of Colonel Peter Mathews, 
who came to America ii; the suite of Governor 
Fletcher in 1692. This pioneer had a son 
Vincent, who married Catalina, daughter of 
Mayor Abeel, of Albany, and their children 
were David (the Mayor) Fletcher, James and 
a daughter. All the family except the Mayor 
were Whigs, or at least were indifferent as to 
the outcome of the great events then passing. 
Mathews was appointed Mayor on the resig- 
nation of Whitehead Hicks, of Flushing, in 
February, 1776, and the appointment was con- 
firmed by Governor Tryon on board the Duch- 
ess of Gordon, a frigate in New York harbor. 
Most of his time for a while from that on 
seems to have been spent at his country home 
at Flatbush, and the deck of the vessel on 
which the then nominal Governor of New 
York kept up his dignity as the representative 
of King George. Probably Mathews could 
be more fittingly described as a plotter than 
a Mayor, and it seems reasonably certain that 
every scheme evolved between in the early part 
of 1776 to undermine the strength of the Con- 
tinental, forces was either planned in his coun- 
try home, or if conceived elsewhere was there 
studied out and prepared for being put in ope- 
ration. Chief of these was what' ii called the 
Hickey plot to capture General Washington. 
Says Field: 

"The plot undoubtedly had its inception on 
board of the Asia, was matured' -at Flatbush, 
the residence of Mayor Matthews, and relied 
for its principal sustainers and adherents upon 
the Loyalists of Long Island. The nightly 
return of Matthews to his residence, not more 
than four or five miles from the landing place 
of boats from the Asia, and his daily return to 

the city, made him the fittest organ of com- 
munication between the Governor and the Loy- 
alists. The conspiracy failed to accomplish 
anything except to increase the rigors of the 
surveillance over the Long Island Loyalists, 
who felt its influence for many months subse- 

Mathews was arrested and held in close 
custody in Connecticut for some time. There 
was really no evidence discovered against him 
in connection with the plot, although suspi- 
cious circumstances were plentiful. He was 
subsequently released and resumed his office 
of Mayor, an office which was merely a nom- 
inal one even during the British occupation. 
In 1782 Mathews was appointed Registrar 
of the Court of Admiralty. On the conclusion 
of the war he retired to Canada, where he be- 
came President of Council of the island of 
Cape Breton, and so passes out of our history. 

A much more important, more honorable 
and lovable figure among the Loyalists was the 
sturdy old Lieutenant Governor, Cadwallader 
Colden, whose home, Springhill, Flushing, 
was for many years the real gubernatorial 
mansion of the colony; in fact, for the fifteen 
years which preceded the Revolution he was 
regarded as the most conspicuous representa- 
tive of the royal authority. His career has 
been sketched in a previous chapter, but the 
story of his family may here be referred to, 
showing, as it does, that while most of them 
continued to hold Loyalist views, others were 
really indifferent about the matter; but the 
third generation developed into devoted Amer- 
ican citizens. This was generally the case all 
around, so far as the writer's research has dis- 
covered, except in the case of a few ultra To- 
ries, whose descendants even at the present day 
have a sentimental loyalty for the British 
throne, just as the British Jacobites have, or 
pretend to have, for the living descendants of 
"the auld Stuarts." 

Regarding Colden's family, Thompson, in 
his "History of Long Island," gives the fol- 
lowing details: "He had five sons and five 
daughters, a part of whom only survived him. 



