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Full text of "The earliest churches of New York and its vicinity"

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FROM THE LIBRARY OF 
REV. LOUJS FITZGERALD BENSON. D. D. 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 

THE LIBRARY OF 

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 






THE 



t/ 




EARLIEST CHURCHES 



OF 



NEW YORK 



ITS VICINITY. 



BY 



GABRIEL P. DISOSWAY, A. M., 

COBBESPONDING MEMBER OF TUB NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETT, 
ETC., ETC. 



"Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. M.^rk yo well her 
bulwarks, consider her palaces, that ye may tell it to the generations following." 

Psalms. 



NEW YORK: 
JAMES G. GREGORY, 540, BROADWAY. 



MDCCCLXV. 



Entered according; to Act of Congress, in the year 1S64, 

By GABKIEL P. DISOSWAY, 

In the Clcrli's Oilice of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 
District of New Yorlc. 



C. A. AI.VOUD, STHIlKOTYl'Kr. AND Pr.INTI'.U. 



REV. THOMAS E. VERMILYE, D. D., 



ABEL STEVENS, LL.D., 

so WKLL ICNOWN AND ESTEEMED FOR THEIR VALUABLE 

niSTOEIOAL EESEAECIIES, 

AJS'D AT WHOSE ADVICE ESPECIALLY THIS AVORK HAS BEEK tOJU-QSED : 

TO THESE ESTEEMED FRIENDS 

^l]is D0luiue 

IS NOW OFFERED, AS A TRIBUTE OF THE AUTHOR'S 
REGARDS AND FRIENDSHIP. 



PREFACE. 



The following chapters were not originally written 
for publication in a volume ; but were composed at the 
request of the Editors of the "New York Observer," 
in whose excellent paper many of them have ali-eady 
appeared. 

This work is not professedly a history of the earliest 
Churches in New York and its vicinity, but rather a 
contribution to such an undertaking, and one so much 
needed. In its composition, the author has been careful 
to consult authentic sources, endeavoring to be as accu- 
rate and reliable as possible. 

It must be remembered that the settlement of New 
Netherland, or New York, embraced a wide extent of 
territor}^, and hence the early churches within its bor- 
ders can be included with propriety in our- general 
historical plan. In recording facts of the same character 
so often, no great variety of expression or style could 



6 PKEFACE. 

be indulged. Our object has been to present the in- 
formation in a concise and clear manner. The chapters 
are collected into the present volume, that something 
useful may be better preserved, and made more ac- 
cessible to all who esteem and venerate the history, 
faith, and hope of our earliest churches. 

G. P. D. 

The Clove, Staten Island, Christmas, 1864. 



COE"TElNrTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

The Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church of New York the Earliest Formed in North America 
— Motley's " Rise of the Dutch Republic" — Emisrants Sent to America by the West India 
Company — Director Minuifs Arrival, 1020 — The Ziekentrooster — Rev. Jonas Michaelius, the 
First Minister — Dominie Bogardus — First Church — The Second, St. Nicliolas, Hoiv Built 
— Earliest Ministers — Garden Street Church Built^Middle and North Dutch Built. Page 13 

CHAPTER II. 

The Dutch Early Introduced Schools in New Amsterdam — Evert Pletersen, the Ziekentroos- 
ter — Sclioolhouse Built — Children Publicly Catechised — New Amsterdam becomes New 
York — The School Continued as Usual, but Broken Up for a time by Governor Cornbury — 
Schoolbouse Erected (m Garden Street — Continued three-quarters of a Century — English 
Introduced in the Public Religious Services — " Sons of Liberty" — American prisoners in 
the Churches— Great Fire of 1776— School Reopened After the Peace of 1783— New School- 
house Built in 1&47 89 

CHAPTER III. 

First Burial-place in New York — Services of the Church of Ensland Introduced, 1664 — 
Mr. Vesey, the First Rector — Charlotte Temple's Grave — Rev. Elias Neau — Dr. Vinton — 
Episcopal Free School Established — Episcopal Churches Closed in the Revolution — Drs. 
Cooper, Auchmuty, Charlton, Barclay, Inglis — Reply to "Common Sense" Seized by Sons 
of Liberty and Burned — General Ilowe Lands in New York — The Great Fire, 1776— Dr. 
Inglis Retires to Nova Scotia, and there made Bishop — The Kins's Farm — Trinity Bur'.ied 
and Rebuilt — St. George's, St. PauVs, and St. John's built — Governor Fletcher's Arrival; a 
High Churchman— Churches Ordered to be Erected in Westchester, Suffolk, and Rich- 
mond — Citizens Taxed for their Support 54 

CHAPTER IV. 

Trinity Church — Its Princely Liberality — Churches Helped — Queen's Farm — First Wardens 
and Vestrymen — Subscriptions to the Building — New Edifice — Governor Fletcher's Arms 
and Pew— King's Farm — Ministers' Salaries Small — Fees — Rev. Mr. Vesey and his Assist- 
ants^Trinity Enlarged, 1737 — Queen Anne Presents Communion Sets, and the Bishop of 
London, a Parochial Library — Death of Mr. Vesey 63 

CHAPTER V. 

Rev. Henry Barclay Inducted into Trinity Church, 1746 — Chapel of Ease, St. George'.s — Drs. 
Milnor and Tyng — Washington an Attendant here — Dr. Samuel Johnston, au "Assistant 
Minister of Trinity — Gulian C. Verplanek, his grandson, now a Vestryman — Dr. Johnston 
the First President of Columbia College — New Organ for Trinity— Dr. Barclay's Death — 
Rev. John Ogilvie, his Death and Benefactions— St. Paul's Built, 1763 — Here General 'Wash- 
ington also Worshipped — Rev. Mr. Vardill, Benjamin Moore, and Dr. Bowden, Assistant 
Ministers In Trinity — Mr. Beach, of Connecticut, — Death of Rev. Dr. Auchmuty 71 

CHAPTER VI. 

St. George's Burned in 1814— Rebuilt by the Liberality of Trinity — Benjamin T. Onderdonk 
.an Assistant Rector — Mr. Hobart, As,^istant of Bishop Moor^' — Sketch of the Bishop — Mr. 
Hobart, a warm Churchman, Electfd Bishop, ISU — Ilis Death, 1830 — Dr. Berrian Elected 
Rector of Trinity, Rev. Henry Anthon and Dr. J. M. Wainwright, Assistant Ministers — 
Dr. Wainwright becomes Bishop, and the Rev. Edward G. Higbee an Assistant Minister of 
Trinity — Bishop Onderdonk — The Present beautiful Trinity erected, and Consecrated Mav 
21, 1&46— Rev. Thomas C. Brownell 80 

CHAPTER VII. 

The Episcopal Church Early Regarded the Establishment of Schools — A School at first Held 
in the Belfry — Benefactions to the School, and a House Built on Rector Street — The New 



8 CONTENTS. 

Ecliflce in Vaiick Street — Origin of King's, afterwards Columbia, College — Tlie " King's 
Farm'" — Twenty-ftvo Thousand Dollar Legacy Page 'SG 

CHAPTER VIII. 

In 1685, the Jews Refused Permission of Public Worship by the City Authorities — Churches 
in Governor Dongmi's Administration — Petition of the Jews — Synagogues Built in Balti- 
more and Itichinond— Burial-place in IGT'2 — First Synagogue Built in Mill Street — Jewish 
Families near it— Haruian Hendricks — Eev. Gershom Isaac Jeshurun Pintu — Mr. Seixas — 
The Eabbis — Karnes of the Present Temples— Jewish Worship— The Holy Light 94 

CHAPTER IX. 

Luther's Name a Waymark in the Church — Two Centuries Ago a Lutheran Congregation in 
New York— Kev. Jacob Fabritius— But Four Clergymen of the Established Church in New- 
Netherlands — Conformity attempted— The Lutherans and Baptists Troubled — William Hal- 
let Fined Fifty Pounds, and a Baptist Preacher One Hunch'ed Pounds, and Ordered from 
the Colony — l!ev. Erncstus Goatwater Banished — Governor Stuyvesant Censured for his 
Persecutions — In I G64 New Amsterdam Becomes New York — Luthei-ans Erect a Church, 
1702 — Kev. Barnardus Arentius its Pastor — Uev. Jacob Fabritius — His Successors — Swedish 
Settlement on tlie Delaware — In 1710, Three Thousand Palatines arrive in New York — Church 
Burned in 1T7G— Grace (Episcopal) Church Occupies the Spot — Itev. Mr. Muhlenbergh — 
Swamp Church — Dr. Kunzie — Shaefler— Strobel — Geisseuhainer — Dr. Milledoler in German 
Reformed Church, Nassau Street 102 

CHAPTER X. 

Origin of Friends or Quakers in England— George Fox— Early Persecuted at Boston — Wil- ' 
liam Penn — lUibert llodson Arrives in New York. 165G— George Fox Visits Long Island, 
1072 — Two Women the First Preacheis — The Male Preachers — Persecutions — Mrs. Anna 
Bayard nobly Interferes in their Behalf— Meetins-house on Liberty, Pearl, and Rose 
Streets— New Edifices on Hester, Henry, Orchard Streets, Gramercy Park, and Stuyvesant 
Squ.are 115 

CHAPTER XI. 

L'Egliso du Saint Esprit— Its Pastors— Eev. Mr. Neau— His Descendants, Captain Oliver IL 
Perry, Dr. Francis Vinton — John Pintard, LL.D., and Members of this Church— Marot's 
P.salms— Huguenot Psalmody— Old French Translation of the One Hundred and Thirty- 
seventh Psalm— The Church Removed to Leonard Street— Rev. Mr. Verren— Sacred Ora- 
tors — James Saurin— His Brilliant Eloquence 121 

CHAPTER XII. 

Wall Street Presbytcri.an Church— Its Origin and Earliest Preachers — Church Erected on 
Wall Street — Whiteficld Labors — Dift'erence of Opinion in the Congregation — First Asso- 
ciate Reformed Church, Built on Cedar Street — Rev. John Murray 131 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Wall Street and Brick Churches — Rev. Dr. Rogers the " Father of Presbyterkanism" in New 
York — Rev. Gardiner Spring Called to Brick Church — Ilis Church Turned into a Hospital 
in the War of the Revolution— Sorrowful Scenes in it — Wall Street Church "Charity 
School"— Rutgers and Cedar Street Churches Built — Drs. Miller and McKniglit — Rev. Mr. 
Whelpley — Dr. Phillips — Wall Street Church Removed to Jersey ('ity — Members of the 
Brick Church — Anson G. Phelps — Horace Ilolden •. 142 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Cedar Street Church Founded- Dr. Romeyn Called — Church Removed to Duane Street — Eev. 
Dr. Potts— Associations of Cedar Street Church— Old Members— William Hall, of Cleve- 
land, the only Surviving Member of tlic Original Subscribers to the Church — Pelctiah Perit 
— Dr. J. W. Alexander Installed— The New Church on the Fifth Avenue 160 

CHAPTER XV. 

Scotch Presbyt<M-ian Church Built — Eev. John Mason — His Son, John M. Mason, D. D., Suc- 
ceeds him — Tlieological Seminaries Established — Dr. Mason in the Puljiit and as a Writer — 
Ills Work on "Catholic Conmiunion" — President of Carlisle College — Rev. Messrs. Suod- 
grasa and Mc.Vuley Succeed him in the Murray Street Cinircli— Church Sold and Congrega- 
tion Remove to Astor Place — Associate Presbyterian Church — ICarliest Churches — Foreign 



CONTENTS. 9 

History — TJev. J.nmos Prondflt Arrives in this Country, vrith Other Ministers — New Union 
Forme'd, and its I^eadei-s Kev. Thomas Clark, Eobcrt Annan, Dr. Alexander Proudflt— Set- 
tlement of Irish I'resbyterians in Orange County, New York, under Auspices of Col. Clinton 
—Another in Washington County Pago 164 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Colonel Eutcers Presents a Lot for a Now Presbyterian Church — Dr. Milledoler Called— Drs. 
McClelland McAuley, and Krebs his Successors— liefornied Presbyterian Church Organized 
—■William Ognek— liev. Mr. McKinney's Arrival — First Sacrament — Alexander McLeod 
Installed— His Sermon on Negro Slavery — Church Erected on Chambers Street— Itebuilt, 
and then Removed to Greenwich Village— Dr. McLeod's Last Public Appearance in the 
Pulpit— His Labors— Leading Members .of his Church, Messrs. Agnew, G'lford, Nelson — 
Rev. John N. McLeod Succeeds his Father— Church Itemoved to Prince Street 174 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Associate Presbyterian Church Formed by I'ev. Mr. Beveridge, 1785, and House Ei'ected on 
Nassau Street— His Successors Unite with the General Assembly of Presbyterian Church 
Ministers — Magazine Street Church, afterwards Pearl — Its first Pastor, I!ev. Pobert Forest 
—His Successors, John Clark, William W. Phillips, Walter Monteitli, Benjamin Bice, Henry 
A. Kowland, Charles H. Bead— Church Burned and Bebuilt— Baptist Church Cnmmenced, 
nC2—lts Founders— Elder Gano— Gold Street Church turned into a Stable for the British 
Cavalry— Ministers— New Stone Church built 1S02— Slavery Question— New Congregation 
Formed on Bose Street— Eev. Mr. Parkinson — New Church Built on Broome and Elm 
Streets, Kev. Dr. Cone, Pastor— Churches sprung from Gold Street Congregation IBti 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Baptist Churches, continued— "Bcthesda"— Second Baptist Church— Bethel, on Eose Street- 
Pastors— Eev. Mr. Chase — Ills New Church on Christie and Delancey— Difliculties — Oliver 
Street Church— Eev. John Williams, Pastor; Mr. Cone, Assistant— Abyssinian Church in 
Anthony, near West Broadway — Ministers — North Bereah Church in Vandani — A Colony 
from Gold Street— Destroyed by Fire, and a New House built in McDowell Street — Pastors 
— Other Churches from the Bercan 199 

CHAPTER XIX. 

The Moravi.an Church — " ITnitas Fratrum"'- Its Origin — Count Zinzondorf— Missions — David 
Bruce sent to Preach in New York and on Long and Staten Islands — Bishop Spangenberg's 
Visit— Captain Garrison — Mission Commenced on Staten Island — Ministers thrru — Ceme- 
tery — Commodore Vanderbilt's Family Vault — Mr. Binninger's Grave — Chnreli Built, 1763 
— Church Eecords — Captain Jacobsen Shot— Sails a Missionary Ship — Pastors— Mor.avians 
in New York, 17BG— Bishop Boehlcr's and Zinzendorfs Visit — Persecutions — Bishop Watti- 
vel's Visit — Fulton Street Church Built, 1751 — Pastors in New York — Benjamin Mortimer, 
William Vanvleek, afterwards Bishoii, Mr. Bigler 205 

CHAPTER XX. 

Origin of Methodism — Condition of England when Wesley Appeared — Opinions of Bishop 
liurnct and Archbishop Seeker and liutler— Wesley Preaching to the poor Palatines in 
Ireland, 1750— Philip Emburj^, the Father of American Methodism— Irish L.ay Preachers, 
Swindells— Phili;) Guier— Walsh— Southey's Opinion of him — Embury emigrates to New 
York, 17C0, delivering his Last Sermon in Ireland from the side of the Ship — Another Ar- 
rival, in 1700, at New York, of Irish Wcsleyans— Paul Kuckle, Jacob Heck, and others 218 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Methodist Church, continued- Captain Webb Appears— Eigcing-loft Obtained for Eeligious 
Meetings— John Street Church Built, 1708, the First Methodist Church in America— Sub- 
scriptions to Build the Church from the Vestry and Eector of Trinity and others— Captain 
Webb's Life— Boardman and Pilmore, the first Wesleyan Preachers to America, 1768 — As- 
bury and Wriaht followed, 1771— Embury's Death— Strange Scene in John Street Church on 
a Watch-inght— An English Colonel the Cause of it— Apology— Methodist Episcopal Church 
in the United States Organized, 1784-5— Eapid Advance sirTce- Old John Street taken down 
and a New Church Built in its place— Church Library— Summerfield's Cenotaph— Third 
Church Erected— Fathers of Methodism in New York— Mr. Lupton and his Descendants 226 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Description of New Nethcrland, by Father Isaac Jaques, a Jesuit Missionary, 1CC4 — His Jour- 
neys — Murdered by the Indians— Earliest Catholic Families in New York— Governor Don- 



10 COl^TENTS. 

pan — Laws against the Roman Catholics — ^NVgro Plot — Catholic Priest Officiating in Now 
Nethciland — James II., on the Throne, Favors his own Creed — Donjran liecalleil — William 
and Mary Proelainied King and Queen — Tlu- English Church becomes the Kislablished ono 
in New York — Persecutions— A t'ongretration formed in 1783 — St. Peter" s, Barclay Street, 
built in 1TS6— Rev. Mr. Nugent its Minister — Ilis Successors — St. Peter's Uebuilt in 1S36, 
Bishop Dubois Laying the'Corner-Stone— St. Patrick's followed, in 1815 — Here Bishop 
Hughes resided — The Catholics Purchase Dr. Lyell's Episcopal Church, Ann Street — Dr. 
McLeod's, Chambers Street — The old Universalist, on Duane Street, and the Presbyterian 
on Astor I'lace — Universalist Church — Uev. John Murray the Earliest Preacher — A Society 
Formed — Kev. Edward Mitchell becomes their Minister — They Purchase a Church on Pearl 
Street, and soon alter erect the Brick Church on Duane Street, near Chatham — Mr. Mitchell 
continued their Minister until his Death, a period of Forty Years— His Successors in the 
Ministry Pago 241 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Huguenots among the Earliest Emigrants to America — Their First Ministers — Edict of Nantes 
— Henry I\'. — Fall of llochelle— Edict Kevoked— Eniigrntion of the Huguenots — Admiral 
Coligny (lOou) — French Protestants reach Charleston, Boston, and New Itochelle — Rev. 
Daniel" Bondet — New Paltz (1G7T)— Walloon Churches— Staten Island 252 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Huguenot Refugees Settle Now Rochelle, 169S — Church Organized and Built — D.avid Bonrepos, 
D. D.. Ill St Pastor — Preaches on Staten Island — llecei^es •' Letters of Denization"' — Manor of 
Pelham — Dauiel Bondet the next Huguenot Minister — Ilis Early History— Missionary to 
the NipmuiT Indians, 1693 — War Compels him to Leave — Called to New Itochelle — Salary 
Thirty Pounds — Prayers in French — His Congregation Conforms to the Church of England, 
170'J — New Church Built — Governor Hunter — Negro Couimunicauts — Lewis Uoux, Hugue- 
not Minister in New York — Bondet's Death, ll-Z-l — Pierre Stouppe Succeeds him — Tho 
"Ancic^ns," or Elders — Nesro Ba|itisms — French -'Dissenters" — Mr. Moulinars — Earliest 
Settlement of New Rochelle — Mr. Stouppe's Death, ITtiO — Buried under Chancel of the 
Church — His Successor, Rev. Michael Houdin 259 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Rev. Peter Daillc and Michael IIou<lin at New Rochelle — The Huguenots there Conform to 
the Episcopal Church (17S1) — Rev. T. Bartow, First Rector — His Descendants — Successors 
in the Ministry — Trinity Built — Rev. Mr. Bayard — Pennsylvania and Maryland an Asylum 
for Huguenots — Dr. Richebourg their first Pastor in Virginia — "MannikiuTown'' — Curious 
French Relic — Rev. John Fontaine — Huguenots in South Carolina, and Pastors — Church in 
Charleston — Rev. Ellas Prioleau — This Congregation the Only One of the Kind in our Land 
—Its Liturgy 270 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Southold the First Settled Town on L<ing Lsland (1640), Rev. J. Youngs, Pastor— His Succes- 
sors — lames Davenport an Enthusiast, biit Reforms — Southampton Church Built, 1640 — Rev. 
Mr. Pierson — the "Plantation Covenant" — The lieformrrs Emigrate to Newark. New Jersey 
— Ministers of Southampton — Salaries — Bridgehampton Parish — Ministers — Brookhaven tho 
Larirest Town — Rev. N. Brewster and Successors — Easthainpton Settled by Purit;ins (164S) 
— Strict Laws — Voting — Thomas James, Karliest Pastor — His Singular Dying Request — 
Rev. N. Hatting— Dri^ Buell Preached Ten Thousand Sermons— Dr. Lvman Beecher, the 
Fourth Pastor 290 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

Churches on Long Island, continued — Huntington — Rev. Mr. Jones, First Minister — Rev. Eben- 
ezer Prime his Assistant, then Sole Pastor— Congregation much Dispersed by the Revolu- 
tionary War — Outrages of the Enemy, and Permitted by Colonel Thompson — Patriotism of 
Mr. Prime — Tho Indians — Rev. Mr. Lcverieh Preaches to Them (1053) — Rev. A. llorlon Or- 
dained to Labor among them — A Faithful JIan — Ilis Journal — Brainard — Sanijison Oecum, 
the Mohegan Indian — His Zeal and Labors — A Pout — Extracts — Peter John, another Native 
(Jonvert and Preacher — Paul Cutl'ee, another— His Tombstone and Inscription — Disappear- 
ance of the Indians on Lon^ Island 299 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

Whitefiold's Visit to East Hampton (1764)— Reviv.al— Baptist Church in a New Light— Peter 
Underbill and Sarah Townsend — Quakers — George Fox — First Meetinir-IIouse at Oyster 
Bay — Elias Hicks — Jamaica — Rev. John Hubbard, First Minister — His Bible — Successors— 



CONTENTS. 11 

IJev. A. Kettletas Preaches in Three Lansnages— Persecuted by the British— Rev. Samuel Sea" 
bury, the Earliest Kpisc(i[ial Bishop in tibe United States— Colony troni Jamaica to Elizabeth" 
lown, New Jersey — Itev. Mr. Polhemus, First Dominie at Flatbush (1G55)— Churches Built — 
Gravesend "Foresinger" — Erasmus Hall — Kev. Mr. Solinius and Van Zuren, 1077, and Succes- 
sors — New Utrecht— Whigs and Royalists — Collegiate Churches — Gravesend Quai;ers (1G57) 
— Fox's Visit— Magistrates— Kev. Mr. Schoonmaker — New Utrecht (1054)— Church liuilt— 
Dominies— General Howe's Landing ('GO)— Bushwick — First House — French Settlers — 
Odious Taxes by Governor Nicols— Church Erected — Its Ministers — Brooklyn— First 
Churches and Dominies — Episcopalians Page 308 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

New Netherland Embraced a Part of New Jersey — Dutch Plantations at Bergen— " Pavonia" 
—First Settlers — Tax lor a Church— First Members— Old Graveyard— Dominie's "Voorle- 
ser"— Octagonal Church Erected (16S0)— Selyns Preaches Here Three Times a Year- Other 
Pastors — Kev. Mr. Dubois's Death — Wampum, the (Jhurch Money— How Collected— Regular 
Pastor Called (1750)— Rev. P. De Wint— His Salary— Staten Island— Origin of Dutch Church 
There — Unites with Bergen (1752)— Rev. Mr. Jackson — Governor Franklin Charters the 
Church— Its Elders and Deacons — Unites with the Hackensack Classis (1771)— New Church 
"Sittings" — Dominie Jackson Second to Whiteflcld— Long Sermon, and Mr. Schureman — . 
Old Baptismal Record 325 

CHAPTER XXX. 

Bergen — Dominie Cornelison Preaches in Dutch and English — Teaches the Slaves to Read — 
Successors — Rev. Dr. Taylor Still Preaching at Bergen — Last Services in the Old Church — 
New Edifice Dedicated — '• Van" a Common Prefix to Dutch Names — Hackensack — Kev. P. 
Tascheinakerthe Fu-st Dominie (1GS6) — Murdered Afterwards by the Indians at Schenectady 
— His Successors in Hackensack — Acquacanonck Church Erected — Initials of Founders on 
the Corner-Stimes — Church Organized at Raritan by Kev. Mr. Bertholf— Church Built at 
Schraalenbergh (1724) — Rev. Gualtherus Dubois — Dominies — "Ca'tus and Conferentiuj" — 
Drs. Kuypers and Komeyn, Pastors — the Revolution and its Troubles — Church at Hacken- 
sack Rebuilt — Subscriptions (1791) — Still Standing 336 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

Remarkable Storm (1795)— The Steeple of the Hackensack Church Struck by Lightning; its 
Legend Broken — Dr. Linn's Able Discourse — Dominie becomes an " Emeritus" Minister — 
Three Sons in the Sacred Office — Rev. James V. C. Romeyn — New Church Built — Secession 
— The Leaders — Dr. Komeyn's Son Called to take his Place — Church Enlarged (1847) and 
Legend Removed — Eminent Dead in Hackensack Graveyard: General Poor, Dr. Peter Wil- 
son, Colonel Varick, &c.^Sohraalenbergh — English Neighborhood — Land Given for a Church, 
which was Erected (17G5); Mr. Cornelisim the Dominie — Successors — Church Ditliculties — 
The "True Reformed Church" — -.Decision of S\ipreme Court Adverse to Secession — Seceders 
Erect New Churches — Rev. Mr. Abeel — D. Duryea, his Death and Monument — Rev. Mr. 
McFarlaue and P. B. Tayh)r , 346 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

Reformed Dutch Church at Second River (Belleville), the Last of the Five Earliest Churches 
Erected (1725) — Mr. Coens, Pastor — Mr. Arent Schuyler, a Liberal Christian — Isaac Brown, 
an Episcopalian Clergyman, Claims his Benefactions — Mr. Haughoort, the .Dominic — His 
Successors — Church incorporated (17i)0) and Schoolhouse Erected — Preaching in Dutch 
discontinued — Tornado Demolishes the Steeple — New Church — Rev. Mr. Stryker — Domi- 
nies—Stephen Van Cortland — llis Liberality — New Church (1853) — John Van Rensselaer's 
Liberal Proposition — Ministers — Colonies from Belleville Congregation— Ministerial Fami- 
lies — Schoonmaker, Stryker, and Romeyn 356 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Raleigh Names the Whole Region from Virginia to Maine as Virginia — New Jersey Attached 
to New York, and by Royal Patent Conveyed to Lord Berkeley — Two Hundred Acres of 
Land Granted in every Parish fur the Sup|iort of the Ministry— Governor Carteret (1065) 
Arrives, with Thirty English Settlers— Emigrants from New England and Long Island — 
Presbyterian Church first Organized (lGOO-7)— Church Burned by a "Refugee" — Another 
Erected — John Harriman, Pastor — Colonial Troubles— Governor Andros of New York — The 
"Five Proprietors" — Death of Charles II., and Accession of James 11. — Internal Dissensions 
— Queen Anne Unites East and Vv'est Jersey — High Churchism — Book of Common Prayer 
to be Read — Governor Cornbury, a Profligate, Deposed — Perseentif'd the Presbyterian Min- 



12 CONTENTS. 

istcrs in New Jersey — Ministers — l^ev. J. Pickinson — His Published Works — "Whitefield 
Preaclica in Elizab^-tlitown — Small Salaries — Messrs. Kcttlotas and Caldwell — Kev. Mr. Linn 
— Sinods— A College at Klizabethtown— liemoved to Newark— Itev. Aaron Burr, President 
— Next to Princeton — Mr. Dickinson's Death — His Useful Life — John Sargean Page 361 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Presbyterian Church, Elizabethtown— Klisha Spencer, D. T>., Succeeds Mr. Dickinson— Church 
Incorporated — Governor Belcher Joins this ConirrcLration — Rev. Mr. Kettlctas Olliciated in 
Three Laniruages — Kev. James Caldwell, a Iluccnenot — His Family — Becomes a Chaplain — 
Obnoxious to the '-Tories"- Ills Parsonage anil Churcli Burned (ITSl)— His Wife Murdered, 
and his Tragical Death — Eminent Men in his Congregation — Ogden. Boiidinot, Livingston, 
and Dayton— Sketch of Mr. Boudinot — New Church Built in ITSfr— Notice of Mr. Livingston, 
a Friend of General Hamilton — Kev. W. Linn Installed (17S6) 3T1 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

K«v. David Austin Succeeds Mr. Linn, and has a Strange History — Declares the Coming of 
Christ (1T9G)— Groat Excitement — Takes the Vow of a Nazarite— Removes to New Haven, 
and Finally was Relieved of his Fanaticism— Successors— Drs. Kolloek, McDowell, and Mur- 
ray—Second Presbyterian Church, and Methodist Episcopal — Rev. Thomas Morroll 879 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

Charles II. Incorporates tlie Society to Preach the Gospel among the Natives of America (1661) 
— Archbishop Tenison — William III. Incorporates Another, and of Great Service to the 
Episcopal Chureh— (Colonel Morris — His Rciiort on State of Religion in New Jersey — Keith 
and Talbot's Missionary Tour — John Brook, First Episcopal Clergyman in Elizabethtown — 
His Reports — St. John's Built (1T06) — His Labors — Lord Cornbury Unites the New Jersey 
and New York Provinces — Imprisons the Rev. Mr. Moore — Mr. Brook, Fearing the Same 
Treatment, Sails for England — Cornbury Removed and Imprisoned, and after becomes a Peer 
— Mr. Vaughan the next Missionary — Piscataqua — The Earliest Baptist Settlement (10C3), 
and their First Preacher, Hugh Dunn — Successors — Church at Scotch Plains — Episcopalians 
Again — Mr. Vaugh.in Marries a Fortune — Preaches in Elizabeth Forty Years — Successors — 
Eev. Mr. Chandler, etc., etc., down to 1S53 3S3 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Kxtent of New Netherland— Its Settlers— Palatines at Kingston (1660)— Beautiful Tradition— 
"Tri-Cors" — French Bible — Religious Liberty — Church Organized at New Paltz by Rev. P. 
Daille (IGSS)— The ''Walloon Protestant Church" — His Mission — French the common Lan- 
guage — The '• Duzine" — Louise Duboise, Elder, and Hugh Freer, Deacon — Daille's (Jravo 
recently Discovered — Inscription — His Will — Bonrepos his Successor at New Paltz (1090) — 
Dutch Language Introduced- Now Church — Curious Document 395 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

New Paltz, continued — Reformed Dutch Church— Dominie Van Dricssen — The Ccetus and 
Conferentia' — Rev. M. Fieyenmoet jointly called by liochester, Marbletown, Shawangunk, 
and New Paltz — Mr. Goetschius Succeeded him — A Teacher of Theology — His Younger 
Brother, an M. D., takes his ]>lace, preaching in German and Dutch — Called the "Doctor 
Dominie" — Cures a Maniac by Music — Division in the Church (HOT) — Dominies — Old 
Church at New Paltz taken down and new one erected — Rev. S. Goetschius the Minister 
(1T75) — Unites the two (Jongregations — Indian Incursions — New Paltz iseapes— The Pas- 
tor's Last Sermon — His Successors, Rev. W. R. Bogardus, Van Olinda, and Vander- 
voort 401 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

First Church in Albany, 1042 — Pulpit Imported — Enlarged — Second and Third Churches — 
Rev. J. Megapolensis the Earliest Dominie — Salary — Dominie Schaats, 1652 — Rovs. M. 
Niemenhuysen and N. Van Rensselaer — Latter Suspected of being a Papist — Arrested, but 
Released by the Governor — Rev. Mr. Dellius Arrives, 1G^3 — Baptismal Itegi.ster Preserved 
— Dominies Lncella, Ledius, and Van Driessen — Church Rebuilt in 1715 — Revs. C. Van 
Schlie and T. Frelinghuvsen, 1700— E. Westerlo — J. Basset — New Church Built— Revs. A. 
B. Johnson, J. W. Bradford, ISOo— First Settler in Schenectady- Its Massacre, 1090— Rev. 
Mr. Tassomaker Killed — Revs. T. Brown, B. Freeman, R. Erkson, C. Van Santvoort, B. 
Coomer, J. D. Romeyn, T. n. Meyers, C. Bogardus, J. Van Veehten — First and Second 
Church — St. George's. First Episcopal (170'J). J. Duncan, Rector — Rev. Mr. Doty and An- 
drews, and Rogers, etc. — Captain Webb introduces Methodism — Preaches in Re;rimcntals — 
His Success — Whitefield — ('liureh Built — Conelnding Remarks — Blessed Results from the 
Establishment of these Early Churches in New York and New Amsterdam 410 








■■ 1 1 II 1111 



RIP VAN DAME. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER I. 



THE COLLEGIATE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH OF NEW YORK THE 

EARLIEST FORMED IN NORTH AMERICA MOTLEy's " RISE OF THE 

DUTCH republic" EMIGRANTS SENT TO AMERICA BY THE WEST 

INDIA COMPANY DIRECTOR MINUIT's ARRIVAL, 1G20 THE 

ZIEKENTROOSTER REV. JONAS MICHAELIUS, THE FIRST MINISTER 

DOMINIE BOGARDUS FIRST CHURCH THE SECOND, ST. NICHOLAS, 

HOW BUILT' EARLIEST MINISTERS GARDEN STREET CHURCH 

BUILT DOMINIE DUBOIS MIDDLE AND NORTH DUTCH BUILT 

THEia MINISTERS. 

The Collegiate Reformed Dutch Clmrcli of New York 
was the first formed in North America, dating its origin 
from the earliest settlement on Manhattan Island. Its 
name is derived from historical associations. The term 
Protestant, in the sixteenth century, was applied to the 
Reformers and all who denied the authority of the Pope 
and rejected the unscriptural doctrines of the Romish 
Church. The term itself arose in 1529, when six princes 
of the German Empire solemnly protested against the 
decrees of the Diet of Spires, and it has ever since been 
the distinctive name, universally used, as applied to 
the blessed Reformation. Early in the Reformation a 
difference happened among the Protestants on some 
points, and particularly with respect to the real pres- 



14 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

ence of Clirist's humanity in tlie Lord's Supper. Those 
who held the doctrine with Luther, the great Reformer, 
were called Lutherans, whilst they rejecting it, Re- 
formed. 

At an early period of the Reformation in Germany, a 
spuit of religious inquiry spread through the Nether- 
lands, when a terrible struggle for civil and religious 
liberty ensued against the gigantic power of the PajDal 
Empire. The Truth triumphed. Seven northern prov- 
inces of Holland became independent, whilst the ten 
southern were attached to the Imperial and Papal 
power. Studious readers will find the history of this 
great struggle of the sixteenth century in those admi- 
rable works of research and classical finish — the ' ' Reign 
of Philip the Second," and "The Rise of the Dutch 
Republic," down to 1684, by Motley. These volumes 
have inspired an interest in the historj^ of the martyrs 
and heroes in the Holland Reformation never before felt 
and known. The noble " Confessors" of the Nether- 
lands unfold as rich a page as can be opened in any 
history. When first formed, they called their churches 
" The Churches under the Cross." In 1563 its ministers 
assembled at Antwerp, and established a Synod of the 
Churches, and soon after adopted the Catechism and 
Confession, which, to this day, constitute the doctrinal 
standards. The Reformed Church of Holland became 
distinguished for hej^ learned theologians and devoted, 
zealous, and pious pastors. Her bosom was the home 
of the iDersecuted Waldenses, Huguenots, -vvitli the Cov- 
enanters and the exiled Puritans. Such, in the seven- 
teenth century, was the Reformed Church of Holland, 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 15 

from which the Reformed Dutch Church in America 
derives its origin. 

It is proper to state that the West India Company, 
whenever they sent emigrants under their auspices to 
America, also sent with them a pious schoohnaster, 
wliose duty was to instruct the children, preside in re- 
ligious meetings, and read a sermon, until the regular 
ministry should he established. This individual wag 
caUed the Ziekentrooster, or Comforter of the Sick. 
Director Minuit arrived at Manhattan, May 4, 1G20, in 
the ship Sea Mew, when two Ziekentroosters were se- 
lected to read the Scriptures and Creeds to the people on 
Sundays. Their names have been preserved — Sebastian 
Jansen Krol and Jan Huyck. When Fort Orange was 
built, and a trading post established there, Krol Avas 
appointed Vice-Director of tliiit settlement, seldom visit- 
ing Manhattan. From a recently discovered letter by 
Mr. Murphy, whilst Minister at the Hague, we learn 
that the Rev. Jonas Michaelius reached the "Island of 
Manhatas, in New Netherland, this 11th August, anno 
1628." The Rev. Dominie Bogardus came with Gov- 
ernor Van Twiller, and has always been considered the 
earliest minister. Mr. Michaelius, however, arrived here 
five years earlier (1628). His letter is long, curious, and 
full of interest about the infant settlement ; and he says : 
"We have first established the form of a church, and it 
has been thought best to choose two elders for my assist- 
ance. . . . One of those whom we have chosen is the 
Honorable Director himself. . . . We have had at the 
first administration of the Lord' s Supper full fifty com- 
municants — not without great joy and comfort for so 



16 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

many— Walloons and Dutch. . . . We administer the 
Holy Sacrament of the Lord once in four months. The 
Walloons and French have no service on Sundays 
otherwise than in the Dutch language, of which they 
understand very little. . . . Nevertheless, the Lord's 
Supper was administered to them in the French lan- 
guage, and according to the French mode, with a pre- 
ceding discourse, which I had before me in writing, as I 
could not tinist myself extemporaneously." Such was 
the earliest ecclesiastical history of New Netherland two 
hundred and thirty-five years ago. 

The same letter describes the Indians of the new coun- 
try: "Savage and wild, strangers to all decency, yea, 
uncivil and stupid as posts, proficient in all Avickedness 
and ungodliness, devilish men, who serve nobody but 
the devil ; that is, the spirit, which in their language 
they call 'Manetto.' . . . They are as thievish and 
treacherous as they are -tall ; and, in cruelty, they are 
more inhuman than the people of Barbary, and far 
exceed the Africans. . . . How these people can best 
be led to the true knowledge of God and of the Mediator 
Christ, is hard to say. . . . The country yields many 
good things for the support of life, but they are all to be 
gathered in an uncultivated and wild state. We have 
ten or twelve farmers, with horses, cows, and laborers 
in proportion, to furnish us with bread and fresh butter, 
milk, and cheese. They are making a windmill to saw 
the wood, and we also have a gristmill. . . . The coun- 
try is good and pleasant ; the climate is healthy, not- 
withstanding sudden changes of cold and heat. The 
sun is very warm ; the winter strong and severe, and 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IJST NEW YORK. 17 

continues full as long as in our country. The best 
remedy is not to spare tlie wood, of wliicli there is 
enough, and to cover oneself Avell with rough skins, 
which can easily be obtained. . . . 

"Jonas Michaelius." 

Such is the graphic picture of our great city, when it 
was the Colony of Manhattan, over two centuries ago. 
In the horsemill here mentioned, prayers had been read 
for seven years ; then it was vacated, and a wooden 
church built on the shore of the East River, in Pearl 
street, between Whitehall and Broad streets ; and near 
by were also constructed a parsonage and stable. We 
know the region well, for it is the place of our own 
nativity — a native-born New Yorker. 

In 1633, the Rev. Everardus Bogardus arrived, asso- 
ciating with him i\dam Rolandsen as schoolmaster. Ho 
organized a church school, which has been handed down 
to the present day, an institution of great good to Church 
and State. Do the Puritans boast of their early minis- 
ters and schools of education? The Dutch of New 
Amsterdam share the same honor. A horsemill was 
built as early as 1626, and a tower added, in which 
were hung the Spanish bells, captured, the previous 
year, by the West India Company's fleet, at Porto 
Rico. 

The Dutch settlers worshipped in tlie frail Pearl street 
church until 1642, when steps were taken to build a 
new edifice. This was done at the instigation of the 
celebrated navigator De Vreis. In his journal he says 
that, dming with Governor Kieft, he said to his Excel- 
2 



18 EAllLIEST CHURCHES IN" NEW YOIIK. 

lency: "It was a shame that the English, when they 
visited Manhattan, saw only a mean barn, in which we 
worshipped. The first thing they built in New Eng- 
land, after their dwelling-houses, was a line church. 
We should do the same." A new church followed, 
erected within the fort (the present battery). "It was a 
shame that the English, who had such tine churches in 
their settlements, should see them worshipping in a 
mean barn, when they had plenty of fme wood, and 
stone, and oj^ster- shells for lime, at their very doors." 

How to obtain the necessary funds, however, was now 
the question. Kieft promised to advance one thousand 
guilders on the company's account, and De Vreis com- 
menced a j)rivate subscription with one hundred more ; 
but these sums were quite insufficient, when a little 
management supplied what was wanting. A daughter 
of Dominie Bogardus was to be married^ and the princi- 
l^al citizens were invited to the marriage. In the midst 
of the bridal festivities, the subscription-paper was in- 
troduced, when the guests emulated each other in their 
donations to the proposed Avork. John and Richard 
Ogden, of Stamford, contracted for the mason-work at 
two thousand five hundred guilders, with a bonus of 
one hundred more, should the work prove satisfactory. 
The roof was covered with oaken shingles, then called 
wooden slates. The church was seventy-tAVO feet long, 
fift}^-t\v^o wide, and sixteen liigli. In its front wall, on a 
marble slab, was tins legend : 

"An. Dom. MDCXLIL, W. Kieft, Dir. Gen., IIc4t Dc Gtmeenk dese Tcmpel 
doen Boicen. — In the year of our Lord 1G42, W. Kieft beini^- Director-General, 
has this congregation caused this Temple to be built." 



EAELIERT CIITTRCHES IN NEW YORK. 19 

When the old fort cat the Battery was demolished, in 
1790, to make room for the Government House, huilt 
on the spot, this stone was found buried, and then it 
was removed to the belfry of tlie "Old Garden Street 
Church," where it was preserved until both were de- 
stroyed, in the great conflagration of 1835. The writer 
well remembers that terrible night and fire, as he stood 
on the flat roof of a lofty store adjoining, and beheld 
this sacred temple, -with hundreds of houses, envel- 
oped in the unconquerable, raging, fiery element. The 
town-bell of Manhattan was removed to the church in 
the fort, where its tones regulated the public business 
of the city, the courts, merry peals for weddings, the 
funeral knell, and the Sabbath assemblages. 

The old church in the fort was called " St. Nicholas," 
in honor of the tutelary and guardian saint of New 
Amsterdam ; and here, for half a century, from 1642 to 
1693, the early Dutch settlers worshipx)ed God. We add 
a tabular view of their ministers, in regular succession, 
as obtained from the Rev. Dr. Dewitt, the best authority 
we know of the early ecclesiastical history of New 
Netherland : 

Everardiis Bogardiis, from 1633 to 1G47 

Joaunes Backerus " 1G48 to 1G49 

Joannes Megapolensis ....." lC49tol690 

Samuel Drissius " 1652 to 1671 

Samuel Megapolensis " 1604 to 1688 

Willaelmus Van Nieuvenhuysen . . " IGTl to 1681 

Henricus Selyns " 1GS2 to 1701 

These ministers, it is said, were all educated in the 
universities of Holland, and well j)i'epared for tlieii 



20 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

important work. Dominie Bogardus, in 1C47, took pas- 
sage for Holland, to meet some charges against him 
before the Classis of Amsterdam. Governor Kieft em- 
barked in the same vessel, which was lost at sea, all 
on board perishing. Dominie Backerus came from 
Curacoa, and, after a year spent here, he returned to 
Holland. Megapolensis preached at Rensselaerwyck, 
now Albany. Samuel Drissius was called on account 
of his knowledge of the French and English languages, 
that he might minister in both to the people. He 
preached once a month to the French Huguenots on 
Staten Island. Samuel Megapolensis, the son of the 
former-named, returned to Holland in 1668. Selyns 
preached at Burckelen (Brooklyn) and on Governor 
Stuyvesant's Bowerie, or farm. He went back to Hol- 
land in 1664, and, during 1682, was called to St. Nicholas 
Church. Henricus Selyns was the most distinguished 
dominie who came from Holland. Yan Nieuvenhuysen 
died in 1681, when an urgent appeal was made to 
Selyns, and he became pastor from 1682 to 1689, and 
died in 1701. He gave a strong and happy direction to 
the interests of the church. 

The literature of New Amsterdam was entirely dif- 
ferent from that of our day. In the place of novels, 
romances, magazines, and light reading, which now so 
often fill the centre-tables, tliere was to be found little 
else than Bibles, Testaments, with the Psalm-Books ; 
still every family possessed these household volumes. 
The matron's Church books w^ere generally costly bound, 
with silver clasps and edgings, and sometimes of gold ; 
and these, suspended to the girdle by silver or gold 



EATILIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 21 

chains, distinguislied the style of the families using 
them on Sabbath days. 

Sunday, in 'Ne^Y Amsterdam, was better observed 
than by 'New Yorkers now. All, arrayed in their best, 
attended the public services of religion ; and the peoj^le, 
almost exclusively Calvinists, ">vent to" the Reformed 
Dutch Church. The ^' Koeck," or bell-ringer and sexton 
united, was an important officer on the sacred day, sum- 
moning the congregation by the ringing of the church- 
going bell. He also formed a procession of himself and 
his assistants, to carry the cushions of the burgomasters 
and schepens from the City-hall to the pews appropri- 
ated to these officials. At the same time, the " Schout" 
went his rounds, to see that quiet was kept in the streets 
during divine worship, and also to stop the games of the 
negro slaves and Indians, to whom the day was allowed 
for recreation, except during the church hours. The 
Dutch Church was then locried within the fort at the 
Battery, and the present Bowling Green, an open field, 
exhibited many country wagons arranged in proper 
order, while their horses were permitted to graze on 
the hill-sides which led down to the Hudson River. 

Soon after the entrance of Dominie Selyns on his pas- 
toral duties in St. Nicholas, a new church was talked- 
of, and its consistory circulated a subscription for this 
object. He was settled in 1682 ; and Dr. Dewitt has in 
his possession a rare curiosity— a manuscript volume of 
the Dominie's, dated 1686, the Register of his churcli 
members, arranged according to streets. These are 
b*elow Wall and east of Broadway, whilst the remaining 
families are placed "along shore," on the East River 



22 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Mild Governor Stuyvesant's Bowerie, or farm. This 
volume, doubtless, was the guide in his pastoral visits, 
and it is a great honor, as well as advantage, to the 
Reformed Dutch Church, that its Register has been 
carefully continued and preserved from that early period 
until the present time. 

Garden street was then thought to be too far out of 
town for a new church ; still this was the spot chosen, 
and the deed conveying the property is dated in the 
year 1690. The lot was one hundred and twenty-live 
feet in front, and one hundred and eighty feet deej), and 
is defined as adjacent to the orchard of Elizabeth Dris- 
sius, the widow of Dominie Drissius. What changes ! 
Where the fruits of the orchard were once gathered, 
there now the Jews, with the brokers, assemble daily, 
to win and to lose the golden fruits of California, or the 
paper "greenbacks" of Uncle Sam. The new church 
was opened for divine servic(3 in 1693, before it was 
entirely finished, and cost sixty-four thousand one huri- 
dred and seventy-eight guilders, or twenty- seven tlion- 
sand six liundrt^d and seventy-one dollars. It was an 
oblong square, and had a brick steeple. The windows 
were small panes of glass set in lead, and, according to 
the fashion of that day, many of them had the coats-of- 
arms of the elders and magistrates curiously burnt on 
the glass b}^ a Mr. Gerard Duykinck. Other armorial 
l)ictures hung on the walls, and this sacred edifice was 
the only house of worship for our Dutch ancestors in 
ISTew York until the erection of the "Middle Dutch," 
the present Post-office, Nassau str(^et. When this last- 
named was occupied, the Garden street church took the 



EARLIEST CHUEC'HES IN NEW YORK. 23 

name of tlie "Old Dutcli," and the Nassau the "New;" 
and, as soon as that on William and Fulton was erected, 
it was called the "North," Garden street the "South," 
and Nassau the "Middle." 

There is a head-stone in the old cemetery at Newark, 
New Jersey, with this inscription : 

" Here Lye ye Body of Peter Van Tilburgh, aged "76 years, Dec. ye 28, 1734. 
" Earth take my Earth, 
Satan my sin I'll leave ; 
The World my Substance, 
Heaven my Soul." ' ■ 

The tradition is, that the old gentleman, who must 
have been a Dutchman, gave the lot on which Garden 
Street Church stood, and that in the church was placed 
a tablet to his memory.^ 

In 1699, the Rev. Gualterus Dubois was associated 
with Dominie Selyns — two years before his death. 
Dubois continued in the pastoral office fifty-two years, 
till 1751. 

When the Dutch colony was transferred to the Brit- 
ish, in 1664, the Avorship of the Church of England Avas, 
of course, introduced, and the chaplain of the British 
forces conducted public services in the old Dutch 
church at the fort. There was a very friendly feeling 
between the two denominations, as their always should 
be among sincere Christians ; and when Mr. Vesey, the 
first rector, arrived, he was kindly invited to hold reli- 
gious worship with his peo]Dle, on a part of the Sabbath, 
in the old Garden Street Church. When he was induct- 
ed into liis sacred office, Governor Fletcher invited two 

* Librarian of the New Jersey Historical Sodety. 



24 EARLIEST CIIUEOIJES IN NEW TOIIK. 

of the Dutch clergymen to be present — Selyns, of New 
York, and Mucella, from Kingston. For more unifor- 
mity, however, in our subject, we shall continue the 
sketches of the eaily Reformed Dutch churches before 
we trace those of tlie other denominations. 

In 1714, the Rev. Henricus Boel became the colleague 
of Dominie Dubois, and, during the year 172G, the con- 
sistory resolved to erect a new cliurch. Five hundred 
and seventy-five pounds were paid for a lot on Nassau 
street at the time, directly north of the Huguenot 
Church, near by, in Pine. The length of the new 
edifice was one hundred feet, and breadth seventy, 
with tower at the north end ; and it was dedicated to 
the service of the Alraiglity in 1729. At first, it had no 
galleries, and the ceiling was one entire arch, without 
pillars. There were important changes madt' in the 
interior, after the introduction of Englisli preaching, 
during 1784. The galleries were erected, and tlie pulpit 
removed from the east to the north end of the building. 
Its outlines are still preserved, particularly its turret 
and steeple, calling up, in the minds of our oldest citi- 
zens, many interesting and impressive remembrances. 
The face and hands of its venerable clock are there, 
which, so many years, regulated the time movements 
"down town." But they have long since ceased to 
point out the fleeting hours and moments. We have 
often wondered why the Government did not wind up 
the venerable regulator, and again set its pendulum in 
useful motion. Devoted, as the edifice now is, to the 
regulation and immense aansportation of our nation's 
mails, it seems most x)roxH^r that our New York Post- 



EAllLIEST CIIUECIIES IN" NEW YORK. 25 

office should have such u public time-piece. Day and 
night a watchman stands in the helfiy, on the look-out 
for fires, and a faithful city clock would be, as it were, 
a faithful companion to his vigilant, solitary hours. 

For years after the erection of the "Middle Dutch," 
the preaching was entirely in Dutch ; still, the Avant of 
English services was felt by very many of the con- 
gregation. All the public business was transacted in 
this language ; intermarriages between the English and 
Dutch families were constantly increasing, and the Eng- 
lish was daily becoming the common tongue. In 1761, 
a petition from the majority of the congregation was 
presented to the consistory, urging the introduction of 
English preaching. The older members of the church 
at once violently opposed the measure ; still, in 1763, a 
large majority of the consistory called the Rev. Archi- 
bald Laidlie, minister of the Scotch Reformed Church 
at Flushing, Holland. He reached New York in 1764, 
when some of the opponents to English preaching com- 
menced a suit in the civil courts, which was decided 
against them. This opposition seems very strange to us 
now, but we must not forget how deep in the human 
mind is the attachment to old associations, customs, and 
even language. 

When the "Middle Dutch" was erected, the ministers 
officiating in Dutch were Dominies Ritzema and De 
Ronde — the one settled in 1744, the other in 1751. Dr. 
Laidlie was a native of Scotland, and there thoroughly 
educated. Living some years in Holland, he became 
acquainted with the Dutch language ; and kind, concili- 
ating in his spirit, he gradually disarmed the opposition 



26 /EAllLIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YOKK. 

which existed Avhcn he first came to New York. He 
was, too, a powerful evangelical preacher. When the 
British took possession of New York he retired to Red 
Hook, where he ceased from his earthly labors in 1778. 
During his ministry of but a few years in the Middle 
Dutch Church, he used the English language on parts 
of the Sabbath, and the large edifice soon was filled. 

At this period, 1766, the Old South' Church in Garden 
street was thoroughly repaired, and the necessity of 
another and third house of worship was felt. Accord- 
ingly, in Juno, 1767, the consistory resolved that "the 
church should be erected on the grounds of Mr. Har- 
pending ; that it sliould be one hundred feet in length 
and seventy in breadth, and should front Horse and 
Cart Lane (William street), and be placed in the middle 
of the lot." Mr. John Harbendinck, as he wrote his 
name, was an aged and excellent member of the church, 
and gave the lots for the new edifice. He died in 1772, 
at a very advanced age, leaving no children, and was a 
liberal benefactor to the Dutch Church, both in life and 
death. Directly back of the pulpit of this church con- 
spicuously hangs a coat-of-arms, commemorative of this 
Christian man. Its motto is: "-Dando Conservat" 
(by giving, it is secured) — a true sentiment — for the best 
way of securing our property is b}' devoting it to good 
purposes. AYe tliink it doubtful whether this was really 
his coat-of-arms, but ratlier a design by the church to 
commemorate his liberality. At first, the painting was 
placed in the Garden Street Church, and then removed 
to the "North Dutch,'' where it still hangs. It is a relic 
of the "olden tim.e," now one hundred years old, and 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 27 

well worthy of preservation. Mr. Harbending was a 
tanner and currier, and tliis armorial has painted on it 
the implements belonging to his trade. 

The "North Dutch" cost tw^elve thousand pounds 
(sixty thousand dollars), and is a noble stone edifice, 
now venerable in years cind associations. Upon the 
caj)ital of each pillar are engraved the initials of those 
who donated them and gave subscriptions also. Isaac 
Eoosevelt, one of the elders, laid the corner-stone, July, 
1767, and Dr. Laidlie preached the dedication sermon on 
May 25, 1769. This church was erected more especially 
for English preaching and services, and an additional 
preacher became necessary, when John H. Livingston, 
in after years so well known as the venerable Dr. Liv- 
ingston, was called to this pious field of labor in 1770. 
He was eminently useful and universally loved during 
a long life. 

When the war of the American Revolution broke out, 
this congregation warmly espoused the cause of inde- 
pendence, and consequently was scattered about the 
neighboring country. Whilst the British possessed the 
city, several churches, whose members had espoused 
the side of freedom, were abused and desecrated, and 
especially the Middle and . North Dutch. The former 
was used as a prison, and afterwards for a riding- 
school of the British cavalry, witnessing great dissij)a- 
tion and profanity ; its galleries were destroyed, leaving 
the bare walls and roof. In the North Dutch there 
was a hospital ; pews and pulpit w^ere torn down, and 
its walls defaced. Nor can we proj)erly pass by the 
well-known cruelties and outrages committed by the 



28 EAllLIEST CIIUr.CHES IN NEW YORK. 

British soldiers wliilst in our city. Tlui churches, the 
Old Sugar House in Liberty street, the Jail, and the 
prison-ships, were memorials of these atrocities ; the}' 
became the abodes of cruelty, where thousands of patri- 
otic Americans i)erished, victims to hunger, cruelty, 
disease, and death. Many of their bleached bones, col- 
lected from Long Island, liave been buried in old Trinity 
Churchyard. Gratitude to the noble band of native 
Americans who have there erected the splendid mauso- 
leum over these remains ! 

Just before the Revolution a new and beautiful pulpit 
had been placed in the North Dutch Church, which 
mysteriously disappeared some time afterwards, and no 
traces of it could be discovered. After the close of the 
war, however, one of our citizens, visiting a country 
church in England, saAV in its pulpit tlie striking resem- 
blance to that of the North Dutch. A gentleman present 
remarked that it was probably the same, for it liad been 
brought from America in a British ship ! 

Peace was concluded with England in 1783. The enemy 
left the city on the 25th day of November, which has since 
annually been celebrated as ' ' Evacuation Day. ' ' Gladly 
the citizens again returned to their liresides and altars, after 
a tedious exile of seven years, and, with faith and j)rayer, 
began to build the waste places of their beloved Zions, 
The venerable Dominies Ritzema and De Ronde, who had 
preached in Dutch, preferred to remain where they had 
soj ourned. These were consecpiently declared ' ' emeriti^ ' ' 
with a suitable annuity for life from the consistory. Dr. 
Livingston was now the only Dutch Reformed minister 
in the city, and the "Old Garden Street Church," having 



EARLIEST CIIUKCIIES IN NEW YORK. 29 

escaped tlie damages of the war, was at once used for 
divine service. The "North" was repaired and again 
opened to God's worship in December, 1784, and the 
"Middle Dutch" on July 4th, 1790— Dr. Livingston de- 
livering a suitable discourse. 

There is a notice of this discourse written in an old 
Dutch Bible belonging to . the New Jerse}^ Historical 
Society: "The first sermon that the Hev. Mr. John 
Livingston preached after joining his congregation after 
the war, in the Old Dutch Church, was taken out of the 
Book of Psalms, 124 Psalm, the whole Psalm, in Decem- 
ber 7, 1783, in the forenoon. 

"Also, the first sermon Mr. De Ronde preached after 
joining his congregation after the war, in the Old Dutch 
Church, was taken out of the Book of Psalms ; 34 Psalm 
and the 4 verse, in December 7, 1783, in the afternoon. 

"On Tuesday, the 25th day November, that ever-mem- 
orable day the American army took possession of the 
city. General Washington and Governor Clinton entered, 
when the same day, that day, civil government took 
place. ""^^ 

Dr. Livingston was now left alone in his ministerial 
work, his labors highly acceptable and greatly blessed 
by the Great Head of the Church. Occasionally he 
preached in Dutch to the old people. More ministe- 
rial aid was wanted, when the services of Dr. William 
Linn, from Elizabethtown, N. J., were obtained. He 
became a finished writer and a powerful jDulpit orator. 
His health failing, he retired to Albany in 1805, where he 
died in 1808. The Rev. Gerardus A. Kuypers, after- 

* From a letter of the "Librarian" to the author. 



30 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

"wards Dr. Knypers, succeeded liim. He was an accu- 
rate scholar, j^reacliing in Dutch, at the Garden Street 
Church, to those preferring that Language. But the num- 
bers of such became fewer, until his last sermon to them 
was delivered in 1803. 

In 1795 Dr. John N. Abeel was called as a colleague 
minister, and the choice was eminently happy. His 
Gospel labors were accepted and blessed, and he was 
sometimes called "the beloved disciple, Jolin.^'' He 
died in early manhood, during the year 1812, and amidst 
increasing usefulness. 

Dr. Livingston, resigning his pastoral charge at ISTew 
York in 1810, accepted the Presidency of Queen' s Col- 
lege, New Brunswick, with also a Theological Professor- 
ship. He continued faithfully to discharge these impor- 
tant duties to the very end of his life, in January, 1825, 
lecturing to his classes on the day before his death with 
unusual spirit and impressiveness. AVith benedictions 
on his family, he retired ; but, at the usual hour of fam- 
ily devotions, the next morning, he was found in his 
chamber, calmly resting in the arms of death. II(^ had 
gently fallen asleep in Christ, aged seventy-nine, ripe in 
years, labors, and piety. 

In the year 1813, the Rev. Philip Milledoler became 
one of the collegiate ministers, and few, if any, were 
more beloved or successful in their holy work. On the 
death of Dr. Livingston, in 1825, lie was chosen his suc- 
cessor, assiduously discharging his new duties for a few 
years, when he resign(»d on account of advancing years. 
He died on his birthday, in September, 1832, aged sev- 
enty-seven years — his excellent wife following him to the 



EARLIEST CIIUKCIIES IN" NEW YORK. 31 

heavenly rest the next day. They were bnried from 
the North Dutch Church at the same time, and occupy 
the same tomb in Greenwood Cemetery. We well 
remember the impressive and solemn ceremonies of that 
occasion. 

To preserve a clear connection of our subject, we must 
refer necessarily to more modern times and men. In the 
year 1813, the old church in Garden street formed a con- 
sistory of their own, and the Rev. Dr. Matthews was cho- 
sen their pastor, and, when this church was destroyed by 
the great fire in 1835, two new ones arose from it. One, 
retaining the original corporate character, located itself 
in Murray street, under the pastoral charge of the Rev. 
J. M. McAuley, 1838 ; but, in a few years, the congregation 
erected and occupied the beautiful white marble edifice 
on Fifth avenue and Twenty-first street. The second 
church from this division is the noble structure fronting 
Washington Square and adjoining the University. Drs. 
Matthews and Hutton were then its pastors. (1837.) 

When Dr. Linn retired, in 1805, more ministerial help 
was needed for the Collegiate charges— the North, the 
Middle, and the South Dutch Churches. Accordingly, 
in 1809, the Rev. John Schureman, with the Rev. Jacob 
Broadhead (afterwards D. D.'s), were called, and were 
highly acceptable. Soon, however, in 1811, Dr. Schure- 
man accepted a professorship in Queen' s College, New 
Brunswick, where he ended a useful life (1818) in his 
fortieth year, and lamented by all. In 1813, Dr. Broad- 
head took charge of a new congregation in Philadel- 
phia—the first of the Reformed Dutch Church formed 
there. With tlie divine blessing, he gathered a large au- 



32 EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEAV YOEK. 

cllcnice, continuing to labor among them until 1826, when 
he again returned to New York, taking cliai'ge of the 
church in Broome street. Here he preached witli suc- 
cess till 1837, when the health of his family led him to a 
country charge, and afterwards he was pastor of the 
Central Reformed Butch Church in Brooklyn. He died 
in June, 1855, aged seventy-four years, greatly heloved 
and honored. 

When Dr. Broadhead removed to Pliiladelphia, Drs. 
Milledoler and Ku3^pers were left to sustain the whole 
charge of the Collegiate Churches — the Middle and the 
North — and the necessity of more ministerial aid was 
strongly felt. This was procured in the spring of 1816, 
and the Rev. John Knox, with Paschal N. Strong, were 
called, and installed in July following. They were both 
students from the Theological Seminary under the charge 
of the eloquent Dr. Mason. Mr. Strong was a gifted 
preacher, and fond hopes were entertained of his long 
remaining a faitlilul watchman on the walls of Zion. 
But, a subject of pulmonary disease, in the fall of 1824 
he sought to benefit his health by visiting Santa Cruz, 
and there he ended his pilgrimage, at the age of thirty- 
two. Over his remains, in that sunny isle, his consistory 
erected a j)roper monument. Dr. Knox then became 
the senior j)astor, and, after nearly half a century's 
untiring labors, a few years ago he suddenly terminated 
them by a fatal fall from his porch. Dr. Knox, Dr. 
Berrian, and Dr. Spring, were the only three clergymen 
in New York who had reached the sam(^ length of years 
in their respective churches ; the last-named and vener- 
able man of God alone remains on the earth. With all 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 33 

three of them, their churches in this city were their first 
settlement in the Christian ministry, and where they 
always labored. 

When Dr. Milledoier removed to New Brunswick, a 
call was made, in 1826, upon Dr. William C. Brownlee. 
He was born, educated, and licensed for the ministry, in 
Scotland. At the time he was chosen to the Collegiate 
Church he was Professor of Languages in Rutgers' Col- 
lege. He soon became an eminent writer and preacher, 
with the prospect of long continuing in the Lord' s vine- 
yard ; but he was an illustration of the impressive truth, 
that "in the midst of life we are in death." Li the per- 
fect enjoyment of health and intellect, in a moment he 
was prostrated by paralysis ; but, through God' s good- 
ness, partiallj- recovered from the severe stroke, without 
being able to resume active duties, and entered his rest 
on high in February, 1860. 

Dr. De Witt w^as settled in the ministry of the Colle- 
giate Churches in 1827, Dr. Vermilye in 1839, Dr. Cham- 
bers in 1849 — ministers who have secured the confidence 
and affection of their people, with the whole community. 
But it is not our intention to write about the living, 
except as is necessary for our immediate purposes. In 
1836, the consistory of the Associate Dutch Churches laid 
the corner-stone of the new sacred temple in Lafayette 
Place, and it was dedicated May 9th, 1839. 

There was no church edifice in our city, around which 
so many recollections and associations gathered, as the 
old "Middle Dutch ;"' but the time at last arrived when 
it must be vacated, from the increasing commerce, and 
the removal of the citizens "up-town.'' On the 11th of 
3 



34 EARLIEST CHURCHES 11^ NEW YORK. 

August, 1844, tlie seuior pastor, Dr. Knox, preached the 
last sermon Avithin its hallowed and venerable walls. 
His text was, John v. 20-24: ^'For the Father lovetli 
the Son," &c. Dr. De Witt, one of the colleagues, fol- 
lowed with the apostolical benediction in the Dutch 
language, the same in which its sacred worship and 
services had been here commenced, one hundred and 
fifteen years before. 

On the lltli of October, 1854, the splendid edifice at 
the corner of Fifth Avenue and Twenty-ninth street was 
dedicated to Almighty God. The title of the "Middle 
Reformed Dutch Church" has been given to the edifice 
on Lafayette Place — a sacred name, associated with so 
many pleasant and impressive reminiscences, and now 
very proper from its relative position. In Fidton street 
still stands the North Church, and between this and 
the Fifth Avenue edifice is the Lafayette, or "Middle" 
Dutch. These three are now the houses of worship 
forming the Collegiate Chui'cli. 

We have sketclied more fully the Reformed Dutch 
Churches in New York, because they were more numer- 
ous, and more properly belong to the "olden time." 
To the names alread}^ mentioned, add the Rev. Dr. 
Talbot' s, and onr list is complete of the ministers of this 
venerable church — from Dominie Bogardus, in the year 
1638, to Mr. Chambers, in 1849. Dr. A^^rmilye was 
called to the city in 1839, where he is universally re- 
spected, and still spared to preach Christ. 

Outward appearances have changed some betAveen 
our present costly and magnificent temjDles of the Lord 
and the humble early Dutch churches ; but the same 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK. 35 

Bible and the same pure Faitli remain nnclianged, and 
so will remain to the end of time ! 

It must be remembered that Ave are speaking of the 
oldest denomination in America, and organized as early 
as the year 1620. For a long time the Reformed Dutch 
Church retained its distinctive customs, and even lan- 
guage, and of the former some were peculiar. Unlike 
the plainly attired Puritan, the Dutch dominies always 
appeared in their high circular pulpits with black silk 
gowns and large flowing sleeves. This sacred robe 
seemed indispensable ; and it is related that, at tlie in- 
stallation of an early minister, who was not j)repared 
with such a garment, the presiding clergyman refused 
to officiate. Fortunately for the candidate, a kind min- 
ister supplied his need, or the ceremonies would have 
been postponed. 

All the pulpits had heavy sounding-boards, and the 
Psalms of the day set in movable figures, either upon 
the sides of the sacred desk or the church. The clerk 
occupied a little pew or box by himself, in front of the 
pulpit, prefacing the morning services by reading the 
Scriptures, and, during the afternoon, the x^postles' 
Creed. He received from the sexton all the notices to 
be read, and then placing them at the end of a long 
pole, they were thus passed up to the dominie for pub- 
lication. There were no church clocks then, and the 
hour-glass supplied their place, which was placed in- 
variably at the right-hand of the preacher. It was the 
clerk' s duty, too, when the last grains of the sand had 
run out, to remind him that the time to end the sermon 
had come, by three raps of his can(\ An amusing story 



36 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOIJK. 

is relat(^d of a (lomiiii(% wh(3, seeing his clerk asleep, 
witli the peoph^i drowsy, on a warm summer's day, 
quietly turned the emptied glass up again. Then, after 
its sands had disajopeared a second time, he lemarked 
to his hearers that, as they had been so patiently sitting 
through two glasses, he would now go on with the third. 
I have seen the "old pulpit" of the earliest Dutch cliurch 
in Albany. It was imported from Holland, is a great 
curiosity, and still there carefully preserved ; and among 
its fixtures are those of such a primitive time-piece. 
Just before ascending the pulpit, the Butch dominie 
raised liis hat before his face, and silently offered a short 
prayer for a blessing on his coming labors. Then, when 
he had })iT>nounced the last word of his text, and before 
the sermon began, he exclaimed: "Thus far!" This 
custom is said still to be preserved in some country 
churches. The discourse finished, the deacons rose in 
their seats, went to the altar, listened to a brief address 
from the preacher, when they attended to the public 
collection. Each carried a long pole with a black velvet 
bag at the end, to which was attached a little bell. One 
of these bells, from the "olden time," and used in the 
early Garden Street Church, has been carefully x^i*^- 
served in our city. Once little iron-bound boxes were 
placed near the doors of the churches for the alms of the 
people, and such are still used in Trinity. 

There is an interesting chronicle about the earliest 
church bells of the Reformed Dutch churches. The 
legend on the one of the "Old St. Nicholas," at the 
Battery, was : '■'•Didcwr nostris tmmtilnts resonat aer. 
P. Ilenomy me fecit. 1G74." Thence it was transferred 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 37 

to tli(3 Crrarden Street Cliiircli in 1807. Some thought it 
too small for modern times and fashion ; but Mr. Benson, 
one of the elders, insisted upon retaining the faithful okl 
sentinel, as it came from HoUand, and was the first one 
used in the colony of ISTew Netherlands, At last, with 
the church, both were destroyed by the fire of 1835. 
The bell of the "Old Middle Dutch" Avas presented by 
Colonel Abraham De Peyster, at that time a prominent 
citizen. Whilst the sacred edifice was building, in 1728, 
he died, directing in his will that a bell should be pro- 
cured from Holland for its steeple. It was cast at 
Amsterdam, 1731, and it is said that a number of citizens 
there threw in pieces of silver coin in the preparation of 
the metal. This is its legend : 

"Me fecerunt De Giara et N. MuUer, Amsterdam, Anno 1631. Abraham De 
Peyster, gcboren (born) deu 8 July, 1657, gestorven (died) den 8 Augustus, 1728. 

" Ecn legaat aan de Nederduytsche Kerke, Neuw York." (A legacy to the 
Low Dutch Church at New York.) 

Here the bell remained more than a hundred years, 
until the church was vacated and became the city post- 
ofiice ; then it was removed to the Ninth Street Dutch 
Reformed Church, and afterwards to the beautiful edi- 
fice, Lafayette Place. There it still rings it^ silvery 
tones, inviting the people to the Lord' s house, as it has 
sounded for generations long past. 

The lather of the late John Outhout, Esq., states, in a 
letter to Mr. Frederick De Peyster, this interesting fact : 
Early in our Revolutionary struggle, when the British 
converted the "Middle Dutch" into a dragoon riding- 
school, his father obtained permission from Lord Howe 
to remove this bell. It was then stored in a secret place 
until the enemy had evacuated the city, when it was 



38 EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

restored to its i^ormer and rightful position. For its size 
and clear, far-sounding tones, it is one of the finest ever 
cast, and during very many long years was called the 
"Firemen's Bell." It became a general favorite with 
them, springing to their im^^ortant work and duty at its 
well-known signal of alarm. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IjST NEW YORK. 39 



CHAPTER II. 

THE DUTCH EARLY INTRODUCED SCHOOLS IN NEW AMSTERDAM — 

EVERT PIETERSEN, THE ZIEKENTROOSTER SCHOOLHOUSE BUILT 

CHILDREN PUBLICLY CATECHISED NEW AMSTERDAM BECOMES 

NEW YORK THE SCHOOL CONTINUED AS USUAL, BUT BROKEN UP 

FOR A TIME BY GOVERNOR CORNBURY SCHOOLHOUSE ERECTED 

ON GARDEN STREET CONTINUED THREE-QUARTERS OF A CENTURY 

ENGLISH INTRODUCED IN THE PUBLIC RELIGIOUS SERVICES 

" SONS OF liberty" AMERICAN PRISONERS IN THE CHURCHES 

GREAT FIRE OF l776 SCHOOL REOPENED AFTER THE PEACE OF 

17S3 NEW SCHOOLHOUSE BUILT IN 1847. 

Greatly to tlieir honor, the Dutch have long been dis- 
tinguished for their efforts to educate the young. Every- 
where schools were established, at the public expense, to 
teach their youth the catechism and articles of Religion/- 

When the West India Company first began the work 
of colonization in America, it bound itself to maintain 
among the settlers good and fit preachers, schoolmasters, 
and comforters of the sick.f Thus, the founders of JN'ew 
Amsterdam <*ncouraged religion and learning ; and we 
find in tlie earliest records accounts of the establishment 
of schools at Fort Orange, Flatbush, Fort Casimer, and 
other settlements. The colony on the Delaware, JN'ew 
Amstel, furnishes an exam]3le. With the emigrants, ' ' the 
city of Amsterdam" promised "to send a person proper 
for schoolmaster, who shall also read the holy Scriptures 
in public, and set the psalm." Accordingly, "Evert 

* Broadhead, i., 4G2. f Coll. N. Netherlands, i., 220. 



40 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Pietersen, who had been approved, after examination 
before the chassis, as schoohnaster and zielientrooster," 
"was appointed to "read God's Word and lead in sing- 
ing." No colony, however far east we may travel, was 
ever organized under religious auspices more favorable 
to its future prosperity. A few months afterwards, 
Dominie Everardus Welius, with four hundred new emi- 
grants, arrived, when the same Pietersen was appointed 
" fore- singer, ziekentrooster, and deacon." The like 
course was pursued on the settlement of Manhattan. In 
1626, as soon as the colonial government was founded by 
Kieft, the first Director-General, Sebastian Jans Crol, with 
Jan Huyck, two ziekentrooster s^ or "comforters of the 
sick," to a certain extent supplied the place of a clergy- 
man. In 1633, AVouter Van Twiller, the second director 
of New Netherlands, arrived, when Everardus Bogardus 
became the officiating "Dominie" at Fort Amsterdam, 
with Adam Roelandsen, the first schoolmaster."^' 

Here, then, according to Dutch custom, we discover 
the first schoolmaster in Manhattan, who laid the founda- 
tion of a school which the Reformed Dutch Church reli- 
giously maintains to this hour. The earliest church 
edifice of New Netherlands was a plain Avooden building, 
on the present Broad street, between Bridge and Pearl. 
In 1642, this building becoming dilapidated, an attempt 
was made to procure a new one, with the erection also 
of a schoolhouse. An old chronicle says: "The bowl 
has been going round a long time for the purpose of 
collecting money for erecting a schoolhouse." Jan 
Cornelissen is mentioned as the second teacher in the 

* All). Rcc, i., 52. 




Old South Church in Garden Stkeet. 
Built 16!)3. 



EAllLIEST CnUKOIIES IN NEW YOEK. 41 

Manliattan Cliurcli school ; tlie third, William Yestens ; 
and, in 1655, he was succeeded by Harmanus Van Ho- 
boocken, as chorister and schoolmaster, at "g. (guild- 
ers) thirty -five per month, and g. one hundi-ed expendi- 
tures. "'•• 

It must not be forgotten that there were others, at 
this period, teaching private seminaries ; and about 
1652, John De La Montague conducted a second church 
school, with a salary of two hundred and fifty guilders. 
This continued, however, a brief period only, Vestens 
uninterruptedly continuing his institution from 1650 to 
1655. The schoolmaster, ex officio^ was always clerk, 
beadle, or chorister, and visitor of the sick, f 

In the year 1661, Evert Pietersen, who had left the 
settlement of New Amstel and come to New Amsterdam, 
became the teacher of the Reformed Dutch church school, 
and he was the sixth. Van Hoboocken then was 
schoolmaster somewhere on the Bowerie. Governor 
Fish thinks that his sclioolhouse stood where the present 
Tompldns Market has been located. It is well known 
what provision Governor Stuyvesant made for his 
colored people ; and it is very probable that Yan Ho- 
boocken had these under his instruction. In the year 
1664, Pietersen still schoolmaster, the Director-General 
issued an edict, requiring, as long the custom in the 
fatherland, "the public catechising of the children." 
This is among the good old fashions of the olden time 
greatly to be desired in our day. Pietersen and Yan 
Hoboocken were commanded by the civil ordinance to 
apjjear "on Wednesday, before the beginning of the 

* Alb. Rec. XXV., 133. f Watson's Annals, 1G6. 



42 EABLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 

sermon, with tlie children intnisted to their care, after 
the close of the sermon, in the presence" of the reverend 
ministers and elders, who may there be present," and 
thus be examined "on what they, in the course of the 
week, do remember of the Cliristian commands and cate- 
chism, and what progress they have made ; after wluch 
the children shall be allowed a decent recreation." 

"Done in Amsterdam, New Netherland, this 17th 
March, 1661, by the Director-General and Council. "'- 

We have thus traced this church school through its 
Dutch colonial history ; about three years after this, 
however, on March 12tli, 1664, an event transpired in 
England, which soon was to change the name, govern- 
ment, and destiny of New Amsterdam, now containing a 
population of fifteen hundred souls. On that day, 
James II. granted to liis brother, the Duke of York and 
Albany, the territory between the Connecticut and Dela- 
ware Rivers, including all the possessions of New Neth- 
erland. In August following, the Duke's squadron, 
commanded by Colonel Richard Nicoll, of four ships, 
with ninety-four guns and four hundred and fifty sol- 
diers, anchored oft' New Amsterdam. To resist such a 
force, the city was Vviiolly unprepared, and Stuyvesant 
very unwillingly consented to capitulate. The name of 
Fort Amsterdam immediately changed to Fort James, 
and, worse still. New Amsterdam became New York in 
name — a royal name unknown in history to virtue, great- 
ness, or renown. The ascendency of the Hollanders in 
numbers, character, and iufiuence, however, continued 
a long while. Even now, after a period of almost two 

* Alb. Rec, xxiL, 100. 



EARLIEST CHUKCHES IIST NEW YORK. 43 

centuries, amidst the changes of the city, and its present 
heterogeneous poj)ulation, there can be found the honest 
maxims, the homely pictures, and the famil}?^ Bible, of 
the fatherland. And so, also, have their churches and 
schools and dominies descended, with all tlieir saving 
influences, to our day. 

At the close of Stuyvesant's administration, from 
charter provisions and the efforts of the clergy, "schools 
existed in almost ever}^ town and village'"'^ in Kew 
N"etherland. Although 'New Amsterdam became New 
York, and the Dutch government had ceased in ISTew 
York, still the Dutch people. Church, and school 
remained. By tlie articles of capitulation, they had 
secured "the liberty of tlieir conscience in divine wor- 
ship and Church discipline, with all their accustomed 
jurisdiction of the poor and orphans." It is very 
probable that Van Hoboocken's school on the Bouwery 
was discontinued, but Pietersen taught as heretofore, 
and in 1655 he resided in De Browker Straat.f 

It must be remembered, that the ecclesiastical relations 
of the Reformed Dutch Church remained, as heretofore, 
under the jurisdiction of New Amsterdam Classis. The 
Church school continued stUl to be supervised by the 
deacons, but now, deprived of all aid from the public 
treasury, its support devolved upon the consistory. 