His daughter Elizabeth married Peter de Lan- 
cey ; Jane married Dr. William Farquhar ; and 
Alice married Colonel William Willett. Three 
of Governor Colden's sons, Alexander, Cad- 
wallader and David, were successively Sur- 
veyor Generals and prominent men in the col- 
ony. His son David, to whom he bequeathed 
the farm at Springhill, becoming a warm and 
active Loyalist in the Revolution, lost- his estate 
by forfeiture and retired to England in 1784, 
where he died July 10 of the same year. He 
was bred to the profession of physic, which, 
however, he never practiced. He was fond 
of retirement, was much devoted to scientific 
pursuits, and his correspondence with learned 
men in Europe and America is to be found in 
the publications of the time. His wife was 
Ann, daughter of John Willett, of Flushing. 
She died at Coldenham, Orange county, in 
August, 1785. They had one son and three 
daughters. Their daughter Mary married 
the late Jonah Ogden Hoffman, Esq. ; Eliza- 
beth married Edward W. Laight; and Cath- 
erine mairried the late Thomas Cooper." 

Alexander Colden seems to have made his 
peace with the Federal Government. He ap- 
pears to have resided at Coldenham and in 
1742 opened the first store in that village, and 
in 1752 was one of the company who received 
a renewal of the Newburgh patent from Gov- 
ernor Clinton. 

Cadwallader D. Colden, only son of David 
Colden and grandson of the Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor, was the next man of the family to be- 
come really prominent in public affairs. He 
was born at Springhill April 4, 1769, and .was 
educated at Jamaica. In 1784 he accompanied 
his father to England, but returned to New 
York in about a year. He then engaged in the 
study of law, was admited to the bar and en- 
tered upon practice in Poughkeepsie in 1791. 
In 1793 he married Maria, daughter of Bishop 
Provost, of New York, and three years later 
settled in New York City, of which he became 
district attorney. He rapidly rose. at the bar 
until he held the most prominent position in 

the profession in the city, especially in connec- 
tion with commercial matters. 

But his ambition lay in another direction! 
than his profession, and the highest aspirations 
of his life were for a political career. He 
early won the friendship of De Witt Clinton, 
and through the influence of that great states- 
man speedily found an honored place in public 
affairs. At the same time he lost no opportu- 
nity in personally exerting himself to add to 
his popularity among the people, and this led 
him, among other exploits, to raise a regiment 
of volunteers in the War of 1812 and to be 
active in the work of preparing the city to 
meet the expected invasion of the' British at 
that time, although probably he cared as little 
for military matters as he cared for astronomy. 
In 1818 he was elected by CHnton's influence 
a member of Assembly, and that same influ- 
ence, in the same year, landed him in the chair 
of the Mayor of New York, which he con- 
tinued to occupy until 1821. It was, however, 
only a step toward the goal of his ambition, 
the Governor's seat at Albany; and another 
step thitherward was taken in 1824, when he 
was chosen a State Senator. He supported 
Clinton in all public measures and projects, 
and was particularly outspoken in advocacy of 
the latter's canal policy. In 1827 he retired 
from the Senate, and seemed somehow to lose 
his grip on the situation. So, much against 
his own desire, he retired to private life, a 
sadly disappointed man. 

In 1829 he publicly renounced Freema- 
sonry, in which, as in politics, he had been a 
prominent figure for many years, and in which, 
as in politics, he missed the goal of his ambi- 
tion, the Grand Mastership of the State, when 
it seemed within his grasp. In 1829 the fa- 
mous anti-Masonic movement over the disap- 
pearance of William Morgan was just reaching 
its height, and he probably hoped to win a new 
lease of political influence by casting in his 
lot with the "anti-Masons," even then showing 
signs of becoming a prodigious power in State 
and also in national politics. Certainly he was 



welcomed into his new fold, and his skillfully 
written letter of renunciation was circulated 
by thousands, reaching every hamlet in the 
State. But even this produced no lasting 
effect on his fortunes, and he fell back into 
obscurity, in which he remained until his death 
at Jersey City, in 1834. 