The efforts often made to advance the English Church, 
at times were severely felt by that of the Dutch ; but, 
tolerant to all, she maintained from the first the enjoy- 
ment of her own worship and school. 

Lord Cornbury, a governor, was a well-known persecu- 

* Coll New K, ii., 546. f Valentine's Manual, 1850. 



44 EAELIEST CHURCHES TIV NEW YORK. 

tor of all denoiTiinations not Episcopalian. Among other 
infamous acts, lie imprisoned and lined two Presbyterian 
ministers, and, by rigid measures, broke up the Dutch 
schools on Long Island. None can doubt, for a moment, 
but that he was acting contrary to the principles and 
teachings of the Protestant Episcopal Church. His own 
misguided zeal did this mischief. 

Still persevering in his obstinacy, Cornbury gave the 
Dutch Church to understand that no Dutch minister or 
schoolmaster would be permitted to exercise his calling, 
without a special license from himself. This usurpation, 
directly opposed to the previousl}^ granted charter, given 
by William III. to the Reformed Dutch Church in Amer- 
ica, which said "that the ministers of said Church, for the 
time being, shall and may, by and with consent of the 
elders and deacons of the said Church for the time being, 
nominate and appoint a schoolmaster, and such other 
under officers as they shall stand in need of.'"- A com- 
mittee of the Consistory remonstrated against the gov- 
ernor' s claim, as contrary to this provision, and retained 
their rights and settled their own teachers as heretofore, 
although his illegal prohibition unjustly and disastrouslj^ 
injured the Dutch congregations in other sections of the 
province. 

In 172G, the Dutch Church school was under the 
charge of Barent De Forest, and there is no dir(,>ct refer- 
ence to its history in official records until the year 1743 ; 
here the regular minutes commence again, from which 
we can learn, ever since, an uninterruiDted account of 
the institution and its teachers. Another Church school 

* Act of Inoorporatiori R. P. D. Church. 



EARLIEST CHUrvCHES IN NEW YORK. 45 

"farther up town" became necessary, wlien Mr. Abra- 
ham De Lanoy took charge of it; he was also to dis- 
charge the duty of catechetical instruction to the children 
in the Garden Street Church, and De Lanoy at the New, 
or "Middle Dutch." 

In 1746, the consistoiy appropriated, in addition to his 
salary, ten pounds. New York currency, for one year, 
"to officiate as chorister alternately in the Old and New 
Church" (Garden and Nassau). Mr. Yan AYageneu in- 
tending to resign in 1748, Mr. Daniel Bratt, chorister at 
Catskill, was appointed in his ^Dlace, for five years, in the 
" New" (Middle) Church. He was also to act as school- 
master, and to be provided with a dwelling-house, 
school-room, twelve free scholars, and "for which he 
should receive twelve j)ounds ten shillings, with a load 
of wood for each scholar, annually, half nut and half 
oak." His services commenced in April, 1749. 

During the year 1691, the Dutch Church purchased 
from the Common Council, for four hundred and hity 
dollars, a tract of land on Garden street, between Wil- 
liam and Broad, — on the north side one hundred and 
seventy-live feet, on the south one hundred and eighty. 
Here a church had been built, 1693, and opposite, on 
the south side, the new schoolhouse and teacher' s dwell- 
ing were erected, in 1784. To the curious in old matters, 
this property is now known as number fifty and fifty- 
two, Exchange Place. Here this excellent Dutch Church 
school continued for seventy-six years, three-quarters of 
a century ! What eventful changes have taken place on 
this venerable, time-honored, and once sacred spot ! The 
church and its graveyard and the schoolhouse all have 



40 EAllLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

passed away, not a vestige of tlieir foraier pious pnri)Oses 
remaining. And now, tlie keen dealers in notes, stocks, 
"greenbacks,'" and specie, croAvd the Avliole once sacred 
region ! Tlii s is wliat has been called ' ' Yonng America ! ' ' 

In 1751, a Mr. Van der Slam received the appointment 
of "Consoler of the Sick and Catechiser," and Mr. Bratt 
as chorister and schoolmaster, his services terminating 
in 1754. The consistory now found it difficult to pro- 
cure a suitable person for " Voorleser" and schoolmas- 
ter, when the}^ resolved, 1755, "to call a chorister, 
catechist, and schoolmaster from Holland." 

Such an one was obtained in Mr. John Nicholas 
Wel]3, who arrived from Amsterdam in 1755. For more 
than seventeen years, as schoolmaster and chorister, he 
performed his duties satisfactorily and with fidelity, 
when death ended liis useful labors. During his ser- 
vices there had been great excitement and discussion 
about introducing the English language in the worship 
of the Dutch Church. It was finally detei mined to call 
a minister who should officiate in English, while the 
Dutch was to be continued a part of the Sabbath. Dr. 
Laidlie Avas thus called, and delivered his first sermon 
in English at the Middle Dutch Church, in the afternoon 
of the last Sabbath in March, 1764, from 2 Corinthians 
V. 11 : " Knowing, tlierefore, the terror of the Lord, we 
persuade men." All the public services were conducted 
in the English language, excejot the singing, in Dutch, led 
by Jacobus Van Antwerp (Voorsanger, or fore-singer), 
as the congregation were not acquainted with English 
psalmody. The immense house was densely crowded, and 
many climbed in tlie windows on this unusual occasion. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 47 

This new measure, as might well be expected, gave 
great offence to some ; and finding all thMr expostula- 
tions in vain, at last they invoked the civil power. In 
1767, more than three years after the settlement of the 
"English Preacher," a few members of the Dutch con- 
gregation presented a remonstrance to his Excellency, 
Sir Henry Moore, Governor of New York, complaining 
that the consistory had violated the constitution of the 
Reformed Dutch Church, by the introduction of English 
services in their public worship. Abel Hardenbrook, 
Jacobus Stoutenburgh, with Huybert Van Wagenen, 
and others, signed this remonstrance ; and the last- 
named was the schoolmaster in 1743 ; and the document 
failing in its object, he connected himself Avith the Eng- 
lish Church. 

Nine years before the death of Mr. Welp, the English 
language had been introduced into the Dutch pulpits, 
and had now become quite common, so that regard must 
be paid to this fact in the selection of a new school- 
master. It had become necessary that he should "in- 
struct twenty poor children in reading, writing, and 
arithmetic, as well in both the English and Dutcli lan- 
guages." In Mr. Peter Van Steenburgh, schoolmaster at 
Flatbush, Long Island, was to be found such a person, 
when he was called, and accepted the invitation in 
1773.* A new and enlarged schoolhouse was built, 
and for three years the school continued its 0]3erations 
under Mr. Van Steenburgh, amidst great public excite- 
ment, when it Avas compelled to disband. It was the 
moment of intense public excitement in New York. 

* Dunshee's History of the school, p. 72. 



48 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN JSTEAV YORK. 

Here, in 17G5, the Provincial Congress assembled, pass- 
ing the famous "Declaration of Eights." Here the 
stamped paper had been destroyed, and the Lieutenant- 
Governor hung in eflSgy, in 1765. And the same year 
of Van Steenburgh's appointment, the " Sons of Lib- 
erty" destroyed a cargo of tea, on its arrival. From 
these and other similar causes, the city of IS'ew York 
was soon jDOssessed by the British forces, and became 
the head-quarters of the enemy. Martial-law Avas de- 
clared ; many patriotic citizens fled to neighboring 
places for safet}^ and all the churches and schools 
were closed and discontinued during the war. Now 
we lose sight of the "Krank-bezoecker," "Yoorsanger," 
and the "Voorleser," for several years. Not less than 
live thousand American prisoners were confined in the 
city jails, sugar-houses, and Dissentmg churches. Sev- 
eral hundred crowded the Middle Dutch Church, until 
removed to make room for a cavalry riding-school. 
The North Church held eight hundred prisoners, and 
its i:)ews were used for fuel. To increase these desecra- 
tions and these evils, in July, 177G, a fire consumed 
four hundred and ninety-three houses, from AYliitehall 
Slip to Cortlandt street, Trinit}' Church and the Luther- 
an, on the opposite corner, included in the number. 
Again, August, 1776, in the neighborhood of Coenties 
Slip, three hundred mor(3 houses were consumed. In 
such times, and for seven long years, all church service 
ceased, and tlie schools and college closed. 

On the return of peace, the scattered citizens grad- 
ually returned to their old homes. The consistory of 
the Reformed Dutch Church reorganized again in 



EARLIEST CIIUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 49 

September, 1783, four days only after the signing of 
the Treaty of Peace, at Paris, and before the British 
evacuated New York, in the month of November fol- 
lowing. 

Mr. Van Steenburgh, returning to the city in 1784, 
again took charge of his old Church School. This insti- 
tution, from its commencement until now, had been 
known as the "Public," "Free," or "Low Dutch 
School." It now used the term "Charity," as similar 
seminaries were called "Charity Schools," by the other 
denominations. They derived their support from the 
voluntary contributions of the church members. The 
Episcopal Charity School, founded in 1748, had received 
large legacies from those in her communion, aided by 
annual collections ; and from this circumstance, proba- 
bly, the term was adopted. This school subsequently 
discarded the title, becoming a chartered institution, 
with a'less objectionable name. Most of these denom- 
inational free schools, that existed towards the close of 
the last century, have ceased long since. 

In the fall of 1789, commenced the jiractice of provid- 
ing each scholar with a suit of clothes, which was after- 
wards adopted in the Episcopal and Methodist Church 
Free Scliools. To meet this new expense, public collec- 
tions were made in the respective congregations on the 
same Sabbath day. This was an interesting occasion 
with the scholars and their friends ; all turned out in 
their new suits, and, dressed alike, sang beautiful hymns 
before the congregations ; after which and the sermon, 
the public collections were taken up. At times, these 
amounted to very large, generous sums, and the lib- 



50 EARLIEST CnUECIIES IK NEW YORK. 

erality of the Collegiate Dutcli Cliiiich became pro- 
verbial. 

From the establishment of the Dutch Church School, 
in 1633, its schoolmaster, with only one or two excep- 
tions, had acted as chorister ; and in 1791, Mr. Stanton 
Latham, clerk in the North Church since 1789, super- 
seded Mr. Van Steenburgh, in consequence of his " sing- 
ing" talents. He also agreed "to teach fifty scholars for 
seven shillings per quarter," and his offer was accepted 
by the consistory. 

In 1792, it was deemed an indispensable condition of 
the admission of boys in future, that tlieir parents or 
guardians "do, previously, by bond, engage themselves 
to bind them to some useful ]jrofession or em}Dloyment, 
at the exi)iration of their terms in school, or secure to 
the consistory the power of so doing ;' ' but this plan 
was never carried out. 

Like his predecessor, Mr. Latham had enjoyed the 
advantage of having some pay scholars ; but, in the 
year 1795, it was resolved to admit none but "charity 
scholars" into the school. His salary was now fixed at 
two hundred dollars a year, house-rent free, with twelve 
cords of wood yearly for the school. In 1804, tln^ num- 
ber of x)upils was limited to sixty. 

During a period of one hundred and seventy-five 
years\he deacons of the Dutch Church had constituted 
a Standing Committee, to manage the affairs of the 
school ; but in 1808, it was placed under the care of a 
"Board of Trustees." Its original members are well 
remembered — excellent names — John Stoutenburgh, 
Richard Duryee, Isaac Heyer, Abraham Brinckerhoff, 



EAELIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 51 

Anthony De}^, Jesse Baldwin, and John Mtchie, Jr. 
During the same year, the teacher's salary was increased 
to six hundred dollars. 

In 1809, Mr. Latham resigned his office, when Joseph 
Hinds, a graduate of the institution, became an assistant 
teacher, until the election of Mr. Forrester as principal, 
during the same year, when he adopted the Lancasterian 
system of instruction, in sand and on slate. It is here 
worthy of note, that the old eight-day clock, which had 
hung so many years in the Garden Street Church, was 
repaired and removed to the schoolroom. A venerable 
and faithful chronicler of time, precious time, it still, on 
the walls of the present schooEiouse, marks the rapidly 
passing moments. 

During the year 1805, the Free School Society Avas 
founded in the city of New York ; and in 1812, the 
'•Common School System" commenced in the State. 
Tliese legal movements, consequently, affected the Chari- 
ty Schools of the city. When the Free School Society 
assured the public that children should have the same 
privileges, literary and religious, which they enjoyed in 
their own church schools, most of tliese institutions dis- 
banded. But the Reformed Dutch Church, adhering to 
her own views on this important subject, declined the 
overture, following those principles which she had 
maintained for centuries. 

In 1818, the school numbered one hundred scholars — 
seventy-six boys and twenty-four girls. For seventy- 
six years the institution had now continued in Garden 
street, and a temporary removal to Duane street, near 
William, became necessary. Here the school remained 



62 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

until 1835, when it again removed to Elm street, corner 
of Canal ; thence it occnpied the basement of the Re- 
formed Dutch Church, on Broome and Greene streets, 
removing to the basement of the church on the corner 
of Greene and Houston streets, remaining one year, till 
its removal to No. 91 Mercer street. Here its sessions 
continued five years, when temporary accommodations 
were prepared in the basement of the Ninth Street 
Church. 

I]i July, 1847, ground was broken for a new and 
permanent school edifice, on Fourth street ; and in 
November following, the old school took possession of 
it. Noah Webster, Esq., for many years the President 
of the Trustees, commenced the ceremony of dedication 
by solemnly commending the institution, its friends, 
teachers, and scholars, in devout prayer, to Almighty 
God. He thanked the Lord for His constant care and 
goodness ever extended over this signall}^ blessed institu- 
tion of the Church ! The new edifice is admirably adapt- 
ed to its purposes. It is built of brick, and is forty feet 
front by forty-five deep, and three stories high. The 
"Honors" of the school, annually distributed, consist 
of a Bible, a Psalm-Book, with the Catechism and 
Liturgy of the Cliurch, and a mountc^d engraved Testi- 
monial."^^ 

In the year 1842, the trustees appointed Henry T. 
Dunshee principal of the school ; and Mr. Forrester 
having been engaged in the faithful discharge of its 
arduous duties during the last thirty-two y{}ars, it was 
concluded that he ought now to be relieved, at the age 

* Mr. Dniulice's History of this school, 1853. 




RjiroK.MEi) Dutch CiirKcii in Gakden Stueet. 

ISO". 

1^ 




MiODLE Di;t(;ii (Jiujhcii in- "Nassau Stueet. 
Altered in ITW. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 53 

of nearly seventy years, from his responsibilities. He 
was, however, retained as catechist for twelve months, 
when his long connection with the school closed. Few 
men, in his sj^here and day, have been more useful ; 
and, at the advanced age of eighty years, he still lives, 
the monument of God's goodness and mercy! He is a 
Scotchman, born in the environs of Edinburgh, 1775, 
and emigrated to America in 1794. Teaching has been 
his employment through life. 

We have described this venerable school thus fully, 
because, of all charities, that which imparts literary and 
religious education to destitute children, and prepares 
Uiem for usefulness in Church and State, is the most 
important and praiseworthy. This, too, is now the old- 
est educational institution in our land, and most closely 
identified with the history of our city from its settle- 
ment, and allied to the most ancient Church within her 
borders. Even its associations become most interesting, 
delightful, and important. In 1863, the two hundred 
and thirtieth anniversary of this school was held in the 
Middle Dutch Church, Lafayette Place ; the Rev. Dr. 
Vermilye delivered the diplomas to the graduating class, 
when the parting song was sung. 



54 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER III. 

FIRST BURIAL-PLACE IN NEW YORK SERVICES OF THE CHURCH OF 

ENGLAND INTRODUCED, ] 664 MR. VESEY, THE FIRST RECTOR 

CHARLOTTE TEMPLe's GRAVE REV. ELIAS NEAU DR. VINTON 

EPISCOPAL FREE SCHOOL ESTABLISHED EPISCOPAL CHURCHES 

CLOSED IN THE REVOLUTION DRS. COOPER, AUCHMUTY, CHARLTON, 

BARCLAY, INGLIS REPLY TO " COMMON SENSe" SEIZED BY SONS OF 

LIBERTY AND BURNED GENERAL HOWE LANDS IN NEW YORK 

THE GREAT FIRE, 1776 DR. INGLIS RETIRES TO NOVA SCOTIA, AND 

THERE MADE BISHOP THE KINg's FARM TRINITY BURNED AND 

REBUILT ST. GEORGe's, ST. PAUl's, AND ST. JOIIN's BUILT GOV- 
ERNOR Fletcher's arrival ; a high churchman — churches 

ORDERED TO BE ERECTED IN WESTCHESTER, SUFFOLK, AND RICH- 
MOND — CITIZENS TAXED FOR THEIR SUPPORT. 

The first bnrial-place in the city was about tlie corner 
of Broadway and Morris street — four lots of twenty-five 
by one hundred feet. Tliis was abandoned in 1G76, 
and the north part of Trinity cliurchyard substituted. 
Trinity Church was erected in 1696, and incorporated the 
next year as the "Parisli Church." On the transfer of 
the ISTew iSTetlierlaud colony to the British, in 1664, the 
worship of the Church of England was introduced, and 
the chaplain of the British foi'ces conducted divine 
service in tlie Dutch church at the fort. A very 
friendly feeling existing between the two denomina- 
tions when Mr. Vesey, the first rector, arrived, he was 
invited to liold his religious services in the Garden 



EAELIEST CHUECnES IN NEW TOllK. 55 

Street Cliurch on a part of the Sabbath. When he was 
inducted into his holy office, Governor Fletcher request- 
ed two of the Dutch clergymen to be present. 

Until the cessation of burials, by law, in the city. 
Trinity churchyard was a general cemetery, where mul- 
titudes, thousands on thousands, of the past generations 
have been -interred. There is scarcely an old family 
among us but has some relative or friend sleeping in 
this sacred repository. Here lie the ashes of Generals 
Hamilton and Lamb, and Colonel Willet, "with other 
Revolutionary heroic men — Captain Lawrence and Lieu- 
tenant Ludlow of the Chesapeake, heroes of the war of 
1812. AVho has not read the story of Charlotte Temple ? 
It was a tale of truth ; and the lady also slumbers here. 
What reverend histories are attached to the silent ten- 
ants of this vast field of the dead ! Nearl}^ all the tomb- 
stones first placed are dilapidated or have perished. 
Some of the buried, however, have become a part of 
history, and will never be forgotten. 

In old Trinity churchyard repose the remains of many 
Huguenots, and among them those of the Rev. Elias 
Neau, the j^aternal ancestor of Commodore Perry's wife ; 
and a Perry married the Rev. Dr. Vinton, a descendant 
of the seventh generation from this venerable and pious 
ancestor. The doctor now is a distinguished minister 
of old Trinity, after a lapse of more than one hundred 
and fifty years, and declaring sacred truth on the same 
reverend spot where his children's pious progenitor 
exercised the same holy calling so very long ago. Mr. 
ISTeau's memory deserves more notice. He was a tal- 
ented, good man, and appointed catechist of Trinity 



SQ EAELIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 

■when the Rev. Mr. Vesey was its rector. After his 
appointment, for a number of years, he diligently dis- 
charged his important religious duties among the slaves 
and Indians, of whom there were some fifteen hundred 
catecliumens in the city. He could never collect them 
until candle-light, in summer or winter, except on the 
Sabbath, when the}^ assembled after the last clinrch 
services. He may be said to be the founder of the 
Free School of that church, so celebrated, serviceable, 
and numerous for many years. He closed a life of extra- 
ordinary usefulness in the year 1722, and his dust also 
sleeps in Trinity burial-ground, nearly on a line with its 
northern ]3orch. 

At the commencement of the xlmerican Revolution, 
there was much animosity manifested towards the Epis- 
copal or Cliurch of England. Most of its clergy took 
sides with the British, and hence were violently opposed 
by the .Whig or American party. The Episcopal 
churches, generally, were closed, and many of their 
pastors sought safety in England. Among this number 
was Myles Cooper, D. D., President of King's (Colum- 
bia) College. Dr. Samuel Auchmuty succeeded tlie 
ReY. Mr. Charlton as catechist to the negroes, and assist- 
ant minister in Trinity ; and on the death of Dr. Barclay, 
in 1764, lie was elected rector. He, too, was a strong 
loyalist, and retired, for a season, to New Brunswick, 
New Jersey, with his family. Dr. Charles Inglis became 
assistant to Dr. Auchmuty in 1765, whom he succeeded 
as the rector of Trinity, two years afterwards. 

He was a decided Tory and Churchman ; and when 
Washington, with the American troops, took j)ossession 



EAKLIEST CIIUEOHES IN NEW YOIIK. 57 

of the city, the General, soon after his arrival, attended 
Trinity Church. One of his officers called at the rec- 
tor's house, leaving word that "he would be glad if 
the violent prayers for the king and royal family were 
omitted." But Inglis paid no regard to the request, 
informing Washington that "it was in his power to 
shut up our churches, but by no means in his power 
to make the clergy depart from their dut}^" Whilst 
officiating on the Sabbath, a company of one hundred 
"armed rebels" marched into the church, with drums 
beatmg and fifes playing, their guns loaded and bayo- 
nets fixed. The congregation was thrown into great 
consternation, but Inglis, elevating his voice above the 
noise and tumult, went on with the services. The 
soldiers, finally, invited by the sexton, took seats, and 
the thing passed off" without accident. 

When independence was declared, soon after, the 
vestries of the Episcopal churches shut them up ; and 
at this moment the equestrian statue of King George in 
the Bowling Green was pulled down and demolished. 
All the royal arms, even on the tavern signs, were 
destroyed, and orders were sent to have them removed 
from Trinity, or the mob would do the work them- 
selves. Dr. Inglis wisely and immediately complied. 
His family were removed to a distant jiart of the coun- 
try for safety, but he remained, "to visit the sick, bap- 
tize the children, bury the dead, and afford what sup- 
port I could (he writes) to the remains of our poor 
fiock." He took possession of all the keys, "lest," he 
cAds, "the sexton's might be tampered with." Thus, 



58 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 

for the present, the Episcopal churches escaped the 
desecration of the war. 

At tills moment of national excitement, Faine pub- 
lished his "Common Sense," earnestly justifying inde- 
pendence, and the rector of Trinity characterized it as 
"one of the most virulent, artful, and pernicious pam- 
phlets ever met with, and perhaps the wit of man could 
^^ot devise one better calculated to do mischief. It 
seduced thousands." At the risk of life and liberty he 
•answered it, but, as soon as printed, his whole impres- 
sion was seized by the " Sons of Liberty," and burned. 
He sent, however, a copy to Philadelphia, where it was 
printed, with a second edition. This, of course, swelled 
the catalogue of the rector' s political transgressions, and 
he was compelled to retire to Flushing, on Long Island, 
and "keep as private as possible." Soon, General 
Howe defeated the Americans at the unfortunate battle 
on Long Island, which set him at liberty, with many 
Tories in New York. 

On the 15th of September, 1776, General Howe landed 
at Nevv^ York with the English forces, when the Ameri- 
cans abandoned the city. Early the next morning Dr. 
Inglis returned to his house, which he found plundered 
of every thing. "My loss amounts (he says) to near 
two hundred pounds, this currency, or upwards of one 
hundred pounds sterling. The rebels carried off all the 
bells in the city, partly to convert them into cannon, 
partly to prevent notice being given speedily of the 
destruction they meditated against the city by lire when 
it began." On the following day he opened one of the 
Episcopal churches and solemnized divine worship, 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 59 

wlien the citizens, now very few, generally attended, 
l)ut tliey were Episcopalians. They congratulated each 
other on the prospect of returning security, but were to 
be mistaken and disaj)pointed. 

On the next Saturday, the weather being dry, with 
the wind blowing fresh, the city was fired in several 
places, at the same moment, before daylight. The fire, 
raging with utmost fury, destroyed about one thousand 
houses, embracing a fourth of the whole place. Three 
Episcopal churches were burned — Trinity, the oldest 
and largest. It was now a venerable edifice, with an 
excellent organ, costing eight hundred and fifty pounds. 
The rector's house and the Charity School, two large 
buildings, with St. Paul's Church and King's College 
(Columbia), shared the same fate. The loss of cliurch 
property was estimated to be twenty-five thousand 
pounds. 

Dr. Inglis was ordained in England, and, when peace 
came, in 1783, he w^as obliged to leave the States, as he 
himself, with his lady, were included in the Act of 
Attainder. With some of his flock, he accordingly 
went to Annapolis, Nova Scotia, where, in 1787, he was 
consecrated the first Colonial Bishop) of that x^rovince. 
He died in 1816, aged eighty-two years. His son, John 
Inglis, was the third Protestant Bishop of JSTova Scotia. 

In 1703, the "King's Farm" had been granted, by 
Queen Anne, to Trinity, and it thus became the cele- 
brated Trinity Church property. The old edifice had 
been enlarged in 1735, again during 1737, and burned 
by the fire of 1776. It was again rebuilt in 1778, and 
consecrated by Bishop Provost in 1791, and demolished 



00 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK, 

once more for the present splendid structure, wliicli was 
opened during the year 1848. 

Trinity Church, afterwards, was enlarged, so as to 
emb^-ace St. George's, Beekman street, erected in 1752 ; 
St. Paul's, 1766; St. John's, 1807, with Trinity Chapel, 
Twenty-fifth street— all its cliapels. The first Trinity 
was built in 1G96— a small, square edifice, with a 
very tall spire. One of its pews was appropriated to 
the Mayor and Common Council, and a sermon was 
annually preached to them on the day of the city elec- 
tion. 

St. Paul's Church and the "North Dutch" are the 
oldest houses of worship in our city, and were erected 
within three years of eacli other. It is said that a 
friendly social strife grew up between the respective 
denominations in building these sacred edifices, wliich 
would vie with each other in size and beauty. We do 
not know of two more noble or magnificent sacred edi- 
fices of their style among the hundreds of others in New 
York. They remain the same as when first erected — 
strong links between the present and tlie "olden time." 
Long, long may they continue the tabernacles of the 
Most High ! The new Governor of New York, Benja- 
min Fletcher, arrived in 1692. Despotic, and a bigoted 
Churchman, his darling project was to make the Church 
of England the established one of the land, and to intro- 
duce, at the same time, the English language. Tliis, of 
course, was contrary to the wishes of most of the peoi)le, 
who still spoke the Dutch and "went to the Dutch 
Church." The Colonial Assembl}^ of 1693 passed an 
act to build one church in New York, two in West- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES 11^ NEW YORK. 61 

cliGster and Suffolk, and one in Riclimond, each to be 
settled with a Protestant minister, with salaries from 
forty pounds to four hundred pounds, raised hy taxes 
on the inhabitants. Trinity was organized under this 
act. Its cemetery was to be kept neatly fenced, and 
the burial fees never to exceed eighteen pence for 
children, and three shillings for adults. So great were 
the numbers in this city of the dead, as to amount to 
more than one hundred and sixty thousand at the period 
of the Revolution. 

All citizens were now taxed for the support of "the 
Churoh" of England, whilst other Christians were pro- 
nounced ''Dissenters." We might ask, Dissenters from 
what ? Is it not an historical fact that the Episcopalians 
are the Dissenters from the famous Reformed Churches 
of France, of Holland, Germany, and Switzerland ? 
They are, moreover. Dissenters from the Waldenses, 
Albigenses, and the ancient British Christians, who 
early withstood Popery in Ireland and Scotland. For- 
tunately for the Dutch, at the surrender of their colony 
to the British rule, in 1664, they took care to secure 
their religious rights with regard to the worship and 
discipline of their churches. The Episcopalians, then, 
were a mere handful, comparatively, mostly composed 
of the government officers, the military, and their de- 
pendents. StiU, from 1693 to 1776, all Non-Episcopa- 
lians were comj^elled, by unrighteous law, to pay taxes 
for the support of their small church. By the glorious 
war of the Revolution, however, the people were set 
free from all union of the Church and State, and the 
establishment of any sect in these United States. During 



62 EARLIEST CIIUKCHES IN jN^EW YOEK. 

this British rule, many wlio loved the "'loaves and 
fishes" left the communion of the other churches for the 
favored Established religion. Thanks to the bravery of 
our noble forefathers, we are delivered from all national 
or legal "High Churchism," "Puseyism," "Tithes," 
and "Popery." 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 63 



CHAPTER ly. 

TRINITY CHURCH ITS PRINCELY LIBERALITY CHURCHES HELPED 

queen's farm FIRST WARDENS AND VESTRYMEN SUBSCRIPTIONS 

TO THE BUILDING NEW EDIFICE GOVERNOR FLETCHEr's ARMS 

AND PEW king's FARM- — MINISTERS' SALARIES SMALL FEES 

REV. MR. VESEY AND HIS ASSISTANTS TRINITY ENLARGED, 1737 

QUEEN ANNE PRESENTS COMMUNION SETS, AND THE BISHOP OF 
LONDON A PAROCHIAL LIBRARY DEATH OF MR. VESEY. 

Concerning "Old Trinity," volumes might be written. 
Tlie more we examine, the more do we reverence and 
admire this ancient and munificent religious corpora- 
tion. In its early liistory. Trinity parisli needed help, 
and was not able to aid others. But, as far back as 
the year 1745, we find its first recorded gift of a com- 
munion, pulpit, and desk-cloth, to Mr. Peter Jay, for 
the church at Eye. Since that distant period, its dona- 
tions to needy congregations have been princely and 
very numerous. There is scarcely a form in which tliis 
liberality has not been manifested — communion plate, 
baptismal fonts, Bibles, organs, bells, salaries, &c., &c. 
When Tom Paine' s "Age of Eeason" was popular 
(1797), the vestr}^ purchased, for distribution, two hun- 
dred copies of the "Antidote to Deism," and soon after, 
five hundred of "Watson's Apology." At one time 
they appropriated five hundred dollars for a negro 
burial-ground ; and in 1786, three lots of ground for 
the use of the senior pastors of the Presbyterian con- 



04 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

gregations in tliis city (Nos. 255, 256, and 257 Robinson 
street, now Park Place) ; in 1765, two lots to tlie corpo- 
ration, for the ferry to Paulus Hook ; in 1771, iive Imn- 
dred dollars towards building a public market. 

Their donations to aged and infirm clergymen have 
been immense. In 

179G, the Eev. William Hammel thus received £100 per 

aunura for thirty years $7,500 

1801-1 SIG. Bishop Provost (annuity) . . . 5,000* 

1S11-181G. Bishop Moore " .... 6,250 

1813-1819. Dr. Beach " . . . . 24,000 

Families of those dying in its (Trinity's) service . . 3G,900 
, King's (Columbia) College, 1752, grant of land, between 
Murray and Barclay streets, and from Church street 
to the North River, valued at ... . 400,000 
1802. Society for the Promotion of Religion and Learning, 
thirtj^-two lots of land on Barclay, Warren, Green- 
wich, Hudson, Beach, and North Moore streets . . 1 29,500 

1808-182G. African Catechetical Institute . . . 7,072 

1825-1835. General Theological Seminary . . . 9,143 

183G-1843. Episcopal Fund 58,800 

1832-1847. City Missions 13,900 

These are magnilicont sums and bene-'actions to the 
cause of piety and Christian benevolence ; but what can 
equal Trinity's gifts to other churches? We append a 
few: 

1798. St. Mark's, money and lots .... $150,770 
1804-1811. Grace Churcli, including twenty-five lots 120,000 
(In fact, Grace Church was built by the corpo- 
ration of Trinit}'.) 

1812-1813. St. George's, thirty-three lots . . 220,235 

1705-1809. St. Peter's, AVestchester .... 24,750 

1797-1809.' St. George's, Flushing .... 21,750 

1797-1809. Grace, Jamaica, Long Island . . . 20,750 

1792-1800. St. James's, Newtown .... 21,250 

1797-1809. St. Anne's, Broolvh^n .... $10,000 

1805-184G. St. Stephen's, New York . . 32,594 



ICAKLIEST CHURCHES 11^ NEW YORK. G5 

1807-182."). St. MicbaeFR, Bloomlngdalo, and St. JameG's, 

Hamilton Square, mcluding lots .... 75.100 

1805-18-17. Christ Church, Xew York . . . 74,200 

1811-1846. Zion, New York 39,370 

1831-1842. St. Clement's. New York .... 23,800 

1820-184G. St. Luke's 56,800 

1827-18-12. St. Thomas's ' . 32,300 

1827-1845. All Saints' 31,500 

1835-1846. St. Philip's 18,110 

1835-1846. Church of the Nativity . . . . 9,300 

1837-1840. St. Bartholomew's 24,650 

1833-1842. Annunciation 9,400 

1845. Holy Apostles' 5,000 

Those are authentic extracts from Dr. Berrian's His- 
tory, omitting smaller donations, from two hundred 
dollars and upwards, to Ei3isco]:)al churches in every 
section of our great State. Their record tills a dozen 
octavo pages of the volume, and the Doctor estimated, 
in 1847, tliat the "gifts, loans, and grants of Trinity 
Church, rating the lands at their present prices, consid- 
erably exceed Two Millions of Dollars— a sum more 
than equal, in the opinion of competent judges, to two- 
thirds of the value of the estate which remains." These 
figures speak volumes for the zeal, liberality, and piety 
of "Old Trinity," and as such we leave them, a com- 
ment on themselv(\s. 

What an inestimable benefaction w^is the munificent 
gift of "Good Queen Anne," in 1705, of the "Queen's 
Farm," to the corporation of Trinity Cliurch ! This 
property was then literally wliat it was called — a 
"farm," extending from St. Paul's Cliurch, along the 
Hudson, to Skinner Eoad, now Christopher street. It 
was of comparatively little value, but long since has 
become a valuable and compact part of our great city. 
Mere nominal rents, or long leases, have rendered the 
5 



66 EAIILIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOllE. 

property mncli less productive than is generally ima- 
gined. What a hlessing to the churches of our land, 
that the heirs of Anneke Jans, and speculators, did not 
succeed in their attempts to invalidate the title of Trinity 
to this vast and valuable estate ! 

The first wardens and vestrymen of Tiinity were ap- 
pointed in 1G97 : Thomas Wenham and Robert Lurting, 
wardens ; Caleb Heathcote, William Merret, John Tudor, 
James Emmot, William Morris, Thomas Clarke, Ebene- 
zer Wilson, Samuel Burt, James Evets, Nathaniel Mars- 
ton, Michael Howden, John Crooke, William Sharpas, 
LaAvrence Read, David Jamison, William Iludleston, 
Gabriel Ludlow, Thomas Burroughs, John Merret, Wil- 
liam Jane way, vestrymen. The property of this incor- 
poration was then unproductive, the English inhabitants 
few, with scanty means, but they were zealous for their 
Church. Trinity was originally a small square edifice, 
founded 1696, and a special subscription of three hundred 
and twelve pounds thirteen shillings and seven pence 
was made to build the steeple, with a contribution of 
five pounds twelve shillings and three pence from the 
Jews. Yes, from the sons of Abraliam ! This is a 
remarkable historical item, and we record their names : 
Lewis Gomez, one pound two shillings; Abraham D. 
Luiena, one pound ; Rodrego Pacheco, one pound ; 
Moses Levy, eleven pence ; Mordecai Nathan, eleven 
pence ; Jacob Franks, one pound ; ]\Ioses MicluK^l, eight 
shillings three pence : total, five pounds twelve^ shillings 
and three pence. Some gave tlu^r means and others 
their time to the, pious undertaking. ]Mr. Snmuel Burt 
was ordered to "goe down to Huntington with all expe- 




The First Trinity Cihtroh. 



i:ii!:n-<(l ill IT3T. 



Dcstrovril li\- !i:-c in ITTC. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES I]Sr NEW YORK. 67 

dition, and purcliase all the Oyster Shell Lime he can get 
there, not to exceed the rate of 8 or 9 shillings pr Loade 
for the nse of the Clmrch : and that his expences in trav- 
elling and horse lie defrayed out of thf^ Publick Stock, 
he desiring nothing for his time and trouble." Colonel 
Peter Schuyler subscribed "five pounds, to be paid in 
boards." One hundred and seventy pounds two shil- 
lings and three pence were remitted from Holland to 
London, the amonnt collected for the "redemption of 
slaves;" but, failing that use, was assigned to Trinity 
Church, New York. At London, this sum was invested 
in "Strouds," thirty-eigJit pieces, and upon their arrival 
here sold for four hundred and forty-eight pounds. 
Another singular way was devised to increase the funds. 
Governor Fletcher granted the churchwardens "a Com- 
mission for all Weifts, Wrecks, and Drift Whales, as 
should come on shoar on ye said Island." 

The new edifice was about one liundred and forty- 
eight feet long and seventy-two broad ; the steeple one 
hundred and seventy-five feet high ; and over tlie door 
facing the river this inscription : 

"PEK AUGUSTAM. 

"Hoc Trinitatis Templum fundatum est anno rogni illustrissuni," &c. 

"This Trinity Churcli was founded in the eighth year of the Most Illustrious 
Sovereign Lord William the Third, by the grace of God King of England. Scot- 
land, France, and Ireland, Defender of the faith, &c., and in the year of our 
Lord 1G96; and built by the voluntary contributions and gifts of some persons, 
and chiefly encouraged and promoted by the bounty of his Excellency Colonel 
Benjamin Fletcher, Captain-General and Governor-in-cliiof of this Province; in 
the time of whose government the inhabitants of this city of the Protostant 
religion of tlie Church of England, as now established by law, were incorporated 
by a charter, under the seal of the Province, and many other valuable gifts he 
gave to it of his private fortune." 



68 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

On tlie walls were hung the arms of some of the prin- 
cipal benefactors, and among these, conspicuously, Gov- 
ernor Fletcher's, and under them the above legend. 
A pew, next to the chancel, was also presented to him, 
"to remaine forever to the aforesaid use." About this 
period Trinity received some valuable gifts : from Gov- 
ernor Fletcher, a Bible ; the Earl of Bellamont, ' ' a parcell 
of Books of Divinity, sent over by the Right Rev. 
Heniy, Lord Bishop of London ;" "paving stones from 
the Pink Blossom lodged in the steeple, being the gift of 
ye Lord Bishop of Bristol to Trinity Church ;" Lord 
Viscount Cornbury gave "a black Pall, on condition no 
person dying and belonging to Forte Anne should be 
deny'd the use thereof, Gratis." 

The "King's Farme" was let on terms which seem 
singularly strange, contrasted with the high rents, high 
taxes, and high price of property now in that section 
of the city. George Ryerse was to have the farm a part 
of the y<iar, with "his winter and summer grain, provi- 
ded he plant no Indian Corne next spring therein ; that 
he seAV no more summer grain next spring than winter 
grain, ... he paying for the same the sum of thirty-five 
pounds — twenty pounds the first of November, and fif- 
teen pounds the first of May next ensuing." 

At that early day th(.^ salaries were very small. The 
rector's income was only one hundred pounds per an- 
num, with an allowance of tAventy-six pounds from the 
Government towards his house-rent. The clerk's fees 
were : for attending a funeral, five shillings sixpence ; 
a marriage, six shillings sixpence ; christening, nine 
pence. The sexton's fees: for ringing the bell, tliree 



EAIILIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 69 

shillings ; digging a grave, six sliillings ; marriage, three 
shillings sixpence ("every stranger paj^ double fees"). 
"For burying a man or woman in the chancel," the 
rector's charge was five jjounds ; a child, two pounds 
ten shillings ; under ten years, one pound five shillings ; 
" a marriage in the parish," thirteen sliillings. 

The Rev. Mr. Vesey, the first rector of Trinity Church, 
was also the Commissary of the Province of New York, 
so that his labors were twofold. In 1715, the Rev. Mr, 
Jenny was appointed an assistant to Mr. Vesey, at a sal- 
ary of fifty pounds a year. After several services, he 
was removed to the parish of Rye. The Rev. Mr. 
Wetmore succeeded him in office, also attending to the 
catechising of the blacks every Wednesday, Friday, 
and Sunday evening. At times, nearly two hundred 
attended his instructions. In 1726 he was inducted in 
the parish of Rye, Mr. Jenny being transferred to Hemp- 
stead. The Rev. Mr. Colgan was appointed catechist 
for Trinity in 1726. 

In 1737 Trinity was enlarged from its old square form 
to an oblong, seventy-two feet wide and one hundred 
and forty-eight long. During the reigns of William and 

» 

Mary, Queen Anne, and one of the Georges, the royal 
bounty had presented to Trinity three communion sets, 
inscribed with the arms and names of the donors. The 
old communion cloth, &c., were given to the church at 
Rye. A present of valuable books for a parochial library 
was made by the Bishop of London, and increased by 
other gifts, until their catalogue fills nine folio manu- 
script pages. For a long time they were kept in an 
upper corner of St. Paul's Chapel, but removed to the 



70 EARLIEST CHUEOHES IN NEW YOEK. 

General Theological Seminarj, as a foundation of its 
present valuable collection. 

In 1732 Mr. Colgan was removed to Jamaica, and the 
Rev. Mr. Charlton appointed his successor, who contin- 
ued the humble but important office of catechist to the 
slaves. In eight years he baptized two hundred and 
nineteen "blacks." 

The Rev. Mr. Vesey continued in the service of Trmity 
Parish, without interruption, for lifty years. His Chris- 
tian labors must have been great and abundant, but we 
have no Avritten record of them, as the register of the 
baptisms, marriages, and funerals he attended, is said to 
have been destroyed by the great conflagration of 1776. 
After a long life of honor and usefulness, he was gath- 
ered to his fathers in peace. A notice of that day styles 
him "a most tender, affectionate husband, a good, indul- 
gent master, a faithful, steady friend, and beneficent to 
aU." 



EABLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 71 



CHAPTER Y. 

REV. HENKY BARCLAY INDUCTED INTO TRINITY CHURCH, 1746 CHAPEL 

OF EASE, ST. George's — drs. milnor and tyng — Washington an 

ATTENDANT rfERE DK. SAMUEL JOHNSTON, AN ASSISTANT MINISTER 

OF TRINITY GULIAN C. VERPLANCK, HIS GRANDSON, NOW A VESTRY- 
MAN DR. JOHNSTON THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF COLUMBIA COLLEGE 

NEW ORGAN FOR TRINITY DR. BARCLAy's DEATH REV, JOHN OGIL- 

VIE, HIS DEATH AND BENEFACTIONS ST. PAUl's BUILT, l763 HERE 

GENERAL WASHINGTON ALSO WORSHIPPED REV. MR. VARDILL, 

BENJAMIN MOORE, AND DR. BOWDEN, ASSISTANT MINISTERS IN TRINITY 

MR. BEACH, OF CONNECTICUT, A BOLD CHURCHMAN DEATH OF REV. 

DR. AUCHMUTY. 

The Rev. Henry Barclay was inducted into Trinity 
Church on the 22d of October, 1746, George Clinton, 
Governor of the province, signing his certificate of 
induction. A few years after, his congregation had 
increased so much as to need the erection of a chapel, 
although the old church would accommodate two thou- 
sand hearers. At this period there were only eight 
houses of worship in ISTew York city. In 1748, the 
wardens were authorized to buy six lots of ground 
fronting Nassau street and Fair street, from David 
Clarkson, Esq., to build a Chapel of Ease to Trinity 
Church thereon. Five hundred pounds was the price 
paid, but it was thought that other lots of Colonel 
Beekman, "fronting onBeekman's street and Van Cliff's 
street, would be more commodious," when these were 
purchased for six hundred and forty-five pounds. A 
number of presents were made to the new undertaking. 



72 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

jmd among tliese, ten pounds from the Arclibisliop of 
Canterbury ; Sir Peter Warren, one Inindred pounds, 
to whom a -pew was assigned for his liberality. The 
chapel was called St. George's. Its dimensions were 
ninety-two by seventy-two feet, the steeple lofty, but 
irregular, one hundred and seventy-five feet high. It 
was built in a then new and crowded section of the city, 
near Beekman's Swamp (Ferry street). Tlie venerable 
edifice was destroyed by fire in January, 1814, except- 
ing its walls ; but was rebuilt the next year. The 
writer, then a child, and living in John street, well 
remembers that burning, from the peculiar and brilliant 
efifect of the fire upon the snow falling at the moment. 

St. George's has been the spiritual home of many lib- 
eral, useful, and pious Christians. Here, for a long 
time, lived, and labored, and died, near God's holy 
altars, that eminent servant of Christ, the Rev. Dr. 
Milnor. His j)arsonage was next to the church, and 
from its hallowed walls he was buried. Here, the Rev. 
Dr. Tyng fearlessly preached the truth, until he removed 
to his magnificent church at Stuy vesant Park. General 
Washington was a frequent attendant at St. George's 
during his revolutionary residence in New York. Next 
to the Middle Dutch (Post-ofiice), this is now the oldest 
sacred temple in our city. 

Let it not be forgotten that St. George's still belonged 
to Trinity Parish. In 1747, Mr. Charlton was removed 
to St. Andrew's, Staten Island, when the Rev. Samuel 
Auchmuty took liis place as catecliist to the blacks, with 
directions to assist the rector. The appointment was 
made at the particular request of Governor Clinton. 



I 




St. George"8 Chapel, Beekman Street, N. Y. 
Ei-ected 1752. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 73 

H(3 was born in Boston, and educated at Harvard Col- 
lege, and ordained by the Bisliop of London. On Fri- 
day afternoons he gave catechetical lectures in St. 
George's Chapel. 

In the year 1753, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnston, of 
Stratford, was called as an assistant minister of Trinity, 
with a salary of one hundred and fifty pounds per an- 
num. In consequence of his advanced years, and his 
professorship in Columbia College, he was to read 
prayers only on Sundays, and preach one Sabbath in a 
month. Gulian C. Verplanck, an honored JS^ew Yorker, 
is his great-grandson, and is, we believe, now a vestry- 
man of Trinity. He has Avritten a memoir of this distin- 
guished clergyman.-'- Mr. Johnston was educated at the 
College of Connecticut, then at Saybrook ; and in 171 G, 
became a teacher in the institution removed to New 
Haven. He was ordained a minister of the Cono;reo:a- 
tional Church in 1720, and settled at West Haven. At 
that period the Independent Calvinistic Church was the 
only sect known and tolerated in the colony. But after 
long and laborious investigation of the controversy be- 
tween his own and the Church of England, he changed 
his views, and joined the latter. He was admitted to 
priest's orders in England, and, returning to America, 
settled as a missionary at Hartford. He was for some 
time the only clergyman of the Church of England in 
the colony, and' was the pastor of the first Ej^iscopal 
church in Connecticut. 

In 1729, a remarkable circumstance occurred in the life 
of Mr. Johnston. Dean Berkeley, afterwards Bishop, 

■■' Churchman's Jla^'-azhie, ISIJ. 



74 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

A^isited America, when similar views and studies pro- 
duced an intimate acquaintance "between them, which 
continued until the death of the Bishop, in 1752. In 1743, 
through the recommendation of Archbishop Seeker, the 
University of Oxford conferred on Mr. Johnston the 
degree of D. D. This was indeed a literary honor from 
that ancient university, and never lavishly bestowed. 
There it is still regarded with high respect, cheap as such 
' ' degrees' ' are now in our own land. In 1753, a charter 
was obtained for old Columbia College, when Dr. John- 
ston became its president ; and on the 17th of June, 
1754, he commenced the collegiate course with a class 
of twelve students. What multitudes since have grad- 
uated from her venerable classical walls ; and among 
them have been some of the master spirits in our land. 
For nine years he filled his mij)ortant stations with 
ability, but his age and inlirmities increasing, he re- 
signed these in 1763, retiring to Stratford, Connecticut. 
In this quiet country retreat, he once more resumed the 
duties of a parish priest, at the age of seventy, with the 
same zeal he had manifested forty years before. After a 
short indisposition, in 1772^ he expired without a strug- 
gle, and his remains were interred in the burying-ground 
of his church, where a neat monument was erected to 
his memory, with a Latin inscription, by his grandson, 
AVilliam Samuel Johnston. 

Dr. Johnston was warmly attached to the Church of 
England in her present form. His controversial writings 
exhibit a spirit of mildness and urbanity very delight- 
ful, and too seldom found in polemic theology. In 
17G1, the vestry of Trinity voted five hundred pounds 



EARLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 75 

towards purchasing a new organ, several gentlemen 
proposing to increase tlie sum to seven hundred guineas. 
A Mr. Thomas Harrison was organist, with a salary of 
eighteen pounds, current money of New York, ^yer 
quarter, to commence the first Sunday he should begin 
to "j^lay." Old Trinity has always had fine choral 
singing, and she still maintains this reputation. We 
do not admire the intoning of her sublime services, 
as a mere matter of taste, but her solemn chants and 
singing boys, to our non-Episcopal ears, are most im- 
pressive and refreshing. Reader, we love music, and 
pardon this digression I 

The next event in the history of Trinity Church was 
the death of Dr. Barclay, its rector, in 1764. He exhib- 
ited ardor and fidelity in the discharge of his duties ; he 
was meek, sweet-tempered, devout, and his life exem- 
plary. During his incumbency, St. George's Chapel 
was built and St. Paul's designed. Immediately upon 
his death, the Rev. Samuel i\uchmuty was chosen to fill 
his place. The Rev. Charles Inglis was called to be his 
assistant, with a salary of two hundred pounds per an- 
num, and "twenty pistoles for travelling expenses." A 
second assistant was thought necessary, when the Rev. 
John Ogilvie received the appointment, with the same 
salary, and entered on his duties in 1765. Mr. Inglis 
commenced life as a teacher in the Free School, Lancas- 
ter, Pennsylvania, was ordained by the Bishop of Lon- 
don, and settled at Dover, Maryland. Here he minis- 
tered during six years, baptizing seven hundred and 
fiftj^-six children, and, with "unwearied diligence," 
"attended four churches." 



76 EAELIEST CHUECHES IX ]S^EW YOKK. 

Mr. Ogilvie was educated at Yale College, and had 
been a devoted missionary among the Moliawks for 
seven j^ears. Early in life he devoted himself to the 
service of God' s altar, and with unwearied industry he 
discliarged the duties of his sacred office. His conduct 
was regulated by the calm dictates of prudence, benevo- 
lence, and piety ; hence few clergymen were so useful 
or beloved. This good rector literally fell at the altar 
of the Lord. Going to chui^ch, as was his practice on 
Fridays, and aj)parently in good health, he read prayers 
and baj^tized a child. He gave out his text: "Tlie Lord 
is upright. He is my rod, and there is no unrighteous- 
ness in Him," and this was his last message on eartli. 
The unfinished sentence hung upon his dying lips ; but 
his Master came, and his work in the sanctuary was 
forever finished. Deprived of speech by apoplexy, he 
languished several days, and, without struggle or groan, 
calmly passed away, November 20, 1774, aged fifty-one 
years. He bequeathed three hundred ^Dounds to the 
Charity School, one hundred pounds to King's (Colum- 
bia) College, and one hundred pounds to the widows 
and children of clergymen. Thus he exhibited in death 
the same attention to the happiness of his fellow-men 
which had regulated his conduct through life. 

Trinity Parish gained so much in ten years that it 
became necessary to provide another chapel for its 
increasing members. St. Paul's was accordingly com- 
menced in 1763, just a century ago, and completed in 
1766. In arclntectural design and beauty, it was une- 
qualled, at that period, througliout the land ; and, for 
its characteristic style, we do not think surpassed, even 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 77 

ill our own day of boasted progress. Some tliink the 
representation of the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, 
directly over the altar, is inappi'opriate and objection- 
able ; but this is a mere matter of taste. It is a beauti- 
ful work. St. Paul' s was opened October 30, 1766, and 
the dedication sermon preached by Dr. Auchmuty. 
After General Washington was inaugurated, at the old 
City Hall, Broad street, he retired to St. Paul' s, with his 
officers, to unite in suitable religious services. There, 
too, that great man frequently received the Communion 
of the Lord' s Supper. Alas ! alas ! who of his succes- 
sors, in their resjponsible office, imitates his pious exam- 
ple ! In 1774, the Rev. John Vardill was called as an 
assistant minister in Trinity. It is worthy of note, that 
he was the god-father of that excellent citizen, General 
Laight. Mr. Yardill then in England, and the Revolu- 
tionary struggle going on, he never entered upon the 
duties of his sacred office. The Rev. Benjamin Moore 
and the Rev. Mr. Bowdeu were also called as assistant 
ministers in Trinity. Soon after this period the trouble- 
some times of the Revolution came on, when the ' ' Eng- 
lish clergy" exj)erienced severe trials. They belonged 
to the "Church of England," and, of course, had their 
loyal feelings ; and this fact often brought them into 
difficulties, and even persecution. The Declaration of 
Independence greatly increased their trials, as not to 
pray for the King and the royal family, according to the 
Liturgy, was contrary to their conscience, oath, and 
duty ; and to use such prayers would have provoked 
inevitable destruction. To avoid both these evils, the 
only course was either flight or closing their churches. 



78 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Tlie last became -universal, witli the exception of tlie 
venerable Mr. Beach, of Connecticut. He was a bold 
Churchman, ofRciating as usual, and declaring that he 
would pray and preach for his King until his tongue 
should be cut out. Strange enough, he was never dis- 
turbed in his loyalty ; l)ut notwithstanding all his loyal 
preaching and praying, down went the royal power, and 
with it an "Established Church" in America. 

When the Americans took possession of New York, 
most of the royalists retired into the country. Mr. Inglis 
removed his family, for safety, up the Hudson, and Dr. 
Auchmuty sought a home with his at New Brunswick, 
New Jersey. The British agaiu possessing New York, 
in 1776, Dr. Auchmuty returned once more to the city. 
Searching the rubbish of his late venerable church and 
his own house, destroyed by the great fire of September, 
he found, the church plate, with a few trifles. Divine 
Providence had preserved him two chapels— St. George' s 
and St. Paul's — where he commenced religious services 
again. 

In the midst of these troubles of war, the rector, Dr. 
Auchmuty, was taken to his eternal rest, March 4, 1777, 
Mr. Inglis preaching the funeral sermon on the 9th. It 
was delivered in St. Paul's, which he had consecrated 
to the Almighty, and where he had declared his last 
message, two days before his fatal illness. He was a 
man of humane and benevolent heart, an affectionate 
friend and husband, and a faithful minister. His mind 
clear to the last, he united in fervent prayer a few 
moments before he expired, and without a struggle or a 
groan, finished his course. Happy end of a -plows life ! 



EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 79 

Mr. Hilclretlrs deatli, tlie catecMst, followed the next 
year, when Mr. Amos Bull succeeded him, in 1777. 

The British evacuated the city on the 25th of Novem- 
ber, 1783, and "Evacuation Day" is still celebrated, 
yearly, by a military parade. This event had been 
delayed some, to afford the "Loyalists" ample time to 
remove from the country. Dr. Inglis, rector of Trinity, 
was a fearless and conscientious "Loyalist," but very 
obnoxious to the "Rebels," as he called the Americans. 
He resigned his rectorship, November 1, 1783, and left 
for Nova Scotia — the wisest thing he' could have done. 
The wardens and vestrymen forthwith elected the Rev. 
Benjamin Moore their new rector — a "Tory," though 
not so obnoxious as Dr. Inglis. 

When the Whigs, however, returned to the city, in 
November, from their long seven years' banishment, 
the Churchmen among them became indignant that they 
should have a new Tor}'- rector ; and they soon peti- 
tioned the State Legislature that a new election might 
be held. This valuable and curious document is still in 
existence. We find some well-known family names 
among its signers : — Cornelius Haight, John Rutherford, 
Thomas Lewis, Robert Thompson, Anthony L. Bleecker, 
William Duer, Edward Fleming, George Leaycraft, John 
Pintard, Lewis Graham, Simon Schermerhorn, Robert 
Troop, Marinus WiUett, Richard Deane, Anthony Rut- 
gers, Jacob Leonard, Thomas Hammond, William Deane, 
Edward Dunscomb, Sam'l Johnson, Thos. Tucker, John 
De La Mater, John Holt, Jacob Morris, Thos, Smith, David 
Provoost, J. Fairlie, Anthony Lispeuard, Theodore Fow- 
ler, John Bailey, Samuel Gilford, Daniel Dunscomb, &c. 



80 EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER yi. 

ST. GEORGES BURNED IN 1814 REBUILT BY THE LIBERALITY OF 

TRINITY BENJAMIN T. ONDERDONK AN ASSISTANT RECTOR MR. 

HOBART, ASSISTANT OF BISHOP MOORE SKETCH OF THE BISHOP 

MR. HOBART, A ^VARM CHURCHMAN, ELECTKD BISHOP, 1811 HIS 

DEATH, 1830 DR. BERRIAN ELECTED RECTOR OF TRINITY, REV. 

HENRY ANTHON AND DR. J. M. WAINWRIGHT, ASSISTANT MINISTERS 

DR. WAINAVRIGHT BECOMES BISHOP, AND THE REV. EDWARD G. 

HIGBEE AN ASSISTANT MINISTER OF TRINITY BISHOP ONDERDONK 

THE PRESENT BEAUTIFUL TRINITY ERECTED, AND CONSECRATED MAY 
21, 1846 REV. THOMAS C. BROWNELL. 

After the very great liberality of Trinity to St. 
George's, a severe calamity occurred in her history — 
the fire of 1814. Old Trinity, as usual, extended the 
helping hand, offering to rebuild St. George's, except 
its steeple, which was to be replaced by a tower. 
Trinity also reserved the right of selling at auction all 
the pews on the ground floor, except twelve near the 
doors, subject to a reasonable rent, and the proceeds 
should be appropriated towards the reimbursement of 
the expenses of the new buildings. The twelve pews, 
with all in the galleries, were to be disposed of by the 
vestry of St. George' s. 

Soon after this the burying-ground was enlarged, by 
the payment by Trinity of fourteen thousand dollars for 
some adjoining lands, and a dwelling-house was also 
provided for tlie ix^ctor. These benefactions to St. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 81 

George's are estimated at not less than the sum of two 
hundred and twenty thousand dollars, and should never 
be forgotten by those worshipping on that sacred spot in 
Beekman street. 

On tlie 30th of October, 1813, the Eev. Benjamin T. 
Onderdouk was made the assistant rector of Trinity, and 
during that year the Rev. Dr. Beach resigned the same 
place, wiien the vestry granted him an annuity of fif- 
teen hundred dollars a year for life. He appears to 
liave been among the excellent of the earth, pursuing a 
noiseless course of usefulness in his parish for twenty- 
nine years, and retiring from it without reproach. This 
commendation is infinitely better tlian that wliich is 
sometimes bestowed upon greater dignitaries in the 
Church. His old age was spent in quiet retirement on 
his farm, near New Brunswick, New Jersey, and ho 
died aged eighty-eight years. On the 12th of April, 
1813, the Right Rev. Mr. Hobart was made the assistant 
of Bishop INIoore. Tliis prelate died on the 27th of Feb- 
ruary, 1816, the vestry of Trinity attending his funeral ; 
and the church, -with its chapels, were hung in mourning. 

Bishop Moore was a native of Newtown, Long Island, 
and Avas born October 5, 1748. He graduated from 
King's (Columbia) College, and afterwards became its 
president for many years. He pursued his divinity 
studies under Dr. Auchmut}^ went to England in 1744, 
and was ordained by Bishop Tenick, of London, the 
same year. Next, he was appointed, with the Rev. Dr. 
Bowden, an assistant minister of Trinity, afterwards 
rector in 1800, and then, in 1801, consecrated Bishop. 
Simplicity of diaracter, with uniform prudence, are said 
6 



82 EARLIEST CHURCHES IJ^ NEW YORK. 

to have "been his distinguished virtues. In Christian 
labors he was very abundant, the parisli register stating 
that in thirty-five years he celebrated no less than three 
thousand five hundred and seventy-eight marriages, and 
baptized three thousand and sixty-four children and 
adults. After frequent attacks of paralysis, he expired 
at his residence, Greenwich Village, then near our city, on 
the 27th of February, 1816, aged sixty-eight. Upon his 
decease. Bishop Hobart was elected, in 1816, Ms succes- 
sor in the rectorship of Trinity. 

In 1798, Mr. Hobart returned to Pliiladelplua, and was 
ordained deacon by Bishop White, and elder, by Bishop 
Provoost, in April, 1801. He commenced preaching in 
the vicinity of Philadelphia, and then accepted an invi- 
tation to Christ Church, New Brunswick. His next 
parisli was at Hempstead, Long Island. In 1800, he 
married Miss Chandler, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Chan- 
dler, eminent for his services to his Church, at home and 
abroad. Mr. Hobart was soon drawn from his rural 
charge, to be an assistant minister in Trinity. Many 
now remember his youthful zeal, eloquence, and fervor 
in the sacred desk, which, in after years, were sobered 
into a more practical improvement of his subject, and 
this he considered the great end of preaching. 

Bishop Hobart was a strong and able Churchman, 
and warmly attached to the distinctive principles of 
the Episcopal Church. Through evil as well as good 
report, he always manifested a bold, active, and perseve- 
ring defence of them. Pro Ecclesia Dei, he adopted as 
the standard of his wishes, duties, labors, and prayers. 

In 1811, a special convention was called to provide an 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 83 

assistant to Bisliop Moore, when a violent opposition 
manifested itself against Mr. Hobart for the office. He 
was elected, however, by a triumphant majority, and 
was consecrated, in Trinity, May 29, 1811. Bishop 
White was the consecrator, Bishops Provoost and 
Jarvis assisting. After this period his life was devoted 
to the active and unwearied discharge of his important 
duties. In contending for Episcopacy, as the primitive 
pattern of the Church, and the appointment of God, as 
he had a right to do, he was reproached and assailed 
on all sides. But nothing moved him. He even dis- 
couraged all amalgamation with other denominations for 
religious purposes. This, of course, was High Church- 
ism, and his views were not generally obeyed by his 
own clergy and people in his day, nor have they been 
since. 

In June, 1824, the Rev. John D. Schroeder, D. D., was 
elected assistant rector of Trinity, remaining fifteen 
years, and died in 1839. 

Bishop Hobart died at Auburn on the 12th of Septem- 
ber, 1830. Like the venerable and good Bishop Moore, 
of Virginia, he was on his Master's work, away from 
family, and home, and nearest friends, when the Lord 
called him to the promised land of rest. He was fifty- 
five years old, and his remains were deposited beneath 
the chancel of Trinity Church. In a recess, a large and 
magnificent monument has been erected to his memory, 
beautifully adorned in hasso relievo, with a striking em- 
blematical representation of the consolation and hopes 
of religion. The monument has a proper inscription. 
His widow received an annuity of two thousand dollars. 






84 EAELIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 

during her life ; and three hundred dollars were appro- 
priated for the education of the youngest son, until 
twenty-one years of age. Dr. Berrian preached the 
funeral sermon, and prepared a memorial of his life. 

The Rev. Thomas C. Brownell was made an assistant 
minister of Trinity, June 11, 1818, and during the year 
he was elected Bishop of Connecticut, where, for many 
years, he faithfully discharged the EpiscojDal duties. 

The rectory of Trinity, vacant by the death of the 
Bishop, was supplied in the election of Dr. Berrian, who 
has recently been called to his home on high, after a 
long, constant, useful life in his Master's vineyard. In 
January, 1831, the Rev. Henrj^ Anthon was made an 
assistant minister of Trinity, continuing this connection 
until December, 1836, when he was made rector of St. 
Mark's. Here he discharged his sacred work with stri- 
king diligence and success, universally loved ; and he 
also has recently gone to the heavenly mansion. 

In 1836, Dr. J. M. Wainwright was appointed an 
assistant minister of Trinity, subsequently became 
bishop, and now likewise rests from his toils. We 
need say nothing about him, as he was one of our day, 
and all loved the excellent Bishop. During the same 
year the Rev. Edward G. Higbee was appointed an 
assistant minister of Trinity. 

In 1836, Bishop Onderdonk's connection with Trinity 
was dissolved — the "Episcopal Fund" having reached 
an amount sufRcient, of itself, to support this officer of 
the Church. In his best days the Bishop was indefati- 
gable in the discharge of his public duties — a faithful 
pastor, going about doing good, especially among the 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 85 

sick, the needy, and the distressed. But the best, we 
doubt not, 

"May depart from graces given;" 

and we all know the disposition of the mind to point out 
human frailties, but we do not wish to indulge in this 
temper. We adopt those beautiful lines of Gray, and 
will not 

" Draw his frailties from their dread abode, 

Where they alike in trembling hope repose — 
The bosom of his Father and his God." 

During the year 1839 it was discovered that the roof 
of Trinity, yielding to the accumulated pressure of the 
snow, had swerved some, and it was resolved to build a 
new one. But, as this would not likely mend the diffi- 
culty, it was now determined to take down the church, 
and erect in its place a third one, of more massive and 
enduring character. This is the present beautiful Trin- 
ity, a magnificent temple, having no equal in our land, 
and since the Reformation, with the ojiinion of many, has 
seldom, if ever, been surpassed by other countries. The 
old Trinit}^, of which we have been discoursing so long, 
was pulled down during the summer of 1839. Concise 
as we have studied to be, once carefully engaged in our 
sketch, we could not make it shorter, with justice to the 
subject. 

The new Trinity was begun in the autumn of 1839, 
and was not completed and ready for consecration before 
May 21, 1846. Its consecration awakened general and 
unusual interest. Some families, for past and present 
.generations, had been connected with its sacred history. 



86 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH EARLY REGARDED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF 
SCHOOLS A SCHOOL AT FIRST HELD IN THE BELFRY BENEFAC- 
TIONS TO THE SCHOOL, AND A HOUSE BUILT ON RECTOR STREET 

THE NEW EDIFICE IN VARICK STREET ORIGIN OF KINg's, 

AFTERWARDS COLUMBIA, COLLEGE THE " KINg's FARm" MORE 

NOTICE OF THE COLLEGE— TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR LEG- 
ACY TO IT FROM MR. MURRAY ITS FIRST CLASS. 

The Episcopal Church, like the Eeformed Dutch, at a 
very early period in its New York history, manifested 
great concern in the religious instruction of the young and 
ignorant. A school was founded in Trinity Parish during 
1709, and partly under the fostering care of the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. At 
a later period, it received from the Corporation of Trinity 
that ample endo^vment which, with the contributions of 
individuals, secured for it stability and permanency. 

The schoolmasters received about fifteen pounds ster- 
ling from the venerable society, with fifteen or twenty 
pounds New York currency, as clerks of Trinit}^ Church. 
Until the year 1748, the school-rooms were probably 
hired. In that year, however, the vestry ordered a char- 
ity school to be built near Trinit}^, and, until its comple- 
tion, Mr. Hildreth had leave to keep his school in the 
belfry of Trinity. The school was no sooner finished 
than, by some unaccountable accident, it was burned to 
the ground. The fire was also communicated to the spire 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 87 

of Trinity, when, likely, the whole sacred edifice would 
have "been destroyed, but for the active and bold exer- 
tions of some persons who extinguished the flames. 
Upon suitable inquiry, it was ascertained that the first 
man in the steeple was David Kent, who put out the 
"two lowermost fires," assisted " by a fat man, who 
soon went away." These, with several others, succeeded 
in extinguishing the threatening flames, and received 
fifty pounds from the church- wardens for "their good 
service." 

The church school-house was soon rebuilt, at a cost 
of four hundred pounds, and its first misfortune rendered 
the undertaking more popular, as contributions came 
from all sides. The Free Masons gave fifteen pounds 
towards clothing the children. A Mrs. Field bequeathed 
to the school five hundred pounds; Captain Thomas 
Eandall presented a bell ; and Mr. Alexander Troup, a 
large legacy. Mrs. Elizabeth Sharpas left two hundred 
pounds for the use of the charity school, and Mrs. Fran- 
ces Auboyneau four hundred pounds. The husbands 
of these two liberal ladies had been vestrymen of Trin- 
ity. Another noble legacy came from the estate of the 
Hon. John Chambers, for thirty-eight years a warden of 
the cliurch. It was paid by his wife, to Avhom the ves- 
try voted thanks, with a request that "she will be 
pleased to consent that some public monument be erected 
at the expense of this corporation." When this excel- 
lent lady died, she exhibited another proof of her kind- 
ness to this charity school, in a legacy of five hundred 
pounds, its interest to be paid "towards the support of 
the girls only. ' ' Not long after, tliere was another devise 



88 EARLIEST CIIUKCIIES IN NEW YOEK. 

of five hundred pounds from Mr. Elias Desbrosses, who 
had been a vestryman for twenty-two years. Next fol- 
lowed a legacy of two hundred pounds from Mrs. Marga- 
ret Todd, and a large one from Mr. Nathaniel Marston' s 
estate, who was for forty years a warden and vestryman 
of Trinity Church. About this period several other gifts 
were received towards this good work, and among these, 
one from John Stratford Jones, of one hundred and 
eightj^-four pounds twelve shillings and ten j^ence ; and 
another of one hundred pounds, a benefaction of the city 
corporation. 

In the year 1795, a plan was reported to convey, in 
trust, certain property of Trinity Church for the charity 
school, when eight lots of ground on Lumber, near Rec- 
tor street, were thus granted to it. Soon after, however, 
bonds and mortgages, to the amount of tliree thousand 
pounds, were substituted for these lots, with a donation 
of one thousand dollars from the vestry of Trinity, and 
this was followed by a State apj^ropriation. 

At this period, the New York Free School Society inter- 
fered materially with the original plan of this Episcopal 
institution, which was designed to bring up children in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and agreeably 
to the doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal Church. It 
was now deemed expedient to introduce into the school 
the higher branches of English studies, Avitli classical 
learning, under the name of the New York Protestant 
Episcopal Public School. Its grand feature of religious 
instru(;tion was, however, preserved ; it now came un- 
der the supervision of the Bishop. 

Soon after tliis, John G. Leake made a donation of one 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 89 

thousand dollars to it, and in tlie year 1832 the vestry of 
Trinitj^ granted a lease to its trustees of five lots on 
Canal, Varick, and Grand streets, where the Institution 
now stands, the balance, by rentals, bringing in an in- 
come to the Board. In 1845 the school underwent some 
other modifications, receiving the name of "Trinity 
School," and is now among the most flourishing and 
useful literary institutions of the city. 

In the original endowment of Trinity by the colonial 
government, it evidently appears to have been the inten- 
tion to promote both learning and religion. 

As early as the year 1752, the rector and church-war- 
dens of Trinity parish waited upon Lord Cornbury, the 
governor of the New York colony, to ascertain what 
portion of the "King's Farm" his Lordship designed to 
appropriate towards the " colledge which his Lord^. 
designs to have built." The origin of old "King's," 
afterwards "Columbia," can thus be traced to the exer- 
tions of Trinity Church. No eflectual measures, how- 
ever, were adopted for this purpose, until almost half a 
century afterwards. In 1754, commissioners were ap- 
pointed to "receive proposalls for the building of a 
college. ' ' 

The "King's Faim" had now been vested in Trinity 
Church, and its vestry gave lands for the erection of the 
college. " That is to say, a street of ninety feet from the 
Broadway to Cliurch street, and from Church street 
all the lands between Barclay's street and Murray's 
street to the water side, upon this condition, that the 
President of the said Colledge forever, for the time being, 
be a member of and in communion with the Church of 



90 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

England, and that the Morning and Evening service in 
said Colledge "be the Liturgy of the said Church, or such 
a collection of prayers out of the said Liturgy, as shall 
be agreed upon by the President or Trustees or Gov- 
eruours of the said Colledge.'- 

There has been a great deal of fault found by illiberal 
sectarians with these provisions ; but the cause of their 
adoption is most satisfactorily exjDlained in the letter 
from the Yestry of Trinity, at the moment, to the Rev. 
D. Bearcroft, secretary of the "Venerable Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel.'' It says: "We never 
insisted on any condition, till we found some persons 
laboring to exclude all systems of religion out of the 
Constitution of the College. When we discovered this 
design, we thought ourselves indispensably obliged to 
interpose, and have had the countenance of many good 
men of all denominations, and in particular the ministers 
of the Foreign Protestant Churches in this city, who are 
appointed Governors of the College, and continue hearty 
friends to it." Thanks to the founders of this venerable 
and eminent seat of learning, for laying its corner-stone 
on the firm basis of morality and religion ! The writer 
is no Churchman. At this period there were three semi- 
naries among the "Dissenters" of the Northern colonies, 
and sectarian in their character. " Yale College" sub- 
jected its students "to a fine as often as they attend 
Public Worship in the Church of England, communi- 
cants only except<^d, and that only on Cliristmas and 
tSacrament days."* Well miglit Churchmen of tliat day 

* Letter to Dr. Bearcroft, (juoted by Dr. Berdan. History of Trinity Church, 
p. 103. 



EARLIEST CHITRCIIES IN NEW YOKK. 91 

complain of this narrowness and bigotiy in early New 
England orthodoxy, which thus laid such a restraint on 
other men's consciences. The origin of the prejudice 
against King s College can easily he traced to the fear 
lest it should become, in the New York colony, an in- 
strument of the Established Church of England. Tliis 
resistance really caused a delay of more than two years 
in obtaining a charter from the Legislature. What was 
still more prejudicial, it diverted one-half of certain 
funds voted by that legislative body to the college, but 
which were eventually divided between the institution 
and the city corporation. Tlie grant, and its conditions 
by Trinity Church, to the college, of a portion of the 
"King's Farm," seemed to make the institution ex- 
clusively Episcopalian. As a matter of fact, however, 
no such advantage or preference was ever manifested, 
nor has it ever been charged. The very first act of the 
governors of King' s College, on the motion of tlie Rev. 
Mr. Ritzema, minister of the Reformed Dutch Church, 
was to adopt a resolution to establish a professorship of 
Divinity "for the education of such youth as might be 
intended for the ministry in that Church." This request 
granted, the professorship was established "according 
to the doctrine, discipline, and worship established by 
the National Synod of Dort." This is decisive proof of 
the thoroughly liberal and catholic spirit of the college. 
Practically, too, the institution has not been exclusive. 
When it was desired to secure the services of the elo- 
quent Dr. John M. Mason, the office of provost was spe- 
cially^ created, to place him at the head and direction 
of the college. And to comply with the language of the 



92 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

charter, the merely honorar}^ oflfice of president, at the 
time, was conferred on the Rev. Dr. Harris, a most 
excellent, exemplary clergyman of the Episco2:)al Church. 
When Dr. Mason resigned, the office of provost was 
abolished, and the original duties of the presidency 
vested in Dr. Harris, who for many 3'ears most efficiently 
discharged its duties. The well known and respected 
Hon. Charles King for a long time has now been presi- 
dent, and, according to the charter, he reads each morn- 
ing, in the college chapel, a portion of Scripture, with a 
brief form of prayer prepared for the purpose, and to 
whicli all Christian men, of whatever denomination, may 
say amen !* It is very obvious, then, that no ground 
exists to characterize Columbia College as a sectarian 
institution. 

In the year 1754, King's College received a charter, 
by which, as we have noticed, its head is always to be 
a member of the Church of England, and its prayers are 
to be always used. Some provision for additional funds 
was made by lotteries, as once the fashion in New York ; 
and soon after, the trustees unanimously chose Dr. John- 
ston president of the new college. The institution re- 
ceived another benefaction of live hundred pounds ster- 
ling from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 
with also a bequest from Dr. Bristowe, of London, of his 
library — fifteen hundred volumes ; and, finall}^, another 
legacy, from Mr. Murray, of ten thousand pounds cur- 
rency — then twenty-five thousand dollars. He was a 
lawyer of great eminence in New "York, about the middle 
of last century, and Attorney-General of the Province. 

* Mr. King lias recently resigned, and the Rev. Dr. Barnard takes his place. 




M) TnMi\ Cm F n 
Jhiilt in ITSS. 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 93 

After the erection of the college building, and the 
purchase of its philosophical apparatus, the trustees 
found it impossible to cany out its liberal plans without 
encroaching on the permanent funds. To avoid tliis, 
collections were made in England for the joint use of 
this and a Philadelphia college, which produced for 
King' s six thousand pounds sterling. 

What numbers of useful, learned, and professional 
men have since graduated from its venerable classic halls ! 
The president was assisted by his son, William John- 
ston, and Mr. Cutting, a graduate of Cambridge, and 
Mr. Treadwell, of Harvard, Massachusetts, who became 
Professor of Mathematics and I^atural Philosophy. He 
died in 1760, and was succeeded b}^ Mr. Robert Harper, 
a graduate of the Glasgow University. 



94 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

IN 1GS5, THE JEWS REFUSED PERMISSION OF PUBLIC WORSHIP BY 
THE CITY AUTHORITIES CHURCHES IN GOVERNOR DONGAn's ADMIN- 
ISTRATION PETITION OF THE JEWS — SYNAGOGUES BUILT IN BALTI- 
MORE AND RICHMOND BURIAL-PLACE IN 1672 FIRST SYNAGOGUE 

BUILT IN MILL STREET JEWISH FAMILIES NEAR IT HARMAN 

HENDRICKS — REV. GERSHOM ISAAC JESHURUN PINTO MR. SEIXAS 

THE RABBIS NAMES OF THE PRESENT TEMPLES JEWISH WORSHIP 

THE HOLY LIGHT. 

What a wonderful people are the Jews ! Of course, 
they have no churches ; but, wherever Christians are to 
be found, they appear also, and, if not forbidden by 
law or persecution, erect their synagogues. Among the 
early settlers of New York, came some Israelites ; and 
although they petitioned for liberty to enjoy public 
worship, according to "Moses and the Law," they were 
refused by the city authorities in 1685. In Governor 
Andres's description about the "Plantacons for New 
Yorke," he says : " There are Religions of all sorts, one 
Church of England, several Presbiterians and Indepen- 
dents, Quakers, and Anabaptists of severall sects, some 
Jews, but presbiterians and Independ*^ most numerous 
and Substantiall. . . . There are ab* 20 Churches or 
Meeting places, of w*='' above halfe vacant, thier allow- 
ance like to be from 40'^ to 70'^ a yeare and a house and 
garden. Noe Beggars but all poore cared ffor. If good 
Ministers could be had to goe theither migiit doe well 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 95 

aud gaine mucli upon those people.— 16'^ of Ap. 1678." * 
Such was the state of religion in our infant city one hun- 
dred and eighty-five years ago, and such the style of its 
royal English Governor. 

Nine years afterwards Governor Dongan reported 
that, "Every Town ought to have a Minister. New 
York has first a Chaplain belonging to the Fort, of the 
Church of England ; Secondly, a Dutch Calvinist, third- 
ly, a French Calvinist, fourthly, a Dutch Lutheran- 
there bee not many of the Church of England ; few 
Roman Catholics ; abundance of Quakers preachers 
men (a) Women especially : Singing Quakers, Ranting 
Quakers ; Sabbatarians ; Antisabbatarians : Some Ana- 
baptists, some Independents ; some Jews ; in short of all 
sorts of opinions there are some, and the most part of 
none at all. . . . The most prevailing opinion is that of 
the Dutch Calvinists." . . . "But as for the Kings 
natural-born-subjects that live on long Island («) other 
parts of the Government, I find it a hard task to make 
them pay their Ministers. 

"Tiio. Dongan." t 

Some thirty years after this, we find a ''PeUilon of 
Abraham Be Lucena, Minister of the Jeioish Nation,'' 
to his Excellency, Governor Hunter. It " Siieweth, 
That yo"" Petitioners, Predecessors, Ministers of the Jew- . 
ish Nation, resideing at the City of New York, by rea- 
son of their ministerial ff'unction, have from time to time 
beene Exempted by y Government, not only; from 
bearing any Office Civil or Military within this City: 

* Lond. Doc. III. | Lond. Doc. V. 



96 EARLIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YOrvK. 

but likewise beene excns'd from severall Duties and 
Services Incumbent upon the Inhabitants of this city. 
Wherefore 5^0'" Petitioner most liumbly beggs yo' Excel- 
lencies care of him (in Consideration of his ministeriall 
ffunction) That hee may likewise be excused from all 
such Offices, duties and services, and be allowed the like 
Pri^'iledges and advantages within this city, as have 
formerly beene Granted to his said Predecessors, as 
Ministers aforesaid. . . . 

"Abraham de Lucena. 

"New York, 13"' Sepf 1710.-' 

Compared with other people, there are not very large 
numbers of Jews in America ; still, they are found in 
every section of the Union. About 1660, probably, they 
made their earliest settlement in New Amsterdam ; and 
these, doubtless, were Spaniards and Portuguese, who 
had first fled to Holland from the bloody Inquisition. 
Shortly before the American Revolution, a congregation 
of JeAVS assembled in Newport, Rhode Island ; but, 
after the peace of 1783, they began to leave — some set- 
tling in iSTew York, some in Richmond, Virginia, and 
other places. In Pennsylvania, Israelites were found 
long before the Revolution, but no regular congregation 
was formed until the one in New York. 

In Maryland, the Jews were formerly excluded from 
equal rights of the people, but these disabilities were 
removed, and a large congregation formed in Baltimore. 
About 1780, two synagogues were founded in Rich- 
mond, Virginia. The Jcavs have no ecclesiastical author- 
ities in America, except the congregations themselves. 
Each makes its o^vn rules of government, elects its ovv^i 



EAELIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YOKK. 97 

minister, who is appointed without any ordination, and 
he is inducted into office by election, for a term of years, 
or during good behavior, according to the will of the 
majority. All the congregations make provision for 
their poor ; and hence, among us, it is a rare thing to see 
an Israelite asking alms. 

There is some evidence that a Jewish congregation 
did assemble for worship, according to their own forms, 
before the close of the seventeenth century. A burial- 
place was procured, very soon, in Oliver street, where 
monuments still stand, with epitap?is, inscribed as early 
as 1672. This ground was the gift of IS'oe Willey, Lon- 
don, to his three sons, merchants in JSTew York, to be 
held forever as a burial-place for the Jewish people. 
The generous Hebrew, however, could not govern futu- 
rity, and this trust was violated, like other charitable 
legacies sometimes, in our day. Part of the ground was 
sold, not many years since, for building purposes — the 
Tradesmen's Bank occupying some of its sj^ace on 
Chatham street, and the New Bowery running through 
it. The small portion left, now separated from New 
Bowery by a plain iron railing, is quite full of Jewish 
graves and headstones. The earliest minutes of the 
Jewish congregation in New York are dated 1729, and 
written in Spanish and English, but reference is made to 
previous minutes of 170G. 

On Mill street, not now existing, the first synagogue 
was placed — a small frame building ; and this was suc- 
ceeded by a solid, neat stone temple in 1729-30. Its 
dimensions were thirty-six by fifty-eight feet. Here the 
Israelites continued to worshij) Jehovah in their own 



98 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN IsEW YORK. 

way for nearly a century. "While tlie fathers descended 
to the grave, their children occupied their vacant places 
before the ark. 

N'ew Yorkers of the last fifty years remember this 
little lane or street, about where the present Beaver 
street runs. Its name was derived from a mill built on 
a little brook of water, where, it is related, the Jewish 
women perfonned their ablutions. For very many years 
this neigliborhood was a favorite section for Jewish resi- 
dents. Here were located the families of Abrams, Laza- 
rus, Levy, Seixas, Meyers, Hendricks, Gomez, Juday, 
Noah, Isaac, Nathan, Hart, &c.— all well-known names. 
Harman Hendricks, the great copper merchant, a few 
doors from this spot, made his immense fortune ; and 
when he died, twenty years ago, it was estimated at 
three millions of dollars. His three sons continue the 
same business in the same place, on Broad street, where 
they have remained fifty years.- He was a decided 
Israelite ; and when he left the world the synagogue 
lost one of its best worshippers. No man stood higher 
in our community. He used to boast that in all of his 
immense money operations, no one could accuse him of 
taking more tlian legal interest, and that, in this respect, 
he strictly kept the law of Moses. Some will say this 
was rare for a Jew, but very rare now among Cliristians, 
on Wall and William streets. 

In 1833, tlu^ Jews, selling their property on Mill 
street, erected a spacious and elegant sj^iagogue in 
Crosby street, with dwellings for the sexton and minis- 
ter. We have not ascertained the names of the earliest 
Jewish ministers ; one, however, was the Kev. Gershom 



EARLIEST CIIUECIIES IIST NEW YORK. 99 

Isaac Jesliiirun Pinto, who died in the year 1766, but it 
is not known how long he officiated. He was succeeded 
Iby the Rev. Gershom Mendez Seixas, wlio came from 
Philadelplaia with a number of Jews, served the temple 
for fifty years, and then descended to the tomb in 1827. 
The Rev. Isaac B. Seixas, a nephew of the former, fol- 
lowed him, continuing until his decease, October 15, 
1839. We need trace the line no further. Thousands 
among us, Jews and Gentiles, remember these well- 
known "Rabbis," whose duty it was to pray, j)i'each, 
and interpret the Law in the synagogues. In the great 
"Exodus" from Europe to our land, large numbers of 
Israelites arrive — so that they have, probabl}^, ten or 
twelve sacred temples in our city. They all bear strik- 
ing and beautiful Hebrew names: Anslii Cliesed, The 
Men of Benevolence; Sliaary Sliomalm, The Gates of 
.Heaven ; I^od of SJialoin, The Pursuers of Peace ; Im- 
manuel, God \ili\\ us; &c. Another most magnificent 
and costly temple has recently been finished in Six- 
teenth street. 

Born within sight of the old ]\Iill Street Synagogue, 
among our earliest impressions are scenes connected 
with it. The venerable Rabbi, reading out of the Book 
of the Law ; his splendid robes of office and long, flow- 
ing beard ; the men, with their silk scarfs ; the females 
latticed in the gallery, and the whole congregation 
chanting aloud in Hebrew, were sights and sounds to 
leave lasting remembrances upon a youthful mind. A 
narrow private lane ran from Beaver to Mill street, and 
upon its eastern side stood the old temple ; and very 
often have I looked in at the window to see if the 



100 EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOIIK. 

''Holy Light'" was burning before the ultar. I never 
saw it extinguished ; and the rumor then was, that the 
lamp must be taken to tlie nearest synagogue, which 
was at Philadelphia, "to be re-lit." This ever-burn- 
ing little Jewish light was the wonder and mystery of 
the First Ward, among its youngsters, and some old 
folks, too. 

Alas ! alas ! Unbelieving Jew ! The sacred fire which 
first fell down from heaven upon the altar of the Taber- 
nacle was thence transferred to the Temple, and pre- 
served, imextinguished, iintil the destruction of tliis 
sacred edifice. Then the holy flame, so long watched, 
day and night, by the priests, Avent out forever ! And 
what need have we of this ever-burning light? The 
Temple, with all its glories, has passed away. But the 
Cliristian, now, has access to God on the mercy- seat daily 
in j)rayer. The high-priest, under the law, only enjoyed 
this precious privilege annually, when within the veil, 
at the mercy-seat, and here God communed with him 
from between the cherubim. 

"We have no such lengths to go." We know where 
he " waiteth to be gracious ;" the eternal throne now is 
the mercy-seat, and the blood of Christ our introduction 
and plea. The pioiis Jews only possessed " shadows of 
good things to come," whereas we have, in our closets 
of jjrayer and chiu'ches, the "good things" themselves. 

In Deuteronomy (iii. 64) we read: "And the Lord 
shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the 
earth even unto the other.'" AVhat a most striking proi)li- 
ecy, foretelling the calamities of the people of Israel in 
consequence of their departure from God ! All these pre- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 101 

dictions liave been fulfilled and are now receiving their 
fulfilment. Even in modern times, we have authentic 
accounts that three thousand Jews, old and young, men 
and women, went away from Spain, on foot, in one day, 
not knowing whither to go. Some reached Portugal, 
others Navarre, where they encountered many calami- 
ties. What stronger proof can any man desire of the 
fulfilment of Divine Truth ? How they affect others, we 
know not, but they amaze and astonish us beyond ex- 
pression. In this condition they are to remain until the 
veil is removed from their hearts, and they again turn to 
the Lord their God. 



102 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER IX. 

LUTIIEU'S NAME A WAYMAUK IN THE CHURCH TWO CENTURIES AGO 

A LUTHERAN CONGREGATION IN NEW YORK REV. JACOU FABRI 

TIUS BUT FOUR CLERGYMEN OF THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH IN 

NEW NETHERLANDS CONFORMITY ATTEMPTED THE LUTHERANS 

AND BAPTISTS TROUBLED WILLIAM HALLET FINED FIFTY POUNDS, 

AND A BAPTIST PREACHER ONE HUNDRED POUNDS, AND ORDERED 

FROM THE COLONY REV. ERNESTUS GOATWATER BANISHED GOV. 

STUYVESANT CENSURED FOR HIS PERSECUTIONS IN 1664 NEW 

AMSTERDAM BECOMES NEW YORK LUTHERANS ERECT A CHURCH, 

1*702 REV. BARNARDUS ARENTIUS ITS PASTOR REV. JACOB FAB- 

RITIUS HIS SUCCESSORS SWEDISH SETTLEMENT ON THE DELA- 
WARE IN 1710, THREE THOUSAND PALATINES ARRIVE IN NEW 

YORK CHURCH BURNED IN 1776 GRACE (ePISCOPAl) CHURCH 

OCCUPIES THE SPOT REV. MR. MUHLENBERGH SWAMP CHURCH 

DR. KUNZIE SHAEFFER STROBEL GEISSENHAINER DR. MILLE- 

DOLER IN GERMAN REFORMED CHURCH, NASSAU STREET. 

Martin Luther's name lias now Ibecome a striking 
waymark in the liistoiy of tlie world and tli(^ Chnrcli. 
It has immortalized him and his age, for from the cell of 
his monastery dawned truth Avliich shall shine more and 
more, with increasing briglitness, until its perfect day. 
The Lutheran is an ancient, honored, and efficient branch 
of the Redeemer's kingdom on the earth ; and we learn 
from the Dutch records at Albany, that a cliurch of the 
Augsburg confession was establislied in New York as 
earl}^ as the year 1663, just two centuries ago. The 
same record also states that the Rev. Jacob Fabritius, 
Lutheran minister at New York, was lint'd twice for 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IJST NEW YORK. 103 

some misdemeanors. It is not known what these were, 
but in 1675 he was forbidden to preach in the province. 
Our Dutch forefathers, it must be admitted, at an 
early day were, stern in some of their i*eligious views. 
Up to the year 1656, through all the vicissitudes of 
New ISTetherland, conscience seems to have enjoyed 
comparative repose. Some, who were persecuted in 
New England for its sake, could come here and wor- 
ship God, the Creator of all, according to the wishes 
of their own minds. New Netherland was now, for a 
time, to lose this great honor. Governor Stuyvesant 
seems to have forgotten, at the moment, the tolerant and 
wise policy which enriched and ennobled his father- 
land, by making it the asylum of the persecuted from 
all climes. This was more essential in a new country, 
but he unfortunately was persuaded to follow the un- 
happy example of his more eastern Puritan neighbors. 
A public proclamation condemned those who presumed 
to preach without an appointment by the Dutch ecclesi- 
astical authorit}^. As " numberless heresies and schisms' ' 
would arise from such conventicles, such were positively 
forbidden, as they diifered from the established religion, 
pro]30unded by the "Synod of Dort," — " which was not 
only lawful, but commanded by the Word of God." 
A line of one hundred pounds Flemish was imposed 
upon all unlicensed preachers ; and all persons, male 
and female, married or single, attending the meetings, 
and listening to their exhortations, were subject, each to 
a penalty of twenty-five pounds. This was the first 
penal law against the blessed freedom of conscience that 
disgraced the statute-book of New Netherland, and was 



104 EARLIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK. 

passed to "i^romote the glory of God, the increase of the 
Reformed religion, and the peace and harmony of the 
country." '■• 

It must not here be forgotten that, at the period of this 
unwise enactment, the Dutch jurisdiction extended only 
over Delaware, two settlements on the North River, 
New Amsterdam, Oostdorp, in Westchester, with eight 
villages on Long Island. There were but four clergy- 
men of the "Established Church" in the province— one 
at Beaverwick and two at the Manhattans, with the Rev. 
Mr. Polliamus, wdio ministered in the villages of Breujie- 
len, Midwout, and Amersfoort. The other towns got 
along in religious matters the best way they could. 
Those of Gravesend were Mennonists, rejecting infant 
baptism, the Sabbath, and the preacher altogether, "say- 
ing that through these entered all sorts of contention into 
the world." 

Tinder such circumstances, and in such a country, 
the government determined to build up an Established 
Church and enforce conformity. It did not, however, 
attempt to accomplish tliis work by introducing more 
orthodox clergymen, but by bills of pains and penalties, 
fines and banishment — evils so familiar in all religious 
persecutions. . 

The Lutherans were first troubled. At an early period 
the directors in Holland were solicited to allow this sect 
the liberty to elect their own pastor, with the free exer- 
cise of their own faith and worsliip, in New Netherlands. 
This, however, was refused, with orders ' ' to employ all 
moderate exertions to lure them into our Churches, and 

'■•• Alb. Rcc, vii., 355-357. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN KEW YORK. 105 

to matriculate tliem in tlie public Reformed religion." 
But of wliat avail is moderation where conscience inter- 
poses her scrui)les? Fathers, contrary to their princi- 
ples, were compelled to attend the baptism of their 
children in the Dutch Church, and, Avitli the sponsors, 
to declare their belief in the truth and doctrines promul- 
gated by the Synod of Dort ! They objected, and many, 
consequently, were imprisoned ; complaints followed to 
Holland, when Governor Stu^^vesant was censured, and 
the Lutherans were then allowed to exercise their reli- 
gion "in their own houses." Still they demanded unin- 
terrupted freedom in their worship, but the Director- 
General declared his intention to enforce the law against 
conventicles.* Similar harsh measures were adojDted in 
Beverwyck against the same sect. 

The Baptists next experienced the severity of the law. 
At Flushing, William Hallet, the sherifi", "dared to col- 
lect conventicles in his house, and to j^ermit one AVilliam 
Wickendam to explain and comment on God's Holy 
Word, and to administer sacraments, though not called 
thereto by any civil or established clerical authority." 
Hallet was removed from office for this offence, fined 
fifty pounds, and, failing to pay, he was to be banished. 
The Bax3tist preacher, who "maintained that he was 
commissioned by Christ, and di^^ped the people in the 
river," Avas fined one hundred pounds, and also ordered 
from the colony. But he was "a poor cobbler from 
Rhode Island," with a wife and family ; so the fine was 
remitted, bat the remainder of the sentence was rigidly 
enforced:t Up to this period the Dutcli congregations 

* Alb. Rec, iv., 212; viii., 170, &c. f Alb. Rec, siii., 274-7. 



lOG EARLIEST CIIUECHE3 IIST NEW YORK. 

of New Amsterdam had Ibeen superintendjed Iby a "ziek- 
entrooster," or comforter of tlie sick, wlien a clergyman 
now arrived. This was tlie Kev. Everardus Welius, 
commissioned on the 9th of March, 1657 ; he was the 
first Dutch minister in New Amsterdam, arriving there 
the same year. 

At the same period came the Rev. Joannes Ernestus 
Goetwater, a Lutheran, witli a commission from the con- 
sistory at Amsterdam, to act as pastor to tlie Lutherans 
at the Manhattans. He was immediately cited before the 
tribunals and forbidden to exercise his calling, and or- 
dered to leave the province. As he was sick, however, 
he could not comply with this severe and unchristian 
order, but was -put on the limits, and finally compelled 
to embark for Holland. 

These early religious persecutions continued several 
years, especially against the Quakers on Long Island. 
Retributive justice at length visited the Director-General 
himself. His brother-in-law's sister, Judith Farlath, lay 
imprisoned in Hartford, charged with being a witch, 
when the orthodox Governor Stuyvesant was com- 
pelled to implore for her that Christian forbearance 
which he had refused to others. A dispatch, too, came 
to him from the Directors at Amsterdam, severely cen- 
suring his persecuting course. "In the youth of your 
existence," they said, "yon ought rather encourage 
than clieck the poi)ulation of the colony. The con- 
sciences of men ought to be free and unshaclded, so long 
as they continue moderate, peaceable, inoffensive, and not 
hostile to the government. Such have been th(5 maxims 
of prudence and toleration by which tlie magistrates of 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIS" NEW YORK. 107 

tins city liave "beeu governed; and tlie consequences 
have been, that the oppressed and persecuted from 
every country have found among us an asylum from 
distress. Follow the same steps, and you will be 
blessed."* AVise, noble, and holy sentiments for glo- 
rious old Protestant Holland ! From this time the 
Dutch persecutions ceased in ISTew Amsterdam. In 
1664, during profound peace, New Amsterdam Avas 
wrested from its rightful owners by the violation of all 
public justice and public law. This outrage was fur- 
ther increased by imposing upon our State the name of 
one unknown in history, only as a bigot and- tyrant— the 
enemy of religious and political liberty. Thus New 
Netherland became New York. 

At this period the city contained about fifteen hundred 
inhabitants, and the only church was the Dutch Re- 
formed, built by Director Kieft, within the fort at the 
Battery. The service of the Cburch of England was 
now introduced, and Governor McoUs, who appears to 
have been a man of liberal views, allowed the Lutherans 
to erect a church and to send to Europe for a preacher, 
a privilege vainly sought from Stuyvesant. Availing 
themselves of this offer, they built a small church in 
1702, when the Rev. Barnardus Arentius became the 
pastor. The edifice was on the corner of Rector street 
and Broadway, and remained until the Revolutionar3- 
period. Some accounts state that the earliest minister 
was Jacob Fabritius, who arrived in 1669, and, after 
eight years' labor, connected himself with the Swedish 
Lutherans at Wicaco, now Southwark, Philadelphia. 

* Alb. Rec, iv., 427, &c. 



108 EAKLTEST CHUECHES IN ISTEW YORK. 

Here lie preaclied fourteen years, nine of which he was 
blind, and died in 1692/- The names of his immediate 
successors we have not discovered ; but, from 1703 to 
1747, the pastors were the Rev. Mr. Falkner, Berken- 
maj'er, Knoll, Rochemdahler, Wolf, Hartwick, and oth- 
ers. The next Lutheran settlement was made by the 
Swedes, on the Delaware, in the year 1G36, a colony 
sanctioned by the enlightened and illustrious monarch, 
Gustavus Adoli)hus. For many years this Christian 
colony prospered ; but the English language prevailing, 
the churches, amounting to three or four, fell into Epis- 
copal hands-. There were more Germans tlian Holland- 
ers in the New York congregation ; hence half of the 
services were performed in German and half in Low 
Dutch. In 1710, some three thousand Germans, chiefly 
Lutherans, went from the Palatinate to England, and the 
next year were sent by good Queen Anne to New York. 
At the great fire in September, 1776, this church was 
consumed, and not rebuilt, the ground remaining unoc- 
cupied until 1805, when the Episcopalians purchased it 
and erected "Grace Church'"' on the spot. 

The year 1742 was memorable in the history of the 
Lutheran Church in America, from the arrival of the 
Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenbergh. His high intel- 
lectual and moral qualities ; his indefatigable zeal, and 
long life of zealous labors for his Master's cause, have 
entitled liim to the appellation of patriarch in the Amer- 
ican Lutheran Church. 

Some years before the burning of the old church on 
Broadway and Rector street, another Lutheran congre- 

* Riipp's Ri'ligious Dcnouiinationp, p. ;i70. 




%jy,|i'iu-Tr-^ 




I> \l risl Cllll I II 1 ilETIt &T, M VI Ol I\ n Sf 




Ol.D t'lHRCII IS Fl!ANKKORT StKEET. 



EARLIEST CHUECTIES IN NEW YORK. 109 

gation erected a small edifice on Skinner street, now 
Cliff, and near HnlF s soap manufactory. Close by was 
their bnrying-ground ; and here they remained six 
years, and, in 17G7, erected a substantial stone edifice, 
the "Swamp Church," on the corner of Frankfort and 
William streets. After the peace, in 1784, the remnant 
of the old Rector street society united with the " Swamp 
Church," when the Rev. John Christopher Kunzie, D. D., 
became their pastor. He continued to preach usefully, 
in the German language only, for twenty-three years, 
until his death, on July 24, 1807, aged sixty-three. 
The Rev. F. W. Geissenhainer, D. D., succeeded him, 
officiating in German until 1814, when a difference 
arose resj)ecting the introduction of the English lan- 
guage. Dr. Geissenhainer removed to Pennsylvania, 
when the Rev. F. C. Schaefier was called to officiate in 
German during the morning service, and the rest of the 
Sabbath in English. This arrangement continued some 
seven years ; then he formed an independent congrega- 
tion in Walker street, where lie continued his solemn 
duties for some years. Dr. Geissenhainer was recalled 
to the " Swamp Church," continuing to occupy its pul- 
pit untD. sold to the colored Presbyterians. Mr. Schaeffer 
removing to "St. Matthew's," Walker street, in 1821, 
he preached in the English language alone. The congre- 
gation being much involved in debt, as is too often the 
case, this church was sold at auction in 1826, and these 
Lutherans removed to "St. James's," in Orange street, 
where Mr. Schaeffer soon after died. He was succeeded 
by the Rev. Mr. Strobel, and, during the autumn of 
1841, the Rev. Charles Martin took liis place. Soon 



110 EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN XEW YOEK. 

after this the place was given up, a public scliool erected 
on the spot, and the society occupied Coliseum Hall, 
Broadway. They immediately commenced the erection 
of a neat brick edifice, seventy-five feet by sixty, on 
Mulberry street, near Broome. It was styled tlie "Eng- 
lish Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. James." " St. 
Matthew's," when sold, was purchased by an individ- 
ual, and again disposed of in a few days to the Luther- 
ans of the "Swamp Church." The Rev. F. W. Geissen- 
hainer, Jr., was called to officiate in English at the 
former, whilst his father remained with the "Swamp 
Churcli." This experiment, however, did not succeed 
well, and, after four years' trial, the old Swamja Church 
was sold, as we have stated, and the congregation 
united with St. Matthew's — the services being con- 
ducted in both languages. Nor did this plan prove 
successful, the English hearers dwindling away until 
the services were conducted entirely in the German 
language. When Dr. Geissenhainer died, in 1838, the 
Rev. C. F. E. Stohlman was chosen his successor, and 
continued to preach in German with increasing success. 
]\Ir. Geissenhainer, Jr., resigned his charge in St. Mat- 
thew's, commencing a new enterprise on Sixth Avenue, 
corner of Fifteenth street, where a house of worship 
was erected, and called "The Evangelical Lutheran 
Church." 

We have thus traced the earliest Lutheran churches 
in New York with as much brevity as possible, from 
1663; and we have sketched its direct branches since. 
There are in the city a number of other modern Lutheran 
congregations, but it is not in our jilaii to embrace such. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIS" NEW YORK. Ill 

What changes did the venerable Swamp Church wit- 
ness in our ever-changing city ! Bnilt in the year 1767, 
almost a century ago, it was used successively by the 
Lutherans, the Reformed Methodists, the African Pres- 
byterians. Then it was turned into a livery stable, and 
next used for an auction shop. At last the old edifice 
was demolished, and a large German lager-beer hotel 
took its place. In widening Frankfort street, the re- 
mains of a military officer were disinterred ; and, from 
the sword and uniform, they were those of General 
Knyphausen, the Hessian leader during the Eevolution. 
He was known to have attended this Church. 

There was another "Gennan Reformed Church" in 
the city, of whose history we must say something. 

Among the earliest settlers of New York, some of the 
Germans were called Lutherans, and others Calvinists, 
and the latter known as "German Reformed," until 
about the year 1758. Before this the German emigrants, 
in sentiments Calvinistic, and using the Low Dutch lan- 
guage, attached tliemselves to the Reformed Dutch 
Church ; those speaking German only, attended the 
services of the Lutherans. About 1758, however, a 
meeting was commenced to form a true German Re- 
formed Church, and a building used for a theatre pur- 
chased on Nassau street, at a cost of twelve hundred 
and fifty dollars. Here they commenced their church 
services, and the first minister was the Rev. Mr. Rosen- 
crantz. He had been preaching to the Germans on the 
Mohawk, but was driven away by the Indians ; and 
having ofiiciated in New York about a year, two other 
ministers succeeded him, whose names are unknown. 



112 EARLIEST CHURCHES I^ NEW YORK. 

The cliurcli soon writing to Heidelbiirgli for a pastor, 
the Rev. J. M. Kern was sent, reaching his cliarge in 
September, 1763. By his advice, the name, "German 
Reformed Congregation in New York," was adopted, 
and they attached themselves to the Classis of Amster- 
dam and Synod of North Holland. This, consequently, 
connected them with the Collegiate Reformed Dutch 
Church ; and he was installed January 27, 1764, by the 
ministers of that denomination. Their house of worship, 
old and decaying, was only used about a year ; and, in 
1765, the corner-stone was laid on the same spot, March 
Stli, by the Rev. Mr. Kern, each member of his consis- 
tor}^ placing a stone of the foundation. He remained 
only a few years pastor, the Rev. C. F. Foersing suc- 
ceeding him in 1772, who was likewise installed by the 
Collegiate Church. In 1776, Mr. Gebhard became pas- 
tor, when the British 2:)0ssessed the city, and he then 
removed to Claverack, where he preached as long as he 
lived. 

In the month of December, 1783, soon after the close 
of the war, the Rev. J. P. Gross became the minister ; 
and then, in May, 1795, the excellent Rev. Philip Mille- 
doler was called, continuing to labor Avith this little 
flock some ten years. After this, differences of opin- 
ion arose, but preaching continued, the Rev. Messrs. 
Runkle, Deyer, and Smitli successively ministering from 
1805 to 1814, althougli among much party spirit. During 
1804, tlie Rev. Mr. Labagh was called, approved by the 
Classis, and labored with much more quiet until 1822, 
when he resigned the cliarge. Tlien the church was 
sold, and a new one erected on Forsyth street. The old 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 113 

edifice passed into strange purposes under its new own- 
ers. For many years Mr. Bessonet, a well-known bird- 
fancier, with a rare collection of songsters, occupied the 
premises. Then followed Gosling, the English Jew, 
with his celebrated "Restaurant;" and now stores occu- 
py the venerable spot ! To the curious, the numbers are 
64 and 66. 

The tirst pastor in the new house was the Rev. Charles 
Knouse, officiating until 1827; then the Rev. George 
MUls, 1828 to 1833, when the Lutheran part}^, long strug- 
gling, obtained supremacy, and called the Rev. Lewis 
Smith. He preached three years, when he died. This 
small congregation unfortunately became involved in 
litigation before the Court of Chancery. In 1838, the 
Rev. J. S. Ebaugh began religious services in this 
church for the "German Reformed;" but before the 
year' s close, the Lutheran party were put in possession 
of the projoerty by the Vice- Chancellor's decision. But 
in 1844, the Chancellor, reversing this decision, returned 
the edifice to the German Reformed Church, when the 
Lutherans withdrew to a hall on Grand street. But 
they made a final appeal to the Court of Errors, and, in 
January, 1846, this bench reversed the decision of the 
Chancellor, and the Lutherans once more took possession 
of this house of worship. What a striking instance of 
the "glorious uncertainty of the law !" 

Li the year 1820, was formed the General Synod of the 
American Lutheran Church. Prior to this, the denomi- 
nation had gradually become divided into five or six 
distant and different unconnected Synods. This union 
was propitious, and soon felt among the Lutherans of our 



114 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

land. They liavo now many cliurclies, seminaries, and 
a college near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Luther- 
ans claim that their Church holds the grand doctrines 
of Christianity with fewer appended peculiarities than 
most other denominations. They share the smiles of 
Him who is King in Zion, and whose favor is life ; and 
we bid them God-speed in their religious progress. 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 115 



CHAPTER X. 

ORIGIN- OF FRIENDS OR QUAKERS IN ENGLAND GEORGE FOX 

EARLY PERSECUTED AT BOSTON WILLIAM PENN ROBERT HODSON 

ARRIVES IN NEW YORK, 1656 GEORGE FOX VISITS LONG ISLAND, 

1672 TWO WOMEN THE FIRST PREACHERS THE MALE PREACH- 
ERS PERSECUTIONS MRS. ANNA BAYARD NOBLY INTERFERES IN 

THEIR BEHALF MEETING-HOUSE ON LIBERTY, PEARL, AND ROSE 

STREETS NEW EDIFICES ON HESTER, HENRY, ORCHARD STREETS, 

GRAMERCY PARK, AND STUYVESANT SQUARE. 

The Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, 
arose in England about the middle of the seventeenth 
century. Through the ministry of George Fox and his 
pious labors, this religious body organized with a regu- 
lar form of church discipline and government. He was 
born at Dayton, Leicestershire, England, in 1624, and 
carefully educated by his parents in the Church of Eng- 
land. He appears to have led a religious life from his 
childhood, and to have been deeply concerned for the 
salvation of his soul. WithdraAving from his former 
associates, he jDassed much of his time in retirement and 
reading the Scriptures. In this state of religious experi- 
ence, during the year 1647 he began his labors as a min- 
ister of the Gospel, travelling on foot through England. 
He refused to receive any compensation for preaching, 
from a conviction that this was contrary to the positive 
command of Christ. His pious, disinterested labors were 
crowned with much success, and in a few years a large 



116 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

body of persons embraced the religious principles Avliicli 
he promulgated. 

The spread of his doctrines was surprising, some of the 
best families in England embracing them. Several clergy- 
men of the Established Church and other denominations 
also joined his infant society. A hirge number of min- 
isters, both men and women, were soon raised up among 
them, who travelled abroad, spreading the doctrines they 
had espoused. Persecution followed, and thousands of 
the Friends were confined in jails and dungeons, and 
nearly deprived of their property. But these sufferings 
only animated them with fresh ardor and zeal. As early 
as 1655, some Quaker ministers travelled on the Conti- 
nent, establishing "meetings" in Holland and other 
regions. Some went to Asia and Africa, and several 
were imprisoned in the Inquisitions of Rome, INIalta, 
and Hungary. 

About this same period the first Quakers reached Amer- 
ica, and on arriving at Boston they commenced their reli- 
gious meetings among the people, many of whom em- 
braced the new doctrine. The spirit of persecution, 
from which the Friends had so severely suifered in Eng- 
land, made its appearance on this side of the Atlantic 
with increased power and cruelty. Various punish- 
ments were inflicted upon the non-resisting and peace- 
able Friends, until four of them were hung on the 
gallows." Notwithstanding this oj)position, the princi- 
ples of the Quakers spread in America, and in the year 
1682 a large number of the FriiMids came to Pennsylva- 
nia, under the patronage of William Penn, founding that 

* Eaucroft 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 117 

flourishing colony. Meetings were also settled in the 
Atlantic provinces from TsTorth Carolina to Boston, so 
that in time the largest body of Quakers were to be 
found in the United States. 

Like the Jews, some Qualcers very early came to New 
ISTetherland ; and so, like them, they have no churches 
or "steeple-houses," but "meeting-houses." During 
the year 165G, Robert Hodson, a preacher of this faith, 
reached IN'ew York with some of like faith, but, finding 
themselves liable to persecution, soon left. In 1672, 
George Fox, the celebrated founder of this sect, trav- 
elled over Long Island, passing on by water to Rhode 
Island. He seems to have avoided New York, as he 
came across from Middletown, New Jersey, by water, 
to Gravesend, returning the same way."^^ 

In August, 1657, a few men and women, strangers, 
who had been expelled from Boston as worse than a pes- 
tilence, landed at New Amsterdam. They declared a 
kind and simple creed — peace on earth and good-will 
towards men. Oaths, they said, were a profanation ; 
" Swear not at all," the divine command ; Avars an out- 
rage against humanity; and "Love one another" was 
the supreme will of God. Dorothy Waugli and Mary 
Witherhead were the two first women who "j)ublicly 
declared their principles in the streets." Christopher 
Holder, John Copeland, Humphrey Norton, Robert 
Hadshone, Richard Dowdney, and William Robinson, 
were the male preachers. The women were arrested, 
and Hadshone visited Heemstede to declare his peculiar 
tenets, where he was seized and committed to confine- 

* Prime's History of Long Island, p. 338. 



118 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

ment. Governor Stuyvesant then sent a guard of nins- 
keteers to that place, and, seizing his papers, pinioned 
the Quaker during a night and day. Two defenceless 
women, who had entertained him, were also arrested, 
thrown into a cart, and the preacher, tied to its tail, was 
dragged by night to New Amsterdam. Here he was 
cast into prison, and, when brought before the council, 
sentenced to two years' hard labor at the wheelbarrow 
with a negro, or to pay six hundred guilders (six hun- 
dred and forty dollars). The poor man vainly attempted 
a defence, and, forbidden to speak, was again remanded 
to confinement, "where no English were suffered to 
come to him." After some time he was taken out, 
placed in the council chamber, his hat removed from 
his head, when another sentence was read to him in 
Dutch, which he did not understand. An old account 
states : ' ' But that it displeased many of that nation did 
appear by the shaldng of their heads !" It is not at all 
agreeable to our taste to detail these wicked i)ersecu- 
tions, but they form part of our chapter, and were car- 
ried much further, until Governor Stuyvesant' s sister 
implored her brother to liberate the unfortunate man 
(1657). This noble lady was Madame Anna, widow of 
jSTicholas Bayard, who, with her familj^, accompanied 
Stuj^vesant to America. She had three sons, from whose 
marriages have descended the Jays, Verplancks, and a 
Stuyvesant branch. Honored be the memory of this 
humane lady ! As we have noticed in respect to the 
Jews, the governor was at last, in 1663, reprimanded by 
his superiors in Holland, and these outrages ceased. 
Such was the introduction'of peaceful Quakerism in 



EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 119 

New Amsterdam. Its first stated meetings were con- 
nected with those at Flushing as early as 1670. Some 
date the first Friends' meeting-house of New York in the 
year 1696 ; others, 1703 or 1706. It was a small wooden 
building on Little Green street, near Maiden Lane, then 
Crown street. This remained the only place for the 
public worship of the Friends for the long period of 
seventy years. In 1794, this old house, now much 
decayed, was taken down, and a new one adjoining 
it placed on Liberty street. Here the Friends wor- 
shipped during seven years, until 1802, when a brick 
building took its place, sixy by forty feet ; and in Octo- 
ber, 1826, this was sold to that remarkable little Scots- 
man, Grant Thorburn. It became the most elegant and 
famous seed-store in our land. He was no Quaker, but 
wore the broadest brim and the plainest dress of that 
excellent people. Mr. Thorburn occupied the place for 
some ten years, when fine brick stores followed. 

A second Friends' meeting-house, built of brick, was 
founded on Pearl, near Oak street, in 1775, and removed 
during 1824 to the spacious edifice near by on Rose 
street. In 1819, another Quaker house of worship was 
opened upon the corner of Hester and Elizabeth streets. 
We have now traced the Friends' meeting-houses from 
the earliest period, with their branches, down to 1827. 
During this year the great schism took place among 
them; the "Orthodox," separating, completed a house 
of worship upon Henry street, having occupied it twelve 
years ; then it was sold for a Jewish synagogue, " Anshi 
Chesed" (the Men of Benevolence), in 1840, the old soci- 
ety occupying the commodious house on Orchard near 



120 EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 

AYalker street. The Rose street meeting became "Hicks- 
ites." Recently, two beautiful Quaker meeting-houses 
have been finished and occupied on Stny vesant Square 
and Gramercy Park, the former with large and excellent 
school-houses. For tlie regular administration of disci- 
pline, the Quakers hold four meetings, — preparative, 
monthly, quarterly, and yearly — and in all of them 
Divine worship is the first thing attended to ; then the 
secular business. These "meetings" rise in importance 
from one to the other, and, as a whole, we think, pre- 
sent as perfect a system of church discii^line as can be 
found in any denomination. The followers of George 
Fox may safely claim this in their widely spread useful 
system. 



EAELIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 121 



CHAPTER XL 

l'eGLISE DU saint esprit ITS PASTORS REV. MR. NEAU HIS DE- 
SCENDANTS, CAPTAIN OLIVER H. PERRY, DR. FRANCIS VINTON JOHN 

PINTARD, LL. D., AND MEMBERS OF THIS CHURCH MAROt's PSALMS 

HUGUENOT PSALMODY OLD FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE ONE 

HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SEVENTH PSALM THE CHURCH REMOVED TO 

LEONARD STREET REV. MR. VERREN SACRED ORATORS JAMES 

SAURIN HIS BRILLIANT ELOQUENCE. 

The earliest Huguenot cliapel in our city of which we 
find any notice, was erected on Markettield street, then 
called Petticoat Lane, and near the Battery. It was a 
very liumble edifice, but hither, on the Lord' s day, the 
French Protestants from the city, Staten Island, and 
'New Rochelle, would meet to worship God. Some 
would walk from the latter place, and cheer their long 
journey by singing Marot's Hymns on the way. The 
same animating strains had often cheered their pious 
fathers at the stake, and amidst the bloody persecutions 
of France, their native land. 

We know nothing of their earliest pastors. L' Eglise 
du Saint Esprit, the French Protestant Church in Pine 
street, opposite to the custom-house, was founded in the 
year 1704, and repaired 1741. In our day it has been 
demolished, its dead removed, and the venerable sacred 
place, like many others in our busy city, is now devoted 
to mammon. Lawyers' ofSces, custom-house brokers, a 
restaurant and lager-bier saloon, occu23y the once hal- 



122 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

lowed spot. The Rev. James Laborde was tlie first 
pastor of Saint Esprit, and soon collected a flourisliing 
congregation. For some years lie was allowed, towards 
his support, "a yearly salary of twenty pounds per ann. 
out of y° Revenue of this Province." The religious ser- 
vices were performed in the primitive manner of the 
French Calvinistic Churches ; or, to speak more accu- 
rately, the Reformed Churches of France and Geneva. 
Saint Esprit was a plain stone edifice, nearly square, 
fifty by seventy-seven feet — its burial-ground in the 
rear, running to Cedar street. 

The Rev. Louis Rou was an early pastor of the 
"Reformed Protestant French Church in NeTt York." 
Among the names of his members we find, in 1713, 
Thomas Bayeux, Augustus Jay, Jean Carale, Cromelin, 
Vincent, Allaire, Le Febier, Pelletreaux, Giraud, Pin- 
tard, Tellou, Des Brosses, Gilliot, Butler, Burton, Perot, 
Ford, etc., etc. 

There was great excitement in the congregation (1724), 
caused by a party question. Stephen De Lancey, a 
wealthy merchant, and patron of the Church, with oth- 
ers, were dissatisfied with their pastor, Mv. Rou. He 
was even dismissed for want of zeal, and the innovations 
which they contended he had introduced into their 
cliurch discipline. But the Huguenot minister, with 
his friends, aj^pealed from this sentence or decision to 
Governor Burnet and his council, when they sustained 
the French preacher. Both x^arties published indignant 
memorials, and the dispute went so far, that when De 
Lancey was elected to the Colonial Assembly, the gov- 
ernor refused to administer the oath of ofiice to him. 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YOKK. 128' 

alleging that he was not a subject of the British crown. 
De Lancey, the Huguenot, contended that he had left 
France before the revocation of the Edict of IN'antes, 
and, under the great seal of the Royal James II., liad 
received denization. The Frenchman was right, the 
Assembly sustaining his argument and claims against 
his excellency the "Captain-General and Governor-in- 
Chief of the Province of New York, New Jersies, and 
Territories thereon depending in America." 

About this period, a Rev. Mr. Moulinars was an 
assistant minister of Mr. Ron, and united with the 
party opposing him. They have left records of their 
views, in which they claim to have paid Mr. Rou in 
full, and that then the consistory could dismiss him 
whenever they saw fit. "We are not indebted unto 
Mr. Rou one farthing for all the time he hath served 
us," is their language. Still, the religious council deci- 
ded in Mr. Rou' s favor, and was ' ' of oj)inion that the said 
congregation be admonished that every person in it do 
all in his power to preserve peace and unanimity in 
their congregation." That body also advised "that the 
ministers of the French congregation who shall officiate 
next Sunday, be ordered to read publicly the said opin- 
ion and admonition inunediately after divine service in 
the forenoon." 

All these efforts, however, did not produce harmony. 
Moulinars had evidently a restless spirit, and was much 
opposed to the Cliurch of England, then the established 
religion of the New York colony, and he was respected 
by the Huguenot colonists or French refugees. Through 
his efforts a "meeting-house," as it is called, was erected 



124 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

for the French Protestants at New Roclielle, its members 
numbering one hundred persons. An old document of 
May 12, 1725, records, "that the same Mr. Moulinars 
has declared (as can be proved), that he finds our 
Church (Episcopal) and that of Rome as like one another 
as two fishes can be ; . . . and one of the chiefest rea- 
sons of this violence against Mr. Ron has no other 
ground than his constant affection to the Church, and 
the public approbation he has at all times given to its 
ceremonies and doctrines." The Churchmen complained 
that Moulinars caused "great prejudice in general to the 
Church of England, and in particular to that of New 
Rochelle, where he would come quarterly, from New 
York, and j)lead among the people." New Rochelle 
was then a parish, and its rector, of course, considered 
the French pastor a dissenter. From the parochial ac- 
count of the former, at this period, the town (New 
Rochelle) embraced two Quaker families, three Dutch, 
four Lutherans, and several of the French ; and the 
Huguenots, settling among them in the year 1726, gath- 
ered a congregation of about one hundred persons. 

The Rev. Mr. Neau was a man of more than ordinary 
eminence — his life useful, beneficial, and pious. Previ- 
ous to his escape from the religious persecution of 
France, he suffered confinement for several years in 
the prisons and gaUeys, and, during his dungeon life, 
learned by heart the liturgy, and became attached to the 
English Church service. 

When the Rev. Mr. Vesey was the first rector of 
Trinity Church, he appoint(xl Mr. Neau catechist. For 
a number of 3-ears he faithfully discharged the duties of 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 125 

this important appointment among the Indians and the 
slaves, of whom some fifteen hundred were catechumens 
in the city of New York. He could only gather them on 
Sunday nights, after the last public services. When 
properly prepared, he would present them to Mr. Vesey 
for baptism. Mr. Neau may be said to have founded 
the well-known Free School of Trinity, an institution so 
useful among the noble charities of our city. This ex- 
cellent Huguenot preacher closed his profitable life in 
the year 1722, and was buried near the northern porch 
of old Trinity, that holy t(,^mple of the Lord, where he 
had long worshipiDed and served Hun. Here the remains 
of many French Protestants repose among the innumera- 
ble dead of that crowded and venerable graveyard ; and 
here may be found memorials of their honor, patriotism, 
and evangelical piety. 

The Rev. Mr. Neau, with his wife, Susannah, and 
daughter, Judith, left France for America, with other 
Huguenots, about the year 1685. Judith married a 
Robineau in New York, and their only child became 
the wife of Daniel Ayrault. Their issue was six sons 
and five daughters ; and the second son, Daniel, married 
Susannah Eargrass, whose children were Daniel and 
Mary Aja^ault. Mary became the wife of Benjamin 
Mason, whose children were two sons and two daugh- 
ters. The eldest son, Benjamin Mason, M. D., was 
educated in England, marrying Margaret Champlin, of 
Newport, Rhode Island, and their issue was three sons 
and one daughter. This daughter, Elizabeth Champlin 
Mason, was the wife of the brave and patriotic Caj)tain 
Oliver II. Perry, of tlie United States navy, who died 



126 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

defending the standard of liis country. From this last 
union were four sons and one daughter, Elizabetli Mason 
Perrj^ This hidy married the Rev. Francis Vinton, 
D. D., and their chiklren make the eighth generation 
from this reverend and early Huguenot. 

The year 1686 was remarkable for adding a large Hu- 
guenot population to the society of New York. Many 
French refugees, for a time in the islands of St. Christo- 
pher and Martinique, at last found a safe home among 
the tolerant Dutch of New York. In 1695 their number 
had increased to two hundred families, distinguished for 
their social influence and religious fidelity. Many of 
them became prominent and valuable citizens. Johan- 
nes Delamontaigne was one of this number, and was 
honored by Governor Kieft with an ax^pointment as a 
member of the council, the second ofiice in the gift of 
the government. He purcliased a farm of some two 
hundred acres, at Harlem, for seven hundred and twenty 
dollars, calling it the " Vredendal," or Valley of Peace. 
It was situated east of the Eighth Avenue, between 
Ninety-tliird street and Harlem River. A grandson of 
his, named Vincent, born April 22d, died May 26th, 
1773, at the very advanced age of one hundred and six- 
teen years. Numerous descendants are now among our 
citizens from this early Huguenot emigrant, but some 
with abbreviated names. 

What New Yorker does not remember the name of the 
venerable John Pintard, LL.D.? He was a communicant 
of Saint Esj^rit, an honored citizen, a philanthropist, 
and lover of the Bible. In his ''Recollections," he says 
that ' ' the holy sacrament was administered to the Hu- 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK, 127 

guenots at New Roclielle four times a year — viz. , Christ- 
mas, Easter, Whitsunday, and the middle of September. 
During the intermission that occurred, the communicants 
walked to New York for that purpose. Prior to their 
departure on a Sunday, they always collected the young 
children and left them in the care of friends, while they 
set off early in the morning, barefooted, carrying their 
shoes and stocMngs in their hands. They were accus- 
tomed to stop at a rock about twelve miles from New 
York, to rest and take some refreshment, . . . where they 
put on their shoes and stockings. They then walked to 
the French church, where they generally arrived by the 
time service began. The interval between the morning 
and afternoon services was shortened for their accommo- 
dation, as they had to walk home again the same evening 
to their families. They continued to worship after this 
manner till the American Revolution broke out, when 
this part of the country became harassed and overrun 
by the British troops.. They commenced their march 
invariably, on Sunday morning, by singing one of the 
psalms of Clement Marot. The sixtieth psalm, so appro- 
priate to their situation, was, perha]os, their greatest 
favorite." What a strildng example of Christian humil- 
ity, fidelity, zeal, and devotion! Mr. Pintard, after a 
long life of honorable usefulness, was gathered to his 
fathers, at the ripe age of eighty-five, in the year 1844. 

In the early psalmody of the Huguenots, every psalm 
in French version and metre had its own particular tune. 
The words and music both were written on the stave, 
either in their devotional books, or appended to their 
printed Bible. Such Bibles, published at Amsterdam, 



128 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

have been found in our day. We quote, as a specimen, 
a part of tlie one hundred and thirty- seventh Psalm, as it 
stands in our English Bible, and then the corresponding 
French verses, as sung by the Huguenots. The music 
was as low, plaintive chant, in the minor key, but beau- 
tifully adapted to the subject. It is not the style of 
modern psalmody ; but those who have listened to the 
sacred music of the Protestant French Church, and the 
same as used centuries ago, will not forget how delight- 
fully it harmonizes with the solemnity of public Christian 
worship. 

Psalm cxxivn. — "By the rivers of Babylon there we sat down; yea, we 
wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps npon the willows, in 
the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us 
a song ; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying. Sing us one of 
the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" 

Here is the old French translation, as sung by the 
Huguenots : 

" Etans assis aux rives aquatiques de Babilon, 
Pleurions melancoliques. 
Nous souvenans du pays de Sion, 
Et au milieu de I'habitation, 
0^ de regrets tant de pleurs epandimes 
Aux saules verts nos harpes nous pendimes. 
Lors ceux qui la captifs nous emmenerent, 
De les sonner fort nous importunaient, 
Et de Sion les chansons reciter. 
Las! dimes nous, qui pourroit inciter 
Nos tristes cceurs a chanter la loiiange 
Do notre Dieu en un terre etrange ?" 

On this venerable spot of the Saint Esprit, in Pine 
street, the French Protestant congregations continued to 
assemble and worship for the long space of one hundred 
and thirty years. In 1834, they sold this property. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 129 

erecting the elegant white marble edifice on Franklin, 
corner of Church street. It cost sixty thousand dol- 
lars.* 

Fourteen ministers have officiated in this congrega- 
tion since its establishment, and most only for a short 
time. During the year 1828, the Rev. Antoine Yerren 
became pastor, succeeding the Rev. Mr. Penneveyre. 
The old Church was organized according to the doctrine 
and discipline of the Reformed Churches of France and 
Geneva, and continued so until the year 1804, when pas- 
tor and people resolved to conform to the Episcopal 
Church. The Rev. Mr. Verren has now faithfully occu- 
pied this field of Christian labor for nearly forty years, 
and still conducts the services of the sanctuary in the 
same language so eloquently used by Claude, Saurin, 
and other Huguenot evangelical preachers, two centu- 
ries ago ! 

What brilliant sacred orators must such men have 
been ! At one period, many of their descendants filled 
the pulpits of Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotterdam, Ley- 
den, and Harlaem, greatly contributing to preserve the 
renown of these well-known Reformed Churches. Their 
French style produced a real revolution in Dutch 
preaching, which then became entirely remodelled after 
the French Protestant mannei', ever since maintaining 
an elevated rank. James Saurin was born at Nismes, 
in the year 1677, and soon, with his pious father, fled to 
Geneva, for religion' s sake. Here, finishing his studies, 
he began to preach, and became minister to the French 

* This sacred edifice has been sold, and a new, beautiful one erected on 
Twenty-second street. 

9 



130 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Protestant Church in London, where he took for his 
model the celebrated Tillotson. AVhen the Avell-known 
Abbadie here heard the young Huguenot for the first 
time, he exclaimed: "Is this a man or an angel who is 
speaking to usV 

In 1705, we find Saurin at the Hague, preaching with 
the most astonishing success. The elevation of his 
thoughts, brilliancy of imagination, with a luminous 
exposition of the Scriptures, joroduced the liveliest 
impression on the crowds thronging the sacred temple 
to hear him. It is not hard to judge what must have 
been the effects produced by that noble and melodious 
voice, which resounded for five and twenty years under 
the vaulted aisles of this tabernacle at the Hague. 
Nothing can convey a clearer idea of his influence than 
the diligence with which his sermons continue to be read 
in our day. Tliey contain passages, in our opinion and 
to our taste, deserving to be ranked among the master- 
pieces of human or sacred eloquence. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 131 



CHAPTER XIL 

WALL STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH ITS ORIGIN AND EARLIEST 

PREACHERS CHURCH ERECTED ON WALL STREET WHITEFIELD 

LABORS DIFFERENCE OF OPINION IN THE CONGREGATION FIRST 

ASSOCIATE REFORMED CHURCH, BUILT ON CEDAR STREET REV. 

JOHN MURRAY NOTICE OF HIS LIFE AND LABORS. 

More than one hundred and fifty years ago (1707) 
tlie first steps were taken to commence a Presbyte- 
rian cliurcli in our city. The Dutch Calvinists among 
the Hollanders, the French Protestants or refugees of 
the Geneva school, with the Episcopalians, then formed 
principally the religious community. A few Presbyte- 
rians, assembling on the Sabbath, worshipped in a pri- 
vate house. During the year 1707, the Revs. Francis 
McKemie and John Hampton, two Presbj^terian minis- 
ters, visited New York, from Maryland and Virginia, on 
their way to Boston. 

Mr. William Jackson invited Mr. McKemie to preach 
at his house, in the lower part of Pearl street, where he 
met a small audience, and baptized a child.'- He then 
visited Ne^vtown, Long Island. But a higher authority 
now interfered with his movements. A bigot, Lord 
Cornbury, governor of the New York Province, ordered 
Mr. McKemie' s arrest, by the sheriff of Queen' s county, 
and his imprisonment, for discharging his ministerial 
duties without a license. After two months' confine- 

* Miller's Life of Rodgers. 



132 EAELIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 

ment, he was discharged Ib}^ Jiaheas corpus, before the 
chief-justice. Thank God for this glorious, venerable, 
and righteous privilege of Christian civilization ! Mr, 
Hampton, not having preached in the city, was entirely 
discharged, and McKemie admitted to bail. In a few 
months he returned to New York from Virginia for trial, 
and, although acquitted by the civil court, was compelled 
to pay the costs of suit, amounting to eighty-three pounds 
seven shillings and sixpence. He published his trial in 
a pamphlet. '^• 

Notwithstanding this persecution, the little band of 
Presbyterians did not disperse for the next ten years, 
but continued public worship occasionally in the Garden 
Street Dutch Church. In 1717, John Nicholl, Patrick 
McKnight, Gilbert Livingston, Thomas Smith, with a few 
others, organized a congregation according to the disci- 
pline of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. They 
called the Rev. James Anderson, an ordained Scotch- 
man, but at the time a member of the Philadelphia Pres- 
bytery. The new church was connected with this body, 
so that the old Wall street congregation was never Con- 
gregational, as has been asserted. 

There was at one time a small division of the congre- 
gation in favor of New England usages, and the tempo- 
rary secessionists obtained the services of the Rev. Mr. 
Edwards, but only for one winter, when most of them 
returned to the old fold. Mr. Edwards became after- 
wards the celebrated minister of Northampton ; but 
at this time he was a candidate, and only nineteen 
years of age. After preaching to this g(^parate organ- 

* Smith's History of New York. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK, 133 

ization for eight months, he declined to remain perma- 
nently. 

Mr. Anderson, with his people, first met in the old 
City Hall, at the corner of Wall and Nassau streets, the 
place being granted by the corporation of the city, and 
here they worshipped about three years. 

The following year, 1718, they purchased lots on Wall 
street, near Broadway, and in 1719 erected their first 
church. Towards its building aid was obtained abroad : 
"Cor." sent a donation, with a considerable sum from 
Scotland. A charter was obtained in 1720 from the 
"Council," but it was defeated by the interference and 
opposition of the Vestry of th(^ Protestant Episcopal 
Church. Old Trinity had great influence at court in that 
early and illiberal day, and for more than half a century 
the authorities obstinately refused a charter of incorpo- 
ration to the Presbyterian Church in New York. This 
is history, and is mentioned without unkindness to the 
living or the dead. This hardship was more severe 
from the fact that legacies left to the Presbyterians could 
not be legally received, althougli that denomination was 
paying its full proportion of expense to support the 
Established religion. To meet this serious difficulty, it 
was resolved to vest the fee of their church and ground 
in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. 
This body temporarily held the important trust, and, 
after the American Revolution, reconverted the jiroperty 
to the trustees of the Wall Street Church. 

In 1726, Mr. Anderson was called to a church in New 
Donegal, Pennsylvania, when the Rev. Ebenezer Pem- 
berton became the second pastor of tlie Wall Str(^et 



134 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Churcli the next year, and AYas ordained for the purpose, 
in Boston, August 4th. During his ministry the cele- 
brated George Whitelield visited America, in 1740, and 
Mr. Pemberton was the only minister of our city who 
opened liis pulpit to liis use. For this kindness God 
recompensed him, as a number of individuals and fami- 
lies were brought into tlie church during Mr. White- 
field's labors. So great was the increase that it became 
necessary to enlarge the Wall Street Church in 1748. On 
this occasion the tablet of the new edifice was obtained 
from Boston, with a Latin inscription, of which this is 
the translation : 

"Under favor of God, this edifice, sacred to the per- 
petual celebration of divine worship, first erected in 
1719 — again thoroughly repaired and built larger and 
more beautiful in 1748 — the Presbyterians of New York 
founding, for their own and children' s use, have given, 
presented, and dedicated, and more illustriously adorned 
by religious concord, love, and the purit}^ of faith, 
worshix?, and discipline. May it, by favor of Christ, 
endure to many generations." It has endured and wiU 
endure ! 

On the wall, over the "magistrate's pew," was placed 
this inscription, in Latin: "Under the auspices of 
George II. , King of Great Britain, Patron of the Church, 
and Defender of the Faith." 

Whitefield' s zealous ministry was also eminently suc- 
cessful in Philadelphia. On one occasion, whilst preach- 
ing in the open air, a young lad of twelve years was 
among his hearers. For the accommodation of the 
preacher he held a lantern, but was so deeply impressed 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 135 

by tlie discourse that lie could scarcely stand, and un- 
consciously the light fell, and it was broken and extin- 
guished. But these gracious impressions resulted in 
liis conversion to the Saviour. This youth was John 
Rodgers, afterwards Doctor, who subsequently served 
as pastor of the Wall Street Church with such great 
fidelity and success for over half a century. What a 
wonderful man was George Whitefield ! He remarked 
to Mr. Rodgers, on one occasion, that he was tlie four- 
teenth person he had met in the ministry whose conver- 
sion liad followed his first visit to America. 

In 1750, the congregation continuing to increase, Alex- 
ander Cummings was called to be the colleague of Mr. 
Pemberton, and ordained as such in 1750. Both soon 
after resigned. Shortly after tliis, a call was presented 
to the Rev. Joseph Bellamy, of Bethlehem, Connecticut, 
which he declined. It was repeated and urged, but he 
still refused. Then the Rev. John Rodgers, of St. 
George's, Delaware, was invited to be pastor, and he 
also, with the Rev. David McGregor, of Londonderry, 
New Hampshire, declined. After two years, in Jul}^, 

1755, the Rev. David Bostwick, pastor of the Presbyte- 
rian Church, Jamaica, Long Island, was called, and he 
accepted in 1756. The settlement of Mr. Bostwick does 
not appear to have entirely healed the division in the 
Wall Street Church. In our day of universal music, it 
seems strange that the subject of "Psalmody" should 
create serious differences among church members. But 
so it did then, and a few, dissatisfied with the Wall 
Street Church on this subject, ultimately withdrew in 

1756, forming the First Associate Reformed Church in 



136 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Cedar street, now the "Scotch Presbyterian Church," 
or Seceders. 

In October, 1762, the Rev. Josepli Treat, of New 
Brunswick, became the colleague of Mr. Bostwick, and 
the following year he Avas removed by death, but be- 
loved by all. During the spring of 1764, the Wall 
Street Church invited the Rev. John Murray, recently 
from Ireland, to become Mr. Treat's colleague, but he 
declined, and afterwards settled in Newburyport, Mas- 
sachusetts. The congregation now renewed the invita- 
tion which they had presented ten years before to the 
Rev. John Rodgers. He accepted, and was installed 
September 4, 1765. The church revived and was greatly 
increased, so that a second place for divine worship 
soon became necessary. Ground was accordingly ob- 
tained by a perpetual lease from the Corporation, for 
forty pounds a year, at the corner of Nassau and Beek- 
man streets. This section was then called "in the 
fields," and the lot known as the "Vineyard." Here 
the "Brick Meeting," the second Presbyterian house 
of the Lord, was erected, and dedicated January 1, 
1768. 

Many members of the Wall Street Church were among 
our most influential families, and a number of them came 
from Scotland and the north of Ireland. Here worship- 
j)ed Judge Brockholst Livingston, David Gelston, Wil- 
liam Edgar, Robert Lenox, Jacob Morton, Sylvanus 
Miller, George Douglas, Dr. Jolm R. B. Rogers, Thomas 
Renwick, James Manning, Edward H. Nicoll, Robert 
Speir, Samuel Campbell, Dr. Jolm S. McKnight, Joseph 
Greenleaf, the Lowries, Jolm Greenfield, John Graham, 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 137 

William Maitlancl, D. T. Kennedy, Mr. Irwin, De Witt 
Clinton, &c. — a long, useful, and pious list. To one 
original family of this congregation Princeton College 
• and its useful seminaries are indebted for munificent 
benefactions. 

The Rev. John Murray, who declined a call to the 
Wall Street Church, was an extraordinary and noted 
man, and his name well deserves a notice in our histor- 
ical record. Born in Antrim, Ireland, in 1742, he early 
entered the University of Edinburgh, and, graduating 
with high honor, he conmienced his ministerial life when 
only eighteen. When scarcely twenty-one he reached 
this country, and in May, 1765, was ordained and settled 
as the Rev. Gilbert Tennent's successor in the Second 
Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. Here his labors 
were very successful, but in the year 1766, he became 
the pastor of Boothbay. 

It was an unpromising field when he entered upon his 
work, but his congregation soon became the largest in 
the State. People would travel seven and even ten 
miles to hear him preach. He was an eloquent preacher 
and a most faithful pastor, his piety like incense, both 
at the fireside and altar. Going from house to house, he 
exhorted all to the duties of piety. In the year 1767, 
Mr. Murray organized a Presbyterian church in Booth- 
bay, where he administered for the first time the Sacra- 
ment of the Lord' s Supper. After his visit to Bristol, 
the town ajopointed a committee "to take measures to 
have a church organized on the Westminster Confession 
and Presbyterian rules," and which he accomplished 
during the year. As a pulpit orator, maiiy, Avho had 



138 EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

lieard both, ranked him not inferior to the great White- 
field. In liis manner, he was somewhat pompous, but 
in matter solid, solemn, and pathetic. His popularit}^ 
became very great, and he possessed one peculiarity which 
would not answer at all in our "fast" day — ^liis sermons 
often contmued two or three hours long. Great, indeed, 
must have been his gifts, to have kej)t the attention of 
his audiences such a length of time. 

Mr. Murray always had an answer on any emergency. 
Judge Kinkley, a "j^ilg^'ii^^'' descendant, and a dispu- 
tatious man, opposed the Scotch-Irish in Brunswick, 
Maine, and hearing him on a Sabbath morning, the 
preacher said something which he did not relish, when, 
stepping into the aisle, he asked Mr. Murray if he "knew 
in whose presence he stood." "Yes," he replied, "in 
the presence of a judge of the inferior court of common 
pleas." "Then," said the judge, "I will say unto you 
as the Lord said unto Elijah, 'What dost thou here,' 
John Murray?" The preacher immediately replied, in 
Elijah's answer, " I have been very zealous for the Lord 
God of Hosts," &c. (1 Kings xix. 10) ; and taking this for 
a text, he continued his discourse an hour longer. One 
of his early opposers, it is related, at Newburyport, where 
he afterwards settled, to try his qualifications, gave him 
a text at the church door. Laying aside his prepared 
sermon, he discoursed with such ability and readiness 
as disarmed prejudice, and called forth at the moment 
the extravagant encomium, that the preacher had not 
been surpassed since the Apostles' days. 

The war of the American Revolution severely affected 
Boothbay, with other seaboard towns. Mr. Murray, zeal- 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES EN" NEW YORK. 139 

ously espousing the caiise of freedom, entered into the 
sentiments of his ])arishioners, and adopted country. In 
the year 1775, lie was a delegate from Bootlibay or 
Townshend to the Provincial Congress at Watertown. 
At one time he acted as president pro tern, of that body, 
as well as its secretary. 

When Sir George Collier, commodore of the British 
squadron, visited this harbor, in 1777, to complain 
against the inhabitants, he invited Mr. Murray on board 
his ship. He went, and soon settled the difficulty. 
A writer on board describes him as "a cunning, sensi- 
ble man, who had acquired a wonderful ascendency 
over, and had the entire guidance of, all the people in 
the country around Townshend." Early in the war, the 
British cruisers would often land at this harbor and steal 
from the Whigs, or Patriots. The people vainly remon- 
strated with the officers, when they obtained Mr. Mur- 
ray' s services. The minister, donning his canonicals — 
wig, gown, and bands — visited the enemy's vessel, and 
talked with such power and eloquence, that the inhabi- 
tants had no more trouble. One writer says that "the 
dignity of his appearance was such, that all the minis- 
ters in Maine put together would not equal him ; that he 
was superior in personal apj)earance to any other man 
that ever walked God' s footstool ; that if he had not said 
a word, such was the grandeur of his looks that he 
would have carried his point ; and that the officers were 
greatly surprised to see such a specimen of dignity coming 
from the State of Maine. ' ' In such an extravagant praise, 
much allowance must certainly be made for the warmth 
of personal friendsliip. 



140 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

But Britisli civilities did not long last towards the 
Presbj^terian preacher. In 1770, so active had he be- 
come for the defence of the eastward, that a reward of 
five hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension, 
and he was obliged to leave home for a more safe shel- 
ter. When Newbuiyport was called on to furnish a 
company for actual service, during three days no re- 
sponse was made. On the fourth, however, Mr. Mur- 
ray addressed the regiment then under arms with great 
animation and success, after which a member of his 
church stepped forward to take the command, and in 
two hours the ranks of the new company were filled. 

Mr. Murray' s residence at Boothbay was quite remote 
and retired ; and he received several invitations to be- 
come pastor at Newburyport, but declined them. He 
was even invited to the pulpit of Queen's Chapel, Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire, by the Episcopal church- war- 
dens and parish, with a high salary, 1773. This must 
have been a "very low" Church, and no great advo- 
cates of what some Churchmen insist upon— "the true 
apostolic succession." He replied, however, tliat he was 
conscientiously a Presbyterian, and declined their gen- 
erous offer. Newburyport still urging their claims on 
him, in 1781 he became pastor of that congregation. His 
salary was one hundred and fifty pounds — and one hun- 
dred pounds additional being voted to him from year to 
year. Here he preached nearly twelve years, to an im- 
mense congregation, numbering two thousand. He had 
a number of theological students. j\Ir. Murray died at 
Newburyport, in 1793, aged fifty-one, in great patience, 
resignation, and piety. He evidently had to encounter 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 141 

strong prejudices through life, which greatly circum- 
scribed his usefulness. Some pulpits were even closed 
against him ; and on one occasion, we read that the 
Rev. Dr. Samuel Spring, a man of strong passions, at a 
funeral where both officiated, refused to shake hands 
with Mr. MuiTa}^ Some rhymester then wrote these 
lines : 

" Parson Spring began to fling, 
And seemed to be in a hurry ; 
He couldn't staj' to hear him pray, 
Because 'twas Parson Murray." 

Dr. Spring was a Hopkinsian, and preached against 
original sin, when Mr. Murray delivered some sermons 
in reply, and, possessing wit, he wrote on the title-page 
of a book which Dr. Spring had published : 

"What mortal power, from things unclean. 
Can pure productions bring? 
Who can command a vital stream 
From an infected Spring ?" 

Although ]\Ir. Murray did not accejDt the call to the 
Wall Street Presbyterian Church in 1764, still he occu- 
pied a very important charge in the very place where 
Whitefiekr s ashes slumber, and where he often rekin- 
dled his burning fires. 



142 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

WALL STREET AND BRICK CHURCHES REV. DR. RODGERS THE "FATHER 

OF PRESBYTERIANISM" in new YORK REV, GARDINER SPRING 

CALLED TO BRICK CHURCH HIS CHURCH TURNED INTO A HOSPITAL 

IN THE \VAR OF THE REVOLUTION SORROWFUL SCENES IN IT 

WALL STREET CHURCH " CHARITY SCHOOL" RUTGERS AND CEDAR 

STREET CHURCHES BUILT DRS. MILLER AND McKNIGHT REV. MR. 

WHELPLEY DR. PHILLIPS WALL STREET CHURCH REMOVED TO 

JERSEY CITY MEMBERS OF THE BRICK CHURCH ANSON G. PHELPS 

HORACE IIOLDEN. 

During the montli of September, 1844, the corner- 
stone of the new and elegant Presbyterian cliurch, 
one hundred and nineteen feet long and eighty-five 
wide, was laid on Fifth Avenue, between Eleventh and 
Twelfth streets. It cost fifty-five thousand dollars, and 
opened for divine worshij) January 11, 1846 — the old 
pastor. Dr. Phillips (who had preached to this people 
twenty 3^ears), delivering the dedication sermon from 
Psalm cxxiv. 1-3: "If it had not been the Lord who 
was on our side, now may Israel say ; if it had not been 
the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up 
against us ; then they had swallowed us up quick, 
when their wrath was kindled against us." One hun- 
dred and thirty years before, the first movements had 
been made to organize a Presbyterian congregation in 
our city ; and the preacher, adopting the language of 
the text, recalled to tli^e minds of his congregation the 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK. 143 

marked, successful, and gracious history of tliis branch 
of Christ's Church/-' Well might he record the faithful- 
ness and the loving kindness of the Lord, who had for 
so long a period supplied this people with able and 
pious ministers. Truly may Dr. Phillips and his flock 
be thankful to the Great Shepherd of souls, that after 
thirty-eight years' zeal, labors, and prayers, he is still 
permitted to continue their spiritual oversight ! 

The angular lot upon which the "Brick Church," 
afterwards known as "Dr. Spring's," was built, tradi- 
tionally had borne the name of "The Vineyard." It 
was granted by the City Corporation, at a rent of forty 
pounds per annum, to Dr. Eodgers and Joseph Treat, 
ministers, with John Morris Scott, Peter R. Livingston, 
and others, trustees, for an indefinite period. Its iron 
railing, for so many years enclosing the old church, was 
removed and placed around the residence of Mr. J. T. 
Stranahan, South Brooklyn, 

After the dissolution of the collegiate connection 
between the Wall Street and the Brick Churches, Dr. 
Rodgers became sole pastor of the latter ; but his infirm- 
ities and age soon released him from public duty. A call 
was presented, then, to the Rev. Dr. John McDowell, 
of Elizabethtown, New Jersey ; next, to the Rev. Dr. 
Andrew Gates, East Hartford ; but both were declined. 
Three efibrts were also made to induce the Rev. Lyman 
Beecher, of East Hampton, Long Island, but for want 
of harmony this measure also failed, and so did the 
attempt to procure the services of the Rev. Dr. Spence, 
of Virginia. 

* Dr. Phillips's "Memorial of the Goodness of God." 



144 EARLIEST CHURCHES IT^ NEW YORK. 

The last official act of Mr. Spring' s venerable prede- 
cessor, the Rev. Dr. Rodgers, was to lay his hands upon 
his youthful head in tlie ordination service, August 8, 
1810. Soon after, in the following IMay, this beloved 
and eminent preacher of Christ entered into the upper 
sanctuary. Dr. Rodgers has been justly called the 
"Father of Presbyterianism" in the city of New York ; 
Dr. Miller and Dr. McKnight were copastors with him, 
but he was their senior in their sacred office. The Wall 
Street and Brick Churches united in asking that both 
miglit equally provide the salary for this veteran of the 
cross, and that he might be regarded, to the end of his 
life, as their senior pastor. He literally went from door 
to door soliciting help to erect the " Brick Church," and 
thus accommodate the people then living out of town. "^'^ 

On the 28th of May, 1810, the session passed a resolu- 
tion inviting the Rev. Gardiner Spring to this pulpit. 
Accepting the invitation, he occupied the pulpit on the 
first Sabbath in June, preaching in the morning from 
the words : " Wherefore, come ye out from among them 
and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing, 
and I will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons 
and daughters, saith the Lord Ahnighty." In the even- 
ing his text was, to a crowded audience, " By the grace 
of God, I am what I am." 

Dr. Milledoler, pastor of the Rutgers street congrega- 
tion, presided at the meeting called to make the applica- 
tion to Mr. Spring. He was then ordained b}^ the Pres- 
bytery of New York, and installed pastor x\ugust 8, 
1810. The Presbytery which performed tliis solemn 

* Dr. Sorinor'a Memorial Meclins, 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 145 

duty consisted of Dr. Rodgers, Rev. George Fatoute, 
Rev. Peter Fisli, Rev. Philip MiUedoler, Rev. Samuel 
Miller, Rev. John B. Romeyn, with the Rev. Ezra 
Stiles Ely— and not one now remains! "The fathers, 
where are they ? And the prophets, do they live for- 
ever?" 

Pleasant and favorable as this new era was in the 
history of the congregation, the old church had wit- 
nessed strange and sorrowful scenes in its earlier days. 
When tlie British forces held the city, this sacred edi- 
fice was used for a soldier's hospital; and avc find an 
interesting reminiscence from the narrative of Levi Han- 
ford, Delaware county. New York. In 1775 he entered 
Lee's army, at the early age of sixteen, and was ordered 
to break ground for the first fortifications on Governor's 
Island. Afterwards, captured by the Tories, he was 
imprisoned in that horrid "Black Hole," the "Old 
Sugar House." Here, crowded with four hundred or 
five hundred American prisoners, amidst its bad air and 
diet, he took the small-pox, and was removed to the 
small-pox hospital. Some of his brave companions there 
ended their suff'ermgs by death ; but, recovering him- 
self, he soon again returned to the prison. Sickness 
once more prostrated him, and he was taken to the 
"Quaker Meeting Hospital"— the old Quaker Meeting- 
house in Liberty street— but slowly recovered, amidst 
scenes of disease and death. Ilanford was next trans- 
ferred, with two hundred others, to the dreadful hold 
of the prison-ship " Good Intent, " at anchor in thelN-orth 
River. Famine and pestilence soon reduced the poor, 
crowded, captive soldiers, in two short months, to less 
10 



146 EAELIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 

than one luindred ! When the river began to freeze, in 
December (1777), this floating pest-house removed to 
the Wallabout, alongside of the Avell-kno^vn "Jersey," 
of terrific memory, where lier decayed hnlk long re- 
mained, a striking monument of the spot where thou- 
sands of brave hearts and lives were sacrificed to British 
cruelty. 

Here, again, our prisoner being taken sick, with sev- 
eral comiDanions, amidst snow and floating ice, was sent, 
in a leaky boat, half filled witli water, to the ''hospital 
in Dr. Rodgers' Brick Meeting-house." Hanford writes : 
"One poor fellow that could not sit up, we had to haul 
on the gunnel of the boat, to keep his head out of water ; 
but he got wet, and died in a few minutes after he was 
got on shore." . . . "From the yard I carried one end 
of a bunk, from which some person had just died, into 
the church, and got into it, exhausted and overcome." 
..." I had now to remain here a long time, on account 
of my feet. And of all places, that was the last to be 
coveted ; disease and death reigned there in all their 
terrors. I have had men die by the side of me in the 
night, and have seen fifteen dead bodies, sewed up in 
their blankets, laid in the corner of the yard at one time, 
th(i product of one twenty-four hours. Ever^^ morning, 
at eight o'clock, the dead- cart came, the bodies were put 
in, the men drew their rum, and the cart was driven off 
to the trenches." 

Such were the horrors of war once exhibited in the 
"Old Brick Church;" and few, comparatively, of the 
myriads who have there joyfully and quietly worship- 
ped God, ever imagined that such melancholy scenes 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 147 

were once witnessed on this time-honored and sacred 
spot ! 

We have seen when the "Brick Church" was built 
and dedicated, on January 1, 1768 — ninety-six years 
ago — and that it was a branch of the Wall street con- 
gregation. Its corner-stone was laid in the autumn of 
1766. The Rev. Dr. Rodgers, its first pastor, preached 
the opening discourse, and a large congregation soon 
assembled, having the sanrie trustees, eldership, and 
ministry, with the one worshipping in Wall street. The 
Revolutionary War, not long after, scattered most of the 
members, as the Presbyterians generally espoused the 
American cause. Most of the Wall Street Church, with 
their pastors, at the commencement of the struggle, 
retired from the city. There was but little progress in 
religion, of course, during a state of war, just as was its 
patriotic cause. Confusion and ruin followed its path — 
evils of sanguinary warfare, and of even victory itself. 
Wall Street Church was occupied as barracks by British 
soldiers, and the "Brick Church" turned into a hospi- 
tal. Their ministers retired from the city, My. Treat 
never returning ; his pastoral relation dissolved Octo- 
ber 2, 1785. Dr. Rodgers came back during the fall of 
1783, delivering a sermon on that occasion in St. George's 
Chapel, Avhich edifice, with St. Paul's, were generously 
offered to the Presbyterians by the vestry of Trinity, 
until their churches should be repaired. This is an 
instance of true Christian liberality, and worthy of 
record and imitation. At a subsequent period, Trinity 
presented a lot of ground, in Robinson street, for the 
use of the "senior Presbyterian minister." 



148 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

The Brick Church was repaired at great expense, and 
was reopened in June, 1784, by a discourse from Dr. 
Rodgers, from tlie words of tlie Psalmist: "I was glad 
when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the 
Lord." The Wall Street Church also commenced once 
more its regular services the following year, when the 
Rev. James Wilson was installed as colleague with Dr. 
Rodgers, August 10, 1785. He remained, however, only 
two years, when, his health requiring a milder climate 
(1788), he settled in Charleston, South Carolina. The 
congregation, for a few months, was then supplied by 
two candidates — the Rev. James Muir, from Scotland, 
with the Rev. Jedediah Morse, the author of the well- 
known American Geography. As the two churches 
became about equally divided in their choice of these 
ministers, they could not unite in a call for eitheis The 
next year, however, they called the Rev. John Mc- 
Kniglit, who was installed as copastor with Dr. Rodgers 
over the united churches. 

About this period the trustees purchased a lot on 
Nassau street, joining the one occupied by the Wall 
Street Church. Here they erected a building for a 
"Charity School," under care of the session and trus- 
tees of the Church. Its funds j)artly consisted of lega- 
cies left for this pious object, as well as from voluntary 
subscriptions. It went into operation in 1799, and an 
annual collection was also taken for its benefit in both 
churches. This institution continued in useful opera 
tion until, with similar schools of other denominations, 
it was placed under tli(3 care of our Public School 
Society. So parochial schools cannot claim to be a 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 149 

modern institution. We tliink they slionld be annexed 
to every evangelical churcli. Relinquishing their funds 
to the public schools of the city, it was exjoressly and 
wisely stipulated, by the trustees, that no child whom 
they recommended should be excluded, and that the 
Bible should also be daily read in the schools. Prudent 
and pious forethought ! 

On the fifth of June, 1789, the Rev. Samuel Miller 
was ordained, and called to assist Drs. Rodgers and 
McKnight. 

In the year 1798, a third Presbyterian Church was 
opened on Rutgers street. It was a spacious frame 
building. Its ground was the generous gift of Colonel 
Henry Rutgers, a member of the Reformed Dutch 
Church, and one of the most honored, liberal, and 
excellent men of that day. The Rev. Dr. Milledoler 
became its first minister, with the understanding that 
his labors be confined to that charge. During 1807, a 
colony from the Wall Street and Brick Churches founded 
the "Cedar Street" Church, as no pews could now be 
obtained in either of the others, from their crowded 
congregations. Dr. Rodgers laid the corner-stones and 
delivered the opening sermons in both of these new 
liouses of worship. 

!Mucli inconvenience attended the arrangement of this 
collegiate charge ; and in the year 1809 the two congre- 
gations, till then united, amicably became distinct and 
separate churches. The Rev. Dr. Rodgers retained his 
connection with both, the Rev. Dr. Miller remaining in 
Wall street ; Dr. McKnight voluntarily continued his 
connection with both. 