He was a man of more than ordinary abil- 
ity, endowed with much of the literary taste 
of his grandfather, was a reputable citizen in 
all respects and fulfilled every duty imposed 
up>on him with marked fidelity and usefulness. 
He never could be described as brilliant, nor 
could he be called a mere figurehead. He 
won many powerful friends and he exerted for 
a series of years a potent degree of influence 
in the councils of his political party ; but there 
was an air of insincerity about everything he 
did which prevented his friends or the people 
becoming enthusiastic in his behalf at any 
point, and so in the merciless kaleidoscope of 
political life he went down into obscurity, un- 
wept, unhonored and unsung. He was the last 
of his race to acquire any prominence in local 
or State affairs. 

We may now turn again from civil to mili- 
tary life and recall the once well-known name 
of Isaac Corsa, for many years a prominent 
merchant in New York City. His firm, Corsa 
& Bull, was so long prominent that the estab- 
lishment it occupied near Peck Slip became a 
landmark. John Austin Stevens, in his volume 
on "Colonial Records of the New York Cham- 
ber of Commerce," writes: "He (Corsa) was 
a distinguished officer in the old French War. 
He received his commission as captain on the 
25th of September, 1775. He led a detach- 
ment of Queens county men as colonel at the 
capture of Fort Frontenac (Kingston), Au- 
gust, 1758, and on the night of the 25th of 
August volunteered to erect a battery under 
the enemy's fire. Here he was slightly wound- 
ed. The next day the" fort surrendered, under 
the fire. On the breaking out of the Revolu- 
tion he clung to the crown, and on the 12th 
of August, 1776, was arrested by order of 
General Washington and sent prisoner to Nor- 

wich and Middletown. He was released on 
his parole and promised to return when sent 
for the following December. He married 
Sarah Franklin in April, 1758. She was the 
sister of Walter Franklin, a wealthy New York 
merchant, who resided at Maspeth. After his 
death Colonel Corsa occupied the mansion. 
Colonel Corsa died at Flushing, 3d May, 1807, 
in the eightieth year of his age. He is said 
to have been small in stature and juvenile in 
appearance, though an intrepid officer. His 
only child, Maria Franklin, was married to 
John L Staples." 

One of the most violent and unscrupulous, 
and in many respects most depraved, of the 
Long Island Tories was Colonel William Ax- 
tell, of Melrose Hall, Flatbush. He claimed 
descent from an officer in Cromwell's army 
who was beheaded by Charles II ; but if so 
his descendants must have entertained very dif- 
ferent notions respecting the monarchical insti- 
tution, for William Axtell saw, or pretended 
to see, no blot on the royal escutcheon. 

He was born on the island of Jamaica, a 
member of a family possessing extensive land- 
ed interests; but he seems to have sold all his 
property in that island before settling in New 
York in 1759. He appears to have been re- 
ceived with open arms by the local gentry in 
New York City, married into the De Peyster 
family, and became a member of the King's 
Council. In 1763 he purchased Melrose Hall, 
which continued to be his home until it was 
wrested from his possession by an act of for- 
feiture, which took effect as soon as the Brit- 
ish evacuated New York and the American 
flag was run up at the Battery. 

The house, even in pre-Revolutionary days, 
was a notable one. It was built about 1749, 
in the style of an old English country man- 
sion, by a gentleman named Lane, and its sur- 
rounding grounds and flower gardens and am- 
ple lawn were alone sufficient to give it promi- 
nence in a neighborhood where such adorn- 
ments were neglected, and a kitchen garden 
was regarded as the embodiment of horticul- 
tural skill. But the interior was even more 



wonderful. Its large chambers and gilded 
halls, its luxurious furniture, and, above all, 
its abundance of secret chambers, dismal and 
roomy vaults and skillfully contrived hiding 
places, invested it with a degree of mystery 
in the minds of the simple people around it 
and gave rise to the usual routine of ghost 
stories so familiar a part of the history of most 
old English country mansions. Its first owner 
used it — probably built it — as a means of min- 
istering to his low and debauched tastes, and 
its walls often witnessed bacchanalian excesses 
and sensual orgies, while the air rang with 


From "Flatbush, Past and Present." By permission 
of the Flatbush Trust Company. 