160 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

During tliis and tlie following year the cliurcli on 
Wall street was rebuilt ; in tlie interim, from December 
9, 1809, to August 11, 1811, tlie congregation continued 
their religious services in the old French Protestant, or 
Huguenot Church, Pine street. The new house of the 
Lord was a costl}^, noble, and large brown stone edifice, 
and furnished by the voluntary contributions of its 
members. Dr. Rodgers closed his useful and pious 
labors for the church militant in the month of Ma}', 1811, 
leaving Dr. Miller the sole pastor. He was an eminent 
and honored servant of the Lord, and his colleague. Dr. 
Miller, has written his life — a biography worthy a j)lace 
in every Christian's library. In the year 1813, Dr. 
Miller removed to Princeton, for more extensive useful- 
ness as a professor of the Theological Seminary, and all 
know how highly he became respected by the Christian 
community at large. 

During 1815, the Rev. Philip Melaucthon Whelpley 
accepted a call to the Wall Street Church. An eminent 
writer, an able divine, his course of duty was brief, rest- 
ing from his holy work July 17, 1824, at the early age of 
thirty years. Then, for a year, the church had no pastor, 
Avhen the Rev. Dr. AVilliam W. Phillips, minister of the 
"Pearl Street Church," received the charge of the Wall 
street congregation, January 19, 1826, This sacred edi- 
fice was jiartially destroyed by fire in 1810, but immedi- 
ately rebuilt, the congregation, in the mean while, occupy- 
ing the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Chambers street. 
During Uiv month of May, 1842, this new beautiful temple 
Avas vacated, by the congregation, sold for tliree thou- 
sand dollars, and, stone by stone, removed to Jersey 



EARLIEST CHUTiCIIES IN NEW YORK, 151 

City, where it is still used for God's holy service as a 
Presbyterian church. Those who love the awakened, 
pious associations of former days, and to cherish them, 
may visit this hallowed spot, and, delighted, walk about 
Zion. 

Among our remarks, mention has been made that many 
have fallen asleep in Christ, members of the Old Brick 
Church congregation — and among them John Adams, Mr. 
Lockwood, Peter Hawes, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. De For- 
est, Mr. Havens, Messrs. Halsey, Mills, Whitlock, Prince, 
Bingham, Bulkley, Oakley, Bokee, McComb, Brown, 
Langster, Harding, and Phelps. They were pillars of 
the church militant, and their record is on high. Time 
would fail, as it were, to state the whole number ; but 
let us dwell a moment on the beloved memory of Anson 
G. Phelps, who early joined the Brick Church. The 
writer knew him intimately, and esteemed hun as a 
model Christian, and consequently worthy of all imita- 
tion. His house was ever open to Christian ministers 
and to prayer, and, as Mr. Horace Holden once remarked 
(who has since joined him in the heavenly land), "His 
parlors were never too good to be used for meetings 
of praj^er." He was unostentatious amidst his great 
worldly ]Di'Osperity, and the means which many of us 
spend in extravagance, pride, and vain show, he devo- 
ted to charity and Christian benevolence— "not slothful 
in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, distribu- 
ting to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality." 
These were emphatically his noble traits, A more lib- 
eral Christian we never knew, and ' ' the first twenty-live 
dollars he was ever master of, all he was worth, indeed, 



152 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK 

save a few pennies," he contributed towards the educa- 
tion of a young man in his native vilhige, Simsbury, 
Connecticut, for the ministry, and who had been a well- 
known Universalist. Benevolence and liberality formed 
an essential part in his religious character. He was 
among the few men of large property who may be 
called their own executors — living givers. His last 
will contained magnificent bequests, and among them 
the noble suras of one hundred thousand dollars each to 
the African Colonization and Bible causes — favorite ones 
in life and death ! In these great charities we often met. 
We visited the dying chamber of our depai'ted friend, 
and found him 

"Strong in the strength that God supplies, 
And His eternal Son." 

His only regret expressed was that lie had done no more 
to promote the cause of Christ. He was resigned and 
hapj)y, loving the "Songs of Zion'' to the last, especially 
those animating lines which have cheered so many pil- 
grims crossing over the narrow Jordan of death : 

" There is a fountain lilled with blood." 

He could sing them with trembling voice and streaming, 
joyful tears. Just before his departure, one of his be- 
loved children said to him : " Jesus has gone to prepare 
a place for us— a place for you, dear father ;" and, with 
strong emphasis, he replied: ''I believe it. I believe 
it." Thus, leaning upon the world's Redeemer, one of 
the most eminent, liberal, and pious members of the "Old 
Brick Church" entered into the everlasting rewards 
promised to the faithfal. 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 153 

The Brick Clmrcli lias taken a prominent part in all tlie 
great and benevolent enterprises for wkicli our age is so 
much distinguished. ISo religious society in the land, 
probably, has given more generously to foreign and 
domestic missions, with greater liberality in the impor- 
tant duty of educating poor and indigent young men for 
the Gospel ministrj^ Princeton, Elizabethtown, New 
York, Boston, the West, &c., have eminent ministers, 
once the beneliciaries of this church. 

"What tears of repentance, what songs of triumphant 
believers, have mingled in this time-honored, holy 
sanctuary of the Most High ! Children and children' s 
children, for several generations, have been baptized by 
its holy ministers, and multitudes laid in the silent 
grave, who have sweetly fallen asleep in Jesus ! Thou- 
sands could sins; — 

" Here my kind friends, my kindred, dwell ; 
Here God, my Saviour, reij^ns." 

Tlie vine, planted so many years before in the Old 
Brick Church, and so long watered with the early and 
the latter rains and the dews of heaven, was now trans- 
planted, as it were, to a new spot for far more abundant 
fruit. This people had very long been blessed with a 
succession of pious, able, and faithful ministers of salva- 
tion, and that same pure and blessed Gosi^el of Christ 
is still declared in the new church, to the comfort of 
believers aud the preparation of immortal souls for 
heaven. May the successors of the Old Brick Church 
ever walk worthy of their high vocation, and transmit 
the true faith, with the form of sound words, to their 



154 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

successors, as tliey received them, uncorrupted, from 
their pious fathers. 

Many of the sacramental host "have crossed the 
flood" from the original communicants of the "Old 
Brick Church," and Horace Holden is now among tliis 
number. When he went to his heavenly crown, the 
congregation mourned the loss of a most exemplary, 
useful, and pious member. His venerable pastor, who 
had loved him so long and so well, selected for the 
funeral sermon, John xi, 35: "Jesus wept;" and the 
preacher beautifull}'^ said : . " We inust expect to weep. 
And we may weep. . . . Yes, ye sons and daughters of 
affliction, ye may weep. In a world where sin has dug 
the grave of all that is lovely and beloved, you may 
not look for attachments that never die. In some views, 
the death of such a man as Mr. Holden is most undesira- 
ble and afflictive ; in others, it is an event of the most 
joyous kind. He is safe ; he is holy ; he is happy. He 
shall hu.nger no more, nor thirst any more ; nor suffer, 
nor sigh anymore." "God shall wipe awiiy all tears 
from their eyes." 

Mr. Holden was born at Sudbury, Massachusetts, 
November 5, 1793. Coming to Ncav York (1809), he 
entered the law office of Mr. Ezra Bliss, and was admit- 
ted to the bar in 1811, and, during the war of 1812, sta- 
tioned at Sandy Hook, became attached to the staff of 
General Colfax. At first, lie attended the ministry of the 
Rev. Dr. Mason, but became a member of the Brick 
Church, July, 1820. In the year 1823 he was ordained 
one of its ruling elders, and his pastor has declared, 
"No man was more punctual, more prompt, or more dili- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 155 

gent in liis high vocation." Girt with spiritual armor, 
Horace Holden was always in the place where duty 
called him. His religion had a cheerful character. It 
had a charm for him. How many remember his j)rayers, 
and those cheering words of his : " O never let us leave 
thy side, nor let go the hand that guides us !" 

Mr. Holden was known among us as a safe, wise coun- 
sellor, and an earnest, faithful, able member of the bar. 
We will add, he was a Cliristian lawyer, never advising 
or defending that which an honest man and a Cliristian 
could not maintain and justify. His last illness was 
painful, from inflammation of the brain, but he knew 
his old, beloved minister, saying : 

" It is Dr. Spring, my dear pastor !" 

" Are you going to leave us ? Are you going home V 
asked the Doctor. 

With emphasis, the dying man replied: "Yes, I 
believe I am ; I am going home." 

As his last hour drew near, he repeated those beauti- 
ful lines of Dr. Watts : 

" A guilty, weak, and helpless worm, 
On thy kind arms I fall;" 

when, his voice failing, he said to his weeping wife and 
daughter, "Finish" — and they added : 

" Be Thou Ely strength and righteousness, 
My Jesus and my all." 

Shortly after, the conflict was over, "the last enemy" 
conquered, and he was singing the "everlasting song!" 

We might mention here, too, the many beautiful testi- 
monials of sympathy ofiered to his afflicted family and 
friends. They came from the Bible, and Tract, and Sun- 



156 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

(lay Sc'liool Societies, &c., for all of wliicli lie was an 
active laborer ; l3nt we need not name them, as his fame 
was in all the churches. 

On the 25th day of May, 1856, the Rev. Dr. Spring 
delivered a discourse, "The Memorial of God's Good- 
ness," as the closing sermon in the Old Brick Church. 
He selected for his text Psalm xlviii. 9-14 : "We have 
thought of thy loving kindness, God, in the midst of 
thy temple. That ye may tell it to the generations fol- 
lowing : for this God is our God for ever and ever ; he 
will be our guide even unto death." 

The religious services on this occasion closed the pub- 
lic worship of God in a sacred temple where it had been 
continued and enjoyed for eighty-eight years. A sketch 
was given of the Brick Church from its origin, and the 
I)reacher said: "Of God's goodness towards myself I 
might write volumes without exhausting the theme. . . . 
It is a coincidence v/hich an old man may be pardoned 
for taking notice of, that this day, on which we now 
meet, completes the fiftieth year of our married life. It 
was on the twenty-fifth of May, 1806, the Lord's day, 
that Ave were united in bonds not to be severed but by 
death. This twenty-fifth of May, 1856, also the Lord's 
day, celebrates our 'golden wedding.' .... Thirteen of 
our children were born in the midst of you, and bap- 
tized in this house of God. Six of the fifteen have died 
since our connection with jon, and you have sympa- 
thized with our trials and liberally provided for our 
wants. . . . Your unc^xpected bounty to us, two years 
ago, when I was thousaiids of miles from 3''ou, and knew 
not of the generous arrangement so nobly made in order 



EARLIEST CIIUECHES IX NEW YORK. 157 

to relieve the solicitude of the evening of onr days, 
demands this grateful and jDublic acknowledgment. ' ' 

This Avas a munificent benefaction of five thousand 
dollars a year salary from the congregation to theii' 
faithful pastor, and communicated to him by letter 
of June 13, 1854, and signed by a committee of the fol- 
lowing gentlemen : Horace Holden, Samuel Marsh, Mo- 
ses Allen, Ira Bliss, and Guy Richards,— some of whom, 
to use their own language, ' ' have sat under your minis- 
try ibr more than forty years, and during that long pe- 
riod can bear testimony to your untiring industry, your 
unbending integrity in the exhibition of Gospel truth 
amid conflicts and parties, and your entire devotion to 
the apx^ropriato duties of the ministry." 

In the most tender and pathetic manner, the venerable 
preacher closed his discourse, and among his last words 
on this occasion were : " Farewell, then, thou endeared 
house of God ! thou companion and friend of my youth, 
thou comforter of my later years, thou scene of trial and 
of repose, of aj)prehension and of hope, of sorrow and 
of joy, of man' s infirmity and of God' s omnipotent grace, 
farewell ! Sweet pulpit, farewell ! Blessed altar, fare- 
well ! Tlirone of grace, as here erected, and where God 
no longer records his name, farewell !" 

Dr. Spring made a proposition to the Presbytery of 
New York that his congregation would subscribe fifty 
thousand dollars, j)i'Ovided the other churches would 
raise one hundred and fifty thousand, to purchase the 
" Old Brick," and let it remain for the use of strangers 
in the lower part of the city. This liberal offer, how- 
ever, did not succeed. The old church was taken down 



158 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 

and its dead removed, and a magnificent stone edifice, 
devoted to business purposes, now occupies tlie memo- 
rable spot. Here our excellent Ohserter, with several 
other papers and periodicals, are published, where the 
Gospel so long sounded. 

On the 31st of October, 1858, Dr. Spring delivered the 
dedicatory sermon of the New Brick Church, on Murray 
Hill, Fifth Avenue. His theme was the Sanctuary, and 
the text, "Ye shall reverence my sanctuary." — Leviticus 
xix. 30. This was an auspicious daj^ with the congregation 
— the removal of a church hallowed by such affecting asso- 
ciations as concentrated around the spot of their fathers' 
prayers and graves. After an absence of two years and 
a half, they assembled in this new and beautiful court 
of the Lord, and could joyfully exclaim : "Having ob- 
tained help of God, we continue to the j)resent day." 
The edifice is large, costly, and noble, and was solemnly 
dedicated to Him to whose name and worship, we trust, 
it will ever be devoted. It cannot be styled a gorgeous 
edifice, and has no decorated Avails or splendid magnifi- 
cence. ' ' Strength and beauty' ' unite in this ' ' sanctuary. ' ' 
Sacred place ! And here was the baimer of salvation 
again set up in the name of the Lord. 

Dr. Sj)ring delivered another suitable sermon, "Re- 
demption God's greatest work," on the fiftieth anni- 
versarj^ of his ordination and installation as pastor of 
the Brick Presbyterian Church. This was his text : 
" That I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations 
of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my peoj)le." 
— Isaiah i. IG. Referring to himself and God's good- 
ness, he remarked : " When I came among you I thought 



EARLIEST CIIUKCHES IN NEW YORK. lo9 

it doubtful if I should remain a single year ; but He has 
kept me here fifty years. ... I can scarcely bring my- 
self to believe that the present discourse is the fiftieth 
anniversary service I have been permitted to enjoy 
among this people.'' 

IS'ot long after, on the 15^1 of October, 1860, a meet- 
ing was held by the congregation, " to present a memo- 
rial to their venerated pastor on the occasion of his 
settlement over them." On this occasion the new spa- 
cious edifice was crowded ; Horace Holden occupied 
the chair, and Augustus AVhitlock, with George De 
Forest Lord, Avere appointed Secretaries. The Rev. Dr. 
Phillips offered prayer, and very impressive addresses 
were made by Mr. Holden, Daniel Lord, and Mr. Corn- 
ing. The Eev. Dr. Krebs read an address from the 
Presbytery of IS^ew York, which was signed, on behalf 
of that body, by John M. Ki-ebs, W. W. Phillips, R. 
McCartee, Ebenezer Piatt, and Mr. Wm. Walker. The 
Rev. Samuel Spring, D. D., of Hartford, a beloved 
brother of the Doctor, sent an address, which was also 
read by Gardiner Spring, Jr., on behalf of his uncle. 
The Rev. Dr. Rodgers, of Boundbrook, K". J., a grand- 
son of the earliest pastor of the church, also addressed 
the meeting, together with Dr. Humphrey, Dr. Murray, 
John G. Adams, M. D., and Dr. Hoge. All their re- 
marks exhibited great respect and affection to Dr. Spring 
for his long-continued, successful labors in the church, 
with ardent wishes and fervent prayers that God would 
continue to bless his ministerial efforts. 



IGO EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XIY. 

CEUAH STREET CHURCH FOUNDED— DR. ROMEYN CALLED CHURCH 

REMOVED TO DUANE STREET REV. DR. POTTS ASSOCIATIONS OF 

CEDAR STREET CHURCH OLD MEMBERS TVILLIAM HALL, OF 

CLEVELAND, THE ONLY SURVIVING MEMBER OF THE ORIGINAL SUB- 
SCRIBERS TO THE CHURCH PELETIAH PERIT DR. J. AV. ALEXAN- 
DER INSTALLED THE NEW CHURCH ON THE FIFTH AVENUE. 

A coLOisrY from the Wall Street and Biick Presbyterian 
Cliurclies, in 1807, founded the Cedar Street Church, Dr. 
Rodgers laying the corner-stone ; and he delivered the 
ox3ening sermon. A subscription towards the new un- 
dertaking had been commenced in sums from one hun- 
dred to twelve hundred dollars, and soon amounted to 
forty thousand, with which the lots were purchased 
and the edifice erected. It was deemed expedient to 
organize this congregation independent of the three 
other Collegiate Presbyterian Churches then in New 
York. Tlie movement was, in fact, one of New Eng- 
land m(^n. Elisha Coit and Selah Strong were the com- 
mittee, Avith the call for Dr. Romejm to take cliarge of 
the newly formed Church. Mr. Jolm Stoutenberg also 
carried an invitation to the same gentleman, for him to 
accept the pulpits of the Reformed Collegiate Dutch 
Cliurches ; but Dr. Romeyn accej^ted the Presbyterian. 
On the eightli of November, 1808, the congregation was 
organized, with twenty-eight members ; and on the same 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK. 161 

day the Rev. John B. Roraeyn, D. T>., was installed its 
pastor. A large society soon collected, and he contin- 
ued his labors until his death, February 22, 1825, in the 
forty-eighth year of his age. 

After some two years' vacancy, during which the Rev. 
Dr. Payson and the Rev. Dr. Sprague were called, but 
declining, the Rev. Cj^rus Mason was ordained pastor, in 
December, 1826. Resigning his charge, in 1835 he be- 
came a professor or the principal of the Grammar School 
in the N^ew York University. 

During his ministry this congregation removed its 
place of worship to the new, elegant marble church on 
Dnane street. The old lots were sold for seventy -five 
thousand dollars, in 1834, the congregation worshipj^ing 
in the lecture-room of the Brick Church until their new 
edifice was finished, in 1835, This cost about forty thou- 
sand dollars, without the lot ; and here the congregation 
removed on the first Sabbath of the new year, 1836, 
assuming the name of the "Duane Street Church." 
During the ensuing month of May, the Rev. George 
Potts became its pastor. 

There are many delightful associations connected with 
the "Old Cedar Street Church." Perhaps no congre- 
gation in the city contained more useful and zealous 
members. Zechariah Lewis, so long connected with the 
Commercial Advertiser, and William Cleveland, were its 
first ruling elders ; and later, Elisha Coit, William Hall, 

Solomon Williams, Wilson, with Rufus Nevins, 

were deacons. We find, also, the names of Jonathan 
Little, Ives, Fitch, J. E. Caldwell, and Divie Bethune, 
Markoe, Masters, Hugli Auchincloss, and Cyrenius Beers, 
11 



162 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

among tlie elders. Few churches exhibited so nuuiy ven- 
erable faces in its aisles and pews as Old Cedar Street 
presented. General Ebenezer Stevens, with a family of 
six sons. Colonel Loomis, Colonel Yarick, Archibald Gra- 
de, Mr. Walcott, afterwards the governor of Connecticut, 
Benjamin Strong, Amasa Jackson, James and William 
Lovett, William Codman, Darling, Irvings, Griswolds, 
Kobert Ilalliday, Stephen Whitney, John B. Murray, 
William Halsted, Hubbard, Gordon Buck, Levi Coit, 
that most excellent and useful citizen, Mr. Aspinwall, &c. 
There was quite a party for calling Mr. Holley, after- 
wards a distinguished preacher among the Unitarians. 
Dr. Romiyn manifested a great interest in the spiritual 
welfare of children, and secured their affection by his 
familiar manner of calling them all by name. His cate- 
chetical exercises were esteemed among his most useful, 
often nearly two hundred attending the classes, from 
live and six years of age to eighteen. In hearing 
the recitations, he would be assisted by the elders, 
then adding such explanations and remarks as were 
profitable to all. Dr. Eomeyn's ministry was owned 
and blessed by the great Head of the Church, and many 
heads of families among our prominent citizens professed 
faith in Christ during his Christian labors. For a long 
time, from twelve to sixteen persons were added to the 
congregation every communion day. Many came by 
letters from other churches; and among such the ex- 
cellent and pious Mrs. Isabella Graham, Divie Bethune 
and wife, and Colonel Richard Yarick, &c. Of the sixty- 
seven persons who united originally in the subscriptions 
for building the Cedar Stix'ct Church, only one is known 



EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 163 

to be living. This is the esteemed and venerable Wil- 
liam Hall, now in his eightieth year, and residing at 
Cleveland, Ohio. He has been greatly blessed in his 
earthly pilgrimage, having two sons in the sacred office, 
and one daughter the wife of a minister. Of the twenty- 
eight who founded this church, only two were living a 
few months ago— Peletiah Perit and INIr. Hall ; but the 
former, that excellent citizen and faithful Christian, has 
recently gone to his heavenly mansion and rewards, 
and the venerable Mr. Hall alone is left. In speaking 
of .this fact himself, he says: "Our fathers, where are 
they ? and the prophets, do they live forever?" 

Mr. Potts was succeeded in Duane street by the Rev. 
James W. Alexander, D. D., installed October, 1844, the 
members soon numbering four hundred. This church 
was also taken down. Splendid marble stores now 
occupy the spot ; and the congregation removed to their 
noble and beautiful new edifice on the corner of Fifth 
Avenue and Nineteenth street. Here Dr. Alexander 
continued his Gospel labors until released from them to 
obtain the promises of the heavenly world. Precious 
is his memory, yea, more precious than gold, and dear 
as raptured thrills of joy ! 



164 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 



CHAPTER XV. 

SCOTCH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH BUILT REV. JOHN MASON HIS SON, 

JOHN M. MASON, D. D., SUCCEEDS HIM — THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES 

ESTABLISHED — DR. MASON IN THE PULPIT AND AS A WRITER HIS 

WORK ON " CATHOLIC COMMUNION" PRESIDENT OF CARLISLE COL- 
LEGE REV. MESSRS. SNODGRASS AND McAULEY SUCCEED HIM IN 

THE MURRAY STREET CHURCH CHURCH SOLD AND CONGREGATION 

REMOVE TO ASTOR PLACE ASSOCIATE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

EARLIEST CHURCHES FOREIGN HISTORY REV. JAMES PROUDFIT 

ARRIVES IN THIS COUNTRY, WITH OTHER MINISTERS NEW UNION 

FORMED, AND ITS LEADERS REV. THOMAS CLARK, ROBERT ANNAN, 

DR. ALEXANDER PROUDFIT SETTLEMENT OF IRISH PRESBYTERIANS 

IN ORANGE COUNTY, NEW YORK, UNDER AUSPICES OF COL. CLIN- 
TON ANOTHER IN WASHINGTON COUNTY. 

In the year 1768, the " Scotch Presbyterian Church," 
a line stone substantial liouse of worship, sixty-five by 
fifty-four feet, was erected on Cedar street near Broad- 
way. In June, 1761, the Rev. Jolm Mason, of Scotland, 
arrived in New York, and now became its pastor, and 
his influence greatly promoted the union between the 
Associate and Reformed Churches. After the union, 
this congregation became " The First Associate Reformed 
Cliurch in New York." 

Dr. John Mason was one of the most accomplished 
preachers and i)astors of his day. His scholarship was 
rare — at the early ago of twenty speaking the Latin lan- 
guage, on all the higher subjects of science, with as much 
ease as his mother tongue ; and he was equally familiar 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN FEW YORK. 165 

with the Hebrew. His lectures were in Latin, and at 
the age of t\yenty-fonr he taught logic and moral phi- 
losox)hy in the Seminary at Abernethy. As a preacher, 
he was very diligent and instructive, and few ministers 
ever lived in New York more esteemed, and, when 
dying, so generally lamented. 

In connection with Governor Livingston, of New Jer- 
sey, Dr. Mason wrote, it is thought, some powerful po- 
litical papers before the Revolution, and was banished 
from the city. For thirty years he ministered in this old 
Scot' s church, and died in the year 1792. 

After the death of Dr. John Mason, his son, John M., 
then studying theology at Edinburgh, was invited to 
succeed his father in the pulpit, and he accepted. Re- 
signing the pastorship of the Scotch Cedar Street Church 
in 1810, witli some of its members, a new congregation 
was organized, and, in 1812, they completed the elegant 
stone edifice on Murray street, then opposite Columbia 
College. Here Dr. Mason continued to ofliciate until 
elected Professor of Theology in the college at Car- 
lisle. 

Li the year 1800 it was resolved to establish a theo- 
logical seminary, as the only means to supply the in- 
creasing demand for ministers of the Associate Reformed 
Church. Dr. Mason was sent to England, in 1802, for 
the purpose of obtaining funds towards the object, and 
secured six thousand dollars, the greatest part of which 
was expended for the purchase of a valuable library. 
Five Scottish ministers returned with him to the United 
States. During the fall of 1804, the seminary com- 
menced its sessions at New York, and was the first of 



166 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

the kind established in the United States. For many 
years it was our most famous theological school. The 
honor of its origin and admirable plan of study belong 
to Dr. iNIason. At this period, the Doctor also had 
some connection with old and honored Columbia College, 
lecturing to the Senior Class on Greek and Latin criti- 
cism. Many graduates remember these rich, eloquent, 
and learned dissertations. 

We must also speak of his unrivalled pulpit elo- 
quence and immense popularity. He was one of the 
very few American preachers whose fame was as great 
in England as in the United States. 

Dr. Mason's writings rank high in our theological 
literature. His earliest work was upon Frequent Com- 
munion. For many years the Scottish churches had 
been accustomed to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord' s 
Supper not more than twice a year, and sometimes only 
once. Besides the usual preparation sermon, the sacra- 
mental Sabbath invariably was preceded by a fast on 
the previous Thursday, and succeeded by a thanks- 
giving day upon the following Monday. This, the Doc- 
tor believed, was palpably opposed to the sjDirifc of the 
" Directory," which declares that " the Lord's Supper is 
frequently to be observed." Some, however, had be- 
come so wedded to the set "days," as to imagine that 
it was almost a profanation to celebrate the solemn ordi- 
nance without tliem. These additions to the New Tes- 
tament Passover Dr. Mason opposed, and his " Letters" 
to the " Associate Reformed Church" i^roduced the de- 
sired change in many congregations. 

His great work, however, is a masterly treatise on 



EAKLIEST CIITTRCIIES IN NEW YORK. 1G7 

" Catholic Communion," publislied in 1816. Previous 
to its appearance, tlie Associate Reformed congregations, 
in common witli other branches of the Scottish Church 
in our hmd, had been exclusive in their commAinion. 
Strange illustration how an orthodox Church may plainly 
contradict lier own standards of faith ! In the days of 
the Westminster Assembly exclusive communion was 
condemned, whilst the Confession of the Scottish Church 
declares, in the plainest terms, the duty of communion 
with all, in every place, who call on the name of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. At an early period, however, of the 
Scottish secession, a spirit of sectarian exclusiveness 
manifested itself in new terms of communion. These 
virtually unchurched all other Christian denominations. 
The Doctor's great aim was to defend the doctrine of the 
Church on this subject, and to bring the practice of the 
Church into harmony with her own authorized stand- 
ards. This work gave great offence to many, who could 
not or would not agree with the author' s views ; but still 
it produced a catholic change in the administration of 
the Lord's Supper in a considerable portion of the 
Church of which its author was a member. 

After two years' residence at Carlisle College, Dr. 
Mason's health entirely failing, he returned to New 
York, where he finished his course in the year 1829. 

The Rev. William D. Snodgrass succeeded Dr. Mason 
in the Murray Street Church, September 22, 1823, re- 
maining pastor until September 22, 1832, wlien he 
removed to the Second Street Church. Troy. Dr. 
Thomas McAuley, of Philadelphia, and formerly the 
pastor iji the Rutgers Street Church, succeeded Dr. 



168 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Siiodgrass, January 31, 1833. This sacred edifice 
heavily in debt, and many of the congregation removed, 
after eight years' ministerial Labors of Dr. McAuley, 
tliey obtained another location. The property had be- 
come very valuable, and was sold. Noble stores now 
occupy the once sacred spot. A commanding site was 
obtained on Eighth street at Astor Place, and the old 
church, taken down, was removed, and here rebuilt in 
1842. It was known as the " Eighth Street," or the 
Church on Astor Place, its corporate name, however, 
remaining the ' ' Third Associate Reformed Church. ' ' In 
November, 1845, Dr. McAuley resigned his pastoral 
relations. 

We find no very authentic accounts of the earliest 
Scot' s Presbyterian Churches in this couutr}^, with the 
exception of a few once in South Carolina. There is 
much religious romance in their histoiy. As early as 
the year 1G80, Lord Cardon commenced a colony at Port 
Royal, as a refuge to his persecuted Presbyterian breth- 
ren, and their minister was the Rev. Dr. Dunlop, after- 
wards the Principal of the University of Glasgow. The 
Spanish invasion, with the English Revolution of 1G88, 
led the exiles to abandon this religious settlement and 
return to their native land. Numbers of private per- 
sons, however, remaining in Carolina, formed congrega- 
tions under a presbytery, which exist(^d until the close 
of the last century. Of these early churches, a few years 
ago only one remained — the "Old Scot's of Charles- 
ton." 

During 1660 to 1688, that dark period of Scottish his- 
tory, numbers of Presbyterians, transported to the 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IT^ NEW YORK, 169 

American plantations, were sold as slaves.* Yes ! we 
have had on our continent white slaves as Avell as Iblack ! 
Wodrow, an early historian, estimates their number at 
three thousand ; and they were sent mostly to Virginia, 
Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. To a congregation of 
these exiles in New Jersey, a Reverend Mr. Frazer 
preached for some years — then removed to New Eng- 
land—thence returned to Scotland. As the history 
of these earliest Scottish Churches is connected with 
that of the American Presbyterian, it is much to be 
regretted that the accounts of them are so exceedingly 
scanty. 

In the year 1736, the Associate Presbytery in Scot- 
land received a letter from a number of j)ersons in Lon- 
donderry, Chester County, Pennsylvania, soliciting an 
ordained minister or a probationary, and promising to 
pay the expenses of his mission. The demand, how- 
ever, for laborers at home was so great, that only a 
friendly letter was returned, f The Rev. Alexander 
Gellatly was the first minister sent to America by the 
Secession Church, who arrived in the year 1751, and, 
after a laborious ministry of eight years, completed his 
earthly mission at Octorara, Pennsylvania. In 1751, the 
Covenanters, or Reformed Presbyterians, commissioned 
the Rev. Mr. Cutlibertson, and he was followed, in 
1774, by the Rev. Messrs. Lind and^ Dobbin. The As- 
sociate Reformed Churches in our land arising from 
these denominations in Scotland, this very brief notice 
of them will not be out of place. 

* Dr. John Forsyth, in Riipp^s Religious Denominations, 
f McKenow's Hist. Secess.. i. 230. 



170 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

During the year 1751, Messrs James Haines and 
John Jamieson came over, as Missionaries, and in 1752 
Messrs. GeUatly and Arnot arrived. They were espe- 
cially charged, by the Synod, to constitute themselves 
into a Presbytery, which they did, under the name of 
the "Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania." In the 
year 1753, the Kev. James Proudfit arrived, and after 
laboring as an itinerant for some years he settled at 
Pequa, Pennsylvania. The American Presbytery was 
strengthened in 1 758 by the arrival of the Rev. Matthew 
Henderson, and in 1781, the Rev. Messrs. John Mason, 
Robert Annan, with John Smart ; in 1762, the Rev. 
William Marshall arrived. John Roger and John 
Smith came over in 1770. During that year, Thomas 
Clark, with most of his congregation, from Ballybay, 
Ireland, emigrated to America, and settled the town of 
Salem, Washington County, New York. He was fol- 
lowed by the Rev. Messrs. Telfair and Kinloch, the 
latter becoming the minister of the Burgher Congrega- 
tions, Shipper street, Pliiladelphia : Kinloch ultimately 
returned to Scotland, settling at Paisley. 

The American Revolution aided the union of the 
Associate Reformed Churches in America, which took 
place in October, 1782, under tlie name of the "Asso- 
ciate Reformed Synod of Nortli America." Tliey adopt- 
ed " the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Catechism, 
the Directory for Worship, and Propositions Concern- 
ing Church Government." A small minority declined 
to enter this association, and from it have sprung, in 
our land, the "Covenanter" Church, and the "Asso- 
ciate." 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 171 

Let us add a brief notice of the leaders wlio effected 
this union. The Rev. Thomas Clark was one, and no 
minister of his day, it is said, was "in labors more abun- 
dant." He was somewhat eccentric, and usually large 
crowds went to hear him. But he was eminently given 
to prayer, laborious and zealous, having many seals to 
his ministry. Thus making full proof of his Gospel 
mission, he died suddenly, after a most laborious life of 
thirty years, spent for the salvation of souls, at Long 
Cane, South Carolina, in 1796, Mr, Clark was the 
founder and the first minister of the Church at Salem, 
New York, 

We have spoken of the Rev. Dr. John Mason, another 
founder of the Associate Reformed Church, in a previous 
chapter. 

The Rev. Robert Annan had been a fellow- student 
with Dr. Mason, and coming to this country about the 
same period, embraced the same views of church polity. 
During the early part of the American Revolution, he 
zealously advocated the Whig cause, and about its close 
took charge of the newly formed Scot's Church, Bos- 
ton. Unable to enforce the discipline of the Presbyte- 
rian Church, he removed to Philadelphia, ministering 
to the Spruce Street Church. Then he accepted a call 
from a congregation in Baltimore, and, after six years' 
services, was succeeded by Dr. John M. Duncan. 

Mr. Annan was a man of eloquence, an able and se- 
vere controversialist. He wrote a short, excellent expo- 
sition of the Westminster Confession — a narrative of the 
ste-ps which led to the Union — a tract on Universalism, 
one on Civil Government, and engaged with Dr. Rush 



172 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

ill a discussion on capital punishment. Mr. Annan died 
in the year 1818. 

The Rev. James Proudfit, another Unionist, also re- 
ceived liis ministerial education at Abernethy, and his 
first settlement was at Pequa, Pennsylvania. Here, 
laboring upwards of twenty years, he settled at Salem, 
where he remained until his death, in 1802. The Rev. 
Dr. Alexander Proudfit was associated with him in the 
pastoral charge for some years before his death. Dr. 
Proudfit was one of the earliest Presbyterian ministers 
settled north of Troy, and abundant in labors for many 
years. He founded many congregations about Wash- 
ington County. So great was his knowledge of the 
Bible, as often to be called the Concordance. Of the 
other Covenanting Ministers, Messrs. Dobbin, Lind, and 
Cuthbertsou, we have been unable to obtain any authen- 
tic information. 

As early as the year 1734, a settlement of Irish Pres- 
byterians was made in Orange County, New York, 
under the auspices of Colonel Clinton, the founder of 
the Clinton fiunil}^ Another colony went to Washing- 
ton County with Dr. Clark, about 1780, and from these 
have arisen the various Associate Churches in this region. 

We have nothing to do with the Theological ques- 
tions early dividing the religious denominations of 
our city, but briefly to notice the history of each. The 
old Associate Church in New York commenced about 
the year 1751, by the separation of the Scottish members 
from the Wall Street, in consequence of changes in the 
forms of worship."" There arose a difference about 

* Dr. Cleland and J. P. Miller. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 173 

psalmodj^, those dissenting from the majority quietly 
withdrawing and establishing a new congregation with 
the name of the " Scotch Presbyterian Church," and 
placing themselves under the care of the Associated 
Presbytery of Pennsylvania. 



174 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XAa. 

COLONEL RUTGERS PRESENTS A LOT FOR A NEW PRESBYTERIAN 

CHURCH DR. MILLEDOLER CALLED DRS. McCLELLAN, McAULEY, AND 

KREBS HIS SUCCESSORS REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OR- 
GANIZED WILLIAM OGNEK REV. MR. MoKINNEy's ARRIVAL FIRST 

SACRAMENT ALEXANDER McLEOD INSTALLED HIS SERMON ON 

NEGRO SLAVERY CHURCH ERECTED ON CHAMBERS STREET RE- 
BUILT, AND THEN REMOVED TO GREENWICH VILLAGE DR. McLEOd's 

LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE IN THE PULPIT HIS LABORS LEADING 

MEMBERS OF HIS CHURCH, MESSRS. AGNEW, GIFFORD, NELSON 

REV. JOHN N. McLEOD SUCCEEDS HIS FATHER CHURCH REMOVED 

TO PRINCE STREET. 

New York now extending her borders towards its 
eastern section, a Presbyterian church was wanted there, 
when Colonel Rutgers presented a lot for the purpose, on 
the street named after himself. During the summer of 
1797 the desired work was commenced, and the spacious 
frame building, sixty-four by eighty-six feet in dimen- 
sions, opened for the Lord's worship May 13, 1798. 
Although Wall, the Brick, and Rutgers Churches were 
now a collegiate charge, still it was believed that soon 
each of them would stand alone. So, when the Rev. 
Dr. PhillixD Milledoler was installed a colleague with Drs. 
Rodgers, McKnight, and Miller, in November, 1805, the 
Rutgers street congregation Avas given to his more par- 
ticular care. AVhen a separation of these churches 
should take place, he was to be considered its sole pas- 



EARLIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YOKE. 175 

tor.'^" This separation was made in April, 1809, by tlie 
presbytery. The venerable Dr. Eodgers, now bowed 
down by the burden of many years, still continued his 
pastoral duties, both to the Wall Street and Brick 
Churches. Dr. McKnight had resigned his charge, the 
presbytery consenting. Dr. Miller remained the colle- 
giate pastor of Wall only, and Dr. Milledoler was the 
only minister of the Rutgers street congregation. Four 
years afterwards he resigned his charge, and became 
co-pastor of the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Churches in 
our city, and subsequently the president of Rutgers Col- 
lege. The Rutgers Street Church remained without a 
regular minister until October 17, I8I0, when Alexander 
McClellan, afterwards Doctor, was ordained and installed 
its pastor. The Doctor, elected a professor in Dickinson 
College, was succeeded in Rutgers street by Rev. Thomas 
McAuly, August, 1822, and he was followed by the pres- 
ent well known, beloved, able, and useful Dr. John M. 
Krebs. His pious labors have been greatly prospered in 
that portion of our growing city, and in 1841-2, the pres- 
ent large stone house of worsliip was erected on the site 
of the old oue.f In the year 1790 the Rev. James Reid 
visited the United States, on a mission from the Reformed 
Presbytery in Scotland. Reaching New York, he be- 
came the guest of Mr. John Agnew, whose excellent and 
pious family then resided at Peck Slip. In early life 
this gentleman had united with the Reformed Presbyte- 
rian Church, Ireland, and now joyfully opened his doors 
to the preaching of the new missionary. He baptized 

* Dr. Miller. 

f This congregation has recently removed to the upper part of the city. 



176 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

two children, AYilliam Agnew, afterwards a ruling elder 
in tlie clinrcli, and Mary Ann, then five months old, but 
subsequently Mrs. Dr. McLeod, the wife and the mother 
of the only pastors who have ever labored in this church 
of wliich we are now writing. Mr. Agnew died in 1820, 
aged sixty-eight, both parents closing lives of eminent 
Christian consistency, and leaving children and chil- 
dren's children walking in the truth. "The righteous 
shall be held in everlasting remembrance ;" and this was 
the commencement of the Reformed Presbyterian Church 
in New York. Mr. James Donaldson, also a native of 
Scotland, united with the pious little band. Mr. Reid, 
after his return to Scotland, lived to nearl}^ eighty, con- 
tinuing to preach even after afflicted with the loss of 
sight, until, full of years and blessings, he ended a well- 
spent life. Forty years after he left New York the late 
Dr. McLeod visited him in Scotland. 

In April, 1793, the Rev. Mr. McKinney arrived from 
Ireland — an ardent friend of civil and religious liberty. 
His preaching attracted much attention, when Mr. 
Andrew Gifford, a member of the Scotch Presbyterian 
Church under Dr. John Mason s charge, cast in his lot 
with this infant society. For many years he was clerk 
of the session, surviving all its original members. 

Soon after this, Messrs. Currie, Smith, Nelson, and 
Clark, landing in New York, all members of the Re- 
formed Presbyterian Church, acceded to this society, 
when the regular Church session commenced, June, 
1708. In August following, for the^r.9^^ time, the sacra- 
ment of the Lord's Supper was administered to fifteen or 
twenty communicants, in a school-room in Cedar street 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 177 

— ^tlie Revs. Mr. McKinncy and Gibson the officiating 
clergymen. Among tliose present on this occasion was 
Alexander, afterwards the Rev. Dr. McLeod. There is 
an entry, by Mr. Giflford, in an old book of records of this 
kind, July 10, 1799 : "The following subscription is in- 
tended for each Sabbath that we have sermon : John 
Agnew, one dollar ; Andrew Gilford, fifty cents ; James 
Donaldson, three shillings ; Duncan Campbell, twenty- 
five cents ; James Nelson, twenty-five cents ; David 
Clark, twenty-five cents ; Samuel Radcliflf, twenty-five 
cents ; John Thomson, twenty-five cents ; Mr. Boggs, 
twenty-five cents ; Hugh Small, twenty-five cents ; 
James Smith, twenty-five cents ; William Tait, twenty- 
five cents ; Mr. Fisher, twenty-five cents ; W. Acheson, 
twenty-five cents; Betty, sixpence; Letty, sixpence." 
Betty was Elizabeth Wilson, a Yexy pious domestic in Mr. 
Agnew' s life. Such humble Christian females have al- 
ways been found in Christ' s flock, sharing witli the Mas- 
ter' s followers their scanty earnings, and preparing for the 
heavenly state where all earthly distinctions fade away. 
Some years after, we find these same persons giving their 
tens and hundreds towards the erection of God' s house. 
July 6, 1801, marks an era in the history of the Re- 
formed Presb}' terian Church, N'ew York. On this day, 
Alexander McLeod was ordained and installed pastor 
of the united congregations at Wallkill and JN'ew York. 
The committee meeting on this occasion were John 
Black, William Gibson, and Samuel B. Wylie, minis- 
ters ; Andrew Giflford and Robert Beatty, ruling elders. 
"On the article of slavery, Mr. Beatty promised to 
have the freedom of the three negroes belonging to him 
12 



178 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

registered in the county court as soon as may be, viz., 
Sally and Candace at the age of twenty-live years, and 
Dick at the age of twenty-eight." 

Mr, McLeod had a previous call to "Wallkill, but 
among the subscribers to it were holders of slaves, and 
with such he was unwilling to commune. The Presby- 
tery, considering the subject, "enacted that no slave- 
holder should be retained in their communion." The 
account adds: "No slaveholder has since been admit- 
ted to the communion of the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church."'" In the year 1802, Mr. McLeod published 
his sermon, "Negro Slavery Unjustifiable," producing, 
it is said, an impression in favor of emancipation. 

The two congregations at New York and Wallkill, or 
Coldenham, engaged to pay Mr. McLeod a salary of four 
hundred and eighty-eight dollars annually, but at the 
expiration of three years he selected New York as the 
onl}^ field of his labors. The church here now contained 
about thirty members, and tliey met for religious ser- 
vices in a small room on Cedar street. Soon after, a neat 
and commodious frame church was erected in Chambers 
street, and prosperity followed tlie undertaking. In 
1805, the session was increased by the addition of 
Dr. Sanuiel Guthrie, Hugh Orr, and William Acheson, 
as ruling elders. At the close of 1812, the congregation 
numbered one hundred and thirty-eight communicants, 
when John Edgar and AVilliam Pattison were added to 
the session, with Mr. Thomas Cumming in 1817. 

This edifice, noAv too small, was taken down, and a 
large brick one erected on its site in the year 1818. Dr. 

* Rov. Pr. McLcod's discourse, "The Stone of Help," December 26, 1847. 



EARLIEST CIIUECIIES IN" NEW YORK. 179 

McLeod liad continued to labor with all diligence in liis 
sacred calling ; he had composed, also, and published 
his "Ecclesiastical Catechism," "Lectures on the Pro- 
phecies," "Sermons on the AVar," and " Discourses on 
the Life and Power of True Godliness." These were 
productions of great mental power and theological 
knowledge, blessed to many readers. 

Opposite the church stood the old City Alms House, 
with many destitute children ; a member of this congre- 
gation commenced a Sabbath-school among them. She 
was a widow lady by the name of Grant Bossing, and 
this must have been one of the earliest religious institu- 
tions of the kind in our city. Her name should be grate- 
fully remembered and recorded. 

During the year 1827, some members of this congre- 
gation purchased the Reformed Dutch Church in Green- 
wich Village, as then called, to accommodate the people 
residing in that region. Dr. McLeod opened it for di- 
vine service, and this became the Second Reformed 
Presbyterian Church in New York. Tliere Avas, how- 
ever, some opposition to the measure, and during its 
discussion. Dr. ]\IcLeod, whose health had become im- 
paired, sailed for Europe. On his return, both congre- 
gations, now legally organized, offered him the choice 
of either for his future labors, when he decided to re- 
main with the old body, in December, 1830. 

About 1832-3, the storm of Secession disturbed tlie 
whole Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United 
States, concerning which it is not necessary for us to 
enter into the details. A minority of this congregation 
seceded, forming a separate organization, and com 



180 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOllK. 

mencing suit for the possession of the- property. But 
they were unsuccessful, and the congregation settled the 
difterence by voluntarily paying a sum of money to the 
"Seceders," to end the unprofitable controversy. Dr. 
McLeod and people had always acted on the defensive, 
and although their faith and patience were severely 
tried, mutual confidence and love again appeared and 
continued among the old flock. 

On the first Sabbath in December, 1832, Dr. McLeod 
made his last public appearance, having preached during 
the previous three months two discourses, on successive 
Sabbaths, from the impressive words, "To die is gain." 

The last time he addressed his people was the Com- 
munion Sabbath, and the occasion is engraven on many 
hearts. "I never rose," said the preacher, "to speak 
to saints and sinners in the name of Jesus Christ without 
fear and trembling. How much more do I now tremble, 
under this load of infirmity, b}^ which I am admonished 
that my work is nearly done." He spoke most impres- 
sivel}^ of the "Tree of Life," and suddenly closed, after 
distributing the, symbols of our Saviour' s death; by ad- 
monishing all to make sure of Heaven, and added : "But 
I feel that my labors in the sanctuary below are about to 
close. I shall soon go away to eat the fruit of the Tree 
of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise above." 
Two months after, on another Sabbath morning, from 
his dying bed, he blessed his family around him, in the 
name of the Lord, then prayed, and fixing his last 
look on his pious and beloved wife, watching at his side, 
said, distinctly, "It is tlie Sabbath, and I am at j^eace," 
and then fell asleep in Clirist, February 17th, 1833, 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN" NEW YORK. 181 

aged fifty-eight years, and in the thirty-fonrth of his 
ministry. 

Dr. McLeod was the first pastor of this chnrcli, wliose 
pulpit lias not been vacant for almost sixty-one years. 
He was born on the Island of Mull, Scotland, June 12th, 
1774, his father and maternal grandfather ministers in 
the Chnrcli of Scotland. His father's parish, the Rev. 
Neal McLeod, embraced the celebrated Island of loiia, 
where Columba taught a pure faith and Gospel more 
than twelve centuries before ! Dr. Johnson, in his visit 
to the Hebrides, called at the house of Neal McLeod, 
and pronounced him the ' ' clearest headed man in the 
Highlands." His son Alexander, deprived early by 
death of both parents, resolved to make the New World 
his home, reaching New York in 1792. Then eighteen 
years old, he went to Schenectady, on the opening of 
Union College, 1798, and graduated with honor. On 
the 24tli of June, 1799, he was licensed by the Presby- 
tery to preach at Coldenham, New York, and in 1801 
was installed at New York. We have spoken of his 
writings, which are elaborate, and among the reprints of 
our day. Ardently attached to his own Church, still he 
co-operated with good men in good works, and stood fore- 
most among the literary men and pulpit orators of his 
day. 

The degree of D. D. was confered upon him by the 
University of Vermont, and the honorary one of M. D. 
offered to liim from the New York College of Physicians 
and Surgeons. This he declined, lest, as he remarked, 
" he might be led away from his projDer work." 
He also received formal calls to the Reformed Dutch 



182 EARLIEST CHCTRCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Cljurcli in Garden street, the Wall street and the 
Rutgers street congregations ; but he declined them alL 
In 1812, he was elected vice-president of the College of 
New Jersey, and subsequently, with Dr. Wylie, of 
Philadelphia, and Romej^i, New York, was invited to 
take charge of Dickinson College, Pennsylvania. But 
he would not leave his pulpit, with its important, sol- 
emn duties. 

It is worthy of remembrance that Dr. McLeod, in the 
year 181G, visited Washington, and preioared the way to 
organize the American Colonization Society. He wrote 
the Constitution. What untold blessings would be se- 
cured to two continents and their myriad populations, if 
our Negro race, now causing, remotely, such horrors and 
bloodshed among us, could have been sent to Africa by 
this noble philanthropy ! Dr. McLeod departed this life, 
liis work done, in faith, love, and hope, February 17th, 
1833, aged fifty-nine, and the tliirty-fourth of his ministry. 
He rests in Greenwood, where his congregation have 
erected a suitable monument to his beloved memory. 

Mr. Jolin Agnew, one of the first ruling elders of the 
Reformed Presbyterian Churcli, was also a good and 
remarkable man, by birth an Irishman, a descendant of 
the Covenanters from tlie earlier times. A merchant 
in Belfast, he had been severely fined by the magistrate, 
when taking an oath, for not "kissing the book." His 
windows had been also broken by the mob, because he 
would not illuminate them for some victory of the Brit- 
ish over the American forces. He disliked the English 
rule of Ireland, and sympathizing with our land, he 
sought an asylum in New York, 1783. Mr, Agnew 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 183 

possessed intelligence, sound judgment, and piety. 
From principle, he devoted a tenth of his income to the 
promotion of God's service, besides other voluntary 
benefactions. "You are going to leave us," said Dr. 
McLeod, his son-in-law, just before he expired. "I 
am," replied the dying man ; "and I am going to a bet- 
ter country." "Do you know the way?" added the 
Doctor. "Yes," he answered, "as well as I know the 
way to the Coffee House" (the name of the old Ex- 
change). 

Mr. Andrew Gifford was another member of the origi- 
nal session of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church 
in New York. He was born at Loanhead, near Edin- 
burgh, and came to America before the formation of the 
Federal Constitution. A man of lovely character, he 
was intelligent, judicious, devout, and highly useful in 
the judicatories of the Church. He was liberal with his 
means, walking with God, and preparing for the life to 
come. He died in the Lord, at the advanced age of 
eighty-four, having lived a life of Christian consistency. 

James Nelson, also one of the earliest elders, was born 
in Ireland, and had been a ruling elder there. He was 
greatly attached to his Church, and served her faithfully ; 
stern, but softened with increasing years, he sought to 
do good with all men. Also reaching old age, he dej)arted 
in the joyful lio^^es of the Gospel. Mr. Nelson was the 
father of Joseph Nelson, LL. D., for many years, though 
blind, the well-known classical teacher in New York 
city. His scholars were always among the best prepared 
for college. Ultimately, he occupied the professorship 
of languages in Rutgers College, New Jersey. 



184 EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

To complete the list of the original session of the first 
Reformed Presbyterian Church, we must add the name 
of David Clark. He was a Scotchman, lived nearly 
forty years in New York, and died in 1836, " as a shock 
of corn ripe in its season." For some time after his 
settlement, Dr. A. McLeod made his home under the 
hospitable roof of Mr. Clark, and they remained devoted 
friends until death. In his will, he left one thousand 
dollars to the trustees of the church, in trust, for the sup- 
port of the Gospel, and "though dead," he thus speaketh, 
and does good. 

A few weeks before the death of Dr. A. McLeod, the 
congregation called his son, the Rev. John N. McLeod, 
as colleague with his father. He remains to this time 
its faithful pastor. In the year 1835, the congregation 
removed from Chambers to the Union Presbyterian 
Church, on Prince and Marion streets. This congrega- 
tion, since its establishment in New York, has main- 
tained itself in good feeling with the others around it. 
The father and the son have been its two ministers, the 
former serving his generation for more than thirty-three 
years, and the latter thirty-two. This is a beautiful 
coincidence in relationship and the sacred ofiice, and, 
amidst the never-ceasing changes of our great city, 
such an example of stability in the pastoral relations is 
very seldom known. We do not remember a similar 
instance in the history of the hundreds of New York 
churches. 

In the year 1849, the congregation sold their church 
property in Prince street, and erected a new, fine house 
of worshij) on Twelfth street, and without any encum- 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 185 

brance, a circumstance that can be so seldom written 
about our city cliurclies. There have been three off- 
shoots, between the years 1848 and 1854, from this 
congregation, but made at periods not embraced in 
our x)lan. 



IPO EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

ASSOCIATE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH FORMED BY REV. MR. BEVERIDGE, 

1785, AND HOUSE ERECTED ON NASSAU STREET HIS SUCCESSORS 

UNITE WITH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

MINISTERS MAGAZINE STREET CHURCH, AFTERWARDS PEARL ITS 

FIRST PASTOR, REV. ROBERT FOREST^HIS SUCCESSORS, JOHN CLARK, 
WILLIAM W. PHILLIPS, WALTER MONTEITH, BENJAMIN RICE, HENRY 

A. ROWLAND, CHARLES H. READ CHURCH BURNED AND REBUILT 

BAPTIST CHURCH COMMENCED, 1762 ITS FOUNDERS ELDER GANO 

GOLD STREET CHURCH TURNED INTO A STABLE FOR THE BRITISH 

CAVALRY MINISTERS NEW STONE CHURCH BUILT 1802 SLAVERY 

QUESTION NEW CONGREGATION FORMED ON ROSE STREET REV. 

MR. PARKINSON NEW CHURCH BUILT ON BROOME AND ELM STREETS, 

REV. DR. CONE, PASTOR CHURCHES SPRUNG FROM GOLD STREET 

CONGREGATION. 

This first Associate Presbyterian Churcli in our city 
was formed by tli(i Rev. Thomas Beveridge, in tlie spring 
of 1785, and lie afterwards settled at Cambridge, New 
York,' and died at Barnet, Vermont, July 23, 1798. For 
this congregation, a house of Avorship was erected in 1787, 
on Nassau street, near Fulton. Its first pastor, the Rev. 
John Cree, was installed October 12, 1792, and remain- 
ing only two years, he removed to Pennsylvania. For 
eiglit years, this congregation remained without any 
pastor, when, early in 1821, the Rev. Andrew Stark 
was appointed by the Presbytery to supply the vacancy, 
and installed in May, 1820. Two years afterwards, this 
congregation sold tlieir house of worship in Nassau 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 187 

street, and erected a new one on the corner of Grand 
and Mercer streets, to which they removed in August, 
1824. There were two other branches of the Associate 
Church, one on the corner of Thompson and Prince, 
and the other at tlie corner of Houston and Forsyth 
streets. 

In May, 1822, the three "Associate Reformed" 
Churches of New York, witli nine others elsewhere, 
belonging to the same Synod, united with the General 
Assembly of tlie Presbyterian Church. Several years 
now passed away, during whicli period there was no 
Associate Reformed congregation in New York. In the 
year 1831, however, the Rev. William McAuley col- 
lected and organized "the Fourth Associate Reformed 
Church." Its members held their first meeting October, 
1831, in the Rutgers Medical College, Duane street, and 
afterwards purchased the house of worship on Franklin, 
near Varick street, 1837. Here labored, with much 
acceptance and success, the Rev. James Lillie and the 
Rev. William McLaren. The "Fifth Associate Re- 
formed Church" was founded November, 1838, cliiefly 
through the efibrts of the Rev. James Mairs. At 
first he preached in a school-room, Allen street — then 
he removed to the Medical College, Crosby street, and 
died 1840. The Rev. Peter Gordon succeeded him, 
the congregation. May 1, 1844, purchasing a house of 
worship near Abingdon Square, on Jane street. These 
last-named churches we can only thus generally notice, 
as they do not belong to the oldest in our city, but Avere 
descendants of the "Associate Reformed." 

In point of time, there was an Associate Reformed 



188 EARLIEST CIIUECIIER IN TiEW YORK. 

congregation organized earlier than tlie Murray street 
one. This was the second or "Magazine Street Church," 
afterward Pearl, founded in the year 1797. Their house 
of worship, a substantial stone edifice, sixty-six feet long, 
fifty-six wide, stood on Pearl, between Elm and Broad- 
way. It formed for a few years a collegiate charge with the 
Scotch Church, Cedar street, but separated again in 1804. 

The Rev. Robert Forest, a native of Dunbar, Scot- 
land, was the first pastor, installed in the spring of 
1804, and labored here with talent and fidelity for seven 
years. He died in Stamford, Delaware County, New 
York, in 1846, aged seven ty-eight. He was succeeded 
by the Rev. John X. Clark, in 1811. After seven 
3^ears' labors, he resigned the charge, and the Rev. 
William W. Phillips was installed, in 1818 ; but during 
the year 1826, he was called, and accepted the Wall 
Street Church. The Rev. Walter Monteith followed 
Dr. Phillips, and installed August 23, 1826 ; his minis- 
try continuing until 1829, and then, in December, the 
Rev. Benjamin H. Rice took charge of the congregation. 
He resigned in 1833, and the Rev. Henry A. Rowland 
took his place, April 17, 1834. This church, three years 
afterwards, was destroyed by fire, but rebuilt. Mr. 
Rowland resigning the charge in 1843, the Rev. Charles 
H. Reed was installed December 13, 1843. 

There were Baptists as early as 1657 in Xcav Nether- 
lands, as we learn from a letter written by Dominies Mega- 
polensis and Drissius, of the Reformed Dutch Church, to 
the Classis of Amsterdam, August 5, 1657. The commu- 
nication relates to the state of religion in the province, 
1657-1712. Speaking of Long Island, it says : "Graves- 



EAELIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 189 

end, Middleburg, Vlissingen, and Heemstede, were es- 
tablished by the Engiisli. Those of Gravesend are 
reported Mennonists : yea, they, for the most part, reject 
Infant Baptism, the Sabbath, the office of Preacher, and 
the Teachers of God's word, saying, that through these 
have come all sorts of contention into the world. When- 
ever they meet together, the one or the other reads some- 
thing for one. . . . Last year a fomenter of error 
came there. lie was a cobbler from Rhode Island, in 
New England, and stated that he was commissioned by 
Christ. He began to preach at Flushing, and then went 
with the people into the river and dipped them. This 
becoming known, the Fiscal proceeded thither and 
brought him along. He Avas banished the province."* 
His name was Wickenden. 

The same letter states that one young Indian had been 
instructed for two years, "so that he could read and 
write good Dutch." He was also furnished with a 
Bible, "in order to work through him some good among 
the Indians. But it all resulted in nothing. He has 
taken to drinking of brandy ; he pawned the Bible and 
became a real beast, who is doing more harm than good 
among the Indians." At that early period, as now, the 
vice of intemperance too often cursed both civilized and 
savage men. Said an Onondaga Chief, "When we visit 
Fort Orange, they never talk to us of prayer, and we do 
not know even if they pray there." 

About fifty years after this period, we find ' ' the humble 
peticon of Nicholas Eyers, brewer, a Baptist teacher in the 

* This letter was translated by the Rev. Dr. De Witt. See Doc. Hist., vol. 
iii. 103. 



190 EARLIEST CHURCHES IX NEW YORK. 

city of New York," to His Excellency Governor Wil- 
liam Burnet/^ He states that lie had hired a house in 
Broad street, on the first Tuesday of February, 1715, 
"for an anabatised meeting-house,'" and "had been a 
public preacher to a baptist congregacon within this city 
for four years," and had "an ample certificate of his 
good behaviour and innocent conversacon." 

Mr. Eyers, therefore, humbly prays Governor Burnet, 
that he may be permitted ' ' to execute the ministerial! 
function of a minister within this city' ' to a Baptist con- 
gregation. Testimonials also were presented of his 
good character — "blameless, and free from any noto- 
rious public slander and vice, has gained himself the 
good name and reputation of his neighbours of being a 
sober, just, and honest man ; and is said to be an ana- 
baptist, as to his profession in religion." 

The Governor accordingly granted, on the 23d January, 
1721, his request, and agreeably to the British statute at 
that period. This is the earliest record we have met 
with of -a Baptist church in our city. The Rev. A. D. 
Gillette states, that the first Baptist church in New York 
was founded in the year 1762, but that "Baptist wor- 
ship and an irregular church arrangement had been 
maintained" t in this city from 1669. 

We have an authentic account of the " First Baptist 
Church in the city of New York," in the Jubilee Ser- 
mon, by the Rev. Mr. Parkinson, its pastor. It was de- 
livered in the "Gold Street Meeting-house," January 1, 
1813, its fiftieth anniversary. Before the formation of 
thir-; congregation, a Baptist society had existed, consist- 

*Doc. Tlist, vol. Hi. 480. f Rupp's Rol. Den., p. 54 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW TORE. 191 

iiig however of professed Arrainians, but called Baptist, 
merely from tlieir ordinance of immersion. It was 
founded loy the Rev. Mr. Wickenden, of Providence, 
Mr. Whitman, of Groton, and Mr. Ayres, New York, all 
of whom were Arminian Baptist preachers. 

Mr. Wickenden first preached here about the year 
1709, suffering three months imprisonment for officiating 
without license from the crown officer. Mr. Whitman 
came to the city at the invitation of Mr. Ayres, at whose 
house he preached occasionally for two years. Under 
his ministry, a number became serious ; he baptized 
Nicholas Ayres, Nathaniel Morey, Anthony Webb, John 
Howes, Edward Hoyter, Cornelius Stephens, James 
Daneman, Elizabeth Morey, Hannah Wright, Esther 
Cowley, Martha Stephens, Mrs. Miller. These twelve 
are said to have been the first persons baptized in this 
city. Fearing a mob, the females received the ordinance 
at night. The next day, however, the others were quietly 
baptized, in the presence of Governor Burnet. 

In the year 1724, Mr. Ayres was ordained the pastor 
of this little flock, by Elders Valentine Whitman, of 
Groton, and Daniel Whitman, of Newport. His hearers 
increasing, the private house could not accommodate 
them, when a lot was purchased on "Golden Hill" — 
John, Clilf, and Gold streets, and during the year 1728 a 
place of worship erected. To the pious band six more 
were added — William Ball, Ahasuerus Windal (Albany), 
Abigail and Dinah North (Newtown), Martha Walton, 
(Long Island), and Richard Stilwell, Jr. Mr. Ayres 
remaining their pastor seven years, then removed to 
Newport, Rhode Island, in 1731, where he died. A Mr. 



192 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Jolin Stevens succeeded liim, baptizing six more persons 
— Robert North, Mary Murphy, Hannah French, Mary 
Stilwell, and two others Avhose names we have not ascer- 
tained. Mr. Stevens going to Soutli Carolina, their 
meeting-house was sold as private property, when the 
Arminian Baptist Church, then numbering twenty-four 
members, dissolved, after a history of eight years. 

About 1745, Jeremiah Dodge, a Baptist from Fishkill, 
settled in ISTew York and opened his house for prayer- 
meetings. During the same year. Elder Benjamin Mil- 
ler, of Scotch Plains, visited the city and baptized Joseph 
Meeks, who, with Mr. Dodge and a Mr. Robert North, 
united in an invitation to John Pine, a licentiate at Fish- 
kill, to be their preacher. His preaching place appears 
principally to have been the house of Mr. Meeks. In 
1750, Mr. Pine dying, the little flock Avas visited by 
Elder James Carman, of Cranberry, and their number 
was increased to thirteen. They united with the Baptist 
Church at Scotch Plains, New Jersey, as a branch, in 
1753 ; Elder Benjamin Miller their pastor, who preached 
to them and administered the Lord's Supper once a 
quarter. 

The congregation soon becoming too large for any pri- 
vate dwelling, a rigging-loft, on Horse and Cart street, 
was obtained for tlieir public services. This was the 
early name of William street. 

As soon as the Baptists had erected tlieir ' ' meeting- 
house" in Gold street, on the IDtli of June, 1762, they 
were solemnly constituted a church, by the assist- 
ance of Elders Benjamin Miller and John Gano. On 
the same day, John Carman and Samuel Edmunds 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORX. 193 

were elected the first deacons, and Samuel Dodge, Clerk. 
Mr. Dodge remained a faitliful officer, both as deacon 
and clerk, from the constitution of the church until his 
death, a period of more than forty years. He ended his 
useful and unblemished life in Poughkeepsie, October 
4, 1807, aged seventy-seven years. Jolm Bedient was 
chosen next, resigning in 1809, when Deacon Rosewell 
Graves became clerk of the cliurch. 

As soon as the Gold Street Church was constituted, 
Elder John Gano was unanimously called to take charge 
of its pastorate. He had been officiating at Yadkin, 
North Carolina, and his " praise was in all the churches" 
— of Huguenot descent, and born in New Jersey in 1727, 
where he was called to the Gospel ministry, 1754 ; he 
first preached at Morristown for two years, and then re- 
moved to North Carolina, where he collected a large 
congregation. His flock dispersed by the Indians in 
the war of 1756, himself and family fled for their lives. 

At New York, his hearers increased so much that it 
became necessary to enlarge their *' meeting-house" in the 
year 1763. The congregation, then numbering forty-one 
members, and prosperous, was received into the Phila- 
delphia Association, maintaining this connection untU 
October, 1790, twenty-seven years, when they took a 
dismission from that venerable body, to form an associa- 
tion with other churches in this city. 

On the 12th of April following, the representatives of 
seven Baptist Churches assembled in New York for this 
purpose— Scotch Plains, New Jersey ; Oyster Bay, Long 
Island ; Morristown, New Jersey ; Cannoe Brook, now 

Northfield ; Staten Island, with the first and second 
13 



194 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

(Bethel) in New York. This body adjourned to October 
19, 1791, wlien its members formally united under the 
name of the New York Baptist Association. Its first 
meeting assembled October 31, 1792, when five other 
churches were added — Piscataway, Lyon's Farms, 
Mount Bethel, Potafrag, and Sag Harbor. The body then 
adjourned till the last Wednesday but one in May, 1793, 
and this month has been the time of its annual meeting 
ever since. The first church in New York consisted of 
two hundred members, and their peace was disturbed, 
Mr. Gano records, ' ' by the arrival of two or three 
preachers from England." From his statement, they 
aimed to divide the church, but failed, causing however 
much trouble.* 

Soon after this, there arose much difference of opinion 
about Psalmody. The old custom had been to have the 
lines read, or "given out;" but now a large majorit}" 
favored singing from the books, as is now the custom. 
The minority, liowever, numbering fourteen, took their 
dismissions June 5, 1790, and were constituted the 
"Second Baptist Church in New York," by Elders 
Miller and Gano. Its first pastor was the Rev. John 
Dodge, a native of Long Island, born in 1738, and stu- 
died medicine. He became a Baptist in Baltimore, and 
joining the Second Church in New York, was licensed to 
preach January 14, 1771. 

During our Revolutionary War, Mr. Gano became a 
chaplam in the army, and this church was dispersed. 
The last time he administered baptism, before this event, 
was on April 28, 1776, and the first, after his return, on 

* Life of Gano, written by himself. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IK NEW YORK. 195 

September 4th, 1784. On reassembling his flock, Mr. 
Gano remarks: "We collected of our church about 
tliirty-seven members out of upwards of two hundred ; 
some being dead, and others scattered into almost every 
part of the Union." 

The "Gold Street Meeting-house," in common mth 
some other places of worship, had been turned into a 
stable for the British cavalry. Soon repaired, however, 
after the peace, Mr. Gano preached an appropriate ser- 
mon from this text : " Who is left among you that saw 
this house in her first glory 1 and how do ye see it now ? 
Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing ?" 
Hag. ii. 3. The congregation soon again greatly in- 
creased ; and, much to the sorrow of its members, their 
pastor, after preaching to them nearly twenty- six years, 
removed to Kentucky. On the 4th of Ma}^, 1788, he 
delivered an affectionate sermon from " Fare ye well," 
Acts XV. 29 ; and the next day left with his family for 
his new home, reaching Limestone in May following. 
Br. Benjamin Foster, of Newport, Rhode Island, suc- 
ceeded him, in 1788. Ho received his degree of D. D. 
from the College of Rhode Island, for his learned ' ' Dis- 
sertation on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel ;' ' he excelled 
in the oriental languages. The Doctor's ministry, al- 
though acceptable, experienced difficulties, some of his 
members professing to discover in his discourses what 
was then called " New Divinity." 

With such controversies we have nothing to do, but 
to record them. The difficulty, however, became so 
serious, that a number of persons took letters of dis- 
mission, and joined the Second Baptist Church. Dr. 



196 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEAV YORK. 

Foster died of the yellow fever, during the prevalence 
of that epidemic in 1798, aged forty-eight, and in the 
twenty- second of his ministry. Mr. AVilliam Collier, a 
licentiate of the Second Baj^tist Church, Boston, next 
occupied this pulpit, in 1800. In March, 1801, the " old 
meeting-house" taken down, a new one was opened 
upon the same spot, Sunday, May 2, 1802, Dr. Stephen 
Gano, of Providence, delivering the discourse, from 
" An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me," etc. Ex. 
XX. 24. The edifice measured eighty feet by sixty-five, 
built of stone, and cost about twenty-five thousand dol- 
lars. During its erection, the congregation worshipped 
in the French Huguenot Church, Pine street. 

In 1804, Jeremiah Chaplin, a young man from Dan- 
vers, Massachusetts, was called to aid Mr. Collier, 
whose health became feeble. Having faithfully served 
the Gold street congregation, he accepted a call from 
Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1804. Mr. Chaplin was 
ordained the same yeai', and returned immediately to 
Danvers. 

The Rev. WUliam Parkinson, A. M., from Frederick- 
town, Maryland, became pastor of this congregation on 
the 8th of February, 1805, and, for the first time after 
his arrival, administered baptism to two subjects on 
Sunday, March 3, 1805, and eight the following month. 
Mr. Parkinson's ministry was crowned with much suc- 
cess, his communicants increasing nearly one hundred 
during the first year of his Christian labors. 

After a few years, however (1808), some dissensions 
arose about doctrine and slave-holding. It was re- 
solved, "tliat in future, no person holding a slave for 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 197 

life slionld Ibe admitted a member," and a committee 
was appointed " to wait on such of the members as held 
slaves, to obtain, if possible, their consent to manumit 
them, at such periods as their several ages and times of 
past service might justify, and to take their certificates 
of the same accordingly." This question made differ- 
ences of opinion, until, linally, twenty-six of the members 
requested a dismission, to be constituted a church. In 
Marcli, 1811, their request granted, they formed a new 
congregation, under the name of "Zoar." They hired 
a little church on Rose street, oj)posite the Quaker 
meeting-house, inviting their old pastor, Mr. Parkin- 
son, to preach at its opening. But this society dissolved 
in less than a year. 

The Rev. William Parkinson continued in the pastoral 
office about thirty-five years, when he resigned, in 1840. 
At that period, it was thought expedient to remove the 
place of worship, when the new and elegant stone 
building was finished on the corner of Broome and Eli- 
zabeth streets, and opened for public worship in the 
spring of 1841. In July following, the Rev. Spencer 
H. Cone, D. D., of the Oliver Street Baptist Church, was 
invited to the pastoral office in this, and he entered im- 
mediately upon its duties. In 1845, he reported nearly 
six hundred members in his communion. 

Some notice should be taken of the early churches 
that proceeded from old Gold street, and we follow the 
time of their organization. Peekskill, Stamford, Con- 
necticut, 1773. Abyssinian, Anthony street ; Newtown, 
Long Island ; JSTorth Ba]ptist, Budd street, New York — 
all constituted in the year 1809. The ministers of these 



198 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

congregations, when founded, were Thomas Ustick, who 
died in Philadeljjhia, 1803 ; Ebenezer Ferris, who consti- 
tuted the church in Stamford, 1773, preaching there for 
many years ; Isaac Skilhnan, afterwards Doctor, who 
became pastor of the congregation at Salem, New Jer- 
sey, where he ended his days ; Stephen Gano, son of 
the pastor in Gold Street Church, who studied medicine, 
and for many years served the First Baptist Church, 
Providence, Rliode Island ; Thomas Montanye, who 
labored for several years at Deer Park, Warwick, New 
York, and then in Southampton, Pennsylvania ; Corne- 
lius P. Wyckoff, pastor of the North Baptist Church in 
this city ; James Bince, who became pastor of the Bap- 
tist Church on Staten Island, and died at the early age 
of nineteen, in 1811. 

The Baptist Church on Staten Island was principally 
formed of persons who had been communicants in the 
old Gold Street Tabernacle. Elder Elkanah Holmes 
was one of the early and most useful preachers in that 
section. He afterwards retired to Canada.* 

* Mr. Parkinson's Jubilee Sermon. 



EAELIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 199 



CHAPTER XVIIL 

BAPTIST CHURCHES, CONTINUED " BETHESDA" SECOND BAPTIST 

CHURCH BETHEL, ON ROSE STREET PASTORS REV. MB. CHASE 

HIS NEW CHURCH ON CHRISTIE AND DELANCEY DIFFICULTIES 

OLIVER STREET CHURCH REV. JOHN WILLIAMS, PASTOR; MR. CONE, 

ASSISTANT ABYSSINIAN CHURCH IN ANTHONY, NEAR WEST BROAD- 
WAY MINISTERS NORTH BEBEAH CHURCH IN VANDAM A COLONY 

FROM GOLD STREET DESTROYED BY FIRE, AND A NEW HOUSE 

BUILT IN MCDOWELL STREET PASTORS OTHER CHURCHES FROM 

THE BE RE AN. 

When the Rev. Mr. Parkinson resigned tlie charge 
of the First Baptist Church in Gold street, 1840, about 
seventy of its members, preferring to remain under his 
ministr}^, organized the " Bethesda Church." They 
held meetings in a school-room in Crosby street, Mr. 
Parkinson preaching for them, until prevented by in- 
firmity from officiating any longer. The Rev. J. C. 
Hopkins became their next pastor. 

SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH. 

Tlie difiiculties before alluded to in the First Baptist 
Church, during the ministries of the Rev. Messrs. 
Gano (1770) and Dr. Foster (1790), led to the establish- 
ment of the " Second Baptist Church in Kew York." 
Differences arose here also, and, in the year 1791, this 
congregation divided into two parties, both claiming the 
name of the " Second Church." But better counsels 



200 EARLIEST CHURCHES 11^ NEW YORK. 

prevailing, they relinquished the title they had so long 
differed about. One party was called the "Bethel 
Church," and the other " The Baptist Church in Fayette 
street." Thus the "Second Baptist Church in New 
York" became no longer known by that name. 



BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH. 

After this division, the Bethel Church continued their 
worship in the little building on Rose street, near Pearl. 
In 1793, it numbered only thirty-seven members, the 
Rev. Adam Hamilton their pastor, who remained until 
1795, when the Rev. Chaiies Loliatt succeeded him in 
the ministry for seven years. The Rev. Daniel Hall 
became the next pastor for fourteen years, and was suc- 
ceeded by tlie Rev. Johnson Chase, in the year 1817. 

Mr. Hall, early in his ministry, about 1806, removed 
with his congregation from Rose street to a small wooden 
building on Broome street, near the Bowery. When 
Mr. Chase commenced the pastorate, a large congrega- 
tion soon collected, numbering, in 1820, over four hun- 
dred communicants. During the year 1820, they erected 
a commodious brick church, sixty -five by eighty-five 
feet in size, on the corner of Christie and Delancey streets. 
The congregation continued until 1830, when difficulties 
and parties arising, the following year, those opposed 
to the pastor claimed to be the true "Bethel Church," 
and were joined by the members of the Elizabeth Street 
Church and their pastor, the Rev. William G. Miller. 
Curious enough, both parties presented the usual letter 
to the Association, the one claiming Mr. Chase as their 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 201 

pastor, and the other, Mr. Miller. Warmly contested, 
the matter was postponed a year, but finally settled in 
favor of Mr. Miller's claims. Mr, Chase and adherents 
then withdrew from the Association, recording their 
reasons, and Mr. Miller's congregation was acknowl- 
edged as the true Bethel Church. • Both still claiming 
the house of worship, very improper efforts were made 
to retain its possession. Mr. Miller' s friends, however, 
prevailed, and Mr. Chase retiring, his people -worshipped 
by themselves, first in Mott street, and afterwards, at 
other places. 

Mr. Miller continued to preach in the Delancey Street 
Church until the edifice, embarrassed with debt, was 
abandoned. The congregation then retired to a public 
hall on the Bowery, and next to Sixth street. He re- 
signed his charge about the end of the year 1838, and 
subsequently, one hundred and seventy-six of the mem- 
bers, having been dismissed, formed the " Sixth Street 
Baptist Church." The " Meeting-House" on Delancey 
street, concerning which there had been such contention, 
became a public stable ! 

OLIVER STREET CETCIRCH. 

Oliver was formerly called "Fayette street," and 
here the portion of the Second Baptist Church com- 
menced public worship, when a separation took ]Dlace 
in that congregation, during the year 1791. As we 
have before noticed, both parties had claimed the title of 
the " Second Baptist Church," but relinquishing it, this 
branch became known as the "Church in Fayette 
street," and, in 1821, the "Oliver Street Church." In 



202 EARLIEST CHURCHES US" NEW YORK. 

the year 1795, this congregation built a liouse of wor- 
ship on the corner of Oliver and Henry streets. It was 
small, and again rebuilt in 1800 ; more permanently 
during 1819 ; and destroyed by fire, 1843. A beautiful 
brick edifice succeeded in the following year. This 
congregation has been blessed with a regular, able, and 
permanent ministry, and its success constant. For 
nearly thirty years, from 1793 to 1822, that excellent 
and faithful man, the Rev. John AVilliams, was the sole 
pastor. On the 22d of May, 1825, he rested from his 
Gospel earthly labors, aged fifty-eight. He was the 
honored father of the present William R. Williams, 
D. D., so well known for his liberal, evangelical piety, 
learning, and pulpit eloquence among us. In the year 
1823, the Rev. Spencer H. Cone became the colleague 
of Mr. Williams, and remained pastor of tlie "Oliver 
Street Church" until July, 1841, when he was called to 
the puli^it of the "First Baptist Church," in Broome 
street, near the Bowery. 

ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. 

This was a little colony from the "Gold Street Church," 
and constituted with only eighteen members, July 5th, 
1809, and for several years they had no regular pastor. 
A house of worship was obtained on Anthony street, 
near West Broadway, which had been erected by the 
"Ebenezer" Church. Here, the Rev. J. Van Velsen 
and the Rev. Drake Wilson preached for several years, 
until 1824, and then the Rev. Benjamin Paul took 
charge of the congregation, remaining about six years. 
When he left, he was followed by the Rev. James 



EAELIEST CIIURCnES IN" NEW YOKK. 203 

Haylborn, in 1832, who remained three years, until 
removed by deatli. Then followed successively, the 
Rev. William J. Loomis and Rev. William Moore. 
In 1841, the Rev. Samson White took the spiritual 
charge of this congregation. The Abyssinian Church 
has experienced in its history many trials and diffi- 
culties, especially from pecuniary embarrassments, tlie 
building once having been, on this account, sold at pub- 
lic auction. Still the little band triumphed over their 
trouble, and, at one period afterwards, numbered more 
than four hundred and fifty communicants. 