laughter and the wild shrieks of maudlin, dis- 
sipated, degraded pleasure-seekers. In Ax- 
tell's hands the morals of the place became 
more pure, but it remained a center of intrigue, 
a splendid place for secret meetings, and the 
ghost stories grew more vehement, and, ac- 
cording to the popular mind, more easily con- 
firmed. In its vaults many an ardent Patriot, 
it was averred, was confined until his spirit 
was broken and his life cast out; many cruel- 
ties were inflicted upon those who were be- 
guiled into its mysterious chambers ; and the 
spirit of a young woman who had met her 
fate in one of its apartments was seen to wan- 

der around at intervals and bemoan her un- 
timely end. So the stories used to run, and 
the Flatbush folks grew to believe in the ghost 
and to revel in the notion of having a haunted 
house in their midst. 

In the measures adopted against the Whigs 
prior to the battle of .Brooklyn, Colonel Axtell 
felt the heavy hand of successful rebellion and 
had to submit to many humiliations. But these 
he afterward repaid with a more than usually 
liberal measure of interest and continued to 
pay with equal liberality until the curtain was 
rung down upon British dominion over what 
by that time was the United States. But while 
the Whigs were supreme he was made to feel 
that he was on the losing side, and the last act 
undertaken against an individual by the Conti- 
nental forces on Long Island prior to the de- 
feat was directed against him. A day or two 
before the battle of Brooklyn, when Flatbush 
was in the hands of the British, Axtell was 
jubilant and had gathered around him at din- 
ner a large party of red-coated officers. In 
the midst of the hilarity of the occasion a well- 
directed shell from one of the Continental bat- 
teries on a neighboring height plunged into the 
house. It created considerable consternation, 
naturally enough, but did no real damage, al- 
though it effectively reminded Axtell that he 
was not yet entirely rid of his persecutors, 
even although surrounded by one of the most 
magnificent armies which up to that time Great 
Britain had sent across a wide stretch of sea. 

In 1778 Axtell raised a regiment of Colo- 
nial infantry, of which he was commissioned 
colonel. During the entire length of the Brit- 
ish occupation Axtell rode, it may be said, 
"rough-shod" over his former oppressors, and 
became more overbearing and cruel than ever 
irumor had imputed even to the most rampant 
of the Whigs. He showed the power of an iron 
hand without even the slightest pretext at cov- 
ering it with a silken glove. So obnoxious did 
he become that Captain Marriner, the Whig 
freebooter, once made a special descent on 
Flatbush with the avowed intention of cap- 
turing him and Mayor Mathews, as well as 



one or two others of like stamp. The descent 
might have been successful had it not been for 
the fact that Axtell and Mathews happened 
to be away from their homes on the night it 
was planned. However, Stiles, in his "His- 
tory of Kings County," very pertinently says 
that "even if Colonel Axtell had been at home 
his capture would have been no easy task, for 
the house abounds in secret closets and out-of- 
the-way nooks where one could easily hide." 

When peace was concluded the Axtell home 
at Flatbush was sold by the Commissioners of 
Forfeited Estates to Colonel Aquilla Giles, an 
American officer who had married Miss Ship- 
ton, a niece of Mrs. Axtell. In 1809 Colonel 
Giles transferred the property to another sol- 
dier of the Revolution. In 1836 it became the 
home of James Mowatt (husband of the once 
famous actress, Mrs. Mowatt, afterward Mrs. 
Ritchie), and so contined until 1841. In 1880 
the march of "modern improvements" necessi- 
tated the removal of the old structure, and part 
of it — the central portion — was removed to 
Bedford avenue, near Winthrop street, where 
it still stands, shorn of its fine proportions, 
its historic fitness and its usefulness even as a 