NORTH BEREAH CHURCH. 

This church colonized from the Gold street congrega- 
tion, November 13th, 1809, meeting for divine services 
in Vandam, then Budd street. It was called the " ISTorth 
Church," until 1818, then "Bereah" was added. A 
frame meeting-house was biult in Vandam, near Hudson 
street, and continued to be their place of worship until 
1819, when it was destroyed by fire. During the next 
year, a large and neat brick church was erected on 
McDougal, near Vandam street, where the Bereans 
stiU worship God. 

Its first minister was the Rev. C. P. Wyckoff, who com- 
menced his labors in 1812, and was succeeded by the 
Rev. Amasa Smith, 1821. Then came the Rev. Aaron 
Perkins, 1825, and, in the year 1829, the Rev. Duncan 
Dunbar, who faithfully preached here a long time. The 
Berean Church continued very feebly several years, but 
eventually many members Avere secured. From these 
Bereans three other Baptist churches have arisen— 



204 EAllLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOIIK. 

"Sabiii Church," King street, in 1834; "Berean," 1838; 
"Providence," 1845; with a number of members dis- 
missed to aid in founding the Welsh and the Sixteenth 
Street Churches. In the year 1833, some three hundred 
communicants still remained. 

The Baptist is now one of our largest denominations ; 
and there are a number of other Baptist churches in 
New York city ; but as these are not directly traceable 
to the Gold street or first congregation, our historical 
plan does not embrace them. 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 205 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE MORAVIAN CHURCH " UNITAS FRATRUm" ITS ORIGIN COUNT 

ZINZENDORF MISSIONS — DAVID BRUCE SENT TO PREACH IN NEW 

YORK AND ON LONG AND STATEN ISLANDS BISHOP SPANGEN- 

BERG's VISIT CAPTAIN GARRISON MISSION COMMENCED ON STATEN 

ISLAND MINISTERS THERE CEMETERY COMMODORE VANDERBILt's 

FAMILY VAULT MR. BINNINGEr's GRAVE CHURCH BUILT, 1763 

CHURCH RECORDS CAPTAIN JACOBSEN SHOT SAILS A MISSIONARY 

SHIP PASTORS MORAVIANS IN NEW YORK, 1736 BISHOP BOEH- 

LEr's AND ZINZENDORf's VISIT PERSECUTIONS BISHOP WATTI- 

VEl's visit FULTON STREET CHURCH BUILT, 1751 PASTORS IN 

NEW YORK BENJAMIN MORTIMER, WILLIAM VANVLEEK, AFTER- 
WARDS BISHOP, MR. BIGLER. 

The United Brethren, or Uniias Fratrum, or Moravi- 
ans, were originally Bohemian and Moravian Christians, 
and, persecuted for their religious opinions and non- con- 
formity in their native lands, founded a colony under 
Count Zinzendorf. It was located upon an estate of his 
in 1722, at Upper Lusatia, and caUed "Herrnhut," from 
its situation on the southern declivity of a hill. 

Count Zinzendorf had long entertained the idea of 
constituting a Christian community on what he believed 
to be the i)rimitive apostolic congregations. Leaving 
all the distinctive doctrines of the various Protestant 
denominations entirely out of his plan, he adopted as 
articles of faith those fundamental Scripture truths 
alone in which all agreed. In the year 1727 he thus laid 
the foundation of the present society of the United Breth- 



208 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOKK. 

The Moravian preachers became acceptable to the 
people of the island, and they desired the establishment 
of a cliurch among them. In the year 1762, they re- 
quested this favor from the ecclesiastical authorities at 
Bethlehem. The original letter is still preserved among 
the archives at Bethlehem: "The signers request that 
the little flock here might be remembered, and that a 
brother might be sent hither to preach the Oosjoel, and 
teach the little lambs which had been baptized by the 
Brethren." For the benefit especially of old Richmond 
County readers, we add the names signing this epistle : 
Richard Connor, Stej)hen Martino, Jr., Tunis Egbert, 
Jacob Vanderbilt, John Vanderbilt, Aaron Cortelyou, 
Cornelius Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vandeventer, Stephen 
Martino, Mary Stillwell, Cornelius Martino, and Peter 
Ferine. Numerous descendants of these early Mora- 
vians now reside near the present beautiful church, and 
many of its gravestones bear the same family names. 
The well-known Commodore Vanderbilt has here erected 
a very costly tomb, where the ashes of his venerable 
mother repose, and where he himself expects to be 
buried, when his voyage of life is over. We have often 
visited this sacred spot, and strolled thoughtfully about 
its heaped-up old graves. Near by the cemetery just 
referred to is a beautiful marble tomb, erected to the 
memory of Mr. Binninger. His family is one of the earli- 
est and best-known of the Moravians in our city. He was 
a pious young man, and died in the Lord, whilst seeking 
health, far from home, in sunny Italy. His remains were 
shipped for New York, the vessel wrecked on the coast 
of Spain, and all on board lost, it is said. The case, 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN" NEW YORK. 209 

liOTvever, with the dead body, floated to the shore, was 
saved, and reshipped to New York, and buried in this 
beautiful rural spot, resting in hope until the last trum- 
pet will call all to the judgment. This burying-ground 
is very old, as it was used long before the Moravians 
came to the island. Part of the lot was purchased in 
1763, for twenty-five pounds ten sliillings, current 
money of the province of JN'ew York. In 1860 its area 
was enlarged. 

On the 7th of July, 1763, the corner-stone of the Staten 
Island Moravian Church was laid, tlie Rev. T. Yarrel, 
pastor of the church in New York, preaching from 
Isaiah xx^iii. 16: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a founda- 
tion a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a 
sure foundation." The Rev. Hector Gambold was the 
first resident Moravian minister of this congregation, 
arriving in the following August. On the 7th of De- 
cember the church was consecrated, Mr. Yarrel again 
preaching, from "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Co- 
rinthians i. 23). 

We are not digressing, as Staten Island congregation 
appears to have been only a branch of the Moravian in 
New York until some years after this period. Its pastor 
and members were in the habit of visiting the city on com- 
munion occasions, there to celebrate the Lord' s Supper. 
From the year 1769 to 1779, the official journals of this 
church have been lost. After 1779, liowever, the con- 
gregation communed at theii* own church, when they 
must consequently have had an independent formation. 
Scarcely any records have been preserved of the Staten 
Island Church during the Revolutionary War. Some 
14 



210 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

British soldiers forcibly entered tlie parsonage one niglit, 
for the iDurpose of plunder, and did much damage. On 
another occasion, they endeavored to break into the 
house of Captain Christian Jacobsen. Alarmed, he 
went to the door, when he was shot by one of the party, 
and soon after expired. The Captain is Avell known in 
Moravian history, as commanding the ship Irene, after 
Captain Garrison had retired from sea life. While Jacob- 
sen Avas master, his vessel was captured by a French 
privateer, in 1757, and sent to the cold and barren Cape 
Breton. On the 12tli of January, 1758, she was cast 
away. Taking to their boats, the crew, thrown upon a 
desert shore, were forced to work their way, with great 
toil and danger, through ice and snow, until they reached 
Louisburg. After this, Jacobsen jDurchased a ship in 
London, which he sailed until he built a new one at 
'New York, called the Hope, and she was used by the 
Moravians in their passages across the Atlantic. 

In 1784, the Rev. James Birkby ministered to the 
Staten Island people. During 1787, the Rev. Frederick 
Moehring arrived, diligently laboring until 1793, and 
James Birkby to 1797. Moehring' s diar}^ still exists. 
At the commencement of his ministry, his little flock 
numbered twenty-seven communicants. He became 
very intimate with the excellent Dr. IMoore, afterwards 
Bishop of Virginia, frequently visiting the sick together. 
jVfoehring died in 1804, the year after he left Staten 
Island, when Dr. Moore preached a sermon in his 
memory, at his own parish church, St. Andrew' s, Rich- 
mond. He said that he had been a spiritual father to 
him, in his pious advice and admonition. 



EAELIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 211 

During the first half century of tliis Moravian church, 
its minister received no fixed salary, tlie i^eople supply- 
ing him Avith provisions, grain, and fuel, &c. About 
1798, the amount was fixed at twenty pounds cash, with 
other benefactions, and the sum was afterwards increased 
to one hundred and sixty dollars. From so small a sup- 
port, the ministers family often needed the common 
necessaries of life ; but Moravian Brethren are well- 
known self-denying followers of their Master. The 
Rev. N. Brown succeeded Mr. Moehring in 1803, con- 
tinuing until he ended his earthly work, 1813. Then 
came the Rev. J. C. Bechler, and the second Sabbath 
after his arrival, the congregation celebrated its semi- 
centenary, October 10, 1813. He selected for his text 
the same words from which the foundation sermon was 
delivered, fifty years before: "Behold, I lay in Zion 
for a foundation a stone," &c. At this anniversary, he 
stated that the archives of the church were defective, 
from the robbery of the parsonage and its papers during 
the Revolutionary struggle. ]Mr. Becliler remained, 
with much success, until 1817, and was succeeded by 
the Rev. George A. Hartman. He was consecrated 
bishop in 1835, and retiring to Herrnhut, Saxony, he 
died April 17, 1857, aged seventy-three years. Succeed- 
ing him, came the Rev. G. A. Hartman, remaining 
twenty years, until 1837, whose memory is still fragrant 
on Staten Island. Then followed Ambrose Rondthaler ; 
in 1839, the Rev. H. Gt. Clauder, for years a missionary 
among the Creek Indians. His successor was Rev. 
Bernard De Schweinitz, whose death occurred July 20, 
1854, while on a visit to Salem, North Carolina, to cele- 



212 EARLIEST CIIUPwCIIES IN NEW YOKK. 

brate a family reunion. Rev. A. A. Reinke was tlie 
next pastor, until October, 1860. After this, the Rev. 
E. T. Senseman, who, in September, 1862, was followed 
by the Rev. E. M. Leibert, the present beloved pastor, 
to whose authentic historical address, on the late cen- 
tennial anniversar}'" in his church, we are indebted for 
much of our present information. From the establish- 
ment of the Moravian Church on Stateh Island until the 
present time, thirty-three ministers have preached here, 
twelve hundred and forty children have been baptized, 
eight hundred and seven couples married, and twelve 
Imndred and eight burials been attended by the pastors. 

Now, we consider the branch of tlie Moravian Cliurch 
in New York. 

The Moravian Brethren, or Uniias Fratrum, who 
emigrated to Georgia in 1735, became acquainted with 
Jacob Boemper in New York, and made Boemper their 
agent for the purchase and forwarding of provisions, 
&c. Boemper was a pious German, and associated with 
a small circle of spiritually-minded men of different de- 
nominations, closely united in the bonds of Christian love. 

Rev. Augustus Spangenberg and Bishop David Nitch- 
man, passing through New York in the spring of 1736, 
on their way to Pennsylvania, were hos];)itably enter- 
tained by Boemper, and became personally acquainted 
with otlier members of this little circle, of whom the 
follo'V\ ing are mentioned : Jacob Coelet, Thomas Noble, 
Richard Waldron, Samuel Pells, Jan Van Pelt, Joris 
Brinkerhoff, Cornelius Parant, and Peter Yenema. 

In 1739, Rev. Frederic Martin, Moravian missionary 
on the Island of St. Thomas, spent some time in New 



EARLIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 213 

York, and on his return from Pennsylvania (wliere a 
few Moravians were settling), lie "became intimate with 
Thomas Noble and others above mentioned. While in 
New York, Christian Henry Ranch, the famous Mora- 
vian Indian missionary, arrived from Germany, 1739. 
Martin met him, and took him to Thomas Noble's 
house. About this time, a "Pastoral Letter" from the 
Church Councils at Amsterdam, against the Moravians, 
arrived. The clergy were thus incited to j)reach against 
the " Brethren," when some of their friends became 
estranged. The deportment of Christian Henry Ranch, 
however, went far towards correcting erroneous impres- 
sions formed of the Moravians by such as were at first 
influenced by this puljoit war against them. 

In 1741, Bishop Peter Boehler spent a short time in 
New York, while on his way from Pennsylvania to 
Europe. He organized a society in sjDiritual connection 
with the Moravian Church, consisting of nine ]oersons. 
The following belonged to this earliest society : Thomas 
Noble and wife, Ismajah Burnet, Jane Boelen, Martha 
Bryant (afterwards Nyberg), Helena Gregg (afterwards 
married to Rev. Hector Gambold, one of the first Mora- 
vian ministers of the New York congregation), Eliza- 
beth Hume (afterwards Okelyn), William Edmonds, 
and Mary Wendower (afterwards Burnside). Thomas 
Noble and William Edmonds were appointed laborers, 
or ministers, not in the present general sense of the 
term, but in its literal sense. They were not ordained 
preachers, but ministered to tlie spiritual wants of the 
society to the best of their ability.^' 

* Rev. Mr. Leibert, Statcu Island. 



214 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN Ts^EW YOllK. 

Bisliop Boehler was the first Moravian minister who 
preached a sermon at New York, in a private liouse, 
January, 1741. 

November, 1741, Count Zinzendorf arrived in New 
York, with a company of Moravians. He first landed 
on Long IsLand, and went to tlie house of Jacques Cor- 
telyou, a man of some note. The Count came to New 
Yorlv, December 2, 1741, and lodged at Thomas Noble's 
house, who was a strict Presbyterian and a gentleman 
of influence. Zinzendorf renews or perfects the organi- 
zation efiected by Boehler, and Jacques Cortelyou was 
appointed lay elder. 

Persecutions became quite violent from this time. 
Domine Boel, after preaching a sermon against the Mo- 
ravians, June 23, 1754, announced to his congregation 
that he would give them another sermon on the same 
subject the next Sunday. But he died that week, and 
at the time of his proposed sermon, his funeral services 
were held ! 

As early as the spring of 1743, the little band of Mo- 
ravians suffered some religious persecution. Bishop 
Boehler was cited to appear before the mayor of the 
city, accused of no crime except preaching the Gospel. 
Without trial, this servant of God was ordered to leave 
New York, and when lie asked the reason for this hard 
sentence, it was answered, "Because you are a vaga- 
bond." The bishop was a learned and pious man, but 
meekly obeying tliis arbitrary sentence, he left, and re- 
mained temporarily with a friend on Long Island. A 
law had even been passed, but not ratified by the Eng- 
lisli Government, forbidding all Moravian ministers to 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 215 

preach for one year ; and two missionaries, travelling 
through the province of New York to the Indians, in 
1745, were seized and cast into prison. These Avere 
David Zeisberger and Fredericli Post, and arrested at 
tlie instigation of the Rev. Mr. Barclay, the Church of 
England minister at Albany. They were accused of 
being French spies — strange suspicion against humble 
Moravian brethren ! But they were found innocent, 
after strict examination, and released. 

In December, 1748, Bishop Johannes de Wattivel 
arrived from Euroj)e, and made a regular organization of 
the church, its membership numbering less than one 
hundred. They met, during two years, for worship, in 
the house of Mr. Noble ; and, in 1751, purchased two 
lots of ground on Fair street, now Fulton, where they 
erected a small frame building. Its corner-stone was 
laid June 16, 1751, by Rev. Owen Rice, and the sacred edi- 
fice consecrated by Bishop Spangenberg, June 18, 1752. 

Moravian ministers who earliest labored in New York, 
from 1742 to 1757 : 

1742. David Bruce. 

1743. Peter Boehler (bishop). 
1743-1745. Hector Gambold. 

1745. 1746. Jacob Vetter. 

1746. George Neisser. 

1747. Hector Gambold and John Wade. 

1748. George Neisser. 
1748-50. James Greening. 

1750-54. Owen Rice and Jasper Payne. 
1754. Abraham Reinke, Jasper Payne, and Abraliam 
Rusmeyer. 



216 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

1755. Henry Beck and Richard Utley. 

1756-57. Jacob Rogers. 

1757. Valentine Ilaidt. 

1757-65. Thomas Yarrel. 

1765-75. G. Neiser. 

1775. Gustavus Shewkirk. He ministered for a short 
time, the Revolutionary War breaking up the congre- 
gation, as it did most others in the city. 

After the peace, the congregation again collected. 
The Rev. Ludolph A. Rnsmeyer became pastor, and 
was succeeded by the Rev. James Birkley and the Rev. 
Godfrey Peters, who died here, October, 1797. He 
was the first minister who had finished his course while 
in the service of this congregation. Next followed the 
Rev. Messrs. Meder, Bardill, Monlthier, successively, 
the last for seven years, and closing his ministry Avitli 
the year 1812. 

Then the Rev. Benjamin Mortimer, who had been a 
faithful missionary among the Indians, took this pasto- 
ral office, successfully discharging its duties for seven- 
teen years, nntil his Gospel labors ceased by death in 
1829. Thousands of NeAV Yorkers and others will re- 
member, at the mention of his name, his strikingly 
mild, dignified, and venerable appearance, and call to 
mind his swe(^t and humble piety and character. When 
he became infirm, a year before his death, the Rev. 
William Henry Van vleek commenced his ministry in the 
Moravian Church, with much success, continuing it until 
1836, when he became bishop. The Rev. C. F. Kluger 
succeeded him, and, in 1838, the Rev. Mr. Bleck became 
the pastor, Miio hM''t for Salem, North Carolina, 1842, 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 217 

when tlie Rev. David Bigler was appointed in his 
place. 

The okl house on Fulton street was sold, and the Mo- 
ravian Brethren now occupy a new and beautiful place 
of worsliip on Houston street, their only one in our 
large city. We call the former the old house, because, 
as was the arrangement with the earliest Moravian 
churches, the minister's residence was a j)art of the 
sacred edilice, and he went into the sacred desk directly 
from liis dwelling. 

We liave written a long chapter about the Moravian 
Church, because but little, comparatively, is known 
about the "Brethren in Unity." They seek not noto- 
riety, or honor, or the praise of men, but the salvation 
of souls. They "walk by the same rule," and "mind 
the same thing." In principle, they have made St. Au- 
gustine's motto their own — "In essentials, unity; in 
non-essentials, liberty ; in all things, charity." 



218 EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XX. 

ORIGIN OF METHODISM CONDITION OF ENGLAND WHEN WESLEY AP- 
PEARED OPINIONS OF BISHOP BURNET AND ARCHBISHOP SECKER 

AND BUTLER WESLEY PREACHING TO THE POOR PALATINES IN IRE- 
LAND, 1750 PHILIP EMBURY, THE FATHER OF AMERICAN METHOD- 
ISM IRISH LAY PREACHERS, SWINDELLS PHILIP GUIER WALSH 

SODTHEy's OPINION OF HIM HIS GREAT LABOKS AND SUCCESS 

EMBURY EMIGRATES TO NEW YORK, IVOO, DELIVERING HIS LAST 

SERMON IN IRELAND FROM THE SIDE OF THE SHIP ANOTHER 

ARRIVAL, IN 1760, AT NEW YORK, OF IRISH WESLEYANS PAUL 

RUCKLE, JACOB HECK, AND OTHERS. 

The lamentation of Bishop Burnet, on the state of the 
Church in his da}^, has often been quoted : " I am now," 
he says, "in the seventieth year of my age, and as I 
cannot speak long in the world in any sort, so I cannot 
hope for a more solemn occasion than this of speaking 
with all due freedom, both to the present and to the suc- 
ceeding ages. ... I cannot look on without hanging 
over this Church, and, by consequence, over the whole 
Reformation. The outward state of things is black 
enough, God knows, but that which heightens my fears 
rises chiefly from the inward state into which we are 
unhappUy fallen."^' Archbishop Seeker, at the same 
period, says : "In this we cannot be mistaken, that an 
open and professed disregard is become, through a vari- 
ety of unhappy causes, the distinguishing character of 
the present age. Such are the dissoluteness and con- 

* "Pastoral Care." 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEAV YORK. 219 

tempt of principle in tlie higher part of the world, and 
the profligacy, intemperance, and fearlessness of com- 
mitting crimes, in the lower, as must, if this torrent of 
impiety stop not, become absolutely fatal." He further 
asserts, that "Christianity is ridiculed and reviled at 
with very little reserve, and the teachers of it without 
any at all." 

This sad testimony of the times, it must be remem- 
bered, was made only one year before that which com- 
memorates the epoch of Wesleyan Methodism. 

About this time, Butler also published his great work, 
on the Analogy between Religion and the Constitution 
and Course of Nature, as some check to the infidelity of 
that age. "It has come to pass," he says, "to be taken 
for granted that Christianity is no longer a subject of 
inquiry, but that it is now at length discovered to be 
fictitious." South ey says: "The clergy had lost that 
authority by which many almost command at least the 
appearance of respect." In the great majority of the 
clergy, zeal was wanting. Burnet, in another place, ob- 
serves : "Our clergy had less authority, and were under 
more contempt, than those of any other Church in all 
Europe. It was not that their lives were scandalous, 
but they were not exemplary, as it became them to be ; 
and they never would regain the influence they had 
lost till they lived better and labored more." 

Such was the moral condition of Protestant old Eng- 
land when Methodism came forth from the walls of 
Oxford, not to revive the theological contest between 
Churchmen and Puritans, but simply to recall the masses 
to their Bible and their prayers. Wesley formed no 



22v0 EARLIEST CIIUEOTIES IN ISTEW YORK. 

creed for his English followers, and in providing, which 
was absolutely necessary, an organization for Methodism 
in the New World, where the system was destined to 
have its widest range, he abridged the "Articles of the 
Church of England," so as to exclude the most formida- 
ble of modern theological controversies, and thus enable 
both Calvinists and Arminians to enter its communion : 
he prescribed no mode of baptism, virtually recognizing 
all modes. Some sects strive to sustain their spiritual 
life by their orthodoxy. Wesley made no such vain 
attempt, and Methodism has sustained itself for more 
than a century, by caring especially for its spiritual 
life ; and it has had no outbreak of heresy, notwithstand- 
ing the myriads of untrained minds gathered within its 
communion. In this resjDect, no other religious body of 
modern times affords such an example ! It became a 
revival church in spirit, and a missionary one from its 
organization. 

Wherever there was a door opened to ]3reach Christ, 
there John Wesley and his pious itinerants went. As 
early as the yenY 1765, he had visited the settlements of 
the "Palatines," in Ireland, on his missionary work. 
"Good Queen Anne," in 1710, had extended her hands 
of pity and liindness towards these persecuted Lutlier- 
ans. She sent a fleet to Rotterdam, and conveyed seven 
thousand of them to Protestant England. The Govern- 
ment granted twenty-four tliousand pounds for their im- 
mediate relief, and Her ]\Iajesty assistc^l three or four 
thousand of their number to emigrate to America, most 
of these settling in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. 
Five hundred families also removed from Eno;land to 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 221 

Ireland, chiefly locating in tlie County of Limerick. 
Each settler was allowed eight acres of land, at an an- 
nual cost of five shillings an acre, which the Government 
agreed to -pay for twenty years. 

Without any Gosj)el minister, these Irish Palatines 
greatly neglected religion, but as soon as Wesley' s itin- 
erants found, them, they readily embraced the truth, 
which made them "free indeed." A more exemplary 
people was not then to be found in all Ireland. The 
vices of profanity, drunkenness, and Sabbath-breaking, 
entirely ceased, and no ale-house was permitted among 
them. 

Wesley himself visited these Palatine settlements as 
early as 1750. In June, 1765, he writes: "About noon 
I preached at Ballingran, to the small remains of the 
Palatines. . . . Part had gone to America." Here 
Philip Guier, master of the German school, united with 
the new sect, the Methodists, and under his tuition 
Philip Embury, the father of American Methodism, 
commenced his education. As his name is so intimately 
connected with this type of Christianity, we dwell longer 
on his interesting history. 

In the year 1749, one of John Wesley's preachers 
lifted up his voice in the old cit}" of Limerick. This 
was Robert Swindells, from Dublin. In the true spuit 
of Primitive Methodism, he felt that the whole of Ire- 
land was his parish. It was on the 17tli day of March, 
"Saint Patrick's;" the streets were crowded, and 
among the visitors, many Palatines. That place was 
intensely Popish, and just as the people were coming 
from Mass, Swindells, with characteristic boldness, 



222 EARLIEST CTIURCITES IX 'NFA'S YORK. 

commenced singing in the streets, and then preached 
the Gospel truth to the crowds, from "Come unto me, 
all ye that labor and are liea^y laden, and I will give 
you rest." What a spectacle ! a solitary, humble 
Methodist preacher, without money, friend, or patron- 
age, standing up boldl}- on "Saint Patrick's Daj^," to 
declare Christ, the only friend of sinners, in Poj)ish Lim- 
erick, one hundred and fifteen years ago ! God was in 
the word. Amidst this street congregation there was a 
young man educated for a Romish priest, Avhose mind 
had been also enlightened by plain, honest, praying 
Philip Guier, the Ballingran schoolmaster. Seeking 
an interview with Swindells, he abandoned his Roman- 
ism and sins, and, instead of a priest, became a Metho- 
dist evangelist. This was the remarkable, useful, and 
zealous Thomas Walsh, whose name, fragi'ant with so 
many pious associations, still lingers as a household 
word among many families in both hemispheres. 

"One of the few immortal Dames, 
That were not bom to die." 

In the year 1750-52, ]\Ir. Wesley visited Limerick. 
Vast crowds came to hear him preach, and among others, 
we doubt not, was Pliilip Embury, the future evangelist 
of America. Guier became the first lay-j)reacher with 
the Irish Palatines, and to this day, " There goes Philip 
Guier, wlio drove the devil out of Ballingran!" is the 
salutation which Romanists use as the Wesleyan itiner- 
ant rides past. 

Walsh had now begun to preach salvation through 
faitli in Christ alone with wonderful power and success. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 223 

His pcarents were stern Roman Catliolics, and, when a 
cliild, tliey taught him the Lord's Prayer with "Ave 
Maria" in Irish, his native tongue, and also the one 
hundred and nineteenth Psahn in Latin. At a later 
period, Wesley wrote respecting this Irish youth, that 
he was so thoroughly acquainted with the Bible that, 
when questioned concerning any Hebrew or Greek 
word, in the Old or New Testament, after a brief 
pause he would tell how often it occurred, and its 
meaning in each place. Such a master of biblical 
knowledge he declared he never saw before and never 
expected to see again. When he was converted, he 
declared that no saint or angel was ever again to be 
invoked by him, for he now believed that "there is but 
one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the 
man Christ Jesus." ISTo man, he resolved, should be- 
guile him into a voluntar}^ humility in worshipping 
either saints or angels. ■^' From this time to his death, a 
more saintly life cannot be found in the records of popu- 
lar Protestant piety. If he had become a ]3riest, as was 
early intended, with such devotion, he would have been 
canonized ; and well may Robert Southey declare that 
his life "might, indeed, almost convince a Catholic that 
saints are to be found in other communions as well as in 
the Church of Rome." He rose at four o'clock in the 
morning during his whole religious life, to study the 
Bible, often reading it uj)on his knees. His memory 
was a complete concordance, and no Catholic saint ever 
pored over his breviary more devoutly or diligently than 
this remarkable man did over the original Scriptures. 

* Stevens's History of ifethodism. 



224 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

He went like a ilame of fire tlirougli Ireland, preacli- 
ing two or three times a day, and usually in tlie open 
air. Crowds of all denominations attended his ministra- 
tions, and his command of the Irish language gave him 
great advantage with the native Papists. They flocked 
to hear him, and would often weep, smiting their breasts, 
and invoking the Virgin Mary, with sobbing voices, 
declared themselves ready to follow tliis new saint over 
the world ! One of liis hearers called upon Walsh with 
money saved for masses, when he should be dead. "No 
man," replied the preacher, "can forgive your sins. 
The gift of God cannot be purchased with money ; only 
the blood of Christ can cleanse from sin." "No man, 
it is admitted," says Southey, "contributed more than 
Walsh to the diffusion of Methodism in Ireland." 
During nine years did this remarkable minister pursue 
his tireless course of doing good, until his final triumph 
and entrance into his promised and everlasting rewards. 
His last words were : "He is come! He is come! My 
beloved is mine and I am His! — ^His forever!" and 
died. 

But the most extraordinary fact connected with this 
German Palatine colony in Ireland, and evangelized by 
the Methodist itinerants, was not conceived at the time 
by Mr. AVesley ; it was destined to introduce Methodism 
into the New World. During his visit to these Pala- 
tines, in 1752, he licensed Philip Embury, one of these 
converted German Irislmien, as a "local preacher" 
among them ; and fourteen years afterwards this youug 
man emigrated to New York. Here he ojiened his own 
hired house, a humble one-story building, for divine 



EAIiLIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YOKK. 225 

services ; preaching, and forming the first Methodist 
society in America. In two years more he dedicated the 
first Methodist chaj^el in America. Thus was founded 
American Methodism, a church, as many assert, the 
predominant Protestant "belief of the New World, from 
Newfoundland to California. * 

Embury has left the record of his conversion, written 
with his own hand, in this evangelical language : 

"On Christmas Day, being Monday, the 25th December, in the year 1752, 
the Lord shone into my soul by a glimpse of His redeeming love, being an 
earnest of my redemption in Christ Jesus, to whom be glory for ever and over. 
Amen." Philip Embury." 

He married ^largaret Switzer, an Irish Palatine, emi- 
grating to America in 1760, with his wife, two or three 
brothers, and their families, Paul Heck, wife and family, 
Valer Fetle, Peter Switzer (Mrs. Embury's brother), 
Philip Morgan, and a family of the Dulmages. He 
delivered his last sermon in Ireland from the side of the 
ship in which he embarked for America, to a large con- 
course, some of whom came sixteen miles to hear him. 
With tears and uplifted, praying hands, he bade them 
farewell, arriving at New York August 10, 1760. 

During the year 1765, another vessel reached New 
Yorli from Ireland, with Paul Ruckle and familj^, Luke 
Rose, Jacob Heck, Peter Barkman, and Henry Williams, 
with their families. These were all Palatines, but only 
a few of them "Wesleyans," — the emigrants intimate 
with each other. Embury preached his first sermon in 
his own house, to a company of six persons, besides his 
own family. 
15 



22G EAELIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

METHODIST CIIUUCII, CONTINUED CAPTAIN AVEBB APPEARS RIGGING- 
LOFT OBTAINED FOR RELIGIOUS MEETINGS JOHN STREET CHURCH 

BUILT, 1768, THE FIRST METHODIST CHURCH IN AMERICA SUBSCRIP- 
TIONS TO BUILD THE CHURCH FROM THE VESTRY AND RECTORS OF 

TRINITY AND OTHERS CAPTAIN AVEBb's LIFE BOARDMAN AND PIL- 

MORE, THE FIRST WESLEYAN PREACHERS TO AMERICA, 17G8 AS- 

BURY AND WRIGHT FOLLOWED, 1771 EMBURy's DEATH STRANGE 

SCENE IN JOHN STREET CHURCH ON A WATCH-NIGHT AN ENGLISH 

COLONEL THE CAUSE OF IT APOLOGY METHODIST EPISCOPAL 

CHURCH IN THE UNITKD STATES ORGANIZED, 1784-5 RAPID AD- 
VANCE SINCE OLD JOHN STREET TAKEN DOWN AND A NEW 

CHURCH BUILT IN ITS PLACE CHURCH LIBRARY SUMMERFIELd's 

CENOTAPH THIRD CHURCH ERECTED ON THE SPOT IN 1841 

FATHERS OF METHODIS-M IN NEW YORK MR. LUPTON AND HIS 

DESCENDANTS. 

About tins time, a singular event brought this little 
Christian band into more notoriety. At one of their re- 
ligious meetings a military officer, in full uniform, made 
his appearance, and had come to unite in their devotions. 
This was Captain Thomas Webb, of the British army, 
who had, some years before, embraced Christianity 
under John Wesley's preaching, in Bristol, England, 
and was licensed by him as a "local preacher." He 
now be(;amo one of the principal agents to establish 
Methodism in America. A rigging-loft on William 
street, No. 120, near John, next was tlu; room for 
the meetings of the infant Metliodist Society. In this 
humble plac-c, Philip Embury and Captain Webb 




The Old Eigging-Loft. 
First place of Methodist -worship in Now York. 



EARLIEST CIITTRCIIES m NEW YORK. 227 

preached, to increasing hearers, Christ and Him cruci- 
fied. In the changes of our busy city, this venerable 
building, so identified with earliest Methodism in Amer- 
ica, remained until about the year 1855. 

"Old John Street Church," as it was called, or "Wes- 
ley Chapel," was pext built and consecrated, October 
30th, 1768; Mr. Embury, the Palatine, selecting for 
his text on the occasion, "Sow to yourselves in right- 
eousness ; reap in mercy ; break up your fallow ground, 
for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain 
righteousness upon you." Like Paul, the tent-maker, 
"with his own hands" did Mr. Embury work as a car- 
penter on this sacred edifice. He was also a trustee and 
the treasurer of the new church. 

This property was obtained from Mrs. Barclay, the 
widow of the Rev. Henry Barclay, the second rector of 
Trinity Church. I have before me a copy of the origi- 
nal subscribers to the new building. They are two 
hundred and fifty in number, and the list is a great 
curiosity. Captain Webb's is the first and largest sub- 
scription, thirty pounds; the next, AVilliam Lupton, 
twenty pounds, which he increased to tlnrty afterwards. 
"Mr. Wesley's Prayer-Book, " as it was called, was 
early used in this Methodist Chapel. It has his auto- 
graph, and the book now belongs to the Rev. Dr. John- 
son, the rector of the Episcopal Church, Jamaica, Long 
Island, a relative of Mr. Lupton, and whose name he 
also bears, William L. 

The clergy and vestry of Trinity Church also liberally 
aided the new undertaking. Dr. Auchmuty and the Rev. 
Messrs. Ogilvie and Inglis, its rectors, all making bene- 



228 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

factions. Indeed, the most couspiciions citizens seem to 
have shared in th(^ pious work, for among them we 
notice Philip and Peter Livingston, Theodore Van 
Wyck, John H. Cruger, James Duane (Judge), Peter 
Van Shaick, LL. D., Fredericlv De Peyster, Andrew 
Hamersley, James De Lancey, Lieutenant-Governor Ed- 
ward Laiglit, David Clarl-cson, Gabriel Ludlow, Joseph 
Reade, Nicholas Stuyvesant, Mary Ten Eyck, Mrs. 
Lispenard, &c., &c. There are other "honorable 
women," not a few, on the subscription list ; and a 
" Rachel" gave nine shillings, and "Margaret," seven 
shillings — unknown on earth, their names doubtless are 
written in the heavenly books. They were likely ' ' col- 
ored girls" or servants, giving their mite, which was 
probably the most liberal of the whole. 

The memory of Captain Webb should be preserved 
and honored, for his character and exertions, with those 
of Mr. Embury, form some most important recollections 
of earliest Methodism in the United States. 

In the campaign of 1758, and before his conversion, 
Captain Webb served under General Wolfe. He was 
present at the memorable battle on the Plains of Abra- 
ham, when his gallant leader lost his life, and he himself 
received two wounds, one in his right arm, and another 
wliich deprived him of his right eye. Afterward he 
returned to England, professed religion, becoming a fol- 
lower of Mr. Wesley. He was soon appointed barrack- 
master at Albany, and came again to America. When 
he heard of the newly formed Wesleyan Society in 
New York, he hastened to their assistance. In his per- 
sonal appearance, Caj)tain Webb united a portly figure 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN Ts^EW YORK. 229 

witli a fine commanding countenance, wearing over his 
forehead a strip of bhick ribbon and a blind, to conceal 
his wounded eye. This description is in perfect keep- 
ing with a finely engraved portrait of him, published in 
London in 1797, a copy of which is in possession of the 
writer. In this engraving, his right hand is placed on 
his breast, whilst the left points to a Bible, from which 
he appears to be discoursing, as it lies with his sword 
and cap before him. At the botton of the likeness is the 
coat of arms of his family, with this motto: "I have 
fought a good fight. '' From all accounts, he was a 
plain and very energetic speaker, performing his reli- 
gious duties without the fear of man. Nor were his pious 
labors, with those of Mr. Embury, unsuccessful. The 
people attended in crowds to hear them, until the Wes- 
ley ans were compelled a second time to look out for a 
larger place of worship. They succeeded in obtaining 
a more commodious building, about sixty feet long and 
eighteen feet broad, which had been erected for a rig- 
ging-house. 

The cut is a very correct exterior view of ' ' Old John 
Street," as the first church was called. Its length was 
sixty feet, its breadth forty-two, and the walls were built 
of stone, the face covered over Avith a blue plaster, ex- 
hibiting an appearance of durability, simplicity, and 
plainness. Entrances to the galleries were subsequently 
added on each side of the door. The interior was equal- 
ly plain, and remained many years in an unfinished 
state. There were at first no stairs or breastwork to the 
galleries, and the hearers ascended by a ladder, and 
listened to the preacher from a platform. For a long 



230 EAELIEST CHTJECHES IN NEW YORK. 

wliile, even tbe seats on the lower floor had no backs. 
At that period in our colonial history, no public religious 
services could be performed in churches except such as 
were established by law. Dissenters were therefore 
compelled to accommodate their places of worship in 
some way to meet this legal difficulty, which was avoid- 
ed b}^ attaching a fireplace and chimney to the internal 
arrangements of Wesley Chapel, as it was thus con- 
sidered a private dwelling. A small building of the 
antique Dutch style stood j)artly in front of the church, 
and became, after a while, the parsonage. The sextons 
used to reside in its basement. Peter Williams, a col- 
ored man, and one of the oldest members of the Church, 
served in this office. While a slave, for slavery then 
existed in New York, he purchased his freedom from his 
own industry, and then amassed a respectable property 
by diligent labor. He lived to see his children well 
educated, and one son was for years a useful pastor of 
a Protestant Episcopal Church in this city. The old 
doorkeeper in the house of the Lord has long since left 
his post, and entered into that holy temple not made 
witli hands, to go in and out no more forever. 

Very numerous audiences were soon attracted to 
Wesley Chapel, "to hear the word." In two yesivs 
after its dedication, the congregation, which had com- 
menced, three years before, with six hearers, had in- 
creased to a thousand and over, at times filling the open 
area in front of the church. Such was the progress of 
the society, that Mr. Wesley was strongly solicited to 
send an able and experienced preacher to their assist- 
ance. In the letter sent to England with the request, 



EAHLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YOEK. 231 

the members used the foUoViug strong and remarkable 
language : " With respect to tlie iDayment of the preach- 
er's passage over, if they could not i)rocure it, we would 
sell our coats and shirts to procure it for them." In 
answer to these earnest desires, Messrs. Boardman and 
Pilmore volunteered to be the first Methodist missionaries 
to this country. They arrived in 1769, and were the 
earliest itinerant Wesleyan preachers in America. They 
brought with them fifty pounds, " as a token of brotherly 
love," to the new cliurch. In addition to these two 
missionaries, the Rev. Messrs. Asbury and Wright 
came over in 1771. Captain Webb returned in the 
mean time to England, and settled at Bristol, where he 
died at the age of seventy-two years, leaving this last 
and delightful testimony : "I know I am happy in the 
Lord, and shall be with Him, and that is all-sufficient." 
Thus true faith has her crown as weU as her cross. 

His fellow-laborer in the field of early American 
Methodism, Mr. Embury, retired into the interior, 
where he closed his useful life in the spring of 1775, 
without a stone to tell where he lay. His grave was 
found in 1833, when his bones were removed to a neigh- 
boring burying-ground at Ash-grove, and here they 
were again recommitted to tlieir mother earth, with suit- 
able religious ceremonies. A plain marble tablet has 
been placed over his remains, with this inscription : 

PHILIP EMBURY, 

THE EARLIEST AlIEEICAN MINISTER OF THE M. E. CirURCU, HERE FOUND 
HIS LAST EARTHLY RESTING-PLACE. 

"Precious ia the sight of the Lord is the death of His sainta" 



232 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Born in Ireland, an emigrant to New York, Embury was the first to gather 
a little class in that city, and to set in motion a train of measures which resulted 
in the founding of the John Street Church, the cradle of American Methodism, 
and the introduction of a system which has beautified the earth with .salvation, 
and increased the joys of heaven. 

During the War of the American Revolution, most of 
the churches in this city were occupied as military pris- 
ons or hospitals. The Middle Dutch Chnrch, now the 
Post-office, was a prison and charnel-house to hundreds. 
No less than three thousand Americans were confined 
in that ancient temple of the Almighty. Six and eight 
dead hodies might be seen of a morning conveyed from 
this sorrowful abode. Its pews were consumed for 
fuel, and the place was linally occupied as a riding- 
school for the British cavalry. Two thousand rebel 
prisoners, so called, were incarcerated in the North 
Dutch Church, William street. The Quaker meeting- 
honse, formerly on Pearl street, was converted into a 
hospital. Wesley Chapel shared a similar fate, a regi- 
ment of Americans being confined here for several 
weeks. The small-pox broke out among them with 
dreadful fatality, and the whole corps, in consequence, 
soon after vacated the building. An old Dutch clergy- 
man, known as Dominie Sampson, occasionally preached 
in the chapel to the German refugees. 

Religious meetings at niglit were then generally for- 
bidden, but allowed in the Metliodist church, as the 
British imagined, or rathcu- desired, that the followers 
of Wesley should favor their cause. Still, the services 
were sometimes interrupted and disturbed by the rude 
conduct of men belonging to the army. They would 
often stand in tlie aisles with their caps on during divine 



EARLIEST CIIUF.CIIES IN NEW YORK. 233 

worship, careless and inattentive. On one occasion, 
before the congregation was dismissed, they sang the 
national song, "God save the King." At the conclu- 
sion, the society immediately began and sang to the 
same air those beautiful lines of Charles Wesley : 

" Come, thou Almighty King, 
Help us thy name to sing, 

Help us to praise ! 
Father all-glorious. 
O'er all victorious, 
Come and reign over us, 
* Ancient of Day si 

" Jesus, our Lord, arise, 
Scatter our enemies, 

And make them fall I 
Let Thine almighty aid 
Oiir sure defence be made, 
Our souls on Thee be stayed. 

Lord, hear our call," &c. 

Upon a Christmas eve, when the members had assem- 
bled to celebrate the advent of the world' s Redeemer, 
a party of British officers, masked, marched into the 
house of God. One, very properly personifying their 
master, appeared with cloven feet and a long, forked 
tail. The devotions of course ceased, and the chief 
devil, proceeding up the aisle, entered the altar. As he 
was ascending the stairs of the pulpit, a gentleman pres- 
ent, with his cane, knocked off His Satanic Majesty's 
ma^, when, lo ! there stood a well-known British colo- 
nel. He was immediately seized, and detained until the 
city guard was sent to take charge of the offender. The 
congregation retired, and the entrances of the church 
were locked upon the prisoner for additional security. 



234 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

His companions outside then commenced an attack nj)on 
the doors and windows, but the arrival of the guard put 
an end to these disgraceful proceedings, and the prisoner 
was delivered into their custody. Tliis attempt to dis- 
turb the services originated at the play-house, which at 
tliat time occupied a spot not far from thc^ chapel, where 
Thorburn's seed-store now stands. Tlie British ofncers 
were often actors, and doubtless obtained their masks 
and grotesque dresses from this theatrical wardrobe. 
There was, however, redeeming virtue enough in the 
British authorities to rebuke the rioters, and the devil- 
colonel made a public apology for his offence. To atone 
for what had been done, a guard of soldiers was regu- 
larly stationed, for a long time afterward, at the door of 
the chapel, to preserve order. 

A state of war is always inimical to the advancement 
of morals and religion ; and during the seven years 
while the foreign foe had possession of New York, it 
was a season of sorrow and trial to the Wesleyan So- 
ciety. All the preachers from England, except Mr. As- 
bury, were obliged to return liome, on account of favor- 
ing the British king and cause. Many of the society 
removed into the country, and those who remained in 
the city, now destitute of their own ministers, would 
repair to St. Paul's Church, on Broadway, to receive the 
sacraments from tlie hands of an Episcopalian clergy- 
man. , 

The glorious tei'mination of the severe Revolutionary 
struggle introduced a brighter day to the Church of 
Christ. Until now, Methodism in America had been the 
same as Methodism in England. In its objects, doc- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 235 

trines, and moral discipline, it remains so until this 
hour ; but Mr. Wesley's powers over the American So- 
cieties ceased when the United States became indepen- 
dent of the political and ecclesiastical authority of the 
mother country. Accordingly, in the year 1784-5, the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States was 
organized. 

From that period, the march of Methodism has been 
rapid. Previous to the year 1817, six Methodist Epis- 
copal Churches had been erected in New York. Still 
more room was needed, especially for the members in 
the lower part of the city, and it was determined to 
erect a new and large church upon the spot where 
Wesley Chapel stood. The old walls were accordingly 
demolished on the 13th of May, 1817, tlie Rev. Daniel 
Ostrander making a suitable address at the time, and 
on the first Sabbath of the new year, January 4, 1818, 
the new church was dedicated to the service of God the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Immense congregations 
attended on the occasion, by estimation not less than 
two thousand. The Eev. Dr. Bangs, Samuel Merwin, 
and Joshua Soule, now bishop, delivered the dedicatory 
sermons, distinguished for most impressive eloquence, 
and attended with unusual pathos. 

The new church was one of the most commodious 
and beautiful in the city, and served as a model for 
many throughout the country. Its walls were of gran- 
ite, partly built from the materials of the old chapel, 
and the dimensions were sixty-two by eighty-seven 
feet. The cost was about thirty thousand dollars. It 
had a large lecture-room, and here was deposited a 



236 EAKLIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 

valuable library for the use of the congregation. To 
the credit of these early Methodists it should be men- 
tioned, that this collection of books commenced in the 
year 1792, and was formerly located in the old parson- 
age. The example is worthy the imitation of all reli- 
gious societies. Here, too, was placed the old clock 
of Wesley Chapel, which still tells the hours of the 
sanctuary, as it has also marked the flight of so man}' 
annual rounds upon that consecrated spot. 

There was a beautiful cenotaph to the memory of the 
Rev. John Summerfield placed in the front and out- 
side wall of the church. He was President of the 
Young Men's Missionary Society, and its managers 
erected this memorial to commemorate his virtues, elo- 
quence, piety, and devotion to the holy cause. The 
monument is made of finely polished black marble, in 
the shape of a cone. An urn is flxed upon a j^edestal 
at the base, with a few volumes of books on either side ; 
and drapery hangs in graceful folds from one part of 
the urn, while to the right of it there is a scroll lialf un- 
rolled. The folloAving tribute, from the j)en of Bishop 
Soule, is inscribed u-pon the tablet in the centre of the 
cenotaph : 

SACRED 

QTo tt)c JHtmors of 
The Rev. John SuiiiiEUFiELD, A. M. 

" A burning and a shining light." 

lie commenced his ministerial labors in the Connection 

Of the Wesleyan Methodists in Ireland ; 

But eniployed the last four years of his life 

In the itinerant ministry 

Of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the United States. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 237 

His mind was stored with the treasures of science ; 

From a child he knew tlie Holy Scriptures. 

Meekness and humility 

United with extraordinary intellectual powers 

Exhibited in his character a model 

Of Christian and ministerial excellence. 

His perception of truth was clear and comprehensive ; 

His language pure, 

And his actions chaste and simple. 

The learned and the illiterate attended Ms ministry 

"With admiration, 

And felt that his preaching was 

In the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. 

Distinguished by the patience of hope 

And the labor of love. 

He finished his course in peace and triumph. 

Born in Preston, England, January 31st, ITDS. 

Died in this city, June 13tii, 1825. 

This monument was erected by the Young Men's Missionary 
Society, of which he was President. 

Tills second clinrcli on the earliest spot of American 
Methodism, continued to be used for its sacred purposes 
for twenty-four years ; then it was taken down, and the 
third, which is the present edifice, was erected in 1841. 
When Wesley Chapel was finished, in the year 1768, 
the city of New York did not extend heyond the pres- 
ent Park. St. Paul's Church and the Brick Chapel 
were in the "fields," then so called. Its population did 
not quite reach twenty-two thousand, and three thou- 
sand of these were colored. Few cities of the world 
have increased more rapidly. In less than three-quar- 
ters of a century afterward, its inhabitants numbered 
three hundred thousand. The lower part of the city 



238 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

liad "become the business section, and residences were 
built far beyond this limit. Many new Methodist 
churches had been provided to meet the wants of this 
rapidly-growing population. 

It was now resolved to erect a smaller chapel on the 
spot, with two four- story brick houses, one on each 
side, as a source of income. The cut is a very excellent 
view of the whole. In its external appearance, the 
church is simple, plain, and neat — the inside beautiful 
and commodious, with a pulpit in a semicircular recess ; 
dimensions, forty-two feet by eighty. The basement is 
above ground ; it is an admirable room for religious 
meetings, and here may be seen the only relics of old 
John Street Church — its venerable clock and library. 
There are two tablets in front, with these inscriptions : 

THIS CUURCH, 
THE FIRST ERECTED BY THE METHODIST SOCIETY IN AMERICA, 

Was BUILT, 17G8. Rebuilt, 1817. 

" According to this time it sliall be said, What liath God wrought I" 

Numbers xxiii. 

THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 

Rebuilt, A. D. 1841. 
" Tliis is my rest forever ; licre will I dwell." — Psalms. 

It is a remarkable fact, and worth recording, that 
although, when AVeslc}^ Chapel was iirst founded, its 
members were compelled to solicit aid from Mr. Wesley 
to finish it, their successors own the present beautiful 
place of worship. Few spots have been thus more sig- 
nally blessed. As long as there are hearers of the Gos- 
pel in this great metropolis, may this consecrated ground 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 239 

be devoted to tlie preaching of a pure, earnest, and 
evangelical faith ! 

Perhaps something should be said about the fathers 
of Methodism in iN'ew York. Among the first trustees 
of John Street Church we find Captain Thomas Webb, 
who was the largest subscriber to the building — thirty 
pounds ; William Lupton, who gave twenty pounds, 
and afterwards added ten pounds more. He was a mer- 
chant prince, and adopted this motto ; " Tiie church first, 
and then my family." He was an Englishman by birth, 
a man of wealth and piety, and of great service to the 
infant society. He died in 1794, and was buried in his 
own vault beneath Old John Street Church. He came 
to America in 1753, a quartermaster under George II., 
and belonged to the same regiment with Captain AVebb. 
American Methodism is much indebted to tliese commis- 
sioned pious officers of the British army, Mr. Lupton 
married a daughter of Brant Schuyler, and their eldest 
son became a minister in the Reformed Dutch Church. 
Mrs. Lupton dying in 1769, he then married Mrs. 
Elizabeth Roosevelt, whose first husband was Dominie 
Frelinghuysen, of Albany, and the second, Peter 
Roosevelt. He was a member of John Street Church, 
but removing to Long Island, where there was no so- 
ciety of this denomination, he became an Episcopalian, 
as his respectable descendants are now. Mr. Lnpton's 
second wife was a daughter of Lancaster Syms, a vestry- 
man of Trinity Church. Dr. Ogilvie, the well-known 
rector of that parish, married another daughter of Mr. 
Syms. 

Mr. Lupton' s daughter, Elizabeth, married the Rev. 



240 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

John B. Jolmson, of tlie Reformed Dutch Church ; and 
a daughter of hers, Maria, became the companion of the 
Rev. E. M. Johnson, Brooklyn. William Lupton John- 
son, D. D., of Jamaica, Long Island, named after his 
grandftither, and his brothei', the Rev. Samuel Roose- 
velt Johnson, D. D., of the Protestant Episcopal Semi- 
nary, New York, are also children of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Johnson. How remarkably have the descendants of 
William Lupton, of old John Street Methodist Church, 
been blessed ! 

Paul Heck, or Hick, Philip J. Arcularius, Thomas 
Carpenter, Abraham Russel, Israel Disosway, Joseph 
Smith, Andrew Mercien, George Suckley, Stephen Dan- 
do, were also early trustees of this congregation, and 
have all "died in the faith." Their descendants, num- 
bering hundreds, are among our best citizens in Church 
and State. 



EAELIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YOIIK. 241 



CHAPTER XXIL 

DESCRIPTION OF NEW NETHERLAND, BY FATHER ISAAC JAQUES, A 
JESUIT MISSIONARY, 1664 HIS JOURNEYS — -MURDERED BY THE IN- 
DIANS EARLIEST CATHOLIC FAMILIES IN NEW YORK GOVERNOR 

DONGAN LAWS AGAINST THE ROMAN CATHOLICS NEGRO PLOT 

CATHOLIC PRIEST OFFICIATING IN NEW NETHERLAND— JAMES II., ON 
THE THRONE, FAVORS HIS OWN CREED DONGAN RECALLED WIL- 
LIAM AND MARY PROCLAIMED KING AND QUEEN THE ENGLISH 

CHURCH BECOMES THE ESTABLISHED ONE IN NEW YORK PERSECU- 
TIONS A CONGREGATION FORMED IN 1783 ST. PETEr's, BARCLAY 

STREET, BUILT IN 1786 REV. MR. NUGENT ITS MINISTER HIS SUC- 
CESSORS — ST. Peter's rebuilt in 1836, bishop dubois laying the 

CORNER-STONE ST. PATRICk's FOLLOWED, IN 1815 HERE BISHOP 

hughes RESIDED THE CATHOLICS PURCHASE DR. LYELl's EPISCOPAL 

CHURCH, ANN STREET DR. McLEOd's, CHAMBERS STREET THE OLD 

UNIVERSALIST, ON DUANE STREET, AND THE PRESBYTERIAN ON ASTOR 

PLACE UNIVERSALIST CHURCH REV. JOHN MURRAY-THE EARLIEST 

PREACHER A SOCIETY FORMED REV. EDWARD MITCHELL BECOMES 

THEIR MINISTER THEY PURCHASE A CHURCH ON PEARL STREET, 

AND SOON AFTER ERECT THE BRICK CHURCH ON DUANE STREET, NEA^ 

CHATHAM MR. MITCHELL CONTINUED THEIR MINISTER UNTIL HIS 

DEATH, A PERIOD OF FORTY YEARS HIS SUCCESSORS IN THE 

MINISTRY. 

One of tlie earliest notices we find of New York is, 
"A Description of New Netlierland, in 1644," by Fatlier 
Isaac Jaques, a Jesuit missionary. He says : " No re- 
ligion is publicly exercised but the Calvinist, and orders 
are to admit none but Calvinists ; but this is not ob- 
served ; for there are, besides Calvinists, in the colony, 
16 



244 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

cise of its religion. By a law, enacted (1700) in the 
reign of AVilliani III., every Catholic and Jesuit priest, 
who Avould come voliintaril}" into the colony, should 
"be condemned to death. Thanks to more noble and 
Christian feelings, there is no evidence that this out- 
rageous statute was ever enforced ! In August, 1741, 
John llry, an Englishman, a reputed Catholic priest, 
was publicly executed in the city ; but we must re- 
member that he was indicted for being concerned in the 
"Negro Plot," a supj)Osed conspiracy of the blacks, 
and others, to burn the place and murder its inhabitants. 
Nor is there any evidence that the law, passed against 
the Catholics, was brought into view at all in this case. 
Ilry was a schoolmaster, and in vain did the poor man 
declare that he was a nonjuring clergjauan of the Church 
of England, and could prove, by reliable witnesses, that 
he never associated with the negroes. He was con- 
demned and hung ! Infamous law, verdict, and act ! 

There were other Roman Catholic clergymen in New 
York, according to the catalogue of the Society of 
Jesus. It records, that "Father Thomas Harvey (Soci- 
ety of Jesus), a native of London, was in New York 
from 1683 to 1690, and subsequently in 1696, the interval 
being spent in Maryland, where he died in 1796, a)tat. 
eighty-four. Father Henry Harrison, Society of Jesus, 
was in New York in 168i), and returned to Ireland in 
1690, and in Maryland, 1697. Father Charles Gage, 
Soinety of Jesus, was also employed there in 1686 and 
1687."* Gage Avas stationed, an old account says, "at 
Norwich, the capital of Norfolk, at a very celebrated 

* Doc. Hist., iii. 110. 



EARLIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 245 

cliapel, where Fatlier Charles Gage excited a wonderful 
sensation by his sermons, and labored so zealously in 
that vineyard, that the faithful unanimously addressed 
a letter of thanks to the Father Provincial, for having 
provided them with such a distinguished preacher." 

Netherlands became a British province under the 
Duke of York, in the year 1644. He was a zealous 
Roman Catholic, and an avowed opponent to the Pro- 
testant faith, and uiDon his accession to the British 
throne, as the royal James II., he aroused the distrust 
of the American colonists, by elevating to power those 
of his own persecuting creed. It became, very naturally, 
his settled pnrjoose to convert the Indians, and encourage 
Catholicism in his dominions. Romanists began to emi- 
grate rapidly, and the Collector of Customs, with several 
officials, were avowed Papists. Many of the citizens, 
especiall}" the Waldenses and Huguenots, who had fled 
to this land from the religious persecutions of France, 
grew jealous of the Catholic influence, and feared its 
spread. 

Governor Dongan, although a Romanist, exhibited 
great religious toleration ; but this wise and judicious 
policy displeasing his royal master, he was suddenly 
recalled to Europe. Returning afterwards, he settled 
on his "Manor," Staten Island, the property remaining 
many years in the possession of his family. 

The attempt of James to restore the Catholic religion 
made him odious to the British people, and the birth of 
a son, in the year 1688, destroyed all hope of a Protest- 
ant succession. But the mails soon brought to the 
American colonists cheerino; intelligence. AVilliam, 



246 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Prince of Orange, wlio had married Mary, tlie eldest 
daughter of King James, and was tlie champion of Pro- 
testantism in Europe, invaded England. The people 
everywhere flocking to his standard, William and Mary 
were proclaimed King and Queen of England. Poor, 
bigoted James, deserted even by his own children, 
sought refuge in benighted Catholic France ! Thus fare 
religious tyrants. These good tidings reached America 
in 1689, causing great excitement, and AVilliam and 
Mary were proclaimed on the British throne, by the 
flourish of trumpets through the colonies. The English 
Church now became established in our land, and, like all 
established "National" churches, at times it interfered 
with the precious rights of conscience. Our Divine 
Master teaches a different lesson. 

Before the American Revolution, New York was 
the depot of the captures by the British cruisers. In 
the year 1778, a large armed French prize- ship arrived 
for condemnation. The Rev. Mr. De la Motte, an Au- 
gustin Catholic priest, Avas her chaplain, and, with other 
officers, was allowed liberty, on parole of honor. His 
countrymen solicited religious services according to the 
forms of the Romish Church, when he applied for the 
proper permission from the public authorities. But tliis 
was refused, and De la Motte, not understanding tlie 
English language, imagined that he had obtained his 
request. Then lie commenced the services, when he 
was arrested and closely conflned until exchanged. 
This exclusion continued as long as the British laws 
prevailed, and no Roman Catholic priest was permitted 
to discliarge the duties of his ofli.ce in the colony of 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 247 

New York. Our JSTational Independence acknowledged, 
every man, thanks be to God, has been allowed to wor- 
ship Him according to the free dictates of his own con- 
science. 

The Roman Catholics, availing themselves of this com- 
mon privilege, formed a congregation in New York, 
November, 1783, under the ministry of the Rev. Andrew 
Nugent. It is believed that he was sent here by the 
Bishop of Maryland. Vauxhall Garden then was situa- 
ted on the margiti of the North River, between AVarren 
and Chambers streets. Here a suitable building was 
erected for their religious services, and one of the most 
active men in its introduction was Sieur de St. Jean de 
Crevecoux, French consul for New York, New Jersey, 
and Connecticut. Himself, with Jose Roix Silva, James 
Stewart, and Henry Dufflin, became incorporated, June 
11, 1785, by the name of the "Trustees of the Roman 
Catholic Church in the city of New York." This place 
not being well suited to its religious purposes, an appli- 
cation was made for the use of the "Exchange," then 
a building at the foot of Broad street, and occupied as a 
court-room. But failing in this attempt, measures were 
taken to erect a new church on the corner of Church and 
Barclay streets. It was a brick edifice, forty-eight feet 
by eighty- one in size, and finished far enough to have 
Mass celebrated for the first time on November 4, 1786. 
On this occasion the Rev. Mr. Nugent, the i3astor, con- 
ducted the services, assisted by the chaplain of the 
Spanish ambassador and the Rev. Jose Plielan. In the 
following spring its name became " St. Peter's Church." 

Mr. Nugent officiated here until 1788, when the Rev. 



248 EARLIEST CHURCHES IX NEW YORK. 

William O'Brien succeeded him in the priesthood, and 
continued to the day of his death, in the year 1816. 
Next came in the sacred office John Power, D. D., with 
the Rev. Charles C. Pise, D. D., as colleague. 

From the increasing congregation, it became necessary 
to rebuild "St. Peter's," when it was taken down in 
1836, and a most substantial stone edifice erected in its 
place. Bishop Du Bois laid the corner-stone, October 
26, 1836, and during the following September public ser- 
vices commenced in the basement, and Bishop Hughes 
consecrated the new building February 25, 1838. 

For more than thirty years " St. Peter's," in Barclay 
street, was the only Roman Catholic Church in New 
York city, its sacred aisles often overcrowded, and its 
worshippers at times occupying the public street in 
front. This sight we have often witnessed. 

ST. PATRICK'S CATITEDEAL. 

To relieve St. Peter's, and accommodate the rapidly 
increasing Roman Catholic denomination, ' ' St. Patrick' s 
Cathedral" was founded, in the year 1815. It was a 
very spacious stone edifice, one hundred and twenty feet 
long and eighty \vide, on the corner of Mott and Prince 
streets, and enlarged a few years afterwards by the addi- 
tion of thirty-six feet to its length. Although it has no 
galleries, except the "organ-loft," two thousand persons 
can be accommodated within its spacious walls and 
pews. "St. Patrick's Cathedral" is considered the seat 
of the Episcopate in this Diocese, and here then resided 
BisliDps Hughes and IMcCloskey, with their subordinate 



EARLIEST CntJRCIIES IT^ K^EW YORK. 249 

clergy. After this period, a number of new Roman 
Catliolic congregations sprang up in various sections of 
the city. Some old churches of the other denominations 
were purchased by the Catholics for their religious pur- 
poses. In 1826 they thus became owners of the Episco- 
pal church in Ann street, once Dr. Ly ell's. The Rev. 
Felix Varela, from Spain, was priest ; and it was de- 
stroyed by fire in 1834, when two new churches followed 
— the one on James street, 1835, continuing the legal 
title of "Christ Church," and the other, purchased in 
1836, the "Reformed Presbyterian" house of worship 
on Chambers, calling it the "Church of the Transfigura- 
tion." Dr. Varela continued this pastoral charge. 

The Catholics also purchased the old Universalist 
churcli in Duane, near Chatham, naming it "St. An- 
drew's," and at the time under the pastoral care of the 
Rev. John Maginnis. So also passed away the Pres- 
byterian church on Astor Place, formerly Dr. Mason' s, 
in Murray street. What a comment on the changes of 
our ever-changing city ! The materials of the old church 
"down town" were brought to this si3ot and rebuilt in 
1842. Tliose venerable walls, which so long resounded 
with the impressive, truthful apjieals of Dr. Mason, the 
most eloquent preacher in his day, now witness the 
Mass and tlie dull monotonies of Romanism ! 

UNIVERSALIST CHURCH— (1796). 

Among the old churches of New York must be ranked 
the "Universalist." At an early period, the Rev. John 
Murray and other preachers of this faitli occasionally 
visited our city and held religious meetings. After sev- 



250 EAr.LIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOnK. 

eral years, three prominent members of the John Street 
Methodist Society embraced the new doctrine of a lim- 
ited future punishment, with tlie final salvation of all 
men. On account of these opinions they Vvithdrew from 
that congregation in April, 1796, and during the next 
month, with several others, fourteen in all, formed the 
"Society of United Christian Friends in the city of New 
York." This society, at first, held their religious meet- 
ings in a private house, but, their members increasing, a 
small edifice was erected on Vandewater street, near 
Frankfort. For some seven years tliey conducted their 
meetings among themselves, using their own gifts. Mr. 
Mitchell was an Irishman, and a man of mucli natural 
eloquence, and was ordained their preacher, July 18, 
1803. The society still enlarging, the members i^ur- 
chased a house of worshij) erected on Pearl, between 
Chatham and Cross streets. In the spring of 1810, 
Mr. Mitchell received an invitation to preacli in Bos- 
ton, as colleague with the Rev. John Murray, which 
he accepted. Recalled, however, to New York, he 
returned, in the year 1811, to liis former flock. Soon a 
new and larger house was required, when a neat and 
substantial brick church was built, on the corner of 
Duane and Augustus streets, at a cost of twenty 
thousand dollars. Mr. Mitchell remained faitliful in, 
tliis pastoral relation until his deatli, in the year 1834, 
having been connected with the Universalist Society for 
a period of forty years. Mr. Brouwer and Mr. Snow, 
however, the other founders of the body, returned in 
after years to their old Methodist fold in John street, 
both reaching well-known honorable old ages. 



EARLIEST CIIURCnES IN NEW YORK. 251 

After the death of the Eev. Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Edward 
Cook took charge of the society for a year, and then the 
Rev. Mr. Pickering, during two. By this time, tlie con- 
gregation considerably reduced and otliers established, 
in 1837 they rented their house of worship to the " West 
Baptist Church," and retired to a public hall on Forsytli 
street. Subsequently the place was sold to the Roman 
CathoUcs, Yy^ho have greatly beautified it and continue 
their worship there. After this, the "Society of United 
Christian Friends," or the "First Universalist Church," 
ceased to assemble for public worship. Several other 
Universalist churches, however, sprang up in various 
sections of the city. 



252 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

HUGUENOTS AMONG THE EARLIEST EMIGRANTS TO AMERICA — THEIR 

FIRST MINISTERS EDICT OF NANTES HENRY IV. — FALL OF 

ROCHELLE EDICT REVOKED EMIGRATION OF THE HUGUENOTS 

ADMIRAL COLIGNY (1555) FRENCH PROTESTANTS REACH CHARLES- 
TON, BOSTON, AND NEW ROCHELLE REV. DANIEL BONDET NEW 

PALTZ (1677) WALLOON CHURCHES STATEN ISLAND. 

Among the earliest emigrants to America were the 
Huguenots, or Frencli Protestants. The sacred rights 
of conscience brouglit them here, and they brought their 
ministers of rehgion, a pure faith, and their Bibles with 
them. What greater treasures could have emigrated? 
We devote a chapter or more to the history of their 
earliest preachers in America, as very little is com- 
paratively known of these excellent, self-denying Chris- 
tian missionaries to our land. The famous Edict of 
Nantes, to speak accurately, was a new confirmation 
of former solemn treaties between the French Gov- 
ernment and the Huguenots, or French Protestants. 
It was, in fact, a ro3^al act of indemnity for all past 
offences. From the rolls of the superior courts th(^ ver- 
dicts against the "Reformed" were erased, and to these 
pious Frenchmen unlimited liberty of conscience was 
recognized as a rigid. This important " Edict" marked 
for France the close of the Middle Ages and the true 
commencement of modern times. The document itself 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 253 

was sealed with the great seal of green wax, to testify 
its perjDetual, irrevocable character. Henry IV., in sign- 
ing it, triumphed completely over the usages of the 
"Middle Ages," whilst the illustrious monarch washed 
nothing less than to grant the " Reformed" all the civil 
and religious rights which their enemies had refused them. 

France now, for the first time, raised herself above 
religious parties. Still, such a new state policy did not 
fail to arouse the clamors of the violent, with the hatred of 
the factious. Henry, the sovereign, however, remained 
firm. ' ' I have enacted the Edict, ' ' he said to the I^arlia- 
ment of Paris; "I wish it to be observed. This must 
serve as the reason why : I am king ; I speak to you as 
king. I will be obeyed." Royal language this. And 
to the clergy he added : "Thy predecessors have given 
you good words, but I, with my gray jacket,— I will give 
you good deeds. I am all gray on the outside, but I am 
all gold within. ' ' Honored be the memory of Henry IV. 
for such noble and generous sentiments ! 

During the first half of the seventeenth century more 
than eight hundred Refonned Churches could be 
counted in France, with sixty-two Conferences. Such 
was the prosperity of the Huguenot, Protestant, or 
Evangelical party in that vast kingdom until the fall of 
brave Rochelle, then emphatically called the "Citadel 
of Reform;" and this great misfortune terminated the 
long religious wars of France. 

But, strange and wonderful to relate, amidst all this 
national religious prosperity and happiness, France 
again was to appear before the world the persecutor of 
lier virtuous and religious citizens— the fiital destroyer 



254 EARLIEST CIIUIICIIES I]^ NEW YORK. 

of her own best interests. On the 22d October, 1685, 
the famous Edict of Nantes was revoked ; in a word, 
Protestant worship was entirely abolished, under the 
penalty of arrest, with the confiscation of goods. In a 
fortnight. Huguenot ministers were ordered to quit the 
kingdom. Protestant schools were closed, and the 
laity forbidden to follow their pastors under severe 
and fatal penalties. But, in spite of all these enact- 
ments and persecutions, tlie Huguenots began to leave 
France by tens of thousands. It is impossible, in our 
day, \o ascertain the correct amount of this emigration. 
But, assuming that one hundred thousand Protestants 
Avere distributed among twenty millions of Roman 
Catholics, we think it safe to calculate that from two 
hundred and fifty to three hundred thousand, during 
fifteen years, exj^atriated themselves from France. Sis- 
mondi estimates tli(4r number at three or four hundred 
thousand. 

Reacliiiig London, Amsterdam, and Berlin, these 
French refugees were received with open arms and 
purses ; and thus Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, 
Sweden, Russia, Prussia, Holland, and America, all 
wore profited by this wholesale proscrij)tion of perse- 
cuted pious Frenchmen. All agree that, wherever they 
went, tluy introduced the industry and arts by which 
they had enriclied their own native land, thus abun- 
dantly repaying the kindness and hospitality of those 
countries Avhich afforded them that saf(} asylum cruelly 
denied them in their own. 

Tliis bird's-eye view of the French "Huguenots," 
"Protestants," or "Refugees," and their expulsion 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 255 

from France, we have taken for a better understanding 
of our present subject ; at tliis period there is increased 
attention to historical research, and we gladly contribute 
our mite to the important cause. 

The brave Admiral Coligny first conceived the plan 
of a colony in America, for the safety of his French 
persecuted Huguenot brethren. It was undertaken as 
early as the year 1555, but failed ; again attempted in 
1562, and alike unsuccessful. But a century afterwards, 
Protestant England took up the generous plans of the 
pious old Admiral, and with success. That nation then 
possessed twelve colonies in North America, and, when 
the Edict of Nantes was revoked, resolved here to offer 
safe homes to the persecuted French Protestants. 

Even before the Revocation, as early as 1625, some 
"refugee" fiunilies reached the settlement of New 
Amsterdam. In 1663, distribution of lands was made 
in Charleston to the Frenchmen, Richard Batin, Jacques 
Jones, and Richard Deyos, who were put in possession 
of freeholders' rights, and placed on a footing with the 
English colony.'^ Like concessions were made to other 
Huguenots. During 1679, Charles II. ordered two ves- 
sels to transport, at his own expense, French Protest- 
ants to Carolina, and in the next year some two thou- 
sand five hundred more selected this region for their 
homes. About the same period, others emigrated to 
Boston, where they erected a church in 1686. Their 
pastor was a refugee minister, named M. Lawrie, who 
was assisted by the Rev. Daniel Bondet, A. M. We 
shall learn more of this early missionary at New Ro- 

* Weiss's Hugnonots. 



256 EAIiLn-lST CIIUKCHES IIS" NEW YOEK. 

chelle. New Oxford, near Boston, was the Frencli 
colony, and in 1GS6 it received from Massachusetts the 
liberal benefaction of eleven thousand acres of lands. 

A large body of the Huguenots went to Ulster, New 
York, a region, like their own native land, celebrated 
for its fertility and great natural beauties. New Paltz 
was settled in 1677, and for the information of many 
readers, we insert the original purchasers : Louis Du- 
bois ; Christian Dian, since Walter Deyo ; xlbrahara As- 
brouccf, now spelled Hasbrouck ; Andrew Le Fever, 
often Le Febre and Le Febvre ; John Brook, said to have 
been changed into Hasbrouck ; Peter Dian or Deyo ; 
Louis Bevier ; Anthony Crispell ; Abraham Dubois ; 
Hugo Frier ; Isaac Dubois ; Lemon Le Fever. 

A copy of this ancient agreement with the Indians 
still exists, and the curious antiquarian may find it 
among the State Records at Albany. It is a very sin- 
gular document, with the signatures of both parties ; the 
patentees written in the antique French character, Avith 
the Indian hieroglyphic marks. A few " Indian goods," 
kettles, axes, beads, bars of lead, jDOwder, blankets, 
needles, twine, awls, with a clean pipe, were the insig- 
nificant articles given for these lands, now proverbially 
rich, and worth millions of dollars. This treaty was 
eventually executed on the 20th of May, 1677. 

During the last twenty years of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, the Huguenot emigration into Holland became a 
political event, and the first bloody " Dragoonade" gave 
the signal in 1681. Holland, glorious Protestant Hol- 
land ! of all lands received most of the French Refugees. 
Bayle called it "Tlie grand ark of the refugees." No 



EARLIEST CUUECHES IN NEW YORK. 257 

documents exist by whicli their numbers can be coiTectly 
computed, but tliey have been estimated by historians 
from lifty-five to seventy-five thousand souls. The 
greatest numbers were to be found at Amsterdam, Rot- 
terdam, and the Hague. In 1680, there were not less 
than sixteen French pastors to the Walloon churches at 
Amsterdam. The Walloons and the Huguenots, in fact, 
were the same Protestant people — oppressed and perse- 
cuted Frenchmen. Of the former, as early as the year 
1622, several families from the frontier, between Belgium 
and France, tui-ned their attention to America. They 
applied to Sir Dudley Carleton for permission to settle 
in the colony of Virginia, with the privilege of electing 
their own magistrates. But the Virginia Company 
seemed to have imagined this request and privilege too 
republican. Hence many Walloons looked toward New 
Netheiiand, where some of their number arrived in 
1624, with the Dutch Director Minuit. 

These French emigrants first settled on Staten Island, 
but afterward removed to " Wahle Botch," or the Bay 
of Foreigners, since anglicized or corrupted into Walla- 
bout. To the Chamber of Amsterdam was committed 
the superintendence of this new and extensive country, 
and this body, in 1623, had dispatched an expedition in 
the "New Netherlands," " whereof Cornelius Jacobs, of 
Hoorn, was skipper, with thirty families, worth}^ Wal- 
loons, to plant a colony there." They arrived in the 
beginning of May, 1623. In 1625, three ships and a 
yacht reached Manhattan, with more families, farming 
implements, and one hundred and three head of cattle. 
These were the earliest Huguenot settlers of which we 
17 



258 EARLIEST CHTTRCnES IN NEW YORK. 

have found any authentic records. As yet there were 
no clergymen in the colony of New Netherlands, but 
two visitors of the sick, as they w^ere called in the Dutch 
settlements, were a^Dpointed for their important and pious 
duty, and also to read God's Word to the j^eople on 
Sundays. Thus, more than two hundred years ago, was 
laid the corner-stone of our Empire State, on the firm 
and sure foundation of justice, morality, and religion. 
This historical fact places the character of the Dutch 
and French settlers in the most honoral3le light. 

The Rev. Joannes Megopolensis, as early as 1642, took 
charge of the Dutch Reformed Church in Albany, and 
five years afterward became the Dominie at Manhattan. 
In 1G52, he selected the Rev. Samuel Drissius for his 
colleague, on account of his knowledge of the French 
and English. From his letters, we learn that he visited 
Staten Island once a mouth, to preach there to the French 
Protestants. His ministry continued from 1652 to 1671. 
About 1690, the New York Consistory invited the Rev. 
Peter Daille, who had ministered among the Massa- 
chusetts Huguenots, to preach occasionally in French on 
Staten Island. From 1656 to 1663, more French emi- 
gi-jints from the Palatinate obtained grants of land on 
the island, and in 1675 they erected a church near Rich- 
mond village. I have often visited the venerable spot, 
and all that remains to mark the sacred place is a single 
broken gravestone. Nor is any record of its history 
left. 










f=4i5V- /^^^\ 


piiii 




l*'W 


iimilLU 


i 


iRim 






-> oM> T UN sin.IT (, ru i 




Wksi.ky Ciiapki., or First John Ptkeet ('iiirKcir. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN" NEW YORK. 259 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

HUGUENOT REFUGEES SETTLE NEW ROCHELLE, 1698 CHURCH OR- 
GANIZED AND BUILT DAVID BONREPOS, D. D., FIRST PASTOR 

PREACHES ON STATEN ISLAND RECEIVES " LETTERS OF DENIZA- 
TION" MANOR OF PELHAM DANIEL BONDET THE NEXT IIUGItENOT 

MINISTER HIS EARLY HISTORY MISSIONARY TO THE NIPMUG 

INDI/ NS, ■'693 — WAR COMPELS HIM TO LEAVE CALLUD TO NEW 

ROCHELLE SALARY THIRTY POUNDS PRAYERS IN FRENCH HIS 

CONGREGATION CONFORMS TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, l709 

NEW CHURCH BUILT GOVERNOR HUNTER NEGRO COMMUNICANTS 

LEWIS ROUX, HUGUENOT MINISTER IN NEW" YORK BONDEt's 

DEATH, 1722^PIERRE STOUPPE SUCCEEDS HIM — THE " ANCIENS," 

OR ELDERS NEGRO BAPTISMS FRENCH "dISSENTERS" MR. MOU- 

LINARS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT OF NEW ROCHELLE MR. STOUPPe's 

DEATH, 1760 BURIED UNDER CHANCEL OF THE CHURCH HIS 

SUCCESSOR, REV. MICHAEL HOUDIN. 

In the Documentary History of ISTew York'^ we find 
a "Petition from N'ew Roclielle," of "above twenty" 
Huguenots, or Frencli Protestants, asking Governor 
Fletcher "to grant them for some years what help 
and privileges your Excellency shall think convenient" 
(1689). By the pious emigrants and sufferers for con- 
science, sake the village was first settled, naming it after 
theu' 

" Own Rochellc, the fair Roclielle, 
Proud cjty of the waters." 

Tradition says they landed on Davenport' s Week. But 
coeval with the commencement of the settlement was 
the organization of a Protestant church, in which the 

* Vol. iii. p. 926. 



230 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN XEW YORK. 

Huguenots adliered to tlie pure principles of their pious 
forefathers, as contained in the "Articles, Liturgy, Dis- 
cipline, and Canons, according to the usage of the 
Reformed Church in France." "It was for their reli- 
gion," they said, "that they suffered in their native 
country ; and to enjoy its j)rivileges unmolested, they 
fled into the wilderness." 

A church Avas immediately erected, about the year 
1692-3, and constructed of wood, "in the rear of the 
Mansion House, close by the old Boston Road."* Louis 
Bongard, at the same time, "did give unto the inhabi- 
tants of New Rochelle a piece of land forty paces square 
for a churchyard to bury their dead," ... to "have a 
particular lane or road from Boston Road going to the 
churchyard, all along the swamp . . . making a door 
(gate) which shall be shut by those who will make use 
of it." — (Town Records of New Rochelle, p. 20.) Sub- 
sequently the town gave a house and three-quarters of 
an acre to this church forever. 

At this early period the Rev. David Bonrepos, D. D., 
was the first minister of tliis Huguenot church. He 
accompanied the emigrants in their flight from France, 
but we have ascertained nothing concerning his minis- 
try, except his resignation, in 1694. The following year, 
we find him laboring among the French Protestants on 
Staten Island, as the Rev. John Miller, describing the 
province of New York, states (1695) : "There is a meet- 
ing-house at Richmond, of which Dr. Bonrepos is the 
minister. There are forty Englisli and thirty-six French 
families." On the 9th of March, 1690, "David de 

* Bolton's History of the Cimrcli in Westchester County. 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN FEW YORK. 261 

Bonrepos, of New York city, Doctor of Divinity, and 
Blanche, his wife, did grant to Elias de Bonrepos, of 
New Rochelle, husbandman, all that certain parcel of 
land situate and lying at New Rochelle, in the Manor of 
Pelham . . . containing fifty acres of ground."* 

On the 6th of February, 1695-6, "letters of deniza- 
tion were granted to David Bonrepos and others. Elias 
Bonrepos was licensed to keep school within y^ town 
of Rochelle, upon the 23d of June, 1705. "f Thus we 
discover that the minister and the schoolmaster came 
together with the Huguenots to America. Letters of 
administration were granted to Martha Bonrepos, wife 
of David Bonrepos, 25th of October, 1711.:}: On the 24th 
of March, 1693, the General Assembly of the New York 
Province passed an act by which the name of Pelham 
became, one of the four districts of Westchester parish, 
and in 1702 New Rochelle contributed seven pounds 
three shillings towards the rector's salary. During 1720 
the benefaction increased to twelve pounds fourteen shil- 
lings one and a halfpence. 

The Rev. Daniel Bondet, A. ]M., a native of France, 
was the next minister of the Huguenot church. New 
Rochelle. Born in 1652, he studied divinity and en- 
tered the ministry at Geneva, but fled to England upon 
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Here he obtained 
holy orders from the Bishop of London, Henry Comp- 
ton, and reached Boston, with a company of French 
Protestants, in the summer of 1686. He was then em- 
ployed, also, during eight years, by the Society for 

* Town Rec, Lib. A., 304-5. f Albany Deed Book, vol. x. 65. 

^ Xevr York Surro,c?ate's OiSce, Lib. viii. 61. 



262 EARLIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YOrK. 

Propagating the Christian Faith among the Indians at 
New Oxford, near Boston. These were the "Nip- 
mugs;" and Cotton Mather, 1693, speaks of him as a 
faithful minister "to the Frencli congregation at New 
Oxford, in the Nipmug country."* He complained of 
the sale of rum to the Indians " without order and meas- 
ure ;" a public disgrace and evil, alas! fatally continued 
among the poor Red Men of the forests to our day. This 
settlement was broken up by the Indians in the year 
1696, where he had labored on an "allowance of a salary 
of twenty-five pounds a year, and consumed the little he 
•brought with him from France in settling himself for 
that service, and being afterwards, by reason of the war, 
compelled to fly from thence, his improvements were 
wholly lost." During the time of his stay there, about 
eight 3^ears, the same old account from which we have 
extracted adds : "It appears by a certificate under the 
hands of the late Lieutenant-Governor Stougliton, of 
Boston, Wait Winthrop, Increase Mather, and Charles 
Morton, that he, with great faithfulness, care, and indus- 
try, discharged his duty, both in reference to Christians 
and Indians, and was of an unblemished life and con- 
versation." 

After his call to New Rochelle, the same corxDoration, 
in consideration of his past sufferings and services, cou- 
tlnu(?d his salary, which he enjoyed until the arrival of 
Governor Bellamont, from England, who settled upon 
liim thirty pounds a year from the public revenue. The 
governor afterwards withdrew this benefaction, and suc- 
cessfully used his intlucMice with the Propagation Society 

* Magnolia, D. vi. G. 



EAELIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YOKK. 263 

to withdraw tlieii-s of thirty pounds, so that tlie French 
missionary had only the twenty pounds a year from tlie 
New Eochelle church to support liimself and family.* 

In the year 1704, we find this record from the clergy 
of 'New York: "Mr. Daniel Bondet has gone farther 
and done more in that good work (converting the 
heathen) tlian any Protestant minister that we know ; 
we commend him .... as a person industrious 
in y« service of the Church and his own nation, y* 
French, at IS'ew Rochelle." 

At first Mr. Bondet used the French prayers ; but, 
subsequently, on every third Sabbath, the Liturgy of 
the Church of England. This important change took 
place June 12, 1709, all the members of the Huguenot 
church, except two, agreeing to conform to "the reli- 
gious worship. Liturgy, and rites of the Church of Eng- 
land as established by law. ' ' This official act was signed 
by "Elias Badeau, Andrew Reneau, J. Levillain, with 
twenty-six others. ' ' f Proper religious services were held 
on the occasion, June 13, 1709, in the old wooden church, 
erected 1692-3 ; Bartow, the j^arish rector, being pres- 
ent, read the prayers, and the Rev. Mr. Sharp, an Eng- 
lish chaplain, delivered a discourse. Then conformity 
was proposed to the congregation, and adopted by sub- 
scribing their names to the proper document, f At the 
time it was hoped by Churchmen that this example 
would influence the French Protestant congregation in 
New York, likewise, to conform. 

Immediately, a committee of Isaac Guions, Louis 

* Doc. History of New York, vol. iii. 

f "Dr. Hawks, MSS. Archives at Fulham." 



264 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Guions, Jejeune, Aiitliouy Lispeiiard, and Pierce Val- 
leaii, with twenty-two others, petitioned the venerable 
Society for Propagation of the Grospel in Foreign Parts 
to grant Mr. Bondet tlie thirty j)onnds whicli had "been 
witliheld by tlie Earl of Bellamont. They also asked for 
"a considerable number of Prayer Books in the French 
language," Both requests were granted, and his salary 
increased from thirty to fifty pounds per annum.* 

The congregation increasing, Governor Ingoldsby, in 
1709, issued an order or license for the inhabitants to 
erect a new church, which was accomplished during the 
administration of Governor Colonel Robert Hunter, who 
zealously espoused the cause of the church. Mr. Sharp, 
the chaplain, collected the subscriptions, with the Rev. 
Elias Neau ; and they were made in sums from six pounds 
(Governor Hunter's) down to five shillings sixpence. 
The sums do not seem very large, but we must not for- 
get the relative value of money at that jDcriod and the 
present. So anxious were all to contribute towards the 
new undertaking, that even the females carried stones in 
their hands and mortar in their aprons to finish the sa- 
cred temple. It was nearly square, of stone, and plain. 
A royal patent was secured from Queen Anne, February 
7, 1714. t An old record of this date says that Mr. Bon- 
det "is a good old man, near sixty years of ^ige, sober, 
just, and religious," . . . " minister of the French 
Calvinistic congregation at New RocIk^Ho." The Vener- 
able Propagation Society forwarded to him "ten pounds, 
in consideration of his diligence and care in performing 
English service, every third Sunday, for tlie edification 

* Dr. Hawks. f Alb. Rcc, Lib. viii. pp. 1, 2, 3. 



EARLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 26o 

of tlie French yoiitli, who have learnt so much of that 
language as to join with him therein." At the request 
■of the same body, in the year 1714, he took the religious 
charge of the Mohegan or River Indians. The same year 
he requests the honorable Society to allow him "the 
benefit of an English Bible, with a small quantity of 
English Common Prayers, because our young j)eople, or 
some of them, have sufficiently learned to read English 
for to join in the public service when read in English." 
He also informs the same body, November 12, 1717, of 
the death of his wife (Jane) : " God having crowned the 
hardships of her 2:)ilgrimage with an honorable end, I 
keep and rule my house, as I ought to be exemplary 
in house ruling as in church ministry. My congregation 
continue in the same terms that you have been informed 
by my precedents : forty, fifty, and sixty communicants. 
I have of late admitted to the Communion two negroes, 
to the satisfaction of the Church." 

Mr. Bondet experienced some trouble in his latter 
days from the Consistory of the French church in New 
York, and some of the people in New Rochelle separated 
from those who conformed to the Established Church, 
and continued their religious services after their old 
way. The New York French Consistory approving 
this course, in opi^osition to the sentiments of their own 
lawful pastor, Monsieur Louis Roux, he Avas ultimately 
dismissed from this pastoral charge, and his place filled 
by a Rev. Mr. Moulinars. Monsieur Roux declares, in 
a letter to Governor Hunter (1724-5), that this new 
IDarty had "fomented, for several years, a scandalous 
schism at New Rochelle." This religious strife continu 



266 EARLIEST CIIUKCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

in:;- some time, the New York party ultimately left that 
Church ; while the seceders of New Rochello erected a 
meeting-house of their own, styling themselves "The 
French Protestant Congregation." They seem to have 
been "Independents." 

Bondet died in the year 1722, aged sixty-nine, twenty- 
six of which were devoted to the ministry of this church. 
Eminentl}^ useful, under adverse circumstances, he 
lived greatly beloved, and thus lamented died. He 
was buried under the chancel of the old French church 
at New Rochelle. He bequeathed all his books (four 
hundred volumes) to the use of the Church. 

The Rev. Pierre Stouppe, A. M., succeeded Mr. Bon- 
det, in 1724. He was also a native of France, born in 
1690 ; and, studying divinity at Geneva, accepted a call 
to the French church, Charleston, South Carolina. 
Here he remained until the year 1723, when, resigning 
his charge, he conformed to the Church of England, 
went to England, and was ordained by Gibson, the Lord 
Bishop of London. He was appointed a missionary to 
New Rochelle, with a salary of fifty pounds per annum, 
and proved very acceptable to his flock, receiving fifty 
pounds per annum, and preaching in French to those 
who only understood this language. When Mr. Stouppe 
arrived, his elders, or "anciens," as they are somethnes 
called, were Isaac Quantien and Isaac Guion. In a letter 
to the "Venerable Society for Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts," he complains of tlie conduct of the 
seceding party, and that Mr. Moulinars liad declared 
" that he finds our Church (the Established) and that of 
Rome as like one anotlier as two fishes can be ; besides. 



EARLIEST CITURC'IIES 11^ NEW YORK. 267 

tlie said minister and his party have threatened the yet 
dissenting French inhabitants of 'New Rochelle of break- 
ing with them all commerce, and of suspending all acts 
of charity and support towards them, if even they 
should dare to join themselves at any time to the Church. 
. . . . I heartily wish the honorable Society would 
pity our assaulted Church, and take some effectual means 
for the removing of the cause and instrument of the un- 
happy divisions we are in. Our endeavors here, without 
their assistance, having j^roved of but little avail and of 
none effect. ' ' In 1726, he writes ' ' that he has baptized six 
grown negroes and seven negro children, fifty-eight 
young people, for the Sacrament of the Lord' s Supper, 
to which they have been accordingly admitted ; and 
that the number of his communicants at Easter last was 
thirty."* 

At first, Mr. Stouppe's salary from his church was 
only ten pounds nineteen shillings, ' ' a little more than 
half part of it," he states, "actually paid; adding to 
that the provisions of firewood which they make to their 
minister for the time being, is by much the better part 
of his salary, though little in itself." 

He gives some valuable information concerning the 
settlement of the Huguenots in New Rochelle. They 
numbered about a dozen families, '^' French Refugees," 
and most of them merchants. Purchasing six thousand 
acres of land from Lord Pell, they divided it into parcels 
of from twenty to three hundred apiece, and then sold 
it in lots to the Dutch, English, and French settlers, but 
most to the latter. Its population then numbered four 

* Dr. Hawks, ILSS. from Fulham, vol. i. 



208 EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

hundred persons, and among them, he says, "two 
Quaker families, three Dutch ones, and foui' Lutherans. 
The first never assist our assemblies ; the Dutch and 
Lutherans, on the contrary, constantly assist, when 
divine service is performed in English, so that they may 
understand it; and their children likewise have been 
bajotized b}^ ministers of the Church. Only the French 
Dissenters have deserted it, upon Mr. Moulinars, for- 
merly one of the French ministers of New York, coming 
and settling, now a year ago, among us ; and 'tis also by 
his means and inducement that, while he yet was min- 
ister of New York, they have built a wooden meeting- 
house, Avithin the time they were unprovided for, that 
is, from my predecessor' s death to my arrival here. The 
said Moulinars and followers, to tlie number of about 
one hundred persons, and the said meeting-house, built 
by his persuasion, are the sole dissenting teacher, people, 
and meeting-house within New Rochelle bounds." 

No schoolmaster had yet arrived in New Rochelle ; 
but, greatly to the praise of the settlers, parents in- 
structed their own children, besides the teachings of 
their minister at church, during the summer. The num- 
ber of slaves was sevent^^-eight, and part "constantly 
attend divine service, and have had some instructions 
in the Christian faith, by the care and assistance of their 
respective masters and mistresses, so tliat my prede- 
cessors did not scruple to baptize some, and even to 
admit to the Communion of the Lord' s Supper ; and I 
myself have, for the same consideration, baptized fifteen 
of them within these three years, some children, and 
some grown persons, indifferently wo]\ instructed in the 



EARLIEST CIIUIICHES IN NEW YORK. 269 

fundamentals of our holy religion." Mr. Stouppe adds 
that these slaves "shall always share in my assistance 
and care, and, as far as will be necessary to make them 
good and religious persons, without the least prejudice 
to the rest of my flock." Noble, pious sentiments and 
conduct for this early and zealous Huguenot missionary 
in America ! He continued thus faithfully to discharge 
his ministerial duties for a number of years. In 1756, 
he had eighty communicants, and officiated to numerous 
congregations, both of French and English. In an 
address to the "Venerable Society," about this period, 
by Jean Soulice, Peter Bonnet, Giel Le Count, Peter 
Sicard, and fifty-six others, "his preaching," they say, 
"is much to our satisfaction and edification, his doctrine 
being very sound and his pronunciation full, clear, and 
intelligible." 

Mr. Stouppe' s ministry closed 'by death in July, 1760. 
He evidently was a simple-minded, conscientious, zealous 
missionary of his Master, continuing during seven and 
thirty years to discharge faithfully the solemn duties of 
his mission. His remains were also interred under the 
chancel of the old French church, to await the resur- 
rection' s morn, when all God' s true children shall hear : 
" Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou 
into the joy of thy Lord." 

Mr. Stouppe was succeeded by the Rev. Michael 
Houdin, A. M. 



270 EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

REV. PETER DAILLE AND MICHAEL HOUDIN AT NEW ROCHELLE THE 

HUGUENOTS THERE CONFORM TO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (iVSl) 

REV. T. BARTOW FIRST RECTOR HIS DESCENDANTS SUCCESSORS IN 

THE MINISTRY TRINITY BUILT REV. MR. BAYARD PENNSYLVANIA 

AND MARYLAND AN ASYLUM FOR HUGUENOTS — DR. RICHEBOURG 

THEIR FIRST PASTOR IN VIRGINIA " MANNIKIN TOWN" CURIOUS 

FRENCH RELIC REV. JOHN FONTAINE HUGUENOTS IN SOUTH CARO- 
LINA, AND PASTORS CHURCH IN CHARLESTON REV. ELIAS PRIO- 

LEAU THIS CONGREGATION THE ONLY ONE OF THE KIND IN OUR 

LAND — ITS LITURGY. 

Rev. Michael Houdin, A. M., was the fourth French 
or Huguenot preacher at New Rochelle, and born in 
France, in 1705. He was educated a Franciscan friar, 
and on Easter Day, 1730, ordained a priest by the Arch- 
bishop of Treves, and subsequently preferred to the 
post of Superior in the convent of the Recollects at 
Montreal. But, disgusted w^ith monastic life, at the com- 
mencement of the French war M. Houdin left Canada 
and came to the city of New York. Here, at Easter, the 
same holy day on which, seventeen years before, he had 
entered the Romish priesthood, he now made a public 
renunciation of Popery, joining the Church of England. 
Having attained great proficiency in the English tongue, 
in June, 1750, he was invited to Trenton, New Jersey, 
to labor as a missionary in that State. 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 271 

When M. Hoiidin first reached New York, with his 
wife, ill June, 1744, Governor Clinton, suspicions of all 
Frenchmen at that moment, confined the strangers to 
their lodgings, and guarded them by two sentinels. The 
next day, examined by his Excellency, he learned from 
him that " the French Intended to attack Oswego with 
eight liuudred men, the French having a great desire 
to be masters of that place." Then M. Houdin was 
ordered to reside at Jamaica, Long Island, where he 
complained that his circumstances were "very low," 
and he " could do nothing to get a living ; that his wife 
and himself must soon come to want unless his Excel- 
lency would be pleased to take him into consideration." 
After this honest appeal, the authorities advised his 
return to the city, on his taking the oath of allegiance. 

For some years M. Houdin officiated at Trenton and 
the neighboring places as an "itinerant missionary," 
and in 1759 his services were required as a guide for 
General Wolfe, in his well-known expedition against 
Quebec. Before marching, he preached to the Provin- 
cial troops destined for Canada, in St. Peter' s Church, 
Westcliester, from St. Matthew x. 28 : " Fear not them 
which kill the body." The French chaplain escaped 
the dangers of the war, but his brave general fell mor- 
tally wounded, at the very moment of victory, on the 
heights of Abraham, September 13, 1759. After the 
reduction of Quebec, he asked leave to join his mission 
again, but General Murray would not consent, as there 
was no other person who could be relied on for intelli- 
gence concerning the French movements. 

While M, Houdin was stationed at Quebec, the Vicar- 



272 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

General of all Canada made an attemi)t to seduce him 
from English alliance by an offer of great preferment in 
the Romish Church. This intrigue or invitation found 
its way to Generals Murray and Gage, when they sent 
a guard to arrest the Vicar- General. 

M. Houdin, returning to New York in 1761, was ap- 
pointed " itinerant missionary'' to New Rochelle by the 
" Venerable Society of England," " he being a French- 
man by birth, and capable of doing his duty to them 
both in the French and English languages." The 
French Church at New Rochelle had been named 
" Trinity," and during his incumbency received its first 
charter from George III., which the present corj^oration 
still enjoys, with all its trusts and powers, and under 
which they are now finishing a new and very beautiful 
stone church. The charter is dated in 1762, and was 
exemplified by Governor George Clinton, 1793. 

In 1763, M. Houdin writes that the Calvinists used 
unlawful methods to obtain possession of the church 
glebe. These Calvinists were the few old Protestant 
French families who had not conformed to the Church 
of England, and Houdin says plainly of them : " Seeing 
the Calvinists will not agree upon any terms of peace 
proposed to them by our Church, . . . . Ave are in 
hope the strong bleeding of their purse will bring them 
to an agreement after New York court." 

The French Protestant preacher continued his pious 
labors among the people of New Rochelle until October, 
1766, when he rested from them b}^ death. He was a 
man of considerable learning, irreproachable character, 
and esteemed a worthy Christian missionary. The last 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 273 

of the Huguenot preacliors in New Roclielle, he was 
interred under the chancel of the old French church 
there, by the side of his faithful and pious j)re- 
decessors in the sacred office, Bondet and Stouppe. 
Since the removal of this sacred edifice, long ago, the 
dust and ashes of these early French missionaries to our 
land have reposed beneath the public highway "to 
Boston," but not a stone tells where they lie, or com- 
memorates their usefulness, excellence, or piety. This 
is a disgrace to the living, and a neglect of the i^ious 
dead. Their silent graves ought not to remain thus 
neglected and unnoticed. Some cenotaph or monument 
should point out the hallowed spot where these first 
Huguenot preachers were entombed. 

M. Houdin's funeral sermon was preached by the 
Eev. Henry Munro, A. M.,of Yonkers, from Hosea iv. 
12 : "Prepare to meet thy God." 

In the rear of the church was the old French burying- 
ground, and here repose many of the departed exiled 
Huguenots, till the resurrection of the just. On the 
earliest tombstones the epitaphs are illegible, but among 
those j)reserved are the follo\ving : 

VOICI LE CORPS IiE ISAAC COUTANT, AG. DE &0 ANS. 

VOICI LE CORPS DE SUSA\A LANDRIN, AG. DE 18. M. LE G D. S. L. 1750. 

HERE LIES THE BODY OP ANDRE RANOUD, WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE ON FRIDAY, 
YE 2 DAY OF DEC, A. V. 1758, AGED 25 YR. 

The Baptismal Register does not commence until the 
year 1724, and for the information of the curious in olden 
times we copy an entry : 

" Ce Dimanche, 14 Mars, 1724, a ete baptise, sortie service du matin, 6I3 do 
Tliomas Wallis et Madeleine sa femme. Le Piire a tita prosont, au saint bap- 

18 



274 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

temc, par Denys Wocrtman et Elizabeth sa fcmme. Parrain et Miirraine: le dit 
Peter est ne lo six dii dit mois. 

" Thomas "Wallis, Peter Stouppe, 

"Denis Woertman, Isaac Quaintain, Ancien." 

her 

" Euzabetu M Woertman. 

marque. 

Tlie old church glebe was sold in 1800-1804, and the 
funds loaned on the present parsonage, and which fell 
to the church by foreclosing tlie mortgage in Chancery, 
1821. 

From M. Houdin's death until the Revolution, divine 
services were performed in the French church by the 
Rev. Mr. Seabury, the rector of the 2:>arish. In his first 
report, he says: "The congregation consists of nearly 
two hundred people, decent and well behaved, part 
Englisli and irdvt French. The French all understand 
English tolerably well, and, except half-a-dozen old 
people, in whose hands is the chief management of 
affairs, full as well as they do French. The greatest 
part of them would prefer an English to a French min- 
ister, and none are warm for a French one but the half- 
a-dozen above mentioned. ' ' 

' ' They had a glebe of near one hundred acres of land 
left them formerly, thirty acres of which they have re- 
covered. The rest is kept from them under pretence 
that it was given to a Presbyterian or Calvinistic French 
Church. They have also a parsonage-hous(^ ; but whether 
these endowments are so made that an English minister 
could enjoy them, I cannot yet learn. I liave been thus 
particular, tliat the Society may be able to judge whether 
it is expedient for them to send another missionary to 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK, 27,^ 

New Rochelle or not." At this period in the history oi" 
New York, it must be remembered that the " Venerable 
Society" of England supplied the colony with ministers 
of the Gospel — missionaries. 

Mr. Seabury, in another letter of October 1st, 1768, 
Ba3''s of the New Rochelle French Church: "As 
there is a number of strolling teachers, especially of 
the sect of Anabaptists, who ramble through the coun- 
try, preaching at private houses, for the sake of making 
proselytes and collecting money, I have thought it 
best to visit them occasionally, as well to prevent any 
ill effects that might arise, as for the sake of a num- 
ber of well-disposed people who live there*. I shall, 
however, carefully attend to the caution you give, 
not to neglect any particular case of East and West- 
chester."* 

During the American Revolution the French church at 
New Rochelle appears to have been closed, and its con- 
gregation much scattered. After the treaty of peace, 
the parish was regularly organized, and the royal charter 
granted to Trinity, in 1702, confirmed by Governor Clin- 
ton, in 1793. AVhat was left of the French congregation 
mostly became Episcopalians ; and from 1781 to 1786, 
Mr. Andrew Fowler read prayers and sennons to the 
people. He was succeeded by the Rev. Theodosius 
Bartow, as a lay-reader, until he obtained holy orders. 
Mr. Bartow was the first rector of Westchester parish, 
and, by his mother, Bathsheba Pell, descendant of John 
Pell, the second ];)roprietor of the manor of Pelliam. At 
this period, his salary was thirty pounds per annum, 

* X. y. JISS., Dr. Hawks. 



27C EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

and Lewis Pintard, Esq., appears to have principally 
j)aid it for a long time. 

For tliirt}^ years Mr. Bartow labored in this church, 
resigning his sacred office in the year 1819. He died 
the same yedv, and his remains sleep in the graveyard 
of Trinity, New Rochelle, not far from the site of the 
old Huguenot church and the graves of his predecessors 
in the Gospel ministry — Bondet, Stoupj)e, and Iloudin. 
His age was seventy-two. The late John Bartow, of 
Baltimore, the Rev. Theodore Bartow, with the Rev. 
Henry B. Bartow, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
are liis grandsons. 

By adding a few more names we can complete the list 
of Episcopal clergymen in New Rochelle to a modern 
date. The Rev. Renaud Kearney, A. M., was elected 
ministei' in 1819, and resigning in 1821, the Rev. Lewis 
Pintard. A. M., became the rector of this parish in 1821. 
He was born at the residence of his great uncle, Elias 
Boudinot, LL. D., at Frankford, Pennsylvania. Ills 
father was the Hon. Samuel Bayard, of Philadelj^hia, 
and his mother the only daughter of that excellent citi- 
zen, Lewis Pintard, LL. D. 

During the ministry of Mr. Bayard the j)resent Trinity 
was ercjcted in New Rochelle. In 1827, he changed the 
field of his ministry to Geneva, New York, and then to 
Genesee ; and during 1830, reorganized St. Clement's, 
New York. In 1840, he made a tour through Eurojx^ to 
Syria and the; ll(jly Land, for health. After lour months' 
abs*ince, and on his return, he died at sea, September 
2d, that year. In 1827, the Rev. Lawson Carter, A. M., 
was called to iill the vacant parish, resigning 1839, 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 277 

when the Rev. Thomcas W. Coit, D. D., became rector; 
and in 1849, the Rev. Richard U. Morgan, T>. D., assumed 
the duties of the parish, who continues the excellent 
pastor of this time-honored flock. In a visit to New 
Rochelle, we found the original bell presented to the 
French Church du St. Esprit, New York, by Sir Henry 
Ashurst, of London. It iioio calls the peojDle to the 
Lord's house, as it did more than a century ago in our 
city. It bears this legend : 

"Samuel Newton Made Me, 1706." 

The communion plate, a large silver chalice and paten, 
was the gift of " Good Queen Anne." 

There are many descendants of the Huguenots in New 
Rochelle and its neighborhood, and sucli should ven- 
erate and imitate the piety of their pious ancestors, who 
Avere providentially led, like Moses and the Israelites, 
from oppression and bondage to this land of deliverance 
— the Canaan in the Western World ! 

Pennsylvania, too, as well as Massachusetts, afforded 
an asylum to many hundreds of French refugees, or 
Huguenots. These, at first settling in England, did not 
find that kingdom a refuge against intolerance, as it was 
then governed by the bigot James II. In the year 1690, 
Maryland also received a large number. We doubt not 
that these French emigrants, as was always the custom, 
had their own pastors with them; but in all our re- 
searches we have discovered no such fact. Claude 
Philippe de Richebourg, driven from his native land 
by the Edict of Revocation, came with the first French 
colonists to Virginia. Lands were given to them on the 



278 EARLIEST CHUKCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

southern bank of James River, some twenty miles above 
Riclimoncl, near an Indian town called "Mannikin," 
and lience tlic name of the "Mannikin To-\vni Settle- 
ment," afterwards the "Parish of King William." A 
Methodist Episcopal Church still occupies the spot, and 
retains its Indian name. 

In the year 1G90, about three hundred more French 
refugee families increased the force of this young colony. 
The next year, two hundred more arrived, followed 
shortly by one hundred other families. Virginia, in 
1674, decreed them the title of citizens ;* and by an act 
of her Legislature, in 1700, all who had built houses 
near the settlement were constituted a distinct commu- 
nity, under the title of ' ' King William' s Parish. ' ' Privi- 
leges were conferred ujDon them to remain in one body ; 
they were enfranchised from all the parochial contribu- 
tions which were levied upon the English colonists. So 
they also became exempt from all the general taxes of 
the province. At first, this last favor extended only 
seven years, but at the expiration of the teim it was 
again renewed. De Richebourg remained long the 
guide and spiritual counsellor of these (Expatriated 
French Protestants. Dissensions, however, arising 
among them, he restored peace by conducting a part 
of his flock into North Carolina, and establishing them 
somewhere upon the banks of the Trent River. Hei-e, 
the Indians rising and massacring the whites of the 
neighborhood, the refugees were again compelled to 
abandon the lands they had cleai^d, and emigrate to 
South Carolina. 

* Dr. Baird, vol. i. p. 174. 



EAKLIE6T CHTJKCHES IN NEW YORK. 279 

Claude Philippe De Ricliebourg appears to have been 
a minister of deep and fervent piety, resigned in the 
midst of his persecutions, and, af the same time, of a 
serious character, strongly modified by the misfortunes 
and poverty of his lot in the land of exile. His will 
was written in the French language, and is preserved in 
the public archives of Charleston. It is imbued with 
the genuine spirit of a true Christian believer, submitting 
to the great law of Providence, steadfast in the faith, 
and triumphant at the prospect and approach of his last 
foe. 

Among our researches, we have discovered a curious 
relic of the Virginia Huguenots. It is a manuscript of 
some twenty-five pages, written in French, the register 
of the baptisms in the "Manakin Town" Church, 1721, 
" Done by Jacques Soblet, Clerk." The curious docu- 
ment remains a standing evidence of the fidelity of these 
French Protestants to their Christian duties and ordi- 
nances. We copy literally a few of the entries : 

"Le 1 Avril, 1740, est nee Marie Wottkins, fille de Stephen Wottking et ae 
Judith sa femme, a eu pour parrain Wilhain Hampton, pour marraincs Magdelaine 
Chastain et Marie Farsi. Jean Chastain." 

April 1st, 1740, was born Mary, daugliter of Stephen Watkius, and Judith, 
his wife. She had for godfather William Hampton ; for godmothers, Llagdalon 
Chastain and Mary Farsi. Jean Chasi'ain. 

" Le 29 de Janvier, ll2:\-4, mourut le Sieur Antoine Trabne, ago aupres de 
cinquante six a sept annees: fut enterre le 30 du meme mois. 

"J. Soblet, Cierk." 

January 20tli, ] 72:1-4, died Sir Anthony Trabne, aged about fifty-six or seven 
years. He was buried the 30th of the same month. J. Soblet, Clerk. 

Some of the Huguenot names extracted from this 
register are: " Monford, Duj)uy, Martain, HaiTis,,Flour- 
noy. Ford, Bernard, Porter, Watkins, Cocke, Robin- 



280 EAELIEST CIIUPvCIIES IN NEW YOIIK. 

son,* Edmoiid, Stanford, Sumptcr, Jordin, Pcio, Deen 
Smith,^" Williamson,'- Brook, ^- &c., &c." 

Negroes' Names. -^Jaque, Anibal, Guillaume, Jean, 
Pierre, Olive, Kobert, Jay, Susan, Primus, Moll, Pe^gg, 
Nanny, Tobie, Dorote, Agge, Pompe, Csesar, Amy, 
Tom, Cipio, Bosen, Sam, Juxnter, Tabb, Cuffy, Essex, 
Orange, Robin, Samson, Pope, Dina, Fillis, Ester, Judy, 
Adam, &c., &c. The historical reader may find, in Bev- 
erly's History of Virginia, a very interesting account of 

these Mannikin refugees "I have heard 

that these people are upon a design of getting into the 
breed of buffaloes, to Avhicli end they lay in Avait for 
their calves, that they may tame and raise stock of them ; 
in which, if they succcckI, it will, in all probability, be 
greatly for their advantage ; for these are much larger 
than other cattle, and have the benefit of being natural 
to the climate. They now make many of their own 
clothes, and are resolved, as soon as they have improved 
that manufacture, to apply themselves to tlie making of 
wine and brandy, which they do not doubt to bring to 
perfection." 

From the early Huguenot stock, in Vii-ginia, have 
descended hundreds of the best citizens of the Old 
Dominion— legislators, public officers, and ministers. 
From one family alone, the Rev. John Fontaine, the 
Rev. Dr. Hawks estimates the descendants and rela- 
tions at not less than two thousand ! 

He was a Calvinistic clergyman, and, expelled from 
France, iirst preached to his refugee brethren in Eng- 
land and Ireland. Dr. Hawks has published the life of 

* Eu"-lish i;amcs doul)tl'jss introduced by incorninrria.£ce. 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 281 

this remarkable, energetic man, a small volume full of 
interest/'- He was a true sample of a true Huguenot. 
An exile in England, ignorant of its language, and un- 
accustomed to labor, lie soon accommodated liimself to 
new circumstances— by his own genius soon became a 
skilful artisan. He opened a little store, with a school 
also, at the same time continuing to preach in French. 
In 1695, he removed to Cork, to unite with some refu- 
gees, who had formed a church in that Irish city. And 
here he set a bright example to the flock of the most 
exemplary piety and good conduct. 

In his new home he was able to give his children 
excellent educations, three entering college, and one be- 
came a British officer. Peter received ordination from 
the Bishop of London, and with Moses, who studied 
law, both emigrated to Virginia in 171G. There were 
two daughters. The eldest, Mary Anne, married Mat- 
thew Mauray, a Protestant refugee from Gascony, in 
1716, the next year joining his relations in this country. 

His son was the Rev. James Mauray, of Albemarle, 
Virginia, and a very estimable and useful clergyman of 
the Church of England. Francis, another son, in 1719, 
was also ordained by the Bishop of London, on the par- 
ticular recommendation of the Archbishop of Dublin, 
when he sailed for Virginia. Here he became a very 
eloquent and popular preacher, settling in St. Margaret's 
Parish, King William County. 

The sacred office in this useful French family seemed, 
as it were, hereditar}^ from father to sons. It is a well- 

* " A Tale of the Huguenots ; oi-, Memoirs of a French Refugee Family: with 
an Introduction,"' b}'- F. L. Hawks, D. D. 



282 EARLIEST CIIURCnES IN" ^YAV YORK. 

known liistorical fact, that about the tmie of Louis XIV., 
there were formed, as among the ancient Hebrews, races 
of priestliood, sucli as the Delprats, of Montauban, the 
Saurins, of Nismes,'" &c., &c. 

What Vandal-like and entire destruction of the Re- 
formed Churches in France followed the revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes ! On the same day of its registra- 
tion, the destruction of the magnificent temple at Cha- 
renton, capable of holding fourteen thousand persons, 
was commenced. In five short days afterward, no traces 
of the immense edifice remained ! A frantic mob, armed 
with axes, mattocks, and levers, visited otlier places — 
Caen, Nismes, etc., and amidst the flourish of trumpets 
and shouts of joy, tlieir Protestant churches fell in de- 
struction. Cheyron, the minister of tlie last-named, pro- 
nounced its final discourse, moving his hearers to tears 
when he affirmed before God that he had preached the 
truth according to the Gospel, and exhorted them to 
persevere in the faith unto death. Nismes' sacred tem- 
ple was soon a mere heap of ruins ; and in the midst 
could long be seen a single stone with this inscription : 
" Here is the liouse of God : here is the gate of heaven." 

Thus the Reformers of France saw the fall of eiglit 
hundred sacred temples they had possessed. Such 
severities bore their jDroper fruit, and the Reformed 
tliought of nothing but quitting tlieir native land. The 
ministers went first. But to simple laymen mnigration 
was forbidden under most severe penalties. These i)re- 
cautions, however, were vain and useless. The barba- 
rous cruelties did not diminish the emigration. All who 

* Weisa's French ProtcstautRei'uf'ees. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 283 

hated servitude hastened to flee from the soil of France. 
As we have already seen, thousands came to Massachu- 
setts, New York, and Virginia ; and now crowds flocked 
to South Carolina for a new, safe, and quiet home. Theii" 
flrst arrival coincides with that of the earliest English 
colonists of Massachusetts and Virginia. In South Caro- 
lina they were placed on freeholders' rights, and a foot- 
ing of entire equality with the English settlers. From 
1680 to 1687, from two to three thousand Huguenots 
emigrated to South Carolina ; some arrived after a short 
sojourn in New York, the warmer climate of the South 
presenting peculiar inducements to the numerous exiles 
of Languedoc, so that this region was called the ' ' Home 
of the Huguenots in the New World." 

They founded four congregations and churches — one 
at Jamestown, on the Santee ; one at St. John' s, Berke- 
ley ; one at St. Dennis ; and one in Charleston. The 
first three ultimately conformed to the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church, while the last maintains its distinctive 
character to this day, excepting the use of the French 
language. One thousand French emigrants embarked 
for South Carolina from the ports of Holland alone. 
These expeditions left Rotterdam, touching in England, 
on the voyage to America. In 1687, the Lord Commis- 
sioner of James II., by the royal bounty, sent six hun- 
dred English and French emigrants to Carolina. 

James Pierre Perry, of Neufchatel, also emigrated 
with three hundred and seventy-five Protestant families 
from Switzerland, To this company the British Gov- 
ernment liberally granted forty thousand acres of land, 
with four pounds sterlhig to each adult. During 1699, 



284 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

three hundred French Protestants left France for con- 
science' sake, at first settling in Virginia, but soon join- 
ing their brethren of South Carolina. In the years 
1711-33 and '40, others came oyer from Holland ; and in 
1752, sixteen hundred more Landed at Charleston. Jean 
Louis Gibert arrived with a large congregation of 
Iluguc^nots, having a church of two hundred members, 
settling in the townshii:)S of New Bordeaux, New Ro- 
chelle, in the Abbey ville district. '•• They named their 
settlement New Bordeaux, in remembrance of the capi- 
tal Guyenne, their former home. In 1705 three hundred 
acres of land were granted to Rene Ravenel, Barthelemy 
Guillard, and Henry Baeneau. It embraced one hun- 
dred French families and a church ; their first imstor 
was Pierre Robert, and from that period they became 
the most fiourishing colony of French refugees in South 
Carolina, t 

Some settled upon the western branch of the Cooper 
River, having for their first minister Florent Philippe 
Trouillart. In 1782, there were not less than sixteen 
thousand foreign Protestants in South Carolina, and 
most of them French. One writer adds: "They live 
like a tribe, like one family. Each one makes it a rule 
to assist his compatriot in his need, and to w^atch over 
his fortun(3 and his reputation with the same care as his 
OAvn." 

At this period in our national history, at the close of 
the seventeenth century, English America had only a 
population of two hundred thousand, and the refugees 
formed a most important part. Tlunr generous blood 

* Early Hist., Ilosby, S. C. \ Dr. Ramsey. 



EARLIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 285 

flowed in the veins of a multitude of families when the 
war of Independence broke out.* The enemies of politi- 
cal despotism and religious intolerance, they increased 
the love of liberty among the other colonies. Wrong as 
the}^ now are, at that important moment they ran to arms, 
and supported the American Revolution with the energy 
and bravery of their noble and pious ancestors. None 
were more patriotic or ardently devoted to the cause of 
libert}^, or more eloquent in the national councils, or 
more heroic on the battle-field, than these descendants of 
the French Protestants. 

During the reign of James II., a number of English- 
men, fearing the restoration of the Roman Catholic reli- 
gion, emigrated to South Carolina, accompanied by many 
Huguenots. These had taken refuge in England, but 
wished to withdraw themselves from the uncertain, pre- 
carious protection of a king who was openly attached to 
the Popish Church. In our land, all found a home ; and 
although, at the moment, the English form of worship 
was the prevailing, still, the tolerance of Lord Sliaftes- 
bury here opened a resting-place to all Christians. 
"Here it was," says Bancroft, "that the Calvinist 
exiles could celebrate their worshij) without fear, in the 
midst of the forests, and mingle the voice of their psalms 
with the murmur of the winds which sighed among the 
mighty oaks." Their first church was at Charleston, 
and they could be seen every Sunday repairing there, 
by families, in light canoes, from the plantations, to wor- 
ship God without any fear or molestation. 

This church, erected at an early date, was burned in 

* Dr. Ramsey. 



286 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

1740, and again during 1796, but rebuilt, and it has been 
the object of pious liberality, and well endowed by the 
French refugees scattered through South Carolina. 

Its first pastor was the Rev. Elias Prioleau, the grand- 
son of Antoine Proli, Doge of Venice in 1618. Forced 
to k^ave France after the Revocation, he emigrated from 
the fertile region of Saintonge, with a part of his evan- 
gelical flock, to Charleston, Avhere his descendants are 
still said to be found. Prioleau was not only an elo- 
quent preacher, but also a writer of merit. His descend- 
ants possess manuscripts of his Avorks, which testify of 
an elegant style, vigor of mind, and purity of doctrine.* 

The Huguenots of South Carolina were distinguished, 
as they were elsewhere, for their sympathy to the suffer- 
ing. Gabriel Manigault, so well known in their history, 
and the creator of his own fortune, always exhib- 
ited cliarity to the poor, and he even refused to in- 
crease his wealth by the commerce in slaves, at that 
time so lucrative. At his death he l)equeathed five thou- 
sand pounds sterling to educate indigent children at 
Charleston.! 

Isaac Mazocq, another refugee, donated a part of his 
patrimony to the religious and charitable institutions of 
that city, where he had taken uj) his abode, and, at his 
death, he left one hundred pounds to the Huguenot 
church there. Philip Gendron, also, bequeathed a part 
of his fortune "for the use of the poor of that church, so 
long as it shall continues to be of the Reformed faith." 
We have visited this time-honored, sacred spot, in the 
city of Charleston, and strolled among its venerable, 

* Prcsb., Feb. 2:?, 18G0. \ Rnmsoy. 



EARLIEST CnURCnES IN NEW YORK. 287 

heaped-up graves, many of wliicli still remain. What 
hallowing associations linger around sucli an impressive 
place! Long since have the early Huguenots to "La 
Carolina" ceased to occupy its humble open seats ; bat 
in the day of which we are writing, this tabernacle was 
crowded with the prayers and melodies of faithful 
French Protestants, and in the same language used by 
Claude, Saurin, and their congregations a century before. 
More recently, the old temple has been taken down, and 
a beautiful new edifice erected in its place. But the 
congregation carefully preserves some of its evidences of 
the " olden time." The Rev. Dr. Rosser, of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church South, infonned the writer that 
he was invited on one occasion to preach in this new 
house of Huguenot worship. He is himself an eloquent 
descendant of the Virginia Huguenots. When prepar- 
ing to enter the pulpit, from the vestry, the " anciens," 
or elders, robed him in an old, worn, threadbare clerical 
gown. Perceiving his surprise, they remarked that this 
venerable and sacred mantle had been used by their 
early Huguenot pastor, and, when placed upon any 
stranger, the congregation considered it as a mark of 
especial affection and honor. 

The Charleston church alone, in our land, has main- 
tained until this day the Huguenot Calvinistic Liturgy 
in its primitive purit}^, with public worship according 
to the usages of the primitive French Protestant 
Churches. The language only of its earliest founders 
has been dispensed with. Its present pastor is the Rev. 
Mr. White, formerly of the Reformed Dutch Church on 
Staten Island. 



2o3 EARLIEST CIIUUCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

The Charleston Huguenot church uses a Liturgy in 
its public services, a copy of which lies before me, 
politely furnished by Daniel Ravenel, Esq., one of its 
authorized compilers. It is the "Liturgy of the French 
Protestant Church, translated from the editions of 1737 
and 1772, published at Neufchatel, with additional 
prayers, carefully selected, and some alterations ; ar- 
ranged for the use of the congregation in the city of 
Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston : printed by 
James S. Burgess, 1836." According to its preface, 
Joseph Manigault, George W. Cross, and Daniel Ravenel 
were appointed a committee on the translation of this 
Liturgy, and presented the work on Sunday, October 
23, 1836, as the result of their labors. It was princi]3ally 
compiled and translated from a French quarto copy, 
formerly used in the pulpit of this congregation. The 
work containing no burial-service, one was added from 
the Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, omitting the Rubrics. Neither were there any 
"Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings,'' which now 
were obtained in part from the same book, and a French 
work printed at Amsterdam, 1763, entitled ' ' A Liturgy 
for the Protestants of France ; or Prayers for the* Families 
of the Faithful, Dc^prived of the Public Exercise of their 
Religion : with a Preliminary Discourse." 

Only one entire prayer was composed for the work, 
the original of which was found among the papers of 
the Hon. Thomas S. Grimk(^, after his lamented death. 
The translation was made b}^ Elias Hony, George W. 
Cross, and Mr. Grimke, the first and last of wliicli gen- 
tlemen did not live to see the Liturgy printed, although 




NORTj[ Refokmid Dutch Chukch, Corner of William and Filton Sts. 



EAIILIEST CIIUROnES IN NEW YORK. 289 

completed before they died. We have been thus par- 
ticular in our reference to this- Huguenot church, as it 
is the only standing monument in our whole land of the 
religious principles and worship which brought the 
French Protestants to this New World. In every other 
place, the descendants of these French refugees have 
long since united with other evangelical sects. Origin- 
ally, four French Protestant congregations existed in 
South Carolina ; but three of their number conformed 
to the Protestant Episcopal Church, and were then sup- 
ported by the public funds. This Charleston church 
alone sustains its original distinctive character. 

After all our inquiries, we have been able to collect 
very little historical information concerning the early 
Huguenot preachers of South Carolina, and hence we 
have indulged in more general views than otherwise 
would have been the case. Still, they have a value and 
importance upon the subject of our early American 
Church history, and we gladly add this mite of ours to 
aid the important subject. 
19 



290 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

80UTH0LD TFIE FIRST SETTLED TOWN ON LONG ISLAND (1640), REV. J. 
YOUNGS, PASTOR HIS SUCCESSORS JAMES DAVENPORT AN ENTHU- 
SIAST, BUT REFORMS SOUTHAMPTON CHURCH BUILT 1640 REV. MR. 

PIERSON THE "PLANTATION COVENANT*' THE REFORMERS EMIGRATE 

TO NEWARK, NEW JERSEY MINISTERS OF SOUTHAMPTON SALARIES 

BRIDGEIIAMPTON PARISH MINISTERS BROOKHAVEN THE LARGEST 

TOWN REV. N, BREWSTER AND SUCCESSORS EASTHAMPTON SETTLED 

BY PURITANS (1G4S) STRICT LAWS VOTING THOMAS JAMES, EAR- 
LIEST PASTOR HIS SINGULAR DYING REQUEST REV. N. HATTING 

DR. BUEL PREACHED TEN THOUSAND SERMONS DR. LYMAN 

BEECHER THE FOURTH PASTOR. 

Some imagine that Long Island at one period was a 
part of Connecticut, and subsequently separated by the 
irruption of the Atlantic Ocean, forming the present 
" Sound." Into this geological question it is not neces- 
sary for us to enter. Still, the churches on Long Island, 
except those in the vicinity of New Amsterdam, were 
founded by Connecticut men and preachers. 

Southold was the tirst town settled on the island, and 
in the year 1640, its earliest settlers coming from New 
Haven. They were mostly Englishmen, from Norfolk- 
shire, who had spent a short time in the New Haven 
colony. The Rev. John Youngs, their pastor, came with' 
them, organizing their church. He was an excellent 
man, died in 1G72, and his descendants are now nu- 
merous on Long Island. Nc^xt, a committee went to 
Boston for ''an hon(\st and godly minister," Such was 



EARLIEST CHTJECIIES IN NEW YORK. 291 

their instruction ; and what a pity is it that such a good 
desire does not satisfy the people of our day ! They 
obtained the Rev. Joshua Hohart, who died in 1717, 
aged eighty-eight years. The Rev. Benjamin Woolsey 
became the third pastor, in the year 1720, but removed 
during 1736. 

Next among the Southold pastors came the Rev. James 
Davenport, of remarkable history. He was born at 
Stamford, Connecticut, in the year 1710, graduating at 
Yale College, 1732, and ordained at Southold, 1738. 
Pious and ardent while at college, he became intimate 
with a wild enthusiast, named Lewis, who professed to 
know the will of God in all things, had led a sinless life 
for six years, and claimed a higher seat in heaven than 
even Moses himself. He particularly professed to know 
that not one in ten of all the New Haven church mem- 
bers could be saved. He afterwards turned a Quaker 
preacher. 

Davenport, embracing many of his fanatical notions, 
imagined that God had revealed to him the coming of 
His • kingdom in great power, and also that he was 
especially called to labor for its advancement. On one 
occasion, he addressed his ^Deople for nearly twenty-four 
successive hours, until he was quite wild. Like all 
religious enthusiasts, his zeal soon became unrestrained, 
setting at naught all the rules of Christian prudence and 
order. He headed his followers, in procession, whilst 
singing psalms and hymns through the streets. A great 
advocate of trances and visions, he esteemed such in- 
ward impulses and feelings the rule of duty for himself 
and others. 



292 EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YOHK. 

Mr. Davenport also indulged anotlicr striking charac- 
teristic of religions enthusiasts ; he sat in judgment on 
the character of other ministers, often declaring them to 
be in an unconverted state. He told the j)eople that 
they might as well eat ratsbane as hear such unregene- 
rated preachers ! Against pride in dress he severely 
declaimed, styling it idolatry ; and in New London, on 
one occasion, he kindled a large fire, and burned costly 
garments, with ornaments and many good books, and 
among them Flavel and Bishoi3 Beveridge' s works, as 
heretical. Confusion and dissensions in the churches 
were the bitter fruits which followed these delusions. 

Davenport, however, at length saw the evil and 
folly of his fanatical ways, and by a j)ublic confession 
renounced them. In the year 1746, dismissed from 
Southold, lie settled in Hopewell, New Jersey, where 
he died, 1757, aged forty-seven. 

SOUTHAMPTON. 

The church at this place was erected at the same time 
with the one in Southold (1040), and these two were the 
first sanctuaries of the Lord within the entire Province 
of New Netherland ; they were founded two years 
before (1642) the Old Reformed Dutch Church in the 
fort at tlie Battery, and built by Governor Kieft. A 
company of eight men, called " undertakers," settled 
Southampton, and this number was increased to sixteen, 
before the emigrants left Lynn, Mass., and among them 
was the Rev. Abraham Pierson, of Boston, their first 
minister. The records of their early laAVs Jiave b(M'n pre- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 293 

served, and tliey are quite as remarkable as the famous 
"Blue Laws'' of NeAV England. 

Mr. Pierson belonged to that school believing that all 
civil government, as well as ecclesiastical, Avas vested in 
the Church ; so that church members only should hold 
public office, or vote in the community. When this 
new colony was incorporated. Lord Sterling gave the 
settlers privilege to regulate those matters according to 
their own peculiar notions. Idolatry, witchcraft, her- 
esy, blasjDhemy, and smiting or cursing parents, were 
punished with death. Profane swearing received either 
stripes, branding with a hot iron, or boring through the 
tongue, as "he hath bored and pierced God's name." 
Mr. Pierson, having served the church four years at 
Southampton, removed to Beaufort, Conn., some of his 
people going with him, where he ministered twenty - 
three years. His labors were very useful in promoting 
religion and education among the Indians. 

In the year 166G, Mr. Pierson, with most of his con- 
gregation and many j)rominent persons from Guilford, 
New Haven, and Milford, signed a "Plantation Cove- 
nant," to remove where they could maintain their no- 
tions of Church government, now impracticable in the 
Connecticut colony. Emigrating to New Jerse}', the 
reformers selected a spot for their settlement, calling it 
"New Ark," which is now the beautiful city of New- 
ark. Here tliey made laws and customs after their own 
notions and hearts, and planted the seeds of good order 
and industry, the fruits of which the peojDle of that place 
enjoy to the present day, after a lapse of more than two 
hundred years. He died on the 9tli of August, 1G78. 



294 EARLIEST CJII]rvCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

His son Abraliam, for some time associated with liim in 
the pastoral charge at Newark, became the first Presi- 
dent of Yale College. 

The Rev. Joseph Fordham, John Heinman, and Jo- 
seph Taylor succeeded Mr. Pierson in the pulpit at 
Southampton. Mr, Taylor cam(^ in the year 1G80, the 
people promising a salary of one hundred pounds, with 
a parsonage ; one hundred and eighty acres of land, 
" commonage," Avith one hundred also in the woods, to 
him and his heirs forever. The salary was to be paid 
in winter wheat at five shillings a bushel ; summer, four 
shillings sixpence ; Indian corn, two shillings sixpence ; 
beef, forty shillings per cwt. ; tallow, threepence per 
pound ; green hides, threepence ; whalebone, eight- 
pence ; and oil, thirty shillings a barrel. Such were the 
prices of these staples a century and three-quarters ago. 
Whales were then caught in the waters of Long Island 
Sound, and this became a leading business Avith the 
settlers. These articles for the minister's support were 
all to be good, merchantable, and collected by the con- 
stable. We imagine that all the clergymen now labor- 
ing on Long Island are not as well supported as this 
reverend gentleman was, as far back as 1680. 

In the year 1792, the Rev. Herman Dogget was settled 
in Southampton, a preacher of fine talents and character, 
and although social and cheerful, it is stated that he was 
never known to laugh.* 

Bridgehampton parish is six miles east of the old 
Southampton church, and is remarkable for the length 

* Rev. S. I. Prime's Early Ministers of Long Island. 



EARLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 295 

of time its j)a,stors served the congregation. In 1695, 
the Rev. Ebenezer White was the first settled, remain- 
ing fifty-three years, and he died at the age of eighty- 
four, in 1756. Rev. James Brown, the next pastor, set- 
tled in 1748, resigning 1775, and resided here until his 
death, in 1788. During the Revolutionary War this 
congregation had no preacher. After this the Rev. 
Aaron Woohvorth came, in 1787. He died in the year 
1821, aged fifty-eight years, and the thirty-fourth of his 
sacred ofiice. These three faithful men ministered to 
this Long Island church a period of one hundred and 
twenty-six years, from 1695 to 1821. Greatly to their 
praise, it is said, that this congregation never dismissed 
a minister. The next pastor was the Rev. Amri Francis, 
who died in 1845, after a useful pastorate of twenty-two 
years. His death was very triumphant, remarking dur- 
ing his final hours, that he had "never conceived it 
possible, in this mortal state, to have such views of the 
heavenly world as he was permitted to enjoy." Dr. 
Woolworth' s name to this day remains a sweet savor in 
that region, and will long continue so. 

Brookhaven, the largest town in Long Island, was first 
settled by fifty "planters" at Setauket, a place so called 
from the Indian tribe formerly occupying the region. 
The Rev. Nathaniel Brewster, having three sons among 
the settlers, visited them and remained as minister of the 
place. Thus he continued forty-five years, and died in 
1690, aged seventy. He was a remarkable man ; a 
grandson of Elder Brewster, of the famed "May- 
Flower," and pastor of the "Pilgrim Fathers." It is 
also said that he was a graduate in the first class of Har- 



206 EARLIEST CHUKCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

vard University, and probably the first native graduate 
in tlie New AVorld. 

Tlie Rev. George Phillips was the next minister, and, 
when ordained, the town of Brookhaven voted one hun- 
dred acres of land to him, in fee, with two hundred 
acres more, if he would i)reach there as long as he lived. 
Such offers, or bribes, we may add, are rare now. The 
Rev. David Youngs and Rev. Benjamin Talmage were 
the next pastors, the latter ordained in 1754. 

Eastharapton was settled by some families from Lynn 
and other Massachusetts towns, in the year 1648. They 
were stern Puritans, with peculiar and strict laws. In 
1651, we find the following enactment: " ISToe man shall 
sell any liquor, but such as are deputed thereto by the 
town, and such shall not lette youth and those under 
authority remaine drinlving at unreasonable hours ; and 
such persons shall not have more than half a pint among 
four men." A wise and excellent enactment! Unto a 
false witness, it was ordained, that it should be done/* 
unto him as "he had thought to do unto his neighbour, 
whatever it be, to the taking away of life, limb, or 
goods." 

Notwithstanding all these pious efforts of these good 
people to secure religious institutions at the commence- 
ment of their settlement, wickedness abounded. Very 
early in their history, "a woman was sentenced to ];)ay 
a fine of three pounds, or stand one hour witli a S2)lit 
stick on her tongue, for saying that lier husband had 
brought her to a place where there was neither Gospel 
or magistracy." The Easthamptoners have been cele- 
brated for their unity of sentiment in politics and reli- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 297 

gion. When j)arty questions became so violent, about 
the beginning of tlie present century, only two dissent- 
ing votes were generally given at the polls, and these 
were cast by Sag Harbor men, living just over the town 
line. We do not believe the old saying, however, that 
the people of Suffolk continue to vote for Tom Jefferson 
every four years ! Their religious unity has been most 
remarkable. Until visitors made Easthampton a fashion- 
able resort in summer, the place had but one house of 
worship for almost two hundred years, with very few 
professors of religion, except the ' ' standing order' ' of 
Presbyterians. 

The earliest pastor in Easthampton was the Rev. 
Thomas James. He came with the first settlers, or very 
soon followed them. He is said to have been a man of 
talent and very eccentric. A pastor forty-four years, he 
left an injunction at his death, that his body should be 
buried in the eastern section of the graveyard, his head 
towards the east, while people generally are laid with 
their heads to the west. This strange direction was 
complied with, and he gave this reason for it : That he 
desired on the morning of the Resurrection to arise with 
his face towards his congregation. His tombstone may 
still be seen — now more than one hundred and sixty 
years old — with this legend : 

MR. THOMAS JAifES, 

Dyed the IGth day op June, in the yeare 1696. 

He was a minister of the Gospel and pastor of the Church of Christ. 

Rev. ISTathaniel Huntling succeeded him, serving this 
congregation fifty-three years, and died in 1753, at the 



298 EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 

advanced age of eighty. The Rev. Samuel Biiol, J). D., 
the third pastor, Avas ordained in the year 1746, Presi- 
dent EdAvards preaching the ordination sermon. He 
Avas an abh^ divine, excellent pastor, and poAverful in the 
pulj)it. In 1798 he finished his useful course, almost 
eighty-tAVO years old, and nearly fifty-tAVO the pastor of 
this church. Its three first ministers labored here about 
one hundred and fifty years. Dr. Buel delivered ten 
thousand sermons. One Avriter mentions that a Aveakness 
of his Avas to marry a young Avife in his old age ! He 
must have been very free from the infirmities of liuman 
nature if this is the only evidence of Aveakness. 

Dr. Lyman Beecher Avas the fourth pastor of East- 
hampton, and ordained here in 1799. His zeal, talents, 
and fervent piety, in every respect fitted him to succeed 
Dr. Buel, and, remaining ten years, he left an unpres- 
sion still enduring. 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 299 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

CIIURCIIES ON LONG ISLAND, CONTINUED HUNTINGTOl^T — REV. MR. 

JONES FIRST MINISTER REV. EBENEZER PRIME HIS ASSISTANT, 

THEN SOLE PASTOR CONGREGATION MUCH DISPERSED BY THE 

REVOLUTIONARY WAR — OUTRAGES OF THE ENEMY, AND PERMITTED 
BY COLONEL THOMPSON PATRIOTISM OF MR. PRIME THE IN- 
DIANS REV. MR. LEVERICH PREACHES TO THEM (1653) REV. 

A. HORTON ORDAINED TO LABOR AMONG THEM A FAITHFUL MAN 

'- — HIS JOURNAL BRAINARD SAMSON OCCUM, THE MOHEGAN IN- 
DIAN HIS ZEAL AND LABORS A POET EXTRACTS PETER JOHN, 

ANOTHER NATIVE CONVERT AND PREACHER PAUL CUFFEE, AN- 
OTHER HIS TOMBSTONE AND INSCRIPTION DISAPPEARANCE OF 

THE INDIANS ON LONG ISLAND. 

The Rev. Mr. Jones, from Connecticut, began to preach 
at Huntington, Long Island, in tlie year 1676. In this 
parish, he' served God and the people over half a cen- 
tury, and died June 5tli, 1731, in his ninety-first year 
He was a man of great purity and simplicity of manners, 
a faithful and successful preacher. Rev. Bbenezer 
Prime was born in Milford, Connecticut, in 1700, and 
graduated at Yale College in 1718, and the next year, 
became an assistant to Mr. Jones in the Huntington 
church. Here he afterwards continued the sole pastor, 
till increasing age rendered an assistant necessary. The 
Rev. John Close was settled with him in 1766, and after 
seven years' services was dismissed, 1773, when Mr. 
Prime was left alone in his pastoral duties. The strug- 
gle for Independence now coming on, the congregation 



300 EARLIEST CIIUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 

became much broken up, and the aged pastor was com- 
pelled to fl}^ from home Avith his family, by the British 
and Tories. They hid their silver plate in a well, and, 
thus secured, it has been handed down as a kind of 
"heirloom" to the descendants. Long Island suffered 
severely from the ravages of the common foe, but no 
town more so than Huntington. The church pews torn 
up, the sacred edifice was converted into a military 
depot, and afterwards entirely pulled down ; the timber 
was used to construct barracks and block-houses. To 
outrage the feelings of the inhabitants still more, level- 
ling the graves, the enemy erected some of their build- 
ings in the burying-ground, and used tombstones for 
ovens and fireplaces. One historiiin relates, that bread 
from these baking-places could be seen, by persons, 
with the epitaphs of their friends indented on the bot- 
tom crust ! Such are the refinements of war ! Colonel 
Benjamin Thompson, of the enemy's forces, permitted 
these outrages— a man, too, of distinguished science, and 
afterwards made Count Rumford by the Duke of Bava- 
ria ! This officer entertained great hatred to the Rev. 
Mr. Prime and his son, on account of their ardent patri- 
otism and efforts to sustain the infant cause of freedom. 
The British officers took possession of his house, de- 
stroying many valuable books in his librar}-, and mutila- 
ting others. An exile in a retired neighborhood, nearly 
fourscore years old, this venerable soldier of the cross, 
in the midst of the war, ended his useful life in 1779. 
In the year 1782, Colonel Thompson encamped in the 
graveyard of Huntington, pitching his tent behind this 
old pastor's grave, "that he would have the pleasure," 



EARLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 301 

he said, " every time lie went out and in, of treading on 
tlie old rebel." Refined feelings and enjoyment for a 
Count ! Count Rumford ! 

The Rev. Mr. Prime was a divine of much learning, 
ability, and usefulness ; his manuscripts contam living 
evidence to his devotion, and ardent desires for the ad- 
vancement of the Lord's kingdom. 

When Long Island was settled by the Dutch and Eng- 
lish, Indians occupied its whole territory, and liere re- 
sided, or rather roamed, thirteen distinct tribes of the 
Aborigines. Their history would fill an interesting 
chaj^ter, but we are now to notice them as idolaters and 
pagans, for very early did the attention of Christians in 
New England direct itself towards these poor, benighted 
people. As early as 1653, the Rev. Mr. Leverich, one of 
the original purchasers of Oyster Bay, who had studied 
the Indian language in Massachusetts, was employed 
by the "Society for Propagating the Gospel in New 
England," as a teacher of the Indians on the island, and 
he devoted five years to this work. The Rev. Mr. James 
also, first minister at East Hamilton, studied the Indian 
language, and, moved with compassion, labored among 
the Mohawk tribe, about 1660. For a centur}^ the re- 
ligious efforts of these missionary men and others seemed 
to have been almost useless. Towards the middle of the 
eighteenth century, however, 1741, the Rev. Azariah 
Horton was ordained as a missionary to these Indians 
by the Presbytery of New York, and he became, in 
word and deed, a true missionary. His important 
charge extended along the whole southern shore of the 
island for over one hundred miles : and four or five 



302 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

times a j^ear lie itinerated, like a more modern AVesleyan, 
from Montauk to RockaA^ay. We find liim subsisting 
on Indian fare, sleeping in their wigwams, preaching 
the Gospel almost daily, and teaching the savages to 
read God's Word. His journals have been preserv(^d, 
and prove his zeal and success among them. For illus- 
tration, we make a few extracts : 

"Rockaway, June Cth, 1742. — Preached. My hearers attended with serious- 
ness, and appeared somewhat thoughtful. 

"Mouches, June 13th. — Preached. Two Indians awakened, and several 
others under distressing concern of mind, &c. Most of these are endeavouring 
to learn to read. 

"June 19th. — Spent most of the day in visiting, from wigwam to wigwam, 
botli the sick and well. • • • 

" Islip, October 24t]i. — Preached. Some deeply concerned, &c., &c., among 
the Indians." 

These Christian efforts continued eleven years, the 
missionary pursuing his solitary work uncheered by the 
presence of a single fellow-laborer. In February, how- 
ever, 1742, he was encouraged by a visit from the well- 
known David Brainard, preparing to set out on a similar 
errand of mercy to the New Jersey Indians. To Hor- 
ton's "poor dear people," he preached a single dis- 
course. In 1752, Mr. Horton settled at Madison, New 
Jersey, where some Long Islanders had emigrated, and 
he became the first pastor of the place, and remained 
for fifteen years. He here finished his earthly work in 
1792, and his tombstone has this simple inscription : 

IN JIEMORY OF 

THE REV. AZARIAII HORTON, 

FOIl TWENTY-FIVK YEARS PASTOR OF THIS CHURCH. 

Died March 27th, 1777, aged sixty-two years. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 303 

His name should never perish from the early churches, 
and especially the Indian missions of Long Island. 

The year after Mr. Horton left Long Island, Samson 
Occum, a Mohegan Indian, was sent as a teacher to the 
Indians there. He was a most remarkable man ; born 
1723, he embraced Christianity in 1741, then eighteen 
years old. Very anxious to be useful, he obtained ad- 
mission into the school of the Rev. Eleazer Wheelock, 
of Lebanon. This seminary resulted in "Moor's 
Charity School," and that led to the establishmemt of 
Dartmouth College. In the year 1759, he received ordi- 
nation from the Presbytery of Suffolk, and preached the 
Gospel with great power among his Indian brethren. 
He accompanied the Rev. Mr. Whittaker to England in 
1765, to obtain funds for the "Moor's Charity School." 
The first Indian preacher that ever appeared among the 
English, he attracted great attention, and crowded 
houses listened to his discourses. He obtained more 
than forty thousand dollars in England and Scotland, 
the King donating two hundred dollars. 

Occum removed from Long Island to Oneida County 
in the year 1786, where he died, 1792, aged sixty-nine. 
More than three hundred Indians attended his funeral, 
the Rev. Mr. Kirkland preaching the sermon. This 
native preacher addressed, acceptably, the most intelli- 
gent congregations, as well as the ignorant Indians. 
When preaching to the latter, his manner was free, 
clear, and eloquent ; but more constrained to other 
audiences. He was a poet, also, and one of our familiar 
hymns comes from this Mohegan' s pen : 



304 , EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

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

And knew not where to go: 
Eternal truth did loud proclaim 
'The sinner must be born again,' 

Or sink to endless woe. 

" When to the Law I trembling fled, 
It poured its curses on my head ; 

I no relief could find : 
This fearful truth increased my pain, — 
The sinner must be born again, — 

And whelmed my tortured mind. 

"Again did Sinai's thunders roll, 
And guilt lay heavy on my soul, 

A vast, oppressive load; 
Alas ! I read and saw it plain, 
' The sinner must be born again,' 

Or drink the wrath of God. 

" The saints I heard with rapture toll 
How Jesus conquered death and hell. 

And broke the fowler's snare : 
Yet when I found this truth rem in, 
' The sinner must be born again,' 

I sunk in deep despair. 

" But while I thus in anguish lay, 
The gracious Saviour passed this way, 

And felt Ilis pity move : 
The sinner, by His justice slain. 
Now by His grace is born again, 

And sings redeeming love." 

Thus wrote this converted son of tlie forest these 
pious lines, which cheered many a Cliristian j)ilgrim's 
heart on his journey to the promised land. They are 
to be found in many collections. 

Here is a fair specimen of Occum's lyric poetry, and 
worth}^ to be 2)res(M'ved : 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 305 

" Give all your time to God 

In prayer and praise ; 
Your thoughts from vanity 

To Heaven raise. 

"Our work, so great, requires 

Our few short years; 
Neglected — Heaven is changed 

To groans and tears. 

" Except we cultivate 

What God has given, 
We shall repent too late, 

And miss of Heaven." 

The only sermon of the Mohegan preacher ever pub- 
lished, was delivered at the execution of an Indian, 
Moses Paul, in New Haven, Connecticut, September 2d, 
1772, for murder. He said to the dying culprit : " This 
is a call, a gracious call to you, poor Moses, under your 
present burdens and distresses." And setting before 
him the only way of life, he added: ''Thus you see, 
poor Moses, there is none in heaven, or on the earth, 
that can help you but Christ." 

The results of his six years mission among the Long 
Island Indians are thus expressed in his own language : 
"Many of them can read, write, ci]Dher, and spell, but 
they are not so zealous now as they were some years 
ago." This earliest Indian missionary on Long Island 
lived and died a good man. 

When Occum left the Island, another Indian, Peter 
John, became a faithful native preacher to his brethren. 
He ministered among them until his grandson, the Rev. 
Paul Cuffee, entered the sacred calling. He was the 
second of seven sons of Peter Cuffee, an Indian of the 
20 



306 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Shinnecock tribe, and born in Brooldiaven, in 1757. 
He embraced Christianity in 1778-9, and made Canoe 
Place liis liome wliile lie lived. His motlier was of 
African descent, and very pious. In 1790 lie was or- 
dained to the work of the ministry, and admitted a 
member of the "Strict Congregational Church of Long 
Island." He received a commission from the "New 
York Missionary Society," to labor among the remnants 
of the Long Island Indians, in which good work he con- 
tinued until his death. Crowds flocked to hear his na- 
tive eloquence ; his manner was graceful, imagination 
lively, voice most musical. Churches and ministers of 
other denominations opened their pulj)its to his excel- 
lent and affecting discourses. What Avas most impor- 
tant, his spirit was imbued with ardent piety and un- 
affected humility. He died as he lived, with the smiles 
of his Saviour. Directing the manner and place of his 
interment, he also selected 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, for his 
funeral sermon, and then, exhorting his family and 
friends to make Christ their friend, he bid them a fond 
and final adieu, and calmly fell asleep in deatli. 

Where the Indian Church once stood, near Canoe 
Place, among the bushes and trees, his grave was dug. 
It was enclosed alone, and here lie the remains of the 
last native j)reacher to the Long Island Indians. A 
j)lain headstone marked the spot, and thus read : 

ERECTED BY 

TOE NEW YORK MISSIONARY SOCIETY, 

IN MEIIORY OP 

THE REV. PAUL CUFFEE, 

AN INDIAN OF THE SHINNECOCK TIUBB, 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 307' 

Who was employed by that Society, for the last thirteen years of his life, 

on the eastern part of Long Island, whore he labored 

with fidc'litj' and success. 

Humble, pious, and indefatigable in testifying the Gospel of the 

grace of God, he finished his course with joy on the 

7 th of March, 1812, 

Aged fifty-five years and three days. 

We have thus particularly noticed the lives of these 
native Christian Indians, with their labors among their 
own brethren, because they were the earliest efforts 
made to gather these lost tribes into the Redeemer's 
fold. A very small and poor remnant still lingers upon 
the eastern shores of the Island. But, tainted by inter- 
marriage with the negroes, they have become more and 
more degraded, and will soon disappear from the earth, 
like myriads and nations of the other "Red Men" of 
our continent ; the two colors cannot live and thrive 
together. This is our sentiment ; and we believe that 
this continent is destined for the glorious Anglo-Saxon 
white race, now gradually extending itself over our 
globe. 



308 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

WHITEFIELd's visit to east HAMPTON (l7G4) REVIVAL BAPTIST 

CHURCH AND A NEW LIGHT PETER UNDERHILL AND SARAH 

TOWNSEND QUAKERS GEORGE FOX FIRST MEETING-HOUSE AT 

OYSTER BAY ELIAS HICKS JAMAICA — REV. JOHN HUBBARD, FIRST 

MINISTER HIS BIBLE — SUCCESSORS REV. A. KETTLETA6 PREACHES 

IN THREE LANGUAGES PERSECUTED BY THE BRITISH REV. SAM- 
UEL SEABURY, THE EARLIEST EPISCOPAL BISHOP IN THE UNITED 

STATES COLONY FROM JAMAICA TO ELIZABETHTOWN, NEW JERSEY 

REV. MR. POLHEMUS FIRST DOMINIE AT FLATBUSH (1655) 

CHURCHES BUILT GRAVESEND "fORESIXGEr'' ERASMUS HALL 

REV. MR. SOLIMUS AND VAN ZUREN, 1677, AND SUCCESSORS — NEW 

UTRECHT WHIGS AND ROYALISTS COLLEGIATE CHURCHES 

GRAVESEND QUAKERS (1657) FOx's VISIT MAGISTRATES REV. 

MR. SCHOONMAKER NEW UTRECHT (1654) CHURCH BUILT DOMI- 
NIES GENERAL HOWe's LANDING ('66) — BUSHWICK FIRST HOUSE 

FRENCH SETTLERS ODIOUS TAXES BY GOVERNOR NICOLS CHURCH 

ERECTED ITS MINISTERS — BROOKLYN FIRST CHURCHES AND DOMI- 
NIES EPISCOPALIANS. 

WHITEFIELD'S VISIT. 

It is seldom mentioned that tlie eloquent Whitelield 
preached in most of the towns on the east end of Long 
Island. He was in East Hampton at the beginning of the 
great revival of 1764, of which Dr. Buel published a 
detailed narrative without naming Whitefield. But this 
illustrious man of God came as an angel to tlie churches 
in the early part of the year 1764. His head-quarters were 
at the liospitable mansion of Thomas Bering. Samuel 
L'Hommedieu, Esq., wlio died at Sag Harbor in 1834, was 



EARLIEST CIIUKCHES IN NEW YOEK. 309 

converted under Whiteiield' s preaching, and often sjjoke 
of assisting to make a raft to convey Wliitefield, with liis 
horse and carriage, from Soiitliold to Shelter Island. In 
letters which Wliitefield wrote to Mr. Dering, and which 
are still preserved in the family, he speaks of his visit 
to the island. Writing from Boston, May 2d, 1764, he 
says: "And is Shelter Island become a Patmos? It 
seems so by my friend' s letter. Blessed be God ! Bles- 
sed be God ! What cannot a God in Christ do for His 
people," &c. 

The visit of Wliitefield was succeeded by great revi- 
vals of religion, which extended over many of the towns 
on the east end of the island ; and, although they were 
marked by many irregularities, their usefulness was felt 
in all time to come. 

A BAPTIST CHURCH AND A NEW LIGHT. 

About the year 1700, Mr. William Rhodes, a Baptist 
preacher from England, came here and gathered a little 
church. He died in 1724, about which time the first 
house of worship was put up. It is still standing, a 
great curiosity in its way ; some twenty feet square, with 
twelve-feet posts, and a pyramidal roof running up to a 
sharp point. It is now a barn. One of Mr. Rhodes' s 
converts, Robert Feeks, the son of a Quaker preacher, 
and a Free-will Baptist, labored here many years, and 
died nearly ninety years old. Rev. Thomas Davis came 
from Pennsylvania, and was employed as a colleague of 
Mr. Feeks, but his health failing him, he went back to 
his native State, and Caleb Wright, grandson of Elder 
Rhodes, began to preach, but died and was buried on 



310 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

the day he was to be ordained. The church became 
sadly distracted. Elder Davis returned here and sought 
to make peace. But party spirit rose so high, that each 
party attempted to hold possession of the meeting-house. 
On one occasion, old Elder Feeks, with a number of 
others, entered the house, fastened the doors, and he 
ascended the pulj^it. Soon after. Elder Davis came with 
his party, and burst open the door. Davis went u]3 into 
the pulpit, and, after some contention, got the mastery 
and preached. Out of these troubles grew a new society 
called the New Light Church. The leaders were Peter 
Underhill and Sarah Townsend. She Av^as the ruling 
spirit ; and with much ability defended their peculiar 
doctrine, which was very much the same as all religious 
fanatics profess to believe— the right to do as they 
please in religious matters, especially to the annoyance 
of others. This unrestrained liberty Avas to be used by 
every member when he felt called. to speak; and the 
preacher must stop in his discourse Avlien a man or 
woman Avas moved to hold forth. The Avildest disorders 
folloAved. Some tAventy persons drcAV up a number of 
articles to preserve decency in their meetings, and pre- 
sented them to the church. As soon as they Avere read, 
Madame ToAvnsend arose, and cried out at the top of her 
voice, "Babylon! Babylon! Babylon!'' and ran out 
of the house, followed by her adherents, all shouting 
Babylon so loudly they Avere heard two miles. 

THE QUAKERS.— GEORGE FOX. 

Probably the first Quaker meeting-house on Long 
Island was erected at Oyster Bay, but tlie date of its 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOrwK. 311 

building cannot now be found. One was built at Jeri- 
cho in 16G8, and in Flushing in 1689. In 1672, George 
Fox, the founder of the Quaker sect, visited America. 
Landing in Maryland, he travelled north, making, he 
says, "a tedious journey through woods and wilderness, 
oVer bogs and great rivers." Coming to Middletown, in 
New Jersey, he writes: "We could not stay to hold a 
meeting there, being anxious to reach Oyster Bay at the 
half-yearly meeting. Crossing the bay to Gravesend, 
they went to Flushing, and on the day following to 
Oyster Bay." Here he attended the meeting, which 
lasted four days. After spending several days more in 
this vicinity, he went to Rhode Island, and then returned 
to Fisher's Island, where, he says, "we went on shore 
at night," but "were not able to stay for the mosche- 
toes, a sort of gnats or little Hies which abound there, 
and are very troublesome." Then he went to Shelter 
Island and sj^ent more than a week, preaching to the 
whites and also to the Indians, and then returned to 
Oyster Bay, Flushing, and Gravesend, and so to New 
Jersey. At Shrewsbury, New Jersey, one of his party, 
named John Jay, was thrown from his horse and broke 
his neck. Fox took his head in his hands, and it rolled 
any way. He then put one hand under liis chin and the 
other behind his head, and, pulling with all his strength, 
set his neck. The man was soon all right, and followed 
his leader, it is said. This is the only case of setting a 
broken neck in the records of natural or miraculous 
surgery we have met with. 

Jericho, six miles east of Oyster Bay, is celebrated as 
the residence of Elias Hicks, who is as well known, for 



312 EARLIEST CIIUKCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

his connection Avitli one great division of the sect, as 
George Fox himself. He was born in North Hemp- 
stead, in 1748 ; was brought up a carpenter ; became 
a Quaker preacher ; travelled extensively ; inculcated 
doctrines inconsistent Avith the opinions of the founders 
of the sect ; divided the body ; litigation followed ; and 
two distinct societies were the result— the Ortliodox, or 
the original Friends, and the Hicksites, named from Elias 
Hicks. 

The opinions of Elias Hicks differed from his breth- 
ren in his denial of the miraculous conception of Jesus 
Christ, his divinity and atonement, and the authenticity 
and divine authority of the Holy Scriptures. But it is 
said that towards the close of his life he gave his writ- 
ten assent to all these doctrines. 

JAMAICA. 

The Rev. John Hubbard was the pastor of the Pres- 
byterian Church, a graduate of Harvard in 1695, and 
settled here in '98 ; a man of distinguished piety. Cot- 
ton Mather, in his Magnolia, states, that "he read over 
the whole Bible six times every year." Nevertheless, 
he used to say that "every time he read it he observed 
or collected something which he never did before. ' ' This 
was the incumbent of the parish, whose generosity was 
basely requited by Lord Cornbury. 