We may now mention another Tory, or 
rather a reputed Tory, who won renown much 
more widespread and lasting than the measure 
accorded to any treated in this chapter, but in 
an entirely different direction. This was Lind- 
ley Murray, whose name as a grammarian was 
for years a familiar one on the lips of children 
wherever the English language was taught, 
and even to-day, although his grammar has 
long since met the usual fate of school-books 
and been relegated to the catalogue of educa- 
tional curiosities, his uame is still regarded as 
a synonym expressive of the study itself. I 
have designated Murray as a reputed Tory, for 
although up to a certain point in the contro- 
versy with the mother country he was in full 
accord with the Patriots, was even elected, in 
May, 177s, a member of the Committee of One 
Hundred, still when the war broke out his 
religious sentiments did not permit him to take 

part in any bloodshed ; and,, to be away from 
■the armed strife and also to recrujt his weak 
strength, he removed to Islip, where he spent 
some four years mainly engaged in the enjoy- 
ment of country pleasures, boating, fishing, 
etc. It was while in retirement that he earned 
the title of Tory, the result of his kind and gen- 
erous heart. Speaking of this in connection 
with the measures adopted against the Tories 
prior to the defeat of August 27, 1776, Mr. 
Field, the historian of the battle of Long 
Island, says : 

"There was at this time residing at Islip 
a Quaker gentleman of some estate in whom 
the troubles of the times developed a perspi- 
cuity of reason and an acuteness of expres- 
sion which have left their mark upon our lan- 
guage. Lindley Murray, whose name is almost 
as devoutly hallowed for his high virtues as 
it is famous for his eminence in learning, had 
retired to this remote and quiet spot to. 'escape 
the angry turbulence of the city ; but- his be- 
nevolence would not permit him to reniain in 
idleness while so many of his countrymen 
were suffering for want of the common neces- 
saries of life. The strict blockade of the port 
by the British cruisers had so obstructed the 
transactions of commerce that salt was sold at 
a price that made it almost unattainable by the 
poor. To supply this want Mr. Mtirray estab- 
lished salt works at Islip and devoted himself 
to its manufacture. The kindly Quaker was 
but little molested in person by his Whig 
neighbors, but he retired from the country to 
the city when he saw the rancor which was 
kindling between the factions and the severity 
with which some of his Loyalist friends were 

Such was the man whose innate kindness 
caused him to be dubbed a Tory at a time when 
every evil attribute possible to mankind was 
held to be included in such a title ! It is very 
possible that Murray was a Loyalist in heart; 
indeed, his career seems clearly to prove that; 
but he was a non-combatant and unconnect- 
ed with intrigue, while his known philan- 
thropy and blameless life might have spared 



him the obloquy which was thrown upon him 
during those years of trial and long afterward. 

Lindley Murray was born at Swataca, 
Pennsylvania, April 22, 1745. His father, 
Robert Murray, soon after Lindley's birth, 
removed to New York, where he became one 
of the greatest merchants of his time. His 
firm, Murray, Sansom & Company, occupied a 
large building on Queen (Pearl) street, be- 
tween Beekman street and Burling slip, and 
Murray became so wealthy that he was one of 
the five men in New York who owned a pri- 
vate carriage. Being a Quaker and not given 
to boasting, however, he never spoke of "my 
carriage," but always of "my leather conven- 
iency." The great merchant was a loyal Amer- 
ican and steadfastly kept abreast of the move- 
ment for reform which finally developed into 
a struggle for independence. His wife was 
even more pronounced in her patriotism, and 
it is said that her womanly wit had much to 
do with the successful retreat of the American 
army to King's Bridge in September, 1776. 
Walter Barrett, in his "Merchants of New 
York," says: 

"Old Robert Murray had a farm out on the 
East River in the neighborhood of old Dr. 
Gerardus Beekman's place at the head of 
King's Road. There Mrs. Murray entertained 
General Howe and his staff with refreshments 
after their landing at Kipp's Bay on purpose 
to afford time to General Putnam to lead off 
his troops in retreat from the city, which he 

Mrs. Lamb, in her "History of New York," 
tells the story in much similar style. "Mrs. 
Murray, the mother of Lindley Murray, the 
grammarian, was personally known to Trypn; 
he introduced the British Generals, who, 
charmed with the beauty of her cool parlors and 
the tempting wine with which she bountifully 
supplied them, loitered in gay and trivial occu- 
pation. For Mr. Thatcher, relating this inci- 
dent in his journal, says : 'It has since become 
almost a common saying among our officers 
that Mrs. Murray saved this part of the Ameri- 
can army.' " 

Lindley was intended by his father to be 
his associate in business, but the young man 
seems to have had little taste for trade and 
ran away from home to escape from it. His 
escapade did not last long, but when he re- 
turned he was sent, in accordance with his 
own wishes, to study law, and in 1765 was ad- 
mitted to the bar. His legal business never 
amounted to anything, but his health was weak 
and he was unable to maintain the routine and 
study necessary to success in that most jealous 
of the learned professions. 

I again quote Walter Barrett: "When the 
war broke out Lindley's law business was used 
up. So he retired to Islip and determined to 
stay there until the war storm had passed 
away. He kept quiet four years and then went 
to New York to try commerce instead of law. 
His father gave him a large credit to import 
goods from London. The goods arrived. He 
sold them at great profits and kept on doing 
so until the war closed. Every year added 
largely to his capital, and when independence 
was established he was well off and able to 
retire from business. He did so and purchased 
a country seat three miles from New York, 
at Bellevue. Alas ! after a few months his 
health failed in this paradise and he removed 
to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Finding his 
health feeble, he consulted one of the first phy- 
sicians of New York. He advised a perma- 
nent change of climate, where the summers 
were more temperate and less relaxing and 
where he would hot lose in warm weather the, 
bracing effects produced by the rigor of win- 
' ter. The advice was accepted. Yorkshire, in 
England, was thought a proper place. The 
voyage was made in 1784. He selected and 
bought a place at Holdgate, near York, and 
that became his habitation for many years of 
his life. There he wrote the books which have 
immortalized his name. His affairs in America 
were managed by his father until he died, in 
1786, then his brother John managed them 
until Lindley died, in 1826." 

Murray's first work, "The Power of Re- 
ligion on the Mind," was published in 1787, 



and enjoyed a remarkable degree of success, 
although in that respect it was far surpassed 
by his "English Grammar," written for the 
use of a female seminary near York and pub- 
lished in 1795. His other writings were main- 
ly of religious character and have long been 
forgotten, even his once famous grammar, as 
we have said, being little more nowadays than 
a name. Chambers's Encyclopedia contemptu- 
ously dismisses it with the remark: "There 
can be no stronger indication how entirely 
the systematic study of the English language 
was until recent years neglected than the fact 
that Murray's Grammar was for half a century 
the standard text-book throughout Britain and 

In concluding several notices regarding 
the Muilray family, Walter Barrett, in the 

delightful work from which I have quoted, 
saysi : 

"Lindley earned an immense sum by- his 
various works, but the profits he invariably 
devoted to benevolent purposes. When he 
died he left by will several bequests to chari- 
ties in England. After his wife deceased the 
residue of his property was to be transferred 
to New York City and vested in trustees so 
as to form a permanent fund, the yearly in- 
come in produce of which was to be appropri- 
ated in the following manner: In liberating 
black people who may be held in slavery, as- 
sisting them when free and giving their de- 
scendants or the descendants of other black 
people suitable education. What became of the 
money to do this is a question of curiosity that 
arises to one's mind when he reads this." 



' ■ ■ .^.^.^^.mtm^m^^^^ltt^^k 



T WILL not be out of keeping with the 
plan and scope of this work to pause 
before leaving the period of the Revo- 
lution and devote a chapter to briefly 
recording the life stories of several of those 
heroes belonging to the island who were 
foremost in the fight for liberty and in- 
dependence. Such a study will serve two 
ends; it will enable us to dwell more 
particularly upon the personal careers of 
these men than could well be done in the 
course of the general story, and it will afford 
room for the narration of several interesting 
details which throw instructive side lights 
upon the progress of that grand struggle 
which developed the American Colonies into 
a nation. 

In many respects the greatest of the Long 
Island Revolutionary heroes was General Na- 
thaniel WoodhuU, a man of most lovable char- 
acter, a stanch patriot, a sincere Christian, a 
statesman, and a soldier who had won a repu- 
tation for personal courage and military skill 
long before the time came for him to give up 
his life in the service of his native land. 

Nathaniel Woodhull was born at Mastic, 
Brookhaven township, December 30, 1722. He 
was the son of Nathaniel Woodhull of Brook- 
haven, who was descended from Richard 
Woodhull, a native of Thetford, Northamp- 
ton, who had to leave England in 1648 on ac- 
count of some political trouble shortly before 
the restoration of Charles II to the throne. 
He was one of the original settlers of Ja- 

maica, his name being recorded in the original 
deed as one of the "proprietors;" but he 
seems to have soon (1655) removed to Brook- 
haven, where he settled on an extensive tract 
of land. Thompson, in his sketch of Wood- 
hull, says: "An original paper of Lord Crew 
to him (Richard) dated in 1687, in answer to- 
one of his, is among the papers of the late 
Abraham Woodhull, Esq., of Brookhaven, in 
which he styles him as cousin and speaks of 
his relations, among whom he enumerates a 
bishop [of Durham] and a number of families 
of the first rank in society." 

The accuracy of all this is rendered some- 
what dubious by the fact that in 1687 there 
was no personage as "Lord Crew" or Crewe,, 
that title in the baronage having only been 
created in 1806, and that the head of the 
Crewe family and holder of the estate in 1687 
was a young woman. However all that may 
be, there is no doubt that Richard Woodhull, 
when he arrived in New York, was a man of 
considerable means, and the possessor also of 
much personal influence. He received two 
patents for his property, one from Governor 
Richard Nicolls in 1666 and one from Gov- 
ernor Dongan in 1686. He soon acquired a 
measure of importance in his Long Island 
home, for we flnd that in 1663 he represented 
Brookhaven in a General Court convened at 
Hartford, Connecticut. This importance fol- 
lowed him throughout his career, whethef 
British or Dutch held sway. The former ap- 
pointed him in 1666 a Justice of the Court 



of Assizes, and the latter in 1673 commissioned 
him a Magistrate for Brookhaven. He died 
in 1690, at the home he had founded. 

General Nathaniel WoodhuU was third in 
descent from this pioneer, and being the eldest 
son was educated according to old English 
ideas, with the view of his being called upon, 
in time, to the duty of administering the family 
estate. His many excellent qualities and iemi- 
nent ability soon marked him for public serv- 
ice, and he seems to have early entered upon 
a military career. There is some doubt as to 
when he entered the military service, but in 
1758 he served as Major under General Aber- 
crombie in the campaign against Crown Point 
and Ticonderoga, and distinguished himself by 
his gallantry at Fort Frontenac (Kingston). 
In 1760 he took part, as colonel of the Third 
Regiment, New York Provincials, in the cam- 
paign under General Amherst, which resulted 
in the conquest of Canada, and at the close of 
the campaign he returned to his home on 
Long Island with the view of enjoying a life 
of pleasant retirement. In 1761 he married 
Ruth, daughter of NicoU Floyd, of Brookha- 
ven, and sister of General William Floyd, one 
of the Signers of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence representing New York. 

In 1768 the New York Assembly passed a 
resolution to the effect that no tax could or 
should be imposed upon the people of New 
York without the consent of the people 
through their Representatives in the Assembly, 
and that they had a right to consult with oth