During the year 1712, the Rev. George McNish was 
called to Jamaica. He was a native of Scotland or Ire- 
land, had been settled in Maryland, and took an active 
part in the organization of the American Presbyterian 
Church. With the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, of Newtown, they 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 313 

foiTucd tlie jirst presbytery on Long Island, and it was 
held at Southampton, April, 1717. It was the earliest 
association of the kind in the province of N'ew York, 
and for many years all the Preslbyterian churches of 
Westchester County and our city became subject to its 
jurisdiction. Mr. McNish must have been a remarkably 
punctual member of that body, having been absent but 
once from its sessions during his whole life. Robert 
Cross followed him in 1723, and Walter Wilmot during 
1738. He died greatly lamented, and his tombstone 
bears this inscription : 

HERE LYES 

THE REV. WALTER WILMOT, 

Dec'd Aug. Gth, 1744. 

-(Etatis .')5. 

No more from sacred desk I preach, 

You hear my voice no more ; 
Yet from the dead my dust shall teach, 

The same I taught before. 

Be ready for this darlt abode, 

That when our bodies rise, 
We meet with joy the Son of God, 

Descending from the slvies. 

This family, it is said, has become extinct, but the 
church has long continued to enjoy the smiles of Heaven, 
and remains one of the most prosperous on Long Island. 

The name of the Rev. Abraham Kettletas appears 
prominently among the old church records of Jamaica. 
He Avas born in New York, 1732, and graduated at Yale, 
1752. At first, he settled at Elizabethtown, and then 
removed to a farm near Jamaica, spending much of his 



314 EARLIEST CIIIJRCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

time ill preaching to the vacant churches here and else- 
where. He frequently discoursed in tliree different lan- 
guages — the Dutch, Frcuich, and English. A devoted pa- 
triot, he became particularly obnoxious to the British, 
and was obliged to leave Long Island during the Revo- 
lutionary War, They took his property, defaced his man- 
sion, and enlisted his negro slaves as soldiers of their 
king. He was a man of very indej)endent spirit, and, 
chosen a member of the Convention (1777), assisted in 
forming the first constitution of the State of New York. 

In 1750, the Rev. Samuel Seabury was the rector of 
the Episcopal Churcli at Jamaica, and the first of Amer- 
ican parentage, a native of New London. He removed 
to Westchester 1766, and, a royalist, Avent to New York 
at the commencement of the war, residing there until its 
close. During 1784, he sought ordination to the Episco- 
pacy in England ; but, refused by tlie British bishops, 
from political reasons, he obtained this sacred office from 
tlie nonjuring prelates of the Scottish Episco2)al Church. 
Thus he became the earliest Episcopal Bishop in the 
United States. Mr. Seabury died February 25, 1796. 

The records of Jamaica have been carefully preserved, 
and its first settlement was made by a company from the 
neighboring town of Hempstead, in 1656, more than two 
centuries back. Tliey purchased lands of the Indians, 
obtaining a grant that year on "free leave to erector 
build a town, with the choice of their own magistrates." 

In the year 1664, a small colony emigrated from this 
place, and commenced the settlement of Elizabethtown, 
New Jersey. John Bail}-, Daniel Denton, and Luke 
Watson there purchased the lands of the Indians, and 



ILVRLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 315 

received their j)atent from Governor NicoUs. We 
may speak more of this settlement in its appropriate 
place. 

The earliest attempt to' introduce religion on this sec- 
tion of Long Island was an order from Governor Stuy- 
vesant, October 13, 1654, "permitting the Rev. Johan- 
nes Theodosius Polhemus to preach alternately at Mid- 
wout and Amersfort" (Flatbush and Flatlands). To 
this period no house of worship had been built or eccle- 
siastical organization formed in any of the Long Island 
settlements. In 1655, the Governor ordered the people 
of Breuclden and Amersfort to assist in erecting a 
church. It was built in the form of a cross, twenty- 
eight by sixty feet, the rear to be occupied by the domi- 
nie, and its whole cost, when finished, amounted to four 
thousand six hundred and thirty-seven guilders (one 
thousand eight hundred and fifty-four dollars and eighty 
cents). 

This edifice remained until the close of that century, 
when, in 1698, over six thousand dollars were sub- 
scribed to finish a new church. It was placed on the 
former site ; its walls stone, sixty -five by fifty, with 
square roof. No j)ews, but the congregation used chairs 
and benches. In 1775, its interior remodelled, the pews 
were erected and distributed by lot. In 1796, the third 
new church was built on the spot, at a cost of twelve 
thousand one hundred and eighty -three dollars. A fine- 
toned bell, from Holland, was i^resented to this church 
by the Hon. John Vanderbilt, and among its first toU- 
ings over these beautiful hills and vales were those for 
the burial of its liberal giver. In 1836-7, the interior 



316 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

was again improved, making the sacred edifice one of 
the largest on the island. 

Under the English Government, Gravesend had been 
the seat of justice for this part of the island, but, in 
1685, the courts were transferred to Flatbush. In '86, 
the court-house was erected here, when this town became 
the county seat, and continued so until 1832, when Flat- 
bush ceased to be used for the purpose, and Brooklyn 
took its place. 

From the earliest period, Flatbush attended to the in- 
struction of the children, and we find records of a 
teacher as early as 1659. He was aii important person- 
age — town-clerk, sexton, foresinger, or chorister, all at 
the same time, and yielding a good support. Instruc- 
tion was confined to the Dutch language until 1762-73 — 
then came the English pedagogue. In 1786 the well- 
known Erasmus Hall was founded, and the second in- 
corporated in the State, but for a long while ranked first 
in public favor and success. Many distinguished citi- 
zens in Church and State here obtained the elements of 
education and character. 

For many yetiYS all the Dutch ministers in this region 
came from Holland. We have named Dominie Polhe- 
mus, who continued to preach until his death, in the 
year 1676. The church at Brooklyn sent to "the father- 
land" for another minister, Avhen the Eev. Henricus 
Solimus (Henry Selwyn) arrived in 1660. He did not 
remain long, returning to Holland 1664. After some 
years, we meet him again at ISTew Amsterdam, from 
1682 to 1700. He appears to have been a learned 
and popular minister, and, whilst at Brooklyn, preach- 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YOEK. 317 

ed every Sabbath afternoon at the Governor's man- 
sion. 

In 1677, the Kev. Casparus Van Zuren officiated here, 
and was called "an industrious and systematic man." 
He returned to Holland, 1685, for the duties of his for- 
mer charge. 

Then succeeded the Rev. Rudolphus Yarick, Wilhel- 
mus Lupardus, and Rev. Bei-nardus Freeman, installed 
at New Utrecht, November, 1705. The Rev. Yincentius 
Antonides was sent over by the Classis of Amsterdam, 
in 1704. An unhappy difference, concerning the settle- 
ment of these two last gentlemen, greatly agitated the 
churches, but was happily terminated by laying aside 
their differences, and acknowledging Dominies Freeman 
and Antonides as their pastors. At this period the Col- 
legiate churches had greatly increased,— Bushwick, 
Flatbush, Flatlands, Brooklyn, New Utrecht, and Ja- 
maica, all embraced in the charge, and both ministers 
resided at Flatbush. Mr. Freeman left several pub- 
lished productions. He died 1741, and was succeeded 
by the Rev. Johannes Avondeus the next year, who de- 
parted in 1744, when the Rev. Ulpianus Yan Sinderin 
took his place, 1746. Avondeus finished his earthly mis- 
sion in 1754, when the Rev. Anthony Curtenius came to 
the church, 1755, and died the following autumn. 

Johannes Casparus Rubel was called in the year 1759, 
continuing Mr. Yan Sinderin until the close of the Revo- 
lutionary War. These dominies greatly differed in their 
political opinions— Yan Sinderin a firm Whig and Mr. 
Rubel a decided Loyalist. Like differences, to som(> 
extent, extended to several congregations, producing an 



3] 8 EAKLIEST CHURCHES I]Sr NEW YORK. 

unpleasant state of society, when the Rev. Mr. Van 
Sinderin resigned his pastoral relation, in 1796. He was 
a learned, but eccentric man, and "deficient in sound 
judgment." How hard it is for eccentricity of character 
to unite with a sound judgment. Mr. Rubel died 1799. 

The Rev. Martinus Schoonmaker, in 1785, took charge 
of the Collegiate, churches in this county, to which 
Gravesend was added. He died in 1824, aged eighty- 
seven. The Rev. Peter Lowe became his colleague in 
1787. Heretofore divine service had been maintained 
in Dutcli ; now it was performed in English, during tfie 
afternoon. Mr. Schoonmaker, however, never attempted 
to preacli in English, except once, in the year 1788, 
on Long Island. These Collegiate churches having 
continued one hundred and fifty years, their .union dis- 
continued about the commencement of the present cen- 
tury. In 1805, the Brooklyn congregation called a pas- 
tor of its own, and Mr. Lowe took sole charge of Flat- 
bush and Flatlands. After the death of Mr. Schoon- 
maker, the other churches also had separate pastors. 

In the year 1819, the Rev. Walter Monteith was in- 
stalled pastor of Flatbush and Flatlands. 

GRAVESEND. 

Very little is known concerning the earliest history of 
Gravesend. The Quakers reached here about 1G57, and 
the inhabitants readily embraced their doctrine and dis- 
cipline, organizing one of the earliest meetings on Long 
Island. George Fox, the celebrated Quaker, visited this 
place during his trip to America, and held large nieet- 
in";s. It is difficult to ascertain the origin of the Re- 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK, 319 

formed Dutcli Clmrcli in this town. Its first settlers 
were English, and the toAvn records, for two hundred 
years, are nearly entire. For three-quarters of a cen- 
tury, marriages were usually performed by the civil 
magistrates, and occasionally the ministers officiated on 
the important occasion, as — 

"Nov., 4th day, 1G93. — Andrew Emans and Rebecca Van Cleefe pronounced 
man and wife, by y" Dominie Rudolphus Veuyck, Flattbusch." 

In 1785, the Rev. Martinus Schoonmaker ministered 
to the church of Gravesend, and died in 1824. The 
Rev. Isaac P. Labagh succeeded him, after several years 
interval, but was dismissed (1842), for peculiar senti- 
ments about the Sabbath, and suspended from the min- 
istry, on account of resistance to ecclesiastical authority. 
Then came to this church the Rev. Abm. J. Labagh. 

New Utrecht was settled in 1654, by twenty Dutch 
families, the Dutch Church organized here about 1677, 
and a house of worship erected in 1700. It was built in 
the usual octagonal form of that day, and, during the 
war, the British occupied it for a prison and hospital. 
In 1828 it was taken down, and a new edifice occupied 
its place. The earliest ministers were the pastors of the 
Collegiate churches in the county, and the Governor 
ordered Mr. Freeman to be installed, 1705. In follow- 
ing years, the Rev. John Beatie and the Rev. Robert 
C. Currie labored here, and the Rev. James D. Carder, 
of the Episcopal Church, became chaplain at Fort Ham- 
ilton, near by. 

During the year 1662, the Governor authorized the 
inhabitants of New Utrecht to elect their own magis- 



320 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK 

trates, and hold civil courts, for all causes not exceeding 
five pounds in amount, with jurisdiction over criminal 
cases of j)etit larceny. This town becomes memorable 
from its connection with the American Revolution. 
Here General Howe landed, August 22, 1766, with the 
British forces, the week before the unfortunate battle on 
Long Island. In this village also stood, a few years 
ago, the old stone house where General Nathaniel 
Woodhull died from his wounds, September 20, 1776. 
It was a remarkable old mansion, with tiles imported 
from Holland, having lasted a century and a half. 

From some translations of the town records, by Gen- 
eral Jeremiah Johnson, we learn something about the 
earliest settlement of Bush wick. In February, 1660, 
Director Stuy vesant ordered the ' ' outside residents' ' to 
concentrate themselves within the neighboring towns, 
because we have war with the Indians, who have slain 
several of our Netherland people. Fourteen French- 
men, with "a Dutchman," named Peter John Dewit, 
their interpreter, arrived, with other settlers, and not 
understanding the Dutch, a village with "twenty-two 
house-lots" was laid out for their use. This place was 
called Mispot (now Maspeth), and its first house occu- 
pied by William Traphagen and Kaart Mourison. In 1661, 
the new village took the name of Boswijck (Boswyck). 

On the muster-roll of 1663, we find forty names, of 
which fourteen are French— doubtless Huguenots or 
their immediate descendants, who liad fled to America 
from the wicked and bloody persecutions of their own 
native lands. This is an important historical fact, cor- 
recting: the notion that the west end of Long Island was 



EAELTEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 321 

* 

exclusively settled by Dutcli emigrants. They became 
the most numerous, and, in process of time, here as else- 
where, by intermarriage, the French Protestants entirely 
amalgamated, as one people, with the Hollanders. From 
this capital religious stock came some of the most ex- 
cellent families of the island. 

When New Amsterdam passed over to the British 
rule. Governor Nicoll, in 1665, taxed the town of Bush- 
wick one hundred guilders for the support of the Ei)is- 
copal rector. He delivered his first sermon at the house 
of Giesbert Tonissen, "Anno 1665, the 27tli of Decem- 
ber," now one hundred and ninety-eight years ago! 
The names remain of the twenty-six persons who paid 
the one hundred guilders for the minister' s salary, and 
the odious tax continued until the colony returned to the 
Dutch, in 1673. The name of the minister does not 
appear. 

About the commencement of last century, a church 
was erected at Bushwick — of the usual form, an octa- 
gon, with a cupola. It had no pews or gallery, the 
people furnishing their own benches or chairs. In 1790, 
however, the edifice received a new roof; and in '95, a 
front gallery, with pews on the loAver floor. In 1829, a 
new church occupied the venerable s^Dot. 

From its first organization, the church at Bushwick 
belonged to the Collegiate charge of the county, Messrs. 
Freeman and Autonides being its first pastors, who were 
followed, in after times, successively by Rev. Messrs. 
Low, Schoonmaker, 1808 ; Basset, D. D., 1824 ; Meeker, 
1826. This congregation held its connection with one 
of the New York Classis. 
21 



322 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

BROOKLYN. 

Brooldyn has an ancient chronology. As early as 
1646 the governor axipointed a "superintendent" of the 
town, to preserve the peace, with a "sellout, a secretary, 
and assessor;" and the people soon elected their own 
magistrates. To this period, and for several years after- 
wards, the inhabitants had to cross the river or travel 
to neighboring settlements to enjoy public worship. 

Some of the old Dutch houses and barns remain about 
Brooklyn, reminding the passer-by strongly of a former 
generation and days of yore. The Cortelyou house, 
near Gowanus Bay, was one of these, erected 1699, by 
Nicholas Vechte, and, some say, the oldest edifice on 
Long Island. It was built of stone, with the gable ends 
of brick from Holland. 

Tlie beautiful city of Brooklyn has been properly 
called a city of churches, but for almost two entire cen- 
turies it could claim no such fame. During forty years 
after its earliest settlers pitched their tents on this spot, 
no house of the Lord erected its sacred altars, and all 
who loved Zion's gates journeyed to New Amsterdam 
or Flatbush for public worship. Its first church, a 
Reformed Dutch, stood alone one hundred and twenty- 
five years. At the close of the Revolution another 
small one, of a different sect, ap]3eared ; and after ten 
years a third. Since the year 1820, a wonderful increase 
has been made. 

In 1659, from tlie badness of the roads to Flatbush, 
the people of Brooklyn petitioned the governor to call 
a dominie of their own. This was granted ; when the 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 323 

Rev. Henricus Solinus (Henry Selwyn) came from Hol- 
land and was installed September 3, 1660. He went 
back, 1664, and afterwards returned, but did not resume 
this charge. During 1664, the first house of worship 
was erected in the middle of the main road, or highway, 
according to the Dutch notion and architecture of that 
day. It must have stood near by the new Court-house 
now erecting, and remained one hundred years. This 
gave place, in 1766, to an old church on the same site, 
and during the year 1807 another beautiful stone edifice 
followed the former near by. It cost thirteen thousand 
seven hundred and forty-five dollars, and was dedicated 
December 23d, 1807, by the venerable Dr. Livingston, 
the sermon from Hebrews iv. 12. The congregation in- 
creasing, in 1834 another spacious brick church was 
erected, and dedicated May 7tli, 1835. The Rev. Messrs. 
Woodhull, D. D., Ebenezer Mason, Rouse, and Maurice 
W. Dwight, here faithfully preached Christ in their day. 
It is not embraced in our plan to notice the other 
modern Reformed Dutch churches of Brooklyn. 

During the war of the Revolution, the British officers 
held diviue service, according to their own forms, in the 
Dutch churches, the Rev. James Sayre officiating from 
1778 to '83, then removing to Connecticut, where he 
died, 1798. The Rev. George Wright followed him the 
next year, his congregation first occupying a barn ; and 
in '87 Bishoj) Provost consecrated a small frame house 
on the burying-ground, Fulton street. Then followed 
the Rev. Elijah D. Rattoon, 1789, Samuel Nesbitt, 1795 
("St. Ann's"), John Ireland, 1807, when the stone 
church was founded, on Sands and Washington streets. 



324 EAELIEST CIIUKCIIES IN NEW YOKK. 

Here very able and faithful ministers labored : the Rev. 
N. Feltiis, 1814; Dr. Henshaw, 1814 to '17, and made 
Bishop of Rhode Island, 1843 ; Hugh Smith, 1819 ; H. 
U. Onderdonk, ~D. D., 1827 (Bishop of Pennsylvania); 
C. P. Mcllvaine, D. D., 1827 to '33 (Bishop of Ohio); 
Benjamin C. Cutler, D. D., 1833. Our object does not 
include the other Episcopal churches, nor any others, 
except the Sands Street Methodist Episcopal ; this 
church was the first in Brooklyn of Wesley' s followers, 
and incorporated May 19, 1794. It was enlarged, 1810, 
and rebuilt, 1844, at a cost of ten thousand dollars. This 
is the favored mother of many other Methodist churches 
in Brooklyn. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 325 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

NEW NETHERLAND EMBRACED A PART OF NEW JERSEY DUTCH PLAN- 
TATIONS AT BERGEN "pAVONIA" FIRST SETTLERS TAX FOR A 

CHURCH FIRST MEMBERS OLD GRAVEYARD DOMINIE's " VOOR- 

LESEr" OCTAGONAL CHURCH ERECTED (1680) SELYN3 PREACHES 

HERE THREE TIMES A YEAR OTHER PASTORS REV. MR. DUBOIs's 

DEATH WAMPUM, THE CHURCH MONEY HOW COLLECTED REGULAR 

PASTOR CALLED (l750) REV. P. DE WINT HIS SALARY STATEN 

ISLAND ORIGIN OF DUTCH CHURCH THERE UNITES WITH BERGEN 

(1752) REV. MR. JACKSON GOVERNOR FRANKLIN CHARTERS THE 

CHURCH ITS ELDERS AND DEACONS UNITES WITH THE HACKEN- 

SACK CLASSIS (1771) NEW CHURCH " SITTINGS " DOMINIE JACK- 
SON SECOND TO WHITEFIELD LONG SERMON, AND MR. SCIIUREMAN 

OLD BAPTISMAL RECORD. 

PAVONIA, BERGEN, &c. 

In pursuing the liistory of the earliest churches in 
New York, it must be remembered that New Nether- 
land once embraced a part of New Jersey. Breukelen, 
Amersfoort (Flatlands), Gravenzande, Vlissingen (Flush- 
ing), Heemstede, Mespath (Newtown), and Gowanus 
were plantations of the Dutch Company, under the same 
authority. There was also the small hamlet of Bergen, 
with a number of valuable "boweries," or farms, on 
the present Jersey side of the Hudson River (1646). 
This region was called "Pavonia," and its settlers had 
often been driven away by the savages ; but, returning 
to their lands in the spring of 1658, tliey concentrated 



326 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

their dwellings for common safety. In 1660 they formed 
a village, Avhicli obtained, in the course of the next year, 
a j)atent of incorporation, under the name of "Bergen," 
after a town in North Holland. Michael Jansen, Herman 
Smeeman, with Caspar Steynmets, were the first magis- 
trates of its court, the earliest ever erected within the 
limits of the present State of New Jersey. 

The Holland settlers on Bergen Neck, greatly to their 
credit, very early also obtained an ecclesiastical organi- 
zation from the Classis of Amsterdam ; but its first 
minute-book has been lost. Its official registers, however, 
commence as far back as the year 1664, and have con- 
tinued ever since, with great regularity. From tlie Albany 
Rt-cords, we learn that four hundred and seventeen guild- 
ers (one hundred and sixty-six dollars and eighty cents) 
were raised by tax, in the township of Bergen, towards 
the erection of a church; and here are recorded the 
names of nine male and eighteen female members — 
twenty-seven then constituting the Reformed Dutch 
Church. This, doubtless, was the first regularly organ- 
ized in that region of country, and probably the sixth 
of North America. Tradition places the earliest house 
of worshij) at Bergen, where now stands the family 
vault of the former Rev. J. Cornelison, and called ' ' The 
Old Graveyard on the Hill." It is said to have been an 
humble log structure, and during eighteen years was 
used by these early Dutch colonists for the worsliip of 
the Almighty. In this little sacred spot, those venerable 
and pious men, the Megapolenses and Van Niewhusen, 
of New York, Polhemus, from Flatbush, Schoats, t)f 
Albany, and Van Zun(Mi, of Long Island, preached the 






EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 327 

Gospel, and administered its lioly ordinances to the 
Jersey colonists ; but tlieir welcome visitations were 
seldom more than five in a year, and when the Dominie 
could not be present, according to Holland custom, the 
ever-punctual " Yoorleser," clerk, or chorister conducted 
the public exercises, using the Church Liturgy, and 
reading a good Calvinistic sermon, selected by the Elders 
from the best Dutch theologians. 

Sixteen years having now elapsed, in 1680, an octag- 
onal stone church succeeded the log tabernacle. Its 
membership now reached one hundred and twenty-four 
persons, and the initials of some of their names were 
cut on its stone walls, laid by their own hands. Upon 
the tablet over the front door was inscribed " W. Day, 
1660." He was the builder. As the belfry rose from 
the middle of the roof, the sexton had to stand in the 
centre of the church to ring the bell. Its pews, placed 
around the eight- sided walls, were occupied by the men 
only ; the women sitting in chairs by themselves. The 
Rev. Henry Selyns, of New York, says, October 28, 
1682 : "I have consented to preach there (Bergen) three 
times in a year, on IMondays, both morning and after- 
noon, and administer the Lord' s Supper. I found there 
one hundred and thirty -four members."* Here he con- 
tinued to preach for seventeen years, until 1699, with 
occasional help from the Rev. Gualtherus Varick, Wil- 
liam Bartholt, and Henry Lupardus. 

At this period, the Rev. Gualtherus Dubois united 
with Dominie Selyns, in New York, when the charge of 
the Bergen church was transferred to the former minister, 

!= Ch. Int., March 27, 1856. 



328 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

about the j^ear 1700. He continued liis religious minis- 
trations among tliis i^eople over half a century, until he 
died in 1751. Preparing to visit Bergen on his Christian 
mission, he was seized with sudden illness, in his study, 
which ended his earthly labors in ten days. 

Early in their history, this congregation commenced a 
fund to obtain and secure a stated ministry, by regular 
Sabbath collections. The Indian money was then'made 
of shells, and called "wampum," and of two kinds, 
black and white, the former worth twice as much as the 
latter. They resembled small beads ; and three black 
or six white, equalled a Dutch stiver ; twenty stivers a 
guilder ; and the guilder forty-live cents present United 
States money; not "greenbacks," but the ever true 
standard of value, gold. The deacons, it is related, 
purchasing this money, sold the Avampum, at a given 
value, to the heads of families, whose members de- 
posited it in the collection bag. The small, black, 
velvet articles, attached to long poles, were in use a long 
while, each with a small bell at the bottom, to call the 
attention of the indifferent or drowsy to the important 
duty of making a benefaction. These sub-treasuries of 
church Sabbath collections were hung on pegs, or hooks, 
beside the pulpit, near the deacon s pew, and this officer 
received the people's gifts. This venerable custom con- 
tinued until about half a century ago, and once in a 
while we have noticed it at this late day. 

The voorleser, or clerk of the church, occuj:)ied a little 
pew in front of the pulpit, and had a rod, on the end of 
which were placed notic^es to be read, and which he 
tlius quietly passed up to the dominie for publication. 



EARLIEST CIIUECIIES I:N" NEW YOEK. 339 

Tliis little pious flock at Berg^en has a most extraordi- 
nary history, living and prospering without a regular 
pastor for ninety-three years ! During this long pe- 
riod, amid a sparse population, the church register 
records the names of three hundred and eighty* who 
witnessed a good confession and received the Holy Com- 
munion. Where can such another instance be found in 
our land ? The favored time at last came for the congre- 
gation to secure a stated minister, and, on the 1st of 
April, 1750, the Rev. Petrus De Wint was regularly 
called here, and also to serve the church on Staten 
Island. A copy of the call is still on record in the 
church book. Its details are very specific to the respec- 
tive consistories about their minister — "A righteous 
half of services" and " a righteous half payment." The 
Bergen church was to furnish the dominie with a par- 
sonage and firewood, and Staten Island " to give him an 
able riding-horse, with aU. that belongs to it. But after- 
ward, he to look out for his own riding-horse." This 
was the origin, more than a century ago, of the Re- 
formed Dutch Church in Richmond County, a beautiful 
region settled by pious Hollanders and Huguenots, 
whose descendants now are among the pillars of all its 
Christian churches. The island is only about twelve 
miles long and three or four wide, yet within these nar- 
row limits can be found a population of some thirty 
thousand, ^\'ith over forty churches ! 

Mr. De Wint commenced his labors in the year 1751, 
but was never installed, as it was deemed necessary 
first to refer the matter to the Classis of Amsterdam, to 

* Dr. Taylor's Annals of the Classis of Bergen. 



030 j:arliest ciiukciies nsr new yoek. 

whose jimsdictioii all the churches in this conntiy then 
belonged. A response was received from Holland, 
\vhich declared him to be an impostor and his creden- 
tials forgeries ! He was consequently discharged from 
both congregations, and thus ended the first efibrt to 
secure a pastor for the church at Bergen (17o2). 

In the year 1752, the two churches at Bergen and 
Staten Island united in calling William Jackson, a 
young theological student, whom they sent to Holland 
to complete his studies. At the time, he Avas prosecu- 
ting them under the direction of the Rev. John Freling- 
huysen, at Raritan (Somerville), jST. J. The churches 
agreed to pay one hundred pounds towards his support 
while absent, and he carried with him this pleasant 
record from the Consistories : " Praying God to take his 
heart into His fear, and, as far as the Lord please, to 
take him safely over the wild element, and return him 
safely. This is their deed in true faith." After an ab- 
sence of four years he returned, and was installed in 
the church at Bergen, September 16, 1757, nearly ninety- 
four years from its organization. 

Shortly after, he married Anna Frclinghuysen, the 
daughter of his old teacher. At this j)eriod, the un- 
happy troubles between the Coetus and Conferentise 
parties in the Reformed Dutch Church had assumed a 
most serious aspect. The former were those Avho advo- 
cated the ordination of their ministers in this country ; 
the latter, those who would only receive such as were 
ordained in Holland. This churcli continued lier alle- 
giance to the mother, by sending their dominies to Hol- 
land for instruction and ordination. Its first elders were 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 331 

Jacob Van Wagenen, Gerrit Newkirk, Zachariah Sick- 
els, and Abraham Dederick. 

In December, 1771, and the twelfth year of George III., 
Governor Franklin granted a charter to this church, in 
the name of its officers—" Rev. William Jackson, min- 
ister ; Abraham Dedericks, Robert Syckles, George 
Yreeland, and Abraham Syckles, elders ; and Johannis 
Van Houten and Daniel Van Winkle, deacons.'"^ 
Among the powers of the corporation was that of ap- 
pointing a clerk, schoolmaster, bell-ringer, and other 
l^roper officers. Thus early did the Dutch church at 
Bergen, as elsewhere, attend to the interests of education 
and religion at the same time. 

This venerable charter, in the year 1799, was given 
up, when the other Reformed Dutch churches of New 
Jersey became one corporate body, according to an Act 
of its Legislature. In 1771-2, the Reformed Dutch 
churches in America separated from the Synod of North 
Holland, when the Bergen congregation came under the 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Hackensack Classis. 

During the ministry of Dominie Jackson, a new sanc- 
tuary, of stone, forty -five by sixty feet, took the place 
of the old octagonal one, in the year 1773. It had a 
tower and steeple. The doors and windows, arched, 
were ornamented with small-sized imported Holland 
brick. Here is a copy of the inscription over the en- 
trance : 

KERK GEBOUWT IN IIET YAER 1680. 

- HER BOUWT IN HET 

Yaer 1173. 
* Dr. Taylor's Aunals of Bergen. 



332 EARLIEST CHURCHES IX NEW YORK. 

Its former legend, with other inscription stones, was 
placed in the new walls, and its material used in the 
erection of the new edifice. The pulpit was made after 
the old style, standing on a single pillar, to accommo- 
date only one dominie, and having a large sounding- 
board, a striking ajipendage no longer to be seen in 
modern churches. The seats were sold as "sittings" 
only, and at the death of the owner descended to the 
next relation, on the payment of six shillings ; and this 
was called an " heir-seat. " If not paid for in a speci- 
fied time, it was sold to any purchaser for one dollar. 
" Family pews," so aristocratic and yet common in some 
congregations of our day, were not common then. 
Within these hallowed walls. Dominie Jackson' s faith- 
ful warning and cheering voice continued to be heard 
man}^ years. He was a learned, able divine, and, in the 
year 1763, received the degree of M. A. from Yale Col- 
lege, and subsequently the same academic honor was 
conferred by Columbia and Princeton. In the Dutch 
language, it is said, he became especially a powerful 
orator, and, as a field preacher, second only to White- 
field. 

Zealously ministering to the people at Bergen, and on 
Staten Island, for over a quarter of a century, he then 
became occasionally subject to mental aberration. This 
was very afflictive, and, although his heart and mind 
engaged in the sacred work, at times he would say 
things to disturb the devout feelings of the congregation. 
On one occasion, it is related, he was preaching to a 
large assembly, and continuing the discourse to a very 
unusual length, an intimate friend, the Hon. James 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 333 

Scliureman, admonished liim of tlie time "by holding up 
his watch. But the dominie, eying him keenly, 
exclaimed, "Scliureman! Schureman ! put up your 
watch;- Paul preached till midnight!" He then con- 
tinued his sermon with fresh zeal. 

In 1789, retiring from the pulpit, the church secured 
to him, for life, the parsonage, with the adjacent lands, 
and administered to his wants until death, July 25, 1813, 
at the advanced age of eighty-two, and nearly twenty-four 
years after his release from the pulpit. His ashes rest, 
with those of his wife and two children, in the grave- 
yard of the church where he so long and so faithfully 
preached Christ and Him crucified. A plain marble 
monument marks the silent spot at Bergen. With the 
termination of Mr. Jackson's ministry, the Bergen and 
Staten Island congregations dissolved their connection, 
which had continued for thirty-nine years. 

A baptismal record of the Reformed Dutch church at 
Port Richmond, date 1696, one hundred and sixty-eight 
years ago, has been recently discovered. It is about 
eight by twelve inches in size, nearly three inches thick, 
bound in sheepskin. The entries are in a legible hand 
by various persons, probably all clerks of the Consis- 
tory ; and most of them in Dutch, still continuing so 
down to December 12, 1745. Some time between that 
period and 1786, Aris Ryersz became clerk, and thence- 
forth all the entries are in English. He sets forth, be- 
fore commencing his labors, that what follows is an 
" account of the children baptized by the Rev. William 
Jackson, in his presence, while or since he was chosen 
by the church to act as clerk of the Reformed Protestant 



334 EARLIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Dutcli Churcli at the North side." The statements of 
baptisms cease on Sunda}^ November 14, 1790, Ayhen 
Miriam, the daughter of Abraham Post, was baptized, 
she being then three months and fourteen days old, as 
the record tells, and a fee of two shillings was paid by 
the 2:)arents — Avhether to the minister or the clerk, does 
not appear, but probably to the latter. On the Thurs- 
day previous to this date, Mr. Jackson having ceased to 
be pastor of the churcli, the clerk enters the fact that 
Magdalen, a daughter of Johannes Merrill, Jun., was 
baptized by the Rev. Peter Stryker, who had on that 
day been "ordained, or, rather, installed in our church 
by Mr. Livingston." 

In the Dutch portion of the record, the name of the 
father, and the maiden name of the mother, are given. 
The whole entry runs thus : 



"A°. 1724, den 19™ July. 



Ruterers. 



Dick Cadmus. 
Jannetje Van Hoorn. 



Jan Van Hoorn. 
Antie Van Hoorn." 



The parents are named on the middle column, and the 
witnesses in the last. Many of the families were evi- 
dently from Bergen, their descendants still residing 
where their fathers did, but the larger portion were, 
doubtless, from the island. It is curious to observe the 
changes which have occurred in names. I find Huys- 
man, now written Houseman ; Thyszen, Tysen ; Sweem, 
Swain ; in de Mersereaux, the x and the de are now 
omitted. Van Namen, now written without the last n ; 
Hagewout has become Haughwout ; de Dekker, Decker ; 
Seguin, Seguine ; De Bau, Dubois ; Symonz, Simonson 



EAELIEST CIIUKCIIES IN NEW YORK. 335 

(perhaps) ; Manez, Monee ; and so almost without end, 
while many other names do not exist among us, either 
in their original shape, or changed. I instance Ahasu- 
erus Van Engelen, Jolian Staats, Auke Tanz, Jaques 
Clendeny, Sara du Chesne, Chrystiaan Van Tuyl, 
Gozen Adriaanz, Jacob de Grameaux, Dirkje van Til- 
bui'gli, Johannes Richaud, Albert Janszen, Jan Philip 
Sumsenbach, Cathrina Pikkerling, Adre Escord, Laurens 
de Camp. I might enlarge the list to a much greater 
extent. 

We have examined this old record, in many respects 
so very curious, and esj)ecially valuable and interest- 
ing to the society where it belongs. The fact that it has 
not been seen for nearly fifty years by the officers of the 
church, should make them prize it more highly, now 
that it has come to light. 

In 1792, the Bergen church uniting with that of Eng- 
lish Neighborhood, called the Rev. John Cornelison, 
which he accepting, discharged the double duty until 
December, 1806, when he confined his sole labors, dur- 
ing life, to the Bergen congregation, and he finished his 
course, March, 1828. Until his settlement, the public 
services of the sanctuary appear to have been uniform- 
ly conducted in the Dutch language. The Baptismal 
Register was alike written in Dutch until 1809. 



336 EARLIEST CIIUrvCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

BERGEN DOMINIE COKNELISON PREACHES IN DUTCH AND ENGLISH 

TEACHES THE SLAVES TO READ SUCCESSORS REV. DR. TAYLOR 

STILL PREACHING AT BERGEN LAST SERVICES IN THE OLD CHURCH 

- — NEW ED^ICE DEDICATED " VAN " A COMMON PREFIX TO DUTCH 

NAMES HACKENSACK REV. P. TASCHEMAKER THE FIRST DOMINIE 

(1686) MURDERED AFTERWARDS BY THE INDIANS AT SCHENECTADY 

HIS ' SUCCESSORS IN HACKENSACK ACQUACANONCK CHURCH 

ERECTED INITIALS OF FOUNDERS ON THE CORNER-STONES CHURCH 

ORGANIZED AT RARITAN BY REV. MR. BERTHOLF — CHURCH BUILT AT 

SCHRAALENBERGH (1724) REV. GUALTHERUS DUBOIS DOMINIES 

- — " CCETUS AND CONFERENTI^ " DRS. KUYPERS AND BOMEYN, PAS- 
TORS THE REVOLUTION AND ITS TROUBLES CHURCH AT HACKEN- 
SACK REBUILT SUBSCRIPTIONS (l79l) STILL STANDING. 

BERGEN. 

Dominie Cornelison now performed public services 
in Dutch and English. He particularly attended to the 
important duty of catechishig the children, and instruct- 
ing the colored people, many of whom were then slaves. 
For their benefit, he had a special service in his own 
house, teaching some of them to read, and others were 
admitted to the communion of his church. How worthy 
of imitation at this hour, when so many thousands of 
this unfortunate race have been unexpectedl}^ made 
freedmen in our land ! 

In 1826 this church was repaired, and a modern 
pulpit, with family i)eAvs, introduced. All owners of 



EAKLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YOUK. 337 

"sittings" were repaid tlieir original valuation. On the 
20tli of March, 1828, this man of God, full of faith and 
good works, yielded his spirit to Heaven, aged fifty- 
eight years and nine months. During his pastorate, he 
received into his churches three hundred and eight 
members. In the Christian's hopes, his remains were 
buried with the dead of the "Old Graveyard," Bergen, 
and on the site, traditionally said, of the earliest Dutch 
chui'ch. A marble monument commemorates his virtues 
and piety, and is placed in the wall, near the elders' 
pew. During the year 1828, the Rev. Benjamin C. 
Taylor, D. D., became pastor of the Bergen congrega- 
tion, where he still is spared to preach Christ to the 
l^eoi^le (18C4). Thirty-six years have rolled away since 
his installation, and a generation of men passed off the 
earth with them. Of the one hundred and ninety-six 
earliest communicants, but few survive, and up to the 
year 1857, this faithful minister had followed to the 
grave eight hundred and fift}^ from his entire pastoral 
charge ! What changes has he witnessed in the church, 
and among the people ! 

Dr. Taylor commenced preaching in the old stone 
church at Bergen, but at the time recently remodelled ; 
many of its worshippers then appearing in their plain 
Dutch apparel, of domestic manufacture. Some females 
wore the old-fashioned black silk bonnet, not unlike the 
Friends, and these, removed during the service, ex- 
hibited the neat, beautiful, and snow-white caps. Only 
young girls ventured to wear the expensive straw or 
braid hats. In almost every pew, venerable forms and 

hoary heads might be seen, listening to the invitations 
92 



338 EARLIEST CHURCHES 11^ NEW YORK. 

of the Gospel. These, too, with tlie old church, have 
now all passed away ! 

On Sabbath, July 25, 1841, the last public services 
took place in the old tabernacle, where for sixty-eight 
years the Lord had been worshipped in this His holy 
temple, and upon the same sacred spot several genera- 
tions had called upon His holy name, during one hun- 
dred and sixty-one years. In the morning, the pastor 
selected for his text the beautiful words of the Prophet 
Isaiah, liv. 2, 3: "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and 
let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habita- 
tions," &c. 

On tli«- 26th of August, 1841, Dr. Taylor, its pastor, 
laid the corner-stone of the new church, and he dedi- 
cated it July 14th following, delivering a sermon from 
Isaiah vii. 8: "I will glorify the house of my glory. 
Who are these that fly as a cloud and as the doves to 
their windows ?" 

Upon both these occasions, some of the most eminent 
ministers of the Reformed Dutch Church attended, 
taking part in the solemn exercises ; and among them 
Drs. De Witt, Knox, Van Vranken, Vermilye, Brown- 
lee, Hardenbergh ; the Rev. Messrs. May, Marcellus, 
Garretson, Boice, Demund, Bogardus, Chapman, Lusk, 
James Stuart, and others. 

The new edifice is commanding and beautiful, sixty- 
four by eighty-four feet in its dimensions, surmounted 
by a cupola. It will seat twelve liundred persons. 

It is worthy of notice that, at one period, there were 
thirty-five pew-holders in this congregation having the 
prelix of Van to their names, and of these, tAventy-two 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK. 339 

were Van Vreelands. The Van Winkles, Van Horns, 
Vail Rej^pers, Van Boskirks, iNewkirks, Cadmuses, &c., 
were also very numerous.* 

Thus, upon this time-honored and hallowed ground 
liave three stone churches been erected, and have had 
only three pastors. At least seven new Reformed Butch 
congregations have been constituted, in part or whole, 
from this venerable spiritual mother. May God be 
glorified by succeeding generations, in these sacred 
courts ! 

" Happy sons of Israel, 
Who in pleasant Canaan dwell ; 
Happy they, but happier we, 
If Jeliovah's own wo be. 

" Happy citizens who wait 
Within Salem's hallowed gate; 
Happy they, but happier we, 
Who the heavenly Salem see." 

BoNAu's Hymns of Faith and Hope. 

The Reformed Dutch church of Hackensack, New 
Jersey, was the next founded to the one at Bergen. Its 
records show that as early as the j^ear 1686, the Rev. 
Peter Taschemaker organized this congregation, with 
thirty-three communicants. As far as opportunity 
would permit, he visited this infant flock, and adminis- 
tered the Lord's Supper to them, until the year 1689. 
He had been once settled at New Amstel (New Castle), 
on the Delaware, and experiencing sore difficulties 
there, he next became pastor of the Reformed Dutch 
church in Schenectady. Whilst laboring in this new 
field, that terrible massacre took place, on a winter's 

* Barber's (New Jersey) Hist. Col., p. 229. 



840 EAKLIEST CHUliCHES IN NEW YORK. 

night, wliicli destroyed the place hy fire and tomahawk. 
This venerable man, with liis wife and two colored ser- 
vants, was cruelly murdered "by the savages, and he fell 
a martyred victim in the midst of his pious flock. 
Many of his people were slaughtered witli him.* 

The Eev. Rudolphus Van Yarick, in the year 1689, 
preached at Hackensack, and administered the Supper 
of the Lord. To some, these services may seem scarce 
worth reciting ; but we are writing esj)ecially of the old- 
est cliurches, and the smallest circumstances have some 
liistoric value, and should be carefully preserved. 
When no minister could be present at Hackensack, the 
important "Voorleser'' led their devotions, and read 
a sermon from some sound Dutch author. This was 
Guillaume Bertholft, who was also the catechiser and 
schoolmaster. So usefully did he discharge these im- 
portant duties, that the people desired him to become 
their ministei', and, at their exjpense, he went to Holland 
for this purpose. There receiving ordination in 1693, and 
returning to America the following 3^ear, he was installed 
the first regular pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church 
in New Jersey. In his call the congregation at Acqua- 
canonck also united. They were a happ}^ ^Deople now, 
and, Avith tlieir dominie, collected the wood and stone 
at Hackensack, to build a sanctuary for their God, the 
Living God. William Day and John Stage were the 
master-builders of the Bergen church in 1680, and we 
find them engaged in the erection of this temple. In 
its wall, over tlK^ entrance, was inscribed, in rude in- 
dented letters : 

* Reformed Dutch Church Magazine, vol. ii. p. 328. 



EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YORK. 341 

WILA: DAY 
lOHN STAGE 

ANNO 1696. 

The fathers in this little Israel rejoiced, it seemed, to 
have their names or initials indented on the church- 
stones ; and in all tlie changes of rebuilding, these ven- 
erable mementoes have been carefully preserved, and 
may to this hour be seen and read on the eastern wall 
of the present Hackensack sanctuary. On this sacred 
spot, where the earliest foundations of the Lord's house 
were laid in the village, has His w^orship been continued 
from generation to generation for more than sixty years. 
Delightful and sublime thought ! 

Mr. Bertholf had many seals to his ministry during 
thirty years' Gospel labors, when they terminated by 
his death, peacefully, in the year 1724. He organized 
the church at Raritaji about 1700, and the one in Philip's 
manor (Tarry town), 1697. With his death, the connection 
between the congregations of Hackensack and Acquaca- 
nonck also ceased ; the Rev. Henry Coens following him 
in the latter, and the Rev. Reinhart Errickson, from Hol- 
land, taking the former charge, 1725. During tlie year 
1724, the church at Schraalenbergh was founded, and its 
first edifice built in 1725 ; and its history was a long time 
identified with Hackensack. In 1728, Mr. Errickson, 
resigning the charge of these congregations, became pas- 
tor of the Reformed Dutch church at Schenectady — 
thence removed to Freehold, 1758. When he retired, 
steps were taken to rebuild the church, and, as before, 
the stones of the earlier tabernacle were used in the new 



342 EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YOEK. 

one ; and during its erection, that eminent and vigilant 
servant of the Lord, the Rev. Gualtherus Dubois, of 
New York, watched over this flock. In his absence, 
the punctual " Voorleser" continued religious services. 

In 1730, the Rev, Antonius Curtenius became the next 
pastor, and, in 1748, the Rev. J. N. Goetschius was ap- 
pointed his assistant. Tlie former took charge of the 
Dutch church at Flatbush, Long Island, in 1755, where 
he died the following year, aged liftj^-eight.^- For a 
quarter of a century he had guided the flock of Christ 
at Hackensack and Schraalenbergh, which then em- 
braced the present townships of Harrington, Washing- 
ton, and Hackensack. 

Mr. Goetschius was the son of a German minister, sent 
over to labor in Philadelphia among his countrymen. 
He is represented as "a gentleman of profound erudi- 
tion, a thorough-bred Calvinist, and an accomplished 
theologian." 

About this period the two churches seriously felt the 
bad influences of the old "Goetus" and " Conferentise" 
dispute, which continued until 1722. The churches at 
Hackensack and Schraalenbergh in fact divided into four 
party congregations, although there was only one church 
edifice in each place. Next succeeded as i')astors over 
these congregations the Rev. Mr. Schuyler, about 1759 ; 
Cornelius Blaum, 1768 ; about the same period, the Rev. 
Warmoldus Kuyi^ers ; and the Rev. Dirck Romeyn, 
1775. He was a native of Hackensack, a graduate of 
Princeton in 1765, and from Queens, now Rutgers Col- 
lege, received the honorary degree of D. D., 1789. Dr. 

* Stouo's nidtory of Flatbuah. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN WEW YORK. 343 

Romeyii became an eminently pious and able dominie. 
In 1784, he took charge of the congregation at Schenec- 
tady, preaching there until his Master called him to the 
never-ending bliss and rest. He was also chosen a Pro- 
fessor of Theology in 1797. 

The War of the Revolution increased the internal 
troubles of these churches, some more warmly espousing 
the cause of Independence than others ; and hence arose 
political controversies also. In 1790, this whole church 
difference was happily reconciled by "Articles of 
Union ;" and thus these religious difficulties, which had 
increased for forty years, now terminated. People so 
long separated could unite in zeal, good works, and 
piety. The old-fashioned octagonal stone church at 
Hackensack required remodelling, or to be rebuilt. It 
had served its sacred purposes during sixty years ! 
There is an amusing tradition about the venerable tem- 
ple. The united congregations were to assemble, exam- 
ine, and determine what was best to be done. The 
young folks, however, ever watchful on such occasions, 
met before the others had arrived, and they soon re- 
moved the old pews, chairs, benches, &c., from the 
sacred edifice, and placed them on the " green," or pub- 
lic s.quare. When the congregation arrived, and saw 
how the question had been practically determined, they 
voted to rebuild.* 

A copy of the "Plan for Rebuilding the Church at 
Hackensack, A. D. 1790," now lies before me, and it 
contains some curious provisions. 

"The old church shall be broke down, and upon the 

* Dr. Taylor's Armals of Bergen. 



344 EAELIEST CIIUKCHES IN NEW YOEK. 

same ground the new one shall be erected, and of the 
following dimensions, viz. : forty-eight by sixty feet, 
with two galleries." "The inside of the dinrch shall 
be furnished with pews, without making any distinc- 
tion betAveen men's and women's pews." 

"A pew for ministers' families, also a magistrate's 
pew (the latter shall be particularly constructed, and 
have a canojoy over it"). 

One liundred and thirty-two signatures were attached 
to this document, of which forty-nine are in the English 
Language, and eighty-three Dutch. The subscriptions 
amounted to three hundred and twenty-eight pounds 
nine shillings, and among the largest we notice those of 
Peter Zabriskie, forty pounds ; Isaac Van Gieson, 
Archibald Campbell, John Powelson, iifteen pounds 
each ; Nelieraiali Wade, Henry Berry, twelve pounds ; 
Adam Boyd, Adolph Waldi'on, Johii Zabriskie, David 
Anderson, John Yarick, Elias Brevoort, Abraham Kipp, 
Richard Terhune, John Earl, Peter Kipp, Jacob Ter- 
hune, Jacobus Huysman, Albert J. Voorhose, Samuel 
Berry, Nicunsie Terhune, and Albert C. Zabriskie, ten 
pounds each, &c., «&c. The following Avere appointed 
"managers," or building committee. "Messrs. John 
Earle, George Doremus, Henry Berry, Gasparus West- 
ervelt. Jacobus Paulison. and Isaac Vanderbeck, 
Jr." 

The people personally labored, too, collecting the tim- 
ber, stones, and other building materials, and thus, in 
the year 1791, erected a new tabernacle for the Lord. 
There it still stands, with its graceful spire running up 
towards heaven, and the joyful sounds of salvation 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 345 

have been proclaimed witliin its hallowed courts for 
almost three-quarters of a century. 
Over the door was this inscription : 

"Eexbracht maakt Macht." 
(Uniou makes Strength.) 

Like the former house, stones were placed in this, with 
the indented names of prominent church-members. 
George Doremus, Albert C. Zabrisky, Henry Berry, 
1791 ; John Paulison, Peter Zabriskie, 1791 ; Margaret 
Houseman, Isaac Van Gieson, Nickase Terhune, Jacob 
Brinkerhoof, 1792. 

In this new temple of God, the Rev. Messrs. Kuypers 
and Frseligh officiated alternately, until the former re- 
tired, on account of bodily inlirmities. 



346 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK, 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

REMARKABLE STORM (1795) THE STEEPLE OF THE HACKKNSACK 

CHURCH STRUCK BY LIGHTNING; ITS LEGEND BROKEN DR. LINn's 

ABLE DISCOURSE DOMINIE BECOMES AN "EMERITUs" MINISTER 

THREE SONS IN THE SACRED OFFICE REV. JAMES V. C. ROMEYN 

NEW CHURCH BUILT SECESSION THE LEADERS DR. ROMEYn's 

SON CALLED TO TAKE HIS PLACE CHURCH ENLARGED (1847) AND 

LEGEND REMOVED EMINENT DEAD IN HACKENSACK GRAVEYARD: 

GENERAL POOR, DR. PETER WILSON, COLONEL VARICK, &C. SCHRAA- 

LENBERGH — ENGLISH NEIGHBORHOOD LAND GIVEN FOR A CHURCH, 

WHICH WAS ERECTED (1765); MR. CORNELISON THE DOMINIE 

SUCCESSORS CHURCH DIFFICULTIES THE "TRUE REFORMED 

church" DECISION OF SUPREME COURT ADVERSE TO SECESSION 

SECEDERS ERECT NEW CHURCHES REV. MR. ABEEL D. DURYEA, HIS 

DEATH AND MONUMENT REV. MR. MCFARLANE AND P. B. TAYLOR. 

But this united congregation did not long enjoy their 
"union," effected only live years before, for a long 
period of contention now ensued. Their dominie, Mr. 
Frseligh, took a prominent part in securing the desired 
union, and now he was comiDelled to witness its dissolu- 
tion. On the 10th day of July, 1795, a remarkable 
storm occurred at Hackeiisack. It arose suddenly, and 
was most violent ; with terrific Hashes of lightning and 
peals of thunder. In one explosion, the electric fluid 
struck the church-steeple, greatly damaging it, and, in 
its descent to the earth, broke the legend in three pieces. 
"Eendracht" was upon one broken fragment, and 
"maakt Macht" on another. The superstitious, of 
course, thought this ominous. 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 347 

In the year 1795, the Eeformed Dutch church at 
Hackensack petitioned the Synod to be separated from 
that of Schraah^nbergh. The Synod referred this peti- 
tion to Dominies Livingston, Linn, and Condit, with 
Messrs. Lowe and Studdiford. In 1796, the committee 
met the respective congregations, when Dr. Linn deliv- 
ered his celebrated and able discourse, on Matt. v. 9 : 
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shaU be called 
the children of God." The preacher beautifully refer- 
red to the lightning that recently descended upon the 
Lord's house, in which his hearers were now assembled. 
" Surely," he said, "you may learn from it an important 
and affecting lesson. While it recalls you to duty in 
this life, let it impress you with the thought of those 
dreadful thunders which shall usher in the last judg- 
ment, and those fires which shall burn up this earth and 
all the works that are therein ; of that tremendous day, 
when all who hate God and their neighbor shall be pun- 
ished with everlasting destruction from the presence of 
the Lord, and the glory of His power. 

"To conclude, if the commission of Synod shall be 
so happy as to accomplish a reconciliation, a new stone 
shall be engraven and brought to its place, with honors 
and triumph. Unhurt by any dark cloud, it shall re- 
main a monument to late posterity of restored love and 
friendship. But, if a separation shall be judged expe- 
dient, let the broken stone continue as an emblem of dis- 
united brethren. In either case, the peacemakers sliaU 
obtain their reward." 

The immediate results of this mission, was a continu- 
ance of the union, but for years the differences between 



348 EARLIEST CHURCHES lis IN'EW YORK. 

the cliurclies remained, and we need follow them no 
further. In the midst of this excitement, at tlie request 
of his son, the Rev. Gerardus A. Kuypers, New York, 
the venerable Dominie Kuypers obtained his dismission 
from the Classis of Haclvensack, and became an emeri- 
tus minister, the congregations settling on him one hun- 
dred and sixty pounds per annum during life. This 
was a liberal and honorable arrangement, but only five 
days afterwards, this father in Israel, now worn out in 
his Master's service, in September, 1797, was released 
from all worldly cares and toils. He was sixty-five 
years old : in the forty-third of his ministry, having 
diligently served as jjastor of these churches about 
thirty years. His remains were interred under the 
church floor, and in front of the pulpit, where he had 
so long preached the truth as it is in Christ. 

Three sons survived him — ministers of the same pre- 
cious Grospel which the pious father declared — Gerar- 
dus, Zecharias, and William, and all of them, too, have 
joined him in the happy spirit-land. The' Rev. James 
V. C. Romeyn succeeded Mr. Kuypers, taking the 
charge of the Schraalenbergh congregation, when a new 
and noble tabernacle was built in its place. It has a 
tower and very lofty steeple, and the whole work is a 
monument of the energy and liberality of those who 
built it. The beautiful, though antique pulpit, witli the 
old-fashioned sounding-board, was removed in 1843, 
and a neat modern one substituted, by the liberality of 
a private member. Here Mr. Romeyn served his flock 
with talent, pri^dence, and in the fear of the Lord. 

Dr. Frjcligh's people also erected a new church at 



EARLIEST CBTUECHES IX NEW YORK. 349 

Scliraalenbergli, in wliicli lie preached, when new diffi- 
culties arose about the ownership of their old one, be- 
tween the two congregations. The doctor's party, at 
last, in the year 1822, seceded from the Reformed Dutch 
Church, and constituted the "True Reformed Dutch 
Church." Four ministers besides himself, with seven 
congregations and their consistories, formed themselves 
into the ecclesiastical association. 

The ministers uniting with Dr. Frseligh in this move- 
ment, were the Rev. Abm. Brokaw, Sloanus Palmer, 
Jno. C. Zol, Henry Y. Wyckoff. The doctor was cited to 
api)ear before the General Synod, but, not appearing, 
a second citation was served, when he answered, "he 
should reply to it." The Synod then " Resolved, That 
Dr. Frseligh is hereby suspended from his office as min- 
ister of the Gospel," and the Classis of Paramus was 
directed to depose his consistory from office, and to or- 
ganize a new one in the late congregation of Dr. Frseligh. 

But why record these dissensions ? Many know not 
how this protracted separation originated ; and the 
writer, as a faithful chronicler, could not justly with- 
hold this part of his narrative. He presents nothing 
conjectural, as his information is derived from the official 
records. It is a great blessing, too, that with these differ- 
ences of opinion, the pastors of all the various Dutch 
congregations found favor with the people of their 
respective charges, and the Lord blessed their efforts. 

Mr. Romeyn, continuing his Gospel labors in the 
double charges of Hackensack and Scliraalenbergli, be- 
gan to be affected by bodily infirmities. Mr. Cole, the 
pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church at Tappan, dis- 






•']i50 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

tant only six miles, his ministerial services were secured 
for the latter place every alternate Sabbath. 

In August, 1832, Dominie Romeyn was suddenly 
stricken down by paralysis, and, during the following 
February, desired to be released from his relations at 
Schraalenbergh. This was granted, with pious and 
hearty gratitude to the venerable pastor, for thirty 
years' devoted labor in that congregation. 

On the next day, the consistory of Hackensack called 
the Rev. James Romeyn, son of their aged pastor, to 
become the colleague of liis i)ious father. From the 
tune he commenced his ministerial duties, the aged 
parent retained nominally, only, the pastoral relations. 
His last public labor was a funeral sermon in Dutch, 
over one of his most aged church-members. He finally 
resigned his pastorship, which had existed during 
thirty -five years, and on the 27th of June, 1840, God 
called him to the Christian's eternal rewards, aged 
seventy-five years. 

His son, occupying the pulpit until 1836, took charge 
of the Dutch church at Catskill, New York, when Rev. 
A. H. Warner succeeded him. In 1847 the church was 
enlarged, and the broken legend, which we have noticed, 
removed from the front to the rear of the building. The 
new one, occupying its place, has this inscription : 

REFORMED 
PROTESTANT 

DUTCH church: 

ERECTED A. D. 1096. 
REBUILT A. D. 1728. REBUILT A. D. 1791, 

"Hov,' amiable arc tliy tabernacles. Lord of liosts." — Ps. Ixxxiv. 1. 



EARLIEST CHUECTTES IN NEW YORK. 351 

In the year 1855, a colony left tliis congregation to 
constitute the Second Reformed Dutch Church at Hack- 
ensack. 

Many of the eminent dead have been interred in the 
graveyard of the old Hackensack church. Washing- 
ton and Lafayette attended the funeral of Brigadier- 
General Enoch Poor, whose remains lie here, and who 
died in 1780. Here, too, mingle with mother earth the 
ashes of the learned Peter Wilson, LL. D., professor of 
languages for half a century in Columbia College, a zeal- 
ous patriot and a devout Christian, dying in 1825, at the 
good old age of seventy-nine years. More eminent 
New Yorkers have received their classical training un- 
der his teaching than from any other professor. Colo- 
nel Richard Varick, of Revolutionary history, onco 
mayor of New York city, president of the American 
Bible Society, &c., &c., was also buried in this ceme- 
tery. He departed July BO, 1831, aged seventy-four 
years, four months, and five days. With tliese and 
crowds of others, slumber the remains of the Rev. 
James Y. C. Romeyn, who left the church for his re- 
wards on high, June 27th, 1840, in his seventy-fifth 
year, and fifty-third of his ministry, after serving the 
congregations of Hackensack and Schraalenbergh thirty- 
five years. "The memory of the just is blessed," and 
" their good name is better than precious ointment." 

The reader must remember that the congregation at 
Schraalenbergh had become a distinct church since its 
connection was dissolved Avith Dominie Romeyn, in 
April, 1833. We record the names of their pastors for 
some following yeai-s : — the Rev. John Garretson, 1833 ; 



352 ExiKLIEST CUUKCIIES IN NEW YORK. 

Michael Osborne, of Virginia, 1837 ; Cornelius J. Blau- 
velt, 1842. 

As early as tlie year 1768, we lind an account of a 
churcli formation at " English Neighborhood," a thickly 
settled vicinity of Hackensack. A Mr. Thomas Moore 
conveyed to trustees an acre of land for the erection of a 
church "agreeable to the constitution of the Reformed 
Dutch Cliurch of Holland, established by the National 
Synod of Dort." In the conveyance he also required 
its trustees to "keep out of the debate that is now be- 
tween Coetus and ConferentisD as much as in us lies, and 
we will endeavor to live in Christian peace with both 
parties, as we have agreed from the iirst, on purpose 
that all the inhabitants of the English Neighborhood, 
and members of the said churcli, may live in peace and 
love among themselves and others. For a divided house 
must fall, but a well-united house or church shall stand." 
The trustees were Abraham Montany, Stephen Bour- 
dette, John Day, Michael Moore, Thomas Moore, John 
Moore (1768). This was the period when the Coitus 
and Conferentise difference became most excited. The 
infant church here felt the want of a proper spiritual 
guide, and soon obtained such a one. 

This was Mr. Garrit Lydekker, licensed to 2)reach the 
Gospel in 1765, and the church at English Neighbor- 
hood was finished in 1768 ; no other record lias been 
found of him. In the year 1792, this congregation, 
uniting with that at Bergen, called John Cornelison, 
and during May, 1793, he was ordained and installed 
jiastor of the two churches. He occasionally preached 
in the Dutch language, and during the firet year of his 



EAELIEST CHFECHES IN NEW TOEK. 353 

ministry, a plan was adopted to erect a new tabernacle, 
forty-five feet by forty-two. As a gratuity, the people 
furnished the stone and timber, and the "managers" of 
the work were Cornelius Yreeland, Garret Banta, John 
Williams, John Day, Rynear Earles, and Samuel Edsall, 
' ' with full power to do the whole work. ' ' The subscrip- 
tions reached the sum of two hundred and fifteen pounds 
five shillings, and the highest, Abraham Montanye's, 
twenty-five pounds ; and the year 1794 witnessed the 
completion of the new t(^mple. 

During thirteen years, until 1806, Mr. Cornelison dili- 
gently cultivated this field of Christian work, extending 
from the Bergen Point to within four miles of Hacken- 
sack. The former place now able to support a minister 
alone, he relinquished the pastoral care of the English 
Neighborhood. About three years afterwards, tlie Rev. 
Henry Polhemus took sole charge of the congregation, at 
a salary of " three hundred dollars in money, together 
with a supply of liay, firewood, and grain ;" and on De- 
cember 29th, 1809, this church became incorporated 
according to law. Here, this servant of Christ preached 
the Word until the year 1813, and then removed his 
labors to Shawangunk, New York. There, during 
1815, in that old region of the earliest Huguenot pious 
settlers, he ended his earthly ministry. He was a native 
of Somerset, New York, and pursued his theological 
studies with Dr. Dirck Romeyn. 

The Rev. Cornelius F. Demarest, in 1813, succeeded 

him at English Neighborhood, and his labors were soon 

blessed. When Dr. Frseligh, however, seceded, in 1822, 

some here sympatliized with him, and especially the new 

23 



354 EARLIEST CHUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 

pastor, and the spirit of discontent increased until 1824, 
when the Consistory resolved that their connection with 
the Classis of Bergen and the General Synod was dis- 
solved. The congregation immediately united with 
the "True Reformed Church." Charges Avere now pre- 
ferred against Mr. Demarest by his old Classis, and he, 
when cited to appear, replied, as Dr. Frailigh had when 
summoned, "that he had made up his mind not to 
come." He was consequently suspended from his offi- 
cial relations in the Reformed Dutch Church. On the 
contrary, a complaint was then made by sixty-two mem- 
bers of his congregation against the old Consistory, elders, 
and deacons, and a contest followed about the vexed 
rights of church ^H-operty. Both parties claiming the 
ownership, a law case of vital importance to the old 
Dutch churches in New York and New Jersej^, Avas tried 
before the Supreme Court of the latter State. The bench 
consisted of Chief'Justice Ewing, with the associate 
Judges, Ford and Drake, Avhose opinions Avere elaborate ; 
and it is only necessary to say, that judgment was de- 
clai'ed in favor of the phiintiffs, and adverse to the seces- 
sion, February, 1831. 

In Hackensack and English Neighborhood, the seces- 
sion then erected churches for themseh^es. The Rev. 
Grustavus Abeel folloAved Mr. Demarest, in 1825, as pas- 
tor of the English Neighborhood churcli, and altliougli 
the laAV^suit did not improve the spiritual state of the 
people, still, tlK^ Lord blessed his ministry among them. 
They generously aided the establishment of the Theo- 
logical Seminary by a subscription of nearly six Imn- 
dred dollars. 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IJS" NEW YOilK. 355 

During 1828, Mr. Abeel removed to the congregation 
at Second River, now Belleville ; and Rev. Peter Dur- 
yee, from Saratoga, succeeded liim. Increasing infirmi- 
ties induced Dr. Duryee to request another minister in 
1847, and after twenty years' pleasant, successful minis- 
try, his pastoral connection with this congregation dis- 
solved. He was an honored servant of his Master, and 
under his ministry here, one hundred and twelve 
members were added to his tlock. In 1834 he received 
the honor of D. D. from the Rutgers College. Removing 
to Morristown soon after his resignation, Dr. Duryee, 
on February 24th, 1850, received his crown of glory, 
aged seventy-five years. A beautiful white marble 
tablet has been placed to his pious memory in the Eng- 
lish ISTeighborhood church, where he long preached 
Jesus and the Resurrection. 

THIS TABLET 
IS ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OP 

THE REV. PHILIP DURYEE, D. D., 

WHO, NEARLY TWENTY YEARS, MINISTERED TO THIS CONGREGATION 

IN HOLY THINGS. 

THIS FAITHFUL PASTOR AND EXEMPLARY CHRISTIAN 

WENT TO HIS REWARD, 

February 24th, 1S50, 

Aged seventy-live years. 

May the memory of his virtues long live in our hearts. 

In 1849, the Rev. James McFarlaue Avas installed 
pastor of this congregation, and, during 1855, the Rev. 
Andrew B. Taylor followed him. 



356 ILIRLIEST CIIURCnES IN :N^EW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH AT SECOND RIVER (bELLEVILLe), THE LAST 

of the five earliest churches erected (1725) mr. coens, 

pastor mr. arent schuyler, a liberal christian isaac 

brown, an episcopalian clergyman, claims his benefactions 

mr. iiaughoort, the dominie his successors church 

incorporated (l790) and school-house erected preaching 

in dutch discontinued tornado demolishes the steeple 

new church rev. mr. stryker dominies stephen van 

cortland his liberality new church (1853) john van 

Rensselaer's liberal proposition — ministers — colonies from 
belleville congregation ministerial families schoonma- 

KER, STRYKER, AND ROMEYN. 

We now come to tlie Reformed Diitcli cliurcli at Sec- 
ond River (Belleville, New Jersey), the last of tlie live 
old chnrclies we are describing in this region — Bergen, 
Hackensack, Schraalenlbergh, and Second River, Pre- 
cisely when this last chnrcli was organized has not been 
ascertained ; in the year 1725, however, the present 
churcli fronting the Passaic was erected. It was a 
square stone building, with the belfry upon the centre 
of th(5 roof. Subsequently the belfry was removed, and 
a stone tower added on its north end. 

In 1726, the Rev. Heuricus Coens became its j)astor, 
and during his ministry rates were fixed for the inter- 
ment of the dead. For a married person, eighteen 
shillings ; unmarried, between the ages of twelve and 
twenty-live years, ten shillings ; and under twelve, five 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOPwK. 357 

sliillings. His ministry continued until tlie year 1730, 
when the Rev. Cornelius Van Santfoord became his 
successor, continuing till 1732. 

An early emigrant from Holland to this region was 
Mr. Arent Schujder. Industrious and prosj)erous in his 
business, he purchased a large tract of land on the east- 
ern bank of the Passaic River, where a valuable copper- 
mine was discovered, which enriched his family. God 
mercifully gave them liberal hearts. Mr. Schuyler, his 
widow, and children, donated the liberal sum of eight 
liundred and fifty pounds to be invested for the support 
of a i^astor. There was some misunderstanding and 
trouble as to the clergyman, or rather denomination, 
which should use these funds. For a while an Epis- 
copal minister, the Rev. Daniel Isaac Brown, from 
Newark, ofiiciated at Belleville. His friends claiming 
these funds, Mr. Haughoort kept possession of the 
Dutcli church pulpit for some time, until locked out, 
when he performed his religious services ' ' standing on 
the steps at his church door." In 1770, these difficulties 
formally adjusted, Mr. Haughoort' s services continued 
until 1776. He Avas buried within the walls of the old 
church, and in front of its pulpit. From 1778 to '79 this 
congregation had no pastor, the American Revolution 
interfering, when the " voorleeser," or clerk, conducted 
public worship. Mr. Matthew Leydt was the next pas- 
tor, 1779, and succeeded by tlie Rev. Henricus Schoon- 
maker, who for eight or ten years supplied the pulpits 
of Belleville and Acquackanonck alternately. In the 
year 1790, the latter church became incorporated as the 
" Reformed Dutch Churcli of Second River," and the 



3i")8 EARLIEST CHUECHES i:^ ISTEAV YOPwK. 

Consistory two years afterwards erected a school-house, 
thus carrying out the well-known union of the Church 
and School, so characteristic of the Hollanders and 
their descendants. During 1794, the Rev. Peter Stry- 
ker, of Staten Island, became the pastor of this church, 
and preaching in Dutch ceased, the new dominie only 
"using that language when especially requested by the 
congregation. In the month of May, 1804, a violent 
tornado demolished the steeple of this cliurch, which 
was rebuilt, however, during the next month. A new 
church had been erected at Stone House Plains, to which 
Mr. Stryker devoted one-third of his time, and in 1807 a 
new stone edifice took the place of the old one. In Sep- 
tember, 1809, the Rev. Mr. Stryker removed to Amboy, 
New Jersey, but was recalled the next year, and re- 
signed his charge in 1812. During 1814, the Rev. 
Staats Van Santvoort became pastor, preaching here 
until June, 1828. The Rev. Gustavus Abeel succeeded 
Mm, and, in 1834, he settled at Geneva, New York. 
Next, the Rev. H. Meyers served this congregation, 
whose pastorate continued only two years, and then 
came the Rev. John Garretson, of Brooklyn ; and during 
his ministration the venerable Stephen Van Cortland, 
Esq. , so long a most liberal supporter of this church, left 
the world for his heavenly treasures. His name was 
precious in this congregation. He bequeathed one thou- 
sand dollars to it ; and in 1842 a bequest for the same 
sum was left by his widow. For many years they 
came to the house of God together. Their holy exam- 
ple and pious works have left a blessed influence. 

In 1849, the Rev. Mr. Gan-etson r;HMnv(>d the appoint- 



EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW TORK. 359 

nieiit of corresponding secretary to tlie Board of Domes- 
tic Missions, from the General Synod of the Reformed 
Dutch Church. The Rev. Isaac S. Demund succeeded 
him ; and during 1853, a new church was erected. It is 
a beautiful Gothic edifice, and cost some sixteen thousand 
dollars ; two thousand dollars were found necessary to 
pay its extra cost, when John Van Rensselaer, Esq., in 
addition to his original subscription, proposed to give 
one thousand more if the congregation would supply the 
balance. The liberal offer was immediately met, and the 
holy tabernacle entirely paid for, as all houses of the 
Lord should be. 

Mr. Demund remained, faithfully preaching among 
this people, until, having accepted a call from Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania, he resigned the charge in 1856. The Rev. 
Thomas De Witt Talmage was installed pastor in 1856. 

The Reformed Dutcli church at Belleville has been 
eminently blessed herself, and a blessing to others. Her 
pious sons and daughters constituted, in 1801, the con- 
gregation of Stone House Plains — the First Refonned 
Dutcli Churcli at Newark, 1833— and in 1855, the church 
at Franklin. 

Many of the "Fathers" repose in the consecrated 
grounds of this sanctuary, honored names — Joralemon, 
Vreeland, Cadmus, Spens, Kidney, Jacobus, Winne, 
King, Coeymans, Brown, Wauters ; and later, the Horn- 
blowers, Rutgers, Van Cortlandts, &c. ; and they rest 
from their labors, having served their day and genera- 
tion ; and verily their Avorks do follow them ! 

The historical events recorded in our volume concern- 
ing: the earliest Reformed Dutch churches and their 



360 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

ministers, of New Jersey, prove liow carefully tliey 
were Avatclied and served by faithful and able ministers 
of the Gospel. Their pastors then and since liave been 
men of usefulness, learning, and piety. Their memory 
is precious, and their descendants may well cherish 
and honor their names ; and it is a most striking and 
remarkable fact, that many of the descendants of these 
earliest preachers' children and children' s children; for 
several generations, have proclaimed the everlasting 
Gospel of the world's Redeemer. Take, for example, 
Henry Schoonmaker, the father, and we find his son, 
Jacob Schoonmaker, D. D., and his grandson, the Rev. 
Richard L. Schoonmaker; Peter Strjdver, D. D., Rev. 
Herman B. Stryker, his son, and Rev. Peter Stryker, 
grandson, all in the ministry. Among the well-known 
Romeyns the descent is still more remarkable : the Rev. 
Thomas Romeyn, father ; his sons, the Revs. Theodore F., 
James V. C, and Thomas Romeyn; his grandson, the 
Rev. James Romeyn, and his great-grandsons, Theodore 
B. Romeyn, William J. R. Taylor, James Romeyn 
Berry, and Francis N. Zabriskie. 



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EARLIEST CIITJRCHES IN" NEW YORK. {]Ql. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

KALEIGH NAMES THE WHOLE REGION B'ROM VIRGINIA TO MAINE A3 

VIRGINIA NEW JERSEY ATTACHED TO NEW YORK, AND BY ROYAL 

PATENT CONVEYED TO LORD BERKELEY TWO HUNDRED ACRES OF 

LAND GRANTED IN EVERY PARISH FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE MINIS- 
TRY GOVERNOR CARTERET (1665) ARRIVES, WITH THIRTY ENGLISH 

SETTLERS EMIGRANTS FROM NEW ENGLAND AND LONG ISLAND 

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH FIRST ORGANIZED (1666-7) CHURCH BURNED 

BY A "refugee" ANOTHER ERECTED JOHN HARRIMAN, PASTOR 

COLONIAL TROUBLES GOVERNOR ANDROS OF NEW YORK THE 

"'FIVE proprietors" DEATH OF CHARLES II., AND ACCESSION OF 

JAMES II. — INTERNAL DISSENSIONS QUEEN ANNE UNITES EAST AND 

WEST JERSEY HIGH CHURCHISM BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER TO BE 

READ GOVERNOR CORNBURY, A PROFLIGATE, DEPOSED PERSECUTED 

THE PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS IN NEW JERSEY MINISTERS REV. J. 

DICKINSON HIS PUBLISHED WORKS WHITEFIELD PREACHES IN 

ELIZABETHTOWN SMALL SALARIES MESSRS. KETTLETAS AND CALD- 
WELL REV. MR. LINN — SYNODS — A COLLEGE AT ELIZABETHTOWN 

REMOVED TO NEWARK REV. AARON BURR, PRESIDENT NEXT TO 

PRINCETON MR. DICKINSOn's DEATH HIS USEFUL LIFE FAMILY 

JOHN SARGEANT, OF PHILADELPHIA. 

DuimsTG the year 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh obtained 
for himself and heirs a patent from Queen Elizabeth, to 
possess forever any lands he might find, not already 
discovered by a Christian Prince, nor inhabited with a 
Christian people. Under this royal authority. Sir Walter 
settled a colony in Carolina, and in honor of his illus- 
trious patron, the Virgin Queen, he gave the name of 



362 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN" NEW YORK. 

Virginia to the whole region now extending from Maine 
to Virginia. 

James I., without any regard to the rights of Sir 
Walter, granted a new patent of Virginia to two com- 
panies, the London and Plymouth, hut they met with 
little success in their attempts to colonize it. 

To this period. New Jersey was a part of Virginia, 
but subsequently became attached to the New York 
province, which region, in 1664, extended "south to 
Maryland, east to New England, northward to the river 
of Canada, and westward as far as land could be dis- 
covered." From the discovery of Cabot, the British 
claimed the title to the whole country from Maine to 
Florida ; but the Dutch gaining possession of what is 
now called Ncav York, tliey claimed the region, in virtue 
of the discovery made in the year 1609, by the navi- 
gator Henry Hudson, who, in the employ of the Hol- 
land East India Company, was searching a northwest 
passage to China. This gave offence to Charles II., now 
on the British throne, and, to dispossess the Dutch, he 
gave a patent to the Duke of York, his royal lu'other, 
for a large portion of the whole new countr}^, which in- 
cluded New York and New Jersey. To place the Duke 
in possession, Sir Robert Carr was dispatched with a 
small fleet, and the Dutch settlers ignorant of his object 
and unprepared for defence, the English commander 
quietly took possession of New Amsterdam in th(.^ year 
1664. 

The Duke of York, thus possessor of the soil patented 
by the Crown, granted and conveyed to Lord Berkeley 
and Sir George Carteret the tract of land between the 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK. 363 

Hudson and the Delaware Rivers, and from tlie ocean to 
the present northern line of New Jersey, for a yearly 
rent of "twenty nobles, lawful money of England, to 
be paid in the Inner Temple, London, at the feast of St. 
Michael the Archangel." This region was at first named 
New Canary, but afterwards changed to New Jersey, 
in honor of Carteret, a native of the Isle of Wight, and 
who defended that place with great bravery against the 
Long Parliament, during the civil wars. 

Berkeley and Carteret, the proi3rietors, now invited 
immigrants into the province of New Jersey, publishing 
a constitution, which contained many valuable pro- 
visions. It carefully guarded the civil and religious 
rights of the people, as that under which the citizens of 
New Jersey now live. While the prelates of Virginia, 
with the Puritans of Connecticut, had each their objec- 
tionable and absurd "Blue Laws," the organic con- 
stitution of New Jersey provided that ' ' No person shall 
be molested or questioned for any difference of opinion 
or practice in matters of religious concernment." To 
every parish was granted two hundred acres of land, 
for the support of the ministry, and secured to the peo- 
ple the right to select their own ministers. 

Under this liberal charter, Philip Carteret, the brother 
of Sir Greorge, came to New Jersey, as Governor of the 
province. He reached Elizabethtown in August, 1665, 
with thirty English settlers, the place then containing 
only four houses, and naming it Elizabethtown, in 
honor of his brothers wife. Lady Elizabeth Carteret. 
Settlers soon came in considerable numbers from New 
England and Long Island. Puritans, English Quakers, 



364 EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YOEK. 

and Scotch Presbyterians Avere the principal immigrants 
to tliis section of New Jersey, and formed its moral 
character. 

The Presbyterian Church was the first organized for 
the worship of the Almighty in the State of New Jer- 
sey,^ and coeval with Elizabethtown, about 166G-7. Its 
house of worship was a wooden building, with high 
steeple and town cloclv. It was enlarged twenty feet in 
the rear, and the pulpit ornamented by the ladies with 
an elegant set of curtains, at a cost of twenty-seven 
pounds. This venerable temple, the earliest erected in 
the province, continued to be used for its sacred pur- 
poses for almost half a century, when it was fired by the 
torch of a "refugee," in January, 1780; but, Phcenix- 
like, another structure arose from its ashes. It is not 
known who ministered here during the first twenty 
years' existence of this churcli, and the earliest pastor 
of whom we find any record was the Rev. John Harri- 
man, who graduated at Cambridge in 1667. He died in 
1704 ; and his ashes rest beneath the present church 
edifice at Elizabethtown. A house on Meadow street, 
which he erected, has been in the possession of his de- 
scendants to the sixth generation. 

He was distinguished for much practical wisdom, of 
wliicli virtue he had great need, as his ministry con- 
tinued through a period of unliappy confusion in the 
civil affairs of the province. Governor Carteret, dej)osed 
by the Assembly, had returned to England, and James 
Berry, his deputy, was in daily conflict with James 
Carteret and the Governor's associates. Andros, at 

* Dr. Murray. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 365 

this time, was tlie profligate Governor of 'New York, 
and assumed also the authority of the N'ew Jersey 
province. In 1680, he demanded the submission of the 
inhabitants, in the name of his master, the Dulve of 
York ; and which refused, he threatened invasion. The 
people were on the brink of a civil war. To increase 
the troubles of Mr. Harriman, the province became 
divided, Berkeley selling his right to one-half of it, for 
one thousand pounds, to a Mr. John Fenwick ; he dis- 
poses of it again to four Quakers, Billinge, Penn, Lawry, 
and Lucas, thus making, with Carteret, five "proprie- 
tors," by what is styled the " Quinpartite Deed" of 
July 1, 1676. These divided the province into East and 
West Jersey, George Carteret retaining the East. In 
1679 he died, leaving this section to be sold for the 
payment of his debts, and it was purchased, in 1682, by 
twelve Quakers, with William Penn at their head. To 
allay the jealousies of the people, they united with them 
twelve others as partners, among whom Avas the Earl of 
Perth, after whose name the point of land called by the 
Indians "Ambo" was named "Perth Amboy." 

King Charles II. died in 1684, and was succeeded by 
his brother, the Duke of York, as James II. Unfor- 
tunately, the royal monarch, as James the King, had the 
least possible regard for the contracts of James the 
Duke ; for he immediately formed the plan to annul all 
the deeds and charters of these American colonies. 
Pretended complaints were entered against the people 
of the "Jersies," and '' Quo loarranto'' immediately 
issued. Vainly did the "proprietors" remonstrate 
against this injustice ; for they reasoned with a king, 



366 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN" NEW YORK. 

who was a Stuart, the most faithless and imperious royal 
race that ever ascended the English throne. Well for 
our world that this usurping and faithless race has died 
out ! Thus oppressed and embarrassed by the royal 
power, controversies and internal dissensions spread 
among the people, until at last the proprietors of East 
and AVest Jersey surrendered their gubernatorial to the 
Crown. This was made to Queen Anne, in 1702, when 
she inunediately united East and West Jersey, sending 
out her kinsman, Lord Cornbury, as Governor. All 
these public disturbances took place during the ministry 
of Mr. Harriman in ElizabethtoAvn, and the earliest 
Presbyterian church there experienced peculiar, and 
severe trials. 

In the year 1782, the government of the proprietors 
ceased in the New Jersey province, and that of the 
Crown, now -worn by the last of the Stuarts, commenced. 
He was a high-church tyrant, curtailing religious liberty, 
and commanded the Book of Common Prayer to be read 
on Sundays and holida3^s, tlie Sacrament to be adminis- 
tered after the Episcopal form, and all ministers not 
Episcoi^ally ordained should be reported to the Lord 
Bishop of London ! The bigot also interfered with the 
liberty of the press, as no book, pamj)hlet, or paper 
could be printed without the Governor's license. With 
this improved Constitution, Governor Cornbury reached 
New Jersey in the month of August, 1703, and the 
province very soon felt wliat it was to be governed by 
a tyrant' s hireling. The Assemblies convened by hira 
had th(^ independence to oppose this profligate, and his 
official race was a short one, for in 1709 he was deprived 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 367 

of Ms commission, and afterwards imprisoned in New 
York for debts. Here he lay until lie luckily became a 
Peer, by the death of his father, Avhen he returned to 
England, and died in 1723. The Presbyterians do not 
venerate his memory, as he was the persecutor of their 
preachers, and confiscated their church property ; and 
from all such rulers, in the good old language of the 
Church of England, we say, " Good Lord, deliver us !" 
In 1704, Mr. Ilarriman finished his earthly toils and 
cares, and was succeeded by the Kev. Mr. Melyne, 
whose ministry continued only a short time. Tradition 
says that he was strongly suspected of intemperance. 
On a certain Sabbath morning, the choir of the church 
suhg a hymn, as a voluntary, which he imagined was 
designed to expose and reprove him. Whilst singing, 
he left the pulpit, walking out of the church with his 
wife, and never again returned. Whence he came, and 
how long he remained here, and where he went, are 
questions unrecorded. 

The next pastor was the Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, 
the impress of whose pious characteT and labors is 
said to be still visible on the old town of Elizabeth. 
He was a great and good man, born in Hatfield, Mass. , 
April 22, 1688, and graduated at Yale College, in 1706. 
He settled in Elizabethtown, tv/o or three years after- 
wards, at the age of twenty-one years, and for almost 
forty remained the joy and glory of his congregation. 
His published works, too, praise him in Zion, and will 
transmit his name to posterity. There is a list of them 
in Dr. Green's "History of the College of New Jersey." 
His contemporaries were Whitefield, Edwards, Brainerd, 



368 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

and the Tennents, and his ministiy shared largely in the 
remarkable revivals with which Grod favored the labors 
of these eminent men. During Whitefield' s second visit 
to America, in 1740, whilst passing through Elizabeth- 
town, and after a short notice, he preached to a large 
audience of seven hundred people. At the close of the 
service he made a liberal collection, it is said, for his 
orphan asylum in Georgia. 

Mr. Dickinson's parish, then a large and laborious 
one, embraced Railway, Westfield, Connecticut Farms, 
Springfield, with a part of Chatham. Then the people 
of Westfield would walk here to worship God, and not 
deterred either by bad roads or weather. The Gospel 
was, indeed, precious to them. About 1730, however, 
a church was organized in Westfield, a log hut the first 
place of worship, and the beating of an old drum the 
call to the public services. The Rev. Nathaniel Hub- 
bell was its first pastor. 

At this early period small salaries were paid to min- 
isters in the province of New Jersey, and, probably, 
from the cheapness of living. The Rev. Mr. Kettletas 
received only two pounds ten shillings per Sabbath ; 
Mr. Caldwell, three j)onnds one shilling and sixpence. 
But in 1776, his salary was raised to one hundred and 
eighty pounds, and he was j)aid by the week punctually 
every Monday morning. Mr. Linn was settled with a 
salary of three hundred pounds, York currency, and a 
parsonage and lands. Nor were the public officers paid 
any better. In East Jersey, the governor received a salary 
of one hundred and fifty pounds ; in West, two hun- 
dred pounds ; and at one period tliiy were j^aid in peas. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



369 



com, and tobacco, at fixed prices. Venison and beef 
sold at a penny per pound ; corn, two sliillings sixpence 
a bushel ; bailey, two shillings ; and other things pro- 
portionably cheap. 

At that period the Synod of Philadelphia represented 
the entire Presbyterian Church in the American Prov- 
inces ; but, during the year 1741, this body divided 
into two parts— the Synods of New York and Phila- 
delphia— IS^ew Jersey uniting with the former. The 
Presbyterian Church of New Jersey was then much 
stronger than in New York, and it was determined to 
establish a college at Elizabethtown. A charter was 
obtained, and Mr. Dickinson chosen its first president. 
With an usher he was its only teacher, and the students 
numbered about twenty, boarding with the town fam- 
ilies. The institution stood where the lecture-room of 
the old Presbyterian church now stands, and was burn- 
ed down during the Revolutionary War. Then the 
students removed to Newark, and received their instruc- 
tion from the Rev. Aaron Burr, the second president of 
the college. Although Mr. Dickinson may be called 
the father of the institution, he acted as its president 
only one year, as he finished his many earthly toils, 
October 7, 1747. When the classes had reached seventy 
members, they removed to Princeton, where the first 
college edifice was erected, and called " Nassau Hall," 
in honor of William III. of England, Prince of Orange 
and Nassau, and the glorious defender of Protestant 
liberty. 

Not very full of years, but full of usefulness and hon- 
ors, Mr. Dickinson ended his days, aged sixty. What 
24 



370 EARLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 

an indastrious life tlie good man must have passed ! In 
addition to liis numerous duties of pastor, teacher, and 
farmer, he was a respectable practising physician. It is 
stated that the Rev. Mr. Vaughan, Rector of the Chnrcli 
of England, came to Elizabethtown on the same day 
with Mr. Dickinson. Here they labored together forty 
years, and both were laid in their silent coffins on the 
same day, the former completing his holy mission on 
the earth only a few hours before the latter. Both en- 
tered the heavenly land together ! 

Mr. Dickinson left three daughters, one marrying Mr. 
Sargeant, of Princeton, from whom descended the Hon- 
orable John Sargeant, of Philadelphia. Another be- 
came the wife of the Rev. Caleb Smith, a minister in 
the Newark mountains, now Orange, of whom the 
Greens, eminent in the New Jersey Bar, are descendants. 
The remains of Mr. Dickinson were buried in the grave- 
yard of the town where he so long faithfully preached 
Christ, and hallowed be tliat spot of their silent repose ! 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 371 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ELIZABETHTOWN ELISIIA SPENCER, D. D., 

SUCCEEDS MR. DICKINSON — CHURCH INCORPORATED GOVERNOR 

BELCHER JOINS THIS CONGREGATION REV. MR. KETTLETAS OFFI- 
CIATED IN THREE LANGUAGES REV. JAMES CALDWELL, A HUGUENOT 

HIS FAMILY BECOMES A CHAPLAIN OBNOXIOUS TO THE "TO- 
RIES" HIS PARSONAGE AND CHURCH BURNED (l78l) HIS WIFE 

MURDERED, AND HIS TRAGICAL DEATH EMINENT MEN IN HIS CON- 
GREGATION OGDEN, BOUDINOT, LIVINGSTON, AND DAYTON SKETCH 

OF MR. BOUDINOT NEW CHURCH BUILT IN 1786, BUT UNFINISHED 

FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOTICE OF MR. LIVINGSTON, A FRIEND OF 

GENERAL HAMILTON REV. W. LINN INSTALLED (iVSG). 

The Rev. Elislia Spencer, D. D., succeeded Mr. Dick- 
inson in the pastoral charge. He was born at East Had- 
dam, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale College in 
1746. The next year he took charge of this congrega- 
tion, diligently performing its duties until 1756, and 
then removing to Trenton. He died in the sixty-fourth 
year of his age, 1784. His gravestone says that, "pos- 
sessed of fine genius, of great vivacity, of eminent and 
active piety, his merits as a minister and man stand 
above the reach of flattery. Having long edified the 
cliur(di by his talents and example, and finished his 
course with joy, he fell asleep, full of faith and waiting 
for the hope of all saints." 

During the ministry of Dr. Spencer, the First Church 
of Elizabethtown obtained its Act of Incorporation. In 



372 EARLIEST CHUECHES IN NEW YOEK. 

1747, Jonathan Belclier became governor of this prov- 
ince, resided here, and united with this congregation. 
He granted its cliarter August 22, 1753, and the trustees 
were Stej)hen Crane, Cornelius Hatfield, Jonathan Day- 
ton, Isaac Woodruff, Matthias Baldwin, Moses Ogden, 
and Benjamin Winans. They were authorized to build 
an almshouse for the poor, and schoolhouses to educate 
the young of the town. 

" The righteous shall be held in everlasting remem- 
brance," and the memory of Governor Belcher should 
not be passed by without a notice. He was born in 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1681, graduating from 
Harvard College, 1699 — a merchant, he acquired reputa- 
tion and fortune at Boston, and in 1722 went to England 
as agent of Massachusetts Bay. On the death of Gover- 
nor Burnet, the son of the eminent bishop, he was ap- 
pointed Governor of Massachusetts and New Hamp- 
shire ; and when Governor Hamilton died, he received 
the same post and honor in New Jersey (1747). With 
great moderation and justice, he governed this province 
for ten years. To a commanding person, he united a 
finely cultivated mind, dignity of manners, firm integ- 
rity, and fervent piety. He became a devoted friend of 
Whitefield. He died of paralysis in 1757, aged seventy- 
six, and his remains, buried some time at Elizabethtown, 
were then removed to his native place, Cambridge. Dr. 
Spencer was succeeded by the Rev. Abraham Kettletas, 
and installed September 14, 1757, remaining only three 
or four years. He was a native of New York city, and 
a graduate at Yale College. After his i-emoval from 
EJizabetli he preached in the Refonned Dutch church, 



EAELIEST CHUKCIIES IjST NEW YORK. 373 

Jamaica, Long Island. Like most Presbyterian clergy- 
men at that period, lie became a very decided Whig, 
and was a political writer of notoriety. Some of his 
manuscript sermons, written in Dntcli and French, have 
been j^reserved. He finished his course at Jamaica, 
September 30, 1798, aged sixty-five, where his ashes are 
buried. His epitaph says: "It may not, perhaps, be 
unworthy of record in this inscription, that he fre- 
quently otficiated in three difterent languages, having 
preached in the Dutch and French churches in his na- 
tive city of New York. 

" Rest from thy labors now thy work is o'er ; 
Since death is vanquished, now free grace adore ; 
A crown of glory sure awaits the just, 
Who serve their God, and in their Saviour trust." 

The Rev. James Caldwell next occupied the Presby- 
terian pulpit in Elizabethtown. He has a ]Datriotic and 
religious history, his tragical death almost clothing it 
with romantic interest. By family this distinguished 
man was of Huguenot origin. Driven from France by 
merciless persecution, they escaped to Scotland, and 
during the reign of James I. some of their number w^ent 
to Ireland, settling in the county of Antrim. From this 
branch John Caldwell descended, who emigrated to 
America, at first locating in Lancaster County, Pennsyl- 
vania, but soon removed to Charlotte, Virginia. Here 
James Caldwell was born, April, 1734, the youngest of 
seven children. He graduated from Princeton College 
in 1759, and about a year afterwards was licensed to 
preach the Gospel, and soon took charge of this then 
large congregation at Elizabethtown. 



374 EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Soon tlie Revolutionary struggle began and he entered 
heartily into the controversy, becoming a chaplain, and 
accompanied the Jersey brigade to the northern lines. 
He ranked liigh in Washington' s confidence and friend- 
ship, and his popularity and influence with the soldiers 
were unbounded. 

These patriotic traits rendered him very obnoxious to 
the common foe, and, for more safety from the '" Tories," 
he removed his residence to Connecticut Farms. Such 
was their known hatred towards him, that he was com- 
pelled, for personal safety, to lay his loaded pistol by 
his side in the pulpit. The vacant parsonage became 
the resting-place of the American soldiers ; but the 
enemy burnt it, as they also did his church, on the 
night of November 24, 1781. 

Not satisfied with these outrages, the wife of Mr. 
Caldwell, an accomplished lady, was deliberately mur- 
dered — shot by a British rufiian, on the 7th of June, 
1780, while, with her children, she was praying in the 
retirement of her closet for victory on her country's 
banners. Her pious husband, the excellent and pa- 
triotic pastor, in a few months followed her to the heav- 
enly promised land. On the 24th of November, 1781, 
he was also shot dead by another murderer, a sentinel 
of our own forces, but bribed to the foul deed by Brit- 
ish gold. What a tale of woe ! 

Tlius, in a few months, the Presbyterians of Elizabeth- 
town were deprived of their church, parsonage, and 
academy ; and their excellent pastor and his wife mur- 
dered in cold blood ! During seven long years, this 
congregation continued without a sanctuary for God's 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 375 

solemn woi'sliip ; but prayer and patriotism strikingly 
united tlieir hearts, amidst all tliese accumulated sorrows. 
As a cliurcli, they contributed largely to the cause of 
liberty, giving a Dayton to the army, both father and 
son, with an Ogden and Spencer ; and as chaplain and 
commissary, the beloved Caldwell. Then we find in the 
State and National Councils a Boudinot, Clark, Living- 
ston, Dayton, and Ogden. AVhere did any congregation, 
in that day of peril and darkness, excel such patriotic 
contributions ? Many of them were suffering in the 
army ; many incarcerated in the horrid sugar-house, 
ISTew York ; whilst widows and orphans were to be 
found in every direction. A darker day that community 
never beheld; still but feAV, if any, Sabbaths passed 
without some religious services. 

Dr. Elias Boudinot was connected with this church, 
and ever the attached and devoted friend of Mr. Cald- 
well. Both settled in Elizabeth about the same period. 
His memory will long remain precious to the friends of 
science and religion, on account of his munificent bene- 
factions whilst living and tlie princely legacies of his 
last will. Also a descendant of the pious Huguenots, 
he was born in Philadelphia, May 2, 1740. He studied 
law with Richard Stockton, a member of the first Con- 
gress, whose eldest sister lie married. His piety, patriot- 
ism, and talents soon phiced liim in tlie highest rank of 
his profession. Congress appointed him to the important 
trust of Commissary-Geneial of prisonei's, and in the 
year 1777, lie was elected a member of that body, and 
made its president, 1782. When the celebrated Ritten- 
house died, Washington appointed Mr. BoudisiDt Direc- 



876 EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YOEK. 

tor of the National Mint. Resigning this office, he re- 
tired to Burlington; and here, surrounded by kind 
friends, he passed the balance of his days in the exercise 
of the highest Christian duties. 

He was elected the first President of the American 
Bible Society, and by a large donation placed tliis great 
national institution upon a firm foundation. His most 
liberal bequests went to the General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church and its Theological Seminary at 
Princeton. He wrote a work on the origin of the 
American Indians, called "A Star in the West," and an 
able reply to Tom Paine' s "Age of Reason ;" and both 
bear ample testimony of his ability, learning, and piety. 
An eminent patriot, philanthropist, and Christian, he 
died in Burlington, October 24, 1821,. at the very ad- 
vanced age of eighty-two years. 

After the close of the Revolutionary War, and the 
citizens had returned to their homes, it was resolved to 
rebuild the house of the Lord. Dr. Alexander McAVhor- 
ter dedicated the new edifice about 1786. For several 
years, however, it remained unfinished, the minister 
using a rough jDlatform for his pulpit, and the hearers, 
planks as seats. To finish tlie sacred edifice, tlie State 
granted the "Elizabeth Town and New BrunsAvick 
Church Lottery," from which some fifteen hundred dol- 
lars were realized. In this respect, we liave certainly 
improved on the wisdom of our excellent forefathers. 

William Livingston, LL. D., was another eminent 
Christian gentleman of Elizabethtown at this period. 
Of Scotch descent, he Avas born at Albany, New Tork, 
in 1723, and graduated from Yale College 1741. In 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOKK. 377 

1748, admitted as an attorney to the bar, lie readied 
great professional distinction, soon becoming tlie leading 
writer for popular rights, and opposed the advocates of 
the then termed "American E]oiscopate." Realizing a 
fortune from his profession, he retired to Elizabeth, in 
the year 1772, where he erected the "Mansion House," 
still bearing his name, and where he died. Upon his 
removal to New Jersey, he was chosen a member of the 
first Congress, 1774, re-elected the next year, and in 1776 
took command of the New Jersey militia, as brigadier- 
general, fixing his camp at Elizabethtown Point, with 
Elias Boudinot as his aide-de-camp. When the inhabit- 
ants of this province deposed Governor Franklin, and 
formed a new constitution, they elected Mr. Livingston 
their first governor, and continued to confer upon him 
this honor for fourteen consecutive years, until his death, 
July 25, 1790. He was also a delegate to the Convention 
which formed the Constitution of the United States. 
His remains, interred with those of his wife, Avere after- 
wards removed to the vault of their son, Brockholst, 
the judge, in New York. Governor Livingston was a 
profound lawyer, an able writer, a pure patriot, and, 
above all, an humble follower of Christ — the most 
popular chief magistrate that ever occupied the chair of 
state in New Jersey. We must not forget to mention 
that he was the friend and patron of the illustrious 
Alexander Hamilton, who came from the West Indies 
Avitli a letter to him from the Rev. Hugh Knox. Mr. 
Livingston sent him to school, under the charge of 
Francis Barber, then a distinguished teacher of the town. 
But he and his pupil soon entered the ranks of the 



378 EAELIEST CnUllCHES IN NEW YOllK. 

Anieiicuu army, the former reacliing a colonel's rank, 
and the scholar a i:)atriotic and world-renowned fame. 
Colonel Barber, with his regiment, served under General 
Schuyler, at the North, and shared in the battles of 
Ticonderoga, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, German- 
town, and Monmouth, nearly losing his life in the latter. 
He was also actively engaged in tlie battle of Springfield, 
and present, in 1781, at the capture of the British army 
in Yorktown. Praised be his patriotism ! His son, 
George C. Barber, for many years was a trustee of the 
First Presbyterian Church at ElizabethtoAvu, and died 
one of its ruling elders. 

In the year 1786, the Rev. William Linn, D. D., was 
here installed, June 14, 1786. He was a native of Penn- 
sylvania, and born in 1752, graduating from Princeton 
College when twenty years old ; and soon we find him 
a chaplain in the American army. Remaining only a 
few months in Elizabethtown, he received and accepted 
a call to the Reformed Dutch church in the city of New 
York. To benefit his health, he removed to Albany, 
where he ended his ministry, nearly reaching his fifty- 
sixth year. He was a very popular and useful divine, 
and his son, the Rev. Jolm Blair Linn, pastor of the 
First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, died at the 
early age of twenty-seven. A poet and orator, he gave 
promise of becoming one of the most able ministers in 
the land. His daughter was the wife of Simeon Dewitt, 
for many years the well-known Surveyor- General of 
the State of New York. 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 379 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

REV. DAVID AUSTIN SUCCEEDS MR. LINN, AND HAS A STRANGE HISTORY 

DECLARES THE COMING OF CHRIST (l796) GREAT EXCITEMENT 

TAKES THE VOW OF A NAZARITE REMOVES TO NEW HAVEN, AND 

FINALLY WAS RELIEVED OF HIS FANATICISM SUCCESSORS DRS. 

KOLLOCK, MCDOWELL, AND MURRAY SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 

AND METHODIST EPISCOPAL REV. THOMAS MORRELL. 

The Rev. Dcavid Austin succeeded Dr. Linn. He was 
born at New Haven, in 1760. Early fitted for college, 
he graduated at Yale in 1779, and having spent some 
time in foreign travel, he returned, and became pastor 
of the Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church, September 
9, 1788. He has a strange histor}^, and labored among 
his flock, greatly beloA^ed and very useful, until the 
close of 1795. During that year, he suffered a violent 
attack of scarlet fever, and, although slowly recovering, 
still it affected his mind. He commenced the study of 
the Proi^hecies during his recovery, which soon plainly 
produced a mental disease, and he never entirely re- 
covered from this affliction. As soon as he resumed his 
pulpit labors, he commenced discoursing on the 60th 
chapter of Isaiah, and taught the personal reign of the 
Saviour, and that His coming would take place on the 
fourth Sabbath of May, 1796. An immense excitement 
followed, and on that Sabbath, multitudes could not 
find room to stand in his church. On the previous 



380 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK. 

evening, lie dwelt upon the preaching of Jonah to the 
Mnevites, and exhorted the people to follow their ex- 
ample. Mourning and weeping were now heard in all 
parts of the excited assembly. But the following day, 
the sun rose as nsnal, but with more than usual Sabbath 
brightness. The church was filled, and surrounded 
with a vast crowd, but the sacred day of rest passed 
away without any unusual occurrence, and many of his 
followers saw his and their delusion. His friends hoped 
that the mortifying disappointment would cure his false 
prophesying, and the Session remonstrated ; but, as is 
usual in such cases, his ingenuity found excuses for the 
delay of the predicted advent. He declared that the 
mere mercy of God prevented the punishment of the 
people, and he now took the vow of a Nazarite, preach- 
ing three sermons a da}^, through this section of the 
country. His constant theme Avas the near and certain 
approach of Christ, with His personal reign on the earth. 
As Joshua led the Jews into the j)romised land, and as 
John the Baj^tist was the forerunner of our Saviour, so 
he was to bring in the millennial reign of righteousness. 
The congregation, now seriously disturbed by his 
proceedings, appointed a committee to wait upon him, to 
learn his future intentions. He replied in writing, 
avowing his purpose "to institute a new church, and 
set up a new order of things in ecclesiastical concerns, 
independent of the Presbytery, of the Synod, or of the 
General Assembl}^" To warrant such a course, he re- 
ferred them to the third and sixth chapters of the pro- 
phecy of Zechariah- The strange letter from which this 
is extracted, was dated ^' April 7, A. D. 1797." 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW TORK. 381 

Mr. Austin' s elders, deacons, and trustees, having no 
desire to estaWisli a new and "independent" church 
among them, petitioned their Presbytery, that the " pas- 
toral relation between the Rev. David Austin and said 
congregation" might be dissolved. This request was 
granted, and after his removal he returned to New 
Haven, whence he imagined the Jews would embark 
for a literal return to the Holy Land. He even erected 
a wharf and houses for their use on the occasion, and, 
poor man, unable to discharge the debts thus incurred, 
he Avas imprisoned for some time. 

His mind recovering in some degree, in 1804 he re- 
turned to Elizabeth, and, refused his old pulpit, he again 
returned to New England. Mercifully continuing to 
improve, he once more entered upon a course of useful- 
ness, and in 1815 received and accepted a call to the 
church at Bosrali. Here he regularly preached with 
great success until his death, February 5, 1831, aged 
seventy-two years. 

Up to the period of his severe affliction, Mr. Austin 
was universally admired and beloved. His conversa- 
tional powers wer? extraordinary ; his devotional exer- 
cises peculiarly impressive ; and few, it is stated, ex- 
celled him in public prayer. He edited and published a 
Bible Commentary, some of President Edwards' s works, 
and the "American Preacher," until it reached its fourth 
volume. At the height of his fame and usefulness, his 
intellect became disordered, from which he never wholly 
recovered. Let all who favor fanatical views about tlie 
speedy destruction of our world learn wisdom from his 
sad case. 



382 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

The Rev. John Giles was the next Presbyterian min- 
ister in Elizabethtown, a native of England, where he 
preached Avith great success for nine years. He reached 
America in 1798, and was installed pastor of this church, 
June 4, 1800, and after a short residence, he settled at 
Newburyport, Mass. (1803), where he labored diligently 
until his death, in 1824. During the year 1800, the Rev. 
Henry Kollock took the spiritual charge of this congre- 
gation, and after a successful ministry of three years, 
was elected Professor of Divinity in the College of New 
Jersey. Subsequently he settled in Savannah, Georgia, 
and ended his da^^s universally lamented, December 29, 
1819. His pul]Dit eloquence was unsurpassed during 
his day. 

In 1804, the Rev. John McDowell, D.D., was ordained 
the successor of Dr. Kollock, and with fidelity served 
this congregation twenty-nine years, and then, in 1833, 
became the pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church, 
Philadelphia. Nicholas Murray, D.D., was the next 
preacher, and settled here in 1833. 

The Second Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown 
was organized in 1819, and its first and present minister 
is the excellent Rev. Dr. Magie. 

A Methodist Episcopal church was commenced here 
as early as the year 1785, the Rev. Thomas Morrell, one 
of the fathers of American Methodism, laboring here for 
many years. A major in the army of the Revolution, 
he was wounded, and distinguished himself on several 
occasions. Of great energy and fervent piety, he began 
to preach in 1786, and joyfnlly ended his earthly pil- 
grimage (1838) at the j^rolonged age of ninety-one years. 



EAELIE3T CHURCHES IN NEW YOEK, 388 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

CHARLES II. INCORPORATES THE SOCIETY TO PREACH THE GOSPEL 

AMONG THE NATIVES OF AMERICA (1661) ARCHBISHOP TENISON 

WILLIAM III. INCORPORATES ANOTHER, AND OF GREAT SERVICE 

TO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH COLONEL MORRIS HIS REPORT ON 

STATE OF RELIGION IN NEW JERSEY KEITH AND TALBOt's MIS- 
SIONARY TOUR JOHN BROOK, FIRST EPISCOPAL CLERGYMAN IN 

ELIZABETHTOWN HIS REPORTS ST. JOHN's BUILT (l706) HIS 

LABORS — ^LORD CORNBURY UNITES THE NEW JERSEY AND NEW 

YORK PROVINCES IMPRISONS THE REV. MR. MOORE MR. BROOK, 

FEARING THE SAME TREATMENT, SAILS FOR ENGLAND CORNBURY 

REMOVED AND IMPRISONED, AND AFTER BECOMES A PEER MR. 

VAUGHAN THE NEXT MISSIONARY PISCATAQUA THE EARLIEST 

BAPTIST SETTLEMENT (1663), AND THEIR FIRST PREACHER, HUGH 

DUNN — SUCCESSORS CHURCH AT SCOTCH PLAINS EPISCOPALIANS 

AGAIN MR. VAUGHAN MARRIES A FORTUNE PREACHES IN ELIZA- 
BETH FORTY YEARS SUCCESSORS REV. MR. CHANDLER, ETC., ETC., 

DOWN TO 1853. 

ELIZABETHTOWN EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

King CiIxYRLes the Second, in the year 1661, incor- 
porated a religious company, for tlie propagation of tlie 
Gospel among the heathen natives of New England, and 
the parts adjacent, in America. It is more necessary to 
notice this incorporation, because, for many years, the 
important work of colonial missions was conducted by 
the private zeal and liberality of some Christian people 
in Europe. Archbishop Tenison, becoming exceedingly 
concerned in the religious wants of the American colo- 
nies, or plantations, exerted himself in their behalf. 



384 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

From liis representations to William the Third, His Ma- 
jesty, on the 16th of June, 1701, incorporated by royal 
charter the ' ' Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts." To this venerable bod}^ the Episco- 
pal Church in America owes an immense debt, which 
she can best repay by similar activity and liberality in 
the woik of Christian missions. Under the fostering 
care of this society were laid the earliest foundations of 
our colonial Episcopal churches. 

New Jersey was then a portion of the New York col- 
ony and government; and, in the year 1700, Colonel 
Morris wrote a memorial about the state of religion in 
the Jerseys. "The province of East Jersey has in it 
ten towns, vzt. : Middletown, Freehold, Amboy, Pisca- 
taway, and Woodbridge, Elizabeth Town, Newark, 
Aquechenonch, and Bergen ; and, I Judge, in the whole 
province, there may be about eight thousand souls. 
These towns are not like the towns in England — the 
houses built close together on a small spot of ground — 
but they include large portions of the country, of from 
five, eight, ten, twelve, fifteen miles in length, and as 
much in breadth. . . . These towns, and the whole 
province, Avere peopled mostly from the adjacent colo- 
nies of New York and New England, and generally by 
persons of very narrow fortunes, and such as could not 
well subsist in the places they left. And if such people 
could bring au}^ religion with them, it was that of the 
country they came from, and the state of them is as fol- 
lows : . . . Elizabeth Town and Newark were peo- 
phid from New England ; are generally Independents ; 
they have a meeting-house in each town for their public 



EARLIEST CIIUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 385 

worship. There are some few Churchmen, Presbyte- 
rians, Anahaptists, and Quakers settled among them." 

Tlie memorial of Colonel Morris closes with this good 
advice, and, although suggested more than a century 
and a half ago, is wholesome in our day : ' ' Let the 
king, the archbishop, ye bishops and great men, admit 
no man, for so many years, to any great benefice, but 
such as shall oblige themselves to jDreach three years, 
gratis, in iVmerica. With part of the living, let him 
maintain a curate, and the other part let him apply to 
his own use. By this means, we shall have the greatest 
and best men ; and, in human probability, such men 
must, in a short time, make a wonderful progress in the 
conversion of those countries — especially, when it is 
perceived the good of souls is the only motive to this 
undertaking." 

In the years 1702-3, the Rev. George Keith and the 
Rev. John Talbot made a missionary tour to this region, 
the former publishing, in 1706, "A Journal of Travels, 
from New Hampshire to Caratuck, on the Continent of 
North America." He says, Nov. 3, 1703 : "I preached 
at Andrew Craig' s, in the township of Elizabeth Town, 
on 2 Pet. i. 5 : and baptized his four children." On 
Sunday, December 19, following, he delivered sermons 
at the house of Colonel Townley, both forenoon and 
afternoon, from 1 Pet. xi. 9. "Many of that town," he 
adds, "having been formerly a sort of Independents, 
are become well affected to the Church of England, and 
desire to have a minister sent to them. There I baptized 
a child of Mr. Shakmaple." 

At this period, Elizabethtown was the largest place in 
25 



386 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

the province of East Jersey, containing some three hun- 
dred families, and it is believed that these were the first 
Episcopal services ever held there. The Rev. John 
Brook was sent to America by the Society for the Propa- 
gation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and, advised by 
Governor Cornbnry to settle at Elizabeth Town and 
Perth Amboy, he writes from the former place, August 
20, 1705: "Shrewsbury, Freehold, and Middletown are 
already sux^plied by Dr. Janes, a very goode man. . . . 
There are five Independent ministers in and about the 
places I xDreach at, and the greatest part of the people 
are followers of them. . . . We design, God willing, 
next spring, to begin to build two churches — one at 
Elizabeth Town, the other at Amboy (November 23, 
1705). I must expect no subscriptions before they be 
finished. I have gathered a large congregation at Pisca- 
taway, about twenty miles from Elizabeth Town. An 
Independent minister has left them since I came, and 
now they are very desirous that the Rt. Rev. and Hon- 
orable Society would be pleased to send one of the 
Church of England, who is not a Scotchman. If a min- 
ister of temper was sent hither, he might do more service 
than any other place I know." 

In the 3^ear 1706, on St. John the Baptist' s Day, Mr. 
Brooks laid the foundation of a brick church at Eliza- 
bethtown, calling it "St. John's," fifty feet long, thirty 
wide, and twenty-one high. His communicants num- 
bered ten. The congregation increasing, he obtained a 
barn for his religious services, and, he writes, "in har- 
vest we were obliged to relinquisli, whereupon, the 
dissenters, who, presently after I came, were destitute 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IIST NEW YORK. 387 

of their old teachers (one of them being struck witli 
decath in their meeting-house, as he was railing against the 
Church, and the other being at Boston), would not suf- 
fer me, upon my request, to officiate in their meeting- 
house, unless I would promise not to read any of the 
prayers of the Church, which I complied with, upon 
condition I might read the Psalms, Lessons, Epistle, and 
Gospel apx3ointed for the day, which I did, and said all 
the rest of the service by heart, the doing of which 
brought a great many to hear me, who otherwise, prob- 
ably, would never have heard the service of the Church. 
. . . Their teacher begins at eight in the morning, and 
ends at ten, and then our service begins ; and in the 
afternoon, we begin at two. The greatest part of the 
Dissenters generally stay to hear all our services. We 
shall only get the outside of our church uj) this year, 
and I'm afraid fwill be a year or more before we can 
iiuish the inside, for I find, these hard times, a great 
many are very backward to pay their subscriptions. 
At Amboy, we've got a great many of the materials 
ready to build a stone church with, fifty-four feet long 
and thirty wide, next sj^ring. . . . Ujoon my arrival 
here, instead of churches, which I exj)ected, I met only 
with private rooms, except at Amboy, where there is an 
old little court-house that serves for one. , . . Al- 
most discouraged, to find the Church had got so little 
footing in these parts, I resolved heartily and sincerely to 
endeavor to promote her, so much as in my power, in 
order to which I began to preach, catechise, and ex- 
pound, twelve, fourteen, sometimes fifteen days per 
month (which I still do). ... I drew a bill of fifty 



388 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

pounds upon my sister, wlio receives my money of Mr. 
Hodges, which I've given to Elizabeth Town ; ten 
pounds to Piscataway ; ten pounds to Amboy ; five 
pounds to the church that is to be at Freehold ; two 
pounds to that at Cheesequakes ; three pounds to- 
wards printing Dr. Ashton' s piece against the Anabap- 
tists, and for Catechisms to give away — and it hath cost 
me above ten pounds in riding about the provinces of 
jN'ew York and Pennsylvania, and this to get subscrip- 
tions. I should never have mentioned this, had not my 
circumstances obliged me to it. I could not have given 
near so much out of your one hundred pounds per an- 
num, had I not been very well stocked with clothes I 
brought from England, and had some money of my own. 
For, I ride so much, I'm obliged to keep two horses, 
which cost me twenty pounds ; and one horse cannot be 
kept well under ten or eleven pounds per annum. 
'Twill cost a man near thirty pounds per annum to board 
here ; and, sure, 'twill cost me much more, who, pilgrim- 
like, can scarce ever be three days together at a place. 
All clothing here is twice as dear, at least, as 'tis in Eng- 
land ; and riding so much makes me wear out many 
more than I ever did before. . . . I've so many 
places to take care of that I've scarce any time to study ; 
neither can I sujDply any of them so well as the}^ should 
be. I humbly beg, therefore, you'll be pleased to send 
a minister to take charge of Elizabeth Town and Raw- 
way upon him, and I'll take all the care I can of the 
rest." 

Such was the introduction of the Churcli of England 
in the province of New Jersey. In reading its account 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 389 

from this earliest and zealous missionary, it reminds us 
of John Wesley's saddle-bag Christian heroes. We 
have extracted largely from Mr. Brooks' s letter, as it is 
the best record of those times that we can present. 

In the year 1702, Lord Cornbury, the eldest son of 
Earl Clarendon, arrived in America, charged with the 
administration of the government of New York and the 
Jerseys. These provinces had been divorced for some 
time, but the proprietors differing, they ceded their 
patents to Queen Anne, when her majesty placed both 
under the command of Lord Cornbury. • He was a near 
kinsman of her own, and the two colonies remained thus 
united until the year 1735, each however preserving a 
distinct legislative assembly. Cornbury was a wicked 
adventurer, whose sole claim to this important command 
could only rest on his relationship to the Queen or roy- 
alty. Churchman, as he was, his conduct became very 
arbitrary to ministers of his own denomination. 

The Governor imprisoned in Fort Anne, 1707, the Rev. 
Thomas Moore, but he escaped ; when, Mr. Brooks fear- 
ing the same treatment, both left for England. An early 
writer says that "Mr. Brooks and Mr. Moore are much 
lamented, being the most pious and industrious mission- 
ers that the Honorable Society ever sent over," and 
"whose crime was for opposing and condemning boldly 
vice and immorality." 

Wearied with Cornbury' s tyranny, the citizens of 
New York and New Jersey at last petitioned the Queen 
for his removal, when she had to revoke her kinsman's 
commission. Immediately, his creditors threw him into 
the debtor's prison, at the new City Hall on Wall street, 



330 EAKLIE3T ClIUKCHES IN NEW YORK. 

where the persc^cutor remained until the death of his 
father, Earl Clarendon, elevated him from the cell to the 
peerage of England. 

Mr. Brooks died in 1707, and two years afterwards the 
Rev. EdAvard Vanghan was appointed missionary for 
this region of New Jersey, at a salary of fifty pounds 
per annum, which, he writes, "will not afford me a 
competent subsistence in this dear place, where no con- 
tributions are given by the people towards ni}^ suj)port, 
and where I am continually obliged to be itinerant, and 
consequently at great expense in crossing ferries." This 
was one hundred and fifty years before the present day 
of well-known Jersey railroads and bridges. The Prop- 
agation Society, in 1710-11, sent over from England a Mr. 
Thomas Halliday, to divide the missionary burdens with 
Mr. Vaughan. The new missionary officiated at Amboy 
and Piscataqua, and reports that "Amboy is a place 
pitched on by the Jerseys as most commodious for their 
trade in the country, in good hopes tliat some time or 
other it will appear a well-peopled ally. . . Piscataqua 
makes a much greater congregation, and there are some 
pious and well-dis]30sed ]3eople among them ; some come 
from good distances to this meeting, but there is nothing 
among us like the face of a Church of England ; no 
surplice, no Bible, no communion table ; an old broken 
house, insufficient to keep us from the injuries of the 
weather, and where, likewise, the Anabaptists, which 
swarm in this place, do sometimes preach, and Ave cannot 
hinder, the house belonging to the toAvn." Piscataqua 
was tli(^ earli(?st Baptist si^ttlement in the State, the tract 
purcliased from tlie Indians in the year 1663, and their 



EAKLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOPwK. 391 

patent obtained the following year of Governor Nicolls, 
under the Duke of York. Among the recorded settlers 
here, we find the Gillmans, Drakes, Hands, Hendricks, 
Martins, Higginses, Dunhams, Fitz Randolphs, Suttons, 
Fords, Davises, Mortons, Dunns, &c., &c. Most of these, 
it is supposed, were Baptists, "'• and their first preachers 
Hugh Dunn, John Drake, and Edmond Dunham. These, 
with Nicholas Bonhani, John Smalley, and John Fitz 
Randolph, in the spring of 1689, were constituted a 
" Baptist Church" in Piscataway. Then succeeded the 
Rev. Benjamin Stelle, of French extraction, who died in 
1759 ; who Avas followed by his son, Isaac Stelle, 1781 ; 
Reune Runyan till 1811 ; James McLaughlin, 1817 ; 
Daniel Dodge, 1832 ; Daniel D. Lewis, 1833, &c. 

The Seventh-day Baptist Church was formed by sev- 
enteen seceders from the Piscataqua Church, in the year 
1707, the Rev. Edmond Dunham becoming tlieir first 
pastor ; his son, Jonathan Dunham,, was his successor, 
and Nathan Rogers the next preacher. During thirty 
years this congregation was the only one of the denomi- 
nation in the State of New Jersey. The Rev. Walter 
B. Gillette became its next pastor. In 1747, the Baptist 
Church at Scotch Plains was formed by members of the 
Piscataqua society, and the Rev. Jacob Fitz Randolph 
became their minister, and after him the Rev. Lebbeus 
Lathrop and E. M. Barker. 

Let us now return to the Episcopalians. In 1714, we 
find that ' ' Mr. Vaughan is settled, and marrying a for- 
tune of two thousand pounds, and has taken up his 
residence at Amboy, and intends to serve it and Elizabeth 

* Hist. Col. New Jersey. 



392 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Town." Mr. Vaiiglian continued to minister at Eliza- 
"bethtown for nearly forty years, remarkable for liis amia- 
ble and social qualities, and beloved by his own people. 
He became very intimate witli the Rev. Mr. Dickinson, 
the Presl^yterian pastor of the town, although in tem- 
perament and doctrine warmly opposed to each other. 
Just as Mr. Vaughan was dying, the intelligence came 
of Dickinson' s death, and among his last audible words 
he said: " O that I had liold of the skirts of brother 
Jonathan !"^^ 

After his death, the Rev. Mr. Wood occasionally 
served the Episcopal church at Elizabethtown and New 
BrunsAvick. Then an application was made to the Soci- 
ety in England for a permanent minister, and Thomas 
Bradbury Chandler was appointed catechist, and after- 
wards ordained rector of the church. Subsequently he 
rose to distinction, becoming a very able defender of Epis- 
copacy. Under his ministry, in tlic year 1782, the church 
received a charter from the Crown, which still remains 
the law to regulate the secular affiiirs of the congrega- 
tion. The Revolutionary War had a ruinous eifect upon 
this church. Connected with the Crown, a Churchman 
and a foe of popular libertybecame synonymous terms. 
Dr. Chandler retired to England, remaining there for some 
years after the war, but returning in 1785. He died 
1790. His ministry protracted and able, his name will 
long be revered among the fathers of the Episco^^al 
Church in New Jersey. The interior of the church was 
destroyed, and converted into a stable by the common 
enemy. After the close of the war it was soon repaired, 

* JLiirray's Notes on Elizabethtown. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 393 

and for some time continued the only place for the pub- 
lic worship of God in the town. After its repair, Dr. 
Ogden liere preached with great power and success, but 
subsequently became a minister of the Presbyterian 
Church. 

The Rev. Mr. Spragg, previously a Methodist minis- 
ter, was elected rector in 1789, and enjoyed the con- 
fidence and respect of his people. After a brief 
ministry of five years, he died suddenly, in 1794. The 
Rev. Mr. Raynor, who had also been connected with 
the Methodist Church, succeeded him, 1795-6, but 
removed to Coimecticut in 1801. He gave up Meth- 
odism for Ei^iscopacy, and then Episcopacy to embrace 
Universalism. Strange changes ! He now preached the 
doctrine first declared to Eve in the garden of Eden by 
the lying serpent: "Ye shall not surely die;" a doc- 
trine whose boast and claim to antiquity are certainly 
beyond all question. 

The Rev. Dr. Beasley next occupied the pulpit, 
remaining until 1803. Then the Rev. Mr. Lilly served 
the parish (1803) for two years, when he, removing to 
the South, died. His successor was the Rev. Dr. Rudd, 
in 1806, and after a very successful ministry of twenty 
years, took charge of a large congregation at Auburn, 
]N"ew York. 

In June, 1826, the Rev. Smith Pyne was called to fill 
the vacancy, and retired December, 1828. Next suc- 
ceeded, in 1829, the Rev. B. G. JS'oble, resigning 1833 ; 
and the Rev. Richard C. Moore, Jr., a most excellent 
and pious pastor, in February, 1834. In 1855, he 
resigned the rectorship of St. John's, and is now the 



394 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

pastor of Christ Cliurcli, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 
During his long and fruitful ministrations at Elizabeth- 
town, the church was almost rebuilt, a fine Sunday- 
school room added, and the communicants largely 
increased. Grace Church, a missionary one, was also 
erected at Elizabethport by the zeal and liberality of his 
congregation. In the year 1853, the members of St. 
John's formed another congregation under the name 
of Christ Church, and erected a beautiful stone chapel 
and rectory in the Gothic style, at a cost of over thirty 
thousand dollars, including the lot. Its pews are free, 
and the Rev. Mr. Hoffman its zealous pastor. A parish 
library has also been founded. 



EARLIEST CnUKCHES IN ISTEW YORK. 895 



CHAPTER XXXYIL 

EXTENT OF NEW NETHERLAND ITS SETTLERS PALATINES AT KING- 
STON (1660) BEAUTIFUL TRADITION " TRI-CORS " FRENCH 

BIBLE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY CHURCH ORGANIZED AT NEW PALTZ 

BY REV. P. DAILLE (1683) THE "WALLOON PROTESTANT CHURCh" 

HIS MISSION FRENCH THE COMMON LANGUAGE THE "dUZINE" 

LOUISE DUBOISE, ELDER, AND HUGH FREER, DEACON DAILLe's 

GRAVE RECENTLY DISCOVERED- — INSCRIPTION HIS WILL BONRE- 

POS HIS SUCCESSOR AT NEW PALTZ (169G) — DUTCH LANGUAGE 
INTRODUCED NEW CHURCH CURIOUS DOCUMENT. 

The colony of New Netlierland continued forty years 
after the first agricultural settlement until 1664, when it 
was ceded to the British Government. It had extended 
from New Amsterdam to the neighboring regions of Long 
Island and New Jersey ; and the Dutch j^ojDulation was 
to be found at Esopus, now Kingston and vicinity, and 
at Rensselaer wy ck, the present Albany. Hollanders 
and Huguenots soon settled in the valleys of the Hack- 
ensack, Passaic, and Raritan Rivers, and along the Mo- 
hawk and Schoharie. Some of the Protestant French 
families from the Palatinate, in Germany, found their 
way to Kingston as early as the year 1660. They had 
fled the religious persecutions of France for a temporary 
asylum in Germany, and thence emigrated to America, 

There is a beautiful traditionary incident which gives 
a clear insight into their earliest religious life in America. 
As soon as they had unharnessed and unpacked their 



396 EARLIEST CHURCHES I]S^ NEW YORK. 

teams on the AVallkil, where they at first had intended 
to settle, at a place called the "Tri-Cors," then they 
opened their French Bible, and reading the twenty-third 
Psalm, engaged in the solemn duties of Christian wor- 
ship. Pions inauguration of their American history ! 
Here they settled, and a few weeks after, among the first 
buildings erected was a log cabin, answering the double 
purpose of a church and school-house. In this humble 
place, doubtless, for the first time they enjoyed a free 
Gospel in their own sweetly-flowing tongue. From this 
fountain, springing up in the American wilderness, they 
now imbibed religious liberty— a privilege, happiness, 
and realization sweeter to them than life itself ; they had 
fled from home, and kindred, and country, to procure 
this inestimable blessing. Mrs. Hemans has finely por- 
trayed such a sublime sight in her "Huguenot's Fare- 
well:"— 



"I go up to the ancient hills, 

Where chains may never be; 
Where leap in joy the torrent rills ; 

Where man may worship Uod, alone and free. 

" And song shall midst the rocks be heard, 

And fearless prayer ascend ; 
While thrilling to God's most holy Word, 

The mountain pines in adoration bend. 

" Then fare thee well, my mother's bower ; 

Farewell, my father's hearth 1 
Perish my home ! where lawless power 

Hath rent the tie of love to native earth. 

" Perish I let death-like silence fall 

Upon the lone abode ; 
Spread fast, dark ivy — sjiread thy pall — 

I go up to the mountains with my God." 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 397 

To tliis little pious band in the American wilderness 
the Rev. Pierre Daille first gave the bread of life. The 
church at New Paltz was organized by him on the 22d 
of January, 1683, with the name of tlie "Congregation 
of the Walloon Protestant Church,"-^ after the manner 
and discipline of the Church at Geneva, and according 
to JoJin Calvin's tenets. 

Mr. Daille may be styled the great apostle of the 
Huguenots in America. His missionary services appear 
to have been divided between the French Protestant 
churches at New Paltz and New York, until his depar- 
ture to serve the Huguenots in Boston. In the city of 
New York, Mons. Peter Pieret succeeded him, in 1697, 
who received towards his salary twenty pounds annually 
from the municipal government, f 

We learn this historical fact of the organization of the 
church at New Paltz from its record, written in French 
MSS. It extends from 1683 to 1702, a period of nineteen 
years, during which the French was the prevailing lan- 
guage of the settlement. The entries were made by eight 
different hands, including the autographs of Abraham 
Hasbrouck, Louis Dubois, and Louis Bevier, three of 
the original "Duzine," or "Twelve Patentees." At the 
close of the record are two or three entries in Dutch, 
and hence we conclude that then, about the year 1700, 
the French was superseded by the Dutch. Its first 
entry is the organization of the church, reading thus : 
"January 22d, 1683, Mr. Pierre Daille, minister of the 
Word of God, arrived at New Paltz, and preached twice 

* Hon. A. B. Hasbrouck. f Doc. Hist. 



308 EARLIEST ClIUECIIES IN NEW YOEK. 

on the Sunday following, and proposed to the families 
to choose hy a majority of votes of the fathers of fami- 
lies an elder and deacon, which they did, and chose 
Louis Dubois for elder, and Hugh Freer for deacon, to 
aid the minister in the management of the members of 
the church meeting at New Paltz, who were then con- 
tinued to the said charge of elder and deacon. The pres- 
ent minister has been made to put in order the things 
which pertain to the said church." 

Thus early, one hundred and eighty years ago, was 
organized a church in New Paltz, consisting originally 
of only ten or twelve families. Mr. Daille, their pastor, 
did not reside permanently among them, but visited 
them at their homes, preaching the Gospel and adminis- 
tering the Sacrament. His journeys must have been b}^ 
water to Esopus, and thence on the land over the rugged 
intervening region — a tedious, toilsome road then. His 
last recorded service was the marriage of "Peter Gui- 
man, native of Saintonge, to Esther Hasbrouck, native 
of the Palatinate, in Germany, April 18, 1692." About 
the year 1724, he was settled in the French church in 
New York. In 1696, he removed to the French church, 
in Boston. He was a 2')i'ef^^ber of talents, and beloved 
as a faithful pastor. 

For a long time his grave has been an object of search 
by those who venerate his name and memor3\ It was 
accidentally found, 1860, in the Boston Granary Burial- 
Ground ; and some time after, while excavating a cellar 
in Pleasant street, some of the workmen struck the 
lieadstone. It is a slate-stone slab, with this inscrip- 
tion: 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW TORK. 399 

HERE LYES YE BODY OF YE 

RKV. MR. PETER DAILLE, 

Minister of ye French Church, in Boston: 

died the 21 of may, 1715, 

in the g7 year op his age. 

Mr. Daille Iburied two wives while residing in Boston ; 
lie left a widow, named Martha, and in his will directed 
his body to be "decently interred," "with this restric- 
tion, that there be no wine at my funei'al, and none of 
my wife' s relations have any mourning clothes furnished 
them, except gloves." Measures have been taken to 
restore the newly-discovered, venerable gravestone of 
Mr. Daille to its true original spot in the Granary 
Burying-Ground. 

The next ]oastor of the French church at l^ew Paltz 
was the Rev. M. Bonrepos, This is the same minister 
who signs himself "the Pastor of this French Colony," 
in a communication, during the year 1690, to Governor 
Leister, from New Rochelle. He was naturalized at the 
same place, under the great seal of the province, in 
1696,"' and his first ministerial recorded services at New 
Paltz are dated May 31, 1696. In the year 1699 he held 
two communion services, when eight were received at the 
. Lord' s table. His last ministerial record is dated June 
19, 1700. The name of Bonrepos is among the most 
illustrious of the Huguenot leaders or Reformers in 
France, and we can easily imagine that this exiled Pro- 
testant French preacher was a worthy descendant of 
pious ' ' noble sires ;' ' but we have never been able to 

* Doc. Hist. N. T. 



400 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

discover any thing further of his history tlian this mere 
notice. 

Between the years 1700 and 1730, at New Paltz, the 
Dutch hmguage took the place of the French, and, in 
consequence of this transition, the French church did 
not secure a settled ministry. Still, although the fathers 
of the colony did not have the ministrations of a preacher 
in their own native tongue, they were hy no means neg- 
lectful of their Church obligation and duties. The earl}^ 
records of ba^^tisms in the Reformed Dutch church in 
Kingston bear witness that many a tiresome journey 
was made to that place by these Huguenots, to enjoy 
tlie preaching of the Gospel and its holy ordinances. 

At a later period, when the Dutch language had be- 
come more general, the services of Dutch ministers from 
Albany and Kingston were obtained, and the Huguenots 
even erected a second church, which was dedicated to 
the service of the Almighty on December 29th, 1720. 
This was small, and the brick imported from Hol- 
land ; its form square, each of the three sides having 
a large window, and the fourth a capacious door and 
portico. In the centre of its steep roof stood a little 
steeple, from which sounded the hoi-n, the notice of 
religious services. At this period there appears a curi- 
ous document, written in French, designating the places 
wiiich each seat-holder should occupy on the benches. 
It purported to be an article of agreement between the 
members of the congregation, and no doubt answered 
every purpose of a deed, securing the rights of the hear- 
ers to their sittings. 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 401 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

NEW PALTZ, CONTINtTED REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH DOMINIE VAN 

DRIESSBN THE CCETUS AND CONFERENTI.E REV. MR. EREYENMOET 

JOINTLY CALLED BY ROCHESTER, MARBLETOWN, SHAWANGUNK, AND 

NEW PALTZ MR. GOETSCHIUS SUCCEEDED HIM A TEACHER OF 

THEOLOGY IIIS YOUNGER BROTHER, AN M. D., TAKES 1113 PLACE, 

PREACHING IN GERMAN AND DUTCH CALLED THE "DOCTOR 

dominie" CURES A MANIAC BY MUSIC DIVISION IN THE CHURCH 

(1'767) DOMINIES OLD CHURCH AT NEW PALTZ TAKEN DOWN AND 

NEW ONE ERECTED REV. S. GOETSCHIUS THE MINISTER (l775) 

UNITES THE TWO CONGREGATIONS INDIAN INCURSIONS NEW PALTZ 

ESCAPES THE pastor's LAST SERMON HIS SUCCESSORS, REV. W, 

R. BOGARDUS, VAN OLINDA, AND VANDERVOORT. 

NEW PALTZ REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH. 

From the dedication of the Second French Church 
at New Paltz, no permanent pastoral services were per- 
formed until 1731, when Dominie Van Driessen visited 
the little flock, and from the records Ave learn that he 
ordained deacons and elders. He styles them " Our 
French Church," and his ministry among them contin- 
ued until May 11th, 1736. Twenty-two members were 
received on probation during his ministry at the Paltz. 
He came from Belgium originall}^, and sustained a 
• thorough examination before the Presbytery of New 
Haven in 1727, and, after ordination, his first settlement 
was at Livingston Manor (now Linlithgow), and Rensse- 
laerwick (Kinderhook and Claverack). Here he was in- 
vited by Rob Livinston, who had just finished a church 
at the Manor, and removed soon after his death, in 1728. 
26 



402 EARLIEST CIIUECIIE3 IN" Is^EW YOIIK. 

Mr. Van Driesseii was not regularly installed at New 
Paltz, in consequence of his not having received ordina- 
tion and license from the Mother Church, which, at 
that moment, was regarded as most essential. Notwith- 
standing this irregularity, he performed the duties of a 
pastor at New Paltz from 1731 to 1735, when he was 
called to Acquackanonck, remaining there till 1748. 
Dominie Van Driessen appears to have been a represen- 
tative man, as he was the first instance, in the northern 
sectioji of the Reformed Dutch Church, of irregularity 
in ordination. This question originated the contention 
between the two parties, the Coetus and the Conferen- 
tia. Notwithstanding he pursued this course to save 
the trouble and the expense of a journey to Holland for 
ordination, the regular ministry here denounced him, 
warning their churches against liim, and in 1731 a simi- 
lar act was passed by the church of Kingston, calling 
him a schismatic Avith Johannes Ilardenburg (father of 
J. R. Hardenburg), The old record says: "The said 
Van Driessen having preached dangerous doctrines, in 
a barn in Henley, on the Sunday previous in New Paltz, 
and on September 21st in Marble" (Marbletown). His 
lu^resy evidently consisted not so much in his doctrines 
as the want of regularity in his ordination.'- Notwith- 
standing this opposition, his ministry was successful at 
New Paltz. 

From 1736 to 1751, no regular record has been dis- 
covered of this church, except occasional entries, when 
baptisms and marriages were solemnized by the Rev. 
Theodosius Frelinghuysen, of Albany, and tlie Rev. 

* ITist. Hug. Church, Xew Paltz, by Rev. 0. II. Stitt. 



EARLIEST CHUECIIES IN NEW YORK. 403 

Isaac Chalker, the Rev. Johannes H. Goetschius, with 
probably Dominie Mancins, from Kingston.* In the 
year 1741, the Consistory of New Paltz, uniting with 
those of Rochester, Marbletown, and Shawangunk, 
called the Rev. John Casparus Freyenmoet to be their 
pastor, for the sum of one hundred pounds per annum : 
Rochester contributing thirty-one pounds six shillings 
and a parsonage for one-third of his services ; Marble- 
town, thirty-six pounds fourteen shillings for a third ; 
and New Paltz and Shawajigunk thirty-one pounds for 
the remaining third. 

After him, Johannes Henricus Goetschius served this 
congregation. He was born in SAvitzerland, and studied 
at Zurich, the birthplace of Zuingie, the great reformer. 
In the year 1748, he was properly ordained by the 
Classis of Amsterdam, and settled in the Hackensack 
church. He was a scholar and a teacher of theology, 
and a preacher of intrepid earnestness. It is related, 
that while preaching on Long Island, the doors of a 
church closed against him, he mounted the steps and 
delivered a povrerful sermon to a large and sympathi- 
zing congregation. A majority of the HacJvensack Con- 
sistory also deliberated, one Sunday, about closing their 
church-doors against him, when, buckling on a sword, 
he declared, "I will do what I must for my rights," 
and, thus accoutred, actually entered the pulpit. 

Mr. Goetschius had charge of the Sclu^aalenbergh and 
Hackensack congregations from 1748 to 1774, and taught 
theology at the latter place. During the whole period 
of his ministry, seven years, it was a season of the 

* Hist. Hug. Church, New Paltz, by Rev. C. H. StitL 



404 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

Lord's presence and power. At a single communion, in 

1751, he received eighty-seven members. In the year 

1752, Barent Vrooman received a call from New Paltz, 
and was installed the next year, remaining only till 
1754, when he became pastor at Schenectady. 

Johannes Mauritius Goetschius, a younger brother of 
the dominie already referred to, came a physician to 
America about 1744, but immediately commenced the 
study of divinity. Ordained in the year 1758, he took 
charge of the High and Low Dutch church of Scho- 
harie, preacliing in German and Dutch, and practising 
medicine. In 1760, he became tlie pastor of the two 
churches at New Paltz and Shawangunk, "each congre- 
gation to pay him forty pounds, good New York gold^^'' 
an article so scarce and high in these war times. He was 
called the ' ' Doctor Dominie, ' ' and his labors must have 
been extensive and arduous, extending, as they did, 
from Bloomingdale to NeAV Prospect, a distance of some 
thirty miles. A skilful physician, he was called, it is 
related, to visit a fearfully insane person, by the name 
of Jacob Lefever, Quick as thought the dominie took 
a violm, and ]3laying with a masterly hand, the notr^s 
Avere so sweet and soothing that the maniac patient be 
came at once soothed and calm ; and, leaping from his 
bed, he danced until profuse perspiration followed the 
exercise, and, striking his hand on his head, he ex- 
claimed, "I have been crazy!'' Permanent cure was 
the result of this novel, yet sensible, practice, Mr. 
Goetschius continued in tliis useful field of labor until 
his death, in 1771, and his ashes rest under the north 
side of the Eeformed Dutch church at Shawangunk. 



EAELIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 405 

All readers of the religious liistory of tliese times will 
bring to remembrance the difficulties produced by the 
''Ccetus" and " Conferentia" parties in the Reformed 
Dutch Church. To say the least of the contest, it was 
a pious strife, if we can A^ith propriety use such a term. 
It terminated in an open division (1767), when a Second 
Reformed Dutch Church of New Paltz was organized 
by the Rev. Isaac Rysdyck, of Poughkeepsie and Fish- 
kill. Noah Eltinge was chosen elder, and Petrus Van 
Wagenen deacon, and the new church numbered five 
members from Kingston and ten from New Paltz. This 
new organization, however, arising from dissension, de- 
clined and died in a few years. Their ministers were 
the Rev. G. D. Cock, 1768 to '70; Rev. Ryneer Van 
Neste, 1774, with a salary of one hundred pounds ; and 
he remained pastor until this congregation merged into 
the Coetus, or First Church of New Paltz, under the 
Rev. Stephen Goetschius. The old, or first church at 
New Paltz, was* finally taken down, and its material 
converted usefully into a village schoolhouse, still re- 
maining. On its site, a new and more commodious 
stone building was erected, with a hipped roof, similar 
to the "Old Middle Dutch," New York, and sur- 
mounted with cupola and bell, tlie last still usefully 
serving the village schoolhouse. This new temple of 
the Lord was dedicated to His service A. D. 1770. 

In the year 1775, the Rev. Stephen Goetschius took 
the spiritual oversight of this congregation, with the 
one at New Henley, remaining until 1796, when he re- 
moved to the church of Marbletown. He received his 
preparatory studies under Dr. Peter Wilson, then of 



406 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YOIJK. 

Hackensack, but afterwards professor at Columbia Col- 
lege, and so well remembered by many liberally-edu- 
cated New Yorkers. Dominie Goetschius obtained Ms 
bachelor's degree at Princeton, reading divinity under 
his father, at Hackensack ; Dr. Livingston, New York ; 
Dr. Westerlo, Albany ; and Dr. Verbryck, Tappan. 

The preaching of this young licentiate happily healed 
the breach betAveen the two congregations at the Paltz, 
uniting them into one communion, and thus restoring 
peace in their beloved Zion. He labored during thc^ 
stormy times of the American Eevolution, and says, in 
one of his discourses : "At the close of the war, I per- 
ceived there Avere places where new congregations might 
be gathered. I did undertake, collected, and organized 
nine churches. Being the only minister in the Dutcli 
Church in Ulster County, my labors in solemnizing mar- 
riages, in visiting, and performing parochial duties, Avere 
very severe, and rather more than I could endure ; but 
the Lord helped me, as I have reason to believe."* 

He Avas a man of small stature, but bold and fearless 
in denouncing sin — a sound preacher. His A^acant Sab- 
baths Avere spent at WaAvarsing, a valley Avest of the 
mountains, distant tAventy miles from Paltz. At this 
period tlie Indians visited its defenceless inhabitants 
Avith fire and death, and he speaks of preaching in a pul- 
pit cut and disfigured by their bloody tomahaAvks. The 
church had been set on fire, but it Avent out of its OAvn 
accord, and thus escaped destruction by the intervening 
kind proA^dence of the Lord. Witli the excej)tion of 
three houses, the Avhole of this retired village AA^as 

* Eev. Mr. Stitts's Hist. 



"EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 407 

burned to the ground. He also mentions an old man, 
an elder in the churcli, who, not able to retreat with the 
other flying inhabitants, was shot and scaljied on the 
road. It is a remarkable fact, that the Christian settle- 
ment of New Paltz escaped the scenes of cruelty and 
bloodshed which so early visited the surrounding neigh- 
borhood. This good fortune, we doubt not, was owing 
to the treaty early made with the Indans, the Huguenot 
settlers paying a fair compensation for their lands, and 
they then strictly respected its provisions. Toward the 
last of his ministry, Dominie Goetscliius, to meet the 
wants of his younger hearers, preached alternately in 
Dutch and Englisli. The former his vernacular, it was 
difficult for him, at once, to use the new language, but 
by perseverance he succeeded. His first discourse in 
the new tongue was from Rom. xiv. 8: "For whether 
we live, we live unto the Lord," &c. He finally settled 
at Saddle River, there ending his ministry full of years 
and usefulness. The text of his farewell and last ser- 
mon, was Eph. v^i. 24: "Grace be with all them that 
love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen." He 
thus concluded: "Farewell, farewell, friends and fel- 
low-Christians ! From henceforth ye shall see me no 
more as your ordinary shepherd and teacher in the 
sacred desk. Be of one mind ; be of good cheer ; live 
in peace, and the God of peace Avill be with you. 

" Omden will der vrie^en myn 
Andder broderin, die binaer zyn ; 
Wensachre ik in vrede in alle packen, 
Om dat Gon temple zeer ryn, 
Staat binnen were muren neit klyn, 
Zalik steeds an voors pocdracken." 

Ps. 122. 



408 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. - 

After a vacancy of three years, the Rev. Johu H. 
Meyers took the pastorate of Paltz and New Henley, in 
1799, preaching in both languages — and, it is said, elo- 
quently, A peculiar unction attended his sermons. In 
the year 1803, he settled at Schenectady, where he soon 
died. Then came the Rev. Peter Ditmas Freligh, his 
ministry lasting six years at the Paltz ; when, removing 
to Acquackanonck, New Jersey, in 1814, he there fin- 
ished his course. 

In the year 1817, the Rev. William R. Bogardus occu- 
pied this field of Christian labors, continuing to 1831, 
and then he also took the pastoral relation to the Re- 
formed Dutch Church of Acquackanonck. In the year 
1857, he retired to Paterson, Avithout any charge, and 
afterwards lived with his son-in-law, the Rev. J. Ro- 
meyn Berry, at Kinderhook. He was an untiring 
pastoral laborer, with a remarkable power to adapt his 
discourses to the wants of his flock, in preaching Christ. 
He has recently been called to his seat in the uj)per 
sanctuary. 

During his ministry. New Henley was separated from 
the Paltz, the latter retaining his exclusive services. 

In 1832, the Rev. Dominie Van Olinda succeeded him 
tiU 1844, and then removing to the church at Fonda, he 
soon died. Under his direction the new Paltz Academy 
was established, and by his efforts the second stone 
church there was taken down, and a new brick one 
built near its site, witli parts of the material from the 
old. This is a spacious, beautiful house of the Lord, 
and dedicated December 17, 1839. After Dominie Van 
Olinda, the Rev. John C. A^'andcrvoort became the pas- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 409 

tor of this flock, 1845 ; and, faithfully laboring in the 
cause of his IMaster, he removed to the congregation at 
West Ghent. Here this good man, and full of the Holy 
Ghost, having ended a tedious sickness, fell asleep in 
Christ. 

He was succeeded by the present excellent pastor, in 
the year 1848, the Rev. C. H. Stitt.* We have thus 
extended our notice of the earliest churches of New 
Paltz, because so little has been collected of their inter- 
esting history. 

* To this geutleman's researches we owe much of our New Paltz history. 



410 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

FIRST CHURCH IN ALBANY, 1642 PULPIT IMPORTED ENLARGED 

SECOND AND THIRD CHURCHES REV. J. MEGAPOLENSIS THE EARLI- 
EST DOMINIE SALARY DOMINIE SCHAATS, 1652 REVS. M. NIE- 

MENHUYSEN AND N. VAN RENSSELAER LATTER SUSPECTED OF 

BEING A PAPIST ARRESTED, CUT RELEASED BY THE GOVERNOR 

EEV. MR. DELLIUS ARRIVES, 1683 BAPTISMAL REGISTER PRE- 
SERVED DOMINIES LUCELLA, LEDIUS, AND VAN DRIESSEN 

CHURCH REBUILT IN I7l5 REVS. C. VAN SCHLIE AND T. FRELING- 

HUYSEN, 1760 E. WESTERLO J. BASSET NEW CHURCH BUILT 

REVS. A. B. JOHNSON, J. W. BRADFORD, 1805 FIRST SETTLER IN 

SCHENECTADY ITS MASSACRE, 1690 REV. MR. TASSOMAKER 

KILLED REVS. T. BROWN, B. FREEMAN, R. ERKSON, C. VAN SANT- 

VOORT, B. KOOMER, J. D. ROMEYN, J. H. MYERS, C. COGARDUS, J. 
VAN VEGHTEN — FIRST AND SECOND CHURCH — ST. GEORGe's, FIRST 
EPISCOPAL (1762), J. DUNCAN, RECTOR REV. MR. DOTY AND AN- 
DREWS, AND ROGERS, ETC. CAPTAIN WEBB INTRODUCES METHOD- 
ISM PREACHES IN REGIMENTALS HIS SUCCESS WIIITEFIELD 

CHURCH BUILT CONCLUDING REMARKS BLESSED RESULTS FROM 

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THESE EARLY CHURCHES IN NEW YORK 
AND NEW AMSTERDAM. 

As early as 1642 a small stone churcli was built, niue- 
teen by thirty-four feet, at Albany, and its pulpit im- 
ported complete from Holland, and is still preserved. 
The sacred edilice had pews for the deacons and magis- 
trates, with only nine benches, but the humble place of 
worship answered its pious purposes for thirteen years, 
when it was enlarged in a curious way. Small as was 
this infant church, as early as 1C47 it could loan two 



EARLIEST CIIUECHES IN NEW YORK. 411- 

hundred guilders to the Patroon, for which the " Diaco- 
nie" or Deacons received an interest of ten per cent. In 
the year 1651, a new "stoop" or steps were added to 
the edifice, which, to use the Language of an old record, 
would answer the i^urposes of the congregation "for the 
next three or four years, after which it might he con- 
verted into a schoolhouse or a dwelling for the sexton." 
A new stone Avail, built around the old church, enclosed 
it, so that the usual services were discontinued for three 
Sundays only. This second church remained ninety-two 
years, until 1806, directly in front of the present post- 
office, when the stone was removed to aid in the erection 
of the beautiful South Dutch Church. In the month of 
August, 1642, the Rev. Johannes Megapolensis arrived 
at Albany, under the patronage of the Patroon. He 
had a free passage to New Netherland, with an outfit of 
three hundred guilders, or one hundred and twenty -four 
dollars ; salary, eleven hundred guilders, thirty schepels 
or twenty -two and a half bushels of wheat, two firkins 
of butter, annually, for the first three years. In the 
year 1649, Megapolensis retired from Albany, and during 
1652, Dominie Gideon Schaats came from Holland, his 
successor, at a salary of eight hundred guilders (three 
hundred and twenty dollars) per annum, for three years, 
and this sum was afterwards increased to thirteen hun- 
dred. He is supposed to have died in 1683 ; and as 
early as 1675, Mr. M. Niemenhuysen was his colleague, 
when Dominie Nicholas Van Rensselaer arrived. He 
claimed not only the pulpit, but tlie Manor also ; and, 
strange to us, he was suspected of being a Papist ! 
A controversy ensuing, the Governor of the Colony 



412 EARLIEST CHUllCIIES IN NEW YOEK. 

espoused the part of the Dutch dominie. The magis- 
trates even ordered him to be arrested and imprisoned for 
"several dubious words" uttered in a sermon. But the 
Governor, releasing him, compelled them to show cause 
why they had confined the minister, with security of five 
thousand pounds each. His Excellency, however, fear- 
ful of raising a party against himself, discontinued the 
proceedings, referring the matter to the Dutch Church 
at Albany. 

The pulpit and bell of the new church were sent by 
the West India Company from Holland, and both served 
the congregation a century and a half. 

During the year 1683, the Rev. Godfredius Dellius 
arrived to assist Mr. Schaats, now threescore and six- 
teen years old. The baptismal register of this venerable 
Albany church has been regularly kept ever since. 
Dominie Dellius added many members to his congrega- 
tion, and especially from the neighboring Mohawk Indi- 
ans. Unwisely led into property speculations, he became 
involved, which ultimately led to his dismissal in 169n, 
when he returned to Holland. In the year 1700, the 
Rev. Mr. Lucella officiated at Albany, — 1703, the Rev. 
John Ledius for two years, and during 1703, Petrus 
Van Driessen was called, and labored until his death, in 
1738. The church Avas rebuilt in 1715, upon the old 
site, and during 1733 we find the Rev. Cornelius Van 
Sclilie officiating here, who died in 1744. Then the Rev. 
Theodoras Frelinghuysen occupied the pulx)it till 1700, 
when he returned to Holland, and the Rev. Eilardus 
Westerlo succeeded him. He became one of the most 
eminent ministers in our land, dying (1790), in his fifty- 



EARLIEST CHURCHES IHi ^mv YORK. 413 

tliird year, greatly beloved. Whilst tlie British occu- 
pied New York, Dr. Livingston occasionally exchanged 
with Mr. Westerlo, and there was a disposition to call 
him to preacli in Dutch, but he was too infirm for this 
duty. In 1787, the Rev. John Basset was called. The 
congregation now larger, a new church was built on 
North Pearl street, and services continued in both. 
During the year 1796, the Rev. John B. Johnson became 
a colleague of Mr. Bassett, continuing till 1802, and died 
at Newtown, Long Island, in 1803. He appears to have 
obtained great popularity. 

The Rev. John W. Bradford was called in 1805, with 
a salary of fifteen hundred dollars, and two hundred 
and fifty dollars more if he married. This year, the 
ground of the old church was sold for five thousand 
dollars, and its materials taken to aid in erecting a new 
one on Beaver street. Its imported pulpit, weathercock, 
and some small panes of glass preserved, are all that 
now remain of this old temple of the Lord. 

Schenectady was the earliest inland settlement beyond 
Albany, and made by the Dutch, as the nearest landing 
on the Mohawk River. The first settler was named 
"Corlaer," before 1666; the name signifying "beyond 
the Pine Plains. ' ' '^ Schenectady was the frontier town, 
iind had its stockades, blockhouses, and gates, but no 
(^nemies until the ever busy French interfered with the 
Indians. On the 8th of February, 1690, at midnight, the 
ground covered with snow, two hundred French and 
savages, entering the town before the guard had any 
warning, fired almost every house, and butchered sixty 

* Watson's Annals of New York. 



414 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

persons, witliout any regard to age or sex. Several 
were made j)risoners ; wiiile those wlio escaped, almost 
naked, fled towards Albany, in the midst of a raging, 
terribh^ snow-storm, some losing their limbs from the 
intense cold. 

The ministers lious(^ had been ordered to be saved, 
that lie might be captured, but it shared the gen(^]-al 
destruction — his papers burned and himself among the 
murdered. This was the Rev. Mr. Tassomaker, the first 
settled minister in the i^lace. He came from Holland in the 
year 1G84. Before this period the inhabitants made their 
cliurch visits to Albany, distant sixteen miles. The mur- 
dered dominie was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Brower, 
in the year 1702, also from Holland, who continued his 
ministry until 1728, when he ended his earthly labors. 
Next came the Rev. Bernardus Freeman and Reinhard 
Erkson, and in 1740, Cornelius Van Santvoort, from Staten 
Island, and he finished his course in 1754. His successor, 
Dominie Barent Koomer, continued the ministerial duties 
until his death, in 1782. There succeeded in Schenectady, 
the Rev. J. D. Romeyn and J. H. Myers, from New Jersey, 
Cornelius Bogardus, Jacob Van Yechten, all Americans, 
&c., &c. The first church was erected between 1684 and 
1G98, a more commodious one following in 1733, and is 
said to have been celebrated for its fine silver-toned bell, 
having much of the precious metal in its composition. 
St. George's was the first English or Episcopal Church 
established here, about 1702, its principal benefactors 
Sir William Johnson and John Duncan. Previous to 
the American Revolution the congregation owned a val- 
uable library and organ, which were d(^stroyed by some 



EARLIEST GIIUKCIIES IN NEW YOEK. 415 

lawless whites and Indians. It was called the English 
Chnrcli, and such was then the opposition against every 
thing English, as even to exhibit itself in this outrageous 
way. The pastor, the Rev. Mr. Doty, escaped the vio- 
lence of the mob, as they did not discover his abode. 
The Rev. IMr. Andrews was the first pastor, :Mr. Doty 
following him (1773), and retiring in 1777. Then there 
was no r(\gular minister until 1791, when the Rev. Amni 
Rogers took the charge, succeeded b}^ the Rev. Mr. 
Whitmore, Cyrus Stebbins, P. A. Proal, &c., &c. 

Captain Thomas Webb, one of Mr. Wesley's "Local 
Preachers," introduced Methodism into Schenectady. 
He was an officer in the British army, and, stationed in 
Alban}' , occasionally visited other places to preach the 
Gospel. On such a pious mission he went to Schenec- 
tady, in the year 1767, and preached with success. It 
was a strange sight to hear an officer in a military cos- 
tume delivering a sermon, but a number embraced the 
truth from his ministrations. George Whitefield also 
here followed Webb, in 1770, immense crowds assem- 
bling to hear him wherever he appeared. For several 
years the Methodist Society met in private dwellings for 
religious services, but finally, in the year 1809, a suita- 
ble cliui"ch was built, which was succeeded by the pres- 
ent beautiful edifice in the 3'ear 1836. 

From these early evangelical Churches in Xew York 
and IS^ew Netherland have issued the streams wliicli 
everywhere among us gladden and enrich our beloved 
Zion. What pen or mortal tongue can tell the results 
of these holy institutions? Little did our pious fore- 



416 EARLIEST CHURCHES IN NEW YORK. 

fathers, who hiid the foundations of the Lord' s temples 
in our land, imagine or ever anticipate the glorious and 
sublime results which our eyes behold. They long 
prayed, "Thy kingdom come!'" and God, in a most 
w^onderful manner, is answering that prayer in our later 
day. The mustard-seed which they planted has germi- 
nated, and lo ! a tree has sprung up whose "healing 
leaves"' are for every part of our happy land, and the 
cloud, arising not larger than a man' s hand, has spread 
until its gracious showers have descended and enriched 
every region. In the beautiful imagery of the Scrip- 
tures, the Church ' ' looks forth as the morning, fair as 
the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with 
banners." Centuries have not buried the religious life 
and sentiments of our Protestant forefathers. They were 
Bible Cliristians. And who can doubt but their prayers 
have been answered in our day, and in the experience 
of their children and children' s children, by Him w^lio 
luis promised — "I will be a God to thee, and thy seed 
after thee 



^\r 



